Saturday, April 30, 2016

April ~ Puppy Crazy

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I fear I am turning in to one of those pet people. You know, the ones who constantly take pictures of their pets and share them all of the time. Well, I guess getting a new puppy is sort of like having a new baby - at least in the picture department. ;) (I anticipated having babies and loved having babies far more for sure!) Anyway, I can't help but take pictures of this cute, little guy no matter how DIFFICULT the puppy stage is or no matter how much I DISLIKE dog messes. (So, kids, please remember the good puppy days Mama had, okay?)

And just so you know, I really don't mind seeing lots of pet pics. :) There are definitely worse things to see.

Yes, my month of April has been consumed with all things puppy. I keep telling myself, It's a good thing he's so cute! So, here's to all of Kylo's cuteness . . .

April 3 - Playing Ball

Kylo does like to play fetch, but we are still working on the release part. I think his favorite thing is chewing on the ball and trying to pull off all the green, fuzzy stuff.

April 10 - Relaxing After Walk

April 11 - Posing on the Porch

Awww, he's so handsome. Those ears, though!

April 18 - Ice King, Cousins, and Doggy Socialization

It's really fun to watch Kylo play with ice. Ice has has kept this puppy entertained on a few of the super warm days we've had so far. I have no idea why he likes to take his ice and jump onto this ratty, old chair which actually bit the dust a few days ago. 

Kylo was finally able to meet some of our kids' cousins and their 10-yr-old Australian Shepherd, Mary. Kylo acted a little shy at first but got over it pretty quickly. He mostly had fun exploring a new backyard with all kinds of fun toys, and he just about jumped into the pool a couple of times. Guess he's not afraid of water! I think Mary thought Kylo had way too much energy and tried to steer clear of him as much as she could.

April 19 - Giving In

Our original plan was to NOT allow a dog on ANY of our furniture. Because, well, it's gross. BUT, as you can see this puppy is napping on a couch. To make a long story short, we decided to let him up on our falling-apart couch. I've even cuddled with him on it a few times. It's hard not to, right? He's soft and cuddly, at least when he's sleeping. ;) The rest of our furniture is off limits!

April 20 - Frisbee and Pool Fun

Having a puppy is hard enough, but when Daddy's out of town for an entire week, it's 24/7, downright exhausting! So, I picked up a couple of pretty cheap items at Walmart to help us pass the time and keep Kylo busy.

He hasn't really caught on, yet, to catching the Frisbee as it's thrown, but, again, he likes to chase after it and chew on it. 

And then there's the kiddie pool . . .

Though timid for the first minute or so, Kylo had a blast playing in the $8 kiddie pool I found at Walmart. Kylo splashed, tried to chew and pull, played ball, and drank lots and lots of water in the pool. He even fell out a few times, which was quite funny. 

After a while, he started acting crazy: running to and fro, jumping in my rosemary bush, and even almost trampling the baby sprouts in my garden boxes. Time to put the pool away! We dried Kylo off, and I sent him inside with Shiloh so I could mow the grass. The rest of the day didn't go so well because of all the pool water he'd consumed. Accidents galore and even ruined his nice, big doggy bed. :( Sigh. Needless to say, we haven't attempted another pool day yet.

April 21 - First Time at Park

I can't believe I forgot to take pics of his first day at the park, but I guess I got caught up in talking with my friend instead. :) Anyway, this is Kylo playing with the fun, new toy that my friend and her daughter gave to him. 

Kylo was so curious about the bowl I used to hold his ice. When his ice was gone, he took the bowl and princely pranced around like he owned the place. Tupperware bowls make great hockey pucks but not so great chewing toys because, well, plastic can be dangerous. Once he broke through the bowl, he wasn't too happy that I had to take his new toy away. Won't be making a habit of letting him play with plastic bowls, but it was fun while it lasted.

April 24 - Exploring the Golf Course

So sweet ~ my girl and her puppy

Highlight of Kylo's golf course trek behind our house: finding a big ol' stick!

