Category Archives: Family

Happy Love Your Pets Day!

We make no secret that we LOVE our pets here :)

We always welcome our visitors’ canine companions as well. The more the merrier!

This is our squad (the very definition of “squad goals” if you ask me!): Eli-Princess just turned 4 and she is the big one in the back. Our Pugs are (from L to R) Jordan (12), Mookie (1), Cheyenne (11), Jack (11) and Koko (9). All have their own unique personalities and quirks. I love that about them.

Love My Pets Day 2017 - Tina B's World

Excuse the mess.. we’re trying to act innocent after ripping apart the cardboard recycling pile :)

I tell everyone to get a dog. Why? 

They make you feel happy when you’re sad. Seriously, they just know when to comfort you.

They are super helpful. I mean, who hasn’t needed their dog to show off a cool trick or two during a lull in conversation when people are over?

They teach responsibility. Mini’s daily chore is letting the dogs out for their afternoon constitutional when she gets home from school. She knows that gets done as soon as she gets home, before she even does her homework. I don’t even have to remind her anymore, which is great.

They’re protective and bark to alert you of potential danger. That car door closed four houses down and you NEED to be notified. Repeatedly. Just in case. Also, your neighbors are having a conversation in their yard. You need to know what’s going on, right? ;)

I absolutely LOVE my pets. I can’t imagine NOT having one, but I totally get that they aren’t for everyone.

For fun, I decided to take this great breed quiz from PuppySpot to see what type of dog would fit our lifestyle. PuppySpot is dedicated to the safety and health of all their puppies for sale, which is shown through their no puppy mill promise.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous because I already have my babies and I think they are a good fit, but maybe my next pup should be something else?

Breed Flowchart_x2 (1)

YAY! I got “The Loyal Companion”, which I think PEFECTLY describes my Puggies and even my Hound. Eli-Princess is pretty mellow, but loves to run around crazy-like and play fetch in the backyard.. Note: by “fetch” I mean she grabs whatever I throw, runs it over to the other part of the yard then leaves it there for ME to go get so I may throw it again. I’m so very well-trained :)

Hope you enjoyed the quiz and I encourage you to paw through the PuppySpot site. Maybe you’ll meet your new bestie over there!

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

I have to say I enjoyed this one. The holidays come with their emotional baggage, but are usually a good time. Well, onto the pics!

Tis The Season… for hot soup! Our loaded potato soup, specifically. We start with a potato soup base and add cheddar, bacon bits and grilled chicken chunks. So. Insanely. Good. Also featured? My FAVE iced tea.. Strawberry Half & Half. YUM!

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

Tis The Season… for boots! We purchased Mini her boots for winter and guess what? They are a WOMEN’S SIZE 8!!! Yup, we are in adult sizes now. Shoe shopping just got a bit more expensive!


Tis The Season… for fancy neckware and Christmas-card-worthy pics! The boys are wearing some ties we found at Five Below and the girls are all sporting some scarves we found at AC Moore. Yes, we pretty much deserve a medal for being able to get the dogs to look at us. The secret is to hold a treat right in front of the camera for the dogs to stare at and tell your (wo)mancub to look at the camera and don’t blink! HAHA!


Tis The Season… to paint ornaments! Mini was a bit bored one day so we dug these out of our craft closet, found some paint and VOILA!

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

Tis The Season… for cozy sweaters! Cheyenne just recently turned 11 and we bought her a sweater for her birthday. She has a lot less hair than the other Pugs, so she gets chilly in the winter time. This is our solution :)

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

 Ok, so there are my five. I have three bonus pics for this challenge.

Tis The Season… for jingle bells! This is Biggie, one of our foster cats. We put the collar on him as a joke. He loved it so much that when I tried to take it off him, he hissed and took a swipe at me until I put it back on. Ok then, kitty. Sorry this pic is a bit blurry. I couldn’t stop laughing as I was taking it!

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

Tis The Season… for cuddling with loved ones, resting up for holiday festivities!

