All posts by Kaycee

Hi all! My name is Kaycee. I live in Arkansas with my husband of almost ten years. We have a 21 year old daughter who has grown up, got married on us and a had a little one who is less than a year old. Just love being Nonna! We also have two great Chihuahuas and a Great Dane, along with several fish. My educational background is in Psychology and Child Development but my heart is in ministry, crafts, fun, reviews and my website, My Crafty Zoo. I look forward to continuing to share my life through word and pictures with you and love hearing your feedback! Thank you for taking the time to read and allowing me to share!

NurishPet & Free Pet Resources You’ll Use for Years to Come!

Welcome to the Work Hard, Play Hard Giveaway Hop brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers!

Work Hard Play Hard Giveaway Hop 2018

Hosted By: Mama’s Geeky & Women and Their Pretties

Each giveaway has a value of a minimum of $15, however some are worth much more. Be sure to enter to win all of them because there is no limit to how many you can win. GOOD LUCK!

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NurishPet has so many great products!  We’re loving the Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil that we’ve been trying out!  They’ve got a good bit of other great health for pets.  It seems having them has gotten so complicated.  I grew up on a farm and always had dogs, horses, calves, cats, and so many other types of animals.  Back then, we treated most things in our pets on our own.  We fed our dogs scraps and they lived long, full lives.  It’s great that we know so much more about how to help our furbabies be healthy these days, but it can be so overwhelming at times!

Free Pet Resources You Won't Want to Miss: An Ever Ongoing List

Giving my dogs fish oil isn’t a new thing, in the past I’ve done so from time to time, as there are many benefits.  I was super excited to try out NurishPet’s Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil as there are tons of great things out there about them.  Made in the USA, these soft chews are all natural, gluten and dairy free.  Both my Great Dane and Chihuahuas absolutely love them.  Providing fish oil can give your dog nutrients that they need and, as a bonus, they seem to think they are treats!  They support the immune system, heart health, anti-inflammatory properties, healthy skin and coat and cognitive function.  This particular product also has Vitamin E, Kelp and Vitamin C.

Be advised: I have read multiple resources that discourage from feeding fish oil daily, stating that it can cause their bodies to stop producing some things as they become dependent on using those that come from the supplement.  Instead, use them as a weekly treat, which will also ease the pain on your wallet!

Our Resource List for Your Reading Pleasure

Feed with Love: Better Food For Dogs

Emergency Procedures for Your Pet: First Aid

Follow This Pinterest Board, Specifically for Pet Stuff!

Have a Good Resource?

Shoot me a message and I’ll add it to this list!

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Disclosure:   My Crafty Zoo is not liable for sponsors who fail to deliver prizes.  No social media is responsible for this giveaway.  All entrants must be US residents (military base addresses outside the country are eligible) and ages 18 or over.  Winner will have 48 hours after being contacted to respond, after which they have forfeited their prize and a new winner will be chosen.  If you would like to participate in an event like this, please contact admin @ mycraftyzoo .com

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Stump Cooler: Great Gift for the Outdoorsman

IMG_4597The Stump Cooler is probably one of the most unique coolers I’ve every laid eyes on! Designed to look like a tree stump, it blends in well perfectly for sitting in the woods while hunting! It will hold a dozen 12 ounce cans and is super light when empty, so you can take it anywhere! With the strap, it’s easy to carry along with whatever else you have to have out in the woods! In addition, they boast that it can keep cans cold for up to 5 days!

Not a hunter? How about fishing? Not only can the cooler be used to hold drinks, it can also be used as a minnow bucket! AND you can sit on it! No more sitting on the ground or carrying a chair, the Stump Cooler can be used to sit on too! One less thing to carry to that perfect spot!

The Stump Cooler is made of polyurothane so it is pretty light, adding in the cans or minnows doesn’t make it very heavy. The only thing I didn’t love was that the polyeurothane could be easily chipped with rough treatment. Though I’m certain with the tree stump design, a little spray paint will camo it back out with little effort!

