Happening Right Now

by Heather on June 25, 2010

What’s that? Another post title requiring an explanation?!  Don’t worry, we’ll get there :)  For now, though, HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

So I tried something new for breakfast yesterday…chocolate peanut butter banana soft serve on top of plain yogurt on top of a sliced banana:

Don’t be fooled by that pretty face…it was not really that good.  BUT at least I can say I tried it, right?!  The only thing was there was a stark contrast (in a bad way) between the sweetness of the soft serve and the tartness of the yogurt.  Apparently one doesn’t think of these things at 7AM…regardless, now we know!

Mid-morning snack was my Friday treats inspired by the Coconut Cream Topped Brownies from How Sweet Eats!

I say “inspired” because this was yet another instance where I didn’t have all of the ingredients the recipe actually called for, so I made do with coconut flavoring and toasted coconut on top rather than the full gamut of amazingness the Jessica recommends :)  Still delicious though!  For lunch I prepared some leftover spelt berry salad topped with pineapple salsa:

I also had a small plate with a few leftover asparagus spears, mashed potatoes, and chips for dipping the salsa mixture:

My fickle stomach decided that the spelt berry salad combo was just not cutting it, so I ate the pineapple salsa off with the chips and then devoured the mashed potatoes and asparagus.  What else could I do? If the tummy wasn’t having it, it wasn’t happening!

I took a walk on my lunch break and just about DIED from the heat (woe is me!  I live in Colorado and complain about heat…anyone else see anything wrong here?)!  Seriously though, it was HOT outside…I had to stop in the shade a couple times because I felt like I was about to keel over…

As soon as we got home I knew exactly what I was making for dinner:

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program I was offered a coupon (rephrase:  I signed up for a coupon) for a free Buitoni meal for 2:

And with beliefs like this could you blame me?!

Buitoni, you are correct!  Exceptional meals don’t require a ton of ingredients or special packaging!  This is what came in the box…a package of ravioli and a package of garlic butter sauce:

It was incredibly easy to prepare:  put the sauce in the water you’re going to boil the pasta in before it starts boiling.  When it starts boiling, add the pasta, and boil for another 5 minutes.  Drain the pasta, cut open the sauce packet, mix.  ANNIHILATE.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy! In all seriousness though, this had amazing flavor.  I would recommend salting the water (I didn’t and wish the pasta was a LITTLE saltier), but otherwise the filling was fantastic and the sauce had great flavor and consistency.  Thinking back on it now I should have done a shot of a ravioli cut open, but there was a TON of lobster and shrimp in every bite!  I was also encouraged to see that a serving was actually more than just a couple ravioli, too.  So many times you find a frozen meal for 2 that has the tiniest portions, but this was just right!

Thanks Foodbuzz and Buitoni!


This Marriage Ref Post deals with something that is actually happening right now (hence the post title)!  One of my co-workers and her husband recently purchased their first home – a brand new house that doesn’t even have grass in the yard yet!  Awesome, right?!

They also have a 3-year old female Viszla who is housebroken.

The husband is very passionate about their yard’s potential, and therefore is trying to convince his wife (my co-worker) to re-train the dog to only pee and poop in the rock bed on the side of the yard before he ever lays the sod.  The reasoning (from what I understand) is that he doesn’t want the dog’s urine to kill the grass that he’s planning on working very hard to keep green and clean from dog waste.

SO the question today (for my co-worker!) is this:  Is it reasonable for her husband to expect her to re-train the dog to pee and poop in the rocks rather than in the grass?  Make sure you let us know in the comments!

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet June 25, 2010

Yay for coconut brownies! I could go for some more myself right now. :)

I don’t know if it’s reasonable per se, but I say give it a shot. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work! My parents’ dogs have always gone in their yard, and it has always been green and plentiful…lol. But I can understand how it may not work if the grass is JUST being planted.


2 Jana June 25, 2010

As long as the dog does not pee in the same spot every day the grass will still grow and be green. I would laugh at my husband if he requested me to get the dog to pee in a certain area everyday and then let him know if he wants them to go there than he can train them to do it.

The best part about being in a house is just opening the back door and letting them go!


3 Kathleen June 25, 2010

Hi Heather! LOVING your site…you seem so honest about health and fitness…its refreshing! I just moved to Denver from Philadelphia…and YES, it has been hot here in Colorado!! They say the heat is bearable here b/c there is no humidity, but when its 95 degrees, its HOT, humidity or no humidity!!

As for the dog, we have two dogs and we don’t seem to have a problem with dead grass (besides the lack of rain!). They do make a pill you can give your dog to prevent their urine from killing your grass…but I would be leary of what is in the pill and how it may affect the dog’s health. Keep us posted!


