These are a few of Fenway’s favorite things

Fenway is one picky puppy!

Right now, she’s eating Natural Balance food. It’s a little pricey, but she is allergic to chicken, which is an ingredient in a lot of other dog foods.  Even ones that say they are based on another protein, like venison or lamb, often have chicken in there somewhere.  With Natural Balance, I can just grab a bag of whatever protein and feel safe knowing that I’m not accidentally giving Fenway chicken.  We occasionally give her Merrick, which she also likes.  They aren’t as good about keeping chicken out of the other protein-labeled foods.  But if you read labels and get the right one, that works too.

I tried to get her to eat Blue Buffalo, but she didn’t really like it for whatever reason.

In terms of treats, I usually stick with a few brands.

  • Zukes – Fenway LOVES Zuke’s treats.  All of them.  Seriously, I haven’t seen a treat from this company that she doesn’t go crazy for.  Her favorite is the Z-bones in clean carrot, which also clean her teeth.  I could get the video of her reaction to these treats to load, but here is a link to it: http://t.co/ctUOuDQGvq.
  • American Jerky – This company makes great bison jerky that Fenway loves.  It’s also easy to find and not super expensive, which make Ben and I happy.
  • Trader Joe’s – Fenway is a bit picky about Trader Joes treats.  They have one set of biscuits that are quite large.  If we give Fenway a whole treat, she doesn’t eat any of it.  But if we break them into smaller pieces for her, she can’t get enough!  They often have other smaller treats, and we’ve had luck with them as well.  And Trader Joe’s dog treats are MUCH more affordable that what you find at traditional pet stores.
  • Charlee Bear Treats – These treats are low calorie and look a bit like an oyster cracker.  They are great for playing and training.  However, since they are cracker like opposed to a soft dog treat, they don’t have the smell motivation that other treats have.  But Fenway loves them, and she immediately is on her best behavior whenever she sees the bag come out. We stick with the egg and cheese or the beef liver flavors, due to the chicken allergy.  But I really want to try the turkey and cranberry for the holidays.

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

I’m a big fan of everything in moderation.  I don’t like depriving myself of the joys in life.  I also think I enjoy treats more when I have them sparingly.

But during the holidays, it can be tough to eat in moderation.  At Thanksgiving, there are so many yummy options to put on my plate!  Our dinners are usually something that requires no sides or only one side (grilled meat on a salad or pasta/quinoa mixed with veggies).  Having so many options makes it hard to say no.  Especially when some of those options aren’t things we tend to make for dinner – I can’t tell you the last time we had stuffing or mashed potatoes when it wasn’t a holiday meal.

Thanksgiving is like a great big cheat day for our (usually) healthy dinners during the rest of the year.

But between Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday parties, dinners on the go while shopping, “moderation” sometimes goes out the window.

So this year I’m participating in two challenges to remain mindful of keeping balance during the holiday season.  Since there is a high likelihood of eating/drinking more, I also need to make sure I exercise more.

Elf 4 Health

The lovely ladies over at Nutritionella and The Lean Green Bean are hosting Elf 4 Health, a month long challenge to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the holidays.  What’s great about this program is it gives you a specific goal for each day.  These can be anything related to fitness (100 burpees),  nutrition (meatless monday), or lifestyle (unsubscribe from 3 magazines/newsletters you don’t read).  I also love that it pairs you up with another “elf” to keep you motivated.

Interested in joining?  Everyone gets a new elf in mid-December, so it’s not too late to join session 2.  Click here to learn more and sign up for the 2nd session.

Delta Running Challenge

Through the years, a lot of the girls in my college sorority (Tri Delta!) have gotten into running.  We live all over the country now, and we occasionally travel to do races together (see Disney Princess Half, Veterans Day 10K in 2010 and 2011, Nike Woman’s Half).  Instead of trying to schedule in travel and a race, we have gotten a pretty good sized group together and do our own remote challenge.

So we set a goal, which I think has changed every year, for everyone.  This year, it’s 10 miles a week or 3 hours of exercise.  At the end of the week, we email or captain and let her know we reached the goal.  She then selects one winner at random, who gets a Starbucks gift card.

I don’t know how many years we’ve been doing this now, but it’s a lot of fun.  It’s flexible, motivating and, most importantly, it’s a great way to stay in touch with the girls from college.

What do you do to stay healthy during the holidays?

