Friday, June 23, 2017

5 Simple Steps To Help Keep Neighborhood Cats Away


You can be the biggest cat lover in the history of the world, but that doesn't mean you want all the neighborhood cats in your yard.

For as long as humans have been keeping pets and living near one another, neighbors have been prone to argue about this very issue. It's one of the reasons some people choose to keep their cats indoors, for fear of their neighbors’ reprisals.

If you have neighbors that do let their cats out to roam, then you’re entitled to feel a sense of invasion if they make their way into your living space. Not only do they have a tendency to make a mess (cats just love to dig up flower beds, it would seem!) but it’s also a potential health threat to your own cat, especially if you occasionally let them out to meander in the yard too.

So, what can you do about it?

1) Protect Your Cat First

First on the list for coping with intrusive neighborhood cats is to make sure your cat is well-protected. That means you need to look for treatments and preventative measures for all the unpleasant things that can result in two cats sharing a space. So you need to focus on flea control for cats, worming, and ensure that your furball has their FeLV vaccination up-to-date.

2) Cat Unfriendly Fences

Now you can be confident that your cat isn’t going to suffer from intrusive neighbors, you can focus on keeping the wrong ones out. The best way to do this is to make your fences difficult to climb, though this won’t entirely solve the problem - cats are geniuses when it comes to finding somewhere they want to go! Nevertheless, install trellis panels onto the top of your fences; this will make them a far less attractive proposition to climb onto.

3) Use Anti-Cat Devices

If you don’t want neighborhood cats even to make the attempt, then anti-cat devices might be of use. These electronic devices emit a noise (undetectable to human ears) that can warn cats away - sadly, the reviews of their efficacy are mixed. It’s also worth querying how your own cat might feel about being regularly exposed to such a sound.

4) Use Pheromones

Pheromones can help to warn any neighborhood cats that the area already has a cat, thank you very much, and their presence isn’t desired. There is no guarantee with this, but it might be effective if they are still trying to get their way over fences.

5) Blocking Measures

If there is a gap in the fence or a part of the wall that you have seen cats using to access your yard, then block it. Potted small ornamental trees - they don’t have to be real - are the best bet for this, especially if you spritz them with a scent (such as citrus) that cats are known to dislike.



What do you do to keep stray cats out of your yard?  Please share anything that works.

What Does Stress Do To Your Body?

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We all know that stress isn’t good for us. But exactly what does it do to our bodies? Here are just some of the negative effects that stress can have on us and why taking the time to chill out and get a good night’s sleep is important.

Your heart

Stress has long been thought to be linked to heart attacks, but only recently proven by studies. When we’re stressed, we overproduce white blood cells to fight infection and repair damage as a short term survival mechanism. Being constantly stressed causing us to produce too many white blood cells, which form plaques in arteries leading to heart disease. The heart is also worn out more due to beating at a constantly fast pace. Taking the time to de-stress can give the heart a break. Limiting foods that are bad for the heart such as processed fats and high sugar drinks can prevent extra pressure being put on the heart.

Your gut

When stressed, the brain focuses attention to important short-term function (such as being able to heal fast or run away quickly) and shuts down functions that aren’t so important in the short term (one being our digestive system). When stressed we can often suffer from diarrhoea or constipation as the gut is no longer working properly. It’s been proposed that repeated stress can cause the likes of IBS. Many products as found at http://www.ibsrelief.com/product/ can help relieve such symptoms, but ideally you want to eliminate stress from your life to restore full working bowel movement.

Your love life

Because reproduction is not a short-term function, stress can often make us lose our drive. For men, the stress hormone cortisol reduces levels of testosterone. For women, stress can have disastrous effects on the ability to conceive including irregular menstrual cycles, the inability to produce milk and in severe cases miscarriages. Testosterone supplements and other medication may be able to return your drive to normal levels, but relaxing may simply be the answer.

