My First Child

27 Jun

I bet I can guess what you’re thinking… Well… you’re wrong. This post is dedicated to my first child, my dogter, my Riley. You may have noticed that she hasn’t been on the blog lately. I mentioned in THIS POST that things were really rough in the Winchell household and it was directly related to THIS POST and THIS POST where I talked about how Riley had been throwing up and not feeling well. Turns out, she had an aggressive form of cancer. After a month of meds, her not eating anything (not even PB, beef, chicken, doggie ice cream, treats), throwing up daily and losing 15lbs, we only had one option. *Warning, there are a lot of pics in this post.


We got Riley from the Humane Society when she was three months old. She was emaciated and timid, but certainly came out of her shell as we showed her love. I don’t think she ever forgot that we saved her. She was seriously the best dog ever. Better than yours, just saying.

Baby Riley

It’s been a month and two days since we said good bye to our little girl and I have just now had the courage to write about it. To be honest, I’m crying as I type this and get emotional over her almost every day. She wasn’t just a dog to me, she really was my dogter. I pretty much spent 5 years with her at home while I didn’t work (or only worked part time) and we had a bond that I can’t explain. She was my companion when Todd traveled. She always made my day better and has a VERY special place in my heart.

Riley 3

I have never been through anything this hard and my heart is seriously broken. I still talk to her (maybe I have a problem). I loved her so much and it feels like a piece of me is missing. There’s a huge hole in my heart and it hurts.

Riley 2

She put up with the rediculous things I made her do, like wear Todd’s racing shoes and costumes for Halloween. She was our lizard hunter and loved going for walks. I don’t know how many pictures there are of her on this blog during a walk.

hunting.jpgShe loved peanut butter as much as I do. She was our trash dog. <- please go and read that post. Cuddling on the floor or couch was a daily occurrence and she loved a good stretch.

Riley 1

Riley’s last day was one of the best she’d had in a while. (More crying happening now) It’s like she knew it was the end. She seemed to have a bit more energy than normal. We played a bit in the backyard. She was jumping around in a tree branch Todd had cut down and looking for lizards behind the grill.

Rileys last day 1A few hours later we took her for a short walk. You would never have guessed she hadn’t eaten in over a month- besides the peanut butter we crushed her meds in and shoved down her throat. She had energy, caught her last lizard and let her self into the house.

Rys last walk

We were able to spend the last minutes of her life at our house. A nice lady came and it all happened so quickly, yet peacefully. She never knew what was happening and was never in any pain. She was given a sedative that just relaxed her and laid on the floor of our living room, her head in my lap. She could still hear us telling her we loved her and that she was the best dog ever. She was then given the final shot and slowly drifted away. Right there in my lap. I was expecting her eyes to shut but they didn’t. I kept telling the lady her medicine didn’t work and Riley was still alive, but she was gone. I gave her one last hug and kiss and said my final goodbye. This was the last picture we took of her.

My Riley

It’s so hard to believe she looked so happy, but I’m glad the last memory we have of her is when she was smiling. I’ve tried to write this post so many times. It took me a number of days to get through it all, each one ending in a crying mess. I still can’t believe she’s gone. Seven years just isn’t long enough, especially for such a perfect dog. She was the perfect dog. If you’re still reading this, thank you for listening. One last collage of my girl…

Riley4We love you Riley girl! More than you will ever know <3 Good night Riley Ry <3


WIAW: A Yummy Day of Eats!

24 Jun

It’s What I Ate Wednesday time! Join the party at Peas and Crayons and see what others are munching on!

What I Ate Wednesday Button

PRE-BREAKFAST: Woke up hungry, so I had a cut up peach from a market I went to this weekend.


BREAKFAST: My new regimen…  A Yogurt Parfait- 2% Fage Greek Yogurt, halved blueberries, chopped strawberries, puffed wheat and almond slivers.

Yogurt Parfait

Followed by PB Oatmeal- old fashioned oats cooked in water, topped off with peanut butter and coconut creamer for creaminess.

PB Oatmeal

MORNING SNACK: I went down to Todd’s desk and stole a handful of trail mix I made him for his desk. I couldn’t have something like that at my desk… it would be gone WAY too fast!

Trail Mix

LUNCH: I met my mom at Panera for lunch- she’s a teacher and has the summer off. We both had coupons for $2 off a salad so it was a perfect date! I got the new Mediterranean Chicken & Quinoa Salad (organic quinoa, kale, romaine, cucumbers, kalamata olives, tomato sofrito and toasted almonds in Greek dressing) with an apple as my side.

