Hill's Festive Treats

Last week the Cats and Dogs of the Howse Household received early Christmas treats from Hill's. "Treats" in our household is either spelled out slowly, T-R-E-A-T-S, or whispered very quietly. Should you say it out loud you will get one very energetic Collie and one giant Great Dane catapulting your way as fast as their bodies can move. Besides play time, treats are one of the dogs favourite things in the world so you can imagine the hype when they got new treats to try. But lets start with the Cats;
Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic treats RSP R45.00 (70g)
These kibble-like Hill's Prescription Diet Metabolic treats are available for both Cats and Dogs and are aimed at those on a weigh-loss program. These treats wont put strain on your furry friend's waistline when used in conjunction with the right weight-loss food. I mentioned on social media that this is the first treat (which isn't human food) that the Kits will actually eat. Even Mr. Meow who doesn't have all his teeth, loves them and just swallows them whole. Sweet boy!
Hill’s Ideal Balance Canine treats RSP R55.00 (227g)
Hill's Ideal Balance Treats for dogs literally have the ideal balance of natural ingredients and nutrition. Available in two variations, Oven Baked Naturals which are yummy little cookie-like biscuits, and the Soft Baked Naturals are a lot more chewy, like doggie candy. All the treats are made without any soy, wheat, corn, artificial colours and flavours. Our pooches will eat pretty much anything but it is good to know that these Hill's treats are packed with the best ingredients, kind of like those gummy vitamins you give kids every day. They do actually work a little bit before getting treats because we believe in good manners!

These packets of yummy treats are worth every cent and your animals will love them as a stocking filler with a ball and mouse or two. Spoil your four-legged kids this Christmas. All Hill's products are available at selected Vet's and some pet supply stores.

Thank you to Hill's for being a constant supporter of Howse Life and the animals in our family!

Running out of time

Image from Pinterest
Being a young adult, which I am apparently allowed to call myself until 39, comes will all sorts of thrills, adventures, milestones and, of course, obstacles. Back in February of last year I wrote a post about "this point in my life" and reading back on it now, I need to write more thoughtful posts like that because as much as this blog is for sharing things with others, it is also for myself. I have reached another "point" in my life and here is how it's going;

I am 25 and feel like I am running out of time. Oh.my.god. Ridiculous, I know, but now I have my very own family to provide for and hold onto forever and ever and ever. I want to do so much with them and for them.

An update from my previous post on life, I have the big house, I have a ring on my finger as well as a handsome husband to go with it. I even have an ever growing zoo at home, which makes me very happy. I am happy. I have mostly everything I wanted to have at my age. One of my more recent discoveries is that time has become something very meaningful to me and I just feel like its not enough. This feeling reaches all aspects of my life but I am mainly referring to my career and furthering myself in order to provide for my family.

I picture a boat, with me and a few crew members. Each one of them represents a specific amount of time I have left on earth. Each crew member needs a task which will hopefully make our trip smooth sailing. How do I choose what each member will do? How do I choose what to invest my time in? do I start studying again? or try start my own business in who knows what? I guess that is why its a good idea to have your career set in place before you get married and settle down. Alas, my boat has just sprung a leak and my crew members are busy shoveling water whilst I try fix it. I have loads of motivation but no where to direct it. The best thing for me right now would be to dip my foot in the water one toe at a time and see where life takes me. I am excited to see what happens and reading back on this, I hope I succeed! Did I?

Even after I settle down in a certain career path, I fear I will still have the anxious feeling of not having enough time. My thoughts have gotten so far as to fear that I will not have enough time with my children before they leave the house and make a life for themselves (and I don't even have kids yet!). Neurotic, I know.

I don't have enough time to do everything but I will make it count for something in the end.


Blog Break Facts

I'm in my second month of actively being back to blogging and I feel great about it. I love my little space on the internet. I thought I'd share a few facts I found when taking a blogging break all those months ago.

1. You miss your friends in the blogging community. Whether it be through Twitter, Facebook or even cheeky email chats, not interacting with other bloggers is just not fun at all. You want to share success stories and opinions but when you're on a blog break feel so 'bleh' because your blog is not really active anymore so what right do you have to interact? You are the only one to blame for self exclusion, Loner-lady :)

2. You still get views, which was a surprise to me. I honestly thought that taking a break would mean maybe a handful of views a day but alas, it is way way more than that. I must admit that still having views on your blog when you take a break must mean you did a good job on the content that is there (right?). That is partly why I am making a true effort to get back into posting a few times a week.

3. "All the things". Press drops give you a thrill that only bloggers would understand. Getting products before they release or even products that are out but you haven't tried yet is a treat. I know many bloggers will say "it's not about the free stuff" but it kind of is and it makes us feel special.

4. An epiphany - you desperately need a blog face-lift! This is common but even more so when you take a break from looking at your blog 20 times a day. You start to see things from a new perspective and why not start fresh while you have the opportunity. Like an artist taking a step back from his painting to really gaze and critic his work.

5. The Zen of it all - We do many things in our daily lives that use up precious time and so often we don't have anything to show for it. When it comes to blogging, you have proof you did something (or many things actually). Seeing a lovely layout on your own webpage that you so thoughtfully planned and moving over to see an archive full posts which took hard work and effort. It brings a certain Zen to my mind and not blogging disrupts that Zen. Namaste!

What do you miss when you take a blog break? Comment below.


Homemade Chicken Wraps

This simple chicken wrap recipe is a winner in our house because it is really easy to throw together and it is one of the healthier meal choices you can make. This will be an update for my Chicken Wrap post I did in 2013. My methods, tastes and general knowledge on food has increased drastically since then so here is how we do chicken wraps in our house...version 2.0.

Brown wraps,
Lettuce, baby spinach, cucumber and tomato,
Yellow pepper (optional),
Cubed chicken fried in your preferred spices,
Sun dried onions,
Ranch dressing.

Substitute Options
Switch out the sun dried onions by frying fresh onion with your cubed chicken,
Yellow pepper adds great colour but green pepper and red pepper also work well,
Pickles add a great pop of flavour is you are a fan,
Mayonnaise can be used instead of ranch dressing for a creamier texture,
Add mushroom and cheese if you want a "Mega Deluxe" wrap.

Heat your wrap in the microwave for 25 seconds, this will make folding easier as it makes the wrap more susceptible to bending. Then add your ingredients, in no particular order, remembering to stay in the center of the wrap, in a line, and leave a 4-5cm space at the bottom for folding. 

Here is how I layered my wrap: 1 teaspoon of ranch dressing, lettuce and spinach, cucumber, tomato and yellow pepper, chicken and lastly a sprinkle of sun dried onions. I like my wraps extra crunchy and this is the reason for my ingredient choices but you can really add anything you want. I also used lemon and rosemary seasoning which added a nice fresh, herb-ie, flavour. For a more filling meal, add some oven baked chips, a handful of crisps (like lays or Simba chips) or a fruit salad which doubles up as a healthy desert. Use your imagination and incorporate your favourite foods to ensure a delicious meal.

I had originally started making these wraps in our home because it was one of Malcolm's favourite things to eat when we went out on dates and making them at home was so much cheaper back when we were students. I'm glad this is still a "meal tradition" we have at least once a month and I'm super happy at how it has evolved.

What do you add to your wraps? Any suggestions? Comment below.