Posts Tagged ‘walking the dog’


There’s nothing like waking up really early on a Saturday morning and being outside in the backyard with Sofi. Today is going to be HOT, so I enjoyed the simple pleasure of watering my garden. It’s one of the most peaceful things I do: it gives me time to think, time to live in the moment, and time to nurture my green thumb. I love the way it smells in the backyard after everything is watered, when it’s still shady.

Speaking of the heat, in an effort to try to beat it, Sofi and I have been heading out really early (think 7:15am) to get in a good walk. Thursday I needed to mail a letter, so we hit the pavement and walked to the post office. And since my parents live near there, we decided to pay them an early morning visit and get a quick water break. Then we took the long way home. All told, we walked for 65 minutes and about 3 miles. Today we did another winding, early morning walk. This time it was just meandering around the neighborhood, walking for about 40 minutes, taking the long route around. It’s quiet so early in the morning, and I love being with Sofi as we’re exploring our little piece of the world.

Yesterday I had my post-op appointment (more on that later), and it felt good to hear such good news. One of the best parts was that my blood pressure continues to be normal. Yesterday it was 123/77. I know some charts would show this as above normal, but for me, it’s a great number. I love going to the doctor and not being worried about stepping on the scale or having my blood pressure read.

Dexter-final-season-key-artYou guys know what a TV junkie I am, and one of the things I’m most excited about for this weekend is the season premiere of Dexter. This is going to be the final season, and I can’t wait to see what kind of Big Bad they have in store for us this year.

Today my mom and I are hitting the mall to escape the heat, but also to go shopping. Nothing especially glamorous, but after 56+ lbs, I’m in desperate need of some new panties. And I wouldn’t say no to a couple of new sleeveless tops to take me through this part of the summer. Yesterday I bought a few new sports bras at Target, because I have to double up on my current ones just to get a little bit of support. Retail therapy is so much more fun when I’m finding myself with more options.

Finally, the thing that’s making me smile the most lately is that I’m fitting into tons of smaller clothes! As a girl who loves fashion, and always tried to look my best, no matter what my size, it is fantastic that I’m moving on down the rack. At my heaviest, I was wearing pants in size 28 and tops in size 26. Now I’m wearing size 22 pants and tops in size 18/20. The scale might not be moving quite as quickly as I would hope, but I’m thrilled with the way clothes are looking on me. And the inches are just as important. Here’s a sample of some photos I’ve been posting on IG lately:


Top: Size 3 from Torrid. I bought this and could never wear it because it was too tight around my hips. Now it flows over them nicely.
Pants: Size 22 Se7ens from Lane Bryant


I bought this tshirt from SkinnyEmmie.com over a year ago, and it was skin tight. Actually, past that. Now it fits really well, especially after a few alterations. (I had to cut it so it was shorter, I cut the neckline because I don’t really like crew necks, and I cut off the sleeves.


I bought that blinged-out Giants tank from Bling Circus (Etsy), and it was way too tight just a few months ago. Now it’s form-fitting, but nicely hugs my curves.

I hope you have a wonderful day, full of things that put a smile on your face.


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Happy Friday!!!

1. Today began rainy and misty outside, but now that’s around noon, the sun is out and the weather is beautiful.  I appreciate winter’s cooler temps, but I have to say, I’m much more motivated when it’s sunny outside.

2. This afternoon I’m looking forward to taking Sofi on a nice, long walk. It’s been pouring rain for the past two days, and that little doggie is in need of a sunny jaunt outside.  She seems to really love our post-rain walks because of all the fresh smells in the air and on the ground.  Our walks are definitely bonding time, and I love seeing her so happy.  Plus, it helps me burn a few calories, so win win.

3. This Sunday, since there’s no football, I’m determined to do a major closet cleanup.   I’d planned to do this after Christmas, but never got around to it.  I know I have a ton of clothes and shoes to donate, and I’m overdue for organizing. I’ve been trying hard not to buy any new clothes, since I’m losing weight and even more rapid weight loss is imminent post-surgery, but I think I’m going to reward myself with a new top or accessory. It will be just the “carrot” I need to complete this loathsome task.

4. I movie tickets that I haven’t used yet, and might find some time on Saturday to head to the movies.  Any suggestions?  Is Django worth it?  Should I see Les Mis instead?  Or is there an indie that I should see? Let me know in the comments.

