“I and love and you” total pet care because I love you Bob.

July 14, 2014
This is a sponsored post for “I and love and you” Total Pet Care.

Meet Bob… also known as Escobar el Mafioso. He is my 1.5 year old French Bulldog, and he is as naughty as he is cute. I have a special bond with Bob; we have shared adventures and he has comforted me in times of sorrow. Bob was born in Bogota, Colombia. At the time, my son and I were regularly visiting my now ex-husband, and we really wanted a smaller dog that was easier to take along when we travel. We had been searching for months to find a frenchie puppy, and we hadn’t had much luck. When we visited the breeder, Bob was the most rambunctious of the two remaining puppies. He was also the largest. Bob came home with us that same day.

We did all the necessary paperwork and Bob made the trip back to the United States with me. I traveled with a 25lb puppy in a carrier and a 3 year on my hip from Bogota, Colombia, back to Lexington, Kentucky. Once we were back, we began to take all the necessary steps of introducing Bob to his new home. While introducing to the family was fun, taking him to the vets to get all his necessary dog vaccinations were less enjoyable. All of this was new to him and he was a bit nervous when it came to vets and new environments. It was a struggle to housebreak a puppy and care for a toddler, but we managed to make it.

When my ex-husband and I filed for divorce, Bob became my comforter. My son eventually had to start overnight visits at his Dad’s and I was thankful that I had Bob to keep me company. If I needed someone to cheer me up, I had my goofy, bat-eared puppy.

Bob is a part of our family and we are very conscious about what we feed him. I want him to be as healthy and happy as possible, and that includes feeding him a high quality dog food. This also includes any kind of treats we give him, so as well as changing the main bulk of his food, we’re also considering investing in private label cbd dog treats to ensure he is only consuming the best kind of products! As I know Bob can sometimes get a little anxious when we’re not around, these would also be ideal for helping him be more relaxed.

I and love and you pet food is a high quality pet food line that is available at your local grocery store. It can be found at most Kroger and Whole Foods stores, so you can shop for your entire family in one store.

We are excited to give this new pet food line a try. It is made with real meat, contains prebiotics and probiotics, and it is grain-free. Bob will be transitioning to the red meat medley recipe.
Bob has had a seamless transition over, he loves his new food and treats. I’ve also been looking for the best dog camera treats dispenser I can find so I can continue rewarding him even when I’m out of the house. I and love and you has a handy guide to help you make the transition from your old food to the new one.
Interested in trying I and love and you pet food? There is a $3 off coupon available; just visit this link.
To learn more about about I and love and you please visit their website and social media channels.

Full review and a giveaway for a gift basket of $100 worth of I and love and you pet care products in the weeks ahead.

    i and love and you dog food

    Disclaimer: I received product and monetary compensation for this post however all opinions
    contained herein are my own.

    Ecoths men’s clothing line and a Father’s Day giveaway

    May 30, 2014

    What if a clothing purchase could help feed someone in need? A new men’s clothing line called Ecoths is doing just that; they have already donated 15,900 meals to various food banks. They hope to donate 60,000 meals by this fall.

    Photo Credit: Ecoth

    Natural fabrics combined with stylish patterns make this clothing line an easy addition to any man’s wardrobe. He will be comfortable and fashionable.

    Photo Credit: Ecoths
    Ecoths donates 3 meals for every piece of clothing purchased, which means guilt free shopping. 

    Father’s Day is just around the corner. An Ecoths purchase is a great way to acknowledge the fathers in your life, and to support a socially conscious company.

    The company has graciously offered to host a giveaway on my blog. One lucky reader can win an Ecoths shirt (Keep it for yourself or give it to someone special) with a minimum value of $35. 

    Photo Credit: Ecoths

    Choices include:

    Entering the giveaway is easy. You just leave a comment sharing a brief memory about a “Father” in your life; it can be your own father, stepfather, grandfather, someone who was like a father, and even about the father of your child. Add your entry to the Rafflecopter widget and one winner will be selected at random. 

    *Color, style, and size are subject to availability.
    I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

    Strawberry Shortcake: Southern Summer Food

    May 28, 2014

    Strawberries are a quintessential part of summer. I enjoy eating them plain (and occasionally straight off the plant) but there are so many great strawberry recipes. My favorite is Strawberry Shortcake.

    Shortcake Ingredients:
    • 2 cups of all-purpose flour 
    • 1 cup of butter (cold and cubed)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
    • 1 tablespoon of baking powder 
    • 1/4 cup of sugar 
    • 1/3 cup of milk
    • 1/3 cup of cream (steal it from your whipping cream) 
    • optional: 1 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract 

    Strawberry Mixture:

    • 1 quart of cleaned and quartered strawberries
    • optional: 1/8 cup of sugar 

    Whipped Cream: 

    • 1 pint of heavy whipping cream 
    • 1/4 cup of sugar
    • optional: 1 teaspoon of vanilla 
    Preheat over to 400 degrees F.
    If you plan to sweeten your strawberries, mix your strawberries with the optional 1/8 cup of sugar and set aside. 
    In mixer combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Start to add in butter cubes one at a time. Once the butter is added, add in the milk and cream. A biscuit like dough will start to form. 
    Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and empty the dough onto the floured paper. Roll out approximately 1 inch to 3/4 inch thickness. Cut 3 inch biscuits. There should be approximately 8 depending on thickness. 
    Place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. You can either brush butter or some of the cream to the top of each biscuit, and then lightly dust with sugar.  

