I’ve Moved!!

Hi Friends!

Just wanted to let you know- I have MOVED! I needed a new start, and this new blog is just what I needed.

Please check it out! ‘Everyday’s a Hollyday!’

As always, I love hearing from my readers, so please feel free to contact me! :)

Crohn’s Disease Update

Hey There Smile

I’m sure if you follow my blog you have noticed that I really have not posted much. I don’t know, but I am just not feeling the ‘blogging’ spirit AT ALL. I don’t know if I’m just ‘over it,’ or if the blogging ‘mo-jo’ will eventually come back to me. I’m just going to go with it! I did want to thank all of you for reading- it means so much to me! Life has been wonderful to me lately, I can’t complain one bit. So many great things are happening I’ve just been enjoying life & not having to worry about blogging about it. It’s nice to just come home & sit on the couch to spend time with Craig rather than having to constantly be on my computer.

It’s kind of funny because just a few years, I HAD to have my cell phone with me at ALL times. If I forgot my phone at home, I would have to immediately turn around & get it, otherwise I felt naked without it. But now I actually really LOVE just disconnecting from things. Sometimes I intentionally forget my phone at home, or I turn it off & leave it upstairs.

Anyways, I’ve kind of trailed off…I think you get what I’m saying. Smile

Besides all of that, I love having my blog because I love connecting with readers. Recently on my Facebook I asked how many of my readers were also suffering from Crohn’s disease. Part of why I started my blog in the first place was to connect with other people who have Crohn’s disease. It’s one of those things that is hard to understand if you don’t actually have the disease yourself. Sometimes it’s hard to talk to people about it…since most it the talk involves bathroom issues…and who really wants to sit down & discuss their bathroom habits?! Winking smile (just an FYI: this post is all about my Crohn’s disease & different treatments, so this might not interest you if you don’t have Crohn’s)
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So it’s nice to have a community of people that can relate.

I thought I would share my latest ‘updates’ involving my disease…and some tips that have helped me.

I know a while ago I shared with you that I was taking Humira (shots every week in my leg).

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Well it was working great for a while, but then about 2 months into treatment it’s almost like my body started rejecting it. It was the strangest thing. It almost got worse than how I was BEFORE I started taking my shots. It was like my body just got used to the shots & they didn’t really help at all.

I went back to my doctor to see what I should do at this point. I was REALLY bad- I was going to the bathroom about 12- 15 times a day EASILY. I had told my doctor from the beginning that I did not want to go on steroids, EVER. I had the worst experience with them before & honestly I would rather suffer with the Crohn’s disease rather than go back on steroids. They were just terrible. I realize that they do work wonders for some people, but I just hate the side effects. (I was on Prednisone for about 2 weeks a few years ago, but I had to get off of it because I felt MISERABLE)

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Thankfully I have a WONDERFUL gastroenterologist (if you live in the Orlando area & need a recommendation for a gastro- please email me Smile ) & he works with me on everything! I actually have never found a gastroenterologist that I loved, until now. He is AWESOME & gets my input on everything…and does NOT force prescriptions on me, like doctors did before. He also always takes the time to answer all of my questions. I remember one time I went to an appointment with him & had a LIST of 15 questions…and he answered EVERY.SINGLE. one of them & did not rush me. Now THAT’s a great doctor!! Open-mouthed smile

So after a few appointments with him, he recommended I try Entocort EC, (another name for it is budesonide, Entocort is just the brand that I was taking) which is a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are different than traditional steroids. They work very similarly, but they do not have the same side effects as steroids- like weight gain or crazy mood swings. I believe it’s because they enter your blood stream directly, but I’m not 100% sure of all of the differences. What I like about the medication (Entocort EC) is that it did NOT cause any weight gain & it did NOT give me any mood swings (at least that I know of, I guess you’d have to get Craig’s opinion to know for sure Winking smile Just kidding!) like traditional steroids did.

I started out with a 9mg dose- which is 3 pills a day. (each pill was 3mg) That is a pretty high dosage, but we needed to get my flair up under control. I have been in this flair up for about 2 years. He wanted me to stay at that dosage for about 2 months & then drop it down to 6mg (or 2 pills) a day after those 2 months. Then I was supposed to stay at 6mg for 1 month & finally drop it to 3mg (or 1 pill) a day for one remaining month, after that I was supposed to stop altogether.

Well, I got nervous. I didn’t want to stop taking this medication because it was working SO WELL! I have never had a medication work as well as this one did for my Crohn’s. It was like a miracle drug. So instead of dropping to 1 pill a day, I kept taking 2 pills a day for about 3 months…and FINALLY dropped it to one pill a day after those 3 months. And now I am off of it altogether.

My doctor wanted me to be off of the medication altogether in about 5 months after starting it because it is not a prescription you are supposed to be on for a long time. It’s a temporary drug that you need to eventually come off of, since it DOES affect your kidneys & adrenal glands. The only reason that I eventually did stop taking it was because I went to see an Endocrinologist (a blood doctor) & after checking all of my ‘levels’ in my blood some things were off. Nothing major, (I was not in danger) but it was due to the medication. Pretty much what happened was that because I was taking this medication, my adrenal glands stopped making certain hormones (forgive me, I don’t remember exactly which ones they were) because the medication was giving it to my body. So since my body was getting this hormone from the medicine, it stopped making it on its own.

My endocrinologist suggested that I stop taking the medication (since my Gastroenterologist wanted me to be off it a few months ago) & see how my body reacted, and he would take my blood again in a few weeks to see if my body was producing the hormone again naturally. Last week I got my blood taken- and in a few weeks I will get the results. But it feels SO good to be off of the medication. Not that it had any negative side effects on me, but because I just like being on less medication. The less, the better, in my opinion. Currently I am only on Asacol, which I have been for about a year now. (I was taking in along with the Entocort.) I take the 400mg, and take 3 pills twice a day. (6 pills total) I was taking 9 pills a day when I was taking the Entocort, but have dropped the amount of Asacol I’m taking as well. Asacol is a long term medication, and you can stay on it for life. (it’s a really mild medication)

Right now I feel REALLY good! (*knock on wood Winking smile ) It seems like my flair up is under control..and I’m not constantly going to the bathroom. Like I said, I was going like 12- 15 times a day before, but now I would say it’s around 4-5. That’s pretty good! Of course it’s not what ‘normal’ people do, but for someone with Crohn’s disease that is pretty good!

