I’ve moved!

Boo! I’m back. Sorta.

I started this blog to document my life with my beloved Border Collie Murphy and stopped because I just couldn’t prioritize it anymore. Murphy was diagnosed with bladder cancer in February 2014 and died in May 2014 and for the life of me, I just couldn’t write about it anymore.

And now that he’s gone, I miss blogging but I miss him more. I can’t seem to flip this site to be anything that isn’t dog related, so I’m retiring this page. Just doesn’t seem right…

So…I’ve started a new blog. It’s called “Juj Says Hi,” and I’m Juj. And it’s random and about my life.
Murphy was my whole world and will be forever missed. Thanks for following us and our silly antics!
Feel free to find me at jujsayshi.wordpress.com

Peace & love,


Six Weeks

I’ll just cut right to the chase…Murphy is on the fast-track to make me poor.

Kid had an ear infection and what we thought was a UTI in early October- only to find out that his incessant need to pee and the traces of blood are much more serious than originally thought. Over $300 later we are on a six-week, two pills TWICE a day anti-biotic plan. That’s about five-weeks and six-days too long for me.

Ay, caramba.

I’m just happy we’re figuring it all out. And yes, I’m somewhat horrified at the amount of cottage cheese that I will go through in feeding him these bright purple pills that look like Spree candies…but nonetheless, happy a frugal gal like me isn’t having to turn tricks to pay for it 😉


Murphy is going as a handsome devil for Halloween 🙂

It doesn’t help that my car battery also went on the fritz, forcing me to buy a new one and swallow a $110 bill. And then my knight in shining armor (read: boyfriend) stepped in and swept me off my battery-less, broken-dog, anti-biotic feeding self and made it all better. He’s amazing. You’d like him!

PS I didn’t show you our Halloween costume from last weekend’s party…can you guess it?


We went as the old couple from Up!

Zoom in on my $4.99 orthopedic thrift store shoes if you can. They were awesome.

In other news, we’re heading to the coast to enjoy some Jenner by the Sea. Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Sunday from scratch: Three Ingredient Cookies

I’m sure you’ve seen this recipe floating around on the World Wide Web. That’s because it’s amazing and easy and it’s a sign it must be shared 🙂
(AND depending on your thoughts/opinions about packaged cake mix… These may even be vegan! So eat up.)

Three ingredient “Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Cookies”

1 can of real pumpkin (15 oz)
1 box of Spice cake mix
1 cup of chocolate chips

Pre heat to 350
Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes

Important to note: they don’t expand when you bake them – so you can get more on the cookie sheet.
Oh and they are seriously delicious 😉


A Friday Confession

And just like that, it’s Friday.  Thank the goodness.

This week has been a wonky one, because most of us here at the shelter had to work last weekend. We held a mega adopt-a-thon last Saturday/Sunday and GUESS WHAT!? Our 4 Sacramento area shelters adopted out the most animals in the country! 525 to be exact.

Murphy is very excited.


So it’s been a little inconsistent over here. If you’re new to the blog, just get used to it. I never win best-blogger-award so don’t even try to nominate me 😉

I do however; have a Friday confession for you…

Last weekends’ ½ marathon was a tough one. We were not prepared to run the last 6 miles of hills, and since we didn’t train very well, it made it even tougher. I managed to run a 2 hour (and 1 minute!) which was about a 9:15/mile. Not as great as my last one, but also not too shabby. After being ridiculously sore for 3 days after, I realized I need to move on to something a little more…relaxing. I needed to not feel 80 years old. I looked around at the other runners; I did not see anyone else wearing running knee braces. I’m 27 years old for crying out loud! So I did something I swore I’d never do, I joined the yoga phenomenon.  

I walked into a nearby studio with running shoes on (hello amateur) rolled out my yoga mat which still had mud tracks from an outdoor boot camp (*crickets*) and Vinyasa flow-ed all over that 85 degree room.

One of my favorite people in the world, Megan, is a yoga instructor and English teacher in South Korea. She is zen and tranquil and all sorts of spiritual awareness. When she visits, she usually has to drag me to these classes and puts up with my lack of enthusiasm. I usually toss around hateful words like “petri dish of germs” and she lovingly puts up with me, nods her head and mumbles a “Namaste” in my direction.

