Pet Safety For The Summer

The 4th of July is tomorrow! Fireworks! BBQs! Boat rides! Picnics! We love to do it all!

There might be one family member not for the 4th of July life…

Our fur babies

Majority of pet owners will have an animal scared of the loud boom of fireworks. We love our fur babies to death, and we want to keep them safe.

With summer here, let’s remind of important safety tips to avoid a trip to the vet’s office.

BBQ’s = No NO Q’s

It is most overlooked aspect of the summer. BBQ’s are my favorite! I love the smell of it, and the delicious food! But there’s some pretty dangerous things that are harmful to our animals.

Alcoholic Beverages: If you’re like me I’ll have one margarita in hand, and one on the side. Alcohol is technically poison for our animals. If a lot is consumed, it can have a major impact on organ function. Be mindful where you’re keeping your beer or cocktail. Keep them out of reach! You don’t want to  have an emergency vet visit for a silly mistake.

Grills: Lighter fluid, heat/smoke, and matches are all dangerous for our pets. Matches are usually not thought of as dangerous. But studies have shown that certain matches contain a chemical that can hurt respiratory function, damage blood cells, or worse,  cause kidney failure.

Lighter fluid if inhaled can irritate respiratory system, but can also irritate the skin. If your pup accidentally ingest lighter fluid it can irritate some sensitive organs and bring on an upset tummy.

Human Food

Sharing is not always caring

We all do it. We love to share our delicious food with our fur babies. They drool and give the puppy eyes until you share that burger or hotdog. What some might not know are the harmful foods that are potentially very dangerous.

Onions, avocados, chocolate and alcohol are just some of the few on the list.

Take a look to see what else is on the list:

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Accidents happen but lets no make a trip to the emergency vet, sometimes that’s not always affordable.

Summer Heat!

This is a big one. Dogs especially, DO NOT sweat, other than from the sweat glands on their paws. They work hard maintain their body temperature. That’s why it is best to keep water on hand, and keep our pups out of the sun as much as possible.

Swimming The Summer Heat Away

Swimming is a great way to keep your pup cool. But not all breeds are meant for swimming. Do not force your fur baby to swim when they are terrified. If you’re near salt water, be mindful of how much is getting ingested. An over ingestion of salt water can cause seizures. Also, if you’re on a boat consider investing in a doggy life jacket! Not only is it adorable picture opportunities, it’ll keep them safe if they accidentally fall off.

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Click the picture to be brought to 7+ Best Life Jackets for Dogs

Human Toys

Pool parties will bring out the fun human toys. Our pups will see how fun they are and will want to play with them to! But if we’re not careful, those fun toys can turn into dangerous choking hazards. The most popular holiday toy is the glow jewelry. If chewed on and broken, it can be a serious poison. Be mindful of what your pup is chewing on. Let’s not make them glow this holiday.

Firework Safety

Fireworks are fun for all adults and children! But what can be fun for us, is terror to our furry friends. The loud chaos can spark the Fight or Flight in our animals. It is highly recommended to keep your cat or dog inside during this holiday, especially at night.

Even if they’re inside, make sure they have all appropriate identification tags on. You never know what might happen.

We might go out to watch the fireworks, but lets make sure we keep our animals safe and calm during a time of chaos in their lives. Some dogs might not show a phobia of the loud boom, but sound sensitivity can develop over time and age.

Try this!

  • Try giving your pup a summer treat can keep them distracted from the sounds of fireworks going off!

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  • Give them a cool safe place. Turn on the air conditioning and put them in a space where they feel calm and is non-escapable. Also, keep the TV or radio on. This will help make them feel you’re at home. A side noise will also help distract them from far away booms of fireworks.

Check out this handy infographic about pet safety during the 4th of July.

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What do you guys do for the 4th?! What are your ways of keeping your fur babies safe?! Comment below with what you do!

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Finding Motivation on Bad Days

We’re Getting Real.

We all have them. It all sucks just as equally. It makes us not want to do anything, just lay in bed and let the day pass.

Nothing can help your mood. Not ice cream. Not chocolate. No doggy cuddles. Nothing.

Everyone is constantly telling you that you’re being to quiet, you need to smile, that you just need to think more positive.

And all we want to do is say a big F*** you. They don’t know what’s going through our minds. They don’t feel how we feel. They don’t know if there is an actual reason behind our mood.

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Finding motivation on these days, is almost nearly impossible. You just don’t want to do anything. It’s like, why even try? You’re not gonna enjoy anyways.

Personally, Ive been struggling with this lately. It’s like I have Peppy Positive on my right shoulder, and a Negative Nancy on my left shoulder, and my right ear is deaf. No matter what I do, or what I think. Negative Nancy is whispering “what if…This has happened before…You’re doing this…Don’t do that…It’s not worth it…you’re not worth it….the universe is against you…there’s a lot better out there….”. No matter what I do, no matter what positive thoughts I think, Nancy is louder than any of that. Until I found my one outage, kickboxing. It helps me get my pent up frustrations out. The ones I have to bottle up and never speak of. Even just going a couple times a week, it has helped me re-build lost confidence. 

