Pets · Puppy hood Series · tips

A Puppyhood Series: What I wish I had known before getting a puppy.

Getting a dog is a huge decision, and not to be taken lightly. Once you bring that new fur-baby home, your life is going to be completely different. I knew all of this before getting my puppy, Bear. However, there are some things I didn’t know about having a new pet that I wish I had.

image-60126

You wont sleep ( for a bit )

Being taken away from their litter and mother is very traumatic for a puppy, and being taken to a new place with all of its unfamiliar smells can be very scary. The first night is going to be TOUGH. Your pup is going to be scared and confused. Do your best to comfort him and try not to get frustrated with his whimpers. With Bear, when we picked him up, we brought a stuffed animal and rubbed it on his mother, litter mates, and whelping pen. The familiar smells might help calm your new family member. Our personal experience was, Bear was very difficult at night. He hated being alone in his crate. I slept on the floor next to his crate, played soothing music for him, with my hand on him through the bars, and talked to him through the night while he cried. I barely slept for weeks. I was only able to sleep when Bear slept during the day.

image-60099

Get them on a schedule.

Having a puppy on a schedule is really important for the first week or so, especially with potty training. Regular potty trips will let your puppy know when they are supposed to go outside and that they are NOT supposed to being going inside. The more reliable you are with doing things at the same time everyday, the better behaved your puppy will be. Here’s a schedule I found really helpful when we first got Bear.

3c39718d60c912256ca75f0e8ca4c79e

 

A dog is expensive!

I’m not going to go into the nitty-gritty of how much Bear has cost us, but Petfinder says that within the first year of life a dog cost from $766-$10,350! With all the vet visits, medications, neutering/spaying and just things they need in the first year alone, you are paying out a lot of money. Always be sure to have something set up in case of an emergency even if it means having a care card set up for your pet, you never want to have to rush your your dog to the vet and not be able to pay.

44904eede3ccc8f0abd2f5a5f85e3aa4

Training is hard, have patience.

Training a new puppy can be really hard, especially when you are trying to train them to stop a bad habit. Some tactics can backfire. When Bear was younger he was quite mouthy while he was teething. This is very common for his breed. To get him to stop, we would hold his muzzle shut for 3 seconds after a nip. This backfired on us because Bear started to hate having his nose touched at all. Stay away from negative training techniques. It may seem easier and quicker but the consequences outweigh the benefits. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train a new pup, so load up on those training treats!

Durham-puppy-training-1000x600

You have to register your pet

This one may seem simple, but I was unaware that you have to register your dog with your county and re-register them every year. An unregistered dog can land you a hefty fine so make sure you get that tag and put it on their collar.

Cherish this time.

Moms say it all the time about their children, the time flies. Our puppies are small for an even shorter amount of time. Cherish it, document it and soak it up as much as you can. Bear was so small when we first got him, just 14 pounds, now he is a whopping 72. He is only 8 months old and he is already a big dog! I wish I could go back to the days where I could actually pick him up and hold him, carry him in my arms. So, cherish your fur-babies while they are still small and sleep all day.

20170226_115943.jpg

Having a new puppy is a bumpy road, but I am glad I chose this path. I wouldn’t trade Bear for anything. This was a big task to take on and I’m really proud I was able to handle it. If you are thinking of getting a dog or puppy, check your local rescues. An older dog might be better for you if you have a busier schedule. If you do get a puppy feel free to email me with any questions, at agoode41@aol.com and good luck!

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-281-491C35E1FE9A01CD87A75141DCC1BAC4

Bipolar Disorder · Depression · Life · Mental Health · Uncategorized

Well… this is awkward, My Awkward Life.

January 16th was the last time I posted here.

A lot has happened since then. Some good some bad. My previous post about my New Year detailed my transition to eating healthier.

Obviously my New Year has not gone as planned.

I had put so many labels on who I identified myself as that I felt boxed in, overwhelmed, and at my breaking point trying to figure out “Who am I?”.

“Vegan”

“Beachbody Coach”

“Blogger”

I am none of these things.

I am, simply, Me.

I roll with the tides. I can’t fight it. I am bipolar. This disorder is a cruel mistress. The depressive side can take me to the darkest of places and fill me with a sadness that is difficult to define, but on the other hand I am capable of feeling such joy over the smallest of things that I know others cannot. It is truly a double edged sword.

This past winter, I was suffering from a period of depression, and grasping at straws to feel anything else. In this desperation I reached out to my parents with an idea.

