Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday Tag-Along Blog Hop!

Welcome to this week's Tuesday Tag-Along blog hop! This is a great way to discover new blogs while increasing the number of followers for your own blog.

Tuesday Tag-Along
 Here's how it works:

  • Add your blog name and the URL of your TTA post to the MckLinky below.
  • If you can, please follow the blogs in the three slots before you (e.g., if you're number 20, follow numbers 19, 18, and 17). This is not mandatory, but it will help ensure that everyone who signs up gets a few new followers!
  • Follow as many other blogs as you want. The more you follow, the more that will follow you back! Be sure to tell them that you're following from Tuesday Tag-Along! You may also want to leave a link to your blog so they can return your follow more easily.
  • When you get a new follower through Tuesday Tag-Along, be sure to follow them back! It's just common courtesy. :)

What is a blog hop?
A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS. When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the exact same list appears on each blog.  Blog visitors can submit their entries on any blog that contains the list. The entries will appear on each blog where the list resides.  Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can "HOP" from blog to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP! 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CSN Store Giveaway Winner!

~We have a winner!~

The winner of the $40 CSN Store Giftcard is:

Comment Number 52, Mom Caboodle!

Mom Caboodle said...
I love the Pacific Play Tents Giant Tee-Pee Play House!
Congrats Mom Caboodle!  (I will email you - please reply within 48 hours or I will have to pick another winner.)

Thanks to everyone who entered!  I wish I could give each and every one of you a prize!  Since I can't, I'll send you all my love instead!  :)  Please stay tuned for my upcoming giveaways!

Country Chic Barn Box Makeover!

You know how counters are always collecting junk?  Keys, receipts, loose change, wallets, sunglasses... random odds and ends that are important, but messy.  My mother's lake house has a counter top which always gets cluttered with my her guest's items, so for Mother's Day I decorated a sweet little box that her messy daughter her visitors could leave their crap items in without making a mess.

I found a little "barn box" at Hobby Lobby for around $5.00 (half price - weee!) and knew it would be perfect!  I couldn't leave it plain, of course, so I decoupaged a sweet little star on each side:

The bottom of the box had a hole in it...
(I believe it was intended to be a planter) I cut scrapbook paper to fit and mod podged it in!

I love the traditional paper with the rustic box. 
It's now "country chic"!

She may end up using it in her home office to organize her desk, but whatever she uses it for, I am very happy with how it turned out!

I love taking something and adding a few simple touches to make it custom!  I think I need to make one for myself!  What do you think?

I am linking to a ton of great parties, so many that I simply cannot list them all here!  Pretty pretty please visit my list of Craft and Tutorial parties HERE to see all the parties I linked to!  A wealth of insipration awaits!

Make Homemade Dog Food Tutorial ~ Part Two

A few days ago, I shared my reasons for making homemade dog food here.  Today I will share Make Homemade Dog Food ~ Part Two!

A few points about making homemade dog food:
  1. Talk to your vet first!  Your vet knows your dog and his specific needs, I don't.
  2. Go to the ASPCA website for a list of foods that are poisonous to your petI cannot stress enough how important this is.  Many dog food recipes on the web cannot be trusted to adhere to this list, always check this list against any recipe.
  3. Have fun, and if your pet turns up his nose at your cooking (a serious ego blow, I can tell you) keep trying.  Fido may hate broccoli, but love peas.  Some experimentation may be necessary.
  4. Homemade dog food should include:
    40% meat (protein), 30% veggies, and 30% carbohydrates. 
    Some websites suggest:
    40% meat (protein), 50% veggies, and 10% carbohydrates. 
    (This is why you need to talk to your vet!  Different breeds need different ratios.)
I am still learning and adjusting the ratios of my ingredients.  The recipe I am sharing with you is roughly 40% meat (protein), 25% veggies, and 35% carbohydrates.  I have since started cutting back the carbs and have increased the protein and veggies.  It is an ongoing process, but really not as difficult as it may sound!  I know that my food is much healthier than store bought kibble, so I am confident that I am taking good care of my doggies even if I need to adjust my recipe as time goes on.  (In fact, I found a new recipe today that I plan to try, I will share it with you at the end of this post.)

My recipe changes almost every time I cook dog food, it all depends on what I have on hand.  The most important thing to do is stick to the correct ratio of protein/veggies/carbs and of course to use foods that dogs can eat.  I have a printed list of poisonous foods on my fridge that I reference any time I change up the recipe.  The recipe I am sharing with you can be changed to fit what you have already or what is on special at the store - for example, I have used ground turkey, chicken, ground beef, bacon, and eggs as my protein source.  If I have meat that we planned to use, but didn't, it goes into my dog food instead.  I virtually never have wasted food anymore!

Whew!  Let's get on with the tutorial, shall we?

Ingredients: brown rice, olive oil, fish oil, canned green beans, canned carrots, ground beef, and bacon:
(the pots I use are vintage, one from my Grandma and one from my Momma.  They are well used, so they don't look pristine.  I promise they are clean!)

Boil water with  3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, add brown rice, and cook until VERY soft (overcooked, really.)  Add more water than you think you need, the rice should be runny and moist.  When it's almost done, add 2-3 fish oil capsules (these are good for people too!)
The olive oil and fish oil are good for the eyes, fur, digestion, and heart.  The fish oil has the added benefit of flavoring the rice.  (When I cooked this meal, I added a piece of bacon to the rice for flavor as well.)

