Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lake Weekend

This weekend was one of those perfect ones that I didn't want to end. If you can't tell from the picture, we were super excited for a weekend away. :)

We went to our friend's lake house in Frederic, MI on Bradford Lake. They were so generous to let us enjoy their lovely lake house for the weekend. It was absolutely perfect. 

We left work early Friday and arrived just in time to watch the sunset. We grabbed a glass of wine and headed on the paddle boat for a sunset cruise around the lake. It was perfect. Afterwards we got settled in and made dinner and ate on the deck. We watched The Lego Movie once the sun set and it was pretty cute. I really loved the message of the movie. I had the theme song in my head all weekend long and constantly sang "Everything is awesome" about a million times. 

For some reason I woke up super early Saturday. Like 7 a.m. That is very unlike me. I guess I was just excited to spend a full day on the lake.

We drank our coffee on the dock with our feet in the water. The water was so clear and warm.

It was only 8 a.m. by the time we had breakfast and coffee and the water was like glass so we decided to kayak the lake. It took a good two hours to do the entire lake but we were so anxious to check it out. I loved looking at all the houses and wildlife. Half of the lake backs up to government property so there were so many birds and turtles. We also heard there is an Eagle's nest by the public peach on the other side of the lake so we spent a lot of time over there trying to find the Eagle. No luck. But it was still fun. Kayaking is definitely my new favorite morning workout! 

Kayaking was fun and all, but it was a lot of work. We took a nice swim to cool off and then went paddle boating. Afterwards we came back and got our rafts blown up and spent the rest of the afternoon floating. We people watched all the boats going by and thoroughly enjoyed watching this speed boat try to knock his kids off their tube all afternoon. That's fine entertainment.

We came up and ate a late lunch/dinner and took a little nap on the deck. We went for another sunset paddle boat ride and then settled in to relax. We watched Saving Mr. Banks which I have wanted to see forever. It was not what I expected at all. It was interesting, but so depressing. 

Sunday was another perfect day. Another 80 degree and sunny day. It was pretty much a repeat of Saturday. We did sleep in though. That was nice! We enjoyed drinking our coffee on the dock. Went for another morning kayak ride. Took a swim. Went paddle boating. 

We floated on our rafts most of the afternoon, but we were pretty sunburned so it wasn't as relaxing as the day before. Oops. We definitely applied lots of SPF this day. Lesson learned.

We decided to go into town and have a late lunch. The only restaurant in town had good reviews so we checked it out. The place was a dive and the food was okay, but G loved it. He loved the atmosphere and he loved his chicken wings. I did love the beer in mason jars! 

We came back to the lake and sat on the deck and read. Ahhh I love lake living. I could definitely get used to this. Perfection. 

We enjoyed one last sunset cruise in the paddle boat. Since it was our last ride we drew it out as long as we could. We met some friendly neighbors on a pontoon and talked to them for a bit. We watched a couple tubers and jet skiers and just floated a bit on the lake. Eventually we had to come in because all things must come to an end. We cleaned up the cottage, packed the car and made dinner. We had a late dinner and watched Into the Furnace which was the worse movie I ever saw. So violent. So sad. We went to bed early since we had an early morning ahead of us to drive straight to work. It was worth it though. We definitely made the most of our lake weekend. It was nice to wake up to the lake one more time and enjoy coffee on the dock before the long drive to work. It was the perfect weekend. I feel so relaxed and rejuvenated. 

Thanks Jim and Julie for letting us enjoy your slice of paradise!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mondays with Manny

Weekends are exhausting.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fit Friday!

This week was so unseasonably cool it felt like fall. So odd for July, but also a nice break for the hot. A nice break to open all the windows, get really great sleep, and drink copious amounts of tea in the evening.

My results this week: - 1 pound

I'll take it. Please and thank you. I have found searching "#MyFitnessPal" on Instagram lead me to following a bunch of women from all over the world counting calories on MFP just like me. They post pictures of their food and their successes and their failures and their scale victories and before and after pictures. I have found it really inspiring and a great resource when I feel tempted to give up. 