5. I found this recently on Pinterest, and I’m proud to say that this is how I’ve been living for the past month:


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I’ve always loved Friday the 13th, even though most people think of it as an unlucky day.  As my Spanish teacher in high school once said, “how can any Friday be unlucky?”  My thoughts exactly.  And actually, ever since high school when I just had to be a little rebel (I was actually a really good kid), I decided that since everyone else thought of 13 as an unlucky number, it was going to be my favorite number.  It still is, to this day.

And this Friday the 13th is especially lucky because I have the entire day off.  And not just today (for semester break), but also Monday (for Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday), so I have a 4-day weekend.  I don’t have any special plans of going somewhere, but I do have a few things that I’m looking forward to:

Friday –

  • Anusara yoga at noon today. BTW – yesterday’s Indian Temple Dancing that I was so looking forward to was cancelled.  Only they didn’t tell anyone.  So 4 of us showed up to take the class, and found out the bad news.  Not the best way to run a yoga studio, but the girl felt so bad that she offered me a card for a free tea at their Mandala Tea House.
  • Find a new and interesting spot to take Sofi on a long walk.
  • Begin to crochet.  I found a great video series on YouTube and my Happy Hooker book arrived earlier this week.
  • Spend a solid hour or two reading.  Scale Warfare and I are reading The Life You’ve Imagined and I’m also interested in starting Hunger Games.
  • Babysit my nieces for a couple of hours – maybe some Wii Just Dance?
  • Continue my Sons of Anarchy marathon.  I’m up to season 4 now, and I love these characters.  It doesn’t hurt that Charlie Hunnam is so easy on the eyes.

Saturday –

  • Zumba at 10am and then yoga basics at 12:15.  Looking forward to a great day of calorie burn.
  • Watch my ‘9ers beat those Saints
  • Long walk with Sofi at another new location.
  • More crochet practice time.
  • More reading.
  • Catching up on Grey’s Anatomy.  I adore this show, but somehow I’m behind by a few seasons.  I’m going to use my Amazon Prime (which I’m loving!) to catch up and then hopefully watch the rest on Xfinity.

Sunday –

  • Personal puppy training with Sofi and Tanya (our trainer).  I think I’ve mentioned before that I live on an incredibly busy street.  I have a really long driveway, though, and I’d love to be able to train Sofi  to stay in the driveway when I open the door or when we’re just outside.  I know it can be done because my sister’s dog is great about it.  Plus, Sofi is so smart and a really quick learner. I’m just so nervous because of the way that Lulu died.  So I figured it was worth it to hire our puppy trainer.  Tanya is coming to our house bright and early on Sunday (9am) to help us learn how to do this.  I can’t wait.
  • Another long walk with Sofi.
  • Get the house cleaned and organized.
  • Candlight Yin yoga. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect way to end the weekend and get ready for the week ahead?
  • Coffee with a friend?

Monday –

  • Even though everyone will be out and about on Monday, since many people have the day off, I think I’m going to brave the mall to use they $100 gift certificate my parents gave me to Sephora.  Plus, window shopping is fun and it’s been forever since I’ve had time to just look around, so that might be nice.
  • Another fun, long walk with Sofi.
  • More crochet practice time.
  • More reading.
  • Get ready for the (short) week ahead – it will be the beginning of the 2nd semester, so the week should be a really positive one.  Fresh starts and all of that.

I can’t wait.  Even if you don’t have a 4-day weekend like I do, I hope you find some time do enjoy yourself.

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Even though Sofi has her own blog, where I write all about our experiences together, I thought that since today she’s moving into a whole new stage of her life, I’d highlight a few things on this blog.  Just in case you needed a cute puppy fix for today.  🙂

Today Sofi is 4 months old, which is exciting for so many reasons. Now she can go on walks, visit the dog park, get groomed, and do pretty much anything we decide we’d like to.  It’s opened up a whole new world for her, which is great for me, too.  Now we an really have fun and we’re not limited to only staying around the house or the backyard.  I can bring her out and about, and I think she’s going to enjoy being a social puppy.

Yesterday Sofi also took her first car ride, which she loved.  Then when we got home and I thought she was just going to chill out for a while, she decided it was frolickin’ Friday.  If you do nothing else, please watch that video – I guarantee it will make you giggle.

