Christmas in July: Plan Your Holiday Photo Cards Now

Some posts may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Every year I say I’m going to plan ahead and NOT wait til the last minute to order my winter holiday cards, but things come up…I get busy and forget. I’m sure you can relate!

This year, our newest blog sponsor, Basic Invite, is here to help us all do better, with a Christmas in July reminder: Summer is a great time to plan out and capture your family and pet photos for your Christmas cards and holiday cards.

They are also offering a 30% OFF discount to our readers so read on to learn more!

You might be thinking. “How can I do holiday photos when all my Christmas decorations are packed away?!?”

It’s easier than you think. All you need is a few simple props, like some Santa hats and mini trees from Michaels or the Dollar Store. Walgreens still has Red Noses for sale at many locations (check by the registers).

Any string of fairy lights will help set the scene, or take the photos you love and add some sparkly touches with filters in your favorite photo app or software.

Look around for items you already have that might work. This is a GREAT excuse to get some matching pajamas for your family and pets!

Your Christmas cards don’t even have to have a holiday theme. Summertime is beach, pool and vacation time, so remember to take a few nice shots with the family (and pets, of course) so that you can share your memories with friends and family when you send out your cards this winter. Any great family photos YOU love will make the perfect images for your cards.

There are tons of themes and templates to choose from, so it’s almost a no-brainer once you have your favorite digital photos picked out!

Basic Invite is one of the few card websites with almost unlimited color options and instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. This is what really sets them apart from almost any other online stationery company.

And if you have a business, or are in charge of ordering business Christmas cards this year, now is the time to get it done. You can get really creative with cards that fit the personality and tone of your business!

Whether you are ordering cards and invites for business or family, you want to make sure your cards look their very best, right?

Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows you the ability to order a printed custom sample of your actual card or invitation so you can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before you ever have to place your final order.

You can also choose from over 40 different envelope colors. That will really help your cards stand out!

And to make life really easy, use their address capturing service letting you share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request friends and family’s addresses which can be stored and used for recipient address printing at no cost on all card orders.

Hopefully all this has motivated you to get started on Christmas and holiday cards, invites and more, now rather than waiting til the last minute.

To take a closer look at all the design options, templates and pricing, visit the Basic Invite website, and use promo code below for 30% OFF any order!

How to Choose a Really Great Dog Bed for a Really Big Dog

Some posts may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

If you’ve got a big dog, then you know that a regular, cheap dog bed won’t last and won’t provide the support they need. Buying a big dog bed is an investment, so we’ve done some research and we are really impressed with one company in particular. Big Barker is a US-based company that makes ultra high-quality dog beds designed especially for large, extra large, and HUGE dogs.

If you’ve got a Labrador, a Golden Retriever, Husky, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman, Newfoundland, Mastiff, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound or other large dog breed then you will want to learn more about these large dog beds. If you’ve got two dogs who like to sleep in the same bed, or an older dog with orthopedic issues then you might also want to check out Big Barker dog beds.

How to choose the right size and style big dog bed

The Big Barker beds are all made in the USA with 7″ of American Made therapeutic foam and all come with a 10 year warranty covering flattening and shape, so it’s almost a no-brainer, but there are still a couple of decisions to make before getting one.

First, determine the size bed your dog needs. These beds come in Large, Extra Large and Giant. See the size chart above or use this link for more detailed information.

Next decide if your dog would prefer a dog bed with a bolster headrest or one that is completely flat. Our dog Daisy likes her flat dog bed and often hangs her head over the side when she sleeps, but also likes using the sofa arm rest as a head rest sometimes, so I’m thinking of getting her a second bed with a bolster so she can have both options.

Finally, choose a color. This is mostly a personal preference based on what you like and what color dog bed compliments your home decor. Practically speaking, also think about how much your dog sheds and what color their fur is.

All of the Big Barker bed covers are washable, but in-between washing some dog hair is going to show, so take that into account. Replacement bed covers are also available, so you can switch colors if you like.

They also offer optional Waterproof Dog Bed Liners designed to fit whatever bed you get, as well as SUV Dog Beds and Crate Pads for large dogs.

Go HERE to get the Headrest Edition Big Barker dog bed.

Go HERE to get the Pillow Top Sleek Edition.

Use this link to see all Big Barker dog goods and learn more about the company.

