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3 Things that Can Make or Break Your Dog Beach Retreat

dog beach tent

Lots of sunshine, lots of ocean and lots of meditative naps. My annual San Diego Dog Beach retreat with the hounds is stocked with the perfect ingredients for one relaxing, revitalizing getaway. Yet each year it consistently came with three ingredients we’d all prefer to live without:

  • Sand in the bed
  • Over-baking in the sun
  • That icky wet dog smell

Year after year I just kind of learned to live with these things, the same way you learn to live with a rock in your shoe if you’re too lazy to stop and remove it. But this year I fought back. I was going to hurl that proverbial rock from my shoe, conquering the bed sand, the sun bake and the wet dog smell.

And I did it with three simple add-ons to my packing list.

dog beach dog paws

Hand-Held Vacuum

Conquers sand in the bed

Not sure if anyone calls them “Dust Busters” anymore, but I am sure that rechargeable, hand-held vacuums suck up sand in bed like nobody’s business.

If you’re heading to Dog Beach, your hotel bed is going to end up sandy and wet. Even if there are two queen-sized beds in the room and you’re only planning to sleep on one of them, dogs have a certain way of choosing your sleeping bed to romp on right after an afternoon at the beach.

One year we tried a throw rug foot mat, which helped a tad for wiping off human feet before hopping into bed. But the dogs never got the hang of using it properly to wipe their paws. It helped a little.

The next year we tried a thick over-sheet that helped keep dog sand from seeping through the porous blanket into the main sheets. It helped a little more.

The third year I got really savvy. I packed the hand-held vacuum. Combined with the foot mat and non-porous top sheet, the vacuum provided the final touch every beach bed needs to prevent you from waking up with grit in your teeth.

dog beach san diego

Dog Beach Tent

Protects from wind and sun

When you live in the middle of the Arizona desert and drive more than six hours to reach the Pacific Ocean, you’ll be dang well sure you’re spending as much time as humanly possible on the beach before you return to cactus land.

But the amount of time that’s humanly possible in the sun is a bit different than the amount that’s dogly possible. Pooches tend to tucker out much quicker, probably because one dog hour in the sun is equivalent to seven human hours in the sun, no?

A sweet lil beach tent came to the rescue here. Not only did it serve to shield us from the beach wind and sun, but it worked as an ideal hiding place in case we wanted spy on passers-by. No one comes near the tents around Ocean Beach because they’re typically populated with hobo types who ask for money if you come within 25 feet of them.

 

dog beach pacific ocean

Essential Oils

Annihilates icky wet dog smell

The best add-on by far was a trio of essential oils, a plug-in diffuser and a spray bottle. Fill the diffuser and bottle with water mingled with a few drops of your favorite oils. Plug in the former. Shake up and spray the latter. Repeat as often as needed. You just got wiped out that icky wet dog smell.

Peppermint essential oil is strong without being overpowering. Vanilla adds a warm and cozy touch. Ylang Ylang adds a dollop of energy and has a really cool name.

All our future dog beach retreats will definitely include these magical items – along with the approximately 564 million other things we pack ur annual retreat is awash with comfort, peace and plenty of sand-free serenity.

What must-have items do you always bring along on retreats?

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Top Home Décor Mistake People Make when Painting Their Home

leopard print painted ceiling

One feature that’s in every single home has the power to totally transform the entire look, feel and vibe of a room. It can make a bold statement. Create a cozy haven. Provide a sense of continuity. And serve as a place to display wall art for which you ran out of space on the wall.

The magical feature is the ceiling. And the top home décor mistake most people make is totally ignoring it. Many leave their ceilings unpainted, stuck in the same chintzy bland color that typically comes with the house, which is about as thrilling as soggy white bread.

The result is a home that never truly looks or feels wholly complete – and a prime chuck of artistic real estate that’s going utterly to waste. Continue reading Top Home Décor Mistake People Make when Painting Their Home

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How to Update Your Tucson Home in 8 Letters or Less

The desert is downright amazing when it bursts with color – especially when it comes to Tucson homes. Check out the before and after version of this charming guest house in the historic Blenman-Elm neighborhood.

The home’s owner had long wanted to add a darling touch to the darling abode, and a pop of La Casita whimsy and color did it. This project was tons of fun, and, as the owner said: “Transformed a Saltine-boring house into a spicy jalapeno” (or something cool to that effect).

Two more cool tidbits: 

  • You can spruce up your own home with its own personalized lettering
  • La Casita is regularly for rent

Before and After: Tucson La Casita

SALTINE
JALAPENO!

Email ryngargulinski@hotmail.com for more details on custom home detailing or renting La Casita.

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