Friday, May 30, 2014

CAKE DESIGNS: 22 Cub Scout Bake Off Idea's #Cubscouts #Boyscouts #Cakes

This year has been a major milestone in my son's life.  He is about to complete his first year as a Tiger Cub Scout and cross over the bridge and become a Wolf Cub Scout.  One of his major accomplishments that he did this year was to learn how to bake.

The annual Cubscout Bake Off was the perfect place to learn.  The boys were encouraged to do as much of the baking as possible with their Akeela's (adult) help for safety.  

When we were looking for ideas of what theme he would like, there was an over-whelming amount of creations, all scattered in various places.  My son ultimately chose the shark theme and we found a similar recipe on-line to help him along.

I thought I would help put together 22 images of our pack's awesome designs.  The boys had a great time and we enjoyed watching Dispicable Me 2 while the judges looked over the cakes.  The best part of the evening was that we all had a chance to sample the cakes after the judging!  My son won the Most Artistic and I am SO proud!



Thursday, May 29, 2014

PET PROTECTION: Foxtails: A Hidden Danger and a Trip to the Vet

Most of the time I write about my family's adventures having fun and doing things together.  One my family members that doesn't get a lot of mention but almost always comes with us is our dog Brittany.  

We consider her an important member of our family.  She protects us, goes camping, hunting, plays and gives us comfort.  We would do anything for her as she clearly does all she can for us.

Last week, I had to rush her to the vet because of a hazard that I had never given much thought about before.  Our backyard grass doesn't always have the weed control that it needs and a certain weed was taking over our little used side yard.

We had just gotten back from a weekend away and we noticed that she was chewing her feet and licking one paw excessively.  On further examination, I saw a puncture wound, redness and swelling.  The weed responsible is the common foxtail.  I checked out the rest of her body and removed about 10 foxtails.  I immediately made an appointment with our vet to remove the burrowed fox-tail from her foot.

$200 later, we discovered that she had about 20 more that we had not found and were removed.  Her wound was flushed and another was found in her ear that was causing an ear infection that we weren't even aware of yet!

The foxtail is that pesky poky plant that sticks in our socks and makes us itch.  To us it is a bothersome plant but to dogs, it can be deadly.  The foxtail gathers in between long haired dog's toes and buries itself into the skin, often without the owners knowing.  They often get inhaled by dogs through the nose or mouth and this is where it can become deadly.

The foxtail when inhaled, can burrow its way into the brain, lungs and other organs causing pain and infections.


  • Western US
    • Eyes
    • Ears
    • Nose
    • Pads of feet
    • Genitals 
  • May thru December
  • Feet: Foxtails love your dog's feet and can easily become embedded between tender toes. Check for foxtails if you notice swelling or limping or if your dog is constantly licking the area.
  • Ears: If your pooch is shaking his head, tilting it to the side, or scratching incessantly at an ear, this could be the sign of a foxtail -- one that may be so deep inside the ear canal you can't see it. Your veterinarian needs to take a look using a special scope.
  • Eyes: Redness, discharge, swelling, squinting, and pawing all may be signs your dog has a foxtail lodged in its eye. If you think this may be the case, seek veterinary care immediately.
  • Nose: If you see discharge from the nose, or if your dog is sneezing frequently and intensely, there may be a foxtail lodged in a nasal passage.
  • Genitals: Foxtails can find their way into these areas, too. So if you notice your dog persistently licking at its genitals, foxtails could be the cause.
  • When hiking, during the drier months, keep dogs on a leash so they don't run through the weeds/brush
  • Keep weeds removed in your own backyard.  They grow side by side in the grass.
  • Always check your dogs thoroughly after hiking
  • Regularly brush out your dogs coat
  • Keep long haired dogs trimmed short, especially between the toes
I hope that this helps prevent other dogs from pain and misery!  I also hope that it helps other dog owners so you don't have the added expense of a vet bill.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Dragons: Defenders of Berk 2 DVD | @FHEInsiders #Giveaway

 This year may not be the official "Year of the Dragon" but with "How To Train Your Dragon 2" due out on June 13th and the new DVD release of "Dreamworks Dragons: Defenders of Berk" out this week, they might decide to change that.

My kids love the TV show and we are excited that the movie is out in just a couple weeks.  With the riders getting older, the adventures get more daring and the villains come from different facets.

Following directly after the events of How To Train Your Dragon but before How to Train Your Dragon 2, Riders of Berk follows Hiccup as he tries to keep balance within the new cohabitation of Dragons and Vikings. Alongside keeping up with Berk's newest installment — A Dragon Training Academy — Hiccup, Toothless, and the rest of the Viking Teens are put to the test when they are faced with new worlds harsher than Berk, new dragons that can't all be trained, and new enemies who are looking for every reason to destroy the harmony between Vikings and Dragons all together.