How do you know that life isn’t defined by the Negative Nancy.  How would I stay motivated?

  • Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins to help you actually feel better. It helps you become more focused through the day.  Just like in Legally Blonde “exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy”. Get a cheap gym membership. Pick up roller blading, or bike riding. Go home and take your dog on a nice long walk, bring music with you.
  • Finish a project you started a while ago. Sometimes knowing that you’ve completed something is a really good feeling. You can look at it and think, “yeah I did that”
  • Remind yourself of the outcome! If you’ve lost your motivation mid project. It’s okay to take a step back but remind yourself of how great the outcome will be.
  • Create a vision board! Pinterest is THE BEST place to find amazing empowering quotes. Print out a bunch to help you in any situation. Print quotes out that will remind you of the outcome that you’re trying to achieve.
  • Reward yourself! Don’t get carried away but, if you finally beat a goal, reward yourself! You deserve it! It’s hard to step out of a comfort zone or an unmotivated zone. But you did it!
  • Surround yourself with POSITIVITY. Remove all the negative distractions that are keeping you from staying motivated. I call it the great purge. Early May, I purged a lot of the “friends” that would be there when it was convenient for them. I’ve never regretted it. 
  • Acknowledge any progress that has been made. Getting up, out of bed, getting work done, is progress!
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s not doing anyone good. That person you’re comparing yourself to is 100% a completely different human being. They’re not you, and not living your life.
  • Wake up early! You have the whole day to tackle.
  • Volunteer. Sometime seeing a different situation where you see how blessed you are, is just the kick in the butt you need.
  • Do a little retail therapy! Mamma could always use a new outfit to make yourself feel good, and look good.
  • Walk dogs at the animals shelter. Give adorable kittens lots of love. Animals have a natural capability to make us feel better about anything.
  • Talk to your family. Talk to close friends. Maybe they can help give you words of encouragement.
  • Lastly, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. You’re the one on this journey. You have the capability of doing anything you set your mind to.

Time is always something to consider. Maybe, just thinking through some thoughts, and devising a game plan is all you need!

Regardless, know that there is ALWAYS someone willing to help you if it get’s to hard.

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What do you do if you’re lacking motivation? Let me know your thoughts on the situation.

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What To Do When Your Dog is Destructive! Ways to Help Stop It

Getting a puppy is a fun life experience! They’re so cute and fluffy!

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They trip over themselves! Bark at fuzzy things blowing by! Chase their tails! And you just love them to death!

Getting a puppy, or any dog, is a major responsibility! You become a parent to a child with a lot of fur. They need food, have fresh water,  healthy snack,  exercise, social outings, boundaries (training), potty trained, punishment, praising, medical care, and shots; just like a child.

I’m sure you’ve seen these amazing pictures all over the internet!

#DogShaming!

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This is my absolute favorite one!

I’ve even done it!

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The first month Big Mac was home

But what happens when it turns big….

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Yup, that’s my dog. Yup that’s the new apartment we moved into. The #DogShame sign says “We moved in 3 days ago…”

So, what are our furry babies trying to say?! Certainly they’re trying to say something. I mean look at the destruction!

Dogs who destroy could be telling you this:

– Hey mom/dad, I’m bored. I have so much pent up energy and nowhere to go! No where to run! So I have to do something and your couch looks like fun!!

– Hey mom/dad, I’m nervous and scared when you leave. It’s like you’re gone forever and I’m all alone. Who will care for me?! Who will calm me down?! You were just here a minute ago, and now you’re gone. I don’t know what to do! There’s so many strange noises. I’m freaking out!!!

– Hey mom/dad, I’m a baby. There’s this big world around me and I need to explore every single bit of it! I could be teething to! I’m turning into the big dog you’ve always wanted.

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As fur parents, you kinda need to look a little deeper. If punishing them isn’t working, that means there’s a bigger issue at hand.

If you’re unsure where to start, have no fear! Becca is here! I rescued Big Mac at 5 months old. He was just a baby living in a shelter!

I brought him home, to a nice big fenced-in back yard. Abundance of toys! Treats for days! Love for the rest of his life! I planned on getting him trained, but I had no idea what this pup was capable of.

I’m not a kennel person, I wanted Mac to be a free roam dog. He seemed to be doing fine! Until I started seeing trash everywhere. Well, I could understand that… A puppy + trash with food = he’s going to be curious.

Then it turned into counter clearing…8a0271c5-184b-4941-990f-e4afddf693c1.jpg

Until, one day…

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Yup that’s the couch. Yup that’s his doggy puzzle that he clearly said “no thank you” to

Well shit.

He’s obviously saying something. Doggy punishing him wasn’t working. So what is he saying?!

When destruction hits. We need to become detectives.

– Is he bored?

– Is he sick/in pain?

– Is he anxious? Strange noises bothersome?

I thought Mac was bored. So when summer school was done, we walked 5 miles EVERY morning, and play throughout the day.

