by agirlandhermutt on July 8, 2016

Hi there! Long time, no write! Despite what this way too quiet space has been telling you, I still do love my little space on the internet. I haven’t given it any love lately. I don’t really have a reason though. Laziness? More than likely. 😉

I was reminded a few weeks ago that A Girl & Her Mutt turned 6 years old. This made me chuckle. Is my blog truly 6 years old if I have neglected it so much? Or is it more like 5 years and 2 months old? 😉

What really prompted me to check in is the multiple emails that I have received from long time readers who just wanted to make sure I was ok.

For so many years I have used this space as an outlet for a variety of things. It has ranged anywhere from restaurant reviews and travel recaps to make-up favorites and my fitness adventures. There has never been any real rhyme or reason to what I post. Which, if I am being very honest, is a pretty good indication of my personality type. 😉

There were a few times in my “blogging career” that I lost sight of what I wanted my blog to be. I tried to make money with it. I tried to make business connections with it. I tried to create an online personality with it. But the only thing I have ever really been successful at doing with my blog is making friends and sharing my life with you all. This has been a place for me to post about fun (and sometimes completely unimportant) things and a place for me to share moments of honesty about my life. When I stick to just using this space as a place for me to share and connect with others, I am happy and in love with my blog. Lesson learned.

This is a picture of me from a few weeks ago. I was at the end of a girl’s weekend in Portland, Maine. We had just spent an amazingly fun weekend together and we were eating lobster rolls right by the ocean. Seriously…how happy do I look here?!


But as I was smiling like a nut, the news was really picking up speed on reports of a shooting overnight at a club in Orlando. I was devastated when I got home and starting seeing all the reports coming in. Should I have been embarrassed about my most excellent weekend? Should I have been ashamed to post about my wonderful time when so many people were suffering? I was unsure. The one thing I was reassured of though was just how lucky I am in life. I didn’t blog because I didn’t want to be seen as callous or uncaring. I didn’t want to be seen as one of those people that just doesn’t give a crap about what is happening around the world.

I ended up posting this picture to Instagram with this text…“I’m so thankful and grateful for my life. Where I am. Who I am with. What I am. And most importantly, Who I am. I am a good person surrounded by good people who do good things. We will continue to lead by example. Love more. Hate Less.”

So to the few of you who emailed to ask how I was doing, I can confidently answer your question….YES! I am ok! More than ok!

But more importantly, are you ok?

Here we are on a Friday. July 8th to be exact.  The world feels like it is a crazy place and that so many people are just…not ok. They feel unsafe. They feel unsure. They feel unloved. They feel scared. They feel like outcasts. They feel unheard. It breaks my heart and like many others, I don’t know what to do or where to start.

Obviously my blog won’t be helping to solve any world issues. We won’t be determining whether gun control should happen in the comments of a July make-up favorites post. We won’t figure out how to make people more accepting of those that are different from themselves on a post about my review of Pure Barre. But what my blog can do is provide a space that is just a *brief moment* of fun and honesty. Maybe a little break from all the armchair activism that happens on Facebook?! One woman’s quest to pursue happiness, acceptance, love, friendship and joy in all things.


If I go back to the true reason I keep this little space on the internet, it is to connect to other people that I may not otherwise have met in real life. I care about you and how you are doing. And that is exactly why I want to get back to blogging. I want to continue to connect to people from all walks of life. Those I agree with. Those I disagree with. I want to share with you and for you to share with me. I should know by now that you all will not think that I am not caring or understanding or ignorant to the things that are happening around me because I choose to use this space for more lighthearted and positive moments.

I can’t make promises on when I will blog. Or how often I will blog. But I can make the promise that I am here.

In the meantime, please let me know how you are doing.

See you soon!



Update: 35 While 35 List

by agirlandhermutt on February 16, 2016

Despite having a less than stellar 2015, I did pretty good on my 35 While 35 list. There are a few items on here that I didn’t do in favor of doing other fun things, but fair is fair and I marked them as not done. Overall, I’m pretty pleased and looking forward to my 36 While 36 list!

1. Visit the arboretum.- Nope! I came close though. I drove by?!
2. Eat at all of the Barbara Lynch restaurants in town.- In Progress! Not all of them. I’m still working on this one!
3. Check out the Skywalk Observatory.- Nope.
4. Visit Nantucket.- Nope! But I did visit SEVERAL other New England spots.
5. Watch a Red Sox game at Bleacher Bar.- No. This was on the schedule twice and both times I had to cancel because of dr appointments. No kidding.

6. Learn to apply false eyelashes.- DONE! I’m just not into them.
7. Develop a solid night routine for face/body/skin. Done!
8. Do a capsule wardrobe for 1 month.- Nooooooo.
9. Create an inspiration board.- No.
10. Find the perfect pair of jeans.- DONE! Well, yes and no. Perfect for my current body, but not perfect in general.

11. Buy an original piece of artwork.- Yes! I bought a few!
12. Complete 2 pieces of artwork for the house.- In Progress! I have one down and one to go! I only got around to 1!
13. Purge! using the Konmari method.- Yes! I’m doing another round soon.
14. Frame and display family & Korky photos. Done!
15. Buy a car.- Done! I am a KIA SOUL owner!

