Weekend Reflections; Summer Block Party

Happy rainy Monday! This weekend flew by thanks to a busy agenda of house hunting, errand running, baking, sunbathing, eating and a block party. Looking back I can’t believe how much we actually fit into such a short amount of time!

The highlight of this weekend though had nothing to do with any of that. The best part of our weekend happened on Thursday evening when Gatsby went to the veterinary allergist. I never mentioned Gatsby’s allergies on the blog before because I didn’t know much about them and we were still in the process of trying to figure out what worked for him. He’s only ten months old and everyone around us told us not to go to the allergist until he was at least a year because some allergies may just be a “puppy thing”. Well, unfortunately, Gatsby showed no signs of improvement and actually continued to get worse. We’d been to the veterinary opthamologist to get him medicine and ointments for his teary eyes, tear stains and subsequent bacterial infections in the folds around his eyes. We’ve changed his food to a very limited diet to prevent ear infections he was getting from food allergies. We’d had him on and off benadryl to combat his environmental allergy symptoms. The problem was that whenever he wasn’t on an antibiotic or benadryl, all his symptoms would return, tenfold. He’d have ear infections, bright red tear stains that caused bacterial infections that left him with fur loss and raw, wounded skin. His muzzle would turn red and break out in painful looking sores and hives. He had red lesions behind his ears from constant scratching and little bumps that looked and felt like mosquito bites all over his hind legs along with patchy fur loss. Dan and I put him back on benadryl which only helped minimally and the irritations remained. We agreed that we couldn’t postpone the allergist any longer so despite what we’d been told, we made the appointment.

We made the appointment with Dr. Shoulberg who is also a highly recommended veterinary dermatologist. So we figured if even she said he was still too young for allergy testing, at least she could treat his skin problems. She confirmed that he most certainly has both food and environmental allergies (his worst are environmental, which is why his problems are skin based as dogs with allergies have weakened immunities in their skin and allergies are absorbed through their skin–unlike humans who breathe in histamines-so the weakened immunities leave him prone to bacterial infections which is what all his bumps, lesions and fur loss were). She put him on a course of antibiotics to treat the existing infection and told us to keep him on benadryl indefinitely, which I was worried about, but she assured me that it’s perfectly safe.

Finally, we had a long chat about preventive measures to keep his allergies under control and help him avoid more infections. Let me just say that taking care of an “allergy dog” is extremely high maintenance and takes a lot of time and dedication. First off, he needs a full body wipe down after every walk to clean pollen, dust, etc. off his skin and paws. Next he needs a bath 3 times a week using a special anti bacterial shampoo that has to sit on his coat for 10 minutes. Yes, it’s a lot of work but the pay off is so well worth it. We just started this new care regimen on Thursday night and now, three and a half days later he’s about 90% cleared up! All the bumps and sores are completely gone, his tear stains have lightened tremendously and his eyes don’t seem red or watery. His muzzle is perfectly white and the bumps have all gone down. I feel bad for my little man but I am so, so glad that we’ve finally figured out the course of treatment and preventative care for him and it’s the biggest relief in the world to know that we’ve finally got his allergies under control. Next month he’s going back to Dr. Shoulberg for a check up so I will report back on how he’s doing!

Sorry for that super lengthy spiel on an otherwise light and upbeat post. I figured Gatsby’s story was worth mentioning for anyone else out there who notices similar problems/symptoms with their dog. This is something we’ve been struggling with since we got him back in October and first noticed his tear stains. It’s been a great deal of trial and error and I’m glad to finally have a system that’s addressing his problems and helping him live comfortably. And now, on to the recap!

First off, the mint chocolate Quest bar is PERFECTION! Secondly, these B Up protein bars are my ultimate favorite. Dare I say I like them even better than Quest? Granted, Quest bars are super delicious but they never fail to leave me with the most uncomfortable stomach ache. The B Up bars are much more gentle on my digestive system and never leave me feeling bloated or uncomfortable. They’re soft and fluffy, similar to Quest bars but not as chewy and the peanut butter flavors have little yogurt-y textured peanut butter chips throughout. I get mine from GNC.


Gatsby helping me make cake pops.


