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  • The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling

    The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling

    This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive commission at no cost to the consumer on sales of those products or services featured.


    The Christmas Pig is a children’s story that every adult should read.  It is 271 pages of fantasy, reality, and adventure that gently teaches messages of love and care for family, extended family, friends and our environment.

    The Christmas Pig And Family

    While not all children’s books deal with current events, this story touches on divorce, separation and family adjustments to today’s situations.  Extended families, cell phones, texting and children’s stress are all a part of this holiday season themed adventure.

    No One Wants to be The Loser

    The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling
    Grab your cookies and milk and enjoy The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling

    It is in the Land of the Lost where most of us will find much to relate to: lost keys, an earring, a sock, a plastic toy from a fast food restaurant that got tossed aside as soon as lunch was eaten.  J. K. Rowling has written a story that entertains and pokes at your conscience at the same time.

    No one wants to be the Loser and yet it is very easy to fall into the trap and we don’t even realize how often we contribute to the mountain of stuff that is steadily growing in the Land of the Lost.

    The Christmas Pig is easily read and understood at the fourth grade reading level; its message is clear and easily understood by even a toddler.  And the ending is not what you might expect!

    The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling  Copyright 2021


    Better Living Magazine is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon at no cost to the consumer. When you click on affiliate links, we may receive revenue from qualified sales.

  • Realistic Robotic Cat for Children Adults and Therapy Pet

    Realistic Robotic Cat for Children Adults and Therapy Pet

    This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive commission at no cost to the consumer on sales of those products or services featured.

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    Emotional Support Pets For Fun, Love or Therapy

    Emotional support pets like Joy For All pets from Hasbro  are designed to bring happiness, comfort and companionship to anyone who appreciates the interaction with a dog or cat but isn’t able to enjoy having a live pet in their home.  Hasbro offers both cats and dogs with such realistic features, you will find yourself talking to these interactive robotic toys in no time at all!  With fine, soft fur, realistic sounds and expressive faces, these robotic pets bring all the joy of a live one without the problems or challenges of real cat or dog ownership.

    If you know someone who would love a little kitty or puppy without the mess or stress, Joy For All Interactive pets are the perfect pet!

    Emotional Support Pets

    Hasbro’s interactive cat is a realistically sized robot with soft fur that will sit on your lap, on a table, chair or anywhere while it meows and purrs just like a real cat.  The head of the cat has several hidden sensors that activate kitty’s motion and sound.  All this pet’s actions and sounds are gentle and loving and very realistic.

    What Does Joy For All Robotic Cat Do

    When you pet kitty’s head at the top or around the side of the head, the sensors cause the cat to start meowing very gently followed by a comforting purr.  Resting your hand on the body, you can feel the gentle vibration just like a real purring cat.  Continued petting keeps kitty happy and eventually it will roll gently onto its back, begging for a tummy rub.  Contented kitty blinks and even closes its eyes as it’s purring.  Occasionally, kitty will lift a paw to lick it, just like a real pet.

    Who Could Benefit From An Interactive Pet

    Interactive pets are ideal for anyone.  They offer the companionship of a real pet without the problems or challenges that come with a live animal. Children of any age enjoy hugging, petting and talking to their very own loving kitty or puppy – no biting, scratching or running away! Adults who would like to have an animal but are not able to cope with feeding, walking, or cleaning up after a pet can still enjoy the companionship of an interactive cat or dog.  Nursing home patients can feel more at home with a friend who sits on their lap anywhere and keeps them company on lonely days.

    The comfort of an interactive pet can be life-changing to someone who lives alone, someone with pet allergies or someone in need of a little love therapy.

    Joy For All pets offer:

    • Realistic size and sound – interactive pets are battery operated and can be turned off or muted if sound is not desired
    • Moderate motion – interactive pets have gentle movements of head, mouth and eyes but they do not walk
    • Soft furry surface – they love to be stroked, cuddled and caressed

    If you know someone who would love a little kitty or puppy without the mess or stress, Joy For All Interactive pets are the perfect pet!

