Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Mischief

Happy Monday!  I may be the only person who woke up this morning and posted on Facebook about what a great recovery day this is.  We had a very busy, fun weekend, but somewhere along the line I think I picked up a little bug.  It's nice to not have to do anything outside of the house today... although I did just lug all of the potted plants back on the deck.  I'm hoping that Mother Nature cooperates and I only have to drag them in and out for a couple more days... they're getting heavy! 

Of course, the Lapdogs think this is absolutely awesome... as they continue to run in and out from the sunroom to the deck all day.  The most chaotic part is the initial opening of the back door. First up is the contest to see which dog can push and shove their way to the door first and which can announce to the neighborhood dogs that they are king/queen of the deck first.  This is followed by Mama lugging the heavy pots in and out through a small open space as four happy dogs run full speed back and forth.... Happy Monday Mischief

Fortunately, you get the calmer side of things in photos.  We actually had a little photo shoot out there on Friday, but I still have to download the camera shots.  In the meantime, my girls show you how they like spending their afternoons on the deck... thanks to Instagram!


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This shot is from our visit to the dog park yesterday to meet up with Harper and her family.  More photos to come later this week... but check out who the laziest dogs were at the park!


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Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Fun

Well hey, would you look at that... Friday snuck up on us again!  Before I get to the good stuff... Who else out there uses Blogger and have you experienced some PITA issues with the new format lately?  I'm still cursing out the new posting format every time I use it and each time I schedule a post to auto-publish at a later day/time, Blogger simply decides not to publish it.  And don't even get me started on it not accepting my Flickr photo links in "compose" mode... ugh.

Anywho, onto the good stuff.  Happy Fiber Arts Friday.... what's on your needles this week?  I had cast on 200 stitches for the Just Enough Ruffles Scarf last week and finally got around to working a few rows... in between baby hat knitting and some Nook reading.  I'm loving how the Malabrigo Rios is knitting up.

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Speaking of reading, the UPS man brought this yesterday...

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Stay tuned for my official review, but oh how I adore the crafty Tori Spelling.  Did anyone else catch her on the Rachael Ray show promoting this book last week?  Seriously, how can you not adore Tori?  A crafty chica, great Mom and all around funny gal who I could truly see being party of my circle of girlfriends.  Who wouldn't love to have Tori at their next knitting retreat?   

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!  I'm going to be spending part of it bringing my container garden (aka potted veggies) back and forth from the deck to the sunroom.  Our beautiful days and hot temps got my green thumb going, even against Mom's warning, and now with we're back to nights dipping into the 30's.  Boo!

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

1. Ah, me... and my "ability" to speak my mind.


2. Deciding what to do job/income wise is what's on my mind most lately.

3. When I talk to my best friend, I can't help but smile.

4. Coffee, knitting, hanging with my dogs and a little guilty pleasure TV (hello Judge Mathis and Peoples Court) is what's working for me lately.

5. I recently saw Water For Elephants (loving borrowing DVDs from the library lately).

6. Paying it forward fills me with joy!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a quiet evening at home and a new episode of Fringe, tomorrow my plans include hanging out with our NELCAR family for some road course racing at NHMS and Sunday, I want to enjoy a visit with the Harper at the dog park!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shhh.... Lapdogs Hard at Work!

Happy Wordless Wednesday!  The Lapdogs are hard at work testing several new treats and products.... stay tuned for our reviews!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

REVIEW: Salmon Paws

Salmon Paws

Where to Find: Salmon Paws


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SalmonPaws_LolaSophieWe recently received a package of Salmon Paws, 100% Alaskan wild salmon dog treats for review and the first thing I noticed is they are Made in the USA.  This is a top priority in my book when looking for new treats - and step one in my allowing the Lapdogs to review them! 

Salmon Paws contains just one ingredent - human-grade wild salmon, caught in the Alaskan waters.  It does not contain any bones, fillers or yeast!  Salmon Paws are simply baked to create the dog and cat treats.  This is truly a treat you can feel good about giving to your furry children!       

