Tag Archives: halloween

Happy Halloween BarkBox

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My photos for this month’s BarkBox, turned out all dark and scaaaarrrrryyyy!

There’s are good reasons for this.

  1. Halloween is approaching and such was the theme of the box.
  2. It was dark when we opened it. {But it’s dark when I leave for work and pretty much dark when I get home this time of year, though.}
  3. I’m not a professional photographer and, quite frankly, didn’t put in the effort in improving these photos. No apologies.

Here were the October BarkBox content for our “small dog” box:

Pet Qwerks Chevron Bear – I’m sorry. I have to call this toy Bucky the Badger! It looks so much like the Wisconsin Mascot! I got approval for this name change from my Michigan Alumnus husband. Of course, in true Shamrock-style, it was the first thing stolen out of the box. I had to retrieve it to get the photo below. It was a nice little birthday gift for him since he turned one on Wednesday. Happy Birthday, Shamrock!

photo 5Superior Farms Lamb Ear (not pictured) – Unlike Shamrock, who loves the toys, Sophie always sniffs out a chew from the box. Since Sham was already so busy with Bucky, I immediately unwrapped the lamb ear, to find TWO inside. SCORE! One for each of the pooches! Sham’s interest in his lamb ear helped me to retrieve Bucky for that photo above.

Your Dog’s Diner Mutt Meatball Treat Mix – What does that even mean? According to the instructions, you mix this with 1 lb of grand beef and an egg just like you would to form regular meatballs, and bake. Sounds like a bit of work to me for some dog treats! But maybe I should make them this weekend. I didn’t make a puppy cake, like I’d thought about doing for Sham’s birthday. Maybe we can celebrate with some meatballs. After all, I did make some for ourselves this week and we did not share with the pooches!

photo 2Baker’s Best Autumn’s Harvest Treats – There is rarely a complaint about treats in the box. In fact, there was only one time when Sophie was reluctant to take one, but ended up eating it anyway. This was not that time. 😉

photo 3Fruitables Dog Treats Share Pack – I almost shrieked with delight when I saw these! They are Halloween treat bags for dogs!!!! Perfect if you have any doggie trick-or-treaters (or should we say tricks-for-treaters?!) who stop by on Halloween. And we love the Fruitables-brand treats. Okay, so I’ve never eaten them, but they are some of the best-smelling dog treats ever. Nothing’s worse than handing your dog over a smelly treat or two and then having to wash your hands more than thoroughly so that you don’t smell like said treat. These treats are actually steering me in the direction to maybe even like Halloween.photo 1I have mixed emotions about dogs getting dressed up for Halloween. Part of me thinks that it is so cruel. But when I see the cutest costumes, the other half makes me think it’s so adorable! We dressed Sophie as a butterfly last year for the Spooky Tails 5k. She absolutely hated it. It was the first time I had ever dressed a dog in costume.

Look at my antennae!

Look at my antennae!

But Halloween might actually be fun if we dressed the pooches and walked through the neighborhood. Sham would bark at every kid and get pretty scared though, I’d imagine…

How about you? How do you feel about doggie costumes?

**Get $5 off your first month of BarkBox when you subscribe here. It is so much fun for our pooches and makes the perfect gift!**

Cheers~
Carrie

Spooky Tails 5k Run and 1 Mile Walk for Wags & Whiskers Animal Rescue

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This past Saturday, my husband I participated with some friends in the Spooky Tails 5k Run and 1 Mile Walk to benefit the Wags and Whiskers Animal Rescue. The best part? Sophie Jean in her Butterfly Costume!

Butterfly Wings!

Look at my antennae!

It was one way for me to appreciate Halloween. Many of the dogs were dressed up in such cute costumes! It totally distracted me from being nervous about the race.

The Week of the Race…

I normally run about three times per week, making sure that they are not consecutive days. The week of a race, I take the two days before as rest days. I haven’t been very good, as of late, about working out on other days and this week, I  just wasn’t feeling it. It may have been the cold, dreary weather that was starting to depress me.

But I only got in ONE run day (or day of any kind of exercise) in the entire week. DOH!

The Night Before…

I had a girls’ dinner night out scheduled with my friends Kim and Jen. I was looking forward to dining again at Santorini Taverna despite that I was just dead tired from the workweek. I kept it to just one Sangria. I was happy that this blog helped me remember that I loved it here so that I didn’t waste my one drink and calories on something that wasn’t worth it. Despite the fact that I had planned on ordering the Shrimp Mikrolimano dish that I had ordered and adored on our last visit, I decided to try the Iberian Pizza that was highly recommended by my friend Jen’s co-worker who had joined us and dines there often. Let’s just say that they make great pizzas at Santorini! Jen had the Mediterranean Pizza which I liked even more.

I got home at a decent time with a half of a pizza in hand with which to feed my husband. I took my night-before-race shower and lathered myself with lavender oil. What am I going to do when I run out of this stuff? They don’t make it anymore! My husband will be oh-so-happy, though, once the “stinky stuff” is gone.

