I believe my lesson here is, listen to your dreams and stop your busy world to make magic happen!
I believe my lesson here is, listen to your dreams and stop your busy world to make magic happen!
Most of you who follow my photography and design blogs already know "Miss Mango." For those of you who do not, she is my and my husband’s 11-year-old dog; our precious fur baby! "Miss Mango" would like me to share the health crisis journey we have been on these last few months to help her furry friends who may benefit from this important information.
For most of Mango's life she has been an itchy dog and struggled with watery eyes, ear infections and over time, a dark colored pigmented belly, all of which I thought were caused by seasonal allergies, and perhaps some sensitivity to pet food. We managed the symptoms with frequent bathing and ear cleaning and, of course, tried all kinds of expensive "sensitive skin" foods. Her condition was tolerable and just slightly annoying for us and her. We believed that this was our cross to bear and accepted it as her normal, until it wasn't.
A few months ago, Mango’s itching became chronic, she began to exhibit signs of another ear infection, and we noticed blood in her urine. It was time to visit the vet. She was diagnosed with a serious bladder infection which was treated with antibiotics. During this visit, we also discussed with the vet different food options as a way to clear up some of the other issues which we, again, thought were food and/or seasonal allergies.
Because Mango had been on some kind of high end kibble her entire life, I decided to educate myself in a more holistic approach to what she was eating. The more I learned about pet foods, the more I wanted to know:
This research brought me to the “Raw Food Diet” for pets. My conclusion was that a nutritionally balanced human grade raw pet food diet is a much healthier choice than the most commonly available commercial pet foods. A visit to a local pet food store (see link below) that carried this raw food diet recognized that Miss Mango may have a severe food-related yeast allergy. A raw food diet that would eliminate all grains, fillers, and preservatives was recommended. The next day we started the 10 day process of weaning her off her old food.
I knew from research that it might take months to get the food fillers and preservatives out of Miss Mango’s system. We were very surprised when we started to see improvements within weeks! We were excited, but still cautious.
It is now a few months after starting this diet, and we are convinced it is working because we have a different dog. She is not chronically itching, the sores are healed, her eyes are not watering, her ears are clear, she smells good, her pigmented belly has lightened up, and, most of all, she is so calm! I now believe that Mango had been allergic to her pet food her entire life, and at 11 years old, her body could not take the stress any longer and was shutting down quickly.
I am so thankful for the knowledge we now have, and that is why this story needed to be told. It is not feasible to put all the information needed to make an informed decision on this subject here, so there are a few links below that I think were the most helpful to us. Please do your own research about the pet food industry. Miss Mango and I want all parents of fur babies to have this knowledge so their pets never experience an unnecessary health crisis like Miss Mango did and live happy, healthy and stress free lives.
Natural Food Diet supplier in Melbourne, Florida:
Natural Pet Specialty Shop, Lee Barriault (owner) http://www.naturalpetspecialtyshop.com
Resources and Links:
As a designer and photographer, I see art in unexpected places. I find historic cemeteries to be like strolling through an outdoor art gallery or meditating in a natural cathedral. I love the majestic statues that can sometimes be found amongst the natural outdoor settings. When traveling, I like to visit local historic cemeteries, not only to photograph, but to get a quick history lesson by reading the grave stones.
On my recent trip to Savannah, Georgia, I made sure I visited the Bonaventure Cemetery. It is the most famous and beautiful cemetery in Savannah. Bonaventure's popularity grew with John Berendt's book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which featured a cover photo of the now-famous "Bird Girl" statue, formerly located in Bonaventure. This statue now resides in a local museum. My husband and I listened to the book on tape during the road trip to Savannah which made this visit even more special.
Bonaventure did not disappoint with its Southern Gothic sculptures and large moss covered tree gardens. What a beautiful, peaceful resting place... ART IN PERPETUITY.
Recently I was hired to photograph head shots of Essentials Medi Spa & Salon employees. In between setups my camera kept clicking and this happened. I love when the cool unexpected happens.
One of my favorite peeps was having a big birthday. So of course I wanted to celebrate him by having a simple family dinner. Keeping the décor simple... right?!
Remember this moment, cherish this story. Celebrate this life. Happy Birthday Larry!
I am keeping it natural and simple this holiday season and that includes décor.
I like to have a décor plan well in advance so this morning I composed this table setting that of course is nature inspired.
When do you start planning your Thanksgiving table décor?
"As Nature Intended interiors, philosophy and design for living ~ A Lifestyle" ... My company tag line is more than just catchy advertising words. It represents how I approach all design projects. With any project, business or residential, I always consider the four classical elements: earth, water, air and fire. A peaceful, healthy sanctuary in tune with nature, as nature intended, can be created in any environment using any design style whether it’s modern, mid-century modern, traditional, shabby chic, coastal or an eclectic mix, my personal favorite.
