Adventure Pets

My hobbies include french braiding and pretending my cat loves me back

Have you ever traveled or hiked with a pet?

More than once I’ve seen someone out walking their cat or small dog in a stroller, which basically reminds me of this. I’ve never taken a cat camping (I did take a dog though) but apparently some people are braver (crazier?) than me because I’ve seen this happen.

I recently got a chance to review this cat carrier, gifted to me by Pet Magasin. And my cat was sorta happy to oblige in product testing, since she doesn’t get out much. She’s an indoor cat so this is a way she can experience the great outdoors. And if you need to fly with your small dog or cat, this is an airline approved crate that you can put under your seat.

The pockets expand to give your pet more room, as well as a mesh window they can peek out of. It’s super sturdy and great quality. What I like most is that it can be either vertical as a backpack or horizontal as a little kennel for travel.

I’m not going to make a habit of hiking with my cat, but what I think it would be really good for is hiking with small dogs. My brother and sister-in-law have a small dog that overheats easily and gets tired on walks so they end up carrying him home. Pop him in the backpack and it’s easy walking time for Gus!

Before you send me hate mail about how unhappy she looks, please know that’s just her face. RBF Syndrome is a real condition that affects cats as well as humans. Don’t be rude about it.

Lullaby the cat’s other product reviewing experience includes the Cat Bonnet.  Where have you traveled with your pets?

Summer of Cars

Sponsored post – thanks to Cars.com for supporting The Pink Paperdoll

I’ve never been super interested in cars. I still drive my first-ever car, my Pontiac that I’ve driven since 2007! But this summer I lived with not one but three car engineers, which was an education to say the least. There were plenty of fancy cars around the driveway (and one unfancy Mazda that I learned to drive a stick on). Here’s what I learned about each car.

It’s Electric!

The Model S is the second car built by Tesla, you can tell it is a Tesla at a glance because of the silver windows. I rode in one once and it has a beautiful interior, a sun roof, and it accelerates from zero to 60 in 2.4 seconds. That’s nuts. It’s wrong. But 100,000 have been sold so generally people seem to disagree with me. It’s jokingly referred to as the Palo Alto Prius because so many people in the area drive them. You can barely go a block without seeing one! It also has the highest crash rating of any car tested which I suppose makes me feel a little better about the acceleration bit.

Toyota MR2 and Mazda Miata

At less than 10,000 dollars for a sports car, If you’re in your quarter life crisis one of these might be for you. The MR2 is the first pic in the post, and the Miata is shown below. Here’s how to best describe the difference: the Miata is Starbucks-sipping basic, while the MR2 is the car equivalent of that girl you know who monograms everything.

Mazda 3

This car is as if the MR2 or Miada grew up and started a family. It’s full of storage space which I can attest to because I filled it up with fabric samples on a regular basis. It fits a dog kennel, groceries, a cooler, and all the reusable shopping bags I sometimes (okay, rarely) remember to bring into a store with me.

How to find the right car

Car shopping may not be as fun as shopping the Lilly Pulitzer sale, but using technology can make it easier! Using resources to do research ahead of time is key to the process. It’s important to compare prices, specs and reviews just as you would do with any online shopping. As you start your search, a great deal of information is available at Cars.com where you can look for cars for sale, find a dealer, leave reviews, or view videos and reviews that tell it straight (and as any shopper will tell you, honest reviews are so important!).

What’s your dream car?! Let me know in the comments!

Shop the Look

Ghost Town Hunting in Oregon

Hunting for Ghost Towns

I am fascinated by old places. I’ve written about the pioneer camp I attended as a child, and I did my senior honors thesis on the history of abandoned towns in Minnesota. Some of my treasured memories of family trips to Colorado include seeing some amazing abandoned mining villages preserved by the dry climate there.  So when I was driving to California, I made sure to look for ghost towns along the way – and I found an Oregon ghost town called Golden. (I also found an old town that was quite unabandoned but worth a look — more on that here).

History of Golden, Oregon

This city was founded in 1860 as a gold rush town. It was unique because it had two churches and no saloons. Its inhabitants fluctuated as gold was found in other areas nearby. By 1920, the post office closed. Today, you can visit Golden to see a glimpse into a mining town that was built during the gold rush.