    Bake 12 to 15 minutes. 
    When the biscuits are no longer too hot to handle, split them in half. 
    Spoon strawberries over the bottom half and top with whipped cream. 
    Biscuits can be broken up to use in Strawberry Shortcake parfaits or Strawberry Shortcake Trifle. 

    Southern Style Biscuits: Maw’s Recipe

    May 7, 2014

    My Grandmother (who is known by everyone in the community as Maw) rarely makes canned biscuits. She would go broke if she did, my Grandfather eats at least one a day. Her recipe is three ingredients, can be made in a few minutes, and you can easily adjust the recipe to make as many (or as few) as needed.

    Southern Style Biscuits

    • 2 cups of a good self-rising flour (my grandmother is really picky)
    • 1/3 cup of shortening
    • 3/4 cup of buttermilk (but you can use regular milk or a ratio of both)

    Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Sifting the flour will get rid of any clumps, make the biscuits fluffier, and they will look prettier. My Grandmother’s old sifter eventually fell apart, she picked up a new one from Williams & Sonoma. I just sift my flour into a mixing bowl, and add the milk and shortening. You can mix with your hands or with a spoon (this can take a little longer).

    When your ball of dough starts to get smooth, place it on floured wax paper. Roll the dough out 1/2 inch thick. I used my great grandmother’s biscuit cutter, but I have seen people use a thin rimmed drinking glass. This recipe will make roughly 12 biscuits.

    Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

    They are an easy southern staple and can be made in just a few minutes.
    These are great served with ham, gravy, jam, butter, or honey.

    What is a staple in your kitchen? Do you have any “heirloom” recipes? I love to hear back from my readers.

    Hungry yet?

    A Grandmother gone too soon: American Stroke Month

    May 7, 2014

    While my son and I were living in Bogota, Colombia with my ex-husband, my Grandmother passed away. She suffered a series a strokes, and shortly after her mind and body failed.
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    It was devastating for my family. My son was barely two, and he will never remember her. We were unable to get a flight that would return to the U.S. before the funeral. It was especially sad because the funeral had so many personal touches that my son might have been able to remember. Even knowing something about a person is better than not knowing anything about them at all. Often, you can choose casket colors and personalise other decorations at a funeral, so it can be nice to choose your loved one’s favourite colour and favourite flowers. My grandmother loved yellow, so we made sure her funeral was bright and full of yellow flowers. My son would have remembered that, even if he didn’t remember her.

    My Grandmother with my brother, cousins, and I

    In her honor, I would like to share some information regarding American Stroke Month and encourage people of all ages to look into affordable term life insurance. If a stroke is treated in a timely manner, many of the symptoms are reversible. There are a few key signs and symptoms you need to recognize. They have created an acronym called F.A.S.T..

    F.A.S.T. stands for:

    • F – Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
    • A – Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
    • S – Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like: “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
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    • T- Time to call 9-1-1 – If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

    Facts about Strokes:
    · Someone in the U.S. has a stroke about once every 40 seconds.
    · Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death overall, killing more than 129,000 people a year. Stroke is the No. 3 cause of death for women and No. 5 cause of death for men.
    · Stroke is the No. 1 preventable cause of disability.
    · About 795,000 people have a stroke every year.
    · An estimated 6.8 million Americans 20 and older have had a stroke.
    · The insurance after experiencing a stroke can be very difficult to find so using companies like Special Risk Managers could get you the health insurance you need.

    Stroke Warning Sign Knowledge and Treatment:
    · One in three Americans can’t recall any stroke warning signs.
    · According to a survey, Hispanic women are less likely than others to know most of the warning signs of a stroke – 25% did not know any, compared to 18% for whites and 19% for African Americans.
    · In a study of patients who had experienced a stroke, someone other than the patient made the decision to seek treatment in 66% of the cases, or every two in three.

    Watch this brief PSA about the symptoms of a stroke and F.A.S.T.

    There is also a smartphone app:

    The key to preventing death and permanent disability following a stroke is by acting fast. So, understanding the signs and symptoms of a stroke, and how to proceed thereafter could help to save a life, maybe even that of a loved one. However, if they survive the stroke but are now living with a permanent disability, obtaining insurance should be the next step. For example, in some cases, TPD insurance may be the best route to go down, and knowing what you need to do to secure this (so it doesn’t get denied) could be extremely important to how you live the rest of your life going forward.
    So, please remember the acronym and encourage individuals to seek treatment right away.
    Happy Timing Tuesday,

    Freshly MINTED: Save the Date and Wedding Invitations

    March 3, 2014

    I got engaged just before Valentine’s Day.  It was a sweet little proposal, which will result in a large Southern wedding.  I had so many decisions that needed to be made quickly. We had to choose a date, and our wedding party. I spent hours researching reviews on photographers and caterers. I have not even started my search for the perfect dress. There are so many things to stress over when planning a wedding, but invitations shouldn’t be one of them.  Minted can help make finding, printing, and even addressing your save the date and wedding invitations easy. 

