31 Day Blog Challenge


So, this super cool girl I know named Kolleen posted a 31 day blog challenge on social media and called me (among others) out. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try and maybe it will help me to keep my creativity flowing and also, I haven’t exactly kept up on this blog. Oops.

So, day 1 is an introduction…. You ready. Okay.

My name is Colleen Rae, it’s pronounced with a long O because my mother did not understand rules about double consonants when I was born… to be honest I love my name more because it’s unique, even though people have a hard time pronouncing it correctly. I was born on November 23, 1986 which means I am getting dangerously close to 30. I have a huge fear of growing older. It’s ridiculous, but whatever.

More about me, I am obsessed with dachshunds. When I say obsessed you probably think yeah, okay. But guys, no… legitimately obsessed. I have three, plus a cat who believes she is a dachshund. I have a dachshund tattoo, images of dachshunds around my house and am currently staring at a dachshund pen that sits on my desk (I have one on my home desk and work desk). I even have a dachshund hotdog cutter… because I’m just cool like that. I’ve been obsessed since I was five years old, ask my mom.

I am an artist, writer and arts professional. The reason I don’t generally keep up on this blog is because I spend most of my time writing for Obvi We’re the Ladies, a kick ass blog started in Chicago that ‘builds sisterhood by sharing personal experiences’. If you haven’t checked them out, you need to. I also read a ton and if you look back on this blog I try to keep you updated on what books I am reading. Currently: The 5th Wave by, Rick Yancey. (BTW I’m barely into it and in love already).

So, that’s a ton about me… I need to save some more for tomorrow… I need a donut.


Updated Reading List!

Greetings lovely people of the blogosphere, as you may recall in January I set a 2015 Reading Challenge for myself. I decided I was going to real 30 books in 2015, and I will continue to set these goals each year. This is kind of a spin on the #EmptyShelfChallenge set by blogger Jon Acuff. (See his original post here.)

The original challenge is to help you read more than you did in the previous year and as you go you take images of your ’empty’ shelf filling up with the books you read. For me though I decided a goal was best and that pushing myself to read more would only help my personal creativity. Originally I set the 30 books I would read but let’s be real, I have not followed this original list, I have just read what I wanted and that’s OKAY!

So, the last time I posted I had only read 3 books towards my goal and that was 6 months ago, so this is a big update!

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Finished Reading: 

MadMan’s Daughter – Megan Shepherd

Her Dark Curiosity – Megan Shepherd

Defy – Sara B. Larson

Article 5 – by, Kristen Simmons

Breaking Point – by, Kristen Simmons

The Heir – by, Kiera Cass

The Pledge – by, Kimberly Derting

The Essence – by, Kimberly Derting

The Offering – by, Kimberly Derting

Red Queen – by, Victoria Aveyard

The Queen of the Tearling – by, Erika Johansen

Paper Towns – by, John Green

That’s 12 down, only 18 to go!

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Reading Currently:

The Invasion of the Tearling – by, Erika Johansen

Up Next:

Ship Breaker – by, Paolo Bacigalupi

So, there you have it! My updated reading list for 2015. With 18 books left to read to meet my goal it works out to about 4 books per month! I think I can, I think I can!

Xo Colleen

Toledo Fashion Profile: Jessica Ciesler

This past weekend I had the opportunity to sit down with Jessica Ciesler. We enjoyed brunch at the Oliver House downtown and chatted about life in Toledo. Jessica wore an adorable vintage inspired pineapple dress with simple understated accessories. She is both modern and classic in style and is one of those people whose insides definitely match the gorgeous exterior!

Want to know more about Jessica? Read on my friends!


The Interview

Whimsical Dachshund: Where are you from?

Jessica Ciesler: Toledo, OH

WD: Where did you go to High School?

JC: Bowsher High School

WD: What do you do for a living?

JC: I work on cancer clinical trials for the Toledo Clinic.

WD: If you could sum up your style in three words, what would they be?

JC: Classic, Vintage, Modern.

WD: Who are your style inspirations?

