The Remaining Days of Fall

Hi, everyone! Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving filled with good company, good food and all around good vibes! I always keep it low key with my fellas as my husband and I don’t really have big families, we enjoy the time spent together and with a few of our closest friends. I really savor the times spent with the pup, being that I’m busy 24/7, it’s so nice to cut myself off from the online world and just be in the moment with the two most important people in my life. Now that we’re gearing into the holiday season, the leaves are falling and the winter chill is taking its course. So I wanted to get in a few more photos of the beautiful foliage along with playing in the leaves with MaQ - he literally goes nuts for them! Continue reading to see more of the photos, where to shop the look, and why my dog is the cutest German shepherd in the world! ;)

FIRST: Can we talk about how warm and snuggly this teddy coat is?! AND it’s only $40! It’s such a bargain because with the right layering, you can wear this all winter long! Seriously, I paired this with a denim jacket and scarf in 30 °F and was so cozy outside! And anything neutral during the colder months is a good thing - makes it for easier styling among many of the fall/winter colors. Plus I think anything in the neutral palette looks good on so many skin tones and hair colors! Plus the two front pockets and folded over collar are also some of my favorite features in a rocking overcoat!

Now you know me, to go with a cute coat, I love to amp it up in the accessories department with a good statement bag and watch! This chic crossbody bag crafted in Italian Embossed Croc and Pebble Grain leather can also be worn as a shoulder bag and you can double the strap for a shorter length. Front open flap has a polished gold lock closure that’s super luxe and polishes it up to be a fabulous day or evening bag with the classical sophistication. Which way did you like the way I styled this bag the most?

This rectangular two-hand dial paneled in lustrous mother of pearl and semiprecious stone is the focus of this elegantly striking watch. Hand-assembled with Swiss and imported materials right in Detroit, Michigan, the refined style is anchored by genuine alligator leather for a luxe finish. Given that I was raised in Detroit, I’ve already grown to be quite sentimentally fond of the watch. They have other styles as well, with this particular design, but they also carry other well-sized luxury watches. Check them out at www.gomelskywatches.com

These sneakers are from Kenneth Cole and honestly are the most comfortable pair of kicks I’ve owned in a few years. They’re the perfect stylish sneaker for all-day wear and even cozy enough for travel. I always wear them on flights. They’re on sale at Macy’s for less than $60 and are totally worth the price for their quality. I love them so much I’ve already gone through two pairs! I guess I’m the kind of gal that when she stumbles upon something she loves, she’ll stock up on it! Haha.

LOVE & XX’S

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MaQ's New Fave – Nature's Recipe Grain Free Salmon Dog Food

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nature’s Recipe®. The opinions and text are all mine.


Some of you may have read up on MaQ, my German Shepherd dog's diet a while back. For many years it's strictly been raw red meat (sometimes chicken or salmon), sushi rice, cooked green beans with a dollop of cottage cheese and olive oil. And glucosamine pills to keep those hips in check.(Whoa.) While I haven't fed him purely kibble food since he was a puppy, the vet has recommended putting a little bit of it into MaQ's meals. What is the reasoning behind this? There are just some ingredients dogs cannot get in other food categories like in dog food. Which is why lately, I've been giving my fur baby Nature's Recipe Grain Free Salmon Dog Food, a healthy & nutritious easy-to-digest dry food MaQ has become completely addicted to! Look how adoringly patient he is waiting to eat his breakfast! Awe!

It's no surprise that salmon is healthy. And while it's the number-one ingredient in Nature's Recipe grain free easy to digest salmon, sweet potato & Pumpkin recipe, it's also part of an all-star lineup including nutrient-dense carbohydrate sources to help your dog stay on the move. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin round out this mix, giving your dog a nutritious, easy-to-digest food that doesn't get in the way of all that delicious salmon. The best part? It is new at Walmart, it has no corn or wheat, no artificial flavors or preservatives, and no poultry-by-poultry meal. Which is why for many years I didn't feel confident including dry dog food into his diet. German Shepherds are prone to extremely sensitive digestive systems and I'm always a little weary giving him something new since it throws his tummy off. 

