What do you need this spring?

yellow crocus photo
Spring crocus flowers show inspiration can come from tiny things too.

So now that it’s spring, how do you feel?  Do you feel inspired to make changes in your life?  Do you feel tired and ready for a nap?  However you feel, it’s OK.

I think if you try to acknowledge how you feel, and nurture yourself, it can only help.

Often spring is a time of change.  Winter is finally over.  It’s nice to feel a more obvious vitality from the earth.

What do you need now that it’s spring?  More inspiration, relaxation, less worry, more creative opportunities, a few naps?  Sometimes people don’t make personal goals for themselves because they pick huge impossible ones then don’t achieve them.  Why not take a deep breath and make a simple, tiny, approachable goal or two for yourself this season?

The Comforts of a Home

Well we have two bits of happy dog-related news.  One is that Mitzi/Sandy, the beagle we were comp-boarding that was featured in two blog entries found her own forever home and was adopted this past Wednesday!  She now has a beagle sister and her human family includes two of the most considerate girls and a mom and dad.  Yay for Mitzi/Sandy!

dog photo
Leah relaxing in our home while her mommy travels

Now meet Leah!  Leah is a wonderful senior dog we are boarding for her mom while she is out of town.  Leah is 10 years young and today is our first full day boarding her in our home.  Boy was I surprised this morning when I let her set the pace of our walk and it was a real power walk!   Here she is snoozing and watching me as I get ready to do a phone reading.   We are still watching her with our cats, but so far so good.  🙂  For more info on our in-home dog boarding check out www.BarneysHomeDogBoarding.com

Our Famous Foster – Mitzi (Sandy) Part 2

Well our foster beagle’s fame is growing and now she is up on petfinder.com, THE location to find an adoptable rescue pet.

beagle photo
Sandy (Mitzi) is a peaceful beagle who needs her forever home

Here she is in her photo shoot with professional pet photographer Sheri Berliner.  Please help us spread the word about this mellow dog.  She could fit right into a multiple dog household, as she is submissive and likes other dogs, cats, adults, strangers, children, and babies.

She deserves a stable, forever home.  We are comp-boarding/fostering her for Sheri’s rescue Petraits Pet Photography, so we know first hand how soft those cute ears are.   Go check out her petfinder listing here.  Please forward it to the animal lovers you know.

Creating Positive Structure – Magazine Day

photo of magazines
a new plan so we start to read our magazines.....

So there’s something about magazines in our home.  We haven’t been reading them.  We want to read them, but just do not make the time.  Then there’s not just one magazine to be read, but multiple issues, which become piles of issues, that have not been read.  I actually gave away months of National Geographic because I was tired of having so many lie around unread.

So tonight it hit us.  Let’s create a Magazine Day!  We appointed Lorenzo the Magazine Czar, and then he decreed that our weekly Magazine Day would be on Wednesday and our article number would be two.  This means each Wednesday we each have to read two articles of our choice and explain them to the other person.  Sure that’s only four articles per week that we would learn about, but four is a world better than zero!  I feel better already, like a nagging recurring item on my subconscious to-do list has suddenly fallen into place on my calendar.

Sometimes people have so many rules and expectations from others in their consciousness that they are too stressed.  They long to do nothing at all, as an expression of their free will.  Well even that can get old.  Sometimes you need to invent new rules for yourself to help guide yourself into new discoveries and wellness.  So here’s to your freedom and wellness, and here’s to our new Magazine Day!  I’ll keep you posted!

Introducing Mitzi the Beagle- Part 1

beagle photo
Mitzi (Sandy) the beagle is looking for her forever home.

What’s brown and white and full of love?  Mitzi!  We have been complimentary-boarding Mitzi (also called Sandy) now since Sunday.  She is a foster dog with a local animal rescue, in need of a forever-home.  She is only three years old, cat-friendly, dog-friendly, and kid-friendly. She has a very mellow demeanor with people, super gentle with children, and loves belly rubs.  She definitely is fun and playful with other playful dogs, in that respectful, play-bow kind of way.

She was given up by her family on Sunday, and like any loyal dog she still misses them, but is getting through her grief like a champ.  This photo is not the best, but she seems to be camera shy when I try to snap a photo w/my iPhone.  Anyway, she’s a real sweetheart and we will post more photos and stories about her soon.  If you know anyone who might be interested in adopting her, please forward this blog entry to them.  They can call me, Janet Wright, at 773-728-7884, or email us at JL@BarneysHomeDogBoarding.com for more information on her.

March Mermaidosity – A Cornucopia of Handpicked Mermaid Art on Etsy

I love mermaids and today on etsy.com I posted a treasury list of mermaid art, your one stop location for the coolest mermaid art on the enormous site that is etsy.com.  A treasury list is a collection of up to sixteen different art pieces, from sixteen different artists, generally organized around a theme.  Anyone with an etsy account can compile treasury lists, and keep them private or make them public.

Copyrighted image "Amber the Mermaid" by Lorenzo Ross
Find your inner mermaid with our new Etsy treasury list

Lorenzo’s “Amber the Mermaid” print rekindled my love for mermaids, inspiring me to create this treasury.

