Tag Archives: dogs

Harley’s 5th Birthday & Tales of Puppyhood

Last weekend marked a special occasion in my house: my forever puppy turned FIVE!

Harleys 5th bday-2

Every year I get Harley a huge treat to celebrate the occasion. My hubby and I had a chance to take her to the dog beach on Saturday, where she was her usual happy self greeting every man, woman, child, and puppy with a ton of enthusiasm.

Harleys 5th bday-1

Harleys 5th bday-6

I grew up in a household where pets are considered family members, and when I rescued Harley, that couldn’t have become the case more quickly. She stole my heart right from the start as the very first dog that A and I are the “pawrents” of together.

Harley's homecoming

Harley's homecoming-2

Photos from the day that we adopted Harley

While she is such an awesome dog to have today, for awhile at the beginning she was quite the little troublemaker pup. I thought that in honor of her birthday, I’d share a few stories of how naughty Harley could be as a puppy!

Harley then and now collage

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Week 3 Workout Recap: Excited to Get Back Outdoors!

Hi there! How was your weekend?

I’m back home in Cali, and spent most of the weekend recovering from my travels (hey jet lag!), getting settled back in, and spending time with my Harley girl.


3 weeks without my canine sidekick felt like awhile, and I definitely missed her a lot. My Marine has been away for training and came home last night, soYAY for being reunited with him after a couple of weeks apart!

Let’s rewind back to last week for my last recap of my workouts while I was visiting loved ones in New Jersey. I definitely have not been as active as I usually am in my normal life at home, but I kept up with daily workouts whenever I could fit them in.

Week 3 HRM

I worked out Sunday with my mom. We did a 30 minute Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Inferno workout + 30 minutes of Ripped in 30 Week 1. It was my first time doing Week 1 of the DVD, and it’s definitely still a great workout! Monday I did a 45 minute HIIT workout via FitnessGlo, plus I walked this cutie for 20 minutes:

Jada playing

Every time I try to workout in my parents’ living room, she rolls around on the ground practically on top of me (pictured above!) and gets all of her toys out trying to play.

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Currently Loving | Thanksgiving Edition

Hi friends!

Are my American readers excited for Thanksgiving? I have some fun plans lined up and am very much looking forward to them! And a 4-day weekend?! Weeeee! I have a few things on my to-do list, including studying for and taking my final exam for my nutrition school and painting my backyard fence with my hubby, and I’m definitely happy that I don’t have to cram things into 2 days. Instead I have 4 glorious days to both relax & enjoy life and be productive!

Give Thanks quote

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and acknowledging the things big and small that we’re grateful for, today I’m doing a post about stuff I’m currently loving. Let’s get to it:

pumpkin pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes – Naturally I’m starting off with food! Autumn is the time for all things pumpkin, and lately I’ve been into pumpkin pancakes – mostly with chocolate chips. Pumpkin & chocolate is such a heavenly combo.

Sirius Pop 2K – When I got my new car last month, it came with free Sirius XM radio for awhile, and I am obsessed with this one station called Pop 2K. They continuously play all of the top hits from 2000-2010, and in my opinion it’s nothing short of amazing. The music goes from Jay-Z and Ludacris to old school Christina Aguilera and Fall Out Boy. I jam out every time I’m in the car, and whenever my hubby is with me, I’m pretty sure he wants to kill me for knowing every.single.word to every rap song made in that decade. It’s a hidden talent of mine really!

Candy Cane tea

TJ’s Candy Cane Tea – In a word, this tea is awesome. It’s perfect for when you’re craving a little something sweet but aren’t actually hungry at all.

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Friday Random Ramblings

Hello friends!

I thought I’d keep it light on this lovely Friday and entertain you guys with some random thoughts… so here we go!

Plane route

1.) Today I’m flying to the east coast to see my family and friends. My hubby’s cousin is getting married in a few weeks, so we were planning on heading out to attend that, and then I decided to go back earlier to stay at my parents’ for awhile and spend time with everyone. I’m pretty excited!


2.) Harley makes me laugh pretty much every day. The other night I was in the kitchen doing something, and I looked up to see her walking across the floor to get a drink of water with her blanket completely wrapped over her. Sometimes she rolls around and gets all snuggled in it, and it totally reminds me of a person with a Snuggie on or something. On her way back to go plop on my living room floor, I was trying to get her attention to snap a picture, and she looked at me like, “What’s so funny lady?” If she could talk, I’m pretty confident she’d be one sassy biatch.

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Hug Your Pooch, it’s National Dog Day!

Hey friends!

So, I wasn’t planning on blogging today, but here I am chatting with you because I found out….