SalmonPaws_Tut2Salmon is all natural, low fat and high in protein - making it not only good for humans, but for our furry friends as well.  The inspiration for Salmon Paws came from the creators' yearning to have a great tasting, natural, nutritional treat for their own dogs, Zoey and Hudson.  Salmon Paws is family owned and operated in Washington state, where they have been making salmon based products for over 15 years. 

SalmonPaws_Zeus2The Lapdogs received a bag of the original Salmon Paws to try.  The large fillets are easy to tear into bite size pieces, allowing you to create healthy training treats in a snap.  Lola, Sophie and Tut instantly loved the salmon... Zeus is still thinking about it.  He wouldn't even try it at the first sampling, however today he took a little bite.  My big guy just isn't as crazy about fish as the other Lapdogs.  It's okay... my littler fisher-woman Sophie is happy to get his share.  In fact, she just stole the whole bag off the table as I type!

While Zeus isn't on board, everyone else thinks Salmon Paws are downright tasty (which makes this fishing-town-born Mama proud)! I know we have readers who regularly seek out kibble and treats with fish as the main protein -- these are definitely for your babies!  They are also for any other pooches who enjoy a little something different.  As long as your dog isn't as picky as Zeus, I highly recommend you pick up a bag of Salmon Paws today!  If you order from their website, 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the Lange Foundation, a no kill shelter! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

REVIEW: Circular Knitting Workshop

Circular Knitting Workshop

Essential Techniques to Master Knitting in the Round

by Margaret Radcliffe
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (March 13, 2012)


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If you haven't discovered the pleasures of knitting in the round yet, I've got one word for you...why?!  In Circular Knitting Workshop: Essential Techniques to Master Knitting in the Round, Margaret Radcliffe teaches us everything we need to know to master this skill. 

Circular knitting has countless benefits... it is efficient, convenient and often fascinating.  It also makes chart reading easier and eliminates the need for seams.  I prefer it over flat knitting any day.  After all, who wants to waste time sewing seams when you could be casting on your next project?

Margaret is a master teacher with a knack for demystifying complex techniques with detailed, step-by-step instructions.  In Circular Knitting Workshop she uses 45 mini sample projects to demonstrate several of these techniques, including lace, Fair Isle, helix, twined, tubular and double knitting, as well as the perfect cast ons for knitting in the round.  Margaret also covers adapting flat patterns to circular knitting and converting bottom-up projects to top-down.  Her instructions are well written and easy to follow, and the accompanying photographs provide the perfect detailed visual. 

Circular Knitting Workshop is truly a complete course, housed in one attractive book.  The one thing Circular Knitting Workshop is not, is a pattern book.  This fabulous reference book contains everything you need to know to master the art of circular knitting, along with small work-shop projects for you to practice on.  I can't put my finger on any circular technique that is missing!  Both beginners and intermediate knitters will treasure Circular Knitting Workshop and all that it teaches. 

To sum it up... Whether you need step-by-step instructions to tackle a new skill or just a refresher on "how-to," Circular Knitting Workshop is your go-to!  Add a copy to your knitting library today!

About the Author: Margaret Radcliffe is the author of Circular Knitting Workshop, The Knitting Answer Book, and The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques. She lives in Virginia and teaches knitting workshops across North America, promoting creativity and independence in all knitters. Her own designs are published in the Maggie’s Rags.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!  Check out some great Earth Day themed books...

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Little Knitting, A Little Gardening

Is it really Friday already?  Well, I guess that means Happy Fiber Arts Friday!  Today is one of those rare "why yes, she really does knit" posts, as I actually have knitting content to share.... Although I do hope to be sharing far more knitting in the coming months!  Since there seems to be quite a troop of babies on the way this summer, I got started on some tiny knits.  Here's Baby Boy Hat #1...

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Pattern: Rolled Edge Cap from 60 Quick Baby Knits
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Colorspun in #7148
The real life colors are closer to the in progress photo on the left, but doesn't Instagram make it - and my sweet Sophie - look so vibrant?  This is a super quick knit and I always enjoy working with Encore!  I've already cast on #2 and am guessing I might even get a #3 from this one skein.

I cast on my 200 stitches for the Just Enough Ruffles Scarf over morning coffee...

