new puppy, thepups, Uncategorized

National Puppy Day!

It’s national puppy day!!! Puppies are universally amazing, adorable, and lovable. I should know, having four adopted dogs, 2 still under one year! A lot of people think I am crazy having so many dogs but when you realize all the benefits, it starts to make a lot more sense.

Erin Askeland is a CPDT-KA and Training and Behavioral Expert at Camp Bow Wow (North America’s largest and most trusted pet care franchise). She has shared some awesome tips on the benefits of having a pup (or four…) and how they can truly reduce everyday stress.
When you see all of these great tips, it’s easy to see why adopting a dog is great for everyone. You get to save a life and they get to love you and make yours better, win win for everyone. #adoptdontshop and check out the tips below from Erin! (Bonus video of my pups at the end!)
How Pets Help Reduce Stress
Some studies show that people begin to feel less anxious after spending less than an hour with an animal. There are endless benefits from lowering your stress level and while the things that we find stressful in our lives are often hard to eliminate, adding an animal to your life can help.
  • General Benefits: There’s a reason that they say dog is man’s best friend. Having a pet, not limited to dogs, is something that everyone should experience at some point in their life. Pets can be calming, mood lifting, empathetic, and so much more. They teach you how to be selfless and responsible as you are caring over another life (for those of you without children).  Generally speaking, they make you happy.
  • Helps with Depression: In some cases, therapists suggest that patients suffering from depression that they adopt a pet. An animal will love you unconditionally and also be a great friend and listener. People with depression often benefit from having a pet, as the animal can help them get out of the house.
  • Health Benefits: There are other health benefits associated with pet ownership (particularly dogs). Many studies show that owning a pet has a positive impact on cardiovascular disease, hypertension, infection control, allergies, stress related problems, blood pressure, and psychological issues.
  • Engaged Mind: A key to a healthy mind, especially for those who are elderly, is staying engaged with others. A pet is often a conversation starter and being out with a pet often warrants questions or comments from passersby. Bringing your dog to a dog park is a great way to meet new people with similar interests.
  • Build Your Children’s Confidence: Having a dog in the home can build confidence and manage anxiety and stress in children. Children who struggle with reading or math can gain confidence when reading aloud or reciting multiplication tables to their dog.
  • Excuse to Play: Training and playing with your dog also provides mental stimulation, helps unleash creativity and alleviates stress. Having a dog will also encourage you to exercise as you’ll need to walk Fido regularly.
  • Routine: Having a daily schedule reduces stress for any individual. Having a dog that relies on you at specific times each day (feeding, walking, and sleeping) can help establish a routine.
home improvement, rescue, thepups, weight loss

Puppies and surgery and home repairs, oh my!

February is almost here and so much is happening! It’s been a whirlwind of activity and so far, all good in my life. Except for the whole election and narcissistic dictator posing as president but I’m not going to touch that right now. So here’s what’s been going on in 2017 for me.

The puppies!

After all the amazing work Alive Rescue did to save Barbara, Joey and I wanted to give back. They had an emergency foster situation for three 7 week old puppies and their mom Cookie. With only a few hours notice, we went from a house of 3 dogs to a house of 7 plus the cat late on a Sunday night.

Mama Cookie ❤️

Cashew, Chicklet, Caramel, and Cookie have been hanging out with us for a few weeks and it’s been puppy chaos! The puppies were weaned and Cookie went over to an amazing foster last Friday. The pups went to an adoption event Saturday and they can be found here for information and applications. They are sweet girls with spunk and love and puppy kisses. I love being able to give them a safe and warm home as they wait for their furever families.


I have talked about it on my instagram but haven’t brought it up here yet so here goes! I am getting my Lapband removed and getting Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy aka the sleeve. 

I have been having Lapband complications for about a year and a half and kept hoping that it would get better with adjustments. After throwing up most of my meals and only being able to eat things that could digest fast and easy aka junk food, I finally realized I needed to change. Combine the band failing with a terrible boss who was a phony, idiot, and useful as shoes on a fish and the end of 2015/beginning of 2016 was rough. Health is my priority and after my girls trip in October where I couldn’t stop throwing up, I made my doctor’s appointment. After a pretty negative UIC experience where I did not feel confident about their level of care, I made an appointment with Suburban Surgical Care Center on the recommendation of a friend, Catherine. I met with Dr. Guske on December 5th and started the process. Thanks to BlueCross Blue Shied and my work having a great bariatric policy, I was approved to have my revision to the sleeve. My surgery is scheduled for February 22nd and I am SO excited. To continue on my journey of health and happiness and getting to my goal weight is so exciting and thrilling. Am I nervous? Heck yes. The excitement and the motivation I have to get healthy, gain muscle, fuel my body with good things and treat it with love and kindness is overpowering any nervousness I have.