April 27 - That Face

This four-legged creature has messed up my perfect little schedule, ruined 2 rugs and his doggy bed, created tons more work/cleaning for me to do, made me cry, and I could go on and on. But, THAT FACE. Who couldn't love that face?

Kylo is 15 weeks now, and, truly, I guess having him is getting a little easier now than it was 6 weeks ago. Though I still don't consider myself a pet person, he's eased his way into my heart. 

He's pretty much potty trained and goes to the door when he needs to do business. He can sit, lay down, shake, and stay & come on command. He is walking pretty well on a leash but almost can't contain his excitement when he sees kids. I just can't wait for him to stop wanting to bite all of the time. Grrrr. 

Even though everyone likes to playfully joke that mama doesn't like the poor puppy, truth is, I really do. Well, most of the time.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Easy Crock Pot Italian Meatball Subs

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Recently, I was inspired by this recipe that I found on Pinterest to make some delicious meatball subs. Only I didn't want to make my own meatballs from scratch. I home make a lot of stuff, but I didn't feel like going to the trouble on this one. Quick and easy is what I wanted, so I used frozen meatballs instead. Super yummy! The whole family liked them, even my son who isn't a big fan of Italian food.


  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes with Italian herbs
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 packages of Italian style meatballs of your choice (about 52 meatballs altogether).
  • Shredded mozzarella (2-3 cups)
  • Your favorite sub sandwich bread - I used 10 sub rolls from the deli section.


Mix together the first 6 ingredients in your crock pot. Add frozen meatballs and stir. (If you'd prefer to make your own meatballs, refer to the link above.) Because of time, I cooked on high for about 5 hours. They turned out fine, but I'd prefer to cook for about 8-10 hours on low next time. 

A little before you are ready to eat dinner, turn your oven on to broil. Cut your sub rolls in half to use the bottom for filling, or only cut about 1/2 way down and keep rolls on their sides. The latter would be easier, but I actually liked eating my sub topless since it cut down on the amount of bread consumption in one sitting. ;) 

Whichever way you chose to cut your bread, spoon about 4-5 meatballs with sauce onto your bread. Sprinkle meatball mixture with mozzarella cheese and broil for about a minute keeping a close eye on the subs. If you cut your bread in half, you will need to put the tops back on (or not) after cheese has melted. Broil for about 1 more minute, again keeping your eye on the subs. The rest of my family ate their subs with the tops on. :)

Oh, so yummy!

Now, this is what happens when you don't keep a close eye on broiling bread. Seriously, this is what one extra minute can do!!! I did much better on the next day's leftovers, though. No burnt bread. :)

I have a feeling we will eat these again! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Simple, All-Natural Remedy for Puppy's Dry Skin

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(Photos from Pixabay)

Use Olive Oil!

Our family rescued a 9 week old puppy about 3 weeks ago. This, by no means, makes me an expert on puppies, however, I do want to share some tips over the next few weeks (or maybe even months) that have come in real handy for us since our family grew by 4 itty, bitty paws. 

Kylo, our new puppy, is some kind of lab mix, and we don't really know much about his first 9 weeks of life. He came to us with really dry, dull, flaky skin, so my husband did some research on how to help him naturally. He recommended that I try adding olive oil to the puppy's food. (None of our puppy pics really show Kylo's super flaky, dry skin, but, trust me, it was yucky.)

Right away, I began drizzling about a teaspoon of olive oil to Kylo's food 3 times a day. We noticed results almost immediately. His coat started to shine, and day by day, we noticed less flakiness. Three weeks later his fur is silky smooth and flake free! We are continuing to add olive oil to his food at least once a day to help keep his coat shiny and healthy.

Not the best photo since Kylo wouldn't stop moving around, but I wanted to give at least some idea of what his shiny coat looked like. Looks better in real life. :)

Remedy for Our Puppy's Dry Skin:

Recap: Our family added about a tsp of olive oil to puppy's food 3 times a day until dry, flaky skin cleared up. We continue to drizzle about a tsp of olive oil to puppy's food at least once per day. 

