Friday, January 27, 2017

Can Dogs Eat Bananas? 10 Toxic Foods, 23 Safe Ones & A Few in the Middle

Are you planning to have a pet dog at home? Before you even say yes, make sure that you are responsible enough to take care of it. Dogs might be fun and playful, but they are also sensitive. This is true when it comes to the food they eat. They are not like humans that can eat almost anything. There are certain foods that dogs just can’t eat.

There are others that may even die of complications due to the content of certain dishes that they have eaten. This is why you need to understand the types of food that dogs can eat and what they can’t. It is extremely important that you pay attention to what you put on their bowl. Otherwise, they might get ill or worse, die.

For humans, eating fruits is totally recommended due to their nutritional value. The same can’t be said for dogs. There are certain types of fruits that are highly recommended such as bananas. Others fruits like apples are allowed, but only in moderation. However, grapes should be totally avoided. This could lead to poisoning.

This is just an example on the types of foods that dogs can eat and what are considered toxic for them. There are many other examples that you must be aware of. To make it easier for you, we have compiled an infographic below to help you out. This explains clearly the food groups.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

My 14 day oil pulling experiment

I have recently heard a lot about the benefits of "oil pulling". What is oil pulling? Let's ask Wikipedia:

Oil pulling or oil swishing is a traditional folk remedy where oil is "swished" (kavala graha) or "held" (snigda gandoosha) in the mouth.
Practitioners of oil pulling claim it is capable of improving oral and systemic health, including a benefit in conditions such as headachesmigrainesdiabetes mellitusasthma, and acne, as well as whitening teeth. Its promoters claim it works by "pulling out" toxins, which are known as ama in Ayurvedic medicine, and thereby reducing inflammation.
Seeing how I have a humongous jar of pure, virgin coconut oil in the cupboard, I decided to give this a try! I've read it whitens teeth, boosts energy, improves skin and so much more! 
It's pretty easy, just take a tablespoon, put it in your mouth and swish it around for up to 20 minutes. I know, 20 minutes seems like forever. I do it first thing in the morning while I'm getting ready for work, and hope I don't have to yell at the kids!
If you can't do the 20 minutes, try starting with 5 and work your way up to 20.
Swish vigorously every few minutes, you really want to pull all the nasties from in between teeth and gums.
* Do not swallow this because it is pulling bacteria from your mouth, therefore it is very toxic. (Swallowing non-swished coconut oil is completely fine, in fact it has been said to help in weight loss, but that's a whole other experiment!)
When you're finished swishing, spit the oil out into a garbage can, not down the sink, it will solidify once cold and could cause clogs. Brush your teeth with warm water and toothpaste after.
I am going to document my 14 day oil pulling experience just to see what it really does. I will update daily. 

Day 1: Pulled for 20 minutes. Oil has a pleasant, almost nutty flavour. Teeth felt very smooth and my mouth felt clean.
Day 2: 20 minutes. In the evening I noticed my hands were softer than they usually are, teeth smooth and look shinier than usual, overall mouth feels clean.

Day 3: 22 minutes. Woke up and immediately noticed a decrease in "morning breath"! After my coffee I didn't feel like I had nasty coffee breath as I usually do, all day my mouth felt clean.  Also my nose isn't stuffed up anymore like it has been for the past two weeks.

Day 4: 15 minutes. Not much different today from yesterday, teeth feel smooth and look shiny.

Day 5: 20 minutes. Teeth and mouth still feel really clean, and I can feel a difference in my gums, kinda hard to explain, but it's a good difference. My skin feels good and the couple of blemishes I have had on my face for what seems like a lifetime, are starting to disappear! Saweeet!

Day 6: 20 minutes.  Pretty much exactly the same as day 5!

Day 7: (One Week) This morning I thought I'd switch it up a bit and not pull until later in the day...bad idea!  I have coffee breath!  I should have not switched it up and kept my morning routine! Gahh!!!

Day 8: So I didn't end up pulling yesterday at all...BAD idea! this morning I woke up with "death breath" that everybody does in the morning, so I pulled for 25 minutes while I was getting ready this morning.  After my morning coffee, I had coffee breath,
blechhh...uggg...has all my hard, oil pulling efforts this past week gone to waste?  Let this be a lesson to me, to us...you are either committed to a cleaner, healthier mouth, or not...there is clearly no in between.