16. Visit the Mystic Aquarium. Done! 7/25/15
17. See the Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight.
18. See a musical/play. Done!
19. Visit the Grand Canyon.
20. Book Australia trip! Done!

Health & Fitness
21. Complete the TIU Bikini Series. Done!
22. Commit to 12 weigh-ins in a row at Weight Watchers.- No, I decided to discontinue WW.
23. Be able to do 5 PERFECT push-ups.- I can do 3!
24. Participate in a biking event.- No.
25. Try a totally new-to-me activity. Done! Aerial Silks Yoga at Ebb n’ Flow Yoga.

Everything else!
26. Learn to make pasta from scratch.- Yes! I made gnocchi!
27. Try 20 new beers and participate on Untappd.- Done! Finished 4/25/15
28. Learn to play guitar.- No.
29. Buy a camera and take a photography class.- 1/2. I got a camera, just no class yet.
30. Visit 3 new breweries.Done! Two Roads Brewing Co., Cape Ann, Ipswich and Riverwalk.
31. Take a couples class. Done!
32. Knit a sweater for Korky.- Well this just makes me extremely sad.
33. Hit 100 classes at one Pure Barre studio.- Ugh. NOOOOO. I have 100 total at a variety of studios, but not at one specific studio.
34. Host a brunch themed party. Done!
35. Create a gift/scrapbook of wedding photos.- Yes!

Completed: 19
Incomplete: 16

Not too bad. A good chunk of the items I missed were from the Local section. How sad is that?!

For every I item I completed, $5 will go towards a new pair of Oakley sunglasses. For every item I don’t complete, $5 will go towards a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Total towards sunglasses: $95

Total to charity: $ 80

*Note: I give to charities throughout the year, but this is just a fun little way for me to give incentive to myself but at the same time benefit someone if I don’t cross things off the list.

My 36 While 36 list will be out later this week!!!


Update: Knee Surgery Recovery

by agirlandhermutt on October 20, 2015

Hi there! I’m all set with my lower body and ready to trade it in.

Despite that super cheery opener, I do have good news to report about my knee surgery recovery. I’m about 3 weeks post op. I progressed pretty quickly from crutches to a cane and now I’m just at using the cane when I know I’m going to be standing for quite some time or walk a lot. Luckily it is one of those collapsilbe canes that I can put in my backpack. Oh yea…I wear a backpack. I’m pretty much Dora the Explorer’s older sister.

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A quick breakdown: I have chondromalacia patella, which is a fancy word for cartilage damage. Part of my surgery was cleaning up all that cartilage so my knee doesn’t keep locking up and the other part was flatening out a wrinkle in my plica, a muscle under my kneecap. I think. It could be something else, but it was folded up a bit and was causing some serious discomfort.

So now I am in Physical Therapy two days a week. Fun! I can do almost all of the exercises with relatively no pain EXCEPT step-ups. I’ve never been good at step areobics so this shouldn’t have been a big surprise. I try so hard and I’m a sweaty mess after my 3 sets of 10 step-ups. Oh how the mighy have fallen!

Part of my therapy includes riding the bike. Originally, I could just do a half rotation. That ended up being SUPER fun because I do my PT on a bike in a regular gym so I don’t move fast enough to make the bike actually turn on. Instead it does that weird beeping noise and flashes “Pedal Faster” over and over and over at me. Way to both motivate me and really entertain my fellow gym go-ers. Just last week I upgraded to full rotations and can do that for about 5 minutes with no pain.

By the way, did I mention I signed up for a spinning clas next Wednesday? Ha. Good going Erin.

Overall, progress is good. I’m still experiencing a few issues but my surgeon wants to see how everything pans out over the next 3-4 weeks. I might still need to get a little cortisone shot. That will be festive.

Since I am not working out like I was before surgery I’ve been much more diligent about eating healthier. I’m down 10lbs since surgery so we are moving in the right direction.

Another part of my recovery is making fitness goals so that I have something to strive for over the winter. Obviously, my biggest one right now is to be able to walk down a flight of stairs. But after that I really want to be back in my spinning class. I miss that group atmosphere and Zumba seems like it will be a little further down the line.

I had huge visions of running a Disney half marathon. Specifically one where I could dress up as Minnie Mouse and my husband would dress as Mickey and have some stupid sign that says “I’m waiting for my Minnie!”. Heh. I’m not saying that will NEVER happen, but it won’t be happening in the very near future. For a variety of reasons really. 😉

What could definitely happens is for me to get more into biking. I’ve decided that next year will be the year of my bike. I was practically attached to it in 2014 and barely touched it in 2015. 2016 I WILL participate in a century ride. 100 miles of me and my bike. First, I need to buy a better bike. And also be able to ride for more than 5 minutes. Baby steps though!

Anyway, that is my update. I can’t lie…2015 has been a really tough year for me. Between getting sick, multiple surgeries and just the stress of every day life, I’m all set with 2015. However, I’m going to make these last few months count so that I can start 2016 on the right foot. And hopefully that foot is attached to a pedal!