Friday, December 13, 2013

High Five for Friday

Oh hey! What are you up to today? Here are my Friday top 5's! It was a crazy week full of all kinds of ups and downs. Here are my favorite ups! :o)

1) My winter festival at the antique store went well considering the cold! Thank you to all my friends that came out (special shout out to Jamie for taking some awesome pics!)

 I just love having the reindeer, it's so magical! We get to feed them graham crackers. If you look closely, you can even see the crumbs on his muzz.

I love this picture of Peyton and I. She looks so regale and "oves" it. (Which she was - that dog refuses the cold!)

2) The Mile High Sports Magazine Party! It was so fun walking the red carpet with my girls and finally seeing the pics that we posed for in October! We also had a holiday party at Brooklyn's on Wednesday which was super fun. I love my girlies!

3) Last night, I had my favorite shrimp dish at John Hollys. I ordered seaweed salad instead of rice!

4) I set some boundaries with work and it was the best decision ever. I was unhappy with the dynamic and how something at work was continually affecting me so I was honest with myself and the people I needed to talk to and it went really well!! One pivotal change I can already feel the balance effect helping with my daily life in all areas. You can ALWAYS tell how good a decision was based on the amount of relief you feel.

5) When we got Peyton, I was worried about her dynamic with the cats. Well, it's awesome! They co habitate and Peyton is totally chill with them. It's amazing! Of course right after I took this picture, Gilbert looked at Peyton and BACKHANDED HER! #badkitty

What made you smile this week?


Thursday, December 5, 2013

On The Road To Freedom

Hey All!

Most of you know my heart ache surrounding my beloved bulldog Audry dying of a heart attack at work in July of this year.

It's been quite a process of healing and I will never get completely over it. The pain was worth it. I loved her and she added so much to my life. 

I knew it wasn't over for me. Audry was a puppy mill rescue and she LOVED being rescued. She was grateful for every treat, day at the shop, bed, nanny visit, every wonderful thing I could possibly give her in life. She was memorialized on the front of my antique store by the amazing artist Patrick Kane McGregor (also a bulldog Daddy!)

Everyday when I come into work, I say hi to my buddy. This store was her paradise. 

Patrick's bulldog Bouge is EPIC. 
I mean, really. Look at this beast! Obsessed.

Have you heard of the National Mill Dog Rescue? It's an AMAZING organization that literally goes across the country and rescues what would otherwise be "throw aways" after puppy mill people get rid of the animals because they can't bear more puppies or because they get shut down for malpractice. They have to be pretty bad to get shut down, as Peyton's was. It makes me FURIOUS.

The woman who started the rescue in 2008 went to a puppy mill dog auction, not knowing what it even was. She went to get one dog as a pet...when she got there and saw these animals, there was 500 poor souls.

 She bid on and won 13 dogs that day and took them home to Colorado and wished she could have taken them all that day. Could you imagine going to get one dog and leaving with 13? That is something I would do. Good for her. 

One named Lily was literally missing her lower jaw from untreated infection. I can't even put the picture on the blog because it makes me cry. Teresa has saved thousands and thousands of dogs since that day in memorial of Lily.

My friend Natalie actually told me about the rescue. I put in an application, had a home inspection (so they knew I wasn't a psycho) and an interview and I was in the system. I love that they meet and interview you first before ever meeting a dog. They care about the placement. I was super specific about my needs for a dog because I got one a couple months ago and the woman lied to me about the temperament and needs of the dog - and I ultimately had to rehome her to a wonderful man in Vail where she is much happier.

On Thanksgiving, I got Peyton. I didn't know they were going to call and at the rescue, there are no days off. She is just what I had been praying and dreaming about. Peyton was rescued not even three weeks ago from a horrible puppy mill and transported to Colorado. Many of the dogs rescued by the National Mill Dog Rescue that day had awful wounds. Peyton was scared, super under weight, and had never experienced human contact or love in her whole life. Here is a picture right before she was put on the truck. 
Where am I going??
 Arriving at the rescue in Peyton, Colorado. There were 87 dogs. Can you imagine what they were feeling?

This one was so overweight, she had never been out of her cage, EVER. The lady holding her is Kim, the woman who placed Peyton with me and was working there on Thanksgiving, and everyday (all volunteer.)