Visiting Oregon ghost town Golden

Today, Golden is an Oregon State Heritage Site. There’s a paved road you can drive to get there from Coyote Creek, which makes it much more accessible than many other similar abandoned towns of the west. In Idaho, I attempted to drive to Silver City but the roads were too dangerous at that time of year and I chose (wisely, I think) to turn back. So I was happy to find the town of Golden just a short drive from I-5, near the town of Coyote Creek.

A true Oregon Ghost Town

Even though Golden is on the National Register of Historic Places and it’s so easily accessible, it still feels very much like a ghost town. There’s no other buildings around, and nothing has been restored since 1950 when the church was rebuilt. You can even go inside the church and general store. If dilapidated buildings are more your style, there’s an outhouse and other buildings that are collapsing.

Have you ever visited a ghost town?

Make Magical Unicorn Snacks

Thanks to Hostess brands for sponsoring this post. The recipes and views expressed in this post are all mine. 

Unicorn Party Recipe

I’ve been using the hashtag #myunicornlife a lot on Instagram lately. Unicorns are trendy, colorful and awesome. I put on my creative hat to create some treats using Twinkies that are perfect for a unicorn themed party — or just because you deserve something magical.

Make a unicorn dessert bowl

To make this colorful, Instagrammable unicorn bowl, I sliced strawberries and fudge-covered twinkies into a ramekin dish. You could also use the chocolate brownie flavor twinkies pictured above! If you haven’t heard of this chocolateful twist on Twinkies before, that’s because they’re new — find out more. 

Next is the fun part — add shredded coconut and sprinkles for pizzaz. Eat with a tiny spoon!

Well that couldn’t have been easier, right? It barely counts as a recipe, because you’re just slicing stuff up and adding toppings. My next unicorn party treat idea is just as simple and also more adorable.

Unicorn Twinkie Pops

In Minnesota, there’s a huge state fair in August with every kind of food on a stick, including deep fried twinkies. In the state fair spirit, you can make your own no-bake unicorn cake pops!

The key to these cake pops is unicorn candy decorations — you can order something similar at Etsy. You could also use a  cupcake topper for a similar effect.

Push a candy stick into the snack cake, and decorate it with a curled ribbon. Add sprinkles to the top of the snack cake. You’ll want to frost the cake first. Fudge covered twinkies already have a layer of soft frosting, but you might choose to add a  bit more to secure the sprinkles.

For more fun ideas, check out the Hostess Facebook page.

Would you or your little one have a unicorn themed party?

Wishing you a magical day!

Natural Sun Protection

Protect your skin from the sun

It’s part of Beauty Secrets 101 to wear SPF all the time. It’s common sense, because sun exposure promotes aging, damage from free radicals and skin cancer. But maybe you’re concerned about the chemicals in most sunscreens. What then?

Coconut oil is popular for pretty much everything right now including sun protection, but it only shields from 20 percent of harmful rays, says Mayo Clinic. Better than nothing, you may say. But keep in mind that coconut oil is comodogenic and can make you break out, which no one wants. Then I found out about two other oils that are promising. They’re raspberry seed oil and carrot seed oil.

Natural oils for sun protection

Canadian study done in 2000 found that among the characteristics of raspberry seed oil is an SPF protection factor of 28-50 against UVB rays, and an SPF around 8 for UVA rays. Notice that it protects against UVB and UVA. Not all sunscreens do! When I lived in Switzerland for a summer, I learned that European sunscreens are higher quality than American ones, because they filter against broad spectrum rays. The FDA hasn’t yet approved widespread use of these filtering agents, according to the Environmental Working Group.

I had this problem where my ultra-fancy, natural face moisturizer didn’t have SPF. Have you ever encountered this? Solution: combine it with a little raspberry seed oil or carrot seed oil. I use a high quality oil by Leven Rose. If you’re not sold on raspberry seed oil as a sunscreen option, it also makes a great face moisturizer. Carrot seed oil is also touted as a remedy for thinning hair.

Now, to my knowledge there has only been that one study done and it was 17 years ago. So more research needs to be done on the topic.

The Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Sunscreen advises that it’s wisest to not rely on sunscreen alone for sun protection. Hats, sunglasses, clothing, and umbrellas are all part of a good sun protection plan.

How do you stay sun safe in the summer?

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