Whenever you move to a new place, it’s a chance to discover the local culture. Exploring restaurants, museums, and all the fun options your city has to offer starts to form on your list of favorites. The ones you keep coming back to, because you know it will always be a good time.
It has only been a few months, but we are slowly adding to our list. After doing some research on things to do (besides Disney), I found a winery that delivers on atmosphere, taste, and hipster approval.
Initially, we imagined the winery as a tiny little tasting room that believed you could grow grapes in Florida. However, as soon as we walked in, we knew it was a gem.
Quantum Leap Winery has a simple, modern facade, with large white letters spelling out their name. There is a spacious outdoor patio, which I can imagine gets crowded on a nice day.
Image courtesy of quantumleapwinery.com
Inside, you could easily fit a large crowd. It reminds me of a modern gallery, with simple white walls and modern art spaced out strategically.
The tasting area is the focal point of the room, with plenty of space for patrons to stand and chat with the staff.
For only $5, you can get a red or white flight (but why not get both for only $10?), or you can mix and match for $1.25 per 1-ounce pour.
We tried both flights, and loved how each wine was well-rounded, smooth and a little bit fruity. They grow their grapes in California, Washington, and Oregon, and transport them to Orlando to make the wine.
The bottle are priced very reasonably, ranging from $15 – $50 a bottle (only a few at the high-end price). We bought a Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Once the weather gets cooler, we’ll be drinking them on our porch.
We can’t wait to go back and bring Gant. And of course bring treats, so he can enjoy the evening, too. They also have 7 dogs that help run the winery, so if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see one of them during your visit.
Tasting hours are available here: http://www.quantumleapwinery.com
Quantum Leap Winery
1312 Wilfred Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
Featured image courtesy of quantumleapwinery.com
When I was in high school, a family friend who lived not too far down the road was moving. When they bought their home, the previous family left behind an adorable orange and white tabby cat, and our friend took care of it, even though they were severly allergic. Because of their allergies, the cat mostly stayed outside.
They decided not to take the cat with them, and asked if we would be interested in taking him in. My parents had never wanted a pet, but this cat charmed his way into their hearts, so we brought him home.
Once he realized he could stay inside, he never wanted to leave. He would sit on any available lap, let you pet him for hours, and just loved being around people. He was the sweetest cat I had ever met.
Just a short of a couple of years later, he got cancer, and there wasn’t anything we could do to treat him. I remember being in the room with the Veterinarian, wiping the endless tears off my face as our dear cat laid there. My mom stood beside me, saying comforting words to the cat and I. You could tell the cat was ready. I will never forget that cat, as he brought us so much joy, even for just a few short years.
Fast forward to 2014, when my husband and I got our dog, Gant. As I sit here, watching him lay on the carpet, snoring away, I think about how much joy he has brought to our lives. On many occasions, my husband says “The dog has to live forever”. While it would be amazing to have him with us for the rest of our lives, I know that one day, we’ll be sending our dog to heaven.
Our dog, Gant.
In honor of our cat, I wanted to write about ways to help cope with the loss of a pet. They become more than just pets; they are family, and sometimes, it is just as difficult to lose an animal as it is a human being.
These tips are not based on any research, they are just ways I’ve found that are comforting, so take them as you will.
1. Take time to grieve. There is no “timeline” for how long you should mourne. Don’t let anyone tell you to “get over it” or “it’s just a dog (or insert pet here)”. I am still mourning my beloved cat and it’s been 16 years.
2. Don’t rush into getting another pet. Working at rescues, I have seen families who have just lost their pet and rushing to get a new one. While it’s great they’re looking to save another animal, sometimes it seems they’re trying to fill a void. You tend to start comparing that to your previous one, which is not fair to you or the pet. Take your time, heal, and wait until you are emotionally ready to bring another animal into your life.
3. Talk to other people who have lost a pet. Talking to others who have gone through the same experience of loss really helps. You can vent, ask them how they have grieved (or are grieving), and what they are doing to move while cherishing the memories.
4. Get a journal. All through high school, I would write in my journal everyday. I loved pouring my thoughts into something that was private and only mine. I probably went through 7 journals. Write a letter to your pet. Tell them how you’re feeling. It may sound silly, but they are listening.
