If My Dog Could Talk

If My Dog Could Talk - The Perfect Give for Pet Lovers & Owners

Beauty Brite Disclosure 

Let me tell you a story about my beloved rescue puppy, Morgan Rayne. She wasn’t the first dog I ever had, but she was the first dog that was all mine. You see, I had grown up with dogs. Since I was very little, there was always a dog, or two, in my family. They even made appearances in our family pictures. As a grown-up, I knew I wanted my own dog, but the time never seemed right.

Then one day, I finally decided it was time. I didn’t know what kind of dog I wanted, I just knew it would be a rescue. There are way too many dogs in shelters and I wanted to help save one. So, I went to shelters and looked online and one day I found her. This sweet, goofy boxer face I couldn’t resist.

Morgan Rayne

I still remember meeting Morgan, or Rayne as was called at the time, for the first time in a big field in Atlanta. I really hoped we would connect. You never know what a rescue has been through so it isn’t always a guarantee they will like you or warm up to you. This was not the case with Morgie. As I bent down to get a good look at her and to pet her, she crawled into my lap and gave me kisses. That was it, I was a goner.

On December 1st, 2009, Morgan Rayne became mine. She was sweet, full of energy, goofy, a total bed hog, and followed me where I went. I think she may have been left by her previous owners because she had some issues with separation anxiety.

We had many adventures together. She loved the snow, well eating it, and going to the beach. Although she didn’t really love going in the water. She also loved to ride shotgun in the car wherever we went so she could look out the window. She had a pension for wine, apples, bread, and Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing. She would sneak on my mom’s couch, even though she wasn’t allowed up there.

Morgan Collage

 

I had her for six years before she unexpectedly passed away from bloat. I still miss her to this day. Although I keep my favorite picture of us by my bed, I always wanted a way to honor or celebrate her. Now, thanks to my personalized book, If My Dog Could Talk, from I See Me! I can. The book, written by Maia Haag and illustrated by Susan Batori, tells the story of you and your dog. (Or the pet lover and their dog if you are giving the book as a gift.)

If my dog could talk set

 

If you’re not familiar with I See Me!, they are known for their personalized children’s books. They have a wide variety of books and gifts for babies, kids, adults, and pets. I was thrilled when they offered me the chance to customize their pet book, which also came with a personalized placemat & bandana.

I See Me! makes customizing your book so easy. I love that they offer the option to choose from your current pet or to honor a pet that has passed away. First, I choose a dog, from their illustrated examples, that closely matched Morgie.

Next, I answered a few questions to help personalize the book even further, such as my name, my dog’s name and gender, and anyone else that loved Morgan. I also chose a dedication from their extensive list and included a couple of my favorite photos of Morgan. Then I waited for my goodie box to arrive.

If my dog could talk inner pages

As you can see, my book turned out amazing. I love the story and seeing mine and Morgie’s name throughout the book. There are so many great little extra touches, like seeing her name on the dog bed, or our hand/paw prints in the background. It’s little things like this that make If My Dog Could Talk such a treasure. It also makes for a great gift for kids and adults alike. It’s a nice way to celebrate your current pet or honor one that has passed away.

Intro to If My Dogs Could Talk

I shared Morgie’s book with Coda, my parent’s dog. He had the privilege of knowing Morgan and using her as a pillow on occasion. I think he might have been annoyed that I didn’t make the book about him, but he still enjoyed reading it. Plus, I assured him I would be getting him one of his own, as well as one for my dophew, Cooper.  I also promised him a few extra treats which sealed the deal.

Coda reading Morgan's book

If you are looking for the perfect personalized gift, now is the perfect time to shop I Seem Me!. During the month of October, they are partnering with the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago. Use code DOGS to receive 10% off your purchase and a percent of the proceeds will be donated to the organization. They will be partnering with The Humane Society of Missouri in November.

In November and December, they will also be partnering with the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. A percent of every purchase during those months will be donated to the national nonprofit.

Connect with I See Me!: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

What’s your favorite pet memory? Which I See Me! book would you like as a gift?

 

 

 

 

Take a Walk on the Wild Side of Hurricane Irma

Take a Walk on the Wild Side of Hurricane Irma

Beauty Brite Disclosure 

2017 has been a challenging year for my family, and that’s putting it mildly. Let’s just say this summer hasn’t been my favorite season. I thought we were done with whatever life had thrown our way until things took another interesting, wild turn when Hurricane Irma decided to attack the entire state of Florida just a couple of weeks ago.

I live on the west or Gulf coast side of the state. Luckily, we don’t see too many hurricanes. The last major hurricane to hit our area was Charley in 2004. Sadly, it took out my childhood home, which had to be torn down to the studs and rebuilt. Thankfully, my parents, who were in the home at the time with our two dogs, some neighbors, and a bunny rabbit, were unharmed.

When we heard about Irma, we watched and waited to see where it would go. We debated the possibility of evacuating. I filled up every water bottle and plastic container we had with water because a week before the storm hit the shelves were empty. (Below is just a small sampling of what I filled up.)

