Thursday, April 30, 2015

Surgery Day for Tut

Happy Thursday... it is Thursday, right? I seem to have been a day ahead all week. Although, not one person commented that my "throw back Thursday" post on Instagram was a day early yesterday. Either I had some of you convinced as well, or you're just all too kind to correct me.

Anyway, if you haven't visited the blog this week, we've got a lot going on. I got to tell you about how Royal Canin is taking the guesswork out of pet nutrition at Petsmart and how Hill's is cooking things up in small batches with their new Ideal Balance Crafted pet food.  And for those of you who are stressing over spring cleaning, or clutter in general, check out the review of Clear The Clutter, Find Happiness and enter to win a copy

Whew... that was a lot of information to post in three days!

Today I ask that you keep Teutul in your thoughts and send good vibes our way.  My boy is having surgery this morning and I'm always a nervous nelly when my kids have to go under. 

Tut says Good Morning IG! #dogstagram #muttstagram #rescuedog #coonhoundmix #adoptdontshop #instadog #happydog #seniordog #ilovemyseniordog #ilovebigmutts

Tut is having his teeth cleaned, and may have one tooth extracted (Dr. C won't know for certain until she starts cleaning).  He's also having two lumpectomies (both of which are being sent out for biopsy).  The most suspicious lump is growing on his left front foot/ankle and reminds me too much of the soft tissue sarcoma that grew to softball size on Zeus' front leg.  The second lump is on his shoulder and while Dr. C suspects it is just a cyst, we decided to have it removed while he's under for everything else.  It won't cost much more to do it now, nor will it affect Tut's recovery... and the last thing I would want to happen is to have the biopsy from his foot show something nasty and then to second guess not finding out what this other tiny lump is. 


Please send good vibes to my boy...... and anti-nervous vibes my way.  Thank you!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#InspiredByCrafted - Small Batches, Big Flavor

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Crafted™, but Lapdog Creations only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

With a growing trend of eating healthy meals with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, either cooked at home or at quality restaurants, it should be no surprise that Americans are also becoming more aware of what they put into their fur kids' food bowls.


Pet parents are getting educated and making smarter, healthier choices. They are no longer choosing their dog and cat food based on what's on sale at the grocery store. Instead, they now spend hours researching brands to find the most nutritious, natural options for their pets.


We recently learned about - and got to try - the all new Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Crafted™ which is made in small batches.
What does "Small Batch" mean?
Small batch means that Ideal Balance Crafted is made just the way you would - one very special batch at time.  Hill's experienced, dedicated master bakers create unique recipes in small batches using high quality meats, wholesome vegetables and ancient grains.
Hill's recognized the trends of pet parents and responded by crafting a dog food that not only provides 100% balanced nutrition, but is less processed and made the way you would make it - in small batches with natural ingredients. Check out the short video below to learn more.

Ideal Balance Crafted uses many of the same ingredients that you would expect to find in high-end restaurants. Protein sources include trout, salmon, tuna, roasted beef and chicken that has been slow cooked to ensure high quality taste and composition.  The artisan crafted recipes also include whole ancient grains like quinoa and buckwheat, and vegetables like sweet potatoes, barley and peas. 

The cooking process of roasting dry dog kibble is not common, but it is very effective.  It not only produces a texture that dogs love, it also allows Hill's to "cook" it with more attention and care, helping to lock in flavor and nutrition.  Even the wet food is made using new technology which helps deliver textured foods with perfectly balanced nutrition. 

As with other Ideal Balance brand products, all Ideal Balance Crafted dog and cat foods are made in the US with no corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, artificial flavors or preservatives. In addition to the dry and wet food, the line also features treats.

The Lapdogs are big fans of the Grain Free Herbed Chicken and Chickpeas recipe.  Zeus was still with us when we received our samples from Hill's and he couldn't get enough of the kibble!

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Ideal Balance Crafted products are available at vet offices and specialty pet stores, as well as Pet 360, where the line is currently on sale

Connect with Hill's: Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness

Disclosure: Storey Publishing LLC sent a copy of Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness to Lapdog Creations for review. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness

One-Minute Tips for Decluttering and Refreshing Your Home and Your Life

by Donna Smallin

Paperback: 288 pages

Publisher: Storey Publishing LLC (December 16, 2014)


Let's face it, everyone is busy these days, running from here to there and multitasking along the way.  There never seems to be enough hours in the day, and when we do have some "free time," who wants to waste spend it cleaning?  I certainly don't.  Of course, that means the clutter adds up quickly, eventually leading to chaos and stress. 

