December 22, 2015

Zuzu the Cavapoo

Note: I've been sitting on this post for a while in hopes I would find the video of when Zuzu first arrived but alas it could not be found.  Enough with the procrastination already!  Here it is:

I thought I'd make a post to officially introduce you Zuzu. She is a cavapoo who has brought a lot of happiness into Brian's and my life since coming to live with us!

We adopted Zuzu (It's a Wonderful Life) at the end of last March, about nine months ago. It was a pretty spontaneous decision for Brian and me though we had discussed getting a dog in the past. The weekend before Brian and I had a week off work I was randomly searching for dogs on sale on Hoobly and I came across a breed I'd never heard of before. When I discovered the cavapoo was a cross between a poodle and a Cavalier King Charles (my dream dog but they shed and usually have bad hearts) I was sold. It didn't take much convincing on my part to get my husband on board. The pictures were so cute AND this dog was low shedding AND we had the entire next week off with no other plans. I had to work the next day and so Brian and I went to the pet store that night to get supplies "just in case we got the puppy".

The next morning Brian drove the two hours to go check out the puppies by himself while I was at work. His best friend lives in the same area so he was able to go visit him as well which was a bonus. When Brian told me he bought the puppy and sent pictures to my phone I was SO excited to get out of work and meet her!

First picture I saw of yet unnamed Zuzu

When I finally got home from work Brian still hadn't gotten there and so I cleaned up a bit and tried to puppy proof as much as possible. When they both got home and I first saw the puppy in the crate I squealed. She was SO tiny! Only three pounds!

The week of vacation FLEW by and I don't think Brian and I left the house together once. I have to admit it was pretty stressful at first constantly having to take her outside and make sure she didn't get into anything bad and she barked and cried the first few nights. She was so cute though and soon got accustomed to her crate and her life with us. We've had fun coming up with nicknames for her including Zuse, Zuzi, Zuzu Magoo, Zuzu Lemon and Shmeshmu. We're weird, don't ask.

Since we've gotten her, Zuzu has grown five times larger and is now sixteen pounds and almost eleven months old. I'm so happy we are long past getting up in the middle of the night to take her out and the horribly long episode of diarrhea she had after being spayed. (Immodium apparently works wonders in dogs too.)

Not feeling so hot.

We are hoping Zuzu is now potty trained. I think her last accident was over a month ago. It's been nice because the winter has been mild so far though even when it has been cold she hasn't minded going out to potty.  She is still very mischievous and likes getting into the bathroom garbage, chewing on chairs and corners of walls and loves to rip the box spring lining from underneath our bed. A few things she has destroyed: The electric cords of two desk lamps, a floor fan, a router and a few Christmas tree lights (our tree no longer lights up-we've kind of given up this year), a couple of Brian's Lacoste hats, and my favorite pair of sandals (I'm sure I've forgotten a few things).  Also there are teeth marks on multiple furniture items and pairs of shoes but I'd like to think it's gotten better and she's chilled out a bit. 

It was a nice crate but the front zipper is completely destroyed and there is a hole in the side. tsk tsk

Raising a puppy can definitely be frustrating (especially for Brian since he works from home) and we still get annoyed with her sometimes but we try to remember that she is still growing and someday she won't have the urge to destroy everything in sight. She's really not that naughty and when we are able to give her a long walk she is the perfect dog for the rest of the day. We love taking her to the many parks in our area though we haven't checked out the luxury dog park that is SO close by. We just can't stomach paying over $35 a month for a membership when there are so many other places to go.

Zuzu is such a sweet girl and has never shown us any aggression even when we are literally smothering her with our love. :) She has the softest, fluffiest fur ever and smells so good! Her conditioner makes her smell very fancy but even when that wears off and it's weeks after her bath she smells like a warm cozy sweater. I can't imagine how empty life would be without her. My favorite time with her is on my days off when I wake up in the morning and sit on the couch and she crawls into my lap and falls asleep. She's going to keep me nice and warm this winter and hopefully many winters to come.