The waiting list for English bulldogs can be months. I was called because the family that was going to adopt her, backed out because she commanded too much attention for their family dynamic. (This is coming from a dog that has never experienced love or touch). When they told me this, I had a good feeling. So out to Peyton, Colorado my boyfriend and I went on Thanksgiving morning! I had high hopes and was very excited.

Here was the exact moment Peyton came out. I was sitting on the floor. 

The attention she wanted was LOVE! Touch! Safety. 

Minutes later, she met Eron.
She has been through HELL and guess what, she was still sweet. She was still open and loving. She wasn't pissed off which she could have every right to be. 

I fell in love on the spot. SOLD. SOLD. SOLD.
Eron said we should walk her and get to know we walked for three minutes. Yep, still sold.
Peyton was named for the town and I love her name. She has lots of issues that Mill dogs have. She didn't know grass, dirt, stairs. She doesn't know pottying outside or how to chew bones. She doesn't know security or a home. Now she has one and the stocking is hung for Christmas!

Now she has three houses, 9 beds, three "condo" crates, and a village of people waiting to smooch her fuzzy muzz. She is going to learn about life and get in the swing of things really quickly. She wears diapers without protest. She actually loves these crates I got for her. She stays in them and sometimes, refuses to come out. They are her safe zone and that's ok. I like that she feels secure in them but the door is open and she can venture out for her love fix anytime of day!

She needs to gain 10 pounds and has half her hearing which is better than I had thought. She is recovering well with me!

I can't wait to keep you up to date on my dog adventures. Everyone that knows how hard it is to lose a pet also realizes the joy and gravity of getting a new one! I am excited to start this coming year with a fresh heart after a bumpy last six months. I couldn't have gotten through it without the support of my friends and family and they know who they are!

Am I obsessed with this silly dog? Sure. I know it. And I don't care. When something makes your heart sing, sing it loud and proud!

If you are interested in the dogs available at the rescue, they get them everyday! Here are some new arrivals!

Getting a mill dog is work but it's also such a reward knowing you saved someone and it's so heart warming actually seeing the animal experience so many things for the first time - like a chew toy. What do I do with this?!

99% of puppies in pet stores are from mills. There are a lot of amazing breeders out there that love the breed and breed for the right reasons but the f*ckers that use and abuse animals for monetary gain and then throw them away need to be stopped and it's organizations like the National Mill Dog Rescue that bring awareness and salvation for these dogs and I can't thank them enough. I donated twice Peyton's adoption fee. They put 10x more in her financially by saving her and treating her infections and spaying her than her adoption fee. These people really do amazing work. I was there and I saw it. It's now my favorite place to donate.

I enjoyed every second of Audry and Peyton has some big paws to fill but I think she is up to the job. 

Stay tuned for many more Peyton adventures to come!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lower Broadway (LoBro) Holiday Festival!

Hey Y'all! If you are looking for the opportunity to buy some unique and fun Christmas presents and just have a cozy Saturday in Denver, our Holiday Open House Saturday, December 7th is always a treat. In the lot of the antique store where I work, we will have live reindeer for the kiddos and big kiddos to pet and marvel at and we are also having horse drawn carriage rides and every store will be open with specials and most will be serving goodies! Come one out to this event, it's going to be great! :o)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bitches Be Like: Hair Tied, Chillin' with No Makeup On...

...well I started my last blog post with shock that we were already several days into October and here we are almost to Thanksgiving! I have a lot to be thankful this Thanksgiving. This month has been pretty nuts for me. I will take you back to the last week of October...I was doing my makeup in the morning and I looked down and my arm literally turned a purple color. I could see the blood slowly moving in it and it was the weirdest most random thing. I moved quickly to put my bra on and that movement of moving my arm up made my arm quickly go back to normal. I thought...what the...but I didn't do anything. Two days later my boyfriend saw me in the morning and saw my arm do it again and flipped. We went straight to the hospital. No makeup, out the door. It was kind of like this:

At Kaiser, I saw a doctor that just started at Kaiser named Ruth and she was so sweet...she saw me as a walk in but my arm wasn't doing the red/purple arm thing. They weren't sure off the bat what it was. I got a x-ray and a blood test which both came back perfectly normal so that ruled out a blood clot. The pain persisted though but I went about my daily life. Ruth called me on Friday and asked if I was still sore and I said I was but I wasn't super concerned. She said she would really feel more comfortable if I got an ultra sound in my arm. It was just too weird of a thing to just "happen" for no reason. She said she could get me in at 4pm. I came dressed in my Coors outfit for a 6 hour promotion that evening. They did the ultra sound. It was like a massage! I was enjoying it until she stopped...looked a little perplexed...and called in three other people who gathered around the screen and talked very quietly - whispered. Then they left, made some calls, and came back in and said I was positive for "DVT" which stands for "Deep Vein Thrombosis". I asked what that was and they said they found a blood clot.

