Santa’s Little Helper

December 22, 2011 § 8 Comments

The decorations are up. The Christmas cards have be mailed out. And our inquisitive little munchkin just had to be in the middle of all the action.

This year, we’re throwing our apartment a festive ‘eco-chic’ theme and, while rummaging through our local Salvation Army Thrift Store last week for potential DIY projects, I came across a unique set of holiday greeting cards with a wildlife motif—how perfect! These cards are not only printed on recycled paper, but also feature information about a particular endangered animal in Asia. What a scholastic novelty. J’adore ♥ 

All these lovely cards needed was a bit of sprucing-up with some scrapbooking embellishments to make them look one-of-a-kind. [Note: I think Martha Stewart would have been proud ;) ] Now, if I believed Miss Maple could lend her paw for this project, I would have readily entrusted her with the glue-stick. But, my instincts warned me otherwise! 

Another recent find were these two Japanese Sasaki glassware from a second-hand store, called Hock Siong & Co, which sells furnishings collected from 5-star hotels around Singapore. To give these display pieces a boost of Christmas cheer, I filled them each with a green bauble that reminds me of lemongrass and a whimsical pearlescent butterfly.

[Note: When you have a theme like ‘eco-chic’, you just have to run with it (lol)! But, I can imagine putting these two glassware to other good uses throughout the year, perhaps as dessert bowls (the way they were intended to be). YUM.]

With the cards signed and sealed, it was time to get them stamped and delivered. Lil’ Miss Maple thought she could help with that task, too, but our pint-sized furball would need to be hoisted up to the mailbox or have the mailbox brought down to her level. Next year, Miss Maple, there’s always next year to be Santa’s little helper again. Who knows, you might just get that growth spurt you’ve been wishing for all this time!

Disclaimer: HAPPY.BARK.DAYS is an independent entity and was not paid to write this review by any of the commercial enterprises mentioned in the article.

‘Tis The Season To Be…

December 19, 2011 § 21 Comments

As the festive season approaches and the last-minute Christmas shopping rush begins, let us be reminded that pets may not necessarily make the best gift ideas. Our blogging buddy, Barb from Passionate About Pets, wrote a convincing post listing 5 good reasons not to buy a pet at this time of the year. It’s easy to understand how children (and adults alike) can be easily captivated by the cuteness and innocence of a puppy—I should know, I used to long for a puppy during my childhood years and hoped that Santa would bring me a furball on Christmas day. Fortunately, my parents knew better because my motivation to get a puppy eventually waned as I grew older and my interests moved on to more important things… like sleepover parties, make-up, and boys!   

And, so, it wasn’t until adulthood that MM and I agreed to add a little companion to our nest of two. As the story goes, one year ago, Lil’ Miss Maple was formerly known as Lola and lived in a nice comfortable home with her previous family. But, because her former momsy and popsy were so busy taking care of their own little ones—two young toddlers—they hardly had time for Lola. As a result, Lola developed some behavioural issues that made life a bit more complicated for her family. So, Lola was put up for adoption. As luck would have it, Lola (Maple) found a new home in ours.

The moral of the story is: pets are a huge commitment. Some children may be too young to understand, or be willing to accept, such a responsibility. Parents, as busy as they already are, have to be positively certain that the needs of a pet can be accommodated and fulfilled despite the family’s hectic schedule. With so much to consider, the holiday season may not be the best time to contemplate adding a pet to the family—especially when consecutive days of feasting on good food and wine may cloud our judgment ;)  

But, what can you do when you have a dog-loving child who is persistent about being close to the four-leggers? MM and I have a niece who falls into this category. This year, we thought we would introduce the concept of adoption to our niece by giving her a homemade Christmas gift voucher that would entitle her to sponsor a shelter dog for a year. Here is a sneak peek of the voucher—ssshhh… it’s a secret!

Gentle Paws is one of many local dog shelters in Singapore—their Sponsor-A-Dog program allows members of the public to sponsor a dog on a monthly basis. The donor can visit his/her sponsored dog any time at the shelter, as well as receive updates on the dog’s well-being and adoption status. We hope exposing our niece to this meaningful cause will not only feed her appetite to be close to dogs, but also foster a sense of compassion and awareness for rescue dogs.

Last, but certainly not least, we were pleased to receive a blog post request from The Shelter Pet Project (TSPP) campaign—a collaborative partnership between The Humane Society of the United States, Maddie’s Fund, and The Ad Council—that connects potential adopters with shelter dogs across the US. If you wish to learn more about TSPP or help promote greater awareness about pet adoption, you can connect with TSPP via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Here is a delightful and funny public service ad campaign for TSPP. Do check it out and share with all your friends!

