New Arrivals: J.Crew Factory

I feel like I’ve been waiting for these new arrivals for weeks! You can always tell J.Crew Factory is about ready to release something new when everything goes on clearance. Their early fall and early spring new arrivals are always my favorite and these did not disappoint! My favorites from this new release (in no particular order) are the eyelet peplum top, leopard tie-neck blouse, crinkle jersey t-shirt, and camo graphic tee. I used graphics below to style all 4 pieces. Also notable are the d’Orsay leopard flats – these were hot last year! The denim below are also on my wish list (the wash looks awesome!), and one of the sweater blazers which I think will be an awesome alternative to a coat in Florida! Enjoy!

Outfit #1:

J.Crew Factory New Arrivals July 2019

eyelet peplum blouse | denim | earrings | bag | flats

Outfit #2:

J.Crew Factory New Arrivals July 2019

leopard tie-neck blouse | sweater blazer | earrings | skirt | flats

Outfit #3:

J.Crew Factory New Arrivals July 2019crinkle jersey tee | cardigan | necklace | skirt | bag | flats

Outfit #4:

J.Crew Factory New Arrivals July 2019

camo tee | sweater blazer | scarf | slippers | joggers

In Review: Express Jeans

Hi everyone! I’ve really wanted to get back to the heart of blogging lately and have been thinking about my purpose for the blog. So many of us have turned into (or were always) ‘outfit blogs’ where we just post our daily outfits… I’m guilty of that! I love putting outfits together, especially with prints, textures, and colors. Sometimes it’s ‘blog worthy’, and sometimes it’s just an #ootd photo. More often then not it’s just a new arrival find that I just can’t wait to share! All of its blog-able, and I love a great mixture of all posts. However, I can share those posts easily on Instagram, Facebook, or the LikeToKnow.it App. So, why blog? I love writing and talking about clothes, so I really want to expand this space a little and make it worth your read also! Recently, I’ve tried to push out all of my posts when I drop them – no matter what the platform and outfit – at the same time. However, it’s taxing when you work full-time outside of the blog. I *hope* soon, I will be able to go down to part-time with my regular job. And that excites me so much, because I will have so much more creative energy for the blog! And so my goal right now is to create meaningful posts that will help you with your closet (and shopping), with weekly #ootd round-up posts mixed in. I hope the below post is helpful. ☺️

Express Jean Review

Today’s blog post is all about Express jeans. Recently Express re-vamped their jean line a bit and now have the ‘denim perfect’ version available. I’ve always been a huge fan of Express jeans since they come in a variety of inseam options – tall, regular, short, and petite. Their price point is in the middle, and I feel like on sale, they are a really great jean for the price. I have all types in my closet – $150+ premium AG/Joe’s/7 jeans to clearance Old Navy. Honestly, if they are in my closet, it’s because I love them – and they all serve their purpose.

So, about the jeans. My birthday was in June, and I had a whopping $75 in rewards plus coupons! Since fall is coming, I really wanted new pairs of jeans, especially pairs that I can wear in and out of work. I purchased 3 pairs ~ going left to right: all 3 are mid-rise and ‘short’ inseam (I’m 5’2″). I normally wear a 28/6 in denim, but since these are more of a ‘legging’, I go up one size (to an 8 short). The darker wash on the left are a regular skinny jean and the 2 pairs on the right are the denim perfect line. I picked out plain tops and sandals using the same necklace for each photo to keep it simple and focus on the denim.

Mid-Rise Dark Wash Skinny Jeans

These jeans fit like a glove. No joke. I do not have a thigh gap, never had a thigh gap, but I’m pretty sure these jeans almost create a thigh gap. 😂 They are a thick, more stiff material than the denim perfect line. When I first put them on, I do have to pull at my knees a little to get it all situated. However, they fit really well. And hug all the right spots. Of the 3 pairs of jeans I purchased, these are my favorite! Crazy since they are probably the least comfortable. But the fit is incomparable for my body type. And the color is amazing. The short length is still just a tad long on me, but perfect for work loafers and especially fall booties. I usually just roll jeans up once or twice with sandals.

