“Spoiling” your dogs with Pawstruck

As dog owners, we all love to spoil our dogs. It’s just part of being a dog owner.

I use the term ‘spoil’ very loosely, like how I call all dogs ‘puppies’, no matter their age. A 10 year old dog will still get a ‘ooo puppy!’ from me when out in public.

I have found that the best way to spoil my dogs, Kemper and Brinkley, is to head over to Pawstruck for some shopping.

I discovered Pawstruck when browsing for cow hooves on Amazon. They were listed as a seller, so I started to search them out more online.

Guess what, they have plenty of their own products and they sell other favorites of ours as well, like Red Barn. But the best thing was that buying through their online store meant that I was saying money as their products were significantly less money on there than on Amazon. And when Kemper and Brinkley go through hooves as fast as they do, I am in need of saving some money!

Natural Dog Chews

When Kemper was a puppy we picked up a bag of Cow Hooves for him to try and it’s been true love ever since. Brinkley loves them just as much so now we go through our bags of them twice as fast. The best thing about getting them from Pawstruck is that they don’t smell. We picked up some other hooves in the past and they would smell so, so horrible from their processing that I would toss them even before Kemper got to really enjoy them. Kemper and Brink aren’t allowed on the sofa with them, but at least they are enjoying them without making me gag.

Every now and then we give them an extra special treat of the filled hooves. Oh boy!!!

Besides the hooves, they really enjoy bully sticks. We get the braided ones for them as they take their time when chewing on them. They tend to get a bit more slobbery with them so I generally make them sit on the lanai with them. They don’t mind! Fresh air and a treat is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in their books!

 

Dog Treats

Earlier this spring, we had Kemper and Brink boarded at Tampa Bay K9 Solutions for a 3 week training course. Kemper had previous training when he was a puppy and, since we had gotten Brink right before we moved, we had just hoped she would pick them commands  and behaviors from us and Kemper, but that wasn’t the case. They both really needed to have a major refresher in training. We have been working hard to continue to reinforce what they learned so having plenty of treats on hand is really helpful.

Pawstruck has a variety of dog treats including training treats, crunchy treats, jerk, and dental chews.

Side note- we can’t use the dental chews since Kemper doesn’t understand they are to be chewed so once he munches on them and they break in half or so he tries to swallow them. We learned this a few years ago when Price had to fish it out of his throat a few times when he was choking. ooph!

Dog Food

While at training, Brinkley fell in love with the Red Barn Dog Food Rolls. The trainer would cut up pieces of the roll and use it as a training reward as it was healthy, grain free, and an affordable alternative to dog treats. I would check in to see if they dogs needed me to drop off more food and I’d hear how Brinkley was refusing the ($$$!) food I packed and would only eat the food the trainer was providing as a reward. Thanks Brink…

At least she got hooked on a great product and I soon discovered that I could pick it up affordably from Pawstruck. Again, like the cow hooves, I was finding the dog food rolls for significantly less on Pawstruck than on Amazon.

Supplements

To go along with their daily fish oil pills, I was looking for another supplement that would benefit them. Pawstruck has a new Joint and Hip Supplement that we have added to their daily routine.

They are both highly active dogs so wanting to maintain good joint health is key in them remaining happy and healthy. Brinkley already has a funny gait where her front legs pop out a bit when she walks so keeping her joints flexible and healthy is really important.

We get to continue to take plenty of long walks out of these two for many years to come!

Wellness

One of the things that Brinkley has battled with since moving to Florida is a dry nose. I have found that the best solution to manage and treat it is with Pawstruck’s Ruff Relief Moisturizing Nose & Paw Balm. I apply some every few days to the top of her nose and it has cleared up really well. It’s also great for their paws.

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If you want to give Pawstruck, then hop on over and be sure to use the code KEMPERBRINKEY to save 15%.

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While I was provided with product from Pawstruck for this review, all opinions are my own.  Post contains affiliate links. 

 

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Posted in dogs | 2 Comments

Dear Hunter @ 4 Months

October 2017

Dear Hunter,

Oh, what a month!

