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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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Week 1: Menu & Goals

I've mentioned it briefly before, but I am going back to school full-time to finish my bachelor degree in less than a month, and it is my goal to not only look and feel great, but to also have really awesome eating and health habits set for myself, so continuing to eat clean and excercise will not be an added stress when I'm back in school.

These posts are meant to hold myself accountable. Each week I will comment on how I did the previous week and also set new goals for the coming week. I will also lay out my menu so that I can continue to build a little bank for myself to look back on later in the year when things are busy with school.

I really hope to keep this up! Last week I started a lot of the habits and have (miraculously) carried them through to this week. Baby steps people!

On the menu this week:

  • Pan seared TIlapia
  • Grilled Chicken breast
  • Green Bean Salad
  • Hummus and pita rounds
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Tuna salad
  • Strawberry and banana smoothies
  • Brown sugar and raisin oatmeal

Weekly health goals:

  • Wean off of mountain dew completely.
  • Outside physical activity every day, at least 30 minutes (walking the pups or running solo).
  • No fast food!
  • Drop back into the 130s.
  • Continue squat and plank challenges.
  • Bed by 1:30AM every night.

Weekly house goals:

  • Walk LG every day!
  • Dishes to be finished every evening before bed.
  • Sweep every day, vacuum three times a week and steam mop once a week or as needed.
  • 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.
So there you have it! I'm excited to check in next week to see how it goes. I will try to make this an every Wednesday thing!

Happy hump day people!


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Monday, July 15, 2013

It's the little things in life...

It's the little things in life that are sometimes the best.

I admit I need to stop and appreciate these moments more, and this summer I have really enjoyed the extra time with MP now that he has a 10-15 minute commute rather than 1-2 hours.

It makes a big difference.

One of my favorite things about my relationship with MP is how we can have a great time with each other at home, with nothing more than Wikipedia and YouTube.

This sounds totally crazy, but it's true.

Last night we somehow got on the topic of Marlins, and somehow ended up stumbling across the Narwhal.

How crazy is that thing??

And say Narwhal out loud.

Isn't that the greatest word you've heard all day?

They call them the unicorns of the sea. The horn, tusk looking thing?

It's a complete mystery!

We know that it is actually an overgrown tooth, and, considering the Narwhal is a completely gentle animal, it doesn't use the horn for aggressive purposes at all. The best theory scientists have is that they use it for communicating with other Narwhals, and possibly also for sensing the conditions around them.

Totally random, right?

That is just one recent example of where our conversations can go sometimes.

The blessing of spending the rest of your life with your best friend is one of the best in life I think!

Are there any random little quirks about you and your significant other? I would love to hear them!


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Friday, July 12, 2013

Picashare Review

Happy Friday everyone!

What is better than the impending weekend?

A present from Ms. Paws you say?

Well, you are in luck my friends! I have a very special treat for you today!

I recently discovered an amazing app for getting your iPhone or iPad photos straight to your blogger blog.

What is this magic app called you ask?


There is the free version as well as the $.99 (best $.99 I have ever spent!) and they are essentially the same app.

The only difference is with the free version you can only upload three of your photos at a time. With the paid version you can upload as many as you'd like.

It is super simple, and fast!

Here are a few steps to get you started.

Step 1: After you have downloaded Picashare, you will want to log in to your Picasa account, which you automatically have included with your Blogger blog. You will use the information you use when you log into your dashboard.

From there, you will be able to select the photos you'd like to upload.

Step 2: Once you have chosen which album you would like to choose from, your pictures will all be there for you to look through.


Step 3: Choose your photos (remember with the free version you can only do three at a time).

Step 4: The app will then ask if you'd like to caption your photos. This part is totally up to you. Once you've captioned them or you'd like to just move on, tap upload.

Step 5: Then Picashare will ask which album you would like to upload your photos to.


For photos I know are going straight to a post I place them in the second album, just so I can know exactly where to find them in the future.

Step 6: From there Picashare will automatically upload the photos you've chosen so they are immediately accessible when you are creating a post in blogger.

Step 7: As soon as Picashare says your upload is complete, your photos are immediately accessible on blogger. Simply create a new post just as you normally would, and when you are ready to upload your photos, proceed like you normally would to upload from your computer.

And select "From Picasa web albums"


Step 7: Select to choose from the album you saved to earlier, and simply highlight the photos you'd like to use in your post, and click "Add Selected".


So there y'all have it! The easiest and quickest way ever to upload photos from your iPad or iPhone to blogger and Picasa.

Let Me know if you have any questions or if I need to explain something a little clearer.

Have a great weekend and let me know if you download Picashare!


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Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for this post, Picashare, apple and any other company you can think of all have no idea I wrote this post. It is completely my own opinion. Also, I have no idea how to use Wordpress so I can't guarantee whether this would work or not. All I know is blogger!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I have mentioned a few times that I have the privilege of working from home.

And yes, it is a privilege.

