Summertime is upon us, and summertime means pool parties.

The house we just moved from had a pool, and we had many a fun summer there. We basically lived in our back yard for three months. Jason did a great job of keeping the pH levels perfect and the pool sparkly blue. I did a great job of blending margaritas, inviting people over, and keeping air in Basil’s floaty cactus.

From years of my pool party past, I bring you the Guide To The Ultimate Pool Party.

Invite Your Friends.

Friends love the house with a pool. Especially on really hot days… it’s surprising how fast they are able to show up to an impromptu invite, almost as if they were already driving over…

Have extra towels handy for your guests.

Stack them by doors, in case people need to dry off before entering the house. Towels close to the pool (but not too close they get wet) are a good idea also.

Designate food and drink area, pool and play area, sitting and relaxing area.

Your guests will want a place to sit or lay in the sun once they get out of the pool:

Invest in plastic plates and drinkware, keeping glass away from the pool.

this margarita was dachshund – supervised.

Plan games and have pool accessories / toys available.

Basil is surprisingly good at the ring toss.

Provide the ultimate in pool party food and drink:

grilled pineapple bacon sandwiches


seven layer dip with noocho cheese


reuben rolls with thousand island dip


spicy stuffed sweet peppers


lightened up Piña Coladas


strawberry habanero margaritas


My advice with hosting any party – prepare as much as you can ahead of time, make a timeline so you have stress free planning, and have decor double as useful – pinatas, beach balls, pool toys…

Most of all, remember to relax, enjoy the sun, and have fun!


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Basil got a new tee shirt yesterday.

My recent schedule has me staying up late nights, where Basil and I have been enjoying Andy Cohen and Watch What Happens Live. I love this show, I love Andy – and a good amount of levity is brought to my day. Laughing feels good.

The other night while watching, I now admit to some impulse shopping.

Basil was the lucky recipient of my impulse shopping this time.

Basil now understands black outfits show every little thing. Darn dog hair.

Today’s word of the day?

Mazel Dog!



dachshund felt ornaments

by Kristina Sloggett

in dachshund

I’ve had some searches for this recently, and since it was kind of a big project, I thought I would share it again this year. Some of these cuties are hanging on our tree this year.

I participated in Heather’s ornament exchange last year, as part of Handmade Christmas 2010.

I am SO glad I did. It was SO much fun, and completely pulled me out of my comfort zone of No Sewing.

I do not sew.

Well, I guess I do now. ;)

I must have known I’d love this, because I signed up for the maximum of five. I make five ornaments, I get five in return. Then I told Heather (because I love her and because she organized this) that I would make one for her too. So, six.

What will I make, what will I make? What have I gotten myself into?

So, I’d give anyone who reads regularly or knows me, a HALF a guess as to what I would make.

Okay, onto the tutorial.

Gather your tools: Embroidery thread, sharp scissors, a needle, a chopstick.

Gather your material: Felt and stuffing.

Gather your inspiration: Dachshunds Basil, Jake and Elwood.

Basil !

Jake !

Elwood !

um, Elwood giving me the side eye.


ah…  the inspiration is my favorite. :D

Draw your shape, in this case, a dachshund. make a stencil. Ink an outline onto felt.

Cut out your template. You will use as a guide to cut out all doxies.

You need two pieces of felt for each dachshund.

Fold over a piece of felt, pin down template doxie, cut.

Cut two ears.

Now you are ready to start sewing! I used the blanket stitch:

Bring the threaded needle from the back of the fabric through to the front at the desired distance from the edge – this determines the width of the stitch. I start from the inside the pieces of felt, so the knot doesn’t show.

To sew the first stitch, put the needle into the fabric from the front, the same distance from the edge as the thread came through in Step 1 and to the left. The distance between the two should remain consistent. When pulling needle / thread through, I stick my finger out to catch the loop before I pull all the way through.

Pass the needle through the loop and pull tight.

To sew the second stitch, put the needle through the back, at the same distance as the first, pull needle through to front, catching loop with finger and pass needle through loop. Pull tight. Repeat!

Then do the same stitching on each ear!

I actually stitched the ears first, then when I got to the top of each doxie head, I’d stitch the ears on as I went along… an ear for each side, flappable.

