Review: Instantly Framed Photo Service

28 May

If you’re anything like me, then the Camera Roll on your phone is filled to the brim with hundreds (maybe even thousands?) of photos of your dog. I can never just take one photo of Topher sleeping. No, I usually take about twenty—playing with the lighting, moving around, searching for that one great shot of that sleepy, squishy face. It’s an addiction. But recently I realized that after two years of owning our dog, we still don’t have any photos of Topher hung up in the house. And that my friends, is a travesty. Have you seen this face lately? Too cute not to be on our wall.

So when Instantly Framed contacted us asking to review their new service for instantly printing and framing your digital photos, we jumped at the chance.

About Instantly Framed

Instantly Framed was founded as a way to help prevent the loss of artwork in an age where all our photos and memories are only stored on our social media accounts. Because there’s no easy way to transfer Instagram and Facebook photos, users have been deterred from printing and framing their photos over time.

Their solution to this problem was Instantly Framed—a smartphone app that provides an easy process for printing, framing, and shipping your photos right from your phone. Whether it’s your Instagram photos, Facebook photos, or simply photos from your Camera Roll, you can upload any photo in no time and have it framed and shipped to your home in three business days.

Archival Quality

Instantly Framed is passionate about using top-of-the-line archival printing materials, and that’s one of the first things that made them stand out to us. Their frame molding is a naturally sourced walnut molding that’s FSC farmed and made in the United States. Their photos are printed with archival inks on professional photo quality paper. All of this serves to elevate your photos from Instagram to timeless pieces of art.

Environmentally Friendly

Another thing I really like about Instantly Framed is their commitment to the environment. They’re using sustainable materials whenever possible, and they’re also committed to using the least amount of materials when shipping frames while making sure they arrive safely. By using the finest materials in an eco-friendly way, they create quality product that lasts, products we can be proud of owning for years to come.

Fast Shipping

When Instantly Framed said they shipped fast, they meant it! From start to finish, all orders arrive and process within four business days. Instantly Framed also ships for free within the continental United States. Ours frame came in just two days! I was amazed by the quickness. I will certainly be buying from them again.


Want to win your own framed photo from Instantly Framed? Entering is simple! Comment below and/or on our Instagram entry photo and tell us about what photo you’d choose to have framed to hang in your house—what makes it special? One winner will be randomly chosen after the giveaway ends on Friday, June 5th.

This contest is now closed.

*U.S. entries only

Adoption Story: Vanessa & Rufus the Super Mutt

27 May


Story submitted by Vanessa

I fostered for a few years before I finally started feeling ready to adopt my own pup. I knew I wanted a rescue dog, especially after volunteering at shelters and fostering for several years.

When I moved out on my own in a dog-friendly apartment, I started fostering for One Tail At a Time based out of Chicago. It took me nine wonderful dogs before I fell too deeply in love to say another goodbye. Yes, I am a failed foster mom thanks to one special mutt.

Rufus is a seven year-old super mutt. We’ve heard it all: boxer, hound (beagle? basset? plott hound?), lab, corgi, etc. Rufus is a mutt, but he most likely has quite a bit of hound in him. Hounds are kind of wonderful and perfect for me: adventurous but chill, not too clingy, and yet they give you their whole heart once you win them over. Oh, and an added bonus? Rufus is NOT a super vocal hound, so that’s awesome. Whatever he is, I know one thing to be true: he’s my best friend.

Rufus (previously Brindle Boy by his beloved shelter moms) was found as a stray with no previous history. He then sat in a shelter in southern Illinois for five months before I spotted him in an email sent by One Tail’s intake coordinator, Anna. I was immediately smitten by his beautiful brindle coat and the side tongue he was rockin’ in the attached photos. I then asked Anna if it was ok if I inquired about him with the intent to foster. She gave me the okay, and I started an email relationship with the shelter’s manager.

After a few emails back and forth, transport was set up and we met him in a college parking lot on the night of October 26th, 2010. He was shy, curious, and pretty aloof. Anna’s famous last words: “I can almost guarantee this isn’t your forever dog, but hopefully he’ll be an easy and quick foster and we can find you guys the perfect dog.” Oh goodness.

After fostering him for several months (and one meet-and-greet with potential adopters gone all sorts of wrong), we decided he was a keeper and officially adopted him around the 18th of February, 2011. Best decision ever.

