Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Paw-sitively Fabulous: Dogly

A few weeks back, while attending the My Pet & Me launch at Swatch, we were lucky enough to meet Jane & Cory Turner, the ladies behind Dogly, a unique social network that brings pup lovers together to raise money for their favorite shelters.
A post on Dogly raising the LOVE for Bully Project
Raising money for rescues while looking at adorable pictures of pooches? Talk about the perfect pair! As soon as I heard about Dogly's mission (and met Ozzy, their four-legged brand rep), I knew I had to learn more. Read on for the story of Dogly--then get "loving!"

Little Holly's Big World: what inspired you to create Dogly?

Jane & Cory Turner: We’re lifelong dog lovers and rescue advocates in our personal lives, and professionally we’re both focused on marketing, digital, and creative work, so Dogly is really the happy marriage of personal passion and professional experience.

We were inspired by our fellow dog lovers to create a way to bring together the two things we’re all bursting to do: tell our dogs’ stories visually and support rescues at the same time.

LHBW: Tell us a bit about how Dogly works.

CKT: It starts with getting creative with photos of your dog. Upload your favorite photos into the free Dogly app, then use our creative tools to crop, add text, filters, or art. When you sign up for Dogly, you can choose from more than 10,000 rescue organization to “play for.” Every “love” your photos get is donated to your shelter. At the end of every month, the shelter with the most loves receives a $1,000 Dogly Do Good grant. We’re especially excited about Dogly’s creativity grants. Every month, four Dogly-ers receive a Dogly Do Good creativity grant of $500 -- to give to their favorite shelters, of course!
Dogly users are encouraged to be creative to really stand out from the crowd!
LHBW: What makes Dogly different from other social media platforms for pup lovers?

JCT: We’re designed for both passion and purpose. With Dogly, we’re taking the “me” out of social media by benefiting rescue dogs with every photo posted. We often say Dogly is where dogs help dogs and make their humans heroes.

LHBW: Why was it important for you to pledge a monthly donation from Dogly to an animal shelter?

CKT: Like a Tom’s Shoes or FEED, Dogly is built as a business with purpose from the start. Our mantra is “do Dogly. do good.” Doing good is not an afterthought or add-on but baked into the very DNA of the Dogly experience. Giving back to the amazing rescues around the country is central to Dogly.
These snuggly pooches are all about Dogly's pro-social mission!
 LHBW: Tell us the story of Dogly’s official unofficial mascot Ozzy!

JCT: Ozzy is our most recent family rescue and he stands proudly for all our dogs who have come before (and our sweet rescue Lab Zoe who is a bit camera and event shy). He’s a great reminder of why we founded Dogly. We’re madly in love with him and he wouldn’t be here if not for the rescuers who braved the worst neighborhood in Houston to find him wandering the streets, the founder of Shaggy Dog Rescue and her vets, his amazing foster mom with SDR, and Rescue Road Trips which brought him to us in Connecticut. As they say, it takes a village. 

Ozzy is already giving back as the mascot for a special needs traveling baseball team; he’s a natural with autistic children…funny, feisty, patient, loving.  And as you know, he is adorable and has a great face. In every way, he’s the perfect symbol of a rescue dog – gorgeous inside and out.
The founders of Dogly, Cory and Jane Turner, pose with their own rescue pups.
LHBW: Where can eager pup parents download Dogly and learn more?

CKT: Dogly is a free download on both iOS and Android. More detail is available at dogly.com and you can get an overview of Dogly-ers’ posts, grants, and what we’re up to on our Instagram account @beingdogly (and all social media).

Thank you and see you on Dogly!

Until Next Time, Darlings!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Paw-sitively Fabulous: Getting Carrie-d Away!

I will admit, as much as I love my photo shoots with Holly, it's intimidating when I think about emulating the looks of some of the most stylish screen sirens of the 20th Century. And as if taking on Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly wasn't challenging enough, this year's inspiration is the Holly Golightly of the modern era: Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw!

For our look this year, I settled on the iconic tiered tutu from the opening scene. Since I already have the Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes, I jut needed a tutu, a pink tank, and of course Carrie's tiered tutu!

Get Carried Away

Luckily, my favorite purveyor of tulle skirts, Space46Boutique, makes a Carrie tulle skirt that is perfect for the shoot! And as for Carrie's pink tank? This option is only $10, and part of the proceeds go to charitable organizations!

For Holly, I have gone through several tutu makers on Etsy but found that the options at PetAfterLife to be my favorite. The tulle is extra fluffy and seems to keep its shape better than other tutus with fewer layers! You may recognize her work from our photo shoot on Bitches' Guide NYC!

