Friday, December 27, 2013

It's Been A Long Few Weeks

I've had such a horrible headache for days now. I think the stress from the holidays and things being slow for Jer at work is all catching up with me. I'm tired of worrying about bills. Especially for as hard as Jer works. He leaves Sunday evening instead of Monday like all the other drivers at his outfit, and doesn't get home until late Friday or most times Saturday, while everyone else is done before noon each Friday. You'd think he deserves a little appreciation for all his hard work, but is instead criticized for every little thing that isn't perfect and is barely paid for his time driving, let alone the physical labor and work involved loading and unloading. 

We need some r&r, preferably without a Bug sleeping across our entire bed ;)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December BarkBox #Review and Discount

The girls received their December BarkBox last week! Shipping was a little slow due to the holiday, but they still were able to enjoy their goodies for Christmas!

Here's what was included in this months' box:

Simply Fido Rope Toy:

This toy is made of organic cotton fabric, recycled fiber filling, is non-toxic, uses low eco impact dyes, and is environmentally friendly. There wasn't an identifying name for the toy, but if I had to guess I would say it's a goat rope toy. I could not find this particular one online, so maybe it was an exclusive for BarkBox? Average retail value for these particular Simply Fido toys is around $10. 

GoDog Yeti:

This was my favorite of the two toys in the box because it has a squeaker (Venus' favorite) but it also features "Chew Guard Technology" which is a black mesh netting underneath the outer fabric, preventing your dog from ripping apart the toy. So far, this technology has worked beautifully! Normal stuffed squeaker toys last a maximum of an hour in our home with Venus, but this is still going strong after a week! We received a mini in our "small" box which retails for about $10.

Planet Dog eats:

Wheat, corn, soy, and wheat-gluten free! We received Chicken and pumpkin pot pie flavor treats which naturally supports digestion with that yummy pumpkin. Normally we're not a biscuit household, but these were a nice size for the girls! These are normally sold in 12oz boxes for $10, but were sent in sample sizes of 4oz to BarkBox subscribers, which would probably be about $3.50 each.

Bistro Bites:

Teeny tiny crunchy treats, these have been a huge hit! They smell like peanut butter and are a little more airy than kibble, so easier to chew I think for the girls. A four ounce box runs about $8. 


These are the most absolute favorite thing for both our girls, out of all treats, toys and chews they've ever tries. They are long lasting and help keep their teeth clean! A single 6" junior bully stick from Barkworthies is just under $3.

You can enjoy the fun goodies with your dog too!
BarkBox offers three subscription lengths in three different sizes. Small and cute ranges from 0-20 pounds, Just Right ranges from 20-50 pounds, and Big & Bold is for dogs 50 pounds and up. You can be billed monthly for $29 a month, every three months for $24 a month ($72 every three months), or every six months for $19 a month ($114 billed every six months). 

You can take $10 off any new subscription ($19 for a single month, $62 for a three month subscription, or $104 for a six month subscription) if you subscribe using this link:

Or use coupon code NCXCSBZWX7 at checkout.

This $10 code is only valid through 12/31/2013! Starting 1/1/2014, this code will still work, but only be worth $5, so order now for maximum savings!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! Sorry for not much of a post, we're struggling to get over the "Christmas flu" over here. Enjoy some cocoa and candy canes for us!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Meet the Mama of "Baby and the Chi's"

Meet the Pet Bloggers Hop

It's a blog hop! A "Meet The Bloggers" Blog Hop to be specific. I found this hop through our friend Dachshund Nola. You can find the requirements and instructions to join this hop at Bringing Up Bella.

I'm Samantha, the mama and blogger behind Baby and the Chi's blog!

That's me, on the left ;)

1. What's your favorite non-animal related book?
The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

2. What's your favorite non-animal related movie?

The Nightmare Before Christmas

3. What's your favorite non-animal related food?

Biscuits with country sausage gravy

4. Who's your favorite actor?

Johnny Depp

5. What's one thing you have to do every day?


6. What makes you feel fabulous?

Waking up early and putting on some make-up.

7. What do you wish you were more skilled at?

Photography and Dog Training.

8. What's your favorite holiday?


9. Favorite meal?

10. What do you like to do in your free time?

LOL Free time? *sigh* ....
Blog, study for college, or clean.

