Jan 14

Our 1st Therapy-Dog Training Outing

August and I initially heard about therapy certification in December 2011 when we saw 2 therapy dogs at Barnes and Noble, I first wrote about our desire to get Eloise therapy certified back in July, we took our first steps toward making that happen by going through training classes at Petco in August, we were making good progress in November, and Saturday night we had our first official outing at a restaurant.

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August and I showed up early so Eloise could get out some of her nervous energy in the parking lot.

Eloise in Parking Lot

Once Tracy (the trainer and owner of Paws of Purpose) arrived it was time to get her vest to make it official and enter the restaurant.  Our goal when we take Eloise into a restaurant is for people to be surprised when she comes out from under the table at the end of the meal.  We’d like people’s reaction to be something along the lines of “holy crap, I had no idea there was a dog under there, she was so quiet!”.

Eloise Under Table

Golden Retriever-Therapy Dog

For her first time ever being in a restaurant, with lots of delicious smells, crazy noises, and strange people, Eloise did pretty awesome.  Of course, she tried to come out from under the table a few times but that’s to be expected for the first go-round.  After dinner, August and I were so excited to be able to take Eloise where ever we go that we decided to take a quick stroll through Walmart just for fun.

Therapy Dog in Walmart

You sure get a lot more attention when you’re walking through a store with a dog!

When it came to our Sunday errands of course we took Eloise with us.  First we hit up Costco followed by the Verizon store.

Therapy Dog in Costco

Therapy Dog

The process of officially getting Eloise certified will take anywhere from 4 months to one year from this point depending on how diligent we are about taking her places and working with her in public.  We have a lot of requirements to fulfill; taking her through a revolving door, taking her to a large event such as a wedding or birthday party, making a trip to the zoo or aquarium, having her ride on a boat or ferry, and many others.  Basically our goal is to have Eloise encounter every possible scenario to make sure she’s comfortable in every environment.  We even have our 2nd official outing scheduled in 2 weeks for a trip to see an IMAX movie.

This journey of getting Eloise therapy certified will be a long one but August and I  are super excited and you’ll definitely be hearing about each step as we go along.  So get ready for lots of pictures of dogs in places you’d never expect a dog to be, like a bowling alley. ;)

Posted in Eloise | Tagged | 18 Comments
Jan 11

Friday Brain Dump

1.  Eloise and I have been using our  Hands Free Leash on all of our runs the past 2 weeks.

Hands Free Running Leash

Dog Running Leash

It’s been awesome when combined with her Easy Walk Dog Harness.  I love having both hands free while I run, but if your dog is a big-time puller I would not suggest using this.  It’s only been successful for us because when Eloise wears her harness she physically can’t pull.  If I were to simply hook the hands free leash onto her neck collar, she’d be dragging me all over town.

2.  Apparently we now have Amazon Prime.  August signed up for a free one month trial and then forgot to unsubscribe and ended up getting charged for an entire year.  So, any recommendations for movies or TV shows offered by Amazon Prime?

3. Did you know that when we traveled to Kentucky over the holidays I was the only one in the car who’d ever seen more than a dusting of snow?!  Thankfully that all changed while we were visiting because we ended up with about 6 inches in total.

Golden Retriever in Snow

Newfoundland in Snow

August and Snowball

Dogs Running in Snow

I think everyone enjoyed it. :)

4.  We’re meeting our dog trainer tomorrow night to officially begin therapy dog training!  Not only that, but we’re meeting her at a restaurant and Eloise will actually be able to come in with us!  We’re both totally excited and totally nervous about this.  I mean, can Eloise handle being in a restaurant with so many people and crazy smells around her?  I’ll definitely have an update on how this goes come Monday morning!

Hope you all make it through this Friday work day unscathed and enjoy the weekend!

Posted in Random | Tagged , , | 2 Comments
Jan 10

Kicking Our Soda-Buying Habit

Back in September August and I made a plan to try and save money, and the #1 thing we wanted to do was stop buying sodas every day on our way to work.  When we added it up we realized we were spending nearly $150/month just on sodas!  For the month of September we totally rocked it.  We bought a 36 pack of Mountain Dew for August so he’d have a soda to take to work every day and I went back to exclusively drinking water.  But as time went on, we slowly found ourselves falling back into our old routine of stopping at CVS every morning and picking up a Sunkist for me and a Red Bull for August.  And before I knew it, we’d stopped there every single day for the 3 weeks leading up to the holiday break.   At $1.59/Sunkist and $2.49/Red Bull this had to stop, and had to stop now.  Enter in the Sodastream.