One of my proudest design projects, Essentials MediSpa and Salon in Vera, Florida, is an excellent example of this philosophy. The four elements are literally and loosely interpreted throughout the spa's design. Starting with the reception area, a large custom designed wall fountain incorporating Florida coquina stone and copper colored glass tile represents the elements of earth and water. Setting the mood as you enter, this feature located at the reception desk enhances the clients’ experience by creating a tranquil experience before they have even finished checking in for their amazing services. Entering the robed waiting area, more natural elements representing earth include an elegant seashell chandelier, as well as As Nature Intended Interiors signature native Florida palm trees made of natural preserved palm fronds seen throughout the spa. Sheer aqua swirl pattern fabric drapes and the abundance of candles represent air and fire. The brown and aqua leaf patterned fabric on the furniture is another subtle interpretation of earth. I could go on to describe each treatment room, but I have a better idea... immediately book your Essentials spa day and experience this tranquil peaceful healthy sanctuary yourself!
Design with purpose to achieve a peaceful and healthy atmosphere as nature intended.
I love to have my first cup of tea in the morning in my front garden courtyard especially this time of year. Waking up with nature is always a pleasure, but this morning I had the extra bonus of seeing my Amaryllis bulbs in bloom. After spending time just sitting, meditating and appreciating these red blooming beauties, I picked up my camera and had a private photo shoot with them.
It’s these moments when I take the time to appreciate nature’s bounty, I get these results. I could not think of a better way to start my day.
We are all starting to dream about spring and how we want to spend more time living in our outdoor spaces this time of year. So before planning your first of the season outdoor soiree, remember décor is not only for the interior of your home. I am sure you have heard me say, "Bring the outdoors in!" Well, I also love to bring design to outdoor spaces.
In this courtyard you can see I am not afraid to bring my good silver tea set and china to the outdoor table. A large wicker charger and less formal iron flatware can create a casual elegance when paired together. My dining room chairs are brought outside just for this event. The centerpiece is a vintage chandelier now a re-purposed decorative votive. And, of course, my favorite plants and pedals are sprinkled throughout the table setting.
One of my favorite things to do is finding that perfect balance between my love for fancy elegance and nature.
Do you ever dream up your design? The night before a design appointment with one of my favorite clients, I redesigned her new powder bathroom in my dreams...and the next day we made it happen! This Buddha sitting in the bathroom window looked just like this in my dreams...I love when that happens.
Sweet décor dreams!
Do you use trays as much as I do? I love trays. I use them all through my house. Some of my favorites are vintage trays I have picked up at estate sales. As my family, friends and clients know, I am not married to a particular style, my design is very eclectic. That is carried though in my choice of trays. I use silver, brass and copper trays throughout my house. They not only keep me organized, but I decorate them like mini vignettes. In my kitchen alone I have four trays, one for the soaps next to the sink, one for the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper for cooking, one tray is for my tea time and one is for a collection of candles and fruit.
How do you show off your "Tray Décor?”
Keep it simple. Sometimes natural décor is as simple as a fluffy white towel and a seashell....just as nature intended.
So many of my clients with new construction homes have large two story walls to go with their two story ceilings. This is a great look, but sometimes challenging when it comes to filling these spaces with art. I call this "massive wall syndrome." Putting small scale art on large scale walls does not work.
The photographs I have taken of our natural surroundings, organic vegetables and during my travels abroad have been digitally applied to large canvases to create that "impact art." The perfect solution to fill those large spaces.
“Impact Art” is for those who love to go big! Go Big or Go Home!
An advertising tag line I use for my business is “Design consultant…from concept to completion.” The “concept” of a design project can start with the preliminary architectural drawing of your new home, an addition to your existing home or a new business space. Before the preliminary drawing is finalized by your architect, my services include reviewing the drawing and making suggestions based on the function of the overall space, décor concept and space planning. These suggestions are then submitted to your architect. Meeting with you and your architect to discuss changes or additions before the final plans are drawn will save you, the architect and the builder of your choice, time and money during construction. This process allows all three professionals with very different and complementary backgrounds to come together at the concept stage in order to achieve your vision and marry both form and function. My services through the completion of the project, will help maintain your original “concept.”
During your project, creative designing will include selecting products such as roof tile , electrical fixtures, flooring, plumbing fixtures, customized cabinetry, mill work (baseboards, crown molding, etc.), as well as recommendations for exterior & interior finishes and paint color. Space planning and the selection of furniture, window treatments and much more that truly defines the environment and are important to the overall success of the project. Our design consulting services will help you achieve the results you dream of…
Discover the difference of having a professional design consultant work with you from "concept to completion," as "As Nature Intended."