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Friday, November 17, 2017

Tips for [Small Breed] Dog Proofing Your Home

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Once you go Chihuahua you never go back, or at least that's the case for me.  There are times when I'm at a friends house and I see their big dog and I enjoy interacting with them but it always makes me even happier to go home to my little dogs.

As much as I love other breeds I don't think I'll ever be able to have big dogs because I'm so accustomed to small breeds and my home is completely small breed proof.  It's like puppy proofing a house for life.  I never have to worry about them getting on the kitchen counter, never have to worry about them jumping a fence, and never have to deal with trying to get them in and out of somewhere by carrying them and having them be too heavy because let's face it - they are tiny.

So today I have some tips on how to small breed dog proof your home.  

[1] Valuables Go High Up
I see gorgeous floor d├ęcor in some homes like decorative lanterns or wicker baskets.  But we can't have that in my house not just because Rocky might decide to lift his leg but mainly because it's easily accessible for them to get up to no good or break something.  That being said, it's still really easy to just keep valuables on a higher shelf.  The best part is, I know they're safe and can't possibly get knocked down unless by a tall human.

[2] Tiny Things Attract Tiny Bodies
Just because they're tiny doesn't mean they won't get into stuff.  What might be boring for a big dog, is the perfect size and distraction for a small dog.  So any kind of tassel on a blanket that hangs down to the floor, strings and thread that falls on the ground (and can get eaten and twisted in your dog's intestines), and any tiny hole in a fence that a small animal can fit through should be tended to right away. 

[3] Cords and Wires Can Be Deadly
Just like with small children, cords and wires should be properly tied so that there's no loops that their little heads or bodies can get stuck in.  We have really nice bamboo shades in the screened in porch but the cords hang down to the floor.  I have them wrapped around little metal posts I hammered into the porch walls but when I don't have them wrapped there, I make sure they are tied and WAY up above Chihuahua level so there's no way an accident can happen. 

[4] Mind Those Little Noggins
If a lamp falls over in your house and lands on your Labrador retriever's head, he's probably going to be okay and will shake it off and run away.  If a lamp falls over and hits a Chihuahua in the head, it can have fatal consequences.  Always make sure heavy and easily tippable items are nowhere near the danger zone.  The danger zone is anywhere dogs play, sleep, or rough house.  Pixie always leads the rest of the pack in a wild goose chase around the dining room. Sometimes she can bump into the wine rack, which is why all the wine is secured so nothing can fall and hurt her. 

[5] Curiosity Can Be Dangerous
When my pups seem bored like they're getting into no good it sometimes can be because they are hungry.  So I like to give them a treat or two and send them on their way.   However, treats can be dangerous as well and can cause choking hazards.  That's why I choose an easy to consume and digest healthy treat like Grandma Lucy's Pumpkin Treats from Chewy.  My pups love these! They are organic and made with human-quality ingredients and YES I've eaten a few myself. They're so good! They aren't even made in a factory, they're oven-baked. They aren't greasy or crumbly like some treats. I feel like they're just little human cookies!  

[6] Be Diligent with Dropped Food
When you drop a rather large piece of food on the floor and your German Shepard gets it, you don't really have to worry about them choking.  But when you drop a large piece of food in a multi-dog household like mine, all 4 Chihuahuas will race to get the food and try to consume it in one fell swoop.  That means there's a major choking hazard so with little dogs you always have to be quick if you drop something.  Also, with spills, especially of something like alcohol you better pick your little dogs up because a few licks from that puddle can be very dangerous for them, whereas for a larger breed one or two quick licks of beer may not effect them.

So even though it seems like small dogs may be easier to handle, you still need to be very mindful of the potential hazards in and around your home. 

Do you have any tips for dog-proofing a home?

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You Will Be Visited By Three Financial Ghosts...

We’ve all seen A Christmas Carol, right? Whether you love The Muppets version, or the 1951 classic with Alastair Sim; the chances are that you know the story. Ebenezer Scrooge has the fright of his life when three ghosts give him a reality check. Sorry to spoil things, but by the end, Scrooge sees the error of his ways and embraces the Christmas spirit.

Don’t worry; we aren’t talking about Christmas yet. But, it’s possible to apply those ghostly teachings to different aspects of life. It may be that you aren’t as good a friend as you could be. Or, perhaps you’ve made mistakes with your family. Maybe the issue is your finances. Lucky for you, that’s what we’re going to look at here.

