A New Series! Morning Musings #1

Welcome to Morning Musings #1! I hope to continue this series from time to time, but most likely it won’t be every week. If you’ve been with me for a long time you might recall my Mid Week Musings series and this will be similar. A little bit of this and some of that, personal ponders, what I’m cooking (and eating!), things that I’m watching, reading and some shopping recommendations tossed in. So let’s get right into today’s post!

Let’s Get Personal

You’ve seen our pair of sibling Cavalier King Charles Spaniels before. We were up at our beach home for the last several days an always bring all of the dogs with us. They were looking so cute on the sofa (on a pillow, of course 🤣) although they are set to be groomed this week. As is usually the case with Cavaliers, they both have heart murmurs now that they are 8 1/2 yrs old. We noticed that Bartley (on top) began coughing about a month ago and knew that he must be in the beginning stages of congestive heart failure. A trip to our vet confirmed this and medication was prescribed, as well as a visit to the veterinary cardiologist. We’ve been down this sad road before with our previous Cavalier (anyone remember Murphy?) and know what to expect. Unfortunately there were no appointments available with the only cardiologist until the end of the year, so I had to seek out another. We will be headed there (out of town) next week and get the full picture and protocols. These babies are so precious…as are all of our animals. Let me know if you’ve dealt with this before in the comments below and prayers for Bartley are appreciated 🙏🏻

What I’m Loving In Decor

No…this is not sponsored, but I’m loving these new machine washable rugs from Walmart! I have several machine washable rugs and they are perfect for tossing in the machine and make pet life so much easier! You can find them all below and just click on the photo that interests you to see more:

One of the questions that I’m most often asked about is “where do I find a French chair like yours”? Mine are French antiques that I purchased years ago from a local dealer. This one is my favorite reproduction, and I also like this set of two with the caned back and this button tufted one that looks so very comfy.

What I’m Cooking & Eating

It’s been a couple of years now since I decided to adapt a vegetarian diet and over a year since I went vegan. I feel so good and as a result have lost 25 lbs while still eating carbs. I find it really easy to cook and prepare meals for the two of us this way and this lentil bolognese is one of my favorites. I make a big pot of it in this Le Creuset Dutch Oven on the stove top and use it over rice or zoodle pasta, in tacos and over rice all week long. My husband even takes burritos to lunch with this delicious meaty dish! The food processor that I used to chop everything up with is this Hamilton Beach one that is really the bomb, and so inexpensive. It even has a scraper attachment! I also batch cook each week and my Instant Pot is a lifesaver. This is the one that I use.

What I’m Wearing

I live in leggings and just love the comfort as well as the slimming sleek look of black pants! These affordable Tailored Ponte Leggings are my go to most days. Black and white is perfect for a pared down wardrobe and this 3/4″ Sleeve Ponte Tunic is a go to for coverage and warmth. The look is great for at home wear and then add this GoldTone Hinged Cuff Bracelet and some other accessories and head out to dinner. I’m also loving this Lightweight Plaid Tunic that looks like flannel but is not as heavy for fall!

Beauty Products I’m Using

There are a few skin products that I feel help me look my best and probably younger as well 😉 One of them is this intensive eye cream and yes it’s pricey, but worth every penny for the effects and long lasting!

Another product that I use every night before bed is Tretinoin Cream. If you recall using Retin-A as I did in my teens, this is similar in that it rebuilds collagen and helps to keep wrinkles at bay. I swear by it and it’s by prescription only so you’ll have to fill in some information if you try it out at my link or ask your dermatologist. With these two products I find that I don’t need much else!

What I’m Watching

This past weekend I binged Maid over on Netflix. It features a mother/daughter acting team and is one that might have you bring out the tissue box 😭.

If you have Amazon Prime you might find the docuseries LuLaRich as fascinating as I did. It chronicles the unraveling of LuLaRoe. Known for their buttery soft leggings, the infamous multi-level marketing company went viral promising young mothers a work-from-home salvation. LuLaRoe’s eccentric founders recruited an astonishing army of independent retailers to peddle its increasingly bizarre and defective clothing products…until it all went wrong.

