As I look back on 2017, I am filled with so much happiness. I spent most of this year pregnant, and I can't believe what a blessing it has been. Excitement, prepping, and waiting have mostly been the name of the game this year, but it's all worth it to make 2018 the best year yet! I wanted to take a little walk down memory lane and share some of the best moments from this year and why I'll treasure every single day of 2017.
Coming off the best baseball year of all time in 2016, going to a couple of Cubs games with Caleb during opening week was so exciting. Even though the Cubs didn't go all the way again this year, it sure was a wonderful season and we had a lot of fun cheering them on all summer long.
Mother's Day weekend was a real sweet one this year. My mother-in-law came to visit us, and we got to show her all around Chicago and Milwaukee. We had one of the best lunches of our lives at Cindy's Rooftop, and I will never forget that lobster roll! I didn't know it at the time but I was barely pregnant with Nugget this past Mother's Day! It was my last one only being a dog mom to Wrigley, too.
Just moments after finding out our family would be growing. Pure, genuine happiness and excitement. This was such a funny moment though. When I went to the store to buy a pregnancy test I wanted to be pregnant so bad but I was so scared that I wasn't. I decided I didn't want to waste extra money and buy a digital pregnancy test. I bought an analog one and thought to myself that if they worked for lots of women before, it'll work for me, too. Well I went home and did my bit (jeez that was the longest 2 minutes of my life!) and when it was time to check it, we couldn't figure it out haha! We we're like two idiots going back and forth between the stick and the box and then it finally clicked that the vertical line doesn't show up at all if you're not pregnant. Well it was clear as day and we we're jumping, cheering, crying, hugging, and Wrigley thought we were absolutely crazy!
Our first trip of the year didn't come until June. We drove out to Michigan for a family reunion and got to spend some time in Detroit. We also got to meet some family we had never had the chance of meeting before and spend time with my dear cousins, aunts, and uncles. Hopefully we'll be having another reunion in 2018 so they can all meet Nugget!
We got to host 4th of July for our family this year at our house and it was our first big summer BBQ with our family at our house. This is the day we chose to announce our big wonderful news to them and it was a day of pure joy!
Our big trip this year was visiting the Pacific Northwest. We started out in Portland, drove up to Seattle, hiked in Mount Rainier National Park, and drove to the end of US RT 12 and down US RT 101 to spend some time near the ocean. My best friend, Ashlyn, lives in Portland and we got to spend a week with her adventuring to all these places! It was my 3rd time out in Portland and 2nd time to Seattle with her but it was Caleb's first! He loved it just as much as I do, and we can't wait to take Nugget in the future!
Finally in August, we announced to everyone that we were having a baby. The month of July was spent telling all of our family and close friends our amazing news. We had lots of great dinners, FaceTime sessions, and visits with all of them talking about our exciting addition to our family. It made the summer so special and exciting even though I was battling through lots of morning sickness from my 1st trimester.
Finding out Nugget was a boy was one of the best moments of the year and of our lives, honestly. We actually knew he was going to be a boy before our gender reveal party. We decided that the way we wanted to find out was at home, just me, Caleb, and Wrigley. We went for our 20 week ultrasound and asked the tech to write the gender down and put it in an envelope. Everything looked great on the ultrasound and we looked away when she was checking that part of his anatomy. When we got home from the doctor, we sat down in our living room and opened the envelope. We pulled out a small piece of paper that said "It's a Boy!"
Last minute, we decided we wanted to take a babymoon, and we chose our favorite place in the whole world, Disney World! We spent our 2nd anniversary there and had the time of our lives. It was the break from reality that we needed. My 2nd trimester was the happiest time of the year for us and a big part of that was thanks to this trip. It refreshed us and we came home ready to fully prep for Nugget's arrival.
My baby shower that my mom and aunt hosted for me was such a special day. I was so overjoyed by all the love that our family and friends showed us and was so grateful to everyone who travelled and came to celebrate Nugget with me. I'm also so blessed that I get to share this experience with my mom and grandma. I made her a grandma and now I get to make her a great-grandma!
The holidays are such a special time of the year, and we we have been blessed to be able to spend it with our family. My father-in-law came to visit for Thanksgiving and helped us host another successful holiday at our house. We've been enjoying Christmastime in our home and making the final preparations for Nugget to join us!
I loved 2017 so much, but I can tell I'm going to love 2018 even more! Cheers to a new year everyone! I hope it's a great one filled with love, happiness, and balance. My goal or resolution for 2017 was finding a good balance of all things in my life, and I think I found that. I have a big challenge ahead that is going to rock that balance but life would be boring without challenges, and I'm so excited to take on this new one!