December 11, 2015


I'm back!! I have no excuses for my absence on the blog, just haven't been feeling it lately. Inspiration comes in phases for me and it's hard to feel inspired when I'm not loving life. I've been having some stressful days at work and also missed a couple weeks of my health diaries. I was so motivated when I first started to try to lose some weight but then I had a mini vacation and it threw me off track. I need to learn to remember my goals even when my routine isn't normal and things feel off. Being ok with messing up is a huge part of moving forward and staying positive. I haven't been eating the best and haven't been doing a lot of intense BBG workouts but hey, it's life. I'm not going to beat myself up over mistakes but learn from them instead. From this recent experience I've found I'm not happy dreading workouts and I feel like crap when I eat too much sugar. Now hopefully I can take what I've learned and put it into practice, ie. change the way I think about working out and don’t eat so much sugar!!!  Health and work things aside I have been pretty good.

Things I've been doing lately:

Health Diary Week Seven

Week Seven!
Monday (11/23/15)
Movement: Rest day
Fruit: 3 (Banana and pomegranate)
Veggies: 2 (Lots of mushrooms)
Meditation: No
Notes: Ate more than usual but it is still vacation and I'm not beating myself up.

Movement: Yoga and hill HIIT
Fruit: 0!
Veggies: 2 (Green pepper and onion)
Meditation: No
Notes: Not the most healthy but I'm happy I worked out!
Movement: BBG Legs
Fruit: 0
Veggies: 1 (spinach)
Meditation: No
Notes: Last day of vacation and though I have been indulging recently and have eaten too much candy for the past six days I don't feel terrible because I didn't over eat today so it is a win!

November 28, 2015

Health Diary Week Six

Ahh I've been slacking and am late to get this posted because I haven't wanted to get on the computer during my little vacation. I'm still here though and I'm still doing this!

Monday (11/16/15)
Movement: Rest day
Fruit: 2 (Banana and Apple)
Veggies: 3 (Black beans and lots of zucchini)
Meditation: No
Notes: I worked 11 hours today so I planned to take a rest day which worked out really well. I am satisfied with my food choices today. It seems to be getting easier to be satisfied at the end of the day and I'm hoping it's not just a phase. I keep reminding myself to take it one satisfied day at a time and the changes will come!

Movement: Walk and hill HIIT
Fruit: 1 (Apple)
Veggies: 0
Meditation: No
Notes: Not terrible but could be better.

Movement: BBG legs
Fruit: 3 (Apple, pomegranate)
Veggies:2 (black beans and zucchini)
Meditation: Yes
Notes: I did not eat great today. Had a crappy couple days of work and feeling down but tomorrow is my last day and then I have six days off so really looking forward to some much needed vaca!

November 16, 2015

Health Diary Week Five

Monday (11/9/15)
Movement: 60 minutes yoga
Fruit: 1 (Apple)
Veggies: 2 (Asian salad)
Meditation: Yes
Notes: A satisfying day!

Movement: 2.5 mile walk and 60 min pickleball
Fruit: 2 (a big pomegranate)
Veggies: 0
Meditation: Yes
Notes: A good day food-wise though I really need to hit the store and buy some veggies! In other news I hurt my heel playing pickleball :(.

Movement: W1 BBG Legs
Fruit: 1 (Apple)
Veggies: 1 (Black beans)

Meditation: Yes
Notes: Satisfied! We went shopping so I have some veggies!

November 13, 2015

Love Bit #4 Big Magic!


Big Magic is the latest book by Elizabeth Gilbert, one of my favorite authors. I was able to borrow the audiobook through the library and I loved it so much I listened to it twice and I am probably going to end up buying a copy of the book so I can highlight and underline and reread over and over. Big Magic is all about nurturing your creativity and letting go of any fears of being vulnerable or failing or trying to be perfect or anything that keeps you from living a creative life. It inspires me to work on this blog and get back into painting and start new projects around the house. Sometimes I feel so intimidated by a task because I have such grand aspirations about the final outcome I let the pressure and fear of failure keep me from even attempting the thing. Big Magic helps me to see that I don't need to be the greatest writer in the world to enjoy blogging and I don't need to have an eye for art to enjoy painting. I create things for me. It's the process that brings joy to my life, not the end result. I think everyone can benefit from reading this book and exploring their creativity. Being creative brings such joy and sense of fulfillment in a way nothing else does, and I've learned it is just plain fun to play around and make something that didn't exist before me!