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    Better Living Magazine is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon at no cost to the consumer. When you click on affiliate links, we may receive revenue from qualified sales.

  • Stop Mold And Mildew In Bathroom

    Stop Mold And Mildew In Bathroom

    This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive commission at no cost to the consumer on sales of those products or services featured.

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    Simple Ways To Stop Mold And Mildew Growing In The Bathroom

    You can stop mold and mildew growing in your bathroom or shower by doing a few simple things everyday.

    • Keep it dry – use the right materials
    • Keep it ventilated – allow circulation
    • Keep it uncluttered – let in the light

    Mold and mildew can make any bathroom look old and dirty.  No one wants to shower among the funky, smelly stuff clinging to the grout, the shower curtain or the bath mat.  Mold and mildew feed on moisture, warmth, and darkness. Here are a few suggestions to stop mold and mildew from growing.

    Start With a Clean Room

    Prepare Ceiling and Walls

    If mold and mildew are already growing in your bathroom or shower, you will want to get rid of it asap!  Open the windows, turn on the ventilation fan and scrub the walls, the ceiling and anywhere else you see it taking hold.  It’s not necessary to use bleach.  There are an abundance of products on the market that will kill the nasties.  But you can’t just spray on bleach or other chemicals and call it clean.  You need to apply a quality mold killing product and then scrub infested surfaces to be most effective.  Rinse and repeat if necessary.

    • When you are sure you have eliminated all the mold on walls or ceilings, let that room dry with an abundance of ventilation. Get the air moving all through the room.
    • Once the walls and ceiling are very, very dry, apply a coat of mold resistant primer.  Allow the primer to dry thoroughly with plenty of air still circulating through the room.
    • Finally, apply two coats of mold resistant paint or enamel.

    Now your ceiling and walls have the ability to resist the growth of mold and mildew, but you’re not done yet.

    Fresh Grout and Caulking

    No one likes it but it’s got to be done!  Scrape away all the dirty, crumbling grout or caulking around the base of the tiles in the shower or tub.  It there is existing mold or mildew on the walls of the shower or tub area, treat it with the mold and mildew product that successfully eliminated the funky stuff from the walls and ceiling.  Scrape, treat and get rid of all the crud.  If you don’t get rid of it, it will just keep creeping back into your shower.

    Just spraying with bleach is not enough!  That’s just bleaching the mold, not removing it.  Scrub, scrub, rinse, rinse.

    When you’re sure you’ve washed away all the slime and grunge, let it all dry with a lot of ventilation.  Tub, shower and tiles need to dry out for about 48 hours.  Now you can apply a solid bead of caulking around the base of the tiles.  If you don’t let it dry completely before caulking, you are just going to trap moisture behind the caulking giving mold and mildew a new home.

    Keep It Dry To Stop Mold and Mildew

    Use Airy Shelving – Ventilation Is Essential to Stop Mold and Mildew

    Shower shelves
    Let it Drain!

    Whether you have a stall shower or a standard bath tub, keep it open, airy and easy to drain.  Shelves can be essential for easy storage of shampoo bottles, soap and other products.  But in order to keep a clean and tidy bath, every surface must be designed to allow water and moisture to drain.  Otherwise, it becomes a breeding ground for funky stuff.  Soap should be able to dry in between use.  Cloths, sponges and brushes must be allowed to drain and dry.

    Use Cloth Shower Curtain and Liner to Stop Mold and Mildew

    Your shower curtain does not have to be made out of plastic!  A cloth shower curtain can be just as effective at enclosing the tub.  And a cloth shower curtain liner makes it even more effective.  Both a fabric shower curtain and a cloth liner will dry quickly, not allowing the growth of mold and mildew.  They are easily laundered in the washing machine and re-hung on a regular basis.  Most plastic curtains will not withstand the vigorous motion in a standard washing machine.

