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Is There An Alternative To The Cone Of Shame?

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Every dog owner knows the sad and guilty feeling that comes with the “cone of shame.” The colloquial name for the Elizabethan collar is as apt a description for owners as it is for pet: No one likes seeing the littlest member of the family struggle due to restricted movements and impaired visions. E-collars literally add insult to injury, and pet owners are quite right to seek alternatives.

While unfortunately the universal replacement to the infamous cone does not exist, there are several alternatives out there.

One of the most popular options is the inflatable collar. As you can see from the picture below, the inflatable simply has to be more comfortable than a plastic one. However, it is also easier than a plastic one for a dog to break out of. Note however that this particular one from BENCMATE comes in five sizes, ranging from X-Small to X-Large:

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BENCMATE Protective Inflatable Collar for Dogs and Cats – Soft Pet Recovery Collar Does Not Block Vision E-Collar — $15.98

Another, similar, option is the so-called soft cone. This one by ARRR is very popular with owners small dogs. Although it comes in four different sizes, owners of larger dogs have noted that it could ideally be wider.

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ARRR Dog Comfy UFO Cone, Soft Water-Resistant Recovery Collar After Surgery, Pet Cone for Dogs and Cats, Elizabethan Collar — $29.99

One of the perks of the soft e-collars is that they come in many cute styles, such as this one:

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Alfie Pet – Noah Recovery Collar (for Dogs and Cats) – Color: Brown — $13.99

The final option is the recovery suit. Using a different logic than the innovative collars, the suit prevents your dog from licking her wound by simply covering it up:

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Suitical Recovery Suit for Dogs – Black — $32

With every one of the alternatives, your dog’s mileage may vary. Dogs are distinct not only in size but in personality, and what works well for one pup could very well further irritate another. Still, attempts to make the sadly necessary cone of shame more humane are always welcome.

Let us know in the comments if we missed any!

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This Inflatable Christmas Ornament Is Coming To A Yard Near You

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As you have no doubt heard, because of supply chain issues plaguing the world over, the time to start shopping for Christmas was weeks ago. Consumers have been taking this directive to heart. Take a look at the bestsellers on Amazon, and you will see that #1 in the “Patio, Lawn & Garden” section is this giant Christmas ball.

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HUANKD Giant Christmas PVC Inflatable Decorated Ball, Christmas Inflatable Outdoor Decorations Holiday inflatables Balls Decoration with Pump (A, XL) — $22.99

According to the listing, “When it comes to outdoor holiday decorations, bigger ones always feel more satisfying.” I am not sure I agree with that, but I can accept that kids do get a real kick out of giant inflatable Santas and the like. The real question I have concerns how big we are actually talking here. In one of the images, it seems to be a little smaller than a 5-year-old girl:

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But in another one it looks to be nearly as tall as the first story of a house!

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The listing says its diameter is 60 centimeters, which of course is of absolutely no help to shoppers on this side of the Pacific. Because we are here to provide a service to our readers, we looked up what that means: about 2 feet. According to an article I found on the Internet, that is about the size of a 4-month-old baby. That means the photo with the girls is definitely closer to being accurate.

Why is this particular outdoor decoration more popular than anything else available on Amazon? I couldn’t tell you. It has to be partly based on price. It is not uncommon for this kind of decoration to go for upwards of $60:

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8 Foot Christmas Inflatable Nutcracker Soldier Outdoor Decorations, Light Up Inflatable Santa Claus Soldier with 3 LED Lights Blow Up Decorations for Yard Lawn Garden Xmas Decor (4 Stakes 2 Tethers) — $64.99

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Christmas Inflatable Decoration 6 ft Polar Bear Christmas Tree Inflatable with Build-in LEDs Blow Up Inflatables for Christmas Party Indoor, Outdoor, Yard, Garden, Lawn, Winter Decor, Holiday Season — $64.99

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6FT Christmas Inflatable Blow Up Decoration,Inflatable Christmas Tree with 3 Gift Boxes , Self Inflatable Christmas Decor with LED Lights for Xmas Holiday Indoor,Outdoor,Yard,Garden,Lawn,Square Decor — $66.99

Notably, these eyesores are all considerably bigger than the blow-up ornament. Perhaps giving the dimensions in centimeters and including the photo beside the house are meant to obscure the relatively diminutive size of the ornament. Despite being a #1 bestseller, the ornament does not currently have any customer reviews (presumably, people are waiting until the end of spooky season to adorn their house for Christmas). One has to wonder if folks are in for a surprise when their attempt at holiday spirit dwarfs in comparison to that of their neighbors.

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14 Scary Good Halloween Cocktails

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There are few holidays that are accompanied by festive drinks and Halloween just so happens to be one of them. Any season that gives us a reason to make festive cocktails is a season worth celebrating. Whether you’re throwing a Halloween party or just kickin’ it with some friends, we’ve got some of the most spook-tacular cocktail recipes that are fun to make and better to drink. Happy Howl-o-ween!

