Dog, Tips

Tips For A New Puppy

Happy hump day friends! In the comments on Monday, Tracy asked me for tips on a new puppy since she just got an 8 week old pup. After typing out a long email (sorry girl!) I thought I’d compile my tips into a blog post as well. In an attempt to keep it short, I’m using bullet points and have it sorted based on categories. If you get a puppy or are thinking about it I hope these tips can help you out!

Before we jump in though, please keep in mind that I’m not an animal expert. This is just from the experience we’ve had with Bailey so far. When we picked her up, she was 14 weeks and is just shy of 6 months. Technically she’s still a puppy but we’ve gotten past some major hurdles that happen when puppies are really young.

Potty Training

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  • Make them go outside from the start. Dogs get used to the texture in a place they pee so if you use potty training pads, then your puppy may have a hard time going outside.
  • Give LOTS of praise and a treat when they go outside. Alex and I have had success with Crazy Dog brand of treats and there’s a few flavors.
  • If they go inside, yell “NO” and clap to startle the puppy before bringing them outside immediately.
  • To clean up accidents, I find stains don’t occur if you blot them with a rag (if on carpet), spray Resolve pet stain remover and after sitting for a few minutes blot with a rag to remove the scent and any residual liquid. For tile or wood, wiping up the pee is sufficient.

Crate Training

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  • Due to space constrictions, Bailey has always slept near us in the bedroom in her crate. We always leave one toy with her at night just in case she wakes up. Aside from waking us up the first night to go to the bathroom, she never cried at night which was just dumb luck for us.
  • Train them to go into the crate as their safe space. Never put them in the crate as punishment as they will associate the crate with something bad.
  • Use treats to get the puppy walking into the crate on their own from the beginning. We tell Bailey to go to bed and would put a treat in there until she learned what “go to bed” meant and doesn’t need a treat.
  • The first few times Alex worked from home, he put her in the crate to make calls so he didn’t have to worry about accidents. Bailey would whine a bit and try to get his attention. Instead of giving in and letting her out, we let her cry it out and would occasionally “go to the bathroom” so she would see that we were there but she had to get used to being in bed.

Basic Commands

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  • Give them time to adjust! It’s a new home, new people and new schedule to learn. Don’t start training right away. Except for going to the bathroom. Definitely start right away with that.
  • Instead of long sessions daily, Bailey responded best to short intervals (5-10) minutes that we would do twice a day every 3 times a week. Alex read multiple articles as well as Youtube videos that included studies to show how dogs respond best to this.
  • Start with the basics! Sit, stay and lie down are great commands to know.
  • When the command is followed give praise and a treat so the puppy knows that it’s a good thing. Positive reinforcement is the name of the game!
  • Use hand signals for the commands. Alex and I had a lot of success with this. Determine what hand signals will be for which command and stick with it. The hand signals helped her listen to my family giving commands when we visited them.

Miscellaneous

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  • When you leave, give your dog some toys to keep in their crate. We give Bailey 2 toys when we go to work. Sometimes I will give her 3 when I go for runs in the afternoon if I feel particularly guilty about leaving her again haha.
  • Determine ahead of time if you want to dog to be on your furniture. For example, we don’t have an expensive couch or anything right now nor do we feel attached to it. We know that in a few years, we’ll be buying a nicer one which we don’t want Bailey to ruin so she isn’t allowed on the couch unless once of us has a weak moment and picks her up.
  • Be consistent! We feed Bailey first thing in the morning and at 4 pm. After a week or so, she figured out to expect food then since her body had become accustomed. Even when we were traveling to my parents for Memorial Day her schedule was the same.

 

If you’re getting a puppy and want more in depth tips or to know more about our experience, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Question of the day: If you have a dog, what’s one of your best tips for a puppy?

Health, Tips

Things I Do When I Feel Under The Weather

Happy hump day everyone! I’m still battling allergies/a cold over here. Even though I’m not sure if this is just allergies or if I’m sick, I am 110% positive that I don’t feel that myself. Although today is much better than the past two days so fingers crossed I’m on the mend. Luckily I have a few things that I do when I feel under the weather. With allergy season in full force now, I know I’m not the only one suffering. Hopefully you find some of this useful if allergies are affecting you or if you’re sick.

