Monthly Archives: May 2011

10 Steps To A Well-Balanced Life

Hi “And Her Little Dog Too” Readers!! I am so thrilled to do a guest post for Leslie as she celebrates on her honeymoon.


My name is Bobbi-Marie McCormick and I write a blog called NHerShoes about maintaining a healthy lifestyle in a crazy busy world. I wear several different hats every day as a wife, cook, runner, camp host, blogger, small business owner, and kickboxing instructor! Hope you stop by sometime. 
I thought I would write a fun guest post about balanced living.

A Start To A Healthy, Well-Balanced Life

We all have 24 hours in a day, but do we utilize every minute? We all know what it means to plan but how do we do it? It is not easy to live a healthy, well-balanced life, but I promise it can get easier. We all have the tools and resources to help us organize our lives: planners, cell phones, calendars, PDA’s, Gmail task lists, and much more.

So why is balancing our lives so hard?

It’s because we are people who love to do it all. We all want to be super wives, super moms, and super women! The more you take on, the more stress you receive and the less time you get to truly live your life to the fullest. Do you want to come up for air?

Here are 10 simple steps that I do myself. I hope it helps you get on the path to living a more healthy, well-balanced life

1.  Sit down on Sundays for no more than 1 hour and plan out your weekly meetings, workouts, meals, and social gatherings. I know things will come up and that’s ok, but having a plan will help you to make it easier to make a “yes” or “no” decision.  I once heard this quote that changed my life, “No one plans to fail, but so many fail to plan.

2.  On the weekends, prep some of your meals for the week. Cut up vegetables, cook rice, make a pot of stew, or even prepare a casserole that you can stick in the oven when you get home.  

3.  Make a one stop grocery shop. If you plan out your meals for the week you can go shopping and get all the supplies you’ll need. Instead of wasting time making those small unnecessary trips. I am really trying to work on this one!

4.  Give up busyness!! Plan on spending some time engaging in meaningful activities that nourish you life. Make a date with a friend to have coffee or make dinner with. If you have kids plan a date night to get in some quality time with your Hubby.  

5.  Multi-task!  Women are known to be pros at this! Get your exercise and girl time in by taking a walk with your girlfriends instead of getting dinner out together.

6.  Take time for yourself. Do some yoga in the morning at home, go for a jog or walk, take a bath in the evening, or even go to a local library and just sit and read. Do whatever you need to do to refuel yourself! You are only as good as your last day of rest.

7.  Don’t be a “yes” woman! Practice saying “no.” I have a hard time doing this — I want to be there for everyone and hate not being able to help. It is ok to say no to someone… they will understand. It is worst to say yes and feel stressed about it!

8.  Give up all unnecessary things on that to-do list. Clean up your days and start making time for the things that matter.

9.  Smile and laugh as much as possible. This is not only good for your health, but does wonders for your spirit.

10. Be spontaneous. If you are anything like me, breaking plans is difficult, but be open to change and live your life, not the plan!
Thanks for reading!

What are some of your tips to living a healthier, more balanced life?

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SkinnyRunner’s Photography Tips

Hey kids, while Leslie’s off consummating her marriage, she asked me to guest post.  Since I know pretty much nothing about blogging, I decided that it was only fitting that I gave out blogging tips, specifically photography ones.  So here’s the absolutely useless, SR guide to blogography:

1. When in doubt, take a picture.

A good post needs lots of pictures.  Mainly because the more pictures there are, the less you have to write.  Always a plus in my book. 

Seriously though, pictures can help to tell a story and keep your readers interested at the same time so don’t be afraid to liberally use pictures.


2. The very best camera is the one that you use.

If you won’t use a big, expensive, professional camera then don’t spend 4 mortgage payments on it.  The best camera is the one you have on you because it’s pretty darn hard to take a picture without one.  And reversely, if photography is a passion of yours, invest in a quality camera or photography classes and showcase that on your blog.  (Somehow my passion for celebrity gossip and candy haven’t quite come in as handy….)

I use a small point-and-shoot, nothing fancy or expensive, but I almost always have it in my purse with me.  I’ll never win a photography contest, but when someone craps their pants in a race, I’ll be there to memorialize it.  And that, my friends, is priceless.

PICTURE #2 – runner pooping


3.Don’t worry about what other people are thinking.

At first you might feel awkward always whipping your camera out and taking random pictures,(What are people thinking of me?!) but you’ll get over it and start to accept it as normal.  I’ve never had anyone say anything to me, and trust me, I take pictures in some weird places…. hello, bathroom self portraits.


And if someone does say something, it’s an opportunity to talk about your blog.  Self promotion, baby!

3.  Don’t take it too seriously.

Try to focus… and maybe even on the right subject.  But if not, just joke about it.


Thank you, oh so dumb camera for focusing oh so perfectly on that dumb branch.  Priorities are clearly not in the right order.

If you don’t always take great or even decent pictures (like me) at least you can make fun of them.  No one expects you to be Annie Leibovitz so have some fun with it.  Sometimes the best pictures are the funny outtakes.

