Friday, December 8, 2017

One more House Party

Last weekend I hosted another House Party.  I've been doing House Parties for about 7 years and it had been awhile since my last event.  I love House Party because I get *free* goodies to share with my friends.  What's not to like about that?

This time it was the most expensive Prize Pack yet.  I was hosting a Clarisonic Mia 2 party and the company sent me 3 Clarisonic Mia 2s and a bunch of brush heads.  The Mia 2 costs around $169 and the brushes are $27-35 each so that alone was amazing!

The event said that I would get to keep one Mia 2 and to wait for instructions after the party of what to do with the other two.  I figured I would have to send them back but they ended up telling me to gift them!  Since I already had my own Mia 2 (two years and going strong) I was able to gift all 3 to ladies that came to my party.  Best. Party. Prize Pack. Ever. :)

So very fun!  It will be hard to top this House Party.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Advent Activities and Calendar

Back in 2014 I bought a Starbucks advent calendar with magnetic tins filled with goodies.  The next year I filled the tins with fun Christmas activities/ideas on pieces of paper.  The year after that I was overwhelmed and although I did some of the same activities (make cookies, look at lights, etc) we didn't do the advent calendar.

This year I'm *sort* of on the ball.  I'm doing the tins with activities/ideas and also added a beautiful paper advent calendar by Coley Kuyper.  It has gorgeous designs on one side and verses about the Christmas story on the other.  Love it!

Here are the Advent ideas that I'm using this year with my 6 and 10 year old:

1. Set up paper advent together.
2. Set up the wood nativity.
3. Do a Christmas craft together (foam tree).
4. Take a walk around the neighborhood to see lights.
5. Read a Christmas book together. 
6. Illumination tonight! (local light show)
7. Treat 
8. Make Lego Ornaments.
9. Family Service Project. 
10. Nutcracker!
11. Hot Chocolate & Christmas books.
12. Read a Christmas book together.
13. Do a Christmas craft together (snow globe).
14. Drive around to look at lights.
15. Christmas shopping for family (sister & parents)
16. Draw a picture/write a letter to a family member.
17. Bake Cookies
18. Family game night.
19. Read a Christmas book together.
20. Do a Christmas craft together (bead ornaments).
21. Christmas activity books.
22. Christmas movie night. 
23. Take a walk and look at lights.
24. Set up luminaries. 
25. Christmas!

The beauty of this system is that I can trade out papers if plans change.  I can also sub in items like:

  • Wrap presents.
  • Decorate gingerbread house.
  • Bike rides to look at decorations.

And in a pinch I could put in a "treat" of some sort like a little chocolate. 

I love that we are incorporating the Christmas Bible Verses as well as other fun activities.  I want my kids to grow up having sweet memories of our family holidays together. :)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas Sneak Peak (Fisher Price)

It's beginning to look like Christmas around here!  We've got all five trees up and lights decorating outside.  The kids are making wish-lists and I'm hiding away purchases to wrap for them later. :)

I wanted to give you a sneak peak of the Vintage Fisher Price that will be under the tree this year!  This year I'm giving my youngest (age six) yet another My Friend Doll.  This is the *last* one though as 4 is plenty!  She's been getting one doll the last couple years on her Birthday and Christmas, so it's bittersweet for me that this is the last one.  She is pretty sure she doesn't want the boy My Friend Doll by the way, which is why it won't be 5!

I have been able to purchase all 4 of the My Friend Dolls new in box, which I think is pretty amazing since they are 30-40+ years old!  This last one I found months ago and have been hiding it up in the closet.


She is My Friend Becky #218 made between 1980-1984.  She has beautiful ginger hair and freckles.  Cutest! She comes with a white hat, aqua dress and white shoes. 

I've also been looking for more My Friend Doll clothes.  Mostly used but I've found a few new in package too.  A-mazing.  Since she has 4 of these cuties to dress now I have duplicates of some outfits so that they can match. I accidentally bought too many of the "Winter Wear" outfits so if you need one check out my Etsy shop, I'll have one there soon. 

I'm most excited about this nightgown/robe/slippers set.  I found two new in package for her!

I can't wait to wrap these up and put them under the tree.  I know she'll be super excited on our Christmas Present opening day (never the 25th....always a few days before). 

For more on our Fisher Price Dolls:

#209 My Friend Jenny
#204 Baby Ann (a soft doll) 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

First Days with an Italian Greyhound Puppy Take 2!

Five years ago I wrote about our first few days/weeks with our latest puppy at the time, Bella.  Well it's been five years and we have another puppy now, Button.

Our first days with Button were similar to the other two Italian Greyhounds, but we tweaked a few things, learning from our past mistakes.  Also the products are constantly changing for pet care, and we used some of the latest and greatest.

This time around we really wanted potty training to go well.  This breed is known for being more difficult to train, and once bad habits are set it can be challenging to fix them.  Mission accomplished (so far), at 4 months old she is accident free and doing great!