Holly will be wearing a basic pink tank from Baxter Boo to complete her look.

Of course, the biggest issue with recreating the look of a woman known for being an authority on all things sexy is legs and arms are on full display. After a frigid New York Winter, my arms and legs are pale and dry--not exactly display ready! Luckily, Influenster and Jergens sent me some BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream,* which promises to deliver flawless looking skin within 5 days! The formula has a slight tint to it so I noticed an improvement right away in masking small imperfections and adding a little color, and it has worked wonders on the naturally ruddy tone in my arms and my winter-rough elbows! I have been a fan of Jergens Natural Glow sunless tanner for a while, so it's great to have another product that gives a slight hint of color without risk of typical sunless tanning goofs!

I leave you to decide if the results are worth it when I post the photos in the next couple of weeks!

Until Next Time, Darlings!

*disclaimer: I was provided with these products on behalf of Influenster Vox and Jergens in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Paw-sitively Fabulous: Operation ResCUTE!

This is a very special post for me, because it marks our 100th entry for Little Holly's Big World. I started this blog to chronicle all the fun things there are to do in the city with your pup, but quickly realized it was a great platform to raise awareness for rescue, and all the great fur-riends in shelters just waiting for their moment in the spotlight!

One thing I have heard a lot recently is that Holly is "so pretty for a rescue." I think there is a misconception that all rescue animals are somehow damaged goods, which is of course the farthest thing from the truth! 

That's why when I was visiting the Friends of Finn pup-up shop a few weeks back, I was immediately drawn to the ladies of Operation ResCUTE, a series of children's books and corresponding plush toys that seeks to educate the next generation on animal rescue and encourage them to adopt a shelter pet. I was able to chat with Laurie, the founder of Operation ResCUTE, to hear more about her incredible mission. 

Little Holly's Big World: What inspired you to educate children about animal rescue? 

Operation ResCUTE: After working over 30 years in marketing and product development, I decided to change gears and pursue my greatest passion [aside from my kids, of course!]...that of helping dogs in need of finding loving homes. It is very evident to me that the only way to create change in the way people approach getting a pet for the home is to EDUCATE the younger generation of kids and make them AWARE of the plight of the shelter dog. Young children generally drive the decision to get a pet for the home and for the most part, the majority of kids remain unaware that so many dogs currently live in shelters, in less than ideal situations, longing to be loved and belong to a family. Most young children think dogs come from pet stores on the street where they see adorable fluffy puppies jumping in the window! Kids remain unaware of shelters and the sad reality and plight of the shelter dog. So our series aims to EDUCATE and CHANGE THE CONVERSATION in homes to ADOPT vs. purchase pets!

Operation ResCUTE founder, Laurie, poses with her first books and plush toy, based on her own pup!
LHBW: What made you decide to write books and create toys to get your story out to the world? 

ORC: Books and stuffed animals are both great learning tools and have an important place in any child's life. So, in order to promote change among the next generation in regard to adoption of pets, I felt books and stuffed animals were a universal vehicle to best speak to kids.In developing a series of children's books and stuffed animals based on individual rescue dog's true-to-life stories, I also knew it was crucial to change the current perception of the shelter dog as well.  To date, shelter dogs are often portrayed as dogs having issues, or aggressive breeds, sad and pathetic in their pleas. In order to appeal to young kids, it is necessary to create a friendlier "face" to the shelter dog [hence the name Res"CUTE"] and make them more approachable and adorable and most importantly, identifiable. Our books address basic needs felt by children as well as animals: the need for love, security, and a sense of belonging! In addition, our book series teaches important life lessons and helps to create EMPATHY among the younger generation so that they feel responsible to help those less fortunate around them.
The books and plush are great for the pup-ruvin' kids in your life.
LHBW: Tell us a bit about Jingles, your first official Operation ResCUTE!

ORC: As the Story of Jingles depicts, it was by chance that I found Jingles. (As a child, I was raised with full bred dogs and I was never fully aware of the option to adopt from animal shelters.) Out of all the dogs I have had to date, I can unequivocally say that Jingles remains the most heartfelt dog I have ever met. She loves everyone with her entire being and is so incredibly loyal and intuitive. 
Knowing that she ever had to suffer for a single moment in her  life is unbearable to me and , as my muse, she will propel me to continue to always work on"her" behalf to do the same for other homeless dogs.
Laurie poses with Jingles, the inspiration behind Operation ResCUTE

Plush Jingles, in the fluff!
LHBW: Readers are able to submit their own pets to become a story. Tell us more about how that process works!

