Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Managing Unwanted Animal Behavior

You know I'm an Eskie Mom and I know many of you are pet parents, too. So today I'm very excited to take a break from the usual stuff and give my friend Saskia the floor to help you with your pet problems and tell you about her business. I hope you enjoy the article she wrote for you (and the bonus she's giving you, too)! Thanks Saskia!

This is a guest post by Saskia Busch of Yap Yap Meow.

Managing Unwanted Animal Behavior

Have you ever wondered why Lucy* is chasing her tail for hours at a time? Or why Mango* is sharpening his claws on your favorite rug and not the ugly practical one that you bought for him?

Most of us think of them as spoilt or naughty.

There are so many factors that influence our animals and their behavior that most of the time there are very good reasons for what they are doing. For instance, the scratching that cats do is imperative to exercise the tendons that join their claws to their paw digits.

Most of today’s domestic cats don’t get enough of the right exercise and must make up for it in other ways. This is what Mango* was doing. After a colleague of mine communicated with him she discovered that the ugly rug wasn’t cutting it (excuse the pun ;-). It wasn’t working for what he needed for his claws. His human was relieved to know the reason and just bought herself her own lovely rug. Human and Mango* – happy!

The two scenarios below are from recent communications I have done to illustrate my point. In both cases the humans either were confounded by the behavior or thought the animal was being disobedient.

 Image by photostock on FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Bernie* is a sweet and loving pooch at home. When her human Dad, Mike*, takes her out for a walk on the leash she is well behaved. However as soon as she goes out with her human Mom, Alida*, she becomes aggressive and barks incessantly. After I communicated with her we discovered that Alida* does not take on the role of a leader and that makes Bernie* feel like she has to fulfill that role when they are together in vulnerable situations. She displays aggressive behavior and barks at everyone and everything to let them know that there is a protector in the relationship.

Alida* is now working on being more assertive and, when necessary, disciplining Bernie* to show her that she is the leader in the relationship.

Trenton* is house trained and uses his litter box most of the time. Yes, you heard right. I said most of the time. Occasionally things go awry and Trenton* uses another spot in the house as his toilet.

Every four to six weeks there is a puddle on the carpet.

His humans, Nadine* and Jeff*, tried everything. From moving the litter box to different locations in the house, to adding another litter box so that he has one upstairs. They even tried scolding him.

During our communication Trenton* sent me an image of another cat at the window on a moonlit night. We decided that the reason for the erratic elimination could be from fear of seeing a strange cat at the window. Nadine* confirmed that there were cats in the neighborhood that displayed territorial behavior.

I have also heard of incidences in which one cat in the household withholds litter ‘rights’ from another as a form of domination. In other words cat A will become aggressive towards cat B when approaching the litter box and not allow her to use it.

This type of behavior can result in a number of unpleasant issues.

They could be unwanted elimination around the house or physical symptoms like urinary tract infection from holding the urine in too long, to name just two.

Is your cat or dog displaying behavior that you can’t explain or help them stop? First assess the environment and the family dynamic before scolding or using corrective commands.

There may be a deeper issue at play.

Once you have done your assessment and are still at a loose end, call someone in to help. There are many different avenues of therapy and healing that can be employed to solve behavior issues in gentle and non-invasive ways.

If your animal friend is displaying strange or unwanted behavior, leave a comment below and let us know.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of the people and animals featured in the case studies.

Saskia Busch from Yap Yap Meow is an animal communicator dedicated to providing practical, hands on advice to solve issues easily. She has connected and communicated with animals on an energetic level for most of her life. This communication enables her to obtain information about their physical and emotional well-being interpreting their take on a situation.

Saskia will be running a half-price special for my readers ending 13 April 2013. So go to www.yapyapmeow.com now and subscribe. Reply to your subscription confirmation with the title of this post to book your half-price session.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I Love You!

Now before you get too excited and start planning a wedding (LOL)...

It's Valentine's Day so it's the perfect day for me to tell you that I really do absolutely LOVE you and APPRECIATE you. I hope that's ok :)

It means a lot to me to have you following my blog, so THANK YOU. You're the best!

And what a better way to say thank you than with a sale. And not just any old sale, but another one of my massive discount bearing inventory reduction sales!

I'm holding another trunk show on Facebook like I did a couple times before the holidays. It's another auction-style show which means a chance to save BIG!

