Category: Lifestyle

8 Tips for New Dog Owners

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Greetings Breezles,

 There is nothing like finding your new best friend and bringing them home, but if you are a first time dog owner there are a few things you should know before settling down with your new furry friend.  I spoke to my friend who works at the rescue we adopted Bella from and she helped me put a list of 10 tips to help making new dog parenthood a little easier.

What tips do you have for new dog owners?

, E

Dog Proof Your Home: No matter the age of the dog a new home can be stressful and curiosity can get the best of them, so make sure your home is safe for your new BFF.  This may include taping loose electrical cords and baseboards, storing plants on higher shelves, removing any objects that are small enough to swallow and placing breakables/valuables in hard to reach areas.

Purchase Supplies: Grab everything you think you will need for your dog before bringing them home.  A few of the essentials are a leash, collar, crate (if you are crate training), food, water bowls, food bowls, identification tags, treats, a cozy bed and of course treats.

Find a Vet: It is important to find a vet you trust.  Ask friends with dogs who they would refer and read reviews online.  Make an appointment with a vet shortly after you get your new dog.  The vet can tell you if your dog is up to date on shots, make sure they are healthy and recommend a dog food it should be eating based on its breed, age and weight.

Microchip and Register: You can have your dog microchipped when you have your first vet visit.  It is important for your dog to have a collar and make sure it has tags with their name and your contact information, but you also want to make sure it is microchipped. Once your dog is microchipped make sure you register the microchip right away.  Collars can come off, but microchips aren’t going anywhere.

Get Outside: Exercise is one of the most important things for a dog, especially a puppy.  Whether you enjoy walking, running, throwing a frisbee or a ball make sure daily exercise becomes a routine.  Being active is great for both you and the dog.

Set Rules: Let your dog know who’s boss.  You don’t need to yell or get too stern, but if you see your dog doing something he shouldn’t make sure you let them know immediately.  When your dog does something good reward them with a treat and tell them they have been good.  Studies have shown that 8 out of 10 dogs respond better to their owner telling them they are a good dog after they do something good than treats, so make sure to let them know verbally that they are doing something you like.

Sign Up For Obedience Classes: Even if your dog is well behaved it doesn’t hurt to sign them up for obedience training.  Not only does your dog learn new tricks and how to behave, but you will learn about how to be a better dog owner.  It is also a nice way to meet other dogs in your community, so you can plan a doggy play date.

Prepare Other Pets and Children: When a newcomer is added to the family other pets and children can get neglected.  Try not to have a favorite and treat each animal the same to avoid jealousy. When introducing your new dog to other dogs in the family or friends dogs meet them somewhere neutral, like a park/ l.  Don’t go to a house where one animal will feel territorial and become the alpha. Make sure children know how to approach the dog without overwhelming them.  It is best not to bring too much excitement to the dog in the first few days.

Autumn Harvest Farmers Market Grocery List

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Greetings Breezles,

   The beginning of fall means fresh produce from your local farmers will be coming to an end.  This week I was able to speak with holistic nutrionist, Amber Young.  I really enjoyed talking with her about what holistic nutrition is and how we can incoporate it into our diet.  Amber said the three main things to remember is to eat seasonal, organic and unrefined foods and one of the best places to find these foods is at your local farmer’s market.   So, with Amber’s help I put together a list of some of the best fruits and veggies for fall you can find at any farmer’s market.

What is your favorite item to buy at the farmer’s market?

, E

Pumpkins: This festive gourd isn’t just for decoration.  When you are searching for a pumpking to cook make sure it is fully mature, so it is hard enough for short term storage and don’t ever carry a pumpking by it’s stem. If them stem breaks off it can leave the gourd with an open wound that invites rot and infection. Lastly, check the pumpking for any brusies or soft spots.  This could be sign of infection which means the pumpkin will rot very quickly.

Winter Squash: Butternut squash and spaghetti squash are only a couiple of the winter squash varieties you can find at your local farmers market.  Butternut squash has a yummy nut flavor perfect for fall recipes and spaghetti squash can be eaten like pasta, so it is a healthy alternative to noodles.

Apples: You may have heard people saying they like to go apple picking in the fall and that is because although apples are availalbe year round they at their ripest September-November.  Apples contain lots of Vitamin C and heart healthy fiber and can be added to many dishes or they can be a great snack all on their own.  When searching fo the best apple make sure there are no soft spots or bruises

Brussel Sprouts: I feel like brussel sprouts get a bad rap, but they can be delicious when cooked the right way.  If you are a bacon enthusiast think about adding a little iron and calcium your favorite meat by including some brussel sprouts.  If you are a vegetarian drizzle your favorite sauce (maybe a homemade pesto) onto the healthy veggie.