My workouts this week have been lots and lots of walking. I am averaging about 5 miles a day. I walk 2 miles with Manny in the morning and 3 miles on lunch. I love it. It doesn't feel like work so it's not hard to stick to every single day. I listen to worship music or podcasts and just relish the time. On the weekends I add in some Jillian workouts to get some weight lifting in and walk Manny 3 miles. 

My breakfasts haven't changed this week. Still digging the breakfast sandwich and fruit each morning. 

My afternoon snack has been edamame though and that was a great decision. So good and filling.

Lunches have changed because I bought Morningstar Turkey Corn Dogs because my girlfriend had never had a corn dog. GASP. Corn dogs are the best thing ever so I brought these in so she could try one. I know it wasn't the same as a friend corn dog, but she liked it. I ate the rest of the box of these this week paired with 2 Quaker Chocolate Rice Cakes and carrots. YUM.

Monday was chilly and I wanted something warm and filling and healthy. I was going to make chicken in the crock pot with Italian dressing, but we only had one piece of chicken left. I improvised. I just threw that one piece of chicken in the crock, black beans, chick peas, corn, salsa, a bit of water and chicken broth and let it cook 9 hours. It turned out to be a perfect meal and just what I was in the mood for! Warm. Filling. Healthy. I really made the most of that chicken because we had leftovers Tuesday. Score!

Wednesday is now Qdoba day. They have this deal where you get a burrito and pop for $4.99. That is a deal! The burritos are so big G and I end up with 2 dinners and 2 lunches for $8. Sold!

Thursday night we had breakfast for dinner. A favorite over here. We made this Turkey Sausage Casserole it was so good and so filling.

How are you guys doing?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Great Breed Debate

When we first laid eyes on Manny at the Humane Society we were told he was a lab pit pull mix. I didn't question it for a second. I knew he had pit coloring, but he had the floppy ears of a lab. It was the wildest thing because I could see Manny in a lab and pit bull. The way people looked at Manny as a puppy we figured he must have had some Pit in him. Never had we seen a puppy so ignored. Who doesn't love a puppy?! And just the other day I had a lady look at Manny with pure distaste and disgust. It is incredibly eye opening to see the stigma pit bulls have. It made me so sad.

So Manny is a year old now. He doesn't have the lab or pit bull build. He isn’t stocky. He is actually the opposite: really lean and tall. I had it in my head he must have some Greyhound in him then. I didn't need to do a DNA Test because I had just convinced myself he was a mix of Lab, Pit Bull, and Greyhound.

Then last weekend my family was over and my SIL’s mom mentioned she thought Manny was a Vizsla. I didn't really give it a second thought. Our friends have a Vizsla mix and Manny didn’t look anything like Chili Bean. A few days later I started reading this blog and Julie had a Vizsla and he looked JUST. LIKE. MANNY. I could not get over the similarities!


I googled Vizsla and showed G the above picture and he said “Oh my gosh! That is Manny!”


Not only do they have similar face features, but they have the EXACT same body type! G and I were fascinated and just dumbfounded that Manny was a Viszla. I mean, he is a rescue dog and probably still has Lab and Pit in him, but it's hard to deny the Viszla resemblance!

So you can imagine my surprise when I started reading about the Vizsla breed and realized Manny has the exact same temperament. Highly affectionate. Check. Loyal. Check. Energetic. Check. 

Great with children. Check. Thrive on attention. Check. Excellent retrievers. Check. Good guard dog. Check. Gentle-mannered. Check. Hunting dogs. This explains why he goes after every single squirrel, chipmunk, and bird. CHECK.

I was so happy to read "Vizslas are excellent swimmers. Some may need a little motivation to get in the water but as they get used to it they will love it." (via) There is hope for Manny yet!

I read that Vizslas are easily trainable so I haven't been as easy on Manny. I have really pushed him to listen when I say a command and the craziest thing is happening. He is obeying. He is smarter than I gave him credit for. I also read how important exercise is so I've started running during our walks in the morning and he is LOVING it.

I don't know. Maybe it's crazy, but I just feel like I know Manny better. I feel closer to him. I should still do the DNA Test, but I'm pretty sure he's got a lot of Vizsla in him. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mesothelioma Awareness

Heather Von St. James reached out to me this summer to help out with her campaign “to spread awareness about mesothelioma - a cancer caused only by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is an entirely preventable cancer, and hopefully with your help along with other bloggers, we can raise awareness and potentially save lives.”