I can’t say I’m 100% sold, but Groupon continues to sway me with its killer deals, and the cheap-skate in me can’t really turn down an unlimited month of yoga at the low, low rate of $22.

I am by far the less flexible person in a room full of human pretzels and am convinced that the woman who stands on her head is slipping something into her tea– but until late November I am determined to try this whole ‘find your zen’ thing on for size.


It’s kind of like “reaching for the stars” with trying something new, expect my goal is to just try and touch my damn toes. Baby steps people, baby steps.

What are you all going to be for Halloween? I tried to give Murphy a little flare this year but he was not having it. Shame.


Excuses, Excuses

Oh hi there, happy Friday!

I am always happy it’s Friday, but less happy when Saturday has a very early wake up call…and a 13 mile run.

Remember that half-marathon I signed up for back in like…May? Well, it’s tomorrow. Like, tomorrow, tomorrow. And no I don’t feel prepared.

I think I’ve run a total of like, 5 times in 3-months. Yes, I ran ONE 11-miler and felt fine, so I know I’ll DO fine, but geez! Get it together woman.

I have many excuses though. Here there are:

I’ve been out of town for the past three consecutive weekends.

Late September we went camping. WHO camps in a TENT in Northern Lake Tahoe in September?


Murphy is wrapped in a luxurious and sassy leopard towel
(Click on the photo to enlarge)

These guys. (Yes, normally the weather isn’t 30 degrees at night, but this year…it was!)
While everyone else wore plush robes and ate bon-bons from their Winnebago kitchenettes, we double-layered ourselves in thermal, burrito-ed ourselves in subterranean sleeping bags and shouted “good night!” over the howling wind. Not sexy.

The following weekend we were in San Francisco for the most awesome co-bachelor/bachelorette party. IT was Great Gatsby themed and so fun! Forgot how expensive the city is though. Yikes. I decided that dressing up however is really a must nowadays. Everyone else just looked so ordinary. We drew crowds! (Not really. We had 11 people, so it just looked like it)


The girls!
(Click on the photo to enlarge)

THEN the next weekend we flew to San Diego and took part in one of the most fun weddings ever! Two very close friends Heather & Jeff married in a beautiful vineyard and I cried like a small child. Check out that sock bun! Compliments of yours truly 🙂


Bridal party, the ladies’ side
(Click on the photo to enlarge)


(Click on the photo to enlarge)

Ok so all of this is so fun but I need a break, right?

Yea, come home only to realize that “Oh neato, you’re 13.1 mile race is here and you haven’t run in 3 weeks.” Good thing you didn’t overeat or drink over the last 3 weekends, making you feel light as a feather. Drat.

Wish me luck! xo

Love does not anger easily

I’m writing this as I listen to my new favorite Pandora station “French Café.” It immediately takes you somewhere else.
I love it- in all its “I can’t understand a damn thing you’re saying” perfection.

It’s perfect background music to find some zen. My social calendar is busy and my weekends are disappearing…work is finally slowing down after a crazy event week but I need to catch up on sleep. I’m trying to focus on gratefulness and the art of just letting it be this week.

In other random news I’m a self-confessed reality TV show obsessee. Guilty!  One of the Real Housewives got married recently and they used the ol’ 1 Corinthians bible verse to describe their love for each other. I find this verse kind of cliché, but it works. It reminds us that love is a whole lotta things to a whole lotta people.

As a dog mom, which is at least mildly close to that of a human mom, whenever I hear the ever-popular bible verse “Love is Kind” I sit up a little taller because I know I can relate. Of course I can relate this to my loving boyfriend too…but for the sense of the “Life Off Leash” theme we’ll stick to Murphy. Let’s face it, Murphy always wins.


This verse tells us that not only does love not envy or boast but it also doesn’t anger easily (1 Cor 13:4-8)

…so does this mean that my anger is mildly justified? Like…it took me a while to get this angry and it’s 100% justified because of x, y, z…so is that some kind of carte blanche for the angry?

Murph, in all his glory, is the most stubborn, relentless, unyielding life form I’ve ever met! If he was a fungus he would be the kind that you just sort of get used to after awhile. “The walls are olive green anyways!”


