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?

Tips for (psychotically anxious) Dogs on Halloween

Friday, October 31, 2014

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?

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

So my little brother is in town and my cousin flies in today and we are going to bop all over DC and then head to Richmond for our engagement party and I am so excited and my mind is actually all over the place and today I'm thinking about Wal-Mart and I'm spazzing and my head is going to spin off into outerspace...

Yeah, ya read that right. Wal-Mart has workwear and it's clothes I would actually wear to work that actually fit and actually feel like quality material!

I've been following Shauna @ Penny Chic for years- her posts are all about putting together nice outfits from Wal-Mart/Target/cheap places, and NOW she has her own Wal-Mart line! Her blog has lots of different ways to wear the dresses so basically 1 dress = 3 outfits. Genius! And affordable!

These are the dresses I got (I know I always get really boring colors because I work in DC where we have to dress bawwringgg), and I got a lot because they are only $16 and you have to order $50 worth to get free shipping so I was all ohhh I have to get like 5 to get the free shipping, I'll keep one and take the others back yeah right.:

Penny Chic by Shauna Miller Women's Long Sleeve Wrap Dress icon: Because wrap dresses look good on everyone

Penny Chic by Shauna Miller Women's Curvy Dress: This one is super flattering for big bootied girls. The black and rouching shows off curves but not like too much (no Nikki Minaj status here):

Penny Chic by Shauna Miller Women's Scoop Neck Dress icon: Hi flattering + pockets!

Penny Chic by Shauna Miller Women's Classic Sheath Dress: Hi my name is Claire Underwood and I bought my dress at WAL-MART

PS these run kind of large so I suggest ordering a size below what you would usually get.

PSS this is not a sponsored post in any way. I'm just pretty much obsessed with Shauna and the fact that I can get work dresses for $16.

Where do you get inexpensive workwear?

Wal-Mart Workwear?!?!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I really struggle with challenges, similar to a lot of my bloggy friends (no one hates a challenge as hilariously much as my girl Jasmine). Usually I go strong for a few days then get bored, end up doing the workouts randomly whenever I feel like it. HOWEVER, I've completed one FitnessBlender Challenge and I'm pretty sure it's because 5 days is about 100 times more attainable than 30/60/90 days. And they switch it up a lot so you don't get bored. And the videos they make together make me laugh- Kelly and Daniel are awkward just like us!

Check out day one here.

Oh oh oh! All you need is dumbbells too! 30 minutes/day, 5 days, only dumbbells. Win win win.

What do you think of challenges? Do you ever finish them or is it just me (and Jasmine)?

Fitness Blender's "Busy People" Challenge

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Disclaimer: I've never gotten into the whole pumpkin thing. PSL - ew what? Pumpkin everything has never been my thing, until this year, aka the fall that a Trader Joe's opened around the corner from my work (I don't even have to CROSS THE STREET to get there) and this happened:

I'm pretty sure I'm the exact personality type that Trader Joe's and Costco and Sam's Club target with their samples. Everything I taste I HAVE TO HAVE- like ALL the samples, I need them. So last week turned into a pumpkin week thanks to Trader Joe's.

Servings: 3
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins

For the meat:

  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1.5 Tablespoon Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper sprinkles

For the salad serve with:

  • Lettuce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Sliced onions
  • Salsa
Combine the raw turkey with the seasonings and pumpkin. Mix well. Cook over medium heat in a non-stick frying pan and cook until turkey is browned.

Toss with the salad ingredients.

Tell me: do you get into the whole pumpkin thing?  

