Tuesday, December 18, 2018

1-Year With Henry and His Breed Report

At midnight on Saturday, I had to take Henry to the emergency room. His stomach was distended and he was not himself. It was so scary because I had no idea what was wrong with him. He stayed the night in the hospital and I was able to pick him up the next evening. I felt SO bad for leaving him because he was very clearly nervous as well as in pain. I wrote this post before he went into the hospital but it's all the sweeter now that he is out and doing well! 

Exactly 1-year ago, Henry came into my life. You can read the first post about him, here. I haven't really shared that the entire adoption process happened SO fast. 

I came across Henry in an online search. I had been casually browsing for dogs for months and not super sure about the whole idea. I also had a very specific look/breed in mind and it was surprisingly hard to find in my area. I was also set on adoption. I truly believe in adoption and would not do it another way. 

I found Henry, who was then named River, ha! I remember freaking out and sending his photo to everyone. I applied for him on December 7th. On December 11th (a Monday) I had finally heard back that my application was being reviewed and my references were being contacted. The next night I received a call. had been at a Christmas party and stepped outside of the party. I actually remember this vividly. I was right outside in Market Square when the woman called and told me that I would be adopting Henry!! I cried. I was SO excited and so nervous and just couldn't believe that I would be responsible for a living thing. It was probably the most 'adult' I have ever felt. 

I went straight home and started ordering alllll of the dog things on Amazon. The following day, I paid the fee for Henry and all of the arrangements were set. All of that happened in less than a week. It was nuts!

Henry came from Tracy's Dogs, a non-profit that rescues dogs in high-kill shelters- many of them are on euthanization lists. The organization is incredible and I now donate several times a year. 

A hiccup came when Henry was to be delivered on Saturday, December 16th. Tracy's Dogs actually drives a huge truck around the country to deliver the dogs to their new owners. So you can't really schedule the day- it is a one-day thing! 48 other dogs were also being adopted the same day as Henry. I was panicked because I had a flight on Friday the 15th for the weekend in Martha's Vineyard for one of my best friend's wedding. I could not miss it and was so worried they were going to cancel Henry. 

Luckily, they allowed my boyfriend to go pick him up for me. Looking back, I'm so sad I missed his gotcha day. Tracy's Dogs does an incredible gotcha day and it's really something special. Luckily, they live stream every gotcha day on Facebook so I was able to see Henry being picked up while I was at the cocktail hour for the wedding. I could not wait to meet him. I was obsessively texting for photos, videos, and updates all night long, ha! I joke with my friends that were getting married that day that I will forever remember their anniversary! 

So, I actually didn't get to meet Henry until I was picked up at the airport late Sunday night. At first, Henry did not like me! I got in the car and wanted to hold him and Henry wanted nothing to do with me. I was sad but I chilled out because I could tell he was frightened. He had gone through so much.

That night we took him to my parents so they could meet him and so Mac could meet him. The videos that I have of Mac and Henry first meeting are one of my most cherished videos. I miss Mac daily and to see the video of the two of them is so comforting and I'm so glad Henry got to know Mac. 

After that, it was just me and Henry! As soon as he started spending time at home and just being around me, he totally warmed up and after a few ,days we were the best of friends. 

Since we don't know Henry's birthday, we are celebrating his gotcha day as his birthday. When I adopted Henry, he was estimated to be 2-3. I just took him to the vet last month and the vet estimated that he is a bit younger... so right now, he is around 2.5. I was really glad to hear that! 

Besides his age, I wanted to know more about him. The way Tracy's Dogs described Henry before I met him is that he was an Australian Cattle dog that had been left in the dryer for too long and shrunk, ha! They were referring to his tiny stature and short little legs. Most people ask if he is a puppy because he is so small but looks just like a blue heeler. Tracy's Dogs guessed he was mixed with a corgi, which has always seemed accurate- others have guessed that, too. 

Because we don't know what Henry is mixed with to make him so small, we got the Wisdom Panel dog DNA test. It's like 23 and Me but for pups. I had done the 23 and Me for myself and I loved it so I was excited to learn more about Henry. 

