Wednesday, November 30, 2016

There Are A Few Downfalls When You've Been Baking For Almost 40 Years

My birthday is a little over a week away. I'll be 43. When I tell people that I've been baking for almost 40 years, I can tell they're a bit skeptical. The only proof I have is this photo. It was taken in 1977 when I was 4 years old. I was stirring cookie dough in the "Chickie Bowl" with the big silver mixing spoon. To this day, this is the cookie dough recipe I use for most of my cookies.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I'm Ready For The Rush. I Think.

The Bodacious 12 Days Of Christmas is almost here. You know what that means. Some really cool DIY Dog Mom Projects that I'll be offering up for sale. It's my first year doing this. I'm excited. Nervous. A bit overwhelmed. On top of that, we're getting ready for the Whiskers In Wonderland event that's happening on December 4th. This year, we have TWO tables. Biscuit Love. Bodacious Baked Goods.

Monday, November 28, 2016

If I Accomplish A Single New Year's Resolution, It Has To Be This

In the past couple of months, I've come to the conclusion that I seriously need to have a schedule when it comes to DIY Dog Mom Projects, creating new homemade dog biscuit recipes, and sewing up patchwork doggy blankets and other doggy themed stuff. All of these projects require me to use the kitchen counters and table and I can't combine work time with any of the above. In other words, I can't bake biscuits and sew or work on a DIY Dog Mom Project while cutting fabric.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

I Am Now The Proud Owner Of A Brand New Singer Sewing Machine

Aside from gardening, my Grampie was notorious for finding the best deals in town for big ticket items. Back then, there was no internet, deal and coupon sites, or Google. If you wanted to find the best deal on a TV or household appliance, you had to rely on mail ads or spending the afternoon going from one store to the next. That's exactly what my Grampie did, and that included the Intellivision game console he bought for us grandkids.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I Don't Pick A Name Off A Tree Or Drop Dollar Bills Into A Donation Jar

During the holiday season, the amount of charities and organizations pleading for donations is astronomical. It's almost impossible to enter a store without passing by the Salvation Army bell ringer or walking by a Christmas tree decorated with names of children and their wish list. Food pantries plead for donations. Checkout clerks ask for $1 donation for various organizations. Fundraising events are at an all time high. Local police and fire departments hold food drives to collect non-perishable food for food baskets.

Friday, November 25, 2016

10 Changes I've Made To Eliminate My Holiday Stress

Lisa had to work today. I caught up on some blog stuff, tackled my to-do list, and made some progress with catching up on this and that. Our dearest friends, Char and Bob, who live across the street, had us over for a turkey dinner. They spend Thanksgiving elsewhere. Char likes to make a turkey dinner a day or two afterward so they can enjoy the leftovers.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving From Our Home To Yours

We want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Eat lots. Don't fret about carbs and calories. Drink lots of wine. Flirt with the dessert table more than once. Laugh. Be in the moment. Enjoy time with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hammocks. A Bloody Finger. A Miniature Jar Of Nutella.

It's the day before Thanksgiving. I can't even believe I'm saying that. The. Day. Before. Thanksgiving. This year, no one took us up on our offer to join us. We always let people know that if they've fallen on hard times, or have no place to go for Thanksgiving or Christmas, they are more than welcomed at our table. So, it's just Lisa, the kids, and myself. Our plans are to hunker down, enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, relax, spend lots of time with our fur-nephew and fur-nieces, have lots of family snuggle time on the sofa, and indulge in a little Netflix.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I Could Easily Be Nominated For The Schlumpy Dog Mom Award

I'll be the first to admit I don't pay much attention to my wardrobe, hair, accessories, and the only makeup I currently own is lipstick, lip gloss, and nail polish. Due to our schedules and the non-stop flow of work, blogging, taking photos, DIY Dog Mom Projects, meal prep, housework, creating new dog biscuit recipes, baking biscuit love, and everything between, I don't leave the house often. I practically live in skirts, lounge pants, t-shirts, turtlenecks, hoodies, and Crocs Flip Flops. My hair is always in a sloppy bun. And, although I take a day once or twice a year to add a splash of color to my hair, I never maintain it.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Olivia Is A Happy Girl And We're So In Love With Her

The newest addition to our family, Olivia, is doing remarkably well. She has settled down, decompressed, and gotten used to the new surroundings, sounds, and her overall environment. Olivia keeps me company on the overnight. From wanting snuggles to a piece of produce, she has a wide range of noises that lets me know what she wants, when she wants it.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I'm Here In The Moment, But For A Brief Minute Or Two, I'm Not

