#springforsmalldogs + a giveaway!

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Our sweet dog James is such a small little guy. He’s no more than 7 lbs yet has the personality of a great dane. He’s had a rough Winter season with 3 surgeries under his belt but Spring is finally here and James is so ready to kick his cone to the curb and get out there to enjoy the beautiful sunshine this long weekend. He’s fully prepped thanks to the #springforsmalldogs gift pack Mars Canada sent him!

In our new subdivision, practically every other house has a small dog – there are Shih tzus, Yorkies, Boston Terriers. Growing up my neighbour had not one but THREE Great Danes and it seemed like everyone owned a Golden Retriever (thanks Full House! We <3 Comet) but now 60% of dog households in Canada own a small dog (35 lbs or less) which completely makes sense given all the condos going up and urbanization happening. james2

Being a small dog owner isn’t so easy though. Yes, they’re smaller and are easy to handle than bigger breeds, but they do require special attention. I know James and any other small breed I’ve owned have had are fussy eaters and it’s been tough trying to find something he loves and will eat without me having to coax him or hand feed it to him. To help aid this, we looked for specific foods that are meant for small dog breeds that make it easy for their little jaws to chew. Or, to change it up a bit for him, we mix in a little bit of wet food to add some different textures and this usually does the trick. You can look out for brands like CESAR®, IAMS®, and PEDIGREE® that offer a range of specialized recipes specifically for small dogs!

Small breed dogs are also more susceptible to gum disease due to tooth crowding. James had some dental work done and had some teeth pulled so it’s so important to keep not only their teeth but their gums in good shape by doing some daily brushing along with providing food and treats that are designed to support oral care.

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James is just getting to the end of his recovery period of his last surgery so getting this gift pack couldn’t have come at a better time! It included tons of CESAR® wet and dry food, a cozy bed and a bunch of fun toys perfect for his size!

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And because James loved his gift pack so much, we’re giving away the pack below from Mars Canada to another fellow small dog owner! All you have to do to enter is comment what your favourite small dog breed is + your e-mail address. (Contest closes on May 27 – Open to Canadian residents only)

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Good luck to everyone that enters! Happy long weekend!

4 Reason’s Why I do Yoga: A Beginner Yogi’s View

yoga

Wellllll… I am back. I took a few months off due to some personal issues, daily life problems and stresses – but I am feeling a bit better and have been working on staying on track and improving life however I can, little by little.

One of my new year’s goals was to start yoga. Initially, I joined the free class that they held at my personal training facility as one of the first steps to make small changes in my life, but I found the environment wasn’t suitable for yoga and I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of each class. After some research, I found a sweet little yoga studio in the town next to us with a small community feel, intimate classes and nothing but good vibes.

I was a little nervous to be starting my yoga journey in a “real” yoga environment where I felt like I would feel out of place so I began with just one class a week. After a couple of classes, I was definitely hooked and am now up to 2-3 a week and hopefully more as I get further in my practice. I’ve read about so many benefits of doing yoga, thus why I started, but here are some of my personal gains and how it’s helped me in such a short time.

1. Better posture and flexibility. I have awful posture 95% of the time. My grandmother always used to tell me to sit up straight and I often find my shoulders hunched towards my ears while I’m sitting at my desk in the office. I find my flexibility getting better with each class and I am far more conscious about keeping my shoulders away from my ears and keeping a good posture.

2. Fitness. This is unlike any weight training I could do at the gym. I didn’t realize this until I was struggling so hard to do chaturanga (low plank) or when my legs burned like crazy 3 seconds into utkatasana (chair pose). I do quite well in the gym with the weight machines, but being able to leverage my own bodyweight is a whole new thing. Doing yoga has given me such a good balance in my fitness routines and activates muscles in positions that I would never do at the gym.

3. Challenging myself. I felt the urge to try something I’ve never done before. There’s a list of things I’d love to do, but I figured I would start with something that had a long list of benefits to it. Despite my nervous feelings about not being able to do some of the poses, my instructor goes at my pace but also pushes me to try new poses. I’m not one to step out of my comfort zone, but starting yoga has definitely empowered me to do more.

