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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

training day 4.

i missed training day 3. and i completely forget what we worked on.

so onwards and upwards!

last night we went to training and rufus did well, although was really feeling pretty tired and distracted near the end. after not writing last week i realized i really dont remember what we did - so i want to continue to write about our progress.

so last night we worked on:
  • eye contact. it is the first thing we do every class. and very important. we did a variation with holding a treat out to the side and when he gave us eye contact we click, treat. this food distraction is really good for reinforcing eye contact. 
  • doggie zen. we have worked on this as well, but we added a variation like the eye contact - hold the treat out and get him to do another exercise (sit, down, touch) while holding the hand out with the treat. if he goes for the treat, cover it up until he does the exercise you want him to do - the reward becomes getting the treat.
  • target practice. using a target to start the next level of training - we hid a target stick behind our backs and then presented it to him so he touched it with his nose (he actually would lunge and try and bite it...so we need to work on that!). this can lead to more advanced party tricks that your dog can do!
  • sit and stay. pretty straight forward.
  • tug. this is our half way play time during school. we let rufus play tug (he was ALL over play time this week) and then when we want him to drop the toy we present him with a treat and say drop. he is OK at this, but we definitely need to work on it.
so that is week 4 of rufus school. we are doing pretty well so far, but we need to do more practice at home.

we also got a little advice on a few of the things rufus does that we would like to work on - like jumping at us when we get home - any reaction is a good reaction for the dog...so we need to just stand, or ignore (no eye contact, no touching, no acknowledgement) until he calms down.

so that was long.

Monday, January 30, 2012

eat right for your type

On Feb. 1st I am starting a Eat Right For Your Type trial diet. The theory is from Dr. D'Adamo and this is the version of the book that I read. The reason behind choosing to try this is mostly because I am curious to see if I will feel differently when I cut out foods that the theory claims are foods I should avoid.

I am generally pretty healthy (although i could use more exercise these days!) - but I am interested to see if the suggested diet will give me more energy and just generally make me feel better than I do now. And maybe I am just looking for a little bit of a challenge.

I am Type A (A neg blood). Which is a rather rare kind of blood ~ around 3% of the population has A- blood. I am going to make a conscious effort to become a regular blood donor since it is a rather rare type.

According to D'Adamo - this blood type has an internalized relationship to stress which increases my risk for cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and noteably hypertension and anxiety issues (which is something I struggle with). The book recommend low impact/calming exercises like yoga, swimming and walking as more intense exercise is too stressful on the body. 

The Food
The book recommends a mostly vegetarian diet (with the exception of chicken, turkey and some fish) and very organic, whole foods. I won't put a full list of food as it would be too long but luckily I won't need to make too many changes to my current diet... 

...I think the hardest things to cut out will be:

  • black tea (I drink a tea a day...at least)...apparently I am allowed coffee but I have never been able to stand the smell of coffee ~ maybe I should give it a try?!
  • steak, burgers and BACON! Although I don't eat a lot of meat as it is, it will be a change to not eat a steak or bacon every now and then!
  • peppers - I LOVE peppers of all colours, I eat them at least 5 times a week, so this will be a difficult one to cut out
  • banana's
  • milk
  • cereal - at work I eat cereal everyday...so will need to get a new breakfast idea!
  • tomatoes! I dont eat a lot of tomatoes now anyways - but I eat a lot of salsa, so I will have to change that to hummus and guac instead
 So here's to a new challenge and seeing how my body reacts!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Perfect Saturday morning

While Matt is sleeping...
My book
My favorite blanket
Sleepy dog at my feet
Warm pot of tea

Makes for a perfect saturday morning.
Life is good.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

more thoughts on time.

a while ago i wrote about time
how fast its moving and how i wish it would slow down. 

after a chat with my man - maybe it is us who must slow down

we have so many AMAZING people in our lives that we want to see all the time.
we end up feeling like we arent seeing those amazing people enough. 

so we end up keeping ourselves so busy with so many plans
a lot of the plans involve travel/car/gas/sleepovers. 

which ends in exhaustion, good stories and piles of laundry. 

in all cases we enjoy the trips, the seeing of people and the time spent away.

but we dont feel like we are taking advantage of living in this amazing city as we should. we are running around visiting everywhere and end up never having free time to do something spontaneous or see people that make last minute plans or take an adventure IN the city. 

i am a planner by nature. 
but even the plans these days are becoming too much

maybe we will make february the month of no plans?!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the 4 w's.

winter wonderland weekend wedding
(image and text heavy)

the weekend was spent at the chateau montebello in montebello quebec, canada.
 (check out the link if you want to see the luxury). 

