Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rules For Approaching Large Dogs

Hi guys! I came across this article on Facebook and I really want to share it. It's a must read for all dog owners (not just owners of large dogs) and parents of children. There's not much more I can say... just read!

Hey Kids! Want to Meet My Big Dogs? Here Are 7 Rules.

I have giant dogs and small kids, so straight from the beginning it was super important to guide my children to live happily and safely with dogs that easily outweigh them by almost 100 pounds.

Some things they picked up with no problem, but other things they learned on their own.
For instance, my daughter learned the hard way that when a big dog is on a mission, you need to step to the side or you’re going to get knocked over. Even though I told her this countless times, she needed to experience it herself to get the message.

“Ouch!” I heard her yell one day from the kitchen. I looked over to see her sprawled out on the floor. “What happened?” I asked. “Sherman just knocked me over!” she yelled. “I was trying to race him to his ball.”

Well, I’ve seen my daughter race before. She tries to get out front, which is not a good idea to begin with, but it’s especially not a good when she’s racing a dog three times her size. I think she’s learned her lesson now.

Experiencing things for themselves is the way some kids learn best, and that’s fine when they’re my kids and my dogs — but when it’s my dogs and someone else’s kids, I would rather it not go down that way.

Teaching kids about how to approach dogs is one thing. Teaching kids about approaching BIG dogs is another. Here are a few of the important things I try to emphasize with children.

1. No Running

Kids see my Newfoundlands as big brown teddy bears, so they come bounding toward us. If I see children running full force at one of my dogs, I tell them to stop and walk up to us slowly. I try to explain how running toward a dog can scare them, especially if they aren’t paying attention.

2. Be Quiet

Since I have kids, we go to a lot of kid-related functions outside. Most children are out releasing their energy, which is great — except when they are standing in front of my dogs and me. I simply ask that they tone it down for a few minutes so the dogs feel more comfortable with them.

3. One at a Time, Please

We usually attract a crowd; therefore, it’s important that only one or two children pet the dogs at a time so that they don’t get overwhelmed.

4. Keep Your Face Away

I don’t know what it is, but kids always want to put their teeny faces right in front of my dogs’ faces and have a conversation with them.
It drives me crazy. Not because I think my dogs are going to bite them, but because there is some other dog out there somewhere who will bite them if they do this. So if I can tell them why this is a bad idea, with any luck they will hear me and avoid a future incident.

5. Ask Permission

It’s important to teach children to ask permission to pet a dog. Some dogs may not like to be petted, and some dogs might have certain areas they don’t like being touched. And some pet owners, like me, like to be able to put their dog in a sit position before the meeting begins.

6. Stand to the Side

Some people may disagree with me on this one, yet I’ve found that this approach works better with very large dogs.
I have kids put their hands out for the dogs to sniff and then stand to the side of them. Most young kids are smaller or at eye level with my dogs, so I feel if they are standing on the side of the dogs this is less threatening to both the dog and the child.

7. Don’t Touch Body Parts

My dogs are big and fluffy, and kids want to touch them everywhere, but I ask that they keep the main touching to the dogs’ torso area and stay away from the ears, mouth, legs and tail.
Given that one of my dogs, Leroy, has suffered from major ear infections in the past, he’s not fond of his ears being messed with. I try to spare him the agony of someone tugging on his ears by directing their touch.

My dogs are great with kids, but sometimes kids aren’t so great with them. I’m a firm believer that teaching children how to safely approach large dogs — or any size dog — should be taught at home by their parents.

Unfortunately that doesn’t always seem to be the case, so the least I can do is provide a bit of education while I’m out with my family and my dogs.

Sorry, kids: My dogs, my rules.
Jennifer Costello


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My home, Tour my Living Room

I like to provide links to most things on my blog. There won't be many links in this post because most things are family items or bought from HomeGoods. 

Ikea picture

Fleur de Lis clock from Portiera


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Egg White Facial

Aka DIY face lift because it tightens your pores. 

