Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Oct 24, 2015

Milk-Bone Study Shows Dogs Are Ultimate Trick-or-Treaters #TreatsForAll

Although Halloween has usually been considered a children's holiday, these days increasing numbers of "furry kids" are getting in on the fun. I have been seeing so many dogs dressed in costumes in recent years. When I visit the pet department in stores, I'm amazed by the variety of Halloween costumes and accessories available for them.

Big Heart Pet Brands (the makers of Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, Canine Carry Outs and Milo's Kitchen) conducted an original survey of 3,000 dog parents nationwide to find the top 25 states that most like to include their pups, the nation's most popular "Doggy Halloween Tricks," and each breed's favorite special treats -- right in time for the spooky-fun holiday.


Fun Halloween Stats:

The State of South Carolina ranks #4 in the Milk-Bone and Milo's Kitchen Top 25 'Howl-O-Ween' States. Check out where your state ranks here.

PET PARENTS LOVE TO INCLUDE THEIR DOGS ON HALLOWEEN
44% of NY pet parents have dressed their dog in costume versus 28% of California pet parents
38% of NY pet parents have greeted trick-or-treaters with their dog while 18% of pet parents in California have
18% of Texas pet parents have given their dog extra treats for Halloween and 16% have taken their dog trick-or-treating.

DIFFERENT TREATS FOR DIFFERENT BREEDS
Big dogs like Dobermans and Great Danes prefer "real meat treats", while most small ones (Pomeranians and Pugs) choose "soft and chewy" snacks - like Pup-Peroni
Soft and chewy treats are also the all-time favorites of terriers (58%), and toy dogs (59%)
Biscuits and crunchy treats (like Milk-Bone) are the clear favorites of hounds (53%), herding dogs (56%), and sporting dogs (57%)

MILO KITCHEN'S HALLOWEEN "DOGGY TRICKS TOP 10 RANKING"
Because dogs are the ultimate tricksters, Milo's Kitchen brand dog treats wanted to uncover, for the first time, which tricks dogs are best able to perform. The nation's most popular doggy tricks are:

#1: Sit (77% of dogs can do this on command)
#2: Shake paws (58%)
#3: Lay down (57%)
#4: Stay (50%)
#5: Give a kiss (44%)
#6: Beg (31%)
#7: Roll over (27%)
#8: Speak or bark (26%)
#9: Spin (14%)
#10: Play dead (10%)


For wacky DIY doggie costumes, ideas on how to treat your pet, or for downloadable decorations to show your neighbors you're celebrating with your pup, please visit this special Howl-o-ween website, from Big Heart Pet brands' Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, Canine Carry Outs and Milo's Kitchen:
http://treatingforall.com/

I made these little Dog Treat 'BOO-Quets' for our furry trick-or-treaters
For a chance to see your dog's Halloween photo in the Milk-Bone Halloween website and social channels, tag it on FB, Instagram or Twitter @milkbone with #TreatsForAll.

How can pet parents show they are celebrate Halloween with their pup? Download special pup decorations to show your neighbors you're celebrating with your dog at treatingforall.com

If you dress your dog up for Halloween, what will he/she be?

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Oct 16, 2015

BI-LO Slashes Prices On 1,000+ Items!

If you are a BI-LO shopper, I have great news-- BI-LO has lowered prices on over 1,000 items in their stores! Who doesn't love saving money at the grocery store on many of the items you generally buy?


Check out the new pricing of some commonly shopped items...


I'm a Tide user, so this new lower price makes me very happy! You can save even more with a manufacturer's coupon.


Check out BI-LO on the web, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates. Be sure to check out those new prices on store shelves on your next visit. I plan to check it out tomorrow! 
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Oct 14, 2015

Milk-Bone Good Morning Treats For Your Pup (Giveaway)


If you are a pet parent, you know the importance of taking care of your dog like you would your child. We ensure a safe environment and provide plenty of fresh water, food and of course, love. Our dog is a very important member of our family and we do all we can to maintain his health. We take him to the vet for a yearly check-up and vaccinations, as well as make sure he gets ample exercise and fresh air. Our pups depend of their human parents to keep them healthy.

According to “Milk-Bone Human-Canine Health Study” — a survey of 2,000 U.S. dog parents conducted by Milk-Bone brand dog treats (in conjunction a partnership with Learndipity Data Insights) — humans and dogs positively impact the health of one another, from morning routines to physical fitness.

Milk-Bone's Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats provide beneficial nutrients not found in most dog foods.

