What My Dog Has Taught Me

Monday, July 23, 2018

Happy Monday!

Growing up I've always had more than one dog. I remember having those hard times in college, thinking to myself, if only my dog was here to comfort me. Dogs just know things don't they? They're so incredibly gifted it's crazy. I read a quote once saying how we don't deserve dogs which is so true. However, if you love them enough, I think that quote can somewhat go away.

I will say it is such a different experience having your own "first" dog compared to the dogs that lived with you growing up. You think you know everything there is to know about having a pet until you get your own with it's own unique personality, needs, and more. I have learned so much from Diesel this past year and a half (they grow up so fast 😭) and I wanted to share that with all of you today. Hopefully all of my fellow dog parents can relate!


  1.  You love them more than people. 
Not too long ago I asked my mom "Is it bad that sometimes I feel like I love Diesel more than Chandler" and she just laughed and said "not at all! Dog love is a different kind of love that you can't compare with what you have with Chandler. Dogs don't make you mad/frustrated as often as a partner, and all dogs do is show you love. Of course you love them more!" 

      2. You learn how to be a parent.

When you get a dog, you really learn what it's like to be a parent (to an extent of course). Depending on what age you get them at can also determine how much parental training you're getting haha. I mean think about it, if you get a puppy first like we did, you're potty training them, teaching them right from wrong (the constant don't lick this or don't touch that!), taking them to school (training), feeding them, exercising them, putting them to bed, etc.! That's the definition of being a parent!


    3. You're not a bad dog owner just because you need to go somewhere without them.

This is one of the hardest lessons I had to learn from having Diesel. When he was younger, we had some friends drive up to meet in St. Augustine which is only like 40 minutes away from where we live. Chandler basically had to convince me to get out the door and leave Diesel for just a few hours and even then, when we were STILL in the parking lot, I started crying because I wasn't with him. Now, I might sound crazy, but it was the first time that I had left him alone at night for a while and I was worried he would be afraid. He gave me the choice to stay home but I knew I had to go if I was ever going to be able to leave Diesel alone at night. I remember calling my mom and she laughed/made fun of me/completely understood where I was coming from. She's the one who told me "I promise he'll be okay. Of course he'll miss you, but he's a big boy and can handle it. You need to be able to do this too because it's going to be 10x harder with real children." She reminded me that it's okay to leave them for a little bit even though it's hard. 


   4. They're not just a dog, they're your best friend/child/soul mate.


This one kind of ties into the first point. When you get a dog (or any animal to be honest because my cats also fall into this), they don't just stay a dog. If you have a family they become part of the family, if it's just you they become your best friend and child. Dogs have been next to man's side for the longest time and there's a reason for it. When you have a dog, the bond you form is so strong. They will protect you, help you, love you, and comfort you when needed. All of what was just listed, sounds exactly how you would describe a family member, a best friend, your child, and your soul mate. If you show them love, they'll love you fur-ever. 😊

    5.  The habits they form when they're little never go away.

This one kind of goes into the parenting point. When Diesel was a puppy we let him sleep in the bed with us. To this day, he assumes that he sleeps there with us even though he's over 100 pounds haha! I even got him an orthopedic dog bed (a.k.a. a bed that's nicer than mine) and he still chooses to sleep with us. Same with training, if you let your dog think things are okay when you first get them, they'll continue to keep up those good or bad habits.

Having a dog is one of the best things in the entire world, and the experience really teaches you a lot about yourself. It teaches you discipline, responsibility, humility, understanding, and more.

To all my fellow dog parents, I hope you too were able to relate to this post and that it brought a smile to your face.

Thanks for reading!

Photography: Alondra Vega Photography

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Weekly Round Up

Friday, July 20, 2018

Happy Friday!

I had the BEST night last night you guys. My coworker's fiance had free tickets to the Rascal Flatts concert so Chandler and I got to enjoy a fun night with one of my all time favorite country bands. If you saw my Instagram story then you know how excited I was! It's funny because I grew up listening to them with my mom who also loves them and once I told her I had the tickets she said "I'm on my way lol." If she wasn't two hours away, she totally would've been there with me!

What also worked out is that I had already requested today off from work. So, I got to stay up late listening to country music and then sleep in. It doesn't get any better than that! I am also excited to share that today I am doing my first try on session with a local boutique called Fig and Willow. Fig and Willow is located in Neptune Beach, FL and carries clothing and accessories! I have always loved supporting local businesses since my mom has her own as well. We all have to support our local #girlbosses am I right?! Make sure to head over to my Instagram story to see the full try on!

Now on to today's round up articles! I have found such an amazing content to share with you all this week and I hope you enjoy it.



Food:

Okay, so I really need to stop searching for food articles while I'm HUNGRY! It's like going to the grocery store while on an empty stomach which I have done and it didn't end well. I bought bacon, pancakes and then burnt the bacon and pancakes. #godhelpme haha! The recipe below from Half Baked Harvest is almost another version of a grilled cheese sandwich and it looks so good. I'll definitely be trying this out!