I hope you'll stop by. It starts Friday at 9am and ends Sunday at 11:30pm. You can find the event and all the necessary instructions for bidding and buying here:

And I would love you even more if you'd share the event with your friends on Facebook! Thank you!

Happy Valentine's Day!! I hope your day is as wonderful as you are!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Online Holiday Trunk Show #2

So happy to say that everyone had a great time at my first trunk show a couple weeks ago. They had lots of fun bidding on items and asked if there would be another show before Christmas. I had fun too and there were a whole bunch of items I didn't get posted for the first one so I figured 'Why not?'

If you're still looking for special gifts or things to treat yourself, stop by my current Holiday Trunk Show happening now on Facebook.

I finished putting the rest of the items up last night so now there are about 200 items available at super savings! I'm running this one in auction format too so there are Buy Now and Starting Bid prices listed. The starting bid prices are at least 50% off retail so you can get great deals on beautiful gifts.

Come by and save money on your holiday shopping! And please share the event with your friends and family. Thank you!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Designs by Debi Online Holiday Trunk Show

If you love giving meaningful gifts to loved ones at the holidays, you really need to check out the Artisans Open Market page on Facebook. It was started by my friend Nikki Rogalski of Bastille Bleu Lampwork and so far has been a huge hit! 

It's an online Open Market for artisans of handcrafted glass, jewelry and metal arts/jewelry to share and sell their wares with those who appreciate, search for, and purchase unique handcrafted items; making it easy for you to buy, sell, and give the gift of handmade!

There are shows scheduled every day through December 23rd and, after a short break for Christmas, they will resume on the 26th. It has been going so well that Nikki is planning to continue scheduling weekend shows after the holidays and, if things continue to thrive, more dates will open up and quite likely more varieties of handcrafts will be showcased, too.

I'm hosting my Trunk Show there this weekend... from Small Business Saturday 11/24 until Cyber Monday at 11pm. I have over 150 items in my show!! I'm running it in an auction format so there are Buy Now and Starting Bid prices listed. The starting bid prices are at least 50% off retail so you can get great deals on beautiful gifts.

I'm planning a huge relocation in 2013 and I have to do inventory reduction so I decided to do it now and save you money on your holiday shopping! I hope you'll stop by and please share the event with your friends and family. Thank you!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 9, 2012

How to Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

This is a guest post by Angela of Mostly Mindful. Enjoy!

On the surface you have it all. A loving husband, a couple of cute kids and a flourishing home bizz. You’re the envy of your office Jane friends.

But here’s the thing. As much as you love being a wife, mom and entrepreneur, the roles don’t mix very well. Especially when you take into account that these aren’t the only three hats you wear.

You’re also a lover, friend, mediator, shoulder to lean on, confidant…the list goes on.

And because you’re a woman and multi-tasking is second nature to you, you change costumes with the consummate ease of a veteran Broadway actress.

In fact you don’t so much as miss a beat as you shift from mastermind mogul to lunch making mom to sultry seductress and back again (as soon as the kids are asleep and mister is spaced out on the couch).

You’re exhausted bordering on comatose, but you force yourself to carry on. There are bags to pack, school lunches to make and emails to be answered. The late nights are taking their toll, but what else can you do?

To make matters worse, you’re feeling resentful on top of being dog-tired because deep down you know the pickle you find yourself in is all your own doing.

You’ve been flying around like Superwoman without a cape for the last year, saying yes to every request (no matter the cost) and putting your personal health and wellbeing last.

You have a classic case of women-itis.

It’s what your mother did and her mother before her, so why should you be any different? Of course you can do it all.

I am woman, hear me roar.


The problem is we’ve taken that saying completely out of context. We equate being powerful with being able to do it all.

By ourselves.

Without asking for help.

When in fact the opposite is true.

Recognizing our limitations and asking for help when we need it, now those are the qualities that make us stronger.

Sure we could all do with more hours in the day, but isn’t that treating the symptom rather than the cause?
Rather than wishing for more time, let’s look at how you can make better use of the time you have available to you.

Say no more.

It’s perfectly acceptable to say no. Just because someone asks something of you does not mean you have to say yes. People ask because we’re taught that it ‘can’t harm to ask’, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

It’s up to you to let go of your need to always be the nice gal. If you don’t have time, if you don’t feel up to the task or even if you just don’t feel like it…

Just say no (it’s a complete sentence after all).