    And you won’t have that cold, plastic curtain reaching out to grab you while you shower.

    Use The Right Bath Mat to Stop Mold and Mildew

    hanging bath mat
    Hang Bath Mat to Dry

    The best way to keep your bath mat clean is to hang it up to dry after every use.  Have you ever fought to hang the standard mat somewhere to dry?  It’s like hanging out an octopus with all those suction cups!  Look for a mat with a hole at one end.  The hole is made for hanging.  Use a large size suction cup hook and hang the mat on the hook so that the suction cups face away from the tiles and all the water drains easily into the tub or shower.

    Your mat will never be moldy again.

    Don’t Clutter the Corners

    Use the shelves that allow total drainage.  Don’t leave bottles, wash cloths, sponges or other wet items laying in corners.  It’s just a breeding ground for mold and mildew.  Just don’t do it.

    wash cloth sponge
    Just Don’t Do It!

    Ventilate

    Turn on the exhaust fan, open the window. Let the air move, don’t let the moisture settle.  Keep it moving!

    Make It A Habit

    • Step out of the tub, hang up the mat
    • Everything on a draining angle
    • Nothing piled in the corners
    • Fan on, window open

    You’ll never need the bleach again!

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    Better Living Magazine is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon at no cost to the consumer. When you click on affiliate links, we may receive revenue from qualified sales.

  • Are Sloggers Comfortable?

    Are Sloggers Comfortable?

    This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive commission at no cost to the consumer on sales of those products or services featured.

    Are Sloggers Comfortable?

    Sloggers might be the most comfortable footwear you can find for gardening or heavy duty yard work. Sloggers can handle the job whether you have a suburban green patch or acres of grass, garden or farm!

    • Garden
    • Farm
    • Yard Work
    • Walk In The Park

    What Are Sloggers?

    Sloggers are a brand of shoes and boots designed for all day comfort in any season, any weather.  They have an extra thick, molded insole that will keep your feet cushioned and comfortable while you garden, cut grass or toss bales of hay.

    Are Sloggers Waterproof?

    Both Slogger shoes and boots are made from soft, flexible, waterproof material making them perfect for:

    Cutting Grass – Keep your feet dry and free of grass stains while you mow.  The heavy tread on Sloggers give you comfort and stability on slippery slopes.

    Weeding Gardens – If you work in the dirt, Sloggers will keep your feet clean and dry – leaving the dirt in the garden

    Raking Leaves – There’s always a surprise or two under the leaves! Keep them out of your boots with Sloggers!

    Farm Activities – Dirt, dust, weeds, pets, farm animals … you need Sloggers!

    Walk In The Park – Sloggers are perfect for comfort and stability.

    Are Sloggers Comfortable In Rain And Snow?

    Slogger boots are solidly made with the sole of a real work boot that will keep your feet dry and provide stability and support through rain, snow, mud and piles of leaves.

    What Size Will Fit?

    Sloggers come in standard, full sizes.  For in between sizes, you can make any shoe one half size smaller with a half sizer insole.

    Where Are Sloggers Made?

    Sloggers are made in the USA.

    Sloggers Recycle Program

    I can’t imagine my Sloggers ever wearing out but, the company offers a Reuse and Recycle program aimed at encouraging customers to return their used boots or shoes.  Sloggers will grind them up and put them back into a new pair.

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    Better Living Magazine is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon at no cost to the consumer. When you click on affiliate links, we may receive revenue from qualified sales.

  • LYRA Modest Swimwear Review

    LYRA Modest Swimwear Review

    Sponsored Article – Our content is our own work and while we have accepted payment for writing and publishing this article, we strive to be genuine, transparent, and objective.

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    LYRA Swim – Modest Swimwear

    How do you find modest swimwear that is also affordable, fashionable and well crafted?  Ask a woman.  Women know what they want and when a woman designs and markets a product strictly for women, success is inevitable.