For these dachshund shapes, I began at the left of the belly, by the back leg, and sewed away from the belly all around the dachshund.

I take out the needle, but leave the thread in. After you stuff, you can keep sewing!

Ready to stuff!

Use very small amounts of stuffing at one time…

This is where the chopstick comes in.

Poke the stuffing into the leg, the tail if possible (the tail sticks up on its own), the head, front leg.

You need to hold the belly together to finish sewing…

Then sew a nose.

After the nose, stick the needle inside the head, poking out where you want the eye.

Sew an eye, poke through to the other side, sew another eye.

Well, Hello.

Hello Everyone!!

Next, pick another color of felt and cut a scarf.

Wrap around doxie, sew down in the middle, add a button. I used a silver charm on each one.

Using 1/8th inch satin ribbon, sew a hanger loop in the middle of the doxie back.

Completed Dachshund!

I made two for each recipient of the ornament exchange. I estimated they took about 2 1/4 hours each, and as I got into a groove, it was under 2 hours per pup.

I also made a few for a couple friends with dachshunds.

This one is custom:

I wish I had the time to make them for all the doxies I know!




…or should it be Phonetic Photography Friday?

Is it still alliteration if it’s phonetic?

I don’t know, but I do know this post is for the birds.

I recently realized I like birds, both feathered and friends. and friends.

Okay, this is where the alliteration ends.

I had parakeets in high school – Floyd (who had a pink cage) and Clayton. Jason had a bird he named Derek Smalls on bass.

I also lived with Jericho the parrot in college, and I’ve been bitten by a goose!

My bird fascination is mainly photographical, I think. Capturing them is the challenge I like – they don’t generally sit still long.

These photos so far were all from our recent trip to Seattle – they liked to share our balcony.

The fascination goes back a ways, though.

Remember the birds on the roof, all over our yard and peeking into the skylight? Yikes.

and the sweet seagull at the shore.

And that HUGE bird in our area that I finally got a photo of:

Twice the size of Basil and… in our back yard.

My little Basil loves his sunshine. His second love is chasing birds through the yard. He usually goes for the smaller birds, though.

Do you like birds, or are you like many who have a fear of them? 



Yesterday was our third anniversary of bringing Basil home. September 19, 2008 we adopted this sweetie through Oregon Dachshund Rescue.

He had been living with a foster family, and after a long week of application process, he was ours!

As Basil is known for his fun Halloween costumes, we celebrated with a new one. This year he will be a turtle.

Such a cute turtle.

Sometimes he loses his shell.

Do your pets have costumes or clothes? 



Happy Monday! I hope everyone is enjoying an extended holiday weekend, I know we are. This morning I am organizing and rearranging my photography room, preparing for the differences in daylight that will soon be upon us. I have a West facing window I will be utilizing for morning shots in addition to the East facing window I currently use. I can’t wait to get in there and move things around, take photos and test the lighting.

As soon as I finish first breakfast – this smoothie.

I like my smoothies ice cold. I don’t like to water down the flavor with ice, preferring to use frozen fruit. Jason wanted a smoothie this morning instead of fresh juice, and this impromptu smoothie was created entirely of what I found in the freezer. Well, with the exception of protein powder.

protein berry smoothie

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

serves two

1/2 cup frozen organic apple juice concentrate
1 cup frozen blackberries
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 1/2 cup coconut water
juice of 1 lemon
2 scoops vanilla protein powder 

Combine coconut water, lemon and protein powder in blender. Add juice concentrate, berries and banana, blend on high until smooth.

This smoothie is full flavored, an icy cool blend of tart and sweet. The protein adds the oomph to last through a workout, until second breakfast.

Speaking of photography, this morning I had some help with editing:

Is today a holiday for you? Doing anything fun?



have a great night! 


o’reilly dachshund

by Kristina Sloggett

in dachshund

For my dachshund and tech friends!

It was bound to happen at some point – the folks at O’Reilly have published a book with a dachshund on the cover. If you are not familiar, O’Reilly is known for their books with animals on the covers (we have the Perl camel t shirt!).

I always love the O’Reilly sections of bookstores, and we have several of these books on our shelves. I was happy to see the dachshund represented.