Ask Away Blog: October 2016

What Makes a Good Dog When Guests Are Over

Monday, October 31, 2016

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Let's talk about petiquette. That's right - pet etiquette.  Tis the season for guests and get togethers and the last thing you want to do is allow your dog to make your guest's stay miserable.   Nothing ruins my day more than a dog that knocks me over and spills my side dish when I arrive at a friend's house. 


So let's go over some of the polite ways your dog should act when guests are over.  If your dog struggles with any of these, you may want to try to work on them, whether it means a formal training class or just practicing with them on your own.


[Polite Upon Arrival]
When a guest enters your home, you want to give them some space to walk in, put their things down, and adjust to their surroundings.  Make sure your dog is properly restrained or controlled to prevent jumping on guests or even nipping. 


[Appropriate Sniffing]
It's totally okay to sniff guests if you're a dog but you don't want them stabbing people in the crotch just to get a sniff.  Make sure your dog knows commands that tell him or her to cease what they are doing and leave the guest alone.


[Leg Lifting]
It's always a good idea to let your dog out before and right after a guest arrives so that any territorial urges they get


[Begging]
It's never fun to eat with an audience especially if it's an audience that you're not used to so when the humans dine at the table, make sure the canines know not to jump up and put their paws on the table.






[Reward Good Behavior]
Anytime your pooch is good, make sure you reward that behavior.  Treats are a must.   My favorite, especially this time of year are Bil-Jac Dessert Jacs Caramel Apple. The dogs love them and I feel very festive giving them to my pups. Bil-Jac is a family run and family owned company so they understand how important it is to treat the dogs in your life. 


Psst - these make great stocking stuffers for Christmas too!

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Let's Chat About Pet Insurance + A Giveaway

Friday, October 28, 2016

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As you know, Grace recently had some health issues and it cost me A LOT of money to get her taken care of.   But that's not the end of it.  Having 4 dogs does get pricey.  It's not just their supplies and general check ups, but more so the emergencies that happen when one of them gets sick, or needs a procedure done for an injury.  It's a paralyzing feeling when you feel that you may not have enough money to give your pet the care it needs and I don't wish that feeling on anyone. 







It's hard enough to get by with my own expenses so when I add up all 4 dogs I can still make it work but there's not really room for any errors or emergencies.  Things happen.  Dogs can chew things up that get stuck in them.  They can break bones or pull muscles.  Dogs can do many things.  That's why it's always smart for me be prepared.


So today, I'd like to introduce you to Healthy Paws Pet Insurance®.  They are the #1 customer-rated pet insurance and will pay up to 90% of qualifying vet bills.  One of the great benefits of pet insurance is that it helps you focus on giving your pet the care they need without you having to worry about the cost.  The last thing you want is to feel paralyzed because you can't afford to make ANY choice. 

There are many human health-care techniques becoming available for pets (like Grace's MRI) but these techniques are expensive. Oneo f the great things about pet insurance is that you can avoid unexpected vet bills all while keeping your own finances in order.  And while pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions, if you sign them up early enough you can bea head of the game if a condition does develop.  That means if you have a puppy or a young dog, it's a good idea to sign up so that future illnesses and accidents are covered. 


Many years ago pet insurance wasn't even around and now that it is, it's important that we educate ourselves so we know how it works, what it covers, and when we might need it.  Only 1% of pet parents currently have health insurance on their pets but still, it's the fastest growing voluntary employee benefit.  


You can get a free quote from Healthy Paws Pet Insurance® here.  With every free quote, Healthy Paws contributes money to the medical care of homeless pets.  And there's even a Refer-A-Friend program where you can earn $35 for every friend that enrolls with Healthy Paws.  You can find more info in the FAQs here.


And one lucky winner today is going to get a light up leash from Healthy Paws Pet Insurance!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



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5 Things To Do for a Dog with a Tummy Bug

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

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Yes, that's right... your dog can actually catch a little tummy bug just like humans can.   While we can't catch things from them, they can catch things from us and from other dogs.  So tis the season for bugs. 



A tummy issue can show up in several different ways like throwing up, having the runs, getting constipated, losing an appetite, or just being tired and lethargic.   So if your pooch is acting out of the ordinary here are 5 things to do for an upset tummy.

{1} Call the Vet
Before you try to treat ANYTHING on your own you should always call your vet.  Sometimes you can relay the symptoms over the phone and they can give you advice without having to bring your dog into the office.  So make sure that you always talk to a vet first.

{2} Pumpkin
Especially when your dog has loose stools OR doesn't have any stools at all, pumpkin can help A LOT.  It does the same for humans. I love Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up from Chewy. Pumpkin naturally supports digestion.  It can help you become more regular meaning more loose if your bound up and more solid if you're too loosened up.  Pumpkin Patch Up! comes in single-serve pouches and can be fed in conjuction with a complete meal.  It contains soluble and insoluble fivers and it's pureed so it's easy to mix into your dog or cat's regular food.  It's also BPA and gluten-free. 


