Pawther's Day with Michelob ULTRA

This post is sponsored by Michelob Ultra but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

We all know that living a life of balance isn’t easy. Balancing work, staying healthy, and spending quality time with the people we love is a major accomplishment in today’s society. Most of us fall short of achieving this balance, and often the many aspects of our busy lives supersede family time, especially with our dads. But there’s one time of year that we take time to give dads the appreciation they deserve: Father’s Day. Which is why this year I'm giving a major shoutout to my husband; the father to our dog, MaQ, who is just the best pawrent ever! Continue reading to see how we will be celebrating this year. 

My father passed away in 2012 and though I have many 'father-figures' in my life that inspire me, no one comes in as the first runner-up other than my husband. He's not just my partner in business but is my best friend. He is the most loving, gentle father to our German shepherd, MaQ and definitely has stepped up with the pawrent duties since the blog has taken off. It's really difficult balancing everything in life, but with him by my side, there's nothing we can't do. I'm truly grateful for his love and support, through it all. And trust me, we've been through A LOT. The end of this month will be 12 years together! Maybe an anniversary post of getting to know us better is in the making? Stay tuned... :)

Whether it’s your brother, friend, co-worker or your own father, let’s toast to the #ULTRADAD who inspire us to live full lives and make better choices. And what better way to celebrate them than on the golf course, grilling in the backyard or just hanging with friends/fam with an ice cold Michelob ULTRA? All of these are simply better together – especially when both are shared with your dad and Michelob ULTRA. What are you doing to celebrate this Father’s Day/Pawther's Day? ✨





Our First Q&A Episode



Hey guys! Welcome back to my blog! And to new visitors... welcome and stick around because you're in for a treat today! Since I've started my blog which was roughly two years ago, I get asked a lot of questions about my dog and what life is like in a big city with him. Whether it's in person or on social media, everyone adores my German shepherd, McQueen... or, what most of you guys know him as: MaQ! There were so many questions to narrow it down to due to time constraint and the desire for wanting to keep a few precious moments private such as when and where we met him, why and how. And even though I like to keep that sort of balance within my personal life, I still wanted to share a few fun facts about my partner in crime. So let's take a look, shall we? 



McQueen was named after the devastatingly handsome actor, Steve McQueen. Both carry such a look and are equally charismatic, Steve and I even share the same birthday, so it was only natural to give him such a unique name. We call him 'MaQ' for short because of coined phrases like, "Big Mac" and "Mack Daddy". He is quite big and a total ladies man. :)


5. In human years, he's technically 35 but still acts like a kid. Young at heart, I suppose. ❤️



He just loves to play. If he could have it his way, he'd run me around all day! He's a total ball hog like many GSDs I know, but his favorite game is the toy game, or "identification" game where he can search and find whatever stuffed animal I ask him to go get, and he's got a lot of 'em. I am thinking about doing a video on this because it's just too cute and you'd be impressed with how smart he is on top of how many toys he's spoiled with! 

He also love to eat and share food with us. Yes, I'm guilty as charged and am totally that paw-rent who indulges in feeding her pooch table scraps. I can't help it! I don't want him to feel left out, ha ha! I of course only share with him what's healthy and reasonable. But every once in a while you just gotta go for the carbs. We love to share french fries together and his favorite is pizza crust. I love it too but since having MaQ, I give all my crust to him as if it's some kind of ritual between us.  

He is never without his "security blanket", or rather, his "Natty" girl. It's a plush stuffed animal monkey and I named her after Natalie Wood, who was one of Steve McQueen's ladies back in the day and they were quite the couple! You should see her in the video from this post, Natty was the size of MaQ when I first got him! 


Cats. Baths. And the rain. 



If you looked this good, would you be with only only person? Ha ha ha! He is a total player! You should see him picking up chicks on our walks... both human and canine! He's got a thing for blonds and leggy women. Hey, can ya blame him? 


Honestly? No, he and I like to have our own space. I'm the type that likes to cuddle for about 3 minutes and then I'm good. He's the same, ha ha! What he tends to do most at night is keep watch. He's a good ole' boy and protects the house. 


That's it for now! Be sure to come back and see more upcoming Q&A's! Don't forget to watch our episode on YouTube down below and if you have a question you'd like answered about us, leave it in the comment box or find me on social media! Follow me and MaQ on Instagram! Have a great weekend, everyone. We'll see ya back here on Monday! 



Happy Friday, guys! Today's video is our very first Q&A with my partner in crime, my German shepherd dog, McQueen (AKA: MaQ)! After receiving a lot of questions about us from our readers, I thought it was finally time to do a sit down and answer some of them! Click to watch!





Pup-Peroni with MaQ-eroni

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker
Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

With my crazy hectic schedule as a full-time writer, photographer, and blogger/digital content creator, I don't get that much time with my German Shepherd dog, McQueen, or also known as MaQ to most of you, as much as I'd like to. So I definitely make room for some heavy duty quality time with my fur baby every chance I can get. It's not only for his well being but for mine as well. We are each other's best friend and if I could take him everywhere with me, I would in a heartbeat. Which is why when I was recently asked by Pup-Peroni to share some of MaQ's most recent favorite treats we, of course, wanted to share with you a couple of his choices! Here's a small clue to what he always goes for... and they are made with real meaty goodness!

