The Best Pup Ever

This past week, we lost our little fur baby way too early at just 7 young years. Moose passed suddenly from a massive tumor that had been growing around his spleen, under his rib cage. He showed no signs of pain or change. Dana and I were away on vacation when he passed and the vet said that was his gift to us; that we didn’t have to see him suffer at all. We got to see him as our happy big bear.

I never allowed myself to think much about what it would be like when he was gone, and now that I’m living it, it is so much harder than I could have even imagined. He was such a huge part of our lives and a loving member of our family. Everything we do reminds us of him. We keep thinking he is going to come running around the corner with one of his toys or greeting us when we get home from grocery shopping. It’s so strange not letting him outside, petting him as he goes by, and having him always by our side.

We miss him so dearly. He was seriously the best dog ever. His biggest fault was that he gave too many kisses. He was such a lover.

We will forever remember and love you our big Moosebear. I hope you are enjoying endless peanut butter, glorious runs, and lots of puppy friends in heaven. Thank you for all of the great memories!

moose and dana moose kisses for moose Moose polar dash 2013 moose moose and melanie moose moose

House and Fashion Updates

It’s Monday. Choose happy. I know it’s not always easy but do it. 🙂

happiness

This weekend was very productive around our house. We finished painting the basement! The next step will be putting in the baseboards and the door frames and then the carpet can go in! Eeee we are getting closer and closer to having a finished basement and it is so exciting!

We also bought flowers for our window flower boxes, a couple of plants, and vegetables for our garden. This year we are going with zucchini, three different tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and red bell pepper. Everything is planted so now we just wait a 2-3 months and hope for a bountiful year! Last year the weather wasn’t in our favor and our veggies didn’t do well at all. I have a feeling it will be a good year this year.

I wanted to let you all know that the dress and shirt I bought from Filly Flair fit perfectly and I will be keeping them. I’m wearing the dress to a wedding this summer and the shirt for kicking around. Yay for cute clothes!

filly flair top 2 filly flair dress

 

Now I just need to find a necklace to go with the dress. I really like how the mint one looks with the dress so I might be on the search for something similar. What do you think?

I still haven’t decided if I’m going to use Rent the Runway for a dress I need for a New York wedding that I’m going to in June. I’m actually learning towards not using it only because I have a girlfriend with a couple of really cute dresses that I could borrow plus I want to go to a couple more stores before deciding. The biggest issues I have with RTR is that 1. I don’t get to keep the dress afterwards (I LOVE dresses) and 2. I’m afraid I won’t like it or I won’t like how it fits and then I’ll be stuck with RTR store credit. IDK. I’m still up in the air about it but my guess is I will more than likely not use it right now. But thanks for helping me “shop” and giving me your opinions on the dresses. They really are adorable! I probably would have gone with this one:

rtr dress

 

 

Moose turned 6 years old on Saturday! We celebrated by giving him a little bite of steak and throwing the ball to him in the yard.

moose

 

Plus mother nature gave him beautiful weather all weekend. It was such a nice treat!

Alright, that’s all the updates I have for now.

I want to know… How was YOUR weekend? What were some highlights?

Favorite Soup, Clean Things & Pups

TGIF!

I’m linking up with Katie once again for Friday favorites!

1. Getting goodies delivered to my door. Blue Diamond hooked me up with a fun little Olympic-inspired box of almonds.

blue diamond almonds

2. Lunch with two amazing and inspiring women at Panera. Can you believe I ordered the French Onion soup? I’m a creature of habit apparently. That, and French Onion soup is one of my all-time favs and since I don’t go to Panera too often, it’s one I like to order on repeat. And yes, I ate my whole loaf of bread with little repercussions (yay!) but I don’t plan on making that a habit.

panera french onion

3. As much as Moose is driving me crazy lately with his stir-craziness, he is so stinking cute still. I mean really, who can blame him. I would go stir-crazy too this winter. As you may have heard, we got bombarded with snow yesterday and Moose was in his dreamland. He just sat out in the snow and watched the world go by.

moose snow winter

moose snow winter  moose snow winter

4. Experimenting with my Young Living Essential Oils and finding new combos that work for different ailments/household messes/stinky gym shoes/sticker residue, etc. Being that I’m a science nerd, experimenting with oils gets me all happy.

lemon oil

5. These cleaning brushes from Collections Etc. The kind folks at CollectionsEtc.com sent me these cleaning brushes to review.

collections etc

I realize this is a bit of a random one for me, but the reason I agreed to review these is because I thought they would be perfect for cleaning the CamelBak water bottles which both Dana and I use on a daily basis. The downfall to the CamelBak is that there are a lot of nooks and crannies where bacteria can grow and it’s not always easy to clean out.