4 allieatfood June 25, 2010

Bummer that your breakfast wasn’t tasty, it looks so good! And for your friend: I would tell her husband that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks ;) That is really hard for him to expect the dog to relearn something now. I’d humor him and say ok but maybe suggest he try to do all the training. I can bet he lightens up after he realizes how hard it is. Good luck to her!


5 Katie June 25, 2010

Hi Heather – love the question you asked today for Marriage Ref, I am going through this right now. I bought a new house 2 months ago and had sod laid in the back yard. My 4 year old Sheltie has completely killed one side of the grass off the deck. From the research I have done male dogs cause smaller burn spots because of the frequency in times they pee in a day. Females normally go fewer times but with more volume and thus make larger burn spots. Even with having a male dog and drenching that area with water the grass has not been able to tolerate it and just gave up. It makes my heart sad to see that beautiful grass yellow and dead. As a result I have 2 options; 1 – I can feed him these pills/biscuits that cause the pH of his urine to be less acidic or 2 – I can train him to urinate on the mulch that surrounds the new grass. Pro’s of option 1 – he can urinate anywhere he wants and according to the product and reviews it works great, also I can just open the back door and not give a thought to training him where he needs to urinate. Con’s of option 2 – do these pills/biscuits have side effects?? I have not found anything online saying they do and the vet says they have not seen anything; but really, so I want to be giving my dog a pill just to have nice grass? Option 2 pros – the grass is green and beautiful and if I train him to Urinate in a specific area I bet the Poop will be there too and that is way less space to cover in cleaning up. Option 2 cons – training takes time, even with smart dogs like Viszlas and Shelties, we’re talking a good few weeks of taking them out to the area on a leash, standing there and rewarding them once the deed is done.
So there you go, that is what I am pondering as well. At this point I am going towards the training – it will take time but it will be the long term fix and I will not have to give him pills that I really do not know what the side effects are.


6 Erin at TheHealthyApron June 25, 2010

Yum coconut brownie!! Not sure about the dog training thing…


7 dorrybird June 25, 2010

The first thing I though is “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” – but maybe it’s possible to re-train a dog at that age. Hmmmm – I wouldn’t want my expensive new grass to die from urine either but I think it should be a joint effort for both of them to re-train the dog, right? :)


8 Mary June 25, 2010

The coconut brownies look wonderful!

I have two dogs (lab – female and Golden Retriever – male)…neither of which have killed any grass yet. I wonder if the type of dog food could cause the urine to be more or less acidic? We feed ours all natural dog food as we thought it may be better on their systems…it appears not to cause a high PH in their urine. The other thing I have noticed is they seem to poop twice as much and we have a lot to pick up everyday (their systems are healthy!)

I had another friend of mine build a dog runner cage. He would let the dog out and trained it to go into another small fenced in area. This area was the bathroom area, which made is easy to clean up the #2 and the dog knew where to go everytime. The rest of the yard was free of landmines for playing catch with the dog. Could be an option if you are really concerned about dying grass. Good luck with the doggy dilemma.


9 Sarah for Real June 25, 2010

It would have been nice to see the actual ingredient label on the Buitoni, since they claim to only use a “few simple natural ingredients.” Just sayin’… I kinda doubt it, sorry.

Onto the dog thing, MY dog pees and poos in the grass and doesn’t “burn” it. She’s only about 17 pounds though, so not much pee there. We also scoop the poo regularly.

Actually, I did some research and it has nothing to do with PH levels but everything to do with the concentrations of nitrogen in urine.


That article suggests that they could get a breed of grass that would be less susceptible to yellowing under the nitrogen.

Another thing to consider would be changing the dog food. Like Katie said, I would worry about what’s in those special supplements. Probably a good quality (e.g. NON-grocery store) dog food is a good place to start.

I think they need to make the decision together, but I understand both points of view. Maybe a little effort to train the dog to pee on the rocks would be worth it in the end to avoid any marriage disputes.

Lawns are VERY important to men… I think it’s a gender thing and women may never understand :)


10 Kristina @goodnweird June 25, 2010

my dog definitely has some lethal pee but i’m such a sucker for him i probably wouldn’t have the heart to re-train him to do his business in one set area.


11 glutenfreemuse June 25, 2010

I’m so jealous you get to go outside during the work day! I eat all of my meals at my desk because I don’t have time to even leave my office :-( Busy jobs are bad for the attitude…a nice jaunt outside would do me good!

