Month: April 2018

Best Tips and Tricks to Put Your Baby Back to Sleep

Best Tips and Tricks to Put Your Baby Back to Sleep

As the time approaches for your baby to come into your life, your enthusiasm grows, but so do the worries and the questions. You ask yourself if you’ll be able to keep up with the new tasks, especially if it’s your firstborn. In fact – […]

Should You Buy Your Mattress Online?

Should You Buy Your Mattress Online?

Here’s a question you never thought you would ask yourself five years ago: Should I buy my mattress online? The answer would most probably have been no. But why? The answer is simple. You spend about one-third of your life in bed and what you […]

Why I Decided a Pet Was Worth the Trouble…Again

Why I Decided a Pet Was Worth the Trouble…Again

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MorrisKnowsBest #CollectiveBias

If you ask my son about his siblings, he’ll tell you he has two sisters and two brothers. The sisters are both regular human girls, but the “brothers” he’s referring to are our cats, Edmund and Phil. And the funny thing is he isn’t the only one who thinks of the cats as important members of the family. We all love these little guys more than I ever dreamed possible. I never knew I was a cat person until we rescued Edmund from a shelter two years ago.  He was a sweet, playful little kitten and we all loved him from day one.  He brought so much fun and joy into our household.  It left us wondering why we hadn’t adopted a pet years earlier.   But we were perfectly content with one pet and never even considered adopting another.  We had no idea that it wouldn’t be long before we took the plunge again.

One day, we were outside and a tiny gray tabby cat just wandered over to us looking completely adorable.  He was friendly and affectionate with beautiful green eyes and the softest fur ever.  The kids were all so excited and begged to keep him.  I was certain my husband wouldn’t want to mess with adopting another pet, so I dismissed the idea and started asking around the neighborhood to try to find his owner.  After all, we already had a cat.  What if they didn’t get along?  And adopting another pet means vet visits, added expenses, more responsibility…It just seemed like too much trouble.

No one claimed him, and he took up residence on our back porch and made himself right at home, while we were still trying to find him a home somewhere else.  Thinking he was a girl (we hadn’t bothered to check), my son named him Phyllis.  My kids would call him and he would jump right up on their laps and purr like crazy.  My youngest would pick him up and he would just stay on her lap looking absolutely content.  He never scratched or snapped at anyone.  He would playfully chase strings as long as someone wanted him to, keeping my kids entertained for a long time.  Everything about this cat was wonderful.  After several days of this, my husband and I both agreed that he would be worth whatever it took to make him ours.   And we’re so glad we did!  He loves everyone in the family and appreciates all the affection we can give.  We weren’t sure how Edmund would handle it, but after the first couple weeks, Phil (as he is now more appropriately called) and Ed became best buddies. They play together, eat together, and follow each other around.   Edmund actually seems happier now that he has Phil around.

But aside from the fact that they look very similar, they are as different as can be in every way.  And that’s one of the best things about Phil!  He’s not just another cat like the one we had, he’s a completely different cat with his own personality and habits.  Edmund prefers to relax in quiet places, while Phil loves to play with balls, string, or anything he can chase around.   Ed finds a hiding place when he’s had enough attention, and Phil never seems to get tired of being around people.   Having two cats that are so different is a tremendous blessing.  While one is sleeping next to my daughter as she reads, the other is playing with my super energetic son.  Phil’s playfulness is the perfect complement to Edmund’s seriousness.

Even their taste in food is different. That’s one reason 9Lives® wet and dry cat food varieties are just right for our cats. For wet food, Edmund prefers the Meaty Pate selections, with smooth ground meat, fish or poultry, while Phil devours the Hearty Cuts made of tender, meaty morsels with rich gravy, flakes of fish, and savory shreds.

Check out DollarGeneral.com to find coupons and save on 9Lives® wet and dry cat food for your own feline family members! You’ll find great savings through 5/31/18, and there are so many varieties your cats won’t be able to resist. They also offer specially formulated dry food to meet the nutritional needs of cats in every stage of life. Plus Care helps support digestive health and a strong immune system for older cats like Edmund, while Daily Essentials provides nutrition to support heart health, vision, strong muscles, and healthy skin and coat for cats of all ages.

We love to support companies that give back in some way, and the 9lives spokescat Morris has visited countless schools to promote kindness to animals.  He also launched an initiative to save animals in need of homes.  Check out his Facebook page here.  These are causes our family can feel good about supporting every time we purchase 9lives products.  Our local Dollar General Store carries a great variety of 9Lives cat food, so I can always find all the wet and dry food types that both of our cats love.

We’ve only had Phil for a few months, but it’s hard to imagine life without him.  He’s not just another cat to us, he’s really become a treasured member of the family.  Now the reasons we had for not wanting to take on another pet seem trivial as we watch how much our kids love Phil and how much joy he adds to all our lives.  Just look how adorable he is!