I’m not a hunter or fisherman, but I did stick mine out by the koi pond and enjoyed having it there! Looks way better than the traditional cooler for when we have outdoor gatherings. If you know someone who loves being outside or even just having gatherings outside, they’ll love this unique little cooler!

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PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

– Holds twelve, 12oz. cans plus ice
– 8x more insulating than other foam coolers
– 5x stronger than other foam coolers
– Great seating height- approximately 19″
– Sturdy enough to support a 250lbs adult
– Lightweight – less than 4lbs when empty
– Easily converts to a bait saver
– Over the shoulder strap for easy transport
– Measures 18 3/4″ x 10″ x 11″

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Wisconsin Products, Inc.® is a custom manufacturer of – Made in America – outdoor products. We envision our products to blend into nature instead of a portable plastic refrigerator looking product. Our initial product, The Stump Cooler®, has a wood bark color and texture. The material used is a lightweight PU that is 5x stronger than like products and 8x more insulating than like products. Why get boring products that are made in other countries and an eyesore when enjoying the outdoors. Be one with nature and purchase one of the most unique products on the market all while supporting an American made product and company.

disclosure

Originally posted 2013-12-02 09:07:23.

4 Simple Ways To Preserve Christmas Memories

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Every year there seems to be a new ornament that is special come into our house.  The one pictured was to celebrate our engagement, though not every one is celebrating such milestones they are all so very special.  We have ornaments that simply have a story, like the one we bought because it reminded us of some family joke for that year or the one that is a representation of the year Monkey was on Swim Team.

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Little Notes

Regardless of the reason that an ornament is special, I want to know that in 60 years I can remember exactly why that one was chosen.  So, in order to remember that special story I have taken to writing each story down on a piece of paper and sticking it into the box.  Every year when I take the ornament out, I re-read the note and smile.  The greatest way I can think of to remember our blessings each year is by starting out reading each one on our little notes!  It also helps motivate me to take a break when it’s time to put them away again.  LOL

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Ornament Book

Another great way to remember these things is an ornamental book that you can write in.  I have one that I write about our Christmas in every year.  I write about funny moments or whatever memorable events happen each year.  I also write about special decorations that don’t necessarily stay in boxes, like the village that my Granny gave me or the bunny rabbit that was my Dad’s favorite toy when he was little.  I love these things so much and I hope that they one day become special to my kids also.  Having the little book helps with that!  Plus, it hangs on the tree so that we remember to not only write in it during the Holidays, but also can pick it off and re-live each story written inside!

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Pictures!

I am a picture fanatic, right now I have far more pictures on my computer, flash drives (yeah, plural, don’t judge!), and even on my husband’s media storage stuff to count!  Another great way to preserve memories is to get or make ornaments that display your family.  We have some store bought ornaments that hold our family pictures and we also have some that I’ve made to display other pictures.  Regardless of how you do it, you’ll cherish them as you take them out each year and remember that bad haircut, those lovely braces, or the year that you burned your eyebrows off over the grill!!  (Yep, that one was me!)

Sound Bites

With technology advancing year after year, sound bites are even on the table these days!  You can get record able ornaments to record your little one saying ‘Merry Christmas,’ singing their first Christmas carol, or even the joyful sound of your family’s laughter.    Just remember, no matter how ridiculous it seems at the moment you will treasure it for years to come!

Originally posted 2013-11-30 00:01:00.

Giblets Impossible: A Cloak & Dagger Mission

Giblets Impossible: A Cloak & Dagger Mission

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, not particularly stormy…but it was dark…minus the streetlights…and the cars…it was night. It was the type of night that screamed…turkey swap. The street was quiet and empty. The houses dark as everyone had retired to bed, comfortably ignorant of the intrigue and action that was set to take place.

