Don’t Ignore Your Pet’s Dental Hygiene

I never put a second thought to my dogs’ teeth. I always assumed they would be intact for their whole lives. But a few weeks ago I discovered I should have been paying attention to my pets’ teeth a long time ago.

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80% of adult dogs suffer from dental issues. What begins as normal tartar build up can actually lead to periodontal disease. For any of you unfamiliar with this, this disease is basically an infection that spreads throughout the mouth and can affect the heart, live and kidneys.

Much like people, animal teeth are necessary and if ignored, will lead to severe issues. Periodontal disease can also affect humans. It begins as gingivitis that can be treated and managed. It then progresses and can lead to early tooth decay and expensive dentist bills.

Luckily, veterinarians are making a big deal about taking care of your pets mouth. Most offices advertise dental cleanings at a discounted price. Still, they are a timely procedure that requires your pet to be under anesthesia.

If you can get a head of the plaque build up by brushing your pets teeth, those visits to the vet will be less expensive and less often.

FionaOne deep cleaning and three tooth extractions later – my littlest dog is on her way to proper hygiene. I have also invested in dog toothpaste and an additive to her water. In total, I spent about $400.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you don’t already have dental care in place, you can ask you vet or local pet store what items will work best for your pet.

Kid Friendly Places to Dine in Vegas

Eating out is expensive, especially when some of your guests may only take two bites. Here’s a list of cheap places to eat in Vegas with the whole family.

IHOP
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In an effort to bring families together, IHOP offers free kids meals with the purchase of an adult entrée daily from 4PM – 8PM. Kids must be 12 and under to order from the “Just for Kids Menu.”

DENNYS

Image may contain: textThe sky is the limit with Denny’s Kids menu. Every Tuesday from 4-10PM, receive a complimentary children’s entrée with purchase of an adult plate.

DICKIES BBQ

Every Sunday, kid’s eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée. This offer is available for dine-in only for kids 12 and under.

CAFE RIO
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Receive a complimentary “Nino” cheese quesadilla daily for kids 6 and under when ordering an adult entrée.  Bring the family on taco Tuesday and everyone eats for $1.95.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS

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Children 12 and under enjoy kids menu options for $0.99 from 5 – 8PM every Monday.

LUCILLE’S BBQ

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Photo from Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ

Every Tuesday, kids enjoy a free meal with purchase of an adult entrée. 

FIREHOUSE SUBS

Every Wednesday, receive a free kids meal with adult combo. Kids will also take home a fire hat.

 

Any places you’ve visited that I can add to this list?

Food Feature – Goong Korean BBQ

At this point, it might be obviously that I have a thing for Korean BBQ. Well, I’ve found another awesome place right here in Vegas to curb my cravings.

Goong BBQ is located on the Southwest side of town right off of Rainbow. Goong offers Korean BBQ in the most authentic atmosphere.

Goong

Patrons can choose to dine at traditional tables that allow for visitors to sit on pillows around the grill. Don’t worry, there’s a little cove for those taller folks like me that need extra leg room.

Tables

Like other Korean BBQ restaurants I’ve visited, food is cooked right on the grill in front of you. Unlike other options and to my husbands relief, Goong has staff that cooks for you. Goong also offers an endless variety of appetizers including salad, veggies and seafood.

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At the end of dinner, the staff brings out a homemade cinnamon tea as a dessert. It is reminiscent of the Hispanic tea, Canela.

Goong 4

Overall, my experience was great. The steak was probably the most delicious item on the menu and dinner cost $30 for two of us. Not bad for everything we received. If you’re looking for an extra dessert, Goong partners with shops in their parking lot to offer a 10% discount.

Find out more of their menu options on Eater.

2017 Spring Pieces Your Wallet Will Enjoy

The warmer weather is on the rise, well at least here in Las Vegas, and I’m ready to break out the Sun Dresses and Flip Flops. Each year when Spring rolls around, I feel the need to restock my closest. Unfortunately, my wallet is not a big fan of my tradition. So here are a few staples I keep stocked for sunny days that can be reused for multiple outfits through the season.

Colorful Kimono

This is one of the most versatile pieces I have in my closet. I actually have a few that range in length and color. They are perfect for day or night outfits. Most of these are as cheap at 10 buck! Bet your wallet will be okay with that.

Neutral Sandals

Instead of overcrowding your shelf with sandals of every color, grab one or two neutral pairs. You can never go wrong with black, white or tan sandals. They will go with every outfit you have planned and last you the whole season.

Denim Shorts

denim

Whether you’re the cut-off type of girl or not, denim is always in style. High waisted and low-cut come and go throughout the years but jeans always remain. Purchase or repurpose denim to use in this season and many in the future.