He’ll jump on you out of pure joy and excitement and rip a hole in your pants. He’ll pull on the leash to chase a squirrel and practically drag you down with him.

He is also very persistent – with the charm of a sweet cuddly teddy bear.

Don’t feel like going on a walk? Too bad he’s not leaving.
Don’t feel like he needs yet another treat? Too bad he’s already left your office to go in search of someone who will give it to him. I don’t make this stuff up people!

And the most frustrating part is my reaction to it all. I literally said to him one day “I don’t like you right now.” But it never lasts long. Any kind of parent can relate.

Our love for the little furball drives us crazy.

Love is patient too…let’s not forget that one.

Paleo Pasta & a Half-marathon Update

OKfirst off- I realize that paleo foods and running do not go hand in hand. Believe me, I’m big on carb-loading for races and think that bread is just…well, genius…but for the sake of this blog- it’s a group effort.

I’m including a “pasta” (fasta?) recipe for anyone looking for a low-carb meal here and there. In our house we try to go low-carb when we can. I’ve blogged about paleo breakfast ideas and I only blog about stuff I recommend. Promise.

But first! An update on my half-marathon training for the Folsom Blues Breakout. So. I ran my first half in March of this year and was super stoked for the entire 10 weeks I trained. I really wish I could say the same for this time around, but to be honest, I’m just not feeling it. Frustrating because I can’t figure out why.

I think a big part is my crazy schedule. We try to keep our Saturdays for long runs, so last week was 8 miles. I have this thing with loops, laps and basically just going around in circles that drives me batty. We decided on doing 4 neighborhood laps and it was all kinds of crazy. This week we are slated for 9 miles but of course, I have my biggest (read: huge-a-mungo) work event of the year on Saturday. I’ll most definitely be clocking in 9 miles (at least!) on foot but as for running…hello back burner.

And it doens’t help that the next 4 weeks I’m either out of town or have fun things planned. Running your bootay off in the AM and then having things to do in the PM is not the recipe for a happy girl.

I recommend signing up for a half-marathon because the feeling of pushing yourself to do something that MOST people in this country (world!) cannot do is a pretty outstanding feeling. But I also recommend you convince yourself- “I’m going to devote every Friday night, Saturday AM and most likely Saturday night to you running shoes….shin splints…nana knees” and realize that it’s not child’s’ play my friends.

Ok so now for the food!

This recipe is pretty cool, I must say.

First off, take broccoli slaw and put it in a saucer with a little bit of water. The internet will tell you it takes about 5-8 minutes to steam the suckers so that they are soft and ‘pasta-like.’ Well that’s all fine and dandy…but if you’re in my kitchen it takes 15-20 minutes to get them soft enough. You’ve been forewarned.


On the side, saute onions, garlic, zucchini, turkey meatballs and sauce and get things cookin’! As a garnish I added fresh basil and tomato (from my very own GARDEN!!)

ImageMix it all together and you’re basically eating a bowl full of yummy, really filling, veggie comfort food. It looks kinda weird when all is said and done, but don’t let your eyeballs deceive you. Dig in!

Sunday from Scratch ~ Homemade Buffalo hummus

49er Football is upon us!

I suppose football season in general is upon us…but if you’re in Norcal, then well, you know.

I meant to post this earlier today before the 1pm opener game. I made this for our friends’ potluck party and it turned out great, but I was maxed out on time when I sliced my finger on the food processor and had a near death experience. Ok death is slightly dramatic, but man, blood is meant for inside the body. God knew what he was doing.

Mind you, the hummus was spared, as this was before the recipe even started. I was trying to get the blade situated on my brand new food processor and ended up slicing my thumb and pointer finger (on my RIGHT hand of COURSE). No need to check the blades! Sharp. Real sharp.

So of course I wrapped the lady fingers up in a towel and proceeded to make a big ol’ batch of buffalo hummus because I was determined…and frankly, cheap. I didn’t want to waste all the ingredients or run back to the store.



2 cans of garbanzo beans (1 can drained, 1 un-drained)

Blend it all together and add 2 TBS of tahini sauce.

Tahini sauce (vs paste) is basically hummus without the beans. The upside of course is convenience- it has lemon juice, salt and garlic already added.

