Please Don't mind this mess!

I'm making some minor tweaks and adjustments to my blog!  Should have it completed soon!  If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment below :)

Blog Links ~ Spreading the love!

www.journeysofthezoo.com
www.CathyThinkingOutLoud.com


















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We have a new Puppy! Now what?

Puppies!!!! Getting them home is the fun part. 
 Taking care of them is a whole other story!

Meet Heartly.

Heartly <3
She's the newest addition to our family. She's a 5 month old Yorkie/Maltese mix breed (we got her when she was only 3 1/2 months old). Very recently she gave us our first little scare. We noticed that she was behaving rather sluggishly for an otherwise very active puppy. She was very sleepy and overall not really hungry or thirsty. We took her temp (the very not-so-fun way!) and found that she had a fever of 39.5 C (which to my US friends is a whopping 103.1 F)! Keep in mind this happened only a few days after she received her first round of vaccines plus the rabies vaccine all during the same visit to the vet.

Obviously as worried parents to a tiny fur baby, we were so concerned. We stayed up the whole night, and watched as she slept to make sure her fever didn't get out of control. First things first: we called the vet to ask if this could be a possible reaction to the vaccinations she had received, of course they immediately answered "No, you should definitely bring her in. The initial examination will cost $97, and any blood work and/or further diagnostics will be discussed after the doctor determines what is required." (To tell you a little bit about me . . . I don't like getting taken advantage of neither on a personal nor professional level.)

At the Vet Clinic before grooming!
My next step, obviously still very concerned for our pup was to start scouring the Internet for any and all information we could find. Entering the eternal world of Google Search, we found that it could be something as simple as overheating,(the only course of action on our part was to monitor her behaviour and try to keep her cool), to something as sever as a bad infection to which she might need antibiotics and potentially surgery! Then we remembered that she had recently lost two of her puppy teeth, and BINGO . . . our fur baby is TEETHING! Just like any other baby, when puppies are teething, they want nothing more than to sleep, and what usually comes with teething? ? ? You guessed it, a FEVER! We found that keeping her hydrated (including adding a small amount of chicken broth) and giving her a very very low dose of baby aspirin did the trick.  Within the next two days her fever slowly diminished and now she's back to chewing everything in sight, I forgot to mention that teething will make them do that too :)  I remember when my daughter was teething, her go-to pain reliever was mommy's Otterbox cellphone case, with the cellphone still in it! Pacifiers did nothing for her!

After the groomers :)
This brings me to the all important question of "To Insure, or NOT To Insure"? I've been having a tough time with this one because I feel like there's no real affordable alternative, other than to pay more to insure my pet than I do to insure myself! A friendly visit to the vet can run you from around $80-300, diagnostics can run even higher. Reading horror stories online about surprise vet bills as a result of a beloved pet getting sick or injured. The costs ranged from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars and all I could think of was "What are we going to do if our puppy is sick and we have to take her to the vet?" We can't afford that, and applying for the Vet payment plans have interest rates that are not at all pleasant. It's really a double edged sword that you can't afford to be on either side of! There are plans ranging from 10-15 dollars (which include very limited and very basic pet accident coverage, but don't include the illness and Vet costs which is the primary thing we WANT them to be covered for!), then there are the plans you actually need, which range from $24+ and skyrocket from there! Your rates are determined by your pets age, any pre-existing conditions (I believe they ask for a screening from the Vet to confirm that your pet doesn't have any known conditions). The rates also depend on how much coverage you want for your pet and how high or how low you want your deductibles to be.

**We're still looking for the perfect fit for our playful pup.  I'd love to hear any recommendations or experiences you'd be willing to share!  

Caseco: Designed For (My) Life!

Caseco ~ Designed For (My) Life!

I've been given this wonderful opportunity to review Caseco's Shock Express cell phone case for my iPhone4 and the small but powerful PowerBox universal charger!

If you're an on-the-go person like me, you'll absolutely LOVE the PowerBox universal charger!  2 years ago I attended the @ShesConnected conference, and man-oh-man do I wish I had this handy little life-saver with me!  I, like many of my blogaholic colleagues quickly ran out of juice on our devices with all of the tweeting and note-taking, and many (self included) were seen scrambling through the halls/ and scanning the room for the table closest to an electrical outlet!  I can now rest assured that I won't be that person again!  A few weeks ago most of Southern Ontario was left in the dark due to an Ice Storm that wreaked havoc!  Luckily out where we live the power only went out for a mere 12 minutes!  But my mom and brother weren't so lucky.  I was originally planning on giving my mom one of these for Christmas because her phone loses its charge rather quickly, but before the holidays even showed up she needed it then more than ever.  I had also bought one for myself as my daughter had lost ours at the mall a few weeks prior, but when I heard that my brother's power had also gone out, I gave mine to him.  They were the only lucky ones that opened their presents early!  Thanks to Caseco, I was always in contact with my family over the holidays despite the power being out!
 "Caseco PowerBox Universal is a portable backup battery charger that provides you on the go charging option for your smartphone.  It is capable of providing more than 500 charging cycles for your smartphone and is so compact that it can fit easily into your purse or a pocket. It comes with a micro USB charging cable that works with majority of cellphones and tablets in the market.

