Weekend Recap 9.24.17 Trip to Dallas to Visit My New (Doggie) Nephew and Avoid the Boys

Hi friends!! How are you all?  How is your week going?  Mine is flying by, which is always nice!  Last Thursday after work I headed to the airport to catch a late flight to Dallas for the weekend!  As much as I was excited to visited my sister and her boyfriend and their pups, there was another reason for the timing of my trip.  My husband goes on an annual boys ski trip with a group of 10 or so guys each year.  Well somehow the boys came up with the grand idea to add a summer trip to the mix this year in Nashville…. at our house.  Needless to say.. I needed to get far away from Nashville and hope that my house was still in one piece when I returned. 😉  

Before I left for Dallas, my friend Rachael came over for dinner and some baking for our pups.  We made these homemade dog treats and it made plenty for her to take some home, for my pups, and for me to take some to my sister’s pups.  The pups LOVED these treats.  Peanut butter and bacon grease for the icing.. what is not to love.  I quickly realized I only had a gingerbread man cookie cutter. 🙂

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Friday morning my sister and I had a workout class on the agenda.  We were both eager to try Tread Barre for the first time.  The workout incorporates running on the treadmill, pilates, and strength training.  Ya’ll… it was SO tough!! If you get the chance to try it, I highly recommend it if you are in the mood for a HARD workout.  We were drenched! 

We came home to see the pups!! You guys probably remember Otis, but there is new addition to the family.  My sister and her boyfriend got a puppy named Murphy a couple months ago!  He is the CUTEST! 

In my happy place!! 🙂 

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We made a quick smoothie for breakfast with protein powder, almond milk, ice, strawberries, blueberries and peanut butter.  Murphy is allllll about any and all food!

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I dropped my sister off for a quick meeting at her law school while I headed to an appointment.  Afterwards we grabbed lunch at Eatzi’s. After lunch we headed to a couple local stores for some shopping!  I actually got a new dress, sweater, and a necklace so it was a success!

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After lunch we took the pups on a walk to the dog park so they could run off some energy.  

 On Friday night we had plans at a new Asian restaurant with some friends. We got all dolled up and headed out! 

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I got a rice bowl with lots of veggies and an egg on top!  It was delicious! 

Me with my two Dallas favorites!  

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Saturday morning after we took the dogs on a quick walk, we had plans to rent bikes to ride downtown to the farmers market!  Lime Bike is in several cities and it is such a neat concept.  You just download the app and are able to see where a bike is located around the city.  Once you locate the bike you scan it with your phone to unlock it and then you are off!  

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We headed downtown on this beautiful day!

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We biked around 3 miles to the Farmers Market and spent time walking around the indoor and outdoor sections of the market.  

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My sister and I both bought cute Dallas tank tops and my sister’s boyfriend bought a candle. 🙂

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Loved seeing all the pumpkins on display!!

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And I rode the tractor… thankfully it was a stationary one! 😉

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After a while of wandering around, we walked to the nearby restaurant called Mudhen for lunch.  My sister and I shared some blood orange mimosas and I got the market salad, which was soo yummy!

After lunch we walked to the plants/pumpkins section of the market.  

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These pumpkins were massive!!

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Then it was time to open up the Lime Bike app and find some nearby bikes.  Unlike other bike rental companies where you go to the nearest bike station, Lime Bikes can be left ANYWHERE in the city.  It is such a cool concept!   We found one at the market and walked less than a block to find two more for our ride home.  (In my mind I was prepared to take an Uber if there were no bikes around us… but there were TONS in the city so it was not an issue at all.)

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My sister dared me to take this picture… I think I fit in quite nicely. 😉

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After our biking adventure we took the dogs to the dog park for a bit then my sister made us a delicious dinner of grilled salmon and asparagus, roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes and quinoa!  Bring on allllll the veggies! It was soo tasty!

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After dinner my sister and I had plans to stop by our friend Shelby’s for a little engagement party for their friend Ann.  

