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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Here are some more home gym ideas from Pinterest!

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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.

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        First Layer: Grain

  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Barley
  • Millet
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Brown Rice

Second Layer: Protein

  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Tempeh
  • Seitan
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
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Quinoa

Third Layer: Veggies

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

Fourth Layer: Extras

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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?

 

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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.

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

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crafting · DIY · Seasonal

6 Easy D.I.Y Holiday Decor Ideas!

It is officially December which means it is time to start trimming our trees and spreading holiday cheer all around our homes.Whether you decorate before the Thanksgiving bird has even been served or later in December, I have a few ideas of how you can spice up your decorating this year!

1. Fill a vase with ornaments.

This idea is simple but makes a big impact. Pick your favorite vase and just fill it with beautiful ornaments to display in your home! Most of us have more ornaments than we have room for on the tree. This is a perfect way to display those ornaments you really love but can’t fit on the tree this year!

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2. Trim the tree with bold ribbon.

This might seem obvious, but instead of using the traditional garland like you do every year, head over to your local Micheals. They often have ribbon on sale. Grab yourself a few spools of big, bold ribbon that matches the theme you are going for with your tree this year. I chose a gold color since that is the general look we were giving the tree. The great thing about using ribbon is you can reuse it year after year. Pick a brown burlap type of ribbon for a great rustic look, or a glittery ribbon for more of a glam feel!

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3. Make easy but bold art pieces.

I love this idea. All you need is shadow boxes, mini ornaments, scrapbook paper of your choice and cheap but beautiful decals from Darling Decal Co. You can grab shadow boxes for a great price again, at Micheals, and be sure to always use a coupon when you shop there. While you’re there grab yourself some miniature ornaments (you can also get these at Amazon) and some glittery scrapbook paper! Cut the scrapbook paper to size to fit into the back of your shadow boxes and just tape or glue it in place. Fill your shadow boxes with mini ornaments in the color of your choice. Lastly, add the beautiful decals from Darling Decal Co. Feel free to ask for the exact decals that I ordered. They are super easy to apply and totally affordable!

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4. Use battery operated string lights to make a bold statement!

I love these battery operated string lights! I’m using them all over the house this year. A great way to use them is to take a pretty glass bowl, fill it with ornaments, pine cones, or whatever you want, and string the lights throughout to make the whole bowl shine!

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5. Make faux gifts!

This is another super easy idea that makes a big impact. Save all those shipping boxes that you’ll be getting from Amazon or wherever you shop online during the holidays, and wrap them in pretty wrapping paper! Pile them up in a corner or use them to hide the less than perfect aspects of your home, like an old outlet cover or wires!

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6. Wrap your artwork.

Have any photos or artwork hanging on your wall that isn’t quite in tune with the holiday spirit? An easy solution is to wrap them and make them look like gifts hanging on your walls! I used the artwork I made here. It was too autumnal and didn’t quite match the rest of my holiday decor, so I took some beautiful glittery wrapping paper that I got on sale at Target , and wrapped the canvases. Then I added the same gold ribbon I used on my tree to really tie it all together.

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I hope you enjoyed my Holiday decor ideas, and use them in your home this year! What D.I.Y decor do you use in your home this time of year?

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Grief · Life · Seasonal · Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday: Family

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! Since this Thankful Thursday falls on the holiday of celebrating what we’re thankful for I wanted to reflect on what I’m most thankful for, my family. From my parents, to my aunts and uncles to my cousins, I have been blessed to be surrounded by the best people.

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I could go on and on about my parents, they go above and beyond for me. They allow me to do amazing things, like travel or start my own business. They have always backed me 100%. I haven’t been the easiest child to raise, but they never give up on me. They are always there for me to rely on and I know I can count on them. Not everyone is blessed with “good” parents, some people don’t have parents, so I am beyond thankful that I have them and that they are as amazing as they are. I know how lucky that makes me.

I also have a great extended family that I know I can rely on. I grew up with six cousins on my mom’s side of the family and now I have five on my dad’s (I grew up with two but my Uncle Dan and Aunt Pam recently added three children to the family! They are wonderful!). As an only child, having this many cousins and being as close with them as I am is so important to me. I cherish the bonds I have with them and think of them as the brothers and sisters I always wanted. The rest of my family is amazing as well, I have close aunts and uncles that have always reached out to me when they knew I needed the extra support. I feel very fortunate to be blessed with such a big, supportive, sometimes crazy, family.

I also am thankful for the people who aren’t in my life anymore, but was privileged enough to love, even if they were taken too soon. Having them forever would not be long enough. My grandmother was one of the most genuine, kind and thoughtful people I have ever met. She brought sunshine with her where ever she went. She was the kind of grandmother who collected cat comics for my cousin (who loves cats) in a photo album and once it was full would mail it to her. She often brought me small things that reminded her of me, newspaper clippings, an old magazine or photo, any art supplies she happened upon. But that’s not the only thing that made her a great grandmother, it was never about the things she gave us, it was that she was there. She never missed a recital, birthday, or game. I saw her at least once a week. Not just because she lived close but because she made the effort to be a part of our lives. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world that I had Mommom as my grandmother, and that I got to have her into my twenties. Another person I carry in my heart, who is not with us anymore, is my Uncle Pat. He was diagnosed with cancer when I was in middle school and fought it for years. He never let the battle get the best of him. When I was at my lowest he reached out to me and I will never forget that kindness. I often think of him when I’m feeling low and try and draw on his strength to help me pull through whatever I’m dealing with. He was so strong and brave and I strive to make him proud.

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I am so thankful, today, and everyday, for my family.

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