How To Paint Your Own Pennywise Pumpkin

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how-to-make-a-pennywise-pumpkin

This Halloween season, Pennywise, from the movie IT is the go-to movie to see.  I’m seeing all kinds of articles on how you can rock this clown custom for Halloween 2017, but I thought I’d turn Pennywise into my kinda craft- a pumpkin, of course.  Let me just tell you, taking the above pic was pretty amusing.  Instead of scouting for models, I went scouting for gutters in my neighborhood. LOL. I think the end result turned out pretty sweet.  And fun fact, I’ve never seen this movie or the original that all my friends were scared of when I was a child of the 90’s.  I do recognize a viral character when I see it, and knew I had to get on the clown action.

What you’ll need:

– White medium-sized pumpkin
– Red, black, and white acrylic paints
– Tacky Glue
– Paintbrushes
– Red feather marabou boa
– Scissors

Before you begin:  I painted the off-white pumpkin with white acrylic paint to give the clown a more pale complexion.

Next pull up a pic of Pennywise for reference…I did my project freehand, but you can plot yours out with pencil if you’d like.

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I then painted my pumpkin as shown below…I started with a liner brush drawing the red on the lips, I then went back in around the lips adding outlines and shading.  Around the grin, I added lines to accentuate.

Next I drew the red lines that go from the grin to above the eyes. After I did that, I added in more additional shading detail and started to draw the eyes and frown lines.

I finished up the face with additional shading and red eyes. For finishing touches, I added some chin and face shape definition. Also clean up any messy details with white paint after everything has dried. My last step was to mix a little glue and paint to make faux cracks and gritty details to the forehead and face. The final step is to cut, then glue on the feather boa to the top of the pumpkin in a horseshoe fashion.

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This turned out pretty fun (and creepy).  When I get into the zone painting, I realize how much I enjoy it.

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Taking photos of this pumpkin may have been more fun than actually painting it.  For this one, I hid the pumpkin in some bushes and peeked through to get this shot.  Nothin’ quite like a creepy clown lurking in the shadows.

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And I thought the dead grass and wooden fence at sunset made for a nice backdrop as well.

Let me know what you think of my pumpkin and if it creeps you out.  And fun fact, I actually like clowns…I grew up with paintings of them in my room  as a toddler.  They were mainly the hobo and circus clowns type.  I don’t know if I should watch this movie or not and change my perception.

If you love this project, share it with your friends, and check out this cute stop motion video I did using the steps above to create this DIY project.  I made this little vid for the Darby Smart app! If you want ot make your own DIY vids easily using only your phone, give this app a try. Available now in the app store.

 

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Making your own Glowing Blacklight Slime

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glowing-blacklight-slime

Halloween is right around the corner and the blacklights are glowing bright! Scare up some fun for the kids (or the kids at heart) with a batch of glowing slime that shines brightest under blacklight. This slime only takes a few ingredients and will be the hit of the Halloween party!

What you need:
– Clear glue
– Neon glow paint
– Baking soda
– Saline solution
– Spoon and bowl for mixing

I created this project for Darby Smart, a DIY app you can download in the Apple iTunes app store. What makes this app so great is that you can shoot, edit, and post your own tutorial using the handy features in it! You can also follow my channel where I share more videos like this one and there’s a lot more artists in the app to discover as well.

DIY your own Pumpkin Slime and Jar

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diy-your-own-pumpkin-slme

If you’re planning a party this Halloween season for kids, this might be the perfect party gift they can make at the festivities and take home with them! In this tutorial (an exclusive I made for the Darby Smart app), I show you how to make the slime and the container in some super easy steps!

Here’s what you’ll need:
– Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue
– Baking Soda
– Orange Food Coloring
– Saline Solution
– Orange Glitter
– Green Multi-surface paint
– Small Mason Jar
– Black Puffy Paint
– Paintbrush

Watch the video below to see all the steps!

I did this tutorial for Darby Smart, where they partner with cool companies like Retail me Not to bring cool DIY videos to the masses. You can see more videos on the Darby Smart app from more awesome creators. Download it here and watch some cool videos and make your own.

