Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Kroger Pet Products Review: Forever Your Fur Baby

Through the Kroger-affiliated My Magazine Sharing Network I received a selection of pet products that Kroger carries in their stores to sample, well actually, Floppy my labmix got to sample them. It was not hard to get him to try out the treats included. Milkbone ard his favorite and so he was happy to oblige, as you can see in the photo below, to sample the treats. Rather than the standard milkbones, they included a box with a variety of flavors. Did not matter, Floppy likes all of them and for once, he did not mind being the model. We also tried a new company to us - Nudges. We went and got a package of their softbakes with chicken flavor and they have about 40 calories in a cookie that is shaped like a Reeses. Again, Floppy was happy to sample them and found yet another treat that he likes. Overall, Kroger has some really good quality dog food. We have been using Kroger dog food for two years now, we like a grain free variety with sweet potato in it. We also buy all our treats at Kroger and will now definitely include Nudges brand treat on our shopping list.

 So if you are looking for dog food and treats, give Kroger a try. Reasonable prices and good quality, plus Floppy endorsed!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - Floppy enjoying one of his free samples, a Milkbone treat!

Disclaimer: #freesample #ad = I received free samples of dog products for Floppy in return for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this blog post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Book Review: Your Money, Your Marriage: The Secrets to Smart Finance, Spicy Romance, and Their Intimate Connection by Cherie & Brian Lowe

 This was an interesting book to read. It shows how finances can impact the quality of a marriage. Using as an example their marriage and their road to a better financial future, the authors not only provide sound financial advice, but also marriage counseling via this book.
As a couple, the Lowes managed to pay off significant debt in a relatively short time and felt that without the burden of this debt, their marriage had also improved. This should not come as a surprise since financial concerns not only affect an individual, but certainly a marriage if a significant time of your life as a couple is spent worrying about how to pay off bills. The one caveat I have for readers is that this couple is not average by any means. The husband is an attorney, not really average or low income and the wife is a financial blogger. While her job may not be the highest paying one out there, she is certainly more sophisticated in financial affairs than your average American, including middle-class American.
While I value the intent of the book, provide financial tools and advice to better the economic position of the reader and use that as a tool to improve the marriage. Any advice book must be taken with a grain of salt in how realistic and applicable these lessons are to the readers. Should the reader expect to be able to pay $100000 in debt in as short a time as the authors? Probably not, unless you are pulling in an attorney level salary and your wife just happens to be a financial whiz. Can you use some of the tips for living in a small budget and still enjoy life? Sure, if your average date night involves spending about $100. Only for most readers, a date night will already be cheap and very few of the readers will be involved in comparing their lifestyle with that of neighbors and likely be more concerned about paying off bills, while hoping that money is left over for school supplies and braces for the kids.
Again, I do believe that the advice presented in the book makes sense, but only if your economic potential and your financial acumen is in line with that of the authors. So be aware that many of the lessons may not apply to you and money saving on some things has already happened years ago - not because you decided to not spend money, but because money was not there for a date night and other non-essential items. At its core the book is correct though, if you lesson your financial trouble, your marriage will likely be stronger and more enjoyable.
available on amazon.com

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Book Review: Through the Autumn Air (An Every Amish Season Novel) by Kelly Irvin

Even though this is the third book in a series, it certainly can be read on its own and still be enjoyed by the reader. The series is detailing Amish life through the seasons and so it makes sense for a Fall-themed book to be the third in the series. Kelly Irvin has managed to write a wonderful story that has many components of Amish life, love, friendship, family and of course lots of time around the dinner table.
The main actor in this book is Mary Katherine, a mother of ten children and now a widow, still full of life and willing to lend a hand wherever needed - she is taking a very active role in the Amish community. One of her joys is writing and she has a dream, opening up a bookstore. Normally not a big deal, but the Amish community leaders or elders have an issue with that plan since Mary Katherine plans to go through with this bookstore plan with the help of an English, i.e. non-Amish, friend and that must never happen. A friend offers her a job in his restaurant, but Mary Katherine does not give up on her dream that easily and when a stranger breaks into her house and makes himself a sandwich because he is hungry. Mary Katherine and her friend Ezekiel agree that this stranger named Burke may be better served with the restaurant work. And while getting Burke help with his life, Mary Katherine and Ezekiel find closer to each other. All of a sudden the 60 year old Mary Katherine realizes that life may have different goals for her than just a bookstore and her kids have to realize that their mother is not ready for retirement in a small cottage on the land owned by her eldest son, giving up the family home and large house as well as her independence. it is fun to see how the development between Mary Katherine and Ezekiel throws everyone for a loop, the adults realize that romance is still possible and the kids have to look at their mother like many parents look at their kids - what will be next?
This is a sweet story that reflects on adults finding a new goal in life and possibly also some romance. While it is set in an Amish village, the issues discussed could happen anywhere.

available on amazon.com

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this review is mine and has not been influenced by any third parties.