matty and i decided to take the friday off and enjoy as much time at the hotel as possible. 
so thursday evening we left toronto and drove to peterborough where we had a visit with my mom and left our dog for the weekend. we were up early friday for the rest of the drive. 

we arrived early afternoon. our room wasn't ready, so we sat ourselves down on the couches around the massive 6 fireplace stone centerpiece and i read my book and visited with people as they arrived. 
(perfect relaxing spot)

this main lobby was absolutely stunning. 
the fireplace is obviously the focal point with many comfortable seats around. 
there is a piano where live music was played in the evenings and a bar to get drinks. 

friday evening was a planned curling / food / drinks event at the curling club on the property.
the crowd seemed to really enjoy the curling tournament and skills competition. 
there were 2 toasts (one from the maid of honor and one from the best man). 
they had a lovely spread of food and drinks for everyone to enjoy. 
it was a great way to catch up / meet people who would be at the wedding the next day. 
after the curling was shut down we proceeded to the basement pub in the main building for some foosball, a live jazz band and dancing. 
(scrumptious eats)

we were up early saturday and enjoyed the hotel's breakfast buffet. 
the food was good but the price was expensive and we were short on time (breakfast buffet closed at 10:30 and we arrived at 10).

in the afternoon the bride and groom had organized activities (outdoor hockey, sleigh ride, cross country skiing etc.) for everyone to enjoy. erin and i opted to snowshoe, which i have to say is really just a harder version of walking unless the snow is deep - so i didnt really see the excitement, however it was fantastic to get outside in the fresh air and sun. the hotel provides many different activities such as, dog sledding, tubing, skating rink etc. 

the wedding was at 5:30 in the main lobby. the ceremony was performed by a close friend who did a phenomenal job. the bride looked STUNNING and the groom very handsome. 
after the ceremony, there was cocktails and food on the mezzanine where the parents did their toast to the couple. finally, the couple thanked everyone for being there and we went into eat dinner. 

(i wish i got a better picture of the ceremony - this one is borrow from the mother of the bride)

the dinner was delicious and the dancing started not long after. the dance floor was consistently packed with many booty's shaking (young and old). 
(group circle dance)

the weekend ended with a delicious brunch at a place down the road where i had the most delicious poutine and western sandwich. we told stories from the weekend and then went on our various ways to return back to real life. 

it was a wonderful winter wonderland weekend extravaganza. 
(the gorgeous invite)

and i would highly recommend montebello as a special weekend getaway. 
it isnt a cheap place - but you definitely get your money's worth!


Monday, January 23, 2012

weekend adventure.

well that was quite a weekend.
there was some expectations of how this weekend was going to go. 
and it blew all those expectations out of the water. 

ill actually do a full post dedicated to the wedding. 
but for now a picture or two. 

{photo.credit linda brady}

and now i will get back to my new iphone!  
and will be back with a full weekend post soon.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

5 things. weekend edition.

1. i (along with many others) am extremely excited about the weekend ahead. matty and i will be heading out tonight to drop our pooch at grandma's and then head to a winter wonderland weekend in montebello for a wedding weekend. 

2. we are going to get to see many good friends. and have lots of good laughs.

3. the weekend will be filled with fun winter activities (curling, skiing, hockey, sleighride etc.,) and of course the wedding!

4. i have known the bride and groom since i was 8 years old...if not earlier. and i am excited to watch them get married. 

5. we have a special surprise planned that will hopefully turn out rather fun. 

bonus. i hope to bring back some fun pictures to share!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

training day 2.

puppy school tonight. 

last week we worked on: 
  • eye contact - he is getting better but still a little slow to look from the hand that gives the treat, to the eyes
  • touch - he is VERY good at this and learned really quickly
  • doggie zen - he is also good at this, although sometimes army crawls along the ground to get closer to the treat...not what we want for training purposes, but hilarious to watch
this week we learned: 

  • loose leash walking - this is exactly what i need, as rufus pulls on the leash a lot of the time. we started with reward rufus moving when our legs move...so take one step - when he moves towards the leg, reward. we did that walking backwards, then sideways and eventually walking forward. this will be (what i think) our biggest challenge, but hopefully biggest reward with much better walks. 
  • tug - how to play tug properly. we let him play, even tease him a little, then ask him to drop the toy and give him a treat. also make him wait patiently before he gets the toy back.
  • sit and down - rufus is very good at sit, so we are working on down. this is standard, do the hand motion, reward when he does it. the next stage is to do that for a bit and then do nothing and see if he does down on his own. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

gorgeous wedding.

i am not engaged. 
but i came across this wedding from the once wed blog 
i couldn't let it pass without a mention on here.

i have never planned a wedding. 
but i have helped friends with aspects and attended many. 
from the experiences i have had...
every wedding is in some way created through expectations and compromises.

if i were to go against the expectations and compromises - 
this would be pretty close to the wedding i would plan. 

a small intimate garden wedding (or anywhere outdoors)... 

with water close by...

an outdoor bbq dinner...

a fire pit with some comfy chairs...

and dancing under the stars. 

simple and natural. 

of course, if i am ever to get married...
it will be a day that my future husband and i build together that reflects us.
but i will be sure to use this as some inspiration! 


