Is your pet getting enough protein in their diet?


Do you have a dog or cat? Do you read the label on the foods you are feeding your beloved pet?

I have to admit that we used to buy whatever pet food was on sale. We never really gave the ingredients much of a thought. We figured all pet foods were pretty much the same. We couldn’t be any further from the truth. Not all pet foods are made the same way. Cheap pet food is made with cheap, low grade ingredients. Sure, it saves you money in the long run, but is saving a few dollars here and there worth risking your pet’s health?

We had to put our dog Espn to sleep back in March. He had an incurable liver disease. He was given 2-3 months to live. We were able to keep him with us for 8 months.

Espn (pronounced Es-pin) has always had a sensitive stomach. He would throw up and/or have diarrhea often. The vet said he needed a limited ingredient diet. That is when I started to read the labels on the food we were feeding our dog and cats. I was mortified at how much NON-FOOD ingredients were in the food we were feeding our pets.

One thing I have noticed with the “cheap” pet food is that they don’t contain any good sources of protein. Just like people, pets needs protein too.

Protein consists of long chains of amino acids that can be found in both meat and plant sources. It works to ensure proper growth, development, body tissue repair, and a healthy immune system. While there are 10 amino acids that cats and dogs must get from their food, a cat’s diet must also include taurine as their body is unable to naturally produce it.

To help you decide what protein source is best for your pet, here’s a quick guide from Petcurean.

Some people (myself included) used to think that you can only get protein from red meat. Did you know you can get protein from plants? Here are some great sources.  

Plant-based Proteins:

  • Peas: A good source of beta-carotene, niacin, Vitamin B6, folate, phosphorus, and copper. It’s also packed with dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, thiamin and manganese.
  • Organic flaxseed and sunflower oil: Both contain omega-6 fatty acids that promote healthy skin and a radiant coat. Flaxseed also boasts omega-3 fatty acids which are important for normal metabolism and optimal health.
  • Lentils and Chickpeas: Both are low glycemic carbohydrates that also provide a good source of protein, iron, phosphorus and copper.

I knew that poultry was also a good source for protein.


  • Chicken Meal: A concentrated source of protein containing meat, bones, and cartilage that is dried and preserved naturally. It should never include feathers, heads, feet, or entrails.
  • Chicken Fat: Although human diets try to avoid fats, animal fat is good for your pet. Chicken fat is a great source of omega-6 which is considered the most important essential fatty acid for dogs and cats.
  • Eggshell Meal: A natural source of calcium to promote bone strength. Eggshell membrane is an added plus!

Pro-Tip: As obligate carnivores, cats must get their protein from animal tissue. For a protein-packed meal and a meaty flavor they’ll love, try out Now Fresh Grain Free.

I didn’t know that fish was also a good source of protein. I knew it was healthy for you (people) but it’s also really good for your pet.


  • Cod: A good source of high quality protein, phosphorous, niacin, and Vitamin B-12.
  • Dehydrated Cod: A concentrated source of protein that uses the entire raw material. The benefit of dehydrated product is the removal of water, but not the fat.
  • Krill: As the “superfood of the sea,” krill is growing in popularity as a protein source. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthin, krill is also virtually free of pollutants and heavy metals.

Pro-Tip: Want to try a fish-based kibble? GATHER Wild Ocean features line-caught Alaskan cod and sustainably harvested krill to create a delicious and healthy meal for your dog.

Whole Meats:

  • Deboned Venison, Pork, and Lamb: All are great sources of protein that come from the animal’s clean and de-boned flesh.
  • Novelty Proteins: This classification consists of proteins your pet may not have eaten before such as venison, salmon, or duck. Novelty proteins can sometimes help alleviate the symptoms of dietary sensitivities.

Pro-Tip: If your cat or dog has more challenging sensitivities, Petcurean’s GO! offers a wide variety of options that were specifically created for picky eaters, those who need a grain free or higher protein diet, and for those requiring a recipe with unique proteins or a limited number of ingredients.