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

Tis The Season… for sales on Build-A-Bear bears and it’s always the season for Star Trek anything! Meet our newest addition, Live Long and ProspBear!

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

I love doing these photo challenges. If you’d like to link up, check out the challenge HERE.

Hope everyone had a great holiday season!

August 2016 Photo Challenge: Black & White

August was a very interesting month for us..

Some things happened, good and bad, but for this, we are concentrating on the good :)

I tried to photo as much of it as I could, so here goes:

Mini had her softball awards dinner. She will tell you all about it in one of her “Mini Monday” posts (coming next Monday), but for now, here she is with her team ball…

August 2016 Photo Challenge: B&W - Tina B's World

 7-Eleven decided to add another “Bring Your Own Cup Day” to their calendar… Mini and her father couldn’t have been more thrilled about it! Yes, that is a Slurpee hat she is wearing :)

August 2016 Photo Challenge: B&W - Tina B's World

In the beginning of the month, our canine brood looked like this:

August 2016 Photo Challenge: B&W - Tina B's World

By the end of the month, it looked like this:

August 2016 Photo Challenge: B&W - Tina B's WorldYup. We got two more Pugs. Are we crazy? Maybe, but we’re definitely full of love.

We got Mini’s pics done for her birthday (which was in June, because we are SO on the ball with these things!) and she looked amazing! So grown up :)

August 2016 Photo Challenge: B&W - Tina B's World

Okey doke, now for the bonus pic:

My incredibly lazy, but insanely cute office staff, doing what they do best!


Can’t wait to see everyone else’s entries! Link up with us HERE.

Al Trautwig and Parent Labels

I actually kinda sympathize with Al Trautwig. Let me tell you why.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m adopted.

And we need to talk about it.

Not just my adoption, but adoption as a whole and family dynamics.

I’ll start with my story, for those of you who are new to me.

My Mother had MS. This was back in the 80′s when there weren’t very many medical advancements like today. My Father wasn’t in the picture. I was put into foster care at the age of 7 and adopted by the same people at the age of 12.

I’m now in my 30′s. When I talk about “my parents”, I’m referring to my adopted parents. My Mother is my Mother. My Father is my Father. It has always been this way for me. It was my normal.

Did I have 2 sets of “parents”? For me, the answer is yes.

Growing up, kids would ask questions about my “real” parents, as if my foster/adopted parents were fake or something. It is a concept not a lot of people really and truly understand. It’s hard to explain those things to kids. I knew my situation, but when you’re younger it’s a hard concept to wrap your head around.

Other than having to tell my friends, I had to tell my daughter. When Mini turned 7, she finally started poking into my history. She had never questioned anything before and thought it was normal to have seven grandparents. At first, she was very confused at first and had a ton of questions. She understands it all now.

When I heard the comments by Al Trautwig, I shook my head. I chuckled a bit, too. I understand what he thought he was saying. His words were not completely unique to me.

Mr. Trautwig is one of a big bunch of people who feel like they need to differentiate between biological and adopted parents.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t.

If a child has your last name, you’re their parent. It doesn’t matter if your name is on the first birth certificate or the second, you’re still their parent.

I could sit here and say things like “being a parent is more than just the name on an original birth certificate” or “if a child lives in your home and you have agreed to be responsible for them, you’re a parent”, but people know that already.

I hope that people who have already commented about this online are right and this opens up discussions.

Mom. Dad. Mother. Father. Adopted. Foster. Biological. Birth.

Whatever your “label”, we’re all parents.

Mini Monday – Post 7 – My Bday Pics: May the 4th Be With You

Mommy Note: We know it is not Monday, but it IS Star Wars Day so Mini Monday comes on a Wednesday this time around. :)

Hi, Everyone!

I am turning 9 next month and I am so excited! This year, I chose to do a football theme for my bday because I like sports and football is fun to watch. Go Giants!

Last year, I had a Star Wars theme bday party. I waited until now to share some pics with you and I hope you enjoy them.