The Summer Suitcase Packing Guide

I hate packing. I hate packing for moving. I hate packing for a picnic. But most of all, I hate packing for a vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traveling. But trying to predetermine every outfit and insure that I actually wear them is a different story.

Whether it’s one day or 10, I dread pulling out my suitcase and shoveling my clothes inside. During my most recent vacation with my husband, we ended up with three bags for both of us – one being just for shoes! So, I’ve come up with a go to guide to avoid over packing and hopefully make summer vacation planning enjoyable.

How Many Shoes Do You Really Need?

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I am the queen of changing my shoes with every outfit. When it comes to vacation, I don’t want to have limited choices. But I KNOW I will end up wearing the same two pairs the entire vacation. So plan according to what your adventures will be. From experience, I suggest bringing 3 pairs – Sandals, tennis shoes and heels.

Limit Your Dresses

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Assume that you will have at least one fancy outing during your vacay. Pack your favorite dress or skirt combo just for the occasion. If you love maxi dresses like I do, bring a few light weight options to rotate through. DO NOT empty your entire closet into this bag. Chances are, you’ll end up in a bathing suit for most of the trip.

Only Bring Your Best Swim Suits

nicolita

Photo by MyNicolita

Vacation is definitely the opportunity to show off that swim suit you’ve been hiding from the highly chlorinated pools. Leave the color stained and unflattering ones back home where they belong. I like to bring two different styles in my brightest colors.

Mix and Match

When in doubt, throw in some basic pieces that you can create multiple outfits out of. We’ve all seen the pins that show 10 – 20 ways to wear the same pieces. Why not give it a try!

Roll, Not Stack

Packing efficiently is all about using the space your have. Instead of stacking clothes flat, try rolling them. It not only saves room but can also eliminate many travel wrinkles.

Minimal Accessories

Despite what your fashionista side may argue, you do not need your entire jewelry box. Fitting the themes of the above tips, only bring your most versatile pieces. You can even store them inside empty pill bottles to insure no lost earrings.

How do you pack efficiently for your trips?

13 Scriptures that Support 13 Reasons Why Real Life Issues

The new Netflix original series “Thirteen Reasons Why” is blowing up everywhere. Based on a book by Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why centralizes around the suicide of a 17-year-old high schooler, Hannah, and her audio suicide note

From episode one, I was hooked. There are so many real life scenarios that teens and adults face these days. But instead of looking at it like it was revolutionary information, I turned to the scriptures that support these themes that the bible has been telling us for centuries.

13 reasons why

Love Your Neighbor

Throughout the whole story, the characters are just plain hateful. And because of their lack of love for their fellow classmates, another scar is added to their peers’ already cracked surfaces. The bible specifically tells us “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:31

If for one second these characters would have stopped to put themselves in their peers’ shoes, this heart breaking end would’ve been different. Think about all of the times arguments would have gone differently if someone would have just considered what you were going through.

“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” – 1 Peter 3:8

Forgiveness

The escalation of every event in this story boils down to unforgiveness. Every character here, as it is in real life, is guilty of some mistake. Their refusal to forgive one another builds towards broken friendships and death. The bible tells us in Matthew 6:15 that if we don’t forget others, God will not forgive us. “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Can you imagine being punished for every mistake you have ever made? From accidentally breaking a pencil to breaking a heart? 13 Reasons Why is a realistic depiction of unforgiveness and the calamity it brings.

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

Accountability and Reputation

Almost everyone in this story passed the buck, even down to Hannah blaming everyone for her suicide. Each character has done something wrong whether it was an accident or not. The characters lack of acceptance of their own faults add to Hannah’s pain and the impossible resolution of the problem. But in the end, everyone will be held accountable for their words and actions.

“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:36 – 37

In life, when we constantly blame others for our mistakes, or refuse to even accept we did something wrong, we only ruin our reputation. We then become the liar or the untrustworthy friend as we see the characters become in this story.

“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.” – Proverbs 22:1

Free Will

We always have a decision. We always have the ability to do the right thing. This pressure of decisions is seen throughout the entire story line. As it is in real life, each of these characters had the opportunity to say NO and be different. God always provides a way out from any situation. The bible tells us we will never be tested beyond what we can bear. And that is exactly what these characters chose to ignore.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful;he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Love

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31

Pretty self-explanatory right? The best way to avoid conflict is to treat others as yourself. Would you slander or humiliate yourself? Chances are, the answer is no. So why do we as a society feel that it is a necessary part of life to bring each other down?

Not one person in this entire story worked to uplift their peer. They treated each other like diseases and just hoped they’d eventually disappear.

Consequences

We see the butterfly effect throughout this story. One bad thing happens and caused another and another and another. One person lies, then another cheats, then another hides the truth and eventually someone dies. I pray that your consequences will never be so dire but for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. No sin goes unnoticed and God allows us to experiences these consequences in order for us to grow.