4. Personal Growth. Being someone that deals with anxiety, it is incredibly difficult for me to turn off my mind and put all of life’s worries behind, even for just 5 minutes. While I don’t have this quite perfected yet, savasana has been teaching me how to really let go and be present. It may be just a “corpse pose” but it really has been the most difficult one for me to do, yet one of the most beneficial. When I’m in class, I really feel more grounded and connected to myself, which is a breath of fresh air when your life is full of busy work, a cluttered home or stressful situations.


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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide For Her: Under $50

valentines day

Okay, so guys…I hate to break it to you, but not every girl loves flowers for Valentine’s Day. I love the thought of them and yes, they are pretty and Instagrammable but they are SO overpriced and like…they die. Instead, I say to opt for something that your gal can keep, love and use! Here are a few budget friendly ideas that still show you’re thoughtful and on trend!

S’Well Dark Hearted Water Bottle – $45.00
Ted Baker Travel Set -$49
Tarte: Tartlette Tease Palette – $25
ILY Couture Wifey Tee – $46
Kate Spade ‘Pretty & Witty’ Candle – $45
Talula Bralette – $32

If not these items, chocolate is always a good idea. Always.


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Wedding Splurge Vs. Save

splurge vs save

When I began planning my wedding, my fiancé and I created a budget – a budget that was completely off and very unrealistic, which we did not realize until we actually spoke to our vendors and got pricing. Overall we spent double what our budget was… but if you ask me, it was completely worth it!

While going through the initial planning stages, I went through tons of wedding blogs that gave advice on what was worth spending for and holding back on. Looking back at my wedding, I did fall in line with a lot of what they suggested, however there were a few things that I did the opposite on. Our choices may not be the same of yours, but here is the “Burgess Edition” of ‘splurge vs save’ for the wedding:

SPLURGE

Photography/Videography
This was my number one priority and the first thing I booked once we had a date confirmed. I have an obsession with watching wedding features online so obviously I needed an awesome videographer and it just so happened that the one I wanted had a wife that did the photography side of the business. The quality of their work spoke volumes to me so I was willing to fork up the cash if it meant having an extremely talented team with us to capture our wedding story.
Quick shout out to Love Madly for a preview of some of the photos, including the header photo!

Food/Drinks/Venue
We chose a venue that had in house catering, as most banquet halls here do. This was also the first venue we checked out. I instantly fell in love with the room but the dinner tasting is what really made me confident about our choice. We upgraded our guest meals above what their standard was and offered a deluxe open bar. For all the weddings I go to, the first thing I remember is the food. So for me, this upgrade was completely worth it.

DJ/Master of Ceremonies
This was something I was really keen on getting the best of. We really wanted someone that knew how to work the crowd and get a serious party going since both of our families and friends love to dance. Our venue’s in-house DJ company had a variety of DJs that specialized in different cultures and ages groups. While this company was quite a bit more expensive then some of the others we checked out, we do not regret using them at all. The music choices were amazing and our DJ really knew how to work the room and keep people on the dance floor.

Photo Booth
Since we didn’t have any live entertainment, I thought a photo booth in our lobby would be a great way for people to be able to get away from the party and also have something else to take home with them. We hired a company that did 6 hours and provided unlimited printing, plus a full download for us of everyone’s shots – just another great way to capture some hilarious moments throughout the night. This isn’t something I would suggest to splurge on and is completely unnecessary, rather something we decided to get as an added fun element. Everyone had a blast with it – and I have the pictures to prove it! ;)

Honeymoon
Our honeymoon itself wasn’t too expensive. We decided to go to the same resort we went to on our very first vacation together in Punta Cana. Compared to other all-inclusive vacations in December, it wasn’t a budget buster but we did upgrade a few other things to help make this the most relaxing vacation we’ve ever taken. This included a VIP lounge, upgraded seats on the airplane which had so much leg room I couldn’t even reach the person in front of me with my legs stretched out, as well as spa treatments and massages at our resort. Trust me, after all the wedding planning, these were all necessary and totally worth the extra costs.

wedding photobooth

SAVE

Flowers
I have really bad allergies so this was a no brainer for me. Aside from that though, I quickly found out that trying to get the kind of flowers I wanted in December was next to impossible or will cost a pretty good amount. So, I ordered silk flowers online in bulk and my mom graciously made all of the bouquets. I was extremely happy with how they turned out and were exactly how I envisioned them to be.

