Wonderful Wednesday #20 || The Puppy Edition


Right now there is nothing more wonderful to me than that furry face.

As promised last week, this is the puppy edition of Wonderful Wednesday. It’s time to make some introductions!

Not-dog-people, it is probably time to leave.

Dog-people, meet Moxie. Moxie, meet the Internet.

So yeah, this is Moxie and the start of our next great adventure! Or to give her her full name: Borders Make My Day Partner Around The World, but that’s a bit of a mouthful and only reserved for special occasions.

This post is mostly just so I can cement this moment and ogle at puppy photos but it should probably have a bit of context too. After all, I probably kept this whole venture a bit too hush, hush and now it looks as though I did that dreaded thing of getting a puppy for Christmas. I assure you, we did not. Even if she was born just a few days shy of Christmas.

So, a little back story and then on to the photos.

Pets are not new to us, having both been around pets for our whole lives and also having pets ourselves in pre-Belgium times. We considered a cat when we first moved to Belgium and then decided a dog would probably suit us better. Since we didn’t have the time to dedicate to a dog, we opted for a Choppy instead. He’s still my number one man no matter how cute that puppy face is.

At the beginning of last year we knew my job would be coming to an end so we started thinking again whether we’d like to get a dog. With all the cycling and camping we like to do, it seemed like a good fit and some extra company.

From there I researched (“obsessively” if Kris was telling this tale) dogs, dog breeds, dogs and camping, dogs and cycling, dogs and travel, dog training. Pretty much dogs and whatever Google suggested as the relevant search term. I researched shelters in Belgium and I researched breeders as well. Our first thoughts were: energetic and medium-sized. From there we reached a Border Collie, or Border Collie-esque dog. Then came a lot of research about Border Collies and a lot of trawling forums to see what information was out there. In the end, it was a joint decision to get a Border Collie puppy from a breeder.

It took us a few months to find our breeder, and around August time we sent off some emails and got a chance to visit. A couple of weeks after that we even got to watch one of the Dog Frisbee workshops that our breeder and her friend puts on which we’ll be attending in March with Moxie. After that, we went on to the waiting list and kept our fingers crossed that we’d be offered a puppy.

On December 23rd the puppies were born and the next day we were offered one. And the rest, they say, is puppy visits every weekend for the next eight weeks and spending far too much time on the litters Facebook group looking at photos and videos to keep up with them throughout the week.

I think it is time for photos. That is far too much chatter. All in all, there was about a years worth of solid research and decision-making and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

On to all things wonderful and all things puppy.

The Gorgeous Parents

You can’t have puppies without them! Mummy Babz and Daddy Chubby.


New Born Puppies

Be still my heart, aren’t they just amazing little beings. Also, much to everyone’s surprise it was an even split of 3 black and 3 red, and all girls!

Puppies_1 Puppies_2

Moxie’s First Week Of Life

Where she just flopped about, drank a lot of milk and then went to sleep.

Moxie_pup_wk1_3 Moxie_pup_wk1_4 Moxie_pup_wk1_10

Moxie’s Second Week Of Life

You see where this post is going, right? Save yourself whilst you still can.

Week two, was more sleeping, slurping and our first introductions! Although, at this point we did not actually know that Moxie was Moxie. She was just simply “Yellow” for the time being. She became Moxie at 6 weeks.

Moxie_pup_wk2_16Moxie_pup_wk2_2 Moxie_pup_wk2_8

Moxie’s Third Week Of Life

At least I’m not filling this post with idle commentary.

Week three was the week where everyone started to get chubby, open their eyes and start playing. Week three was also the time when Grandma Sim stepped in to help out Mummy Babz.

Moxie_pup_wk3_3 Moxie_pup_wk3_14 Moxie_pup_wk3_15

Moxie’s Fourth Week Of Life

At what point in this post am I just talking to myself? I don’t mind, this has to be recorded somewhere and this is a good a place as any.

Week four was all things playtime, food and napping.

Moxie_pup_wk4_2 Moxie_pup_wk4_7 Moxie_pup_wk4_1

Moxie’s Fifth Week Of Life

Week five, that’s where we discovered that it is damn cold outside in January but actually a lot of fun. Oh and napping. There is always napping.

Moxie_pup_wk5_4 Moxie_pup_wk5_14 Moxie_pup_wk5_19 Moxie_pup_wk5_6 Moxie_pup_wk5_7

Moxie’s Sixth Week Of Life

I think I am taking this too far. Or maybe I haven’t taken it far enough. If anything, it has reminded my how to spell “fourth” again.

