Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Update on Future Pure Shelter Posts

Thanks to everyone who has followed Pure Shelter these past years as it chronicled my reporting for various news outlets including The Wall Street Journal. As of January 2014, I have joined the ranks of Consumer Reports.

In my new role, I will no longer be personally reviewing or testing products - and so will not be updating the content here. I hope some of the content will remain relevant for you and apologies in advance for any broken links or defunct videos!

Consumer Reports is a nonprofit mission-driven organization devoted to creating a fairer, safer, healthier world. I hope you'll check out our content and product reviews at consumerreports.org - or on our YouTube page.

Please note that any reviews or opinions expressed on these pages prior to 2014 do not necessarily reflect those of Consumer Reports and its experts.

Thanks for coming with me on my home improvement journey. Warmly, Wendy

Monday, March 18, 2013

3 Snow Tools that Won't Break You

I owe my Facebook and Twitter friends an apology. I promised that by writing this ode to three of my favorite snow tools after the last winter storm, I had ensured spring's imminent arrival.

Alas, Mother Nature is proving I should stick with my day job and stop making promises only she can deliver.

So, sorry! (The good news: these tools really work.)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Flu Shot for Fido?

Dogs get the flu, too. Symptoms are similar to those felt by humans: a persistent cough, thick nasal discharge and in severe cases, fever and respiratory distress. Dogs primarily catch the virus while in close quarters with other dogs that are coughing and sneezing - though they can also catch it from water bowls, leashes and even their owners' clothing.

Find out whether your dogs are at risk - and whether they are a good candidate for the canine flu vaccine - here in this recent WSJ story.

Photo credit: Gwendolyn Bounds. All rights reserved. No usage without permission.

Monday, December 5, 2011

5 Chef Secrets to Deep-Frying a Turkey


A turkey in 30 minutes. What's not to like about that? Deep-frying - that's the secret. And we got down-and-dirty at WSJ investigating. (I've still got peanut oil on my cowboy boots.) Watch to see June Cleaver's metamorphoses from frustrated housewife to amped up, happy chef.

Plus learn how the experts fry to perfection at Jive Turkey in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Feeling Sticker Shock at the Vet?

The average household in the U.S. spent $655 on routine doctor and surgical visits for dogs last year, up 47% from a decade ago, according to the American Pet Products Association, as we report in this WSJ story.

But more vets offer or participate in third-party discount plans to give pet owners price cuts on treatments or perks, such as unlimited office visits. Check out the story to learn more.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Can't Abide the Pink Flamingo? Try a Bottle Tree

Sales of man-made "bottle trees" are flourishing among homeowners wanting something more interesting in the garden than a birdbath or gnome. Styles vary, but most trees are crafted from steel with branches capped by colorful empty bottles.

Long found on beaches, many today are hand-crafted by people who are into welding and are sold on websites such as thebottletreeman.com and bottletreecreations.com.

You gotta see it to believe it. Check out our WSJ story and slideshow.

Photo by Gwendolyn Bounds. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

People Who Live in Glass Houses - For Real

Forget about a room with a view. Today, homeowners want views from every room.

As large expanses of glass have become architecturally acceptable for modern and traditional homes, new technology is making living in a fishbowl more practical—albeit sometimes challenging.

As we discuss here in WSJ some homeowners are going all out - $300,000 worth of glass. But what does it mean for birds and dirty fingerprints (and where do you hang the art?) Watch and read.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Time to Buckle Up - The Dog, That Is

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

When's the last time you took the dog for a ride in your car? And when's the last time you buckled up - the dog that is?

With more pets traveling in cars, some animal advocates and law enforcement agencies—as part of their campaign against distracted driving—are pushing seat-belt harnesses, car seats and other restraints for dogs. We write about it here in WSJ. Most of the gear still gives dogs some freedom of movement and a view out the window.

About 89% of pets traveling in cars last year weren't secured properly, says Christina Selter, founder of advocacy group Bark Buckle Up who collects national data from police and fire agencies.

Fido can still ride in style though. Check out your options in the video here on Good Morning America. My dog Dolly makes a cameo - and doesn't fall down!