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Hannah's simple bottom of the cupboard not traditional pork casserole recipe

Hannah's simple bottom of the cupboard not traditional pork casserole recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Stew and casserole
  • Pork

I had some pork casserole chunks and just emptied my cupboards and fridge to make a casserole with it. I've even done it with sprouts. Nice winter warmer :)

Hertfordshire, England, UK

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 500g pork casserole chunks
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (400g) tin tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 180g black eyed beans (soaked overnight and pre-boiled) or tinned baked beans will also go
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 110g frozen peas
  • 1 handful chopped broccoli
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 200ml cold water
  • 2 pork stock cubes
  • shake mixed herbs
  • big splash Daddies® brown sauce

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:4hr ›Ready in:4hr20min

  1. Add all the above ingredients into a large casserole dish, Ensuring that all veg and meat is cut into bite size pieces.
  2. Place in the oven at 190 C / Gas 5 for 4 hours.
  3. Enjoy with crusty bread.


Check every hour or so as you may need to a dd little more water.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

Such a good comforting meal to come home to.-15 Mar 2015

Category: 17th century

For the past several years I have been making a searchable index of the digitised household books held at The Wellcome Library. In doing so, I’ve read over 300 manuscripts and logged more than 32,000 food and drink recipes and have a ‘To Do list of interesting recipes as long as my arm.

‘Buttering’ was exceedingly popular in times past, and was applied to numerous dishes: crab, chickens, rolls, loaves, turnips, rice, salmon… For the most part, this consists of a healthy slathering of butter over the dish in question. Buttered Oranges, however, stands apart, since it’s not a pairing that seems obvious. So it was that this year, in the midst of a Seville orange flurry of kitchen activity, I grabbed a net of sweet oranges and determined that Buttered Oranges would be promoted to the top of the To Do list with immediate effect.

Buttered Orange recipe, circa 1750, MS1357, Wellcome Library Collection

I re-read all of the recipes from the collection that I could find, and they were all pretty similar. I selected this one because of the novel presentation suggestion, which is to serve the buttered oranges in candied orange peels. Completely optional, of course, but it does make for an eye-catching dessert.

Which hopefully makes up for what might possibly be a bit of a let-down, because it turns out that Buttered Oranges is pretty much what we today would call a fruit curd: juice and zest, sweetened and thickened with eggs with a generous, but not excessive, quantity of butter melted in.

After experimentation, I found the best way to present this dessert was to make each element separately and then assemble before serving. I felt the original recipe’s instruction to bake the filled oranges until set was a little too risky and prone to mishap to risk all the preparation, but don’t let that deter you from trying it for yourself – I would just advise against a spur of the moment decision during an important social occasion.

Preparing the peels

I chose blood oranges to serve the curd in, as they were a beautiful colour and relatively small, thus being perfect for serving elegant portions of this rich dessert.

1 orange per person
1kg caster sugar
1 litre water

Before you start, you should make a decision on how you will be preparing the peels. The original recipe says to zest the oranges, slice off the top, hollow out the flesh, then simmer in water until tender, then finish in syrup. This gives the skins a pale, almost pastel colouring, which is delightful, and means the whole of the orange is put to good use but also makes them rather fragile during the cooking. One solution would be to tie them lightly in muslin or cheesecloth, to protect them, or alternately, use un-zested oranges, which will have a darker colour, but are also much more robust and less likely to split during the cooking. The results of both are illustrated in the photograph at the top, the zested peels on the right, the un-zested on the left. If you choose to use un-zested oranges, then you will need twice as many oranges overall.

  • If you’re zesting the oranges, do that now and reserve the zest for later.
  • Slice a lid off the top of each orange, and scoop out the insides using a combination of sharp knife and teaspoon. Reserve the flesh and juice for later.
  • Make sure there’s no orange flesh or fibres left inside.
  • Place the hollowed oranges and their lids into a saucepan of cold water, making sure the water fills the cavities.
  • Slowly bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until tender. This will take about 1.5-2 hours.
  • Change the water and scrub the pan every 30 minutes to remove the bitter oil.
  • When the peels are tender enough to be pierced by a toothpick, make a syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water over a low heat.
  • Add the peels and allow to simmer gently until the peel appears translucent.
  • Remove from the heat. The peels can remain in the syrup until required.

Buttered Oranges

As already mentioned, this is a variation of Orange Curd, so if you already have a favourite recipe, then by all means use that instead.

2 large eggs
the zest and juice from at least 4 oranges
the juice of 1 lemon
Sugar to taste
50g unsalted butter

  • Add the strained juices and zest to the eggs and whisk thoroughly.
  • Add the butter and whisk over a gentle heat until thickened.
  • Add sugar to taste.
  • To serve, you can either pour the curd into your oranges warm, or fill them and allow them to cool before serving.
  • I recommend serving some kind of biscuit or shortbread alongside to dip!

Friday, 30 March 2007

Today I am going to a reunion dinner (15 years since matriculation) at my old college - it's making me feel so old (I am still not sure that it can possibly be 15 years) but am really looking forward to catching up with people I have lost touch with over the years. So much has changed in that time and I wonder whether any of them will have been watching Masterchef! At least I will have something to talk about when they ask me what I have been doing and I will be the only person there who has cooked at 10 Downing Street so at least I have one claim to fame! It will also be good to sample college food again - as a student I remember it being pretty good (٢.20 for the three course meal - no one can complain at that!) but my palette has changed considerably over the last 15 years so I hope it will be as good as I remember!


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Here are the tastingspoons players. I’m in the middle (Carolyn). Daughter Sara on the right, and daughter-in-law Karen on the left. I started the blog in 2007, as a way to share recipes with my family. Now in 2021, I’ll still participate, but the two daughters are going to do more posting from here on out.

We participate in an amazon program that rewards a little tiny $ something (pennies, really) if you purchase any books recommended (below), or buy products occasionally mentioned on the blog with an amazon link.


No question, the most quirky book I’ve read of late, a recommendation from my friend Karen, West with Giraffes: A Novel by Lynda Rutledge. The book IS a novel, but the event is true. Back in the 1930s a small group of giraffes were brought across the Atlantic from Africa to New York, destined for the then-growing San Diego Zoo. On the voyage the ship encounters a hurricane and several giraffes are lost, but two young ones survive. The story is of their journey across the United States in the care of two oh-so-different people, both with a mission. A young boy (barely an adult) becomes the driver (his only goal is his desire to go to California), with the zoo’s delegate (a middle-aged man with a past), and it’s the story about these two misfits and their caring for the giraffes, feeding them (that’s a laugh – onions play a big part). No freeways existed back then, and the mental picture of the vehicle they used (basically a small truck) with the two giraffes confined within two tall boxes precariously strapped to the truck, and their driving and carrying-on getting under bridges and over rivers is just a hoot. I so wanted this story to be true – parts of it ARE true. Worth reading if you enjoy such animal stories. The giraffes survive, thankfully, and they both lived to a ripe old age at the zoo!

Also a kind of quirky book by Beth Miller, The Missing Letters of Mrs. Bright. Picture a middle-aged woman, slogging through life with a not-very-attentive husband, grown children, and one day she decides to leave. Completely. Maybe she had a bucket list of sorts, and she knew none of those places would ever happen in her life if she stayed put. She sets off to find a long-lost girlfriend. The book is about her journey. Her travels. Friendships, and lost friendships. Everyone can probably empathize with Kay Bright as she examines her life. And yes, there are letters and chapters with her daughter, Stella. Cute book.

Katherine Center’s book, Things You Save in a Fire: A Novel is certainly vivid. There aren’t very many women firefighters out there in the world – this is about one. A novel, however. About her work life and the harrassment she endures (some of it’s with love, some not) and about her relationships. The pros and cons of transferring to a different fire station (just like any job move, not always smooth). Good read.

Riveting story of post-WWII- Japan in Ana Johns novel, The Woman in the White Kimono: A Novel. About a young Japanese girl who falls in love with an American serviceman. Such relationships were fraught with problems from the very strict Japanese families who resented the American presence in their country, to the American military higher-ups who made it impossible for the servicemen to marry Japanese nationals. Could hardly put it down. Yes, it’s a romance of sorts, but not in the typical sense of today’s novel-romance-writing. There aren’t always happy beginnings, middles or endings, but the in between made for very interesting reading.

Also read Rishi Reddi’s novel, Passage West: A Novel with a very different take on the migration of Indians (East India) to the California agricultural lands east of San Diego during the 1920s and 30s. Wow. What an eye-opener. Of their small but loyal family enclaves, the hard-scrabble lives they led, the near poverty level of farming. I’d never heard that any Indian migrants were a part of farming here in California. Obviously they made up a very small percentage of the immigrants who settled there.

Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but the Mary Morris book, A Very Private Diary: A Nurse in Wartime tells the true day to day life of a young Irish girl who becomes a nurse, in England, France and Belgium in the midst of WWII and immediately after the war. Fascinating glimpse into the hardships not only for patients (the war-wounded) but for the underappreciated and hardworking staff at various hospitals (even a tent one in Normandy where she worked for many months after D-Day). She meets her to-be husband and even that is fraught with difficulty from many angles.

Could hardly put down Krueger’s book, This Tender Land: A Novel. My friend Ann recommended it. I was gripped with the story within the first paragraph, and it never stopped until I turned the last page. Tells the harrowing story of a young boy, Odie, (and his brother Albert) who became orphans back in the 30s. At first there is a boarding school, part of an Indian (Native American) agreement, though they are not Indian. Some very ugly things happen at that school. Eventually they escape, and they are “on the run.” With a few others with them. If you loved Huckleberry Finn, you’ll have a great appreciation for this story as they use a canoe to get themselves down river. Never having very much to eat and getting into trouble way too often, and authorities on their tail. Well, you just have to read the book to find out what happens.

Just finished Kristin Hannah’s latest book, The Four Winds: A Novel. What a story. One I’ve never read about, although I certainly have heard about the “dust bowl” years when there was a steady migration of down-and-out farmers from the Midwest, to California, for what they hoped to be the American Dream. It tells the story of one particular family, the Martinellis, the grandparents, their son, his wife, and their two children. The book is heartbreaking, but one of those that everyone should read. The hardship, the hunger, the dirt and dust, the failed crops, the lack of rain, then the story picks up again in central California, back in the day when the wealthy growers just used up the migrants. I don’t want to spoil the story. So worth reading. Hannah really knows how to weave a story.

Brit Bennett has written quite a book, The Vanishing Half: A Novel. It’s a novel, yet I’m sure there are such real-life situations. Twin girls are born to a young woman in the South. Into a town (that probably doesn’t exist) that prides itself on being light-skinned blacks. The father was very dark, but he plays no part, really, in this story. Growing up, the girls leave home at 18 to find their way in New Orleans. Suddenly, one twin disappears (her clothes and suitcase all gone in the wink of an eye). Her twin left behind has no idea what’s happened to her. As the story reveals, with divided paths, one twin continues her life as a black woman, and the other twin, the one who left, is able to pass as a white woman. She marries well, has a daughter. Well, let’s just say that there are lots of wicked webs woven throughout the story, starting from the girls’ mother who never wants to speak again of her lost daughter. But you know where this is going, don’t you? Things are found out. The author does a great job of weaving the story apart and then back together.

What a book. The Only Woman in the Room: A Novel by Marie Benedict. A novelized biography of Hedy Lamarr, the famous actress. She was a brilliant mind, and a beautiful woman. It tells the story of her coming of age, how she navigated the world of acting back in that time period (she was Austrian, and Hitler was in power). The writing was very well done – to tell Hedy’s story with detail and poignancy. Eventually Hedy made it to the U.S. and her life story changed, but still had its difficulties. I loved the book, beginning to end. She should have become an engineer as she invented several war related bomb tools. Very much worth reading.

Also read The Secret of the Chateau: Gripping and heartbreaking historical fiction with a mystery at its heart by Kathleen McGurl. There are two stories here. The historical part is just prior to and up to the French Revolution, when aristocrats were chased and killed, guillotined in many cases. There is a young couple (part of the royal court) who escape to a remote small castle owned by his family, located on the edge of France and Italy, hoping to wait out the revolution and hoping the villagers love and care about them. Then jump to current day as a small English group of close friends decide to retire somewhere on the continent, and settle on a small abandoned castle in the remote hills of France along the Italian border. Got the picture? The historian in the group is quite interested in the history of the home, and clues are revealed (in the tower) that lead her and the group on a quest to discover what happened to the couple who used to live there. There was a fire once upon a time. There’s an pesky ghost. There’s also a very old child’s doll/playhouse on the grounds. Plus there’s a small graveyard. It is VERY intriguing. Very interesting. I love historical novels like this, and this one in particular does have quite a mystery involved, too.