Well…I am happy to report that these little gadgets did a pretty fine job at disinfecting the water bottles. I used a lemon oil/vinegar/water blend to clean these along with the brushes.

The only issue I had was that not all of the straws on the water bottles are the same size, and so the cleaning tool got stuck in one of the straws. I had to unwind it out. So, technically it came out, just not easily so I guess I shouldn’t necessarily say it got “stuck.”

IMG_0413

It worked great for the mouthpiece.

collections etc

And inside of the straw insert hole.

collections etc

So far I have only used these brushes on the water bottle but I am definitely satisfied with the product! I have my eye on some cute tumblers on their website too!

Happy Friday to you all!

Disclaimer: Collections Etc. sent me these cleaning brushes to review on Beautifully Nutty. All opinions expressed on the product are solely my own.

Non-Caffeinated Energy and a Giveaway Winner

Happy Thursday!

I’m over here trying to ward off this congestion/runny nose situation I have going on. It’s disrupting my sleep and this girl needs her sleep. I’m staying positive though that I’m going to kick this thing to the curb asap!

Since I’m off of caffeine while I let my gut heal, I have to look to other modes of fuel for energy…

… like vitamin-packed smoothies. In this one we have a clementine, blueberries, raspberries, almond milk, and amasai probiotic. I’m hoping to write a post more about amasai and other beyond organic products in the future. I just started the amasai and will be starting the terrain, and I want to wait until I’m more familiar with the products and see how they work for me before I share with all of you!

smoothie

 

And I definitely want to chat with you all more about Young Living Essential Oils! I have fallen in love with the oils so much that I’ve decided to become a distributor!

To help rid this congestion/runny nose I am diffusing Thieves and Lemon essential oils. I’m also sipping on some raspberry leaf tea. Does this not sound like the recipe to wellness if you’ve ever heard one?! I’m not going to let a little congestion get me down!

 

beverages and diffuser

 

I’m going to kick this thing. Water, tea, balanced meals, rest, essential oils and I’m thinking soup for lunch is in order. Bring on the liquids!

Question: Any natural remedies that you swear by for clearing up congestion?!

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Popchip Winner

Enough about me, let’s talk about you, and Moose.

moose

I asked Moose to give me a number between 1 and 44. He continued to stare blankly at the television like a teenager so I had to take matters into my own hands. Random number generator helped me to pick the winner of the one-month (24 bags) supply of pophips and the lucky winner is….

JORDAN!! Congrats, Jordan!

Please email me at beautifullynutty@gmail.com within 48 hours with your mailing address and popchips will send you your box of goodies!

Thank you to all who entered!!

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Have a great day!

have a good day

xoxo

Extended Thanksgiving & Now It’s Time for Christmas

Well, hello. How’s everyone holding up after the holiday weekend? I know I’m a little late with checking in as Thanksgiving was officially last Thursday, but many of us continued to celebrate over the weekend so I’m not too far off!

The last time I checked in I was recovering from Thanksgiving food coma #1. I’ll catch you up from there as the celebrations continued over the weekend.

On Friday, I started the morning off right with a slice of homemade gluten-free almond bread with peanut butter and a touch of organic maple syrup.

almond bread with peanut butter

Mid-morning I got a four-mile walk in on the treadmill while watching Gossip Girls, again. 🙂 For lunch, LEFTOVERS of course!

thanksgiving leftovers

After I filled my belly with turkey, Dana and I headed out to find our Christmas tree. Every year we go out to a tree farm and chop our own tree down. This year we went to two different tree farms, trekked around for a good hour and a half, and realized we were much too picky when it came to finding our tree this year and we left with nothing.

We weren’t finding one that was full enough or fat enough, so instead of settling, we moved on….to Costco. After our long hunt all bundled up in winter gear in the tree farms, we ended up buying our tree at Costco this year. It is absolutely perfect and was half the price too! We can’t say we didn’t try.