Race Day…

The unique thing about this race is that it didn’t start until 10am. For a day that had a high of 42 degrees predicted, this made me happy! The schedule included:

  • 9am – Vendor Fair, Raffle and Silent Auction sign up
  • 10am – 5k Run
  • 11am – 1 Mile Walk

Despite this, I still woke up at 6am. Ugh. My breakfast did not consist of my usual banana and whole wheat toast with peanut butter because I didn’t have those items on hand. Instead I whipped up the following:

Two scrambled eggs with chopped marinated mozzarella on toasted sesame Ezekiel bread

Not pictured: Water (of course) and the Americano I stopped to pick up at Caribou Coffee. If anything, it kept me warm while waiting for the race to start!

Our plan was that I was going to do the 5k Run and Rob would do the 1 Mile Walk with Sophie. We knew that Sophie wasn’t in shape to run a 5k. Upon arrival, we met up with our friend Steve with his beagles. He was signed up for the 5k Run with his wife, Terri, but she ended up sick and couldn’t make it.

Beagles Sittin’ Pretty – Porter & Paisley

After looking at the route, which looped around a couple of times, Rob decided that instead of waiting until AFTER the 5k Run to do the 1 Mile Walk with Sophie, that he would take Terri’s place in the 5k, but only go as far as Sophie could handle.

We checked out the vendors, entered the raffle and signed up for some silent auction items. Then I realized that we would have to ditch our bag in the car and I would have to shed a few layers since Rob was going to be doing the 5k at the same time and wouldn’t be able to be my usual, dutiful assistant. About ten minutes before the race started, I decided to shed those layers and realized I had to go to the bathroom. I looked everywhere for the bathroom and finally spotted a Porta Potty across the parking lot.

There was only one!

And I was waiting in line for it. I finally reached the starting line with about a minute to spare, handed off the car keys to Rob and started to pull on my iPhone armband and put my earbuds in when the horn blared.

This was the first year that the course was timed – not chip timed, but there was a clock. It was a small race. So I crossed the start line about 5 seconds after the clock started.

The route wasn’t really a route. While we did follow a couple of paved paths and were running on the park driveway and the parking lot later on, much of the run was just running through the leaves and grass around the baseball fields. Rob said it reminded him of football practice in high school. You really had to watch where you were going! As usual, I was afraid of tripping. After one of the loops, I saw Sophie and Rob, so I ditched my scarf and gloves that had started to make me too hot.

The course did not have mile markers. And while there were volunteers there to point us in the right direction, who knew if we cut corners that we shouldn’t have. I just followed the people in front of me. When I got close to the end of the course, I saw Sophie and Rob waiting for me, so I waved and yelled, “Sophie Jean!”

Then I saw the clock…

And I ended up with a PR!

Clock time:

35:35

Post-Race and Reflection…

At the goodies table, there were not only people treats, but doggie treats as well. These homemade treats were made by Wags and Whiskers Volunteers. Both Benny and Sophie loved them!

Dog Treats made with Volunteer Love…

At 10:50, the raffle began and the silent auction winners were announced. (We had to be present to win both.) I ended up winning some Ordway tickets! However, I hadn’t brought cash nor my checkbook with me. I’m hoping to get them a check this week so that they know I made good on my word. I always want to support an animal rescue cause!

We didn’t stick around for the 1 Mile Walk, so I have no idea if it started on time or what that was like.

And of course, I’m very happy with my PR! After only having run once during the week and a slow previous 5-mile race, I wasn’t expecting much. While running, I didn’t feel like it was the best of runs. But I’m not complaining!

Comparing this race to my last PR , I’ve come to the following fun conclusions:

  1. I now have a lucky shirt. I’ve worn the same shirt at this race as I did at my last PR race.
  2. I must eat Mediterranean food the night before a race. I ate at Greek restaurants each time.
  3. I must not wear my heart rate monitor. Last time I PR’d, my HRM wasn’t working. This time, I couldn’t find the piece that reads the heart rate. I think just running by how I feel rather than looking at my heart rate is a much more intuitive way to run a race!

Here is a list of my 5k race results for my own personal comparison:

  1. 38:54
  2. 38:20
  3. 38:40
  4. 36:08
  5. 38:27
  6. 37:44
  7. 35:35
  • The Event: Spooky Tails 5k Run & 1 mile Walk for Wags & Whiskers Animal Rescue
  • The Location: Alimagnet Dog Park, Burnsville, MN
  • The Date: October 27, 2012 – 10am
  • Night Before Dinner: Iberian Pizza at Santorini Taverna
  • Pre-race Breakfast: Two scrambled eggs with chopped marinated mozzarella on toasted sesame Ezekiel bread
  • My Time: 35:35 (PR!)
  • The Weather: Chilly. 38 degrees at race start.
  • Attire: Cuddleduds long sleeve shirt under “lucky” t-shirt, black Danskins leggings, fleece scarf and gloves that I ditched halfway through the race
  • General Feeling: “Look at all of these cute Pupper Dawgs!”
  • Uniqueness: Supporting something that matters to me – dog rescue
  • Size: Of the 66 people finishing the 5k Run, I came in 60th. Whew!
  • The Goods: Spooky Tails t-shirt, goodie bag with coupons and such
  • The Grub: Vitamin Water, Granola Bars, bananas, apples, grapes, bagels with cream cheese, homemade doggie biscuits!