I would go out with family; come home to counters cleared, closed doors wide open, and trash ripped.

I know he’s not sick. He’s eating fine, drinking, fine, pooping fine. He’s not in pain; not constantly licking paws or skin.

Can he be anxious? How can I tell? Should I kennel train him?

So that’s what I tried, a kennel….I hate kennels….

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He was once in that kennel

and then this…

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Bottom half of the curtain ripped off. How he got out? No one will know.

 

So with my experience, I’ve learned a lot about dog destruction and want to share some knowledge!

When Dogs Are Bored:

– Try playing with them! Wrestle! Play tug of war!

Try out different toys. Do they like balls? Squeaky toys? Bigger toys? Littler toys? Toys just to rip apart?

My life saver was a Laser Pointer! Yes, something so simple helped my dog so much! I still use it now. Go to your local pet store and pick one up! It’s entertaining for both you and your pup!

I also stocked on cheap and clearance plush toys. That way, they can rip something apart, other than the furniture.

– Get interactive toys or doggy puzzles. But you’re going in 50/50. You don’t know if your dog will like it or not. So be ready for your $20+ to go toward nothing.

Your local pet store will have TONS. Go see which one your dog will like.

I stand by busy buddy toys. These interactive toys have made a huge difference for Mac. Although, some aren’t built tough and we’ve gone through many of the same. I’ll always give him something that works! The website I’ve attached, will send you to the store that has the cheapest options!

– Go on an outdoor adventure with him! Maybe your dog needs to stretch his legs and run! Go swimming and retrieve! Dogs are natural athletes. Don’t surpress their need to run, for your laziness!

Go read my affordable weekend activities blog! There’s even a list for dogs! If you’re going to a dog park, read my Dog Park Do’s & Don’t, it’s a must read!

Train your pup!

What breed did you get? Did you do your research? If you got a shepherd, husky, mountain dog, collies, pits, etc. They’re working dogs (High Energy)! They need a job! That could be a HUGE reason for the destruction.

Big Mac is a Chocolate Lab/Staffordshire PitBull Mix. He’s classified as a working dog, or high energy dog. He has to be trained. His brain has to be working. If it’s not, it’s destroying things.

Maintain their training! Just like us, they can loose skills to!

Create a Routine

Dogs THRIVE on routine. They like knowing what’s happening at all times. They like the predictable, it keeps them comfortable.

When I adopted Mac. He came in during a rough patch in my life. I was in a downward spiraling relationship — tension everyday –me crying all the time. Not good for a dog who feeds on energy. When I left, he destroyed once, then never ever again. With help from his trainer, we got him on a routine. We practiced it for hours! I’ll explain his “Goodbye Routine” at the end.

Get your pup on a steady routine. If the morning is bothering him, do the same thing every morning. Wake up, shower, get yourself ready, get the dog outside, food, leave. Every morning.

Watch for trigger signs. Does he get anxious when you have your shoes on? Holding your purse? Putting on your coat? Grabbing your keys? Saying goodbye to your pup? These could trigger his anxiety and destroy.

While You’re getting ready for work, wear your shoes. Eat breakfast with your coat on. Carry your purse with you throughout the house. Stop saying anything to him/her when you leave.

Doggy DayCare

If you work long hours and struggle with getting all your dogs energy out after, look into doggy day care! Or find a dog walker! Day care gives your dog all day play! You’ll love coming home from a long day at work, and having a tired pup. I know I do!

Medication

Unfortunately, just like humans, dogs can have a chemical imbalance in their brain. If nothing is helping your dog, a trip to the vet might be needed.

Mac started eating picture frames, and the glass as well. That’s when we went to the vet. Nothing was working until going on an ALL NATURAL anxiety med. He was on it for 6 months and that was it!

Talk to your vet to see what your options are!

Destructive separation anxiety can be stressful! It might seem like an endless battle but it can get better!

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Big Mac’s Goodbye Routine:

  • I wake up and take a shower, get ready for work. (I live in an apartment, so I have to walk Mac outside. That usually waits till I’m fully ready and Mac is use to it). If Mac needs to go out earlier, he lets me know and we go.
  • Once we come back inside, we the kittens.
  • I make my lunch, prepare his breakfast. I also prepare his kong or bone.
  • Turn on the TV for background noise
  • My shoes are on and I walk around getting the last minute things together. I have keys in hand.
  • I grab my purse and anything else I need. I give him his food, show him his bone or kong and leave.

No “have a good day!”. No “I’ll see you soon. I love you!”

The beginning process,  his breakfast was put in a toy that made him work to get it out. I also threw treats around so he searched for them. That way he was concentrating on finding the treats, than me leaving.

Click here, to see the toys I used

Click here, to see the toys I used

Click here, to see the toys I used

Click here, to see the toys I used

Does your dog have destructive issues? How did you overcome it? Leave a comment!

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LADIES! If you’re wanting to have BOOST OF CONFIDENCE and FEEL BEAUTIFUL EVERYDAY! Take a look at my Lips By Becca Page!

