Saturday, March 31, 2012

Doggy Videos!

Happy Saturday!  I just uploaded a little video of Sake for the rescue to use on her online profiles and thought I'd share it here as well. 

Sake... seriously, I can't believe no one has adopted this beauty yet!



And here's a little clip of my kids hanging out on the back porch last October (I love that I caught a Zeus sneeze... yes, it's a Mom thing).

Friday, March 30, 2012

REVIEW: One+One Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs

One+One Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs: 25+ Projects From Just Two Skeins

by Iris Schreier
Paperback: 132 pages
Publisher: Lark Crafts (March 6, 2012)


One+One 


In the midst of all of the one skein knitting books on the market comes One+One Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs: 25+ Projects From Just Two Skeins.  

One+One Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs is the first in a new series by Iris Schreier showcasing patterns using just two skeins of yarn... different yarns that is.  We all have those single skeins of coveted upscale yarns in our stash... you know, the ones where we could only afford just one skein.  They've been sitting there looking oh-so-pretty and now we can combine them to create beautiful neckwear with the help of Iris and her designer friends!  Yes You Can...mix yarn types, weights and colors - and the results can be dazzling!  

All of the patterns in One+One Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs are written using yarns from Iris' own company, Artyarns.  She does include a yarn substitution chart in the back of the book, however I'm disappointed to say it only includes Lion Brand yarns (which are far below the quality of Artyarns).  I certainly would have liked to have seen more thought put into this list, however that's what Ravelry is for, right?

The projects in One+One Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs are beautiful, the patterns are well written and the photography thoroughly showcases the yarn and stitch patterns.  I already have several post-it's sticking out of my copy, including...

  • Flower Ruffle Keyhole Scarf by Lisa Hoffman.  A great little scarf that will up your fashion factor all winter long!
  • Reverse Chevron Cowl by Iris Schreier.  It's a cowl, it's a scarf, it's a shoulder wrap!  This piece can be worn in many different ways.
  • Smart Shawl by Lynn M. Wilson.  The name says it all!  A lace wrap designed to drape gracefully around your shoulders and it stays in place by slipping one end through a channel at the opposite end.
Grab a copy of One+One Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs to add to your knitting library today and stay tuned for One+One Hats coming in November!

About the Author: Iris Schreier is founder and designer of Artyarns, and the author of several best-selling Lark books, including Exquisite Little Knits, Modular Knits, Lacy Little Knits, and Iris Schreier's Reversible Knits. Iris has appeared on episodes of both Knitty Gritty and Needle Arts Studio, and her work has been featured in leading needle arts magazines, most recently in Vogue Knitting.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Zeus Update 2.0

Happy Dogs on Thursday / Thorsday / Thankful Thursday / Little Friday. 

Zeus and I spent several hours in the car bopping around yesterday while waiting for the ultrasound doctor to get to our vet's office.  He travels to different hospitals and we wanted to be sure we were in the area in case he was early, however he ended up getting there over an hour after his estimated time frame, so it was a long day.  (Yes, I could have dropped Zeus off at the vet's office earlier in the day, but opted to not leave him "boarded" there waiting in a cage all that time.)  Luckily, my happy little patient didn't seem to mind so much...

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That doesn't look like a sick dog to you, does it?  He's such a happy boy.  However, today he's feeling a bit bleak and has been vomiting.  Our vet and I are both hoping it's just nerves and will subside, however if it continues, we'll be going to visit the great doc later today or tomorrow.

As for the ultrasound... we are still without any clear answers on why Zeus' liver levels are rising.  The ultrasound doc did not see any tumors or blockages.  He said all of the organs looks good and the only thing he did note was Zeus' liver was smaller than normal.  The plan is to keep him on the samE liver supplement and add in milk thistle.  We're also putting him back on an antibiotic for a full 30 days (we did 2 weeks when we first started the samE) and will retest his levels in another 30 days or so. 

The next step would be a liver biopsy, however I refuse to put my aging boy under unless absolutely necessary.  In addition, because he hasn't been acting sick (except for the minor vomitting today), the vet does not think it's necessary at this time. 

Please keep my baby boy in your thoughts and continue to send us positive vibes... hopefully the vomiting ends quickly and he gets his appetite back.  I'm off to pick up hamburger and rice for him....

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

REVIEW: Orijen Dog Food

Orijen Dog Food

Where to Find: Mr Chewy


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Our friends at Mr. Chewy recently gave us the opportunity to review Orijen Adult Dry Dog FoodOrijen is made by Champion Petfoods, a Canadian based company, and produced using only the freshest regional ingredients.  Their foods are perfectly matched to the digestive systems of both dogs and cats. 

