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One of the joys of having dogs is taking them to the dog park. My two dogs (Moose and Bolt) could stay there all day, playing with the other dogs and running around off the leash. I’m lucky to have a good dog park nearby, but unfortunately, many communities lack an adequate dog park to serve the needs of their dog owners and pets.

That’s why I’m spreading the word about the Dream Dog Park Project by Beneful, an annual effort to build and upgrade dog parks. This year, Beneful is working with GoFundMe to encourage dog lovers to create campaigns to fund local dog parks or get new parks off the ground. Each month, Beneful selects a new GoFundMe dog park campaign to spotlight on their website and social media. Beneful provides the campaign with dollar-for-dollar donation matching support, helping projects reach their goals. If you want some tips on how to start a dog park in your own community or to improve an existing one, check out the resources and how-to guides available on Beneful Dream Dog Park Project.

Another way you can get involved is by sharing a post of your own – whether it’s your dog at a local dog park or a link to the Dream Dog Park Project website – on social media, tagging @Beneful and using the hashtag #DreamDogPark. Beneful will put $1 towards the Dream Dog Park Projects this year (up to $50,000) for every social share!

I encourage all dog lovers to get involved, because dog parks are an important part of a healthy community. According to the 2016 Beneful Dream Dog Park Survey, nearly 80% agreed their local dog park provides a place for them to exercise and be healthy with their dogs, and over a third said their dogs most enjoy the opportunity to exercise when they go to the park. Dog parks are also an important place to socialize. The survey found that some of the most enjoyable aspects of going to the dog park for owners are being surrounded by other dogs and likeminded dog lovers (23%) and meeting new people (21%). 

Unfortunately, the Survey found a need for more and improved dog parks. While 66% of dog owners agreed they love their local dog parks, 78% with they had one in their own community. Meanwhile, 73% agreed their local park could use some improvements. Some of the most asked-for improvements include shaded areas (34%), drinking fountains (31%), and water features for dogs to play in (28%). The good news is that 70% of dog owners agreed that they would volunteer their time to get a dog park built or spruce up their community dog park.

Last time I visited the dog park, my doggie Bolt became fast friends with a Dalmatian puppy, and now the two are inseparable playmates on the weekend. I’ve also come to know my own neighbors better through our park. I want all dog owners to have opportunities like this, which is why I encourage you to support local dog parks.

To help get you going, we are giving away a dog park pack to one lucky reader. The dog park pack consists of a Beneful leash, frisbee, drawstring backpack, tennis ball and coupons for Beneful dog food! To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below. All entrance options are optional, so please enter using only those methods that you are interested in. The giveaway is open to all U.S. residents at least 18 years of age. The giveaway will run until 11:59 PM PST on July 28, 2015. Good luck!

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Lindsey and her husband welcomed their first child last May. They had a beautiful baby girl, the first granddaughter of of our family, Imogene. Wasting no time, they are now expecting their second child just two months after Imogene’s first birthday. Our entire family was excited to learn if we would have a second granddaughter in the family or if Lindsey and her husband would have both a daughter and a son. Needless to see, we eagerly looked forward to the announcement! Lindsey did not disappoint with clever baby gender reveal idea {look for it in the list below}. Gender reveal parties and announcements have become very popular recently as more and more parents find out the sex of their baby before the birth. To help the other mothers and fathers-to-be come up with creative gender reveal moments, I have compiled a list of clever ideas to make the announcement at a party and through the mail.

Let’s get started with gender reveal ideas for parties. Gender reveal parties are fun, because you get to share fun, love, friendly rivalries{who is rooting for a boy and who is rooting for a girl?}and reactions with those you love the most. You can do the gender reveal in front of your friends and family or they can join in on the fun with you using one of these ideas.

The pinata is a tried and true gender reveal favorite. Pinatas already make for fun party games, but they get even cooler when they offer more than candy. You could keep pinata fun for the kids and fill it with pink or blue lollypops, jolly ranchers, airheads, mints, taffy, rock candy, m&ms and more. Or, you can fill it with confetti, flower petals, glitter or balloons for the more grown up crowd. There are plenty of cool designs for a baby shower and gender reveal party, too.