The swap had been set in advance, the parties had agreed on the amounts. Two shady miscreants were set to meet and exchange their clandestine goods. One was comfortable in knowing that she would double her investment, the other willing to trade two for one to have a more convenient package.

One whistled the all clear, the other gave a nod to confirm. Large birds in hand, they walked as softly as possible across leaf covered yards, glancing ever so slightly in a constant motion until they met quickly in the street.

They walked away, both smiling at a deed well done. One grinned with the knowledge that she had proved false the old adage of “bigger is better”. The other chuckled to herself knowing that yes…”A bird in hand is worth two in the bush”.

-A special thank you to my fellow Secret Agent

 

Originally posted 2013-11-27 18:49:39.

Litter Free Lunch Box

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A Review By Monkey

The  ‘Litter Free Lunch Box Kit is an amazing lunch box for a high school student. I took it to school and i got a few comments on the bag. They either said it was ‘cute’ or ‘colorful’.  I was really excited when i got to take it to school and use it for my lunch.(except for the part where i had to write this review:)  It kept my lunch nice and cold (without an ice pack) till lunch time. The bag itself was very easy to
carry around, and on the inside was very neat.   The containers that came with the bag were very helpful with keeping my food separated.
The water bottle was a problem solver, because I didn’t have to carry a separate item to my lunch. I enjoyed carrying around the individual bag. I will love to use it again and get some more compliments. Over all today was a good day to use the ‘litter free lunch box’.
Using the Litter Free Lunch Box for a second time, we decided to change it up a bit.  I put an ice pack in it and it did even better in keeping my food cold.  I suggest to put one in the box itself so you would keep the food inside cold. The little containers helped with the smaller sides (obviously). But if you had a salad planned for lunch you could put some dressing in one and the other one you could put tomatoes in it. For the medium sized container i would put fruit and some walnuts in it too. But hey, that’s just me! I also want to say that the lunch box is big enough to put other things in it. I put a half of a bag of Doritos in it and it still zipped up! Oh my goodness, I just love this bag!  You just can’t tell what I will have next!   Altogether the ‘Litter Free Lunch Box’  was a great product and I love having it to take lunch in.

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The Zoo Keeper’s Thoughts

Let me just say that Monkey has officially made her writing debut!  *Proud Mom moment!*  Okay, now to the lunch box!  Each of the containers inside the lunch box are both microwave and dishwasher safe.  The container itself can be washed in the washing machine!  There is extra room inside even with all of the containers and the water bottle.  Plenty of space for other packaged goodies and such.  There is also a pocket on the inside to place things such as condiment packets or silverware so it won’t get banged around everywhere.

Monkey has been taking her lunch to school for the last 3 1/2 years and I have never seen her more excited to pack and take it!  She told me that the bus driver and her friends complimented it and she was quite proud to have it.  Preparing her lunch in the containers and taking it in the box seems to be something she loves to do now, which is always great!

I used the lunchbox when I went on a take out run to keep the food warm and it did well.  The food stayed hot and we didn’t have to eat lukewarm takeout.  I love that it is so roomy without taking up a lot of space!  No worries about it leaking or the food temperature changing too much.  Fabulous!  Plus, it’s great for the environment to use these types of products!  All in all, it’s a win!  Definitely a must have for anyone who takes their lunch anywhere!

Product Info From the Company

With great colors and fun designs, everyone in your family will want to carry their lunch in our Litter Free Lunch Kit! This kit has an insulated shell, four BpA-free airtight food containers (2 small, 1 medium and 1 large) and a 15oz BpA-free bottle – everything you need to pack a fresh, healthy lunch.

Bottles are dishwasher safe. Bag can be washed in a washing machine.

2 small containers: 3.75” x 2.25” x 1-3/8” deep

Medium container: 5.25” x 3.75” x 1-3/8” deep

Large container: 5.25” x 3.75” x 2.75” deep

Bottle: 2.25” x 2.25” x 6.5”

Find ‘Em Here

Website

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Facebook

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Originally posted 2013-11-23 00:01:23.

