Friday, January 30, 2009

REVIEW: Planet Dog Valentine's Day Gifts

Planet Dog: Socially Responsible Gifts for Dog Lovers and Canine Companions
Where to Find:
Planet Dog


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Not sure what to get your pooch for Valentine's Day this year? Let Planet Dog help with their Valentine's picks! Orbees, Slobber-Wicks and Squeakies galore... there's sure to be something to please your pack!

It didn't take long for the testers to get an up close look...

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The adorable Squeaky Baby Blanket Buddy was most definitley the most popular item from this batch of review products!


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Soft as can be, this toy is perfect for comforting, nuzzling and snuggling whenever your pup needs a buddy. If they made a super sized one, I'd steal it for a pillow (think soft as Brookstone's nap Collection, only much cuter)! The fabric naturally absorbs familiar scents and your pooch will make this toy a constant companion! The squeaker will keep pup entertained as well...

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Squeaky Baby Blanket Buddy comes in two sizes, lil' pup is 5½" high and big pup is 8" high.

For those who may prefer a squeak-free buddy, check out the fantastic Slobber-Wick Squeakless Buddy!

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This strong, silent type is machine washable and comes in three sizes to accommodate a wide range of droolers: small is 5", medium is 8" and large is 12". It also comes in a bone shape as well. These buddies are one of the best made plush toys we've ever had in our house! They are cleverly made with a gusset to add extra durability and chomp to your dog's gnawing experience. We've had 2 other Slobber-Wicks in our house for months now and neither has been destuffed or gotten any holes - a truly historic feat in a 4-doggy household!

If you're in the market for something minty fresh - and of appropriate Valentine's Day colors - check out the Orbee-Tuff Mint, where retro candy meets nouveau drool!

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Made in the USA, this bouncy mint is very much doggie durable and it makes an incredibly sweet gift for adventurous pooches of all shapes and sizes.

"What's you talking about Mr. Mint??"
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You've got some humans on your Valentine's list you say? Perhaps a well deserving doggy Daddy or Mama? Treat them to a Who's Your Doggie or You Had Me at Woof t-shirt, both of which come in standard adult white tees, as well as ladies cut blue and pink tees. Mr. Lapdog is happily enjoying this one...

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Remember, when you choose to purchase from Planet Dog this Valentine's Day - or any other day - you're not only getting some amazing products, but you're helping non-profit canine service programs nationwide! The Planet Dog Foundation, whose philanthropic mission is to promote and celebrate programs that enable dogs to serve and support their best friends, receives 2% of every Planet Dog purchase.

The Planet Dog Foundation is celebrating a record year of giving! Despite the economic challenges of 2008, PDF is proud to have had another amazing year of giving with 14 grantees and more than $100,000 donated to canine service programs nationwide. Through cash grants, sponsorships, special gifts and in-kind donations, PDF has bolstered more than 100 non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people in need with the aid of highly skilled specialized dogs. An additional $107,000 worth of in-kind product donations provided auction items and prizes for scores of fundraisers at non-profits throughout the country.

For more information about Planet Dog or the Planet Dog Foundation, please visit www.planetdog.com or www.planetdogfoundation.org.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Doggy Day Part 2

Since I wanted to get the story about beautiful Kujo up this morning, I didn't have time to post pics of my own kids... so I give you Part 2 to today's Dogs on Thursday post!

I have a couple of doggy related reviews coming up soon, including Planet Dog's Valentine's Day gifts and a wonderful new knitting book called Pet Projects, so please stay tuned! My kids are also waiting for some treats for review, but in the meantime... its more snow! We got another storm yesterday that brought about 7" or so before the ice.

These pics are from last week's storm...

Zeus... "Mommy, there's more of this white stuff... I like romping in it, but seriously now, this is getting ridiculous and I'm not so found of that noisy machine Daddy uses to move it anymore..."

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Lola... "I see dead people SNOW! and if anything was dead, I wouldn't know because its going to be buried until June!"

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Teutul... "Stop taking pictures... I'm trying to do my business!"

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Sophie... "I did my business so fast Mom didn't even had a chance to snap a picture outside!"

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Doggy Day Starts with Tears

Did anyone else catch this story on Good Morning America this morning?

"Hi My Name Is Kujo. I Am a Nice Dog" Abandoned Pup With Child's Note in Collar Looking for a Home...