ORC: In terms of Operation ResCUTE's on-going CONTEST, we encourage people to go on our website (www.operationrescute.com) ,send in pictures and the background story of their rescue dogs and how they came to be rescued. We then select "winners" and give donations to the shelters that helped cared for them prior to their adoption. Selection of "winners" is based on many factors: the courageousness of the dogs, the efforts and fortitude of  their shelters as well as their new owners in caring for them, etc. If sales allow us to continue to move forward with the series, we plan to choose our next ResCUTE characters for the book and plush series from the Contest dogs!! 

LHBW: 100% of your proceeds go to rescue organizations. Why was it important for you to give back in that way? 

ORC: 100% of the profits from the Operation ResCUTE book series go towards helping shelters in their adoption efforts. I feel it is important to give as much assistance to all the wonderful individuals and organizations who, on a daily basis, care for and work effortlessly to find these wonderful pets a loving home.  In order to institute great and meaningful changes in life, I feel it is important to PAY IT FORWARD!
100% of proceeds go to helping more animals in need.
LHBW: Finally, what do you hope for Operation ResCUTE?  

ORC: In looking forward, I can only hope that Operation ResCUTE Inc. has been a successful tool in changing the conversation in homes in regard to pet ADOPTION . In addition, if our series can help teach empathy to kids and help them to become more aware of those less fortunate around them, then the world  will be a better place.

If you have an animal ruvin' child in your life, consider Operation ResCUTE as a paw some gift (buy it here). Not only will they get to snuggle up with a great story and a fluffy new pal, but you can feel good knowing you helped save a shelter animal in need. Talk about win-win!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: by far the best thing about this blog is meeting all the inspirational people who are truly changing the world of animal welfare every day. If every one of us takes a small step towards improving the life of animals, I know we will make a big impact. Thank you for joining us on our journey so far--I can't wait to see where we all go next!

Until Next Time, Darlings!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Getting Carrie-d Away!

I'm so excited to share that the insanely talented Seriously Sabrina Photography is returning to New York to do another photo shoot with us! You might remember that last year we recreated the iconic opening to Breakfast at Tiffany's and Holly's namesake, Holly Golightly. For our dress-up adventure this year, we decided to channel a more modern-day, but equally iconic single New York gal. Look for clues in the collage below, and let me know if you can guess this year's theme!

Until Next Time, Darlings!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Can my dog eat that? This infographic answers once and for all!

I was contacted by a fellow pup blogger, ChewieSays, about our home cooking and healthy recipes for both people and pups alike. I'm always on the lookout for new meals I can prepare for Holly, but knowing that pooches digest food differently than people, I'm always hesitant to add new ingredients. Luckily, ChewieSays has this handy infographic to help take some of the mystery about what dogs can and can't eat. I loved it so much I asked the good folks about ChewieSays to share some of their insights with all of you! Read on to hear directly from the ChewieSays authors themselves, and to see the handy and helpful infographic for yourself!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Hello Darlings!

I realize I have been a very bad blogger recently, and I hope you all have been satiated by checking out our Instagram and contributing posts on Bitches Guide NYC!

But since it is St. Paddy's Day and Holly and I are proud Irish gals (Holly in an honorary sense, though she does look excellent in green), we knew we had to share some photos from the St. Patrick's Day event we attended last weekend at Furry Tails NYC benefiting Social Tees Animal Rescue

With vegan cupcakes and champagne for the humans, clover shaped treats for the pups, and a wacky St. Paddy's Day photo booth with complimentary mini sessions courtesy of Hilarious Hound, the party was the perfect way to celebrate our Irish pride without having to worry about being squished by over-eager (and often over served) parade attendees! A special thanks to Puppy Parties NYC for putting the event together--we had a great time!
Portraits courtesy of Hilarious Hound
Until Next Time, Darlings!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Paw-sitively Fabulous: Breuer Premium Pet Food

I love social media for so many reasons, but the biggest one has got to be that it connects you with people and brands you might otherwise never have met. 

Breuer Premium began following me and my mom since we have mentioned home cooking for our pups in our posts. A New York based company, Breuer Premium has the unique concept of creating the same wholesome, home cooked meals we do for our dogs and delivering them right to your door (genius). Think of a private celeb chef cooking up a gorgeous, all natural meal for your pup that is then delivered fresh to you weekly. That's what I call glamorous!
Currently, Breuer Premium is only available to NYC area pups to ensure freshness, but I can see their concept of making healthy home cooking convenient catching on across the country. I caught up with them to learn more about their incredible idea, their food philosophy, and why they do what they do. 