5. Send a sympathy card (This one is for friends and family to do). Sending a card to someone who has lost their pet is a perfect way to send your sympathies and let them know you’re thinking of them. Here are some great options: Option 1 And Option 2
6. Get a touching tribute. Honor your favorite pet by getting a custom portrait, a cute necklace, or an inspirational quote. You’ll have something you can look at everyday and will hopefully help you rememer the good times you had with that pet. Here are some examples: Example 1 and Example 2.
7. Get involved. There are so many dog rescues who need your help. Use your talents to help with photography, design flyers, or spend an hour or two walking a dog. For me, this really heals my soul whenever I can help a dog get into their furever home. This also gives you an idea of what kind of dog you possibly would want for the future.
My foster Patsy, and I. She is now at a great home with friends of ours in Connecticut.
8. Take a walk. While it’s totally acceptable to sit on your couch, binge watch some Netflix, and shed some tears, make sure you get outside, absorb some fresh air, and enjoy your surroundings. I know whenver I’m feeling lost, I like to move around and reflect.
9. Surround yourself with loved ones. Invite a friend over to have dinner, or visit some family for a weekend. Being around your support system can help you start the healing process.
10. It is OK not to get another pet. Sometimes, I think people want to get another pet so they can fill a void. However, it is perfectly acceptable to cherish the wonderful pet you had in your life and keep the memories forever.
What are some of your methods for grieving the loss of a pet?
Hello again! Welcome back to our monthly feature of amazing gifts for dog lovers!
This month I’ll be featuring one of the more popular breeds, the French Bulldog, or as most people call them, the Frenchie.
Their flat noses, wrinkly jowls, expressive eyes, and rounded ears melt our hearts. They are known to be social, friendly, affectionate, and perfect for living in smaller spaces. A lot of people get them confused with the Boston Terrier, as they are very similar. However, they tend to be shorter, have wider faces, and a more variety of fur patterns.
Here are 8 great gifts that will sure to delight the Frenchie lover in your life.
2. White French Bulldog earrings. Click here to order. From Doodleworm on Etsy. A fashion statement that goes with any outfit. $12.00
3. Le Frenchie Art Print. Click here to order. From Bonnie Bryant Creative. Price varies on size. Add a whimsical, charming illustration to your home.
4. French Bull dog greeting card (blank inside). Click here to order. From Society6. Comes in a set. Price varies on set you choose. The gorgeous colors will be sure to delight any recipient.
5. French Bulldog sweatshirt. Click here to order. From Etsy. $40.00. Look stylish with this well designed and comfortable sweatshirt. Pair with some white shorts for the summer and skinny jeans in the Fall.
6. Frenchie Newborn hat and matching socks. Click here to order. From MonoFaces, $22.00. Your baby will be stylin’ from the crib to the stroller.
7. Colorful Frenchie water bottle. Click here to order. From Amazon. $14.99. This stainless steal, BPA free bottle keeps your water cold for up to 24 hours. Perfect for those long walks with the dog!
8. All You Need is Love…And a French Bulldog. Click here to order. From Amazon. $7.49. I think this statement says it all.
9. Frenchie Stationery Sets. Click here to order. From Sacco Studios. $12 for a set of 10 notecards. This cheery frenchie will put a smile on anyone’s face, almost as much as the message you’ll write in it.
10. French Bulldog line drawing. Click here to order. From Etsy. $24.50. The simplicity of this piece makes a statement all on its own.
Next month we’ll feature another great dog! Until then, tell me what other great finds you have gotten for your frenchie lovers in the comments below!
It’s been a little over two months since we’ve moved to Florida. From pine trees to palm trees, from being able to drive 3 hours and be in another state to driving 3 hours and landing in Miami.
While we have been adjusting to our new environment and exploring the local scene, Gant is doing his best figure out his daily routine. Like most dogs, he is a creature of habit, and likes schedules. I have read it can take up to a year for a dog to feel comfortable in a new home.
There has been a lot of changes, from a 3 bedroom apartment on a boarding school campus to a house on a suburban neighborhood. From acres of land to run around on to a fenced in yard with a small area of grass.
It is different, but there are many things our neighborhood has to offer, which I haven’t seen in other places. So, I thought I’d give you a little tour. No matter where you are, there are always new things to discover and appreciate.
There is a trash bag dispenser AND a trash can across the street from our house! Every neighborhood should have one.