Then add about 1/2 cup of buffalo wing sauce for a hummus with a kick. If you’re a baby (guilty as charged) then stick with a 1/4 cup.

Blend it all together and add olive oil if needed. Mine was too chunky so I added it as needed.

Serve with tortilla chips, pita bread and/or celery!
*Thank you PicMonkey.com for the awesome smoke graphics. Aye!


Sunday From Scratch ~ Blackhead face mask

Blackheads. That’s what’s up.

I never really paid much attention to the little buggers until a friend of mine started buying scrubs and washes in an effort to get rid of hers. I had fun with the Biore pore strips as a kid, but never considered it to be an issue.

Well you know how it goes. You see one, kill it and all of sudden 10 more come to it’s funeral. Or is that grey hairs? Who cares. Get rid of ’em.

I of course wanted to find a DIY mask in an effort to save some cash and see what if I could find something that wouldn’t harm my face. 

There are a bajillion DIY masks out there, but this was the easiest one I have seen. It’s literally baking soda and water. 



Mix the baking soda with a teensy bit of water to make a paste. You want it to look like Elmer’s glue from 2nd grade.

I think the point is to put it on your blackhead prone areas but I just did an all over.



Ok so what did I think?

Don’t keep it on too long… sucker burns! I definitely felt clean after I rinsed it off- and that all my pores were blasted open, so that’s good! Blackheads are basically dirt and grime that don’t get rinsed off your face and settle into your pores. It’s good to open them up (the best time is after a hot shower) and to keep your face clean. Are you washing at least twice a day and keeping your pillow case clean? Do it. Doctor’s orders.

Note: If you make too much of this paste (a little goes a loooong way) you can use it to clean your sink. Take a sponge and scrub that paste all over the inside of your sink or bathtub for a super white finish.

Is that bad that you can use a face mask to clean your sink? Let’s just go with “no”…

Training…we meet again

You’re never too old to realize how crazy you are. (Or you’re never too young? Can’t decide)

Murphy has a new kind of crazy every day. His new thing is following me when I leave my office. Yes, my dog gate is slightly broken and yes, sometimes I just choose not to close it, giving him more than enough freedom to waltz around like he owns the place.

Tuesday AM weekly meetings in the boss’s office…”step aside, can’t be late!” He not only opens my gate, but he has also learned how to maneuver hers, and yes…everyone makes room.

Happenstance, end up in a co-worker’s office to chat about a big work event? “Don’t mind me, I’m just going to sit here in this very small basket designed to hold petite, small things.”


See?  There is more than enough room on the crazy train.

Walker and I signed up for the second half-marathon of the year, the Folsom Blues Half.  In some countries this qualifies you as having run an entire marathon….err…something.


Shamrock’n Half-Marathon (March 2013)

Either way, I’ve gone-done impressed myself that I honestly think I can do this again. Walker of course helps boost my ego when I question why???? Training January-March was pretty enjoyable. But August- October? Helllloooo Sacramento.

We ran the first big run (6-miles) over the weekend and it went OK. A mixture between terrible and OK. But that’s fair! I haven’t run farther than 4-miles since March so I’d say that’s quite the accomplishment. A mere 7-miler on the books for this Saturday. Wahhhhh.

Ever thought about running a half-marathon?

Here is my 9-week training schedule in case you’re curious:

Saturdays are the long days. This means say goodbye to Friday night and hello to one hungry-girl Saturday/Sunday.  I think I ate an entire loaf of bread between Saturday and Sunday. Eat your heart out caveman!

So you start with 6 miles and work your way up to 12.  (That’s 7 Saturdays total, with one break before the race.) The run is October 19 which is PERFECT timing because I’m in a wedding October 12 and plan on dancing and running to the bar and that’s about it as far as physical exertion goes.

So what do you do during the week?

It’s good to fit at least a 4 or 5-miler in at some point…just so your legs remember who is boss. And if you can squeeze in a boot camp or yoga class that’s a winning combo!

My goal this time is to stretch more so I don’t feel like a jelly donut for a week after. And of course, to PR (personal record and yes it’s a verb. “To PR” Google it!)… Because if I can’t race the guy next to me I sure as hell better race myself!

So what new, fun, crazy, things are you enjoying lately?