Ask Away...: December 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Adding Another Dog to Your Family {{Advice}}

Awhile ago I emailed you for advice on getting another dog and how to divide up the time between the two to still make the first feel loved. Its going to sound weird but whenever I go out and come in he smells for other dogs, and if I wasn't around any I say "I promise I wasn't around any other dogs" lol. Anyway, lately I've been looking for small dogs that need a home and although I have "promised" him I wouldn't get another dog and he is my life, I know there are other dogs that really need a home. He is my baby and I feel soooooo guilty getting another dog, how did you get past that feeling when you got your second dog?
Colleen

photo by tanakawhovia PhotoRee
Dear Colleen:
First of all let me say that what you are feeling is completely normal because I felt that each time I added a new dog to my family.  It just means that we are caring because we do care about how it affects our other pets.  What you need to keep telling yourself is that dogs are pack animals.  They thrive in a pack and it's okay when the pack grows.  The dog you have now will always be the alpha male.  If you get another male, he will still be the boss of it. If you get a female, she can be the alpha female.  I was very worried when I got my second dog, and then I watched how they laid in bed together, chased each other, played, and did things I couldn't do for them.  I can play with Pixie on her own, but it's much different when another dog plays with her.  Dogs actually live longer in multiple dog households because they get that interaction and bond of their same species.  It's actually easier with the new puppy, because your original dog will help "rat him out" when he gets into something.  Everyone always says that all four or my dogs seem so happy and I always tell them that's because I treat them each as individuals.  If one likes car rides more than the others, I bring that one along more often when I go out.  I also alternate who gets to go for days out at the park, etc.  I snuggle with them each separately at least once a day.  It's very easy and they do all love each other, in fact they get very concerned when another yelps out of pain, etc. 

Please seriously consider the adoption still and make sure you remind yourself about the major difference between dogs and most humans.  Dogs can love so immensely - not just people but even other dogs.  Good luck and keep my updated!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Balancing Life and Pets {{Advice}}

How do you find time for having so many animals while being a working women.
Tricia

photo by tanakawhovia PhotoRee
Dear Tricia:
I actually get asked this question a lot.  Animals are a huge passion of mine.  Some people spend time and money on hobbies such as cars, sports, crafts, etc.  My time and money is spent with animals, more specifically my dogs.  I make them a priority.  I set money aside every paycheck for the medical, food, and other needs, and I never ever miss their meal times.  Sometimes that means I have to say no to an impromptu happy hour after work but that's okay because it's all worth it in when I walk in the door and see my elated puppies waiting for me! I'm so used to it now that it's second nature so it really isn't a challenge caring for them. As I write this, 2 of them are laying on me! 

Hope that helps answer your question!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Getting Back in the Dating Game {{Advice}}

I have been out of the dating world for along time. I am tired of being alone so would love to meet someone special. I realize I need to get out to do that but do you have any advise on the best way to proceed?  Thanks, Ellen.
Terri

photo by ~BostonBill~via PhotoRee


Dear Terri:
Why don't you start by having a friend of yours get some people (women and men) together for dinner and drinks.   It will be a good way to get you out there and chatting with other people.  Socializing helps build confidence as well.  Then, make sure you let your friends know that you are interested in the dating world again (this way if they know anyone, they can ATTEMPT to set you up).  Even if the dates aren't the greatest.  You still get good practice in.  If you don't feel like you can find anyone with any of the same interests as you, you should definitely check out a dating website.  It's a great way to have a selection of people in front of you that have some of the same interests and personality traits as you! 

Good Luck!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Spikes, Cuffs, and Lace, SO TRENDY!

I love spikes, I love cuffs, and I absolutely adore lace, so this spike and lace cuff bracelet from The Parris Domestic makes me so happy!!!

Basically it screams sexy, rebellious, and elegant all at once so you can kill 3 birds with one stone, all on your wrist!! Actually, the rose color is beautiful as well and would go great with a variety of different colors in my wardrobe. 

Just thought I'd share!

A White Appropriate for Winter {{Advice}}

Is there a white that is fashionable to wear after Labor Day?

Kelly

photo by Digiart2001 | jason.kuffervia PhotoRee
Dear Kelly:
There is, it's called winter white, and it looks great in the form of a sweater or a dress.  It's almost a creamy white, but it's not quite cream. It looks great and is perfect to mix with the trendy colors that are in this year.  I don't suggest wearing white pants at all, it just doesn't look right and plus, they are way too easy to get dirty.