Our dog did best with limited ingredient foods. I also tried to give him food free of grains. After all, in the wild dogs don’t normally eat grains. I think the same would apply to cats.

As you can see, there are different varieties of sources for your pet’s daily dose of protein. If you would like help in navigating your pet’s diet, Petcurean offers a useful Petfood finder that will tailor the perfect diet to your fluffy companion, no matter their needs.

For more information about Petcurean foods visit Petcurean.com. The brand is also found on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website. There is also a store locator on their website as well, so that you can find a Petcurean retailer near you.

What do you feed your pet? Do you ALWAYS look at the label? Do you know what is in the food you are feeding your furry friend?


*I have partnered with Pecurean to bring you this information. Although compensated, the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

** Photos sourced from Dreamstime.com.

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Family Movie Night & Review – Boss Baby


Watching your children grow up is a blessing… it’s also kind of sad. It’s hard as a parent to watch your children spreading their wings and preparing to “fly” off on their own. That is why I truly appreciate that I can still get our kids to enjoy a family movie night together.

Family Movie Night is something we have done since my kids were little. We try and do it at least 1-2 times a month. Usually it’s a Friday or Saturday night, but sometimes we have to move it to another day of the week, especially now that both of my kids have job and social lives.

We just enjoyed a family movie night together watching the animated film Boss Baby. The film is currently available on digital download (iTunes). On July 25, 2017 the film will also be available on Blu-ray and DVD.

I received a Target gift card to pick up some snacks for my family to enjoy while watching the film. I guess there was a rush on popcorn because there  wasn’t much to choose from (we ended up making our own with kernels in brown paper bags). We did enjoy some chip, soda, unsweetened ice tea and we baked some chocolate chip cookies (aka – “closer cookies”).

These chips were so good!

While we were shopping at Target I came across not one, not two but THREE Boss Baby toys.

I love the doll in the diaper. How adorable is he? I should have bought him while I was there.

Boss Baby stars the voice talents of Alec Baldwin, Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Buscemi, Tobey McGuire and Miles Christopher Bakshi as Tim.

I received a free digital copy of the film to enjoy with my family along with some fun goodies, compliments of the movie studio.

I received an adorable briefcase (box), just like the one Boss Baby carries in the movie. Inside the box we found some journals, pens, magnifying glasses and a schedule that we can attach to our fridge.

The notebooks with attached pens are really nice. My kids each grabbed one. I’m not sure what my son is using it for but my daughter is using it to keep track of the hours she’s working this summer (she has two jobs).

I thought it would be fun to drink from baby bottles during the film, but my family thought that was a really weird thing to do. Sigh… they have no sense of humor.

I picked up some bottles, blocks, a pacifier and a cute “I’m the Boss” bib from our local dollar store.

My most favorite goodies that I received were not one, but TWO Boss Baby Funko Pop figures – one in a diaper, the other in a suit. I happen to collect Funko Pops. I was super excited to add these to my growing collection. I didn’t even know they had Funko Pops for this film.

Movies are so much fun when you have cool goodies like this to enjoy while watching the film. A special thank you to the studio for sending these to me and my family.

The Boss Baby is about an adorable baby who doesn’t seem to fit the mold like other babies. For that reason he is not sent to live with a family. Instead he’s made to work in Baby Corp’s management program.

Back on Earth we learn about Tim. Tim lives with his mom and dad. They are a happy trio. Tim loves that his parents put him to bed every night with some books, hugs and a special song.

Tim also have a vivid imagination.

One day a taxi cab pulls up to Tim’s house. Out steps the Boss Baby, complete with a suit, tie and briefcase.

The Boss Baby has come to live with Tim and his parents… but why? They were not expecting a baby and Tim certainly doesn’t want to share his parent’s affection with a peculiar, suit wearing baby. Something is not right with the newest family member.

Tim doesn’t trust his new baby brother. His suspicions were correct – there is something different about the baby. Tim’s new brother not only talks, but he’s on a secret mission to protect Baby Corp. He needs to infiltrate Tim’s parent’s place of business, Puppy Co., to stop a secret project that jeopardizes Baby Corp and the future of babies around the world.