Mediterranean Chicken & Quinoa Salad

The salad has a chunky tomato sofrito, so between that and some squeezed lemon juice, I didn’t even need the 150 calorie dressing. This salad had the perfect mix of carbs, protein and fats. It was a TOTAL win and my new go to salad. I also had a few bites of my moms bread :) Hey… she offered!

Panera Mediterranean Chicken & Quinoa Salad SNACKS: I saved my apple from lunch for an afternoon snack.

AppleI also had a Nakd Caffe Mocha Bar. The flavor is a perfect mix of coffee and chocolate. Nom Nom.

Nakd Caffe Mocha Bar

DINNER: Went with an oldie but a goodie… stir fry- broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, celery, zucchini, carrots and chicken, all over brown rice. Easy and delicious!

Stir Fry 

DESSERT: Strawberry jello with whip cream from a can. Plus a couple bites of left over cake while Todd wasn’t watching ;). Both eaten while watching the USA vs Columbia Women’s soccer game. We WON!! U. S. A! U. S. A!

JelloLeft Over CakeHappy Hump Day!

Are you following the USA Women’s soccer team?

A Fun Little Weekend

21 Jun

Friday night, we went with my parents to Zoominations, a Chinese Lantern Festival held at our local zoo. As the site describes it, “A dazzling exhibition of colossal lanterns sprawling over 26 acres, it’s an unforgettable journey through the ancient Chinese art of lantern sculpture.” It was beautiful and fun BUT it was so freakin humid and gross out. At one point, I was wishing I wore body glide, haha.ZoominationsMy favorite exhibit was the huge sculpture made of ceramic cups and plates!

Zoominations ParentsJust to let you guys know, with the steps I got from walking around the zoo, I won the Workweek Hustle Challenge AGAIN! This will be my last week doing it for a while though so that I concentrate more on work than winning… damn competitiveness.

Fitbit Winner againI forgot to show you guys a yummy meal I had at my parents the other night. I know we’ve been eating over there a lot, but it’s because we watched all the Stanley Cup Finals games there. I promise I do cook at home, haha. This night we had pork chops, green beans and riced cauliflower. Every time I’ve had it in the past it’s always Asian-y. This time we used olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil from my moms garden, S&P, onions and carrots. SUPER good!

Balsamic Riced CauliflowerAnd yes, I pre-cut my pork chop. We ate in the living room and it was easier. BBQ sauce added after the pic. Nom Nom.

Father’s Day was great! Todd and him played racquetball on Saturday- I love the husband, dad bonding. For dinner, he wanted steak, corn and broccoli. Done. Except I WAY over cooked the broc… sorry family.

Father;s Day Dinner

And dessert. Can you guess??? Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Peanut Butter frosting. The. Best.

IMG_20150621_192938467_HDR IMG_20150621_192949896

My dad is amazing and every year that passes I appreciate him more and more. I hope that one day, Todd will be half as great as my dad is for our children. I was always somewhat of a daddy’s girl and was his little tom boy, wanting to play sports over ballet or dolls. I remember training for soccer, doing sprints, and he’d say, “Finish Strong!” I still think about that every time I do a speed workout and want to quit. Even though I haven’t done speed training for a year- ha! Happy Father’s Day Daddio <3 I love you!


Linking up with Running N’ Reading again, as this is my Weekend Update…

Give me your weekend update…

Ice Cream, Nakd, Nuun, Coke, Quinoa Sushi, Winner

19 Jun

ICE CREAM: I went on a girls date for ice cream- the real stuff- this week and it was delicious. Mine’s to the left in the picture- I reached around. I got half mint chocolate chip (it was green, and not as good as the white, I’m telling you) half peanut butter blast- pb ice cream with oreos mixed in. We almost went back for seconds, but decided we’ll just schedule another ice cream date :)

Tanya & Matt's Ice Cream NAKD: The kind people at Natural Balance Foods sent me a sampler box of their Nakd bars. OBVIOUSLY the first thing I did was try several of them. Todd and I sampled 6 flavors the first day, including a few I took for my sister to try that night: Cocoa Delight, Cocoa Orange, Bakewell Tart,  Rhubarb & Custard, Cocoa Mint, and Ginger Bread. Kristin didn’t get to try the Bakewell tart, but is was my fave, followed closely by the Cocoa Orange and Mint.