Despite what you've put in the past, buried, or the amount of chapters you close, there are some things you simply can't. The death of someone you love is one. Grief is something that doesn't go away. Ever. It doesn't matter if it was a human or fur-kid. You never forget them. During certain times of the year, those heartstrings are tugged a little more. For me, it's when we put up our Christmas tree.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Our Unconventional "Us" Weekends Are Quite Unimpressive

Yesterday, a neighbor friend asked what we were doing this weekend. I told them we're having an "us" weekend. They immediately replied, "Oh, that's wonderful! What are your big plans? Where are you going? What are you doing?" I always feel like I'm taking a pee in their Cheerios with my response. Their smile weakens. The excitement on their face drops.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Random Rant: If The Shoe Fits, Wear It

I had an interesting conversation not too long ago with a friend of mine. She's not one to engage in small talk. She's brutally honest. One of my best critics. And, she asks the most peculiar questions. The topic of my Facebook wall came up. She asked if I knew the "former owners" of our kids. I asked her to define "former owners."

Thursday, November 17, 2016

We Are Grateful For Your Kindness, Pam E.

Once in a while, there's something in our mailbox that takes us both by surprise. A random act of kindness extended. Someone paying it forward. Over the past few years, especially since launching Bodacious Biscuit Love over 3 years ago, we've gotten the occasional thank you card, photos of happy pups eating our biscuits, handwritten notes, and tokens of gratitude. A few days ago, on November 14th, a surprise was waiting for us in our mailbox.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Perspective Does Wonders For My Dog Mom Soul

It's been a crazy, busy couple of weeks. I finished up, and put the final touches on, our Bodacious Holiday Ornaments over a week ago. We shipped out most of the ornaments. We're trying to coordinate the last of the deliveries. It appears we'll be shipping some of those orders and making a few last minute ornaments. In addition, we welcomed a new member to our lil' rescue family. I'm getting things ready for the Bodacious 12 Days of Christmas that's launching December 1st. We're participating in the Whiskers in Wonderland event on December 4th and we have TWO tables this year. I'm also trying to catch up on a ton of work stuff, and we're restocking our Bodacious Biscuit Love Bin and putting together a list of recipients for our Bodacious Holiday Baskets.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Biggest News Received At The Doctor's Office Is That Oliver Is Actually...Olivia

Oliver had his first doctor's visit today. If you don't know who Oliver is, you can catch up here and here. He's the newest addition to our family. Oliver was in dire need of a nail trim and we wanted to make sure his little feet were okay. There are two growths on one of his feet that we're concerned about.

Monday, November 14, 2016

During The Holiday Season, I Always Think About George

Every year on Thanksgiving Day, except for the one year we went to a friend's house for dinner, we open our home to those who have fallen on hard times or have no place to go. I always whip up a huge feast and there's more than enough to go around. I give people until the Sunday before Thanksgiving to let me know if they'll be needing a place at our table. That gives me enough time to make a shopping list to accommodate additional people.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Oliver Is Adjusting To His New Home And Family Quite Well

Out of all of our kids, Lobo is the most intrigued by Oliver. He has spent quite a bit of time sitting by Oliver's habitat stand. Sophie's interest is sporadic. If she hears Oliver drinking from the water bottle or roaming around, she'll check in, but not for too long. Coco isn't interested at all. The only time he visits Oliver is when he makes a loud, squeaky noise...which isn't often.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

There Was A Time When...

Yesterday was Veteran's Day. It was also Day 11 of my November Gratitude Project. With all the anger and fuss spreading like wildfire about the recent election and my social feeds being plastered with this or that about Trump being elected for president, I wanted to combine the two.

Friday, November 11, 2016

I Didn't Expect To Become A Guinea Pig Mom Today

I'll be the first one to admit, none of our kids were planned. A week before we adopted Coco, we lost our sweet Remmy. Our hearts were heavy. Sophie joined our family the day we delivered biscuit love to one of our favorite locations almost 2 hours away. We had met her during a previous visit to this location over a month prior. Lobo was transported to our home the day after his amputation surgery. We agreed to foster him during his recovery. Two weeks later, we adopted him.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I'm Done With Store Bought Pup Apparel