Every neighborhood has a cluster of trees. You can go through them and pretend you’re in a forest.
Keep walking and you’ll come across a gazebo. Step inside and read a book (when it’s not 1000 degrees outside). Your dog will be preoccupied chasing Geckos!
Walk just a bit further and you’ll get a lake view. Just don’t feed those alligators! I don’t take Gant on this deck, just in case…
Sit on the Adirondack chairs and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Lily pads everywhere.
And geckos scurrying away as you walk by. Gant has caught a few.
Then head home for a special treat. Because there’s always an occasion for one!
After I finish a blog post and hit submit, I excitedly tell my husband it’s up on my website and ready to read.
Once he finished reading my previous post, 10 Things I’ve Learned From My Dog, where wrote about the many life lessons Gant has taught me over the past four years, he told me how much he loved what I wrote. While he is incredibly supportive and truly enjoys reading all of my posts, he said a lot of the lessons reasonated with him. Then, he came up with a great idea: Talk about how our dog taught US about our marriage, our partnership, and how we have evolved as a couple.
As we all know, Dogs are pretty magical creatures. They do so much more than be your pet; they bring you and your loved ones together. While my husband and I have certainly gone through a lot in the 13 years we have been together (!), our dog has been with us for what feels like an internity. From my husband’s first job out of graduate school, to traveling across the country several times during Summertime, and now moving to a whole new state and way of life, he has been by our side, adjusting to more changes than he probably wants to handle.
It’s Gant’s bedtime, and he’s probably sleeping on top of our accent pillows, waiting for us to come in and let him under the covers for the night. So before I get into pajamas and cherish my nightly cuddles, here are 10 things our dog has taught us about our relationship.
When my husband and I first thought about getting a dog, we started to make a checklist of what we needed to buy before we brought our new furry family member home. We looked at websites that had checklists of everything you needed to buy – a crate, food and water bowls, poop bags, 6 foot long leash, some chew toys, and a few other items.
After reading article after article about how to acclimate and train your dog, we were READY. Those videos on how to make your dog come when called? Watched and DONE. I mean, the girl in the video made it so easy. Just go to a beautiful park where the weather is perfect, calmly say “Come”, and the beautiful Golden Retriever immediately runs over to her like it’s the only mission it needs to accomplish.
Neither of us had dogs, so obviously we had no idea what was coming.
Fast forward 4 years later. Boy, were we so wrong about a lot of things, but others were easier than we thought. As I reflect on how fast (and slow at the same time) it has gone by, I thought I’d make of list of things our little furry Boston Terrier has taught us. Things that go beyond just how to take care of a dog. Life lessons that I will always carry.
1. Do not buy a monogrammed Pottery Barn dog bed. Just don’t. I’m sure one day I was reading a magazine, and there were photos of adorable puppies laying on their burgundy and navy beds with the words “Buddy” sewn in beautiful letters on the front. I had to have one. $75.00 later, our dog managed to chew up the mattress INSIDE the zipped cover. Now we just have the cover, folded up in some closet, never to be seen again.
The infamous beds. Does that dog get 6 plates of food if he sits pretty?
2. Make sure your iCloud storage is activated for the 1,546,890 photos you’ll take of your dog. Because he looks sooooo cute cuddling in his blanket. Wait, let me get one from the left side. Up close. Black and white filter. Instragram that.
3. You want what you can’t have. My dog’s favorite game to play is chase me with the ball in my mouth. Then if you lose interest and walk away, he drops it on the floor and leaves. Because it’s only fun if someone wants your ball.
4. Forget buying a vacuum. You have a free one already! Dropped that cheese on the floor? Buddy to the rescue! Spill a bunch of yogurt? They’re ready to lap it up! The best part? Once you’re done cooking, they’ll go over every inch of your kitchen and make it shine with their drool.
5. No matter how big your bed is, you’ll only have 5% of it to yourself. See diagram below.
6. Everyone needs a best friend. My dog does not like to walk outside unless it’s perfect pleasantville town weather. But when he sees his BFF Millie, a black lab/golden doodle mix, he will just about go anywhere. Find someone who will make you go that extra block, mile, town, or whatever it is that pushes you just a bit further.
7. Be kind. If we were kinder to humans, dogs, and just to our society in general, our world would be a much better place. Working with a few dog rescues, it’s clear that if people were nicer to dogs, there would be a lot less of them in shelters.