November 10, 2015

The Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide

I have decided I'm going to try Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (BBG) once again. Who is Kayla Itsines?  Kayla is a personal trainer from Australia who creates and sells very popular fitness and nutrition guides on her websiteI first discovered her on Instagram when I noticed many girls posting pictures of their impressive BBG results. I haven't tried Kayla's nutrition guides but own both of her BBGs. Each guide is twelve weeks long and consist of 28 minute strength routines which are performed two to three times a week (for the first guide). You also work in days of stretching, LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) and eventually HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. 

I started the BBG workout about six months ago and made it to the middle of the second month in the first guide. I loved it at first because the workouts were shorter than my usual workouts yet they were intense and I was always pushed to my max. I could tell I was getting stronger, especially my arms from doing all the push-ups and commandos and my thighs from the killer leg workouts. My cardio was improving too and I was pleasantly surprised with my 5K race result I achieved around that time, especially since I wasn't running much at the time and on race day we arrived late and had to run around a bunch of slower people.

Very decent time for me anyway!

November 8, 2015

Gentle Weight Loss Plan Update

Progress so far:

Starting weight 141 lbs
Week four: 139.7 lbs

So I have to admit it's nice to see my weight go down a little but everyone's weight fluctuates by a few pounds and who knows if this is a legitimate weight loss or not. There is little to no change in the photographs and even if there is, maybe I just ate less salt today (doubtful though because it was a bit of a binge day...). Anyway the only way to find out if I'm really making progress is to keep on keeping on! 

The Plan, Phase Two

For the next month I am going to keep tracking everything like usual except I will write my satisfaction level in the 'notes' section and instead of 'food' I will document my number of vegetable and fruit servings eaten during the day. I need to be a little more intentional about putting good things into my body. I am not going to be tracking my green tea anymore because although I want to continue to drink it, it doesn't really affect me mentally or physically if I don't. I am also going to be stepping my workouts up a notch and give the Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide another try. More on that soon! 

*Edited and blurred photo because there is more to life and health than how we look! (January, 2016)

Health Diary Week Four

Day 22 (11/2/15)
Movement: Arms and abs
Food: Satisfied!
G tea: Yes
Meditation: Yes
Notes: Way to start this week off right, me! My goal is to have at least five satisfied days this week!

Day 23
Movement: Walk and hill HIIT
Food: Satisfied!
G tea: Yes
Meditation: Yes
Notes: Happy with my food choices and happy I got in a little workout when I was planning on having a day off.

Day 24
Movement: Long walk in the park
Food: Satisfied!
G tea: Yes
Meditation: Yes
Notes: A good day although I think I ate some bad mushrooms. :(

November 7, 2015

Love Bit #3 My Raspberries!

This was my first full year owning raspberries plants. Brian and I moved into our house last July and the previous owner had let the plants get so overgrown we didn't get many raspberries. Last winter I thinned out the plants and did some pruning and though I haven't been diligent with the weeding and pruning since, my raspberry harvest has been a lot bigger this year. The summer harvest was pretty thin but this autumn I've been able to gather a couple handfuls of raspberries every other day which I have been putting in the freezer until I decide what I want to do with them. I tried to make raspberry muffins with the summer berries but they didn't turn out that great. Maybe raspberry banana smoothies are in my future! Ooh or raspberry banana pancakes!

