Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

03 July 2018

How to Help Dogs Scared of Fireworks and Thunderstorms

Is adult onset fear of fireworks a thing? I'm talking about in dogs, of course. General is terrified of fireworks, a faulty fire alarm that won't stop beeping and thunderstorms. Occasionally he is terrified of the sound of rain on our tin roof patio which sits just outside our bedroom windows. This is all a new thing, debuting in the past 5 years at least. So, today's post is all about how you can help your dog that is scared of fireworks and thunderstorms. 

I know one thing that is very real and that's my adult onset fear of flying. I was never scared of flying six or seven years ago. Now I sit on the plane staring out the window petrified of what could (and most likely won't) happen. I flew this past weekend and all I could think about was that southwest flight where the lady got sucked out of the window. The flight didn't have a single bump, yet my heart raced for the majority of our time in the air. When I was 25 I didn't care one bit. So, I guess I see where General is coming from. 

What is it about growing up that develops new fears? Shouldn't it be the opposite? Shouldn't I know better that monsters aren't real and that the odds of dying in a plane crash is one in 11 million. Or maybe it is because I have grown up and see the world and what this world is capable of that I develop ridiculous fears. 

I wonder if Gee turns the ten o'clock doggie news on and ONE dog in 11 million died in a freak firework attack and now he's petrified?

Whatever it is, I won't judge Gee for his adult onset fear of smoke detectors, fireworks and thunderstorms. I get it, I totally do. I won't judge but I will do everything I can to help him. 

When he hears that first crack or beep, the poor little guy starts shaking and whining OUT OF CONTROL. His shaking is so hard and deep that he's like a wind up toy about to fall off the bed. Even crazier, he can tell when a thunderstorm is coming. If he comes and gets in bed in the middle of the night, he's more accurate than any meteorologist in predicting that storm on the horizon.

I have two tricks to helping him cope with his fears. 

Trick One: Drown Out the Noise. 
A few weeks ago a storm hit around 7am. CB had already left for work so I cranked the stereo volume as loud as I possibly could and Gee and I jammed out to 2 Chainz. It worked, too! He couldn't hear the cracks of thunder and thus, didn't freak out. While rap worked for Gee (he is my dog after all) it should be noted that most dogs prefer classical music or talk radio! 

A few Saturdays ago we knew a bad storm was coming our way so we loaded Gee into the car and went to our favorite brewery down the street. It's a massive warehouse size brewery with live music on Saturdays. You couldn't hear a thing outside and Gee was happy as a clam. Plus, he was the only dog there that day and got about a million pets. Dog mom of the year, party of one! 

Trick Two: Find a Hiding Spot 
A hiding spot, like a small bedroom, home office or large closet without any windows helps your pup feel like they're is a safe spot, away from the noise. A room they can run to and feel protected.

We have a spot in our house that is technically a 4th bedroom. I say technically because to be actually considered a bedroom, there must be a window and a closet. Although there is a closet, there are no windows making it a genius spot to help Gee hide out. We like to give him some food and water, a treat to let him know he is a good boy (always), as well as his little dog bed his Grandmom got him.

He also enjoys hiding in open suitcases, clothes bins and in the laundry room. He just likes to be cozy, can you really blame him?

Trick Three: ADAPTIL® For Dogs.
Obviously I won't be around for every storm that comes our way. Even worse, I'll be in Virginia this year for the 4th of July. Just because I'm not there though doesn't mean I can't help. You guys are going to thank me up and down for telling you about ADAPTIL®

Here's how it works...
ADAPTIL® is a copy of the natural canine- appeasing pheromone dogs know from birth that help dogs feel more safe and secure in their surroundings. ADAPTIL® is clinically proven* to help comfort and reassure dogs while they cope with challenging situations and help reduce and eliminate unwanted behaviors caused by stress. It essentially creates a familiarity and security which helps comfort your pup as they deal with an uncomfortable situation: aka fireworks and thunderstorms. 