8. Celebrate every small (and big) accomplishment. Had a good day? Have some chocolate (you, not the dog). Greeted someone without jumping on them? Celebrate with a bone. Begged at the table for only 10 minutes instead of 30? You deserve a piece of bacon.
9. Stop buying toys. You know how you buy your child a really cool playset, but all they want to play with is the box? Same thing applies to my dog. I head to the pet store, find an adorable $15 stuffed toy that looks like an aligator that claimes to be indestructable, bring it home, my dog excitedly plays with it for 30 seconds, and then moves on to an old beat up tennis ball. Everyday he goes into his toy box, dumps all the toys, and finds it. I never learn this lesson. Just buy the dang $5 can of tennis balls on Amazon. Oh, look! A pig toy wearing a cute apron and hat! I’ll take it.
10. (Last but not least) As long as you’re together, life is A-ok. As long as our dog is with us, he’ll glady fly on a plane across the country, be a passenger on roadtrips, or hang while we grab a quick meal. For me, as long we are together, we can go on any adventure.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at the vet (my dog had an ear infection, but he’s fine!), waiting for my appointment, and I took a few minutes to observe the different dogs and their owners, anxiously looking for their names to be called. There was a woman who had a tiny Yorkie, telling me he was suffering from epilepsy, and this was their weekly visit; two older Beagles were getting weighed; a beautiful Husky was curiously sniffing the dog food in the display shelves; and a sweet little Frenchie was there for an annual checkup.
While it is obvious that there are a lot of devoted dog lovers out there, it was really apparent at the Vet. All of us were making sure our furry family members got the best treatment possible. We would do anything for them.
In honor of the devoted dog owners, each month I am going to showcase fun, unique and just plain awesome gifts for dog lovers of a certain breed. I will of course include Rescues, as they are just as important!
This month, I am going to feature great gift ideas for ANY dog lover. These are perfect for when you need something that will please just about any “dog mom” or “dog dad” out there.
“Dog Person” Pouch, Society 6 $15.99 – Carry all your essentials in this adorable carrying case. Comes in a variety of sizes. Click here to buy.
“Can’t Get Up” Socks, Etsy, $14.35 – The perfect excuse to “wear” for not getting up. Click here to buy.
“Go Fetch” Bottle Opener, Uncommon Goods, $15.00 – Don’t just use any ordinary bottle opener. Smile everytime you open a cold one. Click here to buy
“No Need to Knock” Doormat, Etsy, starting at $39.95. My dog barks at EVERYTHING, especially a knock or ring on the doorbell. Place this outside your door, and guests will be less likely to set off your dog(s). Click here to buy
“True Friends Shit On Your Lawn” Art Print, Wolf and Badger, $41.00. While there are a ton of hilarious dog prints out there, they all tend to have the same 10 quotes. This one definitely made me laugh. I would hang this outside on the porch. Click here to buy.
“Wine Dogs of California, Volume 3” Book, Winedogs.com, $35.00. Know someone whose a wine AND dog lover ( I mean, who isn’t?), then this book is just for them. Features over 130 wineries from around the Golden State with stunning portraits of their loyal pooches. Volume 1 is sold out, but there are several other volumes available. Click here to buy
“I Speak Dog” Mug, 20 ounces, Saccostudios.com, $15.00. Only us dog lovers can speak the language. Click here to buy
“Custom Toy Bin”, Etsy, $24.99. Get a stylish (and hilarious) place to store your dogs endless toy supplies, with custom wording. Click here to buy.
This post is not sponsored or affiliated with any links. All the products were carefully researched by Sacco Studios.
In honor of coming back to Sacco Studios, I want to do an awesome giveaway to my loyal customers – the ones who buy, follow, like, and tell other people to check out my website. That’s right, I’m talking about YOU!
Need a new mug for your morning coffee? Or midnight hot chocolate? Maybe a great gift for your favorite “dog mom or dad”?
This sturdy mug holds up to 20 ounces of your favorite beverage. Because sometimes, you need that much to get through the week.
To enter, please “like” and comment below, telling me who you would think should get this awesome mug. If it’s you, I won’t judge! We all need a gift for ourselves. Contest ends Sunday, July 15th. Winner will be announced first thing Monday, July 16th.