Express jeans, Sanctuary twist hem top, Old Navy sandals, A New Day necklace

Express jeans, Sanctuary twist hem top, Old Navy sandals, A New Day necklace

Express jeans, Sanctuary twist hem top, Old Navy sandals, A New Day necklace

OUTFIT DETAILS:

jeans: Express | top: Sanctuary | sandals: Old Navy | necklace: Target

 

Mid-Rise Denim Perfect Light Wash Leggings

These jeans are the bees knees. Truly! So soft and stretchy and buttery feeling. The wash is light, yes, but it’s also somewhat acid-wash. It’s like summery with a touch of bad ass. So these are a part of the denim perfect line which is why they are so much more soft than other Express jeans. While they don’t hug the curves like the pair above, they are really comfortable. Express doesn’t list the percentage of spandex added, but I’m guessing quite a bit more than the regular skinny jean. The length and basic fit of the jean is the same as above, just different material. Again, perfect length for work or fall booties.

A New Day tank top, Express denim, Sam Edelman Gunner sandals, A New Day necklace

A New Day tank top, Express denim, Sam Edelman Gunner sandals, A New Day necklace

A New Day tank top, Express denim, Sam Edelman Gunner sandals, A New Day necklace

OUTFIT DETAILS:

jeans: Express | top: Target | sandals: Sam Edelman | necklace: Target

 

Mid-Rise Denim Perfect Raw Hem Ankle Leggings

This is the 2nd pair of the ‘denim perfect’ Express line I purchased. They are a raw-hem and ankle length. I still purchased a short inseam length, so they would fit perfectly with sandals for summer (since they are more a relaxed look). The fit is similar (or the same) as both jeans above in the hips and legs, albeit a shorter inseam for a cropped look. The material is not quite as soft as light wash pair, but not near as stiff and definitely has more spandex then the first pair posted above. Definitely my favorite pair of relaxed denim for days off work. I love a good distressed pair of denim, but I like that these are just a tad relaxed and not over done. I’ve actually worn these with a dressy sandal and nicer top for a date night look and loved that also!

Gibson muscle tank, Express jeans, Tory Burch Miller sandals, A New Day necklace

Gibson muscle tank, Express jeans, Tory Burch Miller sandals, A New Day necklace

Gibson muscle tank, Express jeans, Tory Burch Miller sandals, A New Day necklace

OUTFIT DETAILS:

jeans: Express | top: Nordstrom | sandals: Tory Burch | necklace: Target

Overall Impression:

I love all 3 pairs of these jeans and so happy I ventured back into Express jeans! The first pair of mid-rise jeans are my favorite since hello, my butt and legs look 10 years younger! 😂 However, the stretch and comfort of the denim perfect line is incomparable. I highly recommend all 3 pairs and they will all serve different purposes in your closet.

Was this helpful? Should I write more reviews like this? Please leave a comment below if this helped you in any way! I really want this blog to thrive and would appreciate all critique, good or bad. 😚

-xoxo, Kecia

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Try-Ons

Hi everyone! I was pleasantly surprised my Nordstrom sale order came quick this year! I think last year I had the never-ending “order pending” on my account until things either slowly shipped or were eventually cancelled. Everything came as expected, and I’m keeping all four of my items!…..4! That’s it (ha!) Ok, I have a couple items on my wish list, but I haven’t decided if I’ll order them now or play a little roulette and see if they are still in stock in a couple weeks. So… stay tuned! But, until then – here were my top picks and I why I’m keeping them.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

#1 (….& #2):

Bp sweater, Express jeans, Steve Madden feather studded loafers, Sale 2019

My top 2 favorite picks (of the 4) are this lightweight, soft as butter sweater and Steve Madden studded loafers. Both fit TTS. The sweater is as expected for a BP line sweater ~ I have numerous in my closet and this is definitely one of my favorites with how soft it is! The fit isn’t cropped, but I would say shorter. A front tuck might be in order if you have a long waist (I’m very short waisted). Not quite a dolman sleeve, but certainly a looser fit.

My top-down photo below depicts a better representation of the color & knit of the sweater. I should have waited to take photos – I started too early this morning and didn’t have great lighting in our master bedroom yet. However, if plum isn’t your color – there are 4-5 other color options available (colors are selling out fast – but keep checking back, Nordstrom always restocks things as they are returned…. especially once all these bloggers shill things they don’t actually like and return them later this week…😏 #anotherstory).