If you’re considering adopting a pet (or like us, another pet) I can tell you it’s worth the trouble.  The little bit of extra work and cost it takes to have him is nothing compared to the joy, excitement, affection, and comfort that this little guy brings to our family.  Plus my son is pretty happy to have as many “brothers” as sisters now 🙂

Have you recently adopted a kitty of your own?  Tell us about it, or share a photo of your sweet new family member.  And don’t forget to go to DollarGeneral.com to find great savings on the 9lives wet and dry food your cat will love.

The Shadow Magic Series Review From a Tween

The Shadow Magic Series Review From a Tween

Our family has a deep and abiding love of all things Fantasy. My kids, especially, caught the bug. My one true genre love has always been Historical Fiction. Amber, however, somehow inherited her aunt’s passion for all-things-fantasy. As a result, I have been scrambling to […]

How To Give Yourself a Makeover This Spring for $50

How To Give Yourself a Makeover This Spring for $50

This shop has been compensated by Schwarzkopf. #FashionColorExpert #sponsored *Dramatic Announcers Voice* It’s time to play everyone’s favorite game….Guess What Color Nicole’s Hair is Now!!! A few years ago when hubby was still in school, one of his favorite professors was switching to a new […]

Tricks For Training Your New Puppy

Tricks For Training Your New Puppy

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NutrishRealMeatTreats #NutrishPets #CollectiveBias

The title of this blog post should be “That One Time We Went To Rent a Movie….and Ended Up with a Puppy”

A few weekends ago Hubby and I participated in our 2nd color run 5k, it was so much fun! My sweet mom-in-love stole the kids Friday night and told us to come back Sunday morning to get them.

Thanks to this, after the race we still had the rest of the day to enjoy. We decided to go pick up the newest comic book hero movie at one of the local kiosks. As we pulled in to the parking lot, however, a bunch of puppies and a sign showing an adoption event caught our eye. We went over to look “just for fun” and……

About 30 minutes later we headed home with this precious bundle who we named Athena (Addy for short).

I melted into a puddle when I saw her. It wasn’t me only, though! Bob was the one who asked if we could get her. He’s actually wanted a “big dog” puppy for himself ever since we adopted Thomas last summer. When he picked up this little girl she snuggled into his arms, gave the most contented sigh, and fell right back to sleep. The lady there said, “Oh you HAVE to take her now, she loves you!!”

We surprised the kids when we went down to get them on Sunday. I walked in holding the puppy. Their reactions were priceless. Tyler started yelling and Amber was so happy/excited/surprised she started crying. So sweet!

Thomas wasn’t sure of what to think of this new little friend. But she didn’t give him much of an option. By the second day, they became best friends forever. I melted again when I looked over from our BBQ to see this!

All together now “AWWWWWWW”

While new puppies are AMAZING they’re, well, babies. And during the first few days, you get that reminder really fast. When we adopted Thomas I was purposefully looking for a rescue doggy that was older and already trained. It really did make life so much easier, and he’s still the best dog ever!

There’s just something about getting a little puppy, though! So this time we accepted the adorableness with the full knowledge that lots of work was coming our way!

Having a new puppy means training and lots of it! Since this wasn’t our first time, we knew just what we needed to make training a success! Mainly:

#1 Treats, Treats, and More Treats

Treats are the absolute key to making training easier on everyone! Our timing was perfect because I found out that Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® just came out with new treats! Every dog is unique and they all deserve a real meat treat!

You can buy these several different places — Go Here To See! I decided to take the easy option and order mine online. I love online shopping, it makes life so much easier! If you’re shopping in-store be sure to grab a coupon here!

I picked up Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Hickory Smoked Turkey Bacon Treats and Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Beef, Chicken & Bacon Meatball Morsels. They’re both made with real U.S. farm-raised beef/turkey as the #1 ingredient and are inspired by Rachael’s kitchen. In addition to having all the good stuff in them, they also don’t have bad stuff. They contain no grains, artificial flavors, meat by-products, and never any ingredients from China. Dogs everywhere crave the meaty deliciousness in these Nutrish treats. These real-meat treats look and taste just like the real thing!

It’s important to note that they are meant to be treats, not your dog’s main food source. Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Treats are intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. Please watch your dog to ensure Nutrish treats are thoroughly chewed before swallowing. Break into small pieces for smaller dogs and puppies!

Since our kitty and both dogs are rescues, I love it when I can buy brands that support amazing causes. A portion of proceeds from each sale of Nutrish is donated to The Rachael Ray Foundation™, which helps animals in need. Through December 2017, more than $23.5 million dollars have been donated to animal charities and other organizations that do good for animals. The funds are used for food, medical supplies, treatments, and more. Many more animals around the country need help, and through The Rachael Ray Foundation, together we can make a real difference in the lives of many four-legged friends!

Once you have your treats it’s time to start training! Since our dogs are inside pets, my first focus was potty training. This included  Athena being happy to go outside when I told her to. The next training would be the famous “sit” command.

