A FETCHIN' WAY FOR YOUR DOG TO PLAY

This post is sponsored by Chuckit! but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

If you’ve been following us for awhile now, you know that Reggie (our 4 year old Cocker Spaniel) is not just our pet, but truly is part of our family!!  From his obsession with belly-rubs and walks outside, to his quirky grin, he makes us smile every day!

It’s important to us that we keep our furbaby healthy and active, so Nathan and I are always looking for ways to get exercise with Reggie. One of our favorite things to do is play “fetch” !  We go to our local park, or even right in our own backyard, bring the good ole ChuckIt! launcher and off we go!  It allows us to get outside and enjoy the weather-plus its a great way to stay active!  Thats why we are super pumped about celebrating National Fetch Day this year!  Did you know that the 3rd Saturday of October is Chuckit! National Fetch Day?!  You better believe that the three of us will be heading to the park on October 19th to celebrate this fun holiday with our furry best friend! So grab your toy, get your dog, and come join us for a fetchin’ way for your dog to play!

Here’s a couple of reasons why we personally love celebrating National Fetch Day :

  • Dogs have an innate instinct to retrieve things…its part of their hunting nature! A day that promotes this instinct, helps with training and good behavior!

  • Your furry friend needs exercise as much as we do! Playing fetch is a great way to increase stamina, and keep your pup fit and healthy.

  • Last but not least, my favorite reason: playing fetch helps us to bond with our dogs! Any holiday dedicated to the union between man and his best friend is pretty cool in my book!

So grab your toy, get your dog, and come join us for a fetchin’ way for your dog to play on National Fetch Day!

Do you celebrate National Fetch Day with your furry best friend?  If so, I’d love to know what you plan on doing!!  If you’re still trying to come up with some fun ways to celebrate, here are a couple of ideas!  

  • Host a Fetch Day party
    Corral all the neighborhood canines at a local dog park and host an epic game of fetch. Bring some balls, sticks, chew toys, and of course, your Chuckit! launcher and watch your friendly doggies compete to be the best dog on the block!

  • Hit the lake
    There are few places better suited for a great game of fetch than the water! The terrain changes and the water will give your dog the added exercise they need. Plus, tossing a ChuckIt! ball into the waves adds an extra layer of excitement for your furry friend. If you don’t have a lake nearby, a pond or even a stream would be just as fun! And don’t worry, the ChuckIt! Ball, ZipFlight and Kick Fetch toys all float!

  • Train a pup in the ways of being “so fetch”
    Yes, it may be in their nature to retrieve, but some puppies still need training in the game of fetch. Choose one of the ChuckIt! toys that your dog likes best! Toss it and chase the ball with your dog. Use phrases like “go fetch it” to add verbal cues. Then of course, reinforce their good behavior with treats….because who doesn’t like treats?!

So grab your toy, get your dog, and come join us for a fetchin’ way for your dog to play on National Fetch Day! And don’t forget, you can celebrate National Fetch Day in person with other dog owners by attending one of the the official ChuckIt! Parties ! To find a location near you, Click HERE

COCKTAIL + APPETIZER FLAVOR PAIRING CLASS

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This post is in collaboration with Jeptha Creed and Butchertown Grocery. All of these opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting brands and businesses that support Sam and Nate Blog!

Nathan and I received an invite to attend a preview night of a Cocktail and Appetizer Flavor Pairing Class hosted at Jeptha Creed, a beautiful distillery in Shelbyville, KY about 20 minutes outside of Louisville. Jeptha is owned and operated by a mother-daughter duo, who are committed to honoring their family heritage by following a ground to glass concept in which they strive to produce all the ingredients they use in their spirits. This event was also in collaboration with Butchertown Grocery, an award winning restaurant located in the heart of one of Louisville’s best neighborhoods where they serve refined food in a former family market. So needless to say, Nathan and I were quite excited to attend.

Upon arrival, we were greeted with a welcome cocktail called Blueberry Lavender Lemonade. It was made using Jeptha Creed’s blueberry vodka. We enjoyed these refreshing drinks in their beautiful open bar area as we waited for all the guests to arrive. We also had the opportunity to sample a new brandy, made from the Paw Paw fruit, that Jeptha is in the process of creating. If you are like me, you’ve probably never heard of a Pawpaw fruit. Well let me indulge you…..Pawpaw trees are actually the largest edible fruit trees native to North America, and are found from the Great Lakes down to portions of the Florida panhandle. These trees produce a greenish-black fruit that is said to be a cross between a mango and a banana…..and apparently have a flavor that lends itself well to making liquor which we had the opportunity to taste firsthand! We taste tested 3 different samples of varying strengths of the Pawpaw Brandy, and then voted on our favorite. Fun fact: the one I originally voted for ended up winning!

