new puppy, thepups, Uncategorized

National Puppy Day!

It’s national puppy day!!! Puppies are universally amazing, adorable, and lovable. I should know, having four adopted dogs, 2 still under one year! A lot of people think I am crazy having so many dogs but when you realize all the benefits, it starts to make a lot more sense.

Erin Askeland is a CPDT-KA and Training and Behavioral Expert at Camp Bow Wow (North America’s largest and most trusted pet care franchise). She has shared some awesome tips on the benefits of having a pup (or four…) and how they can truly reduce everyday stress.
When you see all of these great tips, it’s easy to see why adopting a dog is great for everyone. You get to save a life and they get to love you and make yours better, win win for everyone. #adoptdontshop and check out the tips below from Erin! (Bonus video of my pups at the end!)
How Pets Help Reduce Stress
Some studies show that people begin to feel less anxious after spending less than an hour with an animal. There are endless benefits from lowering your stress level and while the things that we find stressful in our lives are often hard to eliminate, adding an animal to your life can help.
  • General Benefits: There’s a reason that they say dog is man’s best friend. Having a pet, not limited to dogs, is something that everyone should experience at some point in their life. Pets can be calming, mood lifting, empathetic, and so much more. They teach you how to be selfless and responsible as you are caring over another life (for those of you without children).  Generally speaking, they make you happy.
  • Helps with Depression: In some cases, therapists suggest that patients suffering from depression that they adopt a pet. An animal will love you unconditionally and also be a great friend and listener. People with depression often benefit from having a pet, as the animal can help them get out of the house.
  • Health Benefits: There are other health benefits associated with pet ownership (particularly dogs). Many studies show that owning a pet has a positive impact on cardiovascular disease, hypertension, infection control, allergies, stress related problems, blood pressure, and psychological issues.
  • Engaged Mind: A key to a healthy mind, especially for those who are elderly, is staying engaged with others. A pet is often a conversation starter and being out with a pet often warrants questions or comments from passersby. Bringing your dog to a dog park is a great way to meet new people with similar interests.
  • Build Your Children’s Confidence: Having a dog in the home can build confidence and manage anxiety and stress in children. Children who struggle with reading or math can gain confidence when reading aloud or reciting multiplication tables to their dog.
  • Excuse to Play: Training and playing with your dog also provides mental stimulation, helps unleash creativity and alleviates stress. Having a dog will also encourage you to exercise as you’ll need to walk Fido regularly.
  • Routine: Having a daily schedule reduces stress for any individual. Having a dog that relies on you at specific times each day (feeding, walking, and sleeping) can help establish a routine.
recipe, recipes, Uncategorized

Paleo almond crusted salmon

So I love love love Parmesan crusted steak or salmon or lamb. I make it with herb garlic Kerrygold butter and cheese and it’s heavenly. It’s also not the most nutritionally conscious meal.  So when I finally realized I could use almond to create a similar taste I got hooked.

Almond makes a delicious addition to any meal and is extremely versatile. They have some great health benefits (check them out here) and are very paleo  friendly. Add them to salmon,  one of my favorite proteins, and it’s a match made in heaven!

This is an easy recipe that takes about 30 minutes to prep and cook.


  • 1lb skinless salmon fillet (wild preferred)
  • 1/2 chopped almond/almond meal
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (organic preferred)
  • 1/2 cup liquid aminos (soy sauce if not paleo)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic (the one in a jar is fine. you can use only 1tbsp unless you’re a garlic freak like me)
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. If you have almond meal, use this because it works. If you don’t grab some sliced Almonds (I prefer Fisher Nuts) and put them in the food processor for 30 seconds or so, until they are chopped fine, similar to almond meal.
  3. Cut salmon into even portions to your liking (2-4 pieces)
  4. Use a glass baking dish/square baking pan/something with sides and spray with coconut oil (or butter or whatever you have to make it not stick), even just line parchment paper)
  5. Place fillets in dish
  6. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  7. Rub a little maple syrup on the tops of the fillets
  8. Sprinkle almonds evenly on top of each portion
  9. Mix maple syrup, liquid aminos, and the minced garlic together
  10. Pour evenly over fillets, letting extra go in the pan
  11. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes
  12. Take out and enjoy with a nice Angry Orchard or glass of wine

I’ve made this over cauliflower rice, with crispy avocado and a salad (as pictured) or with sweet potaoe fries. It is one of my favorite meals and you can use the mixture and crust over lambchops and chicken.




product review, reviews, thepups, Uncategorized

Back to school, to prove to Daddy I’m not a dog that drools (or something like that)


It’s that time for back to school which pretty much just means JoeyWaffles schedule switches back to the night shift and I have 80% of the dog responsibilities. Especially with three dogs, a schedule change means finding ways to keep the pups happy and relaxed.