Pinata Gender Reveal

Clever gender reveal ideasphoto @ The House that Lars Built

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Pinyadayda

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Surprise Pinata

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Paper House Pinatas

gender reveal ideas

photo @ The Emoji Tree

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Pinata Paradise

“Shower” Gender Reveals

A fun way for adults and kids to join in on the gender reveal announcement is through a silly string war. You will need to let store clerks or close friends in on the gender in order for the gender reveal to remain a surprise for you. Just wrap some butcher paper around the silly string bottles to keep color a secret during the party until you are ready to let them rip. The couple can join in on the fun or let the crowd spray them with the announcement.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ A Journey Into Surrogacy

You can also get the crowd involved in the gender reveal by arming them with {washable} paint. You will need to let some close friends in on the gender in order to keep the reveal a surprise for you. This way is a bit more fun for the couple expecting, because they are the only ones not in on the gender making their reactions all the better.
gender reveal ideas

photo @ Macon Photography

You can also keep the squirt gun fight a family affair, which makes a fun announcement photo. Everyone can be armed to join in on the fun. Or, you can give the big brother or big sister the squirt gun and let them spray mom and dad with the gender reveal.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Katie Weber Photography

For a  gender reveal that does not require laundry or a shower afterward, but still delivers on color and excitement, try confetti blowers or sticks. The gender reveal raining down the couple and crowd is fun for everyone present and it makes for an exciting photo.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Pinterest

Party Food Gender Reveal Ideas

You can turn the gender reveal into a drinking game — not that kind of drinking game. With some fizzy bombs, you can make the gender reveal drinkable. It is also a great way to toast to the occasion.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Jo Jo Be Designs

You can leave the gender reveal until the end and let guests discover the sex with their dessert. You can do the gender reveal by cutting into the cake. You can make the inside of the cake pink or blue or make a pinata cake.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Betty Crocker

you can also use pinata cookies to make your announcement at dessert.

gender reveal idea

photo @ Craft Storming

Pinata desserts aren’t the only way to hide something. You can also let guests discover the sex of the baby using a fortune cookie.

gender reveal idea

photo @ Mom the Intern

Or, you can do what Lindsey did and hide the gender reveal in the cupcakes.

gender reveal idea

Hershey is a classic American treat and it just so happens to contain both “he” and “she”. Hand them out at dessert for a sweet reveal.

gender reveal idea

photo @ Pick Any Two

Sporty Gender Reveal Ideas

The gender reveal can be as simple as a fun game of pitch and hit between husband and wife with the crowd looking on. You can either create or buy a powder bomb baseball. Just make sure that it is held together well in case the hubby isn’t a pro and swings and misses 🙂

gender reveal ideasphoto @ Momtastic

The expecting couple can have a friendly game to reveal the gender. You can play darts or arrows in front of the crowd popping balloons to do the gender reveal. There are several ways to do this, including popping balloons to reveal a message on the board behind it and popping balloons filled with paint.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Pinterest

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Sweet Miles

Have a friendly game of armwrestling at your gender reveal party or for a photo announcement.

gender reveal ideas

Have a friend fill two pillows with pink or blue feathers and have a pillow fight until you are surprised with the gender.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Jeanne Mitchum

If you are a family of hunters, military servicemen or simply just gun enthusiasts, then it may be fitting to announce your baby’s sex with a bang.

gender reveal idea

photo @ News Grio

Gender Reveal From Afar

A lotto scratch gender reveal is perfect both for parties and mail announcements. Party guests can race to find out the sex of the baby first. Those who receive the announcement in the mail can have some fun with their announcement. Best of all, there are scores of cute card designs to choose from. If you are crafty, then you can make your own DIY lotto scratch cards.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ The Color Loft

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Creative Monsoons

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Good to Know

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Beau Coup

Or, you can send a greeting card with the message. This DIY card is cute and clever. The full instructions are here.

gender reveal idea

photo @ Mandi Candi

Turn your photo into a folded card for a cheap and memorable mailable gender reveal.
gender reveal ideas

For a low-key, easy and cheap announcement, you can use bubble gum to get your message out.bubble gum gender reveal announcement

photo @ Pinterest

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Let Me See You Sparkle

You can make it subtly beautiful with a ribbon around the waist.

gender reveal idea

photos @ Fizz and Frosting and Sunt Mamica

Gender Reveal with Siblings

If the new baby will have siblings, get the kids in on the action. You can capture their reaction to the news on camera as your announcement.

gender reveal idea

gender reveal idea

gender reveal idea

photo @ Baby Gaga

gender reveal ideas

photo @ The Skelte Seven

gender reveal ideas

You can also let the kids in on the gender to make the announcement themselves.

gender reveal idea

photo @ Ariana Falerni

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Whistle and Ivy

gender reveal idea

If you do not have siblings to include in the photo, then you get your pet in on the announcement.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Bark Post

Glitter and Powder Gender Reveal Ideas

Glitter and powder gender reveal ideas are more popular then ever before. That is because they make for a vibrant and dramatic photo for a small cost. Minimum cost, maximum effect with numerous possibilities. It is now wonder why glitter and powder are trending elements for gender reveal.

