Meet Pickles

Right before Thanksgiving, we adopted a puppy and named her Pickles.  Isn’t she cute?

I mean, who can resist that worried, wrinkled little forehead?  Or those big brown eyes?

She is such a sweetie and loves nothing more than cuddling up on your lap and getting a good scratch behind the ears.

The first few days she was here with us, she was quiet as could be.  In fact, she pretty much slept all the time!  She didn’t really know how to play, and it was clear she hadn’t had much socialization with either people or other dogs.

As the weeks went by, it was obvious that we needed to call in the professionals for training!  She is an angel at home, but a terror on the leash.  If she so much as catches wind of another canine, it’s over!  High-pitched, eardrum-piercing barking, whining, pulling on the leash, and generally just acting like a nuisance.

I was seriously ready to call the Dog Whisperer (and we did download one of Cesar’s audio books – love him!).  We decided to enroll Pickles in an “adolescent puppy” obedience class at our local dog agility and training center.

The first class was an absolute nightmare.  The instructor ended up putting us behind a big, fabric screen because Pickles was LOSING her mind.  She did not stop barking for the entire hour, and I was convinced that we would not be invited back!  I was also pretty sure I’d need a Xanax before I could deal with another hour of adolescent puppy training.

Fast forward two weeks later, and it’s like we have a new dog.  Pickles has completed 3 out of six classes, and she’s getting better each week!  She’s becoming more social with the other pups, is barking much less, and has learned all kinds of tricks (well, the basics).  Wanna see?

She can sit:

Lay down:

Shake:

…and this week she learned “settle,” which is to completely lay back on one hip in a relaxed position.  We plan to continue with obedience classes as well as enroll her in “doggie daycare,” which will both help me reach one of my goals for 2012!

Now if she can just learn to vacuum or empty the dishwasher.  Then I’ll be really impressed 😉

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My Meal Prep

One of the things I’ve quickly had to learn while preparing for the upcoming Ms. Bikini New England competition is that it’s vitally important to prepare my meals ahead of time.  It not only saves a lot of time during the week, but it also gives me little to no excuse for staying on track!

So, I spend some time on Sunday evening prepping meals for the week ahead. My coach has recommended a specific amount of proteins, starches, veggies, fruits, and fat, so I change up the meals week to week while staying within the recommendations.

Here’s what I prepared this weekend:

Wow-ee that's a lot of food!

One meal is grilled chicken, asparagus, and sweet potato:

The second is ground turkey, brown rice, red and green bell peppers, and salsa:

Then I made some greek yogurt, wheat germ, and berries, sprinkled with Truvia:

…and finally, I have containers of spaghetti squash and leftover brown rice to use for dinners during the week:

For the smaller meals in the Ziploc (BPA free!) containers, I leave two of each meal in the fridge and put the rest in the freezer.  In the morning, I take one of each meal out of the fridge and take it to work with me, and replace those meals with one from the freezer.  That way, there are always meals thawed and ready to go when I need them.

And there you have it!

Do you prepare your lunches or meals for the week ahead of time?

If you’ve ever participated in a fitness competition, do you have any meal prep tips you could share?

New ‘do

I changed my hair color this weekend.  I get really bored with the same ol’ thing, so the color changes a few times a year.

I took a pic right before leaving for the salon to clearly show the skankiness of my grown out roots:

Before

…and here’s after!  Taken in my car while I sat in the carwash LOL:

After - so serious!

It’s nice to have a change (I’m sure I’ll be bored before my next visit to the salon!).

My salon is so cute!  I love it there!  It’s located inside a historical home that reminds me a lot of the buildings in my hometown.

On Saturdays, they have bands playing live music, and it’s always bustling and busy in there!  I highly recommend Blue Salon if you live in the Philly ‘burbs.

How often do you crave a change in hair color?  Am I the only one that can never make up her mind??

Here I go: Ms. Bikini New England

92 days.  That’s how long I have to get this body into rockin’ shape before participating in a fitness competition for the first time.

Today, I officially registered for the Fitness New England show’s bikini division!  I’m super excited to cross this goal off of my list in April.

I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, but fortunately, I signed up for coaching through Cathy Savage Fitness, the expert in this industry!  I check in on a weekly basis with my coach, sending her pics every week to show my progress.

Workouts are 6 days a week and I LOVE them!  I’ve never stuck with the same training program for this long, as I tend to get bored, but these workouts are so fun!

I’ll be tracking my progress along the way, and if I get brave enough, I may even share my progress pics.

(off to the gym!)