Momma Told Me: June 2016

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Protect Your Dog Year-Round From 6 Of The Most Common Parasites Found In Canines With #SentinelSpectrum

This post is sponsored by Virbac® SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help create awareness about protection against common parasites found in dogs but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. More information about SENTINEL SPECTRUM. Virbac is not responsible for the content of this article.
Momma Told Me: Don't waste time fearing what you can't see.

When I was a little girl I had the worst night terrors- We lived in a 2 bedroom condo in which my bedroom had a massive walk in closet with an entrance to the attic. One Summer, when I was still quite young, a nest of wasps decided to take home in the attic directly above my bedroom. For weeks I would lay, terrified of the ambient buzzing I could hear, but not see and for weeks Momma would console me, telling me there was nothing to fear, it was all in my head. Then, one day, after I absolutely refused to go into my bedroom at bedtime, my father decided to take a journey into the attic to show me I was being quite ridiculous.

I wish I could say I was reassured by what unfolded next- but, as you can imagine, a nest of wasps being uncovered in a dark and desolate attic was far from a joyful sight. And never again did my mother tell me that which couldn't be seen wasn't of bother.
On the surface this story might seem to have nothing to do with pets at all, but it really is a good metaphor for parasites and our dogs. Through the years, as a pet parent, I've come to learn that parasites, such as fleas, are not a seasonal worry. While it may seem like fleas are more active in the Summer, when our dogs may be spending more time outdoors, they can survive impressively inhospitable conditions and the non visible fleas may be the ones you should fear most. Visible fleas make up just a small portion of the flea population, and those that aren't visible can live in your home for up to a year before finding a host.
And, while fleas can be carriers for other parasites, such as tapeworms, there are even more pests, such as mosquitoes, which can transmit parasites as well. Just one bite from an infected mosquito can give an otherwise healthy dog heartworm- a deadly parasite that is often not detected until it is causing potentially life threatening symptoms to the host dog. Because of this most veterinarians recommend annual or biannual heartworm screenings. Whipworms, roundworms, and hookworms round out the list of the 6 of the most common parasites found in canines. It's enough to keep any pet parent up at night.
Unfortunately, one of the most common misconceptions about parasites and dogs is that the threat is seasonal- We shared a reader poll last month and 20% of those polled said they only provide their dog flea protection during the Spring and Summer months! Fleas, and parasites don't take a break! Female fleas can produce up to 40-50 eggs a day, and most adult fleas survive 2-3 months under normal conditions- making them a year round concern whether your dog is primarily indoors, or out chasing ducks by the creek.
Dogs can contract tapeworms from simply grooming themselves, whether an active flea infestation is present in home or not- one single flea ingested during everyday grooming, gnawing on a flea bite, or coming across a dead animal, can result in a tapeworm problem. Tapeworms are typically not detected until the issue presents itself as changes in the dog's behavior, appetite, or literal worms being expelled in a dog's bowel movements. If any of this sounds terrifying or nauseating, it should- because parasites, such as tapeworm, are preventable with a simple year-round treatment called Virbac® SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® (More info about Sentinel Spectrum.)
Fearing what you can't see is a natural instinct- but fearing the 6 most common parasites in your dog, doesn't have to be. Ask your veterinarian if Virbac® SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® can help provide peace of mind year round for you and your canine family. (Learn about a special rebate here!) Virbac® SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® is a once a month, delicious bacon flavored chew, given to your dog as a treat with a small meal. It's unique active ingredient, Lufenuron, prevents fleas from developing into adults, while the broad spectrum paraciticide also actively protects against tapeworms, hookworm, whipworm, roundworm, and heartworm. Virbac® SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® can help protect your dog so you can stop worrying about the parasites you can't see, and they can get back to being a dog again- or, in our case, role-playing as a goat in the backyard.

What Daughter Says: Fleas, and parasites, should be a concern year-round- but you don't have leave your dog unguarded. Ask your vet about Virbac Sentinel Spectrum today!





Explore the info-graphic (COMING SOON!) below to learn more about Flea and Tapeworm knowledge, as surveyed from readers in our last post!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Virbac® SENTINEL® SPECTRUM®. The opinions and text are all mine.


