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    Spend Some Time In Nature

    Spend Some Time In Nature


    I’ve always loved being in nature. As a young child growing up in South Florida, I loved going to the beach and being by the ocean. In the winter months, I enjoyed our trips further out west and going out to the Everglades. As a teen, my family moved to the Caribbean and I would often traipse through the lush green jungle-like vegetation in the mountains…just me and my teenage angst. It calmed me and helped to add balance. On the weekends, I would bathe in the clear turquoise waters and play Frisbee on the soft sands with my friends.

    Now in my 50's, I often go to local parks throughout Central Florida. Wooded and lush, my dog and I walk through the muck, he getting his paws dirty and me needing to wash my sneakers when I get home. What I love most about our excursions is the sounds… as a child I didn’t pay much attention to the sounds of nature, I was more enthralled with the visual. Last night, while we were at Mead Gardens, there was a symphony of birds chirping and singing. High pitched tweets, low cackling and sounds that are reminiscent of hitting a high hat on a drum set. It was amazing to hear the different birds, each with their unique song and together it was like being in the front row of an orchestra warming up for the night’s performance. Truly a grand experience.

    Over the years there have been many studies showing that being in nature is good for our health and sense of well-being. However, I think most of us know intuitively how nature impacts us… that babbling brook, the sway of tree leaves in a gentle breeze, the smell of salty air… all are things that can relax our minds and bodies.

    So, if you are feeling stress, or you need a break, or you just want to wander and explore, take a trip to the woods, the beach, a lake, a park, a field, a marsh or some other place where you can experience nature. You will thank yourself for the experience!

    The Big Earring Trend from New York Fashion Week

    The Big Earring Trend from New York Fashion Week

    Four days into New York Fashion week and already it’s obvious. One of the trends is big bold statement jewelry, especially  in the form of earrings. Not only are the earrings enormous, many are mismatched in design. It’s really time to let your earrings do the talking! Giant earrings can make any outfit special and will create interest to your look.

    On the runways in New York, many of the earrings were touching the shoulder and some were beyond shoulder length. This probably isn’t practical in our real world lives. However, we can still celebrate this trend with earrings that are 2 to 4 inches in length- big enough to get noticed without looking out of place.

    Embrace the trend with some of these earrings today!

    Ariel Mismatched Snail and Coral Earrings - The length is 2.5" . These are the epitome of the mismatched trend.

    Yvette Flower Dangle Drop Earrings Imagine these earrings with a simple white dress or a plain t-shirt, blazer and wide jeans!

    Kinsley Open Rectangle Resin Earring shows you how you can take a big earring and make a casual chambray shirt special and fun!

    Have Car, Have Dog, Let's Have An Adventure!

    Have Car, Have Dog, Let's Have An Adventure!

    Being a dog caregiver doesn’t mean that you can’t travel anymore or that you need to leave your furry friend at home. Traveling with your dog by car can be an enjoyable experience for both of you! To ensure that you both have a great trip, you will want to follow these guidelines.

    First and foremost, make sure your best friend likes to take trips. If your dog has always been an inside dog and is only in the car when you go to the veterinarians or to the groomers, than you will want to do several test runs before planning a big trip. Initially, start small. Take your dog to local parks, farmer’s markets, trails, beaches and other places besides his or her’s usual routine. Go at least twice a week and gauge for anxiety, upset stomachs, nervousness or any stressful behaviors. If your pup passes these tests after a couple of weeks, then do a mini trip where you stay overnight somewhere 2-4 hours away. This will let you know how he or she does after being in the car for more than a couple of hours and how your companion does sleeping in a new location. Not all dogs are good with travel, but if yours is, then the following are tips to make your trip enjoyable:

