Tuesday, January 31, 2012


This has been a long time coming, but finally, here are Abby's favorite FREE things/toys. Not all of these can be classified as things (2 of these are variations of water) but just bear with me...

1. Best for Summer Fun: ICE-CUBES

Dogs generally love ice-cubes. I'm assuming every dog owner already knows about this, but if not you should definitely give it a try! They're great for pups to cool down on a hot day or after a long walk or play. We try to keep her calm when we give her one so she doesn't choke, but we will kick it around and have her chase it. It's just too cute. It leaves puddles on the floor if she gives up on one without eating all of it, but it's worth it. 

stalking her prey

the kill

covering her tracks

2. Best for Winter Fun:

Abby is a snow dog. I know this. Just today as I was walking her and she was rubbing her nose in the fresh powder, a man commented "She's a winter hound." It's obvious. She loves to burrow in it and pop up. (I need a video of this, but Halifax hasn't had much snow...) She loves to roll around in it and slide down hills nose first. She loves trying to find all of the smells buried deep under the packed snow. She just loves it.

I don't have a photo of her that captures the true essence of her in the snow, but the dog below (Submitted by LisaBakos) that was chosen for Woof of the Week is exactly what she looks like after a good burrow or sniff.

NOT ABBY - Photo from National Geographic (Submitted)

3. Best All Around for Year-Round Fun: STICKS

The only thing Abs loves more than snow, is sticks. I think it's probably one of her main food groups. Not even joking. We try and try and try not to let her eat them, because we know with absolute certainty that she can't digest them. But, it's hard to get at her all the time. All of her stick activities revolve around seizing it so she can lay down and chomp on it. See for yourself:

Oh, and don't mind the coughing she's doing in the video.... She had a piece stuck. 

Thanks for visiting the blog. I hope you enjoyed Part Two. I'll be around more in the coming week, I promise. We've got lots to catch up on. What have you all been up to? I've got a curry recipe, an outfit post and an easy craft idea before the week is up, so come back if you're curious!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Technical Difficulties 2

My computer is having surgery as we speak. That's why the posts have been far & few between. As soon as I get it back from the technology hospital I'll be plugging away on some blog posts. This means you'll have to wait a bit for Abby's Favorite Things Part Two, but I've got a little video for you so I hope that makes up for it.

Speaking of videos, I'm toying with the idea of doing a vlog (aka video blog post) but I'm stumped as to what it should be about. Any ideas? Any topics your curious about or questions? Let me know! I think vlogs are fun because you get to see the author of the blog and get to know their personality & voice a bit more. Don't you think?

Anyway, thanks for sticking around while things are getting sorted out. It means a lot. Really.

xo Janelle

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Work Style: comfy chic?

So, I haven't done a style post in a while... Possibly because I feel weird taking photos of my outfits. I'm not the best poser... pose-e? Exhibit A. So here's me, dressing up my super-cozy (boxing day sale!) green sweater for the office. In my attempt to look less awkward, I somehow managed to look more awkward....

Sweater: Le Chateau
Earrings (hidden!): my grandmother's
Bag & Tights: Forever 21 (Thanks sis!)
Skirt: Joe Fresh
Boots: Hush Puppies

See? I warned you...

Monday, January 16, 2012


As you probably know, every year around the holidays the queen of talk shows would have an episode titled 'Oprah's Favorite Things' which was basically an hour-long commercial for her sponsors. Every single member of the audience would lose it when she surprised everyone with 'It's Oprah's Favorite Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiings!' Their crazy was justified though, because everyone in the audience would win the items she featured. Everything from iPods to laptops to furniture to cars...

For the next three weeks, I've decided to have a Monday feature called 'Abby's Favorite Things!' Part One is about things you can buy. If you don't have a dog, you can skip all of the type & just look at some 'aww'-inducing photos of my girl. She is a cutie!


Try to grab him from me. I dare you...

The look of love?

The Dolphin made by Tuffie Toys was Abby's very first stuffie. She destroyed it within a matter of days/weeks. So while it's rated a 7 on the Tuff scale, Abby will chase and pull and shake this guy until he falls apart. Every single time. We are now on Willy #2 and we keep him as a special toy. He comes out about once a week for supervised play. Even then he has a big rip down the center of his belly which gives easy access to his insides. (Poor guy!) So although he may not be the toughest toy, he's definitely the favorite. Willy will trump any other toy anytime. Hands down.

Runners up: Starfish (Tuffie) & Ultimate Bone (Tuffie)


 My pup, like most, loves peanut butter. She can get hours of entertainment licking the remnants out of a peanut butter jar or some PB stuffed in her Kong toy. So when we were looking for a small-sized treat to be used with her clicker training, we found Zuke's. They have an authentic story of how they got started and are committed to using all-natural ingredients. Aside from all that, Abby flips for them. After trying the first one anytime we yelled TREAT she would come bounding through the apartment to snatch one up. She's obsessed! You can use these for dogs of all sizes, which is great if you have multiples!
Runner up: Fruitables Pumpkin Blueberry & Pumpkin Cranberry (They smell delicious!)


We are guilty of letting Abby sleep at the foot of our bed on occasion. We feel so guilty kicking her out. It's so hard to resist these eyes...

