Bruce’s Best Pet Products (corgi edition)

Bruce has been part of out family now for 6 years! I still remember picking him up as a 6 week old puppy down on the farm in Virginia where his breeder lived. He was small enough to fit in a messenger bag. Dave grew up with a little dog and I always wanted one so Dave got Bruce as my birthday surprise!  I feel that owning a puppy and going through all the steps to train it is great preparation for becoming parents.  You learn to work together with your partner, house training, crate training, how to deal with different pet personalities, differences in ‘parenting’ styles, how to take care of an animal, scheduling (feeding, walking, etc) and the versatility you need as a parent when issues arrive with your pet like illness, chewing, social issues, etc. You go through a lot of trial and error with training pets, much of what happens when you are parents. Over the last six years, we’ve discovered some awesome dog products that are pretty essential to keeping the house clean and blatantly obvious that we have a dog.

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  1. FURminator – far and away my top pet item! This brush is designed to comb both the over and under coat of a dog. It’s pricier than regular brushes but 100 times more effective! Corgis shed quite a bit, especially during seasonal changes like winter to summer, and the furminator has been invaluable in reducing the amount of hairs that get shed in the house. It’s easy to use and doesn’t hurt the pet or cut the hairs. The metal brush pulls the hairs from both coats. We furminate Bruce maybe once a month depending on the season but corgis have so much fur, I feel like he could be furminated everyday sometimes! These brushes are sold for dogs and cats and different brushes depending on the size of your pet.
  2. Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover Spray – when house training a pet you’ll have accidents. This spray is great for eliminating odors and stains from carpet. We’ve found it to be very effective and have never had any stains on our carpets. It’s easy to use as well. After an accident (urine), soak up with a paper towel as much as you can, spray the Nature’s Miracle into the carpet and let it absorb. The carpet should be wet. Let the spray sit and absorb for approximately 20 minutes the blot it with a paper towel. The carpet won’t be completely dry and you can just let it air dry (no need for fans, etc).
  3. Lint Rollers in bulk (Scotch-Brite) – Lint rollers are pretty essential if you have a dog or cat breed that sheds. In addition to furminating Bruce and general cleaning the house, these lint rollers are great for couches, clothes, cars, blankets, etc. We like this brand because it does a good job  picking up stray hairs, is sold in bulk packages and the sheets are easy to tear.
  4. Harness Leash – for years we had a retractable leash because it was easy to use, hold and what we were used to since Bruce has a lot of energy when we go on walks. Our friend in Salt Lake, also a corgi owner, who used to dog sit Bruce suggested we get a harness leash so he doesn’t pull as much. Our current leash obviously isn’t as long as a retractable leash but he doesn’t pull at all when we leave the house to go on a walk.
  5. Food storage container – dog food can be pretty stinky and we love this container that we have to store his food. It has a lid that locks so prevent spilling if it ever tips and looks nice. The one we have isn’t specifically made for dog food (it’s basically a trash can with a locking lid).

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Top 10 things about my hometown

Even though we’ve moved about a dozen times, it’s been hard to beat San Diego as a hometown. I’ve loved things about every city we’ve lived in but would always love to move back to San Diego. Top 10 things I love:

  1. Weather- SD weather is hard to beat, generally sunny and warm with a little humidity and an ocean breeze!
  2. Beaches – between the beach and the mountains, I’m definitely a beach person! Nothing better than an afternoon relaxing or sleeping on the beach listening to the ocean waves.
  3. Relaxed culture – I feel like SD people are very relaxed, casual, and friendly.
  4. Vegetation – I love the rolling hills, finger canyons and coast.
  5. Mexican food – close proximity to the border makes for delicious and pretty authentic Mexican food. I could eat rice and beans everyday!
  6. LDS temple – This is the first temple I saw and where we got married. I love it’s grandeur that is manifest when you come around the freeway bend.
  7. Padres – I have a lot of good memories going to baseball games with my family! I still love hearing AC/DC’s ‘Hell’s Bells’ because it was Trevor Hoffman’s entrance song.
  8. Family activities like the San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Sea World, Balboa Park and the Aquarium.
  9. Location – it’s close to Mexico and LA/Disneyland. I love that Spanish culture has influenced the style of homes and street names. I also love that there’s a major airport downtown, complete with an amazing view when you fly into the city.
  10. Natural beauty – I feel that SD is naturally beautiful, clean and fresh. It will always be my hometown!

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photo via

Would you want to go back to your hometown?!

Top 10…Ab and Core Exercises

I studied Exercise Science at BYU and absolutely loved my major! While I’m not currently working in my field, it’s so applicable to everyday life. Having a strong core is beneficial to one’s overall health and wellness, something I probably took for granted before having kids! My kids are almost 2 years apart and my body was definitely changed through the pregnancies and 2 C-sections (side note: it’s totally worth it, being a mom is the most amazing thing!)

I’m still working on the process of rebuilding my core and abdominal strength. One of the most common misconceptions is that doing thousands of sit ups will give you a 6 pack. Your core is not only the abdominal muscles but your entire core, including your back.