What I'm Streaming: Casual A Hulu Original (Seasons 1-2)

Casual a Hulu Original, Streaming Seasons 1-2 Now on Hulu
Momma Told Me: Humans, by nature, are complicated.

I took almost 3 months off from television this year-

When I say 'television' of course I mean 'streaming' programming, as you may recall our family does not have traditional cable. The only time I get to watch something 'live' is at a viewing party or family get together, so I am typically behind at least several episodes on my favorite shows. My purge, of sorts, really wasn't a conscious decision. I simply found that I didn't have the physical or emotional time to invest in TV while I sorted through some big life events in the first half of 2016. In a sense my life became the drama I was hooked on, and I couldn't handle that of anyone else, even if they were fictional.

But now Summer is here- and I have cleared my schedule to do nothing but relax. Okay, blog and relax- I have some recipes and projects I look forward to tackling and sharing in my own time. But the truth remains- streaming, and binging is back in my life and I look forward to sharing some of my finds!
Casual a Hulu Original, Streaming Seasons 1-2 Now on Hulu
I started high school at a very young age, which just so happened to be around the time Gilmore Girls had just begun airing on the CW. It was my mother, actually, who insisted I watch the show, and instantly I became hooked. Well, we became hooked, as we'd tune in every week to see the latest saga of Rory and Dean or Loralei and Luke. I've always been drawn to shows with quirky characters that seem to have a myriad of personal life obstacles, yet still manage to great each day with enthusiasm, no matter how calamitous the outcome.

Casual, a Hulu Original, reminds me very much of classic Gilmore Girls mixed with (Amazon Prime's Original) Transparent. It is a modern family tale of a single mother, recently divorced and moved in with her emotionally complicated (yet brilliant) brother whilst navigating the complicated world of casual relationships. And, if you think 'Casual' refers merely to one night stands and hook-ups, I have to say that the show's title really covers a wide range of human relationships and the complicated struggles to maintain them.
At the core of Casual there are 3 strong lead characters- Valerie (Michaela Watkins) and her extremely raw, but endearing relationship with her high school aged daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr) and Valerie's brother Alex (Tommy Dewey) the online relationship mapping tech startup failure (think Match.com) with emotional insecurities and destructive behaviors. Much like Gilmore Girls, viewers are drawn into the unique and impressively symbiotic relationship these three characters build, as each learn from and grows with each-other while tackling sticky family issues.
Casual a Hulu Original, Streaming Seasons 1-2 Now on Hulu
However the show is NOT a family program- and should be enjoyed by adults. While it does stream on Hulu as an Original series there is ample 'Sex And The City' style content covered through the adult cast's various escapades into single-dom, parenting, and beyond. While recently divorced, one love of her life, Valerie is awkward and even clumsy in her dating story, bold and modern Alex is inquisitive and exploratory in his. At the end of the day, Casual wraps the calamities and trials with raw insight that truly mirrors the struggles of what it means to be human, and searching for companionship (whether connecting with a new friend, or looking for a long term relationship) in this complex modern world.
Casual a Hulu Original, Streaming Seasons 1-2 Now on Hulu
If you enjoy shows such as Parenthood and Transparent, give this show a go. Some of the scenarios may seem outright shocking, while others all too relate-able, and it's almost impossible not to begin building your own relationship with the characters. Casual is currently in it's second season- which means you can stream all of Season 1 on Hulu now (binge time!) and catch up to the first half of Season 2 before it ends.

P.S. Gilmore Girls fans! Did you know Netflix picked up the hit show for a 4 part mini-revival set to stream later this year! Geek out now!


What Daughter Says: 'Casual' much like 'Normal' are settings for clothing and the dryer. Every relationship is richly complex- that's what makes life so enjoyable!

Building Emotional Identification Skills In Children With Magnutto- Giveaway 7/12

We received a product sample in hopes we would share our experiences here on the blog. All thoughts and photos contained below are copyright Momma Told Me 2016.
Magnutto educational magnetic playsets offer a visual way for children 3+ to express and identify emotions through colorful characters! #AD
Momma Told Me: I don't know how you feel unless you tell me.

As a very young girl, toddler age, I was known for throwing tantrums.