We had a drink and chatted all things weddings with the girls.  

These two girls definitely make me miss living in Dallas!

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I had such a fun time with my sister in Dallas all weekend.  I sure miss living 10 minutes away from her, but it is fun to have a great excuse to visit Dallas often!  

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That wraps up my amazing weekend in Dallas!! I hope you guys have a great rest of your week!! 

Questions:

  1. What was the highlight of your weekend?
  2. If you have siblings, how often do you see them?
  3. Do you have any nieces or nephews (human ones not doggie ones :))?

Weekend Recap 5.23.16… Rachael visits & a day full of doggies

Good morning!  How was your weekend?  Too short as always?  I could have used an extra day, but hey, this week is a short one for me because we are heading to the lake for a family reunion over the long weekend.  

Let’s back up to Friday.  My best friend, Rachael, came into town really late on Thursday night.  Friday morning I headed to the gym bright and early then came home to get ready for brunch with my sister and the pups.  We went to a new restaurant called Eureka and sat on the patio.  

These two prefer their mommas’ laps.  🙂

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We ordered some cocktails to start along with roasted brussel sprouts, which were to die for! I got the kale salad and the other girls got the tacos and we all loved our dishes! 

After brunch, we headed to Mutts, a local dog park with a bar attached to it.  (Such a great concept!)  The pups ran and ran and ran.  My friend Rachael even brought her pup to Dallas for the weekend (she is my best friend from high school in Nashville where I grew up).  As you can see, Riley is in his happy place… chewing on a stick (his favorite).  

And just in case the pups hadn’t had enough activity already, we headed to the Katy Trail Ice House to enjoy the beautiful weather for the afternoon.  There were lots of doggies there and great people watching. 🙂

With my favorite girlies! 

This little girl came up to us and just started chatting away.  She loved all 4 pups we had with us.  She asked if she could walk Riley and just walked him around the picnic tables and sat with him until she had to leave.  When she was about to leave she asked if I had a penny.  I said, “sure, but why do you need a penny?”  She said, “so I can buy a puppy.” I said, “what puppy do you want to buy?” And she said, “THAT one” and pointed to Riley.  I said “that is so sweet, but you cannot buy my puppy! LOL”  Kids are the cutest!! 

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We hung out for a few hours before heading to my sister’s apartment to hang out on their rooftop patio.  Ahh life is good! 

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The pups finally started to get a little tired. 😉

Callie loves Rachael and loves to give her lots of kisses!

I’m the favorite…. because I have the treats! 

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This post is getting a little long so I will finish up the weekend recap in tomorrow’s post!  Have a great week! 

Questions

  1. What did you do this weekend?
  2. Do you have any plans for Memorial Day weekend?
  3. Is your dog (s) a fan of the dog park? 

 

Weekend Recap 4.12.16 and 7 years!

Hi ya’ll!  Happy Tuesday!  I hope your week is off to a good start!  Mine started on quite a yucky note when I started feeling sick on Sunday afternoon and was up sick all Sunday night and still felt icky yesterday.  I am on the mend and slowly starting to feel better so let’s just hope this passes quickly! 

Since I was out of commission yesterday, I will recap my weekend today!  

Well for starters, I lightened my hair last week.  I usually dye it about twice a year, but it has been probably 2 years since I last dyed it.  Yes, I do it myself.  I am way too cheap to get it done professionally and I don’t have the time to keep it up.  I use Revlon Frost and Glow for medium to dark hair.  I follow Jessie James Decker’s youtube video on how to do at-home highlights.  It is so simple and so cheap and since it is the balayage look, you can go for months without doing it again.   

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Saturday afternoon we had plans to deep clean our boat to get it ready for the season!!  I got stuck with all the dirty work. 😉 This made us both super excited for warm weather!!  We are hoping to sneak in a little lake time next weekend with some family that is coming in town!

