Mitchell,The Furry Snowbird

When Kyle and I relocated to Florida nearly two years ago, I joked with our friends and family that our move was actually for Mitchell. He was 8 when moved south, and as dogs are “seniors” at age 7 (!!!), he officially turned into a Snowbird when we changed our residence to Naples ;)


Dog beaches with an ocean front view, plenty of parks and walking paths, lots of friendly faces, and warm weather year round – What more could my furry snowbird request??

Now that Mitchell is 10 years old – and a big brother that has added a bit of stress to his life, our focus is to keep him healthy, active, and young at heart for as long as possible. Because of this goal, I was more than happy to partner with Purina Pro Plan and give Mitchell a taste of their Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ dog food. And let’s be honest, Mitchell was the one who was happiest… A new food to eat? Count him IN!

In addition to trying out BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ (a total win for Mitchell), we also had the opportunity to give Dognition a whirl. Dognition is comprised of fun, science-based games that allow you to better understand your dog’s personality and how they view the world. While Mitchell wouldn’t sit still (or participate… he’s young at heart, LOL) for all of the games, it was fun to have some one-on-one time with my favorite furry guy! Make sure you read through the entire post as I’m giving away a Dognition code for one of you to try out the games with your pup!

I’m sure it’s no surprise to my fellow dog lovers, but scientists at Nestle Purina have studied aging dogs for many years and have found that nutrition can positively impact a dog’s cognitive health as they grow older. I know I want Mitchell to have both a healthy body and a healthy mind as he continues to age, so getting quality nutrients in his body- along with keeping him active – is one of my top priorities for him right now. BRIGHT MIND 7+ contains enhanced botanical oils that have been shown to improve alertness, memory, trainability, and mental sharpness. Owners may actually notice more willingness on the part of their loved senior dogs to play and adapt/cope with change when feeding their dog BRIGHT MIND 7+. I think those are all characteristics we’d love to see in our dogs as they age!


Over the past 30 days, Mitchell’s been chomping down and fully enjoying the flavor of his new, BRIGHT MIND 7+ dog food. Kyle and I have been happy to see a positive change in his mood and playfulness and I *think* he may even be listening better! Or his food is just so tasty that he no longer wants to beg for Dean’s food at dinner ;) Mitchell has always been full of energy so that wasn’t a big concern for us, but he’s been happier as Dean has been attempting to play with him and willing to go on longer walks in our Florida summer heat. Having a dog that is relaxed and adjustable around small kiddos is important to us so Mitchell will most definitely continue on his feeding regimen of BRIGHT MIND 7+. We are happy and thankful to see a positive improvement in our little ol’ snowbird dog.


Now, it’s YOUR turn for a chance to get to better understand your dog’s feelings and behaviors. Comment below and tell me your dog’s name, age (any age counts!), and your favorite thing about your furry friend for your chance to win a Dognition assessment code ($19 value).

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND. The opinions and text are all mine.

Weekending – A birthday, owl wine, and pickles!

Happy Sunday! How was your weekend?

Shockingly enough, the time change didn’t throw us off too much. Dean let us sleep until “7:30” (really 6:30 LOL) and I was successful at putting him down at 7 tonight! Fingers crossed ;)

Anyways, enough about DST and more about the weekend!

It was a nice and relaxing one for us… Nothing crazy here in Naples. Here’s what we were up to…

Friday kicked off with a sweaty spin class!  

And then ended with some relaxing at home with one of my new favorite red wines. Cute, organic and delish.  

I have wanted to run to the beach for a few months now and I FINALLY made it happen Saturday morning. 6.25 miles of perfection… and a gorgeous view at the end. I’m pretty proud of my (mostly) negative splits as well!  

Kyle and Dean met me after my run and we picked up Kyle’s newly dad-pimped bike ;) First family bike ride is happening as soon as we get Dean a helmet! Any suggestions on baby bike helmets?  

Anddd… Saturday was Mitchell’s 10th birthday! Happy birthday, Mitchell!!!! He got 2 super long walks, extra treats, and lotsa love.  

We went out for lunch on Saturday and Dean discovered his love of pickles, haha!  

Then it was time to stock up on vino…  

And practice our walking. 

Kyle whipped up some delicious risotto on Saturday night while I had a drink with the birthday boy.  

On Sunday morning, we had a belated birthday party for Mitchell at the beach! He played with his doggie friends and chased after the ball and enjoyed a good swim until he was exhausted.   

I taught BODYPUMP and then we relaxed as a family – made dinner, played, went for a long walk… Sunday stuff :)  

I am most definitely ready for the week ahead!

How was your weekend? Best meal of the weekend? Any good runs/races?

Mr. Popular

Do y’all remember Mitchell?

Didn’t think so. My “firstborn” furchild has been neglected here on the ol’ bloggy since his younger, less furry (thank gawdddd) brother made his appearance.

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Poor Mitchy Man. Yes, we still love you.

But have no fear, Mitchell is the talk of the town… or at least the talk of the neighborhood these days.

It’s official. The dog is known by more of our new neighbors than we are.

The past two days, while on our daily stroll, fellow dog walkers have greeted Mr. Mitchell BY NAME. Y’all, these are people that I have never met previously. AND THEY KNOW MY DOG.

How did this happen? Did I become that big of a hermit post-birth? Is the furball just that friendly? Did he win the popular dog contest of the month? Is he in the newest Purina commercial? Or am I just that awful at meeting our neighbors?!

Granted, Mitchell has had A LOT of walkers over the past few weeks (thank you, parental units!) and plenty of opportunities to meet his fellow Neapolitans while cruisin’ the ‘hood.

Maybe it’s his good looks. Or his sleek black hair. Or his spotted tongue. Or his “outgoing” personality.

Whatever the reason, my dog is Mr. Popular.

And he’d be lying if he said he didn’t like the attention ;)

Friday Favs

Was this week long or was it just Kyle and I that thought so?! Oof. TGIF is right. I was a day ahead for the entire week, haha! I blame DST ;)

Let’s jump right into this week’s favs, shall we?

1. I saw this floating around Facebook yesterday, so I tried it out for myself… OMG dying. I knew my big booty would be good for something – BAHAHAHAHAHA!! You can find your Wikipedia page here.

2. One of my new gym friends (I’ve decided to finally break out of my shell and talk to the other women in my cycling classes – Big step for this introvert! It does help that everyone is perpetually happy in Naples, they love talking about my bump and see me teaching BODYPUMP :)) is an artist and lives down here in Naples for a good portion of the year. I think I’m going to get Kyle one of her pieces for his birthday in June! I don’t want to buy art until we get into the new house and know where we need it, but I am loving a couple of these wine canvases… Don’t they look perfect for a Florida wine theme?! LOVE. Jen also has some fun cutting boards and other art themes – Definitely check out her Etsy store!

Wine Show Dreams

Wine Canvas Art by Jen Callahan 22" x 32" ready to hang gallery sides

Pastel Wine Pour

Wine Canvas Art by Jen Callahan 22" x 32" ready to hang gallery sides

3. All of the questions I have pouring in for my “Ask me anything” series! Y’all have thought of some great ones and I can’t wait to get to answering them at the end of the month. You can submit yours here.

4. Teaching BODYPUMP a bajillion times this week, including twice yesterday. I’m not sure if this is a favorite or not ;) Ask me later today when I know how sore I will be, LOL. I probably won’t offer to sub twice in one day again while this far along in my pregnancy… I could definitely take the class twice if I wanted to (although I don’t know why I would – if you do it right, once is enough!), but with teaching you have to be ON and counting and coaching and motivating the ENTIRE hour and it is exhausting. I was a zombie last night!

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5. Mitchell’s 9th birthday! He says “thank you” for all of the kind birthday messages you sent him yesterday :) We celebrated with turkey meatballs yesterday and he was in doggie heaven. He gets a little beach play time this weekend too!

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Check out his cutie pie photos below… 5 weeks old – 1st birthday – old man status ;)

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I’m linking up with Katie, Heather, and Clare today to share some of my favorites from the week.

How do you celebrate your dog’s birthday? Last time you did a double workout? Which art piece should I choose for Kyle? (I like the one with multiple glasses… but I also love the pouring one! Maybe both?!)

Enroute to Denver!

*In case you missed it, make sure to check out my essential oils post from yesterday!*

Good {early} morning and happy Friday!

