Olympic-Inspired Crafts, Games & Home Decor Tips

The Summer Olympics only happen once every four years. It’s an exciting time for Americans to cheer on all kinds of aspiring athletes. Celebrate the American way with Olympic-inspired crafts, games and decor tips.


Design Tips to Make Your Living Room Scream USA!
There’s no better time to add some star-spangled style to your living space. For two weeks every four years, the Summer Games inspire excitement and national pride that can disappear as soon as the competition ends. Maintain your love of country even after the medals are won by giving your home an American look.


Creative Olympic Crafts for Kids
Even with the summer Olympics right around the corner, most of the younger children in your family are probably more interested in their own games than the events in Rio. If you can”t spark their interest in the Olympics by turning on the TV, you can get them excited about the events with these fun home crafts.


Ideas to Make Backyard Sports Safer for Kids
If you’re like most parents, you’re interested in anything that gets your kids off the couch. Playing sports in the backyard might be just the ticket. Backyard sports are a pressure-free way for kids to practice their skills without a coach glaring over their shoulders. Make your backyard a safe place to practice with these tips.


Animal Olympics: Fun Games to Play with Your Dog
Watching the Olympics inspires many of us to get outside. Playing sports with the family is great, as long as you don’t forget to include your canine friend. If your dog is sitting on the sidelines and begging to be a part of the action, use a few of these dog-friendly ideas to put together an animal Olympics in your backyard.

Halfway to the Holidays: Get a Head Start on Christmas Planning

Chilly weather isn’t far off. That means the holiday season is right around the corner. Get some advice to help your summer Christmas planning go smoother with these articles from The Lakeside Collection.


Time-Consuming Holiday Projects to Start this Summer
By the time summer rolls around, we’ve forgotten about all the stress and planning that went into making the holidays so enjoyable for ourselves and our families. If the holidays typically take up a large chunk of your time and energy, get organized early by starting these time-consuming holiday projects in the summer.


Holiday Scents for Your Summer Bathroom Sanctuary
There are a number of sights, smells and traditions Christmas has adopted over the years that weren’t always associated with the holiday season. There are many fragrances adopted by the holidays that work great throughout the summer. Accent your bathroom sanctuary with a few of these holiday scents.


Why Summer is the Real Season of Giving for Pet Owners
Spring gives your pet their first taste of the outdoors, but it isn’t until the rainy days taper off and the summer months get into gear that they really have the opportunity to see what the outdoors have to offer. With all the events and activities that take place in the warm months, it feels like the real season of giving for pet owners.


Celebrating Christmas Early in the Southern Hemisphere
Even if it’s snowing in many regions of the northern hemisphere in December, it’s the opposite on the southern side of the globe. In order to make Christmas feel more like the traditional holiday, many countries celebrate in July. Here’s a few facts about countries that start a little early and how they do it.

3 Holiday Gift Ideas For Dogs

Dog-BallThe holidays are the best time of the year, and it is important to include your pets and the pets of friends and family. Every dog from a teacup pup to a big and rowdy retriever deserves something under the tree or tucked in a stocking. Here are our favorite gift ideas for dogs.

Toys For so many owners, pets are part of the family. It makes sense to delight them the same way you would a child—with toys! In addition to being fun, toys stimulate your dog’s mind, promote exercise, and discourage destructive behavior. Go big with a Giant Ball Dog Toy, or give them something to really chew on with a Set of 2 Rope Head Dog Toys. There are even holiday-themed toys for extra seasonal fun.

Dog-treatsTreats Humans know the holidays are a time of special foods—many of which are not safe for dogs. Give your pet a taste of the festivities with fun treats made just for them. Look for something from a dedicated canine bakery. This box of
gourmet dog treats
features snacks that look like cookies, as well as sophisticated “puppy fours”. If you prefer the homemade approach, make some special snacks at home with a Bake-a-Bone™ Dog Treat Maker. Whatever you decide to treat your puppy with, make sure it is safe for dogs and does not include ingredients that are dangerous for dogs.