A Dose Of The ’60s

December 12, 2011 § 3 Comments

What is a girl to do on a lazy weekend in town? Why, engross herself in chick-lit and indulge in an aromatic brew of coffee! With a slew of trendy cafés sprouting up in Duxton Hill, I decided one weekend would not be enough time to cover the ground. Besides, would the risk of a potential caffeine-overdose be worth the effort? I think several repeat visits to Duxton Hill are in order so that I can (safely) give each and every coffee shop a fair try (*smile*).

Source: Books Cellar (Facebook page)

For today, though, I just want to share with you a moment of discovery at one particular hangout, called Books Cellar (a bookstore cum bistro café), where I had the opportunity to flip through a vintage copy of Her World magazine. Talk about a time warp!

Her World is a local magazine publication and the oldest running one at that. Established in the 1960s, this magazine made its mark on the cultural landscape of Singapore just as the city-state gained independence. Imagine living in an era of transformation, modernization, and the women’s liberation movement (not that I would have any first-hand knowledge and experience of this decade *cough, cough*).

The pixie cut—super short and cute. Could there be a classier ‘do’ in the style history of human keratin filaments? Fortunately, the unflattering manes of the mystifying ’80s and ’90s failed to reach the same level of revered iconism and are probably best left as bygone memories…

Uh-oh, this scene does not look like it has a promising happy ending. Life can be full of dramas. 

Ah, yes, the Kenwood mixer. I do believe my mom still has (and is still making good use of) hers at home!

Last but not least, and the reason for the post, is this article on how to “Teach your dog carway code”—the ins and outs of safely travelling on the road with your pooch in tow. If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then I reckon Fido is her true best friend ;)

Despite the change of times, there are some universal content of interest that seem to remain constant: beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. We can find evidence of this in the current December 2011 issue of Her World.

Wow, look at the psychedelic colours that are hitting the runways this season… très 1960s! As they say in the fashion world, what’s old is new again.


Disclaimer: HAPPY.BARK.DAYS is an independent entity and was not paid to write this review by any of the commercial enterprises mentioned in the article.

Triple Ouchie!

December 11, 2011 § 12 Comments

What an uncomfortable start to the morning for this little tyke—three jabs of the needle in one visit to the veterinary clinic. Miss Maple probably had better ideas of how she would rather spend her weekend morning: (1) a playdate at the dog park, (2) a liver treat buffet, or (3) a 15-minute belly rub. But, no, her momsy and popsy had to make her endure the nail-biting journey to the vet followed by a triple ouchie.

Here is Miss Maple, somewhat sleepy-eyed and oblivious to the vaccinations that were being prepared right behind her.

The first needle was inserted with no fuss at all and Miss Maple gave us an impatient glare as if to say, “Are we all done here? Can we leave now?” Then came the second and third needles… Before the vet could even administer the shots, Maple let out a shrill yelp that could be heard down the corridor where other furry ones were nervously awaiting their turns. *sigh* That’s our drama queen for you.

On the drive home, our furball was very moody and refused to acknowledge us—she was playing the guilt card. And it worked. Lots of treats and lots of cuddles later, all was forgiven and forgotten… until next year, that is!

Miss Maple and the Jingle Bell

December 9, 2011 § 12 Comments

It’s that time of the year again when afternoon showers and cool breezy nights are as predictable as Miss Maple’s potty sessions! ‘Winter’ in Singapore is here and, along with it, the monsoon rains. On the positive side, the flowers are blooming voraciously and I couldn’t resist bringing home a bouquet of orchids to brighten up our sun-deprived apartment. 

Our little pipsqueak is suffering from cabin fever, as our entire household hunkers down indoors to stay dry from the thunder showers. So, how does one help a feisty pupster from going stir-crazy? This plastic ball with a bell inside was a steal for S$1 at our local pet store and has proven to be Maple’s all-star favourite toy!

The tinkerbell makes the sweetest rhapsody of noise when Maple plays with it. Truth be told, I fell asleep once to the tune of the bell and the pitter-patter of raindrops outside. But, when all becomes too quiet, well then, that is a sign of our munchkin doing the forbidden—chewing on the ‘jingle bell’, which we now call the new toy.

Yes, the Lil’ Miss is quite the chewer and the jingle bell has been dealt with several incisions already despite its relative newness. We have to keep a close eye on Miss Maple when she plays with the jingle bell to ensure that she doesn’t swallow any bits of plastic, and we always store away the jingle bell after each play session. 

Keeping the jingle bell out of Maple’s reach takes no effort at all… that is, if we can coax the naughty rascal into handing over her all-time favourite toy. The jingle bell has brought out the obsessive-possessive nature in our mild-mannered (so we thought) furball!

Curious to watch how the jingle bell has been keeping Miss Maple entertained during these ‘winter’ months? This video, which we have paired with, you guessed it, the ‘Jingle Bells’ song from Michael Buble’s Christmas CD, should give you a pretty good idea!

Have a great weekend, everyone—don’t forget your umbrellas.

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