Guest Post: “Green” Gifts For Pooches and Their Owners

Do you have a dog owner on your Christmas list?

Does he or she prefer green or environmentally friendly products?

Surprise and delight him or her with green pet gifts this year.

To get some great eco-friendly gift ideas that your pet would simply adore, consider the following:


Dogs love their toys. Rubber and plastic toys satisfy a dog’s need to chew and keep him occupied when he’s alone. Squeaky toys and treat-dispensing toys are available that are made from recyclable materials, which is important because heavy chewers can demolish a lot of toys. These toys are also non-toxic and many are made in the United States. Special chew toys are available for older dogs who may have dental issues or simply don’t have the jaw strength that they used to.

Plush toys stuffed with recycled materials will please the pup that prefers something softer to play with. From bones
to lifelike stuffed animals, there’s a soft, cuddly toy for every dog. Many of these toys are fair-trade and made with only natural products and dyes.

For the dog who loves to play tug-of-war, there are sturdy cotton rope toys dyed with vegetable dyes. These toys even
help clean the dog’s teeth while she’s playing.


After a vigorous play session, a dog needs a good long nap, preferably in an organic cotton bed stuffed with materials made from recycled plastic bottles. For dogs who like to chew their beds and drag them around, there are tough beds covered with faux suede, but filled with the same comfy recycled materials as the lighter-weight beds. Beds with one open side make it easier for puppies and senior dogs to tuck themselves in for the night. Some companies offer to recycle their beds after they’ve been worn out by their enthusiastic canine owners, so that’s one less thing to go into a local landfill.

Leashes and Collars

There’s little more that a dog enjoys more than a walk, and environmentally friendly collars and leashes can keep him safe and secure in style. Collars made of bamboo fiber help save trees and are biodegradable. Hemp is another popular alternative fiber and is used to make sturdy collars and leashes. Collars made from recycled materials are also available and are themselves recyclable.

Bowls and Treats

Over time, plastic dog bowls can deteriorate, contaminating food and water with chemicals and absorbing stains and odors. Crafters in the U.S. and other countries are hand-making ceramic bowls that are non-toxic, lead-free and sturdy. Older dogs and big dogs will appreciate a raised bowl. Dogs on the go need collapsible fabric bowls so they can eat and drink in comfort while they travel. Bowls specially designed for travel reduce the waste that results when plastic travel bowls are used and then thrown away.


Environmentally-conscious dog owners want only the healthiest goodies for their pets. Locally produced, organic ingredients are used to make treats. Many dogs suffer from food allergies. Gluten-free and wheat-free products make it possible for every good dog to have a good treat. Dogs who love rawhide will appreciate snacks that come from free-range cattle and are free of hormones, steroids and antibiotic.

This is just a small sampling of the environmentally-friendly products available for man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Give a good dog a great holiday with green gifts!

About the Author: Jessica is a blogger for OMDS, the high end dog supplies store focused on providing high quality oh my dog supplies clothes and other sweet gear for your dog.

Guest Post: How to Pose Well While Taking a Cosplay Picture

In short, cosplayers will expect to look cool, pretty, graceful or sexy while being taken a picture. Besides, they want to highlight the cartoon characters’ features. Then, how to pose while photographing becomes a crucial aspect. Below, some helpful tips are shared.

Photo courtesy of The Tokyo Fashion Guide

Tip 1: Look Up

You will seem much more imposing if being shot over the head. But make sure your sight line is under the horizontal line of light.

Tip 2: Tilt your Face

People who look directly to the lens will often seem unnatural, and even rigid. So you can tilt your face upward, downward, towards the left or right. Anyway, once your face doesn’t keep parallel to the lens, you will seem much better.

Tip 3: Lift your Hips

Referring to the side where you will be photographed, it’s nothing but from the front, side and back face. To show your curve from the front side, just raise your hips.

Tip 4: Look back with half of your face tilted.