Also finished reading Sue Monk Kidd’s recent book, The Book of Longings: A Novel. It is a book that might challenge some Christian readers, as it tells the tale of Jesus marrying a woman named Mary. The story is all about Mary, her growing up, her scholarly pursuits, and then from the moment she meets Jesus as a young man. The story follows along to and beyond his death on the cross. In the time of Christ it was extremely uncommon for a man not to marry. It was almost unseemly. Fraught with suspicions, I’d suppose. Although scripture, as scripture, does not play a very strong part here, if you’ve read the Bible you’ll see many of the stories of Jesus’ life through Mary’s eyes. I loved the book from the first word to the last one. The book is believable to me, even though the Bible never says one way or the other that Jesus ever married. It’s been presumed he never did. But maybe he did?

Jeanine Cummins has written an eye-opener, American Dirt. A must read. Oh my goodness. I will never, ever, ever look at Mexican (and further southern) migrants, particularly those who are victims of the vicious cartels, without sympathy. It tells the story of a woman and her young son, who were lucky enough to hide when the cartel murdered every member of her family – her husband, her mother, and many others. Her husband was a journalist, and his life was always in danger because he wrote the truth, and that was taking a risk. The story is about her escape, with harrowing chapters as she makes her way north from Acapulco, with various major detours, one step, or sometimes nothing more than a hair’s width ahead of the cartel minions trying to find her. I could NOT put this book down. The author is not Hispanic, and some have criticized her for that, but she did her research, and many authors write about places and people they are not. I have nothing but respect for her having told this story. You need to read this.

Also read JoJo Moyes’ book, The Giver of Stars. Oh gosh, what a GREAT book. Alice, living in an English home which lacks much, leaps to agree to marry a visiting American. It was an escape for her. He is a man of some family wealth, and she travels from England to Kentucky, during the 1920s. Once settled into the family home, she discovers married life is not what she had expected. Affection is lacking, and she must share the home with her tyrannical father-in-law, the owner of mines in the deep mountains. And with the ghost of the deceased mother-in-law. The family cook won’t tolerate Alice’s help in the kitchen. Alice is terribly lonely and unhappy. The town doesn’t much like this English woman with her funny way of speaking. But then, she meets a woman who encourages her to join the Horseback Librarians. With trepidation, she begins traversing the remote hills, through unbelievable weather, to deliver old, battered and tattered books to the remote inhabitants of the area. She makes friends, wonderful, loving people from all walks of life. There is tremendous tension from the danger of the mines, the unions trying to get a foothold, plus the unraveling of her marriage, including the dreaded father-in-law who feels she should answer to him, behave as he wants. Uh, no. Alice goes her own route. Her new friends become her family, and, oh, what love. There has been much criticism of Moyes’ possible plagiarism of another book regarding the Horseback Librarians. I read the other book – but I didn’t feel remotely as intrigued by that story as I was by Moyes’ version. A feel good story, but it takes some while getting to that “feel good” part, nearly to the end.

Frances Liardet has written a blockbuster tale, We Must Be Brave. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Although the scene is WWII England, this book is not really about the war. It’s about the people at home, waiting it out, struggling with enough food, clothing and enough heat. It’s about Ellen. Her early years, under much hardship. About her teens, some of it as an orphan. Then a young adult, which includes marriage, a marriage blanc, which I didn’t understand until you learn the meaning. Then a child enters the picture, a child that will become a focus for the remainder of the book. Through the war, and beyond. I cried several times, as will you, I suspect. What’s a constant is the descriptions of the place, a town called Upton, near Southampton. About the hills and dales, the flora and fauna, the rain, the mud sometimes, the flooding sometimes. But throughout, it’s about neighbors caring for neighbors, and about love. A must read. Would make a really good book club read.

William Kent Krueger wrote Ordinary Grace. From amazon: a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God. It’s a coming of age story.

Best book I’ve read recently. Not new. Called Follow the River: A Novel by James Alexander Thom. This one is also based on the history of a woman (married, pregnant) who was captured by the Shawnee, during the early settlement days east of the Ohio River, about 1755. And her eventual escape. I stayed up all hours to keep reading. The book was written from the many journals and writing compiled by her children. Her name: Mary Ingles. And it chronicles her 1000-mile trek in treacherous weather and over uncharted ground. What an amazing woman, and what a story.

A Column of Fire: A Novel by Ken Follett. It takes place in the 1500s, in England, and has everything to do with the war between the Catholics and the Protestants, that raged throughout Europe during that time, culminating in the Spanish Inquisition.

My Name Is Resolute by Nancy Turner. She’s the author of another book of some renown, These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 (P.S.). Resolute is what I’m discussing here. It’s fiction, but based some on a true story. Resolute, as a young girl from a privileged life on a plantation in Jamaica, was taken captive by slavers, eventually ended up in Colonial America. This book is the story of her life. The people she met, the men in her life, her children, and always about her indefatigable energy for life. Always hoping to return to Jamaica.

The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape by James Rebanks. This is a memoir, so a true story, of a young man growing up in the Lake District of Northern England, the son of a farming family, who sabotages everything in his being regarding going to school and leaves as soon as he is able (probably about 8th grade, I’d guess). And becomes a shepherd. And at night, he read literature that he accumulated from his grandfather. And then what happens to him as he grows up. Riveting.

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Danny wants everything for Christmas. But what he gets is a dinosaur, a very hungry dinosaur. Danny’s new dino eats up all of Christmas, but as we all know, what goes in must come out. Danny is about to have the most explosive Christmas of his life! There’s poop, presents, and prehistoric creatures in this festive feast! With a strong moral about the dangers of being greedy, The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas! is sure to be become a modern Christmas classic.

A Little Book of Big Stickers

So. Many. Stickers .: 2,500 Little Stickers for Your Big Life ($12.95, available June 2019)is packed with 2,500 tiny, bright, and colorful stickers among the 50 pages of stickers , high-top sneakers, llamas, and roller skates are mixed with perennial favorites like sloths, flowers, and fruit. A Little Book of Big Word Stickers features inspirational hand lettered words and phrases like “Yay All Day” and “The Future Is Bright,” plus tiny stars, smileys, and geometric shapes to make every day a little brighter. A Little Book of Big Magical Stickers features everything magical, mystical, and mysterious.A Little Book of Big Love Stickerscelebrates love and friendship with hearts, best friend tokens, friendship bracelets that you can peel and share, and even a vintage mixtape cassette! ($9.95 each, available June 2019)

Welcome to Jazz

Are you ready to swing? Discover the wonders of jazz: How to get in the groove, what it means to play a solo, and the joy of singing along in a call-and-response.

In this interactive swing-along picture book with 12 sound chips, you’ll hear the instruments of jazz—the rhythm section with its banjo, drums, and tuba, and the leads, like the clarinet, trumpet, and trombone. And you’ll hear singers scat, improvising melodies with nonsense syllables like be-bop and doo-we-ah!

Along the way, you’ll learn how this unique African American art form started in New Orleans, and how jazz changed over time as innovative musicians like King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday added their own ideas to it.

Press the buttons to hear the band, the rhythms, and the singer calling out: “OH WHEN THE SAINTS—oh when the saints…”

Outback: The Amazing Animals of Australia

Using Photicular® technology that’s like a 3-D movie on the page, OUTBACK whisks you to the vast, remote world of wild Australia, where heat waves dance forever and animals, isolated by the vagaries of continental drift, are unlike those found anywhere else on Earth.

Each moving image delivers a rich, immersive visual experience—and the result is breathtaking. The kangaroo hops. A wombat waddles. The frilled lizard races on two legs across the desert floor. A peacock spider dances and shows off its vibrant colors. Experience it for yourself!

Kawaii Origami

Jump right in and start folding your way to cute with these Kawaii origami creations—from a multi-flavored ice cream cone to a super cute kitty cat—everything you need to get started is included in this pack! From the creator of the popular website Paper Kawaii, author Chrissy Pushkin combines two beloved Japanese art forms, Kawaii pop-art style and origami, in this book and paper pack.

With a tutorial on basic folds, 25 easy-to-follow and illustrated projects, and 50 colorful origami papers to get you started, you will be creating stunning and unique origami pieces like a pro in no time, like a traditional bento box, a shimmering twinkle star, a mini drawer to stash your stuff, and an origami trash bin, which received 3 million YouTube views alone!

The Art of Modern Quilling

Colorful strips of paper and a few simple tools are all you need to create an infinite number of amazing projects with author and quilling expert extraordinaire Erin Curet! Erin shows you a host of innovative techniques and provides plentiful inspiration in The Art of Modern Quilling.

New to quilling? That’s no problem! It will only take a few minutes of instruction for newbies to be able to create modern paper crafts. You’ll soon be making quilled jewelry, works of art that will dazzle, and fun household items that are as interesting to look at as they are useful. No matter how you cut it, quilling is the greatest craft that you have never heard of. Well, until now, that is!

Frankie Sparks And The Big Sled Challenge:Book 3

Frankie Sparks can’t wait to enter the town-wide sled design contest. With the help of a team, she must design and build a sled using only cardboard and duct tape. And there are PRIZES!

Each team in the contest will be judged on:
1. Best looking sled.
2. Fastest sled.
3. Most team spirit.

Even though Frankie might know a lot about building a sled, it turns out she still has a lot to learn about building a team. With lots of twists, turns, and big bumps along the way, can Frankie and her fellow super-sled designers create a dream machine—and a dream team?

When Dogs Fly: Adult Coloring Book for Relaxation & Meditation

Did you know that the simple act of coloring has a healing power? It can help you relax and unlock the memories of childhood when you were carefree. Discover it for yourself by coloring these amusing designs of dogs and planes. A dog, man’s best friend, represents loyalty and stability. While a plane represents excitement and movement. This coloring book captures the essence of their combined qualities. If you focus your attention on the present and color dog and plane images, it will help you become calm. The synergetic pictures of dogs and planes produce a perfect balance, which can relieve stress. Choose from a variety of humorous, whimsical, inspirational, patriotic, or mind-intriguing patterns. This is an Exceptional Adult Coloring Book!•One of a kind, original art designs.•Each coloring page is on a separate sheet.•High resolution, professionally printed Images.•30 exquisite designs of dogs and planes (Mandalas, Paisley Patterns, Doodle Style Illustrations, Whimsical designs and Inspirational Quotes). •Difficulty levels vary from easy to complex.•Incredibly fun and relaxing! •Great as a gift, or for yourself.•EXTRA – In this book a little known secret is revealed on how our brain works, and why coloring is one of the best healing methods for stress.•EXTRA – Unwind your mind with Medicoloring, a new meditative technique described in this book. This easy technique can be done anywhere and anytime. It’s a perfect antidote to the stress of everyday life.

Good Food Gratitude

Good Food Gratitude is an engaging vegan lifestyle cookbook that also encourages people to change the way to perceive healthy food. Vegan Chef Hollan Hawaii teaches new culinary techniques and shares delicious new plant-based recipes for replacing favorite non-vegan dishes and shows how simple cooking and good health are not mutually exclusive and can be easily accomplished by making thoughtful changes to your mindset and the recipes you know and love.

Homestyle vegan recipes from a Hawaii-based chef.
Hawaii is the former owner of Caffe Coco in Kauai, Hawaii, and in this debut book, she combines health-forward recipes with a family-friendly to cooking. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, the author studied at Le Cordon Bleu and adopted a vegan diet after reading Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin s book Skinny B*tch (2005). Like Barnouin, the author is a former model: During my brief modeling career, Hawaii writes, I used food to keep my body at a certain weight (it was during the unhealthy waif craze), and my relationship with food became blurred. This cookbook, she explains, is a culmination of my journey toward healthfulness. At the end of 2017, Hawaii sold her café so she could complete this book, write more books, create videos, and teach what I have learned along the way. The recipes here, featuring plenty of full-color images by multiple photographers, are simple and easy to follow, running the gamut from nut milks and fruit juices to dinner items and desserts. There s plenty of emphasis on health-conscious vegan foods, including ginger shots, tofu scrambles, and smoothies. But Hawaii also includes a wide range of simple, homestyle dishes, such as sandwiches, soups, and dips. Other notable recipes include her Coconut Mac Nut Tofu, the signature dish at her café It is a great way to get your family to fall in love with tofu and a San Francisco avocado sub, inspired by her Bay Area upbringing. I want my kids diet to seem normal, even though we eat vegan, Hawaii writes, which means plenty of familiar breakfast and dinner foods, from waffles to quesadillas. Recipes also helpfully note whether they re gluten-free, nut-free, or sugar-free. There s a useful section on dressings from Hawaiian Island to Cashew Caesar and sauces, and Hawaii offers practical advice in the closing pages, which range from her preferences regarding organic brands to a list of her cooking appliances. Although this cookbook doesn’t break any new culinary ground, it s easy to read and ideal for people who want to eat simply and healthily.
A photo-filled cookbook that effectively combines vegan food with lifestyle tips.