Coming Home For Christmas

viewerI am just going to start this review by confessing: I am a Christmas junkie.  I love it, all of it, the Christmas specials, the feelings they bring, holiday gatherings, decorating, all of it!  The thought of having a perfect Christmas drives me all year long!  This year I have had the privilege of reviewing Christmas stuff- I’m in way up to  my ears with happiness over this one!!!

Now, on to my thoughts!  The movie has a great story!  Having seen probably a hundred Christmas movies, I can honestly say that I haven’t seen this story before!  I loved the story and the message behind it!  The set designers did a great job of making it a believable little town and homes!  The actors could use some work, but then perhaps the fact that they aren’t household names is what makes this special.  The film makes you feel good and even amidst mediocre acting you want to watch, to hear the story, to see it unfold.

Overall, I can’t turn down any holiday movie, good or bad.  This one has a great story, an actual unique one which is a rarity.  While this probably won’t be your new holiday favorite, it is one you will feel good watching.  Personally, I enjoyed it.  I am a sucker for a good Holiday story!

About The Movie

After their parents separate, two estranged sisters who haven’t been on speaking terms reunite in hopes that having a family Christmas all together for the first time in years will bring their Mom and Dad close again. They plan to do this in their old family home… the only problem is someone else lives there now.

The DVD includes a limited edition Norman Rockwell print!

Who is Norman Rockwell?  Rockwell was famous for his famous American culture illustrations and artwork. He was born in the late 1800’s and died in the mid 1900’s.

Director: Vanessa Parise
Cast: George Canyon (Christmas Miracle, Dawn Rider, Man of Steel), Aaron Pritchett, Britt McKillip (Dead Like Me), Carly McKillip (Hot Rod)
$14.99
Available at Walmart
Soundtrack also available featuring holiday songs performed by George Canyon
disclosure

Originally posted 2013-11-22 00:01:07.

Winter Fun 2012 #GreatDane and #Snow

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Originally posted 2013-11-21 00:10:01.

Warmze Review: Awesome Bottle Warmer!

bottlewarmerWarmze’s are perfect for on the go Mommys!  In just 30 minutes, a frozen bottle of breast milk can be ready to go or a mixed bottle can be perfectly heated.  Given that the majority of our family lives at least 3 hours away, I can see this coming in handy for trips!  Or even just to keep in case a doctor’s appointment runs longer than planned!  The wrap will even stay warm for up to 10 hours, which is really great for long road trips.  The only downside is that the heat wraps aren’t reusable, but a set of 4 (for small bottles) will only run about $13, so that’s not too bad given that it’s not something that is needed regularly.  Plus, the warmer packs are eco friendly, so you don’t have to worry about that.  😀

From The Company

One self-heating warmer will conveniently heat several different bottles throughout a day-no boiling water, no metal disk to click, no running to car for car charger, no electricity, no batteries or microwave. In just 30 minutes you will have a perfect tepid bottle (90-104 degrees) the temperature recommended by Pediatricians. It works for breastfeeding moms that pump (thaws frozen milk) as well as those that have to use formula.
The non-toxic, biodegradable warming wraps are air-activated and last for up to 10 hours or 3-5 bottles per one warmer wrap. The bottlesoc is re-usable and helps keep baby dry by preventing leaks and allowing the large cotton ruffle to wipe dribbles.

Check out the video, it tells you just about everything you need to know about it! I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Originally posted 2013-11-20 20:36:23.

Website Writing: Ten Tips on Creating Fantastic Content Everyday!

What is good content?  There really is no set definition and it’s completely subjective based on what our readers want to look at, have time to deal with, and feel the desire to share.  We can’t control it in any way.  We are completely at the mercy of the whim of our beloved readers.  It’s easy and tempting to throw your hands up in the air pretty quickly, but don’t give up!  After some work, research and practice you’ll find yourself writing those articles that create repeat and active readers.  In the meantime, and for all times, don’t let that stop you from writing about things you enjoy.