November 2, 2015

Halloween Weekend 2015

This year Brian and I took advantage of the fact that Halloween fell on a Saturday. I haven't done anything special for Halloween in probably ten years though it was one of my favorite holidays when I was young because hello, FREE CANDY. I don't love going to bars anymore and I've always hated masks, so going out to costume parties/bars as an adult on Halloween has never appealed to me. This year Brian and I decided to do something different and have our out-of-town friends Mike and Sara over for the night to make the holiday a little more fun.

In preparation I hung some orange streamers and attempted to make caramel apples. The streamers were festive but the apples were a fail because I cooked the caramel too long and after it cooled on the apples it became so hard the apples were practically inedible. I made it work though. 

Ugliest caramel apples turn into abstract art and then are carefully de-caramelized and devoured.

November 1, 2015

Health Diary Week Three

Here are my notes for week three:

Day 15 (10-26-15)
Movement: Rest day
Food: Not satisfied
G tea: Yes
Meditation: No
Notes: Forgot to meditate when I got home from work. It was an unusual work day which always throws my routine for a loop.

Day 16
Movement: Legs
Food: Ehhh not so much
G tea: Yes
Meditation: ..well I tried but Zuzu was being a pistol and then Brian came home with Panera. So no.
Notes: Was proud of myself for working out before work today since I was scheduled to start work two hours later than usual. So at least that part of my day went well!

Day 17
Movement: 20 min cardio and 20 min arms
Food: Satisfied
G tea: Yes
Meditation: Yes
Notes: Today I had a great day at work and a great day at home! Why can't every day be this way? 

October 30, 2015

Me, Social?

A while ago I'd been feeling like my life was getting a little monotonous. I could have worked on some projects around the house or done some cleaning and organizing but my motivation to do anything had been majorly lacking. Sometimes I forget how much spending time with friends and family can improve my state of mind. Thankfully this past month my social calendar has been pretty full and it has helped to elevate my boredom and also make me a little more productive when I do have free time.

My activities this month included a trial Dungeons and Dragons night with some work friends (it was everyone's first time playing and was pretty fun! It's ok you can make fun of me), a visit downtown to check out some cool art and have dinner with Brian and his parents, I had a girls afternoon with lunch and a movie (Crimson Peak) this past Sunday, and this upcoming weekend Brian and I are having our Lansing friends and their vizsla over to do fun Halloweeny things. Along with working every third weekend it sounds like I had a very full month but surprisingly it doesn't feel overwhelming or like I have no time for myself which is how I sometimes feel when I have a lot of social engagements scheduled. 

October 28, 2015

Love Bit #2 Wella Bars!

Wella Bars are my latest Costco discovery.  I love finding new foods to try and I love the convenience of bars so I decided to pick these up the last time I was browsing the refrigerated section at Costco.  I've been wanting to find something to replace my Quest Bar addiction since Quest Bars are pretty expensive and I've been eating them so often they aren't as special as they used to be. Wella Bars are organic and made primarily of peanut butter or almond butter. They are creamy with slightly crunchy bits and taste like nut butter that has been sweetened and concentrated into a bar form. There are three different varieties in each box and I think my favorite are the Powerful Peanut bars, but I really enjoy them all.  While the bars aren't super cheap (I believe a box is around $17) they are cheaper than Quest Bars and I don't have to buy them online which is nice.  Wella Bars are delicious and different and they are my new favorite thing to eat during my early morning commute into work.

October 26, 2015

Health Diary Week Two

My second week of my health journey went pretty well. I feel like I'm doing a little better with remembering my goals and I had a few days of feeling really happy and positive which is always a nice change from PMS week.  I find when I slip up the happy days can be hard to come.  Just one more thing remember when reaching for the candy bowl for the fourteenth time. 

Day eight (10/19/15)
Movement: Another rest day
Food: Unsatisfied
G tea: Yes
Meditation: No
Notes: I had to work two hours overtime today so I just felt like I needed to chill with my family. Looking back I think I would have felt much better had I meditated and worked out. :/

Day nine
Movement: Nope
Food: Nope
G tea: Nope
Meditation: Nope
Notes: Also forgot to make tea for tomorrow. Moving on!