{3} Bland Diet
If your vet lets you know that your dog just has a tummy bug, her or she may advise you to feed a bland diet to your dog which will help bind them up if they are getting the runs.  Chicken and rice or beef and rice is what I make for my dogs when they aren't feeling well.

{4} Water
Even if your pooch doesn't feel like eating a lot of their food, make sure they drink so they don't become dehydrated.  Especially if they have the runs, they can easily lose too much water. 

{5} Rest
Don't scold your dog for having an accident when he or she is sick.  They don't know any better and unlike us, they can't reason and rationalize what's going on so if they don't feel well, they are likely scared and confused.  Simply clean up the mess and give them some cuddles.  Let them rest in a comfortable area of their choosing and keep a close eye in case they get sick again.

What do you do for your pooch when they have a sick tummy?

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A Huge List of My Favorite Books

Tuesday, October 25, 2016






In case you haven't noticed lately, I'm a reading machine.  On any given week I come home from the library with a stack of books so high I have to hold it steady with my chin as I walk into the house.  So yes, I love reading and I read A LOT of books.  




If you're looking for some books to read or buy, look no further than my recommendations.  Some of these books are old, and some are new releases.




Room by Emma Donoghue
I love this book and I loved the movie but the book has so much more in it.  All too often we hear about people being abducted and released years later, often with a child of their own now.  This fiction novel follows Jack and his Ma as they escape from their captor and are reintroduced in the world. I love that it's told in Jack's 5 year old voice.  I thought it would make it difficult to read but it was just the opposite.










Little Children by Tom Perrotta
This book is amazing! I had seen the movie before but the book is so great because it is a very realistic story of suburbia and all the types of people you may find in your neighborhood including the bitchy mother from the playground, the sexy stay at home dad, the neighborhood sex offender, and the gung-ho wannabe hero. 








The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
This was a really great novel with exciting twists.  As it unfolds, you almost feel as if you can figure everything out but then a kink is thrown in.  I love that there's a passionate love story twisted into the entire plot and the ending will leave you breathless!








Impossible Odds by Jessica Buchanan
An amazing story told by Jess herself, of the Seal Team Six rescue of Jess and her friend when they were kidnapped in Kenya and held for ransom. 




The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
This was a thriller of a novel about a couple whose baby gets abducted while they are at their neighobr's for dinner and drinks.  There's lots of relationship scandal in this and I seriously read the book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I love the twists and the suspense and how the author builds it up.   And I can totally see this happening in real life across this country. I LOVED this book!






If I am Missing or Dead by Janine Latus
Ugh this true story memoir is so relatable yet so heart wrenching.  It not only covers domestic violence and how hard it is to get away from it, especially when it's all you've known since childhood, but also covers the tragedy of loving someone who is a victim of it. I love love love this book and I wish I could hug the author. I wish every single person would read this book.






The Rising by Ryan D'Agostino
Okay, I remembered hearing before about Bill Petit and his family being tragically murdered in his own home but it's truly amazing to hear how the whole thing really played out and how amazing Bill is. Someone give this man a medal because despite the shitty things he's endured, he still does so much good in the world.  This is a great mix of a true crime story with a heroic tale of survival.









Shake the Devil Off by Ethan Brown
UGH, I can't get over this book.  I found myself googling the crime for weeks afterward and even watching some documentaries about it.  I really felt spiritually touched during part of it but then the other part I just felt sad.  It really shows you how the military, government, and surroundings of your world can contribute to things that eventually end in tragedy.  PLEASE READ THIS DAMN BOOK!







Baby Doll by Holly Overton
I loved this! It's a fictional story but nonetheless it's fabulous because it's something that does happen in real life.  The main character escapes a captor holding her hostage for many years.  She miraculously makes it home to her family but she has to try to adjust to the changes that have taken place and the events that have occured since she hsa been gone.





The Choices We Make by Karma Brown
Ugh this is a tragic but inspiring story about parenting and friendship and that twirls together with the possiblity of having to choose between the 2 when death is a possiblity.  Trust me, you will be reeling after this story and you will be so glad it's a work of fiction although I'm sure many things like this have happened.






Waiting to Be Heard by Amanda Knox
The story of Amanda Knox told by Amanda Knox. READ IT.   You will have so much respect for her when you're done.




Good As Gone by Amy Gentry
This book reminds me of the TV show Finding Carter.  A mother is reeling from the disappearance of her daughter many years ago and suddenly it appears she comes back.  But it's a struggle to find out if she really is who she says she is.