Here my top 10 effective exercises that will build your core (including your back!):

1) Plank

you can also try variations such as plank jacks, plank step outs, or plank leg lifts

 

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2) Walking planks – shown on Bosu ball to add more of a challenge because of the unstable surface

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3) Side plank

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4) Split leg sit ups – I usually do these on the Bosu ball

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5) Knee tuck on ball

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6) Bird dogs – these are so great for your entire core! They can also be done on a Bosu ball for an added challenge

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7) Spiderman plank

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8) glute bridge – the variation is shown here using a single leg instead of 2

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9) pelvic tilt – especially great for those small abdominal muscles in your core. This is also an excellent one for women recovering from pregnancy/diastasis recti 

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10) side plank hip drop

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Top 10…Benefits of Peppermint Tea

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I occasionally drink (herbal) peppermint tea, mostly for the flavor but also for the health benefits. Here’s a few benefits:

  1. Can reduce stress
  2. Anti-inflammatory
  3. Boosts immunity
  4. Can prevent nausea
  5. Improves digestion
  6. Can help reduce a fever
  7. Can reduce cramping and bloating (especially great for that time of the month, ha)
  8. Reduces motion sickness
  9. Can calm diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome
  10. Relieves dry throat and coughing

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*ask your doctor if you’re pregnant or taking other medications

Top 10…Healthy Habits to Develop

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I majored in Exercise Science as an undergrad at BYU, with an emphasis in Fitness and Wellness. I love exercising, being active and helping others achieve their fitness goals!

Wellness is not just being physically strong and able but also includes other aspects that helps one be well rounded:

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Top 10 healthy habits that are small and simple changes anyone at any age or stage can do:

  1. Drink more water – aim for 8 cups a day.
  2. Regular and consistent exercise -find something you love to do that’s not a chore.
  3. Practice stress relief like meditation, deep breathing, stretching, yoga, etc.
  4. Walk more – take the stairs, walk on your lunch break, park farther away.
  5. Get enough sleep! – you will be mentally sharp and more able to maintain a healthy weight. One of the factors of obesity is a lack of sleep.
  6. Eat breakfast.
  7. Fill your body with whole foods – the less processed, the better it is for your body.
  8. Lift weights – You don’t need to become a body builder, but strengthen your muscles and bones.
  9. Look on the bright side – make an effort to focus on the positives instead of the negatives, don’t compare yourself to others.
  10. Serve and reach out to others – both parties will benefit in countless ways.

health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other

Here’s to being healthier and happier!

Top 10…TV shows

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in no particular order…if you have any suggestions, please share!

  1. Breaking Bad – a chemistry teacher who makes meth to pay for his cancer treatments, that’s just the beginning of an intriguing series.
  2. Arrested Development – This is truly a series I could watch over and over. This comedy follows a family in Orange County, the “OC” – but don’t call it that.
  3. The Office – especially the earlier seasons with Steve Carrell. I feel like most people have seen this mockumentary series and can all relate to exciting days in an office 😉
  4. Freaks and Geeks- set in the early 80s and follows two groups of high school kids – the ‘freaks’/misfits and the ‘geeks’/nerds. Sadly, is only one series but I’ve re-watched it countless times.
  5. The Walking Dead– It’s more than the  zombie apocalypse! There’s enough characters you come to love that you become attached to the show, although slow at times.
  6. Downton Abbey – a period drama set in England, early 1900s. I loved the clothing and proper behaviors, ha, ha
  7. 30 Rock – created by and starring Tina Fey. What more needs to be said? It’s a comedy that’s for sure
  8. Better Call Saul – a spin off of one of the characters from Breaking Bad. Very well written, directed and intriguing to see the background of Saul Goodman.
  9. Veep – a political satire with Julia Louis-Dreyfus where she is the VP of the US.
  10. Parks and Recreation – similar style to ‘The Office’ starring Amy Poehler.

 

A random, totally weird fact about me and TV: I can’t watch shows that have laugh tracks. I feel like it makes it less funny and too forced.

Top 10…realistic baby purchases

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Thought I’d share a few baby products I loved with my two kids. Like most new parents, we registered for a lot of items that we didn’t end up using much – oops!

  1. Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag – I went through a few diaper bags before finally spending the money to buy this bag! It has a full zip and an awesome amount of pockets (perfect for bottles, keys, changing pad, and I always like an exterior pocket for trash). They occasionally have outlet sales too! Another thing I loved is that it can be worn on the shoulder OR as a backpack – especially awesome when you have two little kids and need both hands!

petunia2. Boppy nursing pillow – perfect size, removable cover for easy washing

boppy3. car seat clip in stroller – allows you to easily put a sleeping baby in the stroller without unbuckling the straps. The particular one we got was super easy to fold the frame to put in the trunk.

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4. Halo swaddle – a lot of people like the Aden and Anais brand swaddle, which we also liked, but like that these swaddles could be a little more snug

5. Halo sleep sack – after ‘graduating’ from the swaddle, we used this sleep sack which is basically a wearable blanket.

6. BOB double jogging stroller – This stroller is really awesome – super durable, easy to use, easy to fold and store up. Both kids are really comfortable and secure in 3 point belts and the covers fold down half way to shield from rain or sun.

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7. White noise machine – we have loved these to help our babies nap well during the day and sleep well, especially with outside noises, lawn mowers, our dog, etc.

8. pack and play with bassinet and changing table – this one was the perfect size to fit in our room with newborns.

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9. Dr. Brown’s bottles – these have a filter which are supposed to help babies eliminate extra air swallowed (which can cause gas).

10. Baby Bjorn – great for carrying a newborn facing you and then forward facing when they’re a little bigger

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Any must-have baby items you’d add?

Top 10…wanderlust

After living in a variety of places from San Diego to Guatemala city to Scotland and the East Coast, my desire to see the world has only increased tenfold. I’m in a constant state of wanderlust, and dreaming of all the amazing places. Here’s my current top 10 travel wishes of places I haven’t been to:

  1. Iceland
  2. Thailand
  3. India
  4. Spain
  5. Morocco
  6. Italy
  7. Greece
  8. New Zealand
  9. Alaska
  10. France

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iceland via pinterest