Ask Away...: November 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dealing With A Picky Eater Dog

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I always gasp when I walk into a house that has multiple dogs and a food bowl that is always sitting out, filled with food.  That is completely unheard of in my house, especially with 3 of my 4 Chihuahuas being completely food-oriented.  There is no way I could pull that off. 

Pixie would eat all the food each time.  Even when Rocky finally finishes his bowl, all 3 of the girls swoop in to eat the rest or lick the bowl.  They bonk heads and grumble and growl at each other. 

Rocky has never been food-oriented.  If he's laying with me and someone shakes the treat jar, he still keeps laying with me unless I tell him to go get a treat.  Rocky is the oldest, at 13, and he's also the one with a heart condition that he takes medicine for.  That being said, we usually don't have problems getting him to eat his 2 meals a day.  But every couple of months he gets super finicky for a few days and sometimes wants to skip both meals.  He is a tiny thing as it is and the vet never wants him losing weight.  So today I wanted to go over a few things I do when Rocky gets picky.  Hopefully these things help you guys if you ever have to deal with a  picky dog.

[1] Don't Rush Them
Pixie scarfs her food down within seconds, seriously.   It's horrendous to hear the snarfling sounds she makes.   Rocky on the other hand takes his good old time and carefully takes bite after bite.  Being the slow eater means that when the girls finish their meals, they immediately go to his bowl and wait for him to leave and see if there's anything left behind.  That upsets Rocky and sometimes causes him to scarf his food down and then gag it up a few minutes later.  So I always make sure to either block off the dogs with a baby gate or I will shoo them away and hold Pixie so she can't circle his bowl.   Sometimes I even feed him first so that by the time the girls finish, he's basically done.

[2] Create a Quiet Area for Food
The girls have food bowls in a row because they respect each other's space and don't mind being near each other.  Rocky gets to eat in two places - the kitchen (the others are in the dining room) or in the dining room at my feet when I sit at the table.  And when I keep the other dogs at bay he has a nice quiet spot to eat.  There are times when I've even brought his food bowl to the couch when he's sleeping and he'll calmly eat it there.  I do cater to him only because it's important that he always eat.

[3] He Can't Resist Delicious High Protein Food
So I normally feed Rocky little trays of standard dog food shredded chicken but for the times he's really picky I have to break out something even more appetizing.  My go to solution for this issue are Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Trays from Chewy.  You get chicken and duck which means Rocky gets two of his favorites.  He's a bird-guy obviously! They're easy for Rocky to chew and eat because they're soft and they're also grain-free which is great for dogs with sensitivities. The first ingredient is real duck or real chicken and there are no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.  Rocky absolutely loves these trays.  I even stir some of his regular dry kibble in with them and he eats it so fast and I can see him skip away afterwards with his full tummy.  These trays are from the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line which has extra protein which is great for picky eaters.  Whenever Rocky struggles I give him these so I can ensure he won't drop weight and he'll have the energy he needs to play with his sisters everyday. 

[4] Water EVERYDAY!
Even when Rocky is finicky I make sure he drinks water every day even if he skips a meal.  Dehydration is dangerous and water is more crucial than food when a dog doesn't feel like eating.  Sometimes when I leave for work and he's in his cage I'll even leave a tiny bowl of water, just to make sure he gets a couple licks.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

November POPSUGAR Must Have Box

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You should know by now that my weakness is subscription boxes, especially the big ones packed full of goodies.  The POPSUGAR Must Have Box is one of my absolute favorite boxes ever.  I've got a few before but I started back up again and wanted to take you guys through what you'll get if you sign up.

For just $39.95 I got all of the awesome goodies you see here.

Knot & Bow Holiday Mint Newsprint Gift Wrap
Fun and festive, this paper is made with recycled paper and you get three huge paper sheets that were designed and printed just for this box! ARV: $6 

Tarte Cosmetics tarteist PRO Glow to Go Highlight & Contour Palette
I love this mini palette. It's perfect for highlighting and contouring even on the go! It's a great travel size but most of all I just love the shades. ARV $23

Hester & Cook Chalkboard Paper Placement Pad & Set of 4 Chalk Style Pencils
This is so cool especially for holidays because you can use it to decorate and label each place at your dinner table.   The pencils are really nice quality and makes for easy cleanup afterwards! ARV $25

Chloe + Isabel Jen Atkin x Chloe + Isabel Split Headband
This headband gives you a great modern look whether you have your hair slicked back or in a volumized ponytail.  Celebrity stylist Jen Atkin designed this and it can be worn 2 ways - the traditional top of head look and the more modern look towards the back of your head. ARV $22

Fatty Sundays Peppermint Chocolate-Covered Pretzels
Not only does this come with a coupon for more but these were delicious! They are covered with 70% dark chocolate and peppermint candy and it's perfect for this time of year! ARV $3.49

BLOOMTHAT $25 Gift Card
This is a great way to gift a hostess or even a loved one with a lovely bouquet.  If you're in the LA, SF, or NYC area you get same day delivery and if you're anywhere else it's next day delivery.  I was super impressed with the selection and love that they have an iOS app to make it even quicker to do this while on the go. ARV $25

I think it's sooooo cool that they included a book in this box.  Anna Faris recently released this hilarious book full of personal stories and life lessons.  I love the advice she gives too! ARV $28

So yes, I got all of that awesome stuff for just $39.95.  This box is TOTALLY WORTH IT! Sign up for the next box here.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Stella's 8th Birthday

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Last weekend Stella turned 8! I can't believe my youngest little pup is already 8.  She's so sweet and shy.