Week six was all about getting to know the world some more, lots of playtime, working on her leash skills for the big garden centre visit and officially being crowned “Moxie”.

It wasn’t until this week that it was revealed which puppies were going to which owners. A little surprise based on our preference (which was a rather laid back “a black and white one please”) and which puppy our breeder thought would be the best fit. We had faith in her decision and could not be happier with our Yellow girl.

Week six also has some of my favourite photos too.

Moxie_pup_reveal_2 Moxie_pup_reveal_4Moxie_pup_wk6_2 Moxie_pup_wk6_5 Moxie_pup_wk6_6 Moxie_pup_wk6_19 Moxie_LeadTrainingMoxie_pup_wk6_15 Moxie_pup_wk6_14 Moxie_pup_wk6_11 Moxie_pup_wk6_12 Moxie_pup_wk6_10

Moxie’s Seventh Week Of Life

Officially too far. But, that face. That. Face.

Week seven was all about photo shoots, the big garden centre visit, more playtime and our first family photo and the mad rush to get the house ready to bring our girl home.

Moxie_pup_wk7_3 Moxie_pup_wk7_17Intratuin_2 Intratuin_7Intratuin_10 Intratuin_11 Intratuin_12IntraTuinVisit

And that’s it. I regret nothing. That is my girl and I am in love. Now, I just need to figure out how to incorporate, what I predict to be, an excessive amount of dog photos into this blog, because I don’t want to miss a single day of this girl. 

Don’t forget to check out all the other Wonderful Wednesday-ers starting with the inspiration Sally, and then the rest of us ragged bunch:  Kate, Helen, Jo, Cat, Michelle, EmmaSamLauraPetaSarah, JasminEleanor, Mimmi, Isabelle, Martina, Lynsey & another Sarah!


Wonderful Wednesday #19


Did I miss last week?

Goes off to check. 

Apparently so. I like to take the odd week off here and there. All the time, apparently.

I have a to-do list as long as my arm to get done before a certain furry friend comes home on Friday, this blog post being one of those to-dos, along with sorting the paper recycling out, rearranging the house and deciding on the final place for the crate and making a couple of doggy DIYs!

Let’s get to this!

The Big Reveal

Easily the highlight of the last two weeks! The big reveal of which furry friend we’ll be bringing home this Friday! THIS FRIDAY! Time has flown by, but we are feeling prepared and oh so excited.

Whilst we wait, why not have a guess at which of these gorgeous girls will be coming home with us: left, centre or right. Or to use their unofficial puppy names “Pink, Yellow or Purple”.


Following on from the big reveal, the next highlight was the big garden centre visit with all the puppies, the puppy-parents-to-be, Mummy and Daddy and, of course, our supervising breeder.

Kris and I travelled to Maastricht for an afternoon of pottering about the garden centre whilst the puppies introduced themselves to the big wide world of flower pots, fake grass and riding in trolleys. It was amazing. It was impossible not to smile as our girl jumped about excitedly at all the different things and then went into full toddler-mode once she was too tired but too stubborn to admit it was nap time.

Once we’d all stopped for a cuppa at the cafe though, she soon found herself a comfortable spot under the table and was dead to the world.

Oh puppies. How I love thee.

What we did not love though was trekking the two hours home on trains and busses with 20kg of dog food though. I do not recommend running for a train with a 20kg weight, not one bit. That was defintely not wonderful.

Coming next week: Wonderful Wednesday The Doggy Edition. With plenty of photos (I kid you not, I have already amassed around 150 photos from the first eight weeks of her life!) and all the necessary introductions. Probably not all interesting for those who are not dog-people.

Afternoon walks

Kris had last Thursday off work so we decided to make the most of it and head to the supermarket when it wasn’t busy and then get out for an afternoon walk into town. A little cold and a little overcast, but it was nice to pick up my camera again and get out in the fresh air. Bonus wonderful-ness to finding a slice of town that we haven’t been to before.

It also appears that Spring might even be in the air, I spotted some shoots coming up on our walk and the Sun even came out this week.

_DSC4050_edit _DSC4070_edit

Street Art

We don’t have much in the way of a Street Art Game in our town, but sometimes you come across some interesting bits. Like a giant whale. Or multicoloured zebra crossings.

_DSC4041_edit _DSC4040_edit_DSC4046_edit

Santa Clarita Diet

I saw this mentioned a couple of times in lasts weeks Wonderful Wednesdays so I watched the trailer, showed it to the husband and then we ended up watching four episodes in a row.

