Your New Puppy Checklist For Welcoming a New Family Member!

This is a sponsored post, in partnership with BJ’s Wholesale Club. All opinions are proudly my own.

Did you get a new pet for the holidays? Here's everything you need to know about what to buy to welcome a new puppy or dog to your home! #ad #BJsSmartSaver

It wasn’t for the holidays, but we got a new puppy in 2018, after only weeks of looking!

That is how fast it can go! We saw Astro’s picture and called about him and although it was a lengthy and thorough adoption process, the whole thing was a matter of a few weeks. We got that magical date – May 24th – and told our kids we were going to New Jersey for a BBQ. Really, we were going to New Jersey because that’s where the rescue organization is.

Then we had the long drive back home with a puppy in our laps!

Did you get a new pet for the holidays? Here's everything you need to know about what to buy to welcome a new puppy or dog to your home! #ad #BJsSmartSaver

As you probably know, welcoming a new puppy or dog – no matter what age – into your home is a big deal. You want to be prepared! As you noticed in my BJ’s blog post, it’s a big decision that I don’t take lightly. When Astro was only a few months old, we found out he’d need a very expensive and scary operation on his front two legs. As always, we’re committed to his care and will always do what’s right by him, and us. And I’m happy to say that he’s doing well, post-surgery!

Here he is, modeling his new dog bed:

Speaking of which, you know we go to BJ’s for all our pet needs. Did you know that they’re a great source for welcoming a new puppy or dog into your home? For real! That’s where we went right after we got Astro, and we struck gold there.

New Puppy Checklist!

1 – An appropriately sized crate. Not too big and not too small, but dogs do need the security and space and training that a crate offers.

2 – Toys. Puppies chew EVERYTHING. I mean it! Dogs do too. Make sure to have plenty of chew toys for your dog. One tip is to keep a few out at a time and “hide” others. Then rotate them so they’ll always seem new to your dog.

3 – A harness and leash. These are vital for leaving the house and going to the park, beach, public areas, etc.

4 – Food and bowls. We love the Berkley Jensen Puppy Food in particular! We recommend a separate bowl for water and fresh water should always be available. Also, we use stainless steel bowls because they collect less bacteria than plastic, and don’t break like ceramic.

5 – Plenty of treats. You will need them for training and for spoiling that new dog in your life! We love Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Beef Recipe Dog Snacks and Milk-Bone Brushing Chews Daily Dental Treats for both of our dogs.

For some more advice, Pee Pee Pads can be super effective in helping with a new puppy, a small dog, or traveling with pets.

And that is why BJ’s is always the place to go for welcoming a new pet. They offer a large selection of pet food brands that cater to your pet’s needs without breaking your budget. And with pets to get gifts for and to also travel with these days, we’re happy to have a place that has a wide assortment of food and accessories at unbeatable values. As a member, you can shop wet and dry pet food, treats that support dental health, and specialty foods that cater to weight management or complete nutrition. Not to mention that families can save up to $500 a year by shopping at BJ’s.

All three times after welcoming a new pet into our house, I have loved going to BJ’s to shop for the new puppy or kitten. I love that they’re committed to offering the best value of any supermarket or club, and members save 25% off grocery store prices every day. BJ’s is the only membership warehouse club to accept manufacturer’s coupons. And I’ve never had a bad time there!

Did you get a new pet for the holidays? Here's everything you need to know about what to buy to welcome a new puppy or dog to your home! #ad #BJsSmartSaver

My refer-a-friend link invites you to join BJ’s today and earn a $25 gift card! Also, BJ’s offers convenient shopping options including in-Club shopping, BJs.com and the BJ’s mobile app. You can save money and time by filling up your gas tanks at BJ’s Gas® with some of the lowest gas prices around. Make it your one-stop-shopping for your family and family pets!

Did you welcome a new puppy or dog to your home this holiday season?

Did you get a new pet for the holidays? Here's everything you need to know about what to buy to welcome a new puppy or dog to your home! #ad #BJsSmartSaver

Caramelized Bacon Topped Cheesecake Bites

This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc. All comments and opinions are my own.

Caramelized Bacon Topped Cheesecake Bites are delicious and so easy to make. Use our holiday hack to turn a Sara Lee Cheesecake into a party appetizer! #ad

Readers, I am SO excited to share my recipe for Caramelized Bacon Topped Cheesecake Bites.