JC: Audrey Hepburn of course. Zooey Deschanel, she just has this vintage classic look but it still not afraid to wear things out of her comfort zone. And finally, Sarah Jessica Parker because she’s amazing.

WD: Where do you shop?

JC: ModCloth – obsessed! Forever 21 is also a go to for when I want to try something new but don’t want to break the bank. And locally, Francesca’s is great!

WD: What is your style advice for readers?

JC: Every woman has to explore and find her own style, just be true to yourself, always keep it classy and remember to be sexy in your own skin, you don’t have to show it all!

WD: What do you find so unique about Toledo?

JC: Toledo is a big city with a real midwest feel. There are great opportunities here and Toledo really knows how to fight for itself! There is amazing Toledo Pride, great local businesses, restaurants and an amazing Museum. You can be miserable anywhere but why not just love where you live?

WD: Where is your favorite place in Toledo to hang out with friends?

JC: Well, it was The Downtown Latte’ but they closed! So, now I frequent Black Kite. I do love the Oliver House also, it’s great go-to for dinner and drinks.

WD: Do you have a website?

JC: Yes, it’s under construction and I hope to have it up and running by the end of July, the site is simplyjess.us

WD: What will be on your site?

JC: I will be featuring local food and cooking!

WD: Do you have an instagram we can stalk?

JC: Yes, instagram handle is jcies

Shop Jessica’s outfit!

 Dress: same one here! ModCloth ::: Shoes: Jessica Simpson ::: Earrings: Kate Spade ::: Necklace: her own ::: Bracelet: Bezels & Bytes

xoxo Colleen

Toledo Fashion Profile: Kaitlin Olivero

Hello all!

This week I am beginning a new post series called ‘Toledo Fashion Profile’. Here in the 419 have so many fashionable men and women with a variety of styles it seems silly not to highlight them. I hope to do two of these profiles a month. I will also be adding in a weekly post about the awesome things I see/do over the weekends (look for those on Monday – may feature more fashionable Toledoans).

I am so happy to begin this series with one of my besties Kaitlin Olivero. I was able to get Kaitlin to answer some questions about her style and then snagged some pictures of her on one of our ‘bestie movie date nights’. (We went to see Tomorrowland, btw). Get to know this fashionable, art loving lady below!


The Basics

Name: Kaitlin Olivero

Age: 23

Website(s): the-curated-life.blogpsot.com & obviweretheladies.com

Follow her on Instagram @kaitolivero

The Details

WhimsicalDachshund: Where are you from?

KaitlinOlivero: From the burbs of Chicago, though I did live in the city for four years!

WD: What do you do?

KO: I work at the Toledo Museum of Art working on special projects for the Director’s Office

WD: What music are you listening to right now?

KO: I listen to Broadway soundtracks a lot, because I am a musical nerd! My favorites are Book of Mormon, Legally Blonde, and Spring Awakening

WD: What word are you guilty of using most often?

KO: I say ‘just kidding’ a lot, like habitually! I also use ‘oy vey’ a lot, because apparently Yiddish phrases are my thing.

WD: Describe your style in three words:

KO: Classic, modern, faux-preppy

WD: What is your favorite store?

KO: Loft is my go-to! I also wish I could spend more money at J. Crew, Lilly Pulitzer, and Anthropologie

WD: Who is your favorite fashion designer?

KO: Classic Chanel, of course. But I am obsessed with Jenny Packham and Elie Saab

WD: Do you have any style advice for our readers?

KO: Find fashion bloggers that you love and you will easily be inspired by them! My favorite is Carly from The College Prepster, but there are so many to choose from. Also, as much as you can be inspired by your friends or celebs, remember that what you love to wear matters most! If you wear an outfit with confidence, then the world will think it rocks too! And if they don’t…. who cares?

WD: What makes Toledo fashion unique or what have you learned about fashion in Toledo?

KO: I was pleasantly surprised by the fashion I have seen in Toledo. I thought it would be drastically different from Chicago-living, but the same eye for fashion lives in Ohio, too. I would say it is still less diverse or extreme, which is kind of great (less pressure!)