I use cold-pressed oil for my family, so that's what I used for my puppy. Private Selection's Spanish flavor was on sale. :)

Kylo at 12 weeks.

If your puppy or dog has dry, flaky skin, try using olive oil. I hope it works for you as well as it worked for me!

Linked to Works for Me Wednesday

Friday, April 08, 2016

March ~ A Month of Milestones

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Birthday Milestone ~ Turning 40!

Sweet friends started my birthday celebrating a little early and took me to Serranos, a favorite Mexican restaurant of mine. They also blessed me with flowers, chocolate, and an Ulta gift card so I can invest in some makeup for 40-year-old skin. ;)

Mom took me out for Sunday lunch.

Mark sent a friend and me out for a mani/pedi and lunch on my actual birthday. I've only had like 2 manicures and 1 pedicure in my life, so it was a real treat. :) I will admit, though, that it was sort of weird having a guy doing my nails! 

That evening Mark took the family and me to my favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory!!

Mark also bought me two apple trees since we have our own home now. :) Oh, how I miss having apple harvests!!!! So glad to have Santa Anna and Dorset back in my life.

My sweet boys went shopping together for my birthday and put together a pink Easter basket ensemble. They've learned the importance of PRESENTATION from their daddy! Shiloh gave me a little bowl to match some glasses I have, and of course, she filled it with candy: Junior Mints.

The flowers (and a Starbucks gift card) were from my friend's sweet girls.

This was the best birthday ever. A huge thank you to my hubby for making me feel so special the entire weekend!

Hair Milestone ~ Highlights

I've waited a long time to finally get my hair highlighted. My goal was to try and wait until I turned 40, I and my husband and I had a goal to meet before we committed to the financial aspect of keeping up my hair. Even though my grays aren't too bad yet, those silver strands make me feel old and yucky! 

I think my talented sister-in-law did a fantastic job highlighting my hair and making it blend better with my extensions. :) I don't wear my extensions often because of the extra work involved, but I sure do love the way they make my fine hair look so thick and pretty!

Life Milestone ~ Getting a Puppy

This one is a HUGE milestone for me! It's been about 15 years since I've had a dog, and I would've been just fine living the rest of my life without one. There are things I like about dogs, but I wouldn't consider myself a "dog person" or a "pet person" for that matter. Truth is, I wouldn't have a dog if it was up to me. HOWEVER, the rest of my family wanted a dog, especially my daughter who has spent the last few years of her life researching all things DOG. Her life dream has been to own a dog and one day be a dog trainer or something of the sort. 

What does a sweet daddy do with a daughter who has a dream like that? He promises his girl a dog when our family buys a home. Well, we left our 3-year renting phase behind us at the beginning of this year, so I knew my dog-free time was short. My two requests: please let me get my new house settled first, and please WAIT until AFTER my 40th birthday. Getting a dog for my birthday would be about as exciting as going camping. And if you know me, you know that camping is at the very bottom of my list of fun things to do.

Even though I didn't really want a dog, I figured if I had to have one, I wanted it to start out as a puppy. I thought the cuteness would help me bond with it better. Shiloh found the perfect lab breeder, but the puppies were out of our price range, so we had to look for other options. We turned to rescue sites with Shiloh doing most of the research. The puppy thing didn't seem to be working out all that well, so Daddy and Shiloh started to talk more about adopting an adult dog. 

To make a long dog search story short, Shiloh and Daddy had set their hearts on this one rescue dog that they kept visiting at Pet Smart. He seemed calmer than the rest of the dogs. I visited once, but being in a Pet Smart surrounded by stinky dogs isn't my idea of a fun time. I finally gave up my puppy request and sort of gave my "blessing" to go and get that one dog with the name I wanted to change. "Chubbo" - no thanks. I'd be embarrassed to call my dog that!

Anyway, THE Saturday came when Daddy and Shiloh went to rescue Chubbo, a 2 year old mutt. I stayed home to do chores and such. Hours later they came home, not with Chubbo, but with this cutie below.