    • About a month before your leave, do a comprehensive veterinary visit. You want to make sure your pet is in the best of health before the trip. You will want to do the following:
      • Ensure all shots and medications are up to date.
      • Verify that the microchip is still working.
      • Test for parasites, this way, if treatment is needed, it can be done before you go away.
      • Ask your Veterinarian for any travel advice, tips, health concerns,etc. Let your vet know what your plans are and let your vet weigh in with their thoughts, suggestions or concerns.
      • Before you leave the Vet’s office, you will want to obtain the following:
        • Medical and Vaccination Records, Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and/or an Acclimation Certificate for air travel if you are flying.  You may need these if your pup gets sick on your travels or you make take excursions where your pup will go to a doggy daycare facility. It’s better to have this information than be dealing with an emergency later or having to skip out on a fun activity.
        • Prescribed medications and nutrients (adequate supply for entire duration of trip and several days' surplus supply.)
        • Your Veterinarian’s contact information.
      • You also should have:
        • A collar or tag with your pet’s name and your contact information.
        • A current photograph of your dog.
    • Plan out your trip- know the path of where you are going! Spontaneity is great but when you are traveling with a pet, you need to know where you are going to stay. Many hotels do not allow pets and those that do can charge anywhere from extra $25-$150 per night! Also, you may think you can power through a 10 or 12 hour drive but your dog won’t be too keen on that! Dogs usually can only handle about 6-7 hours a day in a car at most.
      • Look for overnight stays that are approximately 300-400 miles apart.
      • Check out the availability of hotels at these destinations that allow dogs and what fees are associated with the stay.
        • Hotel Tonight is a great app because it clearly shows if dogs are allowed, the fee and any restrictions. It’s also ideal for finding last minute bargains. Keep in mind, the selection of hotels in high season or smaller locales may be limited.
    (Feel free to use the invite code of TTOUHEY for 20% back after your first booking.)

        • Bring Fido is a huge resource for all sorts of stays, including hotels, motels, vacation rentals, bed and breakfast and campgrounds.
        • Traditional hotel apps and websites are also a resource but take heed- I have seen listings stating that dogs are allowed but when I called the hotel, I found that the information wasn’t accurate. It is always advisable to double check before booking.
    • Plan things to do ahead of time! One of my favorite trips with my little buddy was when I drove from Omaha, Nebraska to Dallas, Texas to visit family. I had an extra few days so I did some research for dog friendly excursions. On this trip we went to Fantastic Caverns in Springfield, Missouri. Then, we trekked over to Hot Springs, Arkansas- a very dog friendly town. We went crystal mining in Mount Aida, Arkansas. By doing my research first, I was able to share some great experiences with my boy and he had a great time- especially at the crystal mine where he was able to run around and play in the red clay.
    • Make the car trip enjoyable and comfortable for your companion. I highly recommend the following:
      • Make frequent stops, at least once every 1.5 hours or so. Spend at least 10 minutes at each stop if not longer. Take a walk with your pup, let her or him get some great smells in. Throw a ball or do a run. The activity will let your dog release energy and help with any anxiety or restlessness.
      • Pack treats, water and food and keep these items in the front of the car and not in the trunk. This will reduce any thoughts from your dog of where is my food? Will I eat again? Keep in mind, the more you can mirror home activities to your trip, the better it is for your pup.
      • Pack his or her favorite blankets and toys. Bring along a pet bed or carrier for comfort and security in the car. Since my dog sleeps with me on my bed, I also bring my comforter and a pillow and I keep them in the back seat. The smell of home helps… he knows these are my things and that we are on this trip together.
      • Groom your dog a day or two before the trip. I normally drop him off at the groomers the a day or so beforehand so I can pack without him being at the house (my dog gets high anxiety when he sees suitcases- it could be because he was a stray twice before I adopted him.) I put everything in the trunk except his food, toys, his dog bed and my bedding. I throw those remaining items into the car 5 minutes before we are out the door.
      • Talk to your dog while driving. Crack open the windows when you can, especially on country roads. Remember, your dog’s nose is his or her wonderland… those scents are exciting! Give reassuring pets and scratches. She or he needs to know that this is a good thing that is happening so that they enjoy the adventure!
    • My last tip is to have fun, relax, take your time and snap pictures. Traveling with your dog can bring lots of joy and enhance your relationship. So go out there, take a road trip and create some wonderful memories with your best friend! It will be a great experience for both of you.

    For additional information, check out the following resources and articles:

    Traveling with Your Pet FAQ- American Veterinary Medical Association

    10 Trips for Traveling With Your Dog

    ASPCA Travel Safety Tips

    The Sweet Barrette Trend for 2019

    The Sweet Barrette Trend for 2019
    The barrette is one of the most perfect hair accessories. It’s great for side sweeping your overgrown bangles and creating a sleek, polished look. 

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