When I sat up to get dressed, they didn't even want me walking down the HALLWAY because it was in such a sensitive place and they didn't want it to move and go to my lungs!! I was tearing up as it was all happening at once and I also had to be at a Coors promo in an hour, I was working a haunted house! The Coors people worked quickly to help me get it covered, I have my friends Kari and Angie to thank, and Brynja who worked alone so Kari could cover it.

I was at the hospital until 11:30 PM that night. I had a cat scan, blood tests galore, I don't even remember what all they did. I was put on medication that I had to give myself in the stomach with a giant needle every night. For the next week, I had to give blood every single morning. It was nuts - or so I thought!

Monday the 4th of November, a specialist called me from Kaiser while I was on the treadmill and asked me a series if questions...then he asked me to come in ASAP. I really didn't know what to think. I got off the treadmill and went right in, cleared my work calendar for the day. They had to do a "veinogram" where they put you under and shoot a balloon up your vein to see WTF is going on.

After the veinogram, they came in and showed me what they found. My first rib had grown and collapsed on a vein in my chest and that vein had branched off like a tree to try and get some blood flow to my arm. It had been constricted for YEARS and came to head with the clot that made my arm turn purple. It took two weeks to diagnose because it was such a rare thing. They had to go in ASAP and remove that rib from the vein and see if the vein could work again. If the vain was dead, they had to harvest a vein from somewhere else and implant it. The surgeon reworked his patients to get me in for surgery the next morning at 8AM.

So, I had one evening to prepare! I had over 12 Coors promos scheduled and the girls covered them for me in the next two weeks. I wasn't sure how long I would be out of work or life - they had me sign a power of attorney in case I died during the surgery. Coincidentally, I had just written my will three months ago so I was all good there! Weird to actually be relieved I had done it. (Sorry Darrel, no Porsche for Christmas, I made it through.)

The surgery lasted 6.5 hours. The vein was too far gone after they removed the rib so they took one from my groin and implanted it in my chest. Ouch is all I will say about that. 

I was in the hospital for several days - and boy it was a tough road. I couldn't walk for several days and when I could, it was a few steps at a time. Taking my first shower felt like working a 10 hour promo. The nurses were wonderful and my family and boyfriend came everyday. I felt very supported and was so thankful. I also had a super duper cute team of vascular guys who came to see me twice a day.

I also has so many good friends check in, send cards, tell me nice things. It really did help so much and I am so grateful for these people. I had many people surprise me and it was eye opening to see who actually cared. I didn't want attention so I kept Facebook very quiet but I had clients send cards and prayers and just people who I didn't even know liked me that much make an effort. Most of them had been through something like this so knew how helpless one can feel. Moving forward, I will be a different person from this whole experience when it comes to empathy for others.

When I came home, I basically existed and worked on recovery. I will spare all the gory details, it was a messy recovery. I am thrilled to be taking it slow and be back to work this week. Next month, I have to repeat the whole veinogram where they go in again and see how that vein is reacting. I sure hope it takes ok and heals like it should.

SO - this is a long winded post about what I am thankful for! Where so I even start? Modern medicine. Insurance. Savings. Amazing friends and family. All the Reeses cups and cereal I ate without abandon in the hospital. (Carbs don't count after surgery, right?) My amazing boyfriend who was there for every appointment and tear session and hobbled me to the bathroom three times a night. Mederma scar gel. My jobs who rallied to pick up the slack of me being gone two weeks. My best friend who was my personal doctor in my phone (she really is a doctor). I learned a lot through this humbling experience.

This week, I am taking everything in and as I resurface, the only person I am going to try and be better than is the one I was yesterday.


Friday, October 4, 2013

High Five For Friday: October Already?!

Oh hey did you notice it's October? Yep. Already 4 days in. *Wowza.* Time sure flies and it's already Friday! Here is my Friday Top 5 for the week! (In no particular order!) 