Features
  • • 2600 mAh Li-ion battery pack capable of giving 500+ charging cycles
  • • Sleek and ergonomic design
  • • Smooth and glossy finish
  • • Micro-USB connectivity
  • • Available in five different colours"

The thing I love most about the case is the way it just comfortably fits in my hands.  The first thing I noticed was how sleek and sexy it made the phone feel in my hand.  I never thought I'd refer to my phone as sexy, but this case just gives it that "feel".  Another great detail is that all the button openings line up perfectly with the iPhone4.  I've owned 2 other cases that were "designed" for the iPhone4, but after putting it on the phone itself, it was clearly noticeable that there was room for improvement.  Now as to the drop test (video below) I can personally say that this thing is built Caseco-Tough!  My little one likes to play Youtube videos from my phone and dance/jump with it on the bed as she sings along!  Let's just say the phone has found the floor on more than one occasion and still not a single sign of damage on either the phone or case!  As their slogan says, their products are designed for life!

"The Shock Express is ergonomically designed with a curved shape that gives it additional grip to avoid slip ups. The side panels are rubber giving it additional shock absorption capabilities. The same rubber layer extends to the inner surface of the case offering exceptional shock absorption.
 The hard-shell back panel of the case has a glossy finish and adding to the overall style is the fact that the Shock Express is available in seven of the most enticing shades.     

 Features
• Dual injection design that offers two layers of protection.
  • • Hard outer shell to protect the phone from strong impact.
  • • Soft inner shell made out of smooth high-quality rubber to effectively absorb shocks.
  • • Cover for the power as well as volume keys on the smartphone to avoid scratches and wear and tear
  • • Glossy finish of the outer shell makes it look extremely stylish
  • • Available in seven different shades
  • • Sleek and ergonomic design making it slip resistant and easy to fit into your pocket.
  • • Comes with a free screen protector.

Material
 • Soft rubber inner layer


  • • Hard outer shell
  • • Clear screen protector"




Caseco has given me the opportunity to allow one of my lucky readers to experience the quality and craftsmanship of their Caseco Flux cases for the iPhone 5/5s/5c!  Enter below for your chance to win one of these beauties!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not Scratching the SURFACE (RT)!

Does this face look guilty or what?  LOL
As you may or may not know, last month we purchased a Microsoft Surface RT!  The decision to purchase was made easier by the fact that The Shopping Channel was having a great deal on it (It was the day's Showstopper!).  Essentially what we got was a Microsoft Surface RT 64gb, 2 touch keyboards (which conveniently doubles as screen protector when its on the go), and wireless mouse.  As an added bonus, there was a free shipping code offer and we could make monthly payments with no interest!  We had been debating on whether or not to get a tablet for the family, but after seeing all that the Surface had to offer, we would be silly to ignore this deal!

>> Fast forward to today!  This morning, I woke to find my puppy chewing on the power cord!  Let me tell you, these things aren't cheap, and there isn't an alternative to charging my Surface yet.  Now I find myself running on less that 2% battery and feeling completely helpless.  If anyone knows where I can buy a charger for my RT for anything less than $39.99, please leave a comment, tweet me, or email me :)

Savings???? What's that????



Have you ever tried saving money and failed?  Always feel like you're 2 steps ahead of the game, only to realize you've been playing the wrong game?  As many of you have seen, there is this lovely challenge going around Pintrest and the Twittersphere called the "52 Week Money Challenge".  It's a challenge where every week of the year you put the corresponding amount in dollars into a "Savings Jar".  Ex. Week 1 = Put $1.00 into the Jar, Week 2 = $2.00, and so on until you reach the 52nd week where you will place your final $52.00 into that jar!  The final total at the end of that glorious 52nd week should be a whopping $1,378.00!



I don't know about you, but I'm probably one of the worst people I know when it comes to saving money.  I feel like the more I have, the quicker it slips through my grasp!  Here's a well known fact about me; I love to travel with my family.  Every year we take a trip down south (we love Cancun!), its our way of disconnecting from the world and reconnecting as a family :)  This year will be tough as my partner is very ill and will soon be unable to work.  I've decided to take on this challenge so that, even though it won't be enough to send our family of 3 to Cancun, it'll be enough to treat ourselves to a nice family stay-cation.  So let's see how far I get this year!  Who knows, maybe a money tree will grow in my backyard and I'll be able to take my girls down South after all!

If this proves tough financially, there's also the 365 Day Penny Challenge!  This method will have you seeing a bonus $667.95 on the 365th day of the year!

What do you save up for?  

Happy NewYou Year!

This will be a very short and sweet little post
to wish those who read this and follow along in my journey a very 
Happy and Prosperous New Year!  
Let's see what 2014 brings us :)