The Getaway Carmel

dog friendly hotel in carmel

Wow, I have definitely neglected this blog. Because of Covid, I actually haven’t traveled in months. The last time I was on a plane was January 2020 for Miami- not one flight since then and I don’t plan to for awhile. 

When I started this blog, Weston + Fira were a lot younger and we frequently traveled for work and fun, so I had more to post about and had a ton of fun creating dog-friendly city guides.

Now that they’re older, it’s a bit different. Weston’s almost 11. We don’t want to add any unneeded stress on him so those long-haul flights to Europe seem like way too much and leaving him for a few weeks is too sad–for all of us! Flights have become stricter, Covid still makes traveling tricky and I’m also getting older. I’m tired. Lol!

With time, things change. 

I think, like a lot of us during this time, I’ve been appreciating where I live, doing more staycations and enjoying time at home. The dogs are certainly very pleased about this.

So, where else can we go within a drive? Luckily, we are close to the beach and a lot of cool cities so we decided to take a trip up to Carmel (4-5 hours north of Los Angeles). We stayed at The Getaway for a few nights and it was just the break I needed!

the getaway carmel

This boutique hotel has 34 rooms and is right in the center of town- you can walk to all the shops, restaurants and the beach. Fira is obsessed with the beach and kept dragging me towards the ocean- I swear she always knows the direction of any beach, even if it’s miles away.

Right across from the hotel is a convenient park for nice little walks or a picnic. One of my favorite parts of the hotel was their daily happy hour. They offer a nice complimentary spread of cheeses, meats + wines. Enjoy outside on their patio next to the fireplace!

carmel dog friendly hotels

french bulldog at hotel

Carmel is one of the most dog-friendly cities in America and there were dogs everywhere. It seemed like at every table there was a dog sitting politely next to their owner(s). No need to leave your dog–so many dog-friendly wineries, wine tasting rooms and restaurants!

Speaking of restaurants, my favorites were Bicyclette (modern French-American), Dametra (mediterranean) and Pangea (Asian-fusion). The owner of Pangea is Korean so I was excited to see kimchi stew + kimchi fried rice on the menu, which of course, I ordered! It was my favorite meal of the week.

I had a great time, drank way too much wine and slept in every morning. 🙂 Btw, I will be partnering with The Getaway to give away one free night stay at the hotel! The giveaway will go live this week on National Dog Day August 26th on @WTFrenchie so make sure to check in and enter!

Where have you traveled with your dog lately?

french bulldog in hotel bed

the getaway hotel carmel

getaway hotel

the getaway hotel room

the getaway hotel carmel

happy french bulldog

How to Groom White Dogs

cream French bulldog on rug

Is grooming different for a white dog?

Technically, yes, because white-coated dogs can stain more easily and their coat can yellow or gray over time. White fur is almost like blonde hair, so it’s best to treat it with some TLC!

Weston is technically a cream French bulldog but his coat is very very white with cream patches. It’s also a lot finer in some areas and not as coarse as Fira’s fur. Fira’s a true cream with a thick sandy-colored coat.

I honestly don’t bathe Weston + Fira too much because I don’t like to dry out their skin or cause them more anxiety (they hateeee baths), so it ends up being every 4-6 weeks. I mean, we basically stopped taking them to the groomers because of Weston’s FEAR. It was like we were dropping him off at a serial killer’s house–he would shake so so bad and try to jump back in the car.

I’ve heard of some Frenchie owners bathing their pups every week! That is way too tiring for me, lol.

So, I tried a new set of grooming products for the pups and OMG, I’m in love. I picked up Isle of Dogs No.16 White Coat Evening Primrose Oil Shampoo which is specifically made for white/light coats. It’s super safe and does not contain dyes or bleaching agents.

Before I bathe them, I brush them down quickly to get any loose furs off. Not that it really does anything—they shed like crazy during and even worse, after the bath. It never ends!

Now onto the bath… the color of this shampoo is surprisingly blue! It reminds me of using purple toners and purple shampoos for blonde hair to cancel out any oranges or reds. This blue formula will make the whites extra sparkly!

I lathered it up all over them and let it sit for a few minutes, hoping for a bright, pearly coat. I applied this thick, concentrated hair masque on them afterwards and let it sit for a couple minutes too. I’m not sure how to describe the scent but it is sooo nice like honey + slightly spicy like a holiday candle? I wish my conditioner smelled like this.

I took a before + after photo to show the results and this is UNEDITED, I promise. You can see in the After, the fur is slightly brighter and definitely more cool-toned

What do you think?

I finish them off with some homemade nose butter and last but not least, don’t forget the treat! They got these little cookies that have glucosamine + chondroitin in them for bone + joint health. Look at their happy faces 🙂 (inside they’re seething, I know.)

Recipe: Healthy Lamb + Superfood Dog Food

healthy homemade dog food with superfoods

A new year, a new recipe! 

Happy 2021! I’ve been trying to create some variety in the pups’ meals, so I came up with this healthy dog food recipe that the pups are enjoying.