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Keep It Moving! Tips For Staying Fit When You Work In An Office

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Happy Wednesday!

We’re almost there! The struggle is real, but it end is near!

I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately. It started in April and it’s been a pain in my butt ever since….

You work an 8 hour day, SITTING. Yes, sitting. You eat breakfast and lunch, and you SIT ALL FREAKING DAY.  How is this okay?!?!? I accumulate energy and that energy isn’t getting burned off. I need to move!!

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Thank goodness it’s summer. In the back of my workplace there’s a teenie-tiny grass area, the rest is a parking lot. I’ll go to that rug of grass (periodically) and just walk around it…in a circle…over and over and over. I, literally, cannot sit for 8 hours, staring at a computer. Can’t. Do. it.

I MISS working in Special Ed SOOO BAD!!!

***You know what else I don’t understand….Why I’m making more money sitting on my ass doing NOTHING, versus teaching children with special needs important life skills?!?! Explain this one to me???????… It bothers me everyday.**** Visit my last Blog as see the other things I don’t understand!

Anyways. I’ve found myself leaving for lunch and going to work out for 30 minutes to an hour. It’s not a lot but it’s something!

Since April, I have devised and tried a few ways to make an office job a little healthier. I’ve found the art of being secretive so I don’t get myself made fun of.

Eat Healthier! Don’t Snack To Much.

Simple enough, right? Ehh kinda. I love to snack, I can have 3 square meals a day of snacking. BUT I know snacking will make my pants tighter…No bueno. So instead, I make sure my breakfast fills me! Breakfast is so important!! Eat a high protein breakfast. Make it the night before! Or if you have extra time, whip up some scrambled egg whites with veggies, toss it in a container, and hit the road. Protein will FILL you longer. Not protein powder shakes. Actual PROTEIN FOOD!

Drink water!! Make a challenge of it. Buy water flavoring, but watch the sugar!

(Go read my All About Sugar blog to know more!)

Chew gum! This is what I do. I buy a lot of fruity & minty flavor gum. When I know I’m “bored hungry” I eat yummy flavored gum. That gives me something to chew on, and holds me over for a bit.

Have healthy snacks. If you must snack, make a healthy one. Next to me I have almonds and dried cranberries. Try veggies with ranch. Air popped pop corn. Even fruit will help!

Stand! Take A Quick Walk!

I’m lucky enough that I was given a standing desk.

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That’s my desk!

Before the standing desk, I was miserable. I would stand over my chair. Thankfully, I don’t have to do that anymore.

TIP: Watch the clock! At the top of the hour, get up and stand up! Stretch your legs out. Move your arms around. Go find a rug of grass and take a quick walk! Nobody will mind. Your sanity and health is important! Plus you’ll love being in the sunshine and fresh air.

Do Some Office Yoga!

This will keep the blood flowing and muscles stretched out. Here are some examples:

  1. Chair Cat/Cow: Sit at the edge of your chair. Feet flat and straight (make sure one foot isn’t crooked). Sit straight up, like the military. Shoulders down, neck high. Hands rest on knees. Now, EXHALE suck in your tummy, round your back and shoulders forward. Bring your neck into towards your belly. INHALE, coming up and arching your back, pushing your belly forward, shoulders go back. Then repeat! This helps your back so much!
  2. Chair hand raise: Sit at the edge of your chair. Feet flat and straight. Inhale bringing your arms up, straight, over your head. Exhale, bringing them down (imagine pushing the air down). Repeat! This helps with posture.
  3. Chair Spine Twist: Sit side ways on your chair. Feet flat and straight. Keeping your back tall. Shoulders down. Tighten your abs, and twist toward the right. Holding on the the back of the chair. Breath. With each inhale, lengthen your back. Twist deeper with each exhale. Once you’r done, switch sides and repeat.
  4. Forward Fold: Sit at the edge of your chair. Feet flat and straight. Have your legs and knees be hip width apart. Inhale, bring your front half down so your belly is touching your legs; exhale. Inhale when you come up, straightening and lengthening your back.

Go Workout During Lunch!

If you’re able to, see if there is a gym near by. Go get a quick walk on the treadmill in, or lift some weights! Let your boss know! Just incase you’re a little late, he’ll know why. Bring your gym clothes with you, bring everything you need. If you’re worried about sweating and smelling, and not enough time to shower. There’s TONS of things at your local store to grab.

Those are just a few!

Let me know what you think! Tell me what works for you! How do you get through an 8 hour workday, sitting?!

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Just think, you’re that much closer to the work day being over!

What I Don’t Understand Is…

I was listening to my FAVORITE radio talk show this morning, 103.5 KISS FM.

If you’re in that area, listen to the Fred & Angie Morning Show! It’s the highlight of my commute. They have iHeart radio, so crank that S*** up!

This morning, Fred was talking about how he doesn’t understand the old school & new school Death Metal. Personally, I don’t mind it. I actually like some of it! But then it got me thinking…there are a lot things I don’t understand!