It’s not bad.

It definitely makes a change from all the other TV we watch that takes itself far too seriously. What with Supernatural and the constant battle of who is in more danger than who and who can die this season and then there’s The Flash where the entire premise of the show is: it’s Barry’s fault and he needs to run faster.

So yeah, I’m down for some light-hearted TV time over dinner.

Mo Money, Mo Food

And a desperate attempt to introduce the usual food talk with something witty.

Foodie mentions this week go to:

Everything British. Last weekend we went to the British Store and bought ourselves three of almost everything. I know have a healthy supply of Bourbon biscuits, Bisto gravy granules, crumpets, Rich Tea, custard powder, vanilla extract and vinegar. As well as Linda McCartney sausage rolls, curly fries and some Hovis best of both bread. It’s a good time to be British in my kitchen.

PB2 Powder. I’m a big peanut butter fan and it was only a matter of time before I ordered some peanut butter powder just to give it a try. Turns out, it’s pretty good. So far I have enjoyed it in smoothies and on my Wheetabix, for a subtle peanut-y flavour. Two for two with the PB2 original and PB2 chocolate. Next step: trying out the official instructions for actually making peanut butter from the powder. Come back next week to find out how that goes.

BBQ Sauce. BBQ sauce on pizza, BBQ sauce in my burgers, BBQ sauce nowhere else because I can’t think of any other ideas.

More tofu scramble. Specifically this recipe. It was delicious.

Pancakes. Pancakes for dinner, like the 27-year-old adult I am. Does anyone know when the official pancake-eating-day is? I just assumed since lemon juice and pancake mix are in the seasonal aisle that it must be time to eat my weight in pancakes whatever the day.

Mo money, mo potatoes. I thought about being more specific but everything potato related has been great lately. Wedges? Great. Baked? Great. Mashed? Great. The mashed potatoes even turned into a damn good Shepard’s pie-thing that I whipped together for Kris’ birthday.


The Little Things

Like being able to access the toilet in the hallway now that I have sorted out all the paper recycling. Or the new recycling scheme we have for “soft plastics” which basically means I can now recycling items made of plastic instead of only plastic bottles. Then there are Skype chats with Mum and the Bro, the Beauty and the Beast trailer, new books and the expensive orange juice just for a change. Don’t forget working out that you are not being charged double for your boiler service and it was just a mistake on their part and that glorious time after 1am when Sir Shouts A Lot the neighbour finally shuts up.

All wonderful things.

And that’s all the wonderful for today. Don’t be shy, share some wonderfulness this way! 

Don’t forget to check out all the other Wonderful Wednesday-ers starting with the inspiration Sally, and then the rest of us raggedy bunch:  Kate, Helen, Jo, Cat, Michelle, EmmaSamLauraPetaSarah, JasminEleanor, Mimmi, Isabelle, Martina, Lynsey & another Sarah!


Wonderful Wednesday #18


Who needs intros, let’s just get started.


January has been bitterly cold so I have been hibernating like a pro. At any point during the last two weeks (maybe three) you could have found me knee-deep in peppermint tea and blankets on the sofa. With a book or two and some snacks on the side. Occasionally, I took the blanket and tea to my laptop but I would eventually get cold and return to the sofa.

I know, I know, go outside, explore the world, blah blah blah, but it was cold, the book was good and it was exactly what I wanted to do. Sometimes, boring and warm is just the person I want to be.

I also bought a new blanket which definitely helped me embrace my boring, stay indoors side.

To justify my hibernation, here’s a photo from the second lot of snow we had.

Three weeks ago…


Short Stories

Short stories are my jam this month, which has just been made infinitely better with the new Audible Channels content from, well, Audible. Audible now has a selection of short stories (and dramas, non-fiction pieces and playlists that change each week) all free to enjoy when I want. It almost feels like the audiobook equivalent of the Discovery Weekly playlist on Spotify.

It is safe to say, that I will be enjoying this a lot from now on.

That was not really my point, my point was short stories in general. I love a good book, but I also enjoy something that can be finished in that 15 minutes when I am waiting for Kris to finish for the day – or any other small amount of time I have lying around – especially when I can just pop in some headphones or read from my phone.

And it 100% counts as reading a “proper book”, even if one of the short stories was only 4 pages. That was an exception though, they are usually about 25 pages.