If you’re new to making homemade dog food, here’s my original recipe which is a great place to start and a Salmon Quinoa recipe that is absolutely delicious.

Let’s start…

You’ll need:

  • 2 lbs ground lamb (or other protein)
  • 1 cup riced cauliflower
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2-3 tablespoons Canine Complete supplement
  • Non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Sardines in fresh water

Because Weston is allergic to poultry + white fish, he eats a lot of beef, salmon and venison, so when I was at the market and saw the ground lamb, I had to get it for them! Lamb is very healthy for dogs and is full of protein, essential amino acids and vitamin B12. Not to mention–a great choice of protein if your dog is allergic to most proteins. I’ve noticed many French bulldogs are allergic to poultry. 

Cook the lamb with a little bit of olive oil then drain + rinse with cold water.

ground lamb recipe for dogs

Cook riced cauliflower with the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Cauliflower is safe for dogs in small amounts and best if lightly cooked. Raw cauliflower can lead to indigestion and/or gas! I just cooked a small amount of cauliflower (1 cup) for some added fiber and a healthier substitution in place of quinoa/grains. 

Pour all cauliflower + coconut oil mixture to ground lamb in a big bowl. Mix in shredded carrots, blueberries, chia seeds + a few tablespoons of Canine Complete

homemade healthy dog food

French bulldog homemade dog food

greek yogurt on top of dog food

Add a dollop of greek yogurt and a fresh sardine on top!

Sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10 and boost your dog’s immune system. Since they are rich in fatty acids, I wouldn’t give them a sardine more than twice a week. You can add one on their food as a topping or just mash it in. Make sure you buy sardines in fresh water + no salt added. Here are the sardines I bought. 

healthy homemade dog food with superfoods

Blueberries: great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

Chia seeds: calcium (more than milk!), omega-3 fatty acids, reduces inflammation

Greek yogurt: natural probiotics

Sardines: promotes skin + coat health, keeps immune system strong

Verishop: Holiday Gift Guide for the Dog Mom

French bulldog home
 
Can you believe it’s already December? I mean, we all say that every year but this year is… you know. We’ve pretty much made it through 2020!
 
I discovered Verishop recently and it’s right up my alley for super cool curated items by unique designers, fashion, beauty + more! Whenever I’m ready to shop, I love finding curated lists that I know will have the best selection, instead of browsing page after page after page on say, Nordstroms etc. 
 
And no, this isn’t a sponsored post and I don’t get commission, lol. I’m just excited that SAINT RUE is one of the brands on Verishop and also discovering designers on there. These are a few things I picked up recently…
 
 
 
 
 
And some faves on my list, including the most chic vegetable peeler I’ve ever seen (ha!). 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You can check out the entire pet category here.

How to Build A Lifestyle Brand

pet blogger

When I created my instagram @WTFrenchie 6 years ago, I had no idea this was what my life would turn into (everyone says that, lol). But at the time, I was working as a makeup artist and the hairstylist I was working with had an instagram for her cat. She was always on that thing, so I was like, wait Weston should have one too!

Because there is such an amazing French Bulldog community, I got really really into it. Not only did I learn some new things about frenchies (like food allergy tests, dog food recipes, training tips) (and hashtags) but I started meeting other Frenchie parents in person. I remember my first Frenchie spotting was @ollieishandsome. Picture me: “Is that OLLIE??? I follow you!!”

Looking back, I’m surprised I even met up with strangers because of my social anxiety. This from someone who would wait in their car an extra 30 seconds to make sure her neighbor was gone to avoid saying hi, but then willingly met up with unknown humans because of dogs. Wow. Everyone with social anxiety: get a dog. They help with literally everything.

French bulldog group

Back to Instagram…

Not gonna lie—pet companies reaching out to send us free dog treats or a pet vacuum was a NICE PERK. I remember being so giddy seeing a package that was shipped to Weston (I obvi still get giddy). 

I really got the majority of our followers when Fira came into the picture because of a funny video of them booping went viral. That’s sort of when I started thinking, ok I have all these followers… what do I do?

The one thing I got SO many DMs + comments about were how I traveled with Weston + Fira. Best dog-friendly hotel? Which airline pet carrier? What do I bring? So, that’s how I started this blog.

I never really had a super clear life plan. I was always a self-starter and a creative but the future seemed a bit fuzzy without a direct path. I never planned to be a blogger or “influencer” or partner with brands etc. But somehow, it makes sense now. It combines everything I love: dogs, design, art-directing, entrepreneurship, working from home.

But back to YOU…

The pet instagram landscape has changed SO much and pet brands have noticed. So even though you started a page for fun, it would be silly not to at least get some free dog food, help animal rescues AND/OR create your own empire… 🙂 

My biggest thing is, this only works if you’re having fun with it. At the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be that serious. Genuinely build relationships, connect with others and share the joys of your life with your pup. 