Rufus has become my shadow and constant companion. We do everything together: hike, road trips, explore, etc. We have moved in across the country to a place full of dirt trails and mountains and he’s in absolute heaven! The transition has been hard, but having him by my side has made it so much more exciting and enjoyable. He has made such a difference in my life and I am forever grateful that I took a chance on that adorable dog in that photo.

While Rufus will most likely always be fearful and weary of new humans, he has made some great strides when it comes to socializing and gaining comfort in new situations. He really does enjoy being out and about, so we’ve definitely tried to continue his exposure to new people and places as much as possible while respecting his limits.

Vanessa is a midwestern girl living in the Pacific Northwest, and loving every second of it! She’s worked with dogs in some capacity for the last seven years, and loves what she does. She and Rufus love to do a ton of exploring together: long walks, hikes, road trips, etc. You can see more of their adventures at The Rufus Way.

11 Tips To Keep Your Dog Cool In The Heat This Summer

27 May

There’s something about the transition from May to June that makes me consistently nostalgic for summer break. I miss the anticipation of those endless summer days laying by the pool, don’t you? Instead, I’m trying to get my sunshine in when I can, usually during walks. Topher, on the other hand, is up to his usual summer routine: laying on the cool kitchen tiles as much as possible. He’s probably pining for a few frozen treats, too! It’s always important to help our pets transition into the heat of summer—here are a few more tips to keep your dog cool in the heat this year.

1. Make sure they stay hydrated.

When the temperatures begin to climb, it’s a good idea to start carrying water for your dog, especially if you plan on being out for a more extended period of time. Having access to clean, fresh water at all times is very important year round, but is critical in summer months. Dehydration can quickly lead to heat stroke.

2. Exercise in the morning or the evening.

Take the heat and the weather into consideration when going out with your pets for their daily walk. Sticking to the early morning or later evening hours when it’s cooler outside will allow you longer walks than if you go in the middle of the day. In the summer here in Georgia, sometimes we can only last about 15 minutes in the heat! Always adjust the intensity of your walks or time outside to counter the temperature.

3. Make sure your dog has access to shade.

If your dog stays outside, you should make sure they have ample access to shady spots. This is more than just a doghouse, which is not an ideal source of shade—its enclosed nature makes dog houses heat up very quickly in the sun. Tree shade or a tarp strung up is ideal, because neither of these shade options obstruct natural air flow.

4. Watch the humidity, too!

It’s not just about temperature in the summer, the humidity can affect your dog as well! Dogs pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which in turn cools them down. If the humidity is too high, it makes them unable to cool themselves, and their internal temperature can rise very quickly. So keep an eye on the humidity levels—a high humidity in what looks like mild weather can still be dangerous for your pet.

5. Take them for a swim.

Instead of walking, take your pup for a swim! Even walking next to a stream or along a river bed gives your dog the option of stepping in for a quick cooling dip. Don’t have access to a body of water? Make your own in the backyard with a kiddie pool!

6. Cool them down from the inside out with frozen dog treats.

Use your dog’s love of food to your advantage! Feeding treats that are high in water content or frozen are a nice way to keep your dog cool while showing your affection. We rounded up a few great frozen dog treat recipes for you, too!

7. Make sure they’re properly groomed.

Proper grooming is an important step in keeping your dog cool. Clipping double-coated dogs does not help these types of dogs cool down—the top guard hairs act as insulation against the heat and sunburn. Your dog’s undercoat is part of their natural cooling system, and if not properly maintained it can get matted and prevent air flow to the skin. Frequent brushing helps remove extra fur, and keeps your dog’s coat healthy and more comfortable.

8. Prevent sunburns—yes, dogs can get sunburned!

If you have a white or a lighter colored dog, keep in mind that they can get sunburned if outside too long. The tops of their ears and their nose are the most susceptible areas. Choose a sunscreen made for pets and be sure to apply it on your dog if you’re going to be out in the sun for a while.

9. Let your dog decide when it’s time to go indoors.

Most dogs know when they’ve had enough and are ready to call it a day. If your dog is slowing down on a walk, trying to head towards home, or showing any signs of distress, heed that cue and take them inside.

10. Invest in cooling gear.

If outdoor activities are a major part of you and your dog’s summer lifestyle, it may be a good idea to invest in some cooling gear, such as a cooling coat or collar, or a form of cooling bed.

11. Never leave your dog in a hot car!

We’ve said this many many times, but do not ever leave your dog in a car in the heat. This is very dangerous, even for short windows of time. When traveling or running around town with your dog in the car, always plan ahead if you need to make a stop, or simply leave them at home.

How do you keep cool in the summer heat?