Dog-Calm-CoatCold-Weather Gear While they may seem like pure whimsy, sweaters and coats for dogs are functional, as well as cute. Many short-haired dogs of breeds created in warm climates live in cold places. Winter’s chill can be as uncomfortable for them as it is for you. It makes dogs reluctant to go outside for exercise. Don’t forget booties to protect delicate paw pads from frozen sidewalks and irritating ice melter. Although dogs cannot see what they look like when dressed to go outside, they surely will love the attention they will get wearing adorable winter clothes.
Having dogs in your life is something that makes every day of the year a little brighter. Make the holidays shine for them with a thoughtful gift and a scratch behind the ears. It is a wonderful way to show them how you care!

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week

As the week winds down, we are looking forward to relaxing a little at home. After several nights of quick meals, it is time to work in the kitchen to create something special. If cooking is not your thing, keep snacks close at hand on the counter and in the living room so you can grab something sweet in a hurry. Remember, everyone loves something gourmet to nibble on, even your pet! Here is the Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week.

The varied sizes of the Set of 4 Lasagna Baking Pans are perfect for any event from a large dinner with guests to a cozy meal for two.

The varied sizes of the Set of 4 Lasagna Baking Pans are perfect for any event from a large dinner with guests to a cozy meal for two.

Jolly Chef Kitchen Collection is a fun and upbeat way to give your home color.

Jolly Chef Kitchen Collection is a fun and upbeat way to give your home color.

Make brand name candy bars that are just as delicious as the real thing with this Copy Cat Candy Bars Cookbook.

Make brand name candy bars that are just as delicious as the real thing with this Copy Cat Candy Bars Cookbook.

3-Way Candy Dispenser keeps your favorite snacks close and easily accessible.

3-Way Candy Dispenser keeps your favorite snacks close and easily accessible.

Your pet deserves to dine in style, and this Pet Food Cabinet with Bowls lets him do that without costing you a fortune.

Your pet deserves to dine in style, and this Pet Food Cabinet with Bowls lets him do that without costing you a fortune.






Lakeside Selection: Our Favorite Items for the Week

We’re getting ready for the weekend. Spending time outside is on the agenda. Here are some items to help inspire you as you plan your weekend. Here’s this week’s Lakeside Selection.



Springy Spiral Cat Toy with Mouse has a lot of movement to fascinate your feline. Clever pop-up toy features a fuzzy base that supports a coil of sturdy wire and a swiveling mouse on top. The slightest movement makes the wire wiggle and a touch of a paw creates a bouncy motion. Meanwhile the tasseled mouse tail waves enticingly. It will entertain your cat for hours!


Cast Iron Skillet Cookie Kit makes it easy to bake. It comes with just about everything needed to make a large, mouthwatering treat. The mini cast iron skillet offers a new way to prepare a cookie or brownie, and can be used again and again for a number of different recipes. The kit comes wrapped with a ribbon, ready to make a delicious gift.


Pamper yourself and your furry friends with a Quilted Pet Throw or Shaped Pillow. Your animal chum will love stretching out for a nap or some lazy time on the soft, warm Throw. Features vermicelli stitching and makes a cozy wrap for you and your pet. The paw-shaped Pillow offers a cushy spot for man or beast to rest his head. Buy both for a matching set that will make a welcome gift for a devoted animal lover.


The shape and bold colors of a Die-Cut Coir Doormat will make your entrance standout. The coir material traps dirt and keeps it out of your home. The doormat has a vibrant design that will give any porch or entryway personality. PVC backing makes it extra durable.


Functional and simple, the Outdoor Beverage Table serves drinks for up to four. Each 12-oz. can or bottle fits securely into the holder. It’s perfect for the patio, deck, beach, or any outdoor spot. Simple assembly required.

Fun Facts: Gear up for October Holidays

hello-octoberOctober’s just around the corner, and while you know about its most famous holiday already, you might not know some other fun facts about the month. If you’ve ever wondered why the tenth month has a name that means “eighth month,” chalk it up to the Romans. They used to mark October as their eighth month, but eventually, the Gregorian calendar added another two months to summer. Named after Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar, July and August pushed the fall months forward, making “eighth month” our current tenth month.

Halloween isn’t the only reason to celebrate October holidays. It’s also the national Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, so it’s a great time to consider a fluffy new addition to your family. Thousands of adorable puppies and dogs need new homes just before the holidays, and your local shelter will make it easier during October. When you bring your new pet home, give the pup a tent of his own with the pet cave, a cozy bed that lets pets snuggle up in comfort. The bed’s great for cats too, so if you have a favorite feline after Adopt a Shelter Cat Month in June, get a bed for each of your furry friends.