Sodastream

I had originally planned on buying a Sodastream for my mom for Christmas because she LOVES root beer and drinks a lot of it, so I figured she’d get a lot of use out of something like this.  But because of a mix up, I wound up with 2 Sodastreams and so one went to my mom for Christmas and the other came back with us to Texas.  And let me tell you, this thing rocks!  For $79.99 you get a CO2 container for 60 liters of soda, a 1 liter bottle, and 6 1 liter samples of syrup.  Because we’d tried samples at the store we already knew we wanted to buy both the orange and the energy drink to take the place of our Sunkist and Red Bull.

Soda Mix

Each soda mix costs $4.99 and provides enough syrup for 12 liters worth of soda.  So instead of spending $4/day buying sodas at the store, we now spend ~$5 every other week.  Obviously we’ll be getting our money’s worth in no time at all.  Oh, and as a bonus, each 8 oz serving only has 30 calories but tastes exactly (or pretty darn close) like the real, high calorie thing . For comparison, 8 oz of Sunkist has 130 calories and 8 oz of Red Bull has 110 calories.  And seriously, this thing could not be easier to use.

You fill up your 1 liter (or 1/2 liter if you buy add ons like I did) bottle with ice cold water and screw it onto the machine.  You then press the button at the top 3 times, pushing the CO2 into the water.

CO2

Then all you have to do is unscrew it, pour in the correct amount of syrup, stir it up, and you’ve got perfectly tasty, cheap, low calorie soda.

Pouring Syrup

Finished Soda

We like to make ours at night, store it in the fridge, and grab it on our way out the door in the mornings.  But the flavors certainly aren’t limited to just energy drink and orange, they have tons of flavors.  Ranging from regular cola and mountain dew to diet pink grapefruit and cranberry raspberry.

Of course, if you’re not a soda drinker this product isn’t for you, but if you’re like August and I and really want to give up soda either because it’s ridiculously expensive or because it’s a complete waste of calories but just can’t seem to bring yourself to do it, I honestly can’t recommend the Sodastream enough.

Disclaimer: I did NOT receive any compensation for writing this review.  I bought 2 Sodastreams with my own money but think it’s a pretty awesome product and wanted to share my opinion in hopes that I might help someone else save a little money and calories.

Posted in Health, Random | Tagged | 2 Comments
Jan 09

Dear Gym, Please Forgive Me

Dear Gym,

Please forgive me for giving you up back in August.  It was a huge mistake; I thought I could become one of those girls who did nothing but run outside.  I figured since the temperatures were finally starting to cool (ok, who am I kidding it didn’t actually start to cool down here in San Antonio until October) that I’d have no problem running after work every day.  Well, turns out when going to the gym is not an option, I really, really miss you.  So that’s why on January 1 I vowed to re-up my membership, and even though I’ve only been back with you for 8 days, I’ve never been happier.  In hopes that you’ll forgive me for deserting you those 5 months here are just a few reasons why you’re my favorite.

1. When the weather is totally crappy, it’s okay because I only have to be in it for the minute it takes me to run across the street to your warm, dry haven.

San Antonio Weather

2.  When I can’t decide what kind of exercise I want to do, it’s okay because I can do them all in one session.  Elliptical, treadmill, and plank all in 45 minutes!

Elliptical

15 minute warm-up on the elliptical while watching Big Bang Theory.  Bazinga!

Treadmill Workout

Followed by a 25 minute treadmill interval workout.

Plank-a-day

Followed by my abysmal first attempt at holding a plank for as long as I could.

3.  Even though I detest lifting weights, it’s okay because seeing them right next to me every day will eventually motivate me to lift a few of them.

Weight Room

(Picture source)

4.  Even when I feel like I’m the only one struggling to get in shape, it’s okay because when I walk through your doors I realize what a ridiculous thought that is.  There are hundreds of people at the gym everyday trying to be healthy and stay fit.

Getting Healthy Quote

(Picture source)

5.  When my muscles are sore and my joints are aching, it’s okay because you have a pool where I can swim laps.

Swimming Pool

6.  When all of the sudden I need to use the restroom in the middle of a workout, it’s okay because I don’t have to find a spot in the woods since you have a nice, clean locker room for me to use whenever I need it.

So you see gym, when I left 5 months ago, it wasn’t you, it was me.  But now I’m back and I promise that I’ll never leave again.

Love,

Megan

So tell me…

Why do you love the gym?

And if you’re not a gym goer, what’s your favorite workout outside the gym?

Posted in Work Out | 8 Comments