Monday, April 30, 2018

If You're Hosting A Graduation Or Summer Season Party, Keep These 13 Things In Mind...

On May 5th, Lisa and I are hosting a graduation party for our dear friend, Kim, to commemorate the completion of her college associates degree. It's our gift to her. She was instructed to do 2 things. Hand out invitations to those she wanted to invite up. That's it. We're handling the rest. Appetizers. The meal. Desserts.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

10 Things I Learned Over The Weekend

This weekend didn't go as planned. At all. I realize I'm hypersensitive to things not going as planned because we're heading into the week of the graduation party we're hosting and Our Big Bodacious Painting Project that will follow and last for over a week. I know this. But. Sometimes. Well.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Guest Blog - I Am A Mom Of 2 Human Kids So Listen Up

When my friend of many years published this photo on her Facebook wall, she mentioned I wanted to write a guest blog post. In doing so, Lisa also mentioned I was candid. I don't sugarcoat stuff. In fact, over the past decade or so, we've gone face to face. Fought fire with fire. Lisa has extended her raw honesty with me. I have done the same with her. We've had our reciprocal moments of differences and periods of silence. I knew she was apprehensive about letting me publish a blog column, I am.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Think Pawsitive

There's a woman on my Facebook friend list who posts a photo every morning. She's an early riser. The photos could be best described as in the moment. Sometimes it's a photo of her horse. Or the stables. Or her yard in the wee hours of the morning after fresh snow has fallen. With each daily photo, there's usually a sentence or two about tackling her day with gusto or a simple good morning. I always look forward to her morning post. There's a positive vibe attached to every single one.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Gentleman And His Furry Kid Left An Impression

Yesterday, I realized I was running low on supplies. I needed a few things to complete our Wooden Dog Bone Shaped Leash Holders and a couple of other DIY Dog Mom Projects. When Lisa got home from work, she was more than happy to run to our local Ace Hardware store. Her excitement was mostly due to the fact that Ace allows furry kids. Lisa grabbed Lobo and took off for their little adventure.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

When She Says "Thank You," It Travels A Distance That Very Few Understand

One of my favorite quotes is, "A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected." No, that quote doesn't just apply to your boss giving you a pat on the back or a raise. It applies to everything. Everyone. Everything you take the time to do for others. Every effort. Every hour of free time you volunteer. Every random act of kindness. At home. At work. And, it doesn't matter if it's the free time you sacrifice to help others or the various tasks you perform at work that is included in your job responsibilities.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

These 7 Things Are The Inspiration Behind Our DIY Dog Mom Projects

I was chatting with a friend the other day and he asked where did the inspiration behind all of the DIY Dog Mom Projects we've been making for a couple of years now stem from. My reply was simple. We enjoy creating cool dog themed projects for our home and to offer for sale. Now that Lisa has her woodshop in the basement, we're able to create and repurpose more stuff. It's something we just do.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Our Homemade Peanut Butter Banana Soft Baked Dog Cookie Recipe

On Sunday, Lisa had to work. I got up with her at 4:30 a.m. We had a cup of coffee together and she was out the door a little before 6. The kids were still sleeping. I didn't feel like sitting at my desk or the kitchen table. I slowly gravitated towards the baking cupboard. It had been a while since I created a new, homemade dog treat recipe. While I sipped my second cup of coffee, I pulled ingredients out of the cupboard. Crushed some dried bananas. Measured. Cracked a couple of eggs.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

I Will Have To Eat A Few Of My Words While Tackling Our Big Painting Project

Our Big Painting Project will be happening in May. Lisa took the week of the 14th - 18th off to tackle this project. I've already made the decision to embark on this project the week before. I won't finish Our Big Painting Project in its entirety, but I want to get enough of it done during the week of the 7th through the 11th so Lisa can relax and enjoy the second half of her vacation. It's my gift to her. She works hard and deserves a good chunk of her vacation to sleep in, have lots of downtime, and be able to do what she wants when she wants.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Welcome To The Family, Lily!

This coming Friday, we will have a new addition to our family! Meet Lily, our soon-to-be fur-niece. She's a super sweet girl. We instantly fell in love with her. She is a big nugget of love and she gives lots of juicy kisses.

Friday, April 20, 2018

I'm Working On Custom Orders And New DIY Dog Mom Projects

I've been on a DIY Dog Mom Project dry spell for the last week or so, but today, Lisa revved up the power tools in her woodshop. I've got a few custom pieces to make and I'll be creating some new DIY Dog Mom Projects to sell next week. I'm super excited to be working on these pieces.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thank You, Sarah. Your Words And Photo Inspired Me.

