Well y’all, I think the third time is the charm. When I started this whole blogging thing, I really just jumped all in and had NO idea what I was going to blog about. I found a cute name and just went with it. A […]
I am not a model. By any means. But, I recently stepped out of the Rachel Comfort Zone and modeled for a Dallas-based boutique jewelry design firm, M. Leoni Jewelry. Its collection is shockingly beautiful and made up of exotic stones and unexpected designs. I’m talking from African pendants and trading beads to 100-year-old hand-hammered pieces from Tibet. Their rare materials really can’t be found other places, and that’s what made me feel as special and beautiful as I really am – as we all are.
So, even though I hardly wear jewelry and am never in front of the camera like this, I gained a newfound confidence and love for jewelry that I didn’t have before. And I can safely say that I would wear M. Leoni every day if I could.
Like I said, the thought of offering myself to do a video/photoshoot was not normal for me, but it came about in a fateful way. I was out with my vlogger friend, Valerie, for a blogger event hosted by Dallasites101, and we both went in with strong hopes of networking and meeting other bloggers/influencers in Dallas. Well…
We pretty much only talked to each other 😂 (kinda how these things go, right?). That is, until a bold and fearless lady walked up to the two of us.
That lady was the creative mind behind M. Leoni Jewelry. We got to know her, and she got to know us. Next thing you know, we’re at a shoot doused in her pieces.
The day of the shoot, I had SO much fun, especially because I was with my girlfriends. I think our faces were sore from smiling and laughing so much! I mean, what’s better than getting your closest friends together, draping yourselves in fine jewelry, and having professional photos and video taken? Nada.
On the other hand, being in front of the camera can be intimidating, but the jewelry not only made everything feel natural, but also made us feel like goddesses who belonged there. I really enjoyed this experience and would love to do more in the future. Not only has it helped me build my confidence, but it’s also benefiting small businesses in the city that I love!
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My interview with Real Housewife of Dallas, Kameron Westcott.
I’m not really one to watch reality TV. Sure, I’ll watch the Kardashians if it’s on, but I don’t make it a point to. Currently, I work at a Dallas public relations firm, and one of our clients is on the Real Housewives of Dallas. For the first handful of episodes, we hosted watch parties at The Lorenzo Hotel, and there was a special guest at each event. For Episode 5, Kameron Westcott was that special guest.
In the first few episodes, I knew that Kameron was going to be one that I really liked because she’s authentic and family-oriented. Oh, and because she is trying to create a pink dog food… how can a dog lover not like that?!
I wanted to connect with her more and ask her about her product, SparkleDog. Thanks to Instagram, we picked a date and met at Starbucks. Of course, when I arrived, she had a pink coffee cup in hand and I was wearing one of the only pink shirts that I own.
I was nervous before walking in, but once I joined her, she welcomed me with a warm hug and was just as excited as I was to talk about her passion.
We started talking about how we’ve both had dogs our entire lives and can’t imagine life without them, how we both have dogs named Louie/Louis, and how her Louis picked her husband. We both got dogs in college and have dog-related passions. Who would have thought we’d have so much in common?! Let’s get into more of her passion, SparkleDog.
Rachel: Why dog food?
Kameron: I was really inspired by Louis! He would never eat his dog food. I would pour it into his bowl and I would think he was thinking, “Why am I gonna eat this brown stink?” Also, when I would be walking up and down the dog food aisles, all I’d see were these horrible brown dog food bags. Being a pink lover, if I saw a colored dog food bag, I’d be drawn to it. But there is NOTHING. We are the women buying the bags! There just isn’t anything pleasing at all to our eyes. Men run this industry but women are the ones buying it. I told myself, ‘This is going to change.’
Rachel: What makes your dog food different?
Kameron: Each bag of SparkleDog you purchase, a portion of the proceeds goes to Susan G. Komen®! Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and every 60 seconds someone dies from it? I love knowing that I’m giving back and also making all dogs happy! I have a huge love for pink and they obviously share that love so we came together naturally after I developed it and it was just a natural thing. This is the first time they’ve worked with someone in the dog food industry.
Rachel: How active were you in creating the ingredients? What was most important to you?
Kameron: I was very active in creating the ingredients. I did a lot of research on my favorite brands and feel like I took a little bit of everything that I loved. Most importantly, it’s grain and gluten-free and has chicken as a main ingredient. It has extra omega to help their coats and it’s for ALL breeds and sizes. The pink heart-shaped kibble has the fruits and vegetables including beets, cranberries, blueberries and spinach. The food has no artificial preservatives. There is human grade coloring, that has been tested by the Susan G. Komen® chemist and I am researching how to not add that in for the next round. Right now, it’s the last ingredient.