The first thing I noticed when we received our Orijen Adult Dry Dog Food was the bag was vacuum sealed! Freshness! The next thing I noticed was: 80% premium animal ingredients, 20% fruits, vegetables & botanicals, 0% grain.  Love that!  In addition, the kibble is made with fresh, never frozen ingredients, including free-run chicken & turkey, wild-caught fish and whole eggs. 


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"Active dogs and cats require a meat-based diet, rich in animal protein and fat. Champion Petfoods uses free‐run poultry, wild‐caught fish, and free‐range red meats for Orijen to provide pets with the best nourishment. Coupled with these fresh meats, Orijen also contains fruits and vegetables, health‐boosting herbs, and balanced mineral content for the healthiest meal pets can get. Furthermore, Orijen is grain‐free for more controlled blood sugar levels and excludes
ineffective nutrients from plant oils as compared to other brands.

Champion Petfoods closely works with local farmers, fishermen, food processing innovators, and the scientific community to produce the highest quality products. Arriving fresh from the region each day, the meat is never frozen and never exposed to heat or chemicals. The harvested fruits and vegetables are ripe with vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. Lastly, the natural herbs help strengthen organs and tissues while also supporting the digestion process of pets."


I did not hesitate to have all four of the Lapdogs try Orijen and mixed it in with their normal kibble.  They went nuts for it - in fact, they enjoyed gobbling up the Orijen kibble all on it's own as a little treat.  Foster pup Sake even got to gobble some up... and play with the bag after!

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Although we're not in a situation that warrants switching kibble for any of the Lapdogs at this time (we currently have Zeus & Lola on one brand, Sophie & Teutul on another), I would definitely purchase Orijen in the future.  I would also recommend it to anyone looking for a high end, superior kibble for their dog!  And I would most certainly recommend that you purchase it from Mr. Chewy, where you'll receive free 1 - 2 day shipping on any order over $49!  In addition, if you decide to make your life easier and sign up for their wonderful automatic shipments, you'll save 15% off your first order!  Amazing high end dog food + free shipping + the best customer service around + 15% off = you can't beat that!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday is for Maverick!

Happy Monday... I'm playing a little game of photo catch-up again today.  It's another uber cute puppy post today!

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Tiny little Maverick was only with us for a week, but boy did the little bugger steal my lap heart!  He was indeed the neediest puppy we've fostered, but man was he absolutely adorable! 
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When he wasn't insisting on being in a humans' lap, he was snuggling or romping with his foster siblings. 

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He hated the snow when it was coming down and hitting him in the face, but thought it was fun to romp in it after...

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Here is he hanging with his big foster brothers...

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And with his foster sisters... look at how teeny he is next to Lola!

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Here he is with his little green snuggie blanket and the squeaky piggie toy I bought for him - his favorite things in life!

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These were taken just before we took Mavie to meet his forever family in CT.  Don't you just adore the love in Lola's eyes?
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We all miss the little guy, but are so happy that he landed himself a perfect forever home!

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And I do mean it when I say his forever home really is perfect... Maverick has a big brother named Zac, as well as several human siblings to keep him busy.  His Mom and sister have been keeping me up to date on all of his antics and sharing some great photos!  Here's Mavie and his bro... 

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I sent Mavie home with his little green snuggie and squeaky pig toy.  His Mom has told me how special there were to him and how he wouldn't leave them out of his sight when he first got there.  Even to this day, he must take both of them to bed with him each night... sniff, sniff..... awww...... sniff, sniff.

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I love these shots from Maverick's first walk with his human sister...

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Another success... Maverick is doing fantastic in his forever home and his family loves him dearly!  His Mom sent me an update today telling me the new running family joke... Apparently Mavie has a habit of collecting random things around the house and putting them into a pile in the kitchen.  Whenever someone is missing something, they ask "Did you check Mavie's hoarding pile?"  Too cute! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Don't Miss The Bunny Hop!

Have you got all of your Easter essentials?  If you're in need of toys or games to fill the kid's baskets, check out these great deals Shop Amazon - Fill Easter Baskets - Toys Under $10. And check out the link below for the rest of your Easter needs - dresses, suits, bonnets, shoes, candy, decor and more!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Sure Has Sprung!

Well hey, would you look at that... somehow Friday managed to sneak up on us.  Does anyone know where the week flew away too?  Regardless, Spring sure has sprung with authority around here!  We had a couple of days over 80 this week and people flocked to the beaches.  Looks like we'll be back down in the 50's over the weekend and 40's by mid week however.  Personally, I'd be happy with comfy low 70's, thank you very much.  If you're a Facebook friend of mine, you know I posed this question earlier this week, but I'll ask again... if April showers bring May flowers, just what do March flowers bring?

