When Pepper Met Nelly – My Personal Pet Adoption Story

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If you follow me on Instagram, you must be very familiar with Pepper, my adorable and slightly fat black cat. Pepper has been in my life for over 7 years now, and every single morning, I get out of bed with a smile thanks to his furry face purring next to me. And while most of his life, he’s been spoiled and treated like feline royalty, he wasn’t always the pampered cat that he is today.

On my 23rd birthday, a friend and I made our way to an animal shelter in Toronto. My cat Scratch passed away a couple of years before that, and I finally felt ready for another pet in my life. As we walked through the shelter, we saw many animals in need of loving homes…it crushed me. I wanted to adopt every single one of them, but I knew that I had to choose one. After looking for a while, I noticed a tiny black kitten in a cage, and went to take a closer look. He sneezed a lot and looked weak, and as I picked him up and looked into his adorable kitten face I knew that Ethenol Pepper and I would be fast friends. After filling out adoption papers, Pepper came home with me, and has been part of my family ever since.

A while ago I read a piece of research that claimed that pet owners are happier people, and I truly believe this. While my husband and I were looking for a house, and Pepper had to live with my mom, I missed him like crazy. I missed his head-butts, I missed picking him up and having him purr into my ear after a long and stressful day at work, I missed playing fetch with him; I even missed errant toilet paper wrapped around his food bowl. Now that we are reunited again, I can’t tell you just how much joy this ball of fur brings to my life on a daily basis. Even my husband, the self-professed dog person, is now on team Pepper. These days I can often find the two happily snoozing on the couch together, Pepper on Rob’s belly, looking like he owns the place.

There’s no doubt that Pepper has a great life, but not all animals are this lucky. Every day, hundreds of beautiful animals at shelters across the country are in need of permanent loving homes. There are puppies, kittens, and of course, grown cats and dogs, waiting to be rescued…even pure breeds! And once you’ve been to a shelter, you know just how important it is to adopt animals instead of buying them.

Beginning November 1 and until December 31st, the Ontario SCPA will be running the iAdopt for the Holidays adoption drive which aims to change the lives of orphaned animals, and raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption during the holiday season. If you’ve been thinking about bringing a pet home this holiday season, I urge you to consider pet adoption.

If you’re not sure what type of dog or cat to adopt, you can use Link to Meet Your Match survey tool, which helps evaluate an animal’s personality and behavior and matches them to an adopter’s preferences so they can take home a pet they can really click with.

So if you are ready to bring a furry friend home, please, please, please visit your local shelter, and participate in the iAdopt for the Holidays program. Not only will you be saving a pet’s life, but you will also be enriching your own in many wonderful ways. And once your pet goes home with you, another will be able to take its spot at the shelter, giving another animal a chance at a happy life.

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Read more pet adoption stories and share your own on iAdopt.ca!

This post was brought to you by the Ontario SPCA. All opinions are my own.

What I Wore: This is 30

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First of all, I apologize for the million photos in this post. Most of them feature my love affair with the Eiffel Tower from various angles and I just couldn’t narrow them down. Sorry (not sorry). With that said, this is what I wore on my first day of being thirty.

While in my early twenties, thirty-somethings seemed practically ancient to my silly young self, but I am happy to report that I don’t feel different, even though I am no longer the youngest person in the room. I also didn’t suffer too much anxiety over the big 3-0…after all, I consider myself extremely lucky to have a wonderful husband, supportive family, great friends, and of course, this little blog. Growing up, I used to make those “before 30″ lists, which included “swim with the dolphins” (done!), “skydive” (nope), “graduate” (yup), “get MBA” (not yet), “open an RRSP account” (check!), “visit the Amalfi Coast” (3 times), among many other cool/cliche/silly/important/unimportant tasks. And while I definitely haven’t checked off every item off those lists, I don’t feel like I let myself down because I didn’t complete them by the time I left my twenties. That just means I’ll have fun accomplishing them in my thirties.

Having said all that, entering a new decade wasn’t a daunting prospect for me. Back home, each new decade is welcomed with lots of fanfare and celebration, and so in that tradition, I also made quite a big deal about my birthday this year (according to le bf) and decided to jet off to Paris and the South of France to celebrate. And while I’ll have more travel posts coming, this is what I wore on my actual birthday.

