Monday, December 9, 2019

Gift Guide: For the Pups

gift ideas for dogs and pet owners

This list is so fun for me to make because I absolutely LOVE shopping for Henry. It's something that brings me so much joy. He's 100% spoiled but he's just so good and so sweet, I can't help it!

These are all ideas for pups and pet owners. I love that my parents and aunt all give Henry presents, too, it's adorable and he loves it! So, if you are going to a house with a pet for the holidays, consider snagging something for their pet. It really means a lot to the owner and the pet obviously loves it, too. A lot of pet products are super inexpensive. They actually have a ton of name-brand toys at places like Homegoods and TJ Maxx, too, that are around $4! 

Dog Print// I just love this print and what a sweet reminder of the pups in our lives. 

Chinoiserie Dog Bowl// Henry has this and we LOVE it. Instead of being an eyesore like a lot of pet items, this is actually beautiful and blends in with our decor. Plus, Dana hand paints the name of your pet inside of the bowl. 

Elephant Storage Basket// This is another item we have in our master bedroom. We store Henry's 'upstair' toys in it and it's so cute sitting in the corner. I think it's probably meant to be a planter but works just as well as a little toy basket. It would be cute to use in a child's room, too. 

Puzzle Cube // In true Australian Cattle Dog fashion, Henry is SO smart. He needs to be mentally stimulated which is hard some days and especially hard in the winter when we don't go for as long of walks. I swear I have tried every toy under the sun to keep him occupied and active and this one is one of his absolute favorites as he tries to remove the balls inside of the 'cage'. 

Bow Collar// Henry looks so dapper in his bow collar! They have such cute holiday plaids but also some other non-holiday options, too! It's extremely high-quality for the price. 

Personalized Mat// We have a personalized mat for Henry and it's so sweet. It's also kind of necessary so he doesn't splash his water all over our hardwood floors! 

Vitamin Treats// We give one of these to Henry every morning. It is a vitamin treat. It's fun to be ablt to treat him and know he is getting nourished, too. 

Dog Bone Pillow// This is going to sound crazy but Henry loves his pillow. I know you're probably like 'how in the world do you know he loves it'. It looks/feels like a stuffed toy and he has not chewed on it or played with it like a toy. In fact, he moves it around on his bed to get it in the 'right' position for him. It's so funny. He also just oddly loves pillows. If he is in a bed, he lays his head on a pillow like a human would, ha! But seriously this is just such a fun little 'unnecessary' gift idea. 

Engraved Ornament// I got my parents a special dog ornament the year Mac passed away (last year) for Christmas and it is so special. Also a fun ornament idea for a newly adopted pup! 

Dino Nylabone// This is hands-down Henry's favorite toy. He loves Nylabone brand toys and oddly enough, he specifically prefers the dinosaur-shaped ones. My aunt gets him one every year and he goes nuts for it. Henry is a VERY heavy chewer and this is a toy that lasts him for months (which is so rare). 

Leather Dog Tag// This is one major sale right now (seriously $3), but Henry has this tag in blue and it's so cute. It's real pebbled leather and his name is embossed in gold. 

Cableknit Sweater// This cable knit is so stinking cute. I die for pet clothes and really try to limit putting Henry in them because I know he doesn't love them. However, sometimes it is truly frigid outside and a sweater/coat is a welcome layer. Henry has a coat and he truly doesn't mind it. 

Frame// I think this is so sweet and adorable. It's a simple, thoughtful gift idea. 

Scout Bag// We use this bag for Henry whenever we bring him anywhere. It's like his little overnight bag. It's small and you can get it embroidered. We got it customized with his name and what I like about it is that it's lightweight and a material that you can just wipe off with a wet cloth if it gets dirty.  

Custom Dog Socks// Fun story. Last year, my fiancé really wanted a Juju Smith Schuster jersey (a Pittsburgh Steeler player). I truly convinced him that I didn't get him it (because I don't like team jerseys in general so it was easy... but you know, I got him the jersey anyway... #truelove) and told him I got him the 'best gift ever'. For weeks, he kept joking and saying 'nothing could be better than a Juju jersey' and he could not guess what I got him. So, I had him open these socks with Henry's face on them and he was absolutely THRILLED. The smile on his face was the biggest I had ever seen. They're truly hysterical and kind of a gag gift but my fiancé thought they were the coolest thing ever and now refers to them as his 'Henry socks'. He says it was the best gift he has ever received!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Service Sunday: Support Pet Shelters

Another Service Sunday! Today is a roundup of pet-related charities as I received a ton of information regarding all different types of charities. I absolutely LOVE that so many of you are also advocates for pets and adoption. Pet adoption is truly important to me and something I am passionate about. 

If you have been considering adopting a pet, and are able to afford it and take on the responsibility, I could not recommend it more. We adopted our family dog Mac (from Washington Humane Society) and he brought SO MUCH happiness to our family. He passed away in February 2018 and I miss him dearly. I adopted Henry in December 2017 and you all know how much I love my Henry. We rescued him from Tracy's Dogs.