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Your muscles

When stressed, your muscles tense up as a protection mechanism as if bracing for a punch. Whilst this can be beneficial in the short-term, constant stress can lead to muscles being constantly tensed up and consequently leading to muscle strains, tiredness and body aches. Massages can be great for releasing these tight muscles, whilst acting as a relaxation therapy to combat stress.

Your skin

The stress hormone cortisol makes skin more reactive and sensitive. It’s for this reason that when we’re stressed we often get spots on our face. Rashes and skin conditions can also develop when we are put under constant pressure. All of this can wear out the skin and cause us to age faster. Various skin products for stress can be found at sites such as http://www.refinery29.com/stress-symptoms-skin-care-products, although they may not have much use if constantly putting yourself into stressful situations.

What do you do to help reduce stress? If you have any ideas please share them in the comments.

How To Prevent Common Doggy Health Problems

You love your dog, and naturally you want them to have the longest, fullest, happiest life possible. While every pet owner tries to take care of their furry friends as best as possible, most of us aren’t vets, and our dogs can’t tell us when they’re feeling under the weather. In this post, we’ll go over some of the most common canine health issues, and some tips on preventing them.

Image from Pixabay
Heartworm
We’ll start with heartworm, as it’s by far the most common and the most serious. Heartworms are parasites that are spread via mosquito bites. Heartworm disease, an unfortunately common condition in dogs that affects the lungs and heart, can be fatal if it’s not treated. However, it’s also relatively easy to prevent. Start administering a preventative monthly, and you can rest easy knowing that your pooch is well protected. Many people will administer this kind of medication to their dog through most of the year, but then drop it when the winter hits. This was fairly safe in the past, but cases of the disease have been becoming more and more frequent, and you should be protecting your pet all year round. Get some preventative meds, set yourself some monthly reminders, and then start administering.
Diabetes
This is a heavily debilitating disease in dogs, and every other animal for that matter. If your dog contracts it, it could require regular, meticulous care for the rest of their life. The tragedy of diabetes in dogs is that it’s so easily preventable. Obesity is a major predisposing factor in doggy diabetes, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your dog on a healthy diet that will keep them slim and healthy. Checking the labels on the dog food you pick up is a good start, making sure there isn’t too much fat, salt or nasty additives. You may also want to consider switching to all natural dog treats, as more conventional, non-organic ones can be a contributing factor in dogs getting overweight. Portion control is also very important. The internet has some great guides on what you should be feeding different breeds at different ages, but to be 110% sure, go to your vet and ask them how you should be feeding your pooch. Finally, make sure they’re getting the recommended daily amount of exercise.
Dental Disease
Oral health is generally one thing that a lot of dog owners overlook in their pets. It may seem like a pretty negligible part of their all-round health, but the state of your dog’s teeth and gums can have an impact on the rest of its body. Canine dental disease has been linked with heart disease, kidney and liver disease, and even certain kinds of cancer. If you haven’t been brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, then start now. Your vet should be able to talk you through the process if you’ve never done it before. Keeping up with regular visits to the vet will let you know when your dog needs extra dental care.


Want To Keep Your Home Looking Great For The Long Haul? This Post Is Just For You

Arty Lounge, Modern Decor, Contemporary Decor

A happy home environment provides the foundations for greatness in all aspects of your life. This is why design upgrades are more important than ever. However, making those improvements is pointless unless the benefits can be felt for the long haul. Sustainability should always be the aim.
 
If you’re going to keep your home in great condition following the upgrade project, it’s important to do your research before starting. Use the five practical tips below for guidance, and you won’t go far wrong.
 
Think Long-Term: It’s one thing to build a home that looks great today, but what about tomorrow? Most homeowners will be happy to implement upgrades as long as they don’t require lots of maintenance work. Choosing an artificial lawn, for example, will reduce the hassle greatly for many years to come. Likewise, you might think that versatile lounge furniture is a great option. However, extending and retracting pieces will soon bring wear and tear, which will ruin the look. Besides, nobody wants to spend time playing around with various settings.