That day, le bf and I wandered aimlessly around Paris (mostly around the Eiffel Tower, as you can see), enjoying the views, stopping in at random cafes for a drink, savouring a delightful lunch at Laduree, and a delicious dinner at Shangri-La Paris, wrapping up our night with an impressive Disney Dreams! show at Disneyland Paris. It was a sticky hot day, we walked so much, our feet were buzzing, my hair and makeup were a huge mess by the time dinner time rolled around, but we didn’t care – nothing could spoil this imperfectly perfect day. That night, I went to bed with a huge grin on my face…yes, I may be getting older, but the adventures along the way make it totally worth a wrinkle or ten. Bring it on, thirties!

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More after the jump!

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Canon Blogtography: Memories

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Over the holidays, once our power and Internet connection were restored, I became a woman on a mission. Back in December, the lovely Canon team set me up with two kick-ass printers – Canon Pixma Pro-100 and Canon Selphy CP900, and I was determined to finally do some printing. You see, I’ve been married for over a year now, but we have yet to print a single wedding photo. Armed with amazing printers, I was finally ready to move the memories from those memory cards and into picture frames.

What happened next was pretty overwhelming. As someone who tends to take thousands of photos each year, I found myself going through the happy snaps, remembering the fun moments, and having a tough time narrowing down the print-worthy shots – so many of my Canon pics were just too good not to print!

In the end, I chose a few faves, printed them out, and proudly arranged them on our new shelves. It’s definitely work in progress, but I feel so much better about having some of my favourite moments printed out and on display in our home. Being able to print the photos almost as soon as they are taken will also help me avoid being overwhelmed next time around. No more memory-card-hoarding for this girl, thanks to Canon!

So tell me, do you print your photos, or do you tend to hold on to them in memory-card form? Share in the comments!

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More after the jump!

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Rewind 2012: A Year in Photos

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I have to admit, so far 2013 is kicking my butt. I caught a cold on January 1st, found fraudulent activity on my debit card, and have had pretty bad migraines all week. Hopefully, from here, the only way is up.

But don’t you worry about me! 2012 was pretty sweet, so instead of focusing on the negative, I’ll just look back on some awesome moments from last year, and hope that things turn around soon.

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1. The best thing that ever happened to me in 2012. Sorry if it sounds cheesy, but spending time with our friends and family in Italy, and then marrying the love of my life was a dream come true. Truly. Seeing our wedding featured in the pages of Wedding Bells was a cherry on top.

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2. In February, I participated in a fun photoshoot with fellow bloggers Gracie and Elizabeth for Holt Renfrew’s blog Holts Muse. Shot by the talented photographer Adam Moco, this was a fun project to be a part of, and definitely started my year off right.

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3. Had I ever dreamt that one day I’d have a byline in FLARE MAGAZINE?! Nope. But that’s exactly what happened in 2012. Granted, it was for Flare’s website, but I was simply thrilled to write my 9 Unique Ideas for Wedding Day Style story in April. Flare also showed Style Blog some love in their Flare Magazine’s Wear CanadaBlogger Style: Spring ShoesBack to Work, and Street Style round-ups! What a year!

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4. Canadian retailer JACOB asked a few Toronto bloggers to help them create a Live Chic City Guide to Toronto, and I was super excited to be a part of it! Featuring bloggers’ favourite Toronto hot spots, this guide is an awesome way to explore the city and visit some of its lesser known attractions.

Check out more highlights after the jump!

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What I Wore: Day and Night

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Last weekend was so much fun, you guys! As some of you already know…I’ll be a wifey soon. And to celebrate the upcoming merriment, my dear friends threw me not one…but two bachelorette parties!

First, my lovely bridesmaid Aleyda organized a yummy brunch at MoRoCo, followed by manis/pedis at the nearby salon. It was a perfect afternoon of relaxation and pampering. I had an amazing time catching up with friends, sipping lattes, and opening gifts, which I was hoping would be naughty, but were very nice instead. My brunch attire matched the theme, and I wore a white peplum dress from H&M, accessorized with neon details, and my new fave purse from Tory Burch’s new Yorkdale outpost (which is a must visit!).