Posture of looking back is eternally popular for being photographed. It’s nothing strange in daily life, which is frequently used by people while being photographed. Plus, with a titled half face, you will look much better, especially when you imitate a female cartoon character with a backless costume.

Tip 5: Raise one Shoulder

While raising one shoulder, keep your both hands relaxed on the side. Meanwhile, tilt your head to one side. This makes you seem confident and also sexy.

Tip 6: Stand with Arms Akimbo

This gesture makes you feel mature, confident and also a little nifty. If your head is slightly raised, you will seem more graceful. For girls who want to accent their coquettish appeal, they can use one hand to hook the sash or to lift the skirt.

Tip 7: Hide Your Face

Naturally, that doesn’t mean to fully hide your face. On the contrary, you will draw the most attention from the audience to the exposed parts of your face. You can really emphasize the most beautiful features on your face in this manner.

Tip 8: Place Your Hands on the Back of Your Hip

This posture is unusual and a little difficult to be shown but it often makes the photographed subject incredibly charming. Yes, just put your hands on the back of your hip. In this case, the slim curves on your waist and back are made more flattering.

Tip 9: Keep legs separate.

To keep your legs close together with each other is absolutely not a good idea for great cosplay pictures. Just keep them separate and place the weight of your whole body on the left leg. The right leg splits forward. Turn your upper body slightly to the back. Finally, raise your right shoulder.

Tip 10: Lean Against a Wall

While taking a full-length portrait, a slant angle of 45° should work best. The leg that holds the body’s weight goes forward, then crossed with the other leg that’s positioned to the back. Raise the back knee slightly. A natural rise of the crotch is a finishing touch for the perfect posture. Another additional touch is to keep arms akimbo.

Here are two simple rules for best photograph positioning:

Tip 1: Stand at the Diagonal of the Frame

If your whole body is shot, you should stand at the diagonal of the scene that will appear in the picture. In this case, you will seem more slender. When the field of vision on the frame is wide, you will also seem much taller. Certainly communicate with the photographer before doing this.

Tip 2: Don’t Stand with Your Back to the Light

Backlight feels nice but sometimes it just adds noise to the picture, making it seem unclean. Avoid standing with your back to the light, unless you would like to achieve two particular looks that do you favor.

If you want to stand with your back to the light, you should let the backlight fully cover you. So, only the outline of your body can be seen. This will bring out a great picture. Besides, you can stand at a backlit place where any other scenery except you can be clearly seen. You will look great if taking this photo during a sunrise or sunset.

There are many aspects that contribute to a great cosplay picture. Hopefully you have gotten some inspiration from these tips.

Author bio:

Mic Costume is an author in a cosplay store where you can find first-grade costumes, wigs and shoes. Information about interesting events or splendid cosplay shows can be seen on its blog.

Recipe: Chicken Spinach Pasta with Mozzarella

Once again, a recipe slapped together with whatever we had at home. I hope you enjoy it!

It’s a healthy choice for anyone wanting to get high amounts of vitamins and minerals into their meals. The spinach and garlic have many health benefits and all of these ingredients have a beautiful mix of flavours in the end.


1 bunch spinach

2 cups pasta (adjust according to servings)

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1-2 lean chicken breasts (cubed)

1 cup black olives

1 cup cubed mozzarella

Olive oil

1 tablespoon dried basil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Optional: pinch of paprika or small dried red pepper rings


In a large pot, bring water to boil and add a pinch of salt, followed by pasta.

Cook pasta to desired tenderness, remove from water and rinse under cool water to stop cooking process. *Make sure to keep pasta water in pot over heat*

Set pasta aside in a large bowl and proceed to thoroughly wash spinach.

Place in boiling water and cook until bright green, drain and place in bowl with pasta.

Drain the remaining water and add some olive oil (2-4 tablespoons) with the garlic over medium high heat.

Mix garlic for a few seconds and add chicken.

Sprinkle dried basil along with a little salt and pepper.