    Woman Owned Business

    A woman who wanted to enjoy the beach, the pool and all the water sports and fun that go with them while wearing well-made, modest swimwear launched LYRA Swimwear in 2016.  Her goal was to provide leisure wear for women seeking the modesty of a burkini while still keeping her style modern, comfortable and trendy.

    Modest Swimwear and More

    MAYA Kaftan - S_M _ Stone

    Modest swimwear along with Hijabs, Sarongs, and Kaftans can make a day at the beach comfortable and fun. You will never be self-conscious of your outfit when wearing LYRA swimwear.  You can enjoy the surf, play ball or stroll the water’s edge modestly dressed for fun in the sun.

    In addition to swim wear, the LYRA brand offers elegant kaftans made with 100% Viscous fabric and Boho chic maxi dresses in a flowing A-Line design, turban style head covering, leggings, and more.

    Quality Swimwear And Accessories

    LYRA Swimwear Wrap Hijab
    LYRA Wrap Hijab

    It’s not just the fashion design and variety that makes the LYRA brand special.  Every LYRA swimsuit passes through 11 production stages to insure the quality is unmatched.  Each element (buttons, zippers, etc.) is carefully chosen for each design and some parts are hand stitched.

    The burkini is more than a fashion trend.  It’s leisure wear that’s here to stay and LYRA Swim is committed to providing modest, fashionable and ethically manufactured garments for all women.

    Better Living Magazine fully supports woman owned businesses and is proud to promote their work.  LYRA Swim fulfills the needs of all women seeking modest, carefully crafted bathing suits, gently flowing dresses and kaftans plus stylish head and leg coverings.

  • Mega Ball Covers For Dogs

    Mega Ball Covers For Dogs

    This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive commission at no cost to the consumer on sales of those products or services featured.

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    Do Mega Ball Covers Make Balls Last Longer

    Mega Ball Covers can make a Mega Ball last longer even when a 60 pound Collie Blue Healer mix thrashes it around the yard.   Here’s what you need to make it work:

    Milo And Big Ball
    Mega Ball Goes Inside Mega Ball Cover

    We put the Jolly Mega Ball Cover to the test with Milo and the Horseman’s Pride Mega Ball.  The ball outlasted Milo’s bashing, gnashing, and relentless pouncing.  But, the very interesting test was replacing the sturdy, heavy duty ball with an ordinary 24 inch, helium quality balloon.

    Yes, an ordinary, helium quality balloon!

    Milo And Big Ball
    Milo And Big Ball

    We inserted an ordinary, 24 inch, helium quality balloon into the Mega Ball Cover.  We used a medium size electric air pump to inflate the balloon.  (very, very carefully) We allowed the balloon to, very slowly, fill the ball cover.  Did Milo have as much fun with the balloon in the cover?  Absolutely!  Did the balloon last as long as the Mega Ball?   Surprisingly, the balloon lasted much longer than we hoped for!

    In the end, it was  just the life expectancy of a balloon that made it deflate after about 10 days.  Inside the Mega Ball Cover, the balloon did not pop under pressure or from puncture of a sharp object ( have you seen Milo in action??)

    Milo is a young, very active dog.  At almost 2 years old, his greatest love is chasing a ball in his own backyard.  His passion is a ball launcher but if you throw a gigantic ball into the mix, he cannot resist the challenge of getting that big ball under his control.

    How Strong Is A Ball Cover

    Big ball repair
    Milo Waits For Repair

    After about four months we had to take needle and thread to tighten up some of the seams on the ball cover.  This damage was the result of Milo’s very energetic grabbing and shaking the cover.  But after adding a few tight stitches, the ball is back in action!

    Mega Ball Covers – Is This A Horse Ball?

    The Horseman’s Pride Jolly Mega Ball is advertised as a horse ball,  but, you don’t need a horse.  Many dog owners have tried tossing the yard ball out there, hoping for at least an hour of entertainment for the kids or the dog only to be met with embarrassing disappointment when the ball silently or violently crushes everyone’s dreams with a ‘poof’ while encountering a random twig.

