Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

Happy Monday! Today has actually been a pretty easy transition back to the “real world” after having the week off for spring break.  As much as I hate standardized testing, it’s come in handy that we started it this week in my English classes – it makes for a smoother entry into the work week.   Because I wasn’t ready to leave Hawaii behind just quite yet, I decided to go Aloha style for my OOTD (you might’ve seen this already on Instagram, if you follow me):


For the months of March and April, FMM is moving locations.  Sarah over at Losing Weight and Having Fun is hosting FMM for the time being, and I’m excited to discover her blog and meet a bunch of new bloggers.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: Losing Weight and Having Fun so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Favorite things

1. Favorite color? (be specific… what shade of blue/green/red etc)

hot pink  As much as I’m drawn to dark colors, my absolute favorite color is hot pink.  I’d love to get my Beetle convertible painted this color someday.

2. Favorite piece of clothing you own? I’ve been loving skirts and dresses lately, because I can wear them a lot longer than I can pants as I lose weight.  I guess I’d say my Michael Kors skirt is my favorite, because it’s so versatile. I can wear it with sweaters, tshirts, or tanks and it can change the look completely.

michael kors

3. Favorite smartphone app? I’d have to say MyFitnessPal, because I love how easy it makes logging all my food, water, and exercise.  Plus, I get so much inspiration and support from all my friends on there – I go to it multiple times a day.  If you’re on MFP, too, send me a note and add me, if you’d like.

4. Favorite city? I’d have to say San Francisco.  There’s something for everyone there – the beach, art, shopping, amazing food, nightlife, and outdoors activities.  Plus, the city itself is just so beautiful.


The Changing Light  by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (one of my favorite poets, one of the original Beat Poets, poet laureate of SF, and owner of City Lights Bookstore):

The changing light

            at San Francisco

    is none of your East Coast light

           none of your

                   pearly light of Paris

The light of San Francisco

             is a sea light

                       an island light

And the light of fog

        blanketing the hills

    drifting in at night

           through the Golden Gate

                      to lie on the city at dawn

And then the halcyon late mornings

    after the fog burns off

      and the sun paints white houses 

                     with the sea light of Greece

      with sharp clean shadows

       making the town look like

                             it had just been painted

But the wind comes up at four o’clock

                                    sweeping the hills

And then the veil of light of early evening

And then another scrim

           when the new night fog

                            floats in

And in that vale of light

                   the city drifts

                           anchorless upon the ocean

5. Favorite strength training exercise? I’ve mentioned it before, but since mid January I’ve been doing the Tone It Up exercises, and I absolutely love them.  They use your own body weight, along with small dumbbells or kettlebells to tone.  The difference I see in my body is noticeable.  Plus, the routines are so fun, and the community is really supportive.

6. Favorite vegetable?  This is like asking me my favorite book – I love so many that it’s difficult to choose just one.  Maybe zucchini because there’s so much you can do with them – make “zoodles,” stuff them, bake them, sauté  them, make zucchini fries, steam them, or have them raw with a crudité.

7. Favorite hair product? (shampoo, styling, conditioner etc) I’ve been using Pureology, and I love the way that it keeps my color fresh, but I’ve been noticing that my hair is drier since I’ve started using it.  I’ve been using Redken’s Smooth Lock, too, so I’m not sure if it’s the shampoo/conditioner or the styling product that is drying it out.  Either way, I think I need to make a change and see if it helps. On a recent trip to Dry  Bar to get my hair blown out, I was amazed at how shiny my hair looked.  I love how their products smell, so I’m thinking about trying their shampoo, conditioner, and styling products for a bit to see if they work better for me.

8. Favorite animal? Is there any question that I’m going to say dogs?

2014-02-04 17.03.30

9. Favorite superhero?  

bilbl_super Super Bellina 

Oh, did you mean a comic book superhero?   Then I’d have to say Wonder Woman, I guess.  🙂

10. Favorite recipe? (share the details with us)

A recipe I make again and again, in summer and winter is my version of Hungry Girl’s 10-Alarm Crockpot Turkey Chili.  It’s hearty, satisfying, delicious, easy to prepare, and has great nutritional stats.

Now it’s your turn to answer the questions!   And also be sure to go back to Sarah’s blog and leave a link to your FMM post in the comments!  I really encourage you to comment on as many people’s posts as you can – I’ve met some fantastic people through FMM.  You never know who you’ll meet today.


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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

Anyone who doesn’t have a pet might not understand why having Sofi in my life is the second thing I’m most thankful for. But if you do have a special furry friend in your life, then you know exactly why. And for those of you who don’t have pets, just look at this face:


I’ve written many times about what a great demeanor Sofi has.  Her personality is truly as adorable as her face.  She immediately loves everyone she meets, and is especially attracted to kids.  She’s very easy going, and is always in the mood to play.  Sofi helps me see the lighter side of life, even after a rough day.

The other thing I love about having Sofi is that she keeps me living in the moment.  A simple walk around the neighborhood or a session of throwing the ball for her in my backyard makes an ordinary morning/afternoon/evening into a fun memory.