What you'll need:
1. An egg
2. Lemon juice
3. 2 bowls
4. Baster or make up brush

What to do:
1. Separate egg white into one bowl and yolk into the other
2. Add a few drops of lemon juice to the egg white and beat together

3. In an upward motion spread egg white onto clean face using either a baster or make up brush. It should be streaky... See photo

4. Let sit for 15-30 minutes. You will feel your face tightening
5. Rinse
6. Repeat with yolk (optional)


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First Steps in Wedding Planning

When I got engaged I was overwhelmed because all of a sudden people were asking me questions and I didn't have answers. I am slowly starting to realize that this whole wedding planning thing isn't so stressful after all... IF you take it one step at a time.

1. Bridal Shows- My best friend and I have been to 2 so far and I have found them really helpful. At each one there have been an abundant amount of vendors and they all give you brochures. I love sitting home at night and going through my bag of vendor stuff; I am able to see what my options are! There is a bridal show coming up at the Convention Center in Baltimore for any bride-to-be's who are interested.

2.  I am in love with this website. You can use their checklist which is amazing and tells you exactly when you need to have certain things done.  I'm also already working on creating my wedding website through them... it's free! Check mine out here!!!

3. Date and venue- Both are set and I am in the process of signing my contract to make it official!!!

4. Registries- According to my checklist, I need to have my registries done right around now. So I've already created them online and this weekend my mom and dad, best friend, and I are going to pick some things out in the store. I can't wait! This is also where my wedding website ties in; guests will be able to learn about where I'm registered at (along with a bunch of other things like where we are going for our honeymoon) all in one place.

My next steps are going to be to create my Save-the-Date's (I'm hand making them!!!), hire a photographer, attend a tasting at my venue, and schedule an appointment for dress shopping.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Valentines Day Gift Ideas

Valentines Day is coming up and I am oh so excited!! This Valentines Day Jon and I are an engaged couple and next Valentines Day we will be married- so much to love about that <3 Here are some gifts I'm looking at this year:

For her...



For him...


And just a side note, the mens splendid t-shirt is the softest shirt I have ever felt- your man will be sure to fall in love with you all over again ;)


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Recipe, Baltimore-style deviled eggs

I apologize for my lack of posts.... I have been so sick (still am) so I figured today I'd share a recipe! 

Few ingredients, simple, and oh so delicious! This is another little appetizer that I get "oooohs and ahhhhs" with, when I bring it to parties. Try it and I promise you won't be disappointed :)

What you will need:
1. 1 dozen eggs
2. 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
3. 2 teaspoons Mustard
4. Old bay seasoning to taste
5. 1 large (or 2 small) jalapeño pepper

What to do:
1. Boil, peal, and cut eggs in half. Take the cooked yolk and put in a bowl.

2. Add mayonnaise, mustard, and old bay seasoning to yolks. Stir.

3. Top the cooked egg whites with yolk mix.
4. Finely slice jalapeño pepper.  Place a slice in each deviled egg.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Baltimore's Adoptable Dogs, January 2014

Bishop adoptable through Baltimore Bully Crew

Located in Baltimore, MD. This is Bishop. He is around 2 years old. He is about 30lbs and just wiggles all over the place. He has such a great personality that really shines through. Bishop has been good with most dogs he meets as long as intros are done properly and slowly. He LOVES his people, he will snuggle non stop with you. He is housebroken, UTD on shots, neutered and microchipped. Contact Baltimore Bully Crew to adopt Bishop.


