Welcome to January and I’m back with another great bunch of pet stories of various kinds. I want to feature more than just dogs and cats so this give you a peek at that. If you have any other types of pets be sure to submit a post to me after reading this introduction to this series. This is my first roundup and I’m so thankful to all my contributors- be sure to check them out too! 

In most places across the country January is a cold time so snuggle up, grab a warm drink and read through these unique articles. Be sure to leave a nice comment below and if you’d be so kind- leave a comment as well on the originals, I’m sure they’d appreciate that too. Without further ado- here we go….

And then came Connie

Debra Sennefelder is the acclaimed author of the Food Blogger Mysteries and the Resale Boutique Mystery Series. An avid reader who reads across a range of genres, mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

15 interesting facts about rabbits

From Christine (the blog writer): As a kid, I had bunnies growing up (both mini lops). So when my daughter took an interest in them, we opened our home to a fun little Holland lop named Easter. Easter free roams in our house, which isn’t for everybun, but seems to work for him. He’s 3 years old and full of spunk! Also her bunny, Easter, pictured below:

15 reasons why I love my dog and he’s my best valentine

This is a picture of her and her dog Beau.

xoxoBella is a popular travel and lifestyle blog featuring travel inspiration, fashion, recipes, dog mom tips and fitness motivation. Bella Bucchiotti lives with and advocates for Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease awareness. (the next few articles are by her too)

11 signs you might be a crazy dog mom

9 things my dog has taught me

11 reasons why dogs make your life better

Command Center Ideas for your Dog

Jane & Sonja, sisters, moms, DIY addicts and the new owners of The Boondocks Blog!

We are not at all new to blogging. In 2015 we launched Sustain My Craft Habit, a DIY, craft and home decor website celebrating nature-inspired creativity. Early in 2019 our mom Branka joined the team and we started Sustain My Cooking Habit to share with the world he amazing cooking and gardening skills.

If you’re interested, you can read more about who we are and what our plans for The Boondocks Blog are here.

Well that was fun! Did you enjoy all those stories? What was your favorite part? I really enjoyed the crazy dog mom one because I totally relate. I am guilty of these all except taking Eevee everywhere, she needs to get out more but #coviddog. It’s a real thing. So I hope to walk her more often than I have, the past few months it’s been too cold for me to stand it. I loved hearing all about rabbits and learning all the cool facts. And I didn’t know that  baby rabbits are called spoiler: kittens. That’s so funny! 

Please keep following along with this series and tell me what you think. Again if you’d like to submit a post for review/posting you can email me: and I will get back to you ASAP. I have a couple other posts from later last year so go check those out and leave a comment or a like. 

Keeping Myself Accountable and Process in Writing Posts

My word of the year in 2021 was Consistency and this year it’s Inspire, so to make these plans come into action I have to continue to have solid work time and be held accountable. That’s why I really enjoy working with friends and working with a team. I have a group of friends I talk to daily on Voxer which is a walkie talkie app that you can use vocally or in text by having private conversations or group texting. 

Every night at 5:30-6:30 PST I get on Zoom for a “powerhour” work time doing whatever things we need to get done. I work on my blog, my friend and VA Pam works on her planning and posting for another business, my friend Katie was working on school and now is studying for yoga teacher training and various other things. We also have a few entrepreneurs in our group who do the things they need to do at the same time. We all just chat and catch up (Covid- things) and help each other through problems or brainstorm. Having friends to work with and a set time to do what I need to get done is the best scenario I’ve found to be truly productive. It’s really nice that I can brainstorm and flush out full ideas and blog posts when everyone has a different perspective and take on it. Also keeping a pace on tasks that are due at a certain day or time; making sure you are using good time management through the week. This month I’m reading “Eat The Frog” which is all about how to get the hardest or most dreaded task done first to jumpstart productivity and give you a sense of accomplishment. Approaching my daily work this way has made all the difference and the feeling I get from completing a task, well that’s great too. 

Basically I wanted to share the tools I use to make my planning and work time the most efficient. I begin by planning my content and social media content out on Trello. I have boards I use with my VA with brainstorming and the process that I use while I draft my posts. If I need to do formatting or linking I write in Google Docs. Being a blogger I try to create my images for my post (using stock most of the time) and I love using Canva to do this. Canva makes it so easy and fast to get any correct auto or custom sized images for social media or website use. You can really create anything! They have tons of templates and layouts galore. I use my custom branding in Canva settings to make my images stand out and reflect my blog. 