Take Medicine

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Now this seems like a no brainer but I’ve been known to take something in the morning then get busy and forget to take a second pill later in the day. The hardest part about this is figuring out what works for you. Some people wear by Zyrtec while other’s find that only Claritin works for their allergies. Do a little experimenting to find what your body responds best to and then take it. Emergen-C is a must for both Alex and I. We both take it when one person isn’t feeling well so that both of us aren’t sick.

Drink Liquids

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When I’m sick or dealing with allergies water doesn’t sound good at all if my sense of taste is gone. I know I need to drink it though so I kind of just force it into my body. I notice that cold water tastes better and goes down infinitely easier when I’m sick. Sometimes I want something warm though so tea with some honey is perfect. Honey helps suppress coughing which is great if you have a sore throat.

Screw Looking Good And Go For Comfort

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I’m the type of person who enjoys wearing jeans and looking put together. When I don’t feel good, you couldn’t pay me to wear jeans. Well my company can pay me but only because pajamas would be against the dress code 😉 The first thing I do when I get home is change into pajamas. To me, being comfortable is way more important when I’m dealing with a cold or allergies.

Try To Eat Healthy But Don’t Forget Comfort Foods

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When allergies or illness hits, I like to keep my breakfast and lunches the same but am totally okay with going for comfort on dinner. My breakfast and lunch are healthy but for dinner, you better believe I’m whipping up a box of Kraft mac and cheese to enjoy. Since I ate majority of the day healthy, I’d rather get some more comfort in than veggies at night.

Take It Easy

If I don’t feel good, I’ll assess my body to see how I feel. If it’s just a cough or something then I stick to my normal exercise routine. If I’m showing multiple symptoms or if it’s below the neck then I don’t workout at all. Letting your body recover and focus it’s energy on getting better or fighting allergies is much more important then working out in my opinion.

Books, Tips

Where I Find Book Recommendations

Hello friends! On a past post, someone commented about how they were curious on where I find the books I read. If that was you then thank you for the idea! I can’t remember who it is as I type this up.

If you’ve read any of my posts, then it will come as no surprise that I am a big bookworm. Big as in I read 23 books in the first 2 months of the year. I always have a book on me so I can read whenever there’s any downtime. I would conservatively say that I read minimum 1 hour every day. Now some days that doesn’t happen but it’s something I shoot for. Once you factor in that I’m a fast reader, then you realize how I go through books so quickly. This means I’m always on the hunt for book suggestions. Without further ado, here are all of the places I find book recommendations.

People In My Life

My grandma is also a big reader. She’s won her library’s summer reading program the past three summers, which she is very proud of so go grandma! We are constantly texting back and forth with good books we have read. I know that whenever I am at her house, I can grab a book to bring back with me (or read while I’m there) since she has so many. If I don’t leave with an actual book then at a minimum I’ll add about 20 on my to read list. There’s been plenty of times that I’ll go back to my parents house and find a book sitting on my bed with a note with my name in her handwriting on it. To date, none of her recommendations have been wrong. Grandma knows her stuff!

I don’t just get book suggestions from Grandma though. If someone tells me about a book they have read, I’ll note the name and then check it out at home before I add it to my list. I will listen to anyone who has a book suggestion! I’ve gotten some from Alex’s grandma, my mom and her sisters, and Alex’s mom. No shame, one time I asked someone sitting on a flight next to me what book they were reading because the cover looked interesting.

Goodreads

If you read at all and don’t have a Goodreads account then you should open up a new tab and make an account. Then you can add me as a friend and finish reading this post 😉 I adore Goodreads. It allows me to have virtual bookshelves that let me track books I want to read, am currently reading or have read. On the home page, you can see what your friends are currently reading, want to read or have read. Plus it shows top books in certain categories as well as book it thinks you will enjoy. I have found plenty of books through Goodreads that I have enjoyed. When I go to the library, I open up the app and look at books on my to read list which is really helpful.