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Of course I still have bad days, I’m sure that I always will. But my bad days are MUCH fewer than they were before. I would say that I probably have a ‘bad’ day (meaning LOTS of trips to the bathroom) about once a week. I think it just takes the right combination of medication/ therapy to get the disease under control, and once it is you just pretty much stay in ‘remission.’ (& pray that you stay in remission..and are not affected by flair ups)

A few tips that I have when managing Crohn’s disease:

1. Find a doctor you LIKE and that you TRUST. This is SO critical because Crohn’s is a LIFETIME disease. There is no cure. (hopefully one day!) You have to feel comfortable & confident in your doctor. If you don’t find another one. I know it’s not easy. I’ve been to about 7 different gastroenterologists before I found one that I REALLY like. Also make sure they are willing to work with other doctors in order to make sure you get the best therapy possible. (My gastro works ALONG with my endocrinologist AND my general practitioner)

2. Inform people that you suffer from this. Of course I don’t mean you have to walk around sharing that you have Crohn’s disease with everyone you encounter. But what I DO suggest is that you inform your boss or your professors, and maybe even some co-workers. Thankfully I have a wonderful boss that is VERY understanding & has NEVER complained about my frequent trips to my doctor’s office…even if they are in the middle of the day. If you inform these people about the disease, they will probably be much more understanding if you have to take a sick day or if you miss a class due to the disease…and they will probably even work with you.

3. Drink LOTS of water, Avoid greasy food & Exercise. These are pretty basic tips, but it’s pretty amazing how MUCH they can really affect you. You need more water than most people because you lose a lot of fluid if you are going to the bathroom a lot. Greasy foods will upset your stomach, even more than it already is. And exercise is just good for you ALL around. I know that it can be hard to get moving, especially if you are in a flair up, but once you get moving you will usually feel better. I am an avid runner, and always have been. My Crohn’s got so bad during my flair up that I couldn’t even run. It was really hard on me, but I just hard to try other things…like the elliptical, incline walking  & the stair stepper. THANKFULLY I’m back to running. I feel like I’m starting over- I have to build my base back up- but I’m just SO happy to be able to run again that I don’t even care! Open-mouthed smile

4. Last but not least, remember to LAUGH about it. I know I might sound like a crazy person telling you to laugh about a disease, but honestly you HAVE to. If you don’t, you will get SO discouraged…and it will really get to your head. I know because it happened to me. I would constantly say ‘why me?! why did I have to get stuck with this disease?!’ But you know what, now I just laugh about it. I laugh because it’s kind of funny that I have to go to the bathroom all the time. It’s funny that I know where every bathroom in Orlando is. (as soon as I enter a place I immediately find the bathroom…gotta be prepared Winking smile ) I also always say that I should own stock in all of the toilet paper companies, because I keep them in business! Open-mouthed smile Just remember, THIS disease makes you STRONGER!!!!!

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As always, feel free to email me- greekyogurtandappleslices@gmail.com- (if I don’t get back to you right away, please forgive me, I promise I will!!) with any questions you may have, or if you just need someone to talk to about your Crohn’s disease.

Have a WONDERFUL week! & GO RAVENS!!!!!!!

Holiday Breakfast & Brunch Ideas

Hey!!

I know I have been kind of hit or miss with this blog, but honestly I haven’t been in much of a blogging mood. I kind of go through phases, and this happens to be a no blogging kind of phase. I’m sure it will come back to me eventually, but I figure I will just go with it! No point to blog if I’m not in the mood, right??! Winking smile

Anyways, I do have some good stuff to share with you! I hope you are ready to be bombarded with food pictures. I have a TON of awesome recipes to share with you. None of them are my own, but I have all of the links for you!Smile  I know a lot of you are looking for some good breakfast/ brunch ideas for the upcoming holidays, so I thought I would recommend a few to you!

A couple of weeks ago Craig’s work had their annual holiday breakfast, and like last year they asked me to cater it! I always look forward to this event each year- I really like to kind of go all out & try a bunch of new recipes. You all know my #1 ‘go to’ recipe blog- Jessica’s of course!! And sometimes I swear she can read minds. The week before the breakfast, she posted a recipe for Eggnog Breakfast Crumble Crunch Cake. Sounds pretty amazing, huh??  As soon as I read the recipe I knew that would definitely be on the breakfast menu.IMG_3263

Can you see the glaze just sitting on top of the cake?? That glaze is heavenly. I had to taste it before I poured it on top of the cake…you know, just part of the cook’s job. Winking smile I may of considered just drinking the glaze on the spot..but the better side of me decided to follow the recipe & pour it on top of the cake. Smile

IMG_3275<—Can you see the layers?? The crumble topping was AWESOME.

DO you want to hear something funny? I don’t even like eggnog, but I LOVED this cake. I took a piece for Craig & I to try, and we both were RAVING about it. This was my favorite item that I made. I knew at first bite that this would be a HUGE hit at their holiday breakfast. I guessed right- this recipe got 5 stars!! Star I think I might make this for my family when they come down for Christmas. It will be the perfect way to start the holiday!

There was another recipe on Jessica’s blog that I had been eyeing for awhile. Ever since I got my donut pan, I had been wanting to create a Red Velvet Donut recipe. Well guess who posted a Baked  Red Velvet Donut recipe LITERALLY the day after I mentioned it?? YEP, you guessed that right- Jessica! Open-mouthed smile I told you, she reads minds.

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Craig’s boss loves red velvet cake, so I thought I would make something red velvet for breakfast. It’s kind of hard to justify having a big red velvet cake for a breakfast, although it does have eggs & milk in it Winking smile, so these are the perfect substitution! They were perfect. As long as you don’t overcook the donuts- these will be your new favorite donut. Smile I agree with Jess- the cake flour does make a difference. I have just used regular flour in the past for donut recipes, but I bought cake flour for this recipe since she recommended it. It does make them more ‘cake-y’ which is what I like in a donut.