Saturday, January 14, 2012


its really cold in toronto today. 
i am not someone who loves the cold weather. 
i like snow, i dont mind winter...but this is a little colder than i like. 

so instead i am trying to appreciate it. 
living in canada (especially in ontario) we are so lucky
 to be able to experience all 4 seasons. 
like everything, i find good and not so good things in every season. 

spring is by far my favourite. 
the colours come back (after a long grey winter). 
the flowers bloom. the grass grows. the leaves bring the gorgeous green. 
i was born in spring. maybe that has something to do with it to?!

so in lieu of the cold. i bundled up and walked the dog. 
and now have snuggled up for the evening.
with some hot chocolate/baileys, a fire and some friends.

happy weekends!

Friday, January 13, 2012

back to school.

rufus mcfly is going back to school. we had our first class last night.
generally he is a very well behaved dog for being only 9 months old. 
but there are some things, as dog owners, we feel need some work. 

so i am going to track our progress as homework. 
it was recommended to write down what we work on and progress rufus has with the training to use as a reference. this is the avenue i am going to use. 

last night we worked on the following: 

eye contact. 
when rufus gave us eye contact, we clicked and gave him a treat. easy peasy. 
rufus is ok at this - but definitely needs some work.

this is when we put our palm out in various locations and rufus is to touch his nose to our palm. 
this will be helpful in being able to move him when / where we need to when out and about.
we have never tried this before, so rufus was learning relatively quickly.

doggie zen.
putting the treat in the hand or on the floor and if rufus waits instead of jumping on it - he gets the treat. 
rufus is already pretty good at this...so we will just work on this one. 

hopefully we are on the road to a well behaved dog!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


there just doesn't seem to be enough time in any day these days.

january is usually a time of slowing down and regrouping for the upcoming year. 
i have thought of this year as a year to simplify, slow down.

however, i am finding january to be as busy as the end of last year.  

tonight i would like to: 
go home, make a delicious meal, and veg out with modern family and my new book. maybe even throw in some puppy snuggles.

instead i will: 
go to the library, get some groceries, pick up a few things, take the dog to the park (or run if i can muster up the energy), make a delicious meal, work on editing/sending/loading some pictures for a few friends and hopefully catch modern family and maybe some puppy snuggles.

i will soon be 32. may...can you please take some time to get here. im not quite ready for you just yet.


Sunday, January 8, 2012


1. matty treated me to my first chai tea latte at starbucks the other day. it was as delicious as i remembered.

2. i watched how to train a dragon, it was a pretty good movie! the dragons were like dogs.

3. going to indulge in my first bubble bath of 2012 today. this is happiness to me.

4. sundays are fun.days. especially when the sun is shining. 

5. i am starting to have thoughts in twitter feeds. like - this week i am going to see some fabulous ladies #thingstolookforwardto.


Friday, January 6, 2012


after all the running around over the holidays, i am craving some down time around the house. my day off has started brilliantly ~ a sleep in, a run with the dog and brunch with a friend equals a good start.

and to continue this wonderful day/weekend ... matty and i are going to celebrate our (unofficial) 4 year anniversary. we dont really have a specific date. it took us a while to figure out whether we were actually going to give this a real shot or not. 

{the early days of dating}

but its a good excuse to spend some time together and go out for dinner for a delicious steak! 

not to gush too much - but matty is one of the best people i know. he is genuine, kind and has taught me so much about unconditional love. i am one lucky girl to have him in my life.

i hope you enjoy this weekend like i plan to! 

{this summer}

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012...here we come!

the years are flying by these days. i am not the only one who seems to feel this. 
so in order to enjoy the time while it flies by...here are some things i hope for in 2012. 

~save save save! its going to be a frugal year as i am saving for some special things.
~special monthly dates with matty (we've made an envelope with dates and will pick one to do each month.
~take a week vacation at the cottage in the summer
~help my mom with some projects around her house
~try (at least) one new recipe a month from my cookbook
~lots of visits with my niece and friends babies :)
~build up my muscles - i have lost some muscle mass this past year and will work on getting it back

its going to be another year of visiting, picture taking and hiking with the dog. 
i look forward to everything it brings.