Before ever getting Lucy I'd read the book Marley & Me. If you kept yourself from reading the end- as I sometimes wish I did- you missed that Marley suffers from a condition where his stomach flips. Although the causes are somewhat unclear, it's more common in large chested dogs (such as labs), and one of the contributing factors has been said to be eating too quickly. Lucy absolutely gulps down her food. We'd had it on our to-do list to get her a special food bowl that would slow her eating down, but kept forgetting about it until this same condition happened to the dog of a friend of ours. It's a scary situation, and is many times fatal (thankfully her dog pulled through). That weekend we went to get her new dish and it is amazing how much it slows down her eating. The first few times she used it she kept pausing to give us evil looks and complain a little, but she's adjusted to it now and that's one less thing we have to worry about.
In keeping with the pet theme a few months ago our cat, Linus, began urinating blood quite frequently. At first we were told it was a urinary track infection for which he took an antibiotic and pain pills. When his symptoms didn't go away they thought it might be stress and Dan even fell for some sort of wall plug in that supposedly releases soothing scents only cats can pick up (seriously still can't believe he fell for that-to the price of $50). Eventually the vet decided he must have an unspecified urinary condition and recommended a water fountain and wet food for treatment. Linus wouldn't touch the wet food and was scared of the water fountain. After weeks of watching him all the time, prolonged prescriptions of pain meds (for him) and no small amount of frustration (for us) they finally did an ultrasound that revealed the poor guy had been suffering from a bladder stone the whole time. In trying to prevent further stones he's now on a prescription food (dry food) and we've managed to get him over his fear of the fountain so he always has access to fresh, clean water. This fountain doesn't work for Lucy, who has a tendency to drink it dry which messes with the motor, but placing it upstairs in Linus' own little spot has been good for us, and we don't worry about Lucy hogging all the water anymore.
It drives me crazy to no end to have things rolling around in drawers and I kept finding myself in a cycle of giving up on keeping drawers neat until they got so out of control I'd go on a clean sweep of all the drawers and become obsessive over them. Finally tired of this cycle, I bought some of the cheap shadow box like picture frames at Michael's and some pretty card stock-cut the card tock to fit the picture frame, turned it upside down, placed the card stock in the bottom and voila! Things feel so much more organized now.
We have a ton of glasses and not a ton of cabinet space. To remedy this we took a big bookshelf type piece of furniture we already had and bought wine glass racks from Pier One to screw in underneath the tops of shelves so we could hang our wine/martini glasses upside down from the shelves. Then, the shelves themselves were also free to place bar glasses on, while the cabinet underneath holds coozies, liquor and napkins. Add a few decorative items and now we've got ourselves a little bar and some extra space in our kitchen cabinets.
Scentsy products are really popular around the schools I work in, but the whole buy things from people you know deal really kind of freaks me out-mainly because it tends to get a little out of control when you feel like you have to go back and continue buying things. Roaming around Target one day I found a little oil warmer that was so cute and matched the theme I'm going for in our bonus room. I love it because although the brand has blocks of wax to melt they sell there's really no need to commit to that brand as any little block of smell good wax will do. It fills a large amount of space with great holiday scents and our house feels so much more cozy and welcoming now.