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My hubs got me a treat for being such a good helper. 😉

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This boy has been giving me lots of cuddles to help me feel better.  He always knows when I need a little extra lovin! 

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These two… always up to no good. 🙂

We had lots of doggies at our house this weekend, which is always fun… and crazy!  Lots of dog park fun! 

And nap time at home!

I just had to show you guys this beautiful sunrise I caught at work last week!  So hard to get up to early, but pretty amazing to see views like this.

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Saturday night my husband and I had plans for a fun date night to celebrate his upcoming birthday and our 7th (!!!) dating anniversary!  The pups were not thrilled about us leaving…

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My husband said that once you are married, you don’t celebrate your dating anniversary anymore… I told him he didn’t have to buy me any diamonds so then he happily agreed to date night. 😉  We went to Vickery Park for a drink before our dinner reservations.

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We went to Hibiscus for dinner.  We have been once before and it was delicious.  My mother-in-law got us a gift card for Christmas so we decided this was the perfect occasion to use it!  Our waitress asked if we were celebrating anything and we told her it was my husband’s birthday and our anniversary and she brought us champagne to toast!  It was such a nice treat! 

We ordered a couple more drinks and got the mussels (it was a special of the night) for an appetizer.  Soo good! 

For our entrees, I got the sea scallops and my husband got the pork. 

Our waitress asked if we wanted dessert, but we both declined because we were so full.  And then she brought this out…  

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We had such a fun night out together and I can’t believe this guy has put up with me for 7 years!  I’m a lucky girl. 🙂 

Questions:

  1. Are you in a relationship? How long have you been together?
  2. If you are married, do you still celebrate your dating anniversary?
  3. What is your idea of the perfect date night?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Cupping Therapy

Good morning and happy St. Patrick’s Day!!  How are you all doing?  Are you wearing green today?  I should have had my usual green smoothie to celebrate this morning, but instead I had a big bowl of dark chocolate overnight oats and they were just what I needed to refuel after an early morning Body Pump class.  It was a tough one! 

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This cutie is staying with us right now.  His name is Bennett and he is a mini Australian Shepherd.  Oh the cuteness! He just wants to cuddle all day. 

Tuesday night we went to Dallas Beer Kitchen for Trivia Night.  We had a team of 5 and it was really fun.  I can’t say I was much help to our team, but I enjoying trying. 😉 

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I have been loving oatmeal and fruit this week.  I bought one of the best pineapples I have ever had.  Love when that happens! 

Our pups were so worn out from the weekend.  They have been sleeping a lot this week. 🙂

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DISCLAIMER: Do not be alarmed by the below picture!!  

You may remember that I have been dealing with Chronic Back Pain for 2 years now.  It started when I was in graduate school and it just never went away.  I have had MRIs, Xrays, acupuncture, massages, physical therapy, worked with a few chiropractors, done 3 types of injections, and currently seen a pain management specialist.  Nothing has given me long term relief from the pain.  It has been pretty frustrating to deal with this, but I am on a medication now that is allowing me to live a pretty comfortable life without extreme pain (I am still in pain at about a level 5 on a 10 scale every single day).  

Have you guys ever heard of Cupping Therapy?  It is a form of alternative medicine, which uses cups that are placed on the skin to create suction.  Cupping is believed to increase blood flow to promote healing of many types of ailments (skin, migraines, depression, blood disorders, fertility issues, muscle pain and inflammation).  It is a type of detoxification so it is important to drink plenty of water throughout the following days.  I decided to give it a try yesterday as I don’t have much to lose.  The actual process started with a mini massage then the cups.  My therapist used two different types of cups on my back.  She did my entire back but focused mainly on my left side (the side where my pain is located).  It felt a little weird at first, but then I actually started to enjoy it.  She moved the cups around a lot for probably 30 minutes then let them sit for about 10 minutes.  The process was very relaxing and I left with a lot less pain than I came with so that is always a plus.  The darker the circles, the less blood circulation you have in those areas (from what I understood).  The marks can last from 5-7 days.  I am a little sore from it today, but overall I am still feeling pretty good.  I think I am going to try to do cupping once every week or two weeks to see if I can get any long term healing from it.  I will keep you guys updated throughout my journey! 