So to celebrate, in the typical style of Stella and her low-key personality I gave her special food and a treat.  The food was Alligator! How cool is that? She loved it! And of course we shared with the other dogs.

Seriously she gobbled it down.

It's always nice to spoil her with something out of the ordinary on a special day.

She spent the evening lounging around exhausted from her yummy treats!

Stella isn't big on toys so as a gift I got her Liquid Longevity. Just like with humans, probiotics are extremely important to your GI system and overall health.  If a properly balanced and nutritious diet is consumed you can generally get a lot of the bacteria you need, however just like with humans, some dogs seem to struggle with that.  Stella is the dog in my wolfpack that seems to have the most GI issues.  She usually gets 1-2 stomach bugs a year and it's not fun.  Liquid Longevity is a spray that goes directly on her food, no pill or powder to deal with.

Liquid Longevity contains 10 probiotics with each strain selected with a specific benefit to support healthy digestion in dogs.  It's formulated specifically for dogs and geared to survive in a low pH environment aka a dog's stomach. 

I no longer have to worry about Stella having GI issues all the time and it gives me major peace of mind.

So Stella had a fabulous birthday. Do you celebrate doggie birthdays in your home?

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Simple Ways To Kick Those Nasty Habits

Not this kind of habit!

We all have those little habits that we wish we didn't. Whether you're a smoker, a hoarder, or a nail-biter, there are plenty of habits that everyone wishes that they could get rid of. The trouble is that a habit, by its very nature, is often pretty tough to get rid of. Breaking any kind of habit often involves a lot of hard work and dedication. Sadly, those are two things that are often pretty hard to come by. With that in mind, here are a few incredibly simple things that can do in order to make sure that you're able to finally kick those nasty habits for good!

Swap it out for something else

Not all habits are made equal, and there's no doubt that some are worse than others. If you've got a habit of snacking on chocolates, then that's not ideal, but it's hardly the same as being a heavy smoker which can have some incredibly dangerous and serious consequences to your life. One of the best things that you can do is to swap out a dangerous habit for a safer one! A lot of people have found that vaping is a great substitute that helps them on the way to quitting smoking altogether. Sites like Vapor Vanity have plenty of options that you can try. Sure, it might not be a permanent solution, but it can make life a whole lot easier in the short term while you're dealing with the hardest period of breaking any kind of habit.

Distract yourself

One of the hardest things when it comes to breaking any kind of habit is the fact that it can often be impossible to think about anything else. Because of that, it's incredibly important that you find something to distract yourself with. The best thing to do is to get a hobby that uses both your mind and your body. Any kind of sporting activity is great for this and so is cooking since these are the kinds of things that require total focus a lot of the time.

Cold turkey

Then again, sometimes the only way to kick a habit for good is just to walk away completely. Going cold turkey is rarely easy, but it's often the best thing to do in order to make sure that you don't fall back into your old habits. Sure, it might be really tough at the beginning, but it won't be long before you find yourself missing your old habits less and less until you've practically forgotten all about them.

Of course, being able to kick a habit is only the first step. The most important thing is that you're able to keep it away. With many habits, the temptation is always there to slip back into your old ways. It's often easy to tell yourself that you can do it just the once without having to worry about it. However, that's always the first step on the slippery slope that leads to a full-blown relapse! Stay strong and don't give in to temptation, no matter how much you might want to!

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

How Spelling Mistakes Are Ruining Your Blog

Nobody is perfect and every blogger is going to make the occasional spelling error in their posts. Most people won’t mind and though you might get the odd comment from somebody that likes to nitpick, it’s not going to stop people from reading your blog. However, if you start making mistakes all the time it can have more of an effect than you might realize. It affects the reader's perception of your blog and might even cause them to stop reading for good. These are the ways that you’re damaging your blog when you make spelling and grammar errors too often.

Slow The Reader Down

When somebody is reading your posts, every single mistake is going to slow them down a little. Smaller mistakes might just make them stop for a split second but if you make big errors, people are going to have to go back over and read it again. That’s annoying for readers and it means it’ll take them way longer to read your posts. It’s really going to put people off if they have to work hard to get through a post and they’ll just go looking elsewhere.

Bad grammar is one of the things that can make a sentence difficult to understand so if you’re not great at it, consider taking a course like AJ Hoge's Effortless English to brush up on your skills. You’d be surprised how much of a difference readability makes.

You Look Unprofessional

The best way to transform your blog from a hobby into a fully fledged business is to work with companies and brands to promote their products. They’re only going to choose to work with bloggers that are professional and take their site seriously. As soon as they see spelling errors on there, that immediately rings alarm bells. Somebody that doesn’t take the car to check their blog for spelling errors seems like somebody that doesn’t take it seriously. Whether that’s true or not, companies are going to steer clear.

It’ll also put readers off as well because if they’re going to come back to you, they need to be confident that your blog is a good, reliable source of information. Having lots of spelling errors seriously damages your credibility and makes readers think that you’re not necessarily trustworthy.

You Lose Clarity

If your posts don’t have a clear focus they aren’t going to be that interesting to readers. They need to be clearly saying something, otherwise, they’ll just read like a load of aimless waffle. Even if you do have a clear point, you can easily lose that if your sentences aren’t structured properly or you’ve made spelling mistakes. Readers won’t be able to understand what you actually mean and, to them, your posts will seem a bit pointless.

Don’t try to overcomplicate your writing and use words that you don’t really understand. You’ll make mistakes and people won’t understand the post. Instead, stick to simple language that everybody can pick up on and focus on good quality content over flashy writing.

Spelling and grammar errors don’t seem like they’re that important but they make a massive difference.

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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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