TED the Friendly Frog and Santa Frog

‘Tis the season with Ted the frog! Ted and his brother Brad are snuggled up by the fire on Christmas Eve, waiting to hear the story of Santa Frog. Their father tells them an incredible tale of the time he met Santa Frog, many years ago, and was gifted a coat to use to stay warm in the winter. When the story is done, Ted and Brad can’t wait to see if Santa Frog comes again that night, in a sleigh pulled by nine birds with a sack full of toys for every frog family! See if Ted gets to meet this very special frog in the third book of Scott McCall’s Ted the Friendly Frog series, Ted the Friendly Frog and Santa Frog.

The Whisper in The Dark-A Personalized Book

“ The Whisper in the Dark ” Personalized Storybook from BubblesU This super-personalized storybook is the perfect gift for bedtime reading together. Your child is the star of their very own magical night-time adventure with colorful characters like Bubbles the Elephant and Professor Lionstein. The hardcover book is beautifully illustrated, features your child’s name and photo or illustration throughout the pages, and guides their imagination to sleep bravely through the night. (Ages 3+ | $34.99

Check out the photo above on one of the pages from the book that was personalized for my youngest daughter, Tesla.

New York Christmas Baking

Christmas in New York is a dream! Take a stroll in snow-covered Central Park, go shopping in Manhattan with the streets dressed in their festive finest, and, of course, indulge in the city’s world-famous delicacies. New York Christmas Baking is filled with enticing recipes for cakes, cookies and treats for the most wonderful time of the year, in the most magical city in the world. With sweet dreams straight from New York, Christmas has never tasted better.

Following the success of New York Christmas – also published by Murdoch Books – Lisa and Lars have created New York Christmas Baking: a cookbook of New York’s best baking recipes for the Christmas season. With each chapter dedicated to different types of confectionary, this book is filled with enough delicious recipes to make every day feel like Christmas. Chapter one focuses on sweet Christmas cookies, whoopie pies and snickerdoodles. Chapter two on holiday cakes, pies and cupcakes. And chapter three on Christmas breakfast, bread, muffins and buns. Enjoy sour cream snowflakes, gingerbread cookie cups, apple crumble muffins and much more. Join Lars and Lisa on another journey to this amazing city, inviting people to dream and explore like no other.

Get your very own hardcover book HERE.

One Dish Four Seasons

One Dish – Four Seasons: Food, Wine, and Sound – All Year Round is not your average cookbook. It’s a fully immersive experience and seasonal journey. In this family collaboration and labor of love, we take a base recipe and by varying certain ingredients seasonally available, we churn out four versions, a winter, spring, summer, and fall. 20 dishes x 4 seasons = 80 recipes (plus a round of cocktails, of course). Each dish is then paired with a wine and a music album, further exploring the seasonality of these three elements of entertaining. It’s sprinkled with tons of jokes, layers, thoughtful attention to detail, and sophistication. A dash of humor, a pinch of personality, and a sprinkle of family lore round out the pages.

Head over HERE for your very own hardcover copy.

Treasury of Bible Stories

Noah’s Ark, Moses, David and Goliath, the ten plagues, Daniel and the lions’ den, Jonah and the giant fish, and many more of the Bible’s most powerful stories󈞇 in all–are compellingly retold in this beautifully illustrated treasury. Readers will be fascinated by the ancient people and events they encounter, surprised by some of the lesser known accounts revealed, and inspired by the lessons these tales impart. Stories cover important ground beyond religion, such as culture, history, and geography, and they touch on issues that remain relevant today–faith, loyalty, kindness, violence, generosity, greed, jealousy, and more. These accessible, readible stories give kids a rich picture of biblical times, which encourages them to think about our role in the world and to learn more.

Napoli’s magicial storytelling is sure to ignite children’s imaginations. Along with Balit’s stunning art, this is a book kids will want to explore again and again–a classic that families can read aloud together.

The Big Book of Bling

Did you know that with its 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies the British imperial state crown weighs more than a guinea pig? Or if you have $3.5 million to spare you can buy a solid gold toilet? Or that there’s a cave in Mexico containing giant crystals that are as long as a school bus?

From upscale splurges to flashy fun in nature, this treasure trove is filled with wonders that will dazzle and delight. Read about how nature struts its stuff with tantalizing tidbits about animals, including a few that literally glitter with iridesence to confuse predators. Or maybe you’ll strike it rich after reading about Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, U.S.A., where anyone can go hunt for sparkling gems. Dig into info about the world’s mysterious minerals, gorgeous geodes, and ritzy rocks. Discover extravagant expenditures like Canada’s million-dollar solid gold coin. Learn all about the splendid science of diamonds that rain from the sky in space. Get the secret behind glowing bioluminescence. And go back in time to uncover palatial palaces, the riches of royalty, and other ancient treasures.

To show off the lush content in proper fashion, readers will be dazzled by hundreds of fun flashy photos throughout.

Head over HERE for your own hardcover copy.

Nerd A to Z

Move over dictionary. There’s a new reference book in town!

This superstuffed alphabetical compendium of must-know facts from science, pop culture, history, and more is perfect for kids who already know the names of every single dinosaur or want to understand exactly how the Millennium Falcon works. It’s a book for grammar gurus, science snobs, music geeks, and history buffs. In short, it’s a book for nerds.

Inside, you’ll find browsable, info-packed blurbs that’ll give you the lowdown on everything from augmented reality to zydeco, with larger features that dive deep into fascinating topics like UFOs, pirates, artificial intelligence, and daring circus acts. You’ll find out what kind of nerd you are with superfun flowchart quizzes. And you’ll hear from the world’s most notable (and quotable) Nerds of Note from history and today.

Head over HERE for your own hardcover copy.

Dream Journal

Have you ever wondered where your dreams come from? Or why they’re so hard to remember? Or how to make that monster in your nightmares a little bit more … friendly? We’ve got answers to these musings and more!

In this journal, you’ll explore the mysteries of the unconscious mind. You’ll learn how dreams inspired some of the most popular art in recent history, how the ancient Greeks used dreams to answer their questions, and how your brain works as it conjures up these amazing, imaginative, and often weird reveries. Plus, you’ll find tips on how to get a good night’s sleep, remember more about what you dream, and conjure lucid dreams. It’s the perfect tool to help kids remember, record, and reflect on their nighttime adventures. Catching Z’s has never been so much fun.

With lively text, and vibrant imagery, and plenty of space for writing, this journal is your go-to place to document, learn, and celebrate the powers of your fantastic, creative brain.

Head over HERE for your own hardcover copy.

Brain Candy

Unwrap 500 fascinating knowledge nuggets about all kinds of topics to boost your brainpower in this yummy little fact book.

Let’s start with a million. A million days ago, the first Olympics took place in ancient Greece. If you live a million hours, you’ll be 114 years old. And how many ants equal the weight of one average human? That’s right, a million. Open the candy cover and take a deep and delicious dive into numbers, fun facts, and cool trivia on all kinds of topics. It’s a novel approach to feeding kids tantalizing tidbits about the world, and is sure to be an addictive addition to the bookshelves of Weird But True! and Just Joking fans.

Vegan Mac & Cheese

Like most people, chances are you’ve eaten a lot of macaroni and cheese in your life. If you’re new to a plant-based diet, you might be wondering if you can still enjoy this comforting meal. You’ll be happy to know the answer is “Yes!” Robin shows you how to make what she calls Mac Uncheese—rich, delectable pasta dishes featuring vegan cheese sauces that start with plant milks, vegetables, and nuts as their base ingredients. Using these sauces—or, if you prefer, using store-bought vegan cheese—you can make many tempting variants of the cheesy pasta dish, from the familiar and homey, such as Mom’s Classic Mac UnCheese, to the globally adventuresome, such as Indian Curry Mac or Salsa Mac and Queso.

An entire chapter is devoted to veggie-loaded mac and cheese dishes, like Buffalo Cauliflower Mac, Arugula Pesto Mac UnCheese, or Smoky Mac and Peas with Mushroom Bacon. Another chapter serves up meatless mac and cheeses made meaty with lentils, jackfruit, mushrooms, and more. And, for delicious fun, there are recipes for Mac and Cheese Balls, Mac ‘n’ Cheese Pizza, Waffled Mac and Cheese, and Cheesy Mac Muffins.

In addition to the recipes, Vegan Mac and Cheese features lists of toppings, add-ins, and other ways to be creative with these plant-based mac and cheese recipes, which will warm your soul all year long.

The Autoimmune Protocol Comfort Food Cookbook

Enjoy these amazing dishes with nostalgic family members, picky kids, or oblivious party guests that will be none the wiser! Including classics you know and love, like cupcakes, lasagna, waffles, and more, this cookbook features over 100 recipes that are anything but boring.

You’ll find recipes for breakfasts, appetizers, soups and salads, crazy good sides, classic Sunday night dinners, holiday favorites, easy one-pan meals, decadent desserts, and more! The recipes are both delicious and easy to make for hard-working moms and busy families.

Head over HERE for your own copy.

Everyday Keto Baking

Inside you’ll find more than 80 recipes specifically geared to the keto diet. Most recipes rely on coconut flour and almond flour, two of the most popular alternative flours on the market. Coconut flour is an all-natural flour made only from coconut contains no gluten and no grain and is low in digestible carbs and high in fiber, making it a favorite among keto, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, and low-glycemic lifestyles. Its pure, slightly sweet taste is subtle enough that even coconut haters won’t be able to detect it, and it lends itself perfectly to baked goods, creating results far superior to many other “healthy” treats. Alongside other healthy ingredients like eggs and low-carb sweeteners, the recipes in this book have been carefully created to not only taste delicious, but also help you meet your macros (your target ratio of protein, fat, and carbs on keto).

Enjoy all the special treats you once thought were off-limits, such as:

  • Fluffy Pancakes
  • Cheesy Bagels
  • Garlic Cauliflower Breadsticks
  • Chocolate Zucchini Bread
  • Cinnamon Streusel Cake
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Red Velvet Cupcakes
  • Cheesecake Brownies
  • Spinach Feta Quiche

Everyday Keto Baking gives you limitless options for enjoying baked goods without guilt. The only thing you need to worry about now is keeping them away from everyone else!

[Publisher’s Note: Everyday Keto Baking is a revised and adapted version of the original book The Healthy Coconut Flour Cookbook.]

Incredible Plant-Based Desserts

Whether you are an eager home cook or a more experienced chef, Anthea shows you that sponge cakes can still be fluffy and moist and pastry can still melt in your mouth without animal-derived ingredients.

Find playful, modern spins on classic desserts, such as fail-safe tiramisu trifles topped with caramelized popcorn or Snickers transformed into a multi-layered cake with peanut brittle. For when life gets busy, simplify with recipes like three-ingredient pancakes and fruit-filled muffins. If you want something indulgent, the Homer Simpson pink donuts, baklava custard tart, and chocolate brownie peanut butter sandwich cookies are for you. You’ll also find wholesome choices like a berry chocolate mousse tart and cupcakes with rainbow cashew buttercream.

Anthea has carefully selected ingredients to ensure you won’t accumulate odd, once-used stuff in your pantry. And with plenty of options for people avoiding gluten, refined sugar, nuts, and other common allergens, no one misses out on the deliciousness. All of the recipes have been tested and approved by vegans and non-vegans alike.

Accompanied by stunning photography, these recipes will bring some magic to your every day, dinner table, or special occasion.

The Family-Friendly Keto Instant Pot Cookbook

The ketogenic diet is taking the world of healthy eating by storm, but cooking for a ketogenic diet can be cumbersome. You can’t rely on processed or quick-cooking high-carb options, like pasta or rice, for a fast meal, and you don’t always have the time to labor over a hot stove.

The FamilyFriendly Keto Instant Pot Cookbook helps you feed your family enjoyable low-carb meals quickly and effortlessly. With the Instant Pot’s ability to cook food in a fraction of the time, you’ll have your family sitting down at the table to eat in no time. (And with only one pot to clean too!)