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Choose Tools Wisely: Whether you’re about to start a new project or want to freshen up old work, using the right tools is key. Adding a few coats of paint will always spruce up a room or home’s exterior, but you need to make the job easier. Paint Zoom scam complaints might get the alarm bells ringing. When you look a little deeper, though, you soon realize that the majority are redundant. Having the right spraying tools, as well as various DIY items, will work wonders for your future projects. In turn, that'll allow you to keep the home in far greater condition without the need for external help.
 
Avoid Clutter: It’s always going to be harder to keep the home organized and tidy when there are too many things in each room. A good spring clean session that includes a yard sale may be one of the greatest steps you ever take. Opting for a minimal approach to d├ęcor without sacrificing the necessities will bring positive impacts. In addition to making long-term plans a lot simpler, it should result in a happier atmosphere throughout the property too.   
 
Avoid Fad Products: Clever marketing can fool us all. However, investing in products that offer very limited lifespans will do you no favors. This is especially true when it comes to home technology. These Switch reviews will help you decide whether this addition is worthwhile for your family needs. You should conduct similar research before buying a TV. On a similar note, when buying kitchen tools and appliances, consider whether they’re worth it. Buying a bread maker that you’re never going to use will simply waste space and collect dust.   

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Act Quickly: Whatever you do, there will be wear and tear on certain items. Knowing when to replace key household items will put you in a stronger position. It will make the home cleaner, safer, and more comfortable. When added to the esthetic rewards, ignoring this element simply isn’t an option. Apart from anything else, a quick response will save you money in the long run. If the direct impact of those efforts can’t boost your hopes of maintaining the home’s quality, then what will?

Parts of Your House That Might Need an Update

You might love your home, but can you say you truly love every single part of it? Unless you’re rich enough to have a beautiful and pristine home, there are probably a couple of places in your house that you’d wish didn’t exist. Sadly, they’re a part of your home and you paid good money to get as much space as you did, so why not make the most of it? Some parts of your home may be nasty, underused or even infested with mold or rodents. Call in pest control experts, get some cleaning gear, break out the DIY tools, and let’s renovate those boring parts of your home.

Image: Pexels

The Guest Bedroom

Sure, your guests may not spend much time in the guest bedroom (or do they?) but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be absolutely spotless and full of modern additions. The bed needs to be comfortable enough that you’d want to sleep in it, there should be plenty of storage space so they don’t have to bring stuff out from their suitcases, and you should try to make them feel at home. If the guest room has an en-suite bathroom as well, ensure that it’s properly stocked with towels and products. A great little welcome tip is to add a welcome tray or trolley full of hotel-like extras. A small kettle, some tea and coffee, books, fresh towels and perhaps a scented plant.

That Damp Basement

Is your basement a place that you rarely visit? Don’t worry, it happens to everyone. Basements can be damp, smelly and occasionally infested with rodents. Have an inspection of your basement and determine what needs to be done to clean it up. Perhaps you need to clean out some mildew growth, maybe you need to block drafts or holes where pests are crawling in, and maybe it just needs a general clean up. Once that’s done, you can start thinking of refurbishment plans. There are companies like http://www.flemingconstructionllc.com that specialise in planning and executing basement renovations and considering it’s such a complicated and time-consuming job, a contractor should be your first choice. What you use the extra space for is completely up to you. It could be a personal gym, extra bedroom, a hobby play area, or even a home cinema setup.

Image: Pexels

Your Storage Rooms

Storage rooms are often quite messy, but that doesn’t mean you can just forget them. Remember that your storage rooms will accumulate a lot of dust and they might be breeding grounds for pests or insects. Clean them out now and then and, if possible, renovate them so they serve their purpose better. If one of your storage rooms has too many shelves, then take them down if they aren’t used. If a storage room has too few shelves, consider adding more to increase the potential storage space. Take a look at these ideas from https://www.pinterest.com/explore/storage-room/ to get some creative ideas on how to renovate storage areas and rooms in your home.