What causes do you like to support?

 Cheers~
Carrie

BOO(hoo)! I Hate Halloween.

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I’ve never really liked Halloween. It’s not because I don’t like being spooked. I have watched my share of horror films and have been to haunted houses. They are fine.

I’m just not into it.

You probably think I’m crazy. I mean who doesn’t like dressing up in costume?

I don’t.

Why?

For me, it’s stressful. I’ve never been creative. I’ve never been crafty. I can’t sew a cool costume together or paint my face with clever make-up. And those pre-made costumes you buy in the store? As an overweight person, it’s frustrating to learn that it’s even harder to find a costume that fits than it does to find regular clothes. That can rule out any sexy nurse or sexy cat costumes, too.

One year, in college, I was so frustrated that I just decided to go à la Adam Sandler with a protractor I’d pull out of the back of my pocket: “I’m Crazy Protractor Man! Give me some candy!”

As a kid, our costumes were ones that my mom would usually pick up at K-mart. You know, those ones made of smelly plastic that had warning labels of being highly flammable. The ones with the plastic masks with string around the back that would pull at your hair. The ones that were made for whatever characters were fashionable that year: Smurfs, He-Man & She-Ra, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She wasn’t a crafty costume creator either.

And I couldn’t care less about how stores, restaurants and houses are all decked out with cobwebs, witches, spiders and tombstones. To me, it’s just a waste of money. I know some people love that stuff. But I don’t.

We don’t even carve pumpkins at our house. {Although I do love roasted pumpkin seeds!}

Just call me the Halloween Scrooge:

Boo-Humbug!

And who doesn’t love Halloween candy?

Of course I did as a child. But as a shy kid, going up to a stranger’s or even a neighbor’s door yelling “Trick or Treat!” made me nervous.

As an adult, having Halloween candy around the house to give to the kids trick-or-treating just meant having leftover candy to overeat. And feel guilty about.

It’s the weather, too.

It’s this time of year that the overcast skies, wind, cold and rain start to depress me. In the Midwest, kids often end up having to wear winter jackets over their costumes when trick-or-treating. So what’s the point in dressing up anyway!? I hated that as a kid.

Maybe it’d be different if…

…I lived closer to my nephew. Maybe I’d take him trick-or-treating or to a Halloween party. Maybe I’d take pictures of him in his costume every year. Because Halloween really is about the kids, right?

In recent years, I’ve combated my depression of the weather this time of year and my disdain for Halloween by traveling:

  • In 2006, we took our trip to Paris at the end of October/beginning of November.
  • In 2010, we went on our Honeymoon at the end of October/beginning of November.
  • Last year, over the weekend just before Halloween, we visited my friend Penny and her husband Jeff in Iowa and celebrated a wine weekend with other Wineaux friends.

But there have been times that I’ve really tried to embrace it.

I’ve gone to parties with my husband: once as Static Cling with some dryer sheets pinned to me {he thought it was stupid}, another time as Shaggy {an itchy polyester costume that didn’t fit very well, made me feel self-conscious and that I couldn’t wait to take off} to go along with Rob’s Scooby costume.

My best costume however, was probably that of Mary Katherine Gallagher from the SNL skit. Although it should have been an easy costume, it was stressful for me to find and gather each of the pieces. But it ended up turning out great. I wore it out on State Street when visiting my friend Stacey in Madison, Wisconsin. Madison is one of the best places to celebrate Halloween as an adult, especially if you want to check out some fun creative costumes. That was my favorite part!

So, as usual, hate is a strong word. I guess I don’t hate Halloween, I just don’t enjoy it as much as others. I need to find ways that I can enjoy it myself.

This year, I’m running a 5k:

The Spooky Tails 5k Run and 1 Mile Walk. We were invited by our friends Terri and Steve. All proceeds raised by this event will go to Wags & Whiskers Animal Rescue! You know that I’m all about that.

And while I sometimes think it’s cute that people dress up their dogs for Halloween, I also sometimes think the costumes are way too cruel. That being said, we’re giving Sophie a go at it this year. I wanted to get her a costume that was warm in case it is cold and rainy the morning of the race. She’ll be outside for a few hours, the poor thing. But I couldn’t really find anything like that in a short mount of time.

You’ll just have to come back on Monday to find out what she’s dressed as!

What do you love about Halloween?

Cheers~
Carrie