I have been talking a lot about my Hustle Sanely planner and notepads, which I love using and really help me keep my priorities straight. The daily layout I picked helps me be consistent and focused on one day at a time. However I can plan ahead in the month when I need to or over the span of a week if that makes sense. I track my blog posts in this as well and completing a post is usually in my Top 3 for that day (today). Keeping track of my goals and daily/weekly habits is also very important to me so I can mark those down as well. Making sure that I’m not sacrificing my mental health and relationships is crucial to me and my daily life.

Being a very forgetful person, initially my dates and appointments go right into my reminders so I cannot forget the important things or far off tasks that I may space by the time they are here. I try to schedule an alarm like an hour or two before the actual event, appointment or whatever. This is just an added layer to not letting myself be late or miss anything important. Plus then I know if I have a call or if someone is coming by and I need to be home or aware of it.

Oftentimes, I will use the Pomodoro technique (timer) which just helps you get focused work done in shorter 25 min spurts with 5 mins to break between each non interrupted session. Another thing that helps me a lot is to have music in the background. I am not one of those people who can work in silence. Usually it’s some sort of lo-fi or soft singer songwriter guitar music, which is ideal for writing when it doesn’t conflict with my thoughts as I type. I also have to be comfortable so I may be in pajamas if we get on Zoom together at night. More than likely, i’ll be writing late at night as well. Since most of my friends are on the East Coast or Midwest, we always accommodate for the time difference.

I try to get some sort of outline going first and maybe brainstorm with some of my friends. Then I see how I can make my idea more unique or narrowed down. Follow that up by expanding any ideas that are easy and already on my mind, fill out whatever paragraphs I can right away. I don’t always write chronologically or in order. Sometimes it flows and other times it doesn’t but just don’t give up-that’s what I’ve learned, being diligent is important.

This is just a few of the ways that I hold myself accountable and get work done on a daily basis. It’s nice to be able to have a team of helpers behind you when you’re doing something like run a business or blog or the like. But when it’s not possible to hire out; just balance your time and use your time management skills and these resources around you and you’ll be just fine. 

Streaming Shows I’m Watching Right Now

I’ve been so careful going anywhere lately, quarantining because C-19 rates are up and everyone is getting sick this winter like normal. So in turn, I’ve been watching a lot of newly added tv shows, discovering new originals from Netflix and new seasons of other shows I love. I’m trying to get outside my own comfort zone and watch a lot of different things and unexpected titles that I actually have really gotten sucked into. Let’s read down the list of things I’ve been watching lately and I’ll include some descriptions of my top few as well.


Found-This is a great random find! I had no idea looking at this what it would be about and to my surprise it was about three girls in different parts of the U.S, how they find each other and how they connect through the combined experience of the “one child rule/unwanted girls” from China before it was removed. It was an emotionally charged and fascinating story and I would love to recommend this to you.

The innocence project-Another one that I wasn’t expecting to be as good as it was. Following the actual Innocence Project and how inmates apply and write letters of their stories, where the truth lies and investigating to find the answers outside of the corrupt system. It made me sad, mad and frustrated but also relieved that people and organizations like this exist at all.

Queer Eye (new season)- Who doesn’t love this series?! It’s exciting, joyful, riveting and each story is a transformation. It’s so neat to see what a big difference each person makes in the few days and big movements to make their life all the more fulfilling. And in turn the Fab 5 also teaches us how to love ourselves and do better each day.

The 24 faces of Billy Milligan-One of the first few stories in the U.S of multiple personalities. This went into his crimes, the journey of how he “realizes” that he was under other personalities while committing the crimes. He was in and out of jail, hospitals and through mental evaluations with lots of doctors and psychiatrists. Will you believe him or not? Are multiple personalities real or was he faking the whole thing? By the end, you’ll have an opinion.

Virgin River (continuing to watch)-A romantic drama about a new female doctor who moves to a small country town and is thrown into a new simplistic lifestyle where everyone takes care of everyone. She falls in love, tragic things happen, lots of suspense and dramatic scenarios unfold. It’s a very popular show and there has been a few seasons so im excited to watch through the whole thing and see where she ends up.