Dogs give us so much love that they deserve more than ordinary treats. They deserve treats with benefits.
Little Rocco loves his breakfast time treat! 

Consider this: According to the “Milk-Bone Human-Canine Health Study”— a survey of 3,000 U.S. dog parents conducted by Milk-Bone brand dog treats (in conjunction with Learndipity Data Insights) —pet parents who include their pups in family health routines lead healthier lives. In fact, 55% of dog parents say their lives are “full of happiness and joy,” compared to 39% of non-dog parents.

What are four tips to ensure that the entire family - including Fido - is healthy and well?

DOGGY EXERCISE
51% of dog parents say they get more exercise because of their dog -- but 1 out of 3 pet parents wish their dog would get more physical activity

TIP #1: Turn your pups’ morning or evening walking session into a fun, impromptu workout session for the entire family, so both you and Fido will get your daily fit fix.

PUPPY NUTRIENTS
1 out of 3 pet parents are concerned their dog isn't getting enough of the nutrients they need.

TIP #2: Start every day with a vitamin routine for the whole family. Your pup’s should include nutrients not found in most dog foods, like Glucosamine to support healthy joints or DHA to supplement overall wellness, which Milk-Bone’s Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats provide.

PETTING SESSION CHECK-UPS
Pet parents conduct “well puppy” check-ups, as they would with their child. If a dog is rubbing his eyes, or has oily spots or bumps in his fur, something could be wrong.

TIP #3: Use fun petting sessions to give your dog a quick look over for possible health ailments, like gently rubbing the bottom of his foot pads for sores.

A FAMILY RITUAL
57% of dog parents who also have children involve the kids in their doggy caring care routines, with most reporting that it teaches them good life habits and responsibility.

TIP #4: Your pup needs just as much attention and care as you and your children. When it’s time for your kids to brush their teeth, brush his teeth too (or give him Milk-Bone Brushing Chews).


Giveaway:
One lucky Mom Files reader will win a Milk-Bone prize pack containing:
  • Milk-Bone Good Morning Treats 
  • Milk-Bone Brushing Chews
  • Cool outdoor swag to keep your pup healthy and active
Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 1, 2015. One winner will be selected and contacted via email to claim prize. Be sure to follow all rules in Rafflecopter widget for entries to count. Good luck!

I received products samples from Milk-Bone. All opinions are my own as always! 
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The 7 Types of Boots Every Woman Should Have In Their Wardrobe This Fall

Knee high boots. Rain boots. Riding boots. Combat boots. Low boots. Thigh high boots. Black boots. Brown boots.

Overwhelmed yet? There are so many different kinds of boots on the market today that it can seem overpowering at times – what is the right boot to pick or do you have to buy 20 different pairs? Well, the true answer is that there really isn’t a “one size fits all” answer to the boot problem. However, you’re in luck because we have narrowed the number of boots to 7:



Overjoyed with Over the Knee

The shaft of your boot can go just about as high as you are comfortable with this fall – whether that means above the knee or all the way to your thigh.  Some people don’t think that boots that go over the knee can be comfortable, but a pair with added stretch or laces ensures a comfortable, tailored fit. Over the knee boots are a great option for those nights when you want to look a little more formal, but it is too cold to wear traditional high heels or strappy sandals.

It’s best to stay classic with black, brown, or gray for the fall, especially when you are wearing rich patterns and heavy fabrics. Over the knee boots look best with dresses and tunics with tights, though you can also pair them with jeggings. To double up on trends, over the knee boots in velvet are a splurge piece that you will cherish.

Comfortable Cowboy Boots

No matter what part of the world you come from, cowboy boots have a place at all fall activities. Fall is a huge time for music festivals, and cowboy boots while obviously great for country music, they fit right in and classic rock concerts too. They are also comfortable enough to go apple picking or pumpkin picking, and for a night around the bonfire.

You can’t go wrong with cowboy boots, during fall they are especially great with a pair of skinny jeans tucked into them or a great pair of simple tights or if it’s warm enough your favorite dress. Add in a denim jacket or a paisley scarf to continue with the theme, or do something completely out of the box and find a pair of boots with embroidery or glitter.

Ever Ready Lace Ups

Fall has a way of presenting us with opportunities to do many different activities at the drop of a hat – one moment you are going to a football game, and the next you are sitting on a hayride getting scared out of your mind. For fall, you will definitely need a pair of shoes that can “do it all” with you.

A simple, sturdy pair of lace up boots can cover just about any situation that you put them into. They are perfect to keep your toes warm while you find your way in a corn maze and still comfortable enough that you won’t have to worry about blisters.

