Wednesday, January 31, 2018

If You Want Things To Change, You Have To Make Changes

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone redundantly complains about the same thing yet they don't do anything to change the situation. I'm aware that a lot of these situations can't be resolved overnight. However, if you want things to change, you have to make changes whether it's baby steps or one giant leap. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter who you are or what situation you're in.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

I Am Truly Grateful For Our Neighbors Who Have Become Family To Us

You know the local meteorologists are bowing their heads in shame when they admit, "Today's forecast was a total bust." Weather is not an exact science. The path of any storm can shift at the last minute. It happens. We've all experienced a winter storm that was supposed to pound us with a foot or two of snow and at the end of the day, the totals were well below six inches. And, vice versa. That was the case today.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Our Latest Homemade Dog Treat Recipe Includes Fresh Fruit And Greek Yogurt

Earlier today, I created a new, homemade dog treat recipe. The inspiration behind this scrumptious, soft baked treat was the abundance of fruit and yogurt in our refrigerator. Our kids love fresh fruit. They also go crazy for Greek Yogurt. The refrigerator is always stocked with both.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Our Next DIY Dog Mom Project Involves A JUMBO Custom Made Wooden Bone

Last week, while doing some desk work in the home office, I heard the UPS truck stop in front of the house. I heard someone walk up the stairs, open the DIY Dog Gate, and the box being placed on the porch. I stopped what I was doing and sifted through the Rolodex in my brain. Did I order something online as of late? Nope. Had someone sent me a private message or email letting me know they were sending me a package? Nope.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Chocolate Dipped Fruit Salad And Balance

One of my goals for the new year, as in 2018, was to put a damper on creating distractions. I have a tendency to invite our neighbor friends over frequently to join us for dinner or have a night of appetizers and drinks. We always have a great time and it's a way for all of us to keep connected. We all have busy lives. However, having company over takes an entire day for me to prep for. It doesn't matter if I do some of the prep work the day before. I put my heart and soul into everything. In addition, the chronic pain in my back slows me down. It takes me longer to do certain tasks. Then, by the end of the evening, I'm struggling to move.

Friday, January 26, 2018

I Mended And Sewed The Kitchen Dog Bed To The Symphony Of Lobo Whining

The past few weeks have been crazier and busier than usual. I'm in the middle of another 6-week project for a client of mine that requires extensive research, writing, and multiple deadlines. It takes up a good portion of my week. It's the 5th project over the past year. During these 6-week projects, my To-Do list gets longer and longer and longer. One of the items on my list has been to repair the gigantic kitchen dog bed. It's big enough for all 4 of our kids to lay on at the same time.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Project DIY Indoor Dog House Is DONE!

Before Lisa left for work this morning, she put the DIY Indoor Dog House on the table in the biscuit/craft room. It was completely painted and the 4 DIY Dog Mom Project wooden pieces that I made were attached. The only thing left to do was make the dog bed, patchwork quilt, and pillows. I needed the entire kitchen table to make these items. The dog house staying on the table during that process was not an option.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

My Latest DIY Dog Mom Project Piece Made Me...Cry.

Over the weekend, Lisa built the DIY Indoor Dog House that Lobo wanted for his 3 Year Gotcha Day. He wanted an indoor dog house that Coco, Sophie, Willa, and himself could enjoy. Last week, Lisa drafted up some sketches. Over the weekend, between scrap and purchased wood, those sketches became a reality. Lisa brought the DIY Indoor Dog House upstairs and put it on the table. From that point on, it was up to me to bring it to life. So, that's what I did.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Happy 3 Year Gotcha Day, Lobo!

Three years ago, Lobo was transported to our home as a rescued foster pup. It was the day after he endured major surgery to remove his hind leg. Lobo was underweight, covered in scabs, had very little fur from the neck down, was Lyme positive, and he didn't have full mobility on his remaining hind leg due to an untreated injury. The scar from that was noticeable on his furless hind leg.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Willa Made Her Move. It Happened Within Seconds.

I can count on one hand how many times I eat breakfast in a year's time. It's not a meal I'm interested in. I know this opens the proverbial "you know breakfast is the most important meal of the day" can of worms. Just know, I've tried to incorporate breakfast into my routine and...nope. I'm satisfied with my 2-3 cups of coffee.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Our DIY Indoor Dog House Is Built! Now, It's Time To Work My Magic...

