Resources for New Dog Owners

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Owning a dog can be both rewarding and exhausting. I am not a mother, but I know parents who claim house breaking a puppy was more difficult than late night infant feedings. Every dog has its distinct personality and while some resources may help in training and caring for it, your dog may not be as receptive to some techniques as others. Here are some of my favorite resources and helpful tips for raising up that pup.

Frozen towels or old tshirts for teething puppies.

When Bianca was a puppy, she’d cry herself to sleep because her teething gums were so sore. She would chew on anything for relief and I found that taking Matt’s old shirts, tying several large knots with them, dipping them in water and freezing them worked best. She would chew on them until they melted.

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While you should always consult a vet when your dog is obviously sick, there are times when you’re simply trying to figure out if a behavioral or physical reaction from your pet is normal. For instance, what does it mean when your male dog is chattering his teeth or when your dog barks in her sleep? PetMD is a great resource for questions like these, but I would refrain using the site to diagnose your dog.

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Finding a reliable pet sitter can be difficult, but with, you can filter through hundreds of people that are verified non-crazies. Just be sure to interview them. Here’s how to go about interviewing a potential sitter. 

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Top Toys*

Something to throw: balls that are large enough that your dog cannot choke with them and frisbees are great options here

Something to pull: Some dog behaviorists feel that playing tug with your dog promotes an aggressive attitude, while others simply say that its natural dog playing. Personally, my dogs play with me and with one another and they are fine, but try it and see if it works for you. I like rope toys for this.

Something to cuddle with: Most dogs love furry toys. Make sure they aren’t stuffed with anything poisonous or something your dog could choke on. Many dogs will chew up the toy (as is the case with my bully breed), while others simply want to hold it in their mouth or have it nearby while they are sleeping.

Something to stuff: Dogs love nut butters. Stuffing a KONG with peanut butter and leaving your dog to lick it, is a good way to curb separation anxiety. Plus it’s unlikely that they can choke on it. Never leave your dog alone while they are chewing on a treat whether that be a bully stick or a cracker.

Something to teach: I love this toy for dogs learning to earn their meals.

*Be sure to check with your vet regarding your dog’s diet and make sure they are not allergic to nut butters or gluten before selecting their food and treats.


Cotton Anniversary

Today, Matt and I will be celebrating our cotton anniversary. In the first year of our marriage, we were both trying to mimic what many deem as responsible adult behavior. It led to frustration and petty arguments. The first year of marriage was tough. Finally we realized that just because we were married, didn’t mean we had to become Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver. We’ve since let go of the need to fulfill societal expectations of what a responsible couple looks like and have just been having fun enjoying one another’s company. Our current approach to marriage works for us, for now, but we understand relationships are malleable creatures and therefore view a steady line of communication as our number one tool to personal success.

Quinoa Crab Cakes

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I do a Costco run, maybe once every four months for toilet paper and other items that I can save on when I buy them in bulk. Each time I go, I am distracted by the endless array of delicious food of which I can afford more than one serving. On a last trip, I picked up a can of lump crabmeat. Sweet, fresh traif. Instead of using the buttery crackers I normally use to bind the crabmeat and seasoning, I pulverized quinoa into quinoa flour. You can also buy it already smashed to powder. The quinoa balances the sweetness of the crab with a slight earthiness, that is unexpected but  tasty. Here’s the recipe:


  • 2 cups lump crabmeat
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning 
  • 1/4 Cup Green Onions Roughly Chopped 
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley Roughly Chopped 
  • 1/2 Cup Quinoa Flour 
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Pinch Fleur de Sal (optional)


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In a small mixing bowl, combine egg, mayonnaise and Old Bay seasoning. 

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In a large mixing bowl, place the crab, green onions, and parsley. Don’t mix yet.

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Add in the egg, mayo mixture to the large bowl and incorporate the quinoa flour. You can mix it now. The consistency shouldn’t be wet, but should be a little denser.

Form patties by pressing the crab between both hands.

Heat the olive oil in a cast iron pan and let the cake sear for about 2-3 minutes on each side. They should be somewhat browned.

Serve with arugula, heirloom tomatoes, a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkle of Fleur de Sal.  




Tech Execs are the New Fashion Designers

In an apparent response to Bendgate, retailers like Uniqlo and J. Crew have started to look at enlarging the pockets on their pants to accommodate the iPhone 6 Plus. While this may seem like brands bending to the whim of Apple, it demonstrates a growing trend of technology influencing fashion.

True & Co. uses data derived from surveys and questionnaires, to define physical details that are crucial to a correctly fitting bra. Most coat designers have included an iPod pocket in their linings since the product was released in 2001. Gloves are made with touch points that resemble finger prints so we don’t have to remove them to text. And let’s not even get into the new sector of Smart Apparel including workout shirts that are able to detect muscle effort.

While some fashionistas dreaming of vintage Chanel may be frightened by the impact that technology is having on the fashion industry, I welcome the trend and am excited to see what’s next.

On Eavesdropping.

Eavesdropping is generally considered unethical and just plain rude, but in a city like New York it’s difficult to not let it become your favorite pastime. When working remotely, I find myself alternating between Spotify’s “Deep Focus” playlist and the ambient sound that comes from learning more about strangers. Millennial men discussing the future of advertising; a freshman in my university’s cafe sharing her adoption story with new friends; an elderly woman trying to make another stranger’s baby, laugh. It’s impossible to overhear without becoming emotionally vested and while I know that eavesdropping on our closet friends and family will most likely lead to hearing something you wouldn’t want to, listening to strangers inspires creativity and forges new perspectives.