Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Dog Named Dave

Meet Davey the puggle. Dave is an eight-year old feisty mix of pug and beagle. He is all mouth, stomach, nose and personality, like so very many puggles. Oh and did I mention he is goofy looking? See?

This oh-so-lovable boy came into my life and changed it forever. I never was a dog person. Davey turned me into one. He is my shadow, my best friend and my favorite companion. I even worked at a dog daycare when he was young so I could hang out with him more.
Over the past eight years I have had to learn a ton about dogs. Davey requires lots of attention and like many puggles has terrible separation anxiety. He also loves to destroy toys and eat. He loves food so much he even developed a bad pancreas issue several years ago which requires a special low-fat diet.

In the coming blogs I plan to share some of the trials and triumphs Davey and I have had over the years. I'll talk about my most favorite dog products, the lessons we have learned the hard way and the tricks that have helped us get through our challenges. There will certainly be giveaways and lots of pictures along the way. Yes, I'm that dog mom- and I welcome you if you are too!

Our first review and giveaway, for treats from the fellow puggle-lovers and amazing bakers at Lainey's Pawtique, will be up this week so come back and enter soon.

Davey and Jessica

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Facebook Game- A Better World

If you are unfortunate enough to be one of my 146 Facebook friends you already know I have an open secret-I like the cutesy games.

Don't judge. First of all they are free entertainment and I'm all about free. Secondly, they help me unwind. And most importantly, I'm not playing alone.

According to Facebook 200 million people play social games on their site each month. So unless you are a game hating curmudgeon like my significant other (hi honey!) you have probably sipped the social gaming koolaid yourself.

So when I was asked to take a new Facebook game from ToonUps for a spin I was all over it. The game, A Better World, was just launched in December.  None of my regular gaming friends were playing yet, which means I had time to take a look around before sending out invites. 

A Better World isn't just any other game, its a game with a purpose. It is described by ToonUps as being "about motivation, inspiration, sharing, caring, and helping each other out".

 No seriously, no one dies on A Better World, not even vegetables. 

If you only like to kill things in your gaming you should probably move along. Go on now- get.

Me, I like a little balance, calm stress-free gaming  most days and shoot-em/stab-em/kick-em in the head games on other days so this fits well with my calm days.

The game consists of 3 major areas; the village where you can customize your home and visit friend's homes, the town where you can shop for clothes or house items and the countryside where the "Gratitude Grotto" and the "Heart Cart" are located. Here is a screen shot of the adorable Heart Cart where you can send hearts to other players:

Like any new game, there are pros and cons. Here are some of the things I liked best about A Better World:

  •  The tutorial walks through the major features of the game instead of leaving you wondering what the heck you should be doing. If you are a Facebook gaming rookie this game is a lovely place to start.
  • The message- "gold" is earned by posting encouraging messages in the community grotto or sending your friends positive notes. Every aspect of the game is centered around positivity.
  • Mini games- Aside from the charming graphics my favorite feature so far is the mini games. There are 2 games you can play each day to earn gold. I particularly like the ThreeCycle game, a match 3 puzzle that looks like this:

All in all I'm thumbs up on the concept. But I would hope to see a little more from the game.

I happen to favor a game that has firm goals. Although I will  play the mini games in A Better World I would be more of a regular player if tasks and rewards were added on. More mini games would be fabu. Like lots more mini games. 

Let me be straight here- the game isn't for everyone. A 15 r old boy who plays World of Warcraft all day is not going to be down with the gratitude and positivity of A Better World. At least not till that puberty thing passes.
Want to check out A Better World?   Click on over to their Facebook page and select "Go to App" under the picture on the left side. The game will tell you everything you need to know from there. The Facebook page also contains announcements on new features so if you enjoy the game be sure to "like" that page.

Have a favorite Facebook game? Have a site you play games for points or prizes? I'd love to hear about them....


I received an Amazon gift card from ToonUps as a thank you for participating in this campaign. Although I certainly can be bought, this review isn't. My opinions are always free and trust me, I have plenty to go around.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ressurection, of sorts

As happens oh so often, I abandon this blog some time ago. Quite a bit of living has gone on since then- I took a 'real job' as a chemist in a pharmaceutical company and ran out of time to blog. I went back into the workforce because my partner was having a hard time finding decent work in her field after the company she worked for went under. So even though the work was 3rd shift and over an hour away, off I went.


Sometime in March 2010 I got sick. A topic for another blog perhaps. Not sick enough to kill me, but sick enough that by the end of May I was on sick and by July/August I could no longer work at all. I still struggle with my health but I have settled into an OK place.

