Thursday, April 21, 2016

Homemade Dog Treats

I have been baking up a storm lately. I have been obsessed with finding new recipes to make and especially new low carb recipes. While I was going through my ridiculous folder of recipes that I have printed and yet to try, I came across a recipe for dog treats called Woofies that I had printed years ago. After looking at the ingredients list, I realized that I already had all of the ingredients sitting in my house. I figured why not. If they suck, I won't know and the dogs probably won't care either way. 

Woofies Recipe 
The recipe was really easy. Add all of the  ingredients in a bowl and mix together. It makes a thick orange looking dough. I pulled all of the dough out of the bowl and rolled it out flat and then rolled it into a long roll like you would if you were making cinnamon rolls. I ended up cutting the roll in half long ways because it seemed too thick. So I actually had two long rolls. I rolled these out a little bit more even just to make sure that they weren't too thick. Wish I would have taken pics of this. Would have made explaining this part much easier. 

Once I had the two rolls to the thickness that I wanted, I cut them into the 1/2 inch pieces like the recipe called for. Each roll made about 32 pieces. I packed all 32 pieces from one roll onto one cookie sheet. I placed them in the oven and baked them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. The recipe called for 40 minutes, but after 20 they were already pretty hard, so I took them out. (**EDIT** Since posting this I realized why they said 40 minutes. Although they were hard after 20 minutes, a few days later we noticed some mold spots on a few of them. So make sure you cook them the 40 minutes so that you don't run into this issue**)

I let them cool for a while before I fed them to the dogs, but I am happy to say that they loved them! I mean just look at these faces!!!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Very Difficult Decision

Not sure if you guys remember this or not, but last February I became a certified Zumba instructor. I was so excited to be teaching something that I loved and enjoyed so much. At first I was only teaching here and there. Subbing really for the regular Zumba instructor who was pregnant. Then when she had the baby, Monday and Tuesdays became my class. 

I knew when I took over that I probably wasn't going to keep everyone. A lot of them were there for her class. But quite a few of them stayed and I appreciated it. And we gained a few new regulars here and there. 

Over the last year we went through a lot of change with the gym. First came new owners who decided that they wanted to turn the gym into more of a Crossfit gym instead of just a regular lifting gym. Because of this they couldn't have cared less about the group classes (i.e. yoga, spin, and of course Zumba.) They were rude at times and not always keen on what we had to say when it came to our class, but we stuck it out and eventually they sold the gym and we didn't have to deal with them anymore. 

This past October/November the newest set of owners came in and started making even more changes. But these changes seemed to be for the better. Brought in more equipment, more weights, more of everything. They were trying to turn the gym back into a heavy lifting gym. And they really seemed to want to get our participation back up in all of our classes. The only downside was that they decided to change how they paid us. We used to get paid a flat rate per class and then they changed it to where we were getting paid per person that attended our classes. It wasn't bad at first, but I definitely wasn't making the same amount that I was before, but I didn't mind too much because I still loved teaching. 

As the months went on, attendance in classes started dropping, which meant I was really not making much at all. Normally I wouldn't have cared, but I had just moved to the other side of town. Some days I was spending more in gas to drive over there than I was making because I just didn't have the numbers. But I stuck with it because I loved the ladies in my class and I didn't want to let them down. 

More and more I dreaded driving over to that side of town to teach. It was becoming more and more apparent to me that I wasn't enjoying it as much. And to add to the non enjoyment, I started having issues with the new owners not wanting to pay me in a timely manner. Every time I would approach them about it, they had some excuse. I was maybe getting paid once a month and when they were paying me, they weren't even paying me the full amount that they owed. And they were doing this to the other instructors too. This got old really quick. 

I finally had enough. This past Tuesday I went in to talk to them about it. And of course, they weren't there. This seemed to be happening more and more too. When we needed to talk to them, they were conveniently never there. So I got on my phone and called the owner and told her I was done teaching. I told her that I was frustrated with not getting paid anymore and driving all the way over there to not make enough to even cover my gas. She was really nice and understanding about it and told me they would call me when they had my final check for me. But I think she was just trying to save face because I still haven't heard from her and still haven't received my last check. 

This was an incredibly hard decision for me. My regular ladies that came to class every week made this decision even more difficult. I love these ladies and they have become great friends, but I had to make a decision for me. I was tired of being stressed out about it. I wasn't enjoying myself anymore. And I am a firm believer that if you aren't happy with what you are doing, you need to not be doing it anymore. So I had to listen to my gut and I quit. And I already feel a million times better since making my decision, but at the same time I am going to miss my Zumba ladies so much. 

I haven't decided if I want to keep teaching or not. I may look around a bit to see if somewhere else closer to my house needs a sub from time to time. But until then, I am going to take some time for myself to re-establish a good workout schedule and just get back into a great routine for myself. I think I owe it to myself and it is the best thing I can do for me after being in such a stressful situation for a while. 

Remember, you have to take care of yourself sometimes. And although sometimes the decisions you have to make to take care of yourself are not easy, they are for the best. 


Monday, April 4, 2016

Life Lately Part 2

Happy Monday! Here is my Part 2 of Life Lately. An attempt to get everyone caught up on what has been going on in my life for the last 9 months or so. 

One of my favorite parts of last summer was a week long trip to Oregon. I had never been and I was excited to get away from everything for a while. It was a beautiful trip. The Oregon coast is absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to go back this July. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from that trip. 

See why I want to go back?!!!! 

I also had the honor of being a Bridesmaid in my friend Amy's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding and I was so glad that I got to be a part of it. Funny side story on this one. I actually caught the bouquet at the wedding. One handed! That's right! Like Odell Beckham style. It was hilarious. But it was either I reach up and grab it or it was about to sail over all of us and hit this table of little old ladies. I couldn't let that happen. It was something that you had to be there to see for sure. 

Jeremy and I took a weekend trip to the San Isabel National Forest and went to Lake Isabel and Bishop's Castle. We stayed in this old cabin called Mingus Ranch. It had electricity but no running water. It was creepy and very cool at the same time. The Ranch itself has a whole history to it. And the fact that it is still standing is pretty cool. Lake Isabel was beautiful! And the trees were still in full on change mode and it made for a great weekend of hiking and spending some quality time together outdoors. Our dogs loved it too! And Bishop's castle was just very cool to see! The work that has been put into that castle is insanely amazing. If you ever get a chance to get to this beautiful spot in CO, it is a must see! 

And last but certainly not the last thing that has happened (too much to even share) I got to attend two different Broncos games this year. The first one was on the weekend of my Birthday and unfortunately we lost that game :(  But it was still great to go to the game with Jeremy (also a die hard Broncos fan. One of the many reasons why I love him!) 

We also had the opportunity to attend the AFC Championship game. I stalked ticketmaster for an entire day waiting to see if they were going to release more tickets and to my excitement they did! I got us great seats in the the North End Zone for face value!!!!!! Money well spent as we went on to win that game and the Super Bowl! It was a game and an experience I will never forget. It was incredible to be there when all of that confetti came flying down and the stadium had just erupted into everyone screaming. It was awesome! 

So there you have it. A jumbled post of some of the more memorable things that have taken place over the last nine months. I know, it is all over the place, but that is my life sometimes. And I wouldn't change that for anything. 

Hope everyone is having a great Monday!