When MaQ sees these Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor Dog Treats, he immediately starts to drool and gives you the 'I want it NOW' eyes. He'll do anything for these treats, one of his favorite go-to maneuvers is the paw shake or high-five, which is always rewarded with a treat or affection. We do everything together and I love being able to count on a brand that provides real meat like beef, steak, bacon, etc. as the #1 ingredient in their treats. Even made with real Angus steak, (MaQ also is in love with the Prime Rib flavor as well) I am reassured that I'm giving something authentic and tasty to my beloved pooch. With less time to worry about what I'm giving my dog, I can spend the time I have with him playing and enjoying our time together, showing other people his tricks and 'tricks of the trade.' 

One of his favorite games he's loved playing since he was a puppy is what we like to call the "Idenitification" game. MaQ has an assortment of plush toys, ranging from a dragon, fox, pig, monkey, practically a whole farm, that he absolutely adores, so much in fact, that he doesn't rip them up to shreds like other dogs sometimes do. We'll put all the toys in the toy bin and then ask MaQ to individually bring us a certain one, one by one until he is mentally exhausted. He can bring nearly twenty toys in one sitting! I'm not kidding! I'm even thinking about doing a live video on Instagram or Facebook one of these days, what do you guys think of that idea? We, of course, reward him each time for his efforts with his favorite mouth-watering beef treats. 

MaQ aims to please and is one playful pup while doing so! Some other activities we love doing together are taking long walks throughout the city, rollerblading and playing catch with one of his favorite balls. He also loves going to the store with me, even hearing the word gets him super excited! But no matter where we go, I always keep a few Pup-Peroni treats within reach. When people ask how MaQ is so well-behaved, it's not just his demeanor, it's the hundreds of treats given through training and positive reinforcement. When you can make training fun and full of engagement, it can do wonders for you and your pup. And with the best meaty treats, your dog will do anything for one! You can find Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor Dog Treats (38 oz.) at your local Walmart in the pet aisle. Woof, YEAH!!! 





How to Take the Best Pictures of Your Dog


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. :)


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. :) 


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. 


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!


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!


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. 


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! 


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. :)


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 and to get more info on the featured leash & camera strap go to photos + videography by Suzanne Spiegoski & Gilles Decamps Be sure to Subscribe for new videos every week 







Are you ready for Halloween? We are! With less than ten days to go, I wanted to get into the 'Trick or Treat' spirit and do something I used to do as a kid with my mom especially, who was the ultimate master at this; carving pumpkins. And I'm not talking about the typical easy-faced jack-o'-lanterns, we did everything from spiders to Frankenstein, to mummies and skeletons. The more difficult sketches were left for my mom, who happily accepted the challenge. (And I wonder where I get my competitive nature from...)

I always wanted to carve a German shepherd onto a pumpkin, but since I never had a dog as a child (I know, such a shame), I never got the right opportunity or time to do one! Being a city girl, I've never carved pumpkins since being in NYC! But now with MaQ, of course I had to make one, just for him! Ladies and gentlemen (and furriends), I present you, the maQ-o'-lantern! :)

Yes, I did this carving all by myself! The most difficult and time-consuming part was the etching, which are the parts that are not cut all the way through, just the skin peeled. I think the funniest part of the whole experience was waddling down the streets of New York with an 18-pound pumpkin! I couldn't stop giggling at myself after I had left the market! Let's just say I got my workout in this morning! ;)

What a pair! MaQ has never had an up close & personal meet up with a pumpkin of this size. He, at first, considered it to be just a big toy for him, (maybe a giant ball perhaps?) but once he got that enormous black snout of his on it, he went crazy! I think he smelled all the gunk and goo and pumpkin seeds inside and got really excited. At some point he started clawing at it but I had to have him stop since I didn't want him scratching the poor thing! He seemed a bit confused watching me scoop out all of the pumpkin's guts, as if he was watching mommy murder his newfound friend... LOL!

Here's a close-up shot of the sketch. I found mine online and just printed it and used it. Should you want to make one of your beloved pooch, there are tons of sketches you can find on the internet just by googling what you're looking for. It's really easy. The actually carving part? Not so much. Be ready to have time and LOTS of patience.


Here are a few outtakes from our shoot! We've got a variety of fun, serious, and oh so model-y! I love the first one where by chance I got him looking like he's saying, "Boo!" but rather just an in between shot where he was just licking his chops. It's too cute though, right? I had to share it with you guys! Below you can find MaQ doing what he does best: modeling. 🎃

Kill them with your smile, dude! I think he started getting more comfy with his pumpkin towards the end of the shoot. I'm still surprised by his initial reaction toward the pumpkin! Do any of you have a dog that wasn't a huge fan of something at first but grew to love it? Most GSDS hate vacuum cleaners, brooms, or golf clubs (I know a sheppy who DESPISES them), but a pumpkin?! I have the silliest fur baby!

I'm glad I introduced him to yet one more thing in life to experience, because that's what life should be all about! And I really do think he started to feel on that pumpkin because when I started putting down the studio, I caught him licking the crap out of it! Someone is in love...! Ha ha ha!

We can't wait to show you our Halloween costume! My hubby is even partaking in the fun! So excited to share! Stay tuned, it'll be up on Halloween Day, naturally. Hope y'all had a great Hump Day!

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz