A worrying proportion of dogs in the US are overweight or obese, and like in humans, this is largely down to their diet. As powerful as those puppy-dog eyes can be, remember that you’re in control of what your dog eats, and ultimately, the state […]
Flickr A new dog is an excellent addition to the family and can serve as a means of bringing your family together as a tight unit. The old memorable phrase goes “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.” This was a promotional effort […]
Pre-prepared food items – frozen or otherwise – are way too prominent in our daily lives. Home cooking is often portrayed as an obstacle in your life; something that eats up time you could be doing other, more fulfilling things.
But there’s an undeniable appeal to cooking, even to the many people who rarely do it themselves. There’s a reason we have several television networks dedicated entirely to cooking shows. Sadly, the more time people spending watching these shows, the less time they spend actually making their own food.
And there are plenty of reasons why more of us should be making our own food. Let’s take a quick look.
Something for the ones you love
Something that isn’t spoken about nearly as much as it should be is the fact that cooking something for others is a pleasure unto itself. Preparing and dishing out a meal that you’ve perfected – for family, for friends, for lovers – is a joyous experience that more of us should be engaging in. While some people may find that it’s not exactly the most relaxing experience in the world, as it’s often painted (it can be quite stressful if you’re cooking something you can’t do blindfolded yet!), in the long-term it can help increase your satisfaction with your health and diet.
Monosodium glutamate, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, butylated hydroxyanisole… there are just some of the things you can’t seem to be able to escape from when you eat pre-prepared meals. Even bread seems to be loaded with junk – in the USA, most of the big name bread brands have high-fructose corn syrup, for whatever bizarre reason. This is why it may be more prudent than you think to simply make your own bread; you can find expert reviews on breadmakers if you’re interested. When you make your own food, you’re in control when it comes to what actually ends up in your meals.
Time and money
A lot of people will make the argument that pre-prepared meals save you both time and money. It’s pretty difficult to argue against the ‘time’ argument – although it’s worth pointing out that the more you do it, the faster you’ll become. But you should consider how much healthier it can be to eat home-cooked meals. This may add some time to the tail-end of your life! As for money, the idea that it’s way more expensive to buy your own ingredients is, for the most part, a misconception. When you cook in bulk, you’ll find that the overall cost spreads out very nicely, whether you’re serving several people or spreading the meal for yourself over several days.
Grow your own
One thing you should consider is the idea of actually growing your own ingredients. This is nowhere near as difficult as its made out to be! Of course, you’ll have to have the spare time to tend to such produce. But you’ll save money in the long run and help protect the health of both your family and the planet. Plus, this is the best way to ensure that what you’re eating is as fresh and tasty as possible.
If you’re a dog owner, chances are you’ve glanced enviously at someone else’s perfectly behaved dog before and wished that your dog would stop jumping up, trying to eat everything, and sniffing the crotch of everyone within a five mile radius. Training your dog can […]
It’s a tired and worn-out stereotype that it’s ridiculously hard to buy gifts for men and ridiculously easy to buy gifts for men. Nobody’s the same, and that’s the real reason it’s so hard to buy gifts for anybody. Still, there are slight divergences when it comes to the kind of birthday presents your average guy wants when compared to your average woman, and it’s not quite as big a mystery as folk myths would have you believe. If you’re panicking because you’ve no idea what to buy for your male partner, guy friend, co-worker, or any other man you know in your life then here’s the guy-de (that was witty) to buying birthday gifts for men.
Talk to him.
You don’t have to read his mind. The place to begin is just to talk to your friend or partner about their interests or the things they might have had their eye on recently. There are two ways to approach this: you can either outright ask them what they want for their birthday, or you can sneakily conduct a little research and discover the answer to that without directly asking them. There’s always a chance they don’t have an answer anyway, but through finding out a little more about what they’re into at the moment you’ll have some ideas to build on.
Fashion and accessories.
Yes, everybody loves fashion to some extent. Some people may not give it much thought, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about the way they look in terms of how they dress or accessorize themselves. Perhaps they don’t have the money or the time to go shopping for edgier fashion options, but that’s why it’d be a lovely gesture for a birthday present; you could look into trendy men’s gold bracelet options, for example. Some guys don’t accessorize, but that’s only because they don’t give it much thought. Test the waters with fashionable gifts, and you might be surprised.
Food is a safe bet.
When all other ideas seem to fail, give the gift of food. Everybody loves food. We need it to survive, and that’s why it’s the ultimate gift when it comes to birthday presents. There’s really no way you can go wrong (unless you choose food that your guy friend doesn’t like, but hopefully you know them well enough to plan this out perfectly). There are so many routes you could choose; buying them their favorite chocolate is an option that will surely never go amiss. Of course, you could step things up and bake a cake for them if you want to add a personal touch to the gift.
You don’t necessarily have to take the sweet route, however. If your male pal is a strong food lover then you could opt for something savory, such as some cheeses from an artisan shop. You’ll be showing that you really know your friend and giving them a gift that required some thinking outside the box; it’s unlikely that anyone else will have thought of that. You could even get some kitchen utensils if they love to cook because those are gifts which will last permanently.
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You’ll be heartbroken if you leave them behind and the kennel fees will cost a fortune so you’ve decided to take your pooch on holiday with you. Holidaying with a dog is slightly different to the holidays that you are used to. So, here are some top tips to make sure it runs smoothly.
- Put the dog’s needs first
Sadly, searching for accommodation requires more than looking for a ‘we allow dogs’ declaration on a website. Are there any restrictions on the breed, size, and number of dogs that you can take with you? Is the accommodation suitable for your dog’s needs in terms of size and access?
- Take a pre-holiday trip to the vet
Have a quick visit to the vet before you go to make sure that there are no brewing health problems and that all vaccinations are up to date.
- Plan what you will do
It is essential to have an itinerary when you are traveling with a dog. Some attractions are not dog-friendly and if you want to visit them you will need to organize a sitter. This needs to be arranged well in advance of your trip.
- Make a plan for emergencies
Research the area and find out where the nearest vets are. Record their emergency numbers on your mobile phone. Also, make a note of emergency dog sitters in the area in case you have to go into hospital.
- Pack essentials and treats for your dog
Make a list of all the essentials that you need for your dog. Food, bed/blanket chews, medication and poop bags as well as their leash and a spare collar. ID tags are essential in case your dog gets lost but it is best to have them ID chipped before you go. Take some TufToys with you so that your four-legged friend has plenty to occupy them in the accommodation whilst you relax.
- Polish off your puppy training
It is best to put off your holiday until your pup is trained to obey some basic commands. This is best for everyone’s safety and convenience. Book yourself into some puppy training classes if things are not going well with your own training.
- Car travel with your dog
How will your dog travel in your car? A crate is the safest method for all concerned but some dogs do not like them. Dog harnesses are another safe alternative but you must take care to position them away from airbags. You will need to take a break at least every two hours so that your dog can have a break, walk around, relieve themselves and have some water.
- Setting your dog into your accommodation
Your dog may be stressed when they first reach the accommodation as they will not understand what is happening as it will all be very unfamiliar to them. Take some time to let them settle in and do not leave them alone during this period. Once the dog is happy you can start enjoying your holiday!
Picture Credit Summer is coming up fast, and most of us are starting to ache for sun, sea, and sand. If you have kids and dogs, however, things aren’t as easy as just packing, upping and leaving. You are going to have to be […]