My nails came out awesome! My Mommy showed the lady what symbol I wanted and she did a great job painting it on. 20150613_122833

Mommy found this awesome tutorial on Pinterest and I think the StormTrooper marshmallows came out great! They tasted great too!

Tutorial Link:

We had an awesome StormTrooper cutout for the front yard directing everyone to the back! The dress was from Zulily. The sass is all mine!


I could NOT believe how big this balloon was!!


My birthday banner and the cool nickname my parents and I came up with..


We made lightsabers out of pool noodles.


One of my cakes was Darth Vader’s face.


My other cake was a Yoda in Degoba diorama but it was very hot and the cotton candy was sticking together and melting.

Tutorial Link:

My parents came up with a bunch of cool names for the food and drinks, but we will post that tomorrow in our Revenge of the 5th post.

I had a great time and can’t wait for my party this year!

See you next time!


A Necklace With a Message and a Memory

This “getting older” thing sucks!

I feel like every time I turn around, I’m saying good-bye to another older family member. This time it was “Uncle Joe”. One of my favorite things about him was how much he loved his wife. Sure, they bickered like old married couples do, but if you heard the way he talked about her.. there aren’t many words to describe it.

Heart-warming, maybe?

When we were generally discussing cheating, he said he’d never do anything so stupid. “I know what I got”, he drawled in that old Brooklyn accent of his. It was refreshing to hear someone speak of their spouse like that. I almost wish it had been someone closer to my age.

As I was thinking about it all while brushing my hair, a realization hit me: if this had been a year ago, it was Nanny who would have called me. She would have chatted with me about any plans being made and we’d chit-chat about life.

I shed tears for both Nanny (yet again!) and for Uncle Joe, who I will miss dearly.

A few weeks prior, I had ordered one of those “signature” necklaces from an Etsy shop. I was a bit skeptical that they could perfectly recreate a signature, but thought “what the hey?” and gave it a shot.

I didn’t really know what to expect, but what I got exceeded all my expectations!

With shipping times, I wasn’t expecting the necklace for another few days. The universe (and Nanny, I’m guessing) decided I needed the necklace that day.

This is what I sent the shop:

nanny signature

This is what I received back:


I’m in awe.

I sent a pic to a few family members and even they couldn’t believe it. It was an exact replica of Nanny’s signature, complete with line at the bottom. It was so beautiful, it moved me to tears.

There it was, in my hands: “Love Always, Nanny”.

It is just gorgeous, breath-taking, amazing, all of that and more. Thank you for your amazing work, CaitlynMinimalist. Words can not express how grateful I am to have this gorgeous piece with me now.

PLEASE check out the CaitlynMinimalist shop on Etsy!

**No, I was not paid for this post, nor did I receive anything for free. I just worked it into another post I was working on.

Worst. Summer. Ever.

I wish I was kidding. I really do.

Summer vacation is supposed to be for fun. Summer camps, sports, outings, day trips, vacations.. All of those things are synonymous with “summer”.

Not our summer. Not this year.

It’s so hard to type through tears, but here goes..

Mini’s birthday was in June. Her and I were so excited to do post after post about all the fun we had for her Star Wars party. Really, it was a blast!

I have mentioned my grandmother, aka “Nanny”, in previous posts and how much I love hanging out with her. By the time school ended within two weeks of Mini’s birthday, Nanny was not doing well.

My beloved Nanny turned 93 on July 2nd. She stayed in her bedroom her whole party. She said she was too tired to come out.

By the following day, my aunt had expressed how nervous she was leaving Nan alone, so we were all taking turns watching her so she wasn’t alone all day. Since I’m home during the day, I took the morning shift while my aunt ran her errands. Mini was such a trooper, coming with me every day and behaved amazingly. She would come in when Nanny asked for her and made an emergency call when I needed her to do that too. I was amazed at how grown-up she acted during that time.

