WHAT??? Our Dogs are ingesting remains of euthanized dogs????

I could not believe my eyes when I recently read, with horror, that the FOOD and TREATS we give our dogs from certain companies, JL Smucker to be exact, are contaminated with the remains of euthanized dogs….

HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?? We place so much trust in companies who supply food and nutrients to our babies, our pets,  and ourselves that something like this is incomprehensible! What astounds me more, is the passing off of responsibility, or actually, the irresponsibility of these companies. I’m not sure how the purchase of products used in these foods don’t have additional quality control by these manufacturers…..oh yea….more overhead and less profit…

Gone are the days when we had Ralph Nader and his “Nader’s Raiders,” would expose these kinds of atrocities. Have we resigned to take for granted that companies protect our interests and actually care about the quality of the goods and services they provide?

The J.M. Smucker Company, famous for Smuckers Jam, has responded to this report by issuing a voluntary recall of the tainted pet foods. Pet food with the labels Gravy Train, Ol’Roy, Kibbles N’ Bits, or Skippy Premium, can be returned to the store for a full refund. The FDA asked pet stores to stop selling these brands immediately. The same goes for the dog food brand Against the Grain, which also issued a recall last week for the same concern.

For a complete list of Smucker’s products, CLICK HERE.

For those of us who love to cook AND consider our pets family members, I think that preparing homemade meals for them is a great idea!

My dear friend, Gina, has a 16-year-old doggie named Jackie who is soon to be 17! Her secret to Jackie’s long and happy life is her private chef….her mommy, Gina! Here is Gina’s recipe for Jackie’s delicious 16th birthday cake and a few other nutritious doggie recipes…homemade, delicious and vet approved. Homemade doggie meals must contain protein, fiber and carbohydrates. It is always a good idea to ask your vet about necessary supplements as well.  Enjoy!




  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup honey (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots  I used 1 cup applesauce instead
  • 1 cup whole wheat or white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Add all ingredients to list


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 6 cup ring mold.
  2. Combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and honey, if desired, in a large bowl; blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour and baking soda and fold into the carrot mixture. Spoon cake batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes; then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.



  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups sweet potato, cubed
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut into 6 pieces each
  • 2 pounds frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, green beans, carrots)


  1. Place ingredients in slow cooker in order listed, covering chicken completely with vegetables
  2. Cook 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low
  3. Remove from slow cooker, shred chicken and stir into rice and veggie mixture until evenly distributed.
  4. Store covered in fridge for up to three days or freeze in single-serve portions.

DOGGIE STEW(From Damn Delicious)

“This recipe has a balance of 50% protein, 25% veggies and 25% grains, but the ratios can easily be adjusted to suit your pup’s breed and/or needs.”


  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen


  1. In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks.
  3. Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely.

Dear Friends,

As always, thanks for swinging by! I wanted to share this important information with all of my pet loving friends. I have been so fortunate to have had 16 years with my dog, Britty, but after this recall, I wonder just how long our pups can live with real food…




Cheers to the pets who give us so much unconditional happiness and love.



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As the evenings grow cooler and the day’s shorter, I enjoy autumn’s beauty of gold and red but knowing that winter looms in the not so distant future, I try to find ways to celebrate the season and create personal happiness.

Embracing the changes as we grow older is very much the same and parallels the seasons of our lives. An article I read recently addressed happiness. The essence was simply about the rules we establish for personal happiness and the more rules we do have for that happiness can set us up for unhappiness.  If your joy depends on the weather being sunny and warm each day, and you live in a place where the climate is very seasonal, for example, then you are setting yourself up for unhappiness. I have truly found, that acceptance of my own changes, and yes, that of the changing weather, has made a huge difference. As trite as it may sound, having a half full cup is a healthy cup.

Fall reminds me of pumpkins, apples, squash and wonderful memories of with my children, gathering candy from enthusiastic neighbors, and spending time with friends on those crispy evenings.

Enjoy these delicious seasonal recipes and keep making cherished memories!




  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup of Four-Cheese Italian White Cheese Blend (Mozzarella, White Cheddar, Provolone, Asiago)
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh ground pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Hold your spaghetti squash firmly, cut in half length-wise and scoop out the innards and seeds. Place both halves on a baking sheet, held in place by a small foil ring to ensure stability. Sprinkle fresh cracked pepper over each half.

2. Heat olive oil over medium heat and sauce the shallots until tender, about 4 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, combine heavy cream, chicken broth, shallots and fresh thyme.

3. Sprinkle a first layer of grated cheese in the cavities of each squash halves. Divide the cream mixture on top of cheese in each halves, then top with additional cheese.

4. Roast in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the flesh of the spaghetti squash is very tender when poked with a fork. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

In a hurry? Place the raw spaghetti squash halves face down in a shallow dish with a bit of water, and microwave for 8 minutes (less or more, depending on the size of the squash). The flesh will be almost cooked through. Then  proceed with the remaining steps and bake for only 20-25 minutes in the oven.


I found this delicious recipe and picture on Pinterest. It’s a keeper! 