1) SUSHI. So I kind of sashimied myself out this past week. You might have seen the evidence on my Facebook page. I had it three times in one week and it was DELISH each time. :o) 

2) The Mayor and his peeps randomly stopped in to antique shop!

3) Tuesday night Eron and I caught Sister Act the Musical at the Buell and it was amazing. One of my favorite shows I have seen! Entertaining, laugh out loud funny, so well done. So much talent! Highly recommend! It's traveling across the country. Check em' out!!
4) I am loving my new nail polish from my Ipsy September bag - Butter London makes an awesome polish and this one is perfect for fall!

5) I rocked some amazing Coors gigs this past week and weekend. The Sports Column with Slacker and Steve was super fun! season is the busiest time of the year for evidenced by just a snippit of the back seat of my car this morning after picking up swag for the weekend!

What were your little thrills this week?


Friday, September 20, 2013

Am I living vicariously through myself?!

Newsflash! I love updating my status. On a good day if I am really on one, I might update ten to fifteen times. My close friends know about the crazy days - like before Lent. That happens to be my friend Karen's favorite day of updating - I think I updated every 15 minutes for 24 hours. The only times I don't update is when I am really sad. Updating for me is usually hilarity or inspirational. If I don't update for a week, definitely check in to see if I am still alive.

I don't necessarily do it for the attention but I won't lie and say I don't love the attention I get from it. It seems like I have a following and the feedback I get from these updates it that, generally, people really like reading them. I certainly enjoy getting a good one from someone in my feed.

There are three kinds of status updaters. I consider myself a hybrid of all three. The first kind is generally really annoying. It's the person that in a sense is living vicariously through their own updates. They update their day from start to finish. Every aspect is documented and generally this person is excessively happy.

"Good morning all! Have an amazing day!!"
"I can't wait for dinner tonight with my amazing friends"
"I am having an amazing time at dinner right now with my amazing friends"
"Dinner with my amazing friends was amazing"
"I am tired from SUCH an amazing day. Good night everyone!"

...and so on. Gag worthy at times.

Then there is the depressed updater. This is the one I find most annoying.

"I didn't get enough foam on my cappuccino at Starbucks today. FML"
"UGH! Why are all the people I work with so lame?"
"I am SO bored"
"I hate being single"

...and so on.

Then there is the generic updater. They update song lyrics or just do updates that make no sense all. (I am guilty of this, remember I said I was a hybrid of all three!)

In college, I used to think updating was lame. In fact my friend Vicky had to plea and beg for me to get on Facebook and when I did, I updated once a month if at all. I rarely checked Facebook. Communication changes with the advent of any new technology and with all my friends on Facebook, and it being such a fantastic platform to network and stay in touch, it was hard not to get swept up in it.

Without knowing it, I had turned into the person that updates about every restaurant I ate at, every time I grabbed coffee with girlfriends, everything I bought, everywhere I went, every experience at work, every time I got my hair done...EVERYTHING.

Which brings me to my main I living vicariously through myself?! Is my life not full enough that I need to let the rest of the world know about my every move and in turn get feedback on it?

Already today I would have updated about how freaked out I am when people reuse their fake eyelashes 15 times and I can see the glue all over their lash line (have the lashes been on there for the last 5 days or are they seriously reusing it that many times?! Gross!), about how much I am loving the items I got in September's BirchBox, and how much I still incredibly, madly, deeply miss

Don't get me wrong - I like updates and enjoy other peoples. I feel there is a happy medium and I intend to find it. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Subscription ADDICTION!

I am sure you have probably heard of the new up and coming sample subscription services like Birchbox or even BarkBox for dogs. Well let me tell you about my subscription addiction!

On a walk with my neighbor Kirsten this morning, we were talking about how we both want to cut back on unneeded things like a billion channels on our cable that we don't watch and that would free us up to splurge on other things like hair or a mani pedi or whatever we wanted that we usually don't do. My mini splurge each month is my makeup sample subscriptions. If you don't know what it is, every month I get a box in the mail and inside it is beauty products that I am interested in and I get a deluxe size sample so it's usually a half or quarter size of the full size and lasts a long time or in every box, there is also a ful size sample of something that more than pays for the box.

I recommend starting with ipsy! 

With ipsy, its $10.00 a month including shipping and you get a reusable makeup bag full of awesome stuff and a cute bag! You also tailor your profile to products you get are ones you want. Like for me, I am not a huge perfume person so I put no perfume samples on my account and you can  change it if you want to start using perfume.

