Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Portugal 2010

I do not even know where to start with Portugal. Compared to my many voyage this far in my life- it was pretty tame. Minus night 1. But we won't go there. That's part of the "whatever happened at Lux, stays at Lux" motto. I know... you don't get it. Had to have been there.

So we started the trip by flying 8 hours over the Atlantic and arriving at what Europe considers a 4 star hotel. We would consider it a modern Super 8. But, Hotel Florida definitely gets props for trying. The decor...ikea meets beetlejuice (picture noted above was Tom & Meg in the lobby). The rooms were named after movies and had cheesy movie posters on the wall. We got blade runner. Ugh. But, the lucky folks next to us got Audrey Hepburn. Ugh. Wish we got that. Instead we tortured them with them with late night romps and much carrying on. Oh well :)

After a nice 4 hour nap, we realized that my translation to Trindade was "we welcome you and can't wait for you to eat here". When I showed it to the concierge...she informed me the translation was "sorry no reservation".  So, they suggested a restaurant in Chiado called "sacramento". wow. Amazing. Delicious. Tom & I both had filet mignon, with a tomato mozzarella salad, amazing white wine and a mint cheesecake for dessert! Megan & Harris split a $70 sea bass-which they raved about. After spending hours with wine and talk....we headed out to the night club. You can see the pictures. We have the memories.

The rest of the trip was pretty much eating, drinking fabulous wine & sagres, sight seeing and exploring this new and exciting culture. Some highlights:
  • Sintra- WOW! Breath taking views. About an hour outside of Lisboa

  • Hard Rock Cafe- Where you go when you cannot try new food anymore & are American

  • Castle of Jorge- First sight seeing spot in Lisboa & Favorite!

  • Coffee- Smallest coffee on earth. Even starbucks could not get it right!

  • Greve Greval- So Harris tried to fly out of Lisbon when the entire country went on strike. Not fun.

  • Trinade-Bruno
  • Aquarium- Highlight alert- Sea Otters! See video below.

  • Moamba- I needed a Xanax to try this food...but overall impressed. Minus the flesh paste.

Overall- Amazing fabulous time with amazing fabulous friends. Traveling to Portugal and Europe opens your eyes to new cultures. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip & look forward to sharing the memories with all!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Home is where the heart it.

It is so easy to be consumed by our everyday routine and not take  a step back and realize where we come from & what we stand for. I come a small town, where everyone knows everyone. Now that I live in modern day SUBURBIA, I think I am all that and a bag of middleswarth's chips. But I am not. I am still the small town girl who happens to live in the big bad world now. Ahh, what I would give to go back to the days of walking to school and stopping at Sanitary Bakery for a croissant to walk with. I remember how cool it was to go to school late during activity period. Making the best of what we had. Life was so much easier before it got so complicated.

Going home to visit my family & friends always humbles me. The drama I may have in my life now seems so trivial. Sitting and having coffee and laughing at "awkward family photos" is enough to fill your heart with love. Watching 48 hours and spending hours trying to figure out more clues to the case- priceless. Taco night at your brothers new house that has so quickly become a home- wow has time flew by. 3 days at home with the family is an easy way to get your spunk and determination back.

Living in the south robbed me of the spending time with my family during their birthdays! You take for granted the special day we each have once a  year. Getting to sing happy birthday to my mom with all of my siblings and my spunky "full of beans" nephew was perfect. Oh- and having sanitary cake- you can't beat that.

I hope everyone feels as inspired by their family as I do. As we grow up and start our own families- we also grow closer. I remember being little kids and being the "queen" and having my two  little servants :) Now we have surpassed the golden age and all have become amazing, hardworking, dedicated people. I stand by my family through the good and through the bad. I love the little bickerings we all have- because it shows that we all have a little bit of each other in us and can't turn down a good squabble. Even though- we know that the MOTHER is always right :)

We talk, text and facebook message everyday. We listen to each others passions. We let each other be ourselves and accept our differences. I love being us :)

Favorite quote from the weekend:

"Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are raise your sights and see the possibilities-always see them, for they're always there."
Live it. Breathe it. Be it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tippy- ADOPTED!!! UPDATED 7/9/2011

Tippy is still doing FABULOUS in her forever home!! Some pictures of her during a dog park romp with tootsie & benjamin!