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Thank you again to Instagram for making a ho-hum photo look so much more interesting!  Yarn is the Malabrigo Rios in #862 Piedras that I treated myself to after a job interview last month.

Now for something you've never seen on this blog before... Gardening! I know several of you out there are avid gardeners and while I love the look of plush flower beds and the taste of fresh veggies, I DO. NOT. WEED. (which you know if you've been stopping by for any length of time).  I also do not have a green thumb.  I've managed to kill every single house plant that has come into this house for 11 years, with the minor exception of my beloved Coffee Bean Plant that lived in my office for 6 or 7 years.  It has been transplanted 3 times and has grown to at least 5 times it's originally size (I credit the fluorescent lighting).  It now unhappily resides in my house and I'm debating on whether or not I should put it outside on the deck for the summer.  Anyone out there know?

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Speaking of my non green thumb... I got the bright idea that I wanted to try some container vegetable gardening this summer.  I did a little bit when we first moved into the house with some success.  I browsed the endless seed packet displays today and picked out some that were not only OK for containers, but also did not need to be started in the little pods... after all, it seems I'm a late bloomer with this gardening stuff.  I also ventured to my local Tractor Supply for the first time and after I stopped ooohing and ahhing over everything (now I know why Matt has never asked me to go with him) , I stumbled upon something I just couldn't put down... a Pink Lemonade Blueberry bush.  Yes, the package tells me this will produce pink blueberries!  Who knew?  Since I didn't want the tiny little bush to be lonely, I also picked up a Raspberry bush and some Strawberries that can hang in a bag from our deck.  I don't know how much success we'll have with the fruit bushes (especially with our woodchuck family), but I'll give it a shot.  I really want to see some pink blueberries!

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So what are you knitting, planting or otherwise crafting this weekend?  We have Matt's first race of the 2012 NELCAR Legends season tomorrow in Canada Unity, ME.  I'm still doing my rain dance (yes, this just might be my least favorite track on the schedule, I'll admit it), however I hear it won't much matter given that this track will take all day/night to call the race.  At least I've got plenty of knitting to keep me busy...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Smiles

Happy Dogs on Thursday / Thorsday / Thankful Thursday / Little Friday / whatever you're happy about today! 

PetPortables_Lola_4312cIf you missed our review of the Pet Portables Travel/Safety Kit - and Lola's amazing modeling skills - earlier this week, check it out here.  The kit got me wondering... what do you use when traveling with your dog(s) and do you have a safety kit in the event of an emergency that you can easily grab and go?  For day trips, I've used a canvas doctor's style bag from Planet Dog for years.  We typically don't take more than 2 dogs at a time to visit family, so the bag works perfectly for a food/water bowl, treats, toys, bones, a super long leash/tie out, etc.  Our pet first aid kit lives under the bathroom sink and no, I've never taken it with us.  While we tend to always have extra food, treats and bottled water on hand, I will admit that I've yet to put together an emergency kit that could be grabbed in seconds if we had to move out of the house quickly.  Now that I have the Pet Portables kit, I will certainly be taking the first aid kit along.  Next up... work on putting together a true emergency kit for the Lapdogs.

Now for the Thursday Smiles, aka a few foster updates!  Skipper's Mom posted this picture of her "miniature pony" on my Facebook wall over the weekend.  Isn't he handsome?  Skip's Mom says he has become a fan favorite at work and doggy daycare... I can see why!

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Izzy has settled right in very nicely at her forever home.  She has been having fun playing with her doggy cousins (don't you just love how well she - and her airplane ears - sits in the picture on the right) and working on turning her Dad into a morning person.  The Lapdogs sent Izzy home with the bright orange Planet Dog bone on the left, as well as her snuggie.  We see that she is still loving the bone, but I'm wondering if the snuggie lives on?  I had to do minor surgery on it twice before she left... 

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Little Mavie has been doing great and is a happy, healthy growing boy who loves playing with his brother Zac and doing the tricks he's learned.

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Getting photos and updates on our fosters is always so wonderful and I appreciate them all so much... however Mavie's human sister took things one step further and created this awesome video update for us!


I can't tell you how much that video makes me smile... Enjoy the rest of your Thursday and give your pups an extra treat... or two!