Tim agrees to help the Boss Baby with his mission, on the condition that when all is said and done that he’ll leave and never to return. Tim wants his family unit back to the way it was before Boss Baby showed up.

Will Boss Baby and Tim succeed with their secret mission? What top secret product is Puppy Co. hiding? To find out you need to pick up, or download, a copy of Boss Baby. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

Cute! Cute! Cute! This is a super cute movie. My whole family loved it, including my hart to impress kids.

The characters are adorable and it’s easy to get “hooked” on them, most especially Boss Baby.

The film is filled with a lot of humor. I personally found myself laughing a lot, most especially to the baby related things.

There is humor for both adults and for children (kids will probably find the baby power fart funny).

This isn’t just a silly movie. There is a really good plot in this film. It kept us entertained and interested throughout the whole film. Even the bonus features are fun to watch (check out the training video for Baby Corp).

If you are into having family movie night like my family is, and you are looking for a family friendly film both young and old can enjoy together, pick up a copy of Boss Baby.

Fore more information about the film you can visit the official webpage.You can also check out the film and Dreamworks Animation on social media – Facebook, Twitter (Dreamworks Animation) and Instagram (Dreamworks Animation). You can also check out the hashtags #BossBaby #BossBabyHE and #BossBabyMovieNight to see what others have to say about the film.

I also have a cute Boss Baby coloring page you can print out and enjoy with your family. Simply click on this link – Boss Baby Coloring Page.

Below is the THEATRICAL trailer of the film for your enjoyment. It’s now available for home viewing.



*I received a free digital code to review the film as well as branded products and a Target gift card for snacks. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


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Having a hard time falling asleep? Check out Dreampad


I have a very hard time when it comes to sleeping. I have a hard time falling asleep and a hard time staying asleep. On most nights from around 1:00 AM to about 3:00 AM you’ll find me flicking through the endless supply of infomercials on television. I know that watching TV is NOT what yo should do if you can’t sleep, but reading doesn’t help me. Watching boring infomercials actually makes me sleepy.

I have tried just about everything to help lull me off to sleep – sound machines, over the counter medication, warm milk, homeopathic remedies, even prescription medication. I simply have a hard time shutting my brain off and relaxing. My doctor says I have a lot of anxiety.

I’ve been using another thing to help me to relax and unwind. It’s called the Dreampad. It’s made by Integrated Listening Systems.

Dreampad looks like an ordinary pillow, but inside it holds a secret. The pillow hooks up to your smartphone which allows it to play special music. The most interesting thing is that your bed partner cannot hear the music. Only the person who is lying their head on the pillow can hear it.


When I heard about Dreampad I knew I had to try it out for myself. The last thing I’d want to do is wake up my husband.

Dreampad is a technology-based solution for reducing stress and improving sleep – something I certainly need help with.

Setting up Dreampad is not that difficult. You simply download the FREE accompanying app and then hook your phone up to your pillow via a small plug that you will find in the corner of pillow. That’s it. That is all you need to do.

The app offers several free soundtracks that you can download and enjoy. The music is something only YOU can hear while resting your head on the Dreampad pillow. This is accomplished by special vibrations in the pillow that help you to hear the music.

You an also listen to your own music/play list, including nature sounds. I downloaded some nature sounds (ocean, rain, jungle…) so I can listen to them with the Dreampad pillow.

Looks like a normal pillow

At first I thought this honestly couldn’t work. How can you HEAR through vibrations? Apparently there is a whole scientific reason for why this happens. If you really want to know more about this, as well as research on the subject, you can read about it on the Dreampad website – How It Works. Who am I to question how or why it works… my job is to review if it actually does work.

Yes… it does! I was very surprised by it too. I was even more surprised when my husband told me he couldn’t hear a thing coming from the pillow.

I was concerned that my head would be shaking all over the place since the music is listened to via vibrations. That is not the case at all. You don’t feel any type of vibration. All you hear is music.

You also don’t really notice that your phone is in the Dreampad either. I was worried that sleeping on my phone would be uncomfortable, but there is enough padding in the pillow that you don’t even know that the phone is in there.

