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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Treating the Pups to BarkBox!

Happy National Dog Day!  In honor of this special day, I have a fun pooch-related post for you guys today.

Last month I gave a quick doggie update because a few readers had been asking about them!  They are having a great summer, and a particularly fun month because we’ve traveled quite a bit.  When we go out of town – depending on dog sitter availability and length of our trip – we use a mix of dogsitters and boarding.  Our dogsitters are wonderful and take the pups on long walks every day, and they are always exhausted when we get home.

Indy doesn’t do well with other dogs so he isn’t boarded anymore, but sometimes we still send Huey to “the ranch” – which is a 5 acre boarding facility where the dogs run in the sunshine all day long.  He absolutely loves it, and he sleeps for days after his visits.  And they even have a dog van pick up and drop off service – it’s amazing and I wish we could still send them both there!

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But we’ve definitely learned through the years to pay attention to their individual personalities and likes and dislikes.  In recent years, we haven’t given them many toys or things to play with because they would either be destroyed instantly, or it would lead to lots of fighting and growling.  They each have one of these goughnuts, but that’s the extent of their toy collection.  But now that the dogs spend most of their time separated within the house, I thought it might be fun to try giving them some new doggie toys to play with again.  I got the chance to try out Barkbox, which seemed like it would be a nice treat for them!

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Barkbox is a monthly subscription box that is just for pups!  We’ve tried other boxes at our house before, but it’s always been things for us or the kids.  How fun to have something delivered for the doggies!  Here are a few key points:

  • Each monthly BarkBox contains 4-6 full sized products – including toys and gadgets, all natural, healthy treats, stuffed animals, and more.
  • BarkBox edible products do not include formaldehyde and are made with minimal processing; no glycerin whenever possible; wheat, gluten, soy, corn, filler-free whenever possible; organic whenever possible.
  • Subscribers can opt for the special allergy-friendly BarkBox for pups who are allergic to beef, chicken, turkey, gluten, wheat, soy, and corn. (Users will need to email happy@barkbox.com once they’ve purchased their subscription to get added to the allergy box list).
  • Toys, grooming products, and hygiene products are almost always source from American vendors.
  • Plans range from $19-$29 per month and are tailored to your dog’s size.
  • BarkBox offers heavy chewer boxes, as well as a Scout’s Honor pawlicy where BarkBox will replace an item your pup didn’t like or destroyed too quickly or was otherwise just unsatisfactory.
  • 10% of all profits go to shelters and together with the BarkGood program, they are working with over 3,000 shelters and rescues around the  U.S. and Canada!

We tried two different boxes, and I let Indy help me unpack the first one…

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I thought it was really cute that the box had a theme – this one was “Garden Party!”  I am always a sucker for great packaging, and BarkBox did not disappoint in this department.

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Our first box contained the following: a stuffed bumble bee…

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The Dog Pyramid – for hiding treats inside for the pups to find…

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Hare of the Dog “rabbit recipe” dog treats…

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This TurboPup complete K9 meal bar (I totally remember seeing these on Shark Tank a few years ago!)…

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And this Crunchy Turkey Chew – more on this one down below…

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Our second box was just as exciting to open, and one had a general pup theme with equally adorable tissue paper.

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A fuzzy squirrel stuffed animal…

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Apple Cobbler snicky snaks dog treats…

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This fun rope toy, which I knew would be an instant hit…

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And a butcher’s block bone (again more on this one below)…

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Since Indy was with me when I opened up the boxes, I let him have first pick of the toys.  He went straight for the rope, as expected.

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He tossed it up in the air and rolled around with it for a long time – a definite hit!

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Next up it was Huey’s turn to pick out a toy.  He is a little harder to give toys to, since he is obsessed with playing fetch.  He will turn anything into a game (that never, ever ends).

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I offered him the bumble bee, and he hesitated at first – I think he wasn’t sure if he was allowed to have it?  Then he grabbed it and immediately took off for the steps, which I knew meant he was going to go hide.  This is a classic Huey move.

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About ten minutes later I went to check on him (okay really, on the bumble bee) and I took this as a bad sign…

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I found him in our bedroom doorway looking very sheepish.

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He then preceded to run around our house with the mangled bee, growling at anyone who came near him.  And this whole drama reminded me why I don’t give Huey toys anymore!

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I ended up using some of the yummy BarkBox treats to lure the bee away – poor thing never stood a chance.

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If I were ordering BarkBox again for my own dogs, I’d make sure to opt in for the Allergy-Friendly box – which doesn’t include any chicken, beef, or turkey (as well as the heavy chewers box!).  We actually don’t give our dogs animal bones or treats (as part of our vegetarian lifestyle), so I’d want to make sure I could opt out of those next time.  I gifted our bones to my sister’s pup, who was very happy to receive them.

My dogs tend to be pretty destructive (and possessive) when it comes to toys, so I think this is better suited for dogs who are more playful and treat their toys sort of like kids do with stuffed animals.  I would definitely use it as a great gift option for friends and family!  My little sister has the most adorable puppy who is spoiled rotten with toys and treats.


I mean…seriously.


It would make a fun gift for Sarah (and Darcy dog!) for a holiday or just a nice surprise one month.  And I have a lot of other friends with dogs who I know would enjoy some new treats and toys here and there.


I also think it would be a great gift for any doggie parents who are expecting (or have recently had) a new baby, or for someone who has recently moved or had another big life change.  As I have witnessed firsthand through many moves and two kids, big life changes affect our pups a lot, and we always get our dogs to new fluffy beds or treats of some kind so they don’t feel left out of big transitions.  BarkBox would be the perfect option to send to a pup who has a new house or a new baby brother or sister!