In the U.S., November is the month for Thanksgiving, but Canadians celebrate it a month earlier in October. The holiday is a celebration of the harvest, and as harvest time is earlier in northern climates, it makes sense to hold the feast when the food is at its best. Some people trace Canada’s October Thanksgiving celebrations to explorer Martin Frobisher and his search for a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean, but others suggest it’s related to French settlers and their harvest feasts. Either way, October’s a great time for people on both sides of the border to enjoy harvest-fresh apples, pumpkins and more.

October babies are lucky when it comes to birthstones because they have their choice of three: opal, tourmaline and rose zircon. With their dazzling play of color, opals are one of the most beautiful semi-precious stones and symbolize October’s rapidly shifting weather. Delicate shades of rose in tourmaline and zircon gems are equally lovely for anyone who loves pink, but according to birthstone lore, the stones are especially lucky for those with October birthdays. Birthstone jewelry, including these guardian angel necklaces, usually feature sturdy zircons instead of fragile opals, but either is equally appropriate for October’s children.

Speaking of October holidays, you might be surprised at the number of famous October babies. Former presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter were both born in the Halloween month. Musicians Sting, Tom Petty and Gwen Stefani also celebrate their birthdays in October. Julie Andrews and Julia Roberts have more than big-screen fame in common; they’re both October kids too. Whether you mark a family birthday,Thanksgiving, Halloween or another major occasion in October, it’s a great month to celebrate.

As the weather turns cooler and harvest fruits and vegetables appear in stores, why not make your own October holidays and host an indoor event with dinner party essentials? These Thanksgiving leftover containers are perfect for big  parties. It’s also National Chili Month, so make a Sunday afternoon football party in October delicious with chili dogs or bowls of the spicy stuff.

Image Credit: theposhcoincidence.blogspot.com 

Four Reasons You Should Purchase Pet Insurance

pet-insurancePets often hold the status of family member. They live with us, travel with us, and even are included in family portraits. These wonderful creatures keep us happier and healthier than if they were not part of our lives. Yet as a whole, most people have not embraced the thought of carrying pet insurance.

This valuable insurance could make a difference in the health and welfare of your pet.

Many people however, do not realize or understand the benefits that this type of coverage provides. By reviewing the following list, you will be able to see how pet insurance can be most beneficial to your beloved pet.

1. You Can Use Your Own Veterinarian. Most human health insurance plans require you to use specific providers for services that are within their plan. These insurance policies will not pay for any services that are not provided by their specific agencies. Pet insurance, however, allows you to use your current veterinarian without any pre-approvals or problems. You simply submit your bill to the insurance provider for reimbursement of covered services.

2. Non-Discriminatory. Pet insurance is available for all pets. Breed, size, or age does not matter. All pets can qualify for pet insurance. Of course, policies will be more cost-effective if purchased when you first adopt your new pet, but this is not crucial to obtaining a policy.

3. Helps You Pay For Emergency Care. You never know when bad things will happen. However, you can always agree that when an emergency strikes, it is at the most inopportune time financially. Having pet insurance will allow you to cover these emergency costs without having to place too much strain on your “rainy day” fund.

4. Pet Insurance Saves Lives. Having pet insurance will not only extend the life of your pet by providing you an economical method to maintain their health, it can also save their lives in the event of an emergency. Many distraught pet owners have to put their pet to sleep after an injury due to an accident simply because they cannot afford the treatment. Sadly, these pets could have been saved. Having a pet insurance policy in place, will allow you to provide this type of treatment when or if it is necessary, and be able to afford it at the same time.

Having a pet insurance policy will also provide you with peace of mind. Knowing your pet is covered for anything that could happen alleviates anxiety, especially if you have lost a pet to one of these circumstances before.

Your pet relies on you for food, shelter, exercise and attention. They need you to play with them, include them in your life, and love them without restraint. They also need you to watch out for their health. A pet insurance policy will make sure that you can fulfill that last responsibility with ease.

As a pet owner, Richard Freeland understands the importance of keeping furry family members healthy. Monkey Insurance lets you save money by comparing thousands of pet insurance policies and choosing the one that best fits your needs.