You can keep it simple with a powder bomb. Toss it, blow it or otherwise. It makes for a messy and beautiful photo no matter what.

gender reveal idea

photo @ The Cool Hour

Get a pink or blue powder bomb and let it rip for a beautiful photo.

gender reveal idea

photos @ Our Adventure Blog and Baby Cubby

For a powerful gender reveal idea combining men, motors and powder, try one of these automotive ideas.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Saving Dessert and Youtube

For a simple and dramatic use of glitter, just capture blowing it in the wind on film.

gender reveal idea

gender reveal idea

photo @ Daily Dot

Surprise your guests in person or via a card with a glitter board. Just get some glue and glitter to make the announcement.

gender reveal ideas

Crack the gender reveal on your spouse with a glitter egg. You can also hand them out to friends throw at each other and crack on each other. You can make your own DIY glitter egg or buy them on Etsy.

gender reveal idea

photo @ Instructables

Go Scientific and/or Nerdy

You can make the announcement different by going scientific with it. You can announce the sex using chromosomes.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Good to Know

Or, you can get the kids in on a science experiment with a colored baking soda volcano.

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Siraya Says

If you enjoy the nerdy things in life, then let it out in your gender reveal announcement.

gender reveal idea

photo @ Chicago Now

Use toys to make the announcement in a fun way. Dolls over soldiers? Dump trucks over Barbie dream home?

gender reveal ideas

photo @ Baby Gaga

Host a showdown between Superman and Wonder Woman to see which sex of the superhero will win.

gender reveal idea

Lindsey’s baby is due any moment and although we already know that it is girl, we cannot wait to meet her. If you did a fun gender reveal, let us know what it is below!


Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

If you have read our blog before, then you are probably already familiar with how much I love Greece. You can check out my posts about my trip to Athens, Rhodes and Santorini. I will write about my archaeological excavation in Greece soon as well! My love for Greece congruously includes Greek food. I have explored many Greek islands and most of mainland Greece except the Peloponnese. This is odd considering that the Peloponnese is the only place in Greece from which my mother’s family hails. Despite my oversight, I love what food that I have tried in Greece – from popular dishes all around Greece to regional favorites.

One of my all-time favorite dishes of any cuisine is spinach pie (known as spanakopita in Greek). I used to eat this everyday for breakfast while I studied abroad. I am not alone in this. Like gyros, this is one of the perennial national dishes of Greece. Unfortunately, as with all heavy, breaded foods, you will eventually gain weight when it becomes part of your regular diet. Due to my PCOS diagnosis, I can no longer afford to include sugar and empty/refined carbohydrates in my diet. I heard about making a crustless version of spanakopita from grecophiles and so I turned to the internet as we all do nowadays. After a lot of trial and error, I have created my favorite crustless spanakopita recipe. Because this recipe uses coconut flour instead of regular white flour, it is low-glycemic and low-carb. That does not say anything about the fat content, though (which is why I use light feta and skim milk). Nonetheless, you cannot beat the savory taste for a breakfast dish. For me, it is difficult to put down (which shows me that I have gotten it right).

What I love most about this crustless spanakopita recipe more so than other spanakopita recipes is the tang of the lemon zest. It adds flavor to the spinach and complements the salty feta very well. It is a delicious way to get some veggies into your breakfast or lunch. In my experience, one pan can last for a week’s worth of breakfasts. Although I miss the crunch of filo dough, this crustless spanakopita recipe makes it easy to enjoy a low-glycemic dish without feeling like you are missing out on the real deal. You can check out my photos of making it below or just scroll down to the recipe below.

Mince the mint.Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Mince the rosemary.Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Mince the garlic.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Zest the lemon
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Chop the parsley.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Chop the scallions.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Chop the spinach.Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Add the milk.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Add the olive oil.DSC_0151-EDIT

Grate the parmesan.Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Crumble the feta.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Add in the sifted dry ingredients.Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Mix the ingredients together.Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Pour the mixture into a pan.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Bake for 45 – 60 minutes at 375° F.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Slice it up and enjoy!Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Serves 8
Prep time 45 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 45 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Region Greek
This zesty crustless spanakopita is full of savory flavor and makes for a filling breakfast or snack. It is ideal for diabetics, those on a low-glycemic diet and anyone watching their figure.