Nakd BarsAll of their flavors are SPOT ON. They are made with natural ingredients like fruit and nuts and are good and good for you. I like that they are a bit smaller than the other fruit/nut bars, because then you can have two flavors for the price of one ;) The sampler box is on sale for $9.99! Seriously, go buy them. OH! And the crunch bars are Natural Protein Bars with protein crunchies. Those are in the sampler box, too!

NUUN: My sister sent this to me the other morning and it just made me smile. It’s so freaking hot and humid here that you need Nuun to replenish all the sweat you lost just walking to your car/mailbox. I’ll be excited, when, like Kristin, I can use it for the best reason and run again.

Kristin Nuun

COKE: A coworker of mine got this out of the vending machine the other day and brought it over to my desk for me. I told him I’m not a big diet coke fan, but if he drank it and brought me back the bottle, I’d be grateful, and he did just that! Now it’s sitting on my desk so that everyone know’s that’s where Heather sits.Heather Diet Coke

QUINOA SUSHI: After my ice cream date the other night I stopped into Whole Foods (it was right across the street) and I picked up some quinoa sushi! Who knew right?! Since it was right before closing time, they only had two options, so I went with the boring California Roll over the tempura shrimp roll. I can honestly say I was pleased! I’m usually more of a tuna or salmon sushi lover, but this did the trick at lunch and I’ll definitely be going back for more!

Quinoa Sushi

WINNER: I told you guys I got a Fitbit. I like it so far. It definitely motivates me to get up more at work, although sometimes I think it keeps me from work too much because I want to get up and get steps when really I should be working on a task or project :/ For instance last week… my coworker invited me to her Workweek Hustle challenge and being the competitive person that I am, I HAD to win and probably stepped away from my desk a tad too much. Thankfully my boss had a lot of meetings and I don’t think he noticed. Anyways, I WON! Haha. I tried to lay back this week, but I’m secretly hoping I’ll still win. I’ll let you know.

Fitbit Challenge WinnerHope everyone had a great week and is doing something special for their Father or Baby Daddy this weekend <3

Are you super competitive and would do anything to win? (besides cheat!)




WIAW: Sloppy Joe’s and Black Bean Brownies

17 Jun

Happy Hump Day Folks! This week has actually gone by pretty fast for me. Monday I had a good amount of work to keep me busy and then we went to my parents for dinner and to watch the Lightning lose the Stanley Cup :( Tuesday I had several meetings- two with free food! And today’s half way through the week. Nice. Let’s party on with Jenn and celebrate all the food.

What I Ate Wednesday Button

BREAKFAST: I’ve been enjoying Trader Joe’s Pretzel Bagels for breakfast at work. I bring a little container of half cream cheese for the bottom and half butter for the top. I think I like the butter better, but I still like both :) Indecisive much?!

Trader Joe's Pretzel Bagel

And my new favorite… the yogurt parfait: 2% Fage Greek Yogurt, halved blueberries, chopped strawberries, puffed wheat and almond slivers.

Yogurt Parfait

MORNING SNACK: As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.


LUNCH: Work salad bar for the win! There’s a little bit of everything in there- mixed greens, beets, chicken, mushrooms, banana peppers, carrots, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, olives, egg and a balsamic dressing. 

Work SaladAlong with my salad, I brought some roasted butternut squash and sweet potato.

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato

And a black bean brownie from Queen Bee Fresh, an all organic, healthy catering company. (Actually, I went back for another because it was so yummy but so small ;) )

Queen Bee Fresh Black Bean Brownie

AFTERNOON SNACK: I found my second favorite LarabarCoconut Cream Pie. Cherry Pie is my fave, but this comes close!

Coconut Cream Pie Larabar

Washed down with a Zephyrhills Watermelon Lime Sparkling Water.

Zephyrhills Watermelon Sparkling Water

DINNER: I’m a big fan of sloppy joes, but they can be rather unhealthy, so I made my own “sloppy” mix, used extra lean ground beef and put it over a baked potato instead of a bun. It. Was. Delicious! A major win in my book. Steamed asparagus on the side.

Homemade Sloppy Joes

DESSERT: A handful of homemade trail mix with mixed nuts, M&M’s and white chocolate chips. It’s a reverse nut butter and icing shot, haha!

Homemade Trail Mix

Have you ever tried a black bean brownie? Thoughts?

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