I hope you guys have a fantastic weekend – I have some fun plans of my own that I’ll catch you up on in a post tomorrow.  Let’s just say that I plan to make the most of each day of the weekend!!!  I hope you do, too.

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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 3Moment.
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).  (Author: Ali Edwards)

Choosing just one moment was difficult for me, because there were so many great moments this year.  Lots of exciting things have been going on in my life, and I know they’re going to continue in 2011.

By far the best thing that has happened in my life this year was getting Lulu as my doggie  companion.  She brings such joy into my life, and has allowed me to care for something outside of myself, which I desperately needed.  So of course the moment I’ve chosen deals with Lulu.

We’ve gotten to know each other fairly at this point – we’ve been together  24/7 for about 3 weeks.  We’ve started puppy training, potty training, and we’re getting to know each other’s personality.  Today we’re going to do something new – we’re going on a walk in the park near our house with the long, retractable leash so Lulu is able to spread her wings a bit.

We arrive at the park on a very sunny day and Lulu delights in the sounds – birds chirping, cars rushing by, children laughing in the distance, and every now and then we can hear the methodical footsteps of a runner out for their daily jog.  When Lulu encounters a new person along our walk, she makes a fast friend.  I’m in awe of how friendly and trusting she is – she loves meeting new people.

Lulu is a conversation starter for me, too.  Every few minutes a new person comes up to me as we’re walking the path at the Rose Garden, asking me how old she is, what her name is, what her breed is – they all wish they had a little Lulu of their own.  It makes me proud of her in the way that mothers must be proud when they get compliments on their children. (I feel I’ve gotten a glimpse into motherhood since I’ve had Lulu.  I know mothers will disagree that owning a dog is anything like motherhood, but I think it’s offered me some insights that I didn’t have previously).

Walking at the park with Lulu on this day is one of the best times I’ve had.  I feel like everything is more vibrant – the sun on my back, the green of the grass, the wind on my face – I’m in-tune with all of it.  If Lulu wasn’t in my life, I would’ve never come out to the park today to take this walk.  That’s one major benefit of having her – I’m a lot more active and enjoying that activity.

Walking Lulu is a huge way that we bond.  I love watching how she reacts to seeing a pink rose for the first time, or coming upon a muddy portion of grass.  She’s like a sponge: taking it all in and marveling at it all.  Being around Lulu reminds me that I need to live in the moment more often and appreciate the day to day beauty that is all around me.

I’ve learned so many things from Lulu in these 6 months that we’ve been together, but one of the biggest is to cherish the here and now.

Plus, with a face like this, how can I not think she’s the best thing that happened to me in 2010:

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

It feels so good to be back in the mix with everyone, following a meal and exercise plan.  Don’t get me wrong, I really think I needed the 2-month break that I took, and I’m happy to report that I pretty much maintained my weight throughout that time.  I didn’t go too far overboard with my eating, and it was a nice respite to stop weighing, measuring, and counting during the summer.  But, it feels so right to be back at it now.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I am now on a 1200 calorie a day meal plan set up by the nutritionist at Kasier.  The goal is to lose the required 5-10% of my total body weight so that I can have the Lap Band surgery.  I’ll find out the exact amount I need to lose on Sept. 2nd, but I wanted to get started right away.

Yesterday I began by logging my breakfast into the BodyBugg (BB) program, but found it very clunky.  Many of the foods (like almond milk) that I eat weren’t in the database, and the process of adding foods is sort of a pain.  I am still going to use the BodyBugg to help me track the number of calories I burn, so it will be useful for that.  I decided to use the Lose It app that I downloaded a long time ago on my iPhone, and I am loving it.  LOVING!  It has had every single food that I’ve eaten, even random things like Greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s.  It also breaks down my nutrionals for me, letting me know the percentages of protein, carbs, and fats that I’ve eaten, which is something the WW eTools didn’t do.  It’s interesting to see how it all works out.  I also really like that it is on the iPhone (convenient), but also has a website that I can go to, if I’m at a computer.  I love that I  can log exercise in Lose It as well, and it will even tweet my exercise, so those of you who follow me on Twitter will be able to see how I’m doing in that regard.

Here’s a screen shot of yesterday’s totals:

(You can click on it to really see the info).