With all the new fads, trends, toys, words…who can keep up?!?

Does that mean, I’m not hip with it anymore? I mean I’m only 25…I think I still have some youth left.

It got me thinking…. What are the things I don’t understand:

Fidget Spinners

WTF IS THIS?!?!?!?!?!

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This. This is what people are so obsessed over. And adults to?!

This thing. It looks like a poorly made ninja star. The type they practice with, throwing them at friends, practicing their aiming. This is what people are obsessing over?!?! Really 21st century? Really millennial.

I mean…I guess…there are some cool designs. But then people are getting this buzzed into their hair? No. No thanks.

Here’s where I’m coming from. I’ve worked in Special Education. Sped Ed is the Holy Mecca of fidgets. We carry fidgets with us on a daily. I have a filing cabinet dedicated to fidgets. And these things, do not make the cut. If I want to fidget, I’m going to grab something with texture. Something I can rip apart and put back together. Plus, in Sped Ed, you get crap thrown at you. I rather have a coosh ball thrown at me than a fake ninja star.

The Man Bun

Let’s, let the picture do the explaining…

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A. Nice beard line.

B. You have better hair than me.

C. No.

No man. I repeat, NO MAN (even with amazing genetics), should have better hair than a woman.

Reason being: WE PAY $1,000 TO MAKE OUR HAIR LOOK LIKE THIS. Go ahead, have healthy hair. I want you to be healthy. But no. The answer is no. Spend the amount of money, we woman do, and then we can talk about man buns…sir.

Bae

 GTFO

It’s Babe.

Children Leashes

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Are you kidding world. Really. Have you stopped the art of parenting?! 

Have you become so lazy that you have to put your own chil on leashes.

“Well… my kid is so high energy. He’s always getting into things…I can’t keep track of him… He just gets away… It’s so frustrating taking him into public, he’s a menace… I’ll loose him. “

Sounds like, “I’m lazy and afraid to discipline my child”. 

I’m not saying hit your child, but when your child is running around, out of control…that’s because he knows you’re not going to do anything! DUHHHHH.

Lets take a little trip back in time. To a time known as, the 90s. Let’s say 1997, I was 5 years old, my brother was 6. My mom would take us to the mall, and after feeding my brother….We would be jerks. Fighting each other, yelling at each other, running around hiding in clothes, running around in general, laughing like The Joker. And you know what my mom would do? 

She would be a mom. 

**Insert Mind blowing**

She would grab whatever body part she could and whip you back into shape; whether it be with words or a quick slap on the butt. She ALWAYS told us, “Your brain fell in your butt. We need to get it back up”.

Seeing a child on a leash doesn’t make me think the child is out of control. It makes me think that the parent isn’t doing their job; teaching their child boundaries and rules. Let them be creative but within boundaries and rules.

Why are there no Healthy Fast Food Places?!

This is the 21st Century! Eating healthy is on the uprise! Everybody, including myself, is looking for fast healthy food. I want to be able to drive through a  drive through, order a salad, and know it’s not filled with added sugar. A place where they do not even give an option of french fries or onion rings. These restaurants could make millions! It could help the obesity epidemic! Why hasn’t this become a thing yet?!

 

Those are just some of the things, that frankly, I don’t understand. Personally, I’ll never understand them.

Leave a comment and tell me what you don’t understand! Share this post! Pin it on Pinterest so your friends will see!

A Love Between A Mother & Daughter

Happy Monday my lovelies!

The weekend has come and gone.

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Now, we have to deal with the stress of work, lack of financial funds, family obligations, friend dates and our own personal relationships! I know, it seems like a lot! But you can do it!

 

I have come across the same feeling everybody is feeling…The Monday Blues. No Motivation Monday. Excessive Yawning Syndrome. The – I Want To Get Up And Do Something Fun, but No Energy To Do So – Mood.

Ughhh Monday.

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So I kinda just wanted to write. But what to write about?! There’s so many things to think of. I look at my Blogging Schedule and see what I’m suppose to write about and, I just, don’t want to….is that bad??

I keep putting this pressure on myself. I have to be perfect (perfectionism is a bitch). My mother always told me, “You’re never going to be truly happy if you want everything to be perfect. Be happy with the imperfect.” And of course, she’s right.

My mother, is a very smart woman. Her life hasn’t always been all sunshine and rainbows. I admire her strength, her courage, her endless love, and her grace. She is what keeps the family going. All she wants to do is please her children. Take care of her husband. See her grand babies. Hug her own babies. Make sure my sister, brother, and I are alive and happy.

She wants us to be happy.

But, what do I want?

I want my mother to be happy. I want my mother to not feel sadness, or anger, or stress. I want her to feel loved to no extent. I want someone to say “you know…you don’t have to deal with this anymore, I got this”.

She deserves it.

Between my lack of financial funds, stress of relationships, a broken heart, sick animals, apartment issues, and unfortunately, no time to visit. She has remained the constant rock.