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This reminds me... what do my fellow Blogger using friends think of this new posting format thingy-ma-bob?  I find it annoying... my picture sizes from Flickr no longer fit correctly and the font size tool is all wrong.  Why must things that aren't broken always be tinkered with (ahem... I'm also talking to you Facebook Timeline, which I've still yet to switch over to)?  Sigh...

Anywho, happy Fiber Arts Friday!  Last Friday I ventured up to the Island (aka my hometown) to meet Mom and take part in the North Shore Yarn Crawl.  Due to budget constraints we only crawled to Coveted Yarn, but we had fun just the same!  My fabulous friend Heather of Mad Color Fiber Arts (formerly Sereknity Yarn & Fiber) was on hand, as was the wonderful Leslie Wind (if you're in need of shawl pins, check her out). 

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Mad Color Fiber Arts

I didn't go crazy (reminder... I'm on a strict yarn diet budget over here), but the sales were wonderful!  I grabbed a few skeins of Cascade Pacific for the Faux Entrelac Blanket, some Cubics circulars to try and uber cheap Ella Rae Classic Heathers in a pretty will-look-fab-with-jeans grey for this cute little shawl that I feel in love with.  Apparently Sake liked the yarn as well...

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I guess I set the bag down a little too close to Sake's crate and while I was out the next day, she tried (really hard!) to get that yarn inside her crate.  We've since had a little talk about how yarn is not a doggy toy and if she wants me to knit for her, she just has to woof!  The Lapdogs all agreed... just in case she happens to get adopted by a knitter,  we needed to teach her this cardinal rule. 

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Of course, both Sake and the yarn are just fine... I actually can't believe she is still with us.  What is wrong with people... why has no one scooped up my beautiful little girl?  She has the most amazing personality!  I'd selfishly love to see her go to someone we know, but whomever gives her the perfect forever home is fine by me. 

For all you knitters who love to get your geek on and only stop by on Fiber Arts Friday, hop back and check out my Knits For Nerds review.  Enjoy your weekend...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

REVIEW: Freshpet Ready to Bake Dog Cookies


Freshpet Ready to Bake Dog Cookies

Where to Find: Freshpet.com

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Pre-Baked Cookies
If you're like me, you always have good intentions of baking homemade treats for your dogs, but then life gets in the way.  We get busy doing this or that and think it's easier to just grab another box of XYZ treats at the store.  Well, what if homemade treats were as quick and easy as opening that box from the store?  Enter the best solution possible... Ready to Bake Dog Cookies from Freshpet!
 

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Cooling Cookies
We received two packages of the Ready to Bake Dog Cookies; the Dog Joy Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Recipe and the Dognation Oatmeal & Cranberry Recipe.  (side note: Freshpet has six different lines of food and treats)  The cookies arrived cleverly packaged in a Freshpet mini cooler with ice packs, along with a Freshpet apron.  Bonus... cookies for the pack and a cooler and apron for Mama!

FreshPet_Cookies_312eI decided to bake the Dog Joy Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Recipe cookies for Zeus' birthday.  I can't get over how incredibly easy they were to make.  Simply pre-heat the oven to 350, place the pre-formed cookies 2" apart on a baking sheet, flatten a little with your palm and bake for 10-14 minutes.  Seriously, could life get any simpler?  You don't even have to "snap" them apart like some of the human ready to bake brands!  These cookies seem almost too good to be true.  Not only are they easy to make, they're 100% all natural and I feel great about feeding them to my pack!  The Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Recipe are made from simple ingredients that I can pronounce... peanut butter, oats, evaporated cane juice, palm oil, eggs, water and baking soda.  And to top it all off, they smell absolutely delish!!!  If I hadn't known better, I would have thought these were gourmet human cookies!

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The Dognation Oatmeal & Cranberry recipe is just as wholesome.  Made from oats, evaporated cane juice, palm oil, eggs, cranberries, water, baking soda and carrageenan.  Not only are they a tasty treat for our pooches, the antioxidant-rich cranberries help to enhance the immune system, protect from toxins and encourage a healthy heart.  The carrageenan is a seaweed extract used for thickening.

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The Lapdogs absolutely loved these cookies that look suspiciously like the humans' treats.  I'm not sure if they figured that out or not... I don't think they even had time to look at the cookies before gobbling them up.  The Freshpet ready to bake cookies most definitely get the 16 Paws Up Lapdog Seal of Approval!  In fact, they are already begging for more!  Tut wouldn't let the cookie stash out of his sight.

I will certainly be purchasing both varieties of Freshpet ready to bake cookies in the future and I look forward to the company adding more varieties to their always growing line.  I'll also be happily using my snazy Freshpet cooler all summer long!