I actually would have NEVER guessed what he is mixed with, although, now in hindsight, it totally makes sense. Henry is 50% Australian Cattle Dog, 25% chihuahua, and 25% herding dog. Chihuahua! That shocked me! But, when I google chihuahua and blue heeler, sure enough, a dog that looks SO much like Henry pops up (this is a good example photo) and it makes sense. It doesn't seem like a popular mix but they are calling it a chi-heeler, ha! 

It also makes sense because Henry was found by Tracy's Dogs in the Palm Valley Animal Shelter which is about 30 minutes from the border of Mexico. I've never been to that area but it is my understanding that there is an overpopulation of stray animals in southern Texas and shelters are unable to keep up with all of the strays they are picking up daily. Apparently, many animals in that area are not spayed or neutered which causes an overpopulation problem. Hence, dogs get put down regularly because these shelters do not have the capacity to keep them.

In 2016 Palm Valley euthanized 22,000 dogs (source). Henry was a pup going down that awful road and the only reason he is alive and well today is because of Tracy's Dogs. In May of 2018, Palm Valley announced (source) that it will be working towards becoming a no-kill shelter. If you take anything away from this paragraph, that is to ADOPT (and spay and neuter your pups). 

Now that Henry has been with me for 365-days, I could not imagine life without him. I always say this and it is so cheesy but he truly makes every single day better. Even the bad days are good because of my sweet Hen. 

It just melts my heart to see how much he loves me and how much he loves my friends and family. He is truly the most velcro dog ever. He is at my side at all times. Even when he lays on the couch, his body is either laying on me or right up against me. He lays on my feet when I'm at my desk and he sleeps right up against me at night. When I get up to switch rooms, he is right behind me following me right into the new room. 

He is the funniest with my mom. He is truly obsessed with her and loves her so much. He spends a lot of time at my parent's house because I'm often at their house or because they are babysitting him while I am traveling. Whenever he first sees my mom, he goes wild for her. It's too funny. 

He has all of his commands down perfectly, he is well behaved when he is left alone and is not timid or skittish at all anymore. It's kind of crazy to think how timid and scared he was for the first few weeks. It is almost hard to remember now that he is so comfortable and happy. 

My parents always say that Henry hit the jackpot because I spoil him so much. But I truly think that I hit the jackpot. We always say that we can't imagine that there could ever be a dog as loving or loyal or as well behaved as our sweet Mac, but Henry almost lives up to it. Almost. No one will ever replace my Mac, though.

So happy gotcha day/birthday to my sweet, Henry! Here's to many more!

More Henry Content:

Monday, December 17, 2018

Easy Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays

Easy Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays

Easy Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays

Easy Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays

Easy Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays

Easy Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays
Thank you to Finish Line for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Truth be told, I don't love to do traditional workouts. I mostly stay active by doing little things throughout my day instead of an organized workout like yoga or spin. I think even if you do workout regularly, it gets tough to keep up the schedule during the holiday season. 

I wanted to share some of the ways that I stay active during the holiday season that are so easy that you might not even think twice about them! 

Walk Your Pet// Henry is what keeps me most active. It definitely gets tougher in the cold weather, but usually, during December, it's a bit milder. He loves long walks so that is what we do! 

Park Far Away// I don't just do this around the holiday season but almost always. It's a great way to get a few extra steps in (or a lot more depending on the parking lot). Plus, during the holidays, parking far away is almost unavoidable! 

Take the Stairs// I live on a higher floor in my building so just opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator can really get me moving. Do it a few times each day and that's a great way to get your heart pumping. Try doing this wherever and whenever you can!

Shop In-Store// I personally prefer to shop online, but if you are willing to brave places like the mall or an outdoor shopping center, you can get a ton of steps in that way. I have gone to outlet malls before and afterward, I would be amazed to have walked miles!

Shovel Snow// If you get a lot of snow, this is a serious workout. Growing up in Pittsburgh, I totally understand what a workout this really is. Snow is heavy so it's a bit of cardio and weights at the same time. Bonus points if you have time to shovel your neighbor's pathways, too, it's not only nice but will lengthen your 'workout'. 