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After everyone arrived, we were led into the beautiful clubhouse which features a stately fireplace and iconic timber framing. This space really lended towards the cozy, romantic atmosphere of the event. They had high-top tables each set up with 4 stations to accommodate each pair of guests. We quickly chose a table with a group of fellow influencers from Louisville that we had never met before (because why not mix cocktails while making new friends, rights?!) and we were ready to get started!

Jeptha Creed Beverage Director Mackenzi Peohlein led the cocktail mixing portion of our class and gave us step-by-step instructions as we began. We started with the Savory Persian Love Cocktail, and since it was going to include an egg-white topper, I let Nathan take charge of this one. The Persian Love has featured flavors of Rose, Cardamom and Lemon with secondary flavors of Almond and Nutmeg. I’m not gonna lie, Nathan knocked this one out of the park! Maybe it’s due to the fact that he was a former bartender, or maybe just a really great listener, but regardless, this cocktail was delicious!

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As we were crafting the Persian Love, appetizers with coordinating flavor profiles were being introduced via the lovely staff at Jeptha Creed. These appetizers included Chesapeake Bay Oysters, Barrel Smoked Pork Belly, Preachers Ham Cornmeal Bloody Butcher Biscuits, and handmade Gnocchi with mushrooms. To say that the food was incredible, would be a complete understatement. Nathan and I also enjoyed that they specifically created these decadent dishes that perfectly complimented the cocktail we were preparing.

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After crafting our first cocktail, Butchertown Grocery Chef and Owner Bobby Benjamin gave us a live demo of how he creates his handmade gnocchi. As a couple that loves to cook together, Nathan and I really enjoyed this aspect of the event. It was not only informative, but explained in a way that could easily be replicated at home. So next time you see a Gnocchi dish pop up on my IG feed, you’ll know where the inspiration came from!

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The second cocktail we created was the Pomegranate Passion, and since it was the easier of the two, I gave this one a go. This cocktail had a sweet flavor profile with featured flavors of Pomegranate and Smoked Pears, and Secondary Flavors of Lemon, Vanilla and Caramel. Now, I’m no mix master by any means and I definitely have never “muddled” anything in my life, but I think I did a pretty good job with putting this together! If nothing else, I was at least entertaining to watch while making my best attempt at this creation. The dishes that were paired with the Pomegranate Passion included a Roasted Beet and Poached Pear salad with pistachio and blue cheese, and well as warm Beignets served with a Jeptha Creed bourbon and bacon anglaise. You guys…..these Beignets!!! Oh My!!! My mouth is literally watering just thinking about them! So darn good!

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Overall, we had such a great experience. Neither Nathan, nor I, have ever taken a cooking or cocktail class before so we didn’t really know what to expect….but it’s safe to say, it exceeded any expectations! We love this unique date-night idea as a way to enjoy a fun evening with your partner (or even by yourself…trust me, you’ll make plenty of friends there!), in an un-conventional and playful way. The public event is this Thursday, February 14 from 6 - 8 pm. Tickets are $40/individual and $70/couple and can be purchased HERE.

If you attend, please mention Sam and Nate Blog and we would love to hear about your experience. What is your favorite “un-conventional” date you have been on? We would love to know in the comments below! Happy week of LOVE and thank you so much for reading!

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5 IDEAS FOR HOSTING THE ULTIMATE GALENTINE'S DAY PARTY

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In my opinion, Galentine’s Day is one of the best made up holidays ever, and it is right around the corner! It’s celebrated on February 13th, the day before every one’s most loved, or most despised, holiday of love. Say what you may, I just can’t help but enjoy the idea of what this holiday is based upon. I mean, why shouldn’t our dearest friendships be celebrated? Like the quote on the heart above, we should “be each others’ personal hype woman” !! Galentine’s Day is about community, togetherness, and women celebrating other WOMEN! And I happen to think that is pretty BADASSl! So in honor of all my fabulous sisters out there, I am sharing with you my 5 IDEAS FOR HOSTING THE ULTIMATE GALENTINE’S DAY PARTY! So grab a snack, pour yourself a glass of wine, and ENJOY!