Instagram Love

Looking for some Halloween inspiration for decorating your home? Check out Shanna’s Halloween tree , the Witchy wonderland over at Toni’s (too cute!😀) and this incredibly Spooky front porch!

What You May Have Missed

I have a discount code for 25% off the most beautiful long stem roses over on this post. Just wait until you see them…seriously! Set the table with some pretty cream dinnerware, plum glassware and the cutest napkins ever. See it all in this post. This craft is my most popular and has pinned close to 100,000 times! Get ready for the holidays with this one.

Have a wonderful week ahead!

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  1. Emily North says:

    Prayers for your Bartley ❤️. We lost our Marley (Ruby) at 11 this past February of CHF. She was managed for almost two years with Vetmedin, analapril and Lasix, such a horrible disease for this breed. Our Bentley (Blenheim) was depressed for many weeks and we have since added on May 1st, a Ruby 10 year old male rescue named Cooper!! They are still bonding and Bentley seems to be happier. Good luck to you and thanks for sharing that adorable picture.

    1. Thank you Emily and I’m so sorry about Marley 😭. Bartley is taking those right now and we head to the cardiologist with both Cavaliers on Monday to see if they need adjusting and what the prognosis is. So happy that you got an older rescue Cavvie companion! xo

  2. Adele Scheidt says:

    We lost our dear Pomeranian with the same affliction last March! Still grieving!

    1. Oh how sad I am for you Adele and know the pain of losing our fur babies well. Big hugs…xo

  3. Love this new blog format!!!

    1. I’m happy to hear that Mary!!

  4. Prayers up for Bartley, it is so sad when pets are unwell. I did do those pink pine cones last year, they turned out perfect. Thank you for the “morning coffee:.

    1. Thank you for the prayers…I do appreciate that Diana. Glad to hear the pinecones turned out well for you!

  5. We have had several rescue Cavalier Spaniels and have dealt with heart murmurs and congestive heart failure. My thoughts go out to you because each time, your heart breaks a little more. Our last one, Charlie, died in our arms on the kitchen floor after finding him out on the sidewalk at the side of our home. He was on six heart pills a day. I never shed so many tears.

    We currently have another spaniel, Ramsey, who has been diagnosed with the first signs of a heart murmur. We know what’s in store, but rescuing these furbabies is really all about rescuing us and giving us such joy while they are here. No matter how we come to have them in our lives, they bless us!

    Cyber hugs,

    1. You are angel Cylinda to rescue these Cavaliers…the most darling of all breeds! Yes, your heart does break and with all 3 of our dogs (one 14 yr old rescue Maltese as well) having heart murmurs we are in for it. Hugs for Ramsey and you…I’ll update after we head to the cardiologist next week! 💞

  6. Oh, I do hope your Bartley does well … I am always distressed when I hear about somebody’s pet companions being under the weather.

    Love your morning coffee chit chat! Did a little screen shopping. Should I ever decide to go faux French glam, I think that tufted chair in the bright red is a keeper.

    Always love waking up to find a post from you in my inbox!

    1. Thanks Tristan! We head to the cardiologist on Monday and I’ll keep you informed. Glad that you liked the coffee chit chat and will get on another one soon! 💞💕❣️

  7. Hi Janet.
    I really enjoyed the post thank you however I’m envious, on my many trips to the States ( second home if only ! ) Which bye the way I adore I always see pieces for my home which I fall in love with and fashion etc ( the list is endless ) however living in a backwater without it seems much good taste ( U.K ) I am thwarted you guys do easy elegance far better than the Brits. So getting your posts is frustrating and rewarding at the same time ! Kindest Regards keep them coming. Marilyn.