At night, however, things got decidedly less classy. My amazing blogger friends Richard and Marc organized and threw me an unforgettable Rihanna-Themed Bachelorette party, complete with naughty games, fun decor, and pièce de résistance dance party at Buddies in Bad Times. Trying to find my inner Rihanna, I ended up wearing my fave Zara fringe leather skirt, new neon necklace from H&M, and my most comfy Aldo booties, all topped off with a DIY flower crown. And yes, I probably looked more like a Coachella attendee, than RiRi…but there were plenty of RiRis at the party (*cough* Jay Strut *cough*), so I didn’t feel too bad.

The next morning, I felt amazing…slightly hungover…but still super thankful for the awesome people I have met over the years, people I call friends…the ones that turn even daily get-togethers into unforgettable memories. Thank you, my dear friends for all of your support, love, and encouragement! This weekend was one for the history books…ok, not for THE history books per se…but I’m certainly not going to forget it any time soon.

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Outfit details after the jump!

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Interrupted Programming Note

I just wanted to take a minute to apologize for the lack of posts recently. This past weekend, my beloved grandfather had passed away and left a gaping hole in my heart. I hope you understand if posting will be sparse in the meantime.

Thank you all again for reading. This blog wouldn’t be the same without you.

Interrupted Programming Note

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It’s here! It’s here! My vacation is here! So even though I won’t be able to check in on Twitter and email as often as I usually do, I did schedule a few posts for next week – make sure not to miss them! I’ll be gone for a couple of weeks, but I’ll definitely share some pics once I’m back!

Can you guess where I’m going?

Friday Faux Pas: Let’s Go To The Ex

If you can believe it, last year was my first time at The Ex! And of course, after the addictive games, and stuffed toys, and horrible unhealthy food – I knew I’d be back again. This year, le boyfriend and I went during the opening weekend. It was a gloomy, rainy day, but we both had an amazing time. It’s a bit scary how much fun one could have just by being surrounded by hordes of people and screaming kids,  paying way too much to win a silly toy, while being rained on standing in endless lines to buy greasy, fried food! And last weekend it felt fantastic to be young and happy and in love…feeling like a little kid at a fair, eating mini donuts, looking for Snazzy Napper to make fun of, and finding this place full of tacky things and glittery lights extremely romantic. The entire place was one huge Faux Pas – and I loved every minute of it.

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I still haven’t seen my billboard up close and personal…well, mostly because it’s at Yonge and Sheppard…and I am never at Yonge and Sheppard. It’ll be moved to Eglinton West in June, and I’ll be definitely seeing that one…a lot! In the meantime, huge thanks to Ed for the photos!

Now that my mug is on a billboard, should I get an agent to sort through the many beauty and fashion campaign offers that are bound to pour in? Just kidding about that…being one of the ten faces representing the best mall in Toronto should do for now. Thanks for your support, lovelies!

What I Wore: Count the Petals

One of my favorite springtime pastimes is…eating lilacs. When I was little, someone…perhaps my mom…told me that if I find a lilac blossom with five petals, I must make a wish and eat it (this was before the hybrid lilacs that could grow up to ten petals). And to this day I can’t pass a lilac shrub without stopping to look for a five-petal blossom among its luckless four-petalled friends. Might sound weird, but my wishes do come true…maybe because I don’t ask lilacs for crazy impossible things, or maybe they are magic!

Thankfully, there were plenty of lilacs blooming at Trinity Bellwoods a couple of weeks ago..! Oh, and I was also able to spot my very favorite flower – lily of the valley. Apparently they are highly poisonous, so please don’t try to eat those.

A couple of other cool things I saw that weekend was The Coffee Shop on Queen St. West (cool squirrel design and an ice-cream window open to the street), and car purses! Just like leather purses shaped as dogs, car purses are on the same level of ridiculous ugliness. Someone actually thought they were a good idea, and manufactured enough to sell all over Toronto, and perhaps other cities? I do not understand. But I guess if you’ve always wanted a Bentley, and could never afford one…now is your chance?

What I Wore: Sunglasses – H&M; Top – Forever 21; Earrings – Stand in Mexico