Home Repairs

We are doing a ton of work on the house in the next year and are getting started now. New windows are being quoted out and getting done asap. We got a new roof last year and gutters so our window casings will match the same ivory. We are getting a new garage, doing the landscaping, and redoing part of the kitchen. It’s a lot of work and I really look forward to updating the house while still keeping the vintage charm. It’s also really fun to drive around and get coffee or snuggle on the sofa with Joey and talk and plan and hang out. Having a partner like him, to dream with and build our dreams, to laugh and disagree, to become a better communicator with, to fall asleep with at night, it’s something I am thankful for everyday. It’s going to be awesome to document the before and after of all the improvements! Can’t wait to show you!

It’s going to be a busy next two months and I look forward to documenting, adding some video blogs in, and sharing my journey.

What’s going on in your 2017? What are you looking forward to?

fall, pets, product review, reviews, thepups

Four Legged Fall Fashion w/Hotel Doggy

Today was a perfect fall day: crisp, dry, and full of sunshine. We were up early and headed over to Hoosier Mama Pie Co. and Dollop Coffee for breakfast. They have the most amazing hand pies so I grabbed a few of the spinach and sausage ones. Joey opted for an amazing sausage, Gouda, and egg biscuit. Well, I can vouch the biscuit was amazing since I don’t like Gouda. We grabbed some Nutella Coffee and headed back home to the pups.

Since my fur babies are small, they definitely need some kind of clothing as the weather gets colder. Luckily this was the perfect chance to try out the gorgeous jackets and sweaters sent over from  HotelDoggy, an amazing dog apparel company from Canada. They are finally here in the US at PetCo (NY area), TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and HomeGoods. Prices range from $14.99-$29.99.

Penelope (XS) and Barbara (XXS)

My two little baby girls look adorable in these dark pink plaid sherpa jackets. They are great because they close by velcro and can work with their leash/harness/ and any winter weight gain lol (but really not funny cause dog obesity is no joke).

Dante (S)

Dante has always needed sweaters and jackets but is really hard to find clothes for. He is thin with a large rib cage and long long legs so what fits the ribs is usually huge everywhere else. This sweater fit perfect and he looks so handsome. He is such a sweetie and so patient and gentle.

Uptown, downtown, any town: wherever you venture, you pup will be the top dog in the neighborhood. (Hotel Doggy)

I think when you’re a pet parent, especially of small dogs, people love to make fun of and mock clothing. People forget some dogs really need it and yes, I know Babs doesn’t need a bikini but hey, I am allowed to have a little fun. That’s what makes Hotel Doggy so great. They get it and can laugh at themselves and provide an amazing product.

Next up for the crew, I am eyeing some of the HotelDoggy #adoptdontshop sweaters and their shiny parkas. I also saw some great holiday pajamas the fur babies would look great in. Holiday cards need a great photo and this year, I think we will send one out to all our friends and family.

Now remember everyone, these opinions are my own. I was sent these amazing clothes at no charge but I always keep it real, so you’re getting my honest review. 

pets, petsmart, recipe, thepups

Penelope’s Pumpkin Paw Paws

Today was a huge day for Miss Penelope Autumn Garcia…she graduated her puppy class!!

Processed with Snapseed.

When we adopted Penny we immediately enrolled her in a puppy training class. We chose PetSmart and have been spending our Sunday mornings learning sit, stay, and other great commands. We have an excellent trainer named Tara and a great bunch of puppy friends to socialize Penny with. Penny loves the class and we’ve signed her up for intermediate classes starting next week.

Penny is getting more social, she loves learning, we get to bond even more, and she comes home all tuckered out from class! Plus, seeing her in the graduation cap was totally worth it. I HIGHLY recommend PetSmart puppy training and can’t wait to do more.

To celebrate this momentous day, I decided to make some pupcakes for the graduates. I came up with this recipe which had no name until Joey called them “Pumpkin Paw Paws”. So here is the recipe for them, enjoy!

Penelope’s Pumpkin Paw Paws (Pupcakes)




  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4-1/2 can pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4 tbsp pumpkin butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp oat/oat bran


  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup  plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Combine flour and baking soda
  3. In mixer, beat together egg, butter, coconut oil, pumpkin, honey
  4. Add in flour
  5. Mix for a few more minutes
  6. Put in baking pan of your choice. I have silicone puppy paw molds but you can easily use a ramekin or cupcake pan. Just make sure to grease up if not coated. I like using Crisco personally and keep it on hand just for baking.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, checking with toothpick
  8. While baking, mix all frosting ingredients until thick
  9. Take out of oven and let cool
  10. Frost and let your pup enjoy!

makes 6-8 cupcakes

reviews, thepups

National Dog Day!

I’m so excited for National Dog Day which is August 26th! I am also really excited to partner with Fidophile ( who is launching their new personalized pet photo framing business across the country.