But with Nature's Recipe's real chicken or fish being the #1 ingredients in their dry recipes, made with premium protein sources and fiber to help support digestion, energy and satisfy natural cravings for every stage of a dog's life, it is the perfect form of dry kibble for MaQ. And he goes absolutely nuts over the smell of the kibble alone! You should have seen his face when I first introduced the bag, I thought his eyeballs were going to pop right out he was so excited! In today's post, I mixed the kibble in with raw salmon, (like a total grizzly bear, he is a savage when it comes to this specific fish) shredded carrots with lettuce, white rice, and olive oil. We even feed him handheld treats out of the kibble as an in-between snack! It's his grandpa's (YES, he has a grandpa!) favorite way to give him a treat. Can you tell he's lovingly spoiled?! :) 

If you're a pet owner, I strongly recommend Nature's Recipe Dog (and cat) Food for your beloved babies. They have a variety of other flavors besides salmon such as chicken, lamb and more! There is also a line of wet dog food too if that's your pooches' thing! The best part, is you can find Nature's Recipe at your local Walmart. This makes the switch to kibble easy and convenient. For more info on this amazing dog food line, click here

LOVE & XX'S,

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Shaken Not Stirred

WEARING: ROMWE BLACK HALTER BACKLESS CUT OUT SLIT DRESS |
TOBI STRAIGHT SHOT STATEMENT NECKLACE | BRIAN ATWOOD SATIN POINTED TOE PUMPS

Happy Friday! With Halloween only three days away, we're excited to share our costumes for this year! Every year we come up with a theme where me and my boys dress up for a family photo-op. It's always so much fun and we never grow tired of this holiday. I know some of you might think you're too 'old' for Halloween, but to me, you're never too old to dress up and have a good ole' time with your loved ones. And who doesn't love a treat or two? Perhaps you're more of a trickster. 

This year's theme is my husband's favorite character in books and film, 007 Special Agent James Bond. Okay, maybe a close runner-up to Simon Templar but he's an obsessed fan. I can relate. Ever since I saw my first Bond film I was immediately struck by the agent's dangerous and lavish life. I'm fascinated seeing and/or reading different parts of the world through the eye's of Ian Fleming. And his depictions of many stories. Whether it's through action-fighting scenes trying to save the world or falling so madly in love with a person who is unattainable, the world of Bond is a dreamy one. An escapism to the impossible, but strangely enough is.

So when we think of Bond, what comes to mind? No, I'm not 'cool' enough to fit an Aston Martin in a studio, ha ha! But signature accessories, if you will? A vodka martini, a killer tux and a girl. And not just any girl. A Bond girl. What's a Bond girl then? To me, they're not just physically beautiful women that only bring sex appeal to the story, but mysterious creatures offering much more. Style, power, wit and intelligence. A worldly traveler. A stupendous side kick. The love of your life. 

For MaQ we used styrofoam balls as the olives, covering them in green acrylic paint and red felt for the pimento part of the olive. We then held the styrofoam balls with a wooden stick as the garnish holder and completing his look with a clear collar (dog cone) as the martini glass. Isn't MaQ the cutest vodka martini you've ever seen?! I think I'm going to receive a payback of some kind after what I've done. ;) You can shop similar items down below to make your very own martini for your dog!

Are you guys big on dressing up for Halloween? What about dog costumes? (If you missed our 'X-Files' themed costume from last year, check it out here.) Got a trick or treat recipe you're just dying to share? Check out my 'Frankenstein' popcorn here. We'd love to hear what you and your family are planning to be and/or do this holiday. Coming next on the blog: A feature interview I've been so excited to share will finally be up and ready to view! Can't wait! Get all the behind the scenes in the next few days by tuning into my Instagram Stories and/or SnapChat! Have a great weekend, everyone. :)

LOVE & XX'S,

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How to Take the Best Pictures of Your Dog

WEARING: LASSO DOGS LEASH & CAMERA STRAP | UNIQLO DOWN VEST | 
BDG JEANS | CHIC ALLOY MATTED SUNGLASSES |
NIKE REVOLUTION 3 RUNNING SHOES IN BLACK | LULULEMON RUN WITH ME NECK WARMER

Happy Monday! I've been working hard on creating the best content I can for you guys! I'm booked up solid until the end of the first week of November with new upcoming stories, as overwhelming and crazy as it's ever been, I cannot wait to share everything we have in store for you! From more fall looks to even a special feature interview, today we're covering how to take the best pictures of your dog! Here are 8 tips on making this somewhat challenging task more enjoyable for everyone involved. :)

