My Weekend in Pictures 

Bought some delicious cake flavored vodka   
My sister made a cake for my mom’s birthday and I insisted on putting a carrot on top made of carrot shreds and a cilantro leaf

 
I was sooooo tired on the drive home from my sister’s house, so I stopped at the “view point” that I’ve always been curious about but never stopped. There’s a great view of the river, and cool dam!  
  

Came home and hung out with the Shibas. Kuma came over for a while and all three dogs watched over the parking lot for me. YES, that is Amelia the plant. She is still alive, but I did have to move her out to the balcony.   
 
What was your favorite part of the weekend?

Jillian

Simplify Sunday- Minimizing the Apartment 

gorgeous kuma For some reason, I’ve been feeling a little more anxiety lately. When I saw this picture of Kuma the Shiba, I instantly felt more calm. He’s just so fluffy, happy, and relaxed. He’s literally laying in a field! What’s more relaxing than that?

A weird thing that calms me down is purging my stuff. I read a post this week by Anne this week that really resonated with me. She touched on how getting rid of physical things can help clear emotional space. That is so true for me. I think some of it probably is based on my anxiety, because I get over the top and sit around thinking about things like “there are too many unorganized pictures in my photo albums. They need to be in order. I’m sure there are even duplicates.”

I know these thoughts are a bit irrational (maybe “a bit” is generous?). However, there is definitely truth to the idea that physical things can hold me back. I love to know exactly what I have and where it is. If I need something, I have it instantly because I know how to find it. If I need to move, I can do so pretty easily because I don’t have a lot of stuff holding me back. I love that concept, I don’t know why. I just know that it gives me peace.

All of this to say- I went through most of my stuff last night. I did everything except my pictures (and, of course, that’s why they’re mentioned above. I’m still thinking about it.) and my one under the bed storage box that I allow myself for sentimental things. Cards, journals, the corsage my great grandmother made me for my prom- that’s all in there.

I found four bags of things to donate. Some highlights include extra throw pillows that are always on the floor instead of my bed and seriously who needs that?!, clothes that will never ever fit again, a tennis racquet I’ve literally used once (and I was so bad that my partner almost strangled me), and a record that I have never heard of and don’t even remember owning. I have a bag of papers to shred from my safe, and threw away a few things.

What’s amazing to me is that I always find clutter that I don’t need. How does it find its way in, and why is it so hard to let go? I’ve talked myself out of getting rid of that d*mn tennis racquet so many times, thinking I might play again. Really?! It’s not.going.to.happen. I love sitting on the couch, and I have the hand eye coordination and attention span of a drunk, blind, one armed squirrel.

I tend to make goals for far longer amounts of time then are manageable. For me, for this week, my goal is to feel peaceful- whatever that may require.

❤ Jillian 

Riley the Shiba’s First Birthday 

August 31st was Riley’s first birthday. I can’t believe she is already one! She got a few presents and has been having so much fun playing with her new toys.

I forced her to wear the new dress that I bought her, and she actually tolerated it pretty well.

Riley having a little snack from her pile of loot, and Kuma looking on in jealousy.

Sitting like a good girl

Sleepy one year old!
sleepy Shiba

Does anyone else celebrate their pets’ birthdays? I just can’t help it, she’s so precious.

❤ Jillian


Sunday Cuteness

Another day of awesome shots from my iPhone 🙂 riley and kuma  
riley  emily  
uncle jerry  portland zoo  

   Jillian

Adopting Kuma: Super Shiba Inu

Kuma in Sun RiverKuma is a rare color (cream, not an official AKC color) of a fairly rare breed (Shiba Inu), and we get questions about him almost every time we walk him. He gets two walks a day, so it’s quite often! He is an amazing dog, but we do try to warn people that are captivated by his stuffed animal like appearance that Shibas can be TROUBLE.

