Apr 152014
 

Funny story…

Our dog will roll around in the grass, splash in puddles and (gross–trying to keep her from doing this) eat cat poo but will NOT go potty when it’s rainy. She puts on her pitiful puppy dog face and sad eyes and sits on the back deck refusing to go out into the rain. We’ve even gone out there, in the rain with her and she still won’t. The last time I tried it with an umbrella she immediately ran underneath a bush and cowered.

BELLA

I eventually gave up and went inside and just let her stay out there until she finally went (the stubborn thing took like 30 minutes!). Sorry pup, we live in Oregon. Get used to the rain. IT NEVER STOPS. Speaking of Bella…

Funny story…

I was grocery shopping recently and was in the baby food isle picking up some sweet potato and the chicken puree. A little old lady in the isle asked me how old babies are when they start eating the jar food. I replied, “I wouldn’t know. I don’t have a baby, I have a dog.” She laughed SO hard. She asked me why I buy baby food for my dog. I explained that I buy the sweet potato or the chicken baby food and put it in Bella’s Kong toy. Then I freeze it and she gets it when she’s in the crate while we are at work. She thought that was ingenious.

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She went on to tell me about how she had a scotty dog that passed away a few years ago and she sometimes wished she had another dog. We chatted for a few minutes and I shared some of the experiences I had volunteering at animal shelters. I suggested that she consider adopting a senior dog. The benefits are so great! It’s older, more relaxed (no crazy puppy energy), already trained and it’s also saving a life. The older dogs are often the ones that euthanized because people don’t adopt them. She seemed genuinely interested and I hope she does adopt a senior dog!

Funny story…

4 years ago I started this blog on a whim because the blogger Monica from Run, Eat Repeat asked me to write a guest post about my weight loss. I thought, well dang….maybe *I* can have a blog too! I sort of half-assed it and didn’t really know what I was doing and didn’t really know HOW to write a blog. My blog posts were very, very short, not really focused and I slowly shared my weight loss story as thought came to me. Then somehow I got readers. I was shocked! The more readers I got, the more comments I got, the more I paid attention to my writing.

It had been a long time since I’d written anything. After writing a few novels and failing to get them published, I felt discouraged and gave up. The blog was an outlet for me to dust off the ol’ writing skills and polish them up a bit.

Then I started getting more attention. My little blog that was kind of clunky and terribly formatted in Blogger, was getting so much attention that I was asked to do interviews. (You can check out some of those here.) I moved the blog over to WordPress, made it look a little bit nicer (with Michael’s help), took some photography classes, Michael built me a lightbox…then ta-da! I was on the cover of a magazine! WOW.

Well funny story, this little blog that was started on a whim to share a story I didn’t think anyone was interested in reading has recently surpassed the million page view mark! Perhaps it’s not as crazy a number as many popular blogs and I sure don’t make money off my blog like full-time bloggers, but dang! I’m pretty happy with that 1 million readers!

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So many, many thanks to all my readers–new readers, old readers who have been reading since the beginning. Thank you! It makes me so happy that I’ve inspired people to get fit and healthy! I’ve also made some real life friends that I met through blogging and that’s even better. :)

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Apr 142014
 

What a gorgeous weekend! The weather was absolutely beautiful and I brought out the shorts and t-shirts. Saturday afternoon Bella and I drove with the windows down to meet my friend Robyn at Mount Tabor Park for a sunny walk. Mount Tabor is a pretty park in SE Portland built on a volcanic cinder cone overlooking the entire city. There are tall trees, running/hiking trails through the forest, people skateboarding, biking, running and walking. There are places for kids to play on toys, picnic areas and it’s also the location for the annual Soap Box Derby race.

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I met Robyn at the entrance of the park with Bella and we started walking up to the top. Not only was this a nice afternoon walk with a friend, it was also a little training for Bella. I want her to get more socialized so we can take her places without her barking at strangers. She did so well! She barked at Robyn, then remembered who she was and she was fine. There was a ton of stimulation in the park, tons of people–kids and people on bikes and other dogs–and Bella didn’t bark at any of them. I was pretty proud of her showing restraint! Of course, lots of treats probably helped.

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Robyn and I walked for a little over an hour and did 2.87 miles! It was a great walk and it felt good to be outside in the sunshine!

On Sunday afternoon it was even nicer out. I had plans to meet my cousin Anna for a late lunch/early dinner. We met at Produce Row–a restaurant that used to be a dive but got cleaned up really, really nicely in the last few years and they have an outdoor patio which is CRUCIAL for a sunny weekend!

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Anna snagged a table on the patio, which was covered but the sunshine still shone through. The patio was packed–everyone had the same idea. Soak up as much sunshine as possible. I was on a quest for finding the best Bloody Mary in town and I decided to test out theirs.

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Anna got a Moscow Mule–vodka, ginger beer and lemon or lime juice. I had a taste and it was quite tasty! A very nice summery beverage. The Bloody Mary was very good–thick and spicy but not intolerable. It came with pickled green beans, onions, olives and celery. I liked it a lot–it wasn’t the best Bloody I’ve had but I liked it!

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We got the combo snack option–choose three appetizers for a discounted price. We chose the hummus–which came with fresh carrots, radishes and delicious spelt toast (I’ve never had spelt before, it was wonderful!). We also got the crostini topped with ricotta cheese, artichokes, walnut pesto and some garlic and onion. I loved the crostini. It messy but so tasty. Not only did they taste good, but they were little miniature works of art:

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Topped with fresh dill. Wonderful, huh? Lastly, we got the bacon wrapped dates that came atop some chevre cheese, topped with a balsamic reduction and some hazelnuts.

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The dates were tiny, which was good, and I was glad that they weren’t stingy with them. Sometimes restaurants bring out two dates on a plate! Two are not nearly enough.

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This was dinner! And it was enough food for the two of us. Anna ordered another Moscow Mule and I tried something different–the Jules Verne. It was dark spiced rum, coconut and lime. It was really good!!

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Loved loved loved the presentation of everything! Everything was so great and I loved the outdoor patio. I was indeed drunk on sunshine! It was a great end to the weekend and I only wished it could last just a little bit longer……

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