Monday, November 27, 2017

3 Reasons Why "Giving Tuesday" {Should Go to the Dogs}

I'm kind-of into dogs.
Just a little.

Ok. More than a little.  Have you met me?
I'm a dog fanatic. It's true. We all know it. 
(And that little LLC we started in February this year.)
But my heart belongs to rescue dogs. 

No details on my outfit, it is not from this season, and this post is for the doggos!
I will say Ella's down jacket came (strangely) from Macys last year.
However Pet Valu has some GREAT sales today on sweaters,
and I'm convinced they are much warmer than this jacket.

Why should you support a local Baltimore rescue this season and more importantly, this Tuesday?

Because they give us our best friends, our support, and it gives us the opportunity to change the life of a small creature, who does nothing but love us back, unconditionally.

Here are 3 BIG Reasons Why You Should Support Rescues for Giving Tuesday.

1. Rescue workers are tirelessly working to make a difference. 
They don't do it for the fame and fortune, they do it because they love animals, and want to help them. Most are volunteers, who spend their time in the cold, in the rain, & in "not fun" conditions walking the dogs and just sitting with them and comforting them. Sometimes what they see is happy, sometimes it is heartbreak.
 Also, many rescues rely on volunteers to "foster" dogs. That means these fosters care for the pups around the clock. Talk about a full time job, on top of a regular full time job! Except one of those jobs is paid through the reward of knowing you helped change a dogs life. That, is a special person. 

2. Many rescues (with some exceptions) are privately funded. 
If they are not privately funded, even state funded, they do not have a large budget for the amount of animals that they take in. This means they completely rely on the donations that we give, tomorrow on Giving Tuesday and throughout the year. 
Wouldn't it be nice if they could take in more animals without worry? Or not stress when an animal has a condition that requires pricier vet care? Most rescues pay for spay/neuter, medicines, puppy care, regular vaccines, microchipping, and food on top of any extra care that is needed. 
That can get pricey. 
Specialized rescues like Wings of Love, Kuwait, also pay for plane rides for the dogs alone, and sometimes for volunteers + dogs. Wow! 

3. Lastly but certainly not least, you are saving a life, and changing yours in the meantime.
 If it weren't for these rescues, our hearts would not be as full. 
That pink pup in the jacket above is a rescue. My dog Ella came to me right after my dad died. While the hole in my heart from that experience will never completely be filled, she helped to fill it in every way she possibly could! 
Ella changed my life. 
She challenges me, she gets me moving when I'm sad, and she snuggles me every single day (she's not a therapy dog, but if I sit and I'm sad for too long at any given time, she will 100% make me get off the couch throughout the day. If I'm just being lazy, she will leave me be). She's been with me through several different moves (I'm a gypsy what can I say) and has loved every place that we have lived. She's never met a person she didn't like, even if they were apprehensive of her at first. 
She's taught me a lot about the world and second chances. Her previous life was not the best, and she has shown me that even a past that is unpleasant, can be overcome. 

So go! 
Donate- or go find your best friend!
There are many who would LOVE a home for the holidays. 
And if you see a rescue worker or volunteer, make sure you say "thanks". 
I'm sure it will mean a lot to them.

Looking for a great rescue to donate to in Baltimore? 
I'd love to recommend the following:

Small Miracles Cat and Dog Rescue

*These links are to their Facebook pages, each has instructions already for 
Giving Tuesday on their page*

Have a great week!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Small Business Saturday ROUND UP!

We are all familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Two lesser "celebrated" days (in my opinion) are 
Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday. 
*Spoiler Alert, if this is a Small Business Saturday post, guess what Monday's post is about?*

Since I own a Small Business (Simple Solutions Dog Training LLC, if you aren't aware)...
I wanted to round up a few of my favorite small businesses in the area.

I'm also going to let you know of a few upcoming events for some of them!

FYI: There will be Small Business Saturday events in Federal Hill and Fells Point tomorrow!

Blue Pit BBQ (Hampden)
*Event December 5th, Baltimore Bourbon Club Tasting, info here
What I recommend: Pulled Pork Sandwich or Bratwurst, with sides of Four Cheese Mac & Cheese and Loaded Potato Salad. Then of course, the Whiskey Selection. 

Mothers Grille (Fed Hill, Timonium, Arnold)
*Event December 15th, Tucker and Stover VIP Ravens Experience, info here
What I recommend: The WINGS! Also their crab cake is exceptional. Side of home-made chips and those homemade dressings (blue cheese is just wow), are perfection. 

Pure Raw Juice (Fed Hill and Towson)
*NEW: Oatmeal bowls! I can't wait to try these. 
What I recommend: Right now I'm hooked on the Acai Bowls! I became a fan because I love their mission, and I went through a health issue myself that was healed by eating healthy. 