Day ten
Movement: Leg day
Food: Satisfied
G tea: No, see yesterday.
Meditation: Yes and I love it, why don't I do this every day???
Notes: Feeling much happier tonight than yesterday, that's for sure! 

October 23, 2015

Love Bit #1 October!

Love bits are mini posts about random things I love at the moment. A love bit might be something I am grateful for or something exciting or new or edible or cool, just something that brings a bit of joy or amusement to my life. A lot of people post about their favorite things on a weekly or monthly basis but I'm not going to hold myself to any set schedule, I'd rather feel free to post whenever the sharing urge strikes. 

My love bit of the moment is October! October is one of my favorite months because I love when the leaves start changing color and the temperatures get a little cooler. I look forward to going on fall walks and runs every year and this year I've had more excuses than ever to get outside and burn some energy with our puppy Zuzu.  Walks in the park with the 50 foot leash are our favorite and when the scenery is beautiful it's even more enjoyable. I get such a feeling of awe when sunlight causes the leaves of a tree to appear as if they are glowing.  It's the same feeling I get when I see a beautiful sunset or a massive fireworks display, it's captivating and I feel like I could stare for hours!


October 19, 2015

Health Diary Week One

This was my first week tracking my level of satisfaction with what I ate each day.  It's the first small change I am making towards improving my health and wellness.

Day one (Monday, Oct 12, 2015)
Movement: 4.3 mile run/walk (mostly walk)
Food: Satisfied!
G tea (green tea): Yes!
Meditation: Yes!
Notes: Had a normal breakfast and lunch at work and for dinner ate a bunch of munchie randoms-not exactly healthy but I didn't over eat so it is a win for day one!

Day two (10/13)
Movement: Rest day
Food: Not very satisfied
G tea: Yes!
Meditation: No :(
Notes: My dinner was basically Costco samples and half a wheel of Brie. Probably not the most nutritious. Went to bed trying not to hate myself.

Day three (10/14)
Movement: Easy 45 minute yoga and 15 minute walk.
Food: Satisfied.
G tea: Yes.
Meditation: Yes.
Notes: So grateful for a new day and a new opportunity to try again. I need to remind myself to think about how I feel when I make good choices as opposed to poor ones. 

October 17, 2015

Fat Fat Fat!

I've spent a lot of my life feeling fat. I’ve never been fat. The heaviest I've ever been was in college when I gained 25 pounds bringing my weight to 155, still just within the normal BMI range. I think it was a gradual thing, my obsession with body image and weight. It probably started around junior high and continued on until, well, pretty recently if I’m being honest.

In high school I knew multiple people who were anorexic or bulimic including a close friend, and I'm sure that along with typical magazines and media increased my obsession with how I saw myself-fat. I found a kind of funny but sad journal entry I wrote while on vacation with my family many years ago. Sisters can be brutal. :)

If you can't read it, it says (grammatical errors included because it's comical):

Sometimes I hate Skye so much. She can be such a brat! She and I were kinda fighting and she said something like "Your getting a little big around your waist" It really hurt my feelings cause it's true. So I've decided to go on a diet. Try to eat healthy foods NO CANDY unless its to take out a bad taste (medicine) in my mouth. And not a lot of other foods like snacks. Plus whenever I can I'll go to the YMCA and work out in my room w/ waits and streaching in the basement. If it doesn't work maybe I'll eat diet pills or something.
Anything to show Skye how wrong she is (or will be). 
And I'll stop biting my fingers & stuff and try not to complain at all.  
Maybe I'll even start running w/ Kara if I can work up to it. 

October 14, 2015

My Gentle Weight Loss Plan

One of the main reasons I wanted to create this blog was to discuss my feelings and experiences with health and wellness and so here is where I will start. I would like to get on track with my physical being and make it back to my "happy weight", a number that would require me to lose a few pounds. Somewhere between five and ten to be non-exact. Although I am currently within the healthy BMI range, there have been many a binge day in the past year to get to this point. Lately my feelings towards food have become pretty unhealthy. I've been mindlessly eating, sometimes from insatiable hunger other times from boredom and habit but regardless of the cause the effect is always uncomfortable fullness, endless guilt and obsessive thoughts. I am trying to find my way to a healthy state of mind, something I probably haven't had since middle school.