There were a lot of things going on within my family during the first years of my life and I often picked up on the emotions of those around me. When I couldn't find comfort I simply erupted.

I wish I could say, as an adult, I am always "Cool. Calm. Collected." but emotions are a lifelong struggle for anyone, really. And all too often, as adults, we feel there is something wrong, or shameful, about sharing those emotions- so we allow certain feelings to be pushed aside until they bubble up to the surface. Expressing and handling emotions is a lifelong skill I know I constantly find myself working on.
Magnutto educational magnetic playsets offer a visual way for children 3+ to express and identify emotions through colorful characters! #AD
When I volunteer at the daycare on Thursdays I am surrounded by a wide range of children that, most often, come from pretty tough backgrounds. Many of them have absent parents, learning disabilities, and/or health concerns. So, every Thursday we take the afternoon to just enjoy being a kid- we make crafts, put on plays, and explore exciting new toys.

When I first began volunteering the daycare director was concerned about allowing certain children to mix- much like a school yard playground she found some personalities were overwhelmingly strong and did not get along well with others. But I strongly feel no child should ever feel isolated, especially in a play environment. I quickly began identifying behavioral activities and exploring the root of their cause. After all these children soon expressed that they felt singled out, and as though they didn't fit in at school- I wanted to make sure we had at least one place for them to make friends through positive communication.
Communication is key to many life skills, and at every stage of life- and identifying and expressing emotions is one of the most vital tools to it's success. Every week we actively work on discussing our emotions, and how we feel about whatever has gone on that week. I have to say the number of tantrums I've seen has been virtually none in our little play group.

So, when I discovered the Magnutto educational magnetic activity play sets for emotions- I knew we had to put them to use! For many children the biggest barrier to great communication and healthy play is a lack of ways to express how one is feeling. Magnutto's Make A Pet and Make A Dino sets challenge children ages 3+ to put their emotions into pictures with fun and expressive magnetic art. With over 100 pieces in each kit Magnutto provides children with hundreds of facial expressions and more as they build a character that helps identify an emotion important to them.
Magnutto educational magnetic playsets offer a visual way for children 3+ to express and identify emotions through colorful characters! #AD
Self contained these Magnutto sets have a built in magnetic flip top that opens to rest into the bottom tray and act as an easel. Using the learning questions provided guardians can prompt children to discuss emotions when they select an emotion and ask questions such as, "When someone is feeling _____ how do they act?" or "When you feel ______ what should you do?" There are also activity prompts for adults to share their own expressions and join in on the fun as they act follow up questions that further explore the emotions.
Magnutto educational magnetic playsets offer a visual way for children 3+ to express and identify emotions through colorful characters! #AD
Magnutto educational magnetic playsets offer a visual way for children 3+ to express and identify emotions through colorful characters! #AD
Because there are so many pieces in each Magnutto educational magnetic set the kids quickly caught on to the fact they could create multiple characters on the magnetic board, at once. Now, once a month, we break off into teams and challenge each other to build a story based on our emotions. Each child will take a few minutes to explain their character, and why they are feeling the was they do- and how it relates to the emotions the other characters on the board are feeling. Then we have a round robin where everyone shares a time when they experienced the emotion, and how they expressed it.
Magnutto educational magnetic playsets offer a visual way for children 3+ to express and identify emotions through colorful characters! #AD
The magnets really are just like playing dress up endlessly with reusable stickers- and I am constantly delighted by the colorful characters these children create. It's absolutely wonderful to see children that are otherwise reserved and even frustrated when communicating open up with a brilliant way to visually express themselves. And, when someone is having a particularly tough day, pulling the Magnutto boards out instantly releases a slew of emotions otherwise contained as frustration prior.
Magnutto educational magnetic playsets offer a visual way for children 3+ to express and identify emotions through colorful characters! #AD
Whether you're a happy dino or a scaredy cat- expressing emotions to those around you in an effective manor is simply a great life skill. The colorful and fun educational Magnutto kits make expressing, and discussing, emotions simple and fun. Best of all, these little boxes of magnets are entirely mess free and self contained for storage! I truly think every playroom and classroom should have one! Learn more about Magnutto and grab these great sets from Neato-Oh! Now, share with me an emotion your child, or yourself often struggles with identifying and communicating!