Day 9: 20 minutes. Mouth starting to feel a lot cleaner after skipping the other day...gahhh...why did I do that?! Teeth look shiny and feel very smooth. Will not skip again!!!

Days 10 - 14: approx. 20 minutes each day. No huge changes from the beginning of the second week; teeth are at least 2 shades whiter, feel clean, smooth and no more disgusting coffee breath!

In conclusion, yes, this is a pain in the butt, but it could easily be incorporated into your daily routine, preferably in the mornings. I am certain after longer use, teeth will become increasingly whiter.

Have you tried this? I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments! 










Monday, December 19, 2016

Money for nothing (well almost nothing....)

I have decided, since it's almost the beginning of a new year, I am going to keep track of how much "free" money I can accumulate in a year, see how much Christmas shopping I can do for "free" next year.

I belong to several cash back offer and survey programs (don't be fooled, some are crappy but the ones I belong to are legit and awesome!) including Checkout 51, Pinecone research, and survey lion and a few others, as well as store loyalty programs such as PC points, which gives me personalized offers every week and cash back on stuff I buy anyways!

The hardest part is cashing out and not spending it, so I will have to figure out how that is going to work!

Beginning next year (which really is only like a week and a half away!) I will post my accomplishments and see how much I can do!

If you haven't already, you should get the Checkout 51 app, it's available in Canada and the US and gives you  cash back for stuff you buy anyways, all you do is upload your grocery receipt!  Easy peasy!




Friday, April 29, 2016

iPhoneography

 I have always loved photography, ever since my high school photography class with Mrs. Forrester! I don't have the time (or patience!) to carry around a traditional camera, so I use the next best thing, my iPhone!  I am a bit behind in the times as some would say, as I only have an IPhone 5s!, before that I was using a 4, what are they up to now, 7? 8? Who knows! The photos I am posting have ALL been taken with my iPhone, and a little help from Instagram filters. That's it! I am not an expert, I am not a professional, I don't consider myself to be a photographer by any stretch, but I have taken some pretty great photos with my iPhone and I get a lot of comments on them, I was even a finalist in a local photo contest and nobody could believe it was taken with an iPhone, that one in particular, my 4s. There are way too many awesome photos to post at once, so I will post some for now, and many more another time!

There are way too many awesome photos to post at once, so I will post some for now, and many more another time!
 
 



























Monday, April 18, 2016

12 Fun Ways to Burn 100 Calories

I found this great infographic created by Chobani with 12 fun ways to burn 100 calories!


Who'd have though SHOPPING could burn calories? (OK it makes sense now that I think about it; the running around the store, the burn in your arms as you insist on carrying everything rather than use a cart!)

Don't underestimate these everyday routine activities that burn calories; they count, and you've earned it!  Be sure to log these babies in your calorie counter/fitness app if you have one!

Eating right also contributes to a healthy lifestyle, my biggest weakness is snacking, and boy do I have a sweet tooth!

Chobani wants inspire all of us to make healthier choices, and have created a whole range of delicious, naturally sweetened Greek Yogurt products, full flavor and satisfaction for just 100 calories.

This is awesome for me; my sweet tooth is satisfied thanks to flavors like "Strawberry Chocolate Truffle (Right!!!) and much healthier than my "just grabbing a chocolate bar for lunch" habit (I know, it's terrible, don't judge me!)

www.chobani.comChobani has some great info on their website including healthy recipes, nutrition information, and so much more. Check it all out HERE.

Now, to clean the house, or go shopping....the more shopping I do, the more calories  I burn! :)

I'd love to hear your healthy tips!



Monday, April 11, 2016

Standing up for what you believe in - A guest blog post by Denny


Standing up for what you believe in even if it means standing alone
Standing up for what you believe in is not always the easiest thing but it is very beneficial. Make sure you know what you believe in and make sure it is a good cause, standing up for good cause can make a world of difference for you and for anybody else involved. Believe you can make a difference despite how others may try and put you down.
The benefits of standing up for what you believe in are:
1. This build your confidence.
2.It gives you a sense of self.
3. It makes you develop self respect. 
4. This builds your integrity.
5. Helps you be more independent

From now on make your stand and believe you can make a difference despite the odds.

For more inspirational and motivational posts, visit Denny's blog HERE

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Would you like to be a guest blogger?