BP sweater, Express jeans, Steve Madden studded feather loafers, Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

As stated above, the shoes run true-to-size. They are extremely comfortable and I like wearing mine to work just as much as an expensive pair of Tory Burch Minnie flats. This is actually my 3rd pair! I have the overly-coveted snakeskin print on my wish list,  just haven’t decided if I should be like everyone else. Should I? 😙

Steve Madden studded loafers, Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

OUTFIT DETAILS:

sweater | loafersjeans | earrings

#3:

I have been wanting one of these twist hem tops for a very long time. I have no idea what took me so long to purchase, but I’m very happy I did (especially since they are on sale!). They run large (I sized down one size). Extremely soft and very comfortable. I think you could easily dress this top up with jeans and booties just as easy as I did styling it for “athleisure” here. The reason I put this top as my #3 (versus #1/2) is because of the length. I think some other colors do come in petite sizing, however this leopard print does not. Since I’m only 5’2″, it’s very much a tunic length on me. Not a huge deal, I’m keeping it for sure! But, it does limit when I wear it to most likely with leggings or booties with a heel.

Gibson leopard twist hem top, Old Navy 7/8 leggings, Nike sneakers

Gibson leopard twist hem top, Old Navy 7/8 leggings, Nike sneakers

OUTFIT DETAILS:

top | leggings (newest version) | sneakers

#4:

And last, but not least this striped v-neck tee. Ok, let’s start with the positives. The striped print/raw edges are on point (solid colors available also). It’s certainly worth the $16 for a trendy tee that you can layer with anything in the fall/winter months. The back drapes perfectly and has a slight hi-low hem which will look awesome under a sweater or with skinny jeans/booties. It’s lightweight, so honestly perfect for summer even now in the AC, which is why I paired it with shorts instead of pants. I ordered my normal size (small). The armholes and length are perfect.

Now, the negative. The v-neck is really low. Like cleavage low if I pull it down in the front. So ya gotta be careful or the girls are going to be waving! I don’t think I would size down because then the arm holes would be too tight. I could wear it with a camisole or lace bralette, but I think that might be a little uncomfortable in Florida. So, I’m definitely keeping it, but may try to shrink a little in the dryer after washing and see if that doesn’t help. Reviews say it runs ‘slightly large’, so I would say if you are an A/B cup and more slender, go down one size. I carry weight in my arms which is why I don’t think sizing down would help a lot.

Anyway, that’s why this pick was “last, but not least” because of the wide v-neck and fit, but it’s still a great pick for only $16!

BP striped raw edge tee, AE midi denim shorts, Steve Madden spiky sandals

OUTFIT DETAILS:

tee | shorts | sandals

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2019

Well, hi friends! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here! Definitely the most exciting sale of the year for myself ~ I love fall clothes, all of the colors, and basically ‘sweater weather’ fashion.. which is probably comical considering where I live. I keep telling my husband we just need to move somewhere in between the midwest and Florida, so I can at least wear sweaters in October with the rest of the world, but maybe I won’t freeze in the dead of winter either! He keeps giving me a ‘look.’ Sigh. So here we are. The best sale of the year, and for the 3rd year in a row, I am very picky about what I purchase since Florida doesn’t experience fall weather until usually November (if I’m lucky).

I think the best part about the sale, is almost everything included is very much a closet staple. Lots of cardigans, booties, scarfs, basic striped tees. Since Nordstrom is generally the mothership for trends and fashion, you can feel confident that whatever purchased will usually hold strong in your closet for years to come. I think every BP long cardigan I’ve purchased over the years is still in my closet, and still relevant!

So, today is the first day Nordstrom cardholders can shop (the sale actually started July 9th for those with an open bank account 😆). Everyone can shop the sale without a Nordy card starting July 19th. And as always, Nordstrom always offers free shipping + free returns.

Since today was day 1 (and literally hour 1 as I write this post… the sale didn’t open up til 12:30 pm this year. Unusual, but worked for me since I had the day off work!), I picked out my favorites and placed an order. Here they are:

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2019

Gibson Fleece Pullover | BP Raw Edge Pocket Tee | BP Lightweight Sweater | Steve Madden loafers

Basically a pish posh of things that don’t really work together, but fill gaps in my closet and I truly think I will wear. I’m trying to shop smart there year, eh! 😬 There are other items that I’m going to add to my wish list, and will think about as the sale carries on over the next few weeks. I usually pick my favorites, and as the sale goes on I start to piece outfits together using items in my closet and place another order if items are still available. I will definitely keep sharing my outfit creations for you!

For today’s post, I wanted to do just that – here are my outfit creations using the pieces I purchased above and other items available currently in the NSale. Enjoy!

Outfit #1:

Gibson fleece pullover, Zella leggings, Kate Spade stud earrings, Adidas Running sneakers, Rebecca Minkoff croc embossed bag

Gibson fleece pullover – I was instantly drawn to this awesome leopard print! This pullover has been incredibly popular for years on Nordstrom’s website (1,200 almost 5 star reviews!). Every year I mean to order at least one color, but I just never have. Maybe I’ve just never been in love with the color options available, but I wasn’t going to let this awesome print pass me by! There are 4 other colors options available if this is a little too wild for your taste, including a plain grey option. Size down (runs large according to Nordstrom’s website).