I’m in CSprings and yes there is a massive heatwave today (or so I’ve been told). How is the weather up in Boulder?!? So jealous you live there by the way!


12 Heather (Where's the Beach) June 25, 2010

Well breakfast sure looked pretty enough at least. I could see how the two flavors my not mesh. Maybe try sweetening the yogurt with a bit of stevia and cinnamon first?


13 Estela @ Weekly Bite June 25, 2010

Men are so silly when it comes to their yard!

As long as they water the grass frequently, dog pee won’t turn it brown…. and we dog poo is a fertilizer ;)


14 lpskins June 25, 2010

No way! Outside is free territory!! So long as their not going in the house, it’s all good! With that said, I’m sure the dog COULD be trained to go in a specific place but they should make it awesome for her/him.


15 abby June 25, 2010

I say it’s unreasonable for the husband to ask her to do it- If he wants the dog to go in a certain area then it sounds reasonable that he will train the dog!


16 Kelly June 25, 2010

That is pure craziness…I don’t think dog urine is going to kill the grass. If it did I don’t think any of us would have any grass in our yards!


17 Anna June 25, 2010

I don’t think it would be a big deal at all to get the dog to do that…just lead them over on a leash for the first week or two, and I bet the dog will start going there all on their own!

Yummy pasta!


18 Alex @ IEatAsphalt June 25, 2010

Coconut and brownies is one of my favorite combos by far. I’ve never tried any of the Buttoni products but will have to look for them this weekend.


19 lisasfoods June 25, 2010

I think it’s a little silly to worry about the grass so much, but over time the dog will probably get used to using the rocks.


20 Dana B. June 25, 2010

I would not mess with retraining the dog-unless she goes in the exact same spot repeatedly it shouldn’t harm the grass. If it does, they make treatments specifically for grass damaged by dog urine. Why stress themselves and their dog over some grass?

Those brownies look delish-and the ravioli looks yummy too; I may have to try them sometime!


21 Kris | iheartwellness.com June 25, 2010

Hahaha! We were just talking about this dog issue the other day! Hudson used to poop on the rocks and it was so much “easier” now he is all about the grass… I wish the rocks were back in his picture ;)

Have a great weekend!



22 Becki @ HikeBikeEat June 25, 2010

Holy shamoley, those ravioli look incredible! So do the brownies! And the salsa! Crap, I gotta go cook something now – so much for a relaxing night :P Thanks a bunch, heehee :)


23 Sassymom June 25, 2010

Our little 9 pound toy shi tzu , Katie, has absolutely KILLED the grass right by the patio from peeing in the same place all the time. Maybe since they’re just moving in and it’s all new to them, it wouldn’t be such a big deal to train them to go in a certain place. Lawns are really expensive to maintain.


24 Teri [a foodie stays fit] June 26, 2010

I think it’s a GREAT idea. When we moved into our house, we had grand ideas to retrain Maizey to do her business along the back fence. We were too lazy and never did and now regret it since sometimes our feet find landmines.


25 sophia June 26, 2010

I’ve never had a dog, so I don’t really even know how long or how hard it is to train a dog…does it take a lot of time and effort? I can imagine so…


26 theprocessofhealing June 26, 2010

Those brownies look GOOD. Jessia knows what she’s doing.. The ravioli looks amazing too!
And your breakfast sounds so good in theory.. boo :(


27 theexperfectionist June 26, 2010

I’ve considered having the dog trained to pee in one spot. The poo won’t do anything to the yard, but the pee will kill the grass. There is fertilizer for that. If he is that worried about it, he can follow the dog out side with the fertilizer for dog pee spray and spray where the dog peed?


28 Run Sarah June 26, 2010

Coconut brownies?! Those look SO good. I haven’t seen Buttioni products in Canada but after seeing them around the blog world, I’d love to try them. I think it is reasonable to at least try, as the garden seems really important to him.


29 Ashley June 26, 2010

My parents trained my dog at home to go in a mulch bed that they “hid” behind bushes. It was sort of like a dog run. They live in a golf course community with small front + backyards..dog pee DEFinitely browns grass…whenever I would bring Dakota home to visit in a matter of days there were burn marks in the yard. Maybe it matters like some people were saying weather the dog is female/male or what type of grass has been planted. If the yard is small I can totally see training the dog to go in a certain area. I think I would modify the yard somehow to make it easier…like a dog door to a dog run lined with rocks or mulch, so basically that’s their only option. That’s what my bro in law + sis in law do at their house. The dog run is fenced off and is accessed thru a dog door in the garage. Anyway, I guess I don’t think it’s unreasonable to figure out some other option than new grass b/c those burn marks do not look pretty!


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