3 Dog Stories That Just Happen To Be True

As man’s best friend, dogs are ripe pickings when it comes to jokes and stories. Most of us have known at least one dog in our lifetime, be it our own pet or those belonging to friends and family. When you spend a little time around a canine, you quickly realize that some of those jokes are 100% true!

The problem is, some of these issues are actually sometimes a cause for concern - indicators of behavioral problems or even signs of ill health. So which jokes are bang on the money and - most importantly - what can you do about them if they become problematic?

Dogs Attack The Mailman

On one hand, it’s hard not to see the dog’s point here. They don’t understand what’s going on; we’ve yet to figure out a way to communicate the benefits of a countrywide postal service to dogs. And if we ever do find out how to directly tell them things, it’s fair to say that that’d be pretty low on the list of priorities!

So the dog doesn’t think “oh it’s a new collection of junk mail!” when the mailman arrives, they think: “here is someone who is trying to invade my home”. Their defensive instinct kicks in, and then you wind up with statistics that confirm the common joke: almost 7,000 postal workers were attacked by dogs last year.

What Can You Do? If this is a problem for you, then the simple answer is to keep your dogs away from the front yard around the time the mailman comes. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than a lawsuit!

Dogs Chew Shoes

Many a TV show has found fodder in using this illustration. And you can’t blame them for using this in storytelling, given the fact it definitely does happen. Glance over any forum and you’ll see the same thing coming up time and again.

What Can You Do? Dogs have a natural chewing instinct, which is especially the case when they are young and their teeth are still growing. They chew on shoes because they’re convenient, often left discarded, making them incredibly tempting to an adventurous hound. By far the best option is to give them something else to chew on, be it a toy or dental sticks for dogs that can help to redirect their chomping. Oh, and keep shoes away from ground level!

Dogs Are Incredibly Friendly

Finally, a nice quote: dogs are friendly, especially when compared to cats. While that’s a little unfair on cats (who are just more naturally reserved and suspicious), the vast majority of dogs are quite willing to make friends with anyone and everything that crosses their path.

Obviously, there’s nothing you need to do about this - it’s just nice! Just ensure if your dog is very friendly that you restrain their enthusiasm around your children; some dogs just don’t know their own strength! And teach them to express their friendliness in a proper way.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cool Home: Keeping Your House Chilled During the Summer



During the summer months, you will probably welcome the warmer weather. At the same time, this can cause a problem in your home when it becomes too stuffy and uncomfortable. You need to find ways of regulating the temperature so you are not in danger of overheating.

Right at the top of the list of ways of cooling your home down is with a good air conditioning system, so check out assuredcomfort.com if you are looking to install one. If you are also looking for some other ways to keep your house at a comfortable temperature, you have come to the right place.

Keep Your Blinds Closed

A big proportion of the extra heat that you are feeling in your home is streaming through your windows, so keeping your blinds closed can make all the difference. However, closing big curtains or drapes can actually retain the heat you already have in your home. If you are looking to try the blind-closing technique, you should particularly focus on the south and west facing windows where a lot of the heat is coming from.

Swap Your Sheets

If you are still sleeping under a heavy duvet or blanket, it may well be time to switch this in favour of some lighter sheets. Cotton is a good material for the summer months as it tends to breathe easier and stay cooler. Another great tip is to try a buckwheat pillow which allows for natural air space and doesn't retain your body heat in the same way that more conventional pillows do.

Let the Night Air in

In a lot of places, the temperature tends to drop significantly during the nighttime. If you live in a place where this is the case, you should make the most of this by opening up a few windows around the house. Another option is to set up some fans to create a cross breeze through the home. However, you should also remember to shut the windows when things start to get too warm the next morning.

Start Grilling Instead of Using the Oven

It may seem like an obvious thing to say, but using the oven on a regular basis will certainly add to the overall feeling of heat and stuffiness in the home. If it already feels like it is getting too hot in your house, the last thing that you will want to be doing is to blast the oven at the same time. Instead, why not move your cooking outdoors more often? Alternatively, you could close the kitchen door and open some windows to isolate the heat to one room.