How could I say no to that?! 100 times yes to help spread the word! Heather has an amazing story as a mesothelioma cancer survivor. She beat the odds 8 years ago when she was given only 15 months to live. She was diagnosed just three months after giving birth to her only daughter, Lily. After a lifesaving surgery that included the removal of my left lung, she is better than ever.

I just cannot even image or begin to even fathom what Heather went through. Her story gives me goose bumps. She is one of the strongest women I have ever encountered. A true warrior. She is a beautiful person inside and out. Please check out her blog and Facebook page.

To help raise awareness, here are a few facts about Mesothelioma:

  1. ·         “It is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body's internal organs, known as the mesothelium. There are three recognized types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 70% of cases, and occurs in the lining of the lung known as the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum and pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.” (via)

  • ·         You may be at risk if you have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace or home and is caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos particles.
  • ·         Currently, the treatment options include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
  • ·         Asbestos related cancer is common among military veterans because of exposure to naval ships, shipyards, and military bases.
  • ·         It is challenging to diagnose because early symptoms can be subtle. They may be easily dismissed as daily ailments.
  • ·         Symptoms include lower back pain, side chest pain, difficulty swallowing, persistent coughing, fatigue, nausea, anemia, weight loss, or shortness of breath.

·         If you believe you may have Mesothelioma talk to your doctor and get a full medical exam. You may also be required to get further testing, such as a PET Scan, CT Scan, MRI or X-Ray. For more information visit mesothelioma.com. Knowledge is power! Advocate for yourself and spread the word to save lives!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ten for Tuesday

1. On Friday my co-worker and I made a run to 7-11 for Free Slurpee Day. I cannot even remember the last time I had a slurpee so it was a fun treat.

2. G has a new hobby: wood working. He is kinda obsessed now. Here is a sneak peak of the corn hole he is making. I'm really impressed with his handy work. He spent a lot of time on this sanding it, varnishing it, making the holes and putting it together. He just needs to decide on a logo to stick on these and it should be all finished. When it is I will definitely show you the finished product. Next up he is going to work on a coffee table and then hopefully a farm table for me. I like this new hobby!

3. New obsession: Half an avocado on a slice of toast. So. Good. This is  my stand by breakfast right now with a side of strawberries.

4. G and I went to a couples' wedding shower on Sunday and it was a blast. It was so fun to see the old gang. Even though we haven't seen everyone in a while it felt like no time had passed. We were laughing and catching up and having a grand old time. Loved it. The food was out of this world. The salmon pate was incredible and don't even get me started on the bread. Oh, and the cheese tortellini? YUM. 

5. I'm not a fan of desserts, but these were so pretty I couldn't resist snapping a picture.

6. G and I participated in The Newlywed Game at the shower. It was a blast, but we did HORRIBLE. We were married the longest on the panel and we came in last place. Wah wah wah.

7. I'm so bummed Bed, Bath and Beyond no longer does their complimentary gift wrapping. I'm not sure how long that has been going on, but I'm not a fan. I was already so frazzled trying to find a gift available in store. THEN I had to do my own wrapping?! Do you know how bad I am at wrapping? G was next door at Home Depot and I texted him "HELP!" and he came to help me wrap. It was traumatic. 

8. Can we talk about The World Cup? It's over! I have G back!! Until football, that is. But I'll take it! :)

9. Thursday morning I was padding to the kitchen to start the coffee like I do every morning. Manny was acting a little weird, but I didn't think anything of it. Then I saw him jumping around with a leaf. I thought that was strange, but it was 6:00 a.m. so I wasn't all that awake yet. Then the leaf JUMPED. It was not a leaf after all. It was a FROG. In my kitchen. Frogs aren't scary, but they are when they are in my kitchen. Ewwwwwww. How long had it been in my house? What had it touched? I yelled for G to come grab it and take it outside and I took Manny out. Phew. That was way too much excitement all before 6:30 a.m.

10. My fish is still alive. I have kept him alive for over 2 weeks. Success!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mondays with Manny

That dog and his toys.