Don’t get me wrong, my dad is just as much of a rock; but in his own special way.

 My mom has always been a working mom. A working mom of three kids and a husband. She would work her 8+ hour day, commute home, cook dinner, help us with homework, cleaned us and put us to bed. Then the day would repeat.

She taught me how a strong, powerful, independent woman should be. She taught me that I can never depend on someone. I’ll never need a person; I’ll always choose and want that person in my life. To make life beautiful. She taught me that no man will compare to my father (SO TRUE). She taught me that I’m never alone, even in my darkest times.

She has helped me to grow, to prosper, and to think. I have my own thoughts, my own believes, my own wishes. I know I can stand here on my own two feet, because of the strength my mother has instilled in me.

She taught me that in a world of hate, that I need to love. Love those, who need it the most. A simple act of love can give someone a breath of new air.

She taught me that it’s okay to let go. It’s okay to not have friends, because those friends aren’t true friends. She still tells me to this day, “Finding friends for a life time is extremely difficult. It’s okay to let go of the negative. It’ll leave more room for the positive.”

She always told me that, “no matter where you are or, what time it is. I am here for you.” She always kept a phone by her bed, just in case we called her at 11 PM needing to be picked up.

No matter my financial situation, or hers. She will help me regardless. I couldn’t pay a bill, so she did. I needed an oil change, so it was paid for. I needed home cooked meals, so she would make a feast just so I could take some home.

That door she lives behind is always open. Don’t knock, just come in.

When I had my heart broken, she was there. She called me every single day, texted me every day, to see how I was doing. She knew, what I had to do wasn’t easy. But, being treated the way I was, wasn’t right. Even in heart break, she continually told me, “You’ll never fully close to door on a person. You can always leave it a little open, and try again when the time is right.”

I see how my parents are together, and I’ve always told my boyfriend, “I want that”.

Now, their marriage is nothing close to perfect. They’ve been married since 1986, and have learned that life is constantly changing – good, bad, and ugly – and you have to change together.

My mom has felt pain in her heart. She has seen the sunshine in the clouds. She has felt the blessings poured upon her. She has never give up. She has always pushed through. She is a strong woman. She is my role model. And I am glad that I chose her to be my mom.

The love I have for my mom will never be taken away. I love you mom.

I know I’ll always be your favorite child.

**The featured image is of my mom and I. I have it framed in my living room.**

 

 

10 Helpful Tips For Dogs and Dog Parks! The Do’s & Don’ts

It’s the weekend! And of course, I wanna get my dog outside to enjoy the sunshine!

The sun is shining! A nice breeze is keeping you cool! You wanna take your dog on a fun adventure! Dog park? Dog Beach? Forest preserve? So much to choose from. When it comes to adventures, you can almost guarantee that other dogs will be there.

They’re just dogs, right?! They’ll be fine with other dogs. They’ll be fine with children and bicycles and skateboards. They ALWAYS listen to their mom! They’re recall is spot on! I’ll just keep treats in my pocket and, that’ll do the trick!

I’ve heard it and seen it a million times, twice.

Being a dog mom/dad is a responsibility. They are just like children, but different. They’re different because they don’t speak English or, Spanish, or French, or Russian, or anything with words.

What do they speak, you might ask? Well my friend, I’ll give you a hint….

…They speak dog….

I know, shocking. Mind blowing.

When you go to a dog park, have you ever just watched your dogs body language? I mean really watch it? Have you watched other dogs’ body language? A lot of people say yes. But do you really understand what it means?

If you’re a dog owner, you NEED to understand how they communicate.

10 Helpful Tips For Dogs and Dog Parks! The Do’s & Don’ts

  1. WATCH HIS/HER BODY: 

Is your dog super excited? Scared/Nervous? How do you know? Look for these tips:

HAPPY DOGS

Relaxed body posture, smooth hair, mouth relaxed. Ears are in natural position (not pushed back and down), tail is wagging or neutral, eyes are normal shape.

A happy dog will “invite” others to play. Your dog will lower his front half, and raising his butt, with tail wagging, and possibly barking.

SCARED/NERVOUS DOGS

BIGGEST SIGN: Tail is tucked in between back legs. Nervous dogs will lower their head, while still looking up. Ears will be pressed back, and dog will open mouth excessively (looking like a yawn).

A dog will lay down and avoid eye contact and turn his/her head away. They will lick their lips, body will shake.

A scared dog will have raised fur, tail tucked, eyes pinned back, showing teeth, barking, panting, yawning, licking lips. A scared dog will go into fight or flight. It is important to notice these triggers and REDIRECT their attention.

** IMPORTANT: Do not coddle them while scared, they will think that this feeling is okay. When they become scared, turn them around –redirect– and go back once they’re calmer. Training is important!

ANGRY DOGS

Angry dogs will stand firm. Their posture will be stiff and stagnant. Ears are UP, not relaxed. Hair is raised, tail is up and stiff (not wagging). ALTHOUGH, dominant dogs that want to be aggressive, will wag their tail. If the dog is restrained, they will bark excessively, pull and lunged towards others.