11. What one word would people who know you use to describe you?


12. If your pets could talk, what one word would THEY use to describe you? 

Overly loving

13. What is one thing you've done that you're most proud of?

Became a mother (to dogs and a human).

14. How is your pet most like you?

Loves to sleep!

15. What can your body do for you that makes you most proud?

Heal fairly quickly.

16. If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?

Would love to own a house so we could adopt more dogs.

17. Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy?Cleaning, petting the dogs, cuddling with my son.

18. What's one thing you could do to be more kind to yourself?Eat healthier, specifically cut back on the soda.

19. What drives you nuts about your pets? What melts your heart?The barking at every sound and passer-by. The unconditional love.

20. If you didn't have your current pets, what pets would you choose to have?A boston terrier.

Wordless Wednesday: Week 17

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas!

Christmas has always been a stressful time of year for me. Growing up I had to split each holidays with each of my parents and step-parents, which was just far too much for a child to have to deal with. The holidays have since been a simple occasion for just Jer and I to spend time together as a family with the chi's, that is, until we started sharing it with Gabe. His first Christmas was right before he turned one year old, and he had fun walking around and investigating everyone's gifts. Last year he ran around and tried to open everyone's gifts. This year, I expect him to claim all the gifts as his own and probably throw a tantrum when he doesn't get what he wants! Never-the-less, I'm still super excited for this year. My almost three year old baby boy has a greater understanding of Santa, and Christmas Trees (as well as other decorations), making presents for family, and his favorite - Christmas music! The past month has been a blast with him as he's helped me set up the tree and hang the stockings, and helped my parents decorate their home. I simply cannot wait to watch him fully enjoy this years Christmas holiday!

Hugs & Chi-Chi Kisses,
Samantha, Baby Gabe, and the Chi's

Friday, December 13, 2013

PureBites Single Ingredient Dog Treats #Review

Dog treats (make that all pet treats in general) can be a scary subject these days. So many recalls due to contaminated ingredients that are probably questionable to begin with. Maybe you look for quality treats from trustworthy companies, but have a dog with special food requirements such as an allergy. Our family falls under that second statement where Venus has allergies, so even "safe" treats are questionable as to whether she'll react to an ingredient or not.

Thankfully, to solve all those problems, there's PureBites. PureBites are single ingredient treats, made in the USA, for dogs and cats. Both dog and cat treats are simply a freeze dried meat, vegetable, or cheese. Cat treats are essentially the same (give or take a few flavors) except they are a smaller easier size for cats. Both dog and cat treats can be broken apart into smaller pieces.

Dog treats are available as bison liver, turkey breast, duck, ocean whitefish, trail mix (beef liver, green beans, and sweet potato), cheddar cheese, chicken breast, and beef liver.

Cat treats are available as turkey breast, ocean whitefish, chicken breast, beef liver, and shrimp.

PureBites sent the chi's beef liver, turkey breast, chicken breast, and duck. All four of these flavors were a huge hit. I honestly can't say that they were more or less excited about one flavor over another.

The beef liver did need to be broken in half for Ocean as they are large solid rectangles, the chicken and turkey were perfect little sizes, but the duck was a little dusty. There were large chunks, small bits, and duck dust that ended up being a food topper for the girls inside that particular bag. That is my only complaint, if I can really even call it that. 

PureBites made it into almost every doggie Christmas gift we put together this year!

You can find more information about PureBites pet treats on their website. You can keep in touch with them and follow their updates via Facebook and Twitter.

Baby and the Chi's was sent the items mentioned above for the purpose of providing a honest and truthful review. We received no monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions are 100% our own.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

MODPawed Handcrafted Pet ID Tags #Review

Having an identification tag for your pet is part of being a responsible pet owner. There are so many options to ID your pet, but none quite as classic and easily identifiable as the dog tag. Having a chihuahua (or two) makes finding a small enough dog tag a bit difficult though. In the past we've found small tags but once they're on a ring and hanging from a collar, one of the chi's is tripping over it or walking like a constipated duck to avoid tripping over it. It's just a bother and we end up not using a tag at all.