#2 Consistency & Creativity

If you have a room like a kitchen or a mud room next to your back door that’s enclosed, use it! Buy a baby gate and training pads, and establish a routine. We have an open layout home, and I love it! There’s just one problem. There is no room that has a hard floor that I can keep the dogs confined in for training. This meant I have to be creative! If you’re like me, here’s some tricks.

Buy training pads and put them in strategic areas around the rooms. Remove any rugs from the room. I found for both my mom-in-love and me that when you are teaching your puppy to do its business on the grass, the last thing you want inside is access to a soft place that they can easily mistake!

Now it’s time to work on getting the puppy excited to go *outside* when you say it’s time to! Practice saying “Outside!” Then walking outside together, and giving the puppy a treat. Do this a few times a day, until when you say “Outside” both dogs immediately race to the door!

#3 Pace According to *Your* Puppy

Puppies are like babies. Some adapt and learn quickly and easily. Others take a longer amount of time. Start slowly with your puppy and gradually add things in. If they seem to be catching on quickly, feel free to train for different areas simultaneously. With Athena, I’ve been working on going outside, potty training, and “sitting” to receive her treat afterward.

#4 Patience, patience, patience

No matter how smart your puppy is, they are just a puppy. There will be accidents and mishaps and rebellious “teenage stage” puppy days. Just chalk it up as part of the experience. Also, it would probably be a good idea to stock up on cleaning supplies as well as treats.

In the end, it is all absolutely worth it. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have a home filled with loving, beautiful animals!

Pin this to save for later!

Do you have a sweet puppy that you love or are you in the market for a new little one? Leave me a comment and let me know! And don’t forget to stock up on Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Treats!

Easy Crustless Quiche

Easy Crustless Quiche

  You know that game where people ask questions like, “If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?” “What one book would you take with you to a desert island?” “If you had to live on one food for the rest […]

Keeping Children Healthy

Keeping Children Healthy

As a parent, you worry about your child daily. It’s only natural that you want what’s best for them. The good news is that there are many ways to keep them happy and healthy. Sufficient Amount of Sleep Sleep is something that no human being […]

Things To Consider When Purchasing a New Laptop

Things To Consider When Purchasing a New Laptop

 Legalese  Disclosure Nonsense: Best Buy has compensated me to share this post with you! As always all opinions, insight, and advice is mine alone.

 

That awful moment. You boot up your old laptop and *boom* you see the blue screen of death. Or one day your old laptop takes 2 hours and 12 minutes to load up your internet browser.

When it’s time to purchase a new laptop, the options can be absolutely overwhelming! Here’s a few top things to remember when you’re researching a new laptop, and a great one you will want to add to your list of top contenders!

#1 Establish Your Price Range & Check For Deals

The very first thing you’ll want to do is establish your budget. Remember that while it’s important to stay in budget, when it comes to laptops you really do get what you pay for. It’s better to find a mid-range laptop and look for special deals.

***Right now there is an offer to save $100 on a new Google Pixelbook from 3/25 – 4/7 ***

Keep in mind that many of the best laptops provide a sliding pay scale. This allows you to find just what you need at the right price.

 

 

 

#2 Decide On What You Need

These days a laptop can be so much more than a laptop. There are a few key things you need to nail down. These include:

  • How much storage you need
  • How important speed is to you
  • What size of model you need
  • How versatile you need it to be

When you answer these questions it will be easy to decide if you need a traditional laptop, or if a hybrid model, like the Pixelbook, is better for your needs.

At just 10.3mm, Pixelbook is Google’s thinnest laptop ever, with a lightweight aluminum construction that enhances portability. The 360° touchscreen and versatile 4-in-1 design will seamlessly adjust to whatever you’re doing, too. You can sketch or edit photos, stay productive with GSuite apps that Drive automatically backs up to your device, and enjoy on-or-offline access to movies and TV shows with apps like Google Play Movies and YouTube Red.

The Pixlebook is also the first laptop with the Google Assistant built in, so you’ll be able to get more done faster and smarter. Combine that with the the latest security and features with software that automatically updates in the background. Add in the fast response, it starts up in under ten seconds,  and finish off with a fast-charging, all-day battery that gives you up to ten hours of go from a single charge.

Once you have your list it’s time to continue your research!

#3 Narrow The Field and Read Reviews

You’ve laid out all the groundwork and it’s time to start shopping! It’s always a great idea to use the reviews on sites like Best Buy to help you decide which models are the best in their field. I always encourage leaving a review for all the devices you own, as well!

 

Happy Shopping!

Happy Homeschooling–Even with a Toddler

Happy Homeschooling–Even with a Toddler

  In the almost 4 years we’ve been homeschooling, there has always been a baby or a toddler in the house. Without a doubt the biggest challenge for me has been figuring out what to do with the youngest during school time.  I can’t even […]