Nan was pickier than normal, asking for 3 or 4 different things to drink then asking why there were so many cups and telling me to clean up. She started seeing family and friends that had passed before her. One day, she talked to my grandfather (who passed 40+ years ago) right over my shoulder.

About two weeks after her birthday, I stayed to visit longer than normal. I don’t know why. I talked to Nan before she dozed off. I squeezed her hand and told her I loved her. She said “I love you too”. I stopped in my tracks and wiped away tears as I walked out.

She never says that.

Usually, she responds “me too” or “same here” or “ditto”.

I was talking to my aunt at the table when my father and stepmom walked in. Since we were letting Nan sleep, we sat around the table talking. I had had a rough morning with Nan the day before so I was telling them about it. Eventually, my stepmom said they had somewhere to be. My aunt said she would wake Nan up so we could all visit before we left.

Nan sat up and was looking off into the distance. “My family”, she said. “My family is having dinner and they’re waiting for me.” She pauses and then says, “I feel like I should be with them.”

My father and I look at each other. “What family?” he asks.

“Not you”, Nan gestures to the two of us. “The REST of my family.”

My heart starts to pound. I get my aunt and tell her what Nan said. My father and stepmom leave. My sister comes in. My aunt and I tell her what was said.

My husband texts me that he’s on his way through and asks if we want to grab dinner. We pick up some sandwiches and I tell him what Nan said. My heart is still thumping and I’m on the verge of tears. I’m choked up, but make it home. I wolf down my sandwich and my phone rings.

My heart drops when I see it’s my sister. Since we don’t talk, I knew something was wrong.

“Nanny’s..” she could barely speak. “She’s hemorrhaging. You need to come back here.”

I tell Mini to pack up her sandwich and I throw my food into my purse. I make two phone calls and I’m out the door. I just tell people to pray for a miracle this time.

As I enter Nanny’s room, she is green. Flanked by my sister and aunt, she looks at me when my aunt says “Tina’s here.”

I hold Nanny’s arm as she whispers what sounds like “I’m going” and she looks off into the distance and says what sounds like “I’m coming”. She is struggling, fighting.

“Go. It’s okay, Mom.” my aunt says. My sister echoes.

“Go, Nan. We’ll all be okay.” I said, trying to keep my voice from breaking. “Grandpa’s waiting for you. Your family is waiting for dinner.”

A few more breaths and she’s gone. She moves twice, still fighting. Then..

She’s gone.

The floodgates open and I can’t stop the tears. Neither can anyone else. The family starts pouring in. Looking at her now-peaceful face, it’s still hard to believe. It was like a punch to the gut.

The next few days were a blur. I broke down often. The memorial was set for August 1st. My aunt started going through Nan’s room, letting us all take what we wanted.

The day of the memorial came and I decided I wanted to speak, so I told my aunt. I had all these amazing, fun, hilarious stories I wanted to tell. Well, I blubbered through one story and started babbling so I sat down. I felt like an idiot, but everyone was so nice about it.

A few days ago, I stopped by my aunt’s on the way to Mini’s last softball game. Nan’s room was almost empty. It felt so final. I started crying again.

The loss of nanny was huge. It’s a ripple effect. She was such a huge part of my life. She was the only one who called me to sing “Happy Birthday”. She was my lunch buddy when I wanted to get out of the house. Taking her to doctor appointments broke up the monotony of my days. She was always available to talk to.

If you had asked any of us a year ago, we would have confidently told you Nanny would live to 100. Easily. It was never a question. Things just progressed so fast. So very fast.

it hurts losing her. It hurts more than anything I’ve ever felt. It’s still very hard to believe.

Mini Monday – Post 5 – Mother’s Day

Hey Everyone!

I tried my best to make my Mother’s Day special for Mommy. I think I did a good job!

I left this sign on the bathroom door so Mommy would see it right away. She loved it!


Mommy gave me half a necklace. She said it was because I have a piece of her heart. The little heart is mine and the big one is hers. I love it!