Recently, I came across ModPawed on Etsy and was in complete awe over the detail and originality of their pet tags. ModPawed is featured in Modern Dog magazine, has been featured in Bark Magazine, and has been seen on Cake Boss and The Merilyn Denis Show. All of their tags are handmade in California, and can be shipped worldwide. I counted over 150 unique designs on their Etsy page, and even if one of those are exactly what you have in mind, they will work with you on custom orders too! {P.S. This is an AWESOME idea for the holidays! Not just a special tag for a dog or cat, but think of unique necklace or bracelet charms for your fellow human companions, or another special animal in your life.}

We received one tag for each of the chi's. Ocean got The Roxy and Venus got The Comet. Please note: as much as I love you all, I have blurred out my cell phone number from the girls' tags. I just don't trust the creepers out floating around the interweb enough to post it on my blog lol. Thanks for understanding!

The Roxy is a 3/4" copper tag:
MODPawed's photo
 The Comet is a 3/4" red aluminum disc with your personalized info on top of a 1" silver aluminum tag stamped with stars and dots:

MODPawed's photo


I found our MODPawed tags to be beautiful, classy, and durable. I love their customization as well as their extensive design offerings. My heart about melted when I saw The Comet for the first time. How fitting for a dog named Venus, don't you think? The Roxy looks so petite but the nice copper lets you feel that it will last. I found it to be the absolute perfect size for Ocean, and looked beautiful with her coloring. The only thing they need now are new fancy collars! Hmm... I see another Christmas gift in their futures. Honestly though, I am so overjoyed that I came across MODPawed and had the pleasure of working with Leo. It's not often you find such detailed and beautiful handmade items!

You can purchase MODPawed's tags, or contact Leo for a custom holiday gift through Etsy. You can keep up-to-date and stay in touch through Facebook and Instagram as well.

A nice giveaway opportunity for you all as well! Anyone who follows @modpawed on Instagram is automatically eligible to win a free tag each month! That's right, all you need to do is follow @modpawed and you are automatically entered to win a free MODPawed tag, every month they are running this promotion!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Our Most Recent Disappointing eBay Purchase

I mentioned in my November Pet Expenses post that we had an issue with a recent order that was supposed to be a Puppia harness for Venus. I've been trying to find a decent quality harness for her for quite some time now as she's gotten too chubby for her puppy harness now, and found a great deal on a Puppia harness for $15 on eBay. A little cheaper than retail, but a noticeable price difference than the cheap overseas harnesses from Hong Kong. I was excited that eBay had brought me yet another great deal and placed my order.

Super quick shipping brought on some extreme initial excitement, until I opened the package to find a thin pink Puppia-look-a-like without a Puppia tag. Uhm, yeah... if I wanted a knock-off, I would have paid $6 for one from China, thanks. I contacted the seller and received no response. I tried opening a case for a partial refund, but was only given the option to open a case and ship the item back for a refund. I refuse to pay to ship back a misrepresented item, though, so that's out of the question. I have no way to contact eBay directly, and eBay removed the listing so I can't even leave feedback.

I decided I would suck it up and just use the harness and deal with the fact that I overpaid. But that isn't the end of our story! After using it for about a day, the thin misrepresented piece of crapola that is this harness started to stretch out, and is now completely unusable! Little fatty Venus can slip right out of it! At this point, I was outraged. I opened a case on eBay, and left a note explaining that I would not be returning the item on my dime, but I demanded a partial refund to cover the difference had I just risked buying the cheap harness from China. I expected a fight from the seller since I did use the harness and I wasn't exactly nice-as-can-be since I never received a response from my first email, but in return got a completely understanding response to the case offering to send a complete refund and that I could keep the unusable harness.

So, we now have a somewhat happy ending. I have to wait for a refund e-check to clear from eBay/PayPal (estimated to clear on December 10th), but then I can try my luck at ordering yet another harness for Venus. By the time all this is straightened out, it'll end up in her Christmas stocking! Hehe >.<

So that's that. New harness recommendations anyone?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

$10 Off of BarkBox!

From now through December 31st, BarkBox is offering $10 any new box when you order through this link:

What are you waiting for? Your dog thanks you ;)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I Threw Out My Back

It's been a long time since I've had trouble with my back, over a month for sure. I managed to hurt it more than I ever remember by simply taking off my shoes after our morning walk today. That's all, just bending down to take off my shoes, and now I haven't hardly been able to walk all day. Venus and Ocean have been pretty sympathetic, and cuddling next to me while I cry out in pain, but Gabe has been a holy terror (to put it nicely). Yes, he too has noticed that mom is out of commission, and has really taken advantage of the situation. He's tried to be nice and helpful a couple times, but it's days like today that make me wish that my family was a little more helpful, or that Jer was home more often.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thinking About Protein Levels In Dog Food

Our little baby Venus was my first dog, ever. Jared had several dogs growing up, but my parents were pretty particular about everything when I was young and didn't get dogs until us kids were older and on our way out of the house. When we first brought Venus home I spent almost all of my time reading and researching, wanting to feed her the best possible diet we could.