“Can I have a dog?”

“Yes.”

I was shocked. I believe, out of their own desperation, my parents agreed. I can only imagine that seeing your only child suffer when you’ve tried everything you can, with no end in sight, can make any parent desperate. We agreed that I would get a puppy and train it to be a therapy dog for me. We began to prepare for the responsibility that is a puppy.

On February 24th, we welcomed Bear Lee Goodenough to our family.

20170224_191832
Bear’s first night home!

I could write a whole book on the ways Bear has changed my life these past 5 months. Living a life in service of another changes your perspective. I still have bad days, but because of Bear, I don’t lay around and dwell on it. Bear HAS to be let out, fed, and walked. He NEEDS on me. If I choose to spend the day in bed, he suffers, so it is no longer an option for me. I now have a purpose. I have my own little family of three with my long-term boyfriend Geoffrey. Having them has flushed some of the darkness from my days.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I can’t promise that I will never feel the way I did this past winter again;that would be naive. I’m trying to embrace what this disorder rains down on me, which includes labeling myself. I’m not going to be boxed in by my emotions. I’m not going to label myself vegan anymore. I may eat a vegan diet because I believe that it is a healthier option, or I may not. The same goes for this blog. I originally started it to keep my family and friends informed on my hiking and my life. It got away from me when I got caught up in the world of “blogging”. For now, I’m going to write about what I’m passionate about, and that changes almost daily. I have a very diverse amount of and I look forward to sharing them with everyone. I also want to share more about what it’s like living with Bipolar disorder and the daily struggles and hardships I have to face.

20776589_10210012739656936_2991193027262570834_o.jpg
Geoffrey and I, at my cousin’s wedding!

I hope you will stick with me on my journey here.

Always Awkward,

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-281-491C35E1FE9A01CD87A75141DCC1BAC4

 

 

Cooking · health

Stress Free Weekly Meal Prepping.

For me, dinner is one of the most stressful meals of the day. By the time it’s dinnertime I’m usually tired, hungry and unable to plan a well rounded meal. I always made my dinners on the fly, until I discovered the life saver that is weekly meal prepping! Meal prepping is taking one day at the beginning of the week to prepare your meals for the rest of the week. I use this method to prepare my dinners for the week since I have a shake for breakfast and a salad for lunch. They can’t necessarily be prepped (although I do make one large salad at the beginning of the week and store it in a mixing bowl in my fridge and it keeps for the rest of the week). I prep my meals on Sunday or Monday. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you meal prep like the pros!

20170109_133915

First you will need a plan. You can’t start cooking without a plan! You’ll want to simplify your cooking. Pick a few basic recipes like baked veggies and tofu, your favorite soup, and a good stir fry. These things will last in the fridge all week. You can make them in large portions and you can easily portion them out into single serving meals. You’ll also want to invest in some good meal prep containers. There are great ones available on Amazon!

Now that you have your plan, you’ll want to make a shopping list and purchase all the foods you will need for your food prepping for the week. Load up on veggies, chop them and bake them in the oven at 350 degrees until tender. They will keep in the fridge all week!

20170109_140223.jpg

After you have purchased all your produce, its time to prep! Clean all your produce, and starting chopping! After you’re finished you can begin cooking. Cook your chosen recipes in bulk then break them down into single servings for the week. You can freeze anything you have leftover for next week! You can also portion out your snacks for the week, like fruit and nuts.

20170109_142253.jpg

Now that everything is cooked you can put everything into meal sized portions in your containers and put them in your refrigerator. You’ll be set for the week and not have to worry about dinner!

20170109_144636

A weekly meal prep can actually save you time. It takes less time to do all your meals in one day than to prepare them individually. So, if your every day to day is as busy as mine, give this a try. Sometimes it’s the little changes that make the biggest difference.

 

DIY · health · Weightloss

D.I.Y Your Own Home Gym!

January is all about lifestyle changes and healthy choices. We make promises to ourselves that this year will be different and we start out strong. If you made a health resolution, it can be difficult to follow through. One thing that can help is having your own personal space to get in a workout! Working out is such an important part of leading a healthy life, why not put the effort into customizing a space to do it, just for you.

9ed0c63d4477f2643ca9979a5e15a419

 

The first thing you will need is a little bit of space! It can be the garage, basement or just a corner of a room, whatever works best for you. Clear it of any clutter and lets get started!

organizedexerciseroombefore1
I Heart Organizing

Secondly, arrange whatever workout equipment you have in the space. For example, a treadmill, weights, and resistance bands. Get some cute storage containers to keep smaller equipment organized.