What Daughter Says: At nearly 30, I don't think I'll ever master my emotions. Identifying and expressing them is a lifelong skill, constantly being developed!





Neato-Oh has offered one Momma Told Me reader a Magnutto Jr. set of their very own! Enter below!

Clean, Affordable, Water at Home With The NewAir Water Dispenser Filtration Bottle Review- WAT10W

I received the following product as part of the NewAir Brew Crew in hopes I would share my honest opinions on setup and operation. All photos and video contained below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2016.
The #NewAir WAT10W Water Filtration Bottle fits nearly any make or model of home or office water dispensers providing 211 gallons or 9-12 months of clean drinking water at a fraction of the effort and price! (AD)
Momma Told Me: Clean water doesn't some easy.

2 years ago, on the blog, I called my father a camel and presented him with a 'fan cave' upgrade- the NewAir WCD-200W Water Dispenser. It truly can't be contested that my father demands constant hydration and the freshest tasting water; the water dispenser has proven invaluable in his baseball/football/UFC viewing room (aka the 'fan cave').

Many of my readers know this year has been an intense one for our family. Shortly after I was rear ended (at a complete stop, on the freeway) my father left the state to visit his parents for a family gathering. The trip turned into a 2 month stay after bringing my grandfather to the hospital just the day after he'd arrived. Clear across the country I did my best, car-less and unable to walk straight, to keep his home in order and look after things while he was away.
The #NewAir WAT10W Water Filtration Bottle fits nearly any make or model of home or office water dispensers providing 211 gallons or 9-12 months of clean drinking water at a fraction of the effort and price! (AD)
It was on one of my visits I noticed his water dispenser was nearly empty. Everyone knows the only pain about having an in home (or office) water dispenser system is the changing of those dubiously heavy and awkward 3-5 gallon bottles. It wasn't my water dispenser, so I was a bit unclear of the costs and effort that went into refilling the empty bottle. A little research showed that those not using a delivery or subscription service often paid up to $8 locally to fill their rented bottles. And, as convenient as having full bottles delivered to your home is- home delivery wasn't much cheaper.

This was all ignoring the issue- in order to replace the water bottle with a full one, I would have to lift gallons of heavy water and position it in the dispenser cabinet. That was simply not about to happen. For me the NewAir WAT10W Water Filtration Bottle was a no brainier investment. For about $40 online I could order a universal self-filtering water bottle system that fit nearly any modern home or office water dispenser units. That's 211 gallons (or 9 months to a year depending on consumption) of fresh water for the cost of one easy to replace filter. No more heavy, expensive, awkward bottle refills.
The NewAir WAT10W Filtration Bottle arrived in a few pieces, but the instructions were extremely basic and easy to follow. I attached the float to the bottom half of the bottle by gently screwing until secure. (Be careful not to over-tightern.)
Next I removed the bottle guard ring from the top of my dispenser tank to ensure that the WAT10W would sit snuggly and securely in the tank's basin. At first I thought I wasn't installing it correctly, because it didn't 'snap' or lock into place. It does fit securely and the force/weight of the full bottle helps ensure it's steady seating.
The #NewAir WAT10W Water Filtration Bottle fits nearly any make or model of home or office water dispensers providing 211 gallons or 9-12 months of clean drinking water at a fraction of the effort and price! (AD)
Next came the hard part. Okay- the easiest part of the simplest water bottle swap you'll ever do. In fact, with the NewAir WAT10W Filtration Bottle you'll only ever have to remove your water bottle for cleaning and maintenance. We set the middle rim atop the bottom half of the bottle, and the top half securely on top of that to create a complete bottle appearance. We then poured about 4-5 pitchers of tap water into the top half of the bottle (I call it a tank) and placed the lid atop. Anyone who can life a pitcher of water to about their shoulder height can refill a water dispenser. Who knew?
The #NewAir WAT10W Water Filtration Bottle fits nearly any make or model of home or office water dispensers providing 211 gallons or 9-12 months of clean drinking water at a fraction of the effort and price! (AD)
The water slowly filters through the central filter, trickling down into the bottom half of the bottle/tank. I was surprised the instructions had no mention of pre-rinsing/soaking or treating the actual filter cartridge, as is typical with carbon filtration systems. Instead, the instructions suggested flushing 2 bottles/tanks full before using the water for drinking. As a result you will notice a discoloration to the first tank or so, when dispensing.