How to make your own Pizza Bank

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make-your-own-pizza-bank

True story: When I was in college, I remember scrambling up change to pay for a Papa John’s Pizza. I know it had to be REALLY annoying to the pizza guy when he showed up and was paid in quarters, dimes and nickels. So in the spirit of this, I created this funny pizza bank so you can store your change (and maybe some dollars) inside to save up for that next delivery. Watch the video below to see how you make it…

What you need:
– Old cleaning wipes container
– Puffy paint in pizza colors (yellow, red, gold, green, black)

If you like this simple tutorial, I share more on the Darby Smart app, which you can download now in the app store. Check out my channel and more creative designers on the app -and- make your own videos too!

How to Make Slime Tumbler Cup

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Since slime has trended up big this past year, you’ve probably seen all kinds of versions, from crunchy slime to galaxy slime to unicorn slime.  I decided to take slime to the next level by putting it inside a double-walled tumbler.  So you can tote around your slime with your fave drink and take it out to play whenever you want.

What you’ll need:
– Double-walled plastic tumbler
– Clear Gel Glue
– Lots of glitter and sequins in color of your choice
– Food coloring
– Saline Solution
– Baking Soda
– Spoon

I created this tutorial for Darby Smart, the makers of Darby app, an app you can get in the Apple iTunes store.  This app has thousands of DIY tutorials to inspire you and I have a channel on it where I share more fun videos like this.  See my tutorial below and go download the app so you can watch more!

Pin the tutorial below to save to make later and be sure to share this with your friends.

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DIY your own Slime Notebook

diy-slime-notebook

diy-slime-notebook

If you’re obsessed with slime and want to take it to the next level, make this slime notebook and be the coolest kid in the class! Fill your notebook with your fave type of slime and give yourself something to do to stay occupied.

Supplies needed:
Notebook
Clear pencil case
– 8 ounces of Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue
– 1 tablespoon baking soda
– Tablespoon
– Spoon for mixing
– 1 tablespoon saline solution
– Glitter in your choice of colors
Food coloring that matches the colors of your glitters
Glue gun and glue sticks
Clear packing tape or duck tape
– Paper, glue, and scissors to cover your notebook

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, mix 8 ounces of Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Mix thoroughly.

2. Mix in 1 tablespoon of saline solution until slime forms.

3. Divide the slime into three small bowls.

4. Add a drop of food coloring into each bowl of slime.

5. Add coordinating color of glitter into each bowl and mix.

6. Cover your notebook in white cardstock.

7. Apply glue all around the edges of the front of your notebook. Immediately press the plastic pencil case onto the front.

8. Wrap the pencil case around the bottom and to inside cover.

9. Place slime inside the pencil case and spread around with your hand.

10. Close pencil case up and use tape to secure to inside cover.

11. Decorate spine with additional ribbon or washi tape if desired.

Now it’s time to show off your creation. All of your friends are going to ask you to make them one too…I think you should totally charge for it. LOL!

If you like this video, check out more of my project on the Darby Smart app, you can download it in the iTunes store.

DIY your own Mother’s Day Card with Bubble Painting

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mothers-day-card
I love crafty experiments. I love pop culture. So let’s just say I LOVE to combine my passions into my crafts. For this month’s Darby Smart video project, I was given a challenge to create a Mother’s Day DIY, so I tried my hand at bubble painting and layered on stickers and some celebrity cutouts!

For this project, you will need just a few supplies…

– Acrylic Paint
– Water
– Dish soap
– Plastic of paper straw
– Paper cups
– Cardstock
– Stickers
– Markers
– Scissors
– Digital printouts or magazine cuttings of celebs

Simply mix one part water to one part paint in a paper cup. Squeeze in a little bit of dish soap, then blow into the mixture using a straw to make the bubbles start flowing out. Get the bubble effect on paper by either placing the cardstock directly onto the bubbles or scooping them up using a spoon. Continue making bubbles on your paper until your desired look is achieved.

I applied black stickers to my card that I purchased at Michaels, but you use paint or markers to write a message of your choice. Use Aleene’s Tacky Glue or double stick tape to apply your celebrity image. Of course,you don’t have to use a celebrity cutout, that’s just how I roll. Do whatever floats your boat!