Pumpkin Taco Salad

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of 16 Water for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I had the opportunity to try this new water brand out of South Korea. Yes, you heard me right- South Korea. Harrison and I have been on an organic/grass-fed/all-natural kick since watching scary docs on Netflix, so I was excited to try this water. Plus, this is the #1 water brand in South Korea and is huge in Japan and I’m big on FOMO.
This water is naturally purified through 16 layers of volcanic rock on Mt. Halla, an active volcano off the coast of the tropical island Jeju. So, what are the benefits of drinking water that comes from a volcano?
  • Mt. Halla has been designated by the UN as a World Natural Heritage site
  • Passing through 16 layers of volcanic bedrock, 16 water is naturally purified without stripping away essential minerals (see pix below).
  • By “letting nature do the work”, 16 is mineral-rich
  • The water has gone through no processing
  • The water has gone through zero synthetic enhancement
  • This unique filtration process gives you the soft taste while still containing minerals your body needs
  • Mt. Halla is the perfect environment for water purification and fortification—there are few places on earth that can naturally purify water while maintaining the mineral richness of 16.
My thoughts:
I’m not big on paying for something that I can get for free out of my sink. I don’t even own a Brita, so this is a hard sell for me. I do appreciate the extra minerals, and I’m not gonna lie, I was definitely expecting a nasty after taste after reading how naturally filtered and mineral-packed this is. But lo and behold there was no aftertaste and no taste at all really (see: bedrock filtration).
So all in all, if I’m going to drink bottled water I’ll drink this. The taste, the naturalness and organicness is something I really appreciate.
16 Water is one convenient click away from your doorstep, so if you're looking for a quality, mineral-packed bottled water head to their Amazon retail page to Get your 16 Water on Amazon now 16 Water on
Visit 16 Water online
16 Water on Facebook
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16 Water Review

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tis the season for agonizing over what to wear on your run- anyone else have "temperature rules"? For me if it is under 60 I can wear long sleeves and capri-length pants, if it's under 40 I throw on an extra layer and can wear long pants, under 30 and I just hate everything. Just me? A little anal? Anyway here are my picks for "transition" season. I'm jam-packing my list for November 1st when No-Spend-October is finally OUTTA HEAH.

Last week I mentioned scoring a serious shoe bargain on Hautelook and I keep my eye on them for the occasional fitness clothing sale.

I've also had a lot of success finding fitness clothes on Zulily - right now they're having an athletics sale and I am down with these picks:

Another new favorite discovery: Fabletics (you know JustFab? Same people just with fitness clothes- great return policy, great prices, and you can order entire outfits. I bought a bunch from clearance a few months ago and love love love the pieces):

Where do you find reasonably priced workout wear? 

Not Quite Warm but Not Quite Cold Workout Clothes

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ok so PSA: frozen vegetable medlies make life so much easier. By life I mean cooking dinner but easy dinner = easier life. This is the stir fry I made last week - it made about 4 servings but we managed to finish it in one meal oops.

Servings: 3-4
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30


  • 2 lbs chicken, cubed
  • 1 bag of frozen stir fry vegetable medley (I found mine at Wal-Mart)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cups rice, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (this is to add flavor, if you don't have it you can swap it out for olive oil or whatever you do have)
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons pepper
Season the chicken cubes evenly with the salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan, add the sesame oil and chicken chunks and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes or until the cubes are mostly cooked.

Add the bag of frozen veggies, the chopped onion and the garlic to the frying pan and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the veggies are soft.

Add the rice, add the soy sauce. Stir them all together. Eat your heart out.

PSA #2: If you live in the DC area, West Virginia is the perfect (affordable) weekend getaway. I mean look:

I swear the air was so fresh and clean and everything around us was beautiful!

How cute is the "downtown" street we stayed on? We didn't want to go all-out wilderness survival so we rented a cottage I found on VRBO- $90/night and both dogs were allowed. It was perfect.

Andi hurt her paw pad so had to wear this boot all weekend...

"downtown" had a bar/restaurant where we drank some local beer. This restaurant also served Italian, Mexican, sea food, sandwiches, sold powerball tickets, and had slots. One stop shop.

"Everything the light touches shall be your's..."

Easy Clean Stir Fry + West Virginia Weekend Recap

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I got a lot of positive feedback on my post a few weeks ago about how to find inexpensive running shoes  so when I saw this e-mail in my inbox I HAD TO SHARE:

I'm all about Asics running shoes, this is my favorite shoe for my high arches, which just so happens to be included in this sale. They have tons of shoes:

As well as LOTS of great winter running clothes for amazing prices (these are a few of my favs):

So go check out the Hautelook Asics sale today! Use this link for $20 off your purchase (disclaimer: I will also get $20 off if you use that link. We all win!).

ASICS on Hautelook today- cheap workout clothes/shoes!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Usually when I'm getting back on the exercise train I get really obsessed with one trainer (see: Fitness Blender binges). But this is how my process goes: Fitness blender binge, boredom (boredom = excuses and hating exercising),  Bender Fitness Binges, boredom (boredom = excuses and hating exercising), and so on and so on. So to avoid all this I've been trying to spice up the routine with someone different every day of the week, which is easier now that I have dumbbells. Here are some of my favs:

Yoga, Pilates, Bender Fitness Workout Fusion - I like to do this after a hard HIIT. It is super relaxing and stretchy, but strength-building.

