A day of strolling on the streets of Budapest, trying out new bars, doughnut shops, and spending some quality time with each other
Last week Echo got a little sick and while I was at home with him, I couldn’t help but think about the first time I met him and the way his path crossed ours. I remember like it was yesterday. In one way, it was a snap decision because I got him while I was on a trip for work but the truth is that we were considering getting a dog for a long time.
We should get a dog – said the heart / Don’t be an idiot – over spoke the brain.
What a constant battle. We went through months and months of pro and con list writing, asking for other’s opinions, looking at puppy pictures on Pinterest (mostly me!!!)..etc.
I had to move to California for about two months but we agreed we will bring the topic up again when I get back. But then plans changed a little…
My roommate in California had a gorgeous husky and she was thinking about getting another one. Oh no…puppy fever is back… I, of course went with her to visit shelters because let’s be honest, I am not strong enough to stay home. We looked at photos online, talked about puppies for hours, it was heaven… but hell at the same time (Can we just adopt all these wonderful, button-nosed babies who are so desperately in need of a loving home?????).
And then one day I came across a picture of a tiny, dirty-white, fur ball. I knew we were in big trouble right away because that puppy had to be ours.
We were looking for a small dog so we can travel with him/her easier. I called my husband right away, forwarded him the picture and he said let’s go and check out the puppy. The place was an hour away, I got there 30 minutes before closing time.
Oh gosh, what am I doing? – I thought as I was nervously standing in front of the door to see my little guy. Yes, he was my little guy and I felt it in my heart. It was a done deal.
They brought Echo out, he was twice as big as on the picture. All his siblings were adopted by 2.5 months but he was still here at 4.5 months old. I think he was waiting for us! ❤ Here is skinny, scared, little Echo the first time we met!
They put him on the ground and the little clumsy dog that I already had so much love for, started sprinting across the room, back and forth, he ran into my legs, wiggled his butt, playfully jumped around me, slipped on the floor, tripped in his own feet, stepped into a water bowl, tried to jump up on the bench but fell…he just couldn’t stop. My heart was full.
I love him – I whispered under my breath
I picked him up, but he couldn’t stop moving (Echo still has this ability up to this day). He was soft, warm and a true love bug.
I couldn’t take him home that night but my roommate and I went back to get him 2 days later. We prepared for the puppy’s arrival, went to Target to get a leash (that Echo destroyed in a month…and then he destroyed another one and another one), bowls, food, a toy! My roommate was truly the best and the biggest help throughout the entire time! She is one of the nicest people I have ever met! I am so thankful for her!
This was Echo’s first toy ever! A frog! I got him a frog because my friend’s nickname (who I missed so terribly much and whose room I was living in) was frog.
I was in love with Echo from the first moment I saw that picture of him. It was so hard to go to work and leave him behind. In the mornings we spend some time out in the backyard. Echo loved his husky friend, Pepper!
I took so many pictures of him and kept sending it to my husband. Here is Echo sleeping, here is Echo eating, Echo laying down, Echo sitting, Echo breathing etc…
Look at that cute face ❤
Mom…I think i have to pee.
Echo loved sitting in front of the house watching people
Eventually we headed back to Arizona but had to make a stop half way there…Our first visit to PetSmart…or I mean…Puppy Heaven on Earth
The first morning after we got home…best friends right away!
and our very first hike that day. It was a short one, Echo was scared to walk far from the car but we got 0.5 miles in 😀 Oh, how things have changed since then haha
And the first bath time…Echo LOVES bath time. He used to go into the tub by himself after his first bath…
Echo is now a year and a half old, he is smart, quick, always happy, loves hiking and a huge advocate of unconditional love. He keeps giving every day and even though it is not easy to raise a dog, I am so happy we made the decision to get one. I am also very happy we didn’t do it earlier. Having a dog comes with a huge responsibility and I don’t think we were ready for it before but now I couldn’t imagine our lives without him.
Questions for you:
- Do you have any pets?
- Are you a cat or a dog person?
Please follow our adventures at My Red Travel Shoe.
It is April and we just had a snow storm last night. I am just gonna leave this as my opening sentence. I am not complaining, this is just something that had to be mentioned.
Currently, I am sitting at the best spot ever. I can’t believe I have never taken advantage of it before. Looking at beautiful snowy mountains, with a cup of coffee, perfect spot to write this recap post. Or actually….a really bad spot for writing a recap post. I keep staring at the mountains without getting any job done.
Last Tuesday, we made one of our favorite Hungarian dishes for dinner, called layered potatoes (Rakott Krumpli). It is pretty much a multi leveled ‘potato-sour cream-sausage-hard boiled egg’ deliciousness with cheese on top. Like most Hungarian dishes, this is not on the light side either, but once in a while, you just gotta indulge. (I will post the recipe soon;) )
Before bed I was trying to teach Echo how to crawl. It was not going too well. I tried to present the idea for him and how to do it but he tilted his head to the side and looked at me like: “What can possibly be your problem?” Then started chasing his tennis ball. I would say round 1 was a fail.
side note: he needs a haircut.