Little Holly's Big World: As a home cooking pooch-mama myself, I love hearing there are fellow home cooking pet parents out there! What drove you to start cooking for them?

BP: The Breuer Premium Pet Food Company was built out of love for man's best friend.  This is an American story, in support of our beloved animals, our local farmers, and a way of life which focuses on the fundamentals of healthy living.  Few things in life provide greater pleasure than caring for and spending time with our beloved animals.  Our Golden Retriever, George, and our Mini Golden Doodle, Jack, are never far from our sides.  They have been reaping the benefits of the Breuer Premium recipes for years and they are the true inspirations behind creating a larger distribution channel for our food.
The inspirations behind it all! Image courtesy of Breuer Premium.

LHBW: What compelled you to take the home cooking beyond your kitchen to the pups of New York?

BP: The Breuer family has cooked homemade meals for their dogs George and Jack over the past decade.  The recipes that evolved were inspired by the local, seasonal ingredients found at the markets near their farm in Upstate New York.  Discouraged by the global recall of many commercial pet foods in 2007 due to contamination, the Breuer Premium Pet Food Company was founded to help build awareness for the benefits of a fresh, all natural diet.  
Image courtesy of Breuer Premium.
LHBW: Have you seen any obvious health benefits since you began home cooking for your own pets?

BP: We are providing dogs with fresh, all natural ingredients free from preservatives, fillers, and animal by-products present in most commercial pet foods. Each Breuer Premium meal contains a carefully selected blend of fruits, vegetables, gluten free carbohydrates and protein helping to alleviate joint stress, reduce inflammation, increase urinary tract health, boost skin & coat condition, promote healthy vision, and freshen breath!  Our mini golden doodle Jack, with his sensitive tummy, has given his full seal of approval for all of the Breuer Premium meals.
Resident taste tester, Jack. Image courtesy of Breuer Premium.
LHBW: Breuer Premium goes above and beyond most food manufacturers out there, with an FDA certified kitchen, certified food handlers delivering the food, and holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists monitoring the recipes for optimal health. Why were these additions important to the Breuer philosophy?

BP: Our beloved pets deserve the highest quality of care possible and we believe that this starts with a healthy diet.  The Breuer's and a team of experts, including holistic veterinarians, food scientists, and animal nutritionists built upon the family's homemade recipes to offer products that are not only fresh and all natural, but also nutritionally adequate.  All products are formulated to meet key vitamin and mineral requirements as defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).  We maintain the highest standards for product development, sourcing and production, which requires a meticulous focus on the quality of our ingredients, our cooking methodology, and adherence to the laws of the NY Department of Agriculture.
Image courtesy of Breuer Premium.
LHBW: Where do you source your ingredients from? Do you have any seasonal favorites you like to add to your meals to mix things up?

BP: The Breuer Premium Pet Food Company prides itself on its all natural approach to animal wellness.  We work with local farmers throughout the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas to select only the finest meats, vegetables, and fruit.  Our ingredients are 100% grown and gathered in the USA.  All natural 80/20 ground beef, nutritionally dense, leafy green spinach, and gluten-free, red quinoa seeds are only some of the gluten free superfoods included in our products.  We currently offer Beef & Millet, Turkey & Red Quinoa, and Lamb & Brown Rice meals, and have a number of seasonal products in our pipeline including venison, rabbit and bison.  Yum and stay tuned for updates!

LHBW: Tell us more about your company’s commitment to the ASPCA.

BP: Breuer Premium is proud to support the ASPCA and its mission to save lives.  We are an NYC born & raised brand, focused on supporting our community by sourcing, producing, and delivering locally.  We believe in working with New York based organizations like the ASPCA to promote healthy living and treatment of our furry four legged friends.
Jack thinks eating well while doing good is groovy! Image courtesy of Breuer Premium.
LHBW: Finally, for those looking to make the switch from kibble to holistic, home cooked meals, where do you recommend starting? 

BP: We recommend introducing a new diet slowly so it’s gentle on your dog’s tummy.  If switching from kibble to holistic, we advocate a gradual transition over the course of 7-10 days.  For example, mixing 25% Breuer Premium and 75% kibble for the first three days, 50:50 for three more days, and 75:25 for three final days before serving 100% Breuer Premium.

For more information about how to bring Breuer's Premium to your door, check them out Facebook or Instagram

Until Next Time, Darlings!
Images by Freepik