I was pretty surprised, but Daddy noticed some fearful aggression behavior in Chubbo and decided it wouldn't be a good idea to get him. He and Shiloh ended up visiting a bunch more Pet Smarts, and happened upon this super cute lab mix puppy - only 9 wks old. We named him Kylo. Yes, after the Star Wars character. I so hope Kylo Ren forsakes the dark side before it's all said and done. ;)

I will refrain from rambling on about HOW MUCH WORK puppies are and how I've had a few meltdowns (okay, a lot of meltdowns), and instead, I will just shower you with the cuteness that is KYLO!!!

Kylo has his first visitor! Ninabird. :)

Enjoying a family Sunday car ride around town. Even stopped at Grandma's house for a visit.

Shiloh's friend came for a visit.

Seriously, that face! I just know that one day, Kylo is going to be the best dog ever. My dream (since I have to have a dog) is to have him certified to go into hospitals to visit sick kids and stuff like that. 

Arizona Milestone ~ Getting Stung by a Scorpion

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Even though the above photo isn't mine, the scorpion that stung me looked just like it: big and light tan. It stung me on the side of my foot while I was putting my garden hose away outside. At first I thought it might have been a bee, but the pain level seemed much too intense. When the scorpion thought came to my mind, I lifted my hose container ever so carefully, and there it was. I'm getting chills just thinking about it! Anyway, I smashed it into about 300 pieces with the hose's spray nozzle before hopping back into my house. I couldn't even walk on my foot, and the pain/pins and needles felt horrible. What made the whole episode even worse was the fact that it happened just a couple of hours before my hubby and daughter came home with a new, surprise puppy. Just my luck!

I've lived in Arizona for about 18 years of my life and have never really had to deal with scorpions before, but I guess our new neighborhood has them. I've seen and obliterated another one - in the garage this time - since then. I have to say, scorpions have been one of my biggest fears since moving back to AZ 9 years ago, and now I have to face that fear. :(

Well, obviously, I survived the sting, but it was an extremely painful experience. That first night was the worst: not a lot of sleep for sure. Just crazy pain. All I could think about was Revelation 9:10 when it says, "They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months." Through gritted teeth I thanked God that he's taken away death's sting through Christ's sacrifice on the cross and his miraculous resurrection! I was also thankful that it was me and not one of my kids. Seriously, I wouldn't wish 5 months of scorpion-like stings on anyone, so please, for the love, if you don't know Jesus, now's the time to get right with God. :)

On that note, I wish all of my fellow Arizonians happy desert lives free of scorpion stings! I gotta go and order a black light and a sledge hammer . . .

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Chocolate Coconut Freezer Bars

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My mother-in-law recently sent me this recipe in an email because she knows how much I LOVE coconut and chocolate! These Chocolate Coconut Freezer Bars did not disappoint!!! So easy to make and delicious to eat. :)

What you'll need:

  • 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chocolate chips

What you'll do:

Warm coconut oil until it becomes a liquid, and then place all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Spread mixture into foil lined 8x8 pan. Freeze for about 15 minutes. While coconut mixture is freezing, melt chocolate chips. Spread melted chocolate over frozen coconut and then put back in the freezer until chocolate has hardened. Turn pan upside down on plate and remove foil. Chop the frozen dessert into pieces and store leftovers in refrigerator or freezer.

Because I used this flaked coconut that I already had on hand, the mixture probably didn't turn out as smooth as it was supposed to be. My Ninja blender struggled to blend this mixture. However, I really liked that it was a bit "chunky." If you don't want chunky, go for the shredded coconut instead. ;)

I didn't have an 8x8 pan, so I used a 9x9 instead but didn't spread the mixture all the way to one side.

I stored the pieces in a zip loc freezer bag and kept them in the freezer.

So delicious. Everyone liked them!

Linked to Try A New Recipe Tuesday, WFMW, Mommy Monday Blog Hop, Tasty Tuesdays


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