You will have to turn off your phone so that you don’t get phone calls or text messages while enjoying the Dreampad music. Hopefully late night phone calls and/or texts is not an issue for you.

There is a volume control and timer on the app, as well as an alarm. I have not tried the alarm as of yet. My husband is my alarm. That is all I need. LOL!

I do find Dreampad to be very relaxing. There are several musical options to choose from. I hope that one day they add more options. Sadly, Dreampad doesn’t really help me to sleep. It helps me to relax and unwind, but it doesn’t make me sleepy. My brain is just too wired to let the Dreampad do what it was made to do. I have to take a prescription medication to help me sleep (a heavy duty one), so this is NOT a reflection on Dreampad’s effectiveness. It’s simply I am a more difficult case. I think with the average person this would work like a dream (no pun intended).

Plug the cord into the section where headphones would go on your phone.

Tuck your phone into the pocket.

Dreampad has done a PTSD study, autism study and parent blogger study which all had positive results. I think they are really onto something.

My husband uses the Dreampad. The firmness it better for him and he doesn’t have that hard of a time falling to sleep. He sleeps with the Dreampad pillow every night, but he doesn’t always turn on the music.

Dreampad is available in a variety of pillow styles – slim support, medium support, firm support and memory foam. I have medium support. It’s OK but I think for me I need more firmer support. There are also accessories you can purchase to go along with it that are optional (like a pillow case or Bluetooth receiver package).

Overall I think this is a fabulous idea. My son had a hard time falling asleep when he was little. I wish Dreampad was around then to help him (he’s almost 18 now and sleeps just fine).

If you are interested in learning more about Dreampad visit DreampadSleep.com. The site will give you a wealth of information about how Dreampad works, as well as the available products. You can also check the brand out on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website.

What do you think about Dreampad? Does it sound like something you need in your life?


*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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NEW Skin Healing Masks from Arbonne


I am not one to wear a lot of make up, but I feel the need to put on “my face” whenever I leave the house. If I’m just running a few quick errands I’ll go without any make up on. But if I am going to work our someplace a bit more “populated” (mall, ballpark, movies…) I’ll make sure my make up is on.

The reason why I am not a huge fan of a lot of make up is that I don’t like the way it makes my skin feel. I don’t like feeling “heavy” or like there is something resting on top of my skin. I prefer the feeling of fresh, clean skin – the way your face feels when you step out of the shower.

When I am not wearing make up I like to take care of my skin. The older I get the more little “imperfections” I am noticing. I also notice that my skin is not as bright and healthy looking as it once was. It seems more washed out and dull.

Recently I was sent some face masks from Arbonne to try out. I am a fan of beauty products, especially anything that can help to restore my skin to the way it was (subtle, glowing, smooth…). I am also a fan of the Arbonne brand. I’ve used a few of their products over the years and I have always been pleased with them.

I was sent the following products to review.

NEW! Arbonne Rescue & Renew Detox Mask

This creamy French pink clay formula cleanses to draw out impurities from the skin’s surface like a magnet, resulting in smaller-looking pores. Utilizing an oil-pulling technology with 5 self-neutralizing acids to help clarify and brighten skin’s appearance, the mask transitions from wet to dry to visibly show where excess sebum is drawn out. Balanced out with hydrating rosemary oil so your skin is never stripped of moisture.

I like that this mask dries to let you know when it’s time to remove it.

I have found that my skin feels less greasy/oily when using this mask. Since I don’t wear a lot of make up during the summer months, and it’s always hot, my skin tends to get oily – more so than other times of the years. I am finding less oil in my “T-Zone” (forehead, nose, chin) when I use this mask.

My skin can be sensitive at times too and I have not had any issues using this mask after the first few times. The first few times my face felt tingly and it was a bit red, but the more I used it the more I grew accustomed to it. Now it’s not a problem anymore.

I’m not fond of the scent, but you only have to deal with it for about 10-15 minutes until the mask dries and you can remove it.