It’s National Dog Day! 

I know that there are lots of random, silly holidays on every day of the year, but truth be told, I think some of them are fun because 1.) I love any excuse to celebrate, and 2.) I enjoy acknowledging days designated to something near and dear to my heart. And pretty much everyone that knows me knows that I’m obsessed with dogs, especially my own pooch!

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Awesomeness in August

Happy August everyone!

Crane cab

I wrapped up my July with an evening at the beach, followed by the drinking of a bottle of Crane Family Vineyard’s 2011 cabernet sauvignon. I’ve heard a lot about how the vintage was a really rough one for Napa Valley winemakers because of some harsh weather, but Crane Family Vineyards did not disappoint. Ever since I visited the winery last year, I love their wine and buy it for special occasions — this one being my hubby turning 28.

It was a great way to end July, and I’m excited for the month of August! Here are some things I’m looking forward to this month:

  • My birthday – I’ll be celebrating 27 years on this beautiful planet next week on the 6th!
Hot air balloon riding on my birthday in 2011

Hot air balloon riding on my birthday in 2011

Fact: August is a big birthday month for my family, with my cousin born on the same day 10 years later, as well as another cousin, my uncle, and my sister-in-law all born within 10 days of me. YAY for August babies!!

  • A big household change – Today marked the last day of my hubby’s corporate job, and he’s officially a business owner! He’ll be running a mobile oil change service. It has been months in the making, and I’m excited and anxious to see how the start of the business goes. We both have entrepreneurial dreams and aspirations, and when he talked about this business idea, I told him to go for it! If it’s successful, that’d be amazing. If not, I’m confident that it’ll be a big learning experience. What’s life without risk right?!

  • Blogfest & IDEA World – I mentioned this not too long ago, but I’ll be attending my first fitness conference in less than 2 weeks! I’ll get to do tons of networking, workouts, health coaching and blogging sessions, and I’m definitely getting excited for it all.
  • Family visiting – My mother-in-law will be flying out from the east coast to spend a bunch of days at my house this month, and I’m looking forward to seeing her. I enjoy having guests to enjoy my area with, and it’s even more fun now that we own a house to show everyone!

spa relaxation

  • Pampering – This ties into my birthday, because usually on that day I treat myself to some “me” time where I go shopping, get a massage, walk around town eating gelato, or whatever my heart desires. This year, I decided to do an afternoon of pampering at a rejuvenation facility, where I’ll be getting a facial, massage, pedicure, as well as some other treatments that I’ve never done before. It should be interesting, and I’m hoping that it’s super relaxing! I also bought a deal to try accupressure for the first time, which I have an appointment for on one of the last days of the month. I work my body through lots of exercise stress and running around, and I love to get pampered as a treat!
  • Football – If you read my blog at all last fall/winter, you know that I love football! Technically the NFL season doesn’t officially start until the beginning of September, but the pre-season hoopla begins in just a few days. I love the NY Giants, and have a satellite package where I get to see every single game. Hopefully their season will be better than the last one! Plus, for the third season, I’ll be playing in my co-worker’s NFL Fantasy league, which pretty much consists of him, his friends, and me. It’s pretty funny, and I enjoy it!

Giants bandana

Harley likes to get in the football spirit by wearing Giants bandanas and playing with her football toy….I kid. She looks totally miserable in this picture and tries to eat the bandana off every time I put it on her!

Well, I’m off to kick my weekend off by hitting the trails at my current favorite hiking area with that bandana hating dingo of mine!

What are you looking forward to this month? Who else is an August baby? 

Memorial Day Weekend Snapshots

Hi friends! I hope that all of you had a great weekend. To all of my American readers, I hope that had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and in the midst of your wonderful weekend, that you took the time to honor and remember all of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. 

In honor of the holiday, I wanted to share a link for a memorial fund for a Marine Corps family. Captain Nannen died in a plane crash in March, and the fund is to raise money for his wife and four young children. Feel free to check it out here to find out more.

American Flags, Lubbock, Texas, TX(source)

Weekend Recap

I kicked off my weekend around lots of Marines, as my hubby and I went to a reunion for the first squadron my Marine was in. We all met up for a Padres game in downtown San Diego and hung out at a bar afterwards. It was so much fun to catch up with wives that I’ve gone through deployments with. I totally failed to capture any people photos during the night but did snap one quick pic of the game.

Padres game

After living amongst lots of boxes all of last week, I was so happy to have a long weekend to get some unpacking and organizing done in my new house! This is what I’m most proud of in the house…

Wine Wall

…an entire wall in my kitchen for glasses and wine decor! I think there are 70 something wine glasses on that wall, plus some beer glasses and somewhere around 50 shot glasses, as I used to collect those in college. It’s quite a masterpiece, no?