    This Ball Cover will allow you to entertain your dog and your children longer than a standard, naked yard ball.

    What Do You Need

    • Mega Ball Cover
    • Mega Ball

    While nothing lasts forever, sometimes maintenance is the answer to longevity.  We monitor Milo’s activity and discourage him from too much aggression focused just on the cover.  As soon as we noticed the wear on a seam, we stitched it up.   After 6 months of frolicking and guided fun,  our Mega Ball Cover is still providing energy, fun and excitement for Milo and friends.   The Horseman’s Pride Jolly Mega Ball has outlasted the ordinary balloons in intense play and the Ball Cover is to credit.  If the cover can allow an ordinary helium quality balloon last for days, imagine how long the heavy duty ball might last!

    Tips For Success

    An ideal amount of air in the ball will fill out the ball cover so that it closes fully and fills out the shape so the seams are not easily grabbed and pulled.

    Big ball velcro opening
    Too Much Air
    • Do not over fill the ball/balloon – the Velcro closure should be well aligned
    • Fill to even out seams on ball cover
    • Use electric air pumps only with gentle, intermittent power
    Big ball velcro opening
    Good closure

    The Horseman’s Pride Jolly Mega Ball comes with a foot pump, an air plug, and a plug removing tool.  In our experience, all are essential for maintaining a rewarding experience for a healthy dog.

    Milo And Big Ball

    Why choose a super ball over a balloon?

    • Mega Ball lasts longer
    • Mega Ball is heavy duty

    The Mega Ball is designed for something a little larger than our 60 pound Milo.  Milo’s bouts of energy are sometimes explosive as you can see, so for him, the heavy duty ball is best.  The heavy duty balloon can provide a lighter weight ball for smaller dogs and children.

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    Better Living Magazine is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon at no cost to the consumer. When you click on affiliate links, we may receive revenue from qualified sales.

  • Favorite Cat Names and Breeds

    Favorite Cat Names and Breeds

    Sponsored Article – Our content is our own work and while we have accepted payment for writing and publishing this article, we strive to be genuine, transparent, and objective

    What’s The Best Name For Your Cat

    Do you want to find the best name for your cat?  Do you want to read about favorite cat names and breeds before you adopt one?  Check out the best cat name list on the Internet! At Cats Online you can view the coolest, unique, and best cat names based on popularity, gender, color and breed.

    Here at Better Living Magazine, we work with one kitty on the keyboard and another one hanging off the cat tree.  Everyone knows life is better with a cat. Therefore, it must be twice as nice with two!  For those pondering the breed of cat that would best fit their lifestyle, it’s a good idea to know as much as possible about cat breeds and their traits.  Just as important is finding the right name for your feline friend.

    What’s In A Cat Name?

    You wouldn’t want to name a hairless cat ‘Fluffy’ would you?  Hmm, maybe I would.  Or the enduring ‘Spot’?  Favorite cat breeds and the names that suit their personality might surprise the novice cat person.

    Is A Cat Name Important?

    Do cats come when you call their name?  Mine do.  Miss Mia will ignore a random ‘pspspsps’ but perks up at the sound of her name.  If you’re trying to find the best name for your new Orange Tabby cat, Cats Online can help you narrow it down by gender, color, and breed.

    Blaze, without a doubt is going to be this year’s favorite cat name for the ever-popular Orange Tabby.

    Favorite Cat Names and Breeds

    Munchkins, a little known breed of cat with very short legs, might not be amused at being called ‘Shorty’ but I think ‘Smallz’ would be really cute and catchy.  Before you jump in and find the cat that is willing to adopt you, do some research into the traits and characteristics of purebreds and browse the suggestions for the perfect name for your new best friend.  And while you’re there, check  out the Pet Birth Certificates available to make the adoption occasion even more memorable.

