Tuesday, January 14, 2020

10 Things You Should Buy For A New Puppy

So as many of my readers know, I recently graduated from law school and have fully transitioned into young professional life. One of the reasons why I was excited to have a steady income and not be bouncing back and forth across the country anymore was that I would finally be able to get a pet! I am an animal lover through and through and have wanted one of my own for a long time. I had a fish for a few years in college, but we all know that isn’t the same as a furry cuddle companion.
     My goal was to get a new pet sometime between October and December of 2019. I started my new job in August, so this gave me a few months to get settled and build up a little savings so I could afford a new pet. I lasted until October 13, when I adopted this little pup!

This guy was part of an accidental litter on a cattle ranch, and the owners were selling the puppies for $150 as a rehoming fee. My boyfriend and I hadn’t planned whether we were going to get a puppy from a shelter or a (responsible) breeder, and we felt like this guy was the perfect in-between.
     Our puppy was only 7 weeks old when we got him, and so far it’s been a crazy couple months learning how to be a puppy parent. We still aren’t fully sleeping through the night every night, and spend a ridiculous amount of time discussing his bowel movements, but we are totally in love. I’m excited to be able to share some fun puppy content on the blog. But now that I am a few months in, I thought I would start out by sharing with you guys a list of things you’re going to want to buy if you get a new puppy!
1.  A medium sized bag of food.
     So this is probably one of those “duh” items. You need to feed a puppy. But as soon as you go to a pet store, you will quickly see that dog food comes in several different sized bags. We started out by getting a large bag of food. We figured that he would be on puppy food for a year, might as well stock up, right? Wrong! About a month in, our puppy started having tummy troubles with a sensitive stomach, and we had to switch foods before we finished the big bag. We ended up giving the rest of the big bag away to another puppy owner in need, but we learned our lesson and now buy medium sized bags – big enough so you aren’t running to the store every week, but small enough that you won’t waste a crazy amount of money if you don’t use it all.

2. Plenty of toys.
     Again. Duh.  You need toys for puppies. But get a lot. And I mean like, a lot. All different kinds. Hard toys. Squeaky toys, Crinkly toys. Rope toys. Balls. Frisbees. Bones. Get ‘em all. First, puppies LOVE playing with toys. Second, you don’t know what type of toy that your puppy will gravitate toward. Third, puppies destroy toys quickly, so it’s always good to have backup. For the first two months I had my puppy, I was going to Petsmart every week to buy new toys!
     Pro Tip: Buy clearance holiday toys. Chances are that your puppy will destroy them anyway, and it’s better to buy cheap than to get full-priced toys that will be shredded.
     Pro Tip #2: Get a toy box and keep all of your dog’s toys are together. This way, their scent mixes and it’s easier for your pup to associate “hey, these are mine”
Here are some of my favorite toys for a new puppy!
3. A leash and collar.
     Even if you don’t plan on leash training your dogs, it’s good to get a leash and collar just in case. If you ever board your dog or have to transport them, you’re going to want a collar and a leash and it’s better to get your dogs used to them young. Further, puppies can be naughty and destructive, and sometimes you may even want to leash them inside the house to help keep an eye on them.
4. Edible Chews
     One of the craziest moments as a puppy owner is when you look down and one of their toys are all bloody or when you find a tooth in their water bowl. Yep. Puppies go through teething just like babies. And when they are teething, they will turn into little piranhas that want to chew non-stop. I recommend getting some edible and easily digestible chews for your dogs to gnaw on to help with teething.

My dog is obsessed with pig skin chews - specifically pork chomps brand. He gets one of these bad boys every  night:

Need something to last a little longer? Try these - but be careful and don't get them until your dog has some of their adult teeth in:
5. Lots and lots and lots and lots of treats.
     You’re going to spend a lot of time training your puppy, so it’s good to have a lot of treats on hand. I’ve found that it’s so much cheaper to order treats in bulk on Amazon. I’ve linked some of the ones I like below. Bonus: these are small so you don’t overfeed them in training.