I love not having to drive to work everyday. Not putting miles on my car every day is wonderful for my wallet as well when it comes to maintenance.

Overall, I feel very very blessed to have found this wonderful company a little over a year ago.

It is a wonderful opportunity to earn money while I also earn my degree. I also know that finding a position in the company in my degree field is a very good possibility after graduation.

I work for a large home shopping network taking sales calls. For the first year I worked with them I worked anywhere from 9PM-3AM 5 days a week. I had afternoon classes when I took the position, so it worked out perfectly to start so late.

It also has worked out well when family has come to visit and a few other special occasions.

But what hasn't benefited, is my health.

I have gained about 40lbs, my IBS and diet issues are worse than ever. I am smoking cigarettes again...

It is a scientific fact that no matter what type of schedule you think you have set your body up for, your metabolism does not function correctly at night.

And this is so true for me. My body doesn't handle food well after midnight, I usually will end up sick in the mornings. I also at night have a really hard time realizing when I'm full. And when I'm tired? Food is my go-to to keep me energized and awake.


I was also recently accepted into the Bachelor of Science program at my college, and I'm so excited to have a final goal and a finish line in sight.

I want my health to be better when I start school at the end of august, and I know studying will be easier if I have more energy and feel better.

I had myself on a very screwy sleep schedule last semester, but it was a schedule and it worked.

And you know that wonderful company I mentioned earlier?

Well they have allowed me to change my schedule!

My new work window will be 6PM-12AM, 5 days a week!

No more zombie Ms. P!

This also means that I will be working the same hours as MP.

I cannot wait to rejoin the living.

This also means that I am going to be back on a normal schedule, and I cannot wait to see how my workouts and also my school work improves!

I am hoping to also fit in a lot more blogging. I don't know if you all have noticed but I have been trying to post every week on Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's. I would like to post more and hopefully will as time allows!

Thanks again for following along y'all! I cannot wait to share this new journey with you!

Happy hump day! :)



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Monday, July 8, 2013

(Free) DIY Patio Makeover

As you all know, we moved a little over a month ago to a new place, about 45 minutes away from where we were before.

There are quite a few reasons for why we left where we did, because really, we LOVED our house. We always said if we could have picked it up and taken it with us we would have.

It just wasn't in the best neighborhood. And I'm being very nice putting it that way.

There was also the 45 minute commute for MP to and from a job where he already spends his entire shift driving around town.

There were good and bad things about where we lived before, but the best, was our backyard. It was fully fenced and BIG.

Needless to say, with four pups it was something we were not looking forward to giving up when we moved.

We knew we weren't going to renew our lease at the end of the 12 months, so we honestly started looking for our new place in DECEMBER. Yes, you read that right. We started looking about 6 months ahead of time.

And we STILL found this place almost at the last second.

We had a long wish-list, but there were a few"musts" at the top of the list. I wanted to feel safe, be able to walk my dogs right out my front door, and I knew I wanted to shorten the commute for MP...

But, we also knew that finding a place that allowed all of our pups was our biggest challenge, so we (and by we I primarily mean me) started looking really early and kind of took on the mindset that we would take what we could get as long as they let us keep everyone together.

And then, after some searching online, I happened to find the only apartment company that allowed all of our dogs, which also happened to be the only one in our entire city that has fenced in back yards.

The "complex" is really about 40 acres of matching duplexes. We have two pools, a dog park, and so much more.

The area is so quiet, everyone has a background check to live here, EVERYONE has dogs,

I am sleeping so much better at night knowing how safe we are here.


O, my goodness y'all.

Our yard... Is huge.


And we have a covered patio.

It's an oasis.

MP and I are technically paying an extra $100 a month for patio and the larger yard, and it will be the best $1200 spent at the end of our year lease, I can guarantee that.

I talked a little about it here, and as soon as we moved in we knew that we wanted to spend a lot of our time outside, taking advantage of the space.

Before we moved we did a little research and realized very quickly that the patio set we wanted was way out of our budget right now. There is always the chance that we will find a great deal, but for now we are resigned to the fact that we can't make that big of a purchase right now.

I told my parents about this, and when my mom came to visit a few weeks after we moved in, she brought with her lots of goodies.

She kept pulling things out of her trunk, and I was reminded of Hermione's magic bag in The Deathly Hallows.

Two of the things she pulled out were patio chairs that our family had used since I was a child.

My parents had since upgraded, but had always kept the old, white plastic set in the gazebo.

I am so thankful we did!

She also brought me a few cans of white paint to spruce them up a bit.


Amazing what a few coats of paint can do!

Now that we had the two chairs, we knew we would need a table of some sort.


We flipped over a Tupperware bin that we had used for moving and painted it white.


The plastic wasn't the best at holding the paint, and it was a little hot that day so we had a few drips, but overall I am very happy with the way that it turned out.

My lovely momma also brought us the cushions, and I think they really tie the space together.

So there it is y'all!

My (free) patio makeover!

Let me know what you think!

Happy Monday and have a great week!


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