(Temporary) Freedom

I wasn’t really sure how I was supposed to follow up yesterday’s trifecta of awesome. After all, having a hallelujah-Monday that consisted of entering a new decade of weight loss, a career move AND a new haircut (not necessarily in that order of importance) is hard to do!

And then I woke up to a vomiting dog and menstrual cramps (sorry to my 4.2 male readers, haha) and realized that maybe I’m not supposed to try to outdo it. But, while I may not be starting off this day with quite the same pizazz as yesterday, it is still a day where I got to sleep in until 9 AM (that is late for me these days!) because I’m taking some “me time” before starting my new job. Partly by choice, and partly because my new job’s start date is affected by the current government furlough of the FAA. Sooooo… it may end up being a little MORE me time than originally planned. Oh well. I love me so, it’ll be okay. Just a good life lesson in frugality over the next month perhaps.

Another good thing? I had an awesome bowl of overnight oats waiting for me in the fridge this morning (raw oats, chia seeds, coconut, almond milk, empty — sob — jar of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.) So, all is not lost.

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Plus, the sister and her hubs took Ben, Taylor and me out for sushi (what else?) last night to thank us for puppysitting this past week! Everybody’s a winner!

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I love sushi.

Day 211 - Puppy Handling
Photos by Ben Powell

Pre-sushi, Ben and I attempted to take some photos of Oreo for my sister while he’s still in his supercute puppy phase. Unfortunately, being in his supercute puppy phase means he is a terrible photography subject. He doesn’t know how to “stay” yet, so it was basically 20 minutes of me wrestling him into place and then trying to jump out of the picture as quickly as possible. So it was kind of impossible to get any decent shots of the three dogs together, but he did get some pretty great ones of Oreo on his own (after editing my limbs out of the pictures, haha.) Observe!

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Sufficiently pick-me-uppish? 😉

Don’t worry, I have plans to actually be productive during my days of (temporary) freedom — including that post on blogging that I’ve been promising for a while now!

Family Fourth

Hi everybody! I know that today I’ve already reported on hitting up the farmer’s market and going to Wolf Trap with Jennifer and Amanda, respectively, but I’m back to pick up where I left off and shove more self-indulgent pictures of my life in your face. You are welcome. 🙂

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Sunday afternoon centered around a family trip to the dog park!

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What with my sister’s new puppy down to visit, we decided it was time to introduce him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly ideal considering it was about a billion degrees outside, and Oreo seemed a little intimidated by all the wide open space at first.

Shady Pup

He spent the first 15 minutes parked under the same tree until Jenny had to physically carry him over to the rest of us, haha!

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He warmed up to the experience in no time though:

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And it wasn’t long ’til he was officially part of the pack:

Order of the Pack

While we were there by ourselves for a chunk of our visit, we did have some fun visitors come by to play.

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I can’t imagine how hot it was for Harry’s water buddy under all that fur!

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When this biker came up to the gate, I thought he was just riding by to check out the dogs. I had no idea he had a tiny Yorkie hidden in his bicycle basket! If only Daxter were a few inches shorter… sigh. 😉

Little Man

It really was unbearably hot though. The dogs kept going back and forth between playing and poopin’ out. At least they were nice and tired by the time we got home!

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A really fun way to kill an hour or so in the afternoon though, and it certainly worked up our appetites for our big backyard cookout! Grilling was performed in between thunderstorms, hehe.

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There was SO much food – steak, hot dogs (cooked flat-top style, mmm!), grilled veggies, pork, and corn! Fruit & cupcakes for dessert, too, hehe. Oh, and I discovered the most amazing way of grilling corn! I gotta remember to share it with you all soon – you will die of blissful deliciousness.

Hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July weekend! We celebrated the actual Fourth today with more family hanging out and attending a cookout at Amanda‘s, and I prepared my fantabulous Mango Guacamole (which was a hit!) Recipe is coming tomorrow, don’t worry, along with what is sure to be a catastrophic weigh-in after all the holiday eating, hehe. Worth it!

OMG PUPPIEEEEZ!

Warning: You may at some point during this post go into cuteness overload. Symptoms may include: cooing, scrunching of the face, speaking in baby-talk, and an incredible urge to touch soft things.

Heh.

But before we get to the overwhelming adorableness that is my sister and her husband’s new puppy (!!), let’s finish up the rest of the non-food related weekend, shall we?

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I got to spend some time at the pool! Hooray! As you all know, I spent most of the weekend in Delaware visiting Steve for an early birthday celebration.

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So we spent Saturday afternoon at his uncle’s super nice pool…

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Aaaaand so did the pups. Bahahaha!

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Now hold on, before you go on thinking that I’m a cruel, cruel dog owner (which, let’s face it, we all know just isn’t true.) Let me just preface this by saying that we weren’t risking their lives, we were just helping them broaden their horizons by giving them their first (and considering how much they hated it, probably their last) swimming lesson. Let the hilarity ensue:

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See? No harm done other than a lot of post-pool shaking and wriggling. Well, to the dogs, at least. But to me, the experience was totally worth the ten bazillion scratches I have on my neck and shoulders now, hahaha.