Read it here: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/marinated-veggie-cheese-sandwich/

The name of this next recipe is honestly why I'm sharing it with all of you. It is called the Chocolate Snack Cake. Doesn't that have a nice ring to it? A dessert that's called a snack? Yes, please! I don't like chocolate but I think I'm officially going to name every dessert I make from this point on a snack just because. Check out the recipe below!

Read it here: http://www.thevanillabeanblog.com/2018/07/chocolate-snack-cake.html

I have been wanting to make egg cups for quite some time. They seem like the perfect make-ahead breakfast for people on the go. This recipe includes sun dried tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese, and more! Check out the recipe below from Fit Foodie Finds to see how to make them.

Read it here: https://fitfoodiefinds.com/spinach-and-sun-dried-tomato-egg-cups/

Another recipe I chose because of the name was this recipe from Crazy For Crust. It's called the Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake. I mean, has anyone else ever heard of an icebox cake? Dorothy from Crazy for Crust actually explains what it is and how to make one in this blog post. I definitely loved reading it!

Read it here: https://www.crazyforcrust.com/blueberry-lemon-icebox-cake/

Entertainment/Life:
I found out this past week that The New York Times actually has a page on their site dedicated to only good news! I never watch the news because I hate hearing about only negative things. I don't understand why you would want to fill yourself with worry and fear 24/7 but that's just me. If you want some good news in your day, check out the link below!

Read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/spotlight/the-week-in-good-news

I LOVE Lipsync Battle. I think it's so funny and I really really (REALLY) want to do it haha! If you're a Bachelor/Bachelorette fan then this recent episode featuring Ben Higgins and Rachel Lindsay is one you'll love!

Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rcCTnIqCTM

I love Ariana Grande's new song "God Is A Woman" but I don't exactly like/understand the music video. I'm just being honest though. However, there is a scene that's shown a few times featuring her in this colorful rippled water so to speak and Lush, creator of the most perfect bath bombs is apparently making a bath bomb to match the music video. How cool is that?!

See it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a22349958/new-lush-bath-bomb-ariana-grande-music-video/


I love watching America's Got Talent. It's one of my favorite shows! They are officially in the judge cut rounds and on the most recent episode, someone almost got pretty hurt. The link below shares the scene but something more important to note is the judges commentary. They stated that no act will ever be perfect. I loved how understanding they were, I loved how the girl got right back up and was ready to try again (God bless her for that), and I loved how everyone's opinions didn't change just because of one incident. We should all have that mindset!

Watch it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/tv/a22341996/americas-got-talent-trapeze-act-duo-transcend/

Fashion:

Rachel Timmerman from Something Delightful shared the cutest N Sale find! It's a chambray cold shoulder dress that would be perfect for summer or fall! I have always had a thing for chambray and so I instantly loved this dress!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Blb-GZIlHhL/?explore=true

Another cute chambray dress was styled on Melissa from Always Meliss! It's light, breezy and would look cute at the beach!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BlcHWHWlfSl/?explore=true

I believe I've shared this dress before from another blogger but I couldn't help but share it again since I love it. Alexa Anglin from Lately with Lex shared this style from Sundress on her Instagram this week that I had to share!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bldd-5jFTTk/?explore=true

I'm originally from the Orlando area and so I grew up going to Disney. I can't believe I have not heard of Chelsea Watson before! She shares the cutest Disney fashion inspo on her Instagram that you all have to check out if you're a Disney fan like myself.

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BlWbWtwhqmZ/?taken-by=styledbymagic

Erin Miller from Over The Moon Far Away shared the cutest purple jumpsuit on her Instagram this week that I just loved. The photo is super colorful with a matching purple background and it instantly caught my interest!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bkv7bTUAZ3o/?taken-by=overthemoonfaraway

That's all for this week's round up post. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I hope you all enjoy my try on session on my Instagram story today!

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Diesel's Favorite Dog Bones

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Happy Wednesday!

Whether we're traveling or enjoying a nice evening at home, I always have a variety of bones ready for Diesel. It's the best way to keep him occupied and happy at the same time. All three of these bones you can get at Petsupermarket or PetSmart. I usually see these bones cheaper at Petsupermarket but every store has deals and coupons so I would always look for the best deal. 


The first bone that I want to share is this Natural Chew Beef Dino Bone. Now, I'm not 100% sure if the bone I linked is the exact one, only because there are SO many meat covered bones that look like this. They usually come in beef or pork and almost look smoked. The prices for these vary by size but I don't think I've ever really paid more than $15 which is what I linked above. The average price for a big bone for Diesel is more around $8.99. Diesel loves these bones because the flavor that covers them is really addicting and he could chew on it for hours.

I will say though, watch them when they eat these bones because some of them have the knuckles at the end and Diesel usually breaks that part off first. The piece is a decent enough size for them to choke on, so I would really watch them in the beginning until that is gone and once it is you should be good. Also, if chewed on for too long (every dog is different), they can give your dog an upset stomach. I know if we let Diesel have this for hours, sometimes his tummy doesn't agree. However for just a good chew, maybe an hour or so max, he's always fine!