I made sure not to wear a tank top to the gym this morning so I wouldn’t scare anyone. 😉

 

Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!! If you are celebrating, have fun and be safe!!

Questions: 

  1. Are you wearing green today?
  2. Have you ever played bar trivia?
  3. Have you ever tried cupping therapy?

Red Rover Red Rover, Let All the Dogs Come Over

Good morning guys!  I hope your Tuesday is off to a good start!  It is pretty gloomy with a lot of rain in the forecast here so I will be spending my time inside and staying nice and dry. 

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I have received a lot of questions about why we always have so many dogs at our house.  My husband and I only have two dogs, Riley and Callie, but we always seem to have a full house (have you guys been watching Fuller House on netflix?) of pups at all times.  While we wish we could have 10 dogs of our own (yes, we are those people), our house right now is not fitting to accommodate that many. 🙂  But, don’t worry, we have found the perfect solution for our desire to have many dogs around at all times.  (Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely adore our two pups, but one is scared of everything, including toys, and the other can usually be found sleeping underneath our bed ignoring us when we call him to go out).  While we love our low energy dogs, sometimes we just want to play with pups who actually play fetch and enjoy the dog park.  (Our pups don’t hate the dog park, but they don’t do much interacting or playing either).  

Mom, please don’t interupt our nap time.  It is very important to us.  

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So this is where Rover comes into play.  Have you guys ever heard of/used this site?  I had never heard of Rover before I moved to Dallas.  We usually take Riley (the small, white furball) with us on trips, but Callie is too big to fly on an airplane (and way too scared) so we have leave her in good hands when we go out of town.  While my sister and her boyfriend usually watch Callie (or both dogs), once in a while, they go out of town with us so we have to find another sitter for Callie.  With Callie being so timid, she does much better in a home environment versus a kennel and I feel better about leaving her with a sitter too.  

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We first started using Rover to find a sitter for Callie (we found an amazing girl who watches her) before we ever thought about dog sitting.  We loved the concept so much that my husband urged me to make a profile and start dog sitting in my spare time.  I finally agreed and I am so happy I did.  My husband works from home and I work early part time hours so we have a lot of flexibility in our schedules, which is really great for dog sitting (owners can drop off their dogs anytime, dogs get a lot of walks/potty breaks, and the dogs are never left alone for long periods of time).  Why not watch sweet pups while making some extra money too? It’s a win win in my eyes! 

Today I thought I would give you some insight into how to start the process of becoming a dog sitter and the ways to increase your incoming requests.  

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First, you start by making a profile with a tag line.  It doesn’t have to be something crazy, just something that will catch peoples’ eyes.  Mine is “Lover of all dogs, big or small!”  It is important to put photos on your profile so people know you are who you say you are.  And since this is a dog sitting site, I think it is important to include pictures of you with your dogs or any dog.

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Next, you can set your preferences.  For example, I said no aggressive dogs, must be potty trained, no females in heat, must be spayed or neutered, and I will take dogs who weigh up to 100lbs.  At this point, you also set what services you wish to offer (dog sitting in your house, dog sitting in the owner’s house, dog walking, doggy day care just for the day).

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You can also add additional details such as: experience with senior dogs, experience administering medication, fenced yard, etc. 

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Even if you do not plan on using Rover to find a sitter for your own dogs, it is important to create a profile for each of them so clients can see what types of dogs you have that will be interacting with their dog.  