PetMatrix has released a few helpful tips and tricks for getting pups prepped for back to school:

  • Morning walks – taking your dog for a morning walk is a great way to share some quality time and tire your pup out, before leaving for the day.
  • Plan fun weekend activities – instead of heading to the movies on the weekend, opt for a family park outing with your pup; playing together on the weekends will make up for lost time during the week. I am definitely planning on doing this more and enjoying leash training, exercise, and the gorgeous weather.
  • Create background noise – leaving a television or radio on low volume can provide a sense of comfort to dogs not used to being in a quiet house all day. I do this whenever I leave and switch between classical, country, and easy listening.
  • Keep your pet entertained chewing is an enjoyable and mentally stimulating activity that helps to prevent boredom; instead of turning to rawhide to keep pets occupied, SmartBones offers a healthy alternative, and will help entertain furry family members once kids are back in the classroom. Every morning when I leave, I give each dog a smart bone because it’s their favorite treat and I feel safe knowing they won’t choke or have digestion issues. Plus, they are so bust being excited, they forget about me!

Many veterinarians raise concerns about rawhide chews due to the health risks, including potential choking and digestion problems in dogs. PetMatrix’s SmartBones are made up of a wholesome vegetable outside with real chicken inside – making them 100 percent rawhide-free, low fat, highly digestible and delicious.

Seriously the health benefits are so important and knowing I am giving the pups healthy, safe, and delicious treats makes me happy.

I was holding a SmartBone up as I took this pic and you can see they are excited and ready to go! If you haven’t tried them yet, get on it!

What do you do when your schedule changes with your pets?

Squad Goals



Are you pondering what I’m pondering?

Here are some random thoughts I’ve been pondering…after a glass of wine or two…

-what the hell Gwen Stefani? No doubt you suck these days and need to stop being Blake’s hollaback girl and remember you’re a parent. Seriously, being proud to be a rebound is just tacky. And you can shut your pie hole Luke Bryan cause you have no loyalty to Miranda Lambert and PULEASE Miranda is WAY hotter and more awesome than Gwen so yeah, if he could get Miranda, Gwen ain’t no thang. You keep it real Gavin Rossdale trying to save your marridage and raise yo babies!

-Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving and Stuffing flavored kettle chips are weirdly delicious and spot on in flavor

-Adele is cool and all and ‘hello’ is catchy but I thought she was over her ex? She talked about how this was a moving on album but girl, I do not think so.

-The older I get , the more I appreciate red wine and drink white less (still love it though!)

-Aleksandra from 90 fiance acts like she lives in the Footloose town…which she kind of does. She looks like the lightbulb finally turned on and she realizes 21 is too young to marry and change your entire life when you are a party girl and your man is a young mormon guy. Fernando eats Carolina’s face when he kisses her and he’s such a douche bag. EW. Nikki and Mark…also ew. I actually love Melanie and Devar. I think they’re my favorite couple. Loren is the most annoying spoiled jewish american princess and I feel terrible for Alexei. I know it’s what he signed up for but she seems very self absolrbed. Good luck buddy.

-Grandfathered is actually a really really funny and cute tv show and I’ve added it to my weekly line up. Okay really my Saturday night binge watching but same thing. John Stamos is damn charming and you go Josh Peck! Sorry Drake Bell but turns out cute and funny wins out over cool. Still love ya though!

-Breaking Dawn Part 2 is the new Dirty Dancing for me in that whenever it’s on TBS I can’t stop watching

What are the random thoughts on your mind?-


When you know you don’t know

(so i vlogged and wrote this a few weeks ago but no use not posting so enjoy a rant lol)

honestly, the video screenshots they give me make me look so awkward. then again i am making those faces, so i guess it’s pretty fair. this is from last week but sometimes it takes me forever and then life gets in the way and then i’m all ahhh i didn’t blog and i had a bunch to say and do i post old things and then, well nothing gets done. but today i’m going to finish this post like a boss! also apparently capitalization is not happening either.

i paid $84 for an oil change today, seriously $84?? yikes! i definitely felt #noshopo cause i was sitting at landrover, surrounded by $100K cars and looked like a Khardashian with my dark hair and big ass burt was definitely missing their huge bank accounts.

(okay so i was apparently midpost when i left this but i have no idea where this was going so….let’s just end it here and pretend it was complete…good? good.)


Vlog? say whaaattt!

So. I might be prone to rants. Listen, I’m Italian so it runs in my blood. I mean, it’s not so much ranting as I’m passionate. I mean obviously libraries are amazing and the idea of them losing funding is terrifying, which was today’s lunch rant (p.s. you can go here to learn about saving libraries in your state!). So it was suggested by Danny and apparently backed up by Sara and Ryne and Kevin…so here I am. Vlogging.
Yikes! Here we go…

Leave a comment below and suggest a topic you want to hear my thoughts on and I’ll vlog it.