6. Puppy Shampoo, Brush, and Nail Clipper
     Did you know when your puppy is under 4 months old, they will take in anything they experience and learn how to process it as normal? So if you don’t want an adult dog who is afraid of baths and grooming – start early! Plus, puppies are messy. In the first month I had my dog, I gave him several baths. One to get him used to it, then another when he played in mud, and another when he vomited on himself. You’re not supposed to bathe dogs too much, but now my little guy just shrugs off baths. Do the same with brushing and clipping nails. Get ‘em used to it young.
7. Extra Towels
     Did I mention puppies are messy? We now have designated dog towels – which are cheap towels I found on Amazon. We use these at the bottom of his crate, to dry him off after baths, to wipe his paws when it’s raining/snowing, etc. He also likes to chew on them. If you don’t want your good towels being destroyed, get some extra dog towels.
8. A crate, gate, or play pen
     I know crating can be controversial, but no matter what your opinion is, there is probably going to be a period of time where you aren’t ready to let your puppy roam the house. You might want to gate off a room, put your puppy in a play pen, or even crate them. For us, we have a puppy who is easily overstimulated and won’t sleep unless he is in a crate in a dark room. It’s gotten to the point where when he is tired, he barks at us until we crate him so he can nap. But before the crate, we also tried a play pen. It didn’t work for us, but now I have a friend who uses it for her Boston Terrier puppy who loves it. We also gated off one of our bedrooms so our cat can have a puppy free space.
9. Hard soled slippers
     This is a strange one, but I swear to god these have been a god-send for me. With a puppy, you’re going to be going outside a LOT. Often in the middle of the night. One thing I needed was a pair of hard-soled slippers that were warm and also could easily be taken on and off for quick potty breaks. You can thank me later for this tip. The ones I got are similar to these:
10. Dog waste bags
     You might know you need these in theory, but I didn’t realize how quickly we would go through so many. Even if you have a yard and won’t be cleaning up after your dog each time, you’re going to need some in case you take your dog out in public, to someone else’s house, etc. I recommend buying in bulk because they are cheaper and it’s a lot more convenient.

Those are my major items that you need. Of course, every household is different. Some people may also want to get their dog a bed. I got one, but it ended up being a toy and I realized a bed was probably a good idea for later on. Some people may want a harness instead of a collar. That’s fine too. Mainly find what works for you. And if you need help, a local pet store is usually pretty good at helping you find the right products.

What are your puppy must-haves?

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2020 New Year's Resolutions (Ideas and How to Accomplish Them!)

I've always been the type of person that thinks New Year's resolutions are dumb. If you want to do something, why wait for a new year? Well, last year I turned a new leaf and decided to try out making a resolution and realized that I LOVE it. The month of January is usually a little cold and sad, and it gives you something to focus on to bring you out of the after-holiday slump. Plus, it starts the new year with motivation and a goal - which gives you the opportunity to accomplish something. Along with all those things, I think it's great to be mindful and set goals to better yourself regular, and doing this at the new year is a perfect way to incorporate self-growth into your schedule.

Personally, I think it's a good goal to make both big and small new year's resolutions, along with ones that are specific and more vague. For example, you could have a big and specific goal like "I want to get a job working for a private practice law firm in my home town" or a small, vague one like "I want to give out more compliments." Don't forget that your resolutions should be personal - you  need to care enough to accomplish them! And resolutions are for the whole year, it's not something you accomplish just in January. So don't worry about focusing on something that can be accomplished right away.

For me, this year I am trying out a new system where I am going to make three resolutions: one to help myself, one to help others, and a goal for the end of the year. Personally, my 2020 resolutions are:

  • FOR ME: Drink more water! I am the worst at drinking water (I prefer soda and coffee... oops) but I need to get better at hydrating to keep myself healthy. 
  • FOR OTHERS: Take a reusable cup more often to coffee shops. This may sound vague, but I actually want to be somewhat specific and say I'm shooting for 80%. You may wonder how this is "for others." To me, this is all part of living a more sustainable life so others can enjoy the earth for years to come. However, "be more sustainable" is a little too vague for a resolution for me. So I am making this goal more specific in hopes that not only can I be sustainable with my takeout coffee habits, but so I can also be inspired to live sustainably in other ways!
  • END OF THE YEAR GOAL: Secure post-clerkship employment! This is CRAZY to think about considering I have only been in my clerkship for four months and I am clerking for a two-year term. However, those of us in the legal world know that firms start hiring a year in advance, which means the end of next summer and all of next fall I will be looking for a job. So my goal is to secure a position by the end of the year!
Now obviously, I don't expect everyone to share my same resolutions. However, I know that different goals will fit different people. So below I've compiled a list of some ideas and some helpful hints to help  you accomplish them!