Cook the beef and bacon thoroughly.  NEVER give your pets raw or undercooked food. 
It's better to overcook than undercook.
Bacon is fatty, so I rarely include it in my dog food.  We had about three pieces leftover that wasn't going to be used, so I tossed it in.  I made sure to drain the fat and rinse the meat well after it was cooked.

Once your meat is cooked, turn off the heat and add green beans...

and carrots...

Cut them up into the meat.
The remaining heat from the meat will "steam" the veggies.  Overcooking the vegetables will reduce their nutritional value.  You can use fresh or frozen veggies as well, simply steam them lightly or add them in with the meat and cook until they are soft enough to break up.

All mushed up!  YUM!

Spoon in your rice...

and mix it all up!

I then transfer everything into a plastic container that fits well into my fridge.
The extra water from the rice provides plenty of moisture, and after it sets up in the fridge, it will be easy to serve to your dogs!  (I used to heat up their bowls of food in the microwave until just warm, but that was tedious and my dogs seem to prefer it cold for some reason.)

My puppies were giving me the "I'm starving" eyes, so I dished it up as soon as it was cool enough to eat.  My dogs are all around 25lbs, so I give them about a 3/4 cup or so each.

Prior to serving, I add a scoop of Teddy's Pride Probiotic Oral Care to each bowl.

I will be hosting a giveaway of this FANTASTIC product soon!
It has made a HUGE difference in my pet's breath and dental health - no kidding.

One little scoop...

Sprinkled over the food...

Be sure to count your fingers after you set the bowls down, because your dogs will be gobbling everything up!
nom nom nom

I have three dogs, and I feed them twice a day, so we go through one container of food every 3-4 days.  Food can be prepared in larger amounts so you don't have to cook as often, but if you aren't going to use it in 3-4 days, freeze it.  This food freezes beautifully!  Just pull out the frozen food and leave it in your fridge overnight and it should be ready to serve by the next morning.

Here are some of the other ingredients that I have used in my homemade dog food:
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Eggs
  • Ground Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Steak (we froze it and the hubby wasn't too excited about grilling it anymore, so, since it was still good, I used it for the dogs instead.)
  • Cheese (small amounts)
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Beef or chicken broth (this adds great flavor to the rice, but DO NOT use broth that has onion or garlic listed in the label.  Make sure to use sodium-free broth as well, as too much salt is harmful.  One trick I have used is to add chicken legs, fat and skin removed, into the rice water and boil them with the rice until fully cooked.  I then remove the meat from the bone and toss the meat back in.  This flavors the rice and cooks meat all in one step.  Just be careful to get EVERY bone, as bones are a terrible choking hazard.)
This is not an all-inclusive list by any means!  There are so many options to try!  In fact, I found this recipe today, and am eager to try it next.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  If you make your own dog food, or try this recipe, please let me know!  I would love to hear any tips or suggestions, and I will be more that happy to answer any questions you may have!

Stay tuned for the
Teddy's Pride Probiotic Oral Care Giveaway!

I am linking to a ton of great parties, so many that I simply cannot list them all here!  Pretty pretty please visit my list of Craft and Tutorial parties HERE to see all the parties I linked to!  A wealth of insipration awaits you!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Frankie Say RELAX Tutorial

For Mother's Day this year (which we celebrated last weekend as it was the first time we could all gather together) I decided I wanted to make gifts instead of buying them.  I saved money, but most importantly I poured love into all my creations for my amazing Momma!  Everything was a hit, and I couldn't be happier with how it all came together!

My parents have a little house on the lake where they go to "get away", but sometimes my mom has a hard time allowing herself the rest she deserves.  So I thought that I'd make her something to help remember to RELAX!

I started with a wooden sign I got from Goodwill for $3 and some letters from Hobby Lobby, I believe they were under $1 apiece.  I primed them:
And then spray painted them black.  (With enamel paint by accident.  Fortunately the paint adhered to my latex primer.  Whoopsie!)

I then cut some pretty green scrapbook paper to cover the board.  I contemplated some black scrapbook paper for the letters, but the paper looked gray and "off" against the black letters.  It was too busy.

So I just left the letters black. 


My scrapbook paper wasn't long enough to run the length of the board...

So I trimmed it so that the seam would be hidden behind the "L"

Pulled out the trusty Mod Podge...

And glued the paper down, pushing out bubbles with a stiff piece of cardboard.

Then I sanded the edges of the all letters...
Okay, that's bugging me.

That's better!

I glued the sanded letters to the board with E600.
Meanwhile, the puppies took the message to heart:

Hmmm... it's a little boring...

It needs some distressing, I think!

I mixed black acrylic paint with a little water and tested it on a scrap piece of paper.

I "washed" the green background with the diluted paint, and then dry-brushed undiluted black paint around the letters.

I wiped away excess paint with a paper towel.
dab dab dab

Much better!  I prefer the antiqued look versus the stark black on green.

About this time I discovered that I had glued the letters upside down.  The hangers on the back were the wrong way!  Um, OOPS.

At least it looks cute...

And everyone got a kick out of the upside-downess.  In fact, my mom decided to hang it that way!  She said that way she can read it when she's on the floor from too much Patron relaxing.

She didn't have a chance to hang it up, but when she does I will take a pic to share with you!

I hope you enjoyed my RELAX tutorial!  Remember to check the back before you glue your letters down... or don't and have a giggle when you look at your sign when you're drunk while you RELAX!

I am linking to a ton of great parties, so many that I simply cannot list them all here!  Pretty pretty please visit my list of Craft and Tutorial parties HERE to see all the parties I linked to!  A wealth of insipration awaits you!

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