Many thanks to BarkBox for allowing me to try out their boxes!  If you are interested in trying our BarkBox for yourself, Daily Garnish readers can use the coupon code DAILYGARNISH to get one free month on any subscription plan! (So if you purchase a 3-month plan, you’ll receive 4 months of BarkBox, if you purchase a 6-month plan you’ll receive 7 months, etc…).  I hope there are a lot of happy pups out there that get to enjoy some new treats!

Our dogs will be enjoying the snacks from our dogsitter when we head out of town again next week!

This post was sponsored by BarkBox, and all opinions and photos are my own.  Thanks for your continued support of Daily Garnish.

Summer Adventures Part Four: Newport, Oregon.

On my never-ending quest to recap all our summer fun – the adventures continue!  Our first trip of the summer was at the very end of a July – a quick weekend getaway with friends.  Some of our dearest friends moved away back in February, and amidst the sadness of losing them we decided to plan a fun summer trip together to ensure we’d see each other sooner than later.  And before I knew it, July was here!

They moved to central Oregon, so we picked a spot on the coast for our two families to meet.  We had never been to the coast here, so I was happy to go anywhere.  We chose Newport for it’s proximity to us both, for the cute beach town with restaurants and shops, and for the well known aquarium we knew the kids would love!

We hit the road on a Friday afternoon, and almost immediately hit horrible traffic.  Thankfully, I was prepared with car entertainment and lots of snacks, but it was still really frustrating.  It took us almost three hours to get out of the general Seattle area, so what was supposed to be a 5.5 hour car ride ended up taking EIGHT hours.  The kids were total troopers, and we only ended up stopping once!


Side note: A ton of people asked me about this travel tray on Instagram!  The tray pictured above is this one, and while I really liked it, it wasn’t a great fit with Cullen’s Britax Frontier booster seat (because of the arm rests).  We also have the Diono Radian RXT, and the green tray works really well with that seat because it’s a bit narrower!  I actually bought a second tray – this one – that works much better with the Britax!  Cullen loves doing legos or coloring books in the car now, and it’s nice to have an iPad alternative for super long trips. 

After eight long hours in the car, we finally rolled in just before bedtime and just as the sun was setting over the ocean.  It was so beautiful!  We woke up Saturday morning to rain and cloudy skies, so we took the opportunity to check out the Newport Aquarium.  It was seriously awesome, and I took zero pictures.  But the kids loved it, and we’d definitely go back again!

Right as we settled the kids in for nap time, the sun finally came out and the rain disappeared.  It was clear that the three year olds (who were sharing a room) had no intention of napping, so Katie and I got them up and took them out on a special big kids adventure. 

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We headed to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse area to explore the tidepools and find all sorts of awesome sea creatures.

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The tide was starting to come in when we got there, so we only had about an hour or so to check out the pools.  I was so glad we’d decided to sneak out with the big kids, because it wouldn’t have been a good activity for the little ones.  The rocks were slippery and you had to be really careful not to step on sea life!

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We saw all sorts of anemones, urchins, sea cucumbers, crabs of all sizes, mussels, barnacles, and more.  It was really cool to see all the stuff we’d seen at the aquarium in a natural environment!

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Cullen has a serious fear of crabs, so he was a little freaked out by those, but he loved exploring the water and checking out all the little nooks and crannies in the rocks. 

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And it was so fun to see him having fun with Clayton again – they have been best buds since they were newborns, and have spent so much time together in their three short years. 

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The coast was absolutely gorgeous, and while we were there we saw sea lions beached all over the rocks, and a pod of grey whales spouting out in the distance – incredible!

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We headed back to the house just in time for the little ones to wake up from naps, and we all headed out to the beach together. 

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My kids love the beach, and this was their first time at the Oregon coast.  Graham liked the water until he got knocked down by a wave and then he wanted no part in it and stuck to the sand.  But Cullen surprised me by turning into a fish and jumping and splashing for what felt like hours.

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It was such a gorgeous afternoon, and I was so grateful for a sunny beach day after a rainy morning.

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The next morning was cool and overcast again, and we ended up finding a fun boat ride adventure that left out of the Newport Harbor.  It was two hours of exploring, crabbing, and learning about the local area.  The kids got to help with throwing out crab traps, taking water samples, and other fun stuff – they were in heaven.  We went out into the Pacific Ocean for a while, and the water was really rough – some of the biggest swells I’ve seen!

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The boat ride was right at Graham’s nap time, but his nap the day before had been really short, so it was silly to keep the whole group home just for that.  He spent the whole weekend climbing out of his Pack N Play – not cool at ALL.  I gambled and thought if he was tired enough maybe he’d conk out in an Ergo.  It worked, and he slept for over an hour!


The rest of Sunday was spent at the beach, enjoying the wide stretches of sand and the gorgeous coastal scenery.  I’ve spent so much of my life enjoying the east coast beaches, and while I absolutely love it there, I can’t quite get over how beautiful it is on the Pacific. 

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The kids loved what they were calling “sand waves” – the giant dune areas toward the back of the beach – and they had fun racing across them and chasing balls and just being silly together. 

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I feel so lucky that we have great friends that truly feel like family, and I know that even though we live further apart now, our families will continue to make these memories together for many years to come.

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We left feeling like the weekend went by way too quickly, but excited to know we get to go back and explore this area again before the summer is over.  Our car ride home was a smooth 5.5 hours with zero traffic, and left me feeling much more positive about doing it again.  I’m planning to do a post about road-tripping with kids in a few weeks, since we’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks through our travels these past few months.  We have one more big trip planned, and it’s back to the Oregon Coast this coming weekend – we are counting down!

Hope your week is off to a great start!

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