On Wednesday I worked all day. Didn’t have much time until the afternoon but wanted to make sure I get a little work out in. Every week I try to run twice (at least) and do yoga 4 times. It has been a little hard with all the traveling on the weekends, but I try to stick to this system most of the time. After work out I was hungry, so I made a little snack plate.
It had half of a chocolate chip cookie (home made, sugar less, so good!) apple and banana with peanut butter, some plain yoghurt with honey and popcorn. Could not be any more random…I think if someone who is a culinary expert would see what food combinations I use sometimes, he/she would run away crying.
After the above mentioned delicious meal, I went on a walk with Echo to one of the trails. We didn’t go too far, but it was nice to be outside and Echo loved running around.
When we got home, I snuggled up on the couch and read Bella Grace. My friend showed me this magazine and I am IN LOVE. The magazine comes out quarterly. It is 160 pages and there are ZERO paid advertising in it. They already had me at no advertising. I get so tired of flipping through magazine pages and only seeing parfume and make up advertisements. I get bored and usualy just put the magazine down. But with Bella Grace, it is 160 pages of pure information, great stories, and inspiration. The magaizne’s purpose is to show and help find the extraordinary in our ordinary lives, to embrace imperfection, the mess, and celebrate every day’s small victories. Oh so goooood! The stories are all written by bloggers and carefully picked by the editors. The whole magazine just screams comfort and cozy!!! My kind of stuff ❤
This is also from the magazine, this is pretty much my life in a quote:
For dinner we made cheese quesadillas and a quinoa- baked cauliflower mix. It was pretty delicious. Again, what a random mix.
Thursday morning started a little early. After I did some work in the morning, I made a rice cake – fried egg breakfast with some cereal, strawberries, and plain yoghurt on the side. I have been on a green tea roll lately.
After breakfast I went to Barnes and Noble, looking for a book. The book I was looking for was out of stock but I really wanted to find a good read so I kept looking. I found Megyn Kelly’s book, Settle for More.
What an amazing read! So far I have been enjoying it a lot. I read a little slower in English, I have to process the information a little bit more to get the full picture, but it has been doing a fantastic job with grabbing my attention. She is such an intelligent and strong lady! Great inspiration! It is available on Amazing too for 50% off!!! I can highly recommend it, if you are looking for something!
When I got home, I packed some lunch, grabbed my new book and took Echo to the park. The weather was a little too windy so I couldn’t really enjoy the sun, but I bundled up and started reading. It is nice that I can just sit in one spot and Echo brings the ball back to me. Between each paragraph I threw his ball, and while he was running after it, I just kept reading. This is our new favorite thing to do.
In the afternoon I went to Sprouts to grab some ingredients for dinner and some epsom salt…not for dinner.
Lately my muscles have been hurting pretty badly; I play tennis almost every day, try to run twice a week and do weights and yoga too. A good mix of epsom salt and baking soda can do wonders (I heard) so I decided to give it a try and made a warm bath. I don’t know if it was placebo effect, the eucalyptus and peppermint scent, the hot water, or it actually works, but I got out of that bath feeling a lot better. I will keep using it.
For dinner we made pizza muffin roses. It is a quick and delicious dinner option.
On Friday morning we woke up to some snow. I left for North Dakota but apparently it snowed 6 more inches during the day haha. I see all those posts on FB and Instagram about spring, it made me laugh a little when we had to scrape the window in the morning. But the thing that made me laugh even harder was the fact that it was warmer in North Dakota.
On the way there…
I found an awesome (oh gosh I just thought of a terrible word joke…pawsome) mug at the airport at Caribou Cafe.
The trip felt a little too long; I was tired and very excited to get home. Sunday night Ben picked me up with a rose and a slice of carrot cake. ❤ What a lovely, thoughtful man, I don’t know how I got so lucky.
For dinner we had take out. Mediterranean salad and glazed chicken flatbread. We were gonna go grocery shopping but we had another snowstorm so we decided not to.
Echo and I grabbed Starbucks this morning (how cute is that cup?) and then went to the park to read and chase some tennis balls.
Hope you all had a fantastic week! I would love to hear a little about it!
Questions for you
- What was the highlight of your week?
- Anything exciting coming up?
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Having a dog is great for many reasons one of which is that they can motivate you to get up from the couch and go outside. Looking at it the wrong way, it can be annoying as hell but with the right attitude and mentality your daily walks can be part of your workout routine.
When we got Echo, he was only 4 months old. He was not potty trained so I had to walk him once in every hour. I did get frustrated a lot of times because I felt like I couldn’t get anything done. Just when I sat down and started working it was time to go again, or he started chewing on a shoe and I had to get up to pull it out of his mouth. I couldn’t wait for that stage to be over. But to be honest, I just had to realize that this is part of having a puppy and I just have to suck it up and make the best out of it.
