Doggy Dental Care

My youngest pup Isabelle has some stinky breath. When we first rescued her she has a lot of issues with her gums, resulting in her not liking the chew bones much, and gum bleeding when she did. There is a lot of plaque buildup on her teeth, which is cause for alarm — poor oral hygiene can cause a lot of long-term problems for dogs. At our vet’s suggestion, she is going to enjoy toothbrushing with me at night before bed.IMG_20161212_184526.jpg

Enter the doggy toothbrush. I’ve tried using a regular toothbrush, because we happened to have an extra sitting around. She has a pretty small mouth/jaw, so it’s tough to get the toothbrush in there, but it was working ok. But then I got a chance to try this toothbrush set from Next Level Pet — it’s so much nicer! The large toothbrush has two ends: a bigger end for big dogs, and the smaller end for smaller mouths. It also comes with two “attachments” that you can put on your finger. One is a normal brush type, the other has rubbery nubs for massaging the gums. The package includes a recipe for doggy toothpaste on the back, but for now we are just using water.

Here’s to hoping for a healthier mouth and no expensive dental bills!

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Becoming a runner

What does it mean to be a “runner”? Is there a certain distance that you need to go? A certain number of races you’ve participated in? A particular speed at which you need to be able to run?

No.

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Anyone can be a runner. Whether you can run an ultra marathon or you struggle finishing 1 mile, you’re still running. Or jogging, in my case. But it’s still happening. And if you want to be a runner, then you are.

I’ve always been drawn to the idea of running. Many times over the years I’ve started a couch-to-5k type of program, only to find myself giving up when I felt like I couldn’t make it over a mile without giving up. Does this sound familiar to any of you?

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My running companion Kingsley

Here’s the thing — I’m still running. Even if it’s only 2 or 3 miles, and even if I need to take a 1-2 minute walking break every now and again. And tomorrow I will run a little bit longer, or perhaps a little bit further. Eventually I will reach my goal — and then it’s time to set a new one!

Washi Washi Everywhere

Like many other scrapbooks, planner girls and bullet-journalers out there, I am addicted to washi tape. You can’t have just one roll. Or 10. Or 20. I don’t actually think there is a limit to how much washi one person really needs. There are so many holidays and themes, and you need washi to match all of them!

I already have a pretty decent collection, but I am always looking to add more — especially the adorable Boston Terrier roll from Recollections (birthday or Christmas gift, anyone?)

Recently I was given the chance to try out a washi 12-pack from United Tapes for free in exchange for my review of the product. I was able to order it from Amazon and (thanks to Prime!) it arrived within a few days. You get 12 rolls of washi (each 10 meters long) for $15.97 – that’s only about $1.33 per roll!

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The rolls are what I would consider the “standard” size, so there is plenty of washi there. The colors are bright and all of the lines and edges are crisp. The tape peels up from the roll easily. And like any good washi tape, it is easy to re-position. Because lets be real, how often do you get it lined up correctly on the first try?

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The parts of the tape that appear white are actually clear, so if you’re planning on putting these tapes onto paper that isn’t white, or into a dot grid or lined book, just keep in mind that you may be able to see a little bit of your background through the washi. I put some in the top of my bullet journal and I could see the grid shadowing through, but not enough to bother me.

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United Tapes also has a set of gold/silver metallic tapes — I didn’t get a chance to try those ones out, so I can’t attest to their quality, but they look beautiful!

Which of the tape rolls is your favorite? I love the multi-colored chevrons and the orange bubbles. I used the blue stars and the blue and red stripes on my “Election Day” spread this week though, and they will be perfect for 4th of July, Veteran’s Day (tomorrow!), and other patriotic holidays for my fellow US folks.

 

21 Day Fix — check-in

I am just starting Week 3 of the 21 Day Fix

I never feel like I am hungry or not getting enough food. When you are eating whole, healthy, wholesome foods, a “little” goes a long way! The part that has been the hardest for me is getting all of the fruits containers that I am supposed to be eating. I am not a huge fruit eater most of the time, so I’ve been reminding myself to sneak fruits in for my snacks and breakfast as much as possible.

Almost all of Week 2 was a cheat for me, which I am sure will show in my final results. We were out of the state for my sister’s wedding for several days, which was ended with and followed by a nasty cold/flu thing that I am still struggling with. I haven’t been getting a workout in for several days (mainly because breathing is hard just sitting), which is definitely catching up with me. I also fell off the wagon a bit as far as food choices when we were traveling, although I did my best to make appropriate choices for 2 of the 3 meals each day.  I did eat cupcakes and drink a copious amount of alcohol on the wedding day though, and I feel no guilt for that 🙂

I will post my start and end numbers once I finish up with Week 3!

The 21 Day Fix, Brittany-style

So if you’re involved with the dieting/fitness world in any way, you’ve probably heard it the 21 Day Fix. It is one of the Beachbody programs, and involves portion control containers combined with a 7-day-a-week exercise plan.