Ok, just more more to show you that I ‘borrowed’ from Jessica. Told ya, it really is my go to site! I never doubt that any of her recipes will be good. It’s always a guarantee when I use her recipes. I told her that all I want for Christmas is a cookbook from her. Open-mouthed smile

I think this next recipe may just be the most indulgent of them all. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls. Yep, you read that right. STUFFED cinnamon rolls.

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Is your mouth watering yet??? Winking smile

One recipe that was a surprise hit was Buttermilk Banana Bread. It wasn’t a surprise because it wasn’t a good recipe (it was a great recipe! that’s why I picked it!) but I just didn’t think people would compliment this bread so much. Apparently this was one of the big hits at the holiday breakfast. I honestly made it because I wanted something more ‘traditional.’ Craig told me it would be a good idea to have something more ‘normal’- that people have heard of before..so I figured banana bread would be a good choice. Well this bread was an EXCELLENT choice. I think it’s the combination of buttermilk & bananas- it just keeps the bread extra moist & brings out the banana flavor.

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Two other favorites that were requested that I made last year were Monkey bread & Mixed Berry Coffee Cake.
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I also had another idea when I was in Starbucks…it’s a place I frequent at least twice a week. I know, it’s a bad habit…but there are worse habits, right?! Winking smile I also stare into that little case with all of the delicious looking breakfast foods & sweets, but I have only bought one thing from there- a petite vanilla scone. BUT, then my blog bestie recreated them & now I prefer hers. Sorry Starbucks, you don’t even stand a chance against her scones!! But something that I also look at longingly are the pumpkin muffins. Welllllll after doing some browsing on the good ol’ internet I happened to run across a recipe that was a ‘copy cat’ of the Starbucks cream cheese muffins. It’s from another one of my favorite recipe blogs- Annie’s Eats. I HIGHLY recommend this recipe if you are looking for a little twist on a typical pumpkin muffin.
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And to round out everything, I figure a sweet is definitely needed to round out a good breakfast. Smile Nothing wrong with a little treat after a hearty breakfast in my mind…helps make the day even better Open-mouthed smile

I always see fudge around Christmas time, so I thought I would make some fudge. I didn’t want to make just any fudge though, so I found a recipe for CAKE BATTER FUNFETTI FUDGE. Yep, I had to make it all capital..just wanted to make sure you read it right. Hard to believe, huh?! Cake batter + fudge??? Heaven on earth maybe? I switched mine up & just made it a bit more “Christmas-y.”
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And last but not least, I attempted to make a different kind of cookie this year. Typically I make Christmas mice, but this year I wanted something new since I have made the mice every year. I happened to stumble upon this recipe on Pinterest. Ummm how ADDICTING is that site?! I can’t get off of it sometimes. SO many good ideas that I want to try. But these little cookies really caught my eye. Melted Snowmen Cookies. Need I say more?
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Not going to lie, some of my snowmen look a bit crazed! Ha! I loved making them, but making the faces/ scarves/ etc was pretty challenging!! I got the wrong size black gel- I got the large tube, which is more of a frosting, rather than a gel- but I tried my best to make them work. Smile They were a hit, but next time I would definitely get the right gel.

As you can probably tell I had a BAKING FILLED weekend, but honestly I LOVED every minute of it! I look forward to this every single year.

Well, I’m not quite sure when I will be on here again. My blogging may be kind of spontaneous. This weekend is a BIG weekend in our family- my nephew Ethan is going to be a YEAR old on Friday! How time FLIES. It’s crazy! If I’m not on here before Christmas/ Hannukkah- I hope you have a WONDERFUL holiday!! Open-mouthed smile

A Very Special Day

Today is a very special day- it’s my Dad’s birthday!

Happy Birthday to the man who taught me some of life’s most valuable lessons.

That laughter is the best medicine.

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And if laughing doesn’t help, go for a run. There is no point in getting yourself worked up over nothing, and running always helps a bad mood.

Happy birthday to the man who taught me how to love unconditionally.

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That no matter what happens in life, you can always find the good in things.

He also taught me that people always come into your life for a reason. Even if they are no longer in your life, there was a reason that they were, and you have to remember that, no matter what.

Happy birthday to the man that taught me that you must walk before you run. You have to work hard for things that you want in life, they are not just given to you.

And sometimes you may fall down, but you have to just pick yourself right back up. NEVER give up.

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Happy birthday to the man that I always hope to make proud, no matter how old I get.

He’s never let me down, and I hope that I never let him down.

He’s always the one I call when I’m having a hard time and he always has the best advice. I don’t know how he does it, but he always has the perfect thing to say.

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Happy birthday to the man that can ALWAYS make me laugh, especially in the times I need it most. (remember the moment before you walked me down the aisle Dad? Smile )

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Also to the man who knew when he first met Craig that he would be a good husband. I swear he has some kind of intuition. That meant everything to me.

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Happy Birthday to the man who has been by my side since day one. He has been there through the good and the bad..through the ups and the downs. He has always been my rock.

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Happy Birthday to the man, that no matter how old I get, will always be my hero. He will always be the man who taught me life’s biggest lessons. I would NEVER be the person that I am today without him.

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Happy Birthday Dad! I love you so much!

Long Overdue

Heyyyy!!!

Remember me?? Sorry I have been neglecting the blog a lot lately. I was just studying for my Series 65 test. Unfortunately I missed passing is by 6%, yes SIX percent. :( It is a total bummer, BUT the good thing is that I can re take it & I’m hoping to take it in December again. I KNOW I can do it…I just have to stick with it :)

I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving! We were actually in Maryland for the holiday. We left on Tuesday & got back this past Sunday. It was a great trip, and we had a lot of fun! TONS of memories!! The best part was that we got to go to the Ravens v. 49ers game on Thanksgiving night!! :D Did anyone see me on TV?? There is a really good shot of Craig that was on air, & a few shots that you can see me. We should have made a sign or something. We were really close to the field- only 5 rows up from the end zone- near the tunnel where the Ravens come out. It was AWESOME, to say the least ;)

This week has been kind of rough getting back in the swing of things after 5 days off of work. I have been listening to Christmas music all of the time, so that is definitely helping. I have to admit, I LOVE the hustle & bustle of the Christmas season. I just wish it were a tad bit colder here in Florida.  