Donna Smallin, a nationally recognized organizing expert (file that one under "cool jobs!") is here to help us all with her book, Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness: One-Minute Tips for Decluttering and Refreshing Your Home and Your Life.  This handy little book (literally, it's a mere 4" x 6") is jam packed with practical tips and encouraging words to help us common folk break thru the overwhelming chore barrier that discourages us all.

Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness teaches how to take those monstrous size chores and break them down into smaller, more manageable chunks.  Instead of wasting spending an entire sunny weekend day inside cleaning, you'll be able to get things done a few minutes at a time.
"Look at decluttering as an opportunity to share your abundance. There are people who could really use the stuff you aren't using."
As someone who has vowed to get rid of the things I haven't used - or worse yet, seen - in years, I can really appreciate that statement. 

The tips and tricks in Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness cover just about every aspect of your home.  From closets to drawers, paperwork to toiletries, socks to scarves, and so much more!  There are a lot of great ideas for finding extra storage, and some brilliant organizational tips. 

I love the "Hot, Warm, Cold" rule. Essentially, frequently used items are considered "hot" (think the television remote), occasionally used items are "warm" (perhaps a cookie sheet), and rarely used items are "cold" (something like last year's tax return or your lobster pot). Hot things should live in a handy spot, while it's okay to put warm things in a lower cabinet or hallway pantry. Cold things can go in the attic, basement or some other out of the way space. This makes perfect sense, yet I'm quite sure that I'm not the only one who has "cold" items taken over coveted counter and shelf space... right?

Another "makes perfect sense and why aren't I already doing that?" tip in Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness involves linking chores to daily activities.  For instance, when you're brushing your teeth, rinse out the sink and wipe off the faucet. Or, when you stop for gas, empty out the trash bag in your car.  Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness is a handy, and fun, little guide.  Grab yourself a copy today and start finding happiness in a less-cluttered world!

About the Author: Donna Smallin is the author of seven Storey titles with a total of more than 928,000 copies in print. She is a frequent contributor to major national women’s and home magazines and has been a guest on the CBS Early Show, Better TV, HGTV, CNN, and Fox & Friends, as well as numerous radio programs. For the past decade, Smallin has been a spokesperson for such companies as Bissell, Kaboom, Staples, 3M, Keurig, and others. Check out her blog and her Facebook page for more decluttering tips.  

Would having a copy of Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness make your life a little easier? Thanks to the folks at Storey Publishing, we are giving away a copy to one lucky reader.  Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 27, 2015

#RoyalCanin Takes the Guesswork out of Pet Nutrition

This post is sponsored by PetSmart, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Royal Canin Pet Health Nutrition, but Lapdog Creations only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. PetSmart is not responsible for the content of this article.

2015-04-24_06-54-39All dog food is not created equal, and all dogs do not require the same nutritional formula.  As a multi-dog household who currently purchases two different dry dog food formulas, I have a little experience when it comes to those facts.  And, I will be happy to tell you that it has taken many, many years to learn about good pet health nutrition and to understand which formulas work best for each of my fur-kids.

PetSmart_Logo_CMYKBut, you don't have to endure the years of trial and error that I did! The experts at Royal Canin® have developed specialized formulas that take the guesswork out of the equation for both cats and dogs, according to breed and size. And, they are conveniently located at PetSmart® locations, as well as online at

"Royal Canin® is a global leader in pet health nutrition. In an industry that continues to adapt to popular trends in cat and dog food, our mission will remain the same; to constantly bring, through Health Nutrition and shared knowledge, the most precise nutritional solution for cats’ and dogs’ health nutrition needs, by building on constantly deepened scientific knowledge and Royal Canin’sroots in the feline and canine professional networks."

Royal Canin Breed Health canine formulas are tailor made to address the issues of pure bred dogs.  Each formula not only features the best protein source and unique nutrients for that particular breed, but the kibble itself is also custom designed in size, shape and texture.  Plus, each breed specific recipe is available for both puppies and adult dogs.  Whether you've got a hungry, growing Boxer puppy or an adult German Shepherd to feed tonight, Royal Canin has got you covered. Learn more about the breed specific nutrition here

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Sunday morning greetings from the hounds... #dogstagram #muttstagram #dogsofinstagram #instadog
For those of you who might not need a breed specific formula (raise your hand if you're a proud parent of a mutt!), Royal Canin also offers sized-based nutrition formulas.  Whether you have a 5 pound chihuahua or a 150 pound mutt, these formulas are designed to cover all shapes and sizes - literally!  For very small and small dogs, check out X-Small or Mini.  For medium dogs, check out the appropriately named Medium.  Large dogs will benefit from Maxi, and giant dogs will want, what else... Giant.

Using Royal Canin's weight range, both Teutul and Sophie are just barely into the large dog weight range and require the Maxi formula.

Royal Canin is a global company who's worldwide headquarters was built in 1968 in Southern France. This facility remains one of the world's most advanced pet manufacturing facilities today.

The company's US headquarters is located in St. Charles, Missouri, with manufacturing facilities in Missouri and South Dakota. All of the Royal Canin pet food distributed in the US is made in company-owned plants located either in the US or Canada. 

When it comes to your dog's (or cat's!) health and nutrition, feeding him a healthy, balanced diet couldn't be easier. Not only can you get individualized pet nutrition based on either breed or size, you can get it conveniently at PetSmart (click here to find the location closest to you) or online at Plus, when I was perusing the Royal Canin aisle at my local PetSmart, I noticed they are currently running a "Spend $50, Get $10 Coupon" deal!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Black & White Sunday: Nap or Shop?

Happy Sunday!  Be sure to take a cue from the hounds and get an afternoon nap in today...

Or maybe a little online shopping is your thing?  Did you catch our PupJoy review (and coupon code) on Thursday? 



Friday, April 24, 2015

#Craftsy Spring Flash Sale - Up to 60% Off!



Now that Spring has officially sprung –– at least that's what we keep telling ourselves, although some parts of New England did see snow yesterday –– have you treated your stash to any fresh picks yet?

No, you say? 

Well, there's not better time than the present... and you can save up to 60% on top kits, fabric and yarn on Craftsy!

Florals, pastels and on-trend spring selections are just the beginning, so go ahead, pick yourself a beautiful bouquet of new supplies while the savings last.  And I know I don't need to remind you that a bouquet of supplies also makes a great Mother's Day gift!

Hurry, offer ends Sunday - shop now!

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Disclosure: PupJoy sent a one-time subscription box to Lapdog Creations, free of charge for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions expressed are my own.

PupJoy Box

Where to Find: PupJoy


These days it seems it's all about the box. ...  All 'bout that box, 'bout that box, no parcel   ...
Uh, um, sorry 'bout that, let's get back to our regularly scheduled post...

2015-04-19_01-26-10It seems as though there is a monthly box for just about everything these days... candy, beauty products, yarn, snacks, jewelry, and yes, dog products. The trouble with some of these subscription services is that you get the exact same box full of stuff that everyone else gets. Whether you enjoy gummy candy while they like lollipops, or you only knit with lightweight yarn while they prefer bulky, you're all getting the same one-size-fits-all box. In my experience, this has been especially true when it comes to dog product boxes. Little, if any, custom options were available. It didn't matter if you were a doggy Mama with a little boy or a big girl, you got whatever they sent.

There's got to be a better way, right?

Enter PupJoy, the "better box."

"A monthly box of bliss for your dog. Customized by you and hand selected by us, our innovative PupJoy Box resets the bar for dog subscription services, with fully customized ordering, concierge service and free home delivery. Your dog isn't a one-size fits all, or a three-size fits most; she's your best friend. So treat her to a personalized box today." - PupJoy

At PupJoy, it's all about customization and a modern concierge model that combines convenience, control and value.  The process I went through to create the Lapdogs' box was simple, yet left me feeling as though we were truly going to get a box of stuff we would use and enjoy - not more stuff to toss in the "donate" pile. 

The steps we took to get the box you see here were:
  • Is this a gift order? Yes or No
    • No
  • Box Size: Uno (perfect for your only-child pup, 3-4 items) / Grande (ideal for big appetite or multiple dogs, 4-6 items)
    • Grande
  • Box Type: Treats, Toys & Accessories / Toys & Accessories Only / Treats Only
    • Treats, Toys & Accessories
  • Payment Plan: Month to Month ($39/mo) / 3 Months ($36/mo*) / 6 Months ($33/mo*) / 12 Months ($30/mo*) - *all multiple month plans must be paid up front
    • We received one month free for this review
  • Your Dog(s) Treat Preference: Gourmet (curated selections of artisan treats) / Grain Free Gourmet (grain free treats only)
    • Grain Free Gourmet
  • Preferred Collar Size: Extra Small (5-10") / Small (10-15") / Medium (15-20") / Large (20-25") / Extra Large (25-30")
    • Medium
  • Your Dog(s) Toy Needs: Egalitarian (good with all toys, low maintenance) / Inquisitive (so curious that I pull apart all of the soft ones to find out what's inside) / Sensitive (just soft and plushy for me - I snuggle, not destroy)
    • 2015-04-19_01-23-38
    • Egalitarian