20170108_141731

20170108_141825.jpg

Next, you will want to think about the floor. If you are working with a carpeted area, just laying down a yoga mat will work fine. However, if you are working with hard floors and want to go the extra mile, think about purchasing foam gym floor mats. This will give your space a serious workout vibe and give you enough padding to do your workouts.

20170108_141928.jpg

Make sure you have a TV in your workout space. This will come in handy to stream workouts from Beachbody on Demand or just to keep you entertained while you workout. Catch up on your favorite shows while you sweat!

20170108_141914.jpg

Lastly, you will want to personalize your space. You can add some motivational quotes to the wall or do like I did and add some Chalkboard Decals so you can keep track of things like your weight loss, your workout schedule, or to keep track of where you are in the program you might be using. I’m using The 21 Day Fix.

20170108_141719

Making your own home gym does not have to be hard! With these simple steps you can make your own in an afternoon with things you probably already have. I love how my gym came out. What will you do to make your own workout space? Get creative and comment with your ideas, I would love to hear them!

20170108_142015

Here are some more home gym ideas from Pinterest!

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-281-491C35E1FE9A01CD87A75141DCC1BAC4

 

Cooking · Recipe · Vegan

Your Basic Vegan Buddha Bowl.

First off, what is a Buddha Bowl? A Buddha Bowl is a healthy eating staple. It is a bowl filled with different layers of hearty healthy foods. It is great for vegans because you can load up on veggies and protein in one bowl! It is also a wonderful choice because you don’t have to plan it, you can take whatever leftovers or odds and ends you have in your fridge and make a Buddha Bowl.

20170108_120737.jpg

        First Layer: Grain

  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Barley
  • Millet
20170108_115708
Brown Rice

Second Layer: Protein

  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Tempeh
  • Seitan
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
20170108_120037.jpg
Quinoa

Third Layer: Veggies

  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Spinach
20170108_120539
Spinach

Fourth Layer: Extras

  • Spices
  • Fresh herbs
  • Seeds ( Sesame, Chia)
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Tofu Cream
  • Salsa
20170108_120745.jpg
Tofu Cream, Pumpkin Seeds, and Chia Seeds!

Experiment and make your own Buddha Bowl! Tell me what recipes you come up with.

1hcb9t

 

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-281-491C35E1FE9A01CD87A75141DCC1BAC4

health · Life · Seasonal · Weightloss

My Resolutions: Starting 2017 on the Right Foot!

Most of us make them, hellbent on making the new year mean a new you. Resolution are a tradition of second chances and fresh starts. This year I know I will be making my fair share of them. I want to take advantage of the new year’s opportunities and make 2017 the year that 2016 should have been.

13309573511112670181decorative-lines-2_large-hi

Firstly, my biggest resolution is to continue on my weight loss journey. I plan on stepping it up by making small changes to my lifestyle. I resolve to workout at least once a day and go on a walk as well. I also resolve to stick to my eating plan, the 21 Day Fix. The 21 Day Fix teaches you about portion control and making healthy choices for 21 days at a time to create new habits. I find that this plan really works. Learn more about it here.

15403792_10208010904852317_3791753560112362234_o

I also want to focus on my relationships more. I want to become a better listener and make myself more available to the people I love. I rely so heavily on them, I want to make sure that they can do the same with me.

15774984_10208161626300259_6832011122353888373_o.jpg

Lastly, I am making some resolutions about my blog as well! I am going to be posting more frequently and become more organized with my blogging. Hopefully these changes will lead to positive results! Let me know what you want me to blog about in the comments.

You can read about how to keep and achieve your own resolutions this New Year, here.

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-281-491C35E1FE9A01CD87A75141DCC1BAC4

Life · Monthly Health Check In · Seasonal

2016, That’s a Wrap!

Today we celebrate and ring in the New Year. Today is also a time of reflect on the year that has passed and what it has brought us. The ups and the downs, the good and the bad. My 2016 was filled with both. I laughed a lot and cried a lot. I tried new things and had new experiences. Today, I want to share some highlights from my year.