This post will help you get on track to creating amazing content all the time, driving readers and customers to your site daily!

As bloggers and website owners, we all know that it’s hard work, it takes constant dedication, and an insane amount of creativity and a tolerance for annoyances so be sure and write articles you enjoy writing, at least from time to time.  My absolute favorite posts on my site are those I’ve written about psychology like this one on overcoming depression.   It came from my heart, was well researched and I find it well written.  It is not, however, one of my most viewed pages.  That’s okay.  I wrote it for me, I enjoyed it.  If it helps one other person, that’s enough for me!

Content Marketing for small businesses is essential whether you are a blogger, have an online store, or even a local business.  In order to stay relevant and attract attention, one must stay ahead of the curve.  If you ever figure out how to do that, by all means come back here and let me know!  I’m typically more of a haul butt around the corners and hang on kind of girl!  So in my ever evolving quest of self-improvement, both personally and for this site (check my post about domain authority and SEO), I’m putting together a post full of content marketing tips.

Whether you run a Lifestyle Blog, Parenting Blog, Wedding Blog or a brick and mortar business, we all have one thing in common: an Achilles heel made up of a balance between what they want and what gets their attention.   A fantastic marketing campaign can make us, break us or keep us on the bench but even the best marketing can’t save us if our content doesn’t draw people in and bring them back for seconds!  So, with that in mind I’ve brought you a top ten list, because everyone loves those, right?

Ten Tips on Creating Fantastic Content

I must note right now that I was on a role with this post, right up until I got to the point of the article.  Then my brain started going into the land of random thoughts.  Ugh.  I hate that land when I’m working.  Okay, back on topic….  Well…..  maybe just a quick break  THEN back on topic…  I swear….

More coffee….  That’s what I need….  Check out this totally irrelevant video I took on our trip to Silver Dollar City Attractions and the Branson Showboat.  That should keep you entertain long enough for my content brain storm!

Okay, back on track….

Let these tips help get you on track to creating content that everyone wants to read!

  1. Be bold!  Click bait is crazy effective in getting people to come to a website, though often it is not enough to keep our readers interested.  However, talking about content that will touch on our reader’s passion is always a good idea.  No matter what side of an issue your opinion lands on, it’s going to be controversial.  One doesn’t have to offend or alienate anyone in order to discuss challenging topics.  There will always be someone who passionately agrees or disagrees with you, it’s nice to hear everyone’s varying point of view.
  2. Do your Homework! It’s a bit easier to know what will be well received if you are a niche blogger or business.  A local bakery sharing some tricks of their trade is going to be a great way to both drive traffic and attract customers.  After all, who better to get tips from than a delicious baker and how could one not be attracted to patron a business who cares so much about their customers that they are willing to help them out.  I’d certainly be more likely to go to that bakery to try them out the next time I needed a delicious treat!  However, if you aren’t a niche business or website, then it’s time to get to your homework.  There are tons of ways to search for what’s being searched the most in order to find something your audience would not only be interested in, but is likely already looking for.  You could even spend some time checking out what’s trending on Pinterest!  That’s what I call fun homework!
  3. Be transparent! While it is possible to sit on the fence and get an engaged audience, as readers and visitors the majority of us would prefer to know where an author stands.  It helps to encourage a feeling of community to know where someone stands.
  4. Photo Identification: Be sure and put a good description in the alternative text of the image. After all, algorithms aren’t eyeballs reading your pictures!
  5. Photo Placement: Don’t put the photo at the beginning of your post. Those pesky algorithms are known to skip over pages that start with a picture as they are harder to classify.
  6. Keep It Simple! Don’t write super long paragraphs.  It’s easier to read a short paragraph than a long one and people are more likely to stick around for an enjoyable read than a labor intensive one!
  7. Writer’s Block? We’ve all ran into that wall at some point (as in my insane distraction above).  If you are stuck, search for writing prompts.  They will not only force you around your blockade, but they may also inspire some fantastic post ideas!
  8. Keep a Running List. I have a tendency to some up with ideas for posts at the most random times, make yourself a list and grab something off of it every now and then to mix things up!
  9. Get off your butt! (or on it technically) When you have a minute, write!  Whether it be on paper or the computer just write.  You can add it to your site anytime, but the inspiration gold may not stick around that long!
  10. Have fun! While blogging and coming up with content is a job, make sure you enjoy what you are doing and writing about!  It will reflect in your writing and your readers will appreciate it!