Classic lace up boots come in black and brown, but many stores have them in deep cognac or burnt sienna. With the plethora of color options, they add an outdoorsy touch to your jeans or a hip look to your sweater tights.

Fashion-Forward Chelsea Boots

If you don’t recognize the name “Chelsea Boots,” don’t worry – not many people do. However, you will recognize the classic style and pattern of the boots. The iconic side panels make the shoe more comfortable when you are wearing it, thanks to the added elastic stretch, and the leather ensures that classic boot look that everyone loves.

Wear these when you will have a lot of walking to do but you still want to have a sleek, chic look. They are best paired with your favorite pair of dark colored pants.

Dutiful Duck Boots

Winter weather happens, even in the fall, and it is always a damper on your wardrobe to slip and break a heel (or an ankle). Classic duck boots are the newest “pretty ugly” trend to hit popular culture this year. While you won’t find them on all of the Paris runways, you will find them on people who do a lot of walking on treacherous grounds.

If you have to walk across ice to get into the office or there are puddles everywhere at the holiday parade, you won’t have to worry about slipping, wet socks, or even cold feet. These have extra insulation, extra tread, and added rubber.

Duck boots come primarily from L.L. Bean, but you can get them just about everywhere now that they have become popular again. These work best with slim-legged silhouettes, but they can work with just about everything as they are more purposeful than they are fashionable.

Rockin’ Rocker Boots

You’ve seen them on everyone from Juliette Louis to Steven Tyler, so you know that they are a little edgy but they still bring the comfort to have a good time and not worry about getting blisters or breaking a heel.

Rocker boots have thick, chunk heels that are about 2-3 inches high with no platform. They are usually made out of suede, though a few lines have recently shown them covered in glitter. While they might sound a bit outlandish, they are actually the perfect pairing for the rich patterns and materials you wear only in the fall. They look absolutely amazing with long skirts, jeans of all kinds, and even with dresses.

These boots aren’t for the faint of heart or those who aren’t willing to break out of their comfort zones – but they can work on every single woman.

Cozy Sock Boots

They make boots that are extended in the ankle, they make boots that are normal in the ankle, but what about those of us who have bony ankles? Boots that sag or sink down are never comfortable or chic, but for many people, it is the only option that we have if we want to wear boots.

These boots fit close to the ankle (but many pairs have stretch so just about everyone can wear them) and make a streamlined look. If you are the type of person who gets cold ankles or feet while you are walking outside to attend fall festivals or watching a game, then you will love that these shoes block all of that cold air from getting to your foot.

As these shoes are meant to be thin, you won’t want to stuff denim or leggings into them, so these require a look all of their own. Sock boots look best with wide legged trousers or on bare legs, if it isn’t too cold.

With these seven boots, you will be prepared for just about every situation you encounter this fall. You won’t have to worry about blisters, weak ankles, slipping, tripping, or cold feet. Instead, you will be able to enjoy the little things that make fall the best season of all.

Thank you Jennifer Monahan for this guest post. 
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Oct 12, 2015

Organizing Your Kids’ Closet to Foster Independence

Teaching your children how to care for themselves is an important part of their physical and emotional development. Learning how to brush, wash, and get dressed every day is a big step that requires lots of help from adults. One of the best ways to teach children how to do these everyday tasks themselves is to make their environments accessible and familiar. Here are some tips for creating a bedroom closet that will help your little ones help themselves during their daily dressing routine.

Make it accessible

Most furniture companies now produce child friendly beds, dressers, and wardrobes that sit lower to the ground and allow for maximum accessibility. Built-in closets, on the other hand, aren’t generally fit for purpose when it comes to kids. Set up your own closet with clothes rails, shelves, and storage bins that are lower and easily reached by your children. Make sure any bins are open so your kids know what goes in each space, or choose clear or wire baskets so they can see directly into them from the sides.
via Modernize

Labelling 

After you’ve set up your child friendly closet, affix labels to each shelf and/or bin to help your kids remember which items of clothing go where. For younger children, large print labels with photographs of the type of clothing work best and can be made easily at home. If, like us at Modernize, you like to take your organization a step further, create sections for each day of the week. This way, your kids can choose outfits ahead of time and save you time in the morning. 