1. MAKE FESTIVE SWEETS- The first thing you need for the ultimate Galentine’s Day Party is sweets!! I don’t know many woman that don’t enjoy a good sweet treat, and if I did, we probably wouldn’t be friends anyway hehe. All joking aside, food just brings everyone together!  I think it would be fun to do a specific theme or a brunch complete with waffle bar and bacon (which can also double as a Bloody Mary garnish, see #2) and have each of your guests bring a homemade dish!  Not only does that take the stress off the hostess, but it makes the party a little more personal!  And hey, don’t be ashamed to ask everyone for the recipe to their dish….we secretly enjoy that you love it that much!! For our get together we had ALL the sweets!! I made my Vanilla Butter Melt Away Cookies which I made extra festive by frosting with different shades of pink icing and adding heart shaped sprinkles!  Everything is better with sprinkles right?!  Our friend Chelsey from Creekmore Marketing brought a box of yummy donuts from North Lime Coffee & Donuts , a local donut shop in Lexington, and we also had the BEST gourmet sugar cookies from The Futile Gourmet ! Whatever food or sweet treats you decide to include is totally up to you, but your guests will definitely appreciate the thought!

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2. TAKE YOUR COCKTAIL TO THE NEXT LEVEL- No Galentine’s Day is complete without a cocktail (or 2)! You could even go a little crazy and have each guest bring their favorite cocktail fixings to share with everyone!   Whether you decide to do a classic mimosa bar or give homage to your local roots, your friends will be thanking you!  Nicole from ShareLexKY made these super cute and festive Strawberry Gin & Tonic cocktails, she also has a full blog post sharing more details about our celebration here !! These fizzy pink cocktails were made with a local distilled gin from Castle & Key Distillery , which not only uses all locally sourced ingredients but whose master distiller is a female! Can I say GIRLPOWER?!  We are all about supporting other female entrepreneurs, so it made these pretty pink cocktails all the more special to enjoy!

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3. HAVE A FUN BACKDROP + PROPS:  There’s one thing about girls that never fails….We like to take pictures!!! Pics or it didn’t happen, right?! Get your gal pals together for some serious Instagram-worthy photos that they’ll post about on every social media outlet possible.  But first, you’ll need the perfect backdrop. Jenny made this amazing bright, fun and flirty floral backdrop for our event, but you could also do something more simple!!  Grab a pair of scissors and an old sheet, and get creative!  I saw some really cute V-Day inspired banners at the dollar spot in Target that would be perfect!  And props……well props just make pictures more fun!  We used these heart shape signs but you could totally make your own too!  Channel your elementary school days and get out some good ole Elmers glue and construction paper.  The sky is the limit baby!

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4. MAKE THE CUTEST PARTY FAVORS- party favors aren’t just for young children’s birthday parties!  You know us girls are all about cutesy little gifts! For our party favors, Jenny put together these awesome swag bags filled with an assortment of some of her favorite local vendors such as a giftcard to Savvy Salon & Spa, a bag of fresh coffee beans from Cherry Seed Coffee, the cutest pair of pearl earrings from Sash & Bow Boutique, self-love rose bath salts made in house by Creatures of Whim and a Wixology Candle Co candle in varying cocktail themed scents! But honestly, don’t feel like you have to go all out with the party favors and spend a ton of extra money on them. Get creative with it and think outside the box!  Even filling a festive bag with your favorite assortment of candies and a cheesy grade school paper valentine would be cute, and your friends will appreciate the thoughtful sentiment.

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5. FRIENDS + GREAT CONVERSATION: Here is my Number ONE idea for hosting the ultimate Galentine’s Day Party: invite all of your lady friends!!  Whether its by text, email or a custom made invitation like these cute ones from Minted, your friends are sure to be super excited!  When you and all your gal pals get together, try to focus on really being present and fostering meaningful, fun conversations! You know, those conversations that can only be had between the best of friends. That may mean putting the phones away (except to take cute pictures of course) or even playing a game that allows you all to get to know one another even better!  Whatever you decide, know that this party is meant to celebrate community, togetherness, and most importantly your FRIENDSHIP and all that the beautiful Galentine’s Day holiday encompasses!

Cheers to all my gal pals!! I hope you enjoyed my 5 IDEAS FOR HOSTING THE ULTIMATE GALENTINE’S DAY PARTY! Be sure to tag me on social media @_samanthafletcher if you decide to host your own Galentine’s party, I would love to see the creative ideas you have to celebrate your nearest and dearest friendships!

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Photography by Jen Folio

Our event was held at Jenny Hansen Lane’s beautiful studio in the Chevy Chase area of Lexington, KY. Thank you Jenny for graciously hosting us!

Special thanks to all the vendors who contributed to making our event beautiful : Wabi Sabi Threads, The Futile Gourment, Savvy Salon & Spa, Cherry Seed Coffee, Sash & Bow Boutique, Hunter Sherwood, Creatures of Whim, and Wixology Candle Co

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VISIT THE PAGES OF SOME OF MY FAVORITE KY GAL PALS!

