Just over a year ago, I got this crazy idea to start writing about my dog, my journey as a first time pet parent, and my love of bargain hunting. For some reason I decided to share my stories with the whole world and thus Beagles and Bargains was born.

Happy 1st Blogiversary Beagles and Bargains!

Today I celebrate my very First Blogiversary, but the story behind Beagles and Bargains started a bit earlier.

In January, I went out to lunch with several friends. While the company was lovely, the experience was horrible. The restaurant had such terrible service (and food) that I could not just sit by and watch. I started by writing an honest review and contacting the management. I wanted to influence change and I did not want to stop there.

I may be a bit of a foodie, but I knew I could not live a healthy lifestyle constantly eating food, so I looked for other influential opportunities.

A few months prior, I adopted Luna. I knew for months and months before hand that I wanted to be a pet parent, but I didn’t know just what it entailed. Adopting Luna was and still very much is a journey we are taking together.

And so I found it. Pet blogging.

I created the Twitter handle @beaglesbargains on February 14, 2013 – Valentine’s Day – after talking about the possibilities with my boyfriend over a delicious dinner.

Before that night, I hated Twitter. Who on earth wants to read or write only 140 characters? What can you possibly say with so little?

Regardless of my feelings, I jumped in. I tweeted and I started joining Twitter chats… after learning that they existed.

I started interacting with other pet bloggers.

Then I learned about BlogPaws.

After a month (exactly) of tweeting my heart away, I purchased the domain beaglesandbargains.com and posted my first post.

Since March 15, 2013, it has been a whirlwind.

Beagles and Bargains Logo

I was fortunate enough to have the 2013 BlogPaws Conference in Northern Virginia, which was pretty much in my backyard.

Luna smiles about Natural Balance at BlogPaws!

Luna smiles about Natural Balance at BlogPaws!

There I met fellow pet bloggers, learned all about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and ate a huge piece of cheesecake.

I had Beagles and Bargains as an outlet when I felt like my whole world came crashing down in June and July 2013.

I started connecting with pet brands that I already knew and loved, while being simultaneously introduced to tons of products that were foreign to me.

I tackled beginner obedience training with Luna and taught her a few other tricks on the side.

Luna shows off her certificate after beagle training graduation.

Luna shows off her certificate after beagle training graduation.

I started really reading ingredient labels and paying close attention to what both Luna and I were eating.

Luna had her first health scare and I had my first $500+ vet bill.

The holiday season saw 11 successful Stocking Stuffer Giveaways.

Luna reluctantly shares part of her yummy Dino Bone from Three Dog Bakery.

Luna reluctantly shares part of her yummy Dino Bone from Three Dog Bakery.

Now I am even a BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Award Nominee for Best Photo!

Luna enjoys a day outside at Barrel Oak Winery.

Luna enjoys a day outside at Barrel Oak Winery.

Who could say no to that face?

So what does the new year have in store for Beagles and Bargains?

As I return for my first “business travel” trip to the Global Pet Expo, I can only hope for three things.

More Adventures
More Research
More Fun

And the fun begins now.

Whether I subconsciously planned this or not, Luna’s 3rd Birthday is EXACTLY a week away from today. (She is growing up so fast!!)

We are hosting a whole week of giveaways to celebrate Beagles and Bargains First Blogiversary and Luna’s 3rd Birthday!

Residents of the USA may enter. All giveaways will end at 11:59 PM EST on Friday, 3/28/14. Come back every day to enter!

To get you in the mood for Spring and Easter and to kick off the celebration, we have partnered with Petco to give away TWO pairs of bunny ears and ONE bunny hoodie outfit!

Easter prizes from Petco - Photos courtesy of Petco

Easter prizes from Petco – Photos courtesy of Petco

Enter below with the Rafflecopter.

Be sure to enter all the Blogiversary and Birthday Celebration Giveaways during our week long celebration!
Day 1 – Petco Easter Costumes
Day 2 – mobiPET Tags
Day 3 – Stylish Canine Luna Inspired Beagle T-shirt and Decal
Day 4 – Wishes from The Honest Kitchen
Day 5 – Win a Kurgo Skybox Booster Seat
Day 6 – A Year’s Supply of Treats from Blue Dog Bakery
Day 7 – Three Dog Bakery Party Platter and Favors

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post and I may receive a commission if you click and/or purchase from the link to help support this blog. Do not worry, these links do not affect the price of products. I received no additional benefits for mentioning the products in this post. The opinions and ideas in this post are my own and are uninfluenced by any other person or business. Petco is responsible for all giveaway prizes including shipping.

Jessica Shipman
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