I'm not sure what's going on with me. I've been feeling out of sorts and reflective as of late. I think it's a combination of a lot of things. The crappy weather. Stretching myself out too thin. Not reaching a few of my goals. Hormones because I'm starting menopause. Exhaustion. The fact that I haven't had a "normal" work week in well over a month. A few intense episodes, and the last few episodes, of Parenthood on Netflix. Frustration. Mercury Retrograde for the last month. The Big Painting Project coming up. Lisa turning 50 this year. Me hitting the middle ground of 45. Thinking a lot about the friends and family we've lost over the past few years.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Power Of Two. Three. Four.

The renovations upstairs have been happening for well over a month. We've assisted with various projects and tasks. During this time, and when planning our Big Painting Project next month, I have become a bit reflective. I can't help but let my mind wander back to a few decades ago when I diligently painted kitchen cupboards and popcorn walls in the 2 apartments upstairs in the farmhouse my parents bought in 1980. Those tedious weekends happened when tenants moved out. My Mom, Dad, brother and I would spend the weekend upstairs. Working.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Work At Home Dog Mom Win

It's The Grand Finale! The last of the upstairs renovations are happening this week. Flooring. For me, flooring lands in the top 3 of noisiest renovations. Yesterday was obnoxiously loud. I sat at my desk and wondered if the carpet they were ripping up had been superglued to the floor. The walls shook. One of the items on our wall fell. By 11 a.m. I was throwing back a few Ibuprofen.

Monday, April 16, 2018

My Work Ethic Quite Possibly Began With A Single Paint Stroke

In 1980, when I was 7, my parents bought a huge, gorgeous farmhouse in New Hampshire. It was a 3 family house. We lived on the first floor. There were 2 apartments upstairs. In addition to being second-time homeowners and contending with renovations, my parents were now landlords. Within the first year of owning the house, one of the tenants moved out. My parents viewed this as the perfect time to renovate that apartment.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

We Said It Would Last A Year. It Ended Up Lasting Almost 3 Years.

After tending to the laundry and running over to our neighbor friend's house to take care of our fur-nieces this morning, Lisa met me on the front porch. I was freezing. After 2 days of gorgeous Spring weather in the 70's, I wasn't dressed for the 30-degree weather that hit me like a ton of bricks. I was also in the process of mentally preparing myself for the week ahead. The last of the upstairs renovations was scheduled. My work week was already partially shattered. When Lisa leaned up against the porch railing and said, "Do you want the good news or bad news first," my stomach sank.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

What Have You Done With Spring, Mother Nature?

I don't suffer from seasonal depression or, as more widely known, Cabin Fever. In fact, as I've gotten older and since becoming a Work at Home Dog Mom, I've somewhat dreaded the Summer season. That's entirely due to the bugs, especially the harmful ones that affect us and our kids. Stinging insects. Fleas. Ticks. The Gypsy Moth Caterpillar infestation over the past couple of years. Red ants that bite. Etc. However, this year, I'm on the verge of getting on my knees and begging Mother Nature for the warmth of Spring. Green grass. Leaves on the trees. Flowers.

Friday, April 13, 2018

As A Pet Parent, You Need To Familiarize Yourself With The Term Bacterial Biofilm

We always had furkids growing up. One of the jobs we had as kids were washing the water bowls out every day. As a kid, I didn't understand how important this chore was. However, as I got older, I got wiser. Into my late teens and early adult years, I gravitated towards the motto of, "If you wouldn't drink the water in your pet's bowl, why do you expect them to?" I've white-knuckled that same philosophy since.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Not Everyone Is Going To Understand The Decisions You Make. That's Okay.