I cannot wait to get stuck into the Audible Channels stories, so I can sneak in a book here and there when I usually would not bother because the time was too short.

Gift Cards

Yup. I love ’em.

Did you know, that an IKEA gift card, as far as I can tell, does not expire? Thankfully, since the prospect of 60 euros disappearing into thin air is not one that I am on board with.

Also Amazon gift cards, they are valid for something like 10 years too. Audible ones: I am not sure. I spent it too quickly to worry about whether it just poof-ed away at some point in the future.

Life has been all about the gift cards at the moment, especially when you decide to pop to IKEA to spend a gift card of an unknown amount and all the purchases fit on it with 21 cents to spare. What. A. Win. It absolutely justified then buying two bags of their veggie-balls, the giant Swedish potato hash-brown things and an overpriced bottle of water. Absolutely.



Not the kind that take you up and down buildings, but the ones that involve another person driving you places so you do not have to wait on platforms, try three different ticket machines because they are always broken, stand near people who insist on using their headphones at ear damaging volumes, spend money on those tickets that never get checked and just navigate the general public and local transport options. Lifts are a good thing.

Better still, as the person who always seems relegated to “dedicated driver duty”, when I do get to sit in the back of a car and ignore all the chit-chat under the pretence of it being “too hard to hear from the back”, I make sure to revel in the joy of it. Even if it is a bit of a struggle to read because my hand bobs about too much.


Instead of just being content to watch Season 4, I figured I would just re-watch the entire series instead. It was a great two days of TV. I even watched the special episode (loved it) and 15 minutes of the season 4 finale before realising that Kris and I had yet to sit and watch it together, so I just watched it anyway. It seemed a shame to watch every episode and not the last one.

Then I bought the complete collection of stories for my Kindle as well, just to round everything off, incase I fancy reading them at some point again.

Ready for season 5 now…

Food. Of Course.

There’s always something edible to talk about. Although mostly, it has been all about avocados at the moment. And beans. Or beans with avocados. That could be misconstrued as me declaring my undying love of avocados but they are just one of those foods that I really enjoy when I fancy them. All other times, meh, I can live without an avocado.

They are also one of those foods that taste amazing when you get a good quality one too, just like mangoes. I have two mangoes ripening up right now that I am checking daily in anticipation of thoroughly enjoying them. Dates, oranges, cherries, sweet potatoes can also fit in this category, but I will eat a not-so-great sweet potato too, because sweet potatoes are also my jam.

Oh, tofu. Tofu has taken over my dinners lately. That’s another one of those “I only like it when I fancy it” kind of foods. I have also dramatically improved with my tofu cooking skills, which helps. I whipped up a tofu scramble for dinner and it was pretty tasty. Next time I might go for an official recipe and see if that makes me taste even better.

Curry paste. I feel like I have stumbled onto a gastro-goldmine with this. I mentioned in the last Wonderful Wednesday about a curry pasta-thing I cooked up after seeing it on the interwebs somewhere, and since then, I have attempted to incorporate curry paste into everything, just to see what works. So far, stirring it into rice and veggies (with some added coconut milk) works, stirring it into tinned tomatoes works a little but probably needs coconut milk or the amount reduced, but I tell you, it is a quick, easy and delicious way of whipping together a dinner from this and that. I am looking forward to using the Thai curry pastes that I have sitting in my cupboard. The best part of the whole thing, aside from the taste, is getting my monies worth. According to the instructions, I should use half a jar to make a curry, but with my paste/rice/leftover concoction, it is about a tablespoon or two. So much more economical. I likes it.

Last but not least: IKEA veggie-balls, leftovers, those orange cherry tomatoes that are in the shop at the moment, Cocoa Libre vegan chocolate, Alpro’s blueberry muffin flavour yogurt and passata. Delicious.


Wonderful-ness Not Otherwise Specified

Freshly dyed hair.

The birds starting to sing in the mornings.

Still being almost daylight at 5pm.

The start of the puppy-preparations.

Peppermint tea. Again. In my Thermos. Again.

Vegan marshmallows.

And, books you know that are going to be awesome from the first page.

And that’s it. It is Wednesday and it has been wonderful. What has been great about your week? 

Don’t forget to check out all the other Wonderful Wednesday-ers starting with the inspiration Sally, and then the rest of us raggedy bunch:  Kate, Helen, Jo, Cat, Michelle, EmmaSamLauraPetaSarah, JasminEleanor, Mimmi, Isabelle, Martina, Lynsey & another Sarah!