I found out about Shibas maybe 10-12 years ago, and wanted one even after researching how difficult they can be. They have cat like personalities. While very smart and easy to train, follow through is a different story. Kuma can sit, come, play hide and seek, jump through a hoop, shake, and many other things. However, if he doesn’t see a treat (and it had better be a good one), he will do none of those things. When he was younger, he escaped a few times. This is a Shiba owner’s nightmare. A Shiba does not come back when free. They run for miles and jump into traffic. Chasing a ball at the park is a pipe dream. It is just not safe at all. These little foxes cannot be trusted. I have Googled “where to buy a dog catcher’s net”. I kid you not.

Kuma and JIt’s all worth it. Seven and a half years ago I was still dog-less, and finally got the okay to go look at a Shiba. I had seen Kuma available at the local Shiba Inu rescue, Shibas4Life. I’m not sure what exactly my husband (boyfriend at the time) was thinking, because I’m pretty sure he didn’t want a dog. When we met Kuma, this standoffish dog crawled right into his lap. The president of the rescue said she had never seen anything like that happen before. The rescue required us to go home and think it over, but we ended up deciding he had to come home with us. Kuma has J wrapped around his little paw.

I love that we got him through a rescue. We still talk about how we can’t believe anyone would give up such a perfect dog, and how lucky we got. Shibas4Life has been an amazing resource. They have answered every question I’ve ever had along the way, and that has gone a long way towards making our little fluffbear the dog he is today. Shibas are precocious and loyal, and Kuma is the best dog I could ever hope for!

Kuma and TommyI have known many Shibas that my cat didn’t approve of, but he and Kuma were good friends. Shibas can be great with cats.

He is also doing well with the puppy that we are fostering. It took him a while to warm up, but now I think he is enjoying having a young playmate.

If you want to talk about Shibas or Shiba rescue, let me know!

Jillian

Simplify Sunday- Success

Gorgeous Seattle Day

The Simplify Sunday series is going to be about minimalism in every area of life. Today it is about simplifying my thinking and how I define success. It’s funny how you don’t realize the ideas that are running around in your brain until you truly think about it.

Recently, a friend and I were discussing my blog entry on My Stitchfix Stash. She mentioned how crazy it is that we have reached a point in life where I can buy $98 pants and she can buy $50 shirts (something that had happened earlier this year that we marveled over); and that we have come a long way.

My first reaction to this was guilt. It was hard for me to even post the prices of that stuff. I feel like I shouldn’t be spending the money, I should be buying something less expensive. It is great to be able to buy things that I like and be able to pay for them, but that doesn’t feel like success to me. You know what success does feel like to me? Freedom. Is this tied to money? Sure, in many ways- but not in all of them.

I now have the freedom to take a weekend off and visit Seattle. I took the picture above on a run around Lake Union, and looking at that gorgeous view feels so relaxing, even now.

Jillian and KumaIt’s the feeling of not having to go to the second job I had for so many years after work. Instead, I can take my dog to the park and know that I can pay my bills. I can run and play with him and feel free.

 

 

 

 

Jillian and Baby AI am a worrier. This isn’t my baby, but I have worried that if I had a baby I wouldn’t be able to provide for them. I am just now getting to the point where I can simply be. I don’t need to worry as much, I have been able to save some for retirement, and I’m sure I could get another job if I lost mine. I could have that baby that I’ve been wanting, and be able to support them just fine. I still obsess about retirement, but I know that I’m doing what I can and I need to let it go.

This is what success feels like to me. It’s a little bit of guilt, over becoming middle class after a lifetime of struggling. Why me and not someone else? Primarily, though, it is freeing. I can go to the store and buy organic produce and not worry about paying the electric bill. I can save for the future, which takes away some of my anxiety. It turns out, in my mind success is just the feeling of freedom. That’s what I was looking for all this time. I thought it was more money and a better career, but it was all mental. I need to work on simplifying my thinking and remembering what really makes me happy.

What does success look like to you?

Jillian