The Martian by Andy Weir
Just like the movie, this is an amazing science fiction story of an astronaut that gets tragically left behind on Mars and how he manages to create a source of food for himself and documents everything through a diary.  It's a great escape for a weekend afternoon!





Find Her by Lisa Gardner
This awesome book is about a girl that has survived a kidnapping and pretty much comes back as a kick ass vigilante but there are many suspicious events that occur.










Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Similar to Gone Girl and obviously by the same author, it's like a tale of a true crime years later when the surviving victim is left trying to figure out what really happened.  I loved this book and it's much much better than the movie!


The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry
Such a passionate story about a bad boy and a regular girl, both having suffered terrible losses in their life and now finding them self widows.  It's dark, gritty, but has a twisted romantic element.  Such a great read with a glass of wine!


Those Secrets We Keep by Emily Liebert
This is a very light hearted read about girlfriends that keep secrets from each other and end up growing closer despite that.  It's nice to take a break from the heavy things I normally read so this was a nice, easy read.




Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller
I loved this memoir about an average girls family struggles growing up and how she somehow managed to survive a MAJOR hoarding situation in her own home.  I related to this a lot and I think most of you will too!






The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I'm sure you've heard all about this now because of the movie that's in theatres but trust me when I say to read the book first. It's a psychological thriller that really makes you think and enjoy the passion between some of the characters.









What books have YOU read lately that you would recommend? Or have you read any of these already and what did you think? I'm so curious to know!


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Why I Think Periods are Truly Horrific

Monday, October 24, 2016




Okay, fair warning - if you are a guy, you may want to skip reading the post.  I'm sure the last thing you want to hear about is our "time of the month."  But ladies, let's talk about this for a second.  Just think about it... think about how horrific periods truly are.   It's like... what did we ever do to deserve such an obnoxious, hellish week not once in a while but EVERY MONTH! 


So today I'm letting it all out in a rant... I'm just gonna call out a period for what it really is...horrific!    That's right, I said it! I mean let's just look at all the hellish aspects of a period.




[CRAMPS]
First of all, as if the fact that you have to bleed isn't bad enough you have these horrifying things called MENSTRUAL CRAMPS! And of course they aren't just like regular cramps, no they feel like Satan is dancing around inside your body kicking and twisting your ovaries.  By the way, don't google image menstrual cramps because the picture explanation of what they are makes it hurt even more!


[CRAVINGS]
Bye-bye diet.  Hello chocolate, carbs, sugars, fats, and everything else I can dream up while I'm trying to concentrate at work.  I mean I've been so starved for chocolate that I've even raided my own cupboards only to end up feasting on chocolate chips...yea, the ones that come in the bag for BAKING.   Am I stoned? No, just bleeding.  Don't mind the appetite!


[BITCHINESS]
We always catch hell for being moody and irritable during and before our periods.  I mean you can go from laughing at a movie to bawling all in a matter of seconds.  So what... I wanna punch people in their faces for even coughing too loud....leave me alone! If you were dripping like a faucet you'd be a bitch too!


[Gas & Bloating]
As if bleeding wasn't bad enough, say hello to gas and bloating.  No I'm not pregnant, that's just my swollen belly, now go away.   And the gas.  I mean hello.... haven't you heard the term "period farts" before? Yea, it's barbaric and it's truly disgusting.  What the hell is going on down there?!?!?


[Blood]
At it's core, a period is basically when you bleed.  And no they don't mind a drip here or there.  It can be like a frickin' faucet.  Good God. 


[Options]
I always LOL at the two options for periods.   You can either wear an enormous pad that reminds you of a diaper, or you can shove a plug up there.  Because the first thing we want to deal with is poking and prodding around down there to stop the damn leak.  Oh and don't lose that string!  Unless you wanna set yourself into a psychopathic panic for .2 seconds when you think OMG WHERE IS IT??!?!?!?


[Tampon Struggles]
Okay, it's not just that simple though.  You can't just plug it and go about your day.   Because then you have to deal with things like sneezing and coughing where for a split second you think "OMG did it move?".  And of course you have to pee but there's times when you don't feel like you fully emptied your bladder because you have something poking you down there that's kind of getting in the way.   Oh and it's just a joy to pee on your tampon string.  YUP.    Also, have fun pooping.   I mean is it even possible to poop with a tampon in?   UGH!


[Timing Sucks]
No sooner do you get through period week, does it come back around!  3 weeks is not ample time.  Besides, the week before your period can sometimes be full of bitchiness and bloating.  So essentially you have just 2 weeks.  Come on, can't it just come like once a year?!


So yea... I'm sure I missed a few hellish aspects but feel free to chime in below with whatever it is YOU hate most about periods.

