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Introducing Lando ...

If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I'd ever have two dogs the answer would have been a quick no. Even after we got Benny, I still would have answered no. But, as I posted about last week, those feelings have changed. Benny was a good starter dog, but we're ready for a full-fledge puppy.

Puppy Snoozing
So when I saw a posting about a beagle/mini-whippet mix puppy named Groucho (6 months old) available for adoption I decided to pursue it. Just give it a try. I had a list: Not a yappy dog. No biting. Mostly house-trained. Short haired. But more energy and playfulness. And he's have to have a connection with Dave, the girls and Benny.

We met Groucho on Friday night and he fit all those criteria, except the biting thing -- but it was mostly just holding with his teeth (it's a puppy thing). He didn't bark at the door and he was happy and jumpy when he saw us. He was ready to play.

We made the next move and brought him home for a weekend tryout -- he needed to meet Benny. He jumped in front of Benny and wanted to play but Benny had no idea what he was trying to do or how to play, so things went south with lots of growling and barking. The puppy gave up on him and decided to play with the humans in the house. We wrestled, we gathered out all the toys that were collecting dust and had a great weekend.

Lando Stretching
So, obviously, we couldn't give him up after such a fun and active weekend. Dave named him Lando (as in Lando Calrissian from the Star Wars movies - nerds!) And we started getting him into our routine. We also signed him up for puppy school, too. He's a fast learner.

Benny is getting used to the idea. The puppy is certainly making him more active and interested in more than just dirty laundry and napping. And the house, as a whole, has all this extra energy.

Yup, two dogs. Who'd have guessed that!?


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Reusable Cotton Rounds

Maybe one of the things I'm digging so much about this plastic-free venture is getting to be a little creative and crafty. It's a fun challenge to figure out the better choices and make them.

When looking through the bathroom for easy swaps, I zeroed in on those little cotton pads I use to remove mascara and swipe on face toner.  Harvesting cotton, pressing it into little disks only for me to use it once and throw it away!? Plus, I'm spending 5€ for a plastic bag of them every few months? I can do better.

A little Pinteresting found a quick step-by-step to make these reusable pads. You can find better direction here, but basically I....

1 - traced circles in color flannel fabric using a water glass.
2 - Pinned three pieces together.
3 - Used a tight zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine to close up the edges.
4 - Last, I trimmed around the edges and repurposed a pickle jar to store them. 

Nothing to it.

I wash them with the kitchen rags on a hot water setting. And I've i…

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This week I've been thinking about the plastic-free swaps that are slowly getting added to our home. One thing I read a lot is the misconception that you need to "buy all this new stuff" to go plastic-free. And that's kinda silly. I mean, the idea of buying a lot to become sustainable is a littlecontradictory, right?

Chances are, you have a reusable water bottle and shopping bag rattling around the house, or you can probably ask a family member for one. And you've already created a pretty good swap.

While I DO like shopping, I'm a touch frugal. So, I'm swapping out plastic items that are ready for replacement with more renewable sources as they need to be replaced. Here are the latest three.

First up, replacing our plastic toothbrushes for bamboo. 
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My Tips for Visiting Paris

One of the absolute joys of being an expat living in Paris is that I can be a tourist without the jet lag and limited luggage space for new shoes. It's such a privilege! Having traveled to Paris several times, with and without kids, I have a few tips I can share to make your trip here enjoyable.

Wear good walking shoes. Paris is one of the most walkable cities. You can start at the Notre Dame, walk to the Louvre along the river, and up the Champs-Elysees in one day. Or over to the Palais Garnier. And just strolling through neighborhoods, picking up snacks, desserts, etc., is the reason to come here. It's beautiful. But it can also be hell if your shoes are too tight. I love my grey Nike sneakers or a pair of trusty Birkenstock sandals for when the weather is nice.

To blend in with the local gals, you'll want to pack a scarf. Or two. I love a scarf and always travel with one, because it's a blanket/pillow on a plane, and an extra layer while walking around -- adding jus…