Hurricane Irma Prep

I was able to find “designer” water here and there, which added to our stash. I bought several plastic containers to place our family albums and pictures in so they would have less of a chance of being damaged. We also had our hurricane shutters installed on the water facing side of our house.

On Wednesday we heard that the west coast would only experience tropical storm winds and rain, so we decided we could stay. On Thursday, my friend from the east coast called to ask if the offer to evacuate to our house was still open. It was of course, but unfortunately, just two hours later, the Irma had changed course and we realized we would have to evacuate. My house is on the water and in Zone A. Even though it was 15 feet up, we knew the county would force us out. (They did end up evacuating Zones A & B after we left.)

So, my dad and I began the task of packing ourselves and the family dog up to leave for my sister’s in Atlanta. I hardly remember what I threw in my suitcase, but it was a miss mash of clothes, valuables, and toiletries. I also packed up my electronics, important documents, and Henry (my stuffed animal I’ve had since I was 2).

Henry

Next, I gathered Coda’s (our 101 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback) dog food, treats, lease, and blankets, as well as some food and water for the trip.

I also put on my new favorite Okabashi Indigo Canvas Flip-Flops.  I knew I would want something comfortable and sturdy for the long, road trip ahead.

American made since 1984, Okabashi sandals and flip-flops are designed with protection and support in mind. In fact, all their footwear is manufactured in Buford, Georgia, which also allows the company to focus on sustainability and lowering their carbon footprint.

My Okabashi Indigo Canvas Flip-Flops are made from a patented plastic blend that ensures their durability and longevity. Let’s face it, when it comes to flip-flop, once you find a comfy pair you want them to last as long as possible. With their durable woven fabric straps and soft neoprene backing, it’s no wonder my Indigo Canvas shoes held up through the long trip, chasing after a dog, and dodging the wind and rain. I also really love that my flip-flops contain 15-25% recycled materials.

Okabashi Indigo Canvas Flip-Flops

WIth my feet in good hands and the car packed we jumped on the road. Little did we know that the usual 8-10-hour drive to Atlanta was about to take us 15. (Thanks Irma for constantly changing course). Every time the GPS would update us, the traffic delay would expand to 3, then 4, then 5+ hours. I wish I had pictures to show you how many cars were on I75 and how crowded the rest stops were along the way. Since I did most of the driving, I’m was not to capture the organized chaos, but I do have a picture that my cousin sent me. It gives a small idea of what approximately 7 million people having to evacuate from an entire state looks like.

Escaping Irma on I75N

Now imagine all of those cars also needing to get gas along the way. We literally had to come up with a tactic for finding and getting gas, which involved filling up anytime we pulled off the road to switch drivers or let Coda out.

It was pure insanity but we got lucky. The first place we tried allowed us to fill up five gallons, and later when we opted to take the back roads to avoid the traffic, we found gas again in Valdosta, GA. I was so tired by then that I had to ask the lady behind the counter to tell me where I was. With enough gas to make it the rest of the way and a tip to continue on the back roads we drove on.

Although the trip was harrowing and so, so, so long, it did provide some amusement. This mostly came from Coda. It was the poor thing’s first time taking a long road trip and being in a sedan instead of the usual SUV. Seeing the reactions of people when this behemoth of a dog emerged from the back seat was hilarious. One lady actually thought I had a deer on a lease.  Yes, he is that big. At one point Coda did try to make a break for it across a gas station parking lot. Not sure where he thought he was going. Thankfully, my Okabashi shoes helped me make the mad dash after him.

Coda evacuating from Irma

As we finally pulled into my sister’s driveway 15 hours later, I felt a sense of relief. Since it was 6 something in the morning we were greeted by the whole crew, including my dogphew, nephew, and niece. They were so excited to see us. I thought, finally, we can relax and spend some time with the munchkins. Unfortunately, our adventure had yet ended.

Dear old Irma, keep changing course. I checked in with my friend in South Florida, she was fine. We tried to persuade friends from our hometown to also come to Atlanta. They luckily found places to evacuate or staid safely at home. Finally, I watched as Irma turned up toward the middle of the state where my best friend and family lived. I had to text my BFF to let her know what was happening because they were already without power. (Below are some of the text messages I sent her of the storm.)

Irma on the move through Florida

Screenshots from Weather.com

I kept an eye on our front door camera to see what was happening at home until our power went out. We tuned into the news to find out when Irma would come to visit Georgia. When the governor announced no one should be on the road, and all schools and most businesses would be closed, we became a bit concerned.

Tropical Storm Irma came a-knocking on Monday morning. It was a bit unnerving but not too bad until later in the day when we heard three loud pops and then darkness. We really didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. We had left Florida to avoid this precise issue. Turns out, several trees in my sister’s area had fallen on power lines knocking the power out for thousands. My six-year-old nephew proclaimed it was the worst day of his life because there was no internet. The kid has his priorities.

In the interim, our power came back on at home and my dad and I began to make plans to return home after discovering our house, and our town had been spared. It was really a miracle because just 30 miles south and east of us everything was under water and without power.