I am currently accepting guest blogger posts! You choose the subject! If you are interested, send me a message chalene8@yahoo.ca 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bring back the bees - FREE pack of wildflower seeds

Bees are quickly disappearing from all over the world, and it's time to do something about it! Honey Nut Cheerios is offering a free pack of wildflower seeds to Canadians to help with this serious problem. Bees need wildflower pollen and nectar to stay happy and healthy, so planting wildflowers is a fun, easy way to help the bees.  Click HERE to order your FREE pack of wildflower seeds and help #bringbackthebees

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Easy silk tie dyed Easter eggs


Here is  fun new way to dye Easter eggs, using silk ties from thrift stores! These are so cool and each one turns out different! Let's get started! Here is what you'll need:

- Eggs (full or empty. Blown out eggs last way longer) (I'll explain how to blow out an egg later)
- 100% silk ties (must be 100% or this won't work! Check the label before buying, I purchased mine at thrift shops for next to nothing)
- White light weight cotton material such as an old pillow case, tee shirt, I used an old receiving blanket
- Pot of water
- Twist ties
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar 

*Start by cutting the ties apart into sections large enough to cover your egg 
*Wrap egg carefully but tightly in in the material with the good side touching the egg (so the part  that would be facing out of you were to put the tie on!)
*Next secure the material with a twist tie 
*Wrap your little bundle in a piece of the light weight white cotton and secure with another twist tie
*Carefully place your tied up packaged into a pot of water so they're covered. then add your vinegar, bring to a boil
*Continue boiling for 20 minutes 
*Remove with tongs 


Please try and let them cool before you unwrap them! I know it's EGGciting, but believe me, those suckers are hot!
That's it! You're done!
You can find the exact post I followed here 



Here is my favorite one, I call it "Eggvas" lol!

 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Time flies...

Wow, I haven't been on here since mid April! I have good reason though; within the past couple of months I have changed jobs AND purchased and renovated my first home! So, yeah, I've been extremely busy! 

I hope everyone is having a great summer, despite all the stupid rain we've been getting, but I guess as everyone says "we need the rain"...no, we NEED the sun!!! lol

I will be on here more frequently now, and will post some before and after pictures of my renovation adventure!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to save $1,378 Almost effortlessly, and what you can buy for that

I used to always want to try to save $1.00 a day, then after a year, I would have $365! I tried, and I failed...I didn't always have $1 on me, so I would "owe" myself, sometimes putting in $5.00 after 5 days, and it was hard to keep track of. One time,I even tried taping loonies to each day on the calendar so I knew I had saved for that day.(Stop laughing!) The calendar became heavy and it just didn't work, so I gave up!
Recently, somebody had posted on Facebook, about a "52 Week Money Challenge" It's SO easy...for 52 weeks (1 year) you deposit the dollar amount for whatever week you're on (so if you are on week 10, you deposit $10) into a separate bank account, and week after week, watch it grow! I am currently on week 16 and haven't missed a deposit!


I have made my deposit day, every Monday. I have this chart printed out and beside my desk at work, and every time I complete my deposit, I use a highlighter and put a line through the week!
So...after a year, if you are faithful and don't go spending your almost effortlessly saved money before the year is up, you will have $1,378 ! (plus a little accumulated interest!) What can you buy for $1,378 ???? Well I have done a little research and here is what you can buy for exactly that amount:

A Mori Lee Wedding Dress ( I know, I've never heard of them either...but just sayin'!) Or how about a Citizen Men's BL5446-51H Signature Collection Eco-Drive Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Watch (Say that 5 times fast!) Or how about a Coach tour through the Canadian Rockies???
The possibilities are endless (well...almost!) So give it a try! Save for a rainy day, a well-deserved vacation, whatever you like! Good luck and happy $aving!!!!



Monday, April 1, 2013

Did you know...you can get items FREE or discounted if the price scans in wrong???

Yep, that is right! it's called Scanning Code Of Practice, or SCOP!
It is actually a federal law to visibly demonstrate retailer commitment to scanner price accuracy!

What does this mean? Well, say you are out shopping and you purchase something that is on sale for $5.00 and it rings in at the register at a higher price...well because it was advertised on sale for $5.00, you get that item FREE!!! yes FREE!!! OR if the item is over $10, you would receive $10 off!

Believe it or not, but this actually happens quite frequently and most people don't notice or they do but don't know about SCOP. Most times, cashiers won't voluntarily tell you about SCOP or offer the item free, so you have to mention it to them if you see an error. Make sure you say "that item scanned in wrong" then I usually wait for them to verify that it did come up wrong, then I say "that means I get it free because of the scanning code of practice...right?"  after that, everything is usually pretty good, occasionally you get a cranky cashier that gets all defensive, but usually they're ok!

