Brighter Sides

DogVacay Review and Our Lovely Mini Vacay

This post was sponsored by DogVacay, who provided me and Bruno with our mini vacays. Photos of Bruno in this post are courtesy of his sitter, Kelsey.

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might be familiar with my pup, Bruno. He’s the sweetest little guy, but like a lot of dogs, he gets pretty upset when I have to leave him alone.

He stays by himself for most of the day when I’m at work and I usually feel too bad about leaving him at home to go out and do anything in the evening. I used to be able to leave him with my roommate once in a while, but now that I’m living on my own, it’s not an option any more. Enter, DogVacay.

DogVacay "pup"date

DogVacay is a website/app that helps you to find a great pet sitter! They contacted me about trying their service and sent me and Bruno for mini vacays for the night. The process was really simple. I just did a search for sitters in Seattle and found several nearby to choose from. You can read sitters’ bios, including what type of home/yard they have, whether they have pets of their own, what training courses they have completed, how many years of experience they have, and more. Best of all, you can read reviews from their past clients to see if they would be a good match for you and your pet. I chose a sitter with great reviews who lived close by and we arranged a meet and greet so that she could meet Bruno and I could see where he’d be staying. She seemed great, so I went ahead and booked an overnight vacay for Bruno and he stayed with her on Sunday night.

Screenshot DogVacay

Meanwhile, my boyfriend Aaron and I got to have a night out on the town without worrying about Bruno being sad at home! We went to a nice restaurant called Tilth that he suggested. They had an impressive menu which boasted a wide range of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options and some crazy good cocktails. We each ordered the seasonal Vegan Tasting Menu, which was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. It included Watermelon Gazpacho, Chilled Sweet White Corn Soup, Mixed Baby Lettuces, Pot au Feu, Carnaroli Risotto, and Chocolate Sorbet… and it was absolutely delicious.




(Bat bracelet from Frosted Willow on Etsy. Dress from Emerging Thoughts. Photo courtesy of Aaron Shay)

If you go (and you should), you MUST try the lavender daiquiri. It’s slightly sweet, light tasting, and deceptively strong. I want to be drinking one every night. We had also planned on going to the Sci-Fi museum but didn’t make it there in time, so we’ll have to save that for another night. Don’t worry, we still got our nerd fix by curling up with some cups of tea and watching Firefly later on.

It was beautiful patio weather, so we sat outside. It was too dark to get any good photos once our food started coming out and I failed to get a picture of us together, because I never remember to do things like that when I’m out, but here is a portrait of us that I commissioned from a local artist.


While we were enjoying our vegan feast, Bruno’s sitter, Kelsey sent me occasional “pup”dates so that I knew he was having a good time on his mini vacay and I could see what he was up to. All DogVacay reservations also include 24/7 customer service for owners and sitters, and free pet insurance. It was so much easier to enjoy the night knowing that he was in good hands!



Want to try out DogVacay for yourself so you can have a getaway? They’re generously offering all Brighter Sides readers $10 off their first DogVacay with the promo code KELSIBSIDES

We are very thankful to DogVacay for sending us on our mini vacays and will be using them again to find a sitter in September for a few days. Alas, Kelsey will be back in school then and won’t be available to watch Bruno, but I’m confident that I can use DogVacay’s website to find another awesome sitter for Bruno!


By Kelsi Eldredge

Window Shopping: Fashionable Workwear

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small amount of money when some links are clicked or purchases are made after clicking links. This helps me to keep the blog running. I never endorse products I don’t personally believe in. Thanks!

Lately I’ve been thinking about a career shift, and realizing that I don’t really have much in my closet that I would qualify as professional work wear. I have a little collection of dresses, but being on the taller side (5’9″) almost all of them hit too high on my leg to consider wearing as anything but a day dress or cocktail dress. I’d really like to step up my wardrobe, but as usual, for now I’m just window shopping. Here’s a little fantasy workwear outfit that I put together.

professional work wear with an edge.

1. Get What You Dessert Dress – ModCloth
2. Fancy Structured Carryall – Forever21
3. Standout Faux Stone Bib Necklace – Forever21
4. Olive Flat – Target
5. Midnight Strider Jacket – ModCloth

I love the universally flattering fit & flare shape of the dress, and at 39.5″ in length (for size M), it should hit me just above the knee – perfect. Since I’m already tall, I almost always wear flats. These ones look cute and comfy, and add a punch of color, which ties in with the inexpensive but bold statement necklace. The jacket adds a little bit of edge, while the clean lines of the bag keep it looking sophisticated.

Granted, when I was doing social media marketing, and worked in a business-casual atmosphere, in addition to the skirt length problem (I hate wearing dress slacks. Hate, hate, hate.), I also needed to cover my legs and upper arms to hide my tattoos. That was pretty easily remedied with tights or boots, and a cardigan… it felt a little silly to be wearing cardigans and long sleeves in the middle of summer, but it worked.

What do you wear to work? Do you find it as frustrating as I do to put together something that fits your company’s dress code but still makes you feel comfortable and stylish?

By Kelsi Eldredge

Product Review: Dior Pore Minimizer Skin Refining Matte Primer

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small amount of money when some links are clicked or purchases are made after clicking links. This helps me to keep the blog running. I will never endorse products I don’t personally believe in. Thanks!