Kyle and I are heading to Denver bright and early this morning to spend a long weekend with my sister and dad. I’m pumped but am more than thankful for the new travel-sized green apple Spark this morning – 3:30am is an early wake up call!

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Kyle’s birthday is on Sunday, so we celebrated with his dad’s side of the family last night. The cupcakes from Whole Foods were delicious and Kyle got some pretty sweet gifts including a beach tent and some new bourbon glasses!

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Also, because I feel the need to discipline my child online, I just received a report from my MIL that the Mitchell Man has been barking since we left at 4am… Mitchell, you better behave for your grandparents this weekend! (<– stern mom voice ;) )

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I’ll be checking in with some gorgeous mountain photos for y’all over the weekend – I hope you have a fantastic Friday and a relaxing weekend ahead.

What are your plans for the weekend? Hiking, sleeping, breathing in fresh air and eating <– I’m easy to please :)

A spring weekend!

What a fabulous weekend!

After Mitchell’s fiasco on Friday, things settled down and Kyle and I were able to enjoy a relaxing – albeit active, weekend.

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Friday night was date night at Graham Elliot Bistro – oysters, Caesar salad with a brioche “twinkie” (a cheese-stuffed, fried bread – don’t worry, 24DC or not… I most definitely snuck in a small bite!), grilled octopus, and Norwegian cod.

Thoughts? It was definitely good, especially the twinkie! – but a bit overpriced. We will probably be back for cocktails and an appetizer but not a full dinner.

graham elliot Collage

Wolf of Wall Street followed dinner. It was just okay – too many naked women and drugs for my liking!

There was body pump on Saturday morning.

Body Pump Collage

Soda water and veggies in Wrigleyville with friends before our first baseball game of the season. #partyanimal ;)

Wrigleyville Collage

Bleacher seats. And peanuts.

Cubs Collage

Hot sauce and roasted sprouts.

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Mariano’s run early Sunday morning for more hot sauce, naturally ;)

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A trip to Road Runner Sports for a running shoe assessment = Lots o’ neon in and lots o’ cashola out. I’ll share the details in a review later this week! Spoiler alert: It. Was. AWESOME!

RR Collage

New running gear and spring weather required a run outside.

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My first run outside since November… and my first run over 4 miles for the year! I’d like to thank my new shoes, the weather and O2 Gold <– It’s aptly named – the stuff is seriously liquid gold! I felt like I could have run 10 miles, had no shoulder/back CO2 pain (my shoulders tend to hurt if I don’t breathe deeply enough/get enough CO2 out on my exhales), and wasn’t gasping for air like I should have been on my first outdoor run in 5 months. Needless today, I will be buying O2 Gold in bulk!

Post-run, Kyle wanted to head outside to enjoy the gorgeous day. We walked and walked and walked some more! It was nice enough to make a Starbucks stop for some unsweetened iced tea :)

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And check out my current step count… I think tomorrow might turn into a rest day! P.S. Do you have a Fitbit? If you do, add me so we can be friends! I’m not really sure how to search for friends, but here is my Fitbit site where you can add me :)


The rest of the evening is going to include cleaning up around the apartment, blogging, and making homemade Chipotle steak bowls for dinner. I am changing up our weekly meal plan because Chipotle sounds SO good – I actually just sent Kyle out the door to grab steak, tomatoes, salsa, and avocados.

How was your weekend? Did you get outside to enjoy the spring weather the past few days?

Mitchell Update + Weekly Meal & Fitness Plan 4.5.2014

Happy Saturday!

Yesterday was a little crazier than I expected.

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Kyle and I found a small pocket of fluid in Mitchell’s left earlobe when we were cleaning his ears on Thursday evening. (Are they called earlobes on dogs? Ear flaps? Anyone?!) We thought it was probably just a cyst or something minor since Kyle and Mitchel roughhouse ALL. OF. THE. TIME. <– drives me CRAZY mainly because we have no room for wrestling in the apartment! ;)

Anyways, I had a super busy day at work so Kyle took the little man into the vet to get it checked out before the weekend. His little bump turned out to be a hematoma – basically blood pooling under the skin. (BTW, this is super common for labs. It’s typically caused by ear infections which they are prone to getting.)

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I knew it had to be more serious than I expected when Kyle called me at work to decide between the two options the vet gave us:

  1. Drain it, pump it full of steroids to seal it up, and put Mitchell on antibiotics/steroids for a few weeks.
  2. Perform surgery to completely remove it.

