Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Secrets!

I can finally share some of the fun Christmas projects that I've been working on this month.  :)

Once I discovered how easy it is, I've kind of become addicted to making pillowcases.  The girls each got one of these in their stockings and Isaac got a cute robot print pillowcase, also homemade.  I'm not the best at changing all our sheets frequently, but we've been having fun getting fresh pillowcases whenever we want to.  I think it helps to keep germs at bay when the kids are fighting colds.

I saw this casserole carrier on Pinterest and knew I had to make it!  The pink flowery one is mine and the blue one below I made for my sister in law.  These were really easy to make and work well.  I carried a hot pan in mine the other day and it stayed warm and didn't burn my lap either.

I used this tutorial for this fun minky quilt for my mother in law.  It came together fairly quickly and has me wanting to try another one soon.

What do you think?  Were there any secret Christmas projects that you made this year?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Puppy's First Bath

Poca had her first bath shortly after coming to our house.  Looking back at these pictures, she was so tiny then!  Oh my!  I'll have to post some updated photos, but these first...

In my typical fashion, I was picky about what we would bathe Poca with.  Our previous dog, Leia, had skin issues - she was itchy and allergic to something that we just couldn't get under control.  She was on steroids for most of her life.  With Poca being so new and soft and having such a pretty coat, I was scared to ruin it or do anything to make her itchy!

After some researching, I found Earthbath.  I am very happy with the ingredients (as well as what I don't see in the ingredient list!).  Reading through their FAQ convinced me to give it a try.  In the past we'd used some Dr Bronners soap, or an all natural organic shampoo on our dog.  I learned that soap can be very drying to a pet's skin.  Because they have fur protecting it, their skin is actually more sensitive than a baby's.  Knowing this, we decided that Earthbath would be the best thing for Poca.

She didn't love her bath, but she was so cute and snuggly afterwards.

We've not bathed Poca much yet, as labs don't need frequent baths.  However, when we used Earthbath we really liked it.  In fact, Ross heard me say that it was for sensitive skin and he decided to try it out as shampoo.  He's been using it for several weeks now and likes it.  He said that it made his hair feel less dried out because its not soap based.  I guess I'll have to buy some more for Poca since Ross stole her bottle!

Earthbath makes a whole line of grooming things - shampoo, wipes, even a spritz/ coat conditioner.  There are a big variety of scents, all of which sound great!  I'm happy we've found such a good choice for Poca.  (and I guess Ross is too...)  The vet even commented last time we were there about how she has such a gorgeous coat of fur.  He said that we must be feeding her great food, but I'm sure the shampoo didn't hurt things either.  ;)

Discosure:  Earthbath sent us some samples to try out.  I purchased our first bottle of the shampoo on my own.  Opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Puppy Poop!

I'm sure you've all been wondering what we're using to pick up after Poca.  Ok, maybe not, but of course, like everything else, I researched the topic before I made my decision, so now you get to hear about it.  ;)  There are doggy compost systems out there, but nothing I wanted to mess with just yet.  In the beginning when we were walking Poca outside each time to potty, it made sense to go ahead and pick up after her right away.  Eventually we might use a scooper of some kind, but in the beginning we needed bags.

Earthrated sent us a box of their various bags to try out.  Here are my thoughts:

green dispenser: This works well.  It is sturdy and the top screws off, making the bags easy to insert.  It has a velcro loop that attaches to a leash or elsewhere.  This is also a good size to stick in my pocket and bring along when needed.

lavender scented bags: We thought that these smelled rather strongly.  In fact, we complained about it a bit until we tried using unscented bags.  At that point I realized that poop stinks(!) and that the lavender bags were actually doing a good job of covering up the smell.

compostable bag:  I like that these bags are compostable, but I don't have a compost pile, nor would I want to put dog poop on one if I had one.  I assume compostable means these will do better in a landfill than the other non-compostable bags, but I'm not sure.  These bags are bigger, but thinner.  After using the other bags, I don't like how thin these are.  I want to be green, but I also don't want poop on me.

unscented green bags: Ok, these are the best.  I decided that the lavender scent is too strong for me, and am super thrilled (about poop bags?  Ok, maybe not thrilled... mildly happy?) that Earthrated decided to make an unscented version of their bags.  We'll continue using these.

Overall:  We've never had one of these bags rip or cause a poop disaster of any kind.  They are a good size and long enough to pick up poop, keep your hand covered, and tie a knot in the top when done.  I like the green aspect of the bags (recycled paper core, eco-friendly).  We tried another brand that didn't perform as well; these are great.

Thanks, Earthrated, for the sample box.  Two thumbs up from us!

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