Lobo's gift request for his 3 Year Gotcha Day, our vision, and the sketches drawn finally came to life late this afternoon. The DIY Indoor Dog House is built! Lisa worked in her shop for a couple of hours yesterday and most of the afternoon today. She used a combination of scrap wood and wood that she purchased at Lowe's yesterday. It came out incredible!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Here Is The Recipe For Our Homemade Banana Carrot Dog Treats

Originally, the inspiration for this week's homemade dog biscuit revolved around a single, very ripe banana. However, moments before creating the recipe, I sliced up some carrots for our fur-kids to munch on. I had a good-sized chunk leftover. There I was. Holding the carrot. Staring at the banana. That's when it happened. I thought, "Why not use both." I pulled the grater from the drawer, grabbed some ingredients from the baking cupboards and I spent the next couple of hours experimenting, mixing, rolling, and baking.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Family Snuggle Time Really Happens. Every. Single. Night. It's A Tradition.

If you read this blog, you'll probably be familiar with the term "family snuggle time." I mention this a lot. It happens every evening in our home. It's how we end each and every single day. Weekdays. Weekends. There are no exceptions. That includes dinner dates with my soul sista that transpire into lengthy "girly wine and chat sessions." Or, a few times when Lisa has occasionally made the trip to NH to visit family and stayed overnight. In these cases, we still have family snuggle time, but it's a bit altered.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Our New Vacuum And Carpet Cleaner. Yes, This Excites Us.

In March of 2016, we purchased a new Bissell vacuum cleaner. It was one of the less expensive models. At the time, the Bissell vacuum we had for almost 5 years was crossing the line of retiring. It wasn't sucking up the fur, dirt, and dust and when it did, it would spit it back out. The carpets looked like shit and my allergies were out of control. The situation was urgent. We purchased a Bissell vacuum for under $100. It worked incredibly well.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I Have A Love-Hate Relationship With This Time Of Year

I have a love-hate relationship with this time of year. The love portion stems from it being a slow period. During the months of January and February, people are recovering from the holidays. It's cold. In our neck of the woods, especially this year, Mother Nature doles out frigid temperatures, snowstorms, and other inclement winter weather. It's a great time to hunker down, catch up on stuff, tackle indoor chores and projects around the house that typically get put off during the warm weather months, and whatever else that needs tending to.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It's A Process And It Can't Be Rushed

After a tiny hiatus from DIY Dog Mom Projects the week before Christmas until this weekend, it's happening again! I couldn't be more excited. While the break was much needed, it was too long. I started going through DIY Dog Mom Project withdrawals. On Saturday, Lisa took an hour to cut and sand some wood. I spent most of the weekend painting and distressing. I have plans for these pieces. Once done, they'll be "up for grabs."

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Recipe For My Homemade Apple, Cheddar & Cinnamon Dog Treats

Here is the first of my homemade dog treat recipes for 2018! Today was the day. Our doggy biscuit baking cupboard is fully stocked. Today's inspiration was simple. I had a couple of small apples I needed to use. What pairs deliciously with apples? Sharp cheddar and cinnamon. Yum.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Our DIY Doggy Gates Have Been Installed

On December 20th, Lisa and I completed a DIY Dog Mom Project that we've been wanting to make for a long time. We repurposed a bunch of scrap wood into 2 gorgeous DIY Doggy Gates. One was for us. The other was a Christmas gift for our upstairs neighbor friend, K. Once done, Lisa and I both radiated with pride. Lisa purchased all of the hardware to install the gates including latch locks. Unfortunately, the weather forced Lisa to postpone installing the DIY Doggy Gates. Between the deep freeze that lasted for almost 2 weeks, a blizzard, and temperatures close to 60 and a massive rain and wind storm, she wasn't able to install gates until today.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Difference Between Weekday Busy And Weekend Busy In Our Dog Mom World

I chatted with an old friend earlier in the week. After catching up and talking about our in-the-here-and-now life, she said, "You both are so busy all the time. You need to take a break on the weekends. Go out for the day and do something fun. Binge watch Netflix. Eat dinner at a restaurant. Or, do absolutely nothing." I knew she meant well. It's not the first time someone has said this to us. It probably won't be the last.

Friday, January 12, 2018

It Was A Peculiar Day, But We Managed

On the weekends, Lisa and I enjoy coffee chat time. It's the only 2 days during Lisa's regular work week when we're able to enjoy our morning coffee together. Lobo and Willa are with us. Coco and Sophie sleep in and usually stay on our bed. During this time, I'll play fetch with Willa from the sofa. Lisa holds Lobo and he curls up in her arms and falls back to sleep. We sip our coffee. Chat. It's become a tradition.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Cheese Wrapper Does Nothing. The Aroma Of Doggy Biscuits Baking In The Oven Gets Their Attention

There's a funny meme I see floating around on Facebook every once in a while. It's been deemed "the cheese wrapper meme." It has 4 photos of the same pup. In 3 of the photos, the pup is sleeping. Each of those photos is accompanied by the words "doorbell," "mailman," and "burglary." In the last photo, the pup is wide awake and alert. That photo is titled, "cheese wrapper." The point of the meme is to highlight the humor that some pups will sleep through anything, but when they hear that damn cheese on!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Lobo Is Already Pondering What He Wants For His Gotcha Day Gift...