Hey everyone! Sorry this post is coming to you a day late but the Cabrera Crew has been busyyyyyy. We had a really productive weekend and Monday but my to do list is still a mile long. We're slowly getting there, though! I may not have gone grocery shopping in the last 2 weeks but our car seat is installed, the nursery is is about 95% done, and really the last essential we still need is our stroller. We ordered it a few weeks ago and it should be here this weekend! Besides knocking things off our to do list and visiting with my Nana (she broke her hip last week and had to have surgery...my poor little Nana - please keep her in your prayers), we went to see Wicked on Sunday! I have been waiting to see this musical for over 10 years. It was absolutely incredible and if you've never seen it either, try your hardest to go see it on this national tour! After the show we decided to pop into our favorite dinner spot in Chicago, the Tortoise Supper Club, and had a delicious dinner. Funny enough the last time we went there I was pregnant, but we didn't know it at the time! Now that I'm at the tail end of my pregnancy and this past Sunday felt like one of our last true days out just the two of us without having to worry about making plans for Nugget, it felt like a great way to bookend the pregnancy. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, too!
Today I want to bring you some really fun travel content (after all, it is Travel Tuesday!) and tell you about all the really fun places you can bring your pups when you visit Niagara Falls! Last spring we took a road trip up to Canada with Wrigley to see the Falls. I had read that dogs were allowed at the Falls and being the crazy dog mom that I am, had this dream of taking him up there to see it and getting a really awesome picture of him being grumpy about it. Wrigley is so cute all the time but sometimes we'll get these really awesome pictures of him where he is just looking at the camera like "seriously guys?" Well it turns out Wrigley LOVED the whole experience and pretty much looked like the picture you see above the entire time. I did get one "grumpy" one though...
There...that's all I wanted! But seriously, I'm so glad he enjoyed the trip and experience as much as we did. He really is our first baby, and we love taking him with us as much as possible. So here is a fun list of places that you and your pup(s) can enjoy when you visit Niagara Falls with them!
Ok so duh, you can obviously have your dog with you when you are viewing the Falls from either the US or Canadian side. They can also walk with you across the Rainbow Bridge. Just remember if you live in one country and want to view the Falls from the other country you need your passport and your dog's rabies shot information. You won't be able to cross the border either way without it.
On the Canadian side of the Falls, you can enjoy what is called the Niagara Park, and one thing inside the park is this amazing clock! Thousands of flowers are planted around it and it is one of the most visited attractions in the whole area every year! It was so beautiful and relaxing. After snapping some shots, we plopped down on a bench and watched the start of the sunset. It was a nice way to end the evening.
Again, in the Niagara Park, there is a botanical garden that allows dogs! There are some beautiful plants inside the garden and another great way to spend some time in the area.
Niagara on the Lake
This quaint Canadian town is a must visit spot if you're in the Niagara Falls area. There are tons of bed and breakfast spots in this town for you to stay in with your pup and also a good amount of shops and restaurants. We could take Wrigley into some of the shops and with any food spots either one of us would run in, grab what we wanted, and find a bench nearby to enjoy our food. We had the most delicious crepes and gelato here!
Hike in Devil's Hole State Park
One of Wrigley's favorite things ever is to go hiking. On the US side, along the Niagara Scenic Parkway, there are multiple state parks and Devil's Hole has some wonderful trails to go hiking on.
The Finger Lakes region on the US side and the Niagara Wine Trail on the Canadian side of the Falls has some really incredible wineries! While not all of them are dog friendly, here is a list of a few that are! Muddy Paws Wine Festival! This is definitely on our list to do next time we make a trip up to Niagara!
If you're planning a trip to Niagara Falls and have a furry friend, you should definitely bring them! Granted you aren't able to go on the Maid of the Mist and go on any indoor attractions at Niagara Falls, it is still so nice to just be outside and enjoy the nature. The wonder of the Falls is truly spectacular and if you can make it possible, bring your fur baby along to enjoy it, too!
Make sure you follow me on Twitter for my #pregnancytales and other daily ramblings! Have a happy Travel Tuesday!
Happy Monday everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Over here we had a bit of a slow but still fun and productive one. I definitely can feel myself slowing down and needing to take more and more breaks, but I'm doing my best to push through (no pun intended...yet!) We did a good amount of shopping this weekend especially for Nugget. I haven't really had the chance to buy any cute clothes for our little one since I've been trying to practice self control with not buying too much before the baby shower and just simply not having time to get out to all the baby stores I've always dreamed about shopping at for our kids. Well this weekend I hit it hard! Maybe a little too hard, but I can't wait to show you everything I got because it's all so dang cute and dapper! We also saw Coco with a couple of our really good friends and it was so wonderful! If you haven't seen it yet, get to the theater ASAP! My friend and I also heard that Disney is going to be taking Olaf's Frozen Adventure off the movie starting December 8th, so if you were wanting to see it, you need to go this week! I wouldn't say it's mind blowingly good but it is still so cute and has so much holiday spirit in it!