Anna shows you how to unlock the versatility of your Instant Pot with over 100 flavorsome dishes like Enchilada Casserole, Coffee Rubbed Pulled Pork, Shrimp Étoufée, and Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake. All of the recipes are created with the author’s trademark budget-friendly ingredients and kid-approved tastes.

Modern Sourdough

In Modern Sourdough, Michelle Eshkeri reveals how mastering the art of sourdough baking can open up a world of sweet and savoury treats at home.

Michelle opened Margot Bakery in a shop in East Finchley, London in 2016. An instant hit, it became an experiment in pushing the boundaries of what a local bakery could be, by specialising in sourdough leavened pastries and sweet doughs alongside more traditional breads.

Bringing together over 100 mouth-watering recipes inspired by Michelle’s heritage, Modern Sourdough expands our understanding of this ancient baking technique. Featuring a step-by-step guide to making a sourdough starter, as well as methods for folding, shaping, scoring and baking, it demonstrates how you too can make Margot signature loaves, as well as naturally-leavened pizzas, challah, focaccia, French pastries, brioche and babka.

Covering bread, cakes, buns, savoury bakes and store cupboard wonders, plus a selection of non-sourdough favourites from the bakery, these are recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

Are you into playing with your food? Epic Vegan does just that, encouraging home cooks to think outside of the box. Author Dustin Harder, host and creator of the original vegan travel culinary series, The Vegan Roadie, is your culinary coordinator for the adventure ahead, sharing recipes that everyone from beginner cooks to experienced chefs can create at home.

How does it work? Recipes are built from the ground up, so you can stop at just the biscuit, or go beyond to the Deep Dish Brunch Pizza with Garlicky Cheddar Biscuit Crust—the choice is yours! Also included are recreations of fast-food classics, like Norito’s Los Tacos and Cray Cray Bread (you know you can’t resist). Every creation is a flavor sensation guaranteed to wow your friends and your taste buds. The level of indulgence is up to you to decide!

What does an Epic Vegan recipe sound like? Here are just a few examples:

  • Festive Cheesy Spinach Bread
  • Savory Cheddar Fondu Waffle Bowl
  • Monte Cristo Rolls
  • Crab Rangoon Pizza
  • Double Stacked Cookie Dough Cake
  • Bacon Macaroni and Cheese Blue Burger
  • Hushpuppy Phish Filet Sandwich
  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Latte Shake
  • Cheesesteak Baked Potato Bowl
  • Fried Chicken n Waffle Benedict Sandwich
  • Stuffed Crust Meatball Parm Pizza
  • Almost Famous Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
  • Churro Cup Sundaes

Epic Vegan offers a choose-your-own-adventure approach for you to become a kitchen warrior in your own home, your own way. Playing with your food has never been more fun, or more epic!

The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook

The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook features more than 100 delicious, plant-based, kid-approved recipes perfect for busy weeknights, or whenever you feel like trying out a meat-free meal. From filling Lentil Bolognese with Spaghetti to Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers and Smoky BBQ Burgers, these meals will satisfy even the pickiest of palates. And most can be made in 30 minutes or less!

Chapters cover all types of meals, from Bountiful Bowls (perfect for lunch or dinner), to One-Pot Wonders, to everyone’s favorite—Breakfast for Dinner. You’ll also find great tips for getting the kids involved … which has a funny way of making them enjoy the meal even more.

Kickstart your week in a healthy and fun way with The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook.

Super Low-Carb Snacks

Snacks are essential for getting the proper amount of nutrients and keeping us energized during busy days at work, school, and the gym. While most snacks are made of carb-laden, allergy-provoking ingredients, these low-carb snack recipes are filled with healthy, nourishing ingredients that you can feel good about including in your diet. You’ll find plenty of superfoods, like coconuts, sweet potatoes, and almonds. Many of the recipes are quick and easy to make, and most take under 15 minutes to prepare!

The sweet and savory low-carb snacks include: Cauliflower Pizza Bites, Zucchini Muffins, Crispy Okra Sticks, Chicken Maple Sausage Meatballs, Cinnamon Donut Holes, Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Fat Bombs, Lemon Cheesecake Fat Bombs, Stilton and Chive Fat Bombs, Key Lime Smoothie, and Creamy Keto Coffee.

With Super Low-Carb Snacks, you’ll always be ready with a delicious, wholesome snack to keep you going.

Judy Joo’s Korean Soul Food

Fresh from the success of Korean Food Made Simple, chef Judy Joo is back with a brand new collection of recipes that celebrate the joys of Korean comfort food and get straight to the heart and soul of the kitchen.

Drawing on her own heritage and international experience, Judy presents recipes that appeal to everyone, from street food to snacks and sharing plates, kimchi to Ko-Mex fusion food, and dumplings to desserts. Through clear, easy-to-understand recipes and gorgeous photography, Judy will help you master the basics before putting her signature fun, unexpected twist on the classics, including Philly Cheesesteak dumplings and a full English breakfast–inspired Bibimbap bowl.

With over 100 recipes, helpful glossaries, and tips on how to stock the perfect Korean store cupboard, there’s something for amateur chefs and accomplished home cooks alike. So much more than rice and fried chicken, these truly unique recipes are simple, delicious, and will have everyone clamoring for more.

Dana Carpender’s Keto Fat Gram Counter

Need help figuring out what you can and can’t eat on your keto diet? “Low-Carb Queen” Dana Carpender takes the guesswork out of knowing which foods are on or off the table with this handy little guide. This book includes a comprehensive directory of total fat, carbs, protein, fiber, and calorie amounts for countless types of food—from meat, fruits, and vegetables to popular packaged and restaurant foods.

Also included are the best keto/low-carb tips from the Low-Carb Queen herself. This is a perfect quick reference to help you balance your macronutrients for a successful keto/low-carb/intermittent fasting lifestyle.

Grab this little book and carry it in your purse, pocket, or briefcase and you’ll never struggle to stay keto.

The “I Love My Instant Pot” Affordable Meals Recipe Book

175 recipes for quick and delicious meals in the Instant Pot—today’s hottest kitchen appliance—that the whole family will love for under $12 a meal.

Eating well doesn’t need to cost a fortune. And with the Instant Pot, it no longer requires a lot of time or effort. Now create budget-friendly meals that are fast and delicious using your favorite cooking gadget.

In the “I Love My Instant Pot®” Affordable Meals Recipe Book, Aileen Clark shows that it is possible to eat healthy, filling meals while on a budget. With 175 recipes and photos throughout, this is a must-have cookbook if you are looking for good meals that are easy on the wallet. Save money and reduce your monthly food budget with practical approaches to grocery shopping. With a cost estimate included for each recipe, you can easily stay on budget and manage your food costs ahead of time so you can be better prepared with your expenses.

Featuring an easy-to-understand overview of how to use the Instant Pot, this is the perfect guide whether you are new to the Instant Pot or an expert. With satisfying, whole-food dishes for every meal of the day, this cookbook makes using the Instant Pot easier and cheaper than ever!

The Everything Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook

300 easy, healthy, and delicious Mediterranean recipes—many ready in 30 minutes or less—perfect for busy weeknights or just about any time!

Mediterranean cuisine is celebrated all over the world for its fresh, healthy ingredients, vibrant flavors, and complex recipes. Centering mostly around fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and lean meats, it’s no wonder it’s not just a fad diet. But who has time to make complicated, traditional recipes every weeknight?

The Everything Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook provides all the tools you need to make healthy, classic Mediterranean meals right at home. Including 300 recipes—most of which can be made in 30 minutes or less, along with make-ahead and slow cooker meals—this cookbook is perfect for Mediterranean diet beginners.

This fun and easy cookbook has the step-by-step guidance you need to effortlessly incorporate this healthy lifestyle into your busy schedule. Whether you are cooking a quick, delicious meal on a weeknight or an elaborate, decadent meal for a holiday, The Everything Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook makes starting the Mediterranean diet easier than ever.

The Little Women Cookbook

Experience the exciting and heartwarming world of the March sisters and Little Women right in your own kitchen.

Here at last is the first cookbook to celebrate the scrumptious and comforting foods that play a prominent role in Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women. If your family includes a Little Women fan, or if you yourself are one, with this book you can keep the magic and wonder of the beloved tale alive for years to come. Do you wonder what makes the characters so excited to make—and eat!—sweets and desserts like the exotically named Blancmange or the mysterious Bonbons with Mottoes, along with favorites like Apple Turnovers, Plum Pudding, and Gingerbread Cake? Find out for yourself with over 50 easy-to-make recipes for these delectable treats and more, all updated for the modern kitchen.

From Hannah’s Pounded Potatoes to Amy’s Picnic Lemonade, from the charming Chocolate Drop Cookies that Professor Bhaer always offers to Meg’s twins to hearty dinners that Hannah and Marmee encourage the March sisters to learn to make, you’ll find an abundance of delicious teatime drinks and snacks, plus breakfasts, brunches, lunches, suppers, and desserts. Featuring full-color photos, evocative illustrations, fun and uplifting quotes from the novel, and anecdotes about Louisa May Alcott, this is a book that any Little Women fan will love to have.

Hannah's simple bottom of the cupboard not traditional pork casserole recipe - Recipes

  • We went to Home Depot and Lowe's to find a new ceiling fan for the dining room. We had success at Lowe's, and then came home and got to work. I knew how to prep the fan blades, so I got those ready for Scott, then while he did the rest of the installation, I went outside to pick some of our abundant rhubarb.

  • We did one more small chore for the day, by mounting a TV screen in the guest room downstairs, and putting up a couple of decorative shelves. (Jacob and Hannah and Jack are coming up today, and plan to stay downstairs)

Sun, 30 May 2021 22:43:57 +0200

This week has been a blur of chores and activities, cleaning and errands. And not a lot of photos to include this time, which can be a good thing I suppose.

I've been adjusting to the quietness and emptiness of our house, now that Amber and the girls have moved out. I am enjoying the solitude where I can think my own thoughts and get a lot more things accomplished each day, and the house stays clean, too! ha ha But I also miss giggling granddaughters and their sense of adventure. Most of all, I miss Amber. She is my dear friend and confidante.

But - life must go on. And on it shall go! I am facing forward, with great eagerness to spend more time with my dear husband. Every day is a date, we tell ourselves. It doesn't matter if we go to the grocery store, go for a walk, or just stay home and eat grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner while we watch a show. It's all time well spent together. :)

Monday: First thing in the morning, I hit the ground running to clean up and organize the downstairs after all the kids left. Things got a little crazy in those last couple of days before hitting the open road, and we just had to walk away (or drive away), knowing that it wasn't perfect.

I cleaned up the girls' room first, and then I tackled Amber's room. I've been washing bedding all week long, and have finally gotten all the rooms put back in order (including the guest room upstairs).

I chatted with Kylie as well, and we were able to buy her airline ticket for September so we could be sure to be on the same flight and sitting right next to each other! It was a fantastic sale that I saw in my inbox (I subscribe to Pomelo Travel - best $35 per year I've ever spent!), so we jumped on the computers at the same time on opposite sides of the world. She is still figuring out when she's flying over here to the U.S. because it's all dependent on Benson's schedule for his training in Utah and Nevada later this summer. So we just focused on getting her a one-way ticket back to Italy in September (with me) for now. It feels good to know that we will be together, especially since she will be about 7 months pregnant around that time.

Tuesday: My sweet daughter, Amber, turned 27 on Tuesday! I can't believe she's that old!! It doesn't feel real, to be honest. She spent part of her day cleaning up areas in the kitchen and pantry that still had roach feces. Gross!! What a sad state the homeowner left the house for my kiddos. Weston decided that it would be better to just call pest control so that they could be more aggressive in eradicating those horrible roaches. Hopefully the bait and strong (but safe) chemicals will do the trick so that they can actually start moving in and enjoying their new home.

In the meantime, all of their kitchen items are currently in the office, waiting until it's safe to move everything into the kitchen drawers and cupboards.

Amber also shared that as she and the girls went on a little adventure around the yard, they found a cool (but rusty) zipline in the trees, plus two random cast iron skillets that were just sitting there full of water and all rusted, ha ha. She also sent this picture to us with several cute little baby praying mantises standing guard on their mailbox. :)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

On another note (no. 5) - Leek Oatcake Shop

Another review for British Street Food which, unfortunately, turns out to be outside my remit i.e it is takeaway food from a shop and not a van or market stall. So, rather than waste it completely, I thought I would place it here for all those of you living in or holidaying in the Peak District.