4. Don’t be afraid to take pictures of yourself!

Unless you have a supremely boring life, and we all have something interesting about us, people want to know about you!  You are what makes your blog unique.  So take pictures and put yourself out there because your readers want to see you.  (I’ve obviously got this tip down pat)


What are some of your favorite photography tips?

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A Honeymoon Hello

Hello everyone! Greetings from Greece!


Honeymoons RULE!

We spent the earlier part of this week in Istanbul, Turkey and got to Athens, Greece yesterday. We have been having a blast seeing the sights but I am getting really excited for our cruise of the Greek Islands next week followed by a relaxing end to the honeymoon in Santorini!

Charles wanted history (which is what we have been doing this week) and I wanted beaches (which is what we are planning on doing next week) so everyone is happy on our honeymoon! 


I can’t wait to share our trip with you – we have seen and done some amazing things! Stay tuned and I will try to post again soon!

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The Honeymoon Litmus Test

Hello there, And Her Little Dog Too readers! My name is Jenn and I write the blog Eating Bender. Typically, you will find me talking about Coffee Cocoa or mentioning some guy named Papa Bender. He’s too modest to tell you this, but his fajitas are ridiculously good.

When I’m not using kooky nicknames, I also enjoy talking about the recipes I make with my new husband, Bobby. We were married on October 16, 2010.

Guest Post #1

So when Leslie asked me to share a guest post about our honeymoon, I jumped at the opportunity. You see, our honeymoon was a wild ride, and I mean that quite literally. Which brings me to the point of the post. Something I like to call The Honeymoon Litmus Test.

A litmus test is defined as a test in which a single factor (such as an event) is decisive. In other words, there is one shining, standout moment that determines the outcome.

For our honeymoon, that moment came on a tandem bicycle ride.

Guest Post #2

We look so carefree, don’t we? Don’t let our reflective ankle straps fool you.
Of course, we had no idea what was in store for us that day and for the most part, our tandem bicycle adventure was a lot of fun!

We were able to enjoy the fresh fall air in Napa Valley while riding from winery to restaurant to winery (And to avoid any confusion, please know we made sure to wait long enough between each trip so that we were clearheaded and responsible on our two-wheeler.)

Guest Post #3

It was only when we were on our way back to the bike shop that calamity struck. We were greeted by rain upon leaving our final stop on the tour: Whitehall Lane. It wasn’t pouring, though, so we decided to buck up, throw our hoods over our heads and pedal.  Just outside the parking lot, there was a railroad crossing. I remembered seeing it on our way in, but at the time we had needed to cross the highway so we had gotten off the bike and walked across.

In Napa they have no set bike paths, so you are basically in the lane next to the road. It’s definitely not the best system, which we soon found out the hard way. As we began our ride back, I noticed the railroad tracks were coming up on my right. Then I noticed they were veering inward – right toward us. It happened in slow motion.

One minute I was yelling to Bobby that the railroad tracks were curving inward as they crossed the road, becoming parallel with our bike tires.
The next second, we were on the ground and I was screaming in pain.

It was an epic crash, I’ll give it that.

Our tires had gotten stuck in the rut of the railroad tracks as they turned parallel with our bike. We spilled out onto the road. Fortunately, no cars were coming at the time and we moved quickly to pull ourselves over to safety.
To make a long story short, the next day we ended up in the hospital, where it was determined that my husband has a scaphoid fracture.

Guest Post #4

Fortunately, when we made it back to our home in Chicago, it was determined that Bobby would not need surgery. Still, he would endure twelve weeks of wearing a cast and more than a month of rehabilitation once it was finally off.
I’m painting a really happy picture of our first few months of marriage, aren’t I?

Here is where the litmus test comes in. Bobby and I could have let our tandem bike crash define our honeymoon in a negative way.

It could have spelled D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.
But we were determined not to let the crash define our experience. And so our last day in Napa was spent touring Castello di Amorosa, among several other exciting venues.

Guest Post #5

Even while my husband and I wore a splint and a very busted up knee, respectively, we managed to treat ourselves like a king and queen.

Guest Post #6 

The royal treatment is what a honeymoon is all about, right?
My point in highlighting the least glamorous aspect of our trip, then, is not to look for pity and talk about how unlucky we were, but rather to share that honeymoons are perfectly imperfect – and I wouldn’t have had ours any other way.

Many of us dream of the flawless wedding and unblemished getaway, but often it’s the things that don’t go exactly the way you planned that are most memorable. They will become the stories you carry with you for years to come.
Find the ability to laugh at yourself. I compiled this before and after video to show you exactly what I mean. Trust me when I tell you that the first clip is truly ironic:

Despite our bruised egos, Bobby and I had the most amazing honeymoon. And now, seven months after our wedding and six months after the epic crash, we could not be happier!

I am so excited for Leslie and Charles and wish them the most amazing wedding and tandem bicycle-free honeymoon! 🙂 Congratulations, you two! Can’t wait to hear your stories.


Jenn (Eating Bender)

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