Turn on Extractor Fans

Remember that your extractor fans have been installed for a reason so you should aim to use them as much as possible. So, in both your kitchen and your bathroom you should switch these on to draw the rising hot air out of these rooms and also out of the door. 

What are some tips and tricks you can recommend for keeping your home cool over the summer?

#Recipe Parmesan Chicken Yum!

Hey neighbors!

Recently, while the girls were gone on a trip, I made some Parmesan Chicken for just my husband and myself.  It turned out really well, so I thought I would share it here with you.  It was very simple to make and looks like you put a lot of time into it.

I started with two chicken breasts.


Pre-heat oven to 350.  In a small dish, large enough to put one piece of chicken breast in, I mixed up a few eggs.  In another dish the same size I mixed Parmesan Cheese, some garlic salt, and a small amount of an Italian Seasoning.


First step was to roll the chicken breast around in the eggs until it was covered on all sides.  Next roll the chicken in your Parmesan mixture, until well coated.  Place the chicken breast in a baking dish, I sprayed my with a non-stick spray.




Place your chicken in the pre-heated oven.  I baked mine for approx. 1 hour.  Base the time needed to cook on the size of the chicken breast.



Once your chicken is baked through, spoon some spaghetti sauce over the parmesan crusted chicken until covered as desired.  I smothered mine.  Next sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top and place back in the oven long enough to melt the cheese.




Remove from oven, add your side dish and serve.


Ingredient List
Chicken Breasts
Eggs -for 2 good size pieces of chicken I used 3 eggs
Parmesan Cheese
Garlic Salt
Italian Seasoning
Spaghetti Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese

My husband LOVED it.  I thought it came out pretty good too!  And, yes, we ate on paper plates!  We will be making it again soon!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Puppy Love: Caring For Your Pooch As He Ages!

They say that a dog is for life, and they couldn’t be more right. As any good owner knows, when you decide to bring a pooch (or any pet for that matter) into your family, they are part of your family for life. Some dog owners dump their pets as they get older and replace them with younger models, which is just awful. If you decide to take on a dog, you do so for life - you agree to take care of him through the good and the bad. This means understanding the importance of giving your dog plenty of love as he gets older, as well as providing him with the care that he needs.
With that in mind, the question is, how do you care for an aging dog? For everything that you need to know, read on.

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Schedule regular check-ups with your vet
As dogs get older, they become more prone to a whole range of health problems. That's why regular check-ups with your vet are so important. Older dogs are at risk of gum disease and other oral problems, arthritis, kidney problems, eye problems, diabetes, and a whole range of other health complaints, which is why regular check-ups are so vital. Because the earlier a health problem is spotted, the easier it should be to treat.
Feed your pooch high-quality food
A lot of people don’t realize it, but what a dog eats has a big impact on their health, especially as they get older. That’s why it becomes even more important as your dog ages to feed him high-quality food. As well as picking food that is vet-approved, it’s also important to take your dog’s general health into consideration, as there are certain foods made for helping to manage different health conditions.
Ensure your dog is getting plenty of exercise
Even as your dog gets older, he still needs to get plenty of exercise. To help your dog to remain lean and to keep his joints and muscles healthy, make sure to exercise him regularly. When it comes to how many walks a day he needs and how long they should be, this will depend on the breed of dog. Smaller dogs tend to need less exercise, while larger dog breeds tend to need more daily exercise to remain healthy. While it is a good idea to exercise your dog regularly, what you don’t want to do is overdo it. For those walks when it all gets too much for your pooch, a pet stroller can come in handy. To determine which the best pet strollers are, go online and have a browse at all the options, to see which sounds like the best fit for your dog’s needs.
Give your pooch plenty of toys
There’s a common misconception that older dogs don’t like to play when actually that isn’t the case. To keep your dog occupied, make sure that he has plenty of toys to play with. From soft toys to balls, provide your dog with a selection of different toys to play with - he will be happier for it.

So there you have it, a guide to how to look after your pooch as he ages.