This week I tried out Dior’s Pore Minimizer Skin Refining Matte Primer. It came as a free sample with my order from Sephora (I got a replacement Urban Decay Naked Palette to replace my former one, which met a sad and violent end at the hands… er… paws and mouths of a friend’s large dogs. R.I.P. Naked Palette.) I definitely have my tried and true favorites, but I love testing out new things too, so I thought I’d give it a go.

I usd the Dior primer under my usual MAC Select MoistureCover concealer and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish powder, and though I had high hopes (Dior! Fancy, yes?) I was thoroughly underwhelmed.

It felt wonderful and velvety while I was first applying it and really looked like it was smoothing out those pores and fine lines (hello, silicone!), but it dried to a powdery consistency and was whitish and flaky looking under my concealer. Womp womp. Do I want my skin to look matte? Yes. But dry and flaky? Nope. Not the look I was going for. I thought perhaps it was a fluke. Maybe my skin really was extra dry that day. Maybe I didn’t put enough moisturizer on. So I tried it three more times, until the sample ran out. Regrettably, the outcome was the same. My face looked ashen and flaky all the ding dong day. I’m happy that it was just a sample, and I didn’t actually spend money on it; I would have felt much better with no primer at all.
So, that’s a no-go on the Dior. What do I suggest? My old favorite (which I am back to using now), Too Faced Primed and Poreless. Aside from staying a smooth velvety texture, it also has some nice additives like vitamins A & C, is considerably cheaper ($30/oz for Too Faced vs. $42/oz for Dior) and it’s not tested on animals (according to the Beautypedia, Dior is. Sorry.) Now, Too Faced’s primer isn’t necessarily matte, if you’re feeling extra oily, I’d recommend dabbing a little Sephora Collection Anti-Shine Primer. I usually use a bit on my nose, forehead and cheeks before smoothing on the Too Faced primer.

Check out some of my other go-to makeup and skincare faves. What’s your favorite primer? Have you tried either of these? Let me know in the comments!

By Kelsi Eldredge

RAW Artists: Seattle

RAW presents Panorama

Hooray! Mark your calendar for June 22nd!

I was selected to be featured as a visual artist for the RAW Artists indie pop-up showcase and I would love to see you there! I’ll be there all night hanging out and showing my work. I’ll also have paintings, prints, cards, etc. for sale!

There will be a lot going on including a visual art gallery, fashion show, live music, short films, and more! Cocktail attire, so you get to dress up! 21+ because, booze! The show is at Neumo’s in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle from 6:00-10:00pm.

skull watercolor painting by kelsi eldredgeskull watercolor painting by kelsi eldredge

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND, please purchase a ticket ASAP They’re only $15 and you can buy them online here or give me cash in person and I’ll put you on my list. Tickets are only available for the next three weeks or so. Be sure to select my name from the drop down that asks which artist you are supporting. You’ll still get to see everyone’s work, but it will be counted toward my mandatory ticket sales.

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND but would still like to be supportive, donate a ticket! Purchase a ticket online and I’ll give it to someone who can’t afford one but would love to go. I need to sell 20 tickets or I end up personally covering the difference in cost, so this is a great way to help me out! My birthday is just a few days before, so you can consider it at birthday present! If I sell 20 tickets I’ll also be able to show again at any other RAW showcase in the country for free (Oklahoma? California? Oregon?)

Please share this event if you are so inclined. Bring friends, invite anyone you think would be interested! I’m really excited about this – thanks for your support!

By Kelsi Eldredge

Moving Sale/Shop My Closet!

Hey, ladies! I’m moving in a couple of weeks and I’m getting rid of lots of clothing and shoes (maybe some accessories and other stuff, too!)


Everything is in excellent condition, most of it has never even been worn, and it’s priced to sell! Help get this stuff out of my house and get some extra money for moving expenses!

Check out my Instagram (@KelsiBSides) to see what I have available. Everything is first come, first served – you can pay via PayPal or credit/debit card – just comment on the post you’re interested in. I’ll be adding more things in the next few days as well! If you don’t use Instagram, you can email me at kelsibsides at

I’m also having an ad sale for the next two weeks. Advertise your blog or small business here for 40% off regular price! Just go to my “advertise” page and use the code MOVING at checkout!

By Kelsi Eldredge

Giveaway: Old Spice For Hair That Gets Results

I hope you all got a chance to read my last post, in which I reviewed Old Spice’s new line of men’s hair care and styling products. If not, go check it out and get excited to try it because I’m teaming up with Old Spice for a really awesome giveaway!

One very lucky Brighter Sides reader will receive this prize pack:

Old Spice Bulk-Up Shampoo/Conditioner for Results
Winner receives a 6-month supply of Bulk-Up 2-in-1 thickening shampoo and conditioner and one Nike FuelBand (to track training as you expand your arm muscles for your next international arm wrestling match.) Plus, “Over the Top” DVD to complete your training.

old spice giveaway pack

Prize Recap:
- Three (3) bottles of Old Spice Bulk-Up Shampoo/Conditioner – plus two (2) to give to friends. That’s Five (5) total!
- One (1) Nike FuelBand
- One (1) “Over the Top” DVD
- Hair that gets results. Even Lincoln Hawk would be impressed.

Excited to to win? Great! Entering couldn’t be easier – all you have to do is comment on this blog post! Please make sure to include your name and a valid email address so that I can contact you if you’re the winner. Entries must be in by Midnight on Monday, May 5th PST. One entry per person. Open only to residents of the United States.

By Kelsi Eldredge