The last time Mitchell had surgery, he did not deal well with anesthesia (and there were lots of mommy tears), plus I like to attempt the easiest solutions first so we went with option #1.

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He’s on the mend and doing well except for the fact that he has to wear a HUGE cone! I feel awful since he’s running into things, but I must say it is quite entertaining to watch him figure out how to drink water/eat his food. After a few tries, he figured it out like a champ… although he cried when he couldn’t reach the last few nibbles of food that were on the floor so Kyle hand fed them to the little guy. #spoiled

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And now he has a new nickname… Cone Man. #poormitchell

Thank you for all of your concerns on Instagram and Facebook yesterday. And also thank you to my vet who has very reasonable prices. Mitchell should be back to his normal, naughty self in no time!

And now, onto my weekly meal and fitness plan for the week!

Weekly Goal:

Continue going strong with clean eating and my 24DC! I realllyyyyy wanted a beer last night. Like really, really, REALLY wanted a beer. It was a super long work week and a cold one sounded so refreshing! Thankfully, I stuck to my guns and just had soda water with dinner. Plus, I still need to be detoxing after last weekend so no beer for a little while longer, hehe ;) Go me!

Weekly Meal Plan:

  • Saturday: Turkey burgers + roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Sunday: Cannelini Bean and Spinach Soup leftovers (I froze some of my last batch!)
  • Monday: Grilled shrimp over brown rice
  • Tuesday: Chicken-avocado salad in lettuce wraps
  • Wednesday: Baked sweet potatoes with black beans, avocado, runny egg and salsa
  • Thursday: Tacos
  • Friday: TBD

Weekly Fitness Plan:

  • Saturday: Body Pump
  • Sunday: Run + Yoga (I keep hoping one of these Sunday runs will actually happen outside – fingers crossed!)
  • Monday: Boot Camp
  • Tuesday: Spinning or Kettleball Class
  • Wednesday: Boot Camp
  • Thursday: Body Pump
  • Friday: Treadmill Run

What’s on your plan for food and fitness this week? What are you up to this weekend?

Half Marathon Palooza!

Today is a BIG day here in the ONW household – It’s Mitchell’s birthday! My sweet and wild furry boy is EIGHT years old <3

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Here is a little birthday ode to my favorite Mitchell Man that I wrote for his birthday last year :)

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And in other news, I am guesting posting over on Lindsay’s blog today! (If you missed my Friday Favorites post, I listed her blog as one of my newer favorites last week.) Her first half marathon is this coming weekend and I’m sharing a race-inspired post. I’d love it if you clicked over to her blog to check it out and gave her a little pre-race pep talk yourself!

How do you celebrate your pet’s birthday? There is going to be a lot of peanut butter and rawhides for Mitchell today!

#18 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Another Tuesday? Man, these weeks are flying by! I’m not complaining though… my vacation and my first summer in Chicago can approach as quickly as they like ;)

Since it’s Tuesday and I have LOTS of treats to share with you this week, let’s get right to it!

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a firm supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

Where to start, where to start…

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This weekend, I treated myself to not one but TWO green juices from my gym! I love the “Green Calm” juice after a workout – spinach, bok choy, green pepper, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts and an apple (I sub an apple for celery) – so I ignored the $6 price tag and enjoyed the deliciousness on Friday night and Saturday morning.

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I spent some time with this guy <3 Seriously, spending time with pets soothes the soul! Mitchell is always so happy and excited to spend time with me – He was also treated to a new bag of dog food (yes, he gets Purina – nothing fancy, and he’s always excited about it!) ;)

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My NYE nails were looking quite pathetic so I made a trip to the spa for a manicure! I love my new color – “You Don’t Know Jacques” by OPI.

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As you all now know, I have moved onto the “Max Phase” of my AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge and I have a ridiculous amount of energy. I’m seriously bouncing off of the walls! Anyways, I woke up at 6am on Sunday morning WIDE awake after going to bed at 11:30 <– unheard of for me!

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Since I cleaned the entire apartment and blogged and made it through most of my emails in an hour, I decided to treat myself to a quiet shopping trip at Target and Trader Joe’s.