Pinterest

I know what you’re thinking “Pinterest isn’t just DIYs and food recipes?” While I’m in love with those pins, I also love the book posts as well! I have looked up different genres, books being made in to movies, authors similar to other authors, books similar to shows, whatever it may be and have always found something. Whenever I do this, I always add at least 5 books to my list of ones that I want to read.

Other Bloggers

On the majority of blogs I read, the author will occasionally call out a book that they are reading. If it’s one that sounds interesting I tend to add it to my list if I haven’t read it all ready. By seeing books on blogs, they tend to be shared if the person enjoyed them and thinks others would like it. Plus I can see what the person thought of it as well which is helpful.

Walking Around The Library

While I tend to go into the library with a list of books that I want to get, sometimes I’ll just wander around and see what I spot. Sometimes these books turn out to be some of the best books that I’ve read. Both my library here as well as the one I went to growing up have book club sections. I highly recommend checking out for a section like this at your local library!

Novels By Authors I Know I Like

When I’m in need of a good book but have been in a slump of finding good ones or ones that really grab my attention, I turn to authors that I know I like. There are some authors that you know write a great story and are a great fall back option. For me these include Harlan Coben, Jennifer Chiaverini, Sandra Brown and a few others. I know I can grab a book by any of them for a good read.

Question of the day: What’s one way you find book suggestions?

Running, Tips

Ways Running And Life Are Similar

Hello friends! I hope you are checking in with a full heart (and belly) after Valentine’s Day yesterday. Alex and I kept it low key by staying home and watching Cool Runnings. Yes it is the 1993 Disney movie about the Jamaican bobsled team at the Calgary Olympics. I spent half the night singing the little song one of the characters sings to try and raise money. It was definitely not annoying at all to Alex 😉

This past Saturday, I had an 8 mile run. Real talk right now it sucked. From the very first step to the very last, it sucked. It was so bad I stopped with less than 1.5 miles to go because I thought I would throw up (I didn’t thankfully). The entire time, I was thinking about how one bad run doesn’t mean I’m a bad runner. Which spiraled into ways running and life are similar since one bad day doesn’t mean I have a bad life. I figured I would share with you guys the ways I find running and life to be similar. Let me know how you find running (or whatever is you exercise of choice!) to be similar to life in the comments.

You have good days and bad days.

Not every day is going to be an amazing day just like not every run is going to be amazing. That’s okay! There are bad days involved with everything. Maybe you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and have an off day. Sometimes a run doesn’t go the way you want to and it’s okay. We’re allowed to feel crappy when this happens but then we wake up the next day with is a fresh start. Just don’t bring the negative thoughts/attitude with you the next day 🙂

You need to celebrate, including the small things.

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When something good happens celebrate! Whether it’s hitting a pace that you previously struggled with, graduating college, getting a promotion or completing a race. You need to celebrate yourself! You work hard to get to that point so why not have a cookie, glass of wine or treat yourself to a new shirt when that happens. Celebrating makes life fun and you shouldn’t just celebrate the big milestones in my opinion.

It’s hard.

Life is hard. Running is hard. But that’s okay. It’s going to be hard. We are all strong and we will overcome it. It’s that simple.

You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

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In both life and running, you will find yourself in a situation that is uncomfortable. For me, those uncomfortable feelings come when I walk into a crowded room and realize I don’t know anyone. Hello introvert right here! Your uncomfortable feeling could be the same or different but you get what I’m saying. The feeling is the same when I go to run a new workout or have fast paces I need to hit. Those give me a similar uncomfortable feeling. In order to move forward and grow, you need to be okay with being uncomfortable.

To get what you want, you need to work for it.

If you want to get a promotion, do you just sit behind your desk and hope it falls into your lap. Heck no you don’t! You decide the way you will shine and then complete the necessary steps to get the promotion. That’s just like running. When you want to get a PR in a race, you need to push yourself to get to faster. You can’t keep running the same paces and expect to get faster. Nothing falls in your lap in both running and life.