There are three ways you can use ADAPTIL®. One is the Travel Spray which can be applied to your pup's bedding or favorite toy to reduce stress at home, the ADAPTIL® Calm On-the-go Collar, which is ideal for traveling,  or I'll leave the ADAPTIL® Calm Home diffuser with our pet sitter while we are gone for vacation. She can also use the spray for Gee's bed before the fireworks start.

For those who don't know - our neighborhood, Oak Cliff, literally sounds like a war zone of fireworks on July 4th. In all my time on this planet, I've never heard anything like it. I think we are the only house that doesn't shoot fireworks off on that night (and the two weeks before and after). We already heard our first firework round go off last night!

So, if you have a dog like Gee, ask your vet about ADAPTIL® for your dog. If you're unsure if your vet carries it, check out their vet locator HERE.

Thank you to ADAPTIL® for sponsoring this post. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

*Data on File

02 July 2018

Two Easy Moonshine Cocktails to Rock Your July

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx on behalf of Sugarlands Distilling Company

It's almost 4th of July my friends!  You guys know how much I absolutely love making cocktails, and what more festive holiday to whip up some (easy peasy) cocktails than for the 4th? Today I'm teaming up with Sugarlands Distilling Company to bring you not one but two easy cocktail recipes perfect for the 4th of July.

Every year, CB and I alternate where we go for both Christmas and July 4th. My mom lives in Virginia Beach, and his mom lives on Lake Granbury. As you can imagine, both are Independence Day hot spots. Thus, we alternate the holiday. Tomorrow after work, we are headed to VA Beach for nearly 5 days.

I'm particularly pumped to team up with Sugarlands Distilling Co. today though because they are located near and dear to my heart, literally! Sugarlands Distilling is located in downtown Gatlinburg, and I went to The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. My friends and I visited Gatlinburg several times a semester. After college, I stayed for another 4 years and spent even more time in the Great Smoky Mountains. It was such a fun weekend destination to pop in, go shopping at the outlet mall and visit a winery or distillery.

So when I had the opportunity to work with Sugarlands and support a local Gatlinburg business, I jumped on it! Although I haven't had the opportunity to tour their distillery yet (they opened in March 2014 - I moved to Dallas in August 2012) when you visit you can sample their spirits, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the still house and listen to live regional music on the Spirit Stage.

Sugarlands sent me two full bottles of their award winning moonshines: Pina Colada Moonshine and Blockader’s Blackberry Moonshine.  The Pina Colada combines the taste of fresh pineapple and coconut. Honestly it could be sipped on it's own it's that good! The blackberry moonshine tastes like fresh blackberries of course, but also has a hint of honeysuckle and lavender.

For the  Blockader’s Blackberry Moonshine cocktail I made a blackberry variation on the Salty Dog with grapefruit juice!

Blackberry Salty Dog
Makes One Cocktail

2 ounces Blockader's Blackberry Moonshine

4 Blackberries

1 ounce Simple Syrup

3 ounces Grapefruit Juice

2 Blackberries for Garnish

Sugar Rim

1 Lime Wedge for Sugar Rim


Begin by using a lime wedge to rim glass with sugar, then fill glass with ice. In your cocktail shaker, muddle your blackberries, add simple syrup, moonshine and grapefruit juice. Shake vigorously. Strain into glass over ice and serve! 

Champagne Moonshine Cocktail
Makes One Cocktail

2 ounces Sugarlands Pina Colada Moonshine 

Mixed Berries

Champagne Top


Muddle mixed berries (I used blueberries and raspberries) with moonshine and chill. When ready to serve, top with champagne! Legit, that easy.

15 June 2018

The One Change I Made Which Completely Transformed My Mornings For The Better

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Danone. The opinions and text are all mine.

Let's rewind real quick to September 2017. I was working at Tohatsu Outboards, the job that I moved to Dallas for in 2012. I was doing marketing and advertising, I had a cubicle and I worked 8am-5pm. Not 5:05pm, 5:00pm. Not 7:58am, 8am on the dot. The schedule was not flexible, I got one hour for lunch which I never once missed.

