Friday, May 28, 2010

Duck, Duck Goose!

While driving home from work last night, I spotted this happy little big family of Geese and of course, I had to pull over and take pictures...

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There were 4 adults and at least 6 kids...

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Aren't they cute? I'm sure the people who own this lawn didn't think so, but...

TGIF and an extra WOOT for the long weekend ahead! I'll leave you with a little Friday Fill-Ins..

1. Texas caviar (non-spicy version, please) and wine -- the best food to take on a picnic.

2. Summer is almost here... let's hope it's not going to be a steamy one.

3. I can't live without my flip flops - and you can never have too many pairs!

4. To love someone is to live and laugh.

5. There's a few people that I'd like to tell to take a long hike.

6. When I crave food, it's usually pizza or some other comfort food.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hanging out at home, tomorrow my plans include some shopping and hopefully some knitting and Sunday, I want to enjoy the day with family... BBQ style!

A couple more Geese shots... just because I took that many!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy Doggy Day

Happy Dogs on Thursday! I'm late getting my post up today, so this will be a quick one...

It's been a hot and steamy couple of days this week, but thankfully the temps are back in the 70's today. Zeus is happy as a clam that the nice weather has arrived and has been enjoying his time lounging in the potholes driveway...

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Tut has taken up his big brother's interest in watching the birds...

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While they do enjoy chasing the wildlife the fresh air, we can't always be outside. Especially on lazy weekend mornings, like this one...

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Aren't they adorable? A 3-doggy pig-pile in the sun spot and Zeus happily gnawing on his Nylabone, just far enough away to not be used as a pillow by his siblings...

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

REVIEW: Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks

Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks
by Melissa Morgan-Oakes

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing (April 23, 2010)

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Knitwear designer Melissa Morgan-Oakes revolutionized the world of sock knitting with 2-at-a-Time Socks and now she's back... with a new book, Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks.

If you find yourself constantly suffering from "second sock syndrome," Melissa's ingenious techniques are just what the doctor ordered - and now you have a choice, top-down or toe-up! By knitting socks 2-at-a-time, toe-up, you'll not only be able to try on the socks as you go (who doesn't love perfect fitting hand knit socks?), but you'll also be guaranteed not to run out of yarn before the foot is complete (yay!). And for those of you who do everything possible to avoid the kitchener stitch, you won't need that either.

Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks includes the usual chapter on materials (needles, yarn, etc), as well as a glossary, abbreviations list and a handy standard sock sizes chart for men, women and children. Step by step directions for the technique are included, beginning with toe-up sock anatomy and math, followed by clear instructions for the sample socks. Large, colorful photographs document all steps and are a wonderful visual aid.

In Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks, Melissa combines the pleasures of toe-up knitting with the convenience of her 2-at-a-time approach in 15 original designs for men, women, children, and babies. From the delicate and graceful ballerina sock to the kaleidoscopic, nubby peppercorn pattern, there is a style here for every pair of feet. Row-by-row instructions and charts for both large and small feet are included for each pattern, as well as stunning photographs of the finished products.

My personal favorites include Soft Waves, a great thick sock for winter; April, adorable ankle socks for teeny-tiny toes; Ballet, beautiful cables and twisted stitches combine for a delicate dance; and The Keep, the angular lines of the design form a fun jagged pattern.

The best thing about Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks is that it's really not just about limiting you to Melissa's 15 patterns. Instead, it's about learning a techique that, once mastered, can be applied to any sock pattern. If you love knitting socks, this is definitely one to add to your knitting bookshelf!

About the Author: Melissa Morgan-Oakes learned learned to crochet, tat, and sew at an early age from women who encouraged her to work without commercial patterns. During her children’s early years, she created award-winning sewn and crocheted garments. Melissa later taught herself to spin and knit, so she brings the perspective of a self-taught knitter to her work. She now teaches and designs patterns for WEBS, America’s Yarn Store. Melissa lives in western Massachusetts with her family.

CONTEST! How would you like to win your very own copy of Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks? To enter, simply choose to Follow This Blog if you don't already (see "Followers" on the right hand side bar), then leave a comment here telling me what your favorite sock yarn is and why. To get an extra entry, send your friends here to enter and be sure to have them mention your name. Winner will be selected by random number generator and must be a follower of Lapdog Creations in order to win. Deadline for entries is Tuesday, June 1 at midnight. So get those referrals coming in ... blog, Tweet, Facebook and text away!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shop Til You Drop

Who doesn't love to shop til they drop from the comfort of their own home? I sure do! That's why I jumped at the chance when presented with a great opportunity to team up with CSNStores.com to do a review of their products that might interest you, my readers.