  • DVD Soars on May 27 with Exclusive Codes for 
    • The School of Dragons Online Game and Movie Money for How to Train Your Dragon 2 in Theatres on June 13 
    • DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 2 DVD Features: 
      • Dragon Tracker Part 4 
      • Evolution of Skrill
      • "Here Comes the Fire" Dragon Mash-Up 
    • 10 epic adventures and all-new dragons

Fans that purchase the DVD will also get a Digital HD UltraViolet™ code for the title and Movie Money ($7.50 value) to redeem for tickets to How to Train Your Dragon 2 when the film hits theatres in June, as well as a chance to win a free dragon racing saddle or a mystery box code for exclusive battle gear and powers to School of Dragons, the online game from JumpStart based on DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon franchise. With cinema-like graphics and an immersive 3D world, it takes more than courage to train a dragon but brains as well. For more information, visit


DISCLAIMER:  I was given a copy of the DVD to review for this post.  All thoughts and ideas are my own.  All photos are used with permission.

PHOTO SAFARI: San Diego Zoo Safari Park: Tiger Trail | @SDZSafariPark #TigerTrail

This last weekend, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park opened one their most memorable exhibits, Tiger Trail!  While Tiger Trail didn't open to the public until Memorial Day, I was lucky to have been invited with my daughter for a sneak preview.

We were invited, along with other animal and photo enthusiasts, to check out this spectacular set of exhibits that show-case the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park's push to save the tigers by ensuring a great breeding program.  The  exhibits allow the visitors to get an up close and personal look at these magnificent creatures in as wild of a setting as possible.

The Safari Park strives to allow the animals as much room and realistic habitats as possible to encourage breeding of threatened and endangered animals.  The Sumatran Tigers in the exhibits are all potential breeding animals.  The enclosures included a pair of sisters and a pair of brothers, all fully related but of different litters and a breeding male.

Tiger Trail is a series of exhibits that allows visitors to get within inches of Sumatran Tigers.  Visitors walk pathways that wind through the habitats in a way that make you feel one with the animals.

My daughter and I enjoyed watching the male breeding tiger, Teddy, work one on one with its care-taker and even training it to be less stressed during medical procedures.

The sisters enclosure had waterfalls and streams running through it to cool them off on the hot summer days.

The brothers enclosure happened to be our favorite as there was a wonderful eating area where you can relax with a bite of food and watch the tigers "playfully" stalk your children through the thick walled glass.  

After enjoying the beautiful Tigers, we took a look at a kids climbing park next to Tiger Trail to burn off some energy and play with friends.  This interactive park had the kids climbing, jumping, sliding and playing hide and seek.  The kids also learned quickly that if they jumped onto the pathway, tigers would call to them.


My favorite thing to do at the park was to take pictures of all the majestic animals that are readily available without the typical bars of a zoo.  I took so many pictures that I had to make an album which I will add to every time I visit.  

We spent most of the day visiting the animals of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and there are many more pictures of this incredible safari park.  You can find more pictures on my Facebook Page here.

DISCLAIMER:  I was invited to a media day to help promote the opening of Tiger Trail.  All thoughts and ideas are my own.  Do not use any photos without permission.

Friday, May 23, 2014

LOCAL EVENT: Strawberry Festival, We Had a Berry Good Time! | @FoxHomeEnt #StrawberryFunFest #sscbloggers

Last week, I had attended an event that I had heard of but had never had the opportunity, the Strawberry Festival in Oxnard.

Thanks to 20th Century Fox, I can no longer say that.  To help celebrate the new release of the Strawberry Shortcake DVD: Fun Under the Sun, Strawberry Shortcake was making her appearance.

My family loves strawberries and the Strawberry Shortcake show is often on in our house.  We couldn't wait!  

We arrived at the festival ready to feast on all things strawberries and check out the fun activities.  There was live music going on all day and we had fun dancing to the Young Dublins.

Working up an appetite, we sampled the different local strawberry stands and chose our favorites.  My families favorite strawberries happened to be the chocolate covered ones.  LOL!

As much as I enjoyed the chocolate covered strawberries, I felt I should quench my thirst with a glass of strawberry wine.

We couldn't miss the chance to hang out with Strawberry Shortcake and all of our friends!  It is amazing how many of us have such fond memories of Strawberry Shortcake that we are now passing on to our own daughters.

There were a few contests that I recommend checking out next year.  The strawberry pie eating contest was hilarious as we watched the whipped cream fly everywhere.

If you have a competitive streak, the Strawberry Shortcake building contest is a must.  The contestants have 2 minutes to build the tallest creation. Check out the winner!

We decided to try our own hand at building a strawberry shortcake and while it fell short of the winning entries, it was delicious!

The kids were chomping at the spoon, literally to try some of the rides and activities and there was no shortage.  Slides, bungee cords, rides, rock climbing and more, the kids had a blast.


Under the tent, we discovered the Berry Best Dressed Baby contest!  The winners won a scholarship to a modeling school, free photography, and gift cards!  It almost made me want to dress up my 5 year old but the entrants had to be under 3.  Isn't the winner gorgeous?

The tent also had wonderful acts such as the Jest In Time Circus!  A little bit of magic and juggling and my kids were enthralled.

There were so many different things to see and do at the Strawberry Festival it waa hard to see them all.  I can't wait to try the zip-line next year!  I would also  like to try more of the strawberry based foods that were aplenty.  There were also a ton of  home-made goods booths that showcased the local artists that my kids had no patience for.

If you get the chance next year, check it out!

DISCLAIMER:  My family received tickets to attend the Strawberry Festival and gas money to drive up.  All thoughts and ideas are my own.  Do not use any photos without permission.