Lobo's 3 Year Gotcha Day is coming up on January 23rd. Last year, he wanted a nappy nook. So, we repurposed our old entertainment center. Our "new" entertainment center is now 1/2 entertainment center and 1/2 nappy nook. In addition, I made a custom doggy bed for the nappy nook along with a pillow, patchwork quilt, curtains, and decor to hang inside.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The New Our Bodacious Dog Mom Life Facebook Cover

Towards the end of December, I published a blog column titled 'The Photos I Take Of The Kids Represents Our Bodacious Dog Mom Life.' In short, I described how for the longest time I had been trying to get "that perfect" photo of our kids. My social media streams are often plastered with picturesque furry kid photos. Why couldn't I do that? Then, I got real. Our Bodacious Dog Mom Life isn't perfect or picturesque.

Monday, January 8, 2018

We Had A Little Scare Of Friday. All Is Good.

On Friday, we had a little scare. Lisa arrived home from work and we went about our usual late afternoon routine. At one point, after giving the kids their snack, we sat at the table to chat. It had been a difficult and exhausting week. Lisa had to work on Saturday. We tend to grab 10 or 15 minutes here and there to sit, talk, touch base, and reconnect. In the middle of our chat, we heard the smoke alarms go off upstairs. K's daughter was home. We figured she was cooking something. The alarms stopped. Then, within a 2 minute period, they kept sounding off in 30-60 second intervals.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

This Is Only The Beginning Of Great Stuff And New Adventures

I have avoided writing and publishing this blog column. I have plugged away at the draft night after night. With each sentence, it tugs at my heartstrings. At the same time, and I hate admitting this, it brings me a sense of relief and excitement. Sure, with making any big change, it's sometimes painful, but change is often times a remarkable rite of passage. Like this.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Today, I Had Two Choices. I Opted To Be Productive And Positive.

I don't usually write a blog post at 9 in the morning, but today I am. It's Saturday. Lisa is at work because her place of employment shut down early when we were hit with a blizzard. Normally, at this time, or a bit earlier, we're sitting in the living room together. Sipping coffee. Having our weekend coffee chats that have become a tradition. Not today. For me, it seems to be the cherry on top of my crap-week sundae.

Friday, January 5, 2018

My Homemade Peanut Butter Carrot Dog Treat Recipe

One of the goals for this year is to create a new homemade dog treat recipe every week to share with everyone. It's Friday. I needed to get on the ball with this week's recipe. At first, it wasn't looking too promising when I opened the baking cupboard. The stash of dried fruit was gone. I had no dehydrated vegetables. There wasn't a single can of mashed pumpkin to be found. I was almost on the brink of putting it off until tomorrow after Lisa went grocery shopping, but then I realized that would be taking the easy way out.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Mother Nature Unleashed Her Fury Today. She's Not Done Yet...

(photo courtesy of WeatherOptics)

Today sucked. I'm not going to lie. Despite preparing for this massive storm, I had no relief today. Why? Lisa went to work this morning. On the overnight, and up until she got up at 3:30 a.m. for work, I kept checking the Closings and Cancellations list on our local weather site. Her place of employment was not listed. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Major Winter Storm Is Going To Hit Tomorrow And They Mentioned The Word Bombogenesis

Last month, on December 9th, I dedicated my birthday to spreading holiday love and cheer. On that day, we hosted a holiday party with a guest list of about 22. The week prior, there was the talk of an Atlantic storm brewing. As it got closer to December 9th, they predicted "just a few flurries." However, a few days before the party, that changed. The storm track moved closer to the coast. The prediction of flurries upgraded to inches of snow. Then, they announced it would be a significant winter storm. They named the storm Ali. We got slammed. The only guests to show up were our neighbor friends who walked here.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

There Are Some Things That I Can't Bring Myself To Look At Every Single Day

We've been in a deep freeze for the past week and a half. In fact, some weather records have been broken for the lowest day-time highs. During this deep freeze, temps during the day haven't gotten higher than 10. With the wind, the temps drop even lower. On the overnight, it's been below zero. I can't remember the last time we've had a deep freeze that has lasted this long. Unfortunately, the trend is going to continue through this week and into the weekend.

Monday, January 1, 2018

We Had An Incredible New Year's Eve And New Year's Day

Lisa and I have never gone out for New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. We stay put with the kids. Hunkered down. We're not party people. We have no desire to attend a largely crowded Firs Night in a big city. We don't frequent bars. It's too risky to be out in a large crowd or on the roads. Normally, we make a bunch of appetizers, I sip a little wine, and we play cards at the kitchen table and end the evening on the sofa with our kids.