Always the skeptic, I wasn't really sure what to make of this offer at first, however I was literally floored by their seemingly endless supply of all things related to home, office, fashion, kids, and - my favorite - pets (if they would just add a virtual yarn shop, they would truly have all things covered), among others. Comprised of over 200 stores, they offer everything from track lighting to dog beds to luggage to BBQs to home gym equipment to cookware to baby cribs. So, check out CSNStores.com if you're in the mood to shop from home.... and stay tuned for my full review on one of their products!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!!! It's shaping up to be a beautiful weekend in New England... finally! I will be spending at least half of it outside, so that is a good thing!

My Loopy Ewe Sock Club Lite kit for Spring arrived earlier this week. Did anyone else sign up for the two "consolation" kits? This was actually my first club kit of any sort and although I often envy all the goodies everyone posts when their various kits arrive, I still wasn't exactly sure of what to expect. I have to say that I'm rather pleased...

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The yarn is Caper Sock from String Theory in the gorgeous Bye Bye Blues colorway (get it... bye, bye winter blues?). There were two patterns included, Dancing Diamond Socks and Cassarah (scarf/mini wrap), as well as a set of exclusive Loopy-red Namaste Oh Snap pouches. I plan to use the yarn for Cassarah, which I think will look absolutely stunning with everything from jeans to a dress.

Sadly, my robin update isn't so happy. I'm pretty confident the nasty cat did get the Mama to the 4 egg nest. She never returned after I saw the robin getting taken down last week. Not to mention, we're used to seeing a good dozen robins zipping around the yard and lately it's been one or two... I think that cat has cleared them out. When I snapped these pics on Tuesday night, the already abandonded nest with 2 eggs was empty and the one with 4 eggs was down to 2 (it's now empty as well)...

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There was one broken egg below each nest. Not sure if something came and ate them or if perhaps another robin found the nests and was clearing them out for her own use. Only time will tell...

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I'll leave you with some Friday Fill-Ins...

1. My great-niece Emma never fails to make me smile.

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2. I'm looking forward to reconnecting.

3. Mix 104.1 is what I'm listening to right now.

4. Potato salad must have mayonnaise, not Miracle Whip in it!

5. A lobster sandwich was the best thing I ate today yesterday (I've only had coffee and yogurt so far this morning!).

6. Today was the 141st day of 2010.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include being outside all day and Sunday, I want to relax some more!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

If You're Happy and You Know It...

... SMILE big when your loot arrives from Planet Dog!

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Zeus' winnings from being named the Planet Dog May Canine Moment Winner arrived on Monday. The nice lady even sent him a bonus box of treats with a note saying he was such a good boy for sharing his winnings with his sister (that's a new harness for Sophie in the pics)!

Here's Sophie with her old stinky harness. The new one looks just like it... only it's not smelly or faded... yet.

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Lola and Tut wondering what's in it for them....

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Zeus says they can share that B-A-T-H towel... wink, wink

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A couple of cute sibling shots...

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"Dis towelz really iz for a baaaatthhh? Iz
not dirtezzzz.... nedz no baaatth! Iz hidz dit"
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thank You B's

I still can not believe we blew that 3 - 0 series lead in Round 2, but Thank You B's....

We got to see a nice win to close out the regular season at home against Carolina...

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If only the outcome were the same in Game 5 vs Philly...

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Looking forward to October when we can start the run again... Happy Wordless Wednesday....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

REVIEW: Tatutina Dog Treat Box

Tatutina Dog Treat Box
Where to Find: Tatutina

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tatutina (ta-too te na) n. (Ital.)
1. A term of endearment. 2. A village where
families, pets, laugher and dancing are taken
very seriously.
3. A family owned business
that designs and produces hand-painted
giftware based on original art.

Tatutina, a mother-daughter owned and operated small business based in Massachusetts, designs and produces a variety of hand-painted giftware, including Dog Treat Boxes. Tatutina's mission is to bring unique products into this world that reflect a happy and fun lifestyle. Their motto is "Hand painted gifts for a happy lifestyle" and everything they create has been inspired by their family, homes and art.

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Tatutina Dog Treat Boxes are made of durable, solid wood and painted with non-toxic paints. The lid lifts completely off, making it easy to fill and retrieve treats from (plus no hardware means nothing for little hands to get caught on, making the boxes very family friendly). The colorful boxes are available in 3 designs; Yellow Dog (shown in pictures), Black Dog and Bright Blocks. They measure 7" x 4.5" x 9" - add one to your kitchen counter or by the front door and you'll always have treats handy for your pack!