I've tried fitness and diet programs in the past but never been able to stick to them. Even the idea of being on a program feels restrictive and so this time I'm going to try a more gentle approach. I'm not going to jump into this weight loss thing restricting calories or cutting whole food groups out of my diet. I'm going to do this in the most humane and enjoyable way possible-hopefully it will be possible...

I've learned the more you remove from your diet the more you can never eat again-or if you do you might experience some undesirable symptoms like headaches, intestinal distress or guilt.

I believe even the smallest changes can make a big impact and so here is my plan. (Please know I am not a nutrition or fitness expert I am simply taking what I have learned from past experiences to create this plan. I've never done this before and I'm sure I will make changes and possibly mistakes along the way. I'm not telling anyone to follow this plan, I'm simply sharing the process for my own good.)

THE PLAN (for now)

For the first few weeks I'm going to focus on simply tracking my satisfaction level concerning my food choices for the day. I will also include my workout of the day just to show a bigger picture.

A daily entry will look like this:

Day one
Movement: Yoga for 60 minutes
Food: Satisfied.
Notes: Ate mindfully and felt content with my choices at the end of the day.

I will also be including two side goals I have been trying to meet every day. The first is drinking one cup of green tea and the second is meditating for at least ten minutes. I've only been about 50% successful up until now so I will be tracking this as well.

Looking at the big picture and remembering I am going to be documenting my satisfaction level at the end of the day might make a difference in the food decisions I make. If it doesn't work and my unsatisfied days outweigh my satisfied then I will make another small change.

No weight loss journey is complete without a few "before" pictures. As much as I'm not looking forward to posting these I think it's important and honest and so I will be brave and hope this motivates me to achieve an improved after picture.  

Height: 5'6"
Weight: 141 lbs

The hearts are to remind me how important it is to love myself as I am in this moment. There is nothing wrong with my body. It is healthy and injury free. It can walk and run and swim and breathe and get me through work so I can help pay the bills and see and hear and learn and love. My goal is to lose a little weight and get back on track. However, if getting back on track just means I no longer feel lethargic and depressed and guilty and regretful from lack control around food, I will consider this experiment a success. Even if I don't lose a pound!

*Edited and blurred photo because there is more to life and health than how we look! (January, 2016)

October 10, 2015


I'm Faith and I'm so happy to have you here!

I want to let you know where my mind was when creating this blog. I was originally going to name it "Filthy Healthy Faith' and have you all come along on my journey to health and wellness, but I realized this would limit what I want to share with the world and make this blog too one dimensional for my taste. So I altered the name a bit to describe what this blog is really going to be about: my journey to being filthy happy. This will of course encompass topics like fitness and healthy living but will also touch on other areas of my life, like what I'm going through currently or my opinion on certain topics or experiences that are important to me or bring me happiness.

"Filthy Happy" to me means having an overabundance of joy, positive energy, and contentment in life. It's something I will continue to work on and strive for my entire life and this blog is going to be my creative outlet and a way to bring more happiness, satisfaction and accountability into my life. I want this blog to be honest and personal and also fun at times and not too serious. I am far from perfect and perfection is never going to be something I am trying to achieve, but continuing to grow as a human being and getting the most out of life is, in my opinion, a very respectable mission.


Full disclosure: I can get easily overwhelmed when I take on a project such as this, so if I feel any inkling of anxiety or pressure to work on this blog I am going to immediately stop until I can find pleasure in working on it again. I know growth isn't possible if you don't put yourself out there and push through challenging times but just trust me when I say you don't want me walking around with no sleep, cystic acne and stomach problems. I'm creating this blog for the world but also for me and if it's not serving me than I cannot serve the world. Also this website is a work in progress so please excuse the mess, I just really wanted to start writing!