Not only are they delicious, but they’re easy to make and SUCH a crowd pleaser. You get a little bit of salt from the Wright® Brand Hickory Smoked Bacon as well as the sweet from the sauce. Plus you get an awesome crunch from pecans, and the soft, ooey, gooey awesomeness from the sugar, butter and bacon mixture. The creamy Sara Lee® Cheesecake is perfection. It’s awesome as is, and my holiday hack for you is how to take an already delicious cheesecake, and turn it into a party appetizer with caramelized bacon and pecans. My friends, this recipe has arrived and is ready for your holiday festivities.

With winter here, we had multiple meals and parties to plan in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and after that as well! I consider this a year-round recipe. And just perfect for time with family and friends into the New Year. What I love is how easy it was to head to my local Stop & Shop and pick up all of the goodies for my perfect recipe.

Caramelized Bacon Topped Cheesecake Bites:

What You Need:

Sara Lee® New York Style Cheesecake
Wright® Brand Hickory Smoked Bacon

Bacon Pecan Topping Recipe Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 pieces bacon, chopped

What You Do:

1 – Bake the bacon according to package instructions, and “squish” them on the pan when cooking (photo below). Pan covered in foil – at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-25 minutes. You might need an extra minute or so since the bacon is nice and thick.

2 – Then, add butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla and pecans to a skillet and heat on medium low heat, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved.

3 – Next, when mixture begins to bubble, continue to cook for 1 minute before removing from heat.

4 – Let set for 5 minutes until it’s warm, not hot.

5 – Cut cheesecake into bite size pieces, and spoon topping onto cheesecake. Serve immediately; a little warm. It if happens to “harden,” re-warm it on low on the stove. Serve it right after making, rather than storing in fridge, because you want it to be at its most gorgeous, ooeiest and gooiest before serving. Try to time it just right!

Serve and enjoy!

So like I said, it’s easy to head to your local Ahold store (mine is Stop & Shop) and get these awesome products! Sara Lee® products have been a win for us for generations! They’re located in the freezer section and are made with quality ingredients. Plus, they’re frozen fresh. Sara Lee® products include America’s favorite cheesecake and pound cake! As for Wright® Brand Bacon products, they’re located in the refrigerated aisles. They have thick cut, hand-trimmed and wood smoked bacon. Pure joy! Have you ever made a recipe hack using bacon? It’s been a real hit with us! Just look at THIS!

Caramelized Bacon Topped Cheesecake Bites are delicious and so easy to make. Use our holiday hack to turn a Sara Lee Cheesecake into a party appetizer! #ad

Caramelized Bacon Topped Cheesecake Bites are delicious and so easy to make. Use our holiday hack to turn a Sara Lee Cheesecake into a party appetizer! #ad

What I really love about this recipe is the ease of baking and caramelizing the bacon in that awesome sauce. Then it’s as simple as cutting the cheesecake into neat little squares (bites) and drizzling all the awesome sauce on top.

Caramelized Bacon Topped Cheesecake Bites are delicious and so easy to make. Use our holiday hack to turn a Sara Lee Cheesecake into a party appetizer! #ad

Caramelized Bacon Topped Cheesecake Bites are delicious and so easy to make. Use our holiday hack to turn a Sara Lee Cheesecake into a party appetizer! #ad

Another thing I love is that these are the brands I have known since childhood. Winter is so long in New England, and spring doesn’t really get here until June. That’s a lot of months of hosting and attending potlucks and get-togethers because that’s what keeps us warm all winter and even spring long. I love being able to contribute such gorgeous recipes.

Caramelized Bacon Topped Cheesecake Bites are delicious and so easy to make. Use our holiday hack to turn a Sara Lee Cheesecake into a party appetizer! #ad

Caramelized Bacon Topped Cheesecake Bites are delicious and so easy to make. Use our holiday hack to turn a Sara Lee Cheesecake into a party appetizer! #ad

Check out the Savory Recipe Center for additional “hacks” here!

Do you have any recipes hacks to share?

Caramelized Bacon Topped Cheesecake Bites are delicious and so easy to make. Use our holiday hack to turn a Sara Lee Cheesecake into a party appetizer! #ad