Good luck!

Outfit of the Day: Blue under Black

A bright teal blue pair of pants under a black and white top gave me just enough pop of color to get through a drab winter day!




What I Wore:
Pants - Old Navy
Boots - Ross
Necklace - ANON9 Jewelry
Top - Nally & Millie

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Happy Hour Effect Book Review


Okay,  I love self help books, but this one is by far the best I have read in a very very long time.  The Happy Hour Effect is a book written by the bestselling author Kristen K. Brown.  She is a young mom that became a widow after losing her husband.  She managed through the stress and gained strength and is now a certified Holistic Health Coach as well as a speaker on stress management and wellness.  This book is awesome because it's basically her tips and guidelines for managing stress in your everyday life and how to keep going through stressful events. 

There was some great bonus content with this book as well.  You get to log onto her website and enter a code and you can print and review worksheets and summaries of what you learn in each chapter.  It made it so much more fun for me to read this because I felt like it was a project for me to work on.

Basically, Kristen explains how to see the positive things in everyday life and how to allow meditation in your life as well as exercise, as both are effective ways to cope with stress and frustration.  She basically explains things to you that will make you say "Why Didn't I Think of that?!?!"  while relating to her own personal experiences and how practicing these things has worked for her.  She makes it much easier to stay organized and to simplify your already organized life with lists and clean habits. I learned so much from this book and was so ecstatic at how she made things so much easier to understand and made it much more realistic to accomplish goals.  I especially love the Life Chart that you do in the beginning and I carry mine in my purse with me at all times.  It really puts things into perspective, literally! 


I highly recommend this book to anyone that has even the smallest stress in their life.  You will use the lessons in this book for years and years to come!!! 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Outfit of the Day: Purple and Beige

To keep with the winter trends, I decided to mix the color purple (in my pants) with a simple black top and beige jacket.  It's a great layered look and can be worn for a variety of occasions.






So what I wore:
Necklace - ANON9 Jewelry

Jacket - Target
Black Top - Nally & Millie
Jeans - Old Navy
Boots - Guess

Real Girl Style Link Up

Friday, December 21, 2012

Outfit of the Day: Minty Lace

I chose to mix some classic Winter colors (purple necklace and mint sweater) but keep it looking cold weather appropriate with tights under my skirt.






So What I Wore:
Skirt - TJ Maxx
Shoes - Marshalls
Tights - Kohls (here)
Sweater - Old Navy
Blouse - TJ Maxx
Necklace - Kohls (here)

Skweez Couture Review & *Giveaway* Ends 12/28

Did you ever put on a dress and everything looks perfect except for the little bump in your midsection?? Maybe it's that time of the month, or maybe you just aren't as in shape as you want to be, but it can ruin an entire outfit and more importantly the way you feel about it.  That's why Skweez Couture offers a line of shapewear that looks great and makes you feel even better when you wear it under your clothes. 

Skweez Couture was designed by Jill Zarin in an effort to help women embrace a more functional and feminine form of shapewear that still allows you to move and be comfortable, but also holds all the "unwanted" stuff in!

I received a shapewear top from Skweez Couture that looks great under sleeveless, or short sleeved dresses.  It's extremely comfortable and still allows me to breath and move like I normally would but it definitely gives me a more perfect silhouette in my dresses when I look in the mirror.  No one could detect I was wearing anything under my dress, even when they hugged me!

One winner will receive an XL top just like I did above.
All you have to do is like their Facebook page and then leave a comment below with your name and email address!

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Budget Envelope System


photo by boxchainvia PhotoRee



I promise that you WILL want to save this post after you read it.  I have always thought I would be okay with money but what I lack is a routine, self-control, rules, discipline, and proper guidance.  I think I have all of these things but I don’t.  I recently learned a lot from Dave Ramsey and his books. 

I have started an envelope system that I’ve been using over the past few months.  I take my necessities, which are things that I spend money on each month, or every couple of months.  Yours may be different but mine are this: Groceries, Doctor copays and prescriptions, Vet, Dogs (food and pee pads), fun, restaurants, Car, Clothing, Gifts, Misc. 

