weekend link love: february 21, 2014

link love

Is anybody else kind of relieved that it’s finally the weekend? It’s been a long week here with the weather generally ruining every plan I tried to make – which means another long week inside. Silver lining is that I have more great links to share with you guys this week.

Enjoy these links while we wait impatiently for Spring:

Your welcome.

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spring cleaning: the dog’s belongings

jammie dodgers

One of the “downsides” to adopting a dog is that he comes with a lot of STUFF. And for the first month or so, all his stuff was living on my kitchen counter in an overflowing, cluttered to the max cardboard box. We kept saying “Yes, we’ll need to do something about this” but were too exhausted to think about it because of the whole raising a four month old high energy puppy, a three year old high energy toddler and a then six year old high energy first grader.

The Doctor's Cabinet

Also the solution to our problem, we knew, was going to involve buying stuff and we wanted to make sure we bought the right stuff. The main purchase we needed to make was a medium sized cabinet with doors and shelves to store the majority of his stuff. We finally settled on the Walker Dining Storage Cabinet at Target. I like the classic style and knew I’d be able to repurpose it someday if wanted. It has a nice drawer inside for storing all the little stuff and two shelves for the bigger stuff. The handles would be easy to “child proof” or “dog proof” if necessary and knowing my sneaky and clever kids and dog, I just may.

I also bought the Room Essentials Red Y-Weave basket at Target (sold online as a four pack, but I bought it individually in store) to corral the things we use daily that wouldn’t be a major deal if the dog got into it – things like his leash and harness and a few toys, etc. Things we want to be able to grab immediately but don’t want strewn across the counter.

The last and most recent purchase was more of a splurge. I wanted a cute container to keep his milkbone biscuits in that wasn’t see through (remember my clever and sneaky dog and children?). I also needed it to be sturdy, non-breakable and with a lid that was both easy to take on and off but with a good seal. This cute black chalkboard metal canister at World Market was perfect. It comes in multiple sizes and includes a piece of chalk so you can write something cute on the canister. We wrote “jammie dodgers” in reference to Doctor Who & the infamous British cookie, The Doctor being our dog’s name sake. The canister has worked perfectly and the price was great. I may have to pick up a couple more for other goodies.

So now all of the dogs stuff is stored and stored in style and mommy can breathe easy about at least one corner of her home being clean and tidy. I have a few more corners of the home that I’m hoping to organize this Spring, but this was my first and most important area to tackle. Unfortunately I didn’t get any before pictures but picture your kitchen counter absolutely trashed and nearly unusable and you’ll have a good idea of the state we were in.

This week Tsh @ Simple Mom is tackling closets and I can think of a few closets in our home that could use some tackling. I’ll hopefully be de-cluttering them soon. Are you joining in on Project Simplify this year?

Project Simplify on Simple Mom
cross posted at mommablogsalot

New Puppy Essentials

We adopted a new puppy a week and a half ago and it’s been a whirlwind of new purchases, stain removing, crate training and puppy kisses. In less than two weeks we have found ourselves making a LOT of purchases for our new pup and I thought I’d help you all with some of the guess work and share some of our favorite purchases.

Food & Treats

Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food – Ours is for large breed puppies. This dog food was recommended by our puppy’s foster mom. It comes in a lot of varieties, depending on your dog’s age, breed and health concerns and is made of the good stuff that your dog needs to be healthy.

Training Reward Treats – In addition to basic Milkbone biscuits which we give the dog just for being adorable or for when we’re crating him, we also have training treats which we use strictly for things like house training him or working with him on other simple commands like sit, stay, lay down, come, etc. These treats are small in size and come in a package of 550 treats so the bag will last you awhile.

Puppy Teething Rings – Since your puppy wants to chew on everything, especially when teething, we picked up these teething rings that are supposed to be great for his teeth. Give him one a day to help soothe his gums and as an added bonus, it’ll keep him busy for at least ten minutes. We like to give him one at night while we settle down to watch tv together.

Toys

Each puppy is different so you’ll want to base the toys you get yours off of his doggy interests. Our pup is in major chewing world right now but he also loves to play fetch and tug of war.

JW Pets Hol-ee RollerĀ® Tassler Rope Dog Toy – This rope toy has been a big hit that serves multiple purposes. It’s a great chew toy and tug of war toy that also works for playing fetch in a pinch. Don’t leave your pup unattended with this one though as some dogs will rip it apart quickly and the strands can be harmful so keep an eye on him or her with it.

Nylabones – These bones are also awesome for chewing dogs. We got our dog the flexichew bone for teething dogs and it’s gotten a lot of mileage already. They have a LOT of varieties to choose from.

A double handled nylon leash or traffic leash – These leashes are awesome for walking your dog, one of his favorite forms of play and exercise. Grab the second handle to keep your dog closer to you when crossing a street or if you just need him closer to be safe.

Another easy toy is a basic tennis ball. Our dog loves to play fetch with these and will chase it all over the house for hours which is a great way to let him burn off steam when the weather is bad.

Cleaning

Galvanized Metal Trash Can – We found one at home depot that is just the right size for disposing of your dog’s waste. You really don’t want a bin that’s too big and you also want one with a good sturdy lid if you are keeping it outdoors. This one was perfect. It would also work for storing dog food.

Shout PetsĀ® Enzymatic Stain & Odor Remover – I use this a lot, unfortunately! Even the best puppies will have accidents and this cleaner does the job quickly to get rid of stains and odors. You want a cleaner that has enzymes in it to breaks down pet-waste odor.

Reads

The Essential Puppy by Betsy Sikora Siino – I just finished reading this book last night. If you are filled with questions but short on time, this is a great puppy primer kinda book. This small book has a lot of information delivered in a concise and accessible way, which I appreciated being busy with a new puppy and two young children. It helped ease all those new dog questions in an easy to read manner. Great for new puppy parents, you can read it once when you are first getting your dog and flip through it again later when you have questions and need a quick reminder. Everything from basic care of your pup to life saving tips – this one is a keeper.

Dog lovers, I’d love to hear your tips and recommendations on all things puppy. Let me know about your favorite puppy products in the comments section below!