Gertie The Goldendoodle

Howdy Y’all,

I am sitting in the peace and quiet of the French countryside and all I can hear are the birds.  This morning due to the kindness of family entertaining Little L, I actually got time to look at my phone with no disruptions. On my timeline (Facebook) I noticed it is a year today that our beloved Gertie arrived and joined the Lifestyle family. My first reaction was guilt she is enjoying a break at her holiday camp while we are in Europe. Fear not we will celebrate on our return.

I have been lucky enough to grow up with dogs in my life but had not owned one. Mr L and my transient lifestyle had made the commitment of a dog more difficult although it was always in the plan to get one. If you have been following for a while you will know that the arrival of a second child has been a challenge for Mr L and I, our infertility journey is too difficult to talk about and I even hate typing the words. As the reality of another child seemed to become less and less likely and we have made Texas our home we realized now was the time to bite the bullet, our second baby would come in the form of an apricot six pound bundle of fur. I must confess I was not expecting to get a puppy quite so quickly but much like our life we were not ones to be sedate and within weeks we had our beloved Gertie.

Why a Goldendoodle?

Gertie is a F1B mini/moyen Goldendoodle. Now let me speak English. This means to the best of my knowledge she is as close to an hypoallergenic dog you can get. Her mother is a goldendoodle and her father is a poodle. They are bred  not to shed, excuse the rhyme. I must confess that this enticed me, as someone who verges on the house proud side and with close friends with allergies this breed appealed. I can honestly say she never sheds. I do not see dog hair anywhere, I promise. I also grew up with Labradors and Golden Retrievers and loved their temperament with children. I didn’t really want a dog as big as a retriever or Labrador and so the mini/moyen size seemed ideal. Gertie is closer to the moyen side as she is 45lbs but much slighter and lighter than a full grown lab or retriever.

Where did we buy from?

Goldendoodle’s like many doodles seem to be very “in vogue”.  They are a relatively new breed only started in the nineties so I wanted to find an established breeder with an excellent track record. I did lots and I mean lots of research into the breed and breeders. This is an emotional and expensive investment that I needed to get right. I also asked people where they got their dogs from and would contact people on social media to ask where they bought their dog from. I came up with a list of three or four established breeders and then contacted to see how long the wait would be.  Some of the friendliest and child friendly GD came from The Four Paw Dood ranch in Kansas, now expanded to Dallas. I contacted them and the wait was not too long, they sent me a few options and let me tell you choosing out of a selection of pups is beyond hard, they are all unbelievably cute and you want to take them all! We decided on this cutie simply because she has the most retriever style head and this became Gertie!!! So I flew up to Kansas collected her and flew her back down in the cabin. Trust me a puppy on a flight is a total hit.

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Why Gertie?

 

Gertrude was my granny’s name, she hated it, so went by Mary, a name which we gave my daughter.  My family used to tease me that my daughter should be called Gertrude. I couldn’t do it to her but I did think it would make a super sweet name for a dog and so Gertie the Goldendoodle was born. I have not regretted it yet, actually I think it would be a cute girls name now. Sarah is her middle name, which Little L gave her.

 

Who is Gertie?

When I collected Gertie from the airport in Kansas the breeder explained to me if you have children let them feed, care, and gently manhandle the dog (tongue in cheek.) The most important thing was that Little L and Gertie became firm friends and they have become just that. The love between them is wonderful. Gertie is the sweetest and sassiest dog I know. She is stubborn and anxious, kind and loving. She is overly friendly and fun. She has a passion for eating and throwing up my underwear, I have no idea where she finds them but I have had to purchase many new undies this year. She loves soft toys, Cinderella, Anna, Elsa and Princess Celestia are her favs. She adores barking at our pool floaties and sleeping on my cream sofa. Playing with Little L is her fav activity.

 

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Gertie and Me

Having Gertie has been a little like having a newborn although I am not as sleep deprived.  She loves attention and loves love. I have to say that the bond we have has surprised me. I love her and she loves me, so much so it is only my underpants and shoes she likes to eat and I think that is because of my smell. She sleeps every night under my side of the bed and always wants to join me in the car or shower!  Gertie has saved me, she has filled my heart and I dote on her. She has helped mend me in ways I am not ready to share on here. She is always happy to see us and has genuinely enhanced our family and is beyond a welcomed addition.

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If you have any questions about getting a goldendoodle please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Have a great week.

Ta Ta for now,

Kx

 

House Tour- Part 1 Little L Bedroom

Howdy Y’all

Today is a great day because I get to share with y’all the first room in our new home. If you have followed me for a while you will know I mentioned it was my intention to share areas of my home as the reached completion. The house is a labor of love, we purchased it back in March and after some hefty renovations we moved in June. If you have moved recently you will know what a time consuming project creating a home is. I bound into the house with lots of plans and ideas, after renting for an extended period. I couldn’t wait to choose colors and fabrics but at the same time was conscious not to make expensive mistakes. Choosing furniture that works and will stand the test of time is an investment. One thing I have learnt during my constant moving is the importance of getting the family settled. In my life this has meant always getting Little L’s room unpacked and surrounding her with the possessions she loves and that are familiar. With our new home this was no different. I wanted her room to be one of the first finished and I stuck true to my word and I share that with you today.