2, Heywood Street,
ST13 5JX

If you like visiting working museums and restored Industrial buildings then grab a load o' this. This is history in action. This is history that never went away in the first place: A traditional Staffordshire Oatcake shop with the original shop front which has remained completely unchanged since it opened in 1964. Now that's something you don't see everyday!

Nestled at the bottom of Heywood Street in the quirky little Staffordshire Moorlands town of Leek is the Leek Oatcake Shop. Freshly painted in green and cream with the original Edwardian street sign on the corner, the little shop is sited next to one of the many old mills for which this area is famous. (This is William Morris territory - where he lived and studied the Art of Dyeing, and "Industrial heartland" for the Arts and Crafts movement, supplying William Morris's firm with much of its silk).

Inside the little shop things are functional and basic. The room is dominated by two massive iron griddles which are kept constantly hot and ready. Staffordshire Oatcakes have been made in the traditional manner in this little Oatcake shop since 1964.

A constant stream of people come in and out for this is food for the workers - this is where the real locals get their lunch. And why not when a Bacon and mushroom oatcake can be had for ٟ.55? - You probably couldn't buy a sandwich for that. And the food is hot, cooked in front of you and ready-to-go in minutes.

Alan and Pauline Smith are serving constantly from 5.45 am most mornings.

MONDAY - WEDNESDAY 6 am - 1 pm
THURSDAY - SATURDAY 5.45 am - 1 pm
SUNDAY 6.45 am - 12 pm

A proper Staffordshire Oatcake is a type of pancake made from oatmeal, flour and yeast (and usually, as in this case, to a 'secret' recipe). A thicker version, a Pikelet, is also available.

Fillings are a basic mix-and-match range of bacon, sausage, mushroom, egg, cheese and onion. A FULL BREAKFAST is ١.70. No wonder so many people pop in here on their way to work!

There is no Website, no e-mail, no Facebook page - Alan scowls when I suggest the question. He goes back to work, his honest weathered face under its white bakers cap turned to pouring out the batter circles on the griddle and flipping them over at just the right moment.

Simple, honest food is what is provided here. The queue tells me all I need to know about advertising.

So here's "word of mouth" - Do what the locals do and grab a piping hot Full Breakfast while you're on the go in Leek.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

September 30th - ٤ for some chocolate fingers, and a damson compote

Autumn is here, thick and heavy, alternating between those bright and sunny windswept days when the changing leaves glow, and dark, wet and muddy days when venturing out is done under protest. I am waiting for my log store to arrive so i can lay in supplies for the winter. The dark days make us like squirrels tucking things away in the freezer, making jam for buttered crumpets in front of the tele and bottling the last of the summer.

The produce at the Harvest auction showed likewise. There were plenty of jars of homemade lemon curd and pickled onions, jams and chutneys. You could almost picture which villager brought which item. There was a whole swathe of gladioli in vibrant shades, and two onions and a sweetcorn which was slightly less funny when the second one appeared, although one raucous laugh from the back obviously didn't think so.

It was bring-your-own-drinks and a choice of pud. The Pie itself was first class, which rather suprised me, although maybe it shouldn't. Maybe we have all got used to eating and expecting better quality food these days, from pubs, restaurants (naturally), school dinners, hospitals and even village hall get-togethers. The event was a sell-out and a good mix of young and old. It was good to feel part of a community and made welcome.

And then the bidding started in earnest. The vicar (who Dawn French must surely have based her character on in 'The Vicar of Dibley') seemed to be bidding against herself in an urge to up the proceedings, and the profits. Sophie had great fun bidding wildly for a packet of chocolate fingers, which ended up costing me about ٤ for the privilege.

Red is everywhere,quickening the heart. The Robin is back perched high on Archie. There are Rose hips in the hedgerows and deep pink sedum blossoms covered in the last bumblebees of summer and the giant heads of fading hydrangeas, like ladies in swimming hats, nodding over the paths. I buy chilli plants for the house and a bowl of tiny kir-like damsons to make into compote. The shops are full of fresh Turkish figs and pomegranates to pick at and sprinkle on puddings.(I'm never quite happy with that word 'desert' - pudding sounds just so much better, like something you're going to eat rather than just look at on a trolley.)

You make a Courgette and Lancashire cheese crumble and apologise for its 70's nut-cutlet image. But don't. I make a similar Cauliflower crumble that i love (but have been banned for making it by the kids since leaving Cornwall, where i bought cauliflowers from little tables at field edges for 20p each, and it became our weekly frugal staple).Your crumble is fragrant with flecks of chopped Rosemary and walnut pieces. The toasting of the cheese in the crumble mixture on top is what gives it its satisfying and moreish qualities.

'There is a chill to the house and sweaters all round. Supper is risotto, the first of the season.' If ever there were a single comfort food to welcome you home on a cold, dark night, it is a well-made risotto.You make yours simply today with just onion, rice, stock and Gorgonzola. I realise the dark is so intense here, the light-pollution so completely absent, that unless i remember to put on the house light i am left fumbling my way in the dark with a torch to locate the back door.

Come and join us round the fire for hot chocolate with marshmallows this windy night,

Her Silent Knight (Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair Book 1) Reviewed

The celebrated Frost Fair of 1683-84 featured multiple activities including horse races, football, bowling, ice skating, sledding and more. Vendor booths were set up to sell souvenirs, food and refreshments. Londoner's clearly knew how to quickly make a rare occurrence into a fun festival for all.

In 1814 (the last Frost Fair), an elephant was led across the ice. Reminiscent of previous frost fairs, there was dancing, ice skating and of course, vendors. It lasted only 4 days before the ice broke up and several people drowned.

The very real historical Frost Fair of 1814 is the setting of the entire "Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair" series. This series provides a wonderful look back into history, as well as some really awesome romantic stories.

First in the series is "Her Silent Knight". It was such a captivating book, that I read it in one night. Yes, it was nearly 4 am before I went to sleep, but it was worth it! I thoroughly enjoyed the sweet story.

Homemade Dog Tail Protector !500+ Do It Yourself for Dog Projects & CraftsHealthy, Natural, OrganicHomemade Natural Dog Flea & Tick RemediesHomemade DIY Recipes for Dog TreatsHomemade Healthy Dog Food RecipesHomemade Goodies for Dog & Puppy:Guides, Information, Patterns & ExamplesHomemade DIY DogHouse Plans & PatternsDIY Car Dog Restraint, Led Collar & ZipperHow to Sew Dog Dress, Clothing & ApparelDIY Dog Bowl, Treats Dispenser & FeederHomemade DIY Dog Travel AccessoriesHow to Make Dog Training ClickerHow to Make Dog MuzzleHomemade DIY Dog Beds & CoversDIY Dog Waste & Clean Up BagsDIY Dog Birthday Cake RecipesQuick & Easy Dog Homemade ToothpasteHomemade Dog Recipes for Kong ToyDIY Homemade Blind Dog ToysDIY HOMEMADE Whelping BoxDIY Homemade Dog & Puppy PuzzlesHomemade DIY Wheelchair for Paralysed DogHow To Make a Homemade Dog DiaperHow to Build a Great Dog ParkDIY Homemade Dog Ice Sledding SnowmobileHow to Make Dog Rump for AutoHomemade DIY Dog & Puppy ToysHow to Build Homemade Dog PoolHow to Make Missing Dog FlyerBuild DIY Dog Crate & CoverHomemade Dog First Aid KitHomemade Dog Backpack & CarrierHow to Make Dog E-CollarFree Self-Made Dog Dress PatternHomemade Dog Ear Cleaning SolutionDIY Dog Odor/Smell RemoverDIY Dog Memorial StoneDIY Homemade Dog Window SeatHomemade Dog Paw Wax & BalmHow to Build DIY Dog KennelHow to Make a Healthy Dog Ice CreamHomemade Dog Taste DeterrentHomemade Dog Mosquito RepellerHomemade DIY Dog BootsDIY Dog Running TreadmillHomemade Doghouse HeaterHomemade Dog PajamasHomemade Dog ShampooHomemade Dog PerfumeHomemade Dog ToysDIY Dog BandanaDog Anubis HelmetDIY Dog StairsDog Crafts

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Emergency veterinary clinic:

You can print out a copy of this checklist to use as a shopping list, and keep a copy on your refrigerator or next to your pet first aid kit for quick reference in emergencies.


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Some useful links for further info:


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If you want to give your four-legged friend a cool treat on a hot summer day, just head to into the kitchen and grab a blender. This simple, no-frills DIY dog ice cream recipe will have your dog smacking his lips in anticipation. Canine-friendly foods such as pumpkin, plain yogurt, bananas and peanut butter combine to make this dog ice cream a tasty and healthy, frozen treat for dogs. Make sure to talk to your veterinarian before feeding your dog any new foods!

What you need to make dog ice cream:

2 Cups Plain Organic Yogurt
2 Ripe Bananas
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
Disposable Cups

1. Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.

2. Spoon mixture into disposable cups. Place cups onto tray.

3. Place tray in freezer. Allow to freeze for three hours.

4. Remove from freezer and share with the pups!

Three 6-ounce containers of plain low-fat yogurt

0.5 cup of low sodium peanut butter
One 4-ounce jar of banana baby food
1 Tablespoon honey

Mix together and pour into disposable paper cups. Add dog bones on top of mixture to serve as "handles." Place cups on freezer. Once frozen, serve by peeling away the paper cup!


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Deb Kingsbury

Happy Tail is not an Easy Thing to Heal! What you are looking at is actually a piece of neoprene, which once had been part of a sleeve for a Camelbak drinking tube. We had an extra one and cut off a piece about three inches long. This flexible material is also often used in products like wetsuits, laptop sleeves, and braces for knees, ankles, wrists, etc. and it form-fits itself snuggly but not too tightly around whatever it's on. The neoprene had enough "grab" not to slip off of Remmy's fur, even when he started wagging. And as of this writing, our homemade tail tip protector - which is open at the end, just beyond the tip to allow for air flow but still protect it has been on there for four days, and Remmy hasn't attempted to get it off.

So, we are assuming it's comfortable and not too tight. In the meantime, he's been his usual wagging, nutty self, and periodic tail tip checks have shown that it's still looking good despite whacking it all over the house. This is the same neoprene tubing we found in the house, which you can buy separately. Any piece of neoprene will do, but this is nice because it's already formed into a tube. HOWEVER. we did cut the tubing all the way open along the side. We didn't attempt to shove it over the tip of the tail. Black Hydration Pack Insulated Drink Tube Cover. Medical tape adheres well to the neoprene and is nice and flexible. It's also fairly easy to tear off once you are done wrapping and doesn't peel off easily, making it harder for a dog to nibble off.

Simple Steps to Patch Up a Bleeding Tail

Simple, that is, if you can get your dog to lie still for a few minutes.

Remmy did require being lay upon to get him to calm down and hold still long enough for us to take care of the wound, but even once he was relaxed, canine nurse Jazzy got in on the action. So, next time and w фre pretty sure there will be a next time once we remove this dressing, Jazzy will be removed from the room during this short process.

1. Clean the wound with either warm water and a mild soap or some type of wound cleanser. Even contact lens solution will work, so I've heard.

2. Let the tip of the tail air-dry for a minute, then treat with antibacterial spray and, even better, add some Bag-Balm after that. Cut a piece of neoprene at least three inches long. If it's tubing like we used, I'd cut the tube open rather than try to force it onto the tail over the tip.

3. Place the neoprene around the tail, allowing it to extend roughly half an inch beyond the tip. Use medical tape to wrap and secure the neoprene securely but not too tightly. We found we were able to really get it snug without it seeming to bother our dog. The neoprene provided enough padding that the tape didn't constrict his tail.

4. Don't tape over the open end of the neoprene. Check the tail daily for any sign of infection. If the tail doesn't quickly appear to be healing or if the wound looks "substantial" once you have cleaned it and can get a good look at it & contact your vet. Minor tail wounds can bleed a lot, so clean it well and get a good look at it to determine the extent of the cut or split.


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You will need.
Old or new duckboard.
Sandpaper (if board is old).
Paint in your favourite colour.
White paint.
Paint brush.
Craft paint sealer.

The directions:
1. Sand down your old duckboard to get a smooth finish to the wooden slats on top. Clean off all residue. You don't need to do this if board is new.

2. Mix your paints - to get the ombre effect you will need the full colour for Slat #1, a light shade - your original colour mixed with white, for Slat #2 and white paint for Slat #3. Feel free to experiment if you want to paint every slat. I just liked the rustic feel by leaving the remaining slats.

3. Coat each slat with a number of coats, allowing each coat to fully dry before the next, until you reach desired coverage.