GIVEAWAY WINNER! Scott's Liquid Gold Clean Screen

liquidgoldThank you to everyone who entered to win the Spring Cleaning Kit from Scott's Liquid Gold!

The winner has been selected by random number generator...

Here are your random numbers: 2

Congratulations to Grace! Happy Cleaning!

Stay tuned for more reviews and giveaways coming soon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

REVIEW: Pet Portables Travel/Safety Kit

Pet Portables Travel/Safety Kit

Where to Find: Pet Portables


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"Anywhere you and your pet go, Pet Portables can go!"

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We recently received a Pet Portables Travel/Safety Kit for review... and as you can see, Lola was eager to try it out!  The all-in-one Pet Portables kit is an essential safety and travel companion for pet owners.
The aftermath of events like September 11th, the Midwest flash floods, California wildfires and Hurricane Katrina, forever changed the way people think about being prepared for a disaster. It also changed the way people pack their emergency kits to be ready to go at all times. However, most people forget about the importance of also having an emergency kit ready for their beloved pets. Though most pet owners, hopefully, will be spared losing a furry family member through a natural disaster, it's smart to plan ahead and be prepared to protect your pet.  This dilemma got New York entrepreneur, Jane Bell, thinking about how people can take better care of their pets' needs during an emergency - as well in ordinary times. "City people tend not to think about being prepared. During a New York blackout, one of my neighbors gave me an emergency kit. It had a bottle of water, a mask, a radio and a Metrocard. It was very compact. The idea for Pet Portables came from there."
PetPortables2The Pet Portables kit starts with a stylish grey and orange 13" x 9" x 3" nylon bag comprised of one large zippered compartment, a front velcro pocket and an adjustable strap, making it a cinch to carry.  The attached luggage tag allows you to easily display your business card or even a photo of your pet.  A clear plastic sleeve in the front velcro pocket holds an extensive ID card which you can fill out with your contact information, as well as your pet's vital information.  Four elasticized compartments inside the zippered part can hold bottled water, medications, food, etc. with ease.  A slip lead, collapsible bowl, and roll of poop bags are all included inside the bag, as well as a basic pet first aid kit which comes in it's own case, allowing you to stash it in the car or your own bag when you don't need the full Pet Portables kit.

PetPortables_Lola_4312Once you've added your own essentials - water, food, treats, medications, toys - the Pet Portables kit is perfect to keep in the car, have ready to go for a quick overnight trip or on hand in the event of a natural disaster or other unexpected event.

As a Mom to 4 slobbering, drooling, mud-loving Lapdogs, I am pleased to point out the perfect-for-pooches nylon bag easily wipes clean with a damp cloth.  On top of that, it's made in a "hides-alot" grey color that I personally find appealing.  The bright orange accents and interior not only make it easy to locate the bag quickly in an emergency, but also allows you to easily find what you need inside the bag.  

PetPortables_Sake_4312As important as the Pet Portables kit is for emergencies, it is certainly just as useful for all types of travel.  I would take this kit on day trips, hiking, to the beach, camping, etc.  If you and your dog are involved in agility, flyball, dock dogs or any sports, the Pet Portables kit is a perfect take along.  The bag is lightweight, easy to carry and roomy enough to hold all essentials. 

Be prepared... Feel secure... add a Pet Portables kit to your home today.  The kit would also make a fabulous gift for new pet parents!  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wooooooo!

No, the "Woooooo!" isn't necessarily because it's Friday (although we won't complain about that), it's for my Bruins taking game 1 of the playoffs in OT last night!  Yes, it's that time of year again... playoff hockey is here!  For those of you non-puck loving friends, please bare with me over the coming weeks... hopefully you'll be hearing alot more Wooooo's! Let's keep the Cup in Beantown boys! 

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Speaking of my B's, as an unemployed a person with some extra time on her hands lately, I've had the chance to go watch open practice a couple of times with my cousin.  The second time I went, the majority of the team was doing "off ice" practice, however, I was okay with boring on ice activity when Milan Lucic decided to bop through the arena (and yes, I did feel short!)...