This month was brought to you by the letter S. S FOR STORM AND SICK!!!

First Hurricane Irma hit and then our house was hit with a stupid cold that gave you the deepest saddest cough ever. But you’re a champ and we have powered through it all.

While you won’t remember your first Hurricane I gotta say that you did amazingly well for it all. Thankfully you don’t understand weather forecasts on the news or you probably would have been crazy stressed about the track that was coming right for us. The week before was stressful and tiring for Dad and me. We had so much work to do to prepare for it from getting supplies, moving things around and putting up hurricane shutters. I even went out and picked you up an exersaucer thinking it would help keep you entertained as we dealt with things after the storm, possibly without power.

Autumn understood we kept yalking about a big storm buy didn’t understand what it really meant, she was just excited about us cleaning out the closet under the stairs for us to stay in the night it hit. Slumber party time!!!

Thankfully the track of the Hurricane shifted further east than originally planned so we lucked out. And as the wind dies down I meantally checked off that you had your first Hurricane over and done with.

Soon after, you experienced your first cold. Unfortunately, as I write this, you are still coughing from it. It’s the cough that will never end!

Autumn got sick, then you, then me, then Dad. You even went to the Dr twice. They cleared you of RSV, but later said you had the croup virus,but not full fledged croup. My poor muffin.

So you had been sleeping really well and then it all got flipped upside down because of you being sick. We are still working on things at night but more often than not you are up 2 or 3 times. I really try go get you settled back in the back and play next to the bed but there are some nights when I hold you to keep you propped up or just because I’m so tired I doze off again. And then there are the nights I just bring you right into bed to nurse. You are so accustomed to that now that once you are in/on bed you twist and turn to get into position, even if I’m not laying down with you.

I absolutely love to snuggle with you. But, you do get pretty sweaty, even with the A.C. blasted (making me super cold!) and light clothing on. You’re just going to have to get used to this Florida heat one day!

I am looking forward to you getting better and seeing what the next month holds for you.

Love,

Mommy

 

Posted in Baby & Kid | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Aunt Vieve’s Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts

I love memories that so many of my memories are related to food in some way or another.

I attended a sleep away summer camp for 5 years while I was growing up, and I have so many wonderful memories from those summers, but some of the best ones are related to the food. And I’m not talking about fond memories about toasted marshmallows, I’m talking real deal awesome food.

Chef Jean was in charge in the kitchen at camp. He, and his crew, made wonderful food, but the best was his bread. Big loaves of freshly baked bread were served at meals. Most often the bread was still a bit warm. The strategy was that the moment grace was done everyone would snag a piece of bread from the serving platter so a camper at the table could grab the platter and bring it back to the kitchen for another loaf. This had to be done quickly so that you could get another loaf as they typically made 2 loafs for a table, but some tables would get sneaky and rush back and forth so quickly they would steal another loaf of bread. Thieves!!!

While most people would put butter on the bread, I would put hummus. I first tried hummus at camp and I was hooked. I loved the subtle flavor of the chick pea spread. The thick, creamy texture was a hit too. Plus, this felt a bit exotic to me as hummus wasn’t as popular and readily available as it is today.

I have to tell you that the best hummus I have ever made is from Liz‘s latest ebook in her Food From Our Ancestors series: The Ultimate Syrian Sunday Dinner. Her previous ebooks  The Ultimate Jewish Shabbat DinnerThe Ultimate Italian Sunday Dinner and The Ultimate Mexican Sunday Dinner were all also fantastic. Liz really immerses herself in the culture of the food she is writing about.

In this case, she pulled together 12 classic family recipes that she has grown up on. The favorites that she makes now for her family have been compiled into this great collection of recipes.

Of course, I was immediately drawn to Aunt Vieve’s Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts because I loved that it was named after someone that put so much love and care into it. And I love, love, love hummus. A total win, win!

The scallions, parsley, and toasted pine nuts are an optional garnish, except that I don’t think they are optional. I just think that you would be doing yourself a major disservice if you skipped them. And you should trust me as I shoveled way too much to admit into my mouth.