4. Apply a craft paint sealant to all painted slats.

Adhesive letter stencils
Dauber set - mini sponges on handled tips
Metallic Glass Paint
Snowflake adhesive silkscreens
Handled squeegee brushes
Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint in "Wedding Cake" white

We added personalization to both the dog bowls and placemat with letter adhesive stencils from Martha Stewart Crafts. Adhesives make everything better, including letter spacing! Plus you can reuse them over and over. Simply position stencils on your item and lightly press small dauber sponge dipped in paint over stencil. Let paint sit for a few minutes and then peel off the stencils. For our placemat, we applied snowflake adhesive silkscreens randomly to a 10.5 X 22" piece of fabric. These measurements were based on Sebastian's eating area. Placemat can also be square, shaped like a bone, etc! Use Multi-Surface Acrylic Craft Paint for fabric application. Start by squirting some of the paint directly onto the stencil and then use a handled squeegee for an even spread.

1. Apply an iron-on vinyl sheet to top of entire surface.

2. Cut another 10.5 X 22" piece of fabric for bottom of placemat.

3. Pin bottom piece to top piece with vinyl right sides together.

4. Sew them with a 1/4" seam allowance and leave at least a 3-4" opening.

6. Turn place mat right side out through 3" opening.

9. Topstitch entire placemat in thread color of your choice.


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Allison Oropallo

Have you ever thought about life through a dog's eye? Windows aren't made so dogs can see the outdoors, except for Great Danes. My Basset Hound stands on his short hind legs with his front legs resting on the windowsill just to get a glimpse of the outside world. He has done this quite a bit for a long time, but this weekend I decided that I was going to make his dreams come true. I started by rummaging around the basement for scraps of wood. I had an idea of a window seat and it was very simple. I took all my measurements and made my cuts. The platform is made out of plywood. The two legs are made out of two-by-fours.

I then added a 1-inch lip around the side to protect him from slipping off during one of his deep sleeps. You can customize to your dogs liking. I have pocket windows in my house so I didn't even have to attach the seat to the windowsill - you may need to do this depending on what your windowsill is like. Lastly, I made a little mattress out of mattress pads and a blanket. He already had a set of doggy stairs, so I set them next to the new window seat. He goes up there every morning to watch the morning traffic and to soak up the sun. He even sleeps there some nights. He absolutely loves that window spot. I thought I would spread the word to all of my readers. Making your dog happy will make everyone happy. Enjoy!


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Wondering what to stuff inside of your dog's Kong toy?
The following dog recipes make delicious treats, whether you decide to stuff them inside a Kong toy, or just serve them up as special homemade treats for your dog - anytime! You can either make up your own Kong recipes (based on your dog's personal tastes) using a combination of 2 or more pet friendly foods, or you can rely on pre-tested fillings that have worked well for others.

Following are some great Kong recipes that have worked well for other dog owners. That said, use your own judgment in deciding whether or not to fill your dog's Kong toy with human foods.

Smear some peanut butter on a slice of bread. Fold up the bread and cram it into the Kong. Freeze & serve.

Use your finger to coat the inside of the Kong with something sticky, like peanut butter or honey, then toss medium sized dog treats inside - the kind that barely fit inside the hole and are hard to get out.

Try microwaving some peanut butter or cheese first - this makes it runny and easy to pour into the KONG and leaves very little to waste. Then layer with another food item. Then freeze. The microwaved peanut butter & cheese fills every crack and crevice inside the Kong acting as a glue around the other ingredients making it much more challenging for your dog.

For the simplest Kong treat of all, just smear a little peanut butter or honey around the inside of the Kong. You'd be surprised how long your dog will work at this simple little treat.

Moisten your dog's dry kibble, either with water, or with some much more flavorful low salt broth. Then spoon it into the Kong toy. Freeze & serve.

Cram a small piece of dog biscuit or a dog liver treat, into the small hole of the Kong. Smear a little honey or Kong Stuff 'n product around the inside. Fill it up with dry dog food. Then block the big hole with dog biscuits placed sideways inside. Make sure they are not impossible for your dog to get out, though.

More Recipes for Kong Toys
CHEESY ELVIS: Combine a ripe banana, 3 spoonfuls of peanut butter, and a slice of cheese. Mix until blended well. Fill the Kong and freeze.

MONSTER MASH: Instant mashed potatoes without the salt, or leftover mashed potatoes from dinner, mixed with crushed dog biscuits.

DOGGIE OMLET: Combine a scrambled egg, some beef, yogurt, cheese and mashed potatoes all together

FIBER CRUNCH: Combine bran cereal with some peanut butter.

KONGSICLE JERKY POPS: The equivalent of a popsicle. Seal the small hole of the Kong toy with peanut butter. Fill to the rim with water and a pinch of bouillon or just use chicken broth instead. Place a stick or two of beef jerky inside. Freeze. This one gets messy in a hurry, so it's recommended only for outdoor use.

GOOEY CHEERIOS: Combine cheerios and peanut butter. Freeze.

FRUIT KITTY NOODLES: Mix together some dried fruit, cooked pasta, banana and dry cat food.

BANANA YOGURT: Plain yogurt and mashed bananas. You can also add a little peanut butter or other fruits. Then freeze it.

PEANUT BUTTER GLUE: Fill Kong 1/3rd full of dog food. Pour in melted peanut butter after it has cooled from microwaving. Add more dog food, followed by more melted peanut butter until the Kong toy is full. Freeze until solid.

ROCK-HARD KIBBLE: Combine some of your dog's regular food with cream cheese, which acts as a cement, keeping everything inside.

STICKY BREAD: Smear peanut butter on a piece of bread. Fold it over and stuff inside the Kong. Mix together plain yogurt with some fruits or vegetables (carrots, celery) and pour inside. Freeze. The yogurt sticks to the bread holding everything together.

APPLE PIE: Squeeze a small piece of apple into the tiny hole. Fill the Kong with a small amount of plain yogurt. Add a few slices of mashed banana, more apple, yogurt, banana. End with a slice of banana and chunk of peanut butter on the top.

CRUNCH 'N MUNCH: Combine crumbled rice cakes and dried fruit with some cream cheese and plain croutons.

PUMPKIN PIECES: Combine some plain yogurt, canned pumpkin, and cooked rice in a small baggie. Mix well inside the bag, then snip off a corner of the bag and squeeze it into the Kong toy. Freeze.

KIBBLE-SICLE: Put a glob of peanut butter into the Kong first. Then add some dry dog food. Pour in some chicken broth. Add some more peanut butter, followed by more dry dogfood. End with another glob of peanut butter at the very top. Freeze until solid.

OLD STANDBY: Soak some of your dog's regular food in water or chicken broth for a brief time before placing it inside a Kong, then freeze.

MUTT & CHEESE: Melt a cube of Velveeta cheese in the microwave, until it's gooey not runny. Fill the Kong toy with cooked noodles. Pour cheese over noodles.

FROZEN BONZ: Mix up some bananas, unsweetened applesauce, oatmeal, peanut butter, and plain yogurt. Freeze.

CHEEZY DELIGHT: Combine small chunks of cheese or cheese spread with some dry dogfood and microwave until the cheese melts. Let it cool completely, then pour into the Kong toy. Freeze thoroughly.


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For Surface Odors
The ideas below are intended for deeply ingrained odors. If you just need to get rid of a little "surface pet odor", then this excellent recipe should work just about perfectly: Put 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a clean spray bottle. Once the fizzing stops, add 2 cups of warm water. Wait to make sure that there is no more foaming, and then put in the spray attachment. Shake before using.

Dog Body Odor in Soft Furnishings
Our dog is not allowed on the furniture, and she would never dream of getting up on the couch when we are home. Unfortunately she has no such issues if we are out of the house. As a result, I have a beautiful couch that seems to acquire "doggy odor". Our current couch fabric needs to be dry-cleaned, so once every year or so we have someone come in and professionally dry-clean the furniture. Although I would prefer a homemade pet odor removal technique, that's what we have to do. It works just fine. Our previous couch was water-safe, so we borrowed a carpet cleaner and cleaned it, always following the cleaning with a warm water and white vinegar rinse.

Dog Body Odor in Carpets
Doggy odor in the carpet is an unpleasant thing - especially if you own a water dog. However, these can be removed using the appropriate cleaning technique for your carpet. If you cleaning the carpets yourself, don't forget that all important final rinse with a little white vinegar in plain water. These simple techniques work quite well for basic dog odor removal.

Dog Ear Odor
Dog ear odor is normally the result of an infestation of mites or infection. If your dog's ears have an unpleaseant odor, you need to take them to the vet. Untreated ear issues can lead to deafness.

Pet Urine Odor in Soft Furnishings
You can follow the same basic instructions as for carpets : for upholstered furnishings that are water-safe, and even for mattresses. The only possible complications for upholstered furnishings are the following: If the fabric is not water safe - you will have to call in professionals. Be sure to tell them that there are pet urine stains and odors on the furniture. There is a possibility that a cushion or two may have to be re-stuffed if the extraction process did not get the smell out of the foam.

Pet Urine Odor in Concrete
I tried washing and scrubbing and pouring vinegar on it, and an enzyme-based deodorizer, but the smell just kept on coming back. Finally I gave up and tried another approach, and it worked. Scrub the concrete with hot water and a little dish soap. Allow to soak for a few minutes, then dry it off with an old towel. Get some of that carpet cleaner designed specifically for removing pet odor and spray it on liberally. Let it soak in and dry. Once it is dry, spray it down with hot water and wipe it up with an old towel or paper towels. Let dry, and repeat. Once the smell is gone, rinse the entire area with hot water and a little white vinegar to remove any chemical residues. Is your dog fond of peeing on the carpet? They usually are! Not to worry - this anti-bacterial, disinfecting carpet powder with a lovely floral and refreshing aroma will dispel all evidence of unsightly stenches!


1. DIY Carpet Powder for Pet Urine
8oz glass container or cheese shaker
1 cup of baking soda
10 drops of lavender
10 drops of orange
5 drops of cedarwood

In a cheese shaker jar (8 oz or more), pour in 1 cup of baking soda and add in the essential oils

Screw on the lid and shake to get all the oils mixed in with the soda.

Allow the powder to rest for 20 minutes so that the oils can get absorbed into the baking soda crystals.

Now dust this carpet powder all over the areas of the carpet where there are urine stains.

Allow the powder to absorb the odors for at least 20 minutes.

2. Non-Toxic Room Spray
8 oz spray bottle
0.5 cup of rubbing alcohol
0.5 cup of hydrosol or distilled water
10 drops of orange oil
10 drops of rosemary oil
5 drops of lemongrass oil

Measure out and carefully pour all the above ingredients into your spray bottle.

Close the lid and shake gently to mix all the ingredients.

Now spray 4 - 5 times around the room you want to freshen up.

Be careful not to spray near your eyes or your dogs' eyes.

3. Bad Odor Absorbent
You can make this easy bad odor absorbent jars that you can keep in strategic corners of the room. They will suck out bad odor from the air and dispel aromatic essential oils into the atmosphere. What you need:

Cheese cloth and string - to cover the jars
3 - 4 small 2 oz glass jars
Pyrex measuring cup

1 cup of baking soda
10 drops of eucalyptus oil
5 drops of peppermint oil
5 drops of lemon essential oil

In a measuring cup, pour the baking soda and drop in the essential oils.

Stir them all in using the back of a spatula.

Now transfer this essential oil-infused baking soda into your small glass jars, dividing them equally.

Cut out your cheese cloth to make covers for the jars so that nothing drops into them.

Use strings to wrap around the cheesecloth and secure them to the mouth of the jar.

Now your odor absorbers are ready! Place them in strategic corners of the room to absorb malodors through the day and night.

Tip: You can also place these in the bathroom to get rid of bathroom smells. Replace the baking soda and essential oils every 2 weeks.

4. Stink-Be-Gone Blend
Make a batch of this pet-safe essential oil blend that you can diffuse in your rooms. What you need:
A BPA-free diffuser
30 drops of lavender
30 drops of orange
10 drops of eucalyptus
10 drops of peppermint
Amber dropper bottle

In an amber dropper bottle, measure out and pour the essential oils in.

Screw on the lid and shake the bottle to blend all the essential oils together.

You can diffuse 1 - 3 drops of this blend for not more than 1 hour every day.

5. Refreshing Bath Time
A bath is a great way to keep your pets smelling fresh. What you need:

2 tablespoons of sulfate-free shampoo or liquid castile soap

4 drops of lavender essential oil

When giving your dog a bath, simply add some lavender essential oil to your dog shampoo or liquid castile soap to neutralize the odors that are lodged within the fur. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

This also works as a natural flea and tick repellent!