Anyways, I thought I would share some pictures from our trip to Maryland…including LOTS from the Ravens game :)

On Wednesday we visited Mount Felix winery, which is located in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Craig’s Dad is really good friends with the wine marker at this vineyard.

The first thing that I noticed when we arrived were the cute cows! I could not get enough of them..and they were ‘mooing’ like CRAZY!

We got to sample all of their wines, including a PUMPKIN wine & a Cran Apple wine. Ok, I know that sounds kind of strange, but TRUST me- they are SOOOO good- especially with Pumpkin pie. YUM! They are both dessert wines- very sweet- but excellent!

Craig’s Dad actually sent us down two bottles of the pumpkin wine, so we got to try it before we got to the winery. Like I said- SO GOOD! I had a glass of it chilled after dinner one night- hit the spot. :)

The owners of the winery also have a HUGE dog- it’s a South African Bull Mastiff.

That is Zoey! How cute is she? She is the SWEETEST dog too- she just came straight up to me & plopped right down on me. She is HUGE though- she weighed more than me- haha :) If Craig wasn’t allergic to dogs, I would totally want one of her puppies! (they breed her)

After we had our fill of wine, we headed back to Craig’s parents house & had crab cakes for dinner. Doesn’t get much better than that- wine & crab cakes! YUM!!

Believe it or not, I ate Craig EVERY.single.day that we were in Maryland. When your in Rome, right?!

Thursday was Thanksgiving AND The Ravens v. 49ers game!!

Ravens jerseys are totally acceptable for Thanksgiving day attire ;)

Tuaca shots for all!!! I mean it IS a holiday ;)

After eating, it was time to head to M&T bank stadium!!!

^Craig’s cousin & Craig


^All of us before the game.


^one of the Ravens cheerleaders, Eva, & me


Me & Mike (my brother in law)


The boys


Craig & I


MIL & FIL (mother in law & father in law)


Poe & the actual raven birds




^Lardarius WEBB!!! I LOVE him.

^Ray Lewis on the big screen. He didn’t play that night due to a toe injury :(

WE WON!!!!!

^Harbaugh Brother Hug!

This picture CRACKS me up every time I look at it:

Now those are some very happy cousins ;) I showed this to Craig & Steve & they both laughed so hard.

What an awesome game! I am still SO happy that Mike was able to get tickets for all of us. I have one pretty cool brother :D

Friday was spent writing invitations for Stephanie’s baby shower (my sister in law) that is in January. I also got some black Friday shopping done that afternoon. I got some great deals- including 2 pairs of Jessica Simpson shoes (my fave!) for only $84!! That’s like buy one, get one free!

Saturday was the annual chopping of the Christmas tree. I have never done this…in Florida we just go & pick up our tree from the local hardware store- like Lowe’s or Home Depot. So it was fun to get to do my first Christmas tree chopping. :)

That’s the tree I wanted. It’s like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree :)


^It looks like Craig is growing out of the tree :)

And for the final chop:


The rest of the day was spent celebrating another new arrival! Craig’s cousin Steve & his wife are having a little baby girl- due in January! So we had her shower on Saturday afternoon.



The 3 pregnant ladies! How cute are they?! It’s Kristen’s friend, Kristen & Steph.

We wrapped up Saturday visiting with Craig’s godfather. It was so good to see him!

Sunday we headed back to Orlando after a quick flight. We were home & unpacked by 8:30pm- not a bad way to end the weekend. :)

Anyways, this has been a SUPER long post…full of pictures- hope you didn’t mind! I will try to get back to my ‘regular blogging schedule’ soon. I hope you all are doing great!! Sorry I have also been slacking on my blog reading- so don’t think I have forgotten about you- life has just been pretty crazy…but good crazy! :)

Clothes of a Champion

Good Morning Smile

Hope you are having a great week! My week has been pretty good- most of it has just been spent studying. This morning I actually have my doctor’s appointment to check out my cyst. So please cross your fingers that everything is ok!

Yesterday I had a nice surprise show up at work. When I got back from my lunch break I found a package on my desk. Enclosed were some pretty awesome sports bras! I just realized that I don’t really talk about my workout clothes very much..so today I thought I would!

I am VERY picky about workout clothes. I don’t know why, but I just have to feel ‘right’ when I wear them. I hate tight shirts & anything with sleeves. One of the main reasons is that I sweat a TON. I have that condition known as hyperhidrosis, which pretty much just means that I sweat A LOT…and all of the time. (even in the dead of winter) I used to get kind of embarrassed by it, but now I could really care less. Who cares if I sweat a lot?? Not me, that’s for sure! Smile I guess you could say that now I embrace my hyperhidrosis & just kind of laugh about it now. Anyways, that is the main reason that I hate wearing t-shirts or anything with sleeves to workout in. I like light weight tanks that have that material that helps sweat evaporate quickly.

I remember reading about Champion’s tanks on SkinnyRunner’s blog awhile ago, so I thought I would try one out.

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You know what else I like about these tanks is that you can also wear them while you are out running errands..they are not just convenient for working out.

015<—OLD picture from this summer…(ew..and just noticed it looks like there is a seed or something in my teeth..now THAT’s attractive ;) )when I was actually tan. & please don’t make fun of my hair- it is a disaster! I was messing around with my new DSLR when Craig took this picture- I let him try it out too Smile But I really do like to wear these tanks around the house. They are so comfy!

As soon as I tried the first one on, I bought two more immediately. I LOVE working out in these tanks!! Not only are they really flattering on your top (the area around your stomach is flowy, but it does NOT make you look pregnant like some of those type of tanks), but they are REALLY comfortable & light weight. Want to know something else?? They are SUPER affordable- only $20!!! You can’t beat that for a great workout tank (that has a sports bras built into it)!

I’m a huge fan of Champion!

I have worn Champion brand since I started running. When I was in high school & on the track and cross country teams I ONLY wore champion brand clothing.