15 Ways To Help Heal a Sore Throat

SoreAs I lay in bed sleeping peacefully, something inside of me must of thought I didn’t have enough crap to deal with.  In dreamless slumber, my body devised a plan to put more on my schedule, help add a little stress before Thanksgiving, where who knows how many people will be visiting.  So, as I woke up, it began it’s plan. My body jumped into action, as it is good at conniving evil plans, the left side of my throat began to swell as I swallowed and my left nostril, not to be outdid, filled itself with mucus so that only half of my nose could be deemed useful.  Aaah, teamwork.  An essential function of any successful team.  And here I was worried that I might actually get my house ready, grocery shopping done and the laundry caught up a few days in advance.  What a fool I must be!  So, in my brilliance I am launching a defense.  At terrible risk of an uprising, of getting caught and having it turned against me in an attempt to sabotage my healing attempt, but I shall stand brave.  It has been 17 minutes since I began writing this and the medicine has started clearing up one nostril, though the other has begun it’s betrayal.  My throat is still killing me on one side and my head has begun to pound.  Oh, how I love the flu.  Such fun this is!

Remedies

Gargle with one of the following:

*Cayenne Pepper: Mix 1/8th of a tsp of cayenne pepper with 1/2 cup warm water.

*Salt: Add 1 tsp of table salt to a cupful of warm water.

*Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix 2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar with a cup of warm water.

*Ginger: Make a strong brew with freshly grated ginger (about 3 tsp per cup of boiling water), steep for about 5 minutes then stir in a spoonful of honey and sip.

*Thyme: Brew 1 tablespoon dried thyme in 1 cup boiling water. Strain before using.

*Hydrogen Peroxide: Gargle 3% hydrogen peroxide to fight the infection. If the taste is too much for you, dilute with some water first (about 50/50).

*Raspberry leaf tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons dried leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Allow to cool. If you also have a fever, the gargle can be used as a fever-reducing drink, too. Do not drink any liquid you have used as a gargle.

*Sage: Mix 1 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Add 1 teaspoon each cider vinegar and honey, then gargle four times a day.

*Turmeric: Mix together 1 cup hot water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gargle with the mixture twice a day. If you’re not good with the gargle, mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in 1 cup hot milk and drink. Turmeric stains clothing, so be careful when mixing and gargling.

*Homemade Tea: Mix 8 oz water, 1 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp cider vinegar.  Heat and drink while warm.  (Not good for the little ones!)

*Lemon Juice: Mix 1 tablespoon each of honey and lemon juice in 1 cup warm water and sip away.

*Lime Juice: Combine 1 spoonful with a spoonful of honey and take as often as needed for a sore throat.

*Steam Tent — sitting with your face over a bowl of steaming hot water and your head covered with a towel to keep the steam in. Adding 1 to 2 drops eucalyptus oil can be a soothing addition.

*Stay Hydrated: It is recommended that you drink 10 8 oz glasses of water per day.  Drink as much as you can!  You’ll need hydration to fight bacteria!

*Garlic: Peel a fresh clove, slice it in half, and place 1 piece in each cheek. Suck on the garlic like a cough drop. Occasionally, crush your teeth against the garlic, not to bite it in half, but to release its allicin, a chemical that can kill the bacteria that causes strep.

 

 

 

 

Originally posted 2013-11-20 03:45:12.