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

Is there anything better than sitting at your computer with a purring cat on your lap or watching television with your dog curled at your feet? If you’re an animal lover, you know that pets make a house feel like a home. In honor of the dog days of summer, this week’s focus is on favorite items for your furred and feathered friends. They’re cherished family members too, so show them your love with fun toys, comfortable beds, feeders and pet furniture to make them feel at home.

Make a hammock for your hound or a cradle for your cat with this cozy pet bed. Pets love having their own beds, and this one fits any small- or medium-sized pet. The sturdy folding frame keeps your dog or cat off the floor for cooler naps in summer and warmth in winter. Because the easy-to-clean polyester lining molds to fit your pet, it’s perfect for a puppy who might outgrow a smaller bed or for multiple pets who like to share space. Rabbits and ferrets also like this comfortable bed.

Whether they’re kittens or senior citizens, cats need to climb and play. Without their own furniture, the curious creatures will sometimes make your sofa or counters their playground, whether you want them there or not. Give your kitty a plush loft cat bed with its own scratching post, and reclaim your furniture. The sweet pattern on the acrylic pile fabric goes with any decor and looks neat even with heavy traffic in multiple-cat households. Bring a ball toy to fascinate your feline family member, and this pet furniture cover can be an entertainment center as well as a bed.

Your pets give you unconditional love, but they don’t always give you their undivided attention when you try to correct their behavior. Get a collection of pet behavior modification sprays to do the talking for you. Made for dog or cat owners, these sprays act as a reminder and gentle correction for pets. Spray the products where you don’t want your animals to scratch, dig, mark or go, and they’ll instinctively avoid those areas. Animals’ noses are more sensitive than ours. What you smell as a faint and pleasant herbal aroma, they smell as a vivid warning. Keep your dog from digging up your garden or your cat from sharpening his claws on the furniture without raising your blood pressure by spraying.

Not every creature that enriches your life is a pet, and with a bird feeder, you can catch a glimpse of nature’s wild beauty. Welcome hummingbirds into your yard with a handblown glass bird feeder and enjoy watching your grateful feathered guests eat. Hummingbirds migrate, so you can see different species throughout the year. Because they’re handcrafted, each blown glass bird feeder has a unique kaleidoscope of colors and fits in a metal frame for easy hanging. The drip-free base keeps the sweet nectar in the feeder and prevents it from drawing ants or other pests.

Dog Days of Summer

August is drawing to a close and that sense of sheer panic that summer is almost over has started to sink in.   As you enjoy these last weeks of hot days and warm nights don’t forget to make the most of it with your furry friend.

1.)      Go for extended walks somewhere new and fun!   Take your dog to the state park, for a walk along the lake, or down to a dog friendly beach.   If you are lucky enough to have a dog park by you make it a priority to visit.  Letting your dog cut loose for an hour with other dogs is sure to result in plenty of laughs AND a pooped pooch.  A tired dog is a good dog.

2.)    Remember to leash your dog when you take him on adventures and walks. While your dog might be a little angel it is inevitable that you will run into someone with a pack of devil dogs.  Having your dog leashed and close to you will keep your pup safer.  Additionally, you can never really predict when a delicious looking squirrel might pop up.  Better to be safe than to spend ten minutes chasing your brave squirrel hunter down!

Dog Swimming

3.)    Give your dog an end of the summer “spa” treatment.  Start by giving your dog a good bath with an appropriate shampoo.   There are special shampoos for doing everything to getting rid of that funky dog smell to soothing itchy dry skin.  After your pup is so fresh and so clean, give him a good once over to check for ticks or the presence of fleas.  Post bath time is also an excellent time to trim your dog’s nails.

Review: Lakeside Dog Toys

Just like so many of you, we love pets.  Recently, we decided to put our best dog products to the ultimate user acceptance testing.  We sent Pam Johnson of ‘Pam’s Dog Training in San Diego’ Lakeside dog toys to see how they fared under obedience-training circumstances.  Pam posted the below video review of our dog products, check it out!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj__4hH9fzY]

Featured Products: Plubber™ Dog ToysSeasonal Stuffing-Free Dog ToysBig Mouth Dog Toy with 3 Balls