WD: What is your favorite Toledo hangout?

KO: I have to be biased and say TMA, it really is an amazing place… and it is free! But I also love the Toledo Farmer’s Market… it is my Saturday morning ritual!

Shop Kaitlin’s outfit

:: Sunnies: Loft :: Dress: Loft :: Cardigan: J. Crew Factory ::

:: Bracelets: Alex and Ani :: Necklace: Baublebar :: Ring: Kaitlin’s Grandmothers

xoxo Colleen

April Obsessions

My oh my, it’s been a couple months since my last blog. I’ve been slacking here, but not in my day to day life, that has been out of control busy. So, I apologize and let’s get down to the nitty gritty, my three obsessions for the month of April (plus an update on the most recent books I’ve read)!

1. Artomatic 419


So, every couple of years, the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo hosts Artomatic419. A bunch of creatives in the community come together for a month to showcase their work. This will be the second year I have participated and the first year I have done an installation piece. You can find out all the information on Artomatic419 here. And if you’re in the 4.1.9, stop out and enjoy!

2. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


 I have read a lot of articles and blogs that really give this show a bad name. Stating it’s anti feminist, always trying to keep women downtrodden, etc. I say no to this. As a feminist I thought the way they portrayed the women was brilliant. There is a wide range of personalities and they captured a lot of different perspectives in the show. The writing is also hilarious and their pop culture references are done in a way that they don’t feel cheesy. Bravo, I’m eagerly awaiting season 2 to begin!

3. 21 Day Fix


Dear Autumn, thank you. I am trying really hard to stay on top of this program and I am not going to lie.. it’s been really hard for me to carve out even 30 minutes a day to work out and even harder to cook all the food I need. That being said, it’s an amazing system and has been giving me results in just a week, and that’s even if I cheated for a day or so. I am going to keep at it until I can perfect the system, I’m looking forward to making this a real change and although I know it will take some doing, I know I can do it!

So, there you go folks, my April 2015 Obsessions! What are your April obsessions? Leave your comment below.

Additional update on my 30 book reading goal for 2015:

Have read (book count is at 7):

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The Queen of the Tearling : Red Queen : The Pledge : The Essence

Currently Reading:


Happy Friday!


February Obsessions

It’s that time again, OBSESSION time! Hooray! Here are my three obsessions for the lovely month of February. (get it? LOVEly… because of Valentine’s Day, I know, I’m so witty). Without further ado (or bad jokes)….


The Oscars

Who doesn’t love awards season and most of all who doesn’t love the Oscars? I wait impatiently every year for this awards show. My mom has an ‘Oscars dinner’ during our normal Sunday family dinner and we wear fancy clothes, eat fancy food. I usually skate out early on Oscar night to head home, have a glass of champagne and watch the red carpet and the main event. Like a lot of people I have dreamt of being one of the lucky winners of this prestigious award. I still haven’t given up that dream though so keep an eye out, I might surprise you (and myself).



Maybe it’s because of the Oscars and that beautiful little gold man but no matter what, I am obsessed with gold. I love the look of clean white and gold. Also, I’m very lucky to have a skin tone with just a touch of olive so that gold actually compliments me. I wear a ton of gold and actually just ordered a gold phone case. It just looks so chic and simple. Don’t get me wrong, it can look gaudy as hell too (sorry, also love that sometimes).


Google Docs

Seriously, yes. Google Docs has made my list. Now, if only they could pay me something for promoting this service. I know, it’s free but whatever, I’m obsessed with it. I use it for everything. You can access your work from anywhere. I create all my presentations for lectures on it and did most of my M.A. work on it. It’s so easy to work on them from home, my phone and on my lunch break at work. They look amazing and have, what I think, are much better layouts and themes than the desktop versions of Word or PowerPoint. Plus, I don’t have to worry about constantly hitting the save button as it automatically saves your work whenever you make a change. You can also very easily download them to your desktop through Google Drive. Bravo Google… Bravo. Call me and I will very happily agree to be your brand ambassador.

Those are my February obsessions… what are yours? And, weigh in on mine too!

XoX Colleen