Go Ice Skating// In Pittsburgh, there are so many great rinks. I especially love the outdoor rink at PPG Place with a beautiful Christmas tree in the middle. Ice skating is fun and kind of a novelty since I don't do it too often, but it is a great way to get moving, too!  

Skip the Moving Walkways// I always skip the moving walkways in airports and opt to walk. Airports can be a great place to get your steps in and I always take advantage of this- hence why I always dress very comfortably in airports!
Easy Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays
To be able to constantly be active, I like to dress comfortably whenever possible. That usually means some form of leggings and a sweater/pullover and always tennis shoes. That way, if I am out, I'm more likely to take the stairs or walk far distances because I'll be wearing comfortable footwear! Have you ever been out and stopped to run a quick errand, had to park far away and realize you're in heels? It's the worst. I don't know about you, but if I am in uncomfortable shoes, I'm definitely less likely to do anything too 'active'.

For sneakers, I'm a huge fan of Adidas and you can get them at Finish Line. I have been wearing the UltraBOOST style for years- in any of the photos of me in sneakers, you'll probably notice me in them! I have three pairs now and they truly feel like you are walking on a cloud. Not to mention they are so cute and always have so many colorways to choose from.

Now through the end of the year Finish Line will be offering Free Shipping on ALL full priced Adidas styles which include the UltraBOOST.

So whether you are looking for great sneaks to wear during your daily workouts, or just for daily wear to stay active during the holiday season, the Adidas UltraBOOST from Finish Line will keep you comfy and stylish! They run true to size and would make a great gift, too!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Gift Guide: Amazon Prime

Gift Guide: Amazon Prime
As we reach nearer to Christmas, dates for shipping by December 25th are passing us. Yesterday was the last day for USPS Grond shipping to be delivered in time for Christmas. However, Amazon Prime is always here to save the day. 

Today I'm sharing great items that are available with Prime shipping (2 days or less- a lot of products are being shipped 1-day with a $35 minimum). Everything on this list is under $100 and most are priced as stocking stuffers (under $20!). 

Dove Shower Foam// This is one of my favorite body washes and it's really inexpensive. This would be a great stocking stuffer. It smells wonderful and the foam is so great!

SD Card// This is my favorite SD card because it is SO fast. Give this to anyone on your list that has a camera and they will appreciate it. You can never have too many SD cards and this one is the best!

The Good Neighbor// I am so intrigued by Mr. Rogers. As a Pittsburgher, I feel pride for having him in our city. But I also think there is still so much everyone- adults and children- can learn from Mr. Rogers. This is a NY Times bestseller!

Phone Stand// This is kind of silly but it's also something I actually use quite frequently. It gives my phone a 'home' on my desk, but I also will set it in the bathroom or in the kitchen and use it to watch things or even just go through instastories while I'm doing things like curling my hair or washing the dishes. 

Pet Hair Remover// I use this daily and it truly works to remove pet hair from everything from your clothes to upholstery. It would make a great gift for anyone that has a pet!

Fill It Pocket// I love this! It's a stretchy pocket with adhesive on the back so you can stick it to your laptop. I use this to hold my portable hard drive. It's especially helpful when I'm working from my couch 

Bistro Napkins// These are so great for the price. I love these bistro napkins because they are casual but classic and are great for everyday use. I am a huge fan of cloth napkins-especially when having guests over- so I'm always collecting different sets of napkins. They can be expensive and these are so inexpensive that you don't have to worry about ruining them because they can easily be replaced. 

Travel Mirror// This mirror is amazing if you have ever needed to do your makeup on-the-go. I cannot tell you how often I have done my makeup in the car (while someone else is driving or while I'm parked) and having a great mirror is such a game changer. This is an easy one to just keep in your handbag and makes a great gift!

Ice Roller// This is like a recommendation from every blogger, but it's a legitimate one. It is so great to have in the mornings if your eyes or face is puffy. Not only does it feel wonderful but it really does help to rid your eyes of the bags. 