Libs Grille (Perry Hall)
What I recommend: Happy Hour with $1 oysters and awesome drinks!

Libs $1 oysters during happy hour are always a favorite.

Desserts, Coffee (and Breakfast!)
Diablo Donuts (Fells Point and soon Fed Hill)
The donuts of your fantasies. 
What I recommend: Literally anything. Pictured below is Unicorn Farts- ha! It has fruity pebbles on top! Also, they are HUGE animal lovers- especially rescue pups. They will give you leftover bacon for your pup. Ella LOVES IT!

BMORE Licks (across from Patterson Park)
The best ice cream of your life. 
What I recommend- their newest combination of ice cream and ^above Diablo Donuts during breakfast! Did I mention, they also serve Zeke's Coffee? (below). But my FAVORITE feature about BMORE licks, is that they have a DOG WINDOW! They serve dog treat goodies, and even have a place to order with your pup. YES!

Cream Cruiser (all over Baltimore city, look for the bike!)
The owner of Cream Cruiser used to be my co-worker (fun fact!). She is so sweet and shares a love of Wanderlust as well! 
What I recommend- ANYTHING! Finding that bike will be the happiest part of your week, I promise.

Dessert Fantasies (Locust Point/Fed Hill)
The most AMAZING cupcakes, seriously. I've ordered from them for birthdays several times and everyone loved them!
What I recommend- any cupcakes of course, but those chocolate covered pretzels they keep posting also look delicious! Also recommend them for special occasions and office parties.

Dangerously Delicious Pies (Canton & Hampden)
Need I say more? 
What I recommend- Apple Pie is my ultimate favorite, but you can't go wrong with either sweet or savory here! They are also a lover of Zeke's. 
*Upcoming Event: December 2nd, free Zeke's tasting- info here

Zeke's Coffee (Several locations & grocery stores in MD)
My favorite local coffee!
What I recommend: Currently, the Mexican Chiapas blend. 
*Event: Today! Lighting the shop sign with BCFD- info here
Zeke's at Moms Organic Market

Hair, Makeup & Skin
Makeup & Skin Care by Jen Padro (Timonium) 
It's no secret that Jen is one of my best friends. Have you seen the blog post that I did on her? For more info on all of her products:
What I recommend: the body butter and new body oil!

Hair by Barbie at Bond Street Hair (Fells Point)
Barbie has been my hair dresser for YEARS! We've gone from Platinum, to highlights, to purple, and the list goes on and on! 
What I recommend: anything, especially color related. She's the master of color!

Hair Envy & Co (Timonium)
For hairstyles of ANY culture, visit Hair Envy! Also, Hair Envy first introduced me to Deva Curl, and the rest is history. 
What I recommend: Product knowledge and fantastic hair skills (color, style, etc).  

Clothes & Home Goods
Gogo's (Follow the bus around town!)
If you've followed me long enough, you KNOW that I love this boho style & vintage bus. Stacey is also a good friend of mine. I feel like my closet is soon going to be just clothes from her. 
What I recommend: Letting Stacey pick out your outfit. She has been SPOT ON every single time she picked mine. Thanks Stacey, for my holiday wear!

Caravanserai (At the Caravan, Hampden)
Been to my house lately? No? Have you seen any photos then? Because chances are, the furniture photos that you have seen, come from this AMAZING STORE. Not only do I love their home decor but I love their vibes, clothes, bags, everything. 
What I recommend: the furniture & the home goods for a fantastic boho style, and a great story to tell with treasures from around the world.

Tin Lizzy (Annapolis)
A traveling adorable boutique! Tin Lizzy has a great variety of things that are also fair trade!
What I recommend: the clothes of course, but also adorable jewelry and home items like cute notepads and stationary.
Backpack- Tin Lizzy

Local Artists
Robert McClintock (Fells Point)
Take one look at his artwork and it's no wonder I'm a fan. Avid pit-bull supporter and advocate, he also donates to rescues in the Baltimore area. I was lucky enough to get a beautiful piece by Robert McClintock of Baltimore from Fed Hill for Christmas last year. 
What I recommend: Baltimore scenes and Pibble photos, of course!

Katia Baskina (Baltimore)
I found Katia because of my love of Mermaids! I still adore this piece that I bought from her a few months ago.
What I recommend: everything, but especially redheaded mermaids!

Boordy Vineyards (Hydes, MD)
Not only where my surprise party was held this year but before that it was already my favorite winery. Boordy is world renowned and the winner of several competitions including the Maryland Governors Cup!
What I recommend: the Reisling and the Sweetland Cellars line. 

St Michaels Winery (St. Michaels)
I traveled out here last year and fell in love with the wine! If you are in the area, ever, please stop here!
What I recommend: the Chocolate Dessert wine. It is to DIE FOR!