Towards the end of last year, we made the decision not to renew our license to sell our Bodacious Biscuit Love Peanut Butter Dog Treats. You can read about that here. The papers to renew our license from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture arrived in the mail the first week of December as always. I hung onto the papers for a week before throwing them away. It was a tough decision, but necessary.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

All Of Our Kids Have Their 2 Mommies Wrapped Around Their Paws

On occasion, we house and pet sit for our neighbor friends while they're away for a day to anywhere up to or beyond a couple of weeks. This is a service we provide only our close neighbor friends. Today, a couple of our neighbor friends left for a week's vacation across the country.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I Always Get THE LOOK From Our Kids When I Let Them Know It's Pedicure Day

We groom and bathe all of our kids. Every other month, we dedicate a weekend afternoon for Spa Day. Lobo gets a trim with the pet clippers from head to his 3 paws. Sophie's fur gets trimmed on top of her back and paws. Willa gets a little trim because her fur is thick around her neck. Coco doesn't require any type of fur trim. When all of that is done, they all get a warm bubble bath with a moisturizing shampoo.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Another Spontaneous Afternoon That Included Wine, Munchies, And Socializing

I had a couple of afternoon wine and munchie dates the last week of March. One was planned. The other wasn't. This isn't something I typically do. In fact, up until that week, since moving into our home in July of 2012, I can count on one hand how many times I've had people visit in the afternoon while Lisa was at work. During that week, I learned a thing or two and it inspired me to slowly open myself up to allowing a few spontaneous moments here and there. And, to socialize face to face a bit more.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Random Rant - Clean Up After Your Furry Kids. Please.

Not too long ago, we visited a pet supply store. The first thing I noticed when walking up and down the aisles was the amount of fresh and dried urine on the floor. It was an eyesore. We spent almost a half hour in the store. I counted at least a half dozen fresh and dried piddle spots.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Spring Cleaning Isn't Done Yet And It's Driving Me Nuts!

Next month, our big painting project will begin. We'll be painting all of the walls in our home. It's long overdue. The current paint is a cheap, flat paint that feels like chalk. It's not washable. For the first few years, I tackled scuffs and stains with Magic Eraser. Eventually, that effort was useless. We had plans on painting the walls last year, but Lisa wasn't able to get the time off. Our walls look like crap. It's time.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Tomorrow Is Never Guaranteed. Today Is All You Have. Make The Most Of It.

When I met Lisa, she was 28. I was 23. That was over 2 decades ago. I remember coordinating a surprise 30th birthday party for Lisa. This year, we'll be celebrating Lisa's 50th birthday in August. In December, I'll be hitting the halfway point milestone between 40 and 50. Often times, we have discussions about then versus now. We're older. Wiser. Lisa's head of hair is 75% gray. I'm starting to sport strands of gray. Lisa has already gone through menopause. I'm in the pre-menopausal stages and suffering from night sweats, hot flashes, and the occasional mood swings associated with this change of life.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Be Proud Of Your Family And Home. Keep Things Real. Share The Messy Stuff.

In the beginning of my Work at Home Dog Mom career, I was a contractor for an independently owned company that was eventually purchased by a large media company. I worked for this media company for a few years until the spring of 2012 when the company was sold back to the original owner. I was immediately hired by another large company. Amid all of this, I was introduced to the Mommy Blogosphere.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Big Painting Project Will Be Happening In May...

Last February, Lisa and I had made plans to give our walls a total makeover in the form of painting. Our walls currently sport a slightly off-white, duller than dull flat paint. If anything touches the walls, it leaves a mark. Over the years, I've used Magic Erasers to wash off the marks and such, but after a while, those bundles of spongy magic-ness teetered on being useless. As of now, our walls look like total crap.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

We Are Still Doing Great Stuff All The Way Around

I've always appreciated constructive criticism. In my line of work and as a writer, and most everything between, constructive criticism has been a valuable tool in making improvements, keeping me on my toes, and making me aware of things that weren't apparent to my naked eye. I welcome constructive criticism. And, as a former tutor and writing mentor, I've had to dole out my fair share of it. During that time, I always kept two things in mind. The first, open the conversation by highlighting a person's strengths and the positive stuff. The second, it's all in how you present it.

Monday, April 2, 2018

In Our Dog Mom Life, Love Isn't About Fancy Dinners, Roses, Diamonds, Or Mushy Stuff

On Friday we spent most of our day baking for the Easter Bunny Event at the Groton, CT Pet Supplies Plus that took place on Saturday. Not only did we bake treats for the pups and humans, we spent a portion of that time making rounds in our neighborhood for pet photos with the Easter Bunny. Lisa suited up. I grabbed my camera. We made it happen. The following day, we spent most of the day at Pet Supplies Plus to assist with the main event fundraiser for Ledyard C.H.A.I.N.S's Raise The Roof Campaign. Between Friday and Saturday, the total amount raised was $370.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter. Exhale. Unwind. Relax.

All of our kids enjoyed their Easter breakfast, extra homemade treats, and their new chew bones from the Easter Bunny. Now, they're all napping. Happy babies.