  • How To Harvest Hibiscus Seeds

    How To Harvest Hibiscus Seeds

    You Can Save Seeds From Your Hibiscus Plant To Grow Next Year

    Harvesting hibiscus seeds from a plant is fairly simple. By late summer, a healthy hibiscus will start producing seedpods along with the flower blooms.  To harvest hibiscus seeds for next year you will need to:

    • Distinguish seed pods from flower pods
    • Allow pods to mature on the bush
    • Pick pods at their peak maturity
    • Remove seeds from the pods
    • Dry out seeds

    How To Identify Seed Pods

    The seed pods of the Hibiscus plant look just like the flower pods before they mature into full bloom. The seed pod, which is about one inch long, is initially green and oval shaped. As the pod matures, it begins to dry out.   Eventually, it turns brown and the petals start to open.

    When To Harvest Hibiscus Seeds

    Seed pods hold about 20 to 30 seeds.  Once you are able to identify the seed pods from the flowers, you will want to wait until the seeds inside the pod mature before picking them. Initially, the seeds are small, delicate and light green. When the seeds mature, the outer petals of the pod dry out revealing larger, brown seeds that appear fuzzy on the edges.

    This is the time to harvest the seeds – before the birds discover them!

    How To Collect Hibiscus Seeds

    Cut or pull the mature pods from the bush.  The more mature they are, the easier they fall off the stem.  Gently pull away the dried outer shell of the pods and let the seeds separate onto a flat dry surface.  Make sure to remove anything that is not a seed – gently removing any other parts of the pod that may still be attached.

    Allow the seeds to air dry for about a week.  Then, carefully place the seeds into a plain white envelope.  Seal the envelope and store it in a cool, dry location until you are ready to plant indoors for an early start in the spring.

    Air drying the seeds can also be done with a DIY screen setup as shown in How to Collect and Dry Sunflower Seeds.

  • Is A Ball Launcher Good For Dogs

    Is A Ball Launcher Good For Dogs

    This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive commission at no cost to the consumer on sales of those products or services featured.

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    Ball Launcher For Dogs

    I love balls!  Big balls, little balls – any kind of ball!  But, is a ball launcher good for dogs?  Does it matter to the dog how the ball gets airborne?  Or how far it travels?  Or is this just something that makes fetch easier for the pet owner?

    Ball launchers are beneficial to both dogs and their owners.

    But, no matter what kind of dog you have or what type of ball launcher you use, paying close attention to the ball catching activity is important for the safety of your pet.

    What Is A Ball Launcher?

    A ball launcher, also known as a ball thrower or shooter, is something designed to get a ball into the air for a dog to catch.  There are different kinds of ball launchers, but essentially, they all do the same thing.  They get the ball into the air giving a dog the chance to run, catch the ball, and return it.

    • Ball Flinger – a sling-like device that allows the pet owner to throw the ball a long distance
    • Ball Shooter – a tube with a trigger that shoots a ball a long distance with moderate force
    • Automatic Ball Launcher – a battery operated device that sits on the ground and launches a ball into the air

    Is A Ball Launcher Beneficial to Dogs?

    A healthy dog likes to play and an invigorating came of fetch can keep them healthy and active.  However, like everything else in life, too much of a good thing can be ill advised.  At any age, it’s best to limit physical exertion to a few minutes at a time.  Too much forceful running can be harmful even to a young animal.

    Personally, I have a tendency to run and then look where I’m going.  In addition, the neighbor’s fence?  I’m always surprised how much it hurts when I slide right into it.

    The ball thrower can offer your dog hours of energetic fun, but it’s up to the human to learn the limits for their pet.

    Tips For Selecting A Ball Launcher

    Ball Flinger

    Ball flingers require significant effort on the part of the person throwing the ball.  They come in a variety of styles and designs but they do the same job.  The human puts the ball into the hollow and slings the ball outward.  They are inexpensive, easy to travel with, allows no-hands pick up of the ball and can send the ball twice as far depending upon the force put into the throw.  The down side of the flinger is the amount of physical exertion needed from the pet owner to repeatedly throw the ball.

