Disconnected. And it feels so good!

Well, it’s been a while, old friends! A week and a day to be exact. I didn’t plan it, but I ended up disconnecting for the holidays. With the exception of a few Instagram pics of my silly dogs, I avoided most social media, and most importantly, I didn’t write a word. I didn’t even take very many pictures (gasp!). Instead I spent lots of time with family, helped my husband put on a Turkey Trot race, cooked a lot, ate a lot more, ran a little, and had an amazing, wonderful holiday.

Here, with the few photographs that I took, plus a few that I stole borrowed from my family and friends, is a recap of the last week. And, many of the things that I am thankful for.

With the weather cooling down (though it was in the 80s on Thanksgiving Day), we had some cloud cover and even a little rain. That made for some beautiful sunrises. Did you ever notice that the most beautiful part of the sunrise happens when you don’t have a camera handy?

Sunrise

Johnny

As I said, I didn’t take many pictures, but sometimes I just have to share my dogs’ antics, no matter how disconnected I am. There is Johnny above, showing it all off during his nap, Penny below, who is soooo tired, and Goldie on the bottom, sitting in a food bowl. Silly dogs!

Penny

Goldie

 

On Thanksgiving Day, Alan and I put on the 16th Annual Turkey Trot, this year held in Old Town La Quinta. I say we, but he does all the work. I just help out and handle registration on race day. We had about 500 people, and in spite of a little course confusion (don’t ask!), everyone had a good time. And it gave us an idea for a different kind of race, a Scramble, where you run three courses, all the same distance, in different directions, and the first one across the line is a winner (that may give you an idea of how the Turkey Trot went!).

race

Pace Car

My son David and his girlfriend Melissa did the race for the first time. They also helped at registration.

David

Alan, posing with our daughter-in-law Lisa, and our twin grandsons Dane and Cash, before the race.

Family

Look at that intense look on Cash’s face. You can tell he wants to win.

Cash3And he’s leading the race! Not really, but he did really well.

Cash2This was posted on Facebook by someone that I don’t even know (she posted it on the race page).  Cash is pretty much leading the race at that point!

Race Start

Brothers!

Dane_Cash

Grandpa and the boys.

Dane

I look important, don’t I? I’m checking the results to see how Cash did.

Debbie

And he finished first in his age group!

Cash4

Proud mama Lisa and her boys after the race.

Lisa

One of our local newswomen, Gloria Rodriguez, announced the awards ceremony.

Gloria

Alan is always at home behind the mic. In addition to our own races, he announces quite a few in Southern California, including the Malibu Marathon and the LA Triathlon series.

Alan

By 10:00 we were done with the race and headed home (nice to host a race in your home town, just five minutes from our front door). Even though we weren’t hosting Thanksgiving dinner, I did have some cooking to do..vegan versions of stuffing, sweet potatoes, plus I roasted a Gardein Holiday Roast, to bring with us to dinner at Lisa’s and Alan’s son John’s place in Palm Desert. Believe it or not, I didn’t take a single picture of either family or food. Instead, we just enjoyed the holiday together.

We were exhausted though. Alan wakes up at 2:30 on race morning, and I sleep in to about 4:00. I think we managed about an hour nap each, so by 8:00 we were sagging. Still, we had a great time.

Our second Thanksgiving meal was held at my son Nathan’s new home. It was also a celebration of Samuel’s second birthday, so in addition to Nathan and his wife Sarah, David and Melissa were there, along with my niece Brynne, her boyfriend Eric, and his son Zach. This time Nathan made vegan versions of most of the side dishes (hurray for my Paleo son!), so I just brought along the leftover Holiday Roast. I also got back on the picture taking wagon (or fell off..or something).

Grandpa: First, let’s take a selfie!

Grandpa

Hurray for the Chargers!

McClean

Sarah and Nathan are loving their new home. They’ve just been in it a month, and are finally getting things where they want them.

Nathan

Uncle David giving Samuel a flight…

Uncle David

…and spending some time coloring.

David_Samuel

A boy and his dog. That’s Chloe, who just turned a year old. Nice that they’ll grow up together.

Samuel

My vegan dinner. Even my niece made her green bean casserole dairy free.

Dinner

 

Samuel2

Singing to the birthday boy!

Birthday

Samuel_Nathan

I managed to get a little training in, though between work, holidays, traveling, etc., I didn’t get my greatest effort. I did three runs, including a six miler on Saturday, my longest in a while, did one Pilates workout, and no yoga at all. But, December is the beginning of marathon training (for the SLO Marathon in April), so I started the month off with a five mile run and a yoga class on Monday.