Before we start, these festive skeleton goblets are perfect for serving your spooky Halloween cocktails. 

Skeleton Hand Plastic Goblets, Set of 3, $14.99

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  1. Full Moontini (via FreshFlavorful)
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It wouldn’t be spooky season without a black, spooky cocktail. This will have all your party guests howling for more. Get Recipe here

  1. Purple People Eater Cocktail (via Homemade Hooplah)
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If you want the full purple people eater effect, you can add some candy eyes or horns. Get recipe here

  1. Zombie Brains Halloween Cocktail (via Yummly)
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What’s Halloween without zombie brains? Get recipe here

  1. Pumpkin Spice White Russian (via The Cookie Rookie)
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Pumpkin spice and everything nice. Enjoy this seasonal twist on the classic white Russian cocktail. Get recipe here

  1. The Half Blooded Prince Cocktail (via Half Baked Harvest)
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A Harry Potter themed cocktail is a must for Halloween. It’s bloody good. Get recipe here

  1. Black Magic Margarita (via Delish)
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Put a spell on all your party guests with these black magic margaritas. Drink up, witches. Get the recipe here.

  1. Alien Brain Hemorrhage Shot (via Greedy Gourmet)
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Don’t be fooled, it tastes better than it looks. Get the recipe here.

  1. Melted Witch Martini (via 3 Yummy Tummies)
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Because one witch-themed cocktail isn’t enough for all you witches out there. Get the recipe here.

  1. Maleficent Halloween Cocktail (via The Soccer Mom Blog)
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We couldn’t forget about all you Disney lovers. This maleficent cocktail is too pretty not to make. Get the recipe here.

  1. Bride of Frankenstein (via Pineapple and Coconut)
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Classy, but creepy. Get the recipe here.

  1.  Bloody Orange Cocktail (via HGTV)
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You know what they say.. The bloodier, the better. Get the recipe here.

These plastic syringes will put the finishing touch on your bloody orange cocktail.

Reusable Plastic Syringes, Set of 36, $24.99

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  1. Hocus Pocus Witches Brew (via Best Day of The Week)
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It’s all just a bunch of hocus pocus anyways. Get the recipe here.

  1. Poison Apple Cocktail (via The Seaside Baker)
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This iridescent, potion-like green cocktail just screams halloween. Get the recipe here. Serve it in a cauldron and you’ve got an absolute wicked concoction.

Black Cauldron, $11.99

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  1. Vampire Kiss Jell-O Shots (via XOXO Bella)
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A little fireball never killed anybody and what’s a party without jell-o shots? Get the recipe here.

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How And When To Carve A Halloween Pumpkin

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Take a jaunt around nearly any neighborhood in America, and you will see home completely decked in Halloween decorations. At some point, Halloween passed Christmas as the holiday most associated with kitschy ornamentation in your front yard. This makes perfect sense: You already wear costumes on Halloween, so why not dress up your house as well? People seem to be decorating their houses earlier and earlier each year, with many homes completely littered with skeletons and cobwebs by mid-September.

There is one major part of Halloween decoration that you cannot put out a month in advance, and it is the most Halloween decoration of all—the jack-o’-lantern! Ideally, you should wait until the second half of October to go pumpkin picking. And then you should not carve your pumpkin until a few days before Halloween, otherwise it will begin to rot before the big night.

So, now is the time to begin your pumpkin carving plans in earnest. There are some great pumpkin carving kits still available on Amazon.

This 12-piece carving set includes 8 double-sided tools and a saw. The saw is big enough to get the job done but not so big that you need to worry about your kids’ safety:

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12 Pieces Professional Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Tool Set with Storage Carrying Case Used As a Carving Knife for Pumpkin Hal (Yellow-12 pack) — $16.15

This 11-piece carving set offers a different method: nine of the tools are stencils in the shapes of common pumpkin facial features:

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Pumpkin Carving Kit,11PCS Pumpkin Carving Tools with Stencils for Kids Adults,Stainless Steel DIY Pumpkin Carving Set Safe Halloween Decorations Pumpkin Punchers Carver Tool Gift for Kids — $15.99

You may not have even thought about it, but to make a true jack-o’-lantern, you need candles in addition to your carving materials. This 17-piece set comes with 5 LED candles (so you don’t have to fear the possibility of igniting a fire). As a bonus, you get an e-book with detailed instructions on how to make some of the most popular faces:

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Upgraded 17 PCS Pumpkin Carving Kit for Adults & Kids with Professional Detail Sculpting Tools, Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Knife Set with Carrying Case & 1000 Stencils Ebook for Halloween Decoration — $28.99

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