Here’s a link to our public etsy treasury list “March Mermaidosity” including Lorenzo’s print and fantastic pieces from 15 other artists.  There’s a wide variety of colors and styles.  It’s a feast for the eyes, and it also includes a creative piece from another Chicago artist whose shop name is whirleygirl.  I’d love to use some of the images here, but they are all copyrighted so you’ll have to go to our March Mermaidosity Etsy Treasury List to check them out!

Groups and You- Leaving a Group

Meetup.com is a free website with tons and tons of different groups, from reading groups to walking groups, movie watching groups, knitting groups, etc.  I am in a monthly book club thanks to that website, which I enjoy very much.  This other group, which I won’t name, looked great on paper but never felt quite right for me.

photo of open hand with good bye written on palm
Are there any groups you need to leave?

I thought being in this group would be inspirational, but I ended up only feeling like I should be inspired, but definitely was uninspired.  Finally I decided just to leave the group, which I did in a few clicks on meetup, with a friendly goodbye message to the group organizer.  Phew what a relief!

Being in a group that’s not right for you can stagnate your energy, give you guilt because you are not participating, bore you, etc.  This doesn’t mean that the group itself is inherently negative or bad.  It may be that the energy of the person leading it, or the collective energy of those in the group, is not a good complement to your own energy.

Now that I quit, I feel more motivation to do something new.  I looked for something else to join, either a creative class or group.

thumbs up sign
Inspiration is priceless!

I started watching some how-to creative videos on the Paper Source website.  Paper Source is a paper and craft supply store in several states and they have classes, but also free videos on their website which are great for giving crafty sorts of ideas.  I may also join another meetup.com group.  There are so many I’m sure there’s another that would be fun for me.

Here’s hoping that you ditch the groups that don’t suit you, and find and join groups or start projects that inspire and nourish your creativity.

Teddy, a loving pup who helped inspire us to board doggies

Teddy was the first dog that we boarded in our home that was not our own.  We know his human mom and dad, and they chose us because we’d be home day and night, and would certainly give the love and attentive care he needed while one or both of them traveled.

puppy photo
Teddy at home with toys, August 2010

When they got him as a puppy, they rescued him from a neglect situation.  He was no longer malnourished, and eating and doing well, but they didn’t want to take any risks with his care.  He was our house guest off and on during September and October of 2010.  At that time we weren’t blogging or we would have surely taken a million photos and bragged about him back then.

puppy photo
Teddy in his home November 2010

Here is a belated tribute to our puppy nephew Teddy.  He never met a toy he didn’t like, he has got a really big heart and is a good napper too.

puppy photo
Teddy Jan 2011 in his home

These photos were taken by his human mommy Mandy who is also a professional photographer of animals & people, including weddings and artistic photos.  For more info on her work see www.MandyLovesPhotography.com

Teddy opened our hearts to having guest dogs in our home.  It’s worth the work, to know that a sensitive and wonderful spirit like Teddy is safe and happy while his parents travel.  Thanks Teddy!

If you would like to learn more about our in-home dog boarding service see www.BarneysHomeDogBoarding.com

Creating your own waking up rituals- tea time part 1

How you start your day is an important way to improve how you feel throughout your day.  Positive rituals you create as part of your waking up process can help you to feel like this is YOUR day, and that you’re going to enjoy it.

soymilk, yerba mate tea, and honey
Taking a moment for tea time

In our house, Lorenzo and I are very much in love with our tea.  One of our favorite cups of tea is yerba mate, with Organic Valley chocolate soy milk, and honey.  Here is the wikipedia page on yerba mate.  Basically it is a traditional tea native to South America which has caffeine and other natural stimulants.  This brand we use Guayaki can be bought online or at Whole Foods and similar stores, and in bag form only at Trader Joes.  Organic Valley chocolate soy milk tastes so good you could even have a cup of it as an “I’m behaving” dessert.  🙂  Yerba mate has a pleasing smell, and with the honey and soy milk, it is very tasty.  I like to eat a high-protein breakfast, and then have a cup of yerba mate and sit and meditate.  I sit by our front windows where I have a nice view.

Many of my clients work outside their home, and their morning wake up consists of dressing in clothes that they don’t enjoy, skipping breakfast, and rushing out the door.  Their mind and energy is already focused in the future on their work and the hardest tasks of their day.  I understand this completely, but even in the busiest of days there is another way.  Most people could build two minutes into that time where you take a break, take some deep breaths, a few sips of tea, or just sit or stretch, and reflect on the big picture of your life, or something that you love.  Set the tone for your day, rather than letting your tasks and duties set the tone.  Serenity and peace of mind do not come to your life accidentally.  You have to plant it in your heart, one little morning break at a time.  Here’s to your peace of mind, and positive morning rituals that are uniquely yours.

Splashes of color & spreading joy

I finally went walking today, to burn off some cupcake calories!  On my walk I noticed some houses and buildings that were painted in more stand-out, creative colors.  It’s these kind of details that make walking even more enjoyable for me.  As an energy reader I always see how pleasing colors of one’s clothing and home environment can uplift one’s energy.  I think the vivid color combinations in Lorenzo’s prints can cause the same positive effect.  I wonder if the exterior colors of these people’s homes uplift them as much as they do me on my walks.  I am grateful that they decided to stand out and provide some colorful joy to themselves and others.

house photo
Pumpkin - what a beautiful color for a house!
front door
A plum colored door - why not?
house photo
Minty green - serenity for the house