13309573511112670181decorative-lines-2_large-hi

This year I got to spend a large amount of time with family. I am so grateful for that. I got the opportunity to travel to visit my “sister-in-law” in Massachusetts and my aunt in New Hampshire. Along with many other fun visits with other members of my family, I’m so grateful for all the time this year I got to spend bonding with the people that mean so much to me.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This year, in March, Geoffrey had the final surgery on his left ankle, trying to fix complications from previous surgeries due to the original diagnosis of Osteochondritis dissecans. After a long overnight stay in the hospital, post op, we returned home where he needed constant care, requiring me to stay with him for eight weeks through his recovery.

IMG_9461.jpg

Also, this year, Geoffrey’s family adopted a new dog named Beau! I went with them to pick him up and he was mats and dirt, but we could already tell that he was a sweetheart. On the long ride home from the pick up spot, he nuzzled both Geoffrey and I and actually crawled up into Geoffrey’s lap! We got him home and immediately brushed him to get out as many knots as we could and the amount of hair that came off could have made a whole other dog. After that he was ready to come inside and was instantly at home. We are so happy to welcome this big furry ball of love into the family and so happy that Mr. and Mrs.L have finally found the dog for them!

 

We added another member to the family this year. My Aunt Pam and Uncle Dan welcomed baby Tobias Connor Goodenough on September 5th at 10:54pm, at 6.77lb, 49cm. He is a beautiful baby boy and is getting so big so fast! I’m so excited to have baby cousins in the family and to get to be a big cousin. I so grateful to have Toby and his sisters in my life.

 

As I mentioned before, this year I got the amazing opportunity to do some traveling! I wrote about it previously here and here. It was a wonderful trip and the first time I’ve gotton to travel with my boyfriend, Geoffrey. We had so much fun!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This year also held a lot of personal opportunities for me. In September, I started this blog to chronicle my weight loss and the ups and downs of that and my battle with mental health. I also became vegan this year around August. In late November, I became a Beachbody Coach. Beachbody has helped me lose 30 plus pounds and becoming a coach grants me the opportunity to help others achieve their own health goals and dreams. I am so excited to get out there and help others!

 

I also started a new hobby this year. Hiking the Pennypack Trail! I love being outside and getting some alone time to think on the trails. I get to take beautiful pictures and see amazing things all while getting in some great exercise!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2016 wasn’t all wonderful, however. This year we lost a dear family friend, Sharon Lyew. This February, she succumbed to complications of diabetes and heart disease. Sharon was someone who was always a part of my life. She taught me to love crafting at a young age when she would come over and teach me how to make jewelry and other things. She babysat me when I was a baby and we have so many funny stories to tell of her. We think of her often and hold her close in our hearts.

img_0010
Sharon and I.

 

So much has come together to make up 2016. So much joy, sadness and triumph. 2016 was a jam packed year. I worked hard, accomplished much, and grew as a person. I hope 2017 holds just as much opportunity for growth and change as 2016, just as much joy, and if it brings sadness, that I may learn from it.

 

What are your favorite memories from 2016? What are your hopes for 2017?

 

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-281-491C35E1FE9A01CD87A75141DCC1BAC4

 

 

health · Life · Seasonal

Your Resolutions: How to Rock 2017!

The year is coming to a close. Amidst the holiday celebrations, gift giving and cheer, we begin to think about what we want from the new year. The new year is a new beginning, an opportunity for change. 45% of American make New Years Resolutions, however only 8% achieve their goals (1). We start the year off with so much gusto but we don’t follow through. Let’s make this year different! With these simple steps you can rock 2017.

New Year Resolutions Stats.png

  Evaluate

What do you want most out of life. Do you want to lose weight? Get control of your finances? Revamp the house? Consider what you could improve on. Take some time, sit down and think about what you would like most out of the new year. Pick one main resolution and you can pick one or two smaller resolutions.

Start Small

Instead of setting big lofty goals, start small. If you want to lose weight, start by promising to stop drinking soda for a month and go from there. Start taking walks at night. These goals are more attainable. By implementing small changes slowly, we are more likely to achieve the goals we set then if we try and make a big change over night.

Post It

Literally, post it! You can write your resolution on a post it and keep it somewhere visible like your mirror so you can see it everyday or go for gold and post your goal on a social media site so everyone knows what your doing. This will keep you accountable.

Make Time

Put some time aside everyday to work on your new goal. If you want to lose weight, put time aside everyday to workout or meal plan. If you want to work on your finances set time aside to work on your books. even if you have to give up watching your favorite show to give yourself that extra hour, it’s worth it, make the time!