For full disclosure, this is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 


Fidophile is a simple, easy to use,  way to celebrate and honor your beloved furry friend.  Simply logon to the website, upload one of your favorite dog photos, choose the breed of your dog, select one of six different beautiful wooden frame options, and within days your personalized photo frame will arrive ready to hang on your wall.
I love how the frame includes the history of the breed and can’t wait to get mine! I am getting a Chihuahua one of my beloved Bella and will keep it in a place of honor. I think we all know I love anything Chihuahua ❤
Whether your baby is a Greyhound, Pitbull/Lab, Chihuahua, or bulldog, you can enter to win a free Fidophile frame!
To enter, leave a comment below and tell me one of your favorite things about your dog!
Good luck!!!
 I received a free Fidophile frame in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links to Fidofile.
product review, reviews, thepups, Uncategorized

Back to school, to prove to Daddy I’m not a dog that drools (or something like that)


It’s that time for back to school which pretty much just means JoeyWaffles schedule switches back to the night shift and I have 80% of the dog responsibilities. Especially with three dogs, a schedule change means finding ways to keep the pups happy and relaxed.

PetMatrix has released a few helpful tips and tricks for getting pups prepped for back to school:

  • Morning walks – taking your dog for a morning walk is a great way to share some quality time and tire your pup out, before leaving for the day.
  • Plan fun weekend activities – instead of heading to the movies on the weekend, opt for a family park outing with your pup; playing together on the weekends will make up for lost time during the week. I am definitely planning on doing this more and enjoying leash training, exercise, and the gorgeous weather.
  • Create background noise – leaving a television or radio on low volume can provide a sense of comfort to dogs not used to being in a quiet house all day. I do this whenever I leave and switch between classical, country, and easy listening.
  • Keep your pet entertained chewing is an enjoyable and mentally stimulating activity that helps to prevent boredom; instead of turning to rawhide to keep pets occupied, SmartBones offers a healthy alternative, and will help entertain furry family members once kids are back in the classroom. Every morning when I leave, I give each dog a smart bone because it’s their favorite treat and I feel safe knowing they won’t choke or have digestion issues. Plus, they are so bust being excited, they forget about me!

Many veterinarians raise concerns about rawhide chews due to the health risks, including potential choking and digestion problems in dogs. PetMatrix’s SmartBones are made up of a wholesome vegetable outside with real chicken inside – making them 100 percent rawhide-free, low fat, highly digestible and delicious.

Seriously the health benefits are so important and knowing I am giving the pups healthy, safe, and delicious treats makes me happy.

I was holding a SmartBone up as I took this pic and you can see they are excited and ready to go! If you haven’t tried them yet, get on it!

What do you do when your schedule changes with your pets?

Squad Goals


babs, chihuahuas, dante, product review, thepups

Traveling with the pups!

As everyone knows, I am obsessed with my dogs and would pretty much take them everywhere if I could.  

a86d6-img_6256This summer we’re trying to get Dante more social since he’s a homebody. He needs to enjoy that outdoor Jeep life and work on his tan. Babs already loves to get out of the house but we’d like her to travel in her car seat more instead of my lap. It’s been a great time being more active and involved in car rides, especially if it involves a trip to Starbucks for a puppachino. 

Traveling with these guys is no joke and I want them to be just as comfortable, happy, and safe as Joey and I. It isn’t just about the temperature of the car (we have the air vents on them, even when the windows down, or no windows at all!) or the music we play (usually 60’s and 70’s with some 90’s hip hop) or even how soft their car seat is (very), but about keeping them calm, safe, and happy!

PetMatrix pulled together a list of tips and tricks to make traveling with a pet a breeze from start to finish and I agree with all of them! These are great for a new pet owner and a welcome reminder for the pet veterans out there!

Prep your pup – if traveling by car this summer, it’s important that your pet feels comfortable in a moving vehicle. To help prep your pup, take him or her on short rides around town prior to a big road trip


Frequent stops – once on the road, take frequent stops for bathroom and exercise breaks


Proper Identification – in case your dog gets away from the family on a trip, increase chances of finding your pet by making sure there are updated identification tags on its collar before you leave


Something to chew on – if staying in a hotel or resort, or even in the long car ride, it’s always important to keep your pup occupied. Without turning to rawhide, SmartBones offers a healthy alternative and will help to keep your dog entertained during vacation downtime with a healthy chew

What I love about the SmartBones is they are good for the pups to eat and chew. Since my dogs are SUPER into their bones and love to fight over them, I want them to be as safe as possible. Seriously though, every time we give them both bones they either want each other’s or whoever finishes first tries everything they can think of to get the other’s. They do little tricks like climbing into our laps so we pet them, one eye on the prize so when the other dog comes over for a pet, they quickly steal the bone and run off. 
My dogs can be picky about which bones they like so I was so excited when they went crazy for SmartBones. On this weekends trip to Starbucks we tried the SmartBones out and the dogs gave them two paws up! They loved the taste and I loved they are rawhide free!
Thanks SmartBones for sending us these and making our summer ter-ruff-ic!