Keep it tidy

Probably the most important part of a functioning, independence-building kids’ closet is cleanliness. Finding clothes in a disorganized, cluttered space is next to impossible for adults and will feel positively overwhelming for children. Because kids grow so quickly, regular reorganization of their closet space is a necessity: make sure to remove clothes that are too small, out of season, or no longer worn for one reason or another. Encourage your children to put away their own clothes after they’ve been washed, and remind them to keep the space the way they would like to find it. 
via Modernize

Set a routine

In addition to keeping a regular cleaning schedule, it’s a good idea to encourage your kids to choose their school or activity outfits the night before. If you’ve set up day-of-the-week hangers or shelves, put these outfits in their designated spaces, or hang them on the door of the closet so they’re ready in the morning. After you’ve completed this task together a few times, your children should get the hang of it and hopefully repeat the exercise every day. This routine is not only great for your children because they get to choose their own clothes (within reason, of course), but also great for you because you will save yourself a regular morning struggle of choosing outfits. 

Guest article courtesy of Kaitlin Krull. 

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Oct 6, 2015

Dress Your Kid Like An NFL Pro For Halloween

My son is so excited for one of his most favorite days of the year, Halloween. He loves getting dressed up as his favorite character each year. Now that he's older, he has really gotten into football. William was in for a big surprise when he opened up a box with a Halloween costume of his favorite NFL team, the Carolina Panthers. I really should have recorded a video of his reaction. He screamed with excitement and almost cried!


This Franklin Sports Official NFL Kid’s Costume came with a helmet (not intended to play the actual sport), jersey, pants, chin strap and iron-on numbers. William is 7, so I went with a size medium. Although the costume is slightly big on him, it still looks great. Isn't he adorable?


I love that we were able to add the number 1 on the back of the jersey, just like his favorite player, Cam Newton. I think William will want to wear this costume every time the Panthers play. Actually, I'm lying. He wants to wear it EVERY DAY. This is what makes it so good that it's slightly big, because he can wear it for a long time. I think I will order the youth shoulder pads to complete the look since they are only $9.99.

Franklin Sports Official NFL Kid’s Costume sets are offered in multiple sizes, which accommodate most kids ages 4-9. You can choose from 32 NFL teams to outfit every little football fan in your house! They retail for $49.99 and you can purchase them here. These costumes are not only great for Halloween, but also make a great gift for the holidays for your favorite little football enthusiast.

Be sure to follow Franklin Sports on Facebook and Twitter for product promotions and updates.

I received a product sample in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own as always. 
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Oct 5, 2015

DIY Dog Treat "BOO"quets For Halloween #TreatThePups

Today's post is sponsored by Lunchbox
#TreatThePups

It's hard to believe that it is already October!  This month is generally dedicated to Halloween and I can already see decorations around town. At our house, we get our pumpkins carved, costumes picked out and of course, the mountain of candy to hand out to the cute trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood. Many times, the kids are not only accompanied by an adult, but also their dog. There's nothing cuter than a dog in costume. How nice would it be to have a special Halloween treat just for them? Check out this cute idea for an easy goodie to hand out to the furry visitors-- Dog Treat "BOO"quets.

What you will need:
Halloween ribbon
Lollipop sticks and small wooden skewers
Cellophane bags
Assorted dog treats. I used Milo's Kitchen, Pup-Peroni and Milk-Bone treats.

The key to this fun project is to have a bundle of dog treats on sticks that can be gathered into a bouquet or as I call it, BOO-quet. I start with cutting the treats down just a bit so they fit better on the sticks. You can leave some whole if you want to make a bigger bouquet,

For your cellophane bag, you can trim the top to the size you want. I then fill the bottom of the bag with small size Milk-Bone treats, about 6 of them. I add enough of the chewier type treats that were skewered on sticks and gather them in the center and tie off with a bag tie. Those generally come in the package of cellophane bags.

Next I add a couple decorative picks. I was lucky to find some cute ones from the Halloween cake decorating section of the store that matched my theme perfectly. You can also make them very spooky by using little skulls, spiders or ghosts.

The final touch is tying the bouquet with Halloween themed ribbon. The end result is super cute BOO-quets that dogs will love! I am quite sure their pet parents will love you for thinking of their fur baby.

This is a very easy craft that you can do with your kids. You can also use alternate materials like tulle, tissue paper or paper you want to repurpose. Be creative, it's all about treating our doggie friends! There are many varieties of Big Heart Pet Brand of dog treats available at Walmart stores to add to your special DIY Halloween dog goodies.

If you need some inspiration, be sure to check out the Walmart site dedicated to DIY Halloween dog treats. There are so many simple ideas. So go ahead and take a peek. How will you #TreatThePups?
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