I was highly content in that job. There was a lot of downtime, I could post on my social channels and build my blog. I could do the job in my sleep, which I thought was appealing at the time. My boss was chill, he was never ever in my face. He trusted me to do my job, and I did my job. Everyone was happy. Mondays were the devil, and come Friday at 4pm, before that last full hour at work, I thought I was going to die of boredom before the clock finally ticked to 5. 

Then there was my lovely commute from Dallas to Coppell. I woke up every morning at 6:30am, SHARP! 6:30am was the very last possible minute I could push the alarm without being late. I'd frantically rush out the door, often finishing my makeup at stoplights to make it to the office by 8am. My mornings were always a frantic mess. 

Then, in the afternoons, when the clock finally did hit 5pm, I had the joy of sitting in an hour to an hour and a half of traffic before I could get home. Having a traffic commute slowly sucks the life out of your soul. It's the worst. 

I was happy with that job though, I wasn't overjoyed but I was content. I enjoyed my role with the company, I cried the day I gave my notice and again the day that I finally walked out of the doors for good. 

Making a jump to a new position is scary!! But you'll never know what's out there without taking the risk. In October 2017 I took over the position of Social Media Manager at The Adolphus. 

My new commute is 15 minutes, my job is stimulating and fun, and I think I'm damn good at it! I never realized how draining 8am-5pm cubicle life in Coppell was until I learned the joys of doing something you love, and not being told EXCATLY what time you have to do it. I still have a schedule, of course, but my mornings are completely different. I wake up around 730am, and rarely need an alarm. I have time to do my hair, makeup and to pick out an outfit that doesn't look like a stand-in for Little House on the Prairie. 

It's beyond glorious.

With that said, I'm so thrilled friends at International Delight Creamer asked me to talk about how I was able to transform my mornings. With one big career jump, I went from stressed and frantic on someone else's schedule, to now a relaxed morning person. 

Now I can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee on my own time. I also grabbed a cute new mug from Target - which I probably didn't need but bought anyway. I can't tell you how much I adore sitting around for about 30 minutes with the pups, enjoying a cup of coffee with International Delight Creamer, making it not just a boring cup of black coffee.

They offer a large selection of flavors, but I opted for the French Vanilla which is Non-GMO Project Verified. It's bomb, and you don't need a lot of it to make your coffee delicious, just a splash. Plus, you can download and use the Cartwheel Target app offer for 5% off International Delight Creamer from 6/10 thru 7/7.

Pro tip: pick up a new coffee mug while you're shopping at Target too. You can never have enough mugs *wink*

Just remember, comfortable isn't happy. Easy isn't a challenge. I now see that although I had love for my last job, I wasn't in love with it like I am now. Just like a relationship, it wasn't them it was me. I had outgrown that position and was ready for a new boo, a new challenge, a new morning that didn't include an hour commute and consisted of 100% more Veenie snuggles. 

I just thought to myself, be brave, take the leap. If you fail, so what. You move on. 
Next you'll find something you won't fail at.  

If you need me, I'll be on the couch curled up with my laptop drinking coffee with Veenie. 

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Danone. The opinions and text are all mine.

23 May 2018

Our Wedding Day March 3rd || Getting Ready for a Dallas Wedding at The Adolphus Hotel

Our wedding day was the most perfect thing that ever happened. It was the perfect Dallas Venue (The Adolphus Hotel), the perfect DFW wedding photographer (Ellen Ashton), the perfect (+affordable) wedding planners (The White Boxread about my amazing experience with them HERE), the most perfect florist and dear friend Anna from Rose Moss Designs and the perfect Dallas wedding makeup artist (Becca from BA Beauty). 

We took a major gamble getting married the very first weekend in March. There was absolutely no telling what the weather would bring. The two weeks leading up to our wedding were DREADFUL. We're talking 40 degrees and dreary on and off rain for TWO WEEKS STRAIGHT. I was so nervous since we were getting married outside on the pool deck at The Adolphus. Although we had a beautiful backup room, I so desperately wanted our rooftop downtown Dallas pool party. 