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Homemade dog perfume is a great way to keep your dog smelling great, but the real advantage is in the health benefits! Learn how to make dog perfume to suit your dog's needs, whether it be for healing your dog's dry skin, making them feel less anxious, or repelling fleas and ticks. Your dog can smell great and be healthy at the exact same time! If your dog is at risk for fleas and ticks, try making a dog perfume out of lavender, eucalyptus, or lemon essential oils. Simply apply 3-6 drops of any of these scents - any citrus works to repel fleas and ticks if you would rather use orange or lime instead of lemon to a 12 ounce spray bottle, add water, and spritz away! For a dog with dry skin who is in need of tick and flea repelling, go with citrus - those oils are great for dry skin. Vanilla mixed with lavender is a great perfume for dogs who are nervous or anxious, to make them feel more calm.

Add essential oils to your preference. For irritated skin and a dog who is nervous, add a drop or so of vanilla to eucalyptus to calm your dog and keep them from itching at the same time.

Super itchy dogs can be relieved and still have their great perfume scent by adding a few drops of lavender, citrus, or eucalyptus oils to 1/4 cup of baking soda, sprinkled on the dog and then combed out. The baking soda will soothe your dog's skin, and the essential oils will leave their scent behind. Use caution with scents like cinnamon, peppermint, and other "hot" essential oils. You may enjoy the smell, but they may burn or irritate your dog. However, peppermint is calming and soothes irritated skin if a drop or so is added to 12 ounces of water in a spray bottle. Just be careful with the use of peppermint. Too much will make your dog uncomfortable, but a little bit can certainly work wonders.


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Mosquitoes are a bother to humans, especially during summer months and in wet or humid climates. For humans, usually mosquitoes are dealt with by using citronella candles and bug spray. However, mosquitoes can be a nuisance for your dog as well. Treatments used on humans are not recommended. Instead, try natural remedies you can make at home to keep your furry friend safe from mosquitoes.

Citrus Peels
Citrus is a natural repellent to mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Each time you use a citrus fruit, keep the peels for use in this homemade dog-friendly solution. Fill a pot with leftover citrus peels, such as from used lemons, oranges and grapefruit. Cover the peels with water and bring to a boil on the stove. Remove from the heat and allow the citrus water to cool. Discard the peels. Citrus water will not only make your dog smell fresh, it will act as a natural deterrent to mosquitoes and fleas.

Essential Oils
Essential oils will keep your dog smelling fresh and safe from mosquito bites. Consider adding in a few drops of essential oils to the citrus water mixture. Some oils are natural mosquito repellents. These include peppermint, geranium, sage, lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass, sandalwood and patchouli. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake well to combine.

It may be a favorite of cats, but it is not liked by mosquitoes. To use the catnip, sprinkle a few loose pieces into the still warm citrus water and let it steep as it cools. Pour into a spray bottle.

To Use
Before using the homemade repellents, bathe your dog. After you rinse away any soap, spray him with the citrus water, catnip or essential oil mixture. Spray along the dog's back, legs, tail and hindquarters, as well as around his neck and ears where mosquitoes like to bite. Also, rub a few drops of essential oil directly onto the dog's shoulder blades. This is an area where your dog cannot lick. The smell of these oils can be a powerful deterrent against mosquitoes, fleas and other insects. Periodically treat your dog with more citrus water or essential oils as needed. Keep a spray bottle full of extra mosquito repellent solution and spritz before taking him out on walks or letting him explore.


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Pet dogs often contract ear infections for a variety of reasons. There are many ear cleaning solutions which are available in the market for treating the same. If your dog is often affected by ear infections, and you have used the ear cleaning solution prescribed by the vet but it has made no difference, you should try making the solution at home. Most treatment procedures for ear infections are expensive as the cost includes a visit to the vet, along with the professional fees charged for treatment, dos and don'ts of the treatment, and the actual medication to be purchased. The homemade solution thus proves to be inexpensive and more effective.

The ingredients required for making this cleaning solution are boric acid powder, white vinegar, isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol, and antiseptic solution, also known as "Povidone-Iodine" solution. There are many versions of antiseptic solutions in the market, but remember, you should not use antiseptic scrubs since scrub detergents are added to them. An empty bottle will also be required to store the solution. Choose a bottle with an applicator cap which will enable you to apply the solution directly into your dog's ears. The bottle should have ounce markings on its exterior, as these will help you know the amount of solution you are using in each ear. Boric acid is used to manufacture illegal drugs, hence there are regulations on its usage. There is a possibility that you will have to buy boric acid powder over the counter.

1. In the empty bottle, take 6 ounces of rubbing alcohol. To get the exact measurements of the alcohol, you can use the measurements on the bottle.

2. Add half a tablespoon of boric acid powder to the alcohol. Be careful while adding so that the powder does not fall on your clothes or hands. In case it does, wash it off immediately. A funnel made of paper can be used for the adding process. Close the bottle with the cap and then shake it till the boric acid powder dissolves in the alcohol. This may take a while.

3. After the powder dissolves, add two ounces of white vinegar to the solution in the bottle. Again, shake the bottle well.

4. Finally, add two teaspoons of antiseptic solution to the mixture. The solution is ready. The end product will have a color similar to that of iced tea.

The most difficult part of the procedure is to get hold of your dog and spray the solution into his/her ear, so take the help of another person. One person will have to hold the dog and the other will be required to spray the solution in the dog's ear. Fill up the ear canal with the solution, and then cover the ear and shake it with your hand. Let the solution slosh about in the ear. If you do not undertake this step, your dog will shake his/her head and the solution will come out of the ear. Use the solution till the infection subsides. Then you can use it once a week.


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If you have a dog that spends a good amount of time outside, this is a perfect solution to that musty sweat smell your four legged family member may have after a day of play. Not only will your dog LOVE you after using this quick Homemade Dog Shampoo and Cleaner, but so will your wallet! Simply take 1 cup dish soap, 1 cup white vinegar and 1 quart of warm water and mix. Make sure that it's all mixed up, and if you want to get fancy put in an old shampoo bottle, or just mix in with bath water for your dog and lather up that stinky puppy. Let it works its magic for about five minutes, then rinse.

Using some simple ingredients, one can craft a very high quality dog shampoo that smells wonderful, cleans effectively, and moisturizes your dog to cut down on itching. You will want to use it on your own hair and skin!

1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup ground Oatmeal
1 T Lemon Juice
1 T Glycerin
1 T olive oil
2 T water
1 T liquid dish soap
1/4 cup Aloe

Quick Note on Soap
The base of the shampoo is going to be liquid Castile soap. Soap is made from two things: Lye and oil/fat.


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You can store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

2 Tablespoon Baking Soda
a pinch of Salt - Maybe like 10-15 grains
1 Tablespoon Gelatin
6 drops Peppermint Oil

Note: - I used Gelatin because I didn't have any Glycerin. Using Gelatin is just as effective, it is just frowned upon because it is made from animal products. I am an animal lover but I had some in my cupboard, which is why I used it. It's better than letting it go to waste. Plus, if I was going to go to the store for Glycerin, I could have just bought the regular dog toothpaste.

Go Herbal with Turmeric, Parsley and Kelp
With a natural base of coconut oil, this homemade dog toothpaste recipe from K9 Instinct uses turmeric as a natural tooth whitener, parsley as an antibacterial agent and kelp to help with plaque removal. First, make sure your coconut oil is soft and pliable by using a hot-water bath and a bowl. Mix in the turmeric, kelp and parsley flakes and store in the fridge between uses. To use, gently warm up the mixture to give your dog a safe and natural teeth cleaning. Total prep time: 5 minutes.

Mix Beef Bouillon Cube, Baking Soda, Salt and Parsley
This natural dog toothpaste recipe from Organic Authority is flavored with beef bouillon, so you know your dog will love it. With a baking soda and salt base, there are many gentle granules to keep those canine choppers clean. Use a small amount of water to make the paste, and don't forget the dried or fresh parsley to keep your dog's breath extra fresh. Total prep time: 10 minutes.

Add Cinnamon and Coconut Oil
With just four ingredients, this super-easy dog toothpaste from Dog Notebook is made from a bouillon cube, coconut oil, baking soda and cinnamon. Total prep time: 5 minutes.

Blend Together All the Above Plus Mint
For this toothpaste from Live, Pant, Play, blend these ingredients: coconut oil, cinnamon (a tasty exfoliator), a chicken or beef bouillon cube, baking soda and fresh mint leaves for extra-fresh minty breath. Use a pea-sized amount to brush your dog's teeth and store the extra mixture in the fridge for a few weeks. Total prep time: 10 minutes.

Add Cloves and Tea Tree Oil
Using the simple, step-by-step instructions from Ali Does It Herself, add a pinch of ground cloves, which is a natural anti-parasitic and you can keep your doggie's breath fresh. With flavoring from the bouillon cube - choose any flavor your dog likes: pork, veggie, chicken or beef, and coconut oil, this will be a toothpaste your dog will truly enjoy licking off his lips. Total prep time: 10 minutes.

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The smell and taste of bitter apple spray discourages dogs from chewing on your stuff, but frequently buying the product at pet stores can be pricy. If the non-toxic spray keeps your pooch from chewing that copy of "Brothers Karamazov" you just bought or your favorite pair of boots, consider making your own at a fraction of the cost.

Empty Spray Bottle
Purchase an empty spray bottle at a dollar or discount shop. Chain pharmacies carry them as well, typically in the cosmetics or hair accessories aisles. If you re-purpose a bottle of cleaner, rinse it out thoroughly with hot water and wash it out with soap. No traces of substances that may be toxic to your pooch should remain.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is the base for most bitter apple sprays. You can spray it on items you don't want your dog to chew on without damaging them. The tart taste serves as a repellent. Pour 2 cups of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of white vinegar into the spray bottle. Shake well, and spray on all items you want your dog to stop chewing.

Lemon Juice
If you don't have apple cider vinegar handy, lemon juice works, too. Pour 2 cups of lemon juice and 1 cup of white vinegar into the spray bottle. Shake well, and spray. The lemon juice will also taste tart, and discourage your beastie from chewing up the table legs.

Spray Away
Reapply the deterrent spray to your things every week. If you forget, then the taste will fade and Fido will go back to chewing up that sofa. Be consistent in reapplication so your four-legged pal gets the message.

Drive the Message Home
Your clever pooch is learning to not chew on your things because they taste bad. Reinforce his learning when you catch him in the act. Stand tall, hold out your finger and give him a stern "No!" Getting upset will only serve to confuse him, and he might even misinterpret your yelling as an invitation to play. If you don't catch him in the act, hold up your chewed-up sneaker and say "No!" Using the deterrent spray in tandem with training is an effective way to get your pooch to not chew up all your worldly possessions. Bitter apple spray is not a substitute for behavioral training.

Warnings and Considerations
Never spray repellent, even non-toxic homemade deterrent spray into your dog's eyes. And never apply even homemade deterrent spray onto your dog's skin, in cases where you want to prevent him from chewing on himself, such as his tail or paws. Skin could be raw or broken and will need to be reviewed by a veterinarian to see if topical antibiotics are required. Consider, too, that all repellants are not created equal, and bitter apple spray does not discourage all dogs from chewing. Additionally, some dogs become tolerant to the taste.


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You shouldn't need to muzzle your dog often. However, muzzling your pooch is appropriate in some situations, like if you're unsure if your dog will act aggressively in a new environment. While muzzles come in various qualities and styles, many of them are expensive. Instead, purchase a few cheap materials to make a custom-made muzzle for your furry friend, or use materials you already have at home to make an emergency one. The ability to make a homemade muzzle quickly out of common materials found in your house is a handy skill to have in emergencies. An injured or frightened dog will often bite. Being able to prevent this and keep your dog under control could save injury to yourself, your family or your dog.

1. Tie a slipknot in the center of the rope to make a muzzle. This knot should be large enough to slip over your dog's nose and mouth and tighten down.

2. Calm your dog before muzzling it. It's easy for an agitated dog to turn and bite. Try to stand behind the dog, speak calmly to it and let it know where you are at all times. Gently slip the muzzle over the dog's nose and mouth. Arrange it so that the muzzle is closer to the eyes.

3. Quickly tighten the muzzle. Wrap the trailing ends of the rope around the dog's mouth once or twice to secure it. Then tie the ends behind the dog's head under the ears. Tie the muzzle in a bow rather than a knot so that it can be quickly removed if need be.