No one can deny that Dicken’s take on a ghostly reckoning has done well for itself. But, how much more popular would the story be if Ebenezer's finances came under scrutiny, instead of his Christmas spirit? No matter what our position in life, we could all do with more money. Rich or poor; financial issues are part and parcel of everyday. More so for some of us than others, of course. But, if anything has universal appeal, it’s the worry over having enough in the bank.

Which is exactly why we’re going to take Dicken’s ghosts, and turn them on your finances. Frightening, we know. But, much like Scrooge, we sometimes need a fright to open our eyes to reality. Forget the next three nights, though. All your ghosts are waiting for you in this one neat post!


The first ghost is, of course, the past. And, this is as good a place as any to start unraveling your finances. Most of our issues lay in decisions we made in a past life. It may be that you got yourself into debt when you were younger. Or, perhaps you’ve never been able to shake your student loans. Whatever the issue, uncovering it is half the battle towards solving the problem. So, as frightening as it seems, it’s time to take a look back into your history. Imagine a time when you were young, happy and carefree. What changed between then and now? Let’s revisit some of the most crucial financial times of your past, and look at what you might have done wrong.

Your first credit card

Ahh, we all remember the excitement of our first credit cards. Chances are you thought the world was your oyster when that little rectangle of plastic landed on your doorstep. And, be honest; did you go out and start spending straight away? You wouldn’t be alone. When we’re young, credit is free money. Many of us rush out and spend more than we could ever hope to repay. And, that’s the way much of our debt begins.

Paying back your student loans

When you got your first job, you probably felt quite flush. After all, you’ll have been earning money like never before. Perhaps you started to repay your student loans, but then put them aside for other things. Rent, bills, and general lifestyle costs are always more than we think. Before long, that flush feeling of payday can become nothing more than an in and then out situation. Did your student loans soon stop getting a look in? Perhaps you meant to develop a repayment plan, but never got around to it.


Of course, it doesn’t do too well to dwell in the past. All that has been and gone, and nothing you do now can change it. But, what you do have control over is the present. Are you still making financial mistakes, even now? Let’s look at what they are, and how you can change them.

Failure to pay debts on time

The chances are that you didn’t need a trip back to remember those past debts. They haunt you every time you miss a payment and more interest gets added to the bill. The amount may have small to start with, but it’s snowballed out of control. And, you’ve had to take out more loans over the years to pay it off. As such, you face monthly repayments you stand no chance of making.

It’s time to make a change. By taking control of your debts, you stand to live the life you always dreamt of. Either plan a monthly budget which works, or turn to debt consolidation companies, like those reviewed on This is the best chance you have of getting matters under control.

An empty savings account

You always meant to have hefty savings behind you, but it just hasn’t happened. Instead, you’ve got an empty savings account, and no security for emergencies. As such, your anxiety is through the roof. Every time something goes wrong in the home, you face the worry of how you can fix it. This is the reality many of us face, but it’s no way to live. Plus, it opens you up for needing even more loans in the future. Instead, set about saving a certain amount once your debts are clear. Even $10 each month could make a big difference. Slow and steady wins the race. And, all it takes to get started is a quick reshuffling of your monthly budget.


Now we’re onto more shaky ground. Mainly because your financial future can look however you want it to. If you don’t heed this warning, it may look worse than your present. You may lose your home and your security due to debt collectors. You may even end up with larger debt bills than you have at the moment.

But, if you take the above advice, your situation could be whatever you want it to be. Perhaps you’ve bought your dream house, or have reached financial security. But, where do you go from there? Let’s look at some of your options.

Invest your money

A good financial future often involves investment. This could be anything from business to real estate options like those found on Whatever path you choose to take, doing this right could see you increasing the money you already have. And, when that happens, you can kiss goodbye to debt once and for all.

But, how do you achieve this goal? Well, once your debt has cleared, you should set about making a plan. No successful business or real estate transaction came about just like that. You’ll need to know how much money to save, and where to put it for the largest return. Then, a little work will ensure you get there.

Let your savings build

Of course, you don’t have to spend money because you have it. Isn’t that what got you into trouble in the first place? Instead, you could pile any extra money into that savings account you started. The security that comes from having decent savings is priceless. Well...perhaps not; but you know what we mean. You'll be able to rest assured that you’ll never again need to take a frightening tour through your finances.

Live happily ever after

No matter what you choose to do, you can be sure that you’ll be free to live happily ever after. Without money worries, you’ll find that your life is much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to sleep better at night, and embrace opportunities without worrying about cost. And, you can ensure you provide for your family later down the line. If that isn’t a happy ending, we don’t know what is!