For me, that’s basically what a lifestyle brand is. It’s sharing a bit of you, your lifestyle, your interests, expertise and a certain je ne sais quoi. And yes, everyone has that, even if you think you don’t. You are YOU and there is nobody else like you. It’s like putting a stamp on everything you put out there!

traveling French bulldogs

Do you guys want more of this content?

This blog really began as a travel blog with dog-friendly hotels, city guides + more but I gradually added my dog food recipes, grooming tips and a sprinkle of home + shopping. As this world is growing (there are more dog pages now than ever!), I can definitely share more about that topic, behind the scenes (like how to get the best photos for brand partnerships) and e-commerce (ie: my WTFrenchie merch shop and dog accessories line SAINT RUE).

To start, I just filmed a video for The Pet Summit Oct 24-25th about How to Build a Lifestyle Brand and I share my top 4 things you should know. There are some really amazing dog moms involved with over 100 classes, workshops, live panels + more—all for the pet influencer/blogger or even if you’re just thinking about it.

For 25% off your ticket, use code: WTF25

By the way, a few years ago I neverrr wanted to be live on camera. Photos, fine. But video—omg. I remember when IG live was brand new and just casually filming the pups and responding to the comments by actually typing in the comment chat and people were like, “why aren’t you talking?” Lol awkward. 

This past year, I’ve been trying to get over this fear and just go for it. After all, video is the future. Things are ever-evolving and changing… let me know in the comments what you would like to know more about! 

Review: Public Goods

Hey hey, hope you guys have been doing ok–the year is coming to an end. 😮

Where have you guys been ordering your essentials? I’ve been using Public Goods a lot. Fun fact: at the start of the pandemic, they were the only ones who actually had toilet paper in stock. It was limited to 1 pack per customer of course but it saved our asses, literally. 

I’ve been a member since early this year but when they recently reached out to me to check out their new dog products, I was so excited! This company is all about being made in the USA, sustainable, paraben-free and I love all their eco-friendly, minimal packaging. Everything is priced really affordably too. 

I’m about to place another order so I thought I’d share my fave products incase you guys need some help choosing. 🙂

FIRST, let’s talk about the new dog products.

The one thing we (as in, all dog parents) are ALWAYS repurchasing is poo bags. I used to buy a huge box of rolls from Amazon for super cheap but realized how wasteful it was with all the plastic. I’ve been buying only compostable, eco-friendly bags, so I’m reeeeally happy that Public Goods has their own! 

compostable poo bags

The Cheese Chews are cute (they’re like yak chews) but I haven’t given them to the pups yet. Weston is allergic to dairy so I’ll skip those for him. The Dog Shampoo is vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free and has a clean, soapy scent. We haven’t taken the pups to the groomers since March! We’ve just been bathing them at home ourselves and taking them to the vet for nails or any anal gland expression (I will never do that at home, eek). I’m finally going through their shampoo collection!

What’s in my cart?

So I always stock up on their olive oil (it’s a good, basic one for cooking), dish soap refills and mostly cleaning products. I just loooove their refill products. The dish soap and hand soap come in these large pouches (versus a bottle, which requires more plastic) which easily pour into your existing containers. 

Aren’t these refills the cutest? You literally just fill your bottle up with water and squeeze this concentrated version into it and tada–no need to buy a new bottle.

 

They also have pantry essentials like almonds, couscous, canned goods and I’ve gotten most of my spices here. Also, this is the most random thing ever but they have the BEST OATMEAL COOKIES. They are the perfect crunchy tiny pop-in-your-mouth cookie. Get themmm–you won’t regret it. I just added 5 boxes of the oatmeal cookies to my cart… happy shopping!

Recipe: Mini Peanut Butter Mousse Cakes

I found this recipe on Chewy Pet Central page and I couldn’t resist making these. I had all the ingredients at home and it sounded much yummier than just giving the pups a plain treat. They deserve a whole bunch of mini PB cakes! 

 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bag peanut butter dog treats
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ¾ cup plain greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup natural peanut butter
  • olive oil or coconut oil

 

 

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease your muffin tin with some olive oil or coconut oil. I used one of these silicone pans. You don’t have to oil it up but I spritzed it with some olive oil spray anyway. I just hateee when you bake and it sticks! The silicone molds make baking little bites like this so much easier–after baking, you just pop them out.

Add oats + 1/2 cup of treats to food processor or blender and pulse away. 

In medium bowl, mix the ground oats + treats with 1 egg and 1 tbsp of water to create a dough. 

Spoon 1/2 tbsp of dough into each cup.

Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.

For the icing, mix peanut butter + yogurt together. I used a hand mixer so it would be extra smooth + fluffy. Spoon filling into a ziplock bag, cut corner and squeeze onto mini cakes. I cut mine a little too big but if you cut your corner small, you can get it to look like piping.

Crush 3-4 treats in a ziplock bag and spriiinkle on top! These smell SO SO delicious. It probably took me about 15-20 minutes–including the baking time–to make these. 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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