    Ball Shooter

    A ball shooter looks like a toy gun that shoots a tennis type ball into the air.  The human pulls back the spring, pushes a ball into the chamber and pulls the trigger to send the ball about 50 feet into the air.  The shooter costs a little more than a flinger but it’s far easier on the human shoulder.  They are easy to travel with and require no batteries.  And, shooters also allow for no-hands pick up of the ball.

    Ball Launcher

    A ball launcher is the most sophisticated of the styles on our list.  The launcher requires batteries and almost no human interaction.  The launcher sits on a firm, level surface and launches a ball at regular intervals. Unfortunately, automated launchers cost significantly more than a flinger or a shooter.  Some models can be set to throw between 8 and 30 feet with an automatic timer for shut off after about 15 minutes.  If you want a launcher that will keep your dog occupied without human interaction, take the time to train you pet to catch and put the ball back into the launcher.  However, automated launchers might not be the best choice in homes with small children or dogs who are not easily trained.

    Put Your Pet First

    If keeping your pet well exercised and entertained while applying minimal physical exertion to the owner is important, the ball shooter is an excellent choice.  But, no matter which style you choose, remember to set limits for your dog:

    • Keep water nearby for drinking (the dog, not the human)
    • Limit the distance your dog must run to get the ball – know their limitations.  Too much running can put undue stress on muscles and joints
    • Limit their time spent chasing the ball – even in cooler weather, limit or build up play time
    • Keep play area clear of dangerous obstacles – as you can see in my video, the neighbors fence and those hammocks really jump out at you if you’re only keeping your eye on the ball

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    Better Living Magazine is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon at no cost to the consumer. When you click on affiliate links, we may receive revenue from qualified sales.

  • Elf On The Shelf GI Jane Ready For Deployment

    Elf On The Shelf GI Jane Ready For Deployment

    This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive commission at no cost to the consumer on sales of those products or services featured.

    Elf On The Shelf

    If you are familiar with the ‘Elf On The Shelf’, you know there are many elves that appear in homes around the world helping people welcome in the winter holiday season. Some stories about elves seem quite magical. It has been said that these elves are sent to our homes by Santa Claus. The elves are thought to bounce from place to place in a home. Then they share stories of their visit with Mr. Claus.

    GI Jane Ready For Deployment

    One elf has been given a special mission this year. Special Elf On The Shelf, GI Jane is going to be deployed to a secret location in hopes of bringing holiday fun and cheer to one particular soldier.

    Because it’s a top secret mission, no one knows where Jane will be spending the holidays. But before she meets her soldier, she has decided to visit his home and spend a little bit of time getting to know the soldier’s family and friends.

    Jane will have pictures of her visit, and is hoping to share them with her soldier to brighten his time away. Elf Jane has been issued appropriate accessories for her trip around the world, including some very chunky, custom made boots!

    Elf On The Shelf Meets Family And Friends

    This is a special assignment that Jane is truly looking forward to sharing with her soldier. She has enjoyed special dinners with his family and friends. Jane also loved playing around in the grape vines in the beautiful fall weather.

    Things got a little tangled up when she tried to chase the ball through the basketball hoop. For the most part, family pets were fun to play with. There was a brief encounter with a kitty named ‘Stormy’ but they became good friends before the day was over.

    It was fun to watch the birds with kitty, Luna and ride the straw turkey! She met pumpkins who aspire to be Jack O’Lanterns and really big rubber rats on the fireplace mantle. They all made Jane feel welcome and festive!

    Most of Santa’s elves don’t get the opportunity to enjoy pre-Christmas events. So seeing the decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving added to Jane’s enjoyment while preparing to leave for her special destination.

    Elf GI Jane Ready To Travel

    In order to arrive at her top secret location in time for the winter holidays, Elf On The Shelf GI Jane has donned her custom travel cape and is now on her way to meet her special soldier!