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Property Alterations and Additions to Make Your Home as Functional as Possible

Home is truly where the heart is. It’s where we spend the majority of our free time. Where we kick back and relax, eat, sleep, make memories… So it’s not surprising that many of us are reluctant to leave our properties and move on to new pastures, even when we realise that our current living space is no longer sufficient. There are various problems that can arise once you’ve been living in the same place for a long time. You may have a partner move in, or your family may expand with the addition of little bundles of joy. You may get a new car, or an extra car and not have parking space on the street for it to go in. You might take up a new hobby, such as gardening, but not have the ideal conditions in your backyard to grow all of the plants or fruit and veg that you want to cultivate. The list goes on and on. But not to worry. None of these changes to your lifestyle necessarily mean you have to abandon your much-loved home and try to find another that will match up to your expectations elsewhere. But at the same time, it doesn’t mean that you have to live uncomfortably or compromise on certain large areas of your life. The secret answer to all of your problems? Home renovation and property alteration. Here are just a few different ways to alter your home, crafting it into a more functional and appropriate space.

A Loft Conversion

A loft conversion is an answer to all of your prayers if you find that you need a little more space on your property. It essentially transforms otherwise disused loft space into an entirely new bedroom on your property. Not only does this supply you with space for an extra family member to stay comfortably, but it also increases the overall value of your property too. Bonus! It’s not surprising that this is one of the most popular forms of home renovation. Just remember to ensure that you place emphasis on insulation while the room is being designed and built. Many homes have insulation between the ceiling of the top floor of the property and the base of the loft, as it doesn’t matter if the loft space is cold if it is disused. However, if someone will be living in there, it’s a good idea to remove the insulation that is already in place and fit extra insulation between the ceiling of the conversion space and the outdoors. If you currently store belongings in your loft that you don’t regularly use (such as artificial Christmas trees, decorations and other holiday miscellanea) or can’t bear to throw away (perhaps stacks of photographs, award certificates, or childhood drawings) don’t worry. You can always keep them safely tucked away in a secure storage facility.

An En-Suite

A pet peeve on many people’s lists is having to venture out of your warm bedroom to the bathroom during the night. That or rushing from the bathroom back to your bedroom wearing a towel after a bath or shower. If you find that you fall into this category, or simply want a bathroom that you don’t have to share with mucky housemates or children, you can opt for an en-suite. This provides you with your very own bathroom space that can only be accessed directly from your bedroom. This is so much handier than most people imagine and once you’re used to one, you’ll wonder how you ever coped before. Fitting an en-suite can be a relatively complex process, as you have to have pipes laid or diverted to ensure that the space has sufficient access to the mains in order to have running hot and cold water at all times. But it’s worth the time and effort. Start planning the design. A professional plumber may have recommendations or tips when it comes to prominent fixtures, such as the toilet and a shower or bath. However, you will have complete control when it comes to decoration. Make the space your own. Tiled or laminate flooring is ideal, as it is waterproof and will stand the test of time when it comes to being regularly splashed. Have large mirrors fitted. This helps to maximise the space and bounce light (natural or artificial) around the new space. Then you can add dashes of colour with your toilet seat, bath mats, mirror frames and towels that can be rolled up into or hung from towel rails. For an extra touch of luxury, try out heated towel rails.

A Garage

If you drive your own vehicle, your home should have a garage. A car will generally be one of the biggest investments you will make during your life. So why not protect it as best you can? Storing a car away in a garage reduces its exposure to the elements, makes it less prone to being vandalised, and can also reduce your insurance premium! Besides housing your car, your garage space can also serve as storage space for various other things. From toolboxes to paint cans, cleaning products and cleaning equipment: there’s potential room for everything. Especially if you install shelves inside. When it comes to the garage front, you will generally have two options. Manual opening or automatic opening. This is as far as many people think when it comes to choosing a garage. But there’s so much more that can go into it. Just take a look at There are so many different designs out there! From semidetached to entirely detached, one door to three-door, and even the option of developing a garage apartment.

A Shed

Much like the garage, a shed can be used as a storage space. Most people will use a good quality garden shed to store gardening tools and gardening equipment, such as lawnmowers, strimmers, and shears. However, like garages, sheds can hold so much more potential too! Think of all of the great authors who have used their sheds as a space to write in. A shed of the correct size can essentially perform the dual function of storage facility and private getaway. Especially if you fit a desk and chair inside. Whether you want to write, paint, or do a little arts and crafts, a shed could prove to be the perfect place to get the job done. Especially during the summer months when the weather is bright and the space will be warmer.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to renovate your home to make it more comfortable and functional for your personal wants and needs. Whatever your problem, there is generally a cost effective way to fix it. This will usually beat the stress of having to househunt.

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