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Although the whimsical designs are hand painted by these talented ladies in Massachusetts, they are then applied to the products in a mass production manner. You may be as surprised as I was to find a "Made in China" sticker on the bottom. When I inquired about this, Roberta explained, "Yes, we import most of our product from China. We basically import from wherever the best skilled craftspeople are located. China of course has wood, India for metal and we have imported hand knit sweaters from Peru. All products and designs are done by our family for Tatutina, Inc. My mother and sister are the artists and they hand paint/draw the designs that are applied to products that we also design and spec out."

"Made in China" certainly does throw up a red flag with concerned dog owners these days, however Roberta went on to assure, "All product is tested in a US lab and certified non-toxic, lead free." Their website also states that all Tatutina products meet the requirements of the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM).

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If you're looking to add some flare to your kitchen, a Tatutina Treat Box is sure to brighten up your counter! They would make a great gift for the dog lover in your life too... fill it with treats and you'll please the pooch as well! If you're in the market for a uniquely fun human gift, check out Tatutina's extensive collection of fun, smile-inducing products including Take Out Menu Boxes, Recipe Boxes, Children's Keepsake Boxes, Kid's Stools, Bookends and more!

Friday, May 14, 2010

TGIF!

Finally... Friday!!! Although my day started out with this view...

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... it was for work and the actual view only lasted long enough to snap a couple of pics. Despite having to drive an hour up and back, it was still a nice side-track.

Robin update... Still 4 un-hatched eggs in one nest and 2 in the other.

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I'm really starting to think the original nest was either abandoned or that Mama "went missing" (see how those eggs are looking "overgrown" by the nest). Last night the Lapdogs alerted (yet again) me of something evil in the yard and when I looked out, I realized it really was evil this time! I looked just in time to see a nasty looking cat pouncing on a defenseless bird who was grazing on seed just below the feeders. I banged on the window and the rat-b*$&*#d ran off. I went on the chase, but sadly... no luck. All that was left was a pile of feathers blowing all over the driveway... and a devastated me. I'm pretty sure it was a robin.... I'm hoping it wasn't Mama to the 4 eggs... sigh.

OK, time for some Friday Fill-Ins!

1. I just had the urge to knock someone out.

2. It just is.

3. The third sentence on the 7th page of the book I'm reading: She was a print journalist for more than a decade and writes a weekly arts-and-crafts column for her hometown paper.


4. Puppy breath tickles my fancy.

5. I was walking and, as usual, not paying attention... walked right into a pole.

6. "Walter" on Fringe really makes me laugh!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing my B's finally close out this series with a win, tomorrow my plans include my other half's gig and Sunday, I want to knit, hang out and watch the Dover race!

Go B's!
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

REVIEW: Classy Canine Insect Shield

Classy Canine Insect Shield
Where to Find: Insect Shield

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With summer's outdoor activities quickly filling up your calendar, it's time to think about insect protection - for you and your best friend! Keep the bugs at bay in style with a Classy Canine Insect Shield bandana! Simply tie the odorless bandana around your dog's neck and keep her protected without any harsh toxins.

Just what is Insect Shield you ask? Their apparel and gear are revolutionary products designed to provide long-lasting, effective and convenient personal insect protection - the result of years of research and testing. Insect Shield apparel and gear products combine their patent-pending process with a proprietary formulation of the insect repellent permethrin resulting in effective, odorless insect protection that lasts the expected lifetime of a garment.

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While it looks like any ordinary banada, it's not. Insect Shield pet gear has been proven and EPA registered to repel mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and flies — including many species that can carry dangerous diseases. The Classy Canine Insect Shield bandana is available in one size, 22" square, is 100% cotton and machine washable.

Insect Shield uses a man-made version of a natural insect repellent found in certain chrysanthemums. This treatment will last through 70 normal washings (do not dry clean). Insect Shield items are EPA registered and completely safe to be worn by pets, as well as infants, children and pregnant or nursing women. The protection is completely invisible and odorless and it bonds to the fabric.

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Insect Shield require no re-application, has no potential for over-use, is not harmful to eyes and rates a Category IV ("none required") on the EPA Toxicity for Consumer Labeling - as opposed to most insect repellents which fall into either Category II ("warning") or Category III ("caution").

By protecting your pooch from pesky insects, you safeguard not only your pet’s well being and quality of life, but your own health as well. Add a Classy Canine Insect Shield bandana to your dog's wardobe this summer and have confidence in knowing she is safe and protected!

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Edited to Add Special Offer: Spring is here and so are the bugs! Our friends at Insect Shield are offering FREE Insect Shield bandanas for a limited time. To redeem simply go to www.facebook.com/insectshield and click on the “Like” button. Then email your mailing details to marketing@insectshield.com