Pomegranates: They can be hard to peel, but boy are they delicious once you get them open.  Pomegranates peak between August and December, making fall the best time to break open the tasty fruit.  Add some pomegranate to your next salad or batch of cookies for some extra antioxidants.

Nutrition Tips From A Holistic Nutritionist

Greetings Breezles,

  It is important to be mindful of what we eat becuase the foods we put into our body can affect us in so many ways.  I like to be healthy and try to eat “well” on a regular basis, so I was really excited to talk to holistic nutritionist, Amber Young to see what tips she could give me. A short video is below, but if you would like to learn more about Amber and holistic nutrition you can visit her webiste Young Nutrition.

P.S. Amber is 6 months pregnant with her first child and I asked her what to eat when you are expecting.  She suggested seasonal, organic and unrefined foods.

Do you eat a holistic diet?

, E

A Simple and Yummy Breakfast Recipe For When You are on the Go

photo (11)Greetings Breezles,

Sometimes it can be difficult to eat something in the morning.  Many of us grab a protein bar or a piece of fruit to eat during our commute to work, but starting the day off right with a nutritious breakfast can help you energy throughout the day. I have been searching for an easy and healthy breakfast recipe that keeps me full until lunch.  I have looked at food blogs, Pinterest and recipe books and one of the most common recipes I found was an no cook, refrigerator oatmeal.  I tried a few recipes, but none of them were “me”, so I experimented with some ingredients and came up with something my taste buds were excited to wake up to.  My recipe is below, but the nice thing about this breakfast is that you can add anything you want to make it something you like.  Many people add peanut butter, cocoa powder, different fruits, etc, so have fun experimenting until you find what works for you.

What do you like to eat for breakfast?

, E


1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (regular or gluten free)

2/3 cup almond milk

1/4 cup low fat Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

as many raspberries you would like


Place oats, almond milk, yogurt, vanilla extract and cinnamon into a bowl and stir until mixed.

Cover the bowl

Place in refrigerator overnight

Add raspberries and eat chilled


5 New Television Shows To Watch Fall 2016

Greetings Breezles,

  After a long day at work it can be nice to sink into the sofa and watch your favorite television show.  Fall is the time for many new television shows to premier, so I put together a list of 5 of the most anticipated new television shows set to premier in the next few weeks and it is below.

Which new television shows are you most excited to watch this fall?

, E

Atlanta (FX)

Premieres: Tuesday, September 6th at 10/9c


This Is Us (NBC)

Premieres: Tuesday, September 20th at 10/9c

Better Things (FX)

Premieres: Thursday, September 8th at 10/9c


Queen Sugar (OWN)

Premieres: Tuesday, September 6th at 10/9c


Designated Survivor (ABC)

Premieres: Wednesday, September 21 at 10/9c


5 Glamping Destinations For Your Labor Day Weekend

Greetings Breezles,

  Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer, so rather than renting a hotel room this holiday weekend get outside and be one with nature before the warm weather comes to an end.  If you aren’t one for camping,  but want to sit around a campfire, sleep under the stars all while enjoying the sounds of nature then glamping could be what you are looking for. Below are 10 glamorous glamping destinations to help you relax and enjoy the outdoors this labor day weekend.

What are your plans for Labor Day weekend?

, E

The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, MT

Paws Up

Moab Under Canvas in Moab Utah


Camp Orenda in Johnsburg, NY




The Vail Collective Retreats in Vail, CO


Sinya on Lone Man Creek in Wimberley, TX

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5 Questions to Ask When Purchasing Your First Piece of Art

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Greetings Breezles,

  Buying art can be fun, but very intimidating; especially if it is the first piece you have purchased and you don’t know what questions to ask.  To help, I spoke to a director of a local gallery to see what 5 questions every first time art buyer should ask before making that big purchase and they are below.

What questions do you ask when speaking with an artist or gallerist?

, E

  1. Who is the artist?  Ask where the artist studied, their age, if they are living, if they have any important awards or are published, etc.  This helps you figure out where the artist is in their career and where they are headed.  If you are purchasing art in a gallery the gallerist should be happy to tell you all of the important information and give you a bio about the artist.  If you get to meet the artist ask what the inspiration is behind the piece and any other questions that are meaningful to you.  You don’t always get to meet the artist and can really add to the experience, so if you get a chance make sure to take it.
  2. What is the medium? Knowing the medium will help you determine its value.  There are so many different mediums out there, so make sure to do a little research and  get to know the type of art you are interested in purchasing.  If you are looking for originals ask if the artist does giclees or prints so you don’t see your piece hanging somewhere else.
  3. Ask yourself if is true love or infatuation? Most likely you are purchasing art to have for a long time, so you want to make sure you love it.  Does it speak to you and do you connect to it emotionally?   Most galleries will allow you to take art work home on a trial basis to make sure it works in your space before purchasing it. If you aren’t local ask what the return policy is.  Maybe you can ship it on approval.  After all, art looks different in your home than it does in the gallery.
  4. Is the price right for you? There is nothing worse than buyers remorse especially if you are unable to return it. The price of art work varies greatly. It can depend on how reputable the artist is, where they are at in their career, the medium used, the size, etc. Many artists price by square inch, so the larger the piece the more expensive it is.  At times an artist will determine the price by how much time it took them to paint it or the materials used.  Ask the gallerist or artist if the price is negotiable.  Rarely are the prices set in stone, so you can usually get a better deal than the price originally offered.
  5. Is it a quality piece? Look at the materials used and see if it is well finished.  Does it have a varnish or a type of glaze to help protect the piece?  Also look at the shape it is in.  Damage can reduce the value to the piece and the overall cost.  Check for any scratches or tears before purchasing. If there is any damage and you love the piece ask the seller to restore it for you an no extra cost.  If it is a reputable gallery they should have no problem making the painting perfect for you.