This comes in a large tube and you’ll get a lot of use out of it.

NEW! Arbonne RE9 Advanced Cellular Renewal Mask

Pineapple and papaya enzymes in this mask work together to gently remove dead skin cells to minimize the look of pores and improve the appearance of skin tone revealing your healthiest-looking complexion. Sustainable orange stem cells help to improve the appearance of skin radiance, elasticity, firmness and texture while minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and conditioning the skin.

This mask is more of lotion than a typical mask. You apply it to your skin for around 5 minutes then wash it off. You don’t want for it to dry like the other mask.

This mask has more of a typical lotion scent to it. It’s subtle and didn’t bother me at all.

So far I haven’t noticed any visible changes in my skin. It’s possible it has to be used for a longer amount of time than what I have used it thus far.

It does make my skin feel soft after I wash it off. You use it on clean skin and when you remove it your skin continues to feel freshly cleaned. There is no residue.

This mask does make my cheeks a bit red after using it, but the redness goes away in about a half hour (give or take) after washing it off. Since I do this at night before bed it’s not a big deal.

It does come with pretty packaging, much prettier than the other two masks.

Arbonne Clear Future Soothing Overnight Mask 

This lightweight skin clearing mask is formulated with exopolysaccharide, derived from marine algae, helps mattify skin and control sebum by absorbing it at the skin’s surface. Prebiotics help condition and moisturize skin while preventing impurities from settling into and clogging pores.

I have not given this mask a try… yet. Since I have been using the other two masks I didn’t want to throw this one into the mix, then it would be hard to get a good sense of how well this one works.

I like that is absorbs and controls the oil on your skin. As I mentioned earlier I have an issue with that.

With this mask you need to leave it on overnight and rinse it off in the morning. I’m not too keen on the idea of leaving something on my face all night, but I am willing to give it a try if the results are beautifully moisturized, non-oil skin.

All three products are available on the Arbonne website, Arbonne.com. You can also find the brand on social media. All of their link are found at the bottom right of thier website.

Are you a fan of Arboone? Do you have a favorite product?


*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Movie Review: Buster’s Mal Heart


Now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download is the psychological drama Buster’s Mal Heart. 

The film stars Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) and DJ Qualls. The other actors in this film are lesser known.

This is one of those films that leave you scratching your head trying to figure out what you just saw. I watch the film the other day and I’m still trying to digest it all and make sense of it.

Malek stars as Jonah and Buster (same person). Jonah is a hard working family man. He works as a concierge at a hotel. He’s stuck doing the overnight shift which means he doesn’t get to spend as much time as he wants with his wife and young daughter.

Jonah and his family currently live with his in-laws because they don’t have much money and they are saving to buy land in the mountains where they can be as self sufficient as possible. Jonah would even love to stop working all together and live off the land with his family.

Jonah seems to be stuck in his life. He hates working the overnight shift. He hates living with his in-laws. But he feels like he has no choice. This is his life… or is it?

Enter a stranger (Qualls) who shows up at the hotel one night. The stranger doesn’t give a name. He also doesn’t have any identification, credit card… nothing.

At first Jonah was put off by the stranger, especially when he started to snot cocaine in front of him. But after talking with him a bit he became intrigued by what the stranger had to say. The stranger talked about what was to become of the world in the year 2000 (the film was set in 1999). The stranger goes on and on about an impending “inversion” that will happen, and how Jonah needs to be prepared. He also talks about there being a “bug in the system” and other crazy conspiracies.

During this time viewers get to learn about Jonah and his life, we also see Jonah as Buster. Buster is a “wild man” who lives in the mountains. He takes refuge in vacant vacation homes. He survive by raiding the homes for whatever food he can find and taking full advantage of comfortable beds, exercise equipment and huge soaking tubs.

Buster is wanted by the law so he is always on the run.

Whenever he can Buster calls into radio stations and rants about the pending inversion.

We also get to see Jonah as a no-named character adrift on a boat by himself in the middle of the ocean, surviving only on frogs (how he got frogs out of the ocean I’ll never know).