The next bone that I want to share is the classic antler. The good thing about antlers is that everything is natural and because of this, the scent and taste attracts dogs easily. There are two different types of antlers: elk and deer. Depending on your dog, you may see that your dog might go through one type faster than the other. I know we definitely saw that with Diesel. We tend to buy deer antlers rather than elk since Diesel is such a heavy chewer. I would try out both first just to see what your dog favors but if you know that your dog is a heavy chewer, I would do the deer antler and choose a thicker width. That also helps the bone last longer.


The last bone is called a filled bone. They come in tons of different flavors: peanut butter, bacon and cheese, and more! I usually get Diesel the bacon and cheese one, only because he has his own jar of peanut butter in the cabinet (yes, I just said that haha) that we put in other bones or for medicines. These also come in a variety of sizes which is great for any breed! These bones can have a similar effect as the beef/pork bones in terms of the bathroom schedule haha. 

With this or any bone, always keep an eye on how your dog's body reacts. Every dog is different and some have more sensitive stomach's than others. These three bones are Diesel's favorites and have lasted the longest. If you have any questions please let me know. I hope your dog loves one or all three of these bones!


My Morning Routine

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Happy Wednesday!

For the past eight weeks I've been in a steady workout routine created by Savanna(follow her here to get your workout) that in turn affects how I plan my morning routine. It really is true that it takes time to form a habit and a routine. Today I wanted to share every step of my morning routine in hopes that it can possibly give ideas to anyone who's struggling with finding/creating one!


5:00am - First of about five alarms go off. I have to put my alarm in the bathroom in order for me to get up. Funny thing is, I actually get up 4-5 times just to turn it off and get back in bed, but then on that last one I'm up. All of my alarms are 5 minutes a part so that I'm not getting too comfy. I lay out my workout outfits for the entire week Sunday night and I put my keys with my resistance bands on the table so that I'm ready to go.

5:15am - Eat half a banana. Most of my workouts are at least an hour and I personally can't not eat before I work out. It's also better for you if you do. The only time I don't is if I'm doing my 15 minute HIIT workout. Mainly because I'm jumping like nonstop and I don't want to feel like what I just ate is flying up and down in my belly haha. 

5:30am-6:30am - At the gym doing work. Of course some days I'm there a little later or earlier, but either way I'm there at least an hour and I try to be done by 6:30am. 

6:40am - Shower, feed the cats, give Felix his insulin shot.

7:10am - Start making breakfast, morning protein smoothie snack, and pack lunch. On Sundays I try to meal prep as much as possible, including what I'm making for breakfast (if it requires it) and lunch. For instance, my favorite breakfast meal is this Mediterranean Eggs recipe that I make pretty much every week day!

7:30-7:50am - Take Diesel out one more time before I start getting ready and leave for the day. Sometimes this happens before I get to start making my breakfast but either way the timing is still usually around the same.

7:50-8:00/8:10am - Get dressed, brush teeth, make sure everything is ready to go in the house while I'm gone (a.k.a. close doors to rooms that I don't want Diesel going in, put up the gate so that the cats can have their peace all day). 

8:15am - Headed to work! 

Now, I'm always trying to get to work earlier, because the earlier I get there, the earlier in the evening I can come home and relax with Diesel, the kitties and of course Chandler when he gets home. I've been trying really hard to leave my evenings for relaxing time so that I can actually go to bed at a decent hour. 

***8 hours of sleep is KEY to get up as early as I do***

Getting enough sleep isn't always easy, especially if you're someone like me who always thinks there's something that can be done. However, it is important and is a necessity for our health. 

That is essentially my morning routine. If you have any questions about it or like any part of it, please let me know. I would love to hear from you!


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Cat Litter Review

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Happy Tuesday!

A while back I did a poll on my Instagram asking if you wanted to see more from my cats Oscar and Felix and you guys said yes. Today is my first official blog post featuring the infamous Felix! My cats are 14 years old and they don't look like it at all. But, since I've had them for 14 years, that also means I've been cleaning their litter box for 14 years. Not going to lie, I despise cleaning the cat litter. It's never fun and usually smells. All my fellow cat moms out there understand!

The reason why the cat litter usually smells is because even though it might advertise that it has an odor shield, it really doesn't. Or if it does it's for like an hour after the cat poops. Cool that's helpful. It wasn't until Chandler saw this cat litter called Ultra from Dr. Elsey's that my mindset of cleaning the litter improved. This cat litter is such a steal! Normally you pay $16-$20 for only 20-30 pounds max and the litter is usually really dusty, which isn't good for you, and doesn't do a good job controlling the smell or clumping what's in the litter box. For $17, you get 40 pounds of non-dusty, odor controlling awesomeness! Say you have a rough week and you couldn't clean the litter for like 2-3 days (we all know it happens). That's happened to us and we still didn't smell anything and our litter is in a pretty open spot because of how our apartment is.

I will say, I recommended this litter to my parents and they keep their litter outside and had a different experience. My parents also live in Florida and we think that the humidity and summer heat was a bad combination for that litter. For anyone who keeps their litter box inside like I do though, this is the litter for you! I normally purchase it at Petsupermarket since it's right up the road from my apartment but they also have it at Petsmart (linked above). The cats loved it instantly and I would say this is great for multi-cat households.


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