We set it up on Friday but didn’t decorate it until Sunday because the tree needed to settle, but here is the finished product from Sunday! Da da da da………

christmas tree

Moose was unimpressed but I’m impressed myself. It turned out great!

moose close up

On Saturday we headed over to Dana’s parents to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. They made my favorite cheesy veggie recipe which I go crazy for.

cheesy vegetables

Au gratin sweet and russet potatoes…

au gratin potatoes

I contributed a fruit salad made with whole cranberry sauce, crushed pineapple, grapes, walnuts, and whipped cream. This was so easy and very tasty.

fruit salad thanksgiving plate

I cleaned my plate and loved every bite. Apparently I didn’t snap a photo of dessert but it was a very delicious piece of homemade pumpkin pie! Num num num. I love celebrating Thanksgiving twice!!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it is officially time to think about Christmas. Who am I kidding, I was already listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. But now it is in full swing: music, shopping, treats, snow, potlucks, mint mochas, family, friends, parties! I am excited!

Happy day to you all. I hope you had a great weekend!

Puppy Photos: Because It’s Been Too Long

To those non-dog lovers out there, this post might be a snoozer for ya, but I have a build-up of Moose photos hanging around that are just too cute not to share. So today, Moose, my 5 1/2 year old German Shepherd takes the front and center.

Oh the simple life he lives: eating, sleeping, bathroom breaks, playing, constant petting, snuggles…  moose

The gift he gives: making you smile even after the worst day possible.

moose

His weakness: bad breath.

Moose

A big 90 lb baby.

moose

Kind to animals.

Mooose IMG_4453

Our big teddy bear who makes us laugh, loves us unconditionally, and is loyal and true.

dog quote 2

Are you a dog person?! 

Currently I’m…

I’m procrastinating in my effort to recap my vacation so instead, I put together this fun little post about what I’m currently thinking/doing/wanting, etc. I hope you enjoy!

Currently I’m…finally unpacked from vacation. The laundry is all done too! I don’t know what’s worse, packing or unpacking? Your thoughts?

Currently I’m…obsessssssed with my dog. I missed him so incredibly much while we were away.

moose

Currently I’m…enjoying the elliptical machine at the gym. I’m still playing it cool with the intensity of my workouts so I have been gently been “ellipticalling”. I especially like the ones that have the arms that move back and forth. Oh, and I’m excited to be back at the gym after a three month freeze that we put on our membership this summer.

Currently I’m…really into cheese. String cheese, cheddar cheese, muenster…just no stinky cheeses. I am just loving it lately. Maybe my body is asking for the extra calcium?

cheese and olive tray

Currently I’m…really excited for fall weather. I really am not complaining about the 70 degree weather we’ve been having, but at the same time I’m kind of ready for the cooler air and the sweater and soup weather.

betsy and melanie

white bean broccoli soup

Currently I’m…super excited to try out my new Ninja Ultima I got this week thanks to our wonderful HLS sponsor, Ninja Kitchen!

Currently I’m…trying to put together the first part of my vacation recap post. I promise it’s coming soon!

vancouver island

Currently I’m…craving my favorite salmon. This is going to need to make an appearance soon!

salmon

Currently I’m…missing my family.

Family Photo

Currently I’m…counting my blessings. Today and everyday.

Now it’s your turn!

In On the Yoga Action

Last night I couldn’t get enough of this guy.

Moose

Lately I’ve really been into doing some relaxing yoga moves before bed to calm me down and relax my mind and body. Last night Moose wanted in on the action.

He plunked himself down right beside the left side of my yoga mat for about half of the stretching, and then moved himself to the right side of the mat for the rest of it.

Moose yoga

Okay, I’ll be honest, I did more photo taking than I did yoga last night because he was so darn adorable!

melanie and moose yoga

melanie and moose yoga

moose

moose

 

He’s super good at downward dog.

moose

And does a great job with controlling his breaths…

moose     melanie and moose yoga

This guy steals my heart! My little yogi puppy!

Sweet Potato with Honey Cinnamon Almond Butter & Beautiful Blooms

To all you dog-lovers out there. A friend of mine is needing to find a home for Shelby, an intact female 7 1/2-year old AKC German Shepherd Dog.