Well, it felt so good to be disconnected, but it’s great to be back. How was your holiday? Did you get to disconnect a little? Spend some time with family and friends? Do you realize that Christmas is only three weeks away? And Hanukkah starts in less than two weeks? Yikes!

 

 

Things to remember:

SLO Marathon 1024x379 Starting with a Bang...

Join me in San Luis Obispo on April 26, 2015, for the SLO Marathon. Save $10 on registration for either the full or half marathon with the code: WOODAMB. Register soon for the best savings and I’ll see you in April!

Yoga Central Starting with a Bang...

My favorite yoga studio, Yoga Central is going global! You can sign up here, and read this post for details on signing up for online classes at Yoga Central.

Special Gifts for Your Little Dog: Fall Shopping Guide

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network. The opinions and text are all my own.

As you may know, I am part of a multi-dog (and cat) pack family. A few weeks ago, I shared the perfect gifts for your big dogs. Now, because I also have five little dogs (yes, you read that right..five), I must show you some fun things that your small pooches will love. Until a few years ago, I would have said that big dogs were the cat’s meow (so to speak), but fate intervened somewhere along the way, and over the last five years we found first Olivia then Lily on the streets, then each year (always in the middle of the desert summer for some reason) we found Buddy, Coco, and this year rescued Johnny. They are all beloved and they deserve something special. Here is a fall shopping guide for little dogs.

Little Dogs

  1. No Stuffing Squeaker Toys - The latest craze to shake around. Pick the raccoon or the fox and no mess. Make your selection at Petsmart.
  2. Pet Alive Essential Oils - Skin, bladder, ears, aggression – oils for all sorts of remedy solutions. Try them out from Abe’s Market.
  3. Dog shaped dog toy - A little dog friend, without all the hassles of an actual second dog! What a cute handmade toy from Abe’s Market.
  4. Treats for bad breath – These are great 100% all natural treats to make sure you get sweet doggies kisses. Order them now from Abe’s Market.
  5. FURminator Deshedding Tool – Whether long hair or short, there’s a FURminator for the job. Highly recommended by all the animal lovers we know and found at Petsmart.
  6. Angel Wings Harness – Martha Stewart has come up with the perfect harness for your little angel. Wear it year round and find it at Petsmart.
  7. Pet Purse – Just like Paris Hilton! Hang that baby over your shoulder, and take the little one everywhere in style. You can pick this up at Walmart.
  8. In Car Skybox – This is a skybox! Now the little dog can see out the window, while still being safely strapped in. Win, win from Petsmart.
  9. Pet Bike Basket – Get your exercise and take them along.Biking is such great exercise and now the little prince or princess can some along! Order this now from Get Organized, in time for your fall rides.
  10. Pet Rolling Case – This roll-around is amazingly convertible for any need, like those new-fangled strollers. The plane, the car or as a backpack, it is completely versatile, as you would expect from Get Organized.
  11. Dozen Dog Treats – A dozen treats with doggy frosting. As much for you as for them! Order them now at World Market.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network . The opinions and text are all mine.

Cat Must Haves: Fall Shopping Guide

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network. The opinions and text are all my own.

CatsI’m known for having a lot of dogs, but you may not know that I have two indoor cats too. Their names are Boris and Natasha, and they were the first pets that Alan and I had as a couple. We rescued them over 16 years ago, and they are still happy and healthy. So, of course, I don’t want to forget about these two special kitties when it’s time to hand out pet-gifts (did you miss the Big Dog Shopping Guide?) Here are some Must-Haves that every cat deserves.

 