4. Watch your pet carefully. If it's having trouble breathing, passes out or may vomit, remove the muzzle.

1. Take Measurements - To make a custom-made muzzle, take the measurements of your dog's snout. Measure around the dog's snout, along the jawline to behind the ear, and across the back of the head. Mark these measurements on the nylon material. Add 1 inch to the snout and jawline measurements. Add 6 inches to the piece for across the back of the head. These additions allow for hemming and attaching the buckle.

2. Cut the Pieces - Next, cut the nylon webbing according to the measurements. Remember to cut the piece for across the dog's head in half. This is where the buckle will be attached.

3. Assemble the Muzzle - Sew the nylon-webbing snout piece in a circle. Next, attach the jawline pieces on either side of the snout piece. Thread each outside end of the buckle 3 inches on each piece of the head piece. Then, fold the nylon webbing back over itself and sew it to secure the buckle in place. Do this on each of the top halves. Finally, sew each half to the already sewn muzzle. The best way to make the hems on all the places stitched together is to sew a rectangle, and then make an "X" pattern in the center of the rectangle.

4. Complete the Final Touches - After the muzzle is completely assembled, ensure that it fits properly. Gently put your canine into the muzzle. Feel free to add embellishments.

1. Find Materials - To make a muzzle quickly, all you need is a long piece of cloth. Nylon leashes, neck ties, and pantyhose are just a few examples of materials that you can use.

2. Make a Loop - Loosely make a loop in the center of the material. Then, have a helper hold the animal by the head, or stand behind the dog's head and over its body to prevent it from biting. Only do this if you are sure of the animal's temper. Do not try to approach or muzzle a stray dog or one of an unknown temper.

3. Slip the Dog's Nose Through - Gently slip the dog's nose and snout through the loop. Then, tighten the loop, so that it's snug but not tight. Pull the ends up behind the dog's ears.

4. Tie the Material - Tie the material into a bow to snugly secure the muzzle. Use a bow instead of a knot to ensure a quick release if necessary.

Warning: Some dogs don't like their faces or mouths touched, and touching them can make some canines aggressive. To prevent being bitten, know the dog's temper before trying to muzzle it. Always take the appropriate safety precautions when working with any animal, especially one of unknown habits or temper.


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Chrystal Mahan

There is no doubt about it - a new puppy or older dog being brought into your home is going to need some training. An easy way to initiate a training program is to incorporate a dog whistle. Dog whistles have been around since the turn of the century. First used for training hunting dogs, then used for agility training, dog whistles are now used for even basic dog training. Many opt for the dog whistle because it works at long distances. If your dog runs, you still have your whistle, and chances are it will bring that dog right back home. There's no need to buy one, however, because with just a few simple steps you can make your own and Fido will be obeying in a matter of time.

1. Cut the willow tree branch into an 8- to 10-inch section. You do not want it too short or too long as this will make pitch more susceptible to human ears.

2. Cut the width of the branch no wider than your thumb. Anything fatter and your whistle will not have a good, high pitch and it could make the whistle uncomfortable in your mouth.

3. To form your mouthpiece, slice one end of the branch at an angle.

4. Cut off that pointy and sharp part - you won't want this in your mouth.

5. Place your knife perpendicular to the mouth part to pierce a hole.

6. Using the knife, cut the other side of the hole at a small angle.

7. Keep this hole small. You can make it bigger if you need to, but you cannot add to it if you take too much away.

8. Cut the branch about 6 inches from the end of the mouthpiece.

9. Cut a circle around the inside perimeter of the branch. The goal is to hollow out the inside of the branch.

10. Using the knife blade, insert it into the center and pull out the inside of the branch. This will seem like you are pulling out a cork.

11. Carve a trench in the top of your whistle. Start small. If you want a deeper sounding whistle, make the trench deep. Higher pitched whistles will have a shallow trench.

12. Mark a small notch below the mouthpiece but before the trench.

13. Wet the newly made dog whistle to remove any rough pieces. Feel free to sand any rough edges.

14. Blow. Your whistle is ready to be used. Make any modifications as needed!


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Holly Cooper

Going on a trip? Plan on taking along the pups? Of course you are. Check out these awesome DIY projects for easy and practical ways to travel with your fuzz butt.

Silhouette Tote

Doggy Wallet


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All hardware and tools are available at hardware stores. Parchment paper is available at grocery stores. Biodegradable waste bags are available at pet stores.

Required Materials
Plastic shopping bags
Parchment paper
Metal ruler
Pinking shears
Size "0" grommet and grommet setter
1/2-inch loose-leaf ring
Swivel-eye snap hook
Biodegradable dog-waste bag

Cut a plastic bag or several plastic bags into eight 5-by-7-inch pieces.

Stack four of the cut plastic pieces and place between two pieces of parchment paper. Make sure all layers of plastic are flat, with edges aligned. With an iron set on the wool/silk setting, iron the stack, fusing the plastic together within the parchment. Repeat with the other four plastic pieces. You may need to let the piece cool and iron again a few times to fuse completely.

Cut out an applique - a shape, a letter, or a silhouette from a plastic bag of a different color for the front of the pouch. Place the shape on the fused plastic piece that will be the front of your bag. Place a piece of parchment paper over the whole thing and press with the iron to fuse.

Trim both pieces down to 4 by 6 inches. Layer the pieces on top of each other on a piece of parchment paper. Put a metal ruler along one long edge, leaving 1/8 inch of the edge exposed. Place a piece of parchment on top and iron to create a seam along that edge, taking care not to iron the rest of the bag together. Repeat for the other long edge and the bottom of the bag.

Use pinking shears to cut the top of the bag, creating a decorative edge. Add a grommet to the top corner and attach a snap hook with a loose-leaf ring. Fill with biodegradable dog-waste bags.


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Estrus cycles can be stressful on both you and your dog. At the beginning of the estrus cycle, your dog will experience a bloody discharge, but homemade dog diapers can help minimize the mess.

Modify a Disposable Diaper!
Dog diapers are commercially available, but can put a sizable dent in your wallet, despite their value in reducing the fallout of a messy heat cycle. Consider modifying a baby diaper or toddler pull-up diaper to meet your dog's needs. Put the diaper on your dog before cutting a hole for her tail. This will reduce the likelihood that you might get it wrong, and have to discard the first diaper. Cut a small hole through which you can gently pull your dog's tail. Fasten the diaper as you would if you were putting it on a baby, making sure not to make the diaper too tight or too loose.

Adapt Cloth Alternatives
Consider creating a reusable diaper. You can create this from an old shirt or towel, but you won't get the absorption you would from a disposable diaper. Cut the tail hole as you would with the disposable diaper option. You will need to check your dog frequently, or consider adding a panty liner or mini or maxi pad to the diaper, which can be changed when necessary. Toddler or children's underwear can be substituted for a homemade diaper. The elastic waist will avoid the need to use tape or pins, which could become unfastened and harm your dog.

Understand Estrus
The canine estrus cycle is a naturally occurring brief period of time, spanning approximately 18 days, during which a female dog ovulates and is receptive to being impregnated by a male dog. Similar to that of human menstruation, the female dog will bleed during the first phase of the estrus period. Once your dog becomes receptive to being impregnated, the bleeding will taper to a straw-colored discharge. Female dogs enter their heat cycle at approximately 6 months to 24 months of age, earliest for small breed dogs, and later for large breeds. In addition to the presence of a discharge, hormonal alterations can cause changes in your dog's behavior, such as restlessness, frequent urination and tension in her rear legs.

Avoid Estrus
Consult with your dog's veterinarian to learn about the benefits of spaying, which will stop your dog's estrus cycle. Spaying your dog before her first estrus cycle can help avoid unwanted pregnancy and reduce canine cancers, such as uterine, ovarian and mammary cancers. Additionally, spaying and neutering is the best method to avoid contributing to the overpopulation of unwanted and homeless dogs.


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Measuring tape
Fabric marker
Sewing needle
Sewing machine

STEP 1: Lay out your fabric flat and from one of the corners measure 15 1/2 inches in both directions. Mark it with your fabric marker.

STEP 2: From the corner you measured, fold your fabric over at your marks to form a double layered triangle and pin in place.

STEP 3: Now cut out your triangle of fabric.

STEP 4: At this point make sure your fabric has the right sides facing each other. My fabric was the same on both sides. Re-pin your fabric so that the needles go the other direction. This will let you sew right over them.

STEP 5: Using a sewing machine, sew about a 1/4″ seam on the two open ends leaving about a 2″ opening so you can turn it inside out. I found it was better to sew all three corners closed and leave the opening a few inches from a corner.

STEP 6: Turn your fabric right side out.

STEP 7: Sew all the way around the bandana again to create a nice finished edged look.

STEP 8: Fold the corners over one another and sew a button on by hand to hold them together. I have done a button hole before but then never ended up using it. It's easier just to slide it on your pup so this time the button just holds the bandana together and adds a little bit of cuteness. This size fits my dog perfectly. His neck is 13 1/2 inches. You can adjust the measurements based on the size of your dog.


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DIY a whelping box for your furball! There are many materials that you can use to make a box. Here are the steps on how you should do it:

Step 1
Measure and cut all the lengths that you need. On one of the sides, cut out an entrance- the size of this will depend on the breed of the mother. You will need to estimate how low does it need to be for her to easily get in and out.

Step 2
If you are using plastic, use the 90-degree L-Shape trim to glue the sides together. Glue along the inside of the trim and attach one side to each length of the trim. If you are using wood, nail the sides together.

Step 3
Attach the base, you could glue the trim on the inside or the outside of the box, again, if you are using wood, just nail the sides to base.

Step 4
Attach the rail, if using plastic, glue one side of the plastic trim to the side of the box around 4 inches from the base. If using wood, glue the railing to the sides of the box around 4 inches from the base.

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With these do-it-yourself creations, you will be able to build a simple, attractive, and cheap dog gates. Talking about the perfect solution for restricting your pets and claiming your space at home, choose the best dog gates for you.


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A dog's home is his castle, so there are some guidelines to consider when designing a dog kennel. Whether building or buying a new outside kennel run or re-building an old one, a gun dog owner can create a better final product by following guidelines developed through the experiences of many other canine caretakers. Deciding on a location is an important first step in building a kennel run because the place chosen will contribute directly to the design of the structure and influence the choice of materials and methods of construction in producing the final product. A kennel located far away from the owner's house will have different features from the run connected directly to an attached garage. Each location has advantages and shortcomings that need attention before design and construction begin. A kennel located several yards from a human dwelling has the advantage of separating people from dog noise & barking, dog odor - the smell of canine urine and feces and flies, attracted to dog urine and feces.

The possible disadvantages of this remote location include barking control, which is more difficult because the long distance makes a trip to the kennel for a correction time-consuming and inconvenient. Keeping the kennel clean is also a greater chore, requiring more time and effort as well as making a special water source easily available. Likewise, having lights for security or electricity for heat and/or air conditioning - yes, some dog enclosures have both, may require electrical service lines to be installed. With a remote location, the canine caretaker has a long distance to walk outside in all kinds of inclement conditions. Locating a kennel run closer to the house has the benefits of proximity in controlling nuisance barking voice commands for "quiet" usually can be given more easily and can more efficiently be enforced when the dog is in earshot. Kennel clean-up, likewise, is less trouble with water sources from the house near the run a garden hose is often in easy reach so that odor and insect issues are more quickly and effectively resolved.

The safety and security of a dog can be better maintained when the canine in question is in easy seeing distance as well. Any outside dog run should be narrow, 48 inches long and 12 or more feet in length, as the standard dimensions. Kennel run floors should be designed with enough slope so water will run off to avoid standing puddles. My kennel floor is also tilted toward a hand-dug "dry well" 48 inches wide by 3-foot deep, positioned at the far end and filled with 3 to 4-inch diameter stone aggregate. The purpose of the dry-well is to have a place for wash water to collect and drain under the loose rocks where odor is minimal and insects cannot get at the residue of feces and urine. A dog run directly connected to an attached garage can be convienet. Long walks to maintain the dog in inclement weather are unnecessary, water and electricity are easy to access and security is easier to ensure.

With doors at the far end of the kennel run, dogs have to stand in and walk through pee and poop when exiting and entering the run, scattering feces all over. Many gun dogs probably spend 95 percent of their lives in an outside kennel run, waiting for daily exercise, training and days in the field and on the water during hunting season. As such, we owe it to them to make their living quarters as comfortable and clean as possible. By implementing these suggestions, you should be able to provide your gun dog with a dog kennel he will be happy to call "home."


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