Once you complete those options, you are then asked to enter the name, birthday, gender and size of each of your furkids.  After you check out, all that's left is to wait by the mailbox for your customiized PupJoy box to arrive!

Inside of our Grande, Egalitarian, Grain Free, Treats Toys & Accessories PupJoy box, we found the following:

1) Sam's Yams Bichon Fries. We are familiar with this brand of sweet potato treats, as we used to buy the large size "Big Boyz." They are Made in the USA from USDA-inspected sweet potatoes - yum!

2) Whole Life Freeze-Dried Fresh Pure Chicken.  This is a new-to-us brand and I loved learning about their "Farm to Friend" philosophy

3) Whole Life Freeze -Dried Fresh Pure Beef Liver. Normally I'd say if you're going to put 3 bags of treats in 1 box, I'd like to see 3 different brands... but the Lapdogs are hushing their Mama because they love these freeze-dried treats. I certainly can't complain, especially with these.

2015-04-19_01-29-024) Pet Flys Perfect World Pets Elephant. This squeaky little guy (or gal?) is not only adorable, it is for a good cause too!  Proceeds from the Perfect World Pets line help support homeless pets.

2015-04-19_01-29-555) Medium size blue collar from Bait Free. I have seen these in other posts about PupJoy boxes and it seems as though everyone else received a collar and matching leash, except for us. hmprf  Regardless, I love what Bait Free stands for - they donate 20% of proceeds to rescued bait dogs. I will be checking out this brand more!   

All in all, we loved our PupJoy box. Having the ability to customize a monthly subscription service on so many different levels is wonderful. The Lapdogs and I highly recommend PupJoy if you're thinking about getting a subscription for your pup. Of course, Tut wants me to remind you that subscriptions also make great gifts.

So... are you ready to give PupJoy a try?  How about if I told you that you'll save 10% when you click here?  Just use coupon code LAPDOGCREATIONS at check out for 10% off your order!  Your pup will thank you...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Chugging Along

Hey, would you look at that... Wednesday again.  Happy Earth Day!

Rainy Friday blahs... #dogstagram #rescuedog #coonhoundmix #muttstagram #instadog

His & Hers #hotdogs for lunch, Golden Retriever & Bad Dog. #yumo #foodstagram #delish #Rockport

Sophie says Good Morning IG... Or maybe it's, "u gotz cooookiez fer mez?" #rescuedog #houndmix #dogstagram #muttstagram #instadog #adoptdontshop #rescued

My name is Nichole and I'm a yarn addict... Trying to organize my #yarnstash and get it out of the living room. This is going to take awhile... This might be 5%... Maybe. #knitterproblems #knitstagram #getyourkniton


First time I've picked up my needles in nearly 2 weeks .. #KnittingTherapy #knitstagram #babyknits #instaknit #knitting #getyourkniton


Because, somedays yogurt just doesn't cut it... #mickeyds #McDonalds #breakfast #eggmcmuffin #hashbrown #McCafe #foodstagram



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

REVIEW: FROMM Cranberry Liver Low Fat Treats

Disclosure: sent a bag of FROMM Cranberry Liver treats to Lapdog Creations, free of charge for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions expressed are my own.

FROMM Four-Star Nutritionals Cranberry Liver Low Fat Treats

Where to Find:


2015-04-10_11-57-59It's no secret, the Lapdogs love their treats and our friends at have a habit of introducing us to some that are not only delish, but good for them as well.  

This month's pick was FROMM Four-Star Nationals Cranberry Liver Low Fat treats. These tiny little cookie treats were very well received, and because of their size and low fat content, I didn't feel guilty about giving my kids more than one.  (And, no, I didn't tell the kids they were "diet" treats... shhh!)    

I'm happy to report that we received our box from Chewy while Zeus was still with us and he was able to enjoy the job he loved so very much, reviewing cookies!  He absolutely loved these little morsels and gobbled up as many as Mama would give him.  Coming from a sick dog who started to get quite picky about which treats he wanted, that says a lot about FROMM!  