 Here is my bag from this month. This month, I got a full size eye shadow that more than paid for the whole thing, a Butter London nail polish mini that I LOVE the color for fall (and who doesn't like mini's!), and a couple other things that will be fun to try like liquid eyeliner (also full size) and a lip gloss that is a little too red for me so I am going to save it and give it to a friend! This month got over $50.00 in product.

Here is a link so if you sign up, I get points to use for makeup and if you sign up through that and if you refer your friends, you get your own unique link, too! You can go month to month or for me, I pay for the year up front and then it for some reason feels like more of a gift when it appears every month and I don't have to "pay" for it. If there is a product you love, you can buy the full size at a discounted price, too!

Once I did ipsy for a few months, I was hooked.

I signed up for Birchbox which is also $10.00 and I love it, too! Every month, there is always something I normally wouldn't buy or try so that's the fun of it, trying new things and if you don't like it, it's not like you spent $50 bucks. With Birchbox, sometime you get fun stuff like stationary or a passport holder or super cute hair clips. Here is my August Birchbox and I am getting September today!

Makeup subscriptions make great gifts. I have signed up a few friends for 6 months worth as gifts and they loved it.

There are a million sample subscriptions out there - some are really expensive and some are not. For $10 bucks, these two are a steal.

I will blog later this week with the other ones I use (there is one I just signed up for that is $8.00 a month if you do a whole year and everyone I know that does it says it's incredible!) but I figured this would be a good place to start if you have never heard of this. I recommend trying it out for a few months. It's so nice to get a little treat in the mail every month!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

You Tell The Stories With Words, We Tell The Stories With Jewelry

As you guys know, my favorite furry person in the world (in the picture to the right of this blog) had a heart attack and died suddenly on the afternoon of July 25th, in my antique store on Broadway.

It's been two weeks and a day now and I am getting to the place where I can talk about it, where food is starting to taste good again and I can function without completely tearing up every 5 minutes. After it happened, I wasn't able to work, eat, or function. I was at a swank fashion show two days after it happened and had to be taken home because I couldn't keep the tears from streaming down my face. (It's also been the only time I didn't feel like eating, one good thing I could use to my advantage?!)

I was paralyzed with sadness, shock, heartbreak. I have never felt like this about anything or anyone and really just went through my days the best I could - reminding myself to breathe in and out.

I thought I would have more time with Audry. I think you always do. In fact, her vet said weeks before that I had at least a couple more "good years". I had just ordered her a pimped out stroller for walks and hadn't even gotten the bill for her last teeth cleaning. It goes without saying that I didn't expect to bring Audry to work and come home without her. Without re-hashing everything that happened, I can safely say it has been the deepest heartbreak I have ever experienced.

I have been SO extremely fortunate to be surrounded by people that understand and care for my loss.

I have actually been blown away and completely humbled by the response I have received. Close friends sent flowers, cards, notes, text messages, emails. I for some reason thought I would be the only one that "gets" the devastation but I was wrong. So many people shared with me their stories, how they coped, and how to remember your loved one in a way that helps you also piece your heart back together.

Speaking of "stories", my amazing friend Melissa just came to my store and gave me an amazing gift - which is also my new favorite piece of jewelry. It was so amazingly sweet and thoughtful of her to do this and I am going to wear it all the time. Melissa is a independent Origami Owl jewelry consultant which is a company that allows you to make keepsake necklaces in a million ways.

Mine is amazing. My locket contains personalized charms that represent me, my life with Audry, and also my life moving forward. I LOVE IT.

She also gave me a card that expressed what the charms meant. There's a paw print, an H for the Hoffman girls, a cameo because I deal in antiques, an airplane because I travel a lot, a Cross because Audry is in Heaven, a princess crown because Audry was a princess, a key to my heart, angel wings, a wine glass (because who doesn't like a cocktail?) and a longer and shorter chain to wear them. So sweet.

 This is one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received in my life and I wouldn't trade it for any 50 carat diamond or Porsche. It is going to help me heal. Every time I wear it, I can be reminded of my amazing friend Audry and not cry because it's over but smile because it happened.

If you want to give or order one of these amazing gifts, you can make one for ANY reason and I love them. Consult my friend Melissa and her daughter Megan! See their website here!

Thank you to the Gartland family. <3