016<—Now that’s REALLY old! That’s me in high school running cross country Smile Again…you can’t see it, but my sports bra is Champion.

Another feature that I love about Champion is that their clothing lasts FOREVER. I still have almost all of the sports bras that I wore in high school! Can you believe it?! A sports bra that last 5+ years is a HUGE winner in my book!!

Now you are probably wondering why I am rambling on about what I wear when I workout….well, here’s your answer:
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Champion Sports Bras!!!

Stephanie at Champion sent me FOUR different sports bras to try out! To say I was excited would be an understatement! I thought it was a REALLY nice surprise & it TOTALLY MADE my day Open-mouthed smile

Champion Double Dry Seamless Reversible Sports Bra

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o    Ultra-soft two-ply fabric stretches for sleek compression and wicks moisture for constant cool

o    Main side has knit-in textural accents, designed to flatter your figure.

o    Reverse (contrasting) side provides knit-in strategic support.

o    Wide knit-in comfort band stays put without digging or rolling.

o    Supportive racer-back styling.

Champion Double Dry Absolute Workout Sports Bra

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o Silky high-tech fabric wicks moisture to keep you dry.
o Extra stretch provides sleek compression for Medium Motion Control
o Double-layer design helps block embarrassing show-through.
o Mesh panel at back adds cooling ventilation.
o Details dial up the comfort: tag-free no-slip racerback; neat banded neck and armholes; non-chafe flat-locked seams.

Champion SHAPE T-Back Sports Bra

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o   Fully constructed inner bra subtly enhances your curves, for a shapely natural look.

o   Full lining and bottom band wick moisture for cooling comfort.

o   Soft, durable fabric stretches for flawless fit.

o   Stay-put racer-back straps add support and allow free movement.

Champion Cotton-Rich Fitness Racerback Sports Bra

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o   Soft cottony fabric wicks moisture to keep you dry.

o   Mesh insets (front and back) add cooling ventilation.

o   Extra stretch ensures sleek support and flexible ease of movement.

o   Tag-free no-slip racerback, with silky front lining and non-chafe rib-knit band.

I can’t wait to try all of these out!! I’ve actually been needing to purchase some new sports bras, so this package came at the PERFECT time! Smile

I will definitely do a review of them once I have tried them all out. My favorite one just by the looks is this one:
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I love the knit in look- the texture is pretty cool- you don’t see that too often. (another thing that I love about Champion is all of the variety of colors & styles that the offer- you can be fashionable while working out Winking smile )

Well, now I can’t wait to start my workout so that I can try one of these out!! Definitely a great way to start out a Wednesday  Open-mouthed smile

Have a great day & I’ll catch up with you soon!

Questions for you:
1. Have you tried any of Champion’s workout clothes?? Do you have a favorite if you have?
2. Trying to find the perfect sports bra?
If you need some help trying to find out which type of sports bra would be best for you, check out their Facebook page- there are lots of tips to help out!
3. What is your favorite workout attire?? I know I have my favorite go-to gym outfits Smile

GONE..all GONE.

HAPPY RAVENS WON MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Guess who’s wearing this shirt today?!

Hope you all are had a great weekend! THANK YOU ALL for your kind/ caring/ thoughtful comments on my last post. I really do appreciate it SO much! I am going for a follow up on Wednesday.

My weekend has been a bit traumatic…to say the least. Ok, so I might be a bit of a drama queen but for me it really was traumatic. It all happened on Saturday. Craig & I went to the gym around noon (where I did an awesome lower body + ab workout- posted a bit further down on this post!) then I spent the rest of the afternoon studying for my Series 65 test. After my brain was full to it’s capacity, I decided to come downstairs & do some chores. First things first was to clean the fish tank. Everything was going fine until my fish was in the DRAIN. YES, the drain! The side of the kitchen sink with the garbage disposal. (SO stupid of me to dump the water in that side. From now on I will ONLY be dumping the water in the other side WITHOUT the disposal. I swear I don’t know where my brain was! Probably just fried from studying) OH MY GOSH. I was having a PANIC attack. Craig came running into the kitchen probably thinking that I had chopped my finger off. Then I told him what happened…that I had been dumping some of the water out in the sink in order to clean the tank. My fish ALWAYS stays at the bottom of the tank, so it’s really hard to fish (pun not intended Winking smile ) him out. So I just dump some of the top water off & then get him with the fish net. Well yesterday was different. He swam up to the top of the water WHILE I was dumping the water out & then all of the sudden I saw him flow into the sink! EEK!!!!!!

I started balling my eyes out & Craig was doing his best to get my fish. He was reaching his hand down the drain, but his hands were too big. He went to grab a spoon & continued to try to get him. Finally he was like ‘H! You HAVE to calm down! Your hands are smaller & can fit down the sink to get him out.’ He held the flash light & I reached my hand down there. I felt my fish & I grabbed him. THANKFULLY he was ok! I put him back into some water immediately. Poor 27 (that’s his name) was ALL shaken up!

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After that experience, I spent the rest of the night on the couch relaxing & watching football with Craig. I had enough studying…and my thoughts were elsewhere anyways, so I figured I needed a break.

I woke up at 7am today…my body is still used to waking up early despite the extra hour that we got. I had some coffee & caught up on some of my DVR-ed shows. About an hour or so later, Craig came downstairs. That’s when it all started to go downhill from there. I made breakfast & had a TON of pictures to share with you..but something bad happened. VERY bad. My SD card was FORMATTED. Yep, formatted Sad smile ALL 175 pictures that I had on the card are GONE..and I can’t use the card anymore. I put it in my camera & it won’t read it…just keeps saying there is a ‘Card Error’.’ I really don’t know what happened…or what I did. I swear I did exactly the same thing that I always do when I upload pictures. I do NOT remember clicking or pressing another button. I am SO bummed…to say the least. SO BUMMED. Crying face I don’t know what else to do…except pay about $40 to get all of the pictures back from one of those ‘card recovery’ sites. I know they can be recovered, since I downloaded the ‘free software’ to see if the pictures were even there & they are. I just really don’t want to pay $40…ugh.I had about 4 new recipes to share with you..and some other random things. Sad smile

BUMMER. ANY suggestions/ help/ advice on what I can do to get the pictures back?! I’ll send you a big batch of homemade cookies if you can help me out Smile

Nothing that a little bit of coffee can’t help fix right??
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And Starbucks has their red cups out now! Yay! It just puts me in a better mood thinking about the upcoming holidays! Sometimes it’s the little things in life that can really just make you feel better Smile

Anyways, enough with the boo-hoo-ing. It’s Monday & today starts a NEW week! For most of us there are only 2 full weeks of work left until the Thanksgiving holidays. That’s definitely something to look forward to, right??