I enjoyed this hummus with some pita, but it would also be great with some veggies. Or your hand. Just scoop it up and eat it up. Okay, I do admit is a bit much, but if you happen to do that, I make no judgement. Autumn used to eat hummus that way when she was younger. And babies eating foods with half their fist in their mouth is hilariously cute, a grown adult… Not so much. Ha!

She did tell me that it was too ‘spicy’ for her, but she was telling me “yo mom, I know you added more lemon juice than what was called for since you love a really lemony hummus, but that’s not my jam.” One day she will learn to describe food in another way, besides it being spicy. And also stop telling me that ketchup is spicy. She isn’t to be trusted.

But please trust me when I say that this hummus is a life changer!!!!

Aunt Vieve’s Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 15-oz cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  •  juice of two lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 Cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, optional
  • chopped scallions, minced parsley, and toasted pine nuts, for garnish
  • pita bread for serving

Process

  1. Place first eight ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Check for
    seasoning and add more garlic, lemon or salt, as desired.
  2. To serve, spread on platter in a thin layer and garnish with toasted pine nuts,
    scallions and fresh parsley. Drizzle with some olive oil. Serve with pita bread.

Notes

Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
To toast pine nuts, put in a single layer on a sheet pan or cookie sheet, place in a
350-degree oven for 7-9 minutes. Alternatively, you can toast in a dry skillet over low heat. Stir every few minutes until golden brown.

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To purchase Liz’s great ebooks:

The Ultimate Syrian Sunday Dinner ($3.99):  https://gumroad.com/l/cahid

The Ultimate Jewish Shabbat Dinner ($3.99): https://gumroad.com/l/Ngjqj

 The Ultimate Italian Sunday Dinner ($3.99): https://gumroad.com/l/ztsf

The Ultimate Mexican Sunday Dinner ($3.99) https://gumroad.com/l/lwDa

Bundle of All 4 of Liz’s great ebooks at a value of $12.99: https://gumroad.com/l/yFImK

Posted in Cooking, Food and Drink | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Super Quick Pull Apart Cheesy Garlic Bread

It’s October!!!!! I am soooo excited!!!!

We are finally out of the 90 degree temps. The high yesterday was 89 degrees yesterday and the 10 day forecast shows temps as low as 86 for the high. I love the heat but I am thrilled with this.

It is finally cool enough to go out on long enjoyable walks at night now. Last night my friend and I went out as the sun was setting and we chatted as we quickly did a 2.25 mile loop in our neighborhood. That was great, but it was also great to wrap it up and  feel refreshed, not feeling absolutely gross and drenched. #floridaproblems

At least it meant the day ended on a high note as I had to watch my Giants lose yet another game. And on the final play as well. GET IT TOGETHER GUYS!!!

At least there are great things in life like this pull apart garlic bread.

I am a sucker for garlic bread, but this is so much better than your average garlic bread. It’s quick to make, super buttery and flaky. And the cheese, is the thing that takes it to the next level. It gives it those slightly burned edges, that are extra tasty. yum!!!

I made my garlic bread in a 9×5 loaf, but if you have mini loaf pans then you can use that instead. I would use 2 loaf pans instead of 1 large one. I as well would cut back on some baking time, but, honestly, I don’t know how much since haven’t tried it. I’d check it after 15 minutes and see what ya think.

The worst thing about this bread is that it will disappear so quickly. Once you pull a piece off, another will follow, and there another hand sneaks in and grabs another piece, and before you know it you are just licking your fingers planning the next time you make it.

Super Quick Pull Apart Cheesy Garlic Bread

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 8-ounce package Crescent dough sheet
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan or 2 mini loaf pans with non stick cooking spray.
  2. On a well floured surface, roll the dough out so it is 24″ x 12″.
  3. Combine the melted butter, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well.
  4. Spread the butter mixture over the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle with the cheese.
  5. Cut into even sized 24 pieces, then stack them up and lay that pieces on their side in the loaf pan. You will need to spread the pieces out a bit.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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Posted in Baking, Food and Drink | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Having fun at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

I still can’t believe that it is September! The year has sped by and that just means that the holidays will be around the corner before we know it.