The question remains, who is the real character? We know Buster is really Jonah, or is he really the person on the boat? Is this all some part of a psychotic meltdown or is Jonah having one heck of a trippy dream? To find out you need to get a copy of Buster’s Mal Heart. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

You can also learn more about the film at the official website, BustersMalHeart.com.

Trippy… this film is totally trippy. I was totally lost with how the film jump around between Jonah’s personas.

I think many people can relate to Jonah. How many people don’t feel like they are trapped on a “hamster wheel” just going through the same motions every day – wake up, go to work, pay bills, go to bed, wake up and start it all over again. Toss in added stresses like a job you don’t like and meddling in-laws and you have all the ingredients for a nervous breakdown.

Malek was the PERFECT actor to play this role. He has those great big eyes that express the fear and panic in his situation. The blank stares he gave sent chills up my spine.

There is a lot of beautiful scenery in this film and the excellent cinematography. The film makers would often focus on the most unusual things to help emphasize Jonah’s situation.

I have to admit that I am still very confused about the film. Like I said it bounced around a lot. Just when I thought I “got it,” something would happen to leave me scratching my head all over again.

I enjoyed the film. It kept my interest (because I was hoping to figure it all out by the end). My husband was not a fan of it, but to each his own.

Here is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.



*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Are You Spending Too Much on Tech Gadgets

*This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do no necessarily reflect my own.


Tech gadgets are cool, and sometimes it feels like we don’t have enough. These days you can buy a tech gadget for just about everything, from timing sleep to keeping your pets occupied. It’s common for most people to own several gadgets that they have spent hundreds of dollars for. However, are you sure you are spending your hard earned money well when buying gadgets? Could you be overspending, or under spending? Read below to find out whether you could be wasting your money on a tech item you have in mind:

You Pay Hundreds of Dollars Just for the Brand name

Believe it or not, the brand name is not the most important aspect of a gadget. Sure, there will be tech brands that anyone can recognize, like Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, and so on. But that doesn’t mean just about any gadget produced by these brands are good. Apple iPods are great, but AirPods, not so much. Sony produces some great tech gadgets like gaming consoles and TVs. But some Sony products are total duds (TouchPad, anyone?). So, don’t judge a gadget by its brand name. More often than not, companies charge hundreds of dollars just for the brand name, while the product itself is worth only a fraction of that. So, base your buying decisions on what the specs offer for the price.

You are Paying for Features You Don’t Need

Say, you want to buy a digital camera. You can buy a digital camera these days for as little as $50, or a much as $1,500. Now you can spend a ton of money on a hip gadget, but are you sure you need every spec? If you need a digital camera to take on vacation once a year, you can ask yourself if it’s worth the money you spend. Some gadgets are expensive because they include features that are suited for professional level use. Regular, at home users may never need these features. Therefore, budget for the gadget you have in mind and write down the features you desire before buying. The price should match the features, which should be based on your personal requirements.

Do You Even Need the Item You’ve Bought?

There are loads of junk gadgets available in the market that people buy without thinking. Take the NoPhone, which costs $12. It’s a “gadget” that promises to help people addicted to phone use to disconnect. So what exactly is it? Just a slab of plastic shaped like a phone. The idea is that if people had this plastic slab in their pocket, it would feel like a phone and cure the addiction. You know what else you could get for that $12? A pair of headphones that work, a protective phone case, a keyboard cover, a USB hub, a laptop case, and many more. When you buy gadgets, make sure you actually need the product. Otherwise you can spend your money on better products.

You Don’t Double Check the Price


Don’t buy the gadget based on the first price you see. Amazon does not always offer the cheapest prices for products. Compare prices across sites on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, as well as specialty websites and coupon sites. You can easily overspend when you don’t reserve time to do price research.

Just because a gadget is expensive, it doesn’t make it all the more better. Be careful of the above when you buy tech gadgets. Spend your money wisely and buy the products you need.

About the Author

Eduardo Bridges is a tech writer who blogs about the latest affordable tech gadgets on bestcheaptech.com. He’s a former software engineer who now blogs full-time.

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