You know what else helped with my not so great mood yesterday?? Finding THIS in the store recently:
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It is TOTALLY worth it too. Not quite the healthiest thing on the plant, but OH so tasty! (Oh MOM: Guess what I found?? the cinnamon butter you have been looking for- have you found it yet?? I can stock up for you if you want Winking smile )

I like it on plain toast.
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Or if you want a REAL treat…have it on Cinnamon Pumpkin bread. Oh yes…it’s definitely a GREAT treat Open-mouthed smile
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Oh & one more thing that helped my not so good weekend was this:
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Chocolate Chip Biscotti that my Father in Law brought down for us when they were visiting. This stuff is AWESOME! I have to say that I think it may just be my favorite biscotti ever. He has the recipe down to a science…he doesn’t even need to follow a recipe anymore- he has it locked in his head. Smile He told me that one of the ingredients that he added was rum. Just a tad, but just to bring out more flavor. DELICIOUS..especially in my morning coffee!

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So here’s that workout that I promised you. It is a lower body/ leg/ glute workout & I recommend doing it on a day before a rest day because the next day you will be SORE. I guarantee it.

The first part of the workout I got from HERE- Muscle & Fitness Hers & I added the last part of the leg workout & the abs part.

–Leg Superset #1–
4 x 20 Leg extensions(weight 50 lbs)
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4 x 20 Narrow squats with dumbbells (weight 15 lbs. each hand)

–Leg Superset #2–
4 x 20 Hamstring curls (weight 60 lbs)
superset
4 x 20 Good mornings (weight 30 lbs)

–Leg Superset #3–
4 x 20 Leg Press (weight 140 lbs)
superset
4 x 30 Calf press on leg press machine (weight 140 lbs)

–Leg Superset #4–
4 x 15 (each leg) Walking Lunges with dumbbells (weight 20lb. barbell on back)
superset
4 x 20 Switch lunge with medicine ball (weight 10 lbs)
superset
4 x 20 (each leg) Cable kick backs for glutes and hamstrings (weight 20 lbs)

–Leg Superset #5–
4×20 Inner Thigh Machine (weight 40- 50lbs)
superset
4×20 Outer Thigh Machine (weight 50lbs)

–Ab Superset #1–
4×20 Stability Overhead Ball Pass
superset
4×20 Crunches with legs in the air (holding stability ball in your feet)
superset
4×20 Crunches with legs ON stability ball

–Ab Superset #2–
4x20Weighted Russian Twists (weight 10lbs medicine ball)
superset
4×20 Leg Raises

–Ab Superset #3–
30 sec side plank hold (right)
30 sec side plank hold (left)
1 min plank hold

The whole workout took me a bit over an hour. But when I left the gym I felt GREAT..and I could already feel the soreness coming on. Good soreness though. I LOVE the feeling!

Speaking of workouts, I’ve decided to delete my ‘Daily Workouts’ tab for now. It’s just too much to try to keep up with. Even when I was posting daily I would forget about it. I might bring it back eventually..I’m not too sure. My routine is pretty much the same every week- I workout 6 days a week (typically 5 days of strength training (45 minutes) + 20 minutes of cardio & then the other day I do an hour or more of cardio). I still have my ‘strength training’ & ‘running’ tabs though, so you can find some good ideas for workoutsSmile

Anyways, this is getting REALLLLLY long, so I better go & get ready for a new work day! Hope you have a great Monday!

If you have any idea of how I can get my pictures off of my SD card, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know!!
What was the best part of your weekend??
Anything that you are looking forward to this week?

She Read It Wrong.

Hey Guys!

I’m still here, I promise! :)

Like I said in my previous post work has just been really busy..and I’m dedicating pretty much all of my free time to studying for my Series 65 exam. My days are literally: get up at 5am, go to the gym, get ready for work, work for 8 hours, come home & study for my series 65, go to bed. Good times, huh?! ;) Passing that exam will SURE be worth all of this time though.

I’m not sure if you follow me on Twitter, but the other morning I ‘tweeted’ that I was not sure how personal was TOO personal to put on a blog post. Well, after tweeting back & forth with Alyssa, she told me to go for it.

People ask me why I have a blog, and honestly the main reason is that I LOVE getting people’s advice on different things…or hearing about a similar circumstance that they are going through..and how they are dealing with it. I have learned some great things & also made some great friends in the process. (Hi Liz & Steph :) ) I am hoping that by sharing this situation with you, that maybe you or someone you know has gone through this, or has some advice.

So, here goes :) About 2 weeks ago I went for my annual ‘women’s check up’ exam. Whenever I go to the doctor I always freak out. No matter what. I just freak out. I swear they are going to tell me that I am dying or something crazy like that. I don’t know why. Even when I just go in for something stupid I still FREAK out. I’m just a big worry wart, so it’s no surprise that this makes me insane.

As my doctor (who I LOVE – seriously, she is the BEST. If you live in Orlando or near by & need a good ‘girl doctor,’ let me know & I will send you her information) was doing my exam she said she felt a cyst on my ovary. (Again, sorry if you think this is TMI) At first (of course) I start freaking out & ask a million questions.

My doctor tells me to calm down, and that she is just being overly cautious because of the BRCA gene that I have. There is actually a cyst on my ovary, but she thought it was just a cyst that would eventually go away on it’s own. (most of them do) She told me that she was going to order an ultrasound for me, and just to go whenever I could.

