An eco-friendly dog birthday party

Yes, you read the title right. An Eco-friendly doggie b-day party happened a few days ago for the Nickster’s 8th birthday.

What made it eco-friendly and why am I having a birthday party for my dog? Good questions.

I’ll start with the why. I never had kids and totally missed out on the fun of having little rugs rats running around, excited and on over-drive from a chocolate cake sugar buzz. Now that I’m a dog mom, I get to invite my friends over for wine and cake and get to see a bunch of excited pups run around barking and chasing each other. Close enough.

And how did I make my fete eco-friendly? In so many ways that I’m excited to tell you about.

Here are the top ten:

  1. The (super elegant) crystal stemware I used is from craigslist
  2. The beautiful turquoise bowls were from Salvation Army
  3. The chocolate cake was vegan
  4. I asked for the plastic to be removed and re-used when I bought the flowers
  5. I picked some of the flowers from an abandoned lot
  6. The (people) menu was vegan
  7. The only gifts allowed were edible, ie. treats
  8. I asked that guests didn’t use packaging for the gifts
  9. The wine and sparkling wine were local, from the Okanagan
  10. The napkins were from the Salvation Army

And, with all of this eco-friendliness, the party was still very chic, and very easy on the budget. Simple is elegant, easy on the earth and cost effective too. xo

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Spring flowers and chia pudding 

Vancouver is blooming and I just can’t get enough of all of the beautiful blossoms and their scents.

My current favourite activity is leashing up my dog, hitting the beach and breathing in the floral wonderland around me. Nature’s aromatherapy has opened up shop in my neighbourhood. The light pink cherry blossoms that were lining our streets have loosened from their stems this week and glided down to cover the ground in sweet little pink petals. Luckily fushia Azaleas have taken their place, as well as a plethora of other blooms.

And what to snack on during a walk through the flower lined streets? Banana chia pudding. This treat is raw, healthy and chock full of omega 3’s.

Banana Chia Pudding

  • One cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • one banana
  • sprinkle of raw cacao
  • 1 T hemp seeds
  • 1 T flax seeds

Blend all ingredients together and pour into mason jars for a snack on the run!

“Always look up; there are treats beyond your wildest dreams waiting!" ~ Pawsh Magazine

“Always look up; there are treats beyond your wildest dreams waiting!” ~ Pawsh Magazine

A Very Merry Christmas

lunch and beaver lake 029You never know how a day is going to end, and last Thursday ended with a midnight visit to an emergency vet in East Vancouver.

My dog, Nicky, began vomiting late at night and about 8 episodes later ended up vomiting blood. When I noticed the blood, every fiber of my being freaked out and I was convinced that he had been poisoned by something or someone. I tearfully scooped him up into my arms, darted through the rain to a cab and made the driver race to the hospital.

We arrived at our destination with me fighting off uncontrollable tears and an impending panic attack. Nick was quickly taken to an examination room in the back of the clinic and I desperately tried to follow. When I was gently told that I had to stay out front, I quickly scanned the waiting room. There was a Caucasian couple in one corner and an Asian couple in the other. I really didn’t want to make small talk with anyone and I really, really didn’t want to have to smile and pretend to be brave. I was feeling the opposite of brave and wanted to sit in a corner, close my eyes and visualize my little Terrier healthy and happy again. I picked the Asian couple’s corner. Maybe they can’t speak English I thought hopefully as I approached them.

Almost as soon as I sat down the man smiled at me and said that my dog was going to be okay. I smiled back weakly and thanked him. He asked why my dog and I were there and I told him, then thought that it would be polite of me to ask them the same question.

I found out that they were there because the woman accidentally stepped on their hamster. She was cooking in the kitchen and the hamster snuck up behind her and, well, you can imagine the rest.. The couple were very distraught but also incredibly proud of their hamster and showed me a number of photos and videos of her. I asked what her name was and the woman said “Lala”, followed by the man saying “I call her Baby”. I smiled. Those are both wonderful names I told them.