A lot of shelters are way too full in the country. When you adopt a dog, you save two dogs. One because you leave a spot open in a shelter and two because of the dog you save. In our case, we saved 3 dogs: 1 spot opened up in the shelter, one spot opened up with Tracy's Dogs and we saved Henry. It's truly a wonderful thing you can do and I cannot even begin to put into words the joy and happiness Henry brings to our lives. We adopted Henry from Southern Texas where they have a severe stray dog population. This is because the dogs are not being neutered and spayed and just keep reproducing. It's a big issue and the shelters aren't big enough and simply can't afford to save them all so a lot of shelters are high-kill shelters. It's heartbreaking. Henry was literally saved from being euthanized in a south Texas shelter because of Tracy's Dogs. Tracy's Dogs was the organization that saved him from the kill-shelter and then they got him up to date on everything, socialized him, etc. and he then came to us. Seriously, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life. I was nervous about the cost and responsibility and in hindsight, I should have never been worried. 

However, I know not everyone wants a pet and a lot of you are probably like us: we personally cannot handle/care for more dogs at this time! But, there is still a lot you can do to help and make a difference. 

First, I am going to share the many ways you can help. It obviously differs from charity to charity, but these will give you a starting point to think of what you can do personally. Then, I'll share some local Pittsburgh non-profits (as those are the ones I received the most submissions for) but I'll also share some national ones that have been sent in by readers (and some that I already knew about, too). 

How You Can Help
Obviously, the first thing you can do is to donate money. I know a lot of people would rather volunteer or donate actual items and whatnot, but money in these instances can help SO much. A lot of the humane societies and pet organizations have high medical bills because of all of the animals they treat. Even just spaying and neutering is an expense. A lot of charities, which are INCREDIBLE, also will pay for your dog's medical bills if you cannot afford them. Also, with money, they are able to buy all the supplies they need! A lot of non-profits give you the option to make a monthly donation (which is what I have set up to do) and it is so easy and makes donating more money possible! 

Fostering dogs is another great option. I have never done this so I can't really speak too much about it but you are giving a dog a warm and loving home until they can either recover from illness or until they are adopted. A lot of sick dogs or older dogs simply can't be in a shelter and there are so many scared, emaciated dogs who would thrive in a warm and loving home. It's SUCH a selfless thing to do.

Donating items is an option at a lot of non-profits. Most websites have wish-lists of items they could use and I've seen some even post their Amazon wish lists so you can go on and so easily donate something they can truly use. You can also donate your old towels at some places... not all accept this but if you have old towels you don't use, consider calling around to see if any shelters in your area can use them! 

Volunteering is another great option! A lot of shelters and the like require training first, but a lot of times, if you just want to provide interaction and companionship, you might not need to go through all of the training. Dogs just want to be loved and human interaction enriches their lives SO much. Even just from being with Henry all the time- he always wants to be petted or played with and he even finds so much peace and relaxation when he just lays right up against me.

Local Pittsburgh Pet Non-Profits:

National Pet Non-Profits:
- Tracy's Dogs (where we got Henry!)
- ACDRA (this is a site I was heavily checking before I found Henry)

I also found this really great resource for a list of charities that will help you to pay for your dog's medical needs should you be unable to. It's great to donate to organizations like these but it's also great to share this resource if you know anyone that has an animal in need and can't afford the medical costs. Which, if you didn't know, can get crazy expensive- we had an emergency incident with Henry and had to take him to the emergency vet one year ago and we were fortunate enough to be able to afford whatever he needed but there are so many people who can't. I think our bill (for a one night stay and treatment) was over $1500!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Saturday Shopping

Happy weekend, friends! We are in Philadelphia this weekend for a wedding! This is our last wedding of 2019 and ours is next, AH!

I can't believe we are just about 3 weeks from Christmas, isn't that crazy? I've been, of course, browsing for gifts like a madwoman lately so I wanted to share what I have been loving from this week!
See My Gift Guides Here:
Cyber Week Guides:

2018 Gift Guides that still have a lot of great items in stock 
Stocking Stuffers
Gifts for Coworkers (love this one!!)
2017 Under $100 (most items are still in stock)
2017 Under $100 (most items are still in stock)

Friday, December 6, 2019

What I Listen To While I Work (holiday edition)

What I Listen To While I Work (holiday edition)

What I Listen To While I Work (holiday edition)
Pullover// Joggers (both c/o) 

A while back, on Instagram stories, I shared that I often play Wynton Marsalis (holiday) station on Pandora during November/December. I talked about how it is a great Christmas music station that can be played in the background as I work and doesn't disrupt or distract me. 

Since then, I have received countless DM's asking me to remind them of the music I had shared so I thought I'd share my big list full of great holiday stations for when you need to focus! 

These are all songs/channels/stations that I listen to when I need to get it all done. They're mostly calming and a lot of the songs don't have words. I can't work in silence!! 

- Wynton Marsalis Holiday Radio- A jazzy favorite on Pandora

- Kenny G Holiday Radio- Another station with jazzy vibes. I love Kenny G. It's a bit elevator music-ish but it's so good. 

- GRP Christmas Albums- There are 3 (on Spotify) and I grew up with them. They are not your traditional Christmas songs and a lot are jazzy/don't have words. 

- Vince Guaraldi Trio Holiday Radio- Another jazzy Pandora favorite... and of course A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi. Honestly, this should be at the top of the list. The. Best. 

- Miles Davis Holiday- Can you tell that I love jazz yet? 

- Home Alone Soundtrack- So classic and so cozy. 

- Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Radio- This is definitely more classical and has Nutcracker vibes. 

- The Holiday Soundtrack- You can stream this on Spotify. I love Definitely Unexpected. Anything Nancy Meyers touches is brilliant- even if she didn't compose or produce this music, it still has that NM vibe. 

- The Grinch Soundtrack (the original)- It's basically the Original Grinch movie without the picture. 

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