I had my ultrasound a week ago. First let me tell you that ‘prepping’ for the ultrasound was kind of terrible because you have to have a FULL bladder. You have to drink 32oz. one hour before the exam..and you cannot pee. Lovely, right?! The girl told me during the exam that I really didn’t need to drink the whole 32oz. of water since I drink a TON of water throughout the day. I actually had to get up from the ultrasound & pee THREE times. THREE times in a matter of 30 minutes. She saw my bladder on the ultrasound & was like OH MY GOSH you have such a full bladder..I can’t believe how quickly your bladder fills up! Ha! So, I can now say that I really DO have the bladder the size of a pea ;)

Ok, back to the ultrasound. She told me that she could see a cyst on one of my ovaries, but that everything else looked good.

I called my doctor’s office on Tuesday to find out if the results were ready. They transferred to a lady that works in the ‘lab’ department so that she could give me my results. This is what she told me: “The results are back. You have cysts (PLURAL) on both of your ovaries AND in your fallopian tubes.” I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Or that I was going to just crumble into a ball. I felt like I was going to get sick. My head started RACING, thinking of everything that could be wrong. Will I ever be able to have children? Is this a sign of ovarian cancer? Do I need surgery?

The girl on the phone was absolutely NO help & so rude. I asked her if she could give me some kind of explanation, or just offer me SOME kind of advice. (like if they see this alot, if this could be a sign of cancer, etc) She just kept telling me that they were sending me a referral. I KNOW you are sending me a referral…but how in the world do I keep myself SANE in the mean time?!

I hung up the phone with her & had a break down. I just started crying at my desk at work. My mind was going a MILE a minute. I started ‘Googling’ EVERYTHING. (Bad decision. I swear only the WORST situations come up.) Then I told Craig. He was the best- he just told me we would get through it, and that I would be fine. If I needed to have surgery, he would be right there by my side.

After barely sleeping that night, I decided to contact my doctor directly, rather than just letting my mind stew. So I emailed her, and about 10 minutes later she called me. (told you she is the BEST! & she legitimately CARES about her patients) I explained what the girl told me on the phone- about having cysts on my ovaries & on my fallopian tubes. My doctor was like “WHAT!? That is not right. She must of read the results wrong.” HUH?! Is this a joke?!

She said, “yes you have a few cysts on your ovaries. But there is only one that I need you to get checked out by a gynecologist. The other ones are fine, they should collapse in a few months. And you do NOT have any cysts in your fallopian tubes.” I could have cried I was so happy at that moment. I also asked her if the one cyst (it is a complex or complicated cyst- just appears abnormal, rather than circular) would cause any fertility issues, and she told me no. (YAY!)

She said that she was just really following up with the results of the ultrasound & referring me to a gynecologist because of my family history. She thinks it’s really nothing, but just to be 100% sure, she wants me to go to a gyno.

WHAT A RELIEF! I could not stop smiling. It was a HUGE concern lifted off my shoulders.

I am going to a gynecologist on Wednesday to follow up about this cyst. I’m hoping & praying that it’s nothing..and that it will just go away on it’s own. I’m so glad that it turned out to be just the wrong results. I also wish that the girl that read the results to me had been a little nicer on the phone…or just offered some kind of assistance.

Kind of helps put things into perspective, ya know? Don’t take anything for granted…life is a gift. Your life could change in a SECOND…so just make sure you are living each day to the fullest potential…and staying in contact with your loved ones. You never know when it could change.

I hope to be back writing my usual posts soon! In the mean time, I hope you don’t mind that they will be kind of sporadic. I’m also not reading a lot of blogs lately either…just due to minimal time- so please don’t be offended if I haven’t been commenting as much. I still love you all :)

The Week Wrap Up

Good Morning Smile

Long time no talk! Sorry I have been kind of MIA, I’ve just been recovering from that TERRIBLE Ravens game that we went to last Monday. Sad smile How EMBARASSING! Ok not really…but it was really bad. I have just been enjoying life & kind of disconnecting from the internet. It’s been nice…and it might continue to happen. Most of my extra time has been devoted to studying for the Series 65. It is a LOT of studying- they recommend about 40 hours of pre-studying before going to the class for it. Yesterday I literally locked myself in the bedroom upstairs & studied all day long. It wasn’t that bad though, and I feel like I’m actually really understanding it this time. That’s what I’m going to be doing today too…well, except from 1pm- 4pm when I will have the Ravens game on in the background Winking smile Hopefully they can pull off a win today…they definitely need a bounce back.

Anyways, I thought I would kind of catch you up on my life…lots of pictures, little words.

Despite the terrible Ravens loss, we did have a great time at the tailgate! Smile (Amy: hopefully things work out next time & we can meet up!)
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My FAVORITE Player—Lardarius Webb:
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I LOVE him! I met him last year when we were in Maryland & I gave him a hug- lol! I was beyond excited!!

My FAVORITE football player of ALL time is Fred Taylor (he’s #28 below). I followed him all throughout college @ UF & then he played for the Jaguars for 10 years..and then the Patriots for 1 year. He ended up retiring with the Jaguars (signed a one day contract just to retire with them). I was SO upset when the Jaguars let him go…I just felt like they gave him a really bad deal when they let him go.
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I’ll leave the outcome of the game alone…no need to bring up bad memories!

While we were in Jacksonville for the game, we also spent the weekend with my parents. It was really nice to see them Smile I enjoyed just spending time with them. My Mom also took me shopping..and surprised me when she paid for the outfits that I picked out at Forever 21! I needed some new clothes for ‘winter’ (since it’s really never winter in FL Winking smile ) & then she offered to pay for them when we got to the cashier. She told me it was my Christmas gifts from last year- haha! Open-mouthed smile Since we were in Maryland last year, I never exchanged gifts with my family (honestly I didn’t think we were going to, since my sister just had my nephew Ethan & Craig and I were getting ready for our wedding). Here is one of the dresses that I got:
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I LOVE it!! The colors are perfect for fall. Smile

It was a great weekend with my family & it almost made me forgot the Ravens loss. We will just have to make up for it today!!