For more of my DIY videos like this, follow me on the Darby App. You can download it now in the app store. You can even make your own videos using the app and create your own channel to curate and share your own vids.

Join the Darby Smart app + 10 cute canvas art ideas

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I’m so excited to share that I’ve been made a Darby Smart host for the next year, where I’ll be sharing tons of video content on their official Darby Smart app.  If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, visit the app store and download it and take a peek.  It’s a nifty little app where you can watch quick and snappy DIY videos from tons of talented creators + upload and make your own!  I’m very impressed with all the cool tools they’ve been creating for the app!  My favorite parts of it are the rainbow type tool and ability to speed up and rearrange your video clips so easily!

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Since Vine is officially dead (R.I.P.), this app has taken over that space for me and I’ve uploaded about 20 videos so far…a lot of them are exclusive to the Darby Smart app, but I’ve also curated a lot of of my own Vine footage into cute little videos like the one below showing how to make 10 clever canvas DIYs.  Take a look and I encourage you to follow me over on the Darby app where you can stay updated when I post my latest DIY video.  Every month as a Darby host, I’ll be uploading videos for the season.  I will try to post them here for you to view too, but the Darby app is where you’ll see them first!

35+ Crafty Gift Ideas for your Teen & Tween

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crafts-crafty-teen-gift-ideas-tween
Looking for a craft kit or project for your teen or tween that will make them light up on Christmas morn?  Today, I’m bringing you 35+ different crafty gift ideas that range from knitting to drawing to jewelry-making. These crafty kits are so cool, you might just want to gift one of these for yourself!
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TULIP ONE-STEP TIE DYE KIT

Your girl will freak out when she opens this tie dye kit!! This is the ultimate kit to make tons of tie dye fashions for herself or for a tie dye party. Get the kit here.

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LOOPDEDOO BRACELET MAKER
I personally own this bracelet maker and it’s so fun to create multicolor bracelet designs from embroidery floss.  This will keep them occupied for hours, I promise.  Get it here.

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SCRATCH ART MINI NOTES (SET OF 125)
Rainbow scratch art is the BEST!  I used to have pages of these as a kid, but I never had an entire pad to draw on like this!  I kinda wish I had these notes now.  Get it here.
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TROLL ART JOURNALING SET
Trolls are all the rage and so is journaling.  This kit combines these two awesome things !  My yfave part is the furry cover and troll-y pen that comes with it!  Get it here.
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CHIA PET EMOJI PLANTER
Every teen loves emoji’s, so if they also have a green thumb (or even not), they’ll love this easy-to-grow emoji Chia Pet. Get it here.
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CRYSTAL GROWING EXPERIMENTAL KIT
Make your own growing crystal kit that magically grow in front of your eyes.  So pretty and sparkly and cool to say you made them yourself!  Get it here.

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POPPIT AIR DRY CLAY BAKERY SET
Make adorable mini food creations with the Poppit air-dry clay bakery set.

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CROCHET A RAINBOW SCARF
Learning to knit is super easy with this colorful rainbow scarf kit! What a fun starter project. Get the kit here.
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BATH BOMB MAKING KIT
No need to go to the expensive bath and body stores for your bath bombs, make them at home with this kit!
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RAINBOW LOOM KIT
If your tween doesn’t have this already,  they probably want it, but just  haven’t asked for it! LOL.  They will be obsessed with this and spend hours crafting bracelets for family and friends. Get it here.

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FELTED FRIENDS KLUTZ BOOK
This book is a great introductory book to get your teen started with felting!  Get it here.

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HANGING AIR PLANT TERRARIUM KIT
This is a great bedroom accent. Place it in a bright, sunny spot and let it thrive! Get it here.

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STRING ART KIT
String art is back, but instead of owls like the 70’s, these are cool designs you’d proudly want to display in your room. Get it here.
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HELLO KITTY SEWING MACHINE
This sewing machine is just as cute as it is functional.  Get it for your Hello Kitty fanatic here.

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DIY YOUR OWN HEADPHONES
These headphones are the best gift for the crafty girl!  Let her make her own personal statement with her headphones as she rocks out with her tunes! Get it here.