Favours
Rory and I love wine so naturally we gave bottles of wine away as our bombonieres. We went to a vintner, chose our own wine, and bottled and corked them ourselves at their store. I created the labels myself and we spent hours sticking them on and bagging them in their wine bags. Surprisingly this was a MUCH cheaper option than a lot of the other ideas we had so it worked out perfectly.

Paper Collateral
If it were up to me, I probably wouldn’t have done a program but my husband really wanted them for each table setting. My whole thought was that they would just take up room on the table and no one really keeps them, but since it was one of the few things he wanted, we went with it. To keep costs down, I designed them and printed them myself instead of getting them through a printer or on Minted where we got our invitations. Also, instead of a guestbook we did custom made “Well Wishes” cards that cost next to nothing to make.

Bridal Accessories
(Minus the shoes, of course) I decided to order handmade items from Etsy rather than going to a bridal boutique. Not only did this save me quite a bit of money, but my hair piece, jewellery and garter were unique and unlike most things you’d find in the stores. Since then I’ve been OBSESSED with Etsy and all the fun, custom stuff you can find.

Deco

And that’s a wrap! OH – also, we haven’t gotten our professional pictures back yet so our collection of Facebook posts from our family will have to make do for the blog for now!

Again, keep in mind these are things that we found necessary to save/spend on – might not be what everyone would pick, but our choices worked for us and proved to be the right ones!


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January Drugstore Picks

drugstore picks

We are in a serious money saving mode since our new home will be ready in July which means new appliances, furniture, light fixtures – the works. So, since cutting myself off from new makeup is out of the question (obviously), finding more budget-friendly makeup at the drugstore has become my new ‘thing’. After giving in and splurging on so many hyped up luxury brand items before all of this, I sort of feel cheated now that I’ve tried out some of these picks because they’re pretty legit and for less than half the cost. Looks like I’ll be frequenting the makeup aisles at Shoppers Drug Mart more often…

Here are a few of my most recent finds and favourites:

Carmex Lip Balm: I forever have chapped lips and for someone that loves liquid lipstick as much as I do, it’s a curse. Carmex has been one of the very few lip balms that I can wear under a stay all day lipstick that won’t alter the staying power. It keeps my lips super moisturized and enhances other lip products I love for $3 – what’s not to love!

Revlon Nail Enamel in Vixen: I’ve been such a slave to shellac manis for the past year but have recently started doing my nails myself. I absolutely love Revlon’s nail polish, especially Vixen for this season! I work on a keyboard all day, go to the gym often and find that this doesn’t chip as easily as other brands! Definitely feel a polish collection starting soon…

Maybelline FaceStudio Master Conceal: I am SO obsessed with this concealer! It’s such a great dupe for MUFE’s Full Cover Concealer which I had been using for the past 4 years so I am ecstatic about finding something more budget friendly that I can use everyday for work. It’s super opaque, lightweight and wears really wear the entire day. Can’t go wrong when I save myself $30!

Revlon Super Length Mascara: This mascara is literally the best thing for my barely there lashes. No word of a lie, my co-worker thought I had lash extensions on while using this. I love that even one coat looks good, but more than that is full on glam. A must try for those with short lashes!

Revlon HD Matte Lipcolour: My favourite of all my drugstore finds lately! I already have three colours and love how much colour you get with just one swipe that lasts through coffee and meals. It’s supposed to be a matte finish but does not give that tight, dry feeling. I cannot recommend this enough for all my liquid lipstick lovers!

Come across any goodies at your drugstore? Help a sister out and let me know – I’d love to check them out!


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