Running with Tootsie
Pretty Lady!

Taking a break!

The new & improved Tippy Howarth!!

Update 12/19/2010
Our wonderful Tippy finally gets to feel what a forever home is! After meeting the Howarth family, she couldn't wait to get adopted today. She loved her new brothers and sisters, Shaina, Torey & Cameron and was so excited everyone would be home from college over the Christmas break! Her new mom & dad are all ready to spoil this little princess with lots of love and attention! She is already all decked out in pink- like the girly girl she is. She even has a new name tag in the shape of a heart that reads "Tippy Howarth".She can not wait to wake up Christmas morning with her new family! I will post pictures of her in her new family as soon as we get them!

Tippy is a great example of why it is important to foster scared shelter dogs. We created a platform of confidence for Tippy to launch off of. She came in scared of everything and left to go to her forever home today with a confident smile. She was able to open up and trust people and herself in her foster home!This holiday season is about giving and giving back. These animals CANNOT do it without our help. Please consider fostering this holiday season and making a difference in the life of a wonderful companion animal. If you have questions on what it is like to foster- please call me. I would love to show you how rewarding it can be!

Tippy & me

Tippy Update 12/15/2010
Tippy has been with us for almost 5 weeks! Wow has she blossomed into a wonderful, much more confident dog. She has learned to accept dogs and people and to trust them! She has become much more active and settled. She loves her squeaky toys and playing catch. She fetches well and will kindly place her toy in front of you to throw for her...again....and again. Her separation anxiety has diminished signifigantly due to her confidence versus fearfulness. She absolutely loves care rides too! She sits nicely in the front or back seat on her blanket and does not bark or scream at anyone anymore! Still no cats :( We have tried pretty hard, but her drive to chase is pretty instilled! BUT, guess what? Her fear of bigger dogs? GONE!!! Yup.. Tips loves Mr. Quincy so much! They snuggle all the time.... Look below:

Tippy Update: 11/30/2010
Meet Tippy. Tippy is an adult Chihuahua who showed at the Delaware County SPCA as a stray dog. She came in scared, vocal & skittish. She was very scared of the shelter and was placed with us in foster care. After having Tippy for 3 weeks, we have been able to help her feel settled and at ease. She is still nervous and scared, but has begun to trust people again. She warms up nicely to other dogs and loves playing with squeaker toys. More then anything, she is a snuggle bug. She loves to curl up underneath a blanket and give and receive lots of loving! Tippy is a very special girl who is looking for a very special home. She does not do the best with children or with cats, therefore an adult only quiet home would be best for her. She will warm up quickly to other dogs and would love another small dog companion.

So- where to start with Miss Tipilicious!

Her story: Delaware County SPCA found Tippy wandering the streets of Media as a stray. She was scared our of her BAJezus. They brought this darling lady into the shelter- where she was even more petrified. She was part of a home at one time and now she was in a cold cage with lots of barking dogs! Tippy needed to get out and find a place to crash while she waits for the perfect family to adopt her! Voila! Bross family steps in!

We offered to take Tippy and DO WHATEVER it takes to help her trust people and trust herself again. If her shadow came to close- she would scream. And when I say scream- I mean scream. She does not have your typical bark. It is very loud, screetchy and SCARY! How sad is that?

So we learned as her foster parents and our foster crew- to be more quiet around Tippy. To let her warm up
to us at her own comfort level. We wanted to give this lady love and time to adopt to the family.

Two days in she has been able to blossom! She is petrified of  the crate and needs reassurance with stairs. She loves to snuggle with anyone, including another pup! Tootsie, my female chi has become very motherly towards her. Letting her know things are going to be okay now!