A brief synopsis to those of you who may not know, Little L is three and very nearly four. I was wanting her room to reflect a little girl and no longer a baby. A room which could adapt and grow with her as she develops. You will see in the below pictures she is not in a crib and we purchased her Jenny Lind toddler bed when she became two. It is our intention to change her to a bigger girl bed in the next year or two and I was conscious that the design of the room would have to be adaptable. The current need is for a pretty, creative, fun and imaginative space where she can play, relax, read and rest. I had such fun picking colors with her. I did give her carte blanche to choose the color of her room and I confess I was not disappointed with her choice. Little L loves pink and if you can not embrace that with full gusto when you are small when can you. We took the Benjamin Moore samples and decided on Elephant Pink. It is a very close match to Middleton Pink by Farrow and Ball and I was thrilled with the finish. I love the balance between strength of color and the light in the room. It is always important when choosing colors for your home (and I consider myself a semi-expert after the last few months) to consider the natural light in your home, its position in terms of how it faces and how much artificial light you have. These all matter to how successful a color will sit and suit your room, all this without touching on other textures and colors of the room.

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The finished room. A place where she loves to be.
You will see in the above photo, the finished room from her doorway. The beautiful window allows a plethora of natural light and I didn’t want to cover that with blinds, we found these linen Pottery Barn Kids drapes that we both liked. I was a little concerned at first about them being too pink but I knew that I would be changing her bed out in the long term which will be bringing much more white and textile to the pink. The linen fabric of the drapes softens the color and the bows add some texture and interest. My only bug bare is that they crease and I am forever steaming them!

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I am also intending when she progresses to a bigger bed to get another rug but for this short time, this works. It works well to define space for her and she knows this is her rest/sleep place. You will note the furry bean bag propped up against the window, one thing about a toddler bed is that they are not designed for comfortable story telling for the teller. In my and Mr L’s advanced years this provides some comfort for us. It is handy for her to lift and move around the room if she is playing in other areas. The book manger at the end of her bed is marvelous. We did originally have a book case and I often found she was more reluctant to go and explore her books or alternatively she would make a total mess pulling everything out. This has really helped. It holds some of her total faves and I often transfer books around so she always reads different things. It is a total LL love.

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A close up and you can see all the books she loves. Plus the shelf underneath is great for additional storage.
In the first picture you could not see perhaps my favorite part of the room which is to the right of the door and that is her teepee and dress up area. Little L much like her parents loves to read and this teepee provides a wonderful place to snuggle up with her favorite soft toys read and play. I am not sure how clear it is from my photograph but the inside is lined with fairy lights which are on a timer and add to the cozy feel. I placed a patchwork quilt on the base which breaks the color up and is dead easy to lift and wash which is necessary when having a tea party with the fairies (they love goldfish apparently!) I placed a variety of throw pillows in different shapes and sizes at the back and sides. This allows the tent to keep its shape and it is more comfortable. You can see from the picture that the Princesses and Peppa family are very comfortable.

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Under the flower garland you will see another of my crafty efforts where I made a dream catcher. This was simple to make and I think it adds a statement. You can of course buy these but I couldn’t find one I liked enough and I have been happy with the result. It works well in the room, what is not clear is that is also has beads and bells on the end which add some playful interest. The flower garland which again was made by Martha Stewart  me. It is a recent addition and I think it adds a little sophistication, color and texture to the space. I also adore flowers and this was a wonderful way to add country flowers that wont die or get spilt. I love that I could incorporate Roses in the project. Little L often refers to it as part of her fairy garden.

Next to her teepee is her dress up space. She loves to dress up and is a different princess every morning. I wanted a place where they were easily accessible, pretty, functional and organized and this has all bases covered. I really encourage independence and want her to do as much for herself as possible. There is plenty of hanging space a shelf at the top for crowns, tiaras, hats etc and she can reach it. Plus underneath a place to store all the shoes and other paraphernalia. I love the pretty design, I hate to compromise beauty for function. The mirror next to her allows her to get see herself easily and safely. Plus it all matches.

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I will let you into a little secret, I hide some of the ugly things behind her door. The two strings hold her hair accessories and this horrendous cheap shoe holder is on the back of her door and works very well for holding her Barbie dolls and her plastic toys. She also can reach and put them away herself.

If you remember from the first picture you will have noticed the most stunning dolls house which was a beautiful gift from a dear friend. I was very keen to get this up and off the floor and have enough space so that she could open and play with it. It also helps stop items from creeping on the floor. It looks beautiful in the corner and creates a lovely focal point.

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Below I share some other areas of the room.

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This is such a special picture for me and I hope she will always have on her wall

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Another picture taken from her bathroom door. You can see her draws, I changed the knobs to make it look a little different
The most important thing to me is that I have a happy client, who loves to play in this room and I love to play with her. I will share the next phase of the room when she moves to a big girl bed next year. Hope you enjoyed it, any questions please get in touch.

Ta Ta for now

 

Kx

 

Life Update

Howdy Y’all,

Today I am sharing with you a life update, so please enjoy. If you would like to donate to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort, please click on one of the links below.

https://www.unitedwayhouston.org/

http://www.redcross.org/local/texas/gulf-coast/disaster-response

Ta ta for now

K x