Today I wanted to talk to you all about a question I get frequently from a lot of people...what kind of dog food do we feed Wrigley? The answer from almost the beginning is Taste of the Wild. First I'll start with the very beginning of why we even chose to seek out this brand of dog food....
We adopted Wrigley from the Story County Animal Shelter when he was about 14 weeks old. He was a healthy and happy pup. We were sent home with a small bag of Purina Puppy Chow because the shelter said that is what he had been eating while there. Once we ran out of the small trial size bag we figured we would just keep feeding him that kind of food since we'd read that it's not good to switch up your dog food with the snap of your fingers. Plus Purina was well known and very accessible. We went and bought a decent size bag and went about our lives with our new puppy. We noticed after a few days though that Wrigley was just not really feeling well. He threw up a couple times and every time he went to the bathroom he had diarrhea. Sometimes he couldn't even hold it in because he was feeling so sick (FYI he was a very easy pup to potty train so that wasn't the issue). I took him to the vet after a couple days of this and the vet said it was either his food or he had the puppy flu. He didn't have a fever though, so we were very relieved with that. We were told to give him lean boiled beef and white rice for 3 days and slowly start to incorporate his food back in. Well by the time he was solely on dog food again the stomach issues started back up. I took him back to the vet and she recommended I try switching food types to have a different main ingredient. Wrigley's Purina Puppy Chow was chicken based. So I started my research on the best dog foods out there.
Research & Info Discovered
What I found during my research of mass produced dog foods was really scary. I discovered from multiple sources that while the main ingredient in dog foods like Purina and Pedigree is things like chicken or beef the filler part a lot of the time is road kill. ROAD KILL. It made me sick to my stomach to think that we we're feeding our puppy something like that. I immediately started looking up clean and organic dog foods and of course was led to Blue Buffalo. I had mentioned my concerns and findings to a couple people and was given some advice to go to this speciality store where we were living at the time and talk to the shop owners about the dog foods they had and what ingredients to be looking for. The shop owner told us that yes Blue Buffalo is a great brand of dog food but if our pup is having some sensitivity to food it might be best to go with this small brand of all organic dog food called Taste of the Wild. We took some time and looked up the brand and we're on board with giving it a try. We went with a bag of the puppy food with bison being the main ingredient. We slowly incorporated this new food in with his current diet of beef and rice and it turned out to be amazing.
Top Quality Food
Once Wrigley was off the beef and rice part and just eating Taste of the Wild he was still 100% fine. He wasn't getting sick anymore and he was back to his hyper self. It was such a massive relief that the issue was as simple as the food we were giving him wasn't agreeing with him and that we found one that worked but was also packed with healthy ingredients for him. The blend that we feed him is a mixture of bison, venison, sweet potato, raspberries, and so much more natural items that you actually recognize if you read the label. Here is the full list. After he turned 1 we started slowly incorporating the same blend of Taste of the Wild but for dogs instead of puppies. His health, coat, teeth, and energy have always been excellent and our vet tells us every year that the main reason for that is the food that we give him. I will be forever grateful to the people that led us to Taste of the Wild!
Where to Buy It
When we moved from our college town of Ames, IA to the Chicago area, I was a little worried about where I'd be able to find this food because I always went to that small horse feed shop in Ames to get it when we were living there. I had never seen the brand at grocery stores, Target, or even Pet Smart and Petco. If you live in the Chicago area though you've probably see these pet shops called Pet Supplies Plus and Bentely's Pet Stuff...well both of these shops sell it and they really are all over the place! Pet Supplies Plus tends to be a little bit cheaper and they do have stores in other states besides Illinois. If you don't have one of these two stores in your area you can visit Taste of the Wild's website and enter your zip code to find the closest retailer to you. If you have small locally owned pet shop near you, that is most likely going to be where you'll find it. So not only will you be getting great, healthy food for your dog, but you'll also be supporting small businesses! Such a win win!
Worth the Price
I will admit that a bag of Taste of the Wild pet food is more expensive than brands that you can find at Target and Walmart, but I believe it is 100% worth it. I will always pay more to know that I am feeding Wrigley good food that is not going to harm him and will continue to keep him healthy for a very long time. We usually pay around $15 for a 5 lbs bag. Wrigley eats about a cup of food a day, so this equates out to us usually having to buy a bag of dog food once a month. Wrigley weighs about 16 lbs for reference.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this amazing brand of dog food! We have been feeding it to Wrigley for almost 6 years now and can truly attest to it's superb standard. They also sell cat food and while I can't attest to how well it works for kitties, I'm sure the excellent standard of care and ingredients is taken with the cat food, too.
What kind of diet is your dog on? I'm always looking for good treat brands to stock up on for Wrigley, too, so please share! Have a great week ahead, friends!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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