Ellie Mae adoptable through Bella's Bully Buddies
Hi Guys! My name is Ellie Mae. I'm currently in a foster home with 2 doggie foster siblings and am just loving life! Foster mom says I'm one of the most appreciative and happy pups she's ever met- I show her this by being very attentive and trying my hardest to be the best dog I can be! I love learning new things and am doing great with training! I am housebroken, crate trained, walk well on a leash, and am working on all my basic commands! I love to play with other dogs but am pretty laid back and way past my puppy days at 4 years young!  I'm also good with cats!  My foster parents think its the cutest thing when I burrow my head and snuggle with them and my foster siblings but I just like being as close as I possibly can be to everyone! 
Life in my foster home is great but I want nothing more than a forever family to call my own! Are you my happy ever after? If you would like to meet me, and I would surely like to meet you, please fill out an application at
Cord adoptable through BARCS
Cord is a wonderful dog! He came in as a stray and his owners were contacted because he was microchipped, however they never came in to redeem him =( Cord is calm, gentle, and loving. He loves to put his side against his kennel door to get scratched. Upon entering his kennel he immediately picks up one of his toys and asks to play. Cord knows basic commands such as sit and stay, is house broken and he walks well on leash. Cord is a staff members favorite and comes with an adoption basket filled with treats, toys, bowls, and a collar and leash. Cord is currently living in a foster home. Please email to arrange a meeting.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekend Recap

... in pictures!
Duck confit at Mezze is TO DIE FOR.

I moved my chalkboard sign to my back porch and I have to say I'm loving it! (tealight lantern, shelving unit,candleholder lantern)
Lots of cuddle time with the pups :)
Last but not least, it's pretty much official that we have no grass left in the back yard. When we moved in the yard was in terrible condition. It didn't help that we got two pit bulls and had lots of rain lately. Either way I spent yesterday laying down straw in hopes that by Spring the yard will dry up and we can lay some seed down.  How was your weekend?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Restaurant Review, The Black Olive

We had originally planned on having date night at Bond Street Social but that was before we knew that they closed to the public and were only serving a private party. Luckily, The Black Olive was only steps away and we had heard it was really good.

Name: The Black Olive

Location: 814 S. Bond Street, Baltimore, MD 21231 In Fells Point but out of the way from all of the bars and shops. It's located on a residential street and just blocks away from the inner harbor.

Prices: Our total bill was a little over $100 and we got: 2 cocktails priced around $11 each, 2 beers, calamari appetizer, and 2 entrees priced in the $30's for each. The appetizer was only served with 4 stuffed calamari and we thought that for the price it should have been served with 6 or 8.

Food: Our drinks were great, you could taste the alcohol in Jon's but not so much in mine. And I loved the fresh fruit floating at the top.

They start with putting bread, olives, and olive oil out. It was very tasty and the bread was fresh!  Then our appetizer came out. I've never had calamari grilled, usually just fried, but I was pleased with it especially because it was stuffed with feta cheese. We were so excited to try it that I forgot to take a picture.

I got the scallops and Jon got rockfish. Scallops tasted great but when I took a bite of the rockfish I have to say I was a little disappointed in my choice. The rockfish was simply amazing. He had it sautéed and you just can't go wrong. The chef's choice of side was garlic mashed sweet potato and it was so good that it melted in your mouth. Again, I forgot to take a picture because we were too excited to dig in!

Service: Our server was great and took the time to explain the menu to us. Most places I don't think it is necessary for a server to tell you about the food but here it was definitely needed. He told us that they are known for serving whole fish and that if you order one they will filet it right at your table. He served us ice water with our drinks without us having to ask (that is a biggie for me). He also gave us clean knives in-between our appetizer and entrée.

Ambiance: We sat at a corner table in the side room (we liked the feel of the main room just a little bit better... maybe because the round shaped bar is in that room). But the entire restaurant has such a cool feel- it is mixed with old time Greece and a modern setting. Tables were set with linens and the chairs were really comfy! And I loved the wood oven in the kitchen. P.S. you can see right into the kitchen.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Home, Tour My Bedroom

Have I mentioned I live in a small old city house? lol Technically it's the city (I have to pay city taxes) but it's close to the county line.

ANYWAYS, my point is, it's been hard for me to choose a good layout for each room; this is what I came up with in my bedroom! (P.S. I'm still in search of the perfect headboard)

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