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I didn't think I'd be starting my day off with some tears this morning, but what a heartbreaking turned heartwarming story of the beautiful Kujo! The poor pup was abanoned and found emaciated on one of the coldest nights of the year in Ohio. Kujo was peering into the window of Mrs. Miller and it turned out, he picked the right window to peer into! A note was attached proclaiming that he was a very good dog and great with kids, however sadly, his owner was unable to feed or care for him any longer... all in a child's handwring. With the economy, this is becoming far too common... shelters are seeing a huge rise in animals being surrendered simply because their loving owners can no longer afford to care for them. Sad. Tragic.

Please read more about Kujo here. If you're looking for a loving, beautiful pup, you just might be Kujo's new best friend.

ETA: You can see the video here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

F is for...

I decided I'd play along when I saw this over on Chan's blog. If you want to join in, leave a comment and I'll pick a letter for you. Then, the way it works is you have to come up with 10 things beginning with the letter picked. Chan gave me the letter F and I'm really thinking that had to do with my attitude that day... hee hee. Anyway, here we go!

1. FO. Sure, one meaning may have been what Chan was laughing about when she gave me the letter F, but today it stands for Finished Object.... something that I truly hope to have more of in 2009! I often get knitter's ADD and raging cases of startitis, but I am making a concious effort at managing - and finishing - my projects this year.

2. Friggin' Snow. Something that I truly hope to see less of! The 08-09 winter has become very cumbersome. We've had record amounts of snow fall and friggid temps. Although I am a true New England girl, I've had enough for now, thank you very much.

3. Food. What can I say, who doesn't love food? Some of my favorites are seafood, pizza, baby back ribs, cheese and pasta. I love trying new restaurants and have become much more adventerous in the foods I'll try. Ever have elk meat? mmmm... it was the most tender piece of red meat I've ever had!

4. Fall. My favorite time of year. There is nothing like fall in New England with the gorgeous color, crisp air, wonderful smells and festivals galore!

5. Fiber. Although I don't spin it (I tried a drop spindle... and realized its not for me), I do love knitting with it! I love natural fibers, especially alpaca. I have some baby camel that I can't wait to try, but am searching for the right project. And cashmere, of course... what's not to love? I'd really love to try some Bison and Qiviut yarn in the future... sometime when my wallet can afford such luxuries.

6. Fridays. There's nothing like a long awaited TGIF after a tough work week... and its one day closer to my favorite day of the week, Saturday... enough said!

7. Football. I do heart my New England Patriots! Although we had some bumps & bruises this year and didn't make the playoffs, it was still a decent season. We'll watch the Superbowl this weekend (eating lots of yummy food, of course) without much care of the outcome and look forward to the 09-10 season.

8. Fringe. If you haven't seen it or gotten hooked yet, what are you waiting for? It has got to be Fox's best new show in years - and quickly became one of my top shows! With each episode comes more questions and more head scratching, and like 24, it really keeps you on the edge of your seat. Plus, there's nothing better than Walter's off the wall comments!

9. Facebook. Yes, I'm over there too... what a major time suck it is, but a great way to keep in touch with family & friends. I was adamant about not wanting to sign up and that My Space was enough (not to mention my real space, this blog)... and then I got sucked in like the rest of the world.

10. Face The Music. One of my earlier ventures in journalism, FTM was a fanzine dedicated to 2 girls love of music, on both a local and national level. We did interviews, concert reviews, CD reviews, photographed live acts and more. We were able to combine our talents for public relations work (I did pr for local bands for a number of years) and writing, putting together something that was pretty darn awesome if I do say so myself! I photographed and interviewed a number of big acts during those years... some of my favorite interviews were Pat Badger from Extreme, Jeff Keith from Tesla and Butch Walker... and some favorite acts to photograph were Bon Jovi, Metallica, Boston and Queensryche (this is making me realize I really need to go dig out all of those photos because I'm sure my list of bands was a mile long and I can't even begin to remember all of them).

ETA: one extra... Finished with Pay It Forward (for this round anyway)! I received confirmation from both of the girls I sent to that they have received their PIF items!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday, Monday

Its just another manic one... and cold too! These unseasonably artic cold temps are really weighing on me... almost as much as the mounds and mounds of snow that just is not melting. Oh yeah, and we're expecting a "decent snow fall" on Wednesday. Oh joys!

Even though I'm officially on a yarn diet, I did a little stash enhancement on Saturday (after all, it is rude to visit a yarn shop and not buy anything, right?). We were heading up to Cape Ann for lunch with my parents and Matt's Dad & Sue when a light switch went off and I thought why not make a pit stop at a couple of the area shops that are on the way?

First Stop:
Seed Stitch Fine Yarns right in the heart of downtown Salem, MA with historic cobblestone streets and witches abound...

SeedStitch_Salem

My best description of the shop is very boutiquey (think New York City exclusive clothing boutique) and wouldn't you know it, their own website proclaims "A Boutique for the discriminating knitter & crocheter" - this is one where the description does fit. The store was bright, spacious and upscale, carrying mostly high end yarns. Matt & Dad C seemed to like the couches, while I admired the yarn filled coffee table (shadow box style coffee table with bright yarns under the glass). The staff was very friendly and helpful, however the some of the cliental certainly lived up to the "higher end" atmosphere (think too much stinky perfume and a turned up nose). They had a nice selection of notions and buttons, some beautiful hand dyed yarns from across the globe and quite a bit of sale items (this may've been part of the Winter Sale noted on their website and may not be a permanent section). I wound up with just 3 hanks of yarn and a package of blocking pins.

Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky
Prints in this gorgeous green colorway...
CascadeBabyAlpaca

2 Hanks of Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky
in Claret, a vibrant red/maroon...

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Second Stop: Yarns in The Farms in Beverly Farms, MA...

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A lovely little shop, just don't blink or you'll miss it and drive right by (ask me how I know)! This truly has got to be the smallest shop I've ever visited, however they have used every single inch of space imagineable to stuff with yarn, notions, books, samples and more! It was a bit overwhelming when you first walk in, but eventually you start to sort out what is where. I felt as though I was climbing over other people, as with the 4 of us (Matt & Dad C found yet another couch, even if they did have to push some sample knits out of the way), 2 customers knitting and 2 employees it was a bit crowded. However with the friendly, helpful staff, they made you feel like you were at home and within a few minutes I was kneeling down on the floor pulling out skeins of Sheep Shop One and piling them all around me! I did really good, leaving the super soft Lobster Pot cashmere behind and only purchased 2 hanks of Sheep Shop and some lovely handmade buttons...

2 hanks of Sheep Shop One, one in the most
beauteous red/orange colorway and one
in a denim blue colorway...

SheepShop

Buttons made from beach glass (which I was told
are made by a gal from my hometown)...
BeachGlassButtons

I always enjoy visiting new shops and am glad we stopped at these two. Matt & Dad C's couch review? They both agreed that the couches at Webs are still unmatched for comfort!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

REVIEW: Rowan Classic Spring Summer 2009

Rowan Classic Spring Summer 2009
~ Siena
~ Pima Cotton DK

~ Romance pattern booklet
Available: February 1, 2009
Where to Find:
Rowan Yarns

Rowan_Romance

Although the ever growing mounds of snow outside make me think we'll never see Spring, it is on the way. I was reminded of that this week when a little burst of spring color arrived on my doorstep from Rowan!

Rowan Classic is introducing their brand new yarn Siena with a gorgeous booklet of patterns called Romance. The title is very fitting, as each of the 14 patterns is truly a little more romantic than the next.

Rowan_Siena

Siena is 100% mercerised cotton, 4-ply fingering weight in 50 gram/ 153 yard balls. The beautifully jewelled color palette blooms in 24 stunning shades, which will certainly rival Martha Stewart's handpainted Easter egss this spring! Siena is is extremely soft to the touch - silky smooth, not rough as with some cotton. It is machine washable, making it ideal for both baby and adult items.

Romance, the sugar sweet collection of patterns introducing Siena was shot against the backdrop of a British home, providing for some beautiful photography. The patterns include cardigans, pull overs, vests and handbags.... with lots of lace and feminine details. My favorites include Nocturne, a long lacey vest with i-cord tie closure; Caprice, a lacey, long sleeve cardigan with just the right amount of shaping to be your go-to cover up all spring and summer long; and Rhapsody, a long sleeveless sweet with plunging V-neck (the booklet's cover pattern shown above).