It's important the note that you should never fill the top half of the bottle when the bottom half water level exceeds the red marker on the front of the tank. The top of the tank is intended only to hold water during the filtration process and should not be used to store 'reserve' water in advance of the actual need for refilling.
The #NewAir WAT10W Water Filtration Bottle fits nearly any make or model of home or office water dispensers providing 211 gallons or 9-12 months of clean drinking water at a fraction of the effort and price! (AD)
The #NewAir WAT10W Water Filtration Bottle fits nearly any make or model of home or office water dispensers providing 211 gallons or 9-12 months of clean drinking water at a fraction of the effort and price! (AD)
The filtration cartridge used in the WAT10W retails for around $28 at the time of this post, making this filtered water bottle system an obviously wallet (and back friendly) investment. It's also BPA free! Remember my grandfather who just spend a long period in the hospital? He's not in any position to be lifting heavy water bottles either- we invested in a WAT10W water filtration bottle for him too! And my father? I think he might actually be enjoying unlimited fresh water, and fuss free refills, even more than the original gift of he water dispenser itself! Learn more about the unique WAT10W Water Filtration Bottle from NewAir, and purchase it online here. Follow the brand on Facebook for more convenient home innovations!

What Daughter Says: As a young girl I hauled jugs of drinking water up the steps to our condo- no more back breaking clean water, thanks to this ingenious water bottle filtration system!





Check out our 1 minute WAT10W Filtration Bottle Setup + Installation Video below!

Find Your Adventure- Canine Style With Natural Balance

Explore every day and embrace your dog's wildside with #NaturalBalance Delectable Delights® single serve wet food for dogs! (AD)
Momma Told Me: Never stop exploring.

Some may think that Nora, weighing in at 7.8lbs soaking wet, and standing a whopping 13" tall is not much of a dog. Small breed dogs have a bad rep for sleeping in all day, being carried, and getting dressed up for their owner's entertainment. But the truth is, it doesn't matter the size of the dog- Man's Best Friend is precisely such for their unending curiosity and thirst for exploration, unmatched loyalty, and energetic companionship. Of course there are traits that vary with the breed of dog, but every dog is a canine underneath. For our family, and Nora, that means plenty of exploration and a thirst for life that truly inspires the humans around her.
Nora has many nicknames 'Rocket Dog,' 'Wildling,' and 'The Flash' are just a few. We like to take a short drive from our home and let her run wild in the abandoned fields by the high school. It's great to get her off a 'leash' and really let her connect with her roots. Freedom is something Nora enjoys almost as much as a good run. For someone who's legs are 5" long, she can outrun me until she's just a speck on the horizon!
As much as I love sending Nora to the 'dog spa' to get a trim, and general pampering- Nora has other ideas of indulging herself. It drives my father bonkers how little we restrain our pup, and the lack of 'training' we gave her. Nora likes to play rough, and puts all of her enthusiasm into it, with the kindest heart, of course. I snapped the above shots when we took her on a 'fashion' photoshoot I was doing for the blog. Behind us were beautiful strawberry fields and a rustic old barn. Nora spent her time waiting on us chasing after birds and mice through the mud- I think it's safe to say she might have even had a romp through the sprinklers. Doesn't that face just sum up everything great about having a dog in the family?
As curious and energetic as Nora is we are constantly planning day trips just for her to go out, get back to her roots, and explore her wild side. She loves a good adventure, and she loves interacting with other animals and wildlife. The nearby pond is a favorite where we can spot squirrels, turtles, seagulls, ducks, and even a swan or two. On our first trip I was worried her enthusiasm might wind her up in a hot water with the territorial birds. But size means nothing to Nora- she happily told them she was here to explore, and they could just leave if they had a problem with it.
Explore every day and embrace your dog's wildside with #NaturalBalance Delectable Delights® single serve wet food for dogs! (AD)
On our more recent trips Nora's turned into a tracking dog. She likes to 'point' and sniff things with great intent, following invisible trails down the shore until she runs face to face with an ornery duck. An argument inevitably ensues until she spots a squirrel or some other wildlife in need of due inspection.
Explore every day and embrace your dog's wildside with #NaturalBalance Delectable Delights® single serve wet food for dogs! (AD)
Nora never seems to tire- as long as there is a field to be ran through (even in circles at times) or a new corner of the park to explore she'll keep going. Sometimes she explores with such enthusiasm we have to literally run to keep up and force her to stop and hydrate! The fact that she's leaping over mountains of grass with her tongue smacking her neck doesn't seem to bother her one bit. Of course a high energy dog requires delicious food and great nutrition. We feed Nora Natural Balance Wild Pursuit Dry food and Natural Balance Delectable Delights® single serve wet food cups. It's a brand we trust for Nora because each of it's unique pet food ranges are formulated based on scientific principles of a canine's dietary needs.
Explore every day and embrace your dog's wildside with #NaturalBalance Delectable Delights® single serve wet food for dogs! (AD)
Delectable Delights® single serve cups come in 4 delicious grain free flavors, Woof’erole™, Surf N' Turf, Duck'en-itas, and Fish N' Chicks. Each single serve cup is the perfect size for a small breed dog, or a great supplement to any larger breed's everyday meal schedule. These unique recipes feature real chunks of protein and wholesome ingredients cooked in a savory broth that will turn any bowl of boring kibble into a real 'fuel' treat! Best of all, these are easy to toss in our 'go bag'- so we always have some on hand when we get caught at the park on an extra long exploration session.