Sticking to a caloric goal is somewhat harder than sticking to Points, mostly because Points give you a lot more lee-way.  Yesterday I did fairly well, although I was over by 272 calories.  I went to see Natalie Merchant in concert (which was amazing, btw) and didn’t eat dinner before, because I thought there would be something decent to eat at the venue.  When I saw that they were selling $8 hotdogs, I knew I had made a mistake.  I ended up getting a cheese and fruit plate and shared it with my friends; it wasn’t the best choice in the world, but given the offerings, it was decent.  Plus those two glasses of wine added up.  But I’m not going to get too upset about it, because it was my first day and the concert was a special thing, so I’m happy with what I did, overall.

Tomorrow is going to be my official weigh-in and, I am really looking forward to losing these 20 or so lbs.  I can’t wait to get back on the scale and see progress every week.  Scale Warfare said that when she returns from her honeymoon she’s going to join me in my 20 lbs. journey, which will be fun.  Does anyone else want to?  Maybe I can make some kind of challenge out of it. Let me know if you guys have any thoughts on that.

A couple of pictures of the concert last night.  I was at the best venue for seeing artists, called Mt. Winery.  It’s in the Saratoga foothills, and I love the scenic views as well as the intimate setting.  There’s not a bad seat in the house, even in the general admission “bleachers,” where we were sitting.

I’m going there again next Tuesday to see Cyndi Lauper in concert, and I cannot wait!  Although now I’ll know to bring a picnic with us because they have great picnic tables in the winery.  And I’ll also bring a sweater, because when the fog rolls in at night, it’s cold!  Natalie Merchant commented last night that it felt more like Pennsylvania in October than California in August.  While lots of the country is sweltering right now, we’re experiencing much cooler than normal temps.

One thing I didn’t really do yesterday was exercise.  It was an absolutely hectic day because I went in to school to update our website and start getting my classroom in order, had a dentist appointment, picked Lulu up from doggie daycare, and then headed to the concert.  No time!  Today will be a better day.  I was supposed to go to Half Moon Bay to meet Kat for a beach walk, but unfortunately she’s feeling ill, so we had to reschedule.  Which means that I am free to go to the Rose Garden at 1pm and possibly (hopefully!) run into Flirt #1.  I’m also thinking we may just head to the dog park, too, so that Lulu can really run around and I could possibly run into Flirt #2.  Wow, that makes it sound like I’m totally using Miss Lulu to help my own love life, but that’s really not it.  She needs the exercise, and I do like the more social aspect of taking her out for long walks and to the dog park. The fact that there might be some fun flirting at the same time is merely a nice side benefit.

On the homefront, I finally heard back from my old landlord about the duplex that I am hoping to move into, and he said that he’ll call me tomorrow to set up a time so that I can go by and see it.  He also told me what the current tenant pays in rent, and it’s a lot less than I thought, which is fabulous.  He said that he’s going to check out the going rental market rate and then set my rent based on that, but if it’s close to what she was paying, it’s definitely do-able.  Please keep some good thoughts, crossed fingers, or prayers in mind for me that it works out, because things next door to me are still really bad.  More violent fighting, and just a general feeling of unease abounds.

So that’s about it, folks.  It’s a busy, busy time for me, but it’s exciting too.  I’m looking forward to seeing my progress with this 1200 cals/day diet & exercise.  See you back tomorrow with my weigh in.

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Let’s start with the bad news…


Today (it’s almost 1am, so technically this is yesterday) I went to look at the duplex that was available and I was so disappointed in what I saw.  Yes, the layout was exactly the same as the one I had lived in years ago, but it was absolutely disgusting inside.  Apparently the previous tenants had been evicted, and it showed.  The carpet and floors were filthy, and the property manager said they “might need to be replaced.”  Uh, if you want to rent it to me, they NEED to be replaced.  Oh, and while you’re at it, why not update those ugly cabinets that look as if they haven’t been painted in years?  The entire place just looked so run down and awful, and the yard was completely overgrown with weeds.  So not worth the monthly rental fee.

The property manager was so unprofessional, and not only did she show up 10 minutes late for our appointment, but she just seemed like a total airhead.  When I looked the company up on Yelp, they had some really poor reviews from current tenants.  Not a good sign.  Which means that all 10 of the duplexes that are on that street are off the table, because the same man owns all of them, and the same property managers run them.  If she couldn’t even show up on time to show me the place, I can only imagine how unresponsive they are when things need to be repaired.