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The boys aren't allowed to stop and sign autographs for fans outside the arena anymore, however that didn't stop Dennis Seidenberg (aka the nicest guy in hockey... the first time we went to practice, he came over and gave his stick to the little boy that my cousin nannies for) and Tim Thomas from stopping for a few moments...

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I was bummed I didn't make it over in time to see Timmy closer, but of course... only me would manage to capture a photo of the goalie God in the same shot as a random dog

Hope you enjoy your Friday and have a fabulous weekend!  Leaving you with some Fill-Ins today...

1. Speed safely.

2. Playoff hockey is what I've been looking forward to!

3. One of the things I like most about traveling is doing things I wouldn't otherwise do... whether it be trying new foods, meeting new animals, or just going out of my comfort zone of everyday life.

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It's not everyday I get to have a Tiger climb on my shoulders!

4. Last night's terrible events in Greenland NH makes me think life is too short

5. A road trip to NC would be nice... we haven't been down there in a long time.

6. Homemade breaded chicken tenders, roasted potatoes and salad is what I had for dinner last night.

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Tut helping his Daddy get the race car ready for practice
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a quiet evening at home, tomorrow my plans include NELCAR practice day at NHMS and Sunday, I want to get our patio set out from storage and on the deck!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Too Much Sake Makes You....

... DIzzy!  You may recall that we were taking little Sake to meet possible adopters on Friday.  Well... they fell for her, she fell for them, everyone had a grand 'ole time watching her romp at the dog park and instead of getting dizzy, she became Izzy! 
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It's still hard to believe the sweet little girl was with us for a full month before she found her forever home.  If we didn't already have 4 dogs, we definitely would have kept her!  In fact, I might have even toyed with 5 dogs for a short moment... after all Izzy would've made a great little flyball or dock dog girl! 

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Her personality is truly one in a million, and she's a smart little cookie!  At the ripe 'ole age of 3 months, she was a major league fetch player! As long as you'll throw a ball, she'll bring it back and drop it right in your hand - my lapdogs don't even do that!  She's outgoing and independent, yet loves to snuggle... and she loves everyone and everything!  In fact, she's so eager to please, she'll instantly submit to any dog... even when playing (I really should have gotten a video of her submitting and scooting across the floor all at the same time while playing with the lapdogs). 

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We taught Izzy all about racing and hockey while she was here and she became an honorary Crew Dog...

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Izzy quickly bonded with all of her big foster siblings.  Sophie loved having another buddy to play with and only seemed to slightly mind Izzy's obsession with chewing on her ears.

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Chillin' with foster Mama Lola... and playing with the best free toy ever!  We got this frisbee at an event the day before Izzy went to her forever home and she thought it was the. best. thing. ever!

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Like most of our fosters, little Izzy was infatuated with Zeus...

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Hanging with big foster brother Tut...

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Of course we all miss Izzy, but we couldn't be happier with the forever home she landed!  I'll be the first to admit that I'm extra picky with the homes my foster babies end up in and I have to say, this one is perfect for her.  They're a 20-something couple who were eager to spoil love her!  Mom is a teacher, which means she'll be home with Izzy all summer and Dad has a flexible schedule.  Being the social butterfly that she is, I was a little worried Izzy wouldn't have a furry sibling to wrestle with, but there are other dogs amongst their circle of family and friends to keep her entertained... and Lola is eager to meet up with Izzy for some dog park play dates soon as well!

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Izzy's new new Mom & Dad picked her up on Easter Sunday morning.  I think she was just as excited to see them as they were to see her, which made my heart smile!  Don't you love her new Lupine harness?  It was a little big, but I'll bet she'll be filling it out in no time at all.  We can clearly see how much she grew in the 4 weeks she was here...

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I'm happy to hear that Izzy is doing very well in her forever home and it sounds like she is still acting out on her love of removing ears and tags.  Yes, ears and tags... they stand no chance!  I think the only thing she loved more than proudly removing them was stealing snuggling up with my N-A-P pillow! As I was vacuuming the other day, I discovered a couple of tags and a miscellaneous ear (think it came from this stuffed moose) and I thanked little Izzy for leaving us reminders of her.  We hope to visit with her soon!

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