  • 4 cups Spinach (Chopped)
  • 0.75 cup Scallions (Chopped)
  • 3 teaspoons Dill (Fresh, Minced (1.5 TSP if dried))
  • 3 tablespoons Parsley (Minced)
  • 0.5 - 1 clove Garlic (Minced)
  • 0.5 - 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • Ground Pepper (To Taste)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 0.5 cup Milk
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 0.5 cup Parmesan (Grated)
  • 8oz Feta (Crumbled (I like to use light feta))


  • 2 tablespoons Mint (Minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary (Fresh (0.5 TSP if dried))


Step 1 Coat an 8" x 8" cooking pan with oil or cooking spray. Set aside.
Step 2 Pre-heat the oven to 375° F.
Step 3
Sift the coconut flour and baking powder into a bowl. Set aside.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe
Step 4
In large bowl, combine the spinach, scallions, mint, dill, parsley, rosemary, lemon zest, ground pepper, eggs, olive oil, milk, Parmesan cheese and feta cheese.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe
Step 5
Pour in the sifted flour mixture and combine all of the ingredients until consistent.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe
Step 6
Pour the mixture into the pan.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe
Step 7
Bake in the oven at 375° F for 45-60 minutes.
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe
Step 8
Enjoy a slice or three :)
Crustless Spanakopita Recipe

Dear readers, we have joined with a few other bloggers to bring you a great giveaway today. We definitely appreciate our readers and love to show our appreciation through giveaways from time to time. To do that, we are joining with bloggers to pool our resources to offer a $250 gift card giveaway to one lucky reader. We want to help you do what you need to do or want to do: pay for a flight, a weekend getaway, groceries, a few new outfits, a new camera, gasoline for the next few months – the list goes on. With this, you can finally get that thing that you have been eyeing on Amazon for the past few months waiting for the price to drop or for extra funds to become available. With this cash, you can finally get a chance to buy it. Use the Rafflecopter code below to complete entries for the giveaway. Good luck to our readers!

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  • Giveaway is open to people worldwide
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  • Cheri Palmer - May 11, 2016 - 6:57 am
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faith in weddings

God is focal in weddings. Marriage is a religious institution dating back to the beginning of civilization. Although societies have changed greatly over the past millennia the importance and prominence of marriage has perdured. Even now newlywed husbands and wives invoke God’s blessing over their union and the rest of their lives together while at the altar. Friends and family offer prayers and blessings for the couple and their future family in toasts and conversations. The bride and groom pray for courage to steady their nerves before the wedding. The pastor or priest presiding over the ceremony anoints the marriage in his final steps before declaring the man and woman to be husband and wife.


God is befittingly everywhere in a wedding. Devotion to Him and adoration of Him can be found in many areas of the wedding ceremony and reception. When photographing the wedding, you will want to capture each of the important components. For most, faith is deservedly paramount. There are many ways to capture the role of faith in weddings. Many brides and grooms pray alone or with their wedding party, parents or close ones before the ceremony. Some make covenants with God as part of their wedding vows. The pastor or priest often lead all of the wedding guests in a prayer before the ceremony and the meal at the wedding reception. Guests quote Bible verses in toasts.


Each of these moments are heartfelt appeals to the highest power for courage, love, devotion, happiness, peace and prosperity. They bring groups of people together. Because Mathew 18:20 says, “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them”, these are powerful moments that are worth capturing on camera. Nothing shows the love of the wedding guests for the couple like groups of them praying the future of their marriage and family.

For more wedding photo musts, go to

the mother of the bride with the bride

bride and groom photo ideas

the groom’s first look

the father of the bride’s first look

the blindfolded kiss before the ceremony

the bride’s something blue

the bride and groom holding hands before the ceremony

the first kiss as husband and wife

wedding photos with grandparents

the wedding ceremony recessional

the bridesmaids

the ring bearer and flower girl

the first dance

the bride and groom getting ready

the wedding reception entrance

the wedding day love note exchange

the father of the groom with the groom

Photos @ Style Me Pretty ~ The Wedding Chicks ~ Green Wedding Shoes ~ Bridal Guide ~ Ruffled ~ Pinterest

P i n t e r e s t