A few minutes later the vet came out to say that Lola will be ok but that Lola is a boy. The shocked look on the couples faces was priceless. Both of their mouths fell open at almost the same time. The vet then explained that Lola has balls. The woman looked confused for a second but then responded that she had always thought they were breasts.

I couldn’t have asked for a better or cuter distraction than this sweet, quirky couple and I was also very happy that Lola (not Lala) was going to be just fine.

Nicky, after a couple of days on IV at the animal hospital, is also on the mend from an attack of acute pancreatitis. After a lot of tears and fears, I couldn’t be more grateful.

So, the moral of this story? Sometimes we take the good, smooth times in life for granted and this night reminded me to never do that again. It reminded me to be grateful for every day I have on this beautiful/painful/amazing adventure called life. It also reminded me to never take for granted my little fur baby, and all of the wonderful people I have in my life, making every day so much better than it would be without them.

So this holiday will be frugal, after my $1,800 vet bill, but it will also be filled with amazing friends and lots of love. And that’s the most important thing.

And, on that note, I’m wishing everyone a happy, relaxing and beautiful holiday filled with the real spirit of Christmas. Make sure you give the ones you love a big, bear hug tonight and let them know how much they mean to you. That’s a sure-fire way to guarantee that your Christmas will be amazing.

santa dog

Stopping to Smell the Bluebells

So my intuitive eating experiment is starting to include other areas of my life.

I’ve been a part time Digital Marketing student for a little over a year now. I work full time, study part time and manage two social media accounts for local businesses in my spare time. It’s a busy schedule and after spending approximately five or six hours a day on my computer at work, I’m hunched over my laptop for another couple of hours in the evenings. On top of this, I’m getting notifications throughout the day and night of likes and comments on the various pages I’m managing. I feel like I’m married to Facebook. And the marriage is in trouble. Even the dopamine hit of a bunch of “likes” on my posts isn’t really working for me anymore. I’m afraid that Facebook and Twitter have become my proverbial ball and chain.

I woke up Saturday morning with burning eyes sporting big, black circles under them, tired looking, blotchy skin and a bad attitude. I started to post content for one of my pages and the photos I had planned to share looked fuzzy and pixelated. I felt my teeth clench and my shoulders tighten and all I could think was that this is supposed to be my weekend. My time to relax and have fun. And I wanted to cry. It was sunny and beautiful out, my dog was staring at me, waiting for his long, Saturday morning walk and I was clenching my teeth, completely burnt out, tapping furiously away at my laptop again. Something had to give.

So, I resigned from one business via email and told the other that I was cutting my work in half. then I put my laptop on the shelf, unplugged my TV, texted a few friends that I was going off the grid for the weekend, threw my two smart phones in a drawer, grabbed my pup and hit the beach.

Nick (my dog) and I ran, strolled, sprinted, sat under a tree and stared at the ocean. We crouched on a rock and watched a heron as he fished for his lunch. The waves crashed against the shore and I felt myself starting to relax. My shoulders weren’t hurting anymore, my teeth weren’t clenched and I realized that too much social media will suck all of the joy right out of your life.

Walking home along the dirt path, Nicky decided that the long, wild grass growing along either side was going to be his all-you-can-eat salad bar. So, instead of standing impatiently waiting for him to finish his meal, I sat in the soft grass and ran the cool, green blades through my hands, breathing in the exquisite scent of fresh, spring green things. Then I thought why not lie down in the middle of this long, cool grass and stare at the leafy green tree above my head for awhile. The branches were shining in the sunlight, with leaves from a soft spring to deep, forest green and they were incredibly beautiful and soothing to look at. Then I glanced across the path and saw a patch of sweet, little bluebells with a few buttercups mixed in. They looked like the prettiest things I had ever seen and, all of a sudden, I realized that I felt incredibly happy.

Occasionally people walked by me on the path. Some smiled and said “hi” or commented on Nick’s grassy feast. Some gave me concerned looks. But I didn’t really care. I was happy.

So, maybe the secret of happiness is that it’s about connecting with yourself, nature and slowing down enough to notice the beauty around us.

And maybe the other secret is that it’s the opposite of what you feel when you spend too much time on Facebook, Twitter or even my beloved Instagram.

happy dog