Final Favorites (last but NEVER least)
by Candice Denise (Baltimore)
You know about the event coming up December 12th right?! Have you gotten your tickets yet? Master event producer and teacher Candice is going to show us how to create an awesome workspace. It will be held at the West Elm shop in Baltimore- with cupcakes, cocktails, and music. Come be creative with us! 
*Stay tuned for my upcoming blog post December 1st all about by Candice Denise and this amazing event!

BJ's Puptisserie (Baltimore)
Looking for healthy, homemade dog treats that you KNOW are safe for your pup? Check out the new puptisserie in town! 

At the Blue Pit BBQ
Ultimate Watersports (Gunpowder locations & Sunset Cove)
My favorite place to SUP! They offer extremely affordable season passes and right now have several SUP boards on sale. 'Tis the season!

I hope you enjoyed the list!
Please let me know what you end up buying locally this Saturday.
Today I will be getting a head start in Harbor East at the Black Friday Block Party.


Monday, November 20, 2017

My SURPRISE 30th Birthday {not Friends-giving}

12820 Long Green Pike, Hydes, MD 21082, USA
Well if you saw my insta-stories this weekend you knew a few things.
1. I had posted I was going to an open-bar event at Boordy Vineyards.
2. Following the "open-bar event" I would be going to my friends house for Friendsgiving.
3. Turns out, it was instead a SURPRISE party for my 30th birthday. 


I will say I had a small inkling that something was up because a few weird things started to happen. But in a major last ditch effort by mom and Jen (the master planners) I was completely thrown off and decided it was all in my head.

Well, it wasn't!

Thank you to The Yummery for my amazing cupcakes!

Of course the venue was amazing!

And my mom remembered that one of my favorite caterers is Rouge
So you KNOW the food was fantastic.
This isn't even close to all of the food, and the photos do it no justice. It was amazing.
The crab dip was hands down my FAVORITE!

Thank you also to JON ZORN for playing some awesome tunes and getting us all dancing!

There were a few more adorable touches:
Wine bottles with lights that had a birthday label.

"30 sucks" with suckers!

Mermaid wine glass with "30 and fabulous"!
(and my name)
"30" balloons and a slideshow!

My Mom did the majority of the planning.  
I'll never under-estimate her planning skills again.

    My BFF Jen here did the majority of the scheming.         
She deserves both an Oscar and an Academy Award.
I'll submit that nomination later today. 

And several of my amazing friends and family helped find my friends to invite!

One other awesome touch was this photo frame, the bottom also said "aged to perfection".

From the bottom of my heart, thank you ALL for being there. 
It meant the world to me.

And thank you mom, for everything. Always.

SBR (ps. I'm not 30 til the 30th!)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thanksgiving Boho Style Inspo

6 days til the big day!
Who has their outfit ready?
Not yet? Fear not, I bring you tidings of boho-inspo.
Wait wrong holiday.
But still...

boho thanksgiving inspo
dress: GOGO's' necklace, also GOGO's; shirt: Francesca's, many moons ago

My good friend Stacey did not disappoint when I went searching on her fab GOGO bus 
for my holiday wear. 
I even found my Christmas outfit.
Unfortunately, you'll have to wait on that one. 

boho thanksgiving inspo
boots: Guess for Kohls, vest: thrifted

I also happened to have thrifted a fringe vest a few weeks ago, 
from my fav thrift shop (Macklemore did not join me this time, unfortunately). 
And also, love my new combat boots. 
I felt that they went well with the vibe. 

boho thanksgiving inspo

boho thanksgiving inspo

I'll be putting some info on how I did my hair on my insta-stories today. And if you check, there should still be info on there with what makeup I wore for this look.

boho thanksgiving inspo

boho thanksgiving inspo

I hope this helps fuel your creativity and give you inspo for your Thanksgiving outfit!
If you need assistance....
I know of an awesome fashion bus that will be around this weekend.

Sending you happy vibes for the holidays!


Monday, November 13, 2017

The Secret To Expending Your Dog's Energy

When I first started working with Ella, my personal dog, 
(this was over 4 years ago) she was not a family favorite at the holidays.
My family is probably reading this like "that's not true"... (*cringing inside*) 
Oh, but it is. You're just being nice.

She was a crazy pup, wouldn't stop jumping, & always had energy.
No matter how much she was walked, there was so much energy.
Some of that was age, some was, she just had energy!

Sound like your dog? Want to know a secret?

You can't get rid of a dog's energy through walking alone.


But then, how?

Typical hiking look, leggings (Nike- for Kohls),
Backpack (holds dog gear and camera gear- Tin Lizzy Mobile Boutique),
Vest: Maurices (totally not this season, or even last season)
Dog training shoes (for work too- Timberland), Ella has a halti-harness, my favorite kind.
Long line can be purchased at Pet Valu. 


