Baby, You Were Born to Run

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

When Cassidy and I had been married a few months and had made the decision to move back east to be closer to our families, we plotted out a 2.5 week, spiraling road trip across the United States to eventually wind up in western Massachusetts.

We factored in our dog’s comfort and safety for every minute of that trip.

When Cassidy and I were celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary, we went away for the first time sans kids – leaving them with my mom in our house, but taking our dog with us for fun and moose-filled adventures in the rainy woods of Vermont.

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

We have always been dog people, and we always will be, and I can’t imagine not raising my kids right alongside our dog and our cat. And who knows? Maybe there will be another puppy or dog in our future. Furry friends are part of our family. I was happy to learn recently that at Radisson RED, furry friends are part of the family too! With their pet-friendly policy, you don’t ever have to sacrifice style and comfort in order to have your dog go on your hotel adventures right with you.

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

When I was a kid, we would go to Myrtle Beach, SC or Ocean City, MD for two weeks at a time every July! Oh, how I missed my dog, Chelsea during our trips. As an adult, we have our dog, Athena, stay with Cassidy’s parents when we’re flying anywhere. When it’s a road trip? Our girl comes with us! From NJ to NYC, to Boston and Cape Cod, to the cold and moose-filled woods of Vermont, I love looking behind the passenger seat and seeing two cute kids and a cute pup looking back at me.

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

For most dogs, like Athena and our old husky – Stormy – there’s nothing like the feel of the wind and the open road.

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

I know that feeling well, and I LOVE Radisson RED’s pet policy. Not only that, they’re having a contest right now and all it takes is posting a dog travel photo on Instagram, using the hashtags #BAXTERTRAVELS and #CONTEST. I took a look at some of the submissions here and I was in awe of the cuteness and splendor. This contest will run from February 10th to February 24th, so enter while you can! You can win one of two red, nylon Fatboy dog beds! Who doesn’t need a good dog bed?

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

Here are five awesome tips for traveling to hotels with pets:

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

1 – Preemptive research is key. That’s why I research hotel pet policies, and look into parks, hikes, and other dog-friendly activities near the hotel. Talk to the staff and get a better feel of just how welcome they make dogs feel.

2 – Go for a long walk once you reach your destination. A well-exercised dog is a happier dog, and it gives the dog (and you) the chance to get a real feel for the hotel and/or town, city, state, etc.

3 – Enter the hotel room first, and have your dog do a sit stay. Don’t give your dog control of the new situation. Unpack a bit, go to the bathroom, look around, and leave your scent in the room. When you are ready, have your dog settle in.

4 – Explore! Be extra vigilant with what’s around, especially concerning items your dog could ingest. While your home is probably dog-proof for your particular dog(s), it may not be that way in even the most pet-friendly of places!

5 – Choose the right room, and make a comfortable space for your dog. Generally, I request a room on the ground floor – in terms of carrying extra luggage for my dog, and avoiding stairs. It’s also convenient to take the dog out. In addition, Elevators can cause stress. Request a room with a fridge, especially if you use fresh food for your dog. Consider crating your dog for when you leave her behind in the room. Dogs generally feel comfortable and LESS stressed in their crates. If you don’t normally use one, maybe do some practice runs before your stay!

Read more about Radisson RED’s pet policy, and enter the contest HERE.

Picture Your IBS and Enter to Win

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Picture My IBS. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All experiences belong to my loved ones, and are not representative of everyone’s experience. I want to spread awareness.

Do you or someone you know suffer from IBS? Submit your #PictureMyIBS artwork and enter to #win prizes! Share your story. Submit your artwork for a chance to win a trip to NYC. #ad

I remember the first time I heard about IBS, because I had both a relative and a close friend with the chronic condition. I didn’t understand a lot about it, and I feared that maybe I had it or would have it someday since I tend to have a nervous stomach. I know now that my symptoms had nothing to do with IBS and were nauseous feelings related to anxiety. It took me a long time to see a doctor about my symptoms, so I can understand the reluctance that IBS sufferers have to discuss their bowel movements with their doctors. When they do, though, they can find relief and support – both a long time coming.

I know what it’s like to feel trapped by your body – unable to feel you can live a normal life.

Picture Your IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects nearly 35 MILLION people in the United States alone. Misinformation and self-treatment cycles are leading people to suffer with IBS for years, or even decades, before finally seeing a doctor. It can be a difficult and embarrassing topic for people to talk about, even to their own doctors.

People haven’t been talking about it enough. Until now.

Picture My IBS is a new initiative that offers people a new way to express their feelings about the impact of IBS on their lives. You can create an original piece of artwork in whichever form allows you to best express yourself and your IBS journey – whether it be a painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, or other type of artwork that meets the contest guidelines.

Picture My IBS was created by The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) in collaboration with Allergan and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, and aims to help those with IBS find a more comfortable way to communicate with their doctors, to share their IBS journey with others and to show others that they are not alone. These pieces of art are being shared by real people living with IBS, and will help elevate public awareness and shine a light on the many ways IBS affects people’s lives.

More big news is that a panel of judges will evaluate the art submissions and the Grand Prize Winner will receive a trip for two to a luxury hotel and spa in NYC. Five Honorable Mention winners will receive a $100 American Express gift card.

Share your own IBS-inspired art work or encourage a loved one to do the same – as part of the Picture My IBS initiative. You or your loved one could win one of many exciting prizes. Visit Picture My IBS for more info.

I made my own art submission – to try to understand this struggle.

I love collages, and trying to channel many emotions and feelings at once. I have to admit – Scarlet helped a lot. Her eyes lit up at the chance to do an art project, even one that highlighted a syndrome. I think that made her more interested.

So, what do you think? Are you going to enter the contest?

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of the Picture My IBS initiative.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY UNITED STATES, D.C., AGE 18 OR OVER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. THE SPONSORS OF THE CONTEST ARE ALLERGAN USA, INC. WITH AN OFFICE AT HARBORSIDE FINANCIAL CENTER; PLAZA V, SUITE 1900; JERSEY CITY, NJ 07302; IRONWOOD PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. WITH AN OFFICE AT 301 BINNEY STREET, CAMBRIDGE, MA 02142; AND THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GASTROENTEROLOGY. APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUE OF ALL PRIZES IS $6,500. ODDS OF WINNING DEPEND ON NUMBER AND QUALITY OF ENTRIES RECEIVED. ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BETWEEN NOVEMBER 1, 2016 AND FEBRUARY 28, 2017. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS APPLY. PLEASE SEE COMPLETE CONTEST TERMS AND CONDITIONS AT PICTUREMYIBS.ORG.