Over the weekend I discovered a new favorite way to get my schoolwork done: on the beach. Getting my learning on with my feet in the sand and the waves crashing in front of me — not too bad right? I think I may listen to some lectures there every week!

iPad Beach

I also had some time in the sand with my beach bunny puppy, who I think was very happy to be back at the dog beach after a 15-month hiatus while we lived in the Bay Area.

Harley beach

Food-wise, I’m starting to get into the swing of things in my new kitchen. When I was traveling and moving, cooking that required more than a few minutes of work kind of got pushed to the side, so I’m happy to be able to devote more time to making dinner again! My first weekend dinner creation in our new home was rigatoni with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella with a light sauce of olive oil, balsamic and fresh lemon juice and crusty bread on the side:

Caprese pasta-1

Caprese pasta-2

YAY for carbs!

Over the weekend, I ate plenty of my new favorite nut butter:

Cinnamon Raisin PB

You guys, Peanut Butter & Co Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter = heaven! I’ve been enjoying it with fruit, and below I topped a bowl of chopped apple, banana & Kashi cinnamon crumble cereal with some.

PB Fruit Bowl

My hubby and I also went on our first fro yo adventure in this town. While the fro yo we found was delicious, unfortunately it wasn’t DIY, and as you can see, their regular size is quite a hefty portion:

Fro yo

I ate about half and called it quits — giving some to my hubby, a bit to my dog, and the rest to the garbage. I guess next time I’ll have to either find a place I can make a nice little cup myself or order their mini size. Very yummy though!

We also found our first hiking spot in the area. It’s only a few minutes from the house, and there’s a trail around a lake that takes a little under an hour — perfect for a low-key lunchtime hike!

OC Hike-1

One scary moment of the hike was almost stepping on this guy:


Yikes!! Harley didn’t even notice it until we stopped dead in our tracks and waited for it to slither by us. The thought of one of us getting bit by a rattlesnake is pretty terrifying… though certainly not enough to keep me off the trails!

I’ll leave you with a shot of Harley in her new favorite spot in the backyard…


I love that she has space to be outside in the fresh air now all day long if she wants!

Questions: Have you ever tried cinnamon raisin swirl peanut butter? Do you enjoy going to baseball games? Does anyone out there have as many wine glasses as me?? 

Random Weekend Ramblings

Hello friends! Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend.

I’m in a random kind of mood, so I’m going to share some rambling thoughts and recent happenings in my life with you tonight. Sound good? Let’s get started!

FitFluential Is Fitness Found
I’ve been meaning to mention this, but recently I became a FitFluential Ambassador! For anyone not familiar with FitFluential, it’s an awesome community of influential fitness enthusiasts, and was designed to connect health and wellness brands with their ideal target market through customized marketing campaigns. I applied to be a brand ambassador for them not long after I began blogging and wasn’t accepted, and last year I decided to apply again. Second time’s a charm! 🙂

green juice

I’ve been a juicing maniac lately. Between putting my juicer to work at home and picking up Evolution juices in my hotel every morning in Vegas, there have been lots of green monsters in my life and I’m loving it!

yoga room

Last week while flying Virgin America (which I pretty much never do), I discovered that its terminal at the airport in San Fran has a yoga room. How awesome right? I had woken up so early to get to the airport, got through security, and then BOOM, I spotted a yoga room! I obviously spent the half an hour I had before my flight boarded to stretch and do some light yoga in it. It was awesome to do right before a flight and amongst the business of traveling. I vote for a yoga room in every terminal of every airport!


Ginger tofu with spicy veggies & rice

I went out with my co-workers to hibachi for the first time in quite awhile last week. It made me realize that I’m a big fan of it and I need to go again very soon for a date night!

Confession: I think my obsession withThe Following and all reality murder mystery shows on television is messing with my head friends. When I came home from the airport at 11:30 PM a few nights ago, my hubby hadn’t been answering his phone for a few hours. His car was in the garage, my dog was home, and he wasn’t sleeping, so I immediately assumed that he had been kidnapped or was hidden in a closet tied up with rope and duck tape. I wish I was kidding! I walked around with my taser opening doors and freaking out until he walked in the door from having dinner at a neighbor’s house — which, in my defense, he has never done before. Whew, close one!


The view from my mountain biking excursion

I was quite the outdoorsy exerciser this weekend. On Saturday I went mountain biking, and today I went for an awesome hike at a new spot called Pinnacles National Park (recap to come later this week!).

