Friday, October 31, 2014

Tips for (psychotically anxious) Dogs on Halloween

Anyone else out there have a super anxious dog? Combine Andi's extreme anxiety (tiny humans- scary! masks- super scary! sudden screams and noise- scariest ever! doorbell- OMG!) with Ziggy's will to protect this house against anyone who comes to the door (see picture below), and we've got ourselves one big, hot mess tonight with trick-or-treaters.

Exhibit A: Accidentally left the blinds down when we went to work, it appears the UPS man dropped off a package...never again.

Here are some things I've learned over the years, best practices on Halloween with psycho dogs so to speak:

1. Drugs: Our vet recommended Benadryl (1 mg for 1 lb, so Andi gets 50 mg). When that didn't calm her anxiety he recommended Dramamine. Andi gets 1 Dramamine and passes right on out. Andi WILL get a dramamine before I leave for work and as soon as I get home (sidenote: it's also supposed to be windy today. Another major fear of Andi's).

2. Natural Anxiety Remedies: I wrote a post about dog anxiety remedies I've tried (including Thundershirt) here.

3. Exercise: Seeing as how Andi is terrified of anything like masks, drapey clothes (see: flowing robes associated with any Harry Potter costume) and anything clunky (boots, props for costumes), exercising after work is not an option. We got up at the craaacckkkk of dawn to walk for a solid hour to wear her out. Less energy to put towards stress = less stress.

4. Put candy in a bowl on a table in front of the house: We don't want to be those a-hole neighbors who don't talk to the kids, but Ziggy feels that it is his personal duty to scare away anyone who walks onto our porch. We'll see if we have to do this.

5. Keep candy out of dog's reach: No one likes the ole midnight stomach pump in the puppy ER, and NO ONE likes that after-hours bill.

6. Let them sport their bithday suits: Andi and Ziggy despise costumes. Trust, I've tried to force. Adding a costume just makes a stressful situation worse. Don't get me wrong- I'll get my photo opp but as soon as the stress turns up the costumes come off.

7. DO NOT (I REPEAT DO FREAKING NOT) FORGET THE COLLARS: You never know if someone's going to get feisty and make a run for it as a trick or treater is collecting treats. We always take their collars off when they're inside because they are so noisy (and because Ziggy's favorite game is called Drag Andi Around by Her Collar but that's a story for another day), so I am actually setting a phone reminder to put those IDs on before we open the door for a trick-or-treater.

And I leave you with this #TBT of Andi and me at Halloween 2 years ago  (she hated every second of her life in that costume):

PS: We had Parent Orientation last night for Andi's new training class called Bully Manners 101! Exciting things happening around here! We started clicker training last night. Any advice for clicker training? Or for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Workout: How I Stay Entertained while working out at home

People ask me all the time how I don't get bored exercising at home. Short answer: not really. Longer answer: I've been exercising at home for quite awhile and here are things I've figured out to avoid boredom. Keep in mind, I workout in what we call the "Exercise Dungeon" aka my creepy wood panel basement with these 2 workout buds who aren't the best at sharing the mat (this is the clearest picture I have because they never stop moving):

1. Switch up the workouts! I mean the type of workout and the length of the workout. Some days I'll do yoga, the next day HIIT, followed by barre, pilates, running, etc.

2. Find a series to watch while you workout: We have the Apple TV hooked up in the basement. I went through New Girl and am now I'm on Revenge and OMG let me tell you- I can't wait to get down to the Exercise Dungeon to see what Emily is scheming next!!

3. Minimize distractions: This is more of a bit of a different issue, but home has tons of distractions and distractions = excuses. My #1 distraction is the dogs, so while I'm exercising but I put together peanut butter Kongs  to keep them busy for awhile then kick them out of the dungeon.

4. Enlist a workout buddy: I hate working out with other people, but I'm also really competitive so when I can convince Harrison so join it's a whole new ballgame, one that I must win and suddenly have superman focus on. Haha wait is that bad?

5. Listen to music: There are tons of free playlists out there for exercising, and you can make your own on Spotify!

6. Listen to podcasts: Nerd alert- I looooove podcasts. Anyone else out there get into Serial?? It's a spinoff of This American Life and it is NUTS. Here is a list of my FREE favs.

Do you workout at home? How do you keep from getting bored?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Recap (best engagement party ever) + Breakfast Scramble for the week

This post is coming late due to a freaking amazing weekend. First up: a breakfast scramble that got me through last week:

Servings: 5
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins


  • 10 eggs, beaten ($2.50) 
  • 1 sweet potato, diced ($.80)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced ($1.50)
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced ($.90)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced ($.80)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 pieces of clean sausage (I get Al Fresco @ Wal Mart for $5.00), diced
  • 2 teaspoon Garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
Cook the sausages according to the package directions. While sausages are cooking, cook the sweet potatoes, onion, bell pepper and garlic in a large frying pan with the coconut oil over medium heat. Once the onions are translucent, add the eggs to the frying pan and mix as they cook. Add the sausages and mix together over medium heat until the eggs are completely cooked. Store in a tupperware for up to a week in the fridge and enjoy every morning!

Now, onto the amazing weekend. Family and friends traveled from all over country (from as far as California, Kansas, South Carolina!) to celebrate our engagement. On Thursday my cousin and brother and his fiance were in town and we explored our great city:

Then we headed to Richmond to celebrate:

My neighbors put together the MOST amazing party and decorations for us with so many thought out details!

 This picture makes my heart happy

We had a Motown band called Klaxton Brown that was ON POINT!

It is impossible to get a good picture by this point in the night...

How cute is the decor?? My neighbors put doors on top of barrels to make tables. Ah mazing.

And we had a "first dance" 'in which all the attention was on us. Not my favorite thing at all. Harrison on the other hand loves being the center of attention. Match made in heaven or what? (Thanks, Maria, for the great pic!)

Linking up with Biana