Earlier today, one of our neighbor friends sent me a private message on Facebook. She purchased a snowman costume for her fur-kid. It was too small. Did we want it? Of course, I said yes. Her fur-kid is 17 pounds. I figured it would fit Sophie (14 pounds) and Lobo (9 pounds). In our collection of Christmas apparel for the kids, we didn't have a snowman costume yet. A half hour later, she ran over to deliver the costume.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I'm Up To 8 Reasons Why I Despise Black Friday

From as early back as I can remember, Thanksgiving was always spent with my mother's parents. On Thanksgiving day, they'd arrive late morning. By then, the table was set, the inside of the house smelled incredibly delicious, and wine glasses were filled. After a scrumptious dinner, we'd sit at the table and chat. Later in the day, dessert was served. That evening, we'd watch a funny movie and eat munchies while my parents and grandparents sipped adult beverages.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Thank You Auntie M And Uncle B For The Candy Corn Hat

I correspond with many pet parents. Most I've never met. One of 'em is a sweet lady from Connecticut. Martha and her fiance are wonderful people and incredible pet parents. On occasion we exchange messages and, just recently, I sent her a box o' biscuit love. Last month, Martha posted a photo of one of her fur-babies in a candy corn hat. My heart melted and got all ooey gooey. From that point on, I was determined to find the same hat. We searched high and low. Nothing.

Monday, November 7, 2016

I Drove Myself Nuts Thinking About The What Ifs

Over a month ago, our Bodacious Country Crackle Holiday Ornaments went live. For sale. Prior to this, I made a few sample pieces so I could take photos. At the time, I thought it would be a great idea to put a thin coat of gloss on the ornaments. This isn't something I had ever done. Over 30 years ago, when my mom and aunt made salt dough ornaments for holiday craft shows, they used a spray on gloss. This was done in the basement. There was proper ventilation. I'm not sure what brand they used. The finished product always yielded a thick, glossy finish.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Are You Interested In Making Salt Dough Ornaments?

I've been making these salt dough ornaments on and off for over 30 years. I love' em. They're super easy to make. You can keep it simple and use cookie cutters or go all out elaborate and create freehand ornaments. Salt dough ornaments make great gifts and it's something the kids can do pretty much on their own. And, if you store them properly, they last for years and years and year.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Here's Why I Don't Post A Lot Of Outdoor Photos

I post quite a few photos of our kids on various social media feeds, especially Facebook. About 95% of those photos are taken indoors. On occasion, people will ask why I don't post more outdoor photos of the kids. Truth is, I try. Most days I take my camera outside. Despite my efforts and patience, it's 'bout near impossible to capture picturesque outdoor photos. Most of the time they're distracted by rustling leaves, noises amid the neighborhood, or a squirrel farting. If none of those distractions are present, other stuff happens.

Friday, November 4, 2016

It's Day Four Of My November Gratitude Project

It was a last minute decision. I decided to participate in the November Gratitude Project. Year after year, during the month of November, I see more and more people participating. It's a Facebook thing, really. Each day, you post something that you're thankful for. I'll be honest, I used to think it was kind of pointless. Why give thanks and extend gratitude only during the month of November? It's right up there with how I feel about Christmas presents. Why purchase a ridiculous amount of presents just because it's Christmas?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Budget Friendly Holiday Parties: The Other Stuff. The Landmines.

Years ago, I hosted a holiday party that changed all future parties for me. The party was a success, however, for me it was a disaster for so many reasons. Over the years, through trial and error, I've fine tuned my process of hosting a party so it's budget friendly, less stressful, and frees up a lot of my time so I can relax and enjoy the company of our guests. In doing so, I discovered ways to save money on food and drinks and to eliminate a lot of the extra costs. Although saving money and time takes a huge chunk out of the stress factor, there's one other area I had to work on.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It's Already November. November. November.

On the overnight, I was at my desk. Sipping coffee. Going through my pile of notes. Organizing this and that. Suddenly, I looked up. The realization that it was November hit me like a wrecking ball. Literally. I gasped. November. Novemmmmmberrrrrrr. In a couple of weeks we'll be putting up Christmas decorations. A week after that, I'll be scurrying around the kitchen making our Thanksgiving dinner. The busiest time of year is officially here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I'm Participating In The November Gratitude Project

I've been on Facebook for many, many years. Not once have I ever participated in the November Gratitude Project. My mind frame was, "WHY be grateful for only one month, right?" But, over the years, I realized it was more than that. I'm grateful every single day of the year. Is it wrong to highlight and acknowledge something I am thankful for during the entire month of November?