Ah, yes, I said it. 

"But Sarah, training is SO BORING. I don't have time." 

Oh my gosh, I'm so glad you SAID THAT! Because I have a great answer.

Train, while you walk. 
Yes, you are going to do mental exercises, and physical exercises, at the SAME TIME. 

Sound better? 

Here is Ella, doing the "up" command. 
She's able to distinguish "up" from "off". 
I don't always want Ella not jumping on me, I like her pibble (see: (n) pit-bull) hugs. 
So when I want her up, we do "up".
And when I want her off we do "off". 

Notice that I have an extremely long leash in my hand in the above photo?
Why am I doing that?
Because A. it allows her more space to roam on walks, and she is leash trained, 
i.e. does not pull.
But for training, B. It allows us to practice "recall" on walks, otherwise known as the "come" command. 

Off-leash walking for dogs is prohibited in most all public locations in Maryland. 
Fun fact. 
Also, if you are doing recall (off-leash) with your pup and say "come" and he/she does not come, you have no way to get him/her back to you. 
This could become dangerous.

So we use this "long line".
 Right now our mission is recall and leaving from squirrels. 
This is a new found joy of Ella's. The city did not produce many squirrels like Baltimore County.

Oh the fun.

Want to see more fun training in action? 
Check us out on the Simple Solutions Dog Training page for videos- here!

Have a great week!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Holi-daze for the DOG LOVER

If you've followed my Instagram long enough you know that I am a discount lover.
You probably also know I love some TJMaxx, HomeGoods, and Marshalls action.

Also, we love that they are dog friendly!

I wanted to get a jump start on my holiday prep for decorations, even though USUALLY I don't decorate until Black Friday! 
However, I think this year, I may start earlier, I'm excited about it.

So, I started getting a look at what HomeGoods has for the pet lover, specifically dogs of course. 

They did not disappoint. 

Dog pillows, dog plates, dog kitchen accessories. 

Serious heaven. 

Quick side note:
In the present day, we were in serious need of a fleece blanket for my bed because we have been COLD!
This one had elephants and continued the India theme that was in my bedroom.
I didn't want holiday themed because I will need it all winter.

The price at $24.99 could not be beat.

Back to the holiday decor...
I'm a serious sucker for throw pillows, especially when they are affordable!
$15.99 a piece? YES PLEASE. 

If you know me well, you know I actually LOVE TO COOK.
Words I never thought I'd say as a child who preferred working with my dad in his barn over cooking or cleaning ANY DAY. 
I can't wait to make some cookies in this dog Christmas apron.
Can I just start now?
Price - $15.99, I mean, seriously, apron & 2 towels.

And when I do make those cookies, I want to put them on THIS PLATE! 
Can I also live in a tiny house? 
How cute.

$4.99- WHAT!

Looks like Ella is holiday ready, are you?!

Let me know where you buy your decor. 
I'm probably going to need more...
Have a great weekend!


Monday, November 6, 2017

Confessions of a Redhead

"Redheads are so in right now"
Words I NEVER thought I would hear.
red hair love
My exact face if you had tried to tell me that at the time.
My entire life was filled with "ginger, carrot top, your hair is orange..." etc.

I won't bore you with my tales of being left out and not "fitting in". 
Everyone has a story like that for one reason or another.

I will however tell you that I never liked being different or unique.

Until now.
red hair love
Oooh look, it's me being totally fine with having red hair.
shirt, overalls and socks: Forever21
pink overall dress sold out, similar here
boots: kohls

I dyed my hair just about every "natural" hair color 
to get away from red.

Blonde happened to be what I identified with most, so there are more photos 
of me with blonde hair (not quality photos by the way).

Christmas, 2012

Even when I decided to go back to red, I couldn't fully commit so I did red with purple.
I mean, and also for the Ravens that season.

 The other problem was, that as part of my "creativeness" I was always bored.
Red bored me after a while, I know that may seem crazy.
Most people do red because it's so "different".

red hair love
I get my pose inspo and hair inspo from @hippieGG- Instagram

Coloring my hair gave me a rush that I couldn't explain.
That wasn't where the problem was, there's nothing wrong with coloring your hair.

The problem was changing who I was every few months.
Changing who you are becomes very tiring.

red hair love
When you are finally able to be who you are, you'll never want to go back.

I LOVE this new culture where it's cool to stand out.
It's now "the thing" to embrace who you are.
Originality is "in". 

red hair love
Being YOURSELF is the most fun. Forget hair color.

You know what else is in? Mermaids.
Basically, all of my dreams have come true.

Have an AWESOME week and BE YOURSELF!
Positive vibes always.

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