Zella leggings – The Zella brand is a Nordstrom exclusive. I’ve never owned a pair of their leggings since I have a Fabletics membership, but they are very well received. The NSale is a great way to try them out to see if they would work for you.

Kate Spade earrings – I have a couple pairs of these stud earrings. Always a great closet staple.

Rebecca Minkoff croc embossed bag – Rebecca Minkoff handbags are one of my favorite for a semi-designer brand. They are more affordable then Tory Burch and very good quality. All RM bags I have in my closet look brand new. I picked this bag out as a completer piece because not only is the croc-embossed print going to be a hot trend this fall, so is this rustic-reddish color.

Adidas running sneakers – These sneakers are amazing! They also come in a white/copper color which I love also!

Outfit #2:

BP raw edge tee, Caslon utility pants, Halogen snakeskin belt, Kendra Scott necklace, Kendra Scott earrings, Sam Edelman scallop flats

BP raw edge pocket tee – This tee is only $16. I’ve had various versions of this tee over the years and passed up on the black/white striped version from last year and regretted it ever since. It’s one of the best basic tops you can have in your closet for a fall staple wardrobe.

Caslon utility pants – One of the first outfit ideas that came to mind for this tee was to pair with olive colored utility pants I already have in my closet. I was happy to see the NSale included a pair similar to mine from the Caslon brand which are very similar to mine. They also come in camo print!

Sam Edelman flats – These flats are on my wish list. Every year I purchase at least one pair of the Sam Edelman flats included in the NSale, and they never disappoint! I still have every pair from the last few years I’ve purchased and they are comfortable all day at work. Usually I go for the crazy color options, but this year I really just need a nice closet staple color.

Kendra Scott necklace – So many wonderful Kendra Scott pieces are included in the sale! Crazily enough, I do not own a black necklace – how is that possible?! So this black necklace is also on my wish list.

Halogen snakeskin print belt – Croc/Snakeskin prints are going to be hot hot this fall! Instead of spicing up the outfit with a pop of color, I liked adding the print instead.

Kendra Scott earrings – Just a beautiful pair of Kendra Scott earrings included in this years sale.

 Outfit #3:

BP lightweight sweater – BP is one of Nordstrom’s more affordable lines. I usually pick up one of their cardigans every sale and also a pullover. I fell in love with this plum color! I don’t own anything like this sweater in my closet and since it’s listed as “lightweight” I’m hoping it will be perfect for a Florida winter.

Wit & Wisdom denim – If you’re looking for an affordable pair of denim, you can’t go wrong with these! Highly rated reviews.

 Baublebar earrings – A great jewelry fall staple that will go with almost everything in your closet.

Sole Society bag – This one sold out before I could even finish my post! I’ll keep checking for an active link as returns/re-stocks come in. It’s a great bag for the price!

Sam Edelman booties – I have the taupe color on my wish list of these booties – I love both colors, but have a similar pair (also from a previous NSale year) still in my closet and plan to wear them with this outfit.

Outfit #4:

Caslon sleeveless top – Also on my wish list! Love this blouse for work. Runs large, order one size down.

BP cardigan – This marigold color is awesome and would fit into any fall wardrobe.

Articles of Society denim – Another great brand that makes affordable denim. I have several pairs in my closet.

Kendra Scott earrings

Steve Madden loafers – These loafers were at the top of my “need to buy now” list. I have a taupe color from a couple years ago that are starting to wear out and I absolutely love them. I do not own any gray flats for work and the studded detail made me love them that much more! You might remember the studded mules from last NSale – those are still a closet favorite!

Welcome Home Reid!

Adoption photo – how did you not get adopted for almost 3 months?!

After a lot of heartache and sadness, we decided to fill our home again with little paws running on the hard floor, kisses on our face, and the unconditional love only a dog owner would understand. Welcome home, Reid!

A few days after Eddie had passed, I decided to look at what Rat Terrier pups were available in our state for adoption. One of the first puppies that popped up is a pair shown below. Brothers from the same litter, Rat Terrier mixes, out of Fort Lauderdale. I instantly fell in love with the dog on the right, but thought how crazy would it be if we could adopt both brothers together? I talked to my husband, sat on it for a few days, and decided it was the right thing to do. My grief for Eddie and Lucky wasn’t going to go away, but the emptiness in our home needed to be filled. So I applied.