I gave her a plant we started growing in school, but half the buds are dead already. There is a reason Mommy doesn’t have many plants. She just has bad luck with them.

I filled out some questions Mommy found for me.

*Mommy Note: The first one can be found in the Mother’s Day Questionnaire post HERE at Who Arted? and the second one can be found in a Mother’s Day Printables Packet HERE at Mama’s Learning Corner.*



*Mommy Note: “She talks for British Jack”. Jack is our newest Senior Pug. One night, he was bothering Mini and her father, so I made up this tiny British accent and started speaking for him. My “British Jack” impression is Mini’s favorite thing. She laughs hysterically when I do it!*

We had a yummy dinner of Italian chicken and garlic bread with cheese. For dessert, we had gelato and chocolate chip cookies. I thought I was being funny when I licked my finger and touched the biggest cookie on the plate. I cracked up laughing. Mommy picked up the cookie, licked the bottom and handed it to me. I was not happy. That was so gross. She thought it was hilarious.

I hope you enjoyed my Mother’s Day post and your day was fun.

See you next week!


Mini Monday – Post 2

Hi, everyone! It’s Mini again!

I really enjoyed doing my post last week! I am excited to post again!

Today, I would like to show you the decorations on my bedroom wall. My Mommy and Daddy like to surprise me with things they know I will like. I always love what they put on my wall!

They find posters with characters I like or Mommy will scrapbook some things together. I love everything! *Mommy Note: all of the frames are from Ikea, in case you were wondering :) *

These are some stickers Mommy found that matched the colors of my room and I love it because I am a rock star!


The next two are because I LOVE Disney Infinity characters! The flowers are from Dollar Tree.



The next one is from the movie “Frozen”. We made a card with stickers for one of my friends then Mommy took the rest of the stickers and printed out the characters’ names.


Next is the “LEGO Movie” posters. I had a big cardboard display but I had no more room for it. Mommy had some extra frames and said she could put my favorite characters on my wall.


That’s all I have on my walls as posters. These are my curtains.. They are furry at the top and I think they are cool, even though they’re pink. I don’t like pink (it is barf-mouth), but hot pink is very rock star.


Last are my sheets. I just got new Star Wars sheets and I am very excited to sleep in them! My pillow has “Star Wars” on one side and characters on the other. My sheets have all the same characters too. Yes, I know all the characters. I LOVE STAR WARS!!




I hope you enjoyed this post about my room.

See you next week!



What I Hope My Mini Will Be Like in 10 Years

Over the weekend, MTV was trying to break the record of the number of people to record memories for a 10-year time capsule. People shared their predictions for what they wanted their lives to be like in a decade.

It got me thinking…

Right now, Mini is in 2nd grade and we are currently planning her 8th birthday party.

In 10 years, she will be a HS Senior and we will be planning her 18th birthday. (Don’t remind her father of this.. He can’t handle thinking of Mini at that age!)

She might have a college picked out already. She might have a summer job lined up or she might already have a job (if she plans on driving, she’ll have a job!).

The more I think about her now and think about her in the future, I have several hopes for her..

I hope..


  • that the world doesn’t chew her up and spit her out.
  • her self-esteem remains in tact, just the way it is now.
  • she takes the time to enjoy being young.
  • she laughs every chance she gets.
  • she is able to recognize who her friends are and who she needs to weed out.
  • she is able to understand any and all choices I have made.
  • I have equipped her with the ability to know right from wrong… and she listens.
  • she listens to her head over her heart.
  • she still has a love for learning.
  • she’s still a virgin.
  • she’s happy.
  • her need to make others happy doesn’t cost her any of her own happiness.
  • she knows I love her no matter what.
  • she accomplishes emotionally what it took me 30+ years to realize.

Most of all, I hope I can help her with all of these things.

As a parent, I know that every small thing I do now shapes who Mini will be as an adult. Most likely by the time she is 17, I will be pegged as “lame” but hopefully she gets over that fast ;)

What do you hope for your kids in 10 years?