I love living here in Florida but I have to admit that I do miss the fall season in New England. The cool mornings are refreshing, the color changing leaves are stunningly beautiful, and the decor is spot on. At least we can enjoy the decor here.

 

In fact, one morning while I was watching the local news, I learned that Walt Disney World had just decorated for fall. They brought in trucks of decorations and decorated the area called Main Street, U.S.A in the Magic Kingdom over night. It’s like magical elves bring fall right into Florida for everyone to enjoy. I immediately texted Price saying “Disney has Mickey Pumpkins!!! EEEEEEEE!!!!” I was pretty excited. I’m sure he rolled his eyes at that one.

I was extra super excited when an invite to attend the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a seasonal event at the Walt Disney World Resort, popped up in my inbox. OMG!

They close the park early for this after-hours ticketed event that takes place at Magic Kingdom Park from 7 p.m. to midnight. It’s a limited-ticketed event so the crowds are smaller than normal park hours for a more intimate feel. An added plus is that the lines for the rides are super short too!

We decided that we wouldn’t tell Autumn where we were going so that she would be surprised when we pulled up. Plus then we wouldn’t be subjected to her talking non-stop about going to Disney the whole car ride, only have to hear her ask when we would arrive 100x in the 90 minute car ride.

As soon as she saw the entrance into Magic Kingdom parking she understood where we were and got really excited. The excitement was even more elevated when we took out a new Elena of Avalor costume out for her to wear. ($19 at Costco!!)

Once we were cleared through security the fun started happening!

I was loving all the decorations and Autumn loved every bit of everything since there was so much to see and do. She wanted to run off immediately to check out rides, but we decided that taking our time and enjoying some dinner from Casey’s Corner would be best, so we could focus on rides without being hungry/hangry. Hot dogs for everyone!

Once we were done with dinner, we were ready for the real fun to begin!

Price and Autumn took a ride on Dumbo while I hung out with Hunter. I could have taken a ride with her next on Dumbo but we decided to move on to take a trip under the sea to visit Ariel. There were hardly any lines for either of these rides as the visitors to the park at this time were just people for the special event.

 

As well, we did a bit of trick or treating, which Autumn loved. She was so into her treats, especially the “fruit M&M’s”… skittles. ha!

 

It was coming up on 8pm at this time and we were thinking that a show would be fun to check out. We headed over to the castle to see the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular”. Knowing that it would probably be too loud for Hunter, I decided to head over to Adventureland so that we could meet at Aloha Isle for some Dole Whips.

A short time later, I started to see people scurrying around and I knew instantly that it was rain. I quickly packed up our stuff and Hunter from under our covered seating and started to head back towards the castle, hoping to meet Price and Autumn before it really started to rain. I made it about 150 feet before it was raining buckets!!

Thankfully, I found a spot under an awning in front of Frontierland’s Frontier Trading Post to camp out and wait for the rain to stop. And before I knew it, Price and Autumn were there as Price and Autumn took off running as the first drops fell and were able to hop from covered awning to covered awning in Frontierland. Unfortunately, they only got through 1 song of the performance before it was shut down from the rain.

While we waited out the rain, Price ran over to get us some Dole Whips. They certainly helped pass the time, as it poured and poured. After awhile, the rain lessened so we decided to head back towards Main Street USA to be able to get a spot for the “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade”. Ultimately, we decided that since we were all a bit wet already and it was still drizzling that we would heave home.

 

To make up for the fact that our night was cut short, we treated Autumn to a fun gift from a shop. While I browsed Halloween related gear, she picked out some Elena of Avalor figurines.

A boat ride back to the parking lot and we were all set for our travels back home.

While the night didn’t work out as planned, we all had a blast. I am looking forward to checking it out again next year. Then Hunter can join in with some trick-or-treating as well!

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You can purchase tickets HERE. Event runs through November 10th.

Can’t make it? Then check out a live stream of the Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade

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A big thanks to Disney World for the invite for us to experience the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party as a family. I was not compensated to write this post, all opinions are my own. 

Posted in Exploring, Florida | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment