Tag Archives: dog

Holiday Greetings

Happy Holidays!

I’ll begin this holiday greeting by apologizing for cheating you all out of a printed Christmas card this year. Especially because opening holiday cards and hanging them up is one of my favorite traditions and I may or may not still have all of yours from the past four years in a storage box because recycling them would destroy the memories and I refuse to be a memory destroyer.

Truth is until I got a puppy, I never deemed anything worthy enough of placing on my holiday card. Sure, there was that one year I could have posed next to my Kitchen-Aide, covered in flour and looking war-torn after three days straight of holiday baking. Or the party photos filled with felt antlers and Santa-appliqued sweatshirts from the annual ugly Christmas sweater party, but nothing ever seemed right.

Fast-forward to this year and I am now acutely aware that we are soon-to-be a family of two and have zero photos of ourselves. So while we decided to wait until the New Year to send out cards, I couldn’t NOT spread glad tidings to you, electronically or otherwise. Because what is Christmas, if not a time to dress your pet up in a human-sized flannel and make him pose for you in front of the tree. (Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Target, but if you are reading this Target, this post could totally be sponsored by you)

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A Perfect Fall Day

Today was just about as close as you can get to a perfect fall day. And believe me I’m just as surprised as you that it happened this early in October and this close to the Gulf of Mexico. But it did. And I’m perfectly OK with that.

Normally on a day like today, I would head out to a pumpkin patch with the sole purpose of stocking up on gourds, drinking cider and eating donuts until my glucose tolerance increased enough for the upcoming holiday. But since I’ve been warned that any pumpkins I purchase will likely melt before Halloween, Finn and I settled for a trip to the dog beach instead. Because nothing says fall like sun, sand and saltwater.

If you’re already sick of PSLs, puffer vests and pumpkin pics, let me take you on a day-trip with us to the dog beach. You can go ahead and stop reading now if you are over my alliteration or averse to a million dog photos.

Cat people beware.

I had planned on taking Finn to the dog beach this week as a reward for adjusting fairly well to me going back to work, but when we woke up to temps in the low 60s this morning, I wasn’t sure anyone else would be at the beach for him to play with. I tried to come up with something else to wear him out but neither he nor his cow were having any of it.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog,

 

So off we went but not before Finn showed off how much control he has when he realizes he is in fact going for a ride in the car.

It’s not a very long ride to the dog beach but all that excitement about riding in the car usually wears Finn out for the actual riding part. After all, you never know what you’re in for once you get to your final destination so you might as well arrive rested.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog,

Turns out everyone else was taking advantage of the great weather and the beach was actually busier than usual. Never very cognizant of his own size, Finn managed to find the only dogs on the beach bigger than him. Cocoa the Saint Bernard and Willow the soon-to-be 200 pound mastiff seemed like as good a pack as any to join.

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There was a lot of gossiping going on.

And quite a few selfies.

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get one with my ears blowing in the wind mom.

When we got tired of running around, we took a few more selfies.

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And how can we forget that moment when Finn thought he was posing for a picture and it was really a video. Awkward!

I still have to figure out another way to spike my glucose over the next few weeks but I’m glad that we can keep trips to the beach in rotation well into the fall.

Have a great week and please keep the pumpkin patch pictures coming!

 

 

 

Long time no talk

Hey there! Where have you been? Feels like we haven’t had a one-sided conversation in forever.

My bad. Truth is I’ve actually been busy. Really, truly, contributing to society again busy.

That’s right the sabbatical has ended. The summer of Sarah has come to a close. But what a summer it was! Beach time, dog walks, mid-day recipe posts, more dog walks, mid-day workouts, another dog walk. But it wasn’t all sunshine and summertime. The frustration, boredom and self-doubt that comes with re-starting your career in a place you know nearly no one can really wear on you.

sunset, florida, sky, palm trees

Nonetheless, I’m very excited to get back to seeing if the parts of my brain that have been resting all summer still work. So far so good. Brain cells seem to be multiplying and I feel like I need a nap by 3:00 everyday.

I ask that you bear with me as I remember how to live the 8-5 life again and somehow fit in workouts and meals along the way. And dog walks. Poor Finn might be the only one not thrilled with the new adventure.

So I’ll leave you with a photo dump from the past few weeks, including a visit from two of my best friends and a bunch of pictures of Finn looking guilty.

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sunset, florida, sky, palm trees

 

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Oh and just for good measure, here are a few fun fall recipes from last year to tide you over until I actually make something worth sharing again.

pumpkin bread streusel topping

Pumpkin Bread

spooky pumpkin toffee chocolate chip cookies simply social blog

Pumpkin Toffee Cookies

Have a great week!