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I bought some new Valentine’s Day socks <3

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The shampoo/conditioner by It’s A 10! was on sale – Buy one, get one 50% off so I obviously couldn’t pass that up ;)

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AND I treated myself to a simple guide to becoming a wine expert – If I can’t drink wine at the moment, I will sure be reading about it! This counts as one of my six this year, right? Haha!

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Earlier in the week on a different Target trip (I go multiple times per week… #sorrynotsorry), I also treated myself to new track pants by C9! They remind me of Jillian Michaels who is my fitness idol so I wore them all weekend long ;)

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I really wanted to run on Sunday but because of sore muscles from Saturday’s run plus body pump, I treated myself to a relaxing and much needed yoga class.

As you can see, there were LOTS of treats for me this week :)

How did you treat yourself over the past week? Have you had any good Target finds recently?

J. Law, Chicago PD, Chocolate and Sleep Smells

Since today is for Thinking Out Loud, this post consists of random thoughts that were running through my head while writing.

Enter at your own risk ;)

1. First of all, thank you all for your encouraging and uplifting comments about my job. I was having an intensely stressful, no good, very bad day so my disdain for the company was slightly exaggerated – albeit very honest – on Tuesday… I am now focusing on the positive (what I can learn from this job for my own personal and professional benefit) and am looking forward to opportunities that come knocking at my door! Plus, I may have offered up some very (How do I say it?) blunt feedback to my manager’s boss on Tuesday morning – Best. Feeling. Ever. :)

Everything you have been mad about, everyone who has let you down, all the things you have done and got nothing in return, all of the times you were criticized... remember that this is the ammo for success. Success is the greatest revenge.

2. Mitchell asked me to extend a quick hello sniff to his friends – Moose, Mizza and Bella that stopped by to say hi yesterday! And also to the new, nameless pup that he can’t wait to hear more about <3

Mitchell on Stone Arch

3. My AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge is going fabulously so far. Today is Day 9 and I plan on doing a quick update after Day 10, the last day of the Cleanse Phase, before I head into the Max Phase. I thought I would miss wine the most followed by my morning java and weekend daily pizza but what do I actually miss? CHOCOLATE. I have this habit of eating lots of chocolate after lunch each day at work. It’s mostly boredom- and/or frustration-driven but it has been the most difficult part of the challenge so far for me!

Advocare Challenge

4. Similar to Amanda, I have a very important decision on the cusp of its deadline. I need to decide what type of birthday cake I want. It needs to be simple since Chef Kyle will be making it – he’s a chef, not a baker, but I’d love suggestions on your favorite type of birthday treat! FYI – Chocolate MUST be involved ;)

chocolate cake

(Image source)

5. I have a strange (I think it’s completely normal but Kyle thinks I’m a freak…) habit of smelling my pillow before bed. The first time Kyle saw me pick my pillow up and smell the wonderful smell of sleep, he looked at me like I had gone bonkers. Whatever – to each their own, personally I like the smell of sleep and my pillow is one of the best smelling things in the world ;)


6. It took almost 5 months but I think my hair has finally accepted an every other day washing schedule! The first two months were brutal but eventually my oily scalp calmed down (for the most part) and I can at least rock a pony on day 2. I am going to share my favorite dry shampoo (and other beauty favs) with y’all in an upcoming post!

7. The City of Chicago needs to learn to shovel their darn sidewalks. The ONLY sidewalks in the city (besides the ones in the shopping district) that are clear are the sidewalks owned by my gym. On the positive side, it’s a darn good leg workout attempting to get around by foot lately! Maybe that’s why my glutes and quads have been so sore…

8. On another Chicago note, it has been so cold that the river has frozen over. All I have to say is that it better thaw by March – I want to see a green St. Patrick’s Day river!


9. The new television show Chicago PD is filming in my apartment building today! My friend is a director on the set (She also worked on the set of the first Hunger Games film and is on a first name basis with my fav, J. Law – #ohmagawd!) and I have heard rumors that Steve from SATC is part of the cast… I’m hoping for some celebrity run-ins today ;)


  •  Who’s your favorite celebrity? Jennifer Lawrence and Julia Roberts
  • What is your favorite “weird” smell? My pillow and auto fuel
  • What type of cake do you ask for when it is your birthday? Chocolate, anything with chocolate!
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