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There are endless parenting blogs and books chock-full of advice and tips on introducing a young child to a newborn sibling. But how about introducing the real baby—your dog—to a new infant?
When I was expecting my twins, I was in bed for most of my pregnancy because of intense nausea and vomiting. My dad (who, sadly, has since passed away) visited several times a day to feed me the few foods that I could handle. I cherish those memories with him. I also had the love and loyalty of our dog, Baci. He rarely ever left my side.
Introducing Mitch Boyer…and one of his favorite ladies, his dog Vivian. Mitch is an acclaimed director, author, photographer and artist. Vivian is a star in her own right. Mitch created an amazing photo series of himself and Vivian, with a twist. Vivian has now grown to giant proportions! Check out the photos here and get to know them below in this month’s “DiMare Diaries”.
1. To stay centered, what is one activity you do religiously daily or weekly?
Drea: I sit outside. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult working from home because I feel like I’m often trapped, especially with the Florida heat— but I always try to make it a point to sit outside in the hot sun with a cool glass of water. Just feeling the breeze and sunshine.
2. What are the sources of happiness in your home?
Drea: The light and sunshine for sure! I love how cozy and bright our space is— and when the windows are open and the breeze comes in? It’s magic!
Sometimes you find profound things in the simplicity of a favorite childhood toy. I was on Facebook recently and came across a picture my friend Pablo and his son Dylan (pictured above). He is playing with his son, piecing together colorful bits of plastic, but really piecing together some pretty big life lessons. When I asked him about his love of LEGO® systems, he sang the praises of these colorful little blocks.
“I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They say, ‘Because it’s such a beautiful animal.’ There you go. I think my mother’s attractive, but I have photographs of her.”
Ellen Degeneres is equally quick with a one-liner, a design theme or a cause.
We got our first dose of Ellen’s signature style of activism when she came out on national television on Ellen in 1997. She’d been making the daytime talk circuit to make sure people knew that she and her character had a lot in common, and at the time it raised a lot of eyebrows. Never afraid to speak her mind or to get her point across with humor, she’s had a lot of success changing people’s perception of what a vegan, humane lifestyle can be as well.
Everyone thinks of home when they consider interior design, but don’t you want your home office to reflect your style and commitment to your values too? My approach is to create a harmonious space where you can spend your hectic workday; it not only creates the right impression for colleagues and clients, but it also gives you more satisfaction and appreciation of the hours you spend there.
As an interior designer and animal lover, I recently made a decision to design spaces that are cruelty-free (vegan). I no longer use any items made with animal skins, fur or feathers. Vegan furnishings are fabulous, less expensive and save animals. Humane furniture is such a positive element to bring into a space because none of the decor is a result of cruelty or death. It’s a win-win all the way around.
As an interior designer, being a bit of a planner goes with the job description. Having a solid game plan makes every project more enjoyable, and it makes my clients happy – which makes me happy!
Naturally, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with big projects. When I get into analysis paralysis, I know it’s time to take a breath, assess where I’m at, and take things a step at a time. This approach has served me well in many areas of my life, from design to activism. It’s one I share with people whenever I can. The idea of redesigning a whole house – or even a whole room – can be daunting if you’re new to the idea of compassionate design. If you’re thinking of committing to a vegan ethic for your surroundings, the one-step approach can help you make choices you can feel good about without having to make them all at once.
I have always had pets. My children have been fortunate enough to have never known life without a dog cuddling next to them. We are a family of animal lovers. Pets are not only warm, fuzzy loving buddies, but they offer developmental benefits to children, especially children in the Spectrum of Autism. A recent study was performed at four schools in Australia. The students in the Autistic Spectrum were monitored as they were playing with either toys or the classroom guinea pigs. The children were more verbal and social when they were with the guinea pigs than when they were playing with dolls. They were also more approachable while playing with the guinea pigs. Pets are social icebreakers. They force even the most socially unskilled to become social. Our dog, Lucca, has led us to more people who have become life long friends endless times. So, it only stands to reason, that children and adults within the Autistic Spectrum would benefit even more. Having a pet next to them is providing them with the security and confidence to become social, tactile, aware and emotional. It’s a win win all around.