 

 

 

The Year of the Swissy, An Infographic

For the past several weeks I’ve been visualizing life in infographic form. I’m not exactly the numbers-type but when I see those stats all wrapped up into a perfectly packaged design element, I get all warm and fuzzy inside. As if suddenly I need to know everything about the power of Pinterest, the triggers of asthma or what type of Facebook personality you exhibit. But seriously, I now know all of those things thanks to recent infographics.

For just about as long as I have had Finn I’ve been building this infographic in my head. As you will see below, he and I spend a lot of time walking together. And since he doesn’t always talk back to me, I spend the majority of the time thinking about random things. Like how many times he and I have passed El Famous Burrito when someone has NOT been taking a bite of a taco (4). Or whether or not crazy neighbor lady will squeal and ask what kind of dog Finn is today like she did yesterday and on Sunday. If you have a pet, or a child, you can probably relate. Dogs are very habitual. And so are their owners.

In typical Sarah fashion I underestimated the amount of design time actually needed to put my facts into visual form, but hopefully you will get where I’m headed. You may have read my past posts about all of the things my pup has ingested over his short year of life. Another episode this week, along with the celebration of Finn’s birthday a few weeks ago, finally gave me enough of a push to create an infographic about him. Without further ado, I give you:

greater swiss mountain dog infographic simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic pounds of food eaten simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic number of walks simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic dog beds used simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic objects eaten simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic visits to vet simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic love simply social blog

 

Happy Birthday Mr. Finn. I can’t believe how much you’ve grown.

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Now please stop eating foreign objects.

greater swiss mountain dog infographic love simply social blog

 

Will Bake for Barks

Growing up as a family with dogs, we always had a box of milkbones in the pantry. Sat down when told to? Milkbone. Did your business outside without running away? Milkbone. Now there were pig ears and other dried meats given as well, but from my memory, milkbone had a corner on the dog treat market throughout most of my childhood.

Fast forward 18 or so years and you have to search through a million varieties to even find a box of old-fashioned milkbones. Trust me I did it. I bought a box when Finn was a pup and tried to give him one. He sniffed it, looked up at me and walked away. This coming from the dog who gets his daily fiber from bark chips and the occasional chewed piece of gum?

greater swiss mountain dog puppy

When we started manners class, I was told to bring high-value treats to use as rewards for our training exercises. We mixed kibble in there as well, but I found if I rewarded with beef jerkey or dried chicken, I could get that dog to fold my laundry for me if I asked. And still today, I can’t make a batch of almond or peanut butter without his nose nearly inside the food processor. We officially have a treat-lover.

It wasn’t until we started lurching and sprinting into  visiting our local pet food store daily that I realized just how crazy the dog treat market is in Chicago. Not only is there aisle upon aisle of packaged treats, but there are entire bakeries dedicated to dog treats, special sections in grocery stores and as I learned last night on our evening visit to the dog park, gourmet dog food trucks. That’s right folks, you might be starving for a snack, but this vehicle caters to pooches only.

They see me rollin’ they barkin’

Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone deserves a special treat now and then, but on the regular, I’m not going to pay $3.00 a piece for a custom designed Preppy Puppy Mini Poodle Puff so my dog can inhale it in less than 5 seconds and not taste the sprinkles. I am however a sucker for a food truck so I may or may not have taken their business card, liked them on Facebook and went home and whipped up a batch of my own homemade treats immediately after.

homemade peanut butter dog treats

Homemade Dog Treats

  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 C all purpose flour
  • 1 C Oats
  • 1/2 C peanut butter (I used chunky)
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1 tsp olive oil (or coconut)
  • 1 C chicken broth

Prefer the original? Recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen.

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, honey, oil and chicken broth. In another bowl mix flours and oats. Here’s where it gets tough, mix wet ingredients into dry until combined. Try to avoid the looks coming from your puppy as he smells his favorite things all rolled into one giant ball.

greater swiss mountain dog puppy

Listen lady, this better not take all night.

Roll dough onto floured surface.

homemade dog treats
Use cookie cutter to cut treats and place onto non-stick baking mat. I used a 3-4″ biscuit cutter. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.

homemade peanut butter dog treats

Hold in front of your dog while you try to take a photo, causing him to bark incessantly because you are a mean mother.

homemade dog treats greater swiss mountain dog puppy

ok, go ahead and reward your puppy for being patient with you.

homemade peanut butter dog treats

I would say enjoy but I don’t know how you feel about the combination of peanut butter and chicken broth. Perhaps it’s the new chicken and waffles? Finn seemed to enjoy them but remember he also has an affinity  for stranger’s chewing gum.

Have a great weekend!