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Embrace Your Inner Carnivore with Carnivore Club + A Discount Code for October

Friday, October 21, 2016

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I love meat! Don't get me wrong - I love plant-based foods as well but there's something so delicious and primal about meat.  I mean that's basically what our ancestors survived on.  So imagine my excitement when I discovered Carnivore Club.  It's the world's first cured meat of the month club that features artisans from around the world.
Each month you get a gorgeous faux-wood box that comes with 4-6 handcrafted cured meats.   And honestly, curing meats is an art form and it takes a lot of patience and trial and error to get the end product just right!  So it's a luxury that I get to enjoy their hard work.






I was very much impressed on the presentation and how delicately everything was wrapped and packaged.  It even comes with an information brochure that explains what each item is and recommendations on how to enjoy it!










These are so delicious and they are perfect for a little Charcuterie when guests are over.  I can't believe how delicious and flavorfull the salamis were!



The cool thing about Carnivore Club is that you can choose between monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly.  And if you just want to do it for one month only, go right ahead.  In fact, if you would like a 10% discount on a box to see how you like it , use the promo code "askaway10" during the month of October. This would make a really great gift during the holidays too! I absolutely recommend Carnivore Club even if it's just a one and done deal for you.  Trust me, you won't regret it!  








 





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Protecting My Precious MacBook

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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My MacBook does a lot for me and I consider it a major investment so it's only natural that I'd want to protect it and properly care for it.  Today's post is about how I (and how you can) protect my laptop on an everyday basis!






(1) Keyboard Cover
This is essential for me because I have tendency to either spill liquids all over or lay in bed on my laptop with the dogs, thus getting their fur all over and inside everything.  A keyboard cover gives me an extra buffer so stuff doesn't get inside the computer via the keyboard.


(2) A Case
There are hard cases all over the internet that you can get for any type of laptop.  These are so important because it's protection against any scratches, dings, or dents.  Plus there are so many fashionable designs to choose from!  









(3) A Sturdy Bag
So this is the single most important thing for me because when I travel or bring my laptop anywhere I need it to be safe and protected along the way.  So that's why I use the STM Swift Laptop Brief.




I can not get over the sleek design of this bag.  It's so lightweight on it's own!   It has plenty of padding inside to protect my laptop and any other devices.  It even has water resistant fabric and internal pockets for chargers and other accessories.  The Sling-Tech system is awesome.  It's got a padded sling that protects your devices from the bag's floor and the bottom corners are wrapped in a special padding for extra protection.  








The external pocket is great for small items that you are carrying along. It really has such a minimalistic design which is what I love most about any kind of bag. 


So there you have it - 3 simple steps, 3 great investments, all to keep my life going smooth. The last thing I want is to have to run out and buy a new laptop or other device right before a deadline.

What do you do to protect your devices?





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Michael Todd Beauty Soniclear Elite [An Honest Review]

Monday, October 17, 2016

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Today I am super excited to talk to you about the Michael Todd Beauty Soniclear Elite!   It's the World's first antimicrobial protected sonic skin cleansing brush and it guards against 99.9% of bacteria that can form on brushes between uses.   This means the brushes stay cleaner and fresher for longer.   For years products like this were all the rage but I always wondered about how to keep them clean and bacteria free so now that I've been using the Soniclear Elite I'm no longer concerned.

















So first I want to talk about some of the awesome features that come with the Soniclear Elite.  There's an awesome handle that produces up to 300 sonic movements per second which gives you 6 times better cleansing than if you just used your hands.  The Antimicrobial Daily Cleanse Brush is gentle and has bristles that are rounded at the tip for not only more gentle cleansing but more effective cleansing.  It's also antimicrobial for stain and odor causing bacteria proteciton.  The body brush  exfoliates your skin to make it feel smoother and it's also antimicrobial.  

The antimicrobial thing is a big deal to me because I know just how many skin cells can get on these things and the moisture that remains on the brush heads can make for ideal conditions to grow bacteria.  Well the good news now is that the Soniclear brush bristles, the base where they are attached, and the protective cap are treated with special antimicrobial protection to guard against the growth of bacteria. And the protection won't wash or wear off which is great because it will last a long time.  Of course, it's still a good idea to rinse and wash the brush heads before and after each use!



There are multiple speeds thanks to C-Boost Technology.  That means you customize your cleansing experience based on your skin type and the needs of your skin.  I love the pulsating massage feel! There's even a cleansing timer that beeps to let you know it's time to move on to the next area. 
Of course this Soniclear Elite is cordless (what a luxury) and rechargeable, providing up to an hour or continuous use on a single charge.  It's waterproof, has a comfortable grip, and has a nice upright cradle as a charging stand.  There's even a 5 year limited warranty against defects. 

Let's also talk about the fact that I'm obsessed with allt he fun colors and patterns that are available now.  There are so many to choose from. 

This amazing device has transformed my beauty routine and I can't get over how high-tech and how comfortable the Soniclear Elite is!




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