When the chicken is cooked through, pour over the pasta and spinach in the bowl, mix a few times and top with black olives and/or mozzarella.

Serve and enjoy!

or just keep the pasta cheese free (also very good):

Guest Post: 5 Simple Shopping Habits to Save You Thousands

Today, everyone is trying to save money wherever and whenever they can. With the upcoming holiday season just around the corner, it’s more important than ever to try and save while shopping – whether you’re in the market for holiday gifts or just for your everyday necessities.

Location, Location, Location

Location may be important in real estate, but it is often a big factor in how much you spend – or save – on items you are shopping for. In fact, in many cases, the very same item can end up costing double or more at one location over another.

By purchasing your items at certain retailers, you can really tend to stretch your dollar – allowing you to purchase, or save – even more. For instance, a case of soda that is purchased at a large warehouse store will typically cost much less than buying the very same thing at the corner convenience store.

Watch for Sales

It may sound cliché, but watching for items to go on sale can make a huge difference in the price that you pay. However, this is only the case if the item is something that you truly need. Watching for sales on items that will only be impulse purchases will be counterproductive and end up costing you more in the long run.

Likewise, you can also oftentimes find even further discounts on “open box” items such as electronics. Often these items have been returned by other customers undamaged, and many will even still carry the regular manufacturer’s warranty.

Use Coupons

Coupons are almost like getting free money – or at least free or highly discounted items. Not only can you purchase physical items such as food or toiletries using coupons, but you can also enjoy meals in restaurants and services for your home this way.

In today’s tough economy, product and service providers are hoping to bring in new and repeat customers by offering discounts with coupons. So, take advantage of these deals. Even saving an average of $20 per week on products and services that you regularly use will add up to a savings of over $1,000 per year.

Time Your Purchases

Whether you are searching for a new car or a gallon of milk, timing your purchases can make a big difference. It is a sure bet that if you need something immediately, you are much less likely to comparison shop and will often buy the first or most convenient items you can find – and this is rarely, if ever, the most cost effective way to go.

Think about the last time you were in a hurry and needed an item. It’s likely that you were pressured into purchasing the first one that came along, regardless of price. Therefore, try not to get into situations where items that you need – especially regular needs like food and toiletries – run out and put you in a bind.

Really Know What You Are Shopping For

Using a shopping list may seem old fashioned, but making a list – and sticking to it – is one of the most effective ways that you can save money by avoiding impulse and other unnecessary purchases.

More than half the battle of saving money comes in saying no to yourself at the checkout counter. Make it a habit to write down the things that you are shopping for – and then not to veer from that list. It will be much more cost effective in both the short and long term.

Sandra Harris is a writer for all things family-oriented. She also helps seniors find Houstonassisted living to help others live comfortably.

Guest Post How-to: Gift Bags from SAY

Tired of those plain ole, mass produced gift bags? Then make your own gift sack or purse using these simple instructions.

1) Take any gift bag and either cut off the handles (if rolled paper) or untie and pull them out (if ribbon or rope).

2) Choose which side will be the front then cut bag along the folds and across the “back” about 4 inches down (or however long) you want. This will become the front “flap.”

3) Discard excess and fold over the longer part to create the flap.

4) Decorate with trim, ribbon or border stickers for an extra special touch (I used some ribbon trim and a big artificial flower).

5) Cut a 2 inch length of double back foam tape and adhere to inside of flap.

6) Cut ribbon, twine or rope and hot glue onto inside fold of flap to create a handle – leave off if you’re using this for a boy.

7) Fill with treats, peel protective layer of double-sided foam tape and affix to bag.

With these 7 easy steps you too can create a fun, practical and inexpensive way to give gifts or homemade treats.

About the Author:

Sandie lee is owner and creator of SAY…Simply All You Gifts. Her handmade and inexpensive baskets, bags and boxed gift containers can be made-to-order and are all one-of-a-kind; never duplicated, never copied. Check out SAY on the web at: