Sunday, August 18, 2013

Off to the farm

I've mentioned before that I have a little zoo at home. 
With four dogs and five cats, it can get a little crazy, and when my parents come to visit, we only have 2 of the pups at the house.
Where do the other seven go?
Two go with MP and the five cats go to the farm.
We are so lucky to have found a wonderful family that takes care of our babies like they're own.
Danielle lives on a large piece of land, and the babies love staying with her. 
This will be the second time they get to visit, and this nervous fur-mommy loves knowing that her babies are taken care of.
If you are ever in the Tampa area and need someone to watch your furry babies, I absolutely recommend her services. 
Plus the drive is super fun and you see things like this:

Only in Florida will you ever encounter a convertible school bus.

Thanks again Danielle for loving my babies!

Monday, August 12, 2013

LG gets Spayed

The Friday before last, we took LG to our local humane society to be spayed.

I'm not going to talk your ear off about the benefits of Spaying and Neutering your pets, (you should, by the way) because that's an entirely different post.

I am going to, however, tell you about something very special that I'm not sure a lot of people know exists.

When I called to make LG's appointment at the end of June, the receptionist asked me what type of dog she was, and when I said a "pit-mix", she told me about a program they had going on, starting in August.

Apparently, I could have her spayed for $20! This is $80 off of what they usually charge for a dog her size, and they clipped her nails for free as well while she was under.

The reason we were able to get this amazing deal?

The specific grant was for Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes to be spayed for $20 during the entire month of August. 

We also had her Heartworm test done (Negative!) her rabies shot, as well as a microchip and her final puppy boosters.  We paid less than $100. 

This is beyond a blessing for us. There is no way we would have bee able to afford to have all of that done at the same time if it weren't for Petsmart Charities.  I really cannot thank them enough.

I also cannot say enough good things about the Humane Society we went to.  They were so nice, and also I have to say, I'm pretty sure they had almost everything to do with how well and how quickly LG recovered.

She was terrified when we dropped her off, clinging to MP like her life depended on it.

And I think the ladies noticed who were checking her in, because they let us walk her back and put her in her cage in the room with the other pups who had surgeries that day.  It really seemed to help calm LG down, as well as reassure her that we were coming back for her. I won't lie, it also helped this nervous fur-mommy as well.

No matter how many times we do this, I will always be nervous dropping my babies off at the vet, no matter the reason.  I know they are in great hands, but I guess other Mom's probably know what I mean when I say I'm the only person who can take care of my babies the way they deserve to be taken care of.

She is my youngest, and like I told MP, the last one (last pup anyway) that we will be having fixed for a long time, so I was thrilled to not receive a call before it was time to go pick her up.

No news is good news in those situations.

We picked her up and she kind of stumbled out of the back and as soon as she reached us sat down and started her little whine that is so typical of her when she first sees us after an extended absence.

We thanked the amazing women who watched our baby for the day, and headed to the car to take her home to her sisters.

She whined most of the way home until she finally laid down all the way down and closed her eyes a few miles from home.

MP carried lifted her crate out of the car with her still inside and brought her in the house that way.  Her siblings were so excited to see her, and I'm glad we chose to do it this way; I think their excitement might have been a little overwhelming for her if they'd had direct access to her.

She slept for a little while and before I started work that night I offered her a little food so I could give her the prescribed pain meds. 

She wasn't interested, so I put her back to bed in her crate while I worked the first half of my shift.

On my break I took her out in the front yard on the leash where she did her *ahem* business, and we went back inside. I offered her a little water and another small handful of food, and this time she ate and drank like a champ.

I gave her a pain pill before I went back to my office, and by the time I finished my shift about two hours later she was a different pup!  Her eyes were bright and she wagged her tail when I walked in the room. 



I took her out on a leash in the backyard with the other pups, and I could tell that she was almost herself again.

For the rest of the weekend we were trying to reign in her energy and we were constantly having to calm her down.

I was so afraid she would rip a stitch y'all! And that is not cheap, I know from experience!

But, by Monday she was back to herself and when I called to ask the vet if I needed to really focus on restricting her activity which was getting to be nearly impossible, they told me that at this point she would do what she could handle. If she needed extra rest, she'd take it, and if something hurt she'd stop.

Out of four female pups getting spayed in just as many years, her recovery was not only the easiest in terms of pain, but also the quickest. 

Thanks so much Petsmart Charities for giving us this opportunity, and thank you Tampa Bay Humane Society for treating our girl so great!

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Disclaimer: This post is my own opinions and is in no way affiliated with any other organization including but not limited to Humane Society of Tampa Bay as well as Petsmart and/or Petsmart Charities. I paid for her surgery out of pocket with my own paycheck. This is NOT a sponsored post.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Normally on Friday I would post about my weekly menu and also goals for the week.

This week, I am going to do something a little different. Still in the realm of giving you an update on my adventure towards a healthy life, though.

Last week we went to a baseball game to celebrate our 5th dating anniversary, and I wore a pair of pants I hadn't been able to get into since I bought them last summer!

This outfit made me feel something I hadn't in a long time... Skinny.

I was so excited with my progress and couldn't wait to keep going the rest of the week.

My body had other plans though.

I woke up super sick Wednesday morning.

I hadn't been this sick in a long time, and it was kind of out of nowhere so I really just laid in bed during the day so I could be okay to work in the evenings.

No working out for me.

One good thing about being ill though?

You definitely lose some pounds!!

When I took "before" photos June 30th, and was so embarrassed. I didn't recognize the body I saw. I honestly ever thought I'd share them.

But, I took photos again last Friday, the first day I really felt better. For the first time I could really see a difference, and decided to take a huge step personally.

I posted these photos on Instagram:

The response was incredible. I was smiling ear to ear reading the comments and taking in the likes.

You all are the most encouraging people, I am so blessed to have followers like you!

You are helping me to gain my confidence back, step by step and I have to say, it is the best gift anyone could ever receive.

Thank you again so much for the love and support.

Now that I am back to feeling like myself, I am super excited to make sure I have updates to share with y'all. It feels amazing to have your support and I honestly thrive with all of your love!

This journey is made easier because of each and every one of you!

Happy Friday, and I hope you have a wonderful, exciting, fitness filled weekend!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

From my soapbox

I am not sure if I have mentioned it before, but our baby LG is a Pit Bull mix. We adopted her when she was a pup, the lady said she was 7 weeks but I'm pretty sure she was stretching the truth. She was definitely closer to 5 weeks based on my experience, but she was a big pup so she did look a little older.
I truly believe the younger you adopt an animal, the more attached and loving they become. This is especially true with pit bulls and pit mixes.
I have always believed that there is no such thing as an "aggressive" dog, just bad owners.
I have known 90lbs dogs who were aggressive and "dangerous" and I have also known 2lbs dogs that were just as aggressive and despite their size difference, still quite dangerous.
What did these dogs have in common? An owner that didn't really care or take the time to socialize the dog.
Our pups know nothing but love, and I know I am biased because they are mine, but they really are four of the most loving, gentle, affectionate, personality and love driven dogs that I have ever been around.
And people tell us this too.
Sadie has never met a stranger, Scout is the goofiest little thing most people have seen. Lucy is a sweetheart and just wants to give hugs and lay in your lap. And LG, we always joke she can't hold her "licker", she looooves to give kisses.
Even our cats are special. Cubby will jump into your arms and his mini, CJ (Cubby junior) is turning out to be just like him, hence the nickname.
Why am I rambling on and on about this?
Well, it makes me so angry that I have to technically tell a little white lie every single time I introduce LG to people and they ask what breed she has in her.
I always say she is a Great Dane mix. Which is probably mostly true, but really, she is more recognizable as a pit bull.
People have this awful stigma about pit bulls and pit bull mixes, and if you ask me, this should truly be directed to owners.
It is all in how the dog is raised! LG may be a brindle pit mix,but she doesn't have one aggressive bone in her body. She is just a loving pup that thinks she should fit in everyone's lap.
I always told MP that one day I would adopt a pit bull puppy and prove to everyone that it doesn't matter what type of dog it is as long as you give it enough love and affection throughout their life.

And I think I am doing it right.

Would you really believe that she sleeps with the kittens almost every night?