 

 

Meet Fenway

Back in April, Ben and I adopted a puppy.  Meet Fenway!

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First, we did a TON of research on breeds of dogs.  We wanted to make sure that we found a breed that worked for us and our lifestyle.  We ended up deciding we wanted a Brittany.  It was the right mix for us.  These dogs are super friendly, eager to place, friendly with kids, but is still a dog that can run with us.  Since Ben and I both run, it was important to have a dog that can go running with us.  The only downside of the breed is that they definitely need a lot of energy: I can tell when she hasn’t had enough exercise. She gets super hyper and starts to get destructive (biting on the sides of tables, chewing things she shouldn’t be, etc.).

Once we decided on a breed, we also knew that adopting was important to us. While not all breeders are terrible people (Ben’s dogs from growing up were both from a breeder who was very respectable), we knew we wanted to adopt.  We knew it would be hard to find a Brittany in a rescue situation, so we set in for a long search.

But then we found a great organization: The New England Brittany Rescue. This group does nothing but Brittany rescues.  They do a thorough job to make sure they place the dogs in good homes.  We had to fill out an application, conduct a phone interview and then participate in a home visit.  We found a dog that we loved, but she was adopted before we were able to finish the process.

But a couple weeks later, we got a call from the organization saying that they had a puppy!  She was only 3 months old, but she was available for adoption.  We jumped at the chance to get a puppy!

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So one week after Easter, we picked up our puppy.  She has been an absolute sweetheart every since.  Sure, she has probably peed on every square inch of this place at one point or another (except for my closet – she isn’t allowed in there). But she is playful, loving, and definitely a runner!

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Question of the Day: Do you have a pet? What kind and why did you get it?

House!

As some of you may know, Ben and I bought a house about a year ago.  We closed on it on my birthday, which made for a fantastic birthday present.

It’s a townhouse – 3 stories, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bath – and most importantly, it’s within the beltway.  While we knew we were going to move a bit farther from the city, we didn’t want to be too far.  Especially since we knew it would be likely that the move would mean that we’d need to start driving to work.  This place gives us the option of either taking the metro or driving.

While the house was pretty much move in ready, there were a few things here and there that needed to be done.

For example: right when we moved in, we purchased a new washer and dryer.  I think the old ones were original from when the place was built in the 1980s.  We purchased the LG front loading washer and dryer – against the recommendation of my mother and my sister.  However, we really like it.

We also painted the living room.  The color is Dolphin Fin by Behr and I really like it.

Although everything else that we said we wanted to do we never got around to it.  Once we hit the one year mark, we realized we needed to get on it.  So in the next couple of weeks we have an electrician coming to install recessed lighting in the office/laundry room (it’s technically below ground and has no installed light. The lamp we’ve put down there just isn’t cutting it), we’re painting the entry way and halls (Gentle Rain, also by Behr).  We’re still debating colors for the other rooms. We’re having a hard time deciding on the office/laundry room.  I’m hoping that once we get some light in there, we will have a better time deciding on a color.

My DIY project was the fireplace.  It was a maple wood color, which was just ok in the room.  I really wanted to paint it white; i thought the contrast against the grey would look pretty and it would match all the trim in the room. So last Saturday, I made that fireplace my project.

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First, I needed to sand the fireplace to remove the finish.  I used 60 and 220 sandpaper to sand the whole thing down.  I didn’t need to take too much off, and it was actually much quicker than I expected.  People talk about sanding as being a terrible task.  I think it took me a little under an hour to do the whole piece.

Next, we got a can on Behr Paint and Primer in one with no color added – so it’s a stark white.  And start painting.  I have put 4 coats on, and some places could use another coat.  But I think the 5th coat will be the final.

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You can also see the Boston photo in the top half of the photo.  That’s a framed old school photo of the city that Ben has had since college.  It’s really cool to see how the city has changed.  For example, the area where BU is now is looks like farmland…

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I’ll keep posting photos as we get the place situated.  I’m super excited to decorate it for Christmas!

Remember me?

Hi!  I’m back!

I know it’s been a while, but I’m back.  I stopped blogging for a variety of reasons.  But I’ve decided to pick it back up again.  I won’t post daily, but I’ll try and be better about blogging on a “regular” schedule.  The first couple posts will probably get you a bit up to speed on what’s been going on in my life.