The backyard breeder we saved her from was feeding her Purina puppy chow. We picked up a bag that day, and from there it didn't take long to realize that it wasn't the best food for her. She itched a lot, her ears turned red every time she ate, and she has gas and messy poops. From Purina we went to Wellness Puppy. I loved their food, their packaging (the resealable bag worked great in the semi!), and their company seemed trustworthy. It wasn't until a few months later that Venus started showing signs of an intolerance to this new food as well. We switched from Wellness CORE (grain-free) and while she did well, I went through a period where we alternated between a raw diet and freeze dried.

Venus passed her fifth birthday in August, and from the day we brought her home in October 2009 until this past week I had found in all my reading that high protein diets would be best for her. Grain free was something we always stuck with because (as you may have realized above) she has an allergy. A few of them actually. But high protein seemed to be the way to go with dogs. It was the answer everywhere I looked, so I soon stopped questioning it and stopped researching as well. We've fed foods like Ziwipeak, Stella and Chewy's, Nature's Variety, and [currently] By Nature.

I recently started reading "Dr Khalsa's Natural Dog" and while she doesn't have anything negative to say about raw diets or dogs who need high protein, she does cause me to raise several questions about the diet and nutrition choices I've made for my dogs over the years. Past research has suggested that dogs are carnivores and while they have been eating commercial diets for over 100 years they still crave the meat and protein they would get from living in the wild. Dr Khalsa, on the other hand, suggests that dogs have quickly evolved over the years and while dogs may have the same carnivorous teeth as years ago they have since adapted to eating table scraps and man-made dog diets. Dr Khalsa also brings forward some interesting information about high protein diets feeding cancer and other diseases.

Things I had never questioned before suddenly have me thinking I've made a large mistake in the care of my babies. While their general health is alright, Venus has struggled with easily gaining weight for years. Ocean has only been with us for less than a year, so I cannot say if my diet of choice has made any impact on her health.

I'm only half way through this book right now, but a lot of good points have been raised in my mind. I hope to share more with you and if we decide to make a change to the way we think about the protein levels we're feeding the girls right now. I'm very interested in reading more opinions about this topic though. I would be overjoyed if any of you have any insight about high or low proteins in dog food, or what type of diets suit our modern-day dogs.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Black & White Sunday: Week 5

Merry Fluffy Christmas #Giveaway worth $50+! #FluffyXmas

MFC button_lg

Welcome to the greatly anticipated 4th annual Merry Fluffy Christmas Giveaway Event!! There are 56 blogs that are giving away cloth diapering prize packages $50+! Make sure you enter here and then hop to all the others!! There are thousands in fluffy prizes to be won! This year, there are also two HUGE Grand Prize packages, on both of the host blogs, And Then There Were 5 and Mommy’s Favorite Things! So make sure you enter to win those as well! Good luck!

Here at Baby and the Chi's, we're happy to offer a nice little starter package this year! Our prize package includes the following:
  • a $20 Kissed by the Moon gift Card
  • a "Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapers" book
  • one dozen infant size prefolds from Cotton Babies
Giveaway is open to US residents only (due to the cost of shipping) who are age 18 or older. Please enter using the Giveaway Tools form below! 

November Pet Expenses

I've forgotten the past month or two to make this post! This is our families expenses for our two chis for the month of November 2013.

Food: $11; This wasn't needed, but I bought a bag of Stella & Chewy's freeze dried lamb for Venus.

Treats: $0; Would you believe we really had so many treats backed up that we didn't have to buy any this month?!?

Toys: $5; Venus got a cute little purple monkey. It's been a while since she's gotten a new toy, and this one lasted all of ten minutes.

Vet: $0

Other: $34; BarkBox and a new harness for Venus (more on our counterfeit Puppia later...)

Our November total for two chihuahua's was $50. More than usual, but none of it was actually needed lol.