Tif Fanin | Bright on a Budget

Anna Kate Goshko | Project Stepmom

Jenny Hansen Lane | Jen Folio Photography

Porscha Coney | Porscha Lynette

Sarah Caton | Space, Place & Southern Grace

Nicole Gifford | Share Lex KY

A HOLIDAY SOIREE WITH THE BLUEGRASS BLOGGERS

When Nathan and I moved to Lexington 10 months ago, we didn’t know anyone. We were a newly engaged couple, with a cute little pup, trying to create a life together after having a long-distance relationship for two years! We both were excited to move to a new place, and had heard that the small city, hometown feel of Lexington would be welcoming but I will admit, it was still a little daunting not knowing a single person. Launching our blog just 8 short months after moving has not only provided a creative outlet for me personally, but has also allowed me to meet some really amazing woman and start forming meaningful connections with other bloggers who are chasing after similar goals. So when the opportunity arose to have a Holiday Soiree with 14 other bloggers from the beautiful bluegrass state, I jumped at the chance.

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On December 8th, we met a Jeptha Creed, a beautiful distillery in Shelbyville, KY about 20 minutes outside of Louisville. They have an absolutely gorgeous building that is both impressively large and eye-catching with it’s red color and A-Frame design. Jeptha is owned and operated by a mother-daughter duo, who are committed to honoring their family heritage by following a ground to glass concept in which they strive to produce all the ingredients they use in their spirits. Jeptha not only has a strong bond to supporting local agriculture, they also have a powerful mission statement:

“ For us, the Creed in Jeptha Creed is simple: we are a family who believes in creating more than just great spirits, great food and a great time – we are creating an experience for our customers unlike any other.We’re all about honoring traditions and our heritage because, let’s face it, a lot of things were simpler back then. We love cutting through the chaos of today and going back to our roots. But we’re also driven, creative and more than just a little rebellious, and that means we love the idea of bringing back old fashion in new and exciting ways.

That Creed is our bond with our customers, and we live it every single day. We know better than anyone that you gotta raise a little hell to get a bit of heaven.”

That last line just FEELS like Kentucky, doesn’t it?! Jeptha Creed also has a beautiful interior space. We help our event in their warm and cozy bar area, but they also have a large, open space complete with a grand stone fireplace adjacent to the bar that would be perfect for a work event, party, or bridal/baby shower. And hey, if you are still looking for something to do on New Years, they are hosting a New Years Eve party complete with hors d'oeuvres, live band, and of course BOURBON!

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For our event, everyone was asked to contribute something to make it FABULOUS! And thats the great thing about my new-found blogger fam, they sure do not disappoint when it comes to putting together a PARTY! My friend Maya from Pugs and Paprika made these delicious Parmesan Sausage Cups, Whitney of Fabulous in Fayette made a savory Sriracha Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons, and my foodie friend Leela from Lex Eats made these perfectly soft and chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies….of which I ate about 5 haha. I also made a Crescent Wrapped Brie with Fig Jam that was a big hit and looked super festive! Not only was the food amazing, but the holiday decor and other festive elements really brought this entire event together beautifully! Porscha of Mommy and Ministry brought her infamous Bar Cart and Lindsay from Bourbon & Lipstick pulled out an endless amount of holiday decorations from her bag haha!

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You can’t forget about the awesome swag bags that Tif from Bright on a Budget and Nicole of What Nicole Wore help to put together! I made these Pine Wreath Gift Tags for the bags, and they turned out so cute! Special thanks to Barrel Down South , Mirabelle Creations , Work the Metal and Drake’s for providing the items for the goodie bags!

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Photography by Jen Folio

Our event was held at Jeptha Creed Distillery in Shelbyville, KY. Thank you to Jeptha Creed for graciously hosting us!

Special thanks to all the vendors who contributed to making our event beautiful : Hillenmeyer Christmas Shop , Mirabelle Creations , Lexington Lettering , and Whole Foods-Lexington .

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Visit these other Kentucky bloggers for more details on our Holiday Soiree!

Tif Fanin | Bright on a Budget

Abbie Chambers | @absofab

Nicole Green | What Nicole Wore

Whitney Scheibel | Fabulous in Fayette

Ryann Brown | Styled in Blue

Anna Kate Goshko | Project Stepmom

Emily Gahafer | Emily Inspired KY

Maya Griffin | Pugs and Paprika

Lindsay Latimer | Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stilletos

Courtney Hastings | Kentucky Girl Ramblings

Jenny Hansen Lane | Jen Folio Photography

Leela Foley | Lex Eats

Porscha Coney | Mommy and Ministry

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