It’s also so nice to know that someone is depending on me.  Sofi keeps me from being overly self-centered, which is easy to do, since I’m single.  I love that she’s there at home waiting for me to return from work or errands, or wherever I might be.  And her reaction?  Where else does someone greet you with jumps and licks and wanting to give huge hugs?  I love it!  She constantly makes me feel needed and wanted, which is a sure cure for any loneliness that might creep into my singledom.

Sofi is my best friend, and she brings me joy every single day.  Of course I’m thankful for her!


A recent excursion with the top down on the Beetle, just two pals hitting the road. I love the smile on Sofi’s face!!

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in #WEverb11. Each day gives a new prompt, each of which is a chance to reflect and look forward.

December 13: Read

What article or book changed your outlook on an issue or life? Contributed by Melinda.


As many of you know, I was completely devastated when I lost Lulu in March of this year. A few weeks after her death I read A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, and it helped me heal like nothing else could. Here’s what I wrote about the book in my Goodreads review:

I started A Dog’s Purpose right after my 1-year old dog Lulu was hit and killed by a car, and I have to say that reading it has really helped me get through her death and the loss and emptiness that has come with it. The book is told from a dog’s perspective, and it actually gave me a lot of insight (even though I know it’s fiction). The author consulted with lots of dog behavior experts, including Cesar Milan, and so I think he was able to capture life from a dog’s perspective perfectly.

It has so much to say about what life is really about and that we should appreciate all the simple pleasures and quite moments because we’re experiencing each of them for a reason.

This book is for anyone who loves dogs, and it has truly offered me a huge amount of comfort.”

What I didn’t write at the time is that the book’s premise is that dogs are reincarnated to continue their purpose on earth. So, while one dog might be killed unexpectedly or before their time, they get “another chance” to fulfill their true purpose as they come back to earth with all the knowledge they had in their first life. In the book, the main character (the dog) comes back as many different breeds, each time learning a bit more about what his true purpose is.

It may sound weird, but in many ways, I think that Lulu helped me find Sofi. Sofi was born four days after Lulu’s death, and something drew me to her breeder’s webpage. Sofi also seems to have an innate wisdom about her; she’s definitely a much smarter dog that Lulu ever was. Not that I think Sofi is Lulu reincarnated; I just think that because of Lulu and all that I learned about being a dog owner from her, I was better able to train Sofi. Although Sofi really did start off much smarter. Plus, just look at this cutie:


In any case, this book was the perfect thing for me to read at the time, and it did help me deal with a really significant loss (and guilt associated with it) that I was experiencing.

What have you read that completely changed your point of view?


If you’d like to join in on the daily writing prompts, go to WEverb11, sign up for the email notifications, and join us! Or follow along on Twitter using the #WEverb11 hashtag!

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A day in the life. Or, all the things I did to avoid grading those darn essays that I need to get finished before Tuesday. (And I’d feel so much better if I went into the workweek with them finished).

Changed the sheets on the bed:

Drank lots of coffee!

(I hate that burn on the countertop, but it’s from a previous tenant).

Refereed overly passionate playing puppies.  And played with them a bit, too:

Went shopping at Trader Joe’s and Target and…

…filled the fruit bowl

…stocked the freezer (Lean Cuisine’s on sale at Target: $2 each, plus buy 4, get 1 free, so for 10 dinners, I paid $16: $1.60 each!!)

…made sure that all my favorite, healthy foods were ready for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner all week:

(Don’t worry about that overly-processed bologna-looking turkey, that’s what Lulu uses to take her daily dose of Benedryl when I run out of regular turkey).

Tweeted, blogged/commented on blogs, checked FB – basically went to all my favorite online haunts:

I even did a bunch of laundry and folded it and put it away.

But now I’ve come to the point in the day when it really is unavoidable.  I need to get to the grading:

Wish me luck.

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 14Appreciate
What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

There are so many things that I’ve come to appreciate in this past year, but probably the most striking is how much my life has changed for the better now that I have Lulu. She’s brought so much joy into my life, and has taught me so much about myself.

Because of her I:

  • practice patience.
  • live in the moment when we’re together.
  • play.
  • don’t take everything so seriously.
  • wake up early, but don’t mind.
  • get into conversations with complete strangers.
  • am so much more active!
  • walk every single day, rain or shine.
  • go to Pet Food Express more often than I go to Sephora.
  • know what it’s like to have someone rely on me completely.
  • moved to a much better house where I feel safe and at home in my surroundings.
  • am a better person.

Lulu came into my life at the perfect time. A few years ago, I wasn’t ready for her. My life was completely consumed with work, and then grad school. I didn’t have time to take care of myself, see anyone, or do anything. I lived to work, and it was completely unhealthy. And in the last few years I changed that, I found balance and created a life for myself where work was just a part of the puzzle. And then I was ready for Lulu.

I think Lulu has helped prepare me for the next phase I’m about to enter – taking on a much larger role in my nieces lives. I’m looking forward to seeing all the changes that take place in my life as I take on this new challenge in 2011.

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