So it’s back to the drawing board.  I’m not giving up, but I may not move out as soon as I thought (or had hoped).  My quick searches on Craigslist hasn’t shown anything I’m interested in so far.  I definitely want to get a duplex or a little house.  Once you “graduate” from apartment living, you definitely don’t want to go back.  I have decided to sign a month-to-month lease at my current location so that I have the freedom to leave whenever I want to.  This buys me the time to find some place that I feel comfortable with.  Because as crazy as the neighbors on both sides of me are (and for as poor as the neighborhood is), my place itself is nice and I only want to move up.  I definitely don’t want to settle.

And now the good…


I’m happy to report that Lulu is completely potty trained already!  It’s only been a month, so I think that shows exactly how smart she is.  She’s still a great puppy who adds so much to my life, but she has started moving into that “adolescent” stage of puppyhood.  She’s started barking quite a bit, and while I know that’s normal, I don’t like it when she barks at ME.  Most of the time she barks becasue she wants to play, which is fine, but the last two days she’s started barking whenever I’m not paying her enough attention – when I’m eating a meal (new weight loss tool?? ;), when I’m cleaning up, or when I’m watching t.v or on the computer.  I’m trying different techniques to curb her barking at me, including giving her timeouts in her crate.  I’m going to inquire at the puppy training to see if they have any other suggestions.

Speaking of the training, she’s doing really well with “sit” and “lay down.”  I’m looking forward to going this evening (Wednesday evening) and seeing what new tricks we learn.  The main thing I’m looking forward to learning with her is recall/name recognition and loose leash walking.

Which leads me to the fact that I think I need to start taking Lulu on longer walks to tire her out a bit more.  Right now we go around the block 5-6 times a day and usually 1 good (1/2 mile) walk, but I think now that she’s gotten older and seems to be able to control her bladder better, I can cut down the walks to 2-3 longer ones a day.  My neighborhood isn’t the best to walk in, so I think I’m going to start driving her to the better streets that are a 5-minute car ride away.  I know that seems silly, but I’d much rather do that than walk on the streets around here where who knows what she’ll find.  There’s a ton of garbage on the sidewalks near my house (I saw a Hennessey bottle strewn on the sidewalk just this morning), so I’m forced to be ridiculously vigilant in making sure she’s not getting into things.  Since the nicely maintained streets aren’t very far away, it makes sense to just drive her to them.  Of course I’ll still take her outside for the quick potty breaks a few times a day, but I think doing these new routes will be good for both of us.  (It might also help with barking).

New Stuff

I just bought Just Dance for the Wii, and I can’t wait to try it this morning (look for a review once I have).  I’ve heard great things about it from you guys and from the reviews on Amazon, so I think it will be a fun thing to add to my exercise routine.  I pre-ordered the Just Dance 2, as well, and I have a feeling I’ll like that one, too.  It has all new songs to groove to, so it will help keep things interesting.

Despite the reported reception/antenna problems with the iPhone 4, I’m going to order one today.  I have a iPhone 3G, which is 2 models behind, and I’m ready to upgrade.  I can’t wait for the double viewer camera, because it will make taking self-portraits so much easier.  I can’t tell you the number of times my sister (or friends) and I have wanted to snap a picture of ourselves, only to take a photo of our chins, or our foreheads, etc.  The other really cool feature is the video chatting Facetime that you can do with other iPhone 4 users.  There are lots of other cool things about the new iPhone.  Plus, I told my sister that I’d give her my old phone, and since she’s been going through some difficult and stressful personal (relationship) issues, I want to do whatever I can to make her life better.  She never gets anything for herself because money is tight and whatever extra she has goes to my nieces, so I’m more than happy to give her the old iPhone so that she can have a nicer phone.

Goals For the Week

I wanted to set a few exercise/activity goals for myself this week (Wed-Fri), and I’ll check in on Saturday to see how well I did:

  1. Do the Just Dance each morning
  2. Take Lulu on 2 long walks a day
  3. Wear my Body Bugg each day and log my calories burned online
  4. Go swimming 1 day
  5. Go to the gym 1 day
  6. Take a bike ride 1 day
  7. Make an appointment to meet with a new personal trainer

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