Turn Your Dog’s Bath Time Into a Spa Day

Some posts may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Some dogs love getting a bath. Daisy is not one of those dogs. In fact Daisy dreads bath time so much that we’ve had to come up with some special tricks and treats to make it more fun and relaxing for her and for us. Since this often takes a bit of time and patience, I like to plan ahead and schedule her dog bath for when I’m not in a rush and I know there won’t be a lot of distractions. We treat it like a spa day.

If you’d like to treat your dog to a spa day, here are some tips:

Set the mood with pet-friendly spa scents, a pre-bath dog treat and some mood lighting.

Set the mood with the right lighting, either with candles (flameless are safest around pets) or by dimming the lights. I also have treats handy and like to spray the shower curtain and rug with a bit of pet-safe fragrance spray.

The treats for this spa day are grain-free Beef Jerky Bites from Isle of Dogs. They’re made with grass-fed beef along with green lipped mussels; a luxurious spa snack if you ask me! The spray is Violet and Sea Mist Repláscent, also from Isle of Dogs. It’s an odor neutralizer that is safe to use on and around dogs. It smells so lovely that I’ve been using it in my car and closet.

Choose the right grooming supplies for your dog.

We’re using Silky Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner from the NaturaLuxury Collection. Daisy has sensitive skin so we love that it’s free from sulfate and paraban, and that it’s mild and gentle. The oatmeal and Jojoba help soothe dry skin and give Daisy’s fur a nice, soft feel. The scent is a very light jasmine and vanilla. Just right and not perfume-y at all.

The conditioner is from the same collection and is the first dog conditioner we’ve tried. Using this conditioner helps to loosen up the old, shedded hair that gets caught up in a dog’s coat. It helps make the brushing process much easier and reduces tangles. Daisy has very short, thin hair so this really helps protect and moisturize both the skin and hair. Can’t have a spa day without a good conditioner treatment!

Talk or sing to your dog during their bath

I sing and talk to my dog all the time, but she still sometimes gives me the head tilt like I’m asking her a very important question. She really takes advantage of spa day for all the extra treats and attention, and I can’t blame her. A girl needs some extra pampering from time to time.

SMILE…your almost done!

Drying off and running around full zoomy-style is Daisy’s favorite part of bath time. She has her own set of big fluffy beach towels and loves a good rub down after a bath or rainy day walk. Do all dogs get the zoomies after they get wet? She goes crazy.

Schedule some lounging and nap time

Nothing is nicer after a long bath and some zoomies, than settling in for a nap. Although Daisy sleeps in our bed at night, she has her own cozy den especially for napping. I use the Violet and Sea Mist Repláscent on her bedding and the rug to help keep the area smelling fresh. I’m so happy with this scent that I’m already planning to order more in a few of the other fragrances!

Want to plan a spa day for your dog? Head on over to Isle of Dogs and check out the complete NaturaLuxury collection of health and beauty products for dogs.

How to Make Sure You’re Ready for Amazon Prime Day

Some posts may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Are you ready to save big this Amazon Prime Day? All you need is an Amazon Prime Membership, which offers awesome benefits all year long including free 2-day shipping, streaming TV and Videos, Music and lots more.

If you don’t already have one, NOW is your last chance to snag a FREE 30-Day Trial Membership in time to get access to all the great deals, discounts and promotions for Prime Day! Students get a FREE 6-month trial.

Amazon Prime Day is July 11th but the deals start at 9PM ET tonight, so don’t miss out. Based on past experience and on what we’ve seen from the sneak peeks we’ve been given, Prime Day deals will rival those seen on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, including pet deals, home goods and more!

Go HERE to preview the Amazon Prime Day Deals and set watch notifications from your PC or mobile device.

Use any Alexa device for access to some even bigger discounts throughout the event. Voice-Enabled Alexa Shopping deals start at 7pm ET so you get a 2 hour head start!

If you don’t yet have an Echo, a Kindle or other Alexa-enabled device, be sure to watch for discounts on those during the 30 hour savings event HERE.

July 1st is ID Your Pet Day + More Summer Pet Safety Tips

Some posts may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

July 4th is just around the corner, and we wanted to remind pet parents that more time spent outdoors poses an added risk of pets escaping or getting lost. July 1st is ID Your Pet Day, which is timely since more pets go missing due to fireworks during the 4th of July celebrations than during any other time of the year.

ASPCA has provided us with some key safety tips to help you safeguard your pet this summer.