1 spaghetti squash, seeded
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Âľ cup chopped onion
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup light sour cream
3 ounces less fat cream cheese
Âľ cup grated parmesan, divided
3 cups packed baby spinach
1ÂĽ cups canned artichoke hearts, chopped
Âľ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
chopped fresh parsley

Place the spaghetti squash in a microwave safe dish, cut side up. Pour about half an inch of water in the dish, then cover with plastic wrap and microwave until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly, then with a fork, scrape up the strings from the squash.

In a pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add in the sour cream, cream cheese and half of the parmesan cheese. Stir until the cream cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the spinach and artichoke hearts and cook until the spinach has wilted. Pour half of the mixture into each spaghetti squash half and gently pull up on the spaghetti squash strings to combine with the sauce as much as possible. Top with the shredded mozzarella and the remaining parmesan. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley, if desired, and serve hot.


Found from Cuisine at Home and Serves 8



11/2 lb. butternut squash
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise or greek yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice 2 tsp.honey

1/2–1 tsp. minced chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce


1 head escarole, chopped (about 8 cups)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400°. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Peel skin from squash. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Cut flesh into 11/2-inch chunks; toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast squash on the baking sheet until browned, 25–30 minutes. Cool squash to room temperature. Mince garlic with the 1/2 tsp. salt, then place in a medium bowl. Whisk in mayonnaise or greek yogurt, buttermilk, lime juice, honey, and chipotle until dressing is well blended. Refrigerate dressing until ready to serve, or up to 2 days.

Toss escarole with desired amount of dressing. Top salad with roasted squash and cranberries; garnish with pine nuts.




2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
  2. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Stir in the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture by hand until just combined.
  3. Drop on prepared baking sheets by heaping tablespoonfuls; Butter the bottom of a drinking glass and then dip the bottom of the glass in a bowl of sugar. Flatten the dough balls with the bottom of the glass until they are about Âľ inch thick, dipping the glass in sugar as necessary to prevent sticking.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 13 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on wire rack.
  5. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost or drizzle with cream cheese frosting.
  6. While the cookies are cooling make frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and pumpkin pie spice and beat until smooth and creamy.

Dear Friends,

I hope we all are able to accept the changes in the seasons of our lives because each and every day is a blessing. Cheers to that.



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My obsession with my two granddogters (yep, you read that right) ranks right up there with all of my other obsessions. Why not get your own dog, you ask? It was kind of a ‘Marlie and Me’ moment….. 

Britty was the love of our life. A chubby, 16 year old terri-poo rescue who loved to chase rabbits, cats, squirrels and just about anything else that moved. We’re not sure where this hunting instinct came from, perhaps the terrier in her, although she looked every bit a poodle. Her sense of smell and her intense hunting instinct made her crazed when Steve would yell, “Mr. Squirrel, Mr. Squirrel!” We could barely open the door when she would dart out to make chase! She lost a few front teeth on one of her ‘hunts.’ Living close to a wooded area, we would acquire an occasional field mouse houseguest in the garage. Britty could smell the rascal and when I opened the garage door to the house, she dove into the wall to grab the mouse, missed, and left a few front teeth behind.


God takes these wonderful creatures from us way before he should. The love and happiness they bring is unmatched and unparalleled.

It was a snowy Saturday morning when Steve showed up at my aerobics class and frantically blurted, “Something’s wrong with Britty and you need to come right now!” I quickly grabbed my jacket and when I opened the car door, I saw my little old lady lying on the front seat barely breathing. I took her limp body onto my lap as we raced to her vet. I kept talking to her telling her how much we loved her and wanted her to stay alive. Choking back the tears, I whispered, “It’s okay, Britty. It’s okay to let go….” By the time we walked into the vet’s office and layed her on a blanket covering the table, she took her last breath. But before she did, she turned her head towards us as if to say goodbye. Steve and I fell into each other’s arms sobbing.

My heart was broken as was Steve’s. Never wanting to experience that pain again has prevented me from getting another puppy…..








But now I have granddogs !

So… out granddogter Capri; Jodi and her boyfriend, Neil’s doggie.


 Jodi & Neil found Capri in an abandoned house at the University of Kentucky where they went to school. She had a brother that Jodi wishes they would have kept, but is in a good home. Capri, 8 years old, is part of a lot of things, and mostly cute. Quite honestly, I think she could talk if she tried hard enough!





And, meet Harper….Jeffrey & Alexandria’s puppy.


Harper is a two year old Australian Shepard that was bred on a farm in southern Ohio where Jeffrey & Alexandria chose her from the littler of puppies. Unfortunately, and to their dismay, she no longer had a tail when they picked her up, which is common for Aussies! When Harper was little, they left her with me while they went on vacation. She was such a bad girl! Harper would bite through the leash and take off running. I hired a dog trainer, but thought he was so mean, I asked him not to come back. With lots of patience, Harps has turned into a super loving and well trained dog…Thank heavens! 

This is a delicious summertime treat I found on Pinterest. Healthy & flavorful for you pooch and a perfect treat for a hot summer day.

Frozen Peanut Butter and Banana Doggie Treats

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Have a wonderful day and I hope you drop in again soon!

Cheers, Laura