The big difference this time is that my husband slept with her at night and when she needed to go out he took her.  Puppies are a bit like babies, they have small bladders and initially can't hold it very long.  At first he stayed in the living room with her at night, and then eventually moved to our room.  At 4 months she is pretty much sleeping through the night and there have been no accidents in the bed. :)

Here's what we bought to prepare for the puppy.  Some are similar to what we used for our last puppy.

Midwest Black Exercise Pen 24" 

We made the puppy her own space and put it in a central area of our home since we wanted her to be socialized. This pen was the perfect size as it's not too big and not too small. Also easy enough to reach over or walk over but high enough that she couldn't climb out. It also folds down easily and was pretty inexpensive. We put it on top of a folded over tarp (from Home Depot). Inside the pen we made a little puppy land for her complete with a sleeping area, potty area, toys and water. 

Most of the time the door was open so that she could go out (and go in to potty), we rarely had her in there by herself for long.  She would go into her crate when she needed to rest.  We did not have her sleep in her crate area overnight like our last puppy.  We took down the pen when she was about 3 months old.  

Dog Crate  

A dog crate is important for a variety of reasons. First your puppy needs a safe place to sleep or be alone. Second, you'll eventually need them to be in the crate when you leave the house. Lastly you may need a crate for traveling and transporting. You don't want one too big (so they don't have space to use it as a potty) or too small. It's tricky with a puppy since they'll be growing. 

This time around we bought a full size crate rather than a smaller temporary one.  It is big enough to use as an adult but small enough to work for overnight trips. We started putting her in there for a few minutes at a time (20 or so) when we were in the same room.  We also put her in there during our meals.

We slowly worked up to longer periods of time, trying not to keep her in there more than 1-2 hours for the first couple of months.  Now at 4 months we will leave her up to 2 hours, but no more than 3.


Dog Bed

A dog bed is a must, and you may need more than one. We have dog beds in our office, bedroom and living spaces.  Puppies (and dogs) sleep a lot and a comfortable space is needed. 

Dog Toys

Puppies need toys to chew on and play with.  While they are getting and losing baby teeth chewing toys are helpful, otherwise they may go looking for your shoes!  Our puppy also likes toys that squeak and that can be used as a tug of war.  

I suggest getting a variety and seeing what they like best.  Our daughter's Sophie giraffes have been the most popular around here. :)  Get a basket and put the toys in it, bring the basket out during the day and put it away at night.  Our puppy loves it!

Fresh Patch

With our first dog we used paper/box training.  With the second a reusable Potty Patch made of plastic that looked like grass.  With our recent puppy we upgraded to the latest and greatest, a Fresh Patch.  

Every other week a box of *real* grass arrived at our door.  It was the perfect way to train our puppy to go on grass, since it is real grass.  After 2 weeks we had another box arrive and threw out the first one.  

A little pricey but worth it, since she was able to easily transition to our real grass outside.  We only needed 3 deliveries of Fresh Patch before she was going outside 100%.  There are many codes out there to get discounts on Fresh Patch, google around to find one.  

Other items: water/food bowls, harness/leash, extra blankets.

We're making an effort to socialize Button more than we did Bella.  With Dante (our first and currently 13 year old Italian Greyhound) he joined us before kids, so he was our fur-baby.  We took him with us to restaurants, on vacations, on planes, in cars, etc.  He got used to lots of ages, places and faces.  

With Bella (5 years ago) I had a one year old baby and let's just say taking a dog, baby and a preschooler out was *not* in the cards.  So this time around with Button we're taking her out and letting her experience more places and spaces.  

Her first big non-vet outing was a doggie play-date with our fantastic pet-sitter and then to Starbucks.  Button was freaked but a lot of reassurance a little puppuccino (Starbucks whipped cream) and lots of love and she survived. 

A well fitting dog harness is a must for outings.  A plain collar leash isn't as safe for this breed and especially puppies as they can slip out of them.  The kind that goes around their middle (harness) is much safer and more comfortable.  We have the kind that she steps into, so it's relatively easy to put on.

It's been a bit of an adjustment having three Italian Greyhounds but three really doesn't seem much more than two. :)  And thankfully my husband has done most of the training so having Button in our family has been a fun addition. Yay puppies! 

Other Italian Greyhound Posts:

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I've made Little People Thanksgiving pictures for 5 years now and I ran out of ideas!  Good thing this is the last year of the blog!  But seriously I've done the First Thanksgiving with Indigenous People and Pilgrims (a few times), Family Flag Football games and even a modern family dinner.  What else is there people?  Hmm, maybe a parade?  Shoot, that would have been cute.  Oh well.  Instead I have more Pilgrims and Indigenous People.  You're welcome.

I hope your Thanksgiving was pie-tastic!

For more Little People Turkey-day fun check out: