If You Are a Dog Lover You Need to Read This!

I found the amazing site for things to do with your dog and I am not exaggerating when I say it got me (and my dog and hubby) through the Polar Vortex!   st-bernard-dog

The site is called Sidewalk Dog. The opening sentence on their site is: “Sidewalk Dog Media is a cause-based company with a simple mission: To promote thriving relationships between dogs, their people, and the community we share.” dog-or-cat-paw-print

You will find so many things to do with your dog that you didn’t know existed. Plus dog friendly malls, hotels, shops and restaurants. Sidewalk Dog has expanded to Chicago, Denver and Seattle as well.

When you sign up for their newsletter you will get updates on all the dog friendly happenings in town, most of which you won’t want to miss. I mean who doesn’t want to go to Yappy Hour!! A great place for pups to meet for K-9 company and the ‘hoomans’ can get a bite as well.

The site points you to dog friendly events, restaurants, brew pubs, stores and more. Lots of info on Dog Parks as well. But now here is my favorite part. Their Dog Friendly Brewery Pass and Dog Friendly Treat Pass!!

The indoor brewery pass was the life saving part of the most horrible winter ever for us! For $20 you could buy a pass to 17 of some of the best Brew Pubs in Minneapolis and you get a free hand crafted beer at each of them! Pups are allowed inside so on those blustery cold days your pooch can socialize with other pups, get lots of pats from other dog crazy people, and Mom and Dad get a free beer while playing a board game or cards. What’s not to love!

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Most of the brew pubs have food trucks and many even have special events for the pups.

The new Summer Brewery Pass is out and it includes 32 brew pubs, some of which dogs are not allowed inside but they have dog friendly patios.

A super cool new pass is the Dog-Friendly Treat Pass. There are 20 restaurants and stores to visit that offer a free treat for your dog, you or both! Turkey Muttloaf (that is for your dog not you), ice cream treats, coffee (that’s for you  not your dog) and more!

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I just got my ‘Treat Pass” and Hazel (my St Bernard) can’t wait to get out to meet more new friends and start enjoying the free treats!

 

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The Need to Address Odors When Selling Your Home

This isn’t the most fun topic to address, it’s a little stinky. Okay really I had to say that! 🙂 But seriously, when you are selling your home you need to address any odors that may be present.

This is a tough one because most of us don’t smell an odor in our own home. Or we smell it when we first walk in the door but it seems to goes away after a few minutes so we forget about it. If you are selling your home you need to bring in an independent person that will be brutally honest with you. A close friend that will be truthful or better yet a professional Home Stager that will not only kindly address the situation but be able to offer some advice.

In my experience there seems to be 3 most common types of odors:

1) Food Odors

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These are easy to address and usually a quick fix. If you enjoy cooking and using a lot of spices a home can have a lingering smell for days. Especially if you are cooking fish or seafood of any kind. Salmon may be one of the worst.

If these are occasional things that you cook, getting rid of the odor will probably be as simple as airing out the house and refraining from cooking these items while your house is for sale. Grilling outdoors is a perfect solution if you can.

If you have cooked with strong spices for years it is going to be tougher to get rid of the smell so skip to #3 below for suggestions.

 

2) Pet Odors

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These can be a bit trickier than food odors in that usually you can’t get rid of the pet while you are selling your home, not that you would want to anyway! Doggy odors can linger in the house so carpets may need to be shampooed, new doggy beds purchased etc. Old toys may need to by thrown or banished to the garage in the short term. A more constant grooming of your pet may be needed as well while your home is for sale.

I don’t want to give a bad rap just to pup as hamsters, ferrets and any dirty cages or litter boxes fall into this category as well.

 

3) Musty Odors or Smoke Odors

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These are some of the toughest smells to get rid of and usually the ones that will really turn a buyer off as they know it is a tough smell and they may be highly sensitive to smoke. Usually with these odors they have been around for a while and have permeated into carpet, drapes, furniture, woodwork, drywall and even the duct work.

Of course first any smoking in the house needs to stop and if a musty smell is from antiques in the home those have to be removed. If the musty odor is from previous water damage and continued humidity that has to be addressed first and hopefully the problem has been fixed.

After that a certified odor removal company may need to be brought in. They will have the best recommendations for you which may include large machines placed in your  home for a period of time, cleaning carpets, drapes and furniture, or it more probably will mean new carpet, new paint, a treatment on woodwork, duct work cleaned and even new furniture. Many times all of the above unfortunately.

Just know odors are a tough one for buyers to get past and the sooner you address them the better. I will say good luck and be patient.

 

 

An Amazing Patriotic Dessert!

 

First I want to say this is not my recipe. It is by Cakes Cottage and I found it on the internet but boy oh boy is it good!

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Even better there is no baking so it’s perfect for summer, it is light which is also perfect for summer, and it is red, white and blue which is perfect for summer 4th of July celebrations!

I made this for my book club this past week because my book selection was based at West Point and I had a Patriotic theme. It was a beautiful summer night so this light dessert was perfect and looked so pretty.

One warning: you can eat the whole pan! Seriously!! The creamy sweetness offset by the fresh fruit just makes it too yummy to stop.

My pieces didn’t sit up pretty like this, they were softer and less formed but I used a bit smaller pan so the layers may have been thicker. It really didn’t matter though as it got devoured quickly.

 

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Here you go:

NO BAKE SUMMER BERRY ICEBOX CAKE

Ingredients

19 oz graham crackers
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 (3.4 oz) packages Vanilla Instant Pudding 2-1/2 cups cold milk
12 oz Cool whip (or homemade whipped cream) 3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
2 oz white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Beat cream cheese and dry pudding mixes in large bowl with mixer until blended.
  2. Gradually beat in milk.
  3. Gently stir in Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream, reserving 1⁄2 cup.
  4. Spread a thin layer of cool whip in a 9×13 pan just to coat the bottom.
  5. Layer 5 graham crackers across the center of the pan, then 2 more, breaking them as needed to fit around the top and bottom edges.
  6. Spread a layer of pudding mixture over grahams and top with a layer of blueberries and sliced strawberries.
  7. Place graham crackers on top of berries, then pudding mixture, then layer of berries again.
  8. Repeat the graham-pudding-berries layers 1 more time (3 times total) and you should reach the top of thepan.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight until the graham crackers have softened completely.
  10. When ready to serve, melt white chocolate chips in a bowl as directed on package and drizzle over dessert.
  11. You can use a spoon to drizzle it over the tops of the berries or you can put it into a small zip-top bag and snip of the corner for an easy “piping bag.”                                                                                                                                                                             Recipe by Cakescottage at https://cakescottage.com/2016/05/11/no-bake-summer-berry-icebox-cake/