Reid (on the right) and his litter mate, Rossi.

And then we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally several days later the adoption agency sent us an email saying both dogs were ‘pending.’ Then the next day I got an email that one of the brothers was adopted (the mostly black brother on the left). I immediately e-mailed them back inquiring about the remaining pup and if he was still available. No response. I figured it just wasn’t meant to be. Too soon. Bad timing. I applied to adopt a couple other dogs that I just kind of wanted to find out more information on, but wasn’t necessarily in love with. I knew it would just ‘adopting a dog’ of sorts. Both of those were adopted.

Puppy picture!

I pretty much decided at that point it was just bad timing and too soon. However, I was pretty bummed about it. I really, really wanted to bring this puppy home to us. So, I decided to be annoying and I re-applied. Haha. I figured, worst case I would just annoy the people working out of the rescue. I mean, c’mon – at least send an email response!

And days passed, still no response. My husband and I resorted to that maybe we weren’t ‘adopters’ and better suited for a breeder. I hated that idea, but I know there is a purpose for both. But I guess it was meant to be because last Friday evening, I randomly received an e-mail from the rescue group that Reid was still available and the first adopter didn’t work out! I was jumping for joy!

It all went so fast from there – I was off work for the entire weekend, so I had a FaceTime ‘interview’ so they could see my home on Saturday, approved Saturday evening, and drove 3 hours to Miami area by myself on Sunday to adopt this pup!

On our ride home. He’s a great traveler! Quiet the entire 3 hour drive home.

So, here we are – with our new pup, Reid! I actually kept his foster name. Him and his litter mates (there were 4 total that were rescued, it’s unknown what happened or if there was a larger litter) were all named after Criminal Minds characters. I liked it.

He’s 6 months old. Rat Terrier and assumed Italian Greyhound mix. He’s pretty big now, 30 lbs, and growing. His litter was picked up by a rescue in Alabama found stranded at 4-5 weeks of age without mom. They somehow were put in touch with the Fort Lauderdale rescue group and transported to foster this past December. I guess behavior-wise they were horrible. Aggressive with each other and other dogs, feisty, and out of control without mom around. Their foster mom did a fantastic job with them. Reid is pretty independent and a little stubborn, but he really just wants please. He loves his people and craves affection when he’s a good boy. Which he really is a good boy. He sleeps a lot – I think (or hope) growing again – but when he plays, it’s a safe play. He doesn’t chew, doesn’t bite, and I would say 100% potty trained.

Our only issue is socialization. He’s pretty good on walks (he had never been on a leash to walk before we brought him home), learning to sit, and behave when we see other dogs, but he’s timid of strangers. He also growled and struck out during a meet and greet with an older, larger dog at the dog park (he was fine with the little dogs). The first adopter didn’t work out because their “senior dog was too stressed”, so I kind of wonder if that dog didn’t lash out at him creating some fear.

Taken today – 5/13/19

However, we adore him and are willing to work through any issues he may have! I really love that the newer training methods are ‘positive reinforcement’ and not negative. He really responds well to positivity.

A dog trainer is scheduled to come our house this Wednesday for a training session, so hopefully she can provide us some exercises and how to create confidence and stability.

He’s so different from Eddie & Lucky, but also shares so many of the same traits. I miss them dearly still, and have fresh tears every time I think of them (like now! Lol), but I can say that Reid has definitely filled in a piece of my life that has been empty for almost a month now. I think they would approve. 💗

I wanted a Corgi.

Another absence on the blog. I feel like I’ve had those frequently throughout the last year. Life has been full of ups and downs, especially in 2019. And to think it’s almost halfway over! For those that have followed this blog for awhile, either know me personally and knew what my absence was due to… others that don’t know me personally might have speculated. And I hope that this blog post brings closure. Brings peace. It’s been 11 days. We lost Eddie, our 2nd rat terrier on April 18th. We lost his sister (litter mate) on January 26th earlier this year (I posted what was hopefully a one time post for a very long time here). The Great Dane shown in the photo below – we gave to a friend years ago when no apartment complex in the town we moved to for pharmacy school would take 3 dogs, nor a Great Dane. We lied for as long as we could that we had “one terrier” and “a lab mix” – LOL. Our friend back in Indiana stepped forward who had another Great Dane and saw my worries on Facebook, and said they would take her if we wanted. I think she probably had the best life a Great Dane could ask for. She also passed away a couple of weeks ago (with our friend back home in Indiana).

So, why the title “I wanted a Corgi?” Well, that’s exactly how it started. I grew up with dogs. My mom had an older Doberman and an older cat when I was born. When I was about 5 years old, the cat passed away (peacefully in his sleep – why can’t they all go that way?!) and as things go in the 1980’s, we went to the local pet store to find a kitten. However, no kitten came home with us. We came home with a little mixed mutt puppy and I named him Tommy (after a kid I had a crush on in Kindergarten no doubt – ha!). He looked like a black Pomeranian. Hyper as could be, an ankle biter, and my best bud for over 17 years. He passed away when I was 22 years old. I was right in the height of my horse show career, and almost every horse trainer you knew had a Corgi. I mean, have you ever seen a Corgi shake their bum? They are pretty darn cute – you gotta admit! So, I decided I would slowly start to look for a Corgi puppy.

I went to a horse show over Thanksgiving weekend in Illinois back in 2004. There were several litters of puppies there and I was determined to find that Corgi pup! My trainer came back to the stalls and told me there was a litter of “rat terriers” I should go check out. I’m pretty sure I said something like “What is that“? 😂 Back then, the Rat Terrier breed wasn’t recognized by AKC or any other breed association. They have evolved over the years through breeding of the fox terrier, beagle, jack russell, and whippets to name a few.

Well, I agreed to go look at the puppies. It was a huge litter – maybe 10-12 puppies? All tri-color (black/white/tan)… all male… except one. One was all white with brown ears. A family had bred the litter and had an 8 year old daughter who said “That one is named Brown Ear”. I said, “He has a cone head. I don’t know if I want that one.” My horse trainer convinced me to pick him up. And that was that. I held Brown Ear in my arms and knew right then he was mine, and I was his. We later changed his name to Eddie because he looked so much like the Jack Russell from the sitcom Frazier, and also since he came from a horse show he was reminiscent of “Mr Ed.” It was the perfect name.

Eddie sleeping through my classes at the horse show. He was just a baby.

So, I came home with a Rat Terrier and not a Corgi. I made the best decision. I loved Eddie so much that I called the breeder a few months later to see if any puppies were left. The only female in the litter that was sold before the horse show where I found Eddie was up for sale (see previous post here).

Eddie truly lived a great life. Him and Lucky. A dog that was ball obsessed. Give him a tennis ball and he’s your best friend. He loved to swim, he loved to leap through the air, he loved life. But mostly he loved tennis balls haha.

Eddie leaping into the river in Grayling, MI to fetch a tennis ball.

His life came to an end rather suddenly, just like Lucky’s. And we fought so hard for him. I hate that we had to give up the fight. He had been battling cancerous soft tissue skin tumors for the last several years. We had 3 of them removed that I can specifically remember, but others were removed before we moved to Florida. Last summer, 2018, he started to randomly have muscle spasms in his back leg. He would at random ‘kick out’ like a camel kick of sorts. However, they were so at random and would occur maybe once every 2-3 weeks that our vet didn’t think much of it. After we lost Lucky in January, they suddenly became more frequent. We took him back to the vet who was worried he was suffering from a herniated/bulging disc or possible ACL tear. We took X-rays and his spine was perfect, especially for a 14 year old dog. She said X-rays aren’t always conclusive though and really an MRI should be performed. However, because of his age, she felt an MRI was unwarranted because surgery wasn’t likely a possibility, so we should try medicinal therapy first.

Eddie & Lucky snoozing. Twinsies.

We immediately started Adequan (glucosamine) injections, laser therapy, and we were referred to a physical therapy vet. Before our first appointment with the physical therapy vet, Eddie suffered a “pain spell” on our nightly walk. He all of a sudden started panting, his back became weak, and he was having an incredibly hard time walking. We rushed him to the ER vet who still felt it could possibly be an ACL tear and also did not think an MRI was warranted. When we met with the physical therapy vet a week later, she truly felt it was back pain and disc related. We started him on muscle relaxant, nerve pain medication, and an anti-inflammatory. He seemed to get better as the weeks went by, but we were very careful to not let him jump on the bed, we only went for very short walks multiple times per day, and played with him on the floor without throwing any balls (we would take it from him and give it right back haha).

Looking back, did we make the right choice? Should we have had the MRI sooner? I struggle with the answer, because knowing what we know now, they may have taken his life much sooner.

Fast forward to April 17th, 2019. My husband was at home for the day. About 1:30pm he took Eddie outside to potty. He started to act funny in his back end, so my husband was worried he was having one of his pain spells (he continued to have the pain spells intermittently even with medication. Thankfully they were short lived and would last anywhere from 10-40 minutes). He brought Eddie inside immediately when all of a sudden Eddie lost complete use of his back legs. My husband called me (I was at work) and I told him, don’t even think about it, just get him to the ER vet. He could have torn the disc completely.

He raced him to the ER vet whom said what we were expecting – that it was likely the disc(s) were slipped further than they were prior. Again, it was impossible to say without an MRI. Eddie was in SO much pain guys, so much. He was howling on the way to the ER vet. My husband called me on the trip and it was all I could bear to be stuck at work and not be there with him. I told the ER vet that we wanted to move forward with an MRI. I needed to know. Something didn’t feel right. Even if he wasn’t a surgical candidate, I still needed answers.

Eddie’s ambulance. A legit ambulance! Who knew?!

The next morning, April 18th, Eddie was transported via ambulance to the only neurologist locally. The entire staff was amazing. We sat with Eddie on the office floor for 2 hours weighing all of our options and got the opinions of both neurology vets – a husband and wife team – whom said even IF it’s a disc problem, surgery is still an option. He could be walking in 2 days. Age is just a number. However, it could be his cancer spread to the spine. It could be he had a stroke. But we won’t know without the MRI.

Eddie in the neurology office. The whole time I was cuddling him and petting him while I had the chance. And then I took a picture. I felt hope at this point, but I think deep down I knew this could be the last day I would see him.

At this point we were hopeful. We moved forward with the MRI. Little did we know, the results were not what we were expecting. The neurology vet’s office called us back 2 hours later. Eddie was not a surgical candidate and we needed to come back for a consult.

The neurologist sat us down in his office and we proceeded to go through each and every MRI slide. Eddie’s spine was perfect. There was no slipped disc. No herniated or bulging disc. Cartilage was good. No breaks. No bone spurs. Nothing. That’s where the neurologist said he had to go through each and every organ to find out the answer.

And that’s where we found it. His heart. Eddie had a clot in his aorta. The largest artery in the body. 80% occluded. 80%! The clot was huge. It was also very long. The MRI showed Eddie’s back legs were incredibly inflamed. Essentially he wasn’t getting enough circulation to his legs, which created an immense amount of pain and muscle breakdown due to lack of oxygen and build up of toxins. So, a clot? Ok. What kind of clot busters do we have for dogs? Can we remove it? Can we place a stent? What do we do?

The neurologist said we needed to get him back to critical care. His kidneys weren’t perfusing, causing the muscle breakdown and also pancreatitis. Step 1. He said at that point we can start treatment. He still felt hopeful at this point. He said ‘the only thing you can’t come back from is euthanasia.’ That stuck with me.

We transported him back via ambulance to the ER vet. My husband and I still held out hope this was all going to be okay. We waited for the vet to admit him again and call us with a treatment plan. We got the call about 2 hours later. The critical care vet was very grave. She gave us a list of options (mind you – there are no dog specific related treatment options – we would need to have a prescription filled at our local pharmacy, pick it up and take back to the vet office). And all 3 options – heparin, low molecular weight heparin (Lovenox), and oral anticogulant (Xarelto) did not have safe monitoring parameters in dogs. So, basically, Eddie could bleed out. Also, we don’t know why he is clotting. So even if we treat the one clot and he does well for a couple weeks, the same scenario could happen again. And the likely culprit was cancer. However, the chemotherapy had stopped working the year prior, so we were out of chemotherapy options as well.

I think I almost hit the floor at this point. I just knew. I knew it was time. That moment when you have fought so hard for him, and he’s fought so hard for you. I could tell my husband didn’t want to give up, especially after the neurology vet had been so hopeful. But I knew it wasn’t giving up. It was our gift to Eddie. He was in so much pain. He had a Fentanyl patch on his neck to control the pain. A pain reliever only recommended for terminally ill and cancer patients.

Eddie in 2017 when we evacuated from Hurricane Irma and went to a state park in Georgia.