For more information about SCOP you can go right HERE to the Government of Canada website and check it out for yourself!

So...pay close attention to those monitors next time you shop! You never know when an item scans in wrong!





Well, here it is, April 1st...April Fools' Day! I could tell  you I'm hosting a huge contest where everybody's a winner, or I could scare the crap outta my friends and family by announcing I am pregnant with twins, or I could put sarran wrap on the toilet seat...but those things are just plain cruel!  Sure I've had my share of jokes and pranks in the past, but now that I'm older, I'm not really into it. I think jokes and pranks are more funnier when you least expect it! And April 1st, everyone's walking around all paranoid that something will happen to them!
I dunno...maybe I'm boring, or dull, but it's just not my cup of tea. Sure I'll be surprised and laugh if I'm pranked...depending on what it is..I might get really pissed off and offended too! But regardless...It is April, it is the beginning of Spring and no matter of you celebrate this day of fools or not...have a great day!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Welcome to my wild (and inexpensively decorated) bathroom!

So, I love all things animal print, mainly leopard and zebra! When we moved into our new house last year, I didn't really have any plans for our bathroom, until I started randomly finding great deals on leopard print bathroom decor!  I was browsing thru a Wal Mart flyer one day, and saw they had leopard print curtain panels on sale for $7.00! I didn't NEED a curtain panel, but I thought it would look really good in my bathroom because of the wooden floors and a dark wood wall.  Shortly after that, leopard print towels came on sale for $7.00 each, so I grabbed a few (not shown because they were in the wash at the time of the "photo shoot")

 When I went to the states for Black Friday, they had a cushy bath mat that matched my curtain and towels, it was only $5.00! I HAD to buy it! What's a bath mat without a shower curtain? low and behold my local Giant Tiger had a leopard shower curtain for just $10.00!
The art work is almost priceless! (no, really, it hardly cost anything!) I was in a panic and needed something to fill this wall because people were coming. I Googled "Animal print + bathrooms" and these prints appeared! I printed them off on the color printer at work (Shhh!!!!) and stuck them in some frames that were on clearance at Michael's for $0.50 each! I will eventually get bigger, thicker frames and mount these on the wall, but they did the trick at the time! The votive candle holders I bought at Pier One, the glass holders were $1.25 each while the candles were $1.00 each.
This faux plant was purchased at Home Sense for $7.00 (It's a good thing that was cheap because the cat feels the need to chew on it every time he's in there!) The leopard soap dish (and I do have the matching toothbrush holder, Kleenex holder, and waste basket (not shown) ) were gifts.

This goes to show you, you can do a lot with a little, and with prices like these, I really should have bought one of everything in zebra print too!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Cleaning Tips

So now that Spring has officially "sprung", it is time to start thinking about all that comes with it, Easter, spring flowers, rain and mud, and.....yes, the dreaded SPRING CLEANING! In with the old, out with the new, a time to refresh and rejuvenate your home, if you are like me, you are probably looking for the easiest and most economical way to do this. You don't need a bunch of brand name, high end cleaners, they are expensive and contain harsh ingredients such as   Ethoxylated nonyl phenols, Naphthalene and Trisodium nitrilotriacetate (NTA) (no, I do not know what those are or how to pronounce them, but I know they are not good for you or the environment!)

Did you know that the Gypsy Sisters swear by using apple cider vinegar in the dishwasher to make the dishes sparkling clean? If you can get over the smell of the cider, this is actually a pretty clever tip! They also insist on using lots of bleach in the sink! I myself cannot stand the smell of bleach, and no matter how careful I am, seem to ALWAYS end up with it on my clothes!




Here is a list of the top 10 "Green" ways to clean your home this spring:

10. Glass:  Effectively clean windows with 4 tablespoons lemon juice mixed with a half gallon of water. Other effective cleaners for glass and mirrors are rubbing alcohol and witch hazel!

9. Vinyl: A cloth dipped  in straight lemon juice and rubbing it onto the stained area can remove stains on vinyl items such as recliners or tile flooring.

