Tag Archive | chihuahua

DIY Taco Costume for Dogs

Turning your dog into a taco is easier than you think. There are several steps, but it can come together pretty quickly if you have basic sewing machine skills.

Supplies you will need:
Large yellow felt
Small pieces of red, orange, black, etc. felt
Green fabric
Brown fabric
Stuffing / fill
Elastic or velcro

I started off by measuring the length of my dog from neck to tail,  belly to back and across his back the wide way (straight lines).

Next use an appropriate-sized bowl to trace a half circle onto the yellow felt. Cut it out and then make sure the sizing is right for your dog by holding it against his body. If all is good, cut out a second piece.

taco cuts

Next use your measurements of your dog’s back length and width to create a template for the “meat”. I made mine a bit wavy so that it wouldn’t look like a brown brick. 🙂  Once you have the template done, hold it against your dog to ensure it is the right size. Using the template, cut out two pieces of brown fabric and sew them right sides together leaving a small opening to flip it right-side out and also to stuff it with the filling.

meat

Once the meat is filled with stuffing, go ahead and hand-sew it closed as well.

To make the lettuce, cut out a strip of green fabric twice the length of your taco. Ruffle pin the fabric to the inside top of the taco and sew it on using a simple straight stitch. Be sure to use a yellow thread so that it isn’t visible on the outside of the taco.

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Ignore the messed up stitching. I redid it after I took the photo 🙂

You should now hand stitch the meat onto the inside of the taco shell right by the bottom of the lettuce.

The next part is your preference. I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to make straps and velcro to secure it to my dogs so I just sewed on some elastic under his chin, front legs and back legs. Alternatively, you could sew on two pieces of fabric with velcro in each area and secure it that way. Totally your preference.

You’re almost done! Now all you have to do is cut up some felt pieces for the filling. You could use yellow and orange for cheese, red for tomatoes, etc. You then just hot glue these pieces to the top of the meat.

mimi taco

Mimi got a little tipsy and knocked her taco to the side

Viola! Your dog is now a taco. Don’t let him too close to the cat……he may get eaten!

billy taco

PS Later I added a whole and a harness clip extension to the middle of the costume so that I could walk the dogs on leash.

PPS I paired this with a margarita costume for myself. Tutorial to follow!

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Chihuahua Nation’s Chi-Leprechaun Pawty

If you have a Chihuahua, you need to belong to Chihuahua Nation – a worldwide group of people and their Chihuahuas. We get together to socialize our pups, have some laughs, learn from each other and help rescue Chihuahuas in need.

This month’s event was for St. Patrick’s Day. Hosted by Ada Nieves, this pawty was a sea of Chihuahuas and their pawrents dressed in green.

I made my pups their outfits. Eli was especially tolerant of his headpiece. 🙂

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It was a fun day with good food and great people! Come join the fun!

Adventures in Hiking – The Pequannock Highlands – Silas Condict County Park

I borrowed the book Hiking New Jersey from my friend. It lists 50 of NJ’s greatest hiking adventures. I had been having trouble finding good detailed information online for hikes nearby. This book is pretty good. It lists where the hike is, distance, difficulty, if dogs are allowed, fees and what the trail is like. It also gives a description of the hike and also gives distance details on what you will see at each point and where to continue the trail.

The problem with today’s hike in Silas Condict County Park (hike # 14 in the book) was that I thought I was solely following the white trail but I ended up on the red trail as well. I also couldn’t find the viewpoint at the end of the red trail so that was disappointing. My mileage on the hike was around 2.75 miles so I feel I was close to finding the viewpoint but close is not good enough!

Because I was walking with my Chihuahuas, I ended up doing a 34 minute mile which is really slow, but because of all the ascents, I can’t say I would have done it much faster without them. But hey! Let’s just blame them for my slowness and not the fact that I’m really out of shape!

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Start of white trail

The hike starts out pretty clear. You park in the first parking lot on the left and walk into the parking lot of a maintenance yard. Even though the trail is not marked with a sign, the trail is wide and clear to the right of the building.

 

 

 

 

If you follow along the directions in the book, they mention a viewpoint to the left .3 miles into the trail. Perhaps this has a better view in the fall when the trees have lost their leaves. All I could see were treetops.

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Viewpoint?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next left leads to a picnic table and then a bench that overlooks the lake (when trees have no leaves). It was a nice spot for me to stop and give the dogs some water and a snack.

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The trail continues on from there until you hit a large parking lot. From here, you just follow the parking lot around to the left, heading in the direction of the lake. Here is where I lost the white trail. I followed the instructions to head towards the ballfield and saw another wide, clear trail right by center field. Luckily, no one was playing ball that day or I may have gotten hit by a home run!

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Large open picnic area behind the casino/stone building

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Lake view from the other side of the casino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is where I got confused. Upon entering this trail, you see the colors on the trees have now changed to red. In my limited hiking knowledge I felt like I remembered that if trails were overlapping, they would have both colors on the trees, but alas I forged ahead anyway since the book seemed to point me in that direction.

Stopped to spy on a chipmunk having lunch

Stopped to spy on a chipmunk having lunch

 

While on this section of the hike, I didn’t see any good views but did enjoy a quiet walk interrupted by only a few other people (It was a Tuesday.) I decided to turn around when I reached another large parking lot where I felt very lost and couldn’t figure out which direction to head. I finally decided to walk through the picnic area and ended up back on the trail I took to the parking lot. At least I knew that if I kept walking on that trail, I would eventually end up back at the car!