Brutal HIIT Ladder Workout with my fav Fitness Blender. Death, but the time intervals decrease as the workout goes on so it feels better than just dying the whole time.

  Bikini Prep Body Sculpt: I did this with the dumbbell option. Hooolllyyyy.

  45 Minute Brutal Total Body HIIT Workout. I just love this guy. His workouts are all really different, new moves.

Cardio Barre Fusion. This incorporates barre, pilates, and some cardio. It's a great way to switch things up!

Weight Training Workout for Weight Loss and Fat Burning: Again, trying to incorporate weights. I like to do this after a good cardio (running or HIIT).

Also feeling a little more motivated as I so nicely woke up to this from Mr. Shut Up and Train. K, done making excuses:

Wednesday Workout: Favs Right Now

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Something about this time of year makes me get my sh*t together. Maybe it's that after 3 months of being a stain (aka summer) I just can't take it anymore and force myself back into healthy routines, or maybe it's that I just really love fall/winter produce so I want to cook more. Whatever it is, I got my mojo back! I picked up a bunch of fall veggies at Trader Joe's and came up with this recipe:

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


  • 10 ounces of sliced/shaved brussel sprouts (I bought a bag at Trader Joe's) ($2.50)
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 1 lb peeled and diced butternut squash (again- bought a package of peeled and diced at Trader Joe's) ($2.50)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans ($.90)
  • 1 red onion, diced ($1.20)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon seasonall or seasoned salt or seasonings of your choice
  • For serving: sea salt, fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the brussel sprouts with the coconut oil and the season-all or seasoned salt or whatever you want, so they are evenly coated. Spread them out into one layer on a baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes.

While the sprouts are roasting, cook the quinoa. Coat a large frying pan with the remaining coconut oil. Heat your butternut squash, covered over medium heat, for about 15 minutes. Add the onion and cook for another 3 minutes, then add the garlic, beans, salt and pepper and continue cooking (stir constantly)- this portion of the cooking can be uncovered. 

Once the quinoa and sprouts are done cooking, add them to the frying pan and mix everything together and cook for about 5 more minutes. 

Serve with fresh parsley and sea salt and enjoy!

Question: what are your favorite fall veggies to cook with?

These are a few of my favorite thingsssss:

Fall Veggie Shmorgishborg

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

So fall happened overnight this weekend and I looove it. Fall, please stay!! I found a new favorite clean eating fall breakfast- apple cinnamon overnight oats! So easy, I make them the night before, throw them in the fridge, and grab on my way out the door in the morning (I eat breakfast at my desk). Here's the recipe:
Servings: 1
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 0 (leave in the fridge overnight)


  • 1/3 Cup Fat Free Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Old Fashioned Oats (or steel cut)
  • 1 Apple, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Mix well, store in a covered/sealed container (tupperware, mason jar, etc) overnight, eat in the morning and enjoy! 
Sidenote: If you like your's thicker, use more yogurt and less almond milk, if you like it less thick, vice versa.

This was such a wonderfully relaxing fall weekend. Friday night I went to a bar called Chez Billy to celebrate friends' wedding (straight from the courthouse!). It was an awesome space and so much fun.

Saturday Harrison and I got up early and headed to Georgetown to tailgate for the Georgetown/Harvard football game. It was kind of chilly and perfect for football tailgating! A group called GUGS (pronounced jugs, stands for Georgetown University Grilling Society) made massive burgers and they. were. perfection.

I swapped out my summer clothes for winter clothes from the basement (way too excited about this), made some bomb spicy vegetarian crockpot chili (recipe coming next week!)

Tonii, Charisse and I ate chili and watched Netflix because all 3 of us are doing No Spending October. It was a great Saturday night and I spend $0!! We watched The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete followed by Trading Places. Recommend both (if you haven't seen Trading Places, who are you??)

Picked up a few pumpkins at Wal Mart (they really have everything there, I'm still getting used to it as we have only had our's for 6 months). Again, too excited.

Spent a lot of time with the dogs

And that's it! Hope everyone had a great weekend. What about fall gets you a little too excited? What do you put in your overnight oats?

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats + Weekend Recap

Monday, October 6, 2014