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Set your price.  Rover gives you a good starting point of where to set your rate based on others in your area.  You can always increase it once you gain clients.  You can also charge more for puppies, give a discount for sibling dogs, and increase your rate for holiday weekends.  Rover takes 15% of your total for each dog stay so keep that in mind when setting your rate.  My rate for dog sitting at my house is currently $25/night.  This is the price Rover recommeded I start at when I started dog sitting back in November.  I will probably raise it soon as I currently get more requests than I can accept.  (My husband said I wasn’t allowed to watch 8 labs during one weekend). 😉  All jokes aside, it is important to know how many you can handle at once and not take on more that you can chew.  If my husband is home, we will take 3 (sometimes 4) dogs plus our 2 pups.  Dogs are insured through Rover (you can purchase extra insurance, which I did, but I don’t think it makes sense) and you can call the staff 24/7 if you have a problem.  

Keep your calendar up to date.  This is so important.  Some people book 2 days before a trip, but some people are planners and book 2 months in advance so it is important to stay on top of your calendar (a few months out) to accommodate everyone.

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 You can block out days or weeks of your calendar that you are unavailable (when we are out of town, have visitors in town, or just need a doggy break).

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ALWAYS set up a meet and greet with new clients.  Rover recommends meeting new owners and their dogs before a stay and to do it in a common area so the dogs are not threatened.  I always have the meet and greet at my house (outside) in case the owner really wants to see my house where their dog will be staying.  I take the time to answer any questions the owner may have while our dogs get to know each other and I assure the owner that their pup is in good hands.  

 

Send pictures and updates.  Lots of them.  When you sign up for Rover (as an owner or a sitter) with your cellphone, Rover gives you a “fake” number so no one will ever have your real number, but the owner can still call/text you and it comes through to your phone.  Sending pictures and updates throughout the stay allows the owner to feel more comfortable and not worry so much while they are away.  The pictures are also saved to your Rover profile so you are able to see all the pictures of the pups you have watched.  

Reviews matter.  Good reviews, lots of pictures, and repeat clients will boost you in the search rankings.  You can definitely ask for reviews (I personally don’t, but probably should) if you would like.  Most times when I get a request, people mention that they saw my very positive reviews on the site and that is why they chose me.  They also mention that they live near me (Rover shares your general neighborhood, but not your address) so it is very convenient.  

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How do I get paid?  Rover allows you to withdraw money from your account via paypal or check.  I always do it through paypal and then withdrawl the paypal money to my bank account (paypal only lets you withdrawl $500/month, FYI).  When a dog stay is complete, the funds will be deposited into your Rover account 48 hours after the dog leaves.  (The owner pays upfront and Rover holds the money until it is released to you).  

How much money do I make dog sitting?  This is kinda tricky to answer because some months I have a dog/s at my house every day including the weekdays and weekends, but some months I travel more/have more visitors and don’t watch as many pups.  I would say on average right now, I am making (after Rover takes their 15%) between $800-$900 per month dog sitting.  It really is great to have extra spending money for what my husband calls “the stupid little stuff we want to buy” like boat toys, home projects, new speakers, alcohol, dinner out, and more.  

Overall, Rover has been a very positive experience for me and my family.  Yes, their have been accidents (thankfully no dog fights), broken/chewed furniture and picture frames, but that is the price you pay when you are a dog sitter!  (We now roll up our 2 big rugs on the main floor each time we watch a dog and we put up gates so they cannot go on our carpet.  We have managed to keep our house pretty clean with lots of vacuuming and mopping so I’d say it is working out just fine!  

Please let me know if you have any more questions about our dog sitting experience!

Questions:

  1. Do you have a dog/s?
  2. Have you ever been a dog sitter?
  3. Do you have a side job that brings in extra money? 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Recap 3.7.16

Good Morning!!! How was your weekend?  My weekend was really great with lots of relaxation, puppies, and yummy food!  So let’s get right to it, shall we?

So this happened… these are 3 different doggies.  Simmonds, Benjie, and Scotch.  My husband and I LOVE labs.. they are just the sweetest dogs.  

As you may have read on my post from Saturday, Friday night was spent binge watching the new season of House of Cards.  We decided to keep dinner really simple and just throw some salmon and veggies on the grill with a simple salad.  It did the job! 