Speaking of exercise, I’m currently on a hiatus from upper body workouts. Recently I tweaked my shoulder by reaching backwards awkwardly to plug in my iPad. With all of the exercising I do, I hurt myself plugging in a cord?! This may be a sign that I’m getting old. After some rest and a massage, I thought it had gone away, but a few days ago I woke up in a lot of pain and unable to move my arm over my head without wincing. It feels a little better now, but I’ll be forgoing any upper body strength training or rowing until it’s feeling a-okay. A massage may need to happen this week to help iron it out!


In case you were wondering, my long-standing pancake obsession has not ceased in the least bit. Both this morning and yesterday I made oatmeal banana pancakes and topped them with fresh strawberries and Just Great Stuff powdered chocolate peanut butter. So yummy and healthy!

Harley playtime

And lastly, I’ll leave you with a picture of Harley during our afternoon playtime session a couple of days ago, just because she’s so damn cute.

Have you ever injured yourself doing something silly?

What are you obsessed with for breakfast?

Am I the only one who is warped in the head from watching too much Dateline and the I.D. Channel? 

Harley Turns Three

This weekend there was a birthday in my household….


Wearing her Christmas bow earlier today

…my canine child!

Harley was born today — or at least approximately around this date. We aren’t exactly sure since we rescued her as a puppy after her litter and their mom were found on the street. In any event, my little pup is now 3 years old.

Back then:




About a year and a half ago, I wrote one of my favorite posts, titled A Year with Harley: Life Lessons from My Dog. In honor of her birthday, I’m adding 3 new things to the list of lessons that Harley has taught me.


Snoozing with her ball close by

  • #1 – Never forget something interesting

I’ve heard that the average dog has the intelligence level of a 2-year old child. One commonality I’ve noticed between toddlers and dogs is that they can be relentless when they’ve noticed something interesting and want to find out more. For kids, it can mean pushing the buttons on the DVD player or grabbing a glass off a table. For Harley, it usually has something to do with other animals.

Harley-11 One time while hiking at a park, I let her off the leash to grab water out of my backpack, and she darted at, and caught, a squirrel. It squeaked, which I think freaked Harley out, so she immediately let go. However, every time we a.) see a squirrel anywhere, or b.) pass that hiking spot, she frantically tries to find a way to have a second chance at catching a squirrel. Another instance is the time she found a skunk in a sewage grate in our neighborhood. I obviously pulled her away from the animal, but every single time we pass not only that grate, but any grate anywhere, Harley is sure to double check for strange creatures hanging out.

Moral of the story: Remember things that intrigue you. I’m constantly jotting down notes or using my iPhone’s notepad to write down random tidbits I don’t want to forget.


  • #2 –  A short, intense workout is just as effective as a long, lower-impact one

Sometimes Harley and I can walk for an hour, and she’ll still be pulling on the leash and bouncing with excitement. In contrast, when I let her run around outside, she’ll sprint like a maniac for a couple of minutes, immediately tiring herself out and plopping down in the grass content with life. The lesson here is that a shorter workout can be just as, if not more, effective than a longer one. So if you’ve got just 15 minutes to exercise today, make sure to turn up the intensity and get the best bang for your buck!


  • #3 – Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened

Us humans tend to be sad when good things end – say, a vacation or a weekend – rather than happy that it happened and was awesome. Harley simply basks in the happiness of it all — whether we’ve just left the house for a walk, or are walking back up my sidewalk at the end of it.

So live in the moment. Enjoy things while they’re happening, and when they’re over, be happy that you got to experience it.


 While Harley has grown up a lot since my first post on lessons that she has taught me, I think that she’ll always have her nutty moments that keep me both laughing and shaking my head.


Harley’s face stuck in an empty ice cream container

Two “Harley” moments from the past week:

– Last Friday I let her off the leash to do a few laps in my front yard, and she took the opportunity as a chance to roll in nasty dog poop and cover an entire side of her body in it. I know that dogs love to cover up their scent and it’s a natural tendency that goes back to their wild ancestors and yada yada, but come on now…. It was beyond disgusting!!

The usual shenanigans in my house

The usual shenanigans in my house

– My husband came home from work the other night while I was in the shower. For some reason, Harley, who is usually on high alert for anyone walking by my house on the sidewalk, if there are postal workers anywhere in my neighborhood, and if anyone dares to ring the doorbell, somehow didn’t hear him come in. Adam, in true form, ran up to Harley sleeping making scary growling noises at her, and you know what my guard dog did? Ran and hid beyond the couch as she whined….ha, well that makes me feel really safe!!


My crazy puppy has been my little buddy these past couple of years, and I love her to death!

What has a pet taught you? 

Share a funny story about your dog!