I hope everybody is having a great weekend! I sure am
I didn’t mention this on the blog (for obvious safety reasons), but my parents have been away in Paris for three weeks and they just got back home yesterday! I missed them so much – especially my mom, because we’re usually constantly texting but we couldn’t while she was gone.
I picked them up from the bus station last night, brought them home, and then stayed the night at their house. This morning, we all went out to breakfast at our favorite local place, George’s. Normally, I would’ve gotten a huge order of French Toast (not quite the low-calorie version that I make at home ), but I decided that a cheese omelet with mushrooms would be a much better choice. I love omelets, so it definitely wasn’t a sacrifice.
After breakfast, my mom and I went to the O.P.I. nail salon and got mani-pedis. I chose this fun sky-blue color for my fingernails and a vampy red for my toes.
I found out that the Empire Beauty School near me that has great deals on mani-pedis, so I’m definitely going to make this a regular habit. Especially because my nails are so short and I really want to grow them out.
After getting our nails done, we took a dip in the pool but it was kind of chilly! A little bit later we headed out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, The Chowder Bowl. It’s a tiny little place in the middle of nowhere that’s only open during the summer, but OH MAN do they have delicious food
Last year, I wrote a cute little post about how visiting the restaurant made me feel like I was going back in time.
(click picture for source)
My Dad and I both ordered Special #2, which is a lobster roll, french fries, and a cup of chowder. Obviously I ordered New England, and it was perfect. The lobster roll was also amazing, as always. My favorite dish to order at seafood restaurants is fried whole-belly clams – but I figured I’d better stick with the lobster roll (which is my second-favorite).
Speaking of which… I LOST ONE POUND! I’m freaking out, seriously so happy. I started my new system of daily healthy goals at the beginning of August and today was Weigh Day – the first time I’ve weighed myself since then. I’m happy to say that my plan worked and I lost one pound! I was super nervous and really worried that I might’ve gained, so I’m so relieved to find out that I was wrong.
I can’t wait to see how the addition of my two new goals affects me next month. Losing one pound in three weeks made me very happy, but I’d also like to see the scale move a little bit faster. I’m hoping the new goals will help me do that, as well as keeping a better eye on portion sizes.
When I got back to Brent’s and my apartment tonight, there was some work to be done. Tomorrow we pick out the new addition to our family, so I had to make sure his home was all set up and ready to go
His cage is pretty sweet. And we made it out of….
That might sound a little weird, but it’s actually a very common tool used for building guinea pig cages. I did tons of research on this, and on the new system of fleece bedding that we’re trying out, so I’m very confident that he will love both.
Here’s the cage all set up (missing one tiny important feature, of course ):
Constructing the Cage
I set up the cubes by connecting them together in a 2×3 rectangle (7.5 square feet). I didn’t put grids on the bottom on the cage, but many people do do that. We were worried that the metal would bother their feet, so the bottom of the cage is basically just the floor. The circle grid-connectors can be a little flimsy, so I strengthened the cage by securing the panels together with cable ties (they aren’t now, but the ends of the ties will but cut short before the little guy joins us – just in case he decides they’re a nice new chew toy).
Fleece Bedding System
To make the bedding, I laid down three towels (which made up two full layers of towel) on the floor, and put the fleece down on top of them. Using binder clips, I secured the edges of the fleece to the bottom of the grids, and then pulled up the slack and clipped the rest of the fabric higher up the grid, to form a little barrier between the guinea pig and the wall of the cage. I didn’t do that on the grid with the water bottle because it wasn’t possible, but I’m sure it will be fine. Once he gets a little bigger, I’m planning to cut down the fleece and only secure it around the edges. In the beginning, he will be so small that it’s possible he could slip through one of the spaces in the grids or get his body/paws stuck in them. Once he gets bigger, that won’t be necessary.
I love the fleece bedding set-up! It’s so freaking comfy – he’s going to be in heaven. You’re probably thinking: “Ummmm… what if he goes to the bathroom?” Yes. I know. We do have a little “litter box” area set up in the corner of the cage at the eating/drinking station. Apparently guinea pigs often to like to go to the bathroom while they’re eating, so we’re hoping we’ll be able to catch a lot of it there and sort of train them to use that spot like a little box. But, that doesn’t always work and there will always be accidents. It sounds weird, but using fleece as bedding actually does work. We hope.
Fleece is a special kind of material. Any liquid in the cage will go right through the fleece, and soak into the towels below, leaving the top layer clean, dry, and stink-free. Every few days, the top layer will need to be vacuumed to pick up solid waste, and once a week, the towels and fleece will need to be washed in vinegar and allergy-free laundry detergent.
The benefits of this system are that: (1) the fleece is nice and soft on the piggie’s little paws, (2) so much cheaper than wood shavings, (3) super customizable and awesome. The fleece on there now is just an old navy one that Brent had lying around at his parents’ house, but I also bought a yard of fleece from Walmart (for about $6) that’s bright tie-dye! Apparently guinea pigs love bright colors and it makes their cage awesome and exciting.
To be honest, I didn’t really do the Healthy Goals Checklist today. It was really hard to try to count the protein and fiber in restaurant food – like, impossible basically. I also didn’t eat a lot today. I only had the late breakfast and dinner I talked about because I just wasn’t that hungry for some reason.
So, while I didn’t necessarily hit all my goals, I did a good job making healthy choices while eating out and didn’t go overboard. I call that a success There are always going to be days like these when I can’t really use my checklist, but the trick is to not use that as an excuse to go crazy.