    1. Oh Marilyn…I do hope that I give you enough ideas that you CAN use over there in your home. Life is definitely different here in the States and it’s so large that honestly it depends a lot on the area you live in here. Hugs

  8. Prayers for Bartley. I’ve mentioned before about losing our Bella at barley 10 due to MVD. I. like Emily above, am looking to rescue another to befriend Augie who misses his sister sibling terribly. Boy! Does it take a long time to get thru the adoption process…but in the long run I’m so glad there are a few teams caring for this wonderful breed. They are more costly due to hereditary breed health issues but as I’m finding out that many with heart murmurs will live longer lives than Bella had (her heart valve actually broke) which is promising for Augie who was just diagnosed at 10 with a grade 5+ heart disease and is on Pimobendan.
    Working in skincare medical field everyone should be using Tretinoin if your concerned about aging skin. I’ve been using it daily for over 30 years. If new, try small applications at night only a few times a week to build tolerance of skin sloughing. Hydrate well.
    Love the chairs! and the soup recipe! It’s that time of year and I love it!!

    1. Oh Lori…what a wonderful comment and I can’t thank you enough for your prayers for Bartley! I’m anxious to get him to the cardiologist on Monday and will update once I know more. I hope that the adoption goes through for you and you’re a kind soul to take on an elder pup. Yes to the Tretinoin…it’s a miracle really! xo

  9. I adopted Nordy, a black and tan Cavalier when she was 4 1/2. Her previous family was moving and unable to take her with them. I learned about her heart murmur when she was 5. Last Wednesday, I lost her to congestive heart failure. She was 12 1/2 so I was fortunate that she did so well for so many years. Nordy was such a sweet girl and many in my neighborhood looked forward to petting her when we went for our daily walks. It is both sad and nice when neighbors ask me where she is. It’s hard to lose a beloved pet but watching her health deteriorate was awful and I’m relieved her suffering is over.

    1. Louise Terry says:

      Hi Janet love your post and we have 2 Cavies who are 5 and are Sisters. We previously had a Cavie who died at 9 from a Heart issue. I’m watching our 2 for any signs😳💖 I love the post and got my great tips I will follow thru with! Love Lou in Ohio🧜‍♀️💓🌠

      1. Sounds a lot like our situation Lou with the sweetest breed around. We take both of the siblings to the cardiologist this coming Monday so I’ll update as soon as I can. xoxo, Janet

    2. Nancy…you definitely know what I’m going through then and I’m so sorry about your precious Nordy. Having been through this before with our Cavalier Murphy, I understand the pain. They are just the sweetest animals and I’m grateful for every day with them by my side. Hugs

  10. Saralee Jamieson says:

    Yes, I remember sweet Murphy! Prayers for Bartley and hugs for you! It’s so hard to loose a pet! I’ve had 2 Shih Tzu die in my arms during the night from CHF! No matter how long we have our fur babies it’s never long enough! Hopefully the cardiologist will be able to prescribe something that will slow the progression and make him comfortable! They are both just adorable!

    1. Oh I know you’ve been with me a long time Saralee…and I thank you for that! I’m so sorry that you’ve been through this as well and the pups are set to see the cardiologist this Monday. xoxo

  11. Prayers for Bartley. This is such a difficult time. We too have a little Yorkie with heart problems, and is living on borrowed time. So heartbreaking!! Thanks for posting this personal issue.

    1. Dear Kathleen…I thank you and sending prayers back to you. It’s truly heartbreaking and we can only hope for a good quality of life during this time. Hugs

  12. Enjoyed this new format!! Praying for Bartley and you.

    1. Thank you so kindly Jennie! ❣️💕💞

  13. Oh Janet! Prayers for Bartley! We lost our sweet Bandit in 2018 to cancer. He was a terrier/lab mix. He was my shadow and the sweetest guy! It is still to this day the hardest thing for us to get over. Our pets are so a part of our family. Thinking of you praying for next steps in his health journey. I love this new series! So fun! Blessings to you!

    1. Thank you so much Babette and yes…our pets are family! I remember how heartbroken we were when our first Cavvie (Murphy) passed from this dreaded disease. It took 2 years before we go this sibling pair and the last 8 1/2 years have gone by way too quickly with these darlings! Glad you enjoy the new format! xo

  14. One of our maltese has a 3-4 murmur—came up quickly when one of his chordae ruptured suddenly & he is 11 1/2 & has been under care of cardiologist for 2 yrs. & is doing pretty well. He also has collapsing trachea which causes coughing & using Lomotil (from cardiologist) has really helped that issue. He tires much more easily than he did before but we let him decide how much to walk. He gets Vetmed & Benazepril (along w/the Lomotil). Lomotil is used off-label but many find it helps to control the coughing. Please msg. me if you need more info. or ask your cardio. Sending loving wishes for good days w/your babies.