DO NOT LOOK AT THEIR TAIL. ANGRY DOGS WILL WAG THEIR TAIL, IT DOESN’T MEAN THEY’RE HAPPY.

2. Let the dogs say Hi! Dogs communicate through smell. They will smell butts, boy parts, and girl parts. Countless owners pull their dogs away, or yell a them for doing a natural instinct. This is how they get to know the dog, who they are, where they’ve been, how they’re feeling. Let your dog sniff!!!

3.  Barking dogs happen! Each dog plays differently! Some dogs play rough, some dogs love to run, some dogs just want to fetch a ball, some dogs want to chill. You cannot deem a dog aggressive just because they’re barking, playing and wrestling with your dog. SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE DONE! Big Mac has a loud deep bark. He loves to bark while wrestling, or running. People have told me “You need to separate your dog from mine. He’s to aggressive”. I simply tell them, “well if this is aggression, your dog likes it”.

4. Know when your dog needs a break. Dogs can get tired, and don’t know when to stop. In a matter of a second, your once happy dog can turn into a – leave me alone – dog.  If your dogs behavior has changed from anything other than playful, redirect him away. If the other dog is insistent, get the owner. Simply say, “my pup needs a break. Do you mind helping me out?”

5. WATCH YOUR DOGS SURROUNDINGS! Even before entering the dog park, use the entrance gate to let your dog smell the “dog park greeters”, and YOU can see how other dogs are playing.

6. Watch YOUR body language. This is important. If you’re nervous, your dog is nervous. If your dog is nervous they’ll try to protect you, or go into fight or flight. A dog in flight, will still bite other dogs. Make sure you’re collected and calm. If you’re having constant anxiety, bring a friend!

7. NEVER EVER EVER BRING A DOG INTO A DOG PARK/BEACH ON LEASH! This is a golden rule. I understand that you’re unsure of how your dog will be, and you want to control the situation. Keeping a dog on leash when they’re nervous, will make them vulnerable. Other dogs will pick up on it, and take advantage. Your dog can only go as far as the leash. If the dog is off leash and gets scared, they can run away.

TIP ** if you’re nervous about your dog, keep him/her in the entrance gate until they’re relaxed. Or walk them around the outside of the park. Let your pup sniff! Let them see your excitement. Once YOU’RE ready, take the leash off, take a deep breath, open the gate. Stay calm for your fur baby!

8. Toys are your choice. But don’t get mad when your dog won’t share. Toys help your dog run and get the energy out. BUT it can be a trigger for aggression.

My dog, doesn’t share; especially when swimming. He’ll growl, show teeth, and re-correct if they even get close to his toy. You, as the owner, needs to judge whether bringing a toy will create happiness or stress.

9. Re-corrections happen. Big Mac is re-correction king. He’s a dominant, neutered, male. He hates being mounted. Hates paws on his back. Hates dogs jumping in his face. Hates dogs around his toys. Hates jumping puppies. It sounds aggressive. The other dog might yelp. But it is a way they communicate, “Stop. That’s enough!”. A re-correction will  stop. Aggressive fighting does not stop. If you’re nervous, talk to the owner; get a sense of how to dog likes to play.

10.  HAVE FUN! If you’re having fun, they’re having fun! Do your research! Communicate with other owners. Watch your dogs behavior and body language. Bring him to new parks. If something negative happens, redirect him. Follow your pup in the background for a bit.

I hope this helps!! Dog parks are an adventure. There’s so many different types of parks out there.

Click Here, to help you find a dog park near you!

Leave a comment of your dog park experiences. What do you do when going to a dog park? Leave a picture of your fur baby!

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Big Mac at his FAVORITE dog park. Enjoying the sunshine and getting his swim on!

Be A Moose 

Life is too short. Life is too beautiful. The world is full of possibilities.  See your goals and achieve your dreams. You must be brave, stand tall, and walk with grace. 

You must be a moose and tackle that hose. 

FriYAY! Affordable Summer Weekend Activities!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

#FriYAY

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We’ve made it.

And for all my weekend workers (been there), you’re making money when we’re spending it…think of it that way!

Since I’m a big “cheap-o”, I love to find fun things to do for less money. Don’t get me wrong… I understand, sometimes you need to spend some $$ to have amazing memories. But you don’t need to be dropping the big $$ all the time!

That’s where I come in! I’ll drop some ideas on what to do, and save money!

If you haven’t already, go check out my Broke Girls Guide to Budgeting — Free Budget Template and see how you can budget your paychecks out!

I’ll have lists for every type of adventure!

  • Adults/Dates
  • Kids
  • Kids with Special Needs
  • Pet friendly

AFFORDABLE WEEKEND ADVENTURES FOR ADULTS/DATES

  • Go to farmers markets! There are tons everywhere during the summer. Take your pup, children, friends, hubs, or wife!

If you’re not sure if there’s a farmers market near you,CLICK HERE, and type in your zip code at the top to find what’s around you!