  1. Attack Cat SignCould be a joke, or could be the truth. Ever had your ankles scratched from under the sofa? Still a great sign you can order now and pick up at Petsmart.
  2. Motorized Cat Mobile ToyKeep your cat engaged anywhere you can find a door. Get some exercise for that indoor cat with Pioneer Pet Tiger Toy from Kohl’s.
  3. Paw Cleaning Litter MatClean the Litter off those paws as they step out of the litter box. Order it from Wayfair.
  4. Pounce ToyNatural Bamboo and canvas, natural and durable for lots of fun by Ore Originals from Nordstrom.
  5. Cat Paw Litter ScoopIf you must have that scoop hanging around, then at least make a statement! It’s an Ore Originals paw from Nordstrom.
  6. Catnip ShakerWow, a shaker of catnip! Sprinkle it on those special places, like scratching posts, or perches for a special treat. Buy this organic catnip at Abe’s Market.
  7. The Cat Whisperer BookSecrets on how to talk to your cat, if your cat is willing to listen, right? Give it a go – you never know. Find it at Petsmart.
  8. Heated Window Sill BedThe perfect window perch for your indoor cat and heated for the winter. Order it from Wayfair and have a happy cat!
  9. Kitty CaveEasy to clean, more colors available, cat bed and a little cat cave, all in one. Find it at Kohl’s.
  10. 1000 Piece Cat PuzzleDoes your cat sit on your work? Let them walk across this puzzle filled with cats. Pick this up for yourself or the cat lover in your life from Get Organized.
  11. Yoga Cats 18 month Wall CalendarReally, cats in asana poses? Up Cat, Down Cat, and mostly Corpse pose, right? World Market carries this great calendar you can use right away.
  12. Cat ShelfWall Art that doubles as shelves! Wayfair carries this fun series of cat perches.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network . The opinions and text are all mine.

Shopping for the Big Dogs: Fall Shopping Guide

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network . The opinions and text are all mine.

If you have a lot of dogs like I do, they don’t often get “gifts” (aside from lots of kisses and snuggles). But, with the weather cooling down and the holidays coming at us like a freight train, I start thinking about treating my babies to something special. Big dogs have pride and presence, and deserve nothing but the best. Whether your dogs is playful, lazy, or just wants to look handsome (and smell good), you will find something perfect in this fall shopping guide.

 

  1. Bandana Collection – Big dogs don’t wear costumes, but they’ll wear bandanas! Get this Super Pack to have one for every occasion at Walmart.
  2. Dog Frisbee – What a great way to spend time with that big dog and tire them out for the evening. This great Zisc can be found at Abe’s Market.
  3. Chew Ball – Better known as the Green Ball. Tough as a Kong, but softer, with a place for peanut butter or treats. Buy it now at Petsmart.
  4. Wooden Dog Feeder – Help them eat and digest, by raising their food bowls, while helping with the decor. From Wayfair.
  5. Spirit Essenses -Essential Oils for pets! This is the Peacemaker Set. Check out all the other selections at Abe’s Market online.
  6. Large Rope Ball – One giant knot of rope. Solves the body’s need to chew and the brain’s need to unravel. Get one now at Petsmart.
  7. Chicken Pot Pie Training Treats -They’ll learn anything for the ultimate treat – Chicken Pot Pie might do the trick! Find them at Abe’s Market.
  8. Large Corner Pet Bed – Fits in the corner, has bolster sides, comes in blue or green. Put that big dog out of the traffic, but with a place to call his/her own. Get Organized carries this unusual bed.
  9. Water Trapper Mat – Winter is coming! Snow, ice and rain mean water, mud and dirt coming in the house on those big paws. These mats are a must to save your sanity if clean floors are a priority and are now carried at Orvis.
  10. Reflective Collar -It’s getting dark earlier and earlier. Make sure everyone sees you both on those winter night walks. Order from Orvis and personalize with name and number.
  11. Folding Crate – Traveling this fall? Take this folding crate so your big dog has their own home wherever you go. Find it at Walmart.

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network . This post contains affiliate links.

My Life on Instagram and Other Updates

I have been very prolific on Instagram this week. Between cross country, Whole Foods, dog running, and Huntington Beach (and a new job…yay!), I’ve been uploading a lot of photographs. I thought it would be fun to update my life from Instagram from this week. (Do you follow me?)

Let’s start off with the best. I was in Huntington Beach this week with the cross country team (more on that below). After our meet, we headed to the beach, where the waves were, as Alan would say, pretty gnarly. In fact, I was so nervous watching the kids with no lifeguard on duty that I didn’t take my eyes off the water and was relieved when most of them chose to go grab some food after about a half hour.

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Some pretty gnarly waves, as my husband would say. At Huntington Beach yesterday.

View on Instagram

Whole Foods

The week started off with a visit to Whole Foods. After attending the pre-opening party last week I had some coupons that were set to expire, so I went there to stock up on some vegan essentials. Note: You know you’re in line behind a blogger when she does this to her grocery items on the belt:
Instagram 5

There were a few things I didn’t buy while I was at Whole Foods, including vegan doughnuts, vegan sushi, and vegan chick’n salad (sense a theme here?).

Whole Foods 2

Whole Foods 5

Whole Foods 4

I don’t even know if these are vegan, but they reminded me of my friends Alexandra and Kymberly, the Boom Chicka Boomers.