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” – Galatians 6:7-8

Gossip

It all started with one rumor. One little fib that was multiplied and morphed into an incorrect label. This story is the definition of how gossip can ruin a life. Have you ever made a statement that was not entirely true? When it go back to you was it something you’d like to be remembered for?

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29

Gossip is hurtful and easy to fall into. If you are not a part of the problem or the solution, it’s gossip and you have no place being a part of the conversation.

Love Your Enemy

“But love our enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” – Luke 6:35

Sometimes there is no line between friend and foe, but Jesus calls us to love those who persecute and hurt us. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).” When you choose to be loving towards someone who despises you, you are giving God an opportunity to revive their stone heart.

The characters in this story sought revenge instead and every time it ended badly. Think about the times you’ve been wronged. What would the outcome be if you hadn’t reacted but allowed God to work instead?

Truth

“…and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

Most of the pain caused in this story is the characters inability to share the truth. Like a block of cement, their secrets weighed them down to the point of death. This scripture doesn’t just mean to be honest, it physically means that God is truth and he will set you free. Truth breaks all the chains the world tries to put on us and delivers us to everlasting life.

In no way do I knock what Asher has done with this story. These real life issues need to be addressed because they shouldn’t exist. Maybe stories like this will be a wake up call for society to pay attention to each other and really embrace what The Beatles proclaimed from rooftops, “Love is all you need. “

Healthy Easter Snacks to Try

In my previous post, I shared how much it really takes to work off those delicious Easter candies. Here are some alternatives that still fit the holiday theme.

Fruit and Veggie Bunny

Pre-cut your favorite fruits and vegetables and build into the shape of a rabbit. Try grapes or blueberries for eyes, apples for ears and of course, carrots for whiskers.

Fruit and Veggie Egg Hunt

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Instead of filling those plastic eggs with jelly beans and candy, sneak in almonds, strawberry, raisins and apples instead.

Peep Fruit Kabobs

If you must have a peep, throw your favorite fruits in the mix.

Deviled Egg Chicks

What recipes and snacks have you Eastered out?

The Cost of Easter Candy

Easter candy has filled all of my surrounding stores and the temptation to indulge is unbearable. Staying on track with my health goals has got me looking for any excuse to say no. Pop Sugar recently ran a detailed  article on how many jumping jacks it take to work off the top-selling Easter candy. Check it out.

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So before you dive into a bowl of goodies, is 49 minutes of a vigorous workout worth it for one item?

Find out healthy alternative to these treats here on my post “Healthy Easter Snacks To Try.”

Living Like Christ Is Coming Tomorrow

I recently started a study plan entitled “Freedom From All Fear.” It covers everything from peer pressure to worry. In the last couple of days, I’ve been focusing on not worrying about the big scary world but instead focusing on Jesus’ homecoming.

matthew 24

In Matthew 24, Jesus prophesies about the wars and terror we see on the news everyday.

“And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic…” – Matthew 24:6

He assures us that we are to expect these things to happen because they foreshadow his homecoming. He doesn’t say it will end immediately but these events will progress.

“Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.” – Matthew 24:6-7

Although these things are painful to hear, Jesus did not give us this prophecy to scare us into hiding under a rock. He was giving us hope and encouragement that He will soon be following. God’s timing is not always our timing – it could be today or in years.

I want to live like He will arrive in several hours even if realistically it may be a 100 years. Jesus’ arrival should be every Christians dream. I can’t wait until the day when all of this insanity in the world just disappears – when everything is finally perfect.

But TODAY, I am still in an imperfect world fighting to share the Gospel of Jesus. Living as if Christ will knock on my door at any moment is what drives me to be obedient. It drives to me to be thankful for every moment I have on earth, whether good or bad. Because every moment draws me closer and closer to meeting with God. And at that moment, I want to proudly stand tall and feel confident that I did my very best with the days I was given.

I challenge you to reflect on your own day. Are you living as if Jesus will be here tomorrow or are you hoping for centuries to clean up your act?

 

Learning to Follow

All my life I was taught to make decisions. To create my own destiny and carve out my own path. I was never taught to follow…until I decided to follow God.

Gate

Over the years, I had gotten used to calling my own shots. To make the same mistakes over and over and hope someone how the result would change. That’s the definition of insanity right?

But when I began learning the Gospel of Jesus my mind opened up to a whole new way of living. God calls us to follow because He’s already got everything figured out. We no longer have to infinitely make the same bad decision because God already mapped it for us.

The first thing I learned about following Jesus is it’s hard. I’ve had to allow to completely reprogram my mind to stopping relying on the world’s game of chance and start having faith in Him.

 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Matthew 7:13 – 14

The bible tells me that following God will not be easy and that many people will choose not to. But it also tells me that my reward is everlasting life.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

So what will you choose? Insanity or life?