This dewey skin mist from Tatcha is amaaaaazing! If I don’t want to wear makeup I just spritz this stuff onto my face and it makes my skin look so radiant, glowy and even that it almost looks like I’m wearing a tinted moisturizer. When worn over my makeup it gives the exact same luminous effect without ruining my makeup. The fact that it doubles as both a moisturizer and setting spray justifies the price in my book. However, what really justifies the price is the level of customer service from this company. The product shipped to my door in 2 days, came with four deluxe sized samples, was wrapped BEAUTIFULLY and even came with the sweetest hand written note thanking me for my patronage. I even took a snap chat video of the box I was so blown away by the care and service that went into the packaging. Bravo, Tatcha! Your amazing service combined with stellar products has just earned you a new loyal, raving customer.


Soo..this manicure is OPI’s Gargantuan Green Grape which is clearly not green at all. When I purchased this nail polish only about a year ago it was most definitely mint green (almost identical to Essie’s Mint Candy Apple). It has completely oxidized on me and turned into a [still pretty, nonetheless] sky blue color. How the eff did this happen? I keep all my nail polishes in a drawer in my CVS closet with all my other toiletries; it’s a dark, cool space. I’ve heard about storing nail polishes in the fridge but I thought that was just to keep the polish from thickening. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a better way to store my polish to prevent this from happening? Also, this has not happened to any other color.


Saturday’s OOTD. I was REALLY digging this easy yet still put together look of a t shirt and leggings with a pretty pendant necklace and the easiest lazy girl’s hair style: the messy half bun.


Saturday Dan and I started off the day with the intention to be healthy, but then this happened.


And this….


And then I started baking and all bets were off. This is a cherry walnut cheesecake.


A long, rough afternoon of marathon baking calls for loads of pre bedtime couch snuggles.


Sunday morning started off here. Our first pool trip of the season! Oh, and this was a pomegranate iced tea which is most definitely my official drink of Summer 2015. Expect approximately 2347205734089346 pictures of it for the next few months.


FYI — pool hair is NOT the same as beach hair. If you have somewhere to go after a day at the beach it’s all good, you can simply rock your salty ocean hair and look like a beautiful mermaid. Pool hair? Not so much. The chlorine dries it out and makes it look straw like and stringy (which is essentially my hair’s natural texture already sooo yea…don’t need anymore help in the damage department, thankyouverymuch) and then the lack of a salty breeze leaves you with….greasy, sweaty roots. Yea. I’ll be washing my hair, THOROUGHLY, after pool days from now on. 


Despite the crazy hair, I really did love this little romper from American Eagle that I wore on Saturday! The only downside is that American Eagle apparently does not think about their big busted consumers when designing. Even strapped down in a too tight strapless bra my boobs were busting out of the top. There was the TINIEST little snap that was absolutely no match for all the silicone I’m packing so a bandeau was a must. 


Fortunately, it was still super cute either way. 


Sunday was the most perfect day for a block party with ideal summer weather! It was warm but breezy so it never got too hot and it was the perfect temperature in the shade — the drinks stayed cold and none of the food melted!


I absolutely loved the dog label on this rose! Pink puppy wine. If that doesn’t have my name all over it I don’t know what does.


Summer evenings, right before sunset = ideal selfie lighting.


Block party/BBQ/Potluck food…..it’s the best. The BEST. It’s like going over to ten people’s home and sampling a little of everyone’s cooking, including the few people who rely on store bought goodies. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.


Dan loves it too.


They even had Rita’s Italian Ice! I got the blue raspberry (because it’s the flavor of my childhood, which can best be described as, “Lindsay, what flavor do you want?” Little Lindsay: “Blue!” or, “Lindsay, what’s your favorite flavor?” Little Lindsay, “Blue! and peanut butter!”) Dan opted for cherry….snore.


And finally…THIS! I ordered this pillow cover from Pottery Barn [comes in multiple breeds and personalized with your pet’s name] for Dan for Christmas. Not sure why we just finally put a pillow in it now….but yea. Our bed is now complete!


We had the best turn out this year! There were tons of people, a whole bunch of adorable little kids zipping around and a handful of puppies that Gatsby had a blast begging for scraps with.


Gatsby had a blast and did not want to leave. Although I don’t blame his as everyone came over to pet him, play with him and feed him endless chunks of fresh cantaloupe and watermelon. Look at that snarl on his face as we were leaving!


Hope you guys had a great summer weekend! Is it raining like hell all week where you are too? I think Wednesday is supposed to be our one and only sunny day, which coincidentally is my day off! Enjoy the week, I’ll be back with LOTS of recipes this week. If you follow me on Snapchat (lindsayyl0vee) you probably know what’s coming!



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