Eli couldn't miss out on the treats so he stuck his head in the slats of a bench to grab one

Eli couldn’t miss out on the treats so he stuck his head in the slats of a bench to grab one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I arrived back at the ballfield, I decided to walk on the side of the lake to see where that led. Lo and behold, there was the white trail! However, the map and markers showed that it was the end (or beginning) of the white trail. Just past the map was a locked gate, so I don’t know if the white trail used to continue around the lake but that area is now off-limits (although the fence is pushed down in one part, so if you really want to enter, you can hop it.)

Map by the locked gate

Map by the locked gate

There are a couple of nice places to sit and look at the lake here so it’s worth the detour.

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 On the way back to the car, I stayed to the left of the trail and didn’t detour to the picnic table or bench. The walk back was much quicker as it was mostly downhill.

Overall, this is a nice short hike, mostly shaded and fairly flat. My dogs were pooped by the end even though we stopped a lot. It would be good to pack a lunch and enjoy one of the many picnic areas or if they are taken (there were signs for reservations for each), just lay a blanket on the grass and do it old school! There are also restrooms by the casino by the lake and plenty of parking lots scattered throughout the park.

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This is the trail I took today – tracked by my Endomondo app.

View of full hike and surrounding area

View of full hike and surrounding area

View of red trail

View of red trail

View of beginning/end of hike, including detour to side of lake

View of beginning/end of hike, including detour to side of lake

How I made a top hat for my dog – Valentine’s Day Edition!

Valentine’s Day is not one of my favorite holidays. I think that you should show your love all year long and I grow very tired of having to see all the fake love floating around. However, what I do love about the holiday is that I get to attend St. Valen-Chi which is an annual pawty for Chihuahuas run by Ada Nieves, pet fashionista.

Now you can’t attend a pawty without proper attire. For Mimi, she had her pink dress and bows for her hair and Eli had his tuxedo…..but I felt it was missing something. Yes! He needed a top hat. I turned to my friend Google and found several sites with instructions on how to make your own top hat. All the sites seemed to have similar templates and you can probably find a better template than the one I used.

I am not crafty by any means and I wanted to make a very inexpensive hat, so I used white cardstock paper and simply kept my screen set to 100% in Microsoft Word while I created black boxes and circles to match the sizes of the template (by holding them up to the screen). To print, I set the properties to “best” since “normal” would print black solids in a stripey way.

After printing, I just cut out the cone template and the cardstock at the same time for a perfect size. I ended up just using circle sizes that worked for the size of the hand you want – no template needed! One of the difficulties I faced while using the template and instructions was that she mentions that the sides of the cylinder should barely be touching; however, when I did this, the circle top was too small so I reprinted a larger one – that’s one of the beauties about making this out of paper! I think it may be easier to cut out larger circles than you think you’ll need and then size them down to the correct size to fit your cylinder. To secure all the pieces I just used Elmer’s glue and binder clips to hold it together.

top hat

To make the hat more Valentine’s-y, I printed a bunch of different sized hearts and glued them on. To get the hat to stay on Eli’s head, I used black bobby pins. For a more secure fit, alligator clips for a long haired dog or an elastic band to wrap under the head would be a much better option. I also think that you should print black shapes on both sides of the paper as some of the white would show through – especially on the bottom of the hat. I colored in some parts with black marker but forgot to do the bottom of the hat since I thought it would be hidden on his head – turns out it wasn’t. No biggie, but it did bug me a bit!

In the end, Eli’s tuxedo kept falling off of him but the hat remained and was a hit!

eli hat

Kale is my new favorite food

Lately I have been obsessed with kale. I saw it prepared once on The Chew and decided to try to duplicate the recipe at home. Unfortunately, my plan was ruined when I couldn’t figure out which was the kale at the supermarket. All the greens look really similar and they are all bunched up together. Pathmark’s labeling system left a lot to be desired, so I just chose one and went to check out. Fortunately, the cashier asked what I was buying and when I said “kale” she said, and I quote “This ain’t no kale”.  So there went that idea.

Fast forward a few months and my sister starts making kale chips – turns out they are a big thing these days. I finally decided to try it on my own and here’s how it went.

First of all, I went to A&P this time and it turns out they have their greens labeled on their rubber bands which meant I was definitely buying kale! I felt so accomplished! I took that huge batch of kale home, took off the stems, washed the leaves, dried them by squishing them in between a few papers towels (twice and will be reused to clean up pet messes later), and ripped them into pieces (not too small since they will shrink during baking).

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Next I drizzled some extra virgin olive oil, regular salt and pepper on them. I sprinkled Adobo on a few pieces to see how they would taste as well. I have a heavy hand, so I’m sure I used way more of everything than a normal person would or should! I threw them in the oven for about 18 minutes at 325 degrees. This is how they ended up turning out. The whole tray was full at the beginning so you can see how much they shrink during cooking. Keep an eye on them after the 15 minute mark because they can go from crispy to torched in a very short amount of time.

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I definitely learned to lighten up on the salt. My chips were very tasty but also very salty. Adobo gave them a little extra kick which was nice.

Another tip: after I wrote this post I wanted more chips another day, but not as many, so I cooked them in the toaster oven. I put aluminum foil on the tray for easy clean up. The chips came out really well. For the summer especially this would be a great way to cook up some chips without heating your whole kitchen!

PS….even the dogs love kale!

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