1. CARRY HIGH-QUALITY EQUIPMENT

This goes without saying. And I'm not talking technical equipment such as the camera or lens, but other factors that need to be considered when doing dog photography. Like a 100+ pound wolflike dog that will need a good steady leash in between takes, which is why I use Lasso's rudder leash and matching camera strap. What's great is the customization options Lasso has - you can choose length, size and colors for each. I went with a 36 inch camera strap because of my small petite frame, but you can choose from a selection of lengths. Same with the leash. And I can't forgot about footwear and eyewear. When photographing MaQ, I will always be in sneakers. My go-to pair for the past year are the Nike 3 Revolution running shoes. And recently, I've been obsessed with the Chic Alloy matted sunglasses. If I can't see and/or move for photo shoots, we might have a problem. :) 

2. PERFECT TIMING

I'm not talking about f-stops or shutter speed, but more about being in tune with your dog's energy and vibe. Looking for a regal portrait? Draining your dog's energy with exercise before the shoot can help you and your dog be in a more calm, relaxed state. If you're opting for more action shots, the photo shoot itself will provide the exercise! Save that energy for this kind of shoot. This also goes with trust and training. It has taken a lot of time and work to get MaQ to pose the way he does. Our bond is undeniable and it shows in our pictures, but when people ask me how I get my dog to be so still and focused in photos, it's all on training, timing and dedication. 

3. DECIDE ON YOUR LOCATION/BACKGROUND

Will you two be in a park? Or on the streets of a bustling city such as ours in this post? Being prepared comes in handy when shooting with your furry baby. Know what to bring for certain settings and environments, such as warmer months of the year, carry water to stay hydrated. Extra batteries never hurt either. The more aware you are of your surroundings for a shoot will only better your comfortability and chances of getting the shot(s) you really want. That's where the magic really starts to happen!

4. KEEP SETTING/ENVIRONMENT NATURAL & RELAXED

It's important to get your dog used to the sights and sounds of his surroundings as well. And it's even more crucial for you yourself to try and stay as calm and relaxed as possible. I try to stay away from squeaky baby-talk or shouting uncontrollable things to my boy during a shoot. Calling his name once or twice is usually enough, though sometimes like a teenaged kid, his attention span lessens and I have to get a bit more firm with a 'watch me' command. When he hears this, he knows it's time to stay focused. And he is ready to please. All in all, the goal is to always make any experience a positive one. One that is fun & engaging for both of you!

5. TAKE A LOT OF PICTURES

I've always believed in out of the ten times you're trying at something, doesn't matter what it is, you may get one good bite/hit/whatever word you would like to insert here to describe it. This also applies in taking pictures. The more you take, the better chance you'll have in getting those amazing shots. Candid ones are the best in this type of scenario. And the more time you spend with a camera, the more you will learn and grow in the process. 

6. TURN OFF FLASH

In my opinion the best form of light is natural sunlight. It is perfect for pet photography too. However, if you really need to use a flash, especially indoors, try to use an off-camera flash and turn it upwards so the light's bouncing off the ceiling and not your dog giving them demon eyes. Ha ha ha! 

7. GET YOUR DOG'S ATTENTION

Stock up on dog treats and toys! Positive reinforcement also brings an overall positive experience. Each time you reward your pooch after getting the shot(s) you want, makes the time spent together an awesome one. How can you get your dog to look straight into the lens of the camera? Bring their favorite toy or treat and hover it over the camera to entice them. For example, MaQ, like many German Shepherds, has an extreme high level of ball drive, so we use his all-time favorite Chuck-It ball for photo shoots. He could focus on that ball all day long. This is a great way to get their undivided attention. :)

8. GET ON YOUR DOG'S LEVEL

Literally meeting eye-to-eye with your dog will help them see you as an equal, that it's not an alpha moment but an experience to share together. And a good one at that! By also doing this, you can think outside the box in terms of angles and composition as most think to photograph their pet from above first. So get ready to get on the ground and perhaps get a little dirty... trust me it'll be worth it! ;)


Sponsored post in collaboration with LASSO & DRESS LILY.

photos + videography by Gilles Decamps & Suzanne Spiegoski

Our latest pet lifestyle video, 'How to Take the Best Pictures of Your Dog!' 8 Tips + Full story on the blog at www.suzannespiegoski.com and to get more info on the featured leash & camera strap go to itslasso.com photos + videography by Suzanne Spiegoski & Gilles Decamps Be sure to Subscribe for new videos every week http://bit.ly/21XFK0K 

LOVE & XX'S,

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Source: http://www.suzannespiegoski.com/maq-and-su...