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    Better Living Magazine is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon at no cost to the consumer. When you click on affiliate links, we may receive revenue from qualified sales.

  • The Outsider By Stephen King

    The Outsider By Stephen King

    This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive commission at no cost to the consumer on sales of those products or services featured.

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    Stephen King – Master Story Teller

    The Outsider by Stephen King weaves a story about a horribly gruesome murder that leads police and private investigators to discover that one child’s murder is not the first time this killer has done the impossible.

    What happens when multiple neighbors and friends identify a well known and beloved member of the community as the murderer of a child? But,  just as many witnesses place him without a doubt, many miles away at the time of the murder?  Chaos, tension, suspicion and sometimes more death.

    Terry Maitland, Little League coach, teacher, father, friend – could he really have brutally assaulted and murdered an eleven year old boy?  Witnesses will testify he was right there in neighborhood at the time of the murder.  Witnesses will testify they saw him in blood stained clothes.  Blood evidence places him at the scene of the crime.  But, other witnesses will testify that it was not possible for Terry Maitland to be the killer.  Because he was with them.  One man in two different places at the same time.  Impossible but true.

    The Outsider by Stephen King – Is This Possible?

    The investigation should be over when a prime suspect is assassinated on the courthouse steps. But, it really is just the beginning of a search for a serial killer who might not really exist. While the local police insist they have the killer, others are convinced the real killer is still at large and they are determined to put an end to the evil.  Is this a case of a brutal murderer masquerading as a small community’s ideal citizen or has a serial killer been lurking in their midst?

    The Outsider by Stephen King – Copyright 2018

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  • Counter Height Kitchen Tables For Small Kitchens

    Counter Height Kitchen Tables For Small Kitchens

    This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive commission at no cost to the consumer on sales of those products or services featured.

    Kitchen Tables For Small Kitchens

    If your kitchen is the busiest room in the house, the kitchen table is probably the center of most of the activity.  Kitchen tables are sometimes the heart of the home.  From hurried breakfasts, casual lunches, and family dinners, to the pain of homework and the joy of game night, memories are made at the kitchen table.  Having a table that meets everyone’s needs can be a challenge if you’re trying to fit a great table into a small space.

    If your kitchen has limited work space, a counter height table with stools for two and convenient storage shelves will make a very special addition to a busy corner. 

    Counter Height Kitchen Tables

    If you want to increase the amount of counter height working space in a small kitchen, a counter height kitchen table set is a great way to spread out.  If the space available to put a dining set is limited, there is no shortage of options for a counter height table and either chairs or stools.  Wood tables with upholstered stools come in chic contemporary finishes and colors or very cozy farmhouse distressed wood.

    Dining Room Or Kitchen

    If your kitchen has limited space, a counter height table with stools for two and convenient storage shelves will make a useful addition to a busy corner.  Perhaps you have wall space but not much depth.  Then you might try a long and narrow counter height table with slender padded bar stools.  A counter height table and four upholstered chairs in the dining room can easily become the center for cozy family dinners or large holiday gatherings.

    The kitchen table sees a lot of action. Therefore, you want to be sure it’s made of material that’s going to stand up to the activity.  A solid wood kitchen table in a finish that compliments your kitchen also needs to be washable, and withstand the ravages of a toddler and the cast off of pre-school arts and crafts.  It’s a messy room.  That table needs to be strong enough to withstand the pressure.  It’s the busiest room is the house!

    Solid Wood Kitchen Tables

    Certainly, most of us have achieved some level of expertise in furniture assembly by the time we graduate college.  But a sturdy, solid wood kitchen or dining room table might put the woodworking skills to the ultimate test.   But it’s worth it!  It’s no different than anything else you have ever assembled – just heavier because it’s solid wood.  It’s solid to keep making memories long after cheaper tables would have ended up in the trash.

    You got this!

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