  • Check your local museum or zoo! Sometimes they have FREE days, where you don’t spend anything for admission.
  • Go to the beach! Have a sand castle building contest.
  • Play “People Watching Bingo”

Go to a busy busy place, sit down, and play! Create your own cards! But make sure you’re being nice. The world doesn’t needs more rude people. Look for people with tattoos, wearing silly clothing, some one walking backwards, etc! CLICK HERE to download a free printable Bingo card!

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An example of a People Watching Bingo Card
  • Play Snap Chat hide and seek
  • Gotta Catch ‘Em All! Play Pokemon GO and see how many Pokemon you can catch! Make it a game.
  • Play Snap Chat hide and seek
  • Make a relationship/family time capsule
  • Go geocaching
  • Have a cooking competition! Who can make the best dish out of whatever is in the fridge
  • Volunteer at a pet shelter and walk adorable dogs! Pet super sweet cats!

CLICK HERE to find a pet shelter near you!

  • Binge Netflix! Buy candy, pop corn, alcohol, pop, ice cream, etc. Get in your PJ’s and watch Netflix
    • Make a spin of it and play drinking games with your shows!

CLICK HERE, for Pinterest ideas of Netflix binge watching drinking games

  • GO EYE BOMBING!! Seriously this is the most fun thing ever!

CLICK HERE, to find out what eye bombing is!!!!!

  • Play a Horror Film drinking game! That way you guys can get all personal and snuggly

CLICK HERE, to see what to do!

  • Take a car ride
  • Go to a new town and pretend to be obnoxious tourist
  • Lawn Twister

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  • Take a bike ride through a forest preserve
  • Go to the fair
  • Bonfires! Can’t go wrong
  • Arcades
  • Ultimate frisbee
  • Side walk chalk. Get creative and take pictures!
  • Free outdoor concerts/plays

AFFORDABLE WEEKEND ADVENTURES FOR KIDS

  • Water ballon fight!
  • Water Balloon Piñata! Let me repeat…WATER BALLOON PINATA!

CLICK HERE to see how!

  • Host a summer camp for all your kiddo’s friends
  • Make some ice cream!
  • Go to the beach and build sand castles
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Go out for a picnic
  • Hop in the pool and do some of thesePOOL GAMES
  • Why stop the learning during summer, play Go Fish with catching letters/numbers/and alphabet sounds
  • Get your DIY on, and create some art! Visit my Pinterest board: Arts And Crafts
  • Go to the FREE museum/zoo days
  • Build a fort if it’s to hot outside
  • Family water gun fight
  • Build a race track in the back yard! See what those bikes can do
  • Paint with edible paint!
  • Play spray bottle freeze tag
  • Go on a BUG HUNT. Get $1 mason jars
  • Once the sun goes down, look at all the star constellations
  • Camp in the back yard
  • Paint a cardboard house
  • Make a wall mural
  • Make some Granola Bar Bites!
  • Play with water beads
  • Wash the car
  • Play in the sprinkler
  • I Spy scavenger hunt
  • DIY Sidewalk Foam Paint
  • Collect rocks and paint them! Make pet rocks!

AFFORDABLE WEEKEND ADVENTURES FOR KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS (Great For Group Activities!)

  • Make some fun sensory art projects! Visit my Pinterest board: Arts and Crafts
  • Go to the FREE museum/zoo days
  • Paint with edible paint!
  • Play with water beads! **CAUTION**can be put in mouth, and can choke
  • I Spy scavenger hunt
  • Go to the library and pick fun books
  • Play in the sprinkler
  • Play hopscotch. It gets them involved in groups!
  • Out door Tic-Tac-Toe. Get your chalk and make a large Tic-Tac-Toe board and use anything as markers
  • Get them moving with an OUTDOOR OBSTACLE COURSE
  • Play with bubbles!
  • Go on a nature walk! Have them tell you what they see, hear, feel, smell, and taste!
    • You can even make it a scavenger hunt
  • Watch the clouds and have them describe what they see
  • Make a recipe!
  • Get them exercising with Kid Yoga
  • Color Hunt Scavenger Hunt
  • Learn some science with Oil & Water 

AFFORDABLE WEEKEND ADVENTURES THAT’S PET FRIENDLY

**Be a smart pet owner! Don’t take your dog (s) places they’ll be fearful or, or will be aggressive. Alway’s have a leash on you with poopy bags** (There

  • Visit your local dog park! Make sure you have all appropriate tags

CLICK HERE to see where there is a dog park near you

  • Take them swimming! Make sure they love to swim and CAN swim. You don’t want to make them fearful of the water. BRING STICKS/BALLS/ANYTHING TO FETCH!

Here’s a list of DOG FRIENDLY BEACHES

**Make sure stores near you participate. Certain store owners have their own rules. Also, make sure your pup is well behaved in public.

I hope these list helps! Let me know your ideas and what you do for affordable summer fun! 

If you found this helpful, give it a share! Leave your comments below and let me know what you think

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