8. Furniture Polish:  Mix 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice and apply it to your furniture using a soft cloth. The combination gives your wood furniture a nice smell and a sparkling shine.
When a hot serving dish or glass of water has marred the surface of a wood table, you can quickly get rid of the mark by making a thin paste of salad oil or lemon oil and salt. Wipe the paste on, then lightly buff the area as you wipe it off with a soft cloth. * I'm kind of leary on using salad oil on my furniture...what if the dogs like it and decide to eat it? (mind you my stupid dogs eat the furniture without food substances being rubbed on it)

 7. Metal:  Give loads of shine to tarnished copper or brass without doing any damage by bringing in salt and vinegar and adding one more ingredient from your kitchen cupboard: flour!   Using equal parts of the three ingredients make a paste; rub the paste onto the brass or copper item with a soft cloth. Cover entire surface and let the whole thing dry out ( about an hour).  With a clean, soft cloth, wipe off the dried paste.
Lemon can also be used for lightly tarnished brass or copper pieces. Slice one lemon and dip it in salt, then rub the item with the salted lemon. Afterward, rinse and dry thoroughly.
Another fix for lightly tarnished copper is to use a spray bottle filled with undiluted vinegar. Just spray the copper piece and sprinkle the tarnished area with salt. Wipe thoroughly with a sponge or cotton cloth; be sure to remove all the salt, or the item will turn green. Repeat if necessary.


 6. Fireplace: If your wood-burning fireplace has gathered soot and smoke smudges around its exterior, you can spruce it up by applying a paste of cream of tartar and water. Rub the paste into the stains, let it dry, then scrub it off.
If it's the inside of your fireplace and chimney you're worried about, you can help loosen soot buildup by tossing an occasional handful of salt into the fire the next time you're enjoying your fireplace. The burning salt will help loosen the soot a little, buying you some time between major cleanings.

5. What to do with accumulated "clutter":  
Cleaning your home can also lead to a massive decluttering of your house. Often after a big cleaning binge, you may find that you've accumulated a small mountain of items that you don't need anymore. If any of it is reusable, you may want to consider joining an online community called Freecycle (www.freecycle.org), which has localized chapters of members who let each other know what stuff they have hanging around that they would like to give away -- anything from kitchen appliances, bicycles, and furniture to magazines, clothing, and diapers (unused, of course!).
The Freecycle community takes place entirely online, after you sign up to be a part of an e-mail group (also called a listserv). The groups are local even though Freecycle is a nation-wide program. It's a great way to declutter the house and provide somebody else with something they need -- all without the hassle of staging your own yard sale. Plus, moving around possessions already in existence is a way to prevent more goods from being manufactured or being dumped into a landfill.
Similarly, you might look into turning other outdated items over to charitable programs such as Goodwill, or the Salvation Army. There are also organizations that will take your old electronics (such as computers and cell phones), your printer cartridges, your eyeglasses, and even your sneakers and distribute them to others who need them. A simple Internet search will offer many options to help you get rid of some of these items in your home.



4.  Drains:  Prevent clogged drains with a strainer to keep hair, food and other gunk from building up in the drain. If you cook with a lot of oils, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain once a week to flush fats and oils away. When it's time to unclog, first use a plunger (PLEASE use a different plunger than the one you use for your toilet!!!!) -- this works better and faster than the most powerful chemicals. If that doesn't work, try a combination of 1/2 cup of baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar -- then cover the drain if you can, and let the foaming pressure do its stuff. Other recipes call for 1/2 cup of salt and an equal amount of baking soda, followed by 6 cups of boiling water -- wait a few hours, then flush with cold water. As a last resort, get a plumber's snake and "snake it out."

3. Air it out! :   Don't kill yourself  (or your kids) to get a fresg smelling house. The NRDC tested 14 different household air fresheners and found that 12 contained the hormone-disrupting chemicals known as phthalates. Keeping your house generally clean should eliminate any odors, or try natural odor-eaters like vinegar and baking soda. Best air freshener of all - crack a window!

2. Oven Lovin':   If you don't have a self-cleaning oven, there aren't many green cleaning options, and commercial oven cleaners tend to be caustic products with plenty of toxic compounds.  Some folks recommend sprinkling baking soda on the oven, then sprinkling water on it, and leaving it to soak overnight. (No mention of how this will clean the sides of the oven, however.) Then, the next morning, scrub and scour like the devil in heat. Or, get a commercial oven cleaner, use it carefully, and don't feel guilty about it. Placing a layer of foil at the bottom of your oven will make this task easier next time. I hate cleaning the oven!



Ok...so there are 9 tips....maybe you can come up with the 10th! What are some tips/tricks you have for easy, green, spring cleaning???