Sunday, January 31, 2016

AETA Round 1

Calling this Round 1 since I'm still in Pennsylvania (whoa- that 6am wakeup call on Friday was tough) but Cash-and-Carry doesn't start until tomorrow and I brought a $100 bill from my grandmother-in-law to help subsidize the horse habit. 

A great show- I love our English team- and it was great to continue to chat through opportunities to partner with our amazing English dealers. I mean really? We're making FEI product- I will take those purple accented Monacos thank you very much. 

It was also great to run into the Amanda from $900 FB Pony who filled me on early on the fabulous goings on of the show! I love getting the down and dirty on the next big thing!

Let's see what damage I can do tomorrow!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

SLHS (Skinny Like a Hawaiian Surfer): Update

Hoarding my barn updates since it looks like it'll be another week before I make it out there again. Instead I thought I'd share an update on our "Skinny Like a Hawaiian Surfer" Project and the fun new toy to keep us motivated.

When we kicked this off after our vacation in October I had immediately begun making a myriad of veggie pastas using my zucchini twirler and spaghetti squash and we buckled down. I actually lost around 12lb before we hit the Holidays. Coming home from Christmas I was dreading the scale but incredibly pleased to see that I while I didn't lose, I didn't gain either.

On the flight back from Ohio Paul ordered us a new blender- green smoothies for everyone! Then with all the travel, I demanded that he didn't touch it until I was home for a few days to enjoy. I love the smoothies that we're making with mango, frozen grapes, and spinach! To add some extra motivation (since I haven't bothered to figure out how to use it) Paul will make me a smoothie before work as long as I get up, go to the gym, and bring home coffee for him (and me).

Ahh- sweet reward!

Any favorite recipes out there?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Stitch Fix

My friend kept wearing these fabulous outfits in Denver and when I queried her about her style she said she was using Stitch Fix. For anyone not familiar......

What is Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix is the first fashion retailer to blend expert styling, proprietary technology and unique product to deliver a shopping experience that is truly personalized for you. Simply fill out the Stitch Fix Style Profile and our personal stylists will handpick a selection of five clothing items and accessories unique to your taste, budget and lifestyle. You can buy what you like and return the rest! 
I was sold. And in need of infusing my wardrobe with some pieces to break up what has become a boring routine of jeans and a grey sweater. One tip my friend shared? Keep trying. The more feedback you give when you send stuff back, the more your stylist can better understand your preferences.

And boy I had to remember that when I got my first box today. I was so excited, had been busily pinning favorites on my Stitch Fix Pinterest board to give my stylist ideas, and couldn't wait to get home and open my box.

Regardless of what was inside, the packaging was pristine, they send a sheet with all product and prices, along with a little style foldout with different ways to wear each piece.

I ended up returning all five items. Of the two tops- one fit well but had an odd seam down each sleeve, the second was a super soft Dolman top- grey with stripes- but just didn't feel special enough. One maxi skirt- I loved the fit but the patter was a little wild for my taste. One dress- which was completely outside of my style range and tight. And an infinity scarf- the colors were a bit too fall and it was a little too warm for Northern Cali.

But so what? I put it back in the prepaid bag, it'll go in the mail tomorrow, and I was out a $20 styling fee. Not too shabby when you have a box to look forward to and fun new outfits to try! I already shared my feedback and signed up for my next fix. Better luck in round two!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cabin Fever

Having had some time off from the barn I was eager to get back into the saddle! Naturally it was a rainy, cold, crowded arena Saturday. And of course the horses all have cabin fever without any play time.
All things considered, the worst Ellie did was snort a little....maybe some head twirling. Usually when she sees me she turns her back and heads out to her paddock so I know when she is eagerly pacing at her stall door when I arrive we're in for an interesting ride.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cat Bathroom Habits: Help Needed

I'm frustrated. We're having some litter box challenges.

A few months back we realized that the kitten, Felix, was peeing on Paul's duffle bag located in our Master Bedroom closet. Then he pooped in Paul's backpack.

Then we went through a stint where around once a week we would wake up to find poop next to the food and water dishes on the kitchen floor.
My gut told me it was Felix- but we were also concerned that Linus was perhaps getting so upset by the bullying that he would mark his territory.

Then at once, without any changes, the erratic bathroom habits stopped.

Until now. For three days in a row we've found poop in the kitchen....this morning it was actually IN the water dish.
Then I went down today to change the litter, thinking that the "organic" stuff Paul had picked up on his last trip wasn't as appealing as their usual Tidy Cat. When I pulled the mats up, they were soaked, and there was liquid underneath. Now our basement has little built in gutters to allow the hill water to run through so it IS possible the mats were dipped into that and somehow soaked through.
The basement itself didn't smell like urine, but upon closer inspection I'm fairly certain someone is skipping their box in favor of a mat.

I'm not sure what to do. We have the box sitting away from any water and on the cement so we can easily see if someone is peeing. I'm not sure how to guard the kitchen floor and outside of making sure the box is cleaned daily will be adding a few additional boxes to the mix- when the kitties went in for their checkup the vet did recommend at least three. Fun!

Sorry for using the word poop like 20 times in this post but I need suggestions? Has anyone else dealt with something like this?
Linus looking angelic

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Home Imrovement

Since I haven't seen the horses in over a week I don't have much to post in the way of riding. BUT we did take care of one home improvement project that has actually made a pretty substantial difference to our living room. Who am I kidding- I was upstairs napping while Paul did all the work.