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Not only did the FROMM Cranberry Liver Low Fat treats get the Lapdogs' seal of approval, they also got mine.  As a concerned dog Mom, I'm very conscious of what my dogs eat, as I know many of you are as well.  FROMM treats are not only made in the USA, but they are made with 100% USDA-inspected ingredients... in a USDA-plant in Wisconsin!  These cranberry liver treats have just 5 simple ingredients: wheat flour, Wisconsin cranberries, chicken liver, salt and garlic powers.  How wonderful is that?  Not only is the list short and sweet, but I recognize and can pronounce each ingredient as well!  They smell amazing and obviously tasted just as good.


If cranberry doesn't suit your dog's fancy, don't worry.  FROMM Four-Star Nationals treats are available in several different flavors, including Grain-Free Salmon with Sweet Potato, Grain-Free Chicken with Carrots & Peas, Low Fat Cheese, and Low Fat Liver.

2015-04-10_11-58-35Pick up some FROMM treats at for your pup today!  BONUS - all FROMM treats are currently 20% off, so act fast!  Plus, 1-2 day shipping is always free on orders of $49 or more at Chewy. 

*We also received a non-treat from Chewy to review this month, but we'll be telling you about that at a later date as we have not had a chance to play with it just yet.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Black & White Sunday: Cherish Every Moment

Happy Sunday-fun-day!  We hope everyone gets in a little fun or R 'n R today - or both, whatever you prefer.  Just remember to make the most of every single moment...


Even if it's raining (hey, at least it isn't snowing, right?)!  Here's a little flash-back video to last July 4th... Lola's 12th birthday.  Three of my four kids obviously didn't let a little rain keep them inside (watch for the smart one at the end, dry and happy inside... ha ha).  Don't let anything rain on your parade...

Thursday, April 16, 2015


In honor of the old Dogs on Thursday blog hop that many of us used to participate in, and because it seems to have morphed into Thankful Thursday, I want to take a moment today to tell you about a little something that is very, very special to me... priceless.


A couple years ago I had noticed those dog nose print necklaces on etsy and in a couple of the catalogs I receive.  I had toyed with the idea of wanting one for quite awhile, but they aren't cheap, and I went back and forth on just how much I would wear it.  

When Zeus' mega esophagus started to get worse last summer, I began pursuing etsy for something special.  I happened upon Flirt and Flutter Jewelry and those cute dog nose prints.  After several messages back and forth with Kaleen, I opted to go with a double paw pad heart, using Zeus and Lola's prints. As much as I loved the nose print, I just kept going back to that double heart. It seemed to make sense to use my two oldest kids' prints, and I thought that perhaps I could do something else with Teutul and Sophie at a later date.   

I placed my order in July, and the process began.  The first step was for me to get molds of Lola and Zeus' paw pads. I did several impressions of each, and shipped them all off to Kaleen, who would decide which were the most unique and interesting to use.    


After what seemed like forever (the process does take a couple of months and Kaleen stays in touch throughout), my beautiful heart pendant arrived in September.

So excited! My Zeus & Lola paw print pendant from #FlirtandFlutterJewelry is finally here!!  Would love to get a Tut & Sophie one done also... #love #dogstagram #ilovemyseniordog #ilovemydogs #mybabies #pawprint The back... So excited! My Zeus & Lola paw print pendant from #FlirtandFlutterJewelry is finally here!!  Would love to get a Tut & Sophie one done also... #love #dogstagram #ilovemyseniordog #ilovemydogs #mybabies #pawprint

Last Wednesday, I wore it for the first time.

Knowing I wanted to capture something of Zeus' before we lost him, I ordered this paw pad necklace from #flirtandflutterjewelry last July (when his mega-e started getting worse). Originally I was going to do his nose, then saw this double paw pad heart an

I'm not completely sure why I didn't wear it before then, but something just told me not to.

In January, I decided to snap a few photos of it with Lola and Zeus' paws... something  I'm really glad I thought of, as these paw pictures are now extra special to me.  

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I sort of wish I had gotten Zeus' nose print done, especially on those days when I'm really missing those big 'ole nose nudges and kisses from him... but now realize there was a real meaning to the decision I made nine months ago. Had I gone with doing his nose print, I probably never would have done anything with Lola before we lost her so un-expectantly.

This heart pendant is truly the most valuable piece of jewelry I now own... priceless. 

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