    Photo Credit: Minted

    A tradition in recent years is to send Save The Date invitations.  These are generally sent as soon as a wedding date is set, and can include a location if decided.  Save The Date cards allow guests to mark their calendars for your important day months in advance. Minted has over 700 options to choose from, and orders typically ship within 2 weeks.  

    Minted isn’t your plain jane wedding invitation; They have thick luxurious papers, options for backing, envelope liners, and label seals. The wrap around seals with return address are functional and stylish. Minted has options that allow most invitations to be semi-customizable.  Don’t like the shape of an invitation? There are die cut options which allow you to customize the silhouette. Is your favorite invitation in the wrong color palette?  You have the option to make color adjustments on most invitation selections.  

    Photo Credits: Minted

    These are a few of my favorites, but I won’t spoil it for my guests by telling which I have chosen. There were so many gorgeous and unique invitations to choose from. Minted uses independent designers from all over the globe to design their invitations, stationery, and paperie.

    I like the retro appeal of this invitation.  

    Vintage Blush
    Maybe caption this one as “All roads lead to your heart.”

    The Wedding Sign Says 

    Wouldn’t this be great for an evening wedding? Who doesn’t love catching fireflies?


    This is perfect for the couple who loves to travel, who is planning a destination wedding, or those like Jeremy and I, who have spent a large sum of their relationship commuting.  

    Isn’t this different? It is unique and you have an option to add a photo to the back.

    Blessed Union

    Minted is now offering a free address assistant with most orders, with the exclusion of Holiday Postcards and Save The Date Postcards.  I hate hand addressing envelopes, and I constantly worry about my penmanship. You can upload the addresses, and even select font style.  The invitations are shipped with addresses printed, you just add postage and drop in the mail.  

    If you aren’t on the market for Save The Date cards or Wedding Invitations, Minted offers many other invitation and printing options.

    • Birth Announcements
    • Baby Show Invitations
    • Holiday Cards
    • Stationery
    • Gift Wrap
    • Journals 
    • Calendars
    • Party Decor
    • Art Prints 

    If you have free time, take a few minutes and browse around Minted. I can almost guarantee you will find something that strikes your fancy.

    Disclaimer: I did receive an incentive for this blog post, but all thoughts, comments, and suggestions on the product is entirely my own.  Special thanks to Minted for giving me this opportunity.

    Happy Sweet Sunday,

    A Letter to Myself: Blog Forward Challenge 2014

    January 10, 2014

    Dear Jessica,
    Last year certainly didn’t turn out like we planned.  We met lots of new friends, traveled to exciting places, and even spoke to a live stream audience of millions.  On a sad note, our fairy tale ended, we left the city we had grown to call home, and “timesharing” became a loathed word.  Truth be told, I think the best is yet to come for us.
    Here are a few things I want you to keep in mind:

    1. Love yourself.
    Always make some priority time for you.  Spend time on your hobbies.  Relax.  Don’t fuss over the frown lines, crows feet, or stretch marks.  They are a sign that you’re getting older and had a lil fun, which is a luxury many people are denied.

    2. Your body is your temple, treat it like one!
    Take your vitamins.  Drink more water.  Run, walk, or play with Gabe, just move more.  Get your teeth cleaned twice a year, even though you hate going to the dentist now.
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     Get a check-up, and just get that surgery over with.  Eat healthier, it is ok to have a cupcake on occasion but more than one is gluttonous. You know that not eating healthy can cause harm to your teeth, maybe even to the extent where they fall out. Maybe you will need these Dental Implants in Washington Heights in a couple of years. Who knows? So make sure you make those dental appointments so you can get the relevant treatment before it gets to this stage. You will thank yourself for it in the future. Don’t skip meals, ZonePerfect bars would be a great way to “fill in the gaps”.

    3. Turn off the TV
    The last 6 months you have watched more television than in the last 3 years, even if half was cartoons.  Limit TV time to 2 hours a day for Gabe and yourself, spend more time doing constructive things or playing with him.
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    4. Trust People
    Not everyone is out to get you, and not everyone is deceitful.  We can be hurt and burned by the people we love.  When we shut everyone out, we miss out on my great relationships.  Trust me!

    5. Let Go
    You’re gonna have to let go of a few things, ideas, and people.  Some friendships and personal relationships just were not meant to be.  The sooner you accept that life isn’t a fairy tale and everything doesn’t have to be perfect, the more you will love the relationships that you have.

    6. Find Someone Else to Edit Your Posts
    We both know you are terrible at checking your own grammar 😉

    I hope you read this letter to yourself every day.  Just as Aibileen told Mae Mobley in the movie The Help, “You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important.”

    Love Always,

    Disclosure:  I am receiving ZonePerfect product as part of my participation in the Blog Forward Challenge.  All opinions and thoughts are entirely my own.
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