The previous owners had some type of stair rail up that I believe was actually meant for outside. We refreshed the paint when we moved in but it just wasn't adding anything to the room. When we took it down the whole space opened up and feels much more modern.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Denver Market

Five fun filled days in Denver! I love the new Showroom- what a difference! The only rub was the Mart was blasting the air conditioner for two days (in January- why?!?) and in such a big space it never actually warmed up even when they finally turned it off. I spent most of the show strategically standing next to space heaters.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Nothing better than a close up of drugged and dirty Wilbur getting dental work done. 

Swamp thing in the flesh. 

All told the dental, sheath cleaning (yes, I'm a wuss, lazy, and will happily pay someone else to deal with it), and vaccinations were smooth and easy. I got a call from the vet office about an hour before the appointment and I groaned thinking they were going to say the vet was running late. She actually wanted to come early- yes please! 

This is actually great! Wilbur's vet, Natasha, had left the Pioneer practice and moved down to San Diego and I had yet to reestablish a relationship with the hospital and a new vet. When I called to make his appointment it turns out that Pioneer now has a vet who specifically handles the East Bay- whoohoo! Additionally the tech that came out had already worked with Wilbur and assisted in Ellie's vet check. 

I was glad to have made the appointment even though we have a few interested buyers at the moment so he can go to his new home ready to rock and roll!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mud Room

We've apparently had some pretty incredible amounts of rain while I've been away as evidenced by the mud pit that seems to be at both barns. Of course Wilbur has had a few showing in the past few days- his trainer may have referred to him as a "swamp thing," likely not fondly since she's the one having to prep him.

I'm feeling fortunate to have a basement that I can tromp into and discard my nasty boots after a barn visit! How do you manage the "messiness" of the winter months?

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Just home from Salt Lake after spending most of last week at the Outdoor Retailer trade show. We got a few inches of snow my first evening in which was fun, although made me question the reasoning behind bringing my Ariat ballet flats. I had Jimmy Johns twice- delicious as always, got to see some great product, finally ordered my Danner "Wild" boots, and met some super fans at the show!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wilbur's Stitches Come Out + Update

Oh Wilbur. Where to start? 

Just prior to slicing his face open we had a young rodeo queen who was looking to use him in parades. We scheduled a vet check and I showed up bright and early to make sure he was looking sharp. I really wasn't sure to expect as we hadn't done any diagnostic work on him since the MRI- just vets trotting him on hard ground and saying he looked sound. Who knew what would show up?

A Western vet check is a little more low key- listened to vitals, flexed, lunged on soft ground. OMG he was great. I was actually really concerned that he would hobble off after flexions. Nope- he was totally sound. The vet said if his hocks were any better she'd think he was drugged (BTW we postponed the vet until after his round of stitches Bute). 

The potential buyers ended up passing on him which I was glad for. Listening to the gal describe the parade she took her other horse in, with bells and tinsel and glow sticks, left me wondering if Wilbur was the best fit. While they were looking for a project I just don't think he can stretch that far. 

There has been some additional interest and we have a promising lead. 

Of course the successful vet check has me daydreaming about bringing him over to Ellie's barn and just keeping both of them....for just a little bit! 
Stitches Out!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dover Haul

I have promised a number of friends to accompany them to Dover after the Holidays to shop using the gift cards I strategically requested for Christmas.

Unfortunately I truly do not need anything at the moment as I went a little off the rails during my last trip. List in hand- two gift cards, baby pads (for an embroidery project), and a trunk cover (not expecting to find this but didn't want to shell out for the barn cover and needed some sort of cover for rainy season).

I got my gifts, baby pads, and cover (a lovey navy with gray and burgundy trim for a cool $84 awesomeness that played fort to Linus in the below shot).

Oh! Navy Eskadron Boots! Sometimes I just want to Velcro! And Ogilvy baby pad...I've been eyeing those for a while now! Tack Sponges- who can have enough? A total impulse grab Navy Vest on the way to the register.

Dover learning: Best practice just to buy items as you desire them- otherwise you end up standing at the register telling the clerk "perhaps don't tell me the total."

Monday, January 4, 2016

Ellie Naps

After the first official (workday) of 2016 I'm ready for a nap.

No rest for the weary- two more episodes of Making a Murder on Netflix. If you're not watching it, you need to.
I'll be mindful tomorrow!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 Theme: Mindfulness

I'm staying away from flat out goals this year and instead going with the overarching theme of "Mindfulness."

2015 was a fun but busy year!!!! Looking ahead to 2016 I want to take time in each day to be a little more personally organized, spend time relaxing at the end of the day with a book or project, think about the people in my life and reach out regularly, and focus on living a healthy lifestyle.

I started by revamping my office space- making it a place I look forward to decompressing in. My furniture is a hodgepodge from various homes, and while it may not be the most optimal for working, it'll do for now. More importantly I made sure to use my Target cubes to visually display my focuses for the year- books on riding that I keep meaning to read, my Canon (with charged battery) that had been regulated to my closet for the past year is on the shelf and ready for an adventure, my WW mags and workbooks to remind and inspire!

Riding-wise? Just to have fun and enjoy spending time with my sweet horses and the victories that come with working hard every ride. Perfect Practice might just be the riding theme.

Looking forward to a fabulous 2016!