The four pups are so close and such a pack, they really are siblings and act like it.
Of course LG has her moments where she doesn't know her own strength, but never once has she scared me or made me nervous to have around other dogs or cats.
So the next time you come across a pit bull or a mix, don't think automatically that they are a bad dog.
You should always approach every situation with an animal you don't know with caution, of course never pet a dog unless the owner tells you it's okay. And of course remember to teach your children basic animal safety.
But don't judge the dog by its breed. Treat a chihuahua with the same caution you would a pit bull. Remember that it's probably an owner they had at some point in their life that caused any emotional damage you may encounter.
Don't think that the dog you read about in the newspaper is just like every other dog of the same breed.
And remember to give your babies an extra kiss today and everyday! You are their best friend, their entire world! Treat them like you want to be treated!
Not all pit bulls are bad!

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Monday, August 5, 2013

On Mental Toughness

This quote is constantly running through my head these days as I am starting to work more and more fitness into my routine.

There are days where I feel like I didn't burn nearly enough calories, or didn't go far enough. Most days I feel like I quit way too soon.

I am also trying to accept the fact that I am starting from absolutely no fitness in my life, at all.

I am not going to be in the same shape after two long walks that I was when I was practicing for Cheerleading 40 hours a week.

There is a very good chance that I am going to be slow, or even not have the greatest workouts during these first few months.

A lot of times, especially if I try to run, my shins give out a lot sooner than the rest of my body. I've been quite impressed by the capacity my lungs still have after being a smoker for as long as I have, but I am also constantly frustrated with how little my ankle and shins seem to be able to handle.

But, as long as I am getting off the couch and doing something everyday, I am making progress towards my ultimate goal of a skinny me.

That is what I keep telling myself anyway.

And it is getting better and each day the workouts seem a little easier. Every day I feel a little bit stronger and I can go a little bit longer without pain.

And it is only going to help I have been and plan to continue working on mental toughness a lot this week.

There have been too many times in the last 30 days that I have ended a workout early because my shins are on fire or my ankle is rolling. But I am always so angry with myself as soon as I am home and the pain has faded. I always chastise myself, I could have gone longer, I could have gone farther...

I hate cliches, but the reason they are still around these days is because they are so true.
Pain is temporary but pride is forever.

Giving up is not in the plan this week. I want to be proud and happy after I finish a workout, not frustrated with myself.

Part of this journey is setting yourself up for success. I'm not going to run a marathon next week, just like I'm not going to reach my weight-loss goals in 30 days.

When I started to get really serious about this journey, I took a "before" picture. I took updated photos the other day, about 30 days later, and there is definitely a difference.

I'm not quite ready to share those photos with the world, but the few people who did see them, said they could see a difference too.

Baby steps, people.

Also, the winner of the Spark Giveaway has been chosen! I listed all of your entries as they came in and thanks to we have a winner!

Congrats @KTAdams0422! Email me your address so I can get this to you ASAP!

Thanks everyone who entered! There will be another giveaway soon, I promise!

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Week 2: Menu & Goals

First off...

Details here!

But now, to the regular scheduled posting!

Week two of my goals and menus!

I ate basically oatmeal this week, pita bread and hummus and more oatmeal. (Payday is today so I can finally grocery shop!) so no menu really this week.

But, anyways... Here we go! I'm already on a roll just by writing this post, right? Ha!

Last weeks goals:


  • Wean off of mountain dew completely. Success! I have not had more than a tiny sip of soda in over a week, and I'm feeling great!
  • Outside physical activity every day, at least 30 minutes (walking the pups or running solo). The weather definitely did not help at all, but I did get a set of weights and sampled a few routines I found on Pinterest. I'm still looking for one I really like, and I'm definitely open to suggestions!
  • No fast food! Another success!
  • Drop back into the 130s. There was one day I hit 139... But now I'm back up in the 140s. It's a little frustrating, but I know I'm only really a week into the "big change" so while I'm a little bit discouraged I am not letting myself give up! I know I am losing inches and will continue to feel great as long as I keep up the hard work.
  • Continue squat and plank challenges. Like I said, I got a set of weights and so I have been incorporating lungs and squats into those workouts.
  • Bed by 1:30AM every night. Pfft. Oops.
House Goals:
  • Walk LG every day! She definitely was walked everyday, MP has taken over that role because honestly she pulls me down when I try to take her. It's something I know we need to work on. We recently introduced clicker training so hopefully we will see progress soon in our walks.
  • Dishes to be finished every evening before bed. I tried! I really did!
  • Sweep every day, vacuum three times a week and steam mop once a week or as needed. I seriously failed at these challenges is week.
  • Fold and put away laundry as soon as it is finished. No more leaving it in the basket until its so wrinkled it needs washed again. I plead the fifth.

This weeks goals:


  • Work cardio into my fitness routine on a more regular basis.
  • Accept that I am going to be a walker and start to build endurance for longer walks.
  • Look up a good walking routine that will be fun to stick with.
  • Continue to tone and work on upper and lower body as well as core strengthening.
  • Continue to be soda free and drink at least 100flozs of water a day and also continue to eat clean and healthy.

Home goals:

  • See last week, ha.

What are your goals this week? Did you accomplish what you'd hoped to last week?

Have a great weekend!!

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chasing Rainbows

As summer starts to come to a close, I am constantly reminding myself to enjoy the freedom I've had since May, when my most recent semester of classes ended.

I took an online class as well as a calculus class on campus, and it was a lot of work, but am happy to report that I finished very well, and was also accepted into the Bachelor program at my college.

I start in the fall, and will be a full time student for the first time in a very long time. The way the program works is that we take four classes, but only two at a time; we take two the first 8 weeks and two the second 8 weeks. The classes are obviously on an accelerated time-table, and they have already stressed how important it is to keep up and make sure you are organized when it comes to deadlines and also checking in with your course and professor for updates.

The two classes I will take during the first 8-week "mod" are online and the second "mod" I will be on campus for both of my classes. This involves a temporary schedule change at work, but I will have to just deal with not having my beloved Tuesdays off for 8 weeks.

Thinking about all of that, especially now that I see it all written out, I am slightly overwhelmed and a little bit nervous.

I know I am more than capable of completing the semester with flying colors. I am very confident in my abilities as a student. What I am not confident in though, is the consistency this type of schedule requires and whether I am capable of keeping that up for so long.

I didn't take classes this past summer, and it was the first time I haven't been in school or taking some sort of academic class since I returned from my year long break after my sophomore year back in 2009-2010.

It probably sounds crazy but I have had a really hard time relaxing this summer. I really thought that not having classes and constant due dates and assignments and to-do lists would calm my mind down. But I think that in the last three years I have gotten so used to having something on my mind that this entire summer I have literally created things to fill the void this summer.

And I am not complaining.

I have become so obsessed with making sure I eat right and get excercise. I am so desperate to see a change in myself by having better habits and it has given me confidence in a place I didn't usually have it.

The habits I am working so hard to build... I am thinking and hoping that they will help me with the consisency I need to succeed. I am starting to think I won't have a problem keeping with school and the due dates and the work.

I am looking forward to the fact that these are only 8 week classes, which is just about my attention span for a subject anyway. Just as the class is starting it will seem to be ending, and I'm hoping that makes this program fly by.

I know that the rest of the summer will fly by, and so I am giving myself a personal deadline.

I want to make sure that I am as successful as possible in my program and everyone knows that a clear mind when it comes to personal issues is the first step in success in other areas.

I always say that you can't love someone unless you love yourself first.

Well, I want to love MP but also I want to love school.

So, in the meantime, I am going to work on myself: my health and fitness and overall confidence. And let myself dream at the same time, and remind myself to relax.

I have the time to chase rainbows for a few more weeks.

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PS: have you entered my Spark giveaway yet? Details here!


Monday, July 29, 2013

O, LG...

When we adopted Lyla in February, I knew immediately that she was special. I knew that she would quickly find a very special place in our hearts and stay there.

Four pups is a lot of work, but it is so worth it. She is so worth it.

Not only is she just 45lbs of pure love, she also has the biggest personality I have ever seen in a puppy so young.

We are constantly reminding ourselves that she is still young, and has a lot more to learn!

One of my favorite things about LG?

She loves the camera.

I am not even kidding. She will be laying around in the yard, enjoying the sunshine, and if I bring my phone or camera over to her to take a picture, she will actually model.

Yesterday I took my phone over to her and took a picture.

I smiled and said "Good girl!" and she rolled over and I took another picture.

I was totally joking, mostly for MP's benefit, and started saying things like, "work it girl! The camera loves you!"

For about a minute she rolled around and posed for me.

Every time I took a shot she would change positions and look at me and wait for another click! Not even kidding!

Here are a few of raw photos from our little shoot yesterday with my iPhone! (Please disregard the junk in the backyard, it has kind of become a dumping ground as of late.)

She has my heart!

I know she will bring us nothing but love for the rest of her life.

Are there any little funny things your pups do? I would love to hear them! Sound off in the comments!!

Have a great week everyone!

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PS: have you entered my Spark giveaway yet? Details here!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Spark Giveaway!

If you follow me on Instagram you know of my new addiction: Spark!

My long lost soul-sister, Meggy over at New Last Name, New Body introduced me to it, and this girl is really the reason behind my sudden drive to be healthy.

If you ever need inspiration check her out on Instagram or her blog, you won't be disappointed!

The first time I ordered Spark, I chose the Watermelon pouches, rather than the full canister... I wanted to make sure I liked it before I spent $50 on the canister.

Well, I don't think I need to say it but I will.

I love Watermelon Spark!

Before I discovered Spark, I was a Mountain Dew addict.

I could consume (probably more than) 6 cans a day easily.

You don't even want to start the math for how many calories that ends up being. Trust me.

Ad yes, I did drink them because I liked them, but also because I liked the caffeine and sugar jolt tha would help with little house tasks from time to time.

Now that I drink Spark though?

I have three a day and have more energy than I ever have before.

I couldn't be happier without Mountain Dew.

I usually will have a Spark to get me going in the morning.

I drink one before and sometimes during work, depending on whether I needed one during the day.

The best part about Spark?

The mental focus power I seem to have after I drink one.

I was drinking Mountain Dew all day just to stay kind of focused.

Now though, even work is easier!

As soon as I realized how much Spark was likely to change my life, I started immediately looking for a way to share this amazing drink.

Yes! You read that right! I want to giveaway Spark to one lucky person!

How to win two pouches of Spark as well as a blender bottle:

1. Follow @LilMsPaws on Instagram and comment letting me know you followed! 
2. Follow my blog via google friend connect and comment letting me know you followed! (Link in profile)
3. Share the photo above and use hashtag #MsPawsIsGettingSkinny
Winner will be chosen Aug 5!
Good luck!!!
This giveaway is funded solely by me. All opinions are my own. I am in no way affiliated with anyone but myself.
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Friday, July 26, 2013

What I ate this week

I wish I could say the salad above was my own genius, but, I'm not going to try to fool y'all. You would totally call me out anyway when I show you pictures of what I put together!

See? No color whatsoever. Simple tilapia with homemade low fat Mac and cheese.

The salad above though, is from my favorite restaraunt in Tampa. They call it their "Mediterranean Salad" and it's salmon, feta cheese, strawberries, mandarin oranges and light balsamic vinaigrette, and its absolutely delicious. Not only does the fruit go perfectly with the balsamic dressing, the salmon is also the best I've had since moving to Florida, everytime we go.

Also, they deliver! Even better! My big butt doesn't have to even leave the couch to enjoy something so wonderful!

I did take the picture, however, and used the amazing "A Beautiful Mess" app to design the extras. I am hoping, that along with my weekly menu and goal posts, this "What I ate this week" will become a regular over here at LL&P.

See that hash tag? The annoying one you will get sick of seeing if you follow me on Instagram? I mean it y'all! Ms. Paws is getting skinny, and I mean it this time!

I am really trying to make the right notices when it comes to meals, I have gone a full 24 hours without a Mountain Dew, yay Spark!

My favorite meal this week? A simple grilled chicken breast and plain steamed broccoli. It doesn't sound like much, and really it wasn't. What made it the best meal of my week? That I made the choice to have something simple and healthy, when I could have gone another way.

We went to MP's parents' house for dinner, and the family decided we'd order from Chilis.

I sat and stared at the menu for ever until I stumbled upon the kids menu. Not only was it super cheap, but it was also the perfectly healthy meal I was looking for.

It is all about baby steps, people. And this week I am absolutely headed in the direction of a skinny me!!

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