Craig & I got back home to Orlando on Tuesday. We both took off from work, only because we knew we would only be able to work a half day & we needed to get the house ready for our guests! Craig’s parents arrived in Florida from Maryland on Wednesday afternoon. They were leaving for a cruise on Saturday & decided to come down a bit early to spend some time with us. We had a wonderful time visiting with them & just catching up.

Wednesday we went out to dinner, and Thursday I made them dinner. As usual, you KNOW where I went to get my recipe…Jessica’s blog of course! First I asked her on Facebook if she recommend a certain chicken recipe to make for them & she said Caramelized Chicken with Mushroom Sauce & Grilled Herb Bread. I followed her recipe exactly, except that I actually baked the chicken after I pan seared it for a bit..only because I was making it for four people, instead of two & I wanted to make sure all of the chicken was served hot.
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SO SO SO GOOD!!!! We all LOVED this meal! Everything piece of chicken was eaten (I made 8 pieces!!!!) & everyone gave this recipe RAVE reviews. Craig doesn’t even like mushrooms, and he ate every last bite! Jess never steers me wrong when it comes to picking out a fantastic recipe!! Open-mouthed smile

For dessert we had something that I saw on Janae’s blog a few weeks ago. I had been eyeing this ice cream in the store for a while, but I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it. (Normally I just eat frozen yogurt, not ice cream.) But she told me that I HAD to try it, so I did just what she said. Winking smile
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RED VELVET ICE CREAM!!!!! Oh my goodness, this stuff is SO good…and SO worth it!! I’m SO glad that Janae recommended it. Open-mouthed smile
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It has big chunks of red velvet cake mixed in with the ice cream…it doesn’t get much better!

On Friday we had special plans for Craig’s parents. Since their birthdays were in September & earlier this month, Craig always likes to take them out when they come down in the fall to celebrate them. We decided to take them to The Wine Room in Winter Park for happy hour & then to Shari Sushi for dinner. I have talked about The Wine Room before on here. Craig & I love going; the whole concept of it is just so cool! You can sample a TON of wines..and you don’t have to buy a whole bottle- you can just pick how much you want to sample. (2 oz, 4oz, or 6oz). You get a card to put money on, and then you just go around to all of the ‘stations’ & put your card in the machine to try it.
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Hopefully the picture above kind of explains it better. It’s a really cool concept & the place is always packed!
Family picture:
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(Mom: Notice the jacket Winking smile I love it! Thank you!)

We also had a great dinner at Shari, I just didn’t take any pictures. It’s really dark in the restaurant & I didn’t want my flash going off. Shari is my FAVORITE sushi restaurant..EVER. Bold statement, but it’s true! The have so many interesting roll combinations, including my favorite roll that has banana in it. I know, I know, that sounds absolutely disgusting, but it’s REALLY good..I promise!

It was a great time spending with his parents! They left on Saturday…and are now cruising away Smile

Well, I figure I should wrap this post up…I have more to share with you, but I really need to start studying & check my fantasy football team..and I should probably eat something for breakfast. Hope you have a great Sunday & of course, as always…GO RAVENS!! Open-mouthed smile

Mixed Breeds

Good Morning! Happy Monday. Hope you are off to a good start! :)

As you know, we are in Jacksonville for the Ravens v. Jags game tonight!! Sooooo this post is going to be short & sweet. I will be back to my regular blogging later this week- I’ve just been enjoying time with my parents & being DISCONNECTED! It’s SO nice taking a break from technology. I mean I love it & all, but sometimes you really just need a break!

Anyways, on Saturday my Mom & I went to the mall & did some shopping. Well while I was there I remembered that The Avenues mall also has a pet store inside of it. There is no way that I can walk by without going to look at all of the puppies..they are just too cute! (Even though I think it’s terrible how they have them pinned up in little crates :( It kind of breaks my heart..and I want to take all of them home! )

Once we walked inside I was just looking around & petting all of the puppies…but then I locked eyes with this little guy:

(plesae excuse the bad quality of these pictures…they were from my phone)

I fell in love…hard. He is a ‘Hava- Chon’ which is a mixture of a havanese & a bichon frise.

PLUS

Equals

How cute is he?!? He looks kind of yellow because the poor thing needed a bath. (another reason why I hate those puppy stores)

I was this close to buying him. I’m not even lying. He was $900, which of course is really expensive, but honestly the kind of dog that Craig wants to get (that was like my dog growing up that he fell in love with) is anywhere from $1500- $2500!! (the type of dog is a Maltese) So I really didn’t think that was too bad.

I really wish that we could adopt a dog, but with Craig’s allergies, we can only get a hypoallergenic dog. (which are the dogs whose hair grows..and they don’t shed- like a Maltese or Bichon frise)

Needless to say, I did not buy him…but I really wanted to. The only reason that I didn’t was because my Mom told me that buying a dog is something that we BOTH really need to be involved in. Which I agree, but I really just need a need to bring a dog home one day because I know for a fact Craig will fall in love with it…especially if it look similar to the dog I had growing up…because he loved that dog so much!

I have never been without an animal in my life for so long, I’m just not used to it. Growing up we always had a ton of pets- at least 2 dogs & 3 cats..all at the same time. I just love animals. Craig never had a pet growing up (well I think he had a hamster..but that doesn’t really count :) ), so he’s kind of leary about owning our own pet. I also realize it’s a lot of responsibility..but we are at a point in our lives where it’s a good time to get one. We are home every night (we are not partiers…the closer it gets to 8pm each night, the sleepier I get :) ), we do not have kids (yet.), and I just think it would add a nice little addition to our family. :)

Well that was kind of a ramble..oops! I intended for this to be ‘short & sweet’- guess it got a little longer than anticipated.

I am off to study for my Series 65 before we head down to tailgate for the game. I also need to get my workout in too…so I best get moving!! :D

If you are in the area, or going to the game tonight- let me know- we can root on the Ravens together!!

Have a great Monday & GO RAVENS!!!

Questions for you:
1. Do you own a pet? If so, what kind? If not, do you want a pet?
2. What is your favorite kind of dog?
3. Do you love all of these ‘mixed breeds?’ (like goldendoodles <– LOVE those, but too big for Craig..he wants a little dog; or Havachon’s, or Labordoodles)

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