Cheer/season 2: This is a great take on the cheer revolution! It’s a take on a serious competition sport and these teens and young adults work really hard. As a previous cheerleader I just am really amazed in the progress of someone’s talents and growth.

The Innocent Man
Pretty Smart
Trail 4
Let it fall
The college admissions scandal
Fear City-NY vs Mafia
Trial by Media
Jeffrey Epstein documentary
Bad sport


Eli Stone- My next new watch… it sounds like it’s gonna be so good.

Samantha Who?- This comical and dramatic story of Samantha who gets hit by a car and is in a coma for a week when she awakes- she remembers nothing and has to restart her life over. It’s funny finding out how she navigates her dating life, work life and family life-getting to the bottom of what is the most important.

I hope this gives you a bunch of ideas of what to binge lately. I’ve been really enjoying my downtime watching things that make me happy or feel some deep emotions. What is your take on television broadcasting right now? What shows, movies and series are you loving right now?

My Top 10 Favorite Teas You Should Try

What’s the one thing you want when you’re sick, have a chill or it’s a cold morning and you aren’t a coffee drinker? Tea. Although I enjoy most hot beverages, tea is my second favorite (next to coffee – they sometimes go interchangeably).

I knew tea pretty well growing up- I believe my mom was a big tea fan and very often drank Chamomile. She introduced it to me at a very young age, when I was sick it became my go to and I love enjoying it again and again. It’s one that is calming, soothing, great for any time of day but ideal for wind-down time.

Raspberry Zinger is another favorite of mine. This all started because I began to have a serious issue with feminine cramps and I was told that this is a big relief. It became one of my go-to’s for years and it really tastes strong and delicious (also because raspberry is my favorite berry). I’ve also heard from others how beenficial it can be during labor and how many vitamins it contains.

Jade Citrus Mint and Citrus Ginger flavored tea by Teavana is a tea featured in the Starbucks Medicine Ball drink recipe and it’s very popular for those who are very sick. I’ve had success in using for a healing effect to soothe and coat the throat, ease cough and congestion. I rewrote my version of it: Copycat Medicine Ball Tea, check it out and tell me what you think if you try it.

TAZO Awake English breakfast is a great and strong alternative to coffee on mornings when I want caffeine to wake up and be more alert. It’s a more bitter taste; however, I always sweeten it up a lot with sugar and sometimes a dash of cream. It also contains potassium- great for reducing blood pressure and increasing energy. Another beneficial mineral it contains is manganese, which improves the density of bones. There are many positive benefits to making tea a part of your daily and weekly intake.

TAZO Passion tea is another one I drink all the time from Starbucks, especially in passion tea lemonade. This one is a sweet tangy tart summer treat that is a favorite of mine. I love to drink it warm and fruity or iced with lemonade. This flavor is actually hibiscus, orange peel and rose hips.

Echinacea tea is a great second tea for when you’re really feeling under the weather and need some thorough inner healing. It’s cool and refreshing and very, easy on your stomach and throat as well. It has helped me to feeling better in a shorter amount of time although this isn’t proven.

Peppermint teas also do a lot of the same things as echinacea and has the same properties for aiding in sickness. It feels great on your throat and will soothe upset tummies and digestive problems real fast.

Rooibos tea latte specifically at Starbucks because I actually fell in love with this drink by accident. I asked for a latte but I wanted tea and wanted to try something new and different but not matcha. She suggested a tea latte, made one with Rooibos which I had never tried. I ended up loving it and it was exactly like a chai taste but not as spicy (?). I may order this kind and attempt to make my own at home with my machine and milk steamer.

Peach Bellini is a new one also by Teavana that I just purchased- a very fruity tea with a combination of pineapple and mango bits inside. A tropical version of a lighter, sweeter tea, I’m sure it tastes great and will be a summer staple soon. On another note, I love a good peach iced tea by Snapple (not hot tea but still delicious).

Tea is a calming, soothing, beneficial drink that is great for anytime and any place (most restaurants, hotels, coffee shops etc all carry teas). It also can help you drink more water, relax, and wind down for the night if you have a hard time with that. If you haven’t been one to enjoy tea or are looking for some caffeine free options, now is the time to give tea a try.

Hi! I'm Nora

I’m a stay-at-home wife & dog-mom. I began this blog ten years ago,  I couldn’t ignore that I felt a calling to help people find comfort, a sense of belonging or a place of community whenever they really needed it. » Read more about me here on my About page!

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