Because apart from the obvious disgruntlement that will build up, doing things when you don’t want to or if you don’t have time means you probably won’t do them as well.

Be realistic.

We often over-estimate how much we can achieve in a day. I’m not sure why this is exactly, but I’d put it down to a combination of inadequate scheduling and wanting to look good, if only to ourselves.
By underestimating what you’ll be able to complete by when, at worst you’ll deliver on time and at best you’ll be ahead of schedule. Either way you’ll impress the heck out of yourself and everyone around you.

Time is a precious commodity, so spend it wisely.

I once had a client who had three kids, all in schools on the other side of town. Instead of arranging to collect them together, she’d make three separate trips.

Does that sound like you?

What about arranging a car pool with the other moms in your area? Another idea is to arrange for the kids who get out earlier to stay in after-care until their siblings finish. They could use this time to do their homework, which would mean one less evening chore for you.

Plan your work meetings around your kids’ school times. Arrange it so you can go to them straight after dropping the kids off or just before picking them up. Just like it’s permissible to say no, it’s also perfectly acceptable to tell your clients what works for you time wise.

There will always be exceptions, but the point I’m making here is that unless you speak up you’ll never know if something is possible or not.

Encourage your kids to be independent. Women are inherently nurturing, moms even more so. But while that’s a wonderful quality to have, we sometimes nurture to the detriment of those we care for.
Even little ones can have chores around the home. Start off small and then as they get older, so the size and number of chores can increase accordingly. It’s so important for kids to be able to take care of themselves, otherwise how will they cope when they leave for college?

If you train them well from a young age you won’t find yourself drowning in chores when your family has gone to bed. Teaching the kids to be responsible for packing their own school bags and lunches will free up your time and turn them into the kind of children that other moms are happy to have around.

Stress Busters

Even the best-laid plans will sometimes go awry. It’s life. What’s important is not that they careened off the rails, but rather how you cope in the face of adversity. Facing an untoward situation calmly and with good humor will stand you in a lot better stead than wailing and gnashing your teeth.

Remind yourself that ‘this too will pass’ and think about how you will treat yourself when it’s all over. You could go for a massage, have your hair done, meet a good friend for lunch; whatever will make you feel especially pampered.

What if you do lose your cool? So what. It happens to the best of us. Apologize if necessary and then simply chalk it down to being human.

Me Time

Make no mistake; ‘me time’ is probably one of the most important aspects of the busy woman’s life. To anyone’s in fact, but when you take in account how inclined we are to stretch ourselves crepe thin, it’s absolutely imperative.

Take a bare minimum of two hours per week (a whole morning or afternoon is better) just for yourself. Go and see a movie, hang out in a coffee shop with a juicy novel or enjoy a long soak in the tub. The only rules are that you spend the time by yourself and do something just for you. So no chores and definitely no hangers-on!

Now…what changes can you implement in your life that will allow you to have your cake and eat it too? And if you’ve got ideas of your own to add, please share them with us in the comments section below. The most inspired, out-of-the-box, smarty pants response will win a free copy of Ace the Holidays.


Angela Horn is a Cape Town-based freelance writer, lifestyle blogger and public speaker. Feel free to stalk her on Twitter or harass her via email. Alternatively you can just head over to Mostly Mindful and sign up for her bi-monthly minimalist missives.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween and Some OOAK Halloween Jewelry

Happy Halloween!

Ok I'm a day early, but I have something exciting for you! Last time I showed you the jewelry set I designed for the Lady Gaga Creative Call for Oddities Event. When I was designing that set, I decided to do a similar one for my Jewelry for Charity Program. 

It's not exactly the same, but very close. So, for those of you who like Halloween and themed jewelry, this is for you...

I had a lot of fun designing for that challenge, even though I hate Halloween LOL. More importantly though, the reason for making this set a Jewelry for Charity set is because I want to call attention to and actively support Lady Gaga's charity, Born This Way Foundation. That's where the donation from the sale will be going :)

Bullying is out of control. BTWF is a movement for change and I think it's AWESOME! Individuality should be celebrated and we should create a world more accepting and tolerant of differences, so I commend her and her Mom, Cynthia Germanotta, for what they're creating and wish them much success.

You can read more about the charity set here. And I hope you'll visit www.BornThisWayFoundation.org and support their work.

Have a fun and safe Halloween!