And so this is where we said goodbye. I hope Eddie recognized us that night when we went back to the ER hospital for the last time and I held him til he took his last breath. I hope he’s in peace now and pain-free. I’m not a religious person, but if there is one place I want to believe there is a heaven, is for dogs. His death has been incredibly hard. I cried on and off for days. 11 days later and I’m doing better, but daily tasks are sometimes still hard. Our house is so quiet now that it’s dog free. So sterile. It’s horrible. Lucky’s death was sudden also, but if you read her story, you know that although she went into heart failure, she also had a liver mass the size of a melon growing inside her small tummy. The decision was easier (not easy… but easier…) for her as she was truly suffering. After doing my own research on aortic clots in dogs, I do feel more at peace with our decision with Eddie. Aortic clots are incredibly rare (one article I read said they only occur in 0.0005% of dogs!), and only recent studies since 2016 have published retrospective studies of dogs with known aortic clots since 2010 and treatment methods. Xarelto was only used from treatment starting in 2016. Eddie would have been a science experiment of sorts if we had moved forward with treatment. And I would have hated myself forever had he died from bleeding out internally due to our desperation of keeping him here with us.

I created a memorial in our house below for both dogs. It’s nothing huge, but it sits right on the wall next to my side of the bed in our master bedroom. I wake up and see them every morning. I pinned their most recent set of collars in a shadow box and painted their paw prints with the colors we used most for all their harnesses, collars, and backpacks. Their individual ashes are in each little box. The ER vet provided those services for us, and I highly recommend the private cremation and paw print for your own pet – it has brought a lot of peace having both with me.

So, I’ll end this blog post by saying I wanted a Corgi, but ended up with two of the most fun-loving, high-spirited, and best little dogs I could have ever wished for. And if you’ve made it to the end of this blog post, thank you. It helps me to write these things out. A diary of sorts. A glimpse into my life, and one of the biggest parts of my life.

We plan to now rescue a dog or two in the near or far future. I figure it will happen when it’s meant to be. I actually found a pair of rat terrier brothers to adopt about 3 hours from where we live. I applied for adoption, and received an email the next day that one of the dogs was already adopted, but I’m waiting to hear back about the other. I’ve also inquired to other rescue organizations about other dogs, but waiting for responses. Apparently adopting a dog isn’t an easy process, but it could be it’s not the right time for us either. I’m letting fate take it’s course. Eddie and Lucky were both unexpected, and a life gift I will never forget. I expect our next dog(s) will happen in a similar manner.

Thank you friends, for all the love & support if we’ve already spoken about Eddie in days prior.  Eddie has received more cards at our house then I think we received Christmas cards from friends & family this year haha! All from his team of medical staff and caretakers. He was well loved.💗

Blogging will probably be a little slower coming up the month of May, but I have more determination and inspiration than I’ve ever had to hopefully make this space part of my ‘career’ and not just a hobby in the future. I have a lot of older posts from 2-3 weeks ago that never made it to the blog that I will start to post over the next few days, and then pick back up next week or the week after.

-xoxo Kecia

Saturday Sales

Hi guys! The Nordstrom Spring Sale is in full swing! There are some fantastic buys available right now! Wear-now items if you live up north where it’s still a bit chilly, or wear-later items if you are looking for closet staples like the coveted Tory Burch Miller sandal! I picked out my favorites from the sale using some of my most-loved brands – Vigoss denim, Caslon tops, Kendra Scott & Baublebar jewelry, Vince & Sam Edelman shoes, and Sole Society, Madewell, and Rebecca Minkoff bags ~ I used items to create outfit inspiration below!

Happy Weekend! 💗

Nordstrom Spring Sale

Ouffit #1:

Nordstrom Spring Sale

top | necklace | bag | denim | sandals

Outfit #2:

Nordstrom Spring Sale

top | earrings | clutch | denim | sandals

Outfit #3:

Nordstrom Spring Sale

sweater | earrings | denim | bag | sandals

Other Notable Sale Items:

J.Crew Factory New Arrivals

Lots of spring new arrivals dropped today from J.Crew Factory! All 50% off and if you spend $100, you can get an extra 20% off with code ‘SPRINGUP‘. I fell in love with so many pieces, I created a few outfits with all the items I love!

Outfit #1:

pineapple tee | denim jacket | earrings | skirt | sandals

Outfit #2:

eyelet tee | midi bow skirt (also comes in blue!) | earrings | wedge sandals

Outfit #3:

tee | necklace | bow shorts | sandals

Saturday On Sale

Guys, I haven’t shopped Ann Taylor in awhile ~ they are usually too ‘dressy’ for my wardrobe these days, but the new arrivals in their spring line are gorgeous!  I love all 3 skirts – even the pencil skirt (which I miss dearly for work!). The jeans are on trend and although it’s been several years since I’ve owned a pair of AT jeans, they were always fantastic quality. And hello gimme all the pink! 😍

Everything is 50% off with code SPRINGTOIT + free shipping!

striped sweater | denim | yellow top | pencil skirt

belted a-line skirt | floral belt | striped skirt | eyelet top