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SOYAN 3D PRINTING PEN
This 3-D Printing pen lets you draw vertically and horizontally.  It draws in hardened plastic so it’s great for modeling or 3D designs on paper. Get it here.

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WRECK THIS JOURNAL BOOK
This book is all about creative exploration.  There’s so many fun prompts to paint, draw, and DIY with! Get it here.

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KLUTZ SHIMMER ART BOOK
Klutz books are always to awesome and this Shimmer Art book kit is no exception. Using sequins, create your own custom art to display in your room.  Ideal for that girl who loves bling!

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Shamballa Bracelets Kit
Girls who love jewelry will love all these sparkly beads and therainbow of color to wear on her arm.

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SKETCHBOOK + 36 GEL PEN BUNDLE
Sketch your heart out with this sketchbook and set of 36 gel pens bundle.  The perfect gift for the super doodler.

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SUPER MANI PEDI PARTY
This mani pedi kit from Alex Spa is perfect sleepover fun! Includes everything from nail polish to glitter to nail stickers.  Get this kit here.

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WEE ENCHANTED FAIRY GARDEN
The girl gardener in your life will love making this fairy garden to entice magical friends.  Get this mini garden here.

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BEADED CHANDELIER KIT

I know a lot of girls love chandeliers so this beaded kit is such a fun way to create + decorate your room.  Get the beaded chandelier kit here.

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POP ART CAT PAINT-BY-NUMBERS KIT
Paint-by-Number is a classic kid’s craft.  This one has a modern pop-art twist and comes with a framed print, paints, and paintbrushes!  Get this vibrant cat paint by numbers here.

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SCRIBBLES 3D FABRIC PAINT Any girl who loves puffy paint will LOVE getting this awesome set of 20 Scribbles 3D Fabric paint colors.  Fun fact (I’m not joking), I actually designed this packaging!

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CRAYOLA EMOJI MAKER TOOL
It’s fun to use emojis on your phone, but how about craft with them?  These custom stamping tools let you do just that!  Get the Crayola Emoji Maker tool here.

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POM-POM RUG KIT
Pom pom your heart out with this DIY Pom-pom rug kit that creates a super cute flower design.

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GLOW IN THE DARK PERLER BEAD BUCKET
Perler bead crafts are so fun and these totally glow-in-the-dark!  This perler bead kit includes over 5,000 beads and templates to get creative with.

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COLORING BOOK SET
Coloring is so meditative and great for stressful days.  Get the teen you love this great coloring book set trio and they will never be bored.

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THE YARN TREE KIT
This yarn tree is perfect to put on display as is or for hanging jewelry, ornaments, and more!  Get the Yarn Tree Kit here.

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RECYCLED PAPER BEADS MAKER
Making paper beads is so much fun and even cooler when you use this tool that attaches to a 2 liter bottle.  Get this green craft tool here.

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TULIP OPAQUE FABRIC MARKERS
Your fave young doodler will love drawing on everything from totes to shirts to pillow cases with these Tulip Opaque Fabric Markers.  These markers work  great on light and dark fabrics.

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WATERCOLOR PENCILS (SET OF 72)
The creative drawer in your life will love this assortment of watercolor colored pencils.  It’s also great for those who love coloring books too!  Find it here.

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POTTERY COOL STUDIO
Create your own pottery creations using the Pottery Cool studio.  What a great introduction to the potters wheel for a budding ceramist.

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GO CRAFT WASHI TAPE
Washi tape is the perfect gift for the girl who likes to decorate her room and her stuff (and change it up in a snap too!)  Get this rainbow collection of tapes here.

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BEADOS UNICORN GARDEN
Make your own fun unicorn designs with Beados. They magically come to live when you spray on water.  Scoop this kit up here.

35-crafty-teen-tween-gift-ideas

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What Dexter taught me about life, love, and family

handsome dexter 2

handsome dexter 2
Compensation was provided for this post by Purina

Sometimes the best moments in life are the ones you don’t see coming. The funny thing is, I’m not a very risky or adventurous person and I’m pretty calculated in my actions and life choices. It’s pretty rare that I make a split-second decision, but a few years back I went with my gut and ended up finding a new best friend and family member.