Firelight Camps Travel Diary

Firelight Camps Deck
Mud Room Shoe Rack
Study Desk
King Size Bed Portrait
Lantern Firelight Camps
MaQ Firelight Camps Portrait
Yellow Flowers
Firelight Camps View
Me and MaQ Portrait Firelight Camps
Firelight Camps Ant
Bonfire FIrelight Camps
Firelight Camps Main Lounge
Firelight Camps Deck Portrait
Firelight Camps Safari Tent
MaQ Firelight Camps Portrait
Living on the Edge
Drought Me and MaQ Portrait
Thorny
Taughannock Falls 1
Taughannock Falls 2
Taughannock Falls 3
Taughannock Falls 4
Hawks Taughannock Falls
Firelight Camps Portrait Me and MaQ
Dusk at Firelight Camps
Hammock Firelight Camps Portrait
Candle by  Shop Evil Queen , Adventure Awaits. 

Candle by Shop Evil Queen, Adventure Awaits. 

Night Time Shot Firelight Camps
Sunflower Graffiti Ithaca Downtown New York Portrait

When I attended an event at the W Hotel in Midtown this summer, I was introduced to the world of 'glamping'. That is, glamorous camping. Or rather, my kind of camping. ;) I knew I had to experience this before the weather got too cold. That's why I brought my husband and our pooch, MaQ, to Firelight Camps right before the start to New York Fashion Week, for a lil' R&R before our chaotic schedules ensued. 

Located in Upstate New York, schools such as Cornell University and Ithaca College are nearby, yet the campgrounds transport you to the middle of nowhere. With 18 safari tents made up with high thread count linens, they are warmly lit with battery-powered lanterns and covered with mesh screenings to help keep the bugs out. The furniture is impeccable. With hardwood floors and either a king-size bed or two full-sized beds, each tent also comes with its own deck and writing desk (My DREAM). Out on the balcony there's two rocking chairs that over look a lush and leafy oasis. Imagine how the foliage will transition - oh the views! Did I mention the tents come with wi-fi? #alwaysworking But come nighttime, you can see the stars and hear the crickets while you fall asleep. Super cozy.

The main tent lobby has daily complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary happy hour tasting of Finger Lakes craft beverages (the rosé is 👌), a cozy mini-lounge where there are campfires daily both in the morning and evening (hello smores), a Bocce ball court and other onsite games like cool boardgames such as Sorry! and more. There's even yoga! You have immediate access to the Buttermilk Falls hiking trails but we instead wanted to see one of the tallest waterfalls on the east coast, the Taughannock Falls! What was really wild was the drought. It looked as if someone shut the water off! There was no waterfall, but it was totally fun running with MaQ where there should be water running through. 

Ten minutes away from Firelight Camps is the downtown scene with bars, restaurants, bookstores and cute antique shops. You can even catch a film at the Ithaca Commons. The food's delicious! One night we even tried Mexican at Viva Taqueria, and were pleasantly surprised by the freshness and quality of their food. And pet-friendly. Great service too! I also had the immense pleasure of eating Jimmy John's for lunch as well, after not having their subs since college which was awhile ago. They are so unbelievably good! There are tons of wineries and cideries to visit close by, and let's not forget to mention the spa that's literally a few steps away from the campgrounds! To see a full list of things to do, click here

We had the best glamping experience one could ever imagine. I'm a city girl but also love the country life and love to go hiking with the boys during our downtime. I don't get to enjoy nature very often so when I do, I like to soak up every minute of it! Whenever I escape the city I'm always left rejuvenated, uplifted and inspired. Ready to go at it, all over again! To read more on Firelight Camps, go to www.firelightcamps.com

Special thanks to Emma for making this trip possible! Xo.


Our most recent travel experience, glamping at Firelight Camps in Ithaca, NY! Special thanks to Emma for making this trip possible. We never camped this luxuriously before! www.firelightcamps.com 

LOVE & XX'S,

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