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And yes, this weekend’s pool trip also included another attempt to build up my bank of bikini confidence. I struggled with whether or not I wanted to post the following pic, but I’m sucking it up and going for it. After all, despite the misleading number of posts that center around my dogs, this really is supposed to be a weight loss blog, right? I figure that A) I really need to try to tie this post in at least SOMEWHAT to what my blog is about, and B) everybody get stomach rolls when they sit, right? RIGHT?!!?

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So, the confidence is slowly coming. And even though I obviously still have a little ways to go yet, I strengthen my resolve that I really am going to get there this time. After all, just yesterday I was brought a little closer!

And now, to help you forget about having seen the above-posted flubbery, enjoy the following photo smörgåsbord (yep, that just happened) of Harry & Daxter’s new little cousin: Oreo!

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Isn’t he adorable?! He’s a schnauzer-lab (schlabrador? Ha!) mix. So even though I was clearly HIGHLY-affronted that they didn’t go full-schnauzie (I don’t know if you could tell, but I kinda dig this breed), I think he is a perfect compromise for my sister, who loved the size and temperament of my babies, and her hubs, who is a manly, lab-owning kinda guy. We went up to Columbia Sunday night for Father’s Day dinner and to meet the little guy!

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It took a second for Harry & Daxter to warm up to Oreo at first…

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But eventually they were comfortable enough to play with him (Daxter) or moderately ignore him (Harry), hahaha:

Cousins.
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Much to my mother’s delight:

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And my father’s indifference:

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Hahahaha. Puppies everywhere! But don’t worry boys, you’re still #1 for me:

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Puptastic weekend: check. I love life. And I love you guys! And clearly based on the inordinate number of comments you left as entries for my giveaway, you guys LOVE Popchips! So I’m going to try to channel all this love by announcing the randomly selected winner:

Drumroll please…

Chloe!

Congratulations, Chloe! Email me ([email protected]) your full name and mailing address, and I’ll get the info to Popchips so they can send you your month’s supply!

Sponsored Post: All Dogs Go To… iPhone?


Thank you to Cube Dog for sponsoring this review. For more information about Cube Dog please visit the Facebook page or download it on iTunes.

So here’s the deal: I love my dogs.

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I mean, this shouldn’t be news — you guys already know this! You’ve been with me through birthdays, health scares, and even Daxter’s misguided attempts at blogging. You know these dogs are my life.

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And while I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think everyone’s lives would be better if they had a canine companion of their own, I also understand that’s not always possible. Whether it’s because of an allergic spouse, a stubborn landlord, or just because you’re a cat person (shudder), having a pupster to cuddle up with might not be a reality for you.

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Enter: Cube Dog.

Cube Dog is an app that you can download for your iPhone or iPod that gives you the ability to create a hot diggity dog of your own — with none of the mess! (Which even I will admit would have been a nice alternative to cleaning Harry’s puke off the floor two days ago… hahaha!) The app comes with several customizable “parts” for you to make your pupster your own. See that little guy above? His name is Haxterry (get it?), and while I think the bro would probably flip his lid if I actually tried to dye Daxter purple, with this virtual guy I can go nuts. Plus, this little guy is way more talented than either of my lazy mutts are:

Yup. This dog is a ninja. NBD.

As tends to be the case with most free apps, it comes with a small selection of customization and trick options to begin with, and then provides additional items that you can purchase. Personally, I see myself opening this app anytime I need a laugh throughout the workday. The reactions when you “pet” your Cube Dog are pretty great, and the clarity of the app make it look really sharp. The coolest feature is definitely the ability to take a photo of your “pup” in real time, using the actual camera on your phone. Here’s Haxterry chillin’ out at the foot of my bed:

Baaaahahahaha. And while I can’t say that an app like this will ever come close to having the real thing, it’s fun nonetheless.

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In the spirit of integrity, I do have to say that this is the kind of app that I would probably phase in and out of enjoying. Like, I’d play around with it for a day or two, then forget I had it, then after a while I’d see it hanging out in a folder on my phone and the cycle would begin again. Maybe it’d be more perpetually engaging if you could feed and take care of your Cube Dog. You know, to feel more engaged? Like a Tamagotchi! Hahaha. But hey, it’s a free app, and if you’re like me and always need to have some kind of procrastination fodder available on your phone, it’s a great one to kill time with!

If you’re curious to learn more about the (I reiterate: free!) app, check out Cube Dog on Facebook (where they’ll be running a fun contest between June 13th and 17th!) or watch the following vid:

While Cube Dog provided me with the app to review, the opinions I’ve expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Cube Dog, Clever Girls Collective and I promote Blog With Integrity.