USB Power Strip// I always carry this when I travel. The extra long cord turns even the shortest charging cable into a long one. Plus, you can plug up to four cables in the power strip. It's small so it doesn't take up room in your bag and it is super lightweight. Lots of different colors so if you get them for sister/brothers, you can get them different colors so they can tell them apart. It also has a universal socket so you can use it abroad, too. 

Real Techniques Brushes// These are so good and pretty much the only brush brand that I own. They are super inexpensive but work so well. 

Invisibobble Hairties// I've mentioned this many times but these are my favorite hair ties. They really do work. I have tried a bunch of the knockoffs/drugstore brand and these are worth the extra few $$ because they're so much better and don't break. This set of 9 sold out at Sephora SO quickly and they have it on Amazon now for just $18- that's a savings of $6! 

Sponges// I have recommended these sponges for years now. I know it's kind of weird to recommend a sponge but these really are the best. The sponge is quite hard when it is dry and it stays stiff in cold water. In hot water, it turns into a very soft sponge so you can really control it for the type of thing you are cleaning. They are also scratch-free so you can use them on anything (I can verify this!). 

Velvet Hangers// This set of 50 is such a good price and the hangers I use in my closet. The velvet keeps clothing from slipping off the hangers. You can always use more hangers!

Tula Products// Did you know that one of my favorite skincare brands is available on Prime?! This is one of my favorite products for anti-aging!

Beautiful Playing Cards//How fun and pretty are these playing cards?! 

OPI Polish// One of my favorite polish brands and Bubble Bath is one of my all-time favorite shades. 

2019 Calendar// I have used this calendar for 3 years now. I love it. I just lay it on my desk under my laptop and update it as needed. I love the size of each 'day' so you can fit a lot in. Plus, it is high quality and the designs are beautiful. 

Sharpie Pens// These are my go-to pens. I love color coding when it comes to to-do lists and calendar-keeping. The colors don't bleed and the tip is fine and never 'smooshes' down.

See all of my other gift guides, here. 

Things on sale:
- These Matouk towels are pricey, even on sale, but worth every penny. They are the most luxurious thing you will ever feel. At $12 off, you'll feel at least a little better about buying them. I bought them full-price and would do it again- they're that good.

- I just ordered these boots for myself! They're a little out of my style comfort zone but I'm hoping the print will help to break up all the black that I wear during the winter months.

- The cutest little chinoiserie cachepot that would make a great vase.

- There are only a few sizes left in this dress but I scored it on sale and I am so excited. The dress is so classic and very Jackie O.

- I so badly wish this sweater was still available in my size. It's stunning. Snag it while you can-on sale plus an extra 30% off.

- A super soft and nautical navy cashmere throw. A great gift or for yourself!

- This cashmere wrap is 40% off and comes in a ton of colors.

- This silver tophat ice bucket that is 50% off (under $50). Looks very Ralph Lauren but without the Ralph pricetag.

- This bag is under $50 but looks so much pricier.

- Gorgeous Ferragamo sandals.

- This puffer is still on sale. It's one of my favorites. Lightweight and easily packable but still warm! 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Free Shipping Day

Can you even believe we are just 10 days from Christmas Eve?! I wanted to share this post because I know a lot of people still have some shopping to do.

If you didn't know, in the retail world, today is coined 'Free Shipping Day'. This is retail's last big push before Christmas to make sales online.

Besides the free shipping, this is also the last day for a lot of retailers to also ensure Christmas delivery, so basically shop now or forever hold your peace.

Today is the last day to ship USPS ground to get anything in time for Christmas, so keep that in mind, too, if you have some gifts to ship!

Some other dates you may want to remember:

December 17// Last day to ship FedEx standard
December 18// Last day to ship UPS 3 Day Select,
December 18// Last day to ship (for free) Nordstrom orders for Christmas delivery
December 20// Last day to ship Priority Mail and 2nd Day Air
December 21// Last day to ship UPS Next Day Air

Because of that, I am rounding up all of the gift guides I have done this season. There are 9 right now! Tomorrow I will add one more that focuses on things available on Amazon Prime 2-day shipping!

The gift guide is shown and then there is a direct link to each gift guide below!

For the Jet-Setter


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