You get out what you put into it.

The self-fulfilling prophecy is one of my favorite things I’ve ever learned about. I apply it to both life and running. When I interviewed for my current job, I told myself before both interviews that I would be myself and they would like my personality and what I could bring to the company. On runs, I look at a scary pace and think “I can do this and nothing will stop me”. For both life and running, you get what you put into it. If you put negative energy out then all you will attract is negative energy. Now I’m not saying I’m always upbeat and positive, I just don’t think that is realistic. I think about how I’m presenting myself and the thoughts in my head to do my absolute best to be sure it’s all positive.

People are always there to support you.

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In life, you surround yourself with the people that you know will pick you up when you fall down. The ones that will celebrate all of the good and cry about the bad. It’s just like running! Alex doesn’t run and he doesn’t always get why I voluntarily wake up around 6:30 on Saturday mornings to run a lot of miles, but he comes to all of my races and let’s me complain about the bad runs.  Having a support system with you every step of the way is the best thing you can do to yourself for both running and life.

Question of the day: What’s one way you find life and running to be similar?

Tips

5 Self Care Tips

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope your day is filled with lots of love and something fun. Thank you so much for reading this blog, I love you guys!

Now I know Valentine’s Day is considered a couple’s holiday but I don’t believe that. To me, February 14th is all about love whether it’s for a boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, pet, friend or someone else. Since today is all about love, I figured this is the perfect time to share some of my favorite self care/self love tips.

Face Masks

 

I love a good face mask. They make my skin feel so good and with some many different one’s for sale now, you can find one that will help your skin. I think face masks used to be really expensive but now I see them all over the place! Sheet masks are a great option and I will travel with them sometimes too. I always have a few in my bathroom since they are so easy and mess free. This may sound weird but I love peel off masks as well. There’s something so satisfying about peeling it off. This one from First Aid Beauty is a favorite (although slightly more expensive) but the tube lasted me forever! The two pictured are ones I use almost weekly and really enjoy. Formula 10.0.6 can be found at Target (linked to Amazon but Target is much cheaper!) and the clay one was bought on Amazon.

Getting a manicure

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Having my nails painted always makes me feel put together. I have no problem doing them myself but having someone else paint them is such a treat. It’s a nice way to go and have some alone time. You can even grab a coffee before and sip on it while they get done. Although I would make sure you have a straw so you don’t need to use yours hands 😉 Most nail salons that I have gone to have a rewards program so as you go, you earn points and can redeem it for a free manicure. It’s like a treat for future you!

Flowers

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One of the best things about spring and summer for me are flowers are blooming. The colors are so fun to look at. I also love having fresh flowers in the apartment. Let’s be real though, my centerpiece for the spring and summer is fake flowers and I have zero shame in that. But I do love fresh flowers and have gotten them from Alex a few times. There’s no reason a boy should be the only one who buys you flowers though! We all deserve to go out and get some flowers for ourselves just because we can. It doesn’t have to be a massive or fancy bouquet either. My grocery store had some nice flowers for under $5 that would be a nice little treat for yourself.

Buy yourself a present

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How many times have you been shopping and seen something that you thought was cute or liked but didn’t buy because “I don’t need it”? Maybe you don’t need it but you do deserve it! The present doesn’t have to be extravagant either. You can go pick up a new nail polish, new book or a pair of shoes you’ve been eying for a while. Just spend a little bit on yourself because you’re worth it.

Take a bubble bath

Some people are not a fan of baths and I get it. Personally I don’t mind them to relax and just rinse off in the shower super quickly after. Baths are so fun to me. I will bring my computer in and put it at a safe distance away to watch a show or play music while I’m relaxing. I actually love to take epsom salt baths because they help get rid of blisters they are relaxing to me. You could also throw in a bath bomb to add a scent and fun ambiance to the water. If you have a scrub, you can do that right before you get out then load up on some lotion before slipping into comfy clothes.

 

Well friends, there you have it. Those are some of my favorite tips to show myself some love. We’re all worth it.

Question of the day: What’s one thing you do for self care?