It’s also about $60. And while I have heard great things about it from both friends and family who have done it, $60 is a good chunk of change. So with the being said, I decided to go my own route to doing essentially the same thing.

Up first is the food/portion control part of the Fix. A quick search on Amazon found me lots of different versions of portion control containers, almost all of which are the same size as the ones in the 21 Day Fix, and are even color coded the same. I ended up going with this set:

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7 Piece Portion Control Containers

Next up is the workouts. I am already seeing a trainer once a week and visiting the gym 2-3 other times each week, so I just needed to bump things up. I’m not doing the exact same workouts as the 21 Day Fix Program, but there are LOTS of free 30-minute workout videos available on Youtube.  So just set yourself a schedule of which days you will do a regular gym workout or which days you will be doing any particular workout video. 30 minutes every day of the week and be sure to switch things up each day to keep your mind and body on their toes!

For myself I wanted to really be able to see what kind of changes my body went through in the 3 weeks, so I created a fitness journal. A space at the beginning for my “before” measurements, pages for my “during” and “after” measurements, and a daily food log. This is where I keep a record of what I eat each day and track as I use up each of my different colors of containers for the day.

I am currently on day 4. Today was a bit of a “cheat day” due to circumstances both within and out of my control. Next weekend my sister is getting married, and I can guarantee that will be a cheat day as well. However, I’m confident that I will be able to stay pretty on track the other days of the week, and a cheat meal here and there isn’t unreasonable.

 

Have you ever done the 21 Day Fix or a similar program? What were your results like?

 

 

INNX Product nylon dog safety belt

As you may know, we have three adorable dogs and often take them on trips to the beach, hiking, visiting family, and of course to the dreaded vet. I always used to worry about what would happen if I got in a car accident. Even if I need to slam on my breaks a little the dogs come skittering forward, what would happen if my car rolled over? (Dog mom anxiety is a real struggle).

Fast forward to finding these doggy seat belts on Amazon. They are the perfect solution for the worrying dog mom! They are easy to use and I can rest easier knowing that my dog is safely tethered in. They are easy to adjust as well — the slider clip on the belt adjusts the length so you can give the dog as much or as little moving space. The clip at the end attached to the dog’s harness the same way a leash would attach, then simply snap the buckle portion into your seat belt just like you would with a standard seat belt. It will stay securely fastened until you unclip it!

Check out my video on youtube to see my modeling the use of the product, featuring the handsome Kingsley as a model 🙂

If you want to pick them up for yourself you can find them here on Amazon – less than $8 for a set of two!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free or at a discounted rate in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the seller or manufacturer in any way. I received no additional compensation for this review.

Living with Depression and Anxiety

Living with depression and/or anxiety is a struggle.  When you live with both you get double the struggle. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out which one is the hardest on any give day. Every day is different. I may be at a 5 or 6 in terms of depression, but an 8 or 9 for anxiety. Maybe my anxiety isn’t as bad that day, but the depression is through the roof.

Depression isn’t just “being sad”. Anxiety isn’t just “being nervous”.  For me, life with depression and anxiety looks like:

  • Uncontrollable sobbing when you read an article about someone suffering, losing a child, losing a parent, losing a home, etc. Or cute animals. Or happy people. Sad people. Natural disasters. Violence. People having babies. A community supporting its’ members. Basically anything, really.
  • Physical aches and pains — headaches, body aches, muscle tension, upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea.
  • Wanting to get a ton of stuff accomplished but physically/mentally not being able to. I. Just. Can’t. I want to, but I can’t. There is no other way to describe it.
  • Feeling like your friends and family secretly hate you and talk about you behind your back.
  • Not wanting to go hang out with friends because you aren’t sure if you can park in their driveway or not.
  • Avoiding crowded places because there are just too many people and you feel overloaded.
  • Not having the mental or physical energy to get out of bed and start your day.
  • Always assuming the worst case scenario. Someone is late? They probably got in a car accident. Or they don’t want to actually hang out with you and are just going to blow you off. They’re cheating on you.
  • Needing space at the same time that you don’t want to be alone.
  • Uncontrollable emotional outbursts.
  • Constantly feeling like you aren’t good enough and are letting the people around you down.
  • Sitting on the couch staring blankly into space because you have no interest in doing anything.
  • Not enjoying any of the hobbies and activities that you used to like, or know that you like, or think that maybe you like but you can’t remember because it’s been so long.
  • Avoiding social activities because there may be someone there that you don’t know.
  • Calling people, businesses, etc after they are closed because you don’t actually want them to answer. Hoping for voicemail every time you call someone.
  • Constantly cancelling plans with people because you just can’t do it. It’s not the same reason every time, but it seems like there’s always something.
  • Not being able to focus on tasks, or starting new tasks before finishing others.

That is certainly  not an all-inclusive list, but it does touch on what I experience on a daily basis. What does depression and/or anxiety look like for you? What techniques do you use to manage day-to-day activities?