She has her AKC papers, most recent vet records from early 2013, and microchip information available. She was trained as a puppy by a specialist in military and police dogs 6 years ago. She would NOT be good in a family with kids younger than teens or with cats. Any person with her will need to be comfortable being firm with her – anyone who has had Shepherds understands that that is a breed trait and not necessarily a personality trait. She has been socialized and is generally good with all other dogs – although large dogs are better – as long as introduced properly.

Shelby needs to find a home before June 27th or she will be placed into the humane society. Please email me at beautifullynutty@gmail.com if you are interested!!

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It’s Wednesday, you know it, it’s Wednesday and I’ll show it! I’m feeling a little cooky this Wednesday. I blame it on the sunshine. 😉 I LOVE it!

I’ve been taking the doctor’s advice and sticking to lower intensity workouts for now, mostly in the form of walks outside with Moose. It has been so beautiful outside lately and I enjoy the fact that when I go outside for a walk with Moose I am benefited in three ways:

  1. I get to move my body and feel great
  2. Moose gets to move his body and feel great
  3. I get to soak in some much-needed Vitamin D.

Triple whammy!

Lunch

Part of my lunch yesterday was baked sweet potato slices with honey cinnamon almond butter.

I baked the sweet potato slices in coconut oil the night before, covered them when they were done baking, and put them in the fridge for later. When I was ready to eat the slices, I stuck them in the microwave for a short time and they were good to go.

For the almond butter, I mixed together almond butter, honey, and cinnamon and then tried adding water to thin it out but it actually made the mixture thicken. My original plan was to make a pretty drizzle over the top of the sweet potatoes, but instead I had to plop it into the center. It was really probably thin enough, I should have just left it. Oh well, next time.

sweet potato with almond butter

What failed in presentation made up for in taste. This combo was spectacular. I have tried sweet potato and peanut butter but I don’t think I have ever had sweet potato with almond butter. I seriously think I prefer the almond butter on it! Who would have thought.

Changing gears…our yard is in full bloom. We have these beautiful pink peonies that I swear only last for a couple of days, so when they bloom, I make it a must to snap a couple of photos because they are absolutely beautiful.

peony

I called in Moose to model in the yard and add an extra point of interest. He put up with me happily obliged and did an excellent job posing for the photos. 😉

moose

Please excuse my poor photography skills. I couldn’t seem to exclude my shadow from most of the photos.

moose

Moose enjoying the fragrant lilacs…

moose

Moose

And the blinding sun…

Moose

If dogs could talk I don’t think I would want to know what Moose was saying to me in that last photo.

I am truly enjoying nature’s beauty in our backyard (and so is Moose)!

Random side note: I cannot for the life of me remember how to spell German Shepherd. I don’t know how many times I have probably spelled it wrong on the blog, on twitter, etc. Forgive me Moose if your mom embarrassed you.

Dinner

After one failed attempt at an over-easy egg, my second attempt was a partial fail as well. I could not seem to keep the yolk from breaking last night. I settled with my second attempt and served my “over-easy” egg on top of sautéed red bell peppers, onions, and quinoa. sauteed onions with egg

Then topped it with salsa and cilantro!

sauteed onions with egg

It was absolutely delicious and very satisfying.

Happy hump day my friends. Do something that makes you happy today.

Dana and Moose

Now that I have given you a brief introduction of who I am, I want to introduce you to two other members of the household.

My husband, Dana. Dana and I got married just a few months ago, Oct. 1st, 2011. He is absolutely the love of my life and is so supportive of me and patient with me. We love being together whether it be cooking something up in the kitchen, hiking, running, grocery shopping, etc. He is willing to try my recipe renovations and continues to stay positive for me even through recipe flops.


Dana went to college with two of my brothers which is how we met. We ran into each other a few times, exchanged numbers, and started dating. We dated for two plus years, he proposed, and then we planned for our wedding which took place in MN. I plan to recap some of our memories from the wedding as well as our honeymoon in Italy! Plan on seeing this face quite a bit throughout the blog journey.

Next up: Moose aka Moosebear, Mooser

This is our 3 1/2 year old German Sheperd. He loves to play with his rope, chicken, chew on his bone, eat, whine, go running with Dad, play with friends at the dog park, and take naps. He keeps us laughing…all 92 lbs of him! Now that Dana and I are married, I am officially his mom. Love that little guy.

That’s our family in a nut shell!