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Saturday morning started bright and early with a body pump class and some green smoothies! 

And this sweet pup got a haircut.  As did her brother.  Less shedding = yes!!!

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Saturday we packed a lunch and headed out to our boat with our pups.  The weather was so beautiful in the low 80s. 

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We cruised around then rested in the sunshine!  My idea of a perfect day!

 

I resisted a sugary beverage in exchange for my green juice! 

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My hubby took this snapchat.  It is pretty amazing to be on the lake in March! 

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Saturday night, my husband and I went out to dinner at Origin Kitchen and Bar.  We started with some beverages.

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I got the Warm Brussel Salad with salmon and my husband got the Bison Burger and we both raved about our meals.  I really want to try to recreate this salad at home.  It was unbelievable.  

After dinner we headed to a local bar – High Fives – to grab one more drink.  We enjoyed our drinks outside by the fire pit and it was so nice to just relax with my husband.  

Sunday started with a big green smoothie and coffee ofcourse! 

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We took a long walk with the pups to tire them out.  My sister and her boyfriend came over and we grabbed salads from Crisp to eat on our rooftop while the pups played.  Clearly the long walk did not make them tired… 

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Dinner Sunday night consisted of a big salad and spiralized zucchini and carrots with pesto. A random, but tasty combination! 

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Last night my hubby and I were craving a sweet treat so we headed out for some froyo.  I got peanut butter and vanilla (I ALWAYS pick chocolate over vanilla so this craving was strange!) with shredded coconut and non dairy dark chocolate chunks on top!  It hit the spot! 

We came home to see this scene. Simmonds was not thrilled that Rhodes wanted to share the bed.  

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And to balance out the sweets and alcoholic beverages this weekend, I started my Monday morning with none other than a BIG green smoothie. 😉 

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That about wraps up our weekend!!  Let’s hope this week flies by because we’ve got a visitor coming to town later this week and we can’t wait!  Have a great week everyone!

Questions:

  1. What did you do this weekend?
  2. Chocolate or vanilla?
  3. Coffee or tea? 

Saturday Rambles

Happy Saturday guys!  How is your weekend going so far?  Ours is off to a good start as we spent our Friday night binge watching the new season of House of Cards!

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Wednesday afternoon I was dreading my run, but knew I’d feel so much better if I just did it.  I told myself I only had to run 3 miles, but thankfully, when I got going, I got into a groove and just kept going.  Sometimes my OCD/perfectionist mind comes in handy and I made it to 5 miles versus stopping at 4.  (I don’t know why, but it is hard for me to stop at 4.  I like 3 or 5 better… I know, I am weird.) 

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This beauty has been on repeat in my house this whole week.  Spinach, flaxseed, banana, coconut water, and frozen mango.  Can’t get enough.  

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We are watching the sweetest pup right now.  Her name is Scotch and she is 14 years old (!!!) but doing so well!  She is just a darling.  

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And completely unrelated to Scotch, this is Simmonds.  Simmonds is 5 and is the cutest thing ever.  He just loves some lovin’.  

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Finally pulled out my juicer this week.  I absolutely love fresh juice, but hate the prep of washing the veggies, cutting them and then there is the cleanup… that is the real pain.   Each time I do use my juicer, I make sure to make a lot!  This one included: carrots, ginger, lemon, apple, and orange.  It was delicious!  I also made another one with kale, cucumber, ginger, lemon, and oranges.  

I could eat this salad for lunch every day!  It had kale, romaine, almonds, craisins, strawberries, veggie burger and avocado.  Hit the spot! 

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That’s all I’ve got for today!  I am off to a body pump class and then we are hoping to take a little cruise on our boat because the weather is SO nice today!  Enjoy your Saturday! 

Questions: 

  1. What is your favorite juice recipe?
  2. Do you like fruit on your salads?
  3. Do you watch House of Cards?