"FOR ME" Resolution Ideas

  • Exercise X number of times per week! This is a healthier spin on the classic "I want to lose weight" resolution. Losing weight focuses more on body image than health. However, exercising does so much more than burn calories. It helps keep your body healthy, relieves stress, and gives you a fun activity. Different amounts of exercise fit different lifestyles, so set a number that works for you. And help ease yourself into it. If you never work out now, don't set your goal at 5 times a week - that is way too much of an extreme change. Instead, try 1 or 2 days a week to start out.
      • Find a workout buddy to keep each other accountable
      • Join a gym that costs money! If you're anything like me, you won't want to waste your money on something you won't use.
      • If you're new to exercise, try workout classes to learn things you might like.
  • Dink More Water! So as I already told you, this is mine. I love drinking different beverages - coffee, tea, soda, juice, etc. My fridge is always stocked. But one thing I hate drinking is water. I'm just not into it. However, our bodies are made up of mostly water, so it's probably pretty important to drink quite a bit of it. 
  • Make Mindfulness a Habit! I lovvveeee the idea of this one! I'm a big advocate for taking control of your own mental health, and this is a great idea to help. Being mindful basically just means learning to focus on your own thoughts and processing your own feelings in a healthy way. This is a great general goal, because there are so many ways you can accomplish it. 
      • Go to a weekly yoga class. For those of us that have attended therapy, I'm sure a professional has suggested yoga at one point or another. While it's great for your body, the practice of yoga focuses on breathing, which can help you learn to concentrate on your thoughts while your mind and body are in a restful place. When I have been going through my hardest times, I have literally cried at the end of yoga classes because it created a space for me to practice being mindful and process my feelings in a healthy way.
      • Journal! To tell you the truth, I've always wanted to be one of those people who journals, but I've never been able to accomplish it. However, I've found when I am able to keep up with one even for a short time, it has been a great way to focus on my thoughts.
      • Try meditation. There are several apps that can guide you through it and some places even have classes!

"FOR OTHERS" Resolution Ideas

  • Any type of "Go Green" goals. Listen here, people. The earth is dying. We should all do our part and be more sustainable to help ourselves, those around us, and future generations. Last year my goal was to be more sustainable overall, but that goal was too broad. So I recommend choosing something specific if you want to make a sustainability habit.
      • Bring a to-go cup to the coffee shop. This is simple, but for people like me that grab a to-go coffee almost daily, this is one little thing you can do that inspires big change.
      • Donate to environmental charities. Even $5 a month can help.
      • Next time you buy products, switch to something more eco-friendly. Need sandwich bags for lunches? Try these silicone ones instead.  Need cotton rounds for makeup? Try reusable bamboo ones instead. Literally whatever you need, search for an eco-friendly idea on Amazon.
  • Volunteer X times per month. I love this resolution because it's FREE. All you have to spend is your time. Every community is in need of help. Maybe you could volunteer socializing with senior citizens at a nursing home. Maybe dogs at your local shelter need walked. Maybe trash needs cleaned up on the highway. Even giving one hour per month can make a big difference in your community.
      • Check for volunteer opportunities with your school or any professional organizations you might be in. This can double as a networking opportunity if you plan right.
      • Look for places you utilize in your community that might need help. Do you run at a local park? See if there is a volunteer park clean-up committee. Did you adopt your pet from a shelter? Maybe that shelter needs help with something. Utilize free tax prep services? See if they need volunteers.
  • Review every purchase you make. So I'll admit, I'm stealing this idea I saw on my friend Brandy's Instagram comments. Because I stole it, go check out her blog - The Legal Duchess. Not only is her blog one of my biggest inspirations, but she's actually the sweetest person. Anyway, I saw one of her Instagram followers comment that they resolved to review every purchase they make online, because we all rely on reviews so much. I thought this was a great idea! It's something so small, but we all use these reviews almost daily.
      • Set a reminder in your phone for a week later every time you get a new product to review one week later.
      • Go through your past Amazon orders once per month and review all of your purchases you've made.


So as most of you know, I started this blog to focus on law school things. Since I've now graduated, the focus may drift. But in the true spirit of being a law school blog, here are some resolutions that are law school/law related.
  • Graduate law school! This is for all you 3Ls out there. You are so close, make sure to focus in on this final drive and get it done!
      • Keep doing what you've been doing. If it's worked so far, don't quit it.
      • Keep your stress levels low! Not only do you have school stress, but life is about to change in a major way and that can take a lot out of a person. Practice being mindful and make time for a little fun.
      • Enjoy the final run!
  • Raise your GPA! So for some of you, graduation isn't as near. So in the meantime, do what you can to help your future self out and focus on school so you can get good grades.
      •  DO YOUR READINGS. Honestly this is 90% of the battle. Just do your readings.

  • Get a kickass job or internship! Not going to  put a long section on this, because I've already written plenty of posts on it. Check them out here:

Obviously, that is just a snippet of some resolutions out there, but there are so many more. What are your resolutions?