Lemme Tell You 'Bout My Best Friend

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PedigreeGives #CollectiveBias

Warning: Cute pug pictures ahead. I'll talk anyone's ear off that will listen about how cool my dog is. Zoey the Pug is without a doubt the best little dog a gal could hope for. 

Z the Pug is coming up on her 4th "Gotcha Day" in December. When BB and I decided to get a pug, we wanted to adopt if we could. We spent months scouring Craigslist and PetFinder to find our new little buddy. It took a lot of waiting before we finally found our pug, but Zoey was worth the patience. She came from a family with several kids and a new baby and we're too overwhelmed to take care of a puppy, so we were happy to take her off their hands. I can safely say it was the best decision we've ever made. Well, besides changing her name from Frankie Jo to Zoey. FRANKIE. JO. Seriously.

She's my snuggle buddy when I marathon The Mindy Project on Hulu every night. She curls up next to me and keeps me company when I work from home. She's happy to clean up any of the chips I drop on the floor, and I swear that her little snores help me sleep better. 

If you're thinking about getting a dog, but looking for a specific breed, you can still adopt instead of using a breeder! There are so many dogs out there that need homes (and I seriously want them all), whether from a shelter, foster home, or even from someone who can't handle them. Here are a few tips for finding your new best friend:

1. Use Search on PetFinder & Craigslist: If you're looking for a specific breed, using the search tools on these two websites can help you find any that may have fallen through the cracks. Sometimes, we'd find a pug in surrounding areas like Fayetteville or Memphis that we might not have seen otherwise.

2. Check Every Single Day: Persistence pays off! We both searched these websites constantly in case of new listings. Pugs are a pretty popular dog, so we had a few slip through our fingers because someone found the listing minutes before we did. 

3.  Follow Breed-Specific Rescues: We followed several pug-focused rescues like the Pug Rescue of Northwest Arkansas on Facebook. Since they're dedicated specifically to pugs, there was a better shot that we'd find exactly what we were looking for!

4. Patience, Patience, Patience: This is probably the most important thing to remember. You could find your next furry friend in a day, or it could take months. If it's really important for you to get a particular breed, it will take time. In the end, it will be worth it!

Even if you decide not to rescue, there are plenty of ways you can help dogs in shelters that need to be adopted. Most shelters need volunteers to walk or clean the dogs, and they're always looking for donations! You can donate crates or carriers you aren't using any more, new toys, or items for event auctions to raise money. And, speaking of money - that's always a good way to help as well. Consider sponsoring an adoption of a pup to help them find a forever home faster.

Possibly the easiest way to help? Every time you buy PEDIGREE® food at Sam's Club, they'll donate a bowl of food to a dog in need for the entire month of October. I'm hanging out with the 55 lb. bag here in the pet aisle of Sam's, which could feed a lot of happy dogs (and keep them healthy while they're waiting for a new family!).

Want to donate even MORE food? Upload a photo of your best furry pal to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #LaterShelter and PEDIGREE® will donate a bowl for every photo uploaded! The best ones will be featured on Sam's Club's website. Make sure you check out more heartfelt puppy stories (and cute photos of dogs) on the Pedigree Social Hub and follow Sam's Club on Twitter!

PS - check out this cute video I made with my bestie Z the Pug on Instagram!

Better Skin with Burt's Bees

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ANaturalClean #CollectiveBias

I've tried every kind of skin care. I have mixed and matched, used entire sets, I've tried everything from wipes to cleansers to weird foams and masks. When it comes to cleaning my face, I've decided the easier, the better. I'm much more likely to do a full face regimen if it only takes a few steps.

When I visited Japan, one of the hotels we stayed in gave me small packets of face care products for each night of our stay. The packets included cleansing oil, which I had never used. I couldn't read the instructions (which were in Japanese) so I kind of guessed. I loved the way it made my face feel though, so I've been interested in trying cleansing oil ever since.

Burt's Bees recently came out with an all-natural, delicious smelling cleansing oil and I wanted to give it a try. I found it at Target in the "natural beauty" aisle, which is just a few aisles past the make up and face care aisles. You'll find everything Burt's in this section, from soaps to lotions to that lipgloss we've been using since 7th grade! They've always made products that make the most out of what nature gave us, giving your skin nutrients and skipping the chemicals. While I was there, I also picked up the brightening toner while I was there, because I like a set from the same brand. Every good cleanser needs a great toner!

So remember how I said I need an easy nightly routine? Here's how it goes down:

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Start with dry hands. This is where I went wrong when I tried the Japanese products; I tried to apply it like a normal cleanser. With cleansing oil, you apply to dry hands and massage into your (dry) face. It did an amazing job of removing all of the dirt and makeup naturally and leaving everything feeling smooth.

Step 3 looks very similar to Step 2: you just add water. Scoop a little water with your hands and continue to massage the water and the oil into your skin. After that, you'll move on to Step 4: Rinsing.

After patting your face dry, it's time to add toner. I love a good toner, since they tighten skin and get rid of any extra makeup and dirt you may have left behind. This one smells like daisies! It's the perfect complement to the cleansing oil before bed.

Final step: CLEAN SKIN. See how mine is glowing? That's not photoshopped, it's just how it looks after using these products! I've been using them all week and love the soft, smooth feel of my skin. I know the word "cleansing oil" is scary; most people assume it will leave skin oily. What it does instead is moisturize and cleanse the skin so it feels fresh and soft, with no oil or dirt left behind! It honestly feels super soft before you even apply a moisturizer or serum, which is why I'm going to become one of those people that swears by my cleansing oil routine.

Interested in trying Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil? Now is a great time, because Target is offering my readers 10% off through Cartwheel! Download the app and claim your coupon (It's good through August 15th.)

It's time to register for new cookware at Target!

We've been cooking at home a lot lately. My husband discovered a meal delivery service called "Hello Fresh" that delivers exactly what groceries you need for three meals each week. He was so excited about the service, he cooked the first few meals for me! We've gotten to spend a lot of time in the kitchen together, which has been a really fun experience.

The meals themselves have been delightful - and they're fairly easy to execute. Since they've pre-measured everything for you, it takes a lot of the guess work out. The instructions have been really easy to follow as well. There are photos along with the written directions, and they do a great job of giving you the order of things so everything finishes at the same time. Making these feasts together has felt like a "date night in" almost every night of the week!

One of the things that's made this entire experience such a breeze, though, has been all of our kitchenware. When we registered, we had some very generous friends and family so we ended up with everything we needed. It was time to upgrade our pots and pans from the all-in-one box of cheap stuff from college to something a little more heavy duty. If I were registering again today, I'd put a set like this Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware on my list!

The thing about great cookware is, you're going to want to use it. We've ended up using at least two pots a night, so having a diverse set like this one from Target is essential! We registered at Target because we knew most people from other states would have one close, and we ended up with so many giftcards to Target that we got to do a mini shopping spree after the wedding. Which was awesome, because the week of your event, you get a coupon for 15% off your remaining registry items! You can start your Target wedding registry in store or online, so I spent a lot of time adding things here and there whenever I thought of something else we might need. Don't forget to add a ladle and a pizza cutter - we were married for two years before we finally got those.

So tell me - what kitchenware has been essential for YOUR date nights in?

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.