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Also new to the Rowan Classic collection this Spring is Pima Cotton DK. It is 100% pima cotton, machine washable, dk weight in 50 gram / 142 yard balls, made in Italy. It will be available in several soft and muted shades, perfect for many spring items. A corresponding pattern booklet, Reminiscence will be available on February 1 featuring 12 summer designs, including a cricket sweater and a sporty hooded top.

Friday, January 23, 2009

TGIF!


The day seems to be flying by, so all you're getting today is a little fill ins...

1. Oh, I am so clumsy!

2. I should say welcome to changes, big and little, however I'm not usually fond of them.

3. During my trip out to Staples, I picked up a Caramel Latte Lite from Dunkins... mmm.

4. Friggin Peanut Butter scare & recall; are you kidding me???

5. Right now I'd like to be better off financially.

6. My mini tackle-box-turned-knitting-notions holder is my favorite gadget.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a glass of wine, tomorrow my plans include heading up to Essex, MA for lunch with our parents and Sunday, I want to stay warm while our temps take yet another brutal nose dive!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Doggy Day!

Wow... is it really Doggy Day already (be sure to hop over to DOT and check out Chan's first official post!)? TG-tomorrow-IF!

Peanut Butter Recall Alert (which for this pb-loving girl is starting to irk her nerves)! Pet Smart has recalled their Grreat Choice Dog Biscuit. We've never purchased these, however Nutri-Vet's Hip & Joint Peanut Butter Flavored Wafers are often found in our house (2 bags right now), so I looked them up and found they are safe.

So what has your pack been up to lately? My girls have been playfully wrestling with Mr. Sheepy (yes, I realize Sophie's head is half missing from that first pic, but I just love the action shot anyway)...

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Tut and Lola waiting patiently at the top of the stairs for their siblings to come in from romping in the snow...

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Sometimes the Queen isn't so patient and King Tut gives his Royal look...

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The Princess and the Big Guy... just hanging out, doing their thing...

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I'm glad you guys have been enjoying seeing my kids romping in the snow... we've got some more cute shots, but I'll save them for later and leave you with this close up shot of Mr. Handsome...

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter Wonderland Wordless Wednesday

For today's Wordless Wednesday... more snow pics! These were taken on Monday morning before I left for work. We had probably gotten another 12 - 14 inches on Sunday and you can compare the snow drifts with the pics I posted last week (you can click the pics to enlarge)...

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My drive in to the office on Monday was just, um, just ducky. The roads were a complete mess and we won't talk about how the parking lot hadn't been plowed yet... but I'll admit that with the snow in the trees, it was one of those days where it was like driving through a winter wonderland (when you weren't sliding in all the slushy crap on the roads, of course)...

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1.20.09

I try not to get too political on here, but somtimes I can't resist...


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Today is a good day ... a good day to think about change and moving forward. I'm hopeful - are you?

Unfortunately I don't have a tv at work, so I'll have to rely on the internet alot today. By the way, have you seen the commerative shirt from Rolling Stone? I just ordered mine through Cafe Press.

RockTheVote

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have a Dream...

...to knit down my stash in 2009 and not bring too many new skeins of yarn into the house this year (note my definition of too many and Matt's may be on completely oppositie ends of the spectrum... and gifts of yarn simply do. not. count.).

I also have a dream to finish my 101 WIPs, which currently include a couple dozen pairs of socks, a few hundred scarves, a baby sweater, a tank top, a shawl or two...

This weekend I got out my new blocking wires and finally made an attempt to block the
Bulky Open Work Scarf, which came off the needles on October 30th!

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Since I was much too lazy to clear off the kitchen table and set up my huge blocking board, I had to block in sections on the old ironing board (yes Mom, I own an ironing board)...

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I'm not completely convinced that blocking in sections is going to work, so I may have to reblock it with the board later. Time will tell...

MySpace-Comments

So, I'm sure I'm not the only one who has to work on MLK Jr Day (and Inauguration Day tomorrow)... but I did want to say please take a moment to remember and to look forward... and wasn't the Inauguration Concert good?!?!?! Garth rocked American Pie... and I never thought I'd enjoy Usher & Shakira as much as I did. My only complaint... Jon Bon Jovi should have sung Shout with Garth (for my fellow Jovi fanatics out there, you know the tradition of Shout...).

Oh and just for those curious, after yesterday's snow storm dumped about 8-10 inches during the day, we got another 6 inches or so over night.