That Saturday morning, I woke up to the most beautiful 75 degree day you ever did see, without a cloud in the sky. It was meant to be, it was magic. 

Getting Ready

That morning, I went to Drybar (read also: made a mistake) for my hair which fell flat about 5 minutes after I left.  In hindsight, I should have just done my own hair, but thank the good lord for Becca my makeup artist who saved the day and did a complete overhaul with just minutes to spare. 

I spent the day getting ready with my mom, my fabulous wedding party (seriously, my bridesmaids were the most beautiful 3 ladies you ever did see), and all of my closest friends including a familiar face you guys certainly already know, Helene! I felt SO LOVED, it was beautiful. 

We had literally the most magnificent suite in all of Dallas, the Hollywood Suite in The Adolphus. It had a pool table, giant living areas, two bedrooms, a giant window overlooking the pool deck and a HUGE outdoor terrace where everyone could hang and drink champagne while we got ready.

That day my three incredible bridesmaids got me the most perfect "Mrs. Mize" sparkly gold robe to get ready in, with my new initials on the front! I was so touched, it was the perfect addition to really make these photos fabulous. 

Here are a few images from the morning of fun, all from the talented Ellen Ashton.

Link to various items shown above!

Ok friends, that's all my brain can handle for round one of wedding coverage!
I'll be back with more though (hopefully not a month(s) from now lollllssssssssss)

10 May 2018

Festival Style with Forever 21

Thank you to Forever 21 for providing the outfit in this blog post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

WATCH OUT, fashion blog post coming at you. Pick your jaw up off the floor, I can totally write a fashion post.

Totally kidding, I have no idea how to write a fashion post. I honestly just checked out some of my favorite fashion bloggers to see HOW they construct a fashion blog post. Do you need more than photos? What kind of words do I include here? What on earth is there to SAY about an outfit.

I often get stumped when writing food blog posts for Dallas Love List too. I am NOT a food critic, nor have I ever claimed to be one. I'm just a fan of taking photos of my food.

I tend to get on restaurant review blog posts and stumble through some variation of repeating the phrase, "IT WAS GOOOOOOD" 48 different ways. 

Perhaps that's how I'll tackle this post too. I THINK MY OUTFIT HERE IS GOOD. You can really taste the paprika in the denim.

Ok, I promise I'll do better than that. Truth be told, I haven't REALLY written consistently since I started at The Adolphus. I HAVE NO TIME. I'm lying again, I have all night long. I literally sit on the couch when I get home and watch reruns of Sex and the City while simultaneously being engrossed in Instagram stories from people I've never actually met. 

Side note, apparently I'm the only person who watches stories with the sound on. This blows my mind, what's the point without sound?? 

Anyway, outfits, y'all! 

Let's play two truths and a lie. 
1. I'm not too old to go to music festivals 
2. I'm not cool enough for music festivals 
3. I know just where to shop for a music festival outfit at any age. 

If you said 2 is the lie, then you are CORRECT! I'm V COOL, I'm certainly not too old (CB and I are ok with being the oldest there - aka us at JMBLYA in Dallas last weekend) and I have the perfect place to find cute festival outfits no matter your age. LONG LIVE THE MUSIC FESTIVAL ATTENDANCE!!

I bring you a place I'm confident you've heard of but might not have shopped at in a while: Forever 31. Errrr, I mean Forever 21, of course! 

And now here's where I start to panic when writing this blog post because I don't know what to say about the outfit...

Here are some fabulous shorts (GREAT FOR SUMMER)
An AWE SOME tie front t-shirt (GREAT FOR SUMMER)
An embroidered kimono - SO GREAT FOR SUMMER, Y'ALL!

Oh, and I also got a really cute ruffled bodysuit that I'll wear with a cute skirt, because y'all know I'm the queen of skirts. 

Did I kill it or did I kill it on writing this fashion blog post? 
I hope it was SO GREAT! 5 out of 5 stars. 
Would shop on Venus Trapped in Mars again. 