Come on, Abby. That's not even fair.

These days Abby is sleeping on this luxury dog bed by Bowser's in Whistler Grey. We got it half-price (!!!) after Christmas. The main selling point was that it's machine-washable and made of recycled pop bottles. Pretty cool, eh? As a bonus, it's a similar shade as our couch. Because, you know, everything in our living room matches. HA.

Runner up: Mom & Dad's bed

4. FRESHEST DOGGIE BAGS: World's Best PoopBags

We normally get the ones without handles. Personal preference.

How much can I really say about these. This item is really more about what's comfortable for me and not Abby. They're biodegradable (yay!), Canadian made (woo!), corn-based and smell like lavender. Oh, and they're cheap. Done and done. Phew!


I know I found it slightly overwhelming when I first became a dog-mom. There were a MILLION dog toys, treats & supplies to choose from. How was I supposed to know which items were worth the extra cash and which ones we were better off buying cheap? That's why I decided to write up about our favorite stuff hoping that this post may be useful to some of you. That said, some of Abby's favorite toys actually don't cost a penny. That's why Part Two next Monday will feature her favorite free toys. Come back & visit!

Note: This post was not sponsored or endorsed by the represented companies. All of the featured items have been purchased from our local pet store and enjoyed by Abby (& her parents).

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Last week I bought myself a new notebook. I was using a binder with loose leaf for my sketches, craft ideas and jumbled creative thoughts but after a while I got fed up. I decided that to be productive I needed one spot where I could let out all of my ideas. I needed a notebook that would be reserved only for creativity. And I found the just the one...

My new notebook, by Leuchtturm, is perfect! The pages are not too large, have a good texture, work well with ink or pencil and are acid-free. It's a great size to throw in my purse too, so I can always have it handy.

I plan to use it for inspiration and to plan a projects, DIYs or crafts and to build my sketching skills. Here's a peek at a page which outlines the details of my mason jar candles.

The first night I got it, I could not set it down. I feel like I was holding all of these ideas cluttered up in my head. I'm actually quite surprised it took me so long to start a 'creative journal'. I use Pinterest (my page) to find inspiration as well, but this book is my spin on things. My own ideas. Just thought I would share with you.

So now I'm curious... for my crafty and creative readers, how do you keep track of your ideas? Do you have a sketchbook or idea book like me? Do you art journal? A Word document?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

tonight's supper: goat cheese and craisin salad

How do you make a salad taste special? Throw some craisins at it. And while you're throwing things, chuck some goat cheese that way. A drizzle of olive oil a pinch of basil and done.

I love salads. I crave salads. Weird, right? But D, well, not so much. Usually when I suggest salad as a side dish I get a blank stare in return. But when I suggest adding goat cheese I get a much more enthusiastic response. 

Half the fun is making a salad less "healthy", really. I love grabbing for some real bacon bits, creamy dressing and cheese... oh, the cheese. D even told me tonight that this tasted like a fancy restaurant salad! A restaurant salad. Swoooon. We paired our "fancy salad" with turkey bacon quiche with yellow pepper. I always use those ready-made frozen pie shells to save time. It only took about 35 minutes to cook in the oven at 425. Not a lot of prep/cook time for an easy, week-night dinner that's a little special. 

How do you dress up your salads? Feta? Nuts?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

real mail (from Japan!)

*Computer is functional now thanks to my aunt Louise! I'm going to try to keep up the post volume to make up for lost time....

I know I'm not the only one who loves getting real mail. A letter, a postcard anything aside from polite yet impersonal letters demanding all your money... Ahem. Student Loans. Ahem. In an age of 2-second texting & emails, it's nice to know that a friend took the time to put together some treats & made a trip to the post office just to send them. It makes me feel warm & fuzzy inside. Plus, often times it even costs more to send the package than it does to buy/make the gifts. Anyone who sends a parcel like that must really think you're special!

So imagine my delight when I arrived home from Christmas vacation to see a parcel from my former university roommate from Japan sitting on my bed. Upon opening the box I may or may not have squealed like an 8 year old.

But look at how adorable everything is:

She sent me headphones (heart-shaped), some decorative tape things that roll on like whiteout (pies, hearts, flowers and snowflakes) & some pretty notecards with hearts (my favorite!). Just in case you couldn't tell... her favorite colour is pink!

All of this stuff reminds me of her and really makes me want to visit Japan. Lack of funds have me grounded at the moment. But as soon as I'm able to, I'll be on a jet plane to Osaka. We got along so, SO well as roommates but we find it hard to keep in touch with the time difference. Someday we'll see each other again, but for now our little email/parcel exchanges will keep us connected. I've got her Valentine's package almost all ready to go. Nanase, keep your eye out for a package in February!
FACT: everything is cuter in Japan. Even the salad dressings have cutesy mascots.

Friday, January 6, 2012

technical difficulties.

So, my computer died. Well, not really died, maybe fainted.

So it's off to the laptop doctor today on my lunch break.

I'll be back as soon as it's healthy again. I have lots of posts to write so you can expect food ideas, a post on receiving packages in the mail and some other goodies.
See you soon?