I went to my budget and I figured out what I take home each month, then I took out all of my bills.  Then with the money I had left I decided how to divide it up each paycheck among the categories listed above.  To do this, you may need to look at your  bank statements and see how much of your money goes to each of your categories.  

Then, I went to Wal-Mart and found a coupon organizer (those little mini plastic expanding envelopes) and I purchased one for $0.97.  I labeled each pocket in it with a different category.  Then, I figured out for the upcoming paycheck (your amounts will vary each month depending on bills), how much money to take out in cash on payday and put in each envelope.  Then once I spend those amounts in that 2 week pay period, I can’t spend anymore and I can’t take from other envelopes.  After about a month of doing this, I quickly learned to be more careful of how much I spend.  Sure I thought $75 a week on groceries was a must but when you have to go through the store and you put items in your cart, you stop and say, WELLLLL I could save the $3 that I would spend on this for something better because this really isn’t worth it.  It hurts way more to spend cash than it does to swipe your card and scientific experiments have proven that.

I also track where my money goes and I save my receipts.  I enter all of them into an excel spreadsheet I made and if I leftover money in each category I decide whether I should roll it into a different category, save it in that envelope to build up over time, or put it towards my debt or in my savings.

So far, this has proven to be a great disciplinary budget system for me.  Try it and see what you think!! And if you have any questions along the way PLEASE let me know!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Outfit of the Day: Printed Pants

I wanted to go for a trendy casual look on this day so I chose to embrace the latest trend of printed pants by wearing my polka dotted pants from Old Navy and a Hollister knit sweater. 








So What I Wore:
Boots - Etienne Aigner from Marshalls
Pants - Old Navy
Sweater - Hollister
Real Girl Style Link Up

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Do Opposites REALLY Attract?

Relationships – Do opposites really attract?
The answer in my opinion is yes when it comes to morals and no when it comes to certain personality and interest matters.
 A couple is more likely to get along when they share the same moral beliefs like:
compassion for animals, marriage beliefs, living together before marriage, whether flirting in a relationship is okay or not, work ethic, working hard and planning vs taking each day as it comes, financial habits (spend spend spend , save while spending), and religious beliefs.


photo by Robert Scalesvia PhotoRee

But when a couple is too much the same with things like passions, it could cause conflict, just like sibling rivalry.  Conflict may arise because you both are passionate over a hobby and you become competitive.  Also, sometimes there’s no room to negotiate because neither of you want to give up your passion or hobby.

 What do you think?

Pawbox Review & Discount for You and Your Pooch!

Pawbox is a great way to get some goodies for your dog each month while keeping up with the latest pet industry trends.  With a monthly subscription to Pawbox  you get a box of 5 samples of products every month delivered right to your door.  It’s $10 a month, and the selection is personalized for your dog. 

I received a Pawbox and inside were:








Grandma Lucy’s Organic Oven Baked Dog Treats: These were a huge hit with my Chihuahuas, mainly because they love apple.  These treats are made with 100% human-quality ingredients with no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. 
NoviPet MultiVitamin: These are a great way to give your pet the nutrients and vitamins they need that they may not get in their regular food.  My dogs didn’t mind taking these at all and considered them a treat.
Wag More Bark Less Soft & Chewy Treats: Wheat free, these natural pumpkin pie treats were great for training and pumpkin is excellent for helping dogs (and humans) stay regular!
Dog Grooming Bandana: Grace loved her bandana.  SO CUTE!!! A great holiday theme and perfect to wear in holiday photos.
Green Curry Brush: This massages skin and helps promote natural oil production so your dog has a healthy coat and healthy skin.  This brush collects loose hair like a magnet and my dogs looked so shiny afterwords.  I used it in the bath with them too and it didn’t seem to bother them at all!

I think this is a great idea to get to try new things rather than spend $10 on treats that may not be healthy for your dog or treats they may not even enjoy. 

AND GUESS WHAT!!!  Use the coupon code Holiday50 through December 31st as a new customer and you get 50% off your first month of PawBox!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Outfit of the Day: Cords and Stripes

Cords are SO in and cord leggings are even more in, so I decided to try out some purple cord leggings with a striped top.  I chose this top because it's long so it looked really good with leggings.





So What I Wore:
Boots - TJ Maxx
Cords - No Nonsense
Striped Top - boohoo (here)
WatchOutForTheWoestmans
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