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Easter reminder: Chocolate eggs and holiday treats are BAD for pets!

This warning comes up with every holiday, but it bears repeating, as the Easter Bunny brings baskets of candies, chocolate bunnies, gummy treats, foil-wrapped chocolate eggs, peanut butter eggs, jelly beans, and other sweet tooth favorites.

Chocolate is toxic to pets.

Too many cats and dogs (and other pets) wind up in veterinary emergencies, simply because they ate holiday sweets.  Plenty of pets experience dangerous, unpleasant, or painful symptoms, such as:

  • blood pressure drops
  • breathing problems
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • loss of coordination
  • muscle spasms
  • racing heartbeat
  • seizures
  • vomiting

Some pets even die after eating chocolate, usually from cardiac arrest, coma, or organ failure.

Chocolate’s not the only culprit, when it comes to pet dangers from Easter treats. Sugary and sugar-free treats can be poisonous or sickening as well. Jelly beans and gummy bears pose choking dangers in pets, as well as dental problems and sugar-related illness.

And don’t get me started on Marshmallow Peeps.

Cellophane and foil wrappers and the dreaded plastic Easter grass can be choking hazards. If swallowed, these can cause intestinal blockages.

Colorful plastic Easter eggs may seem to be enticing playthings for pets, but they can break into sharp pieces.

Also, Easter lilies are quite toxic to pets.

At the risk of sounding parental (guilty as charged), here's a pet owner pledge for a pet-friendly Easter celebration.

Pet owners: Repeat after me.

  1. We will not give our pets (or allow anyone to give our pets) any chocolate or candy this Easter.
  2. If we hide plastic Easter eggs, we will make sure our pets cannot get them.
  3. We will keep the Easter baskets away from our pets.
  4. We will remove Easter candy wrappers from our pets’ reach.
  5. We will dispose of leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs and empty eggshells safely.
  6. We will keep our pets out of the kitchen and away from the Easter table during our holiday celebration.
  7. We will instruct our Easter guests to stow their purses, gift bags, and other possessions out of our pets’ reach.
  8. We will stash the trash away from our pets’ access.
  9. We will keep Easter toys and decorations away from our pets.
  10. We will forgo live lilies and flowers for Easter decorating, or place them where our pets cannot get to them.

Happy Easter, pet lovers!
Adapted from public domain image

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April Challenge reveal - Fearsome Phobias from A to Z

Never fear. Practically at Home is on-board for the April A to Z Blogging Challenge again this year. Duck! Here comes a 26-post alphabetic series, running throughout the year’s fourth month.

It’s time to reveal my theme for the A to Z Challenge:  Fearsome Phobias from A to Z.

I know it’s not October. Halloween is not coming early this year. It just seems like a fascinating topic for a month of blogging. And I am betting that some of the phobias that show up in upcoming posts will be familiar, while others may seem strange and surprising.

So please double back and see if you recognize any of the big, hairy, scary subjects that may appear here.

A to Z Blogging Challenge promo logo – fair use
Graphic adapted from public domain image

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Fashion: 10 styles we’d love to lose

Changing seasons find us swapping out our wardrobes, choosing clothing styles more suitable for warmer weather. Fashion designers are unveiling the latest looks and casting aside yesterday’s apparel.

Cleaning out my own closet, I’m discarding ridiculous styles like these. Frankly, I’m a little embarrassed to admit owning any of these. (Nope. I don't have them all!) Let’s just say a few items were gifts. Please don’t tell the givers that I’m tossing them.

1. Colored Animal Prints

What creative genius dreamed up purple leopard or neon green zebra prints? That wild blouse is not eco-friendly or figure-flattering, so it’s going to the thrift store, if they’ll take it. Even the zoo wouldn’t want it.

2. Colored Camouflage

Camouflage is great for hunters or soldiers, who choose subtle hues for blending into the background. Pink and tan camouflage cargo pants stand out for all the wrong reasons. What sort of military does a fuchsia flak jacket support? Goodbye, mixed message!

3. Faux Furs and Leathers

Animal rights activists ought to protest faux furs and fake leathers. Perhaps no actual creatures were harmed in the making of that shiny jacket, but onlookers’ eyes may be burned by the sight. Pleather is no pleasure, even for the wearer, and a man-made mink is a desecration of decoration.

4. Fuzzy Vests

Ban the bulk! It’s time to shed those loopy synthetic fuzzy vests. Even a Yeti would find these over-the-top tops to be abominations.

5. Jeggings

Stretch denim leggings can go jump. Jeggings are the epitome of fashion indecision, and it’s time to take a stand. Will you join me? Be bold. Be strong. Pick jeans or leggings, and be done with it already. (And if you go for leggings, please, oh please, choose a long, swingy top. Leggings are not pants!)

6. Pajama Jeans

Real grownups carped about youth flaunting pajama pants in public, so clothing manufacturers offered this quirky compromise. Denim-colored flannel or cotton knit PJ pants are supposed to fake out onlookers. Raise your hand, if you’ve ever mistaken pajama jeans for real pants. I didn’t think so.

7. Rompers

One-piece outfits with shorts, bloomers, or pantaloons may look adorable on toddlers, but abhor-able on adults. Let’s send those rompers to the swamps, unless they come in tiny sizes with snap-tape closures for diaper changes.

8. Rubber Clogs

Gardeners swear by rubber clogs, not for fashion, but because all manner of mush hoses off easily. These casual shoes may be great for the pool or beach, but they offer neither style nor arch support for everyday wear. Charmed, bedazzled, or plain, rubber clogs are not grown-up footwear.

9. Socks with High Heels

For at least two terrifying years, knee socks and anklets have appeared under skirts with high heels. This style, perhaps intended as a funked-up version of the dreaded and long-lost (and now returning) legwarmers, reminds us of the stereotypical tourist with his baggy, droopy socks. Let’s lose this fashion foible fast. Pick panty hose, or dare to go bare-legged, but skip the socks.

10. Three-Quarter Sleeves

Sleeve-tugging has become epidemic with the resurgence of this indecisive style. The three-quarter sleeve fits neither climate nor clothier. Ever tried to slip into a jacket or sweatshirt with one of these tops? Can’t we just pick a long-sleeved shirt and push the arms up, or go all-out and toss on a tee?

The new season will bring remarkable and ridiculous fashions of its own. Mind-boggling trends will persist, as long as style-hungry shoppers continue to snatch them up. In the meantime, I’m making room for fashion finds by shedding old dogs that have outlived their wardrobe welcome.

Public domain photo

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