Until then, see you next time dog lovers!
One of the most important things a small business owner needs, especially one that has to do a lot of designing, printing, assembling, mailing, is an office. It needs to be functional so you can stay organized and easily get anything you need within reach.
That’s why when we first moved into our home, it was one of the first things I started designing. In my old office, it was way too small, and had no place for all of my supplies. The tiny closet held all my clothes, as the bedroom could only fit my husband’s wardrobe. All of my shipping materials were stored in the basement, so I would have to schlep down there everytime I shipped an order. During the busy seasons, I brought up a bunch of materials so I could easily have them on hand. However, they just sat there, leaning against my desk. I would trip or fall over them constantly.
Second, my binders that held all the important documents – invoices, billing statements, and tax information were stuffed into tiny cabinets, which made it difficult to take them out easily without everything else coming out with them.
This new office had to have plenty of storage, space and reflect my personality. I want to feel relaxed yet motivated and ready to tackle each task.
Here is my corner, the place that fuels my passion to work on my business everyday.
After some repainting, putting together furniture, and getting the right carpet, it’s finally complete!
My little workspace. A minimalist desk so my area stays clean. Just the essentials – my computer, a mouse, planner, some pens, a stapler, and a motto: Ready. Set. Go! Helps me keep motivated everyday.
My EPSON printer, where all the printing happens. Without this thing, I would not be able to get the quality I want for my custom portraits.
The little extra details: A chair for brainstorming, and a cute Boston with glasses! I found it at HomeGoods and couldn’t resist.
My shelf is full of little treasures – including a photo of when my husband and I first met, a group picture of some of my CT friends, and pieces of my artwork.
Of course, my supervisor is always on hand to make sure I’m staying focused!
He’s tired and needs to take a lunch break.
Want to know where I got some of my office furniture and artwork? Check the sources below:
-Writing Desk: Project 62 for Target, $170.00 Click here
-Printer Desk: Project 62 for Target, $150.00 Click here
-Rug, Opal House for Target, price depending on size (mine is a 5 X 7), Click Here
-Shelf, Target $162.00, Click here
-Boston Terrier/Frenchie Artwork – HomeGoods (not sure it if it’s still available, as it was awhile ago). Here are some cute alternatives here, here and here
-I Speak Dog Mug, I’d Rather Be Home With My Dog Art Print, and Life in the Years Print, are available via my Etsy shop here
-Orange Chair – Overstock.com, $209.00, Click here
-Pillow, Target (noticing a theme here?). Just google “Blue Aztec pillows” on Target.com and I’m sure you’ll find some great choices!
-Chair, Target $180.00, Click here
It feels so good to be back. After a brief hiatus, I have finally re-opened my Etsy shop, got a new website, and am ready to get back to business.
Why was I gone? Let’s go back a bit. Well, as you know, My husband and I had been living on the East Coast for almost 8 years. After a few different career paths, and figuring out what my passion should be, I decided to open my own Etsy shop, Sacco Studios. I combined my artistic talents and my love for dogs to create products for the modern dog-lover, including stationery, custom pet portraits, apparel, and other fun gifts.
As the years went on, the word of mouth and revenue increased. I went from only having 10 orders for several months to having 50 over the holidays! It was truly a dream to not only be doing something that I love, but to actually make money doing it.
Flash forward to earlier this year, where my husband and I were discussing the next chapter. We knew we were ready to take the next steps, including buying a house and him exploring other opportunities.
After several job searches, debates, discussions, and finding the right career, we landed in Florida. The weather, more affordable housing, and career possibilities couldn’t be passed up.
While my husband had a “next step” in his path, I was undecided. While I loved running my own business, financially, it wouldn’t work. I didn’t want to give it up, as I had worked so hard to get Sacco Studios to where it is now.
So, after a long period of exploring, debating, discussing, brainstorming, and everything in between, I knew I couldn’t give step away completely. So here, I am, back and ready to go. My office is finally set up, the printer is on, the supplies are organized, and my drawing skills are ready to go again.
I can’t wait to help you find the perfect dog-loving gift, whether it’s for you, a family member, a friend, or just someone who loves dogs and needs that perfect thing to express it.
You can click the “shop” link on the top of this website to view my Etsy shop. As always, shoot me an email with any questions – lindsay@saccostudios(dot)com.