So now I'm reviving old projects and hobbies. I'm entering contests more, reading and working on saving every penny I can. These are some of my favorite past times. I know there are FAR more review blogs out there then any one population of consumers could possibly care about, so I won't be going that route here.

In the future I plan to provide some tips on how I get so many items for free, how I win contests, how I save money. Friends are always saying "teach me, show me" so I will. Hopefully I will learn a bit myself along the way!!

- Jess

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Back in Action

I've been taking a bit of a vacation, in case anyone was wondering if I fell of the face of the earth. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday while I was ignoring the Internet and paying attention to real life!

While I was taking a break I received a product I am excited to try out- the Q-Link necklace. The Q-Link products are designed to help reduce stress, balance and improve energy and increase focus and concentration. While those might seem to be some lofty goals I don't think they are impossible.

I firmly believe that the field of "energy medicine" is one of the least understood areas in medicine right now. I hope that in the future science uncovers some of the secrets of how the energy fields in and around us impact our health and well-being. And I for one am willing to try to improve my energy even if we don't fully understand the physics behind why it works.

I am excited to be wearing the Q-link necklace to see if it helps me at all. I took a brief quiz on-line to measure my attention, speed and reaction time before the necklace. In a week or so I will retake the test and let you know if there is any improvement. I'm a bit skeptical but trying to stay open minded. I will let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Working for the Snuggle Puggle- Keeping Cool

Today it was an obnoxious 97 degrees in the Chicago suburbs. Davey and I both hate the heat and have a hard time tolerating it. Here is Dave hard at work to keep cool this evening:

He is such a hard worker that boy. I have my eye on a cooling mat like this one to help the poor puggle get through the rest of the summer.

How do you and your dog deal with the heat?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bil-Jac Dog Treat Review

Bil -Jac's dog treats have recently been added to our ever-growing list of treats Dave can't live without. Of course, Davey's waist line has grown right along with that list, not that HE minds.

Davey absolutely lost his mind for the Bil-Jac Gooberlicious treats. These soft, peanut flavored treats were the first to go in this house. I used them for encouragement to get Davey into his kennel (he always gets a Kong and treats to go in the "Bat Cave, as we call it) and he is thrilled to go in there for a Gooberlicious treat or two.

The Bil -Jac Liver Treats serve a very specific purpose for us- training. The small treats are just the right size and shape for breaking in half. I like that because I can give Davey enough of a reward but not too many calories. Plus all the Bil-Jac treats have a great smell, which helps Davey get even more motivated to do as I ask. For large dogs I would think the Bil-Jac Liver treats would be just the right size for training. They fit nicely in a large kong as well. Neither the Liver Treats nor the Gooberlicious treats dried out in the whole time we had them, which I really appreciate since some of the cheaper treats tend to get hard quickly even if sealed up.

After trying the Bil-Jac treats I saw that they also offer a pizza flavor treat, which I know Davey will L O V E. Pizza is the one food that makes him drool like a fiend. I actually feel bad for the poor guy when we eat it because I know I can only give him a taste. So I am thrilled to find that there is a high-quality treat like Bil-Jac in pizza flavor. Now to just figure out what new trick to teach Dave so he can earn those treats- any suggestions? He knows all the basic tricks, so something fun and challenging is needed at this point.

Bil-Jac products, including their treats, are available at PetCo and Petsmart or you can find a Bil-Jac retailer by visiting their website.

Recycled Post-it Notes

Post-it notes are, to me, one nifty-neato invention. I can't imagine not having them around, and since they were invented just prior to my birth I have never had to live in a world without them. Being a rabid list-maker who frequently misplaces said lists Post-it notes come in mighty handy in my home.

Always the innovators, the people at 3M have again re-invented the post –it with the introduction of a recycled Post-it line.

Post-it notes have always been recyclable, but now is there a Post-it line made from recycled materials. The Post-it Recycled Collection is made from 30% post consumer content and/or 100% recycled paper. The collection includes the lined-page Post-it Note design (my favorite for list making!), Super Sticky Post-it Recycled Notes, Post-it Recycled Notes Cabinet Packs, Post-It Super Sticky Recycled Easel Pads, Post-it Super Sticky Recycled Pop Up Notes and Pop Up Notes in a desk grip dispenser… which gives you plenty of green options to choose from.

I am always happy to see big companies with widely used products making an effort when it comes to manufacturing an eco-friendly product, and for 3M this is not a new initiative. The Post-it products are made from sustainably harvested forests and have long included post consumer content. To learn more about the Recycled collection or 3M's dedication to the environment visits their website here.

Be sure to look for the Post-it Recycled collection when you are buying Post-its and remember to always recycle your used Post-it notes!