On a mild fall night in October 2011, my boyfriend (now husband) William and I were driving back from a wedding and were making our way through Oakdale, a small town in California. As we were driving by a factory parking lot, I looked in my rearview mirror to see a little blonde kitten dart behind our car onto a four-lane highway. My heart sunk at the thought of the poor kitten getting hit in oncoming traffic and I knew I had to turn around. I immediately made a U-turn, stopped, and William jumped out of the car to chase the kitten down. The little guy was so scared to see someone coming for him, and he tried to make a quick escape through a chain link fence. Even though the kitten resisted capture and did everything to wiggle through the tight opening of the fence, William returned to the car with the frightened feline in his arms.

baby-dexWe stopped at William’s mom’s house to spend the night and put the kitten in the laundry room, since it was small and cozy and he couldn’t really get lost in there. The little blond tabby immediately started coming out of his shell and showing his personality. I took this photo of him sitting in my mother-in-law’s dog food dish. It was at this point I knew he was a keeper.

This was the first time in my life that I was responsible for a baby kitten inside my home! We gave him a bath and got him acclimated to his new life in our apartment. William and I introduced him to Pixie, my older and skittish black cat, and she was not very happy about her new housemate at first. It took a while for them to bond, let’s just say it was and still is a love/hate relationship.

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We decided to name him Dexter (after our love of the TV Show) and I quickly became THAT Mom … you could call me the “Pawparazzi.” I took a billion photos … I mean, just look at that face! We spent all of our free time with him snuggling and playing. I realized that Dexter’s carefree attitude and quirky and curious spirit was bringing a lot of joy, laughter and better communication out of both William and I. He definitely filled a void we didn’t know we were missing. What was cool about it was that this wasn’t “my cat”, he was “our cat” and that little two-bedroom apartment became a home filled with lots of love and happy activity.

A few years have passed and we are now in a house with much more space for Dexter to roam. Even though he’s larger in size, Dexter still very much remains our baby and it’s important to us that he’s healthy. Last year, he concerned us big-time when he navigated under our crawl space and became severely dehydrated. This resulted in a kidney scare and a stint at the animal hospital. Having faced such a critical situation, we knew we needed to take his daily nutrition needs more seriously. Luckily Purina Pro Plan has provided us with healthy formulas that put us at ease knowing he’s getting protein-packed ingredients that support his digestive health.

pouring-food

While we have normally served Dexter the dry variety of Purina Pro Plan, we recently added the wet food into his feeding routine. Dexter was crazy for the wet White Meat Chicken and Vegetable Entrée and couldn’t wait for me to empty it out of the can. What’s nice about the wet food is it’s a great way for him to get added hydration. He hasn’t always been the greatest at drinking from his water bowls throughout the day, and this food is packed full of moisture so I can be more at ease. If your cat is like Dexter and you are looking for ways to get him or her to drink more water, check out this article. There’s some great insights on why your cat might be avoiding the water bowl and what you can do to change up in your environment to help your cat stay hydrated.

dexter eating proplan

As you can tell, Dexter LOVED this this wet food. He licked the entire bowl and even tried to see if any was left in the can. If you are looking for a new, healthy option for your cat, follow this link to Purina Pro Plan’s Wet Cat Food site, where you’ll find a coupon to save on this food. There’s a ton of awesome flavors, proteins, and textures for even the pickiest of eaters, in varieties that include pasta, vegetables, cheese and rice. It’s also nice to know that Purina’s nutrition is backed by a team of over 400 scientists, including nutritionists, behaviorists and veterinarians. Dexter isn’t just a cat, he’s a member of the family, and I’m grateful that Purina provides ingredients that elevate his quality of life.

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Yeah, this little guy has my heart and I’m so glad I made the choice to make a U-turn and save him from that busy road. William and I are lucky to call him our own and the love we have for him grows every day. We can’t wait to share many more indelible moments together.

Until next time Swellions!

Alexa (and Dexter)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Purina Pro Plan. The opinions and text are all mine.