Rachel: Tell me something people don’t know.
Kameron: The dog food industry is the hardest industry to get into. The “big men” run the world and every factory in Texas turned me down. Except for the one where it’s currently being manufactured – which is owned by a family who lives in Highland Park! Everyone thought I was ridiculous and questioned why I wanted to be in the industry. Another thing most people don’t know is Louis actually picked the flavor himself! We set up bowls with different flavors and he went right to the chicken.
Rachel: Do you have plans of making it in bigger/smaller sizes? For different animals?
Kameron: Yes! I plan on making the kibble itself a bit larger as well as making the bags bigger. Right now, it’s 8 lbs and I want to make it bigger. I don’t want food to just be sitting around, I wanted a bag small enough to go through and want everyone to always have fresh food. I’d love to do SparkleKitty for cats! Maybe do a different shade of pink with salmon. Next on my list is trying to develop wet dog food. It’s very important for their digestive systems as they need moisture. I’d also like to have different flavors, turkey and duck.
Rachel: How are you spreading awareness other than social media?
Kameron: I did a meet and greet at the Lorenzo and I plan on having a booth at the Crescent Farmer’s Market starting in November. I’d love to have a dog party somewhere in Dallas, possibly at Mutt’s Canine Cantina. I’m also doing a meet and greet at a Dallas dog store, Woof and Purr Pet Boutique, on Saturday, October 21st from 11am-2pm. I’d love to meet everyone and Louis will be there too! They sell SparkleDog at that store now!
Rachel: What are you most proud of with SparkleDog?
Kameron: I am most proud of just getting the kibble made. I never thought that I could actually get the kibble made with all the ingredients that I wanted with having a pink heart-shaped kibble included. I never thought that would happen. And it happened!
Finally, for some literal shits and giggles…
Rachel: Will their poop turn pink or sparkle?!
Kameron: We had some testimonial families and they freaked out because there were pink piles in their yard. They all thought it was TOO weird. So, we changed it from all pink kibble to having it just sprinkled in. The contrast of the kibble looked a lot better and we were able to get higher levels of protein in it that way.
So there you have it! Kameron Westcott is more than a reality TV star, Dallas royalty, and a real-life Elle Woods. She’s a passionate mother, business woman and dog lover.
Happy National Taco Day! Last month, I was invited to an exclusive, by-invitation-only VIP event. I about exploded when I read the email. My FIRST VIP event!!?!? And it involves food and alcohol? Hell yes! Count me in. Cinco Taco Bar opened in the Preston Hollow […]
When I first heard about #HurricaneHarvey, I knew that everything would change for many people in the southeast. All the numbers were pointing to complete demolition of the towns in its wake, likely to take lives, even. Not only was it going to hit Texas, my new home, but it was also gearing to hit really close to my heart – and my boyfriend’s childhood. The love of my life, Chance, is from Rockport, having grown up there his whole life. It’s now almost unrecognizable. As the Category 4 storm struck, Chance had to accept that his hometown, his memories, everything would be shattered.
The more footage I watched, and the more reports I heard, my heart broke for all the people affected, in addition to my love. What I didn’t expect, however, was my heart to sink even lower, as the footage of trapped and suffering animals painted the news screens. The lives of these animals were lost – innocent family pets, even strays, underwent the same hurricane.
I just can’t imagine the pain of that.
As my boyfriend, Chance, fights the rain, fatigue, and pain of seeing his hometown in ruins, he is also there, as we speak, restoring its electrical infrastructure with his team at Oncor. For him, he’s doing what he can to make a difference.
But what could I do?
For most of my life, I haven’t had the means to donate to a cause I care about, but I made it a point to pick one that I believed would do right in this awful situation. That’s why I chose to donate to the SPCA of Texas.
The SPCA of Texas is providing disaster relief to these poor, sweet animals that have been affected. They’re transferring shelter pets to other locations, Dallas even, to free up space for the rescue pets, as well as sending donated food and various supplies to the affected area. They’re even providing shelter for the pets whose families had to be evacuated.
I truly believe I couldn’t have picked a better place to donate to. I am inspired and humbled by my Chance, as well as the chance to make a difference.
Donate here: www.spca.org/gift/hurricane-harvey