08 May 2018

Veenie Takeover For Heartworm Awareness Month

Hey friends, it's Veenie here with you today. My mom was in Austin for Austin Food and Wine festival, so I thought I'd come on and say hullo to da hoomans, and do a little CATchup post! Get it, CATchup? Cuz I is a DOGGO. Ok, I won't bore you with cat puns today, I aPAWlogize.

So, let's see, what's new in muh life? Well I got a new collar (see, in the pic? it's so purdy) and I've continued my successful streak of defending the house against the mailman and the dood who pushes the cart of tamales and doritos around the neighborhood. Currently, I'm 3423883894 and 0. Really not sure what my hoomans would do without me. They. Are. Welcome.

Let's see, what else? Oh yeah, muh parents got married!! About doggone time right? They went on a honeymoon and didn't take me, nor did they take my brodder. Rude. I laid a kiss attack on them when they got home though. I was going to play coy, like I didn't care at all that they returned, but what can I say I'm a Jack Russell and just totally lost all control of my body after going a week without seeing muh favorite people. It was like Christmas, but with one less rawhide wrapped up in a bow.

OH, and another new thing! I've learned a new TRICK!! I have always admired my brodder's bark. He's a beagle, and he goes rooooo rooooo rooooooo, so I learned to go ROOO ROOO ROOO, just like him. Mom keeps yelling at me saying, "THAT ISN'T YOUR BARK, stop copying GEE" but I don't care. I think it suits me!

But for reals, doh... since Summer is coming, I wanted to talk to you guys a little about heartworm awareness month! We live on a double lot and have DUH BEST back yard in the neighborhood. It's filled with dirt to dig up, sticks, acorns to eat when mom isn't looking and the occasional neighbor's cat who is dumb enough to sneak over the fence. IMMA GET THAT CAT ONE DAY!

One other thing the yard has is SOOOO MANY FLEAS. Two years ago, Dad was not too pleased when Gee and I tracked fleas into the house. I thought they were my friend, I called one Edwardo and the other Franklin. We told tales of the good ole days and Edwardo would occasionally sing and play Nelly's Hot in HURRRR on the clarinet. It was quite lovely. Dad said they had to leave though, it was sad but in all honesty, Hot in HURR was my least favorite Nelly song so I was ok with it in the end.

In the event that your doggo also hates Hot in HURR by Nelly (or maybe just hates fleas named Edwardo) I figured I'd give you the inside scoop on Vectra® 3D for Dogs! It's a fast and effective monthly topical that kills and repels mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, lice, biting flies and mites (excluding manage mites) before they bite your doggo. It's PAWfect for anyone else with a big back yard, or maybe even if you just like to go to the doggo park from time to time! The doggo park (Mutts in Uptown to be specific) is muh absolute favorite. I like to chase the constructions workers building the high rise across the street - up and down the fence, and bark ferociously so they know not to come mess with muh mama or there will be hell to pay!

I got sidetracked, shiny yellow tennis ball syndrome I guess you could say.
Ok, back to Vectra® 3D which I'm using with my monthly heartworm preventive for a  Double (doggo) Defense against heartworm disease! The Double Defense Heartworm Protocol is using Vectra® 3D to kill and repel mosquitoes on the outside, and using the heartworm preventive my vet prescribed to kill heartworm larvae on the inside!

I know what you're thinking, my momma loves me so much and you want to shower your doggo with that same love and protection. You're also probably thinking, BUT VEENIE WHERE CAN I BUY Vectra® 3D??? I GOTS DUH ANSWER FOR YOU HOOMANS! It is available through your veterinarian. To find a Vectra® 3D vet near you visit HERE!

Your doggo needs to be on heartworm preventative AND Vectra® 3D, but don't just take my word for it, read this website about repelling and killing mosquitoes on the outside of your dog, and killing larvae on the inside! It'll protect us from heart worms better than simply using a heart worm preventive alone!

Ok, hooman friends. I gots to go, I see the tamale guy coming and he looks like he is going to try some funny business today. I can't allow our family's home to be vulnerable to attack because I'm on the interwebs. BYE FRIENDS, talk soon!