Okabashi Indigo Flip-Flops Wear

After spending Tuesday at a hotel, we decided to make the long drive home on Wednesday. Again, I wore my Okabashi Flip Flops. They served me well on the 12-hour return trip, which consisted of a mix of highway and back roads. We needed all the luck we could get to find gas and hopefully avoid missing the closing of roads because of the overflow of the Santa Fe River near Gainesville (North Central Florida).

Coda didn’t try to escape this time. Instead, he slept most of the way home, occasionally stinking up the car with his tummy troubles. For some reason, he refused to go to the bathroom during breaks. I can only imagine what people thought of me standing there saying, “Go poop. Go poop,” over and over to our confused dog.

When we finally saw the “Welcome to Florida” sign hours later, we rejoiced. This was later followed by more exclamations of happiness at the site of home as we pulled into the driveway.

Florida State Line

My sister finally got power back on Thursday. Both of us had to throw out most, if not all, of the food in our refrigerators and freezers. My dad needs a new roof on the house and some of the screen from the pool was ripped out and off. Irma added to the problems we were already experiencing with the roof. But all in all, we got lucky. We wouldn’t have to rebuild the house again. You can still see trees and some debris piled up around the county and some standing water, but not much else.

Irma home and neighborhood damage

Others in Florida and the islands weren’t so fortunate. Some people lost everything. Many still don’t have power even as I write this post. More storms are wreaking havoc or waiting in the pipeline. I’ve already donated some supplies to help those struggling, and I hope to do more. Perhaps I’ll donate some Okabashi Indigo Flip Flops because they work great in the hot Florida sun and in the wet, tropical storm-induced weather of Atlanta.

Connect with Okabashi: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Have you been impacted by this year’s hurricanes? Have you tried Okabashi Flip-Flops?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puppy Love

Puppy Love

Being in my 30’s and not having any children yet, my fur babies are my world and they are our children for now. Some of my older friends that don’t have children consider their dogs their children and pamper them more than some people do their own kids. I’m going to let you know of some items we spoiled our dogs with this year and maybe some of them will be appealing to you and your four legged family members.

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The Perfect Book for Your Little Animal Lover

the-perfect-book-for-your-little-animal-lover
Shefluential Disclosure
You can be sure this holiday season that our children will be asking for the latest and greatest holiday toys. My 5-year-old has already asked for a tablet, computer, and cell phone (yeah right, not happening, buddy!)

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Beauty Brite Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Beauty Brite Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Welcome to Beauty Brite’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2016

This post is a collaboration among the Beauty Brite review team! As you know, we have a team of reviewers who help contribute to Beauty Brite.  It takes a team to offer unique and creative product reviews and amazing content for you, our readers!  We hope you enjoy our gift guide!

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Bacon: Man’s Best Friend’s Best Friend

Bacon Mans Best Friends Best Friend - Pup-Peroni dog snacks, toys and accessoriesBeauty Brite Disclosure

Did you know that this month is Pup-Peroni® International Bacon Day Month? What better way to celebrate something that we all love and we know our pups love! Bacon is something that my household thrives on, especially my fur babies! … [read more]

The Dogs Of Newtown, A Boy’s Perspective

The Dogs Of Newtown, A Boy's Perspective

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Charlotte’s Litter Inc.; 1st edition (2015)
Language: English

Beauty Brite Disclosure
I very clearly remember watching the news as the events of the school shooting in Newtown, CT unfolded in December 2012. My own family had survived a tragedy that year when our home was destroyed by a tornado in February. Fortunately for us, I had been the only one home (along with our animals) as my kids were all at school and my husband at work.

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A Penguin, A Man and Lessons on Life

A Penguin, A Man and Lessons on Life
Beauty Brite Disclosure
The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell has been released just in time for the holidays and would make the perfect gift for all the book lovers on your gift list. This fun read is full of smart, poignant and moving experiences that will draw readers right into the world created with deft precision by Mr. Mitchell.

Described as a real-life Mr. Popper’s Penguins meets Dead Poets Society, this tale describes the events in the life of 23-yr-old Tom Michell who travels to Argentina to become an assistant master at a prestigious boarding school. Were his experiences at the school the only subject, this book might be deemed boring by many readers. However, by chance, enroute to Argentina, Mr. Michell happens to find a penguin stuck in an oil slick off the coast of Uruguay. Of course, he saves the penguin, cleans him up and tries to release him back into his natural habitat. But, oddly enough, the penguin refuses to leave his rescuer. What else could he do but continue on to the boarding school, smuggling the penguin across the Argentinian border with him?
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Tips To Prepare For Winter

Tips to Prepare for Winter

With winter only a few months away, it is a great time to prepare for the cold weather. Just a few weekends ago, we were hit with rain and wind from Hurricane Joaquin. Thankfully we did not have flooding in our area. That Friday night, our power went out for a little over 5 hours. The power flickered off and on a few times around 8:40pm and then went out for the next 5+ hours after that.

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How We Adopted Our Fur Baby

How We Adopted Our Fur Baby

My husband and I had just gotten married. We were both working full time and moved in to a nice size one bedroom apartment that fit our budget. Looking back, it was very roomy for the two of us!

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