Focus

Focus on the small achievements you are making while working on your goal. Every small step adds up to one big accomplishment. Remind yourself of these little achievements during times of doubt to get you through it.

Lastly, Don’t Give Up!

Everyone slips up, if you are trying to shed a few pounds and you find yourself enjoy one to many cookies, don’t beat yourself up and call it quits all together. Recognize that everyone has weak moments and refocus. The worst thing you can do is stop working towards your goal all together. Don’t let a slip up derail you.

I hope your holidays season and New Year is everything you hoped and dreamed of! What will you be resolving to change this year? What do you want out of 2017?

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-281-491C35E1FE9A01CD87A75141DCC1BAC4

1: http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

health · Life · Seasonal · Weightloss

Tips to Stay on Track This Holiday Season.

The holidays are a difficult time if your trying to stay healthy. With all the temptations of holiday treats and dense meals, it can be hard to stay on track. I have a few tips that can make the holidays a little less overwhelming.

54929
A great info-graphic by The Daily Star.

Make a routine and stick to it.

A routine is the key to success when it comes to health goals. I personally live and die by a scheduled routine. Take some time to write yourself a daily routine to better schedule your time. This will help you stick to healthy habits. If you schedule in time in your routine everyday for a workout you’re more likely to do it.

healthy-holiday-iStock_000028899558Medium-1024x869.jpg

Healthy Replacements.

This time of year is filled with cookies, hot cocoa, and chocolate. Instead of over indulging in all of these treats, replace them! Instead of putting out a tray of cookies this year at your holiday party, put out a tray of veggies.

healthy-holiday-tree

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Staying hydrated is so important, especially when your taking in salty or sugary foods. Water helps flush all that out of your system. Instead of eggnog, cocoa or soda, grab a glass of H2O. Make sure you are getting at least eight 8 oz glasses a day!

water-being-poured-into-glass

Be Prepared

If you know you are going to be at a party or event filled with treats galore, eat something healthy before you leave or pack something healthy to bring with you. You are less likely to go overboard at your event if you are prepared.

healthy-for-the-holidays

Be realistic

This time of year is about celebrating with the ones we love.  it’s okay to enjoy a treat or two without feeling guilty if you are keeping up with healthy habits. Having a Christmas cookie can prevent a binge later on. Health is all about moderation.

warm-wishes-for-the-holiday-season

But most of all, enjoy the holidays with your loved ones!

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-281-491C35E1FE9A01CD87A75141DCC1BAC4

Depression · health · Life · Mental Health · Monthly Health Check In · Vegan · Weightloss

November, That’s A Wrap!

I know I’m late posting this but the past few weeks have been hectic for me. The last several months have been difficult for me, you can read more about that here and here. This month, unfortunately, was just as difficult. I’m getting pretty tired of writing about how hard of a time I have been having lately but I feel like it is important to be honest. Battling depression and weight issues is not a straight path, as I’ve been learning, it has many ups and downs.

This month I was lucky enough to go on an amazing eleven day vacation with my boyfriend to visit his sister and then my aunt, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I managed to lose 9 pounds, even though I was on vacation! You can read more about my vacation here and here!

However, once I got home I plateaued, and didn’t lose any weight the rest of the month.

It’s not all about weight, however. I’m a bit disappointed in myself. I definitely didn’t live my best life for most of November. I have been having such a difficult time with other aspects of my health that I never anticipated when I started this blog. When I started writing this blog I felt on top of the world, it is amazing how quickly you can fall back to the bottom.

I try everyday to make the best decisions that I can but because of the adversity I have been facing, it has been very difficult. I’m not giving up though. I’m determined to get back on my feet and get my health under control, in all aspects.

I have so many goals I want to reach. I’m working towards so much. I just need to get a hold on my depression again before I can step forward.

There are some positive things to report this month!

On November 23rd I officially became a Beachbody coach! You might be wondering what that is. A Beachbody coach is someone who helps people reach their own health and fitness goals. I’m so excited to start this new chapter in my life. I am so passionate about my own health, I can’t wait to share that passion with others. The thought of making a positive impact on other people’s lives fills me with so much joy!

I also had an amazing Thanksgiving with my family in Mechanicsburg, PA! My cousin Elizabeth cooked a beautiful dinner and provided lots of yummy vegan options for me! I really appreciated the thought that went into making sure I had something to eat as well.

res_1480018346102

How was your November? What do you have planned for December?

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-281-491C35E1FE9A01CD87A75141DCC1BAC4