With time and patience, Tippy will become the woman she once was! More to come on this fabulous chihuahua! We are TEAM TIPPY the whole way through!

Tippys Petfinder Link:Petfinder Tippy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Saintly Bernards Rescue

Dedication. It is a word that in the animal rescue world- is not to be used 'lightly'. The definition of dedication is "self sacrificing devotion".

A friend of mine runs Saintly Bernards Rescue. She has become an educator, a trainer and an advocate for the breed. I have yet to find ANYONE who is as determined as her to HELP these abandoned, abused, neglected and homeless dogs. She has a heart of gold and opens her home up to any Saint Bernard in need of her help and her aid.

She started her rescue about 10 years ago with her magical and "delicious" Zeus. Zeus was an extremely ABUSED animal- who only new the touch of a human as a bad thing. He started it all. She rehabbed him through training, behaviorism and dedication. She never once gave up on him, said it was just to hard or that she couldn't do it. She trained Zeus to be a house dog who trusted people. He may have single handled changed her life. Hundreds & hundreds of canine lives have been saved because of Zeus. She makes it her personal vendetta to overcome the hardest obstacles and give these dogs a well deserved second chance at life.

I personally admire someone who has decided that her passion to rehab and re home Saint Bernards is TOP priority. She does without at times, to save them. She looses sleep, to save them. She does whatever it takes, to save them.

I have to say, because of Saintly Bernards Rescue & crew & honeybear ;)- I too, am a changed soul. Because of her advocacy and passion- I too, have changed my outlook on the breed as well as dogs. I know now how important it is to adopt, to donate and to foster. Small steps make big things happen!

When times get tough- she perseveres. Jamie & The rest of her amazing Saintly Bernards Crew deserve our help!

Please consider making a donation to a dedicated cause! Your donation will help offset the veternary care, grooming, feeding & supplies necessary to save the lives of these dogs!

Here is her donation page: http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/saintlybernards.html

Thank you all!


"Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man." - Arthur Schopenhauer, (German Philosopher)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cinnamon-ADOPTED!-Updated Pictures!!!

Cinny & Her Mom at celebrating their first Christmas together!


Words to describe Cinnamon Hall: Snuggly, Sugary, Sweet and overall DELIGHTFUL. She is 8 lbs of apricot love wrapped up in a toy poodle body! Cinnamon came to ONE LIFE TO LIVE Rescue as a lady looking for her forever family! She was a well refined lady looking for someone with lots of time so she can have all the attention in the world! Cinnamon enjoyed three other dogs in her foster home (The very own- Kandice :) ), but didn't want to fight for attention. She wanted to find her soul mate and hoped that her soul mate would find her!

Cinnamon is the perfect name for this poodle! One- it matchers her apricot coat! Two- adopting a dog in Autumn- perfect word to describe North East Autumns. Lastly- this little spitfire is the perfect spice to bring to a retired woman's life!

When K, her foster MOM saw that this apricot poodle needed a foster & forever home it matched up with her very own Grandmother, Colette. Colette had mentioned in the passed that if K in her rescue endeavors ever came across a poodle needing a home, she would be interested. A few weeks later, Cinnamon showed up. Colette was looking for a companion to help keep her company as she entered retirement. With past poodle & pitbull experience  she thought an easy to walk, pocket size poodle was what she was meant to have.

This passed Tuesday, after 3 days in foster care, Cinnamon got to meet Colette, her new Mom and they were BOTH completely ENAMORED with each other. After the transport from Philly to NJ, Cinnamon and Colette took a nap together. Two ladies found each other and will now be the very best of friends. How astounding is that? Cinnamon needed to find a stable and secure home and Colette needed to bring some light back into her life! Perfect Match- Thanks to One Life To Live Rescue

In a perfect world, all dogs would have the ability to know what it is like to have a best buddy, sleep in a warm bed and have the best yummies for dinner. We can only make this happen through adopting, through donating and through fostering. More stories like this could warm our hearts & our homes.

Please consider adopting, fostering & donating- YOU WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Love Always,