Top 10 Summer Olympic Sports To Watch

Greetings Breezles,

  The Summer Olympics happen every 4 years and it can be very exciting to watch the best athletes from around the world go for the gold.  There 41 sports in this years Summer Olympics, but which sports are the most popular among viewers?  I make sure to tune into gymnastics, swimming, soccer and track and field, but I thought it would be interesting to know which sports other people like to watch.  I did some research and what I found is below.

What are your favorite Summer Olympic sports to see?

, E

  1. Gymnastics
  2. Track and Field
  3. Swimming
  4. Soccer
  5. Beach Volleyball
  6. Basketball
  7. Tennis
  8. Volleyball
  9. Cycling
  10. Diving

10 Can’t Miss 4th of July Sales

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Greetings Breezles,

With long weekends come vacations, quality time with loved ones and of course big sales!  The 4th of July is no exception and with back to school approaching retailers need to clear out their summer inventory.  There are still at least three more months of warm weather, so this is a great time to buy that item you have been eyeing to enjoy for the remainder of the summer.

Which 4th of July sale are you most excited about?

, E


Anthropologie: For a limited time take 30% off sale items in store and onlinewith code EVENBETTER

Williams Sonoma: 20% off American Made Favorites and free shipping on all orders with code JULY through July 4th.

J.Crew: From June 30th-July 5th take 40% summer styles in store and online. Plus an extra 40%-60% off sale items with code COOLSTYLES

Urban Outfitters: Take and extra 30% off sale items in store and online through July 4th

Ann Taylor: 40% off full price styles wtih code JULY 40 and an extra 60% off sale styles from June 30th-July 5th. Some exclusions may apply.

Houzz: Save up to 75% on outdoor furniture, lighting, vanities and more!

ViX Swimwear: Use code SPARKLE30 today through July 4th for an extra 30% off sale items

Kate Spade: Enjoy 30% off sale items in store and online with code SUNSHINE June 30th-July 5th and free shipping

Nordstrom: Up to 50% off select clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories in stores and online

Zara: Everything online is on sale!  No code needed.


Painting: “Where Glory Waits” by Troy Collins



5 of the Best Firework Displays in the USA


Greetings Breezles,

 No Fourth of July celebration is complete without fireworks.  I am a kid at heart and enjoy big firework shows (so much that I had them at our wedding), so I have always been interested in which cities have the biggest firework displays in the country.  After doing some research I found 5  of the best fireworks displays in the USA and the list is below.

What do you do to celebrate the 4th of July?

, E

1. New York City, NY

With over 40,000 fireworks the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display is the largest in the country.  The fireworks are launched from the Brooklyn Bridge and several barges along the Hudson River, known as the Macy’s Golden Mile.  To add to the spectacular pyrotechnics the show is accompanied by the New York Pops Orchestra and Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

2. Washington D.C 

You can’t get any more patriotic than celebrating Independence Day in our nation’s Capitol. There are events all day and before the fireworks display there is a large concert with celebrities, big name rock stars and a grand finale featuring various military bands.   This is a celebration you won’t want to miss.

3. Boston, MA

When you go to The Boston Pops Concert Fireworks Spectacular you are going to see an amazing 20,000 pound pyrotechnic display accompanied by the legendary Boston Pops Orchestra.  The music starts with the national anthem and then breaks into the 1812 Overture with real canon fire.

4. Addison TX, other wise known as Kaboom Town

Although there are only 19,000 residents in Addison year round about 500,000 people come to celebrate on the 4th.  With live entertainment, an airshow and about 3,500 pounds of fireworks this party has been recognized by the American Pyrotechnic Association as one of the best firework displays in the country.

5. Philadelphia, PA

Why not celebrate our nations birthday in its birthplace?  The party starts with a week long celebration that includes, outdoor films, live music, and so much more.  It all ends with the largest free concert in the nation featuring some of today’s biggest artists and over 10,000 fireworks.