Whole Foods 3

Truth be told, I’ve already been to Whole Foods three times, twice since the grand opening. The third time was just to pick up some lunch. Unbelievably, it didn’t make it to Instagram.

Whole Foods

New Job

The reason I stopped at Whole Foods for lunch was because I started a new job!! As I mentioned in my jobless update post, I will be working as a personal trainer at a country club in Palm Desert. Even though I won’t really start until November, I had orientation on Wednesday

, plus met with my first client! I’m really excited. I already know some of my co-workers (and my boss), the fitness center is beautiful, and I’ll get a chance to really work with clients again. To prepare for my first day I did this:

Instagram 2Because a mani and pedi is just what I needed to feel confident and ready to go. Also to prep for my new job (and to make sure I get paid for my cross country coaching) I renewed my CPR/AED certification. I’ve done it for so many years (I actually used to teach CPR for the Red Cross), but I love that things are always changing because of research into what works the best. My class was held at the Weil Institute of Critical Care, whose founder, Dr. Max Weil was instrumental in the research and development of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices.

Instagram 4

Team Eleven by Venus

As you know, I am an Ambassador for Eleven by Venus. Always known for her fashion flair on the courts, Venus Williams now makes her unique style available to all of us. EleVen by Venus goes beyond clothing and encompasses a healthy, fit, and confident lifestyle. This week our Ambassador pages went up! Here’s mine (check out all the other amazing Ambassadors):

Team Eleven

 Dogs and Sunglasses

You know I like to post pictures of my dogs on Instagram. I can’t help it, they’re just so cute! Even if they are just sleeping to recharge their batteries so that they Johnny can destroy another pair of sunglasses (this week alone, besides the sunglasses, two of Alan’s Giant’s hats, my only pair of “interview” shoes, my favorite running skirt (he ate the crotch out! So embarassing!)). This in spite of our trying to put things out of reach and behind closed doors when we leave. Good thing we love him.

Instagram 8Sunday is run day with all the dogs, but Lily and Olivia were the only ones that got their pictures taken.

Lily OliviaHow can you not love that face? He seems to be blind in his left eye, which makes him all the more endearing.

JohnnyFortunately, the $16 sunglasses are easy to replace at Target.

Sunglasses

 

This skirt!

 

RnR18Speaking of Running

Did you participate in Lorna Jane Active Nation Day? It has come and gone (can’t wait until next year!), but the one thing that was missing arrived this week. I just love the Lorna Jane bracelet, with the little active living heart.

Instagram 9

I was sent these Airia Running shoes to try out and review. They are specifically designed to make you run faster. The jury is still out (I’ve just had a couple runs in them and it’s been so hot, it’s hard to be fast no matter what shoes you’re wearing), but they look cool and the concept is very original.

Instagram 7

Just another day out on the beautiful trails near my home in La Quinta!

Instagram 11

Cross Country

This week our invitational meet was in Huntington Beach. My girls did great, finishing fourth in our division. It was very hot, about 90 degrees at race time, and a lot more humid than we’re used to in the desert. Still, they ran well even though we were missing our number five runner, who was sick. Here they do some positive visualization before their race.

Cross CountryThis was the boys junior varsity race.

Cross Country 2Seen at the park. I just don’t get it. As my cousin said on Facebook, people should know the difference between their dogs and their dolls.

Instagram 13Even though it was late when we finished, we let the kids have a little time at the beach. As I said above, the waves were pretty huge for So. Cal., but they still had a good time.

Instagram 12

HB 2We left just as the sun was setting, meaning we didn’t get home until after 9:00. A long day, but fun and satisfying.

HB

Food of Instagram

Of course I shared a few photos of my food of the week, starting off with dinner at Chipotle. I love their vegan Sofritas, but please, please, please Chipotle, can’t you separate your onion and green pepper veggie mixture? I love onions, hate green peppers. Fortunately, our server was really efficient at giving us mostly onions!

InstagramYum, shawarma!

Instagram 3After my shopping trip to Whole Foods I enjoyed trying out some of my bounty. Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausage, Earth Balance mac and cheese, and, topping my salad, Follow Your Heart blue cheese dressing. All vegan of course. And delicious!

Instagram 10And for desert…So Delicious Almond Milk Minis, mocha almond fudge. They were, well, so delicious.

Instagram 6How was your week? Any fun events, competitions, or new jobs? If you posted a favorite Instagram picture, go ahead and share it in the comments. And follow me!