Believe it or not the beach is actually much closer than our favorite park, so we take a walk to the pier whenever we can. I like to go during the week, when it's usually less crowded, and really let Nora go wild in the sandy dunes. There is something about sitting on top of the dunes and barking at all of the seagulls that entertains her endlessly while I attempt to catch some sun!
One might think Nora would have a hard time carving through the sand up and down the inland shore, but she is actually much more nimble than me. She certainly doesn't sink as much! Sometimes, if it's windy I can hardly see her through the sand being kicked up with each leap! When it gets especially hot out she'll roll in seaweed or the plants up by the dunes to help cool off.
Explore every day and embrace your dog's wildside with #NaturalBalance Delectable Delights® single serve wet food for dogs! (AD)
We bring our Delectable Delights® with us to the beach too, I like to think I'm being witty when I pick up a few extra packs of Fish N' Chicksjust for beach days. With real chunks of chicken and salmon alongside sweet potato and green beans in a rich broth, I actually find myself getting a little jealous of the gourmet eats. I hate to say it- but I always remember to bring a snack for Nora, I rarely remember to pack one for me! Whenever we sit down at the cookout tables she's quick to jump up onto the concrete seat and begin scanning the table. Nora's no fool- she knows we only go to the tables for one thing- to eat!
Explore every day and embrace your dog's wildside with #NaturalBalance Delectable Delights® single serve wet food for dogs! (AD)
Momma Told Me not to swim on an empty stomach- so we like to go sunbathe a little more after snack time. I like to think of this as the time when Nora 'scouts' her next attack- eyes a particular seagull, or barks at a family passing by. Every now and then, when she can get the attention, she'll even wander off (with my permission) and play fetch with some locals near by. She even tries to play Frisbee and catches some amazing air!
Explore every day and embrace your dog's wildside with #NaturalBalance Delectable Delights® single serve wet food for dogs! (AD)
Trips to the beach almost always end with a walk along the water- Much like the pond, Nora will follow her nose right up to the water's edge, only to realize seconds later the tide is rolling in much faster than her paws can get traction in the wet sand! (Don't worry we never leave her alone at water's edge without supervision and a flotation vest.) After a few waves she starts daring the tide to roll in, and will even run up as it recedes back into the shore and bark as if she's scaring it away. By the time we're ready to pack it in Nora's a wet, sandy, wind blown dog- still bouncing up the sand dunes with her tongue hanging out of the side of her mouth. How do you explore with your dog? Follow Natural Balance on Facebook and Instagram for more paw-some pet adventures, and keep an eye out for Delectable Delights® at a store near you.

What Daughter Says: Nora inspires me to always explore and greet each day with unbridled enthusiasm.