    1. Dear Sandi…we have a 14 year old Maltese and he has a heart murmur as well. So far no coughing and he’s a tough guy who has had a rough life before he came here. We head to the cardiologist with both Cavaliers on Monday and I’ll update as soon as I can. Big hugs for your fur baby! 💞

  15. Linda A Charlton says:

    Prayers for your sweet dog.

    1. Dear Linda…thank you! ❣️

  16. Dawn Parrish Harlow says:

    Prayers for your sweeties. 🙏 Love the blog. 💗

    1. Thank you so much Dawn…I truly appreciate it! 💞

  17. Dear Janet,
    Sending your sweet Bartley love and prayers for a successful cardiology appointment that will provide answers and the best possible care ever! I am a spaniel mom…a cocker spaniel…My sweet Lily is currently battling cancer, and she wants Bartley to know to stay strong and she is thinking of him! We are “Pawsitively” keeping Bartley and your family in our prayers. Thank you for your beautiful, inspirational blog!

    1. Awww, thank you sweet Laura and I really appreciate the time you took to leave this comment ❣️💕💞 His appointment is on this coming Monday so I’ll update when I can. Best to your Lily and I’ll keep her in our prayers as well. xoxo

  18. Janet, my heart goes out to you and your family dealing with an ailing much loved pet is hard. We had two dogs an old English sheepdog Spangle and a Labrador/collie cross Candy they were our fur babies even after our children came along . They protected the children with their every breath. When they pass it’s leaves such a void, so much so we couldn’t bring ourselves to get another dog. That may change as our granddaughter is pestering us to get a pug. My prayers are being dedicated to you and yours. Cate

    1. Thank you Cate for your lovely comment. These fur babies become like children to our families and it’s difficult to see them suffer. I appreciate your prayers for Bartley and will update soon. xo

  19. betty muñoz bernat says:

    I loved your blog. I hope Bartley is ok. Just like you, me and my husband enjoy our third youth.

    1. Thanks Betty….have fun in your 3rd youth (love that!)

  20. Prayers and comfort for Bartley,hugs for you and your husband.
    Your emails bring such beauty and joy, Thank you

    1. I appreciate the kind words Maureen. Always difficult to see our fur babies not well as they age. Hugs

  21. Love this post format!
    I lost my little Shitzu last year from old age and health issues, one of those issues was her heart. She was 15 years old and had been on meds for a long time. Looking for another dog but haven’t found one yet. Miss my little buddy. Take care of your sweet dogs and yourself.

    1. I’m so glad that you do Susan! It’s so sad when our beloved fur babies age and have issues. Wishing you the best in your search for a new pup! xo

  22. Janet, I’m sorry to hear that your Bartley has heart murmurs… Yoda has an enlarged heart and goes through coughing fits every once in a while. Thankfully since he is a Pekingese mix, the other breed within him has kept him going these 16 1/2 years. Will keep your pups in my prayers… <3 Yes, I have a long multi-colored runner I found at Walmart a year ago or so and it washes beautifully!

    Nice to come over and see you again,
    Barb 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by Barb, nice to “see you” again! This is a hard disease to take since we love our fur babies so dearly.

  23. Edie Libby says:

    Janet dear, I am happy that you are coming back to the lovely conversational style blog! I so enjoy reading of your beautiful homes and your design concepts etc! I am past (at 82 years)doing any major redecorating in our downsized home but have always loved seeing what you are up to and even have been inspired to make a few changes in our home from things I have seen from you. Thank you!
    I’m so sorry to read about your ailing puppies and certainly know and understand how those darling furry babies work their way into our hearts and homes and become members of the family!
    I Hope you can find ways to lengthen their lives and to alleviate any suffering!
    Thank you for adding joy and inspiration to my life!
    Edie Libby in NC

    1. Good morning Edie…I appreciate all of your thoughts and if even just one person is inspired by my blog, then I feel that I’m doing a good job. Enjoy your day!