Old and crappy attitude: I don’t have time to workout, I have to walk Echo…I don’t want to go workout, I just walked Echo…Awww, I don’t want to leave Echo alone, I can’t work out…
New and better attitude
Walking with your dog can be a perfectly good workout actually. With some creativity, it can be a pretty fun time. We come up with weird/funny workouts every time, so it is definitely new and not the usual boring routine that I have been doing for a million years. Invite some friends along, go with your husband, wife, significant other and have a fun time!
I love walking. Obviously, the nice weather is kind of key, but walking clears my mind, takes stress away, and it is an activity I could do for hours without even noticing it. And walking miles tires Echo out too and as we know a tired puppy is a happy puppy!
FOR A 130-POUND PERSON, WALKING AT A MODERATE PACE — SUCH AS WALKING THE DOG — BURNS 60 TO 70 CALORIES PER HALF-HOUR OR 120 TO 140 CALORIES PER HOUR. FOR A 200-POUND PERSON, IT BURNS 90 TO 100 CALORIES PER HALF-HOUR OR 180 TO 200 CALORIES PER HOUR. -LIVESTRONG.COM
2. Lunges and Squats
So easy to incorporate lunges and squats while your dog is sniffing around. Maybe just doing 3-5 lunges at a time but that will add up pretty fast. I used to shy away from doing this in the day light but then I got into a mood where I just didn’t care anymore and it feels pretty great. Our dog park is also a little hilly, so doing walking lunges while Echo fetches the ball is kind of a good workout.
3. Jogging and Chasing the Ball
Walking is fun and jogging is not so much. But I have been forcing myself to run more lately. Echo loves jogging next to me, his little legs are working so hard. We don’t need to go far for him to tire out. This might be a little different for people with a German Shepard…I am guessing. Also, chasing the ball can be a pretty fun game, I sometimes tire myself out before Echo gets tired.
4. Weight Lifting
Again, this might not be for you if you have a great dane, but I can pick up Echo and do squats with him or step ups on a bigger rock or bench. Or for example he loves being my plank buddy. #coachecho
Echo loves hiking…to be honest Echo loves everything but hiking is a fantastic leg workout and cardio too for us. A couple months ago we hiked a mountain in Arizona and it was only about 2 miles up but I was struggling big time. I thought I was in a good shape but had to stop multiple times. Plus with hiking comes beautiful scenery!!!!
- Going on longer walks or constantly discovering new areas can be so much fun! Be a tourist in your own city, get out from the usual and boring route and go see something else!
- Longer walks will tire your pup out and you will have a couple hours to be productive.
- You will have a better relationship with your dog and a stronger bond. They appreciate and feel the love. Again, a tired puppy is a happy puppy!
- Walking has a relaxing effect on me. When the weather is nice and there is no rush so we can just walk and look around is the best time. Look up to the sky and enjoy!
- It is a great way to meet people. People who walk their dogs are usually very social and when the pups meet and greet each other, you can exchange a couple nice words and smiles.
- Make sure when you are going on a longer walk, you will bring water for both the puppy and yourself. We got an awesome pop-up travel bowl for christmas two years ago and we use it all the time.
- Pooping bags!
- Only walk in safe areas, definitely don’t go by yourself on long walks at night.
- If you can, take a walking buddy with you! It is way more fun when someone else is there too!
DON’T FORGET TO REWARD YOURSELF AND YOUR LITTLE BUDDY AT THE END!
Echo and I love to stop for a coffee after some of our long walks. He always gets a little cup of whipped cream with doggie treats!
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This is me. You know, the blog. I decided to pack up my stuff and move over a couple blocks.
If you want to see my new home, check it out at www.myredtravelshoe.com. I got some new “couches” and “big screen TV” that I watch lots of Netflix on. Oh wait…I can’t do that, I am just a blog…
But either way, stop by to check me out!
Friday afternoon we met up with some friends at the dog park! Echo really enjoys running around and he loves being off leash, but he just gets a little awkward sometimes. He is so adorable, he runs up to other dogs, jumps – saying let’s play – and when the other dog starts playing, he sprints away…or when other dogs play with each other he runs up close, but just watches them playing from the outside. He is such a sweetheart, he would never pick a fight or be mean to other dogs but I wish he learned how to play with them too.
After the dog park we were invited to an Italian pasta meal to our neighbors’ house. They made meat balls, sausages and tomato sauce. It was so delicious we had to get seconds. 🙂
After the meal we went home, looked at Echo and decided that he needed a haircut. I know I know. It is a dangerous game to play…to cut your own dog’s hair. We knew we were risking him looking terribly unstylish for the next couple weeks, but we had to try. We wanted to try because we want to learn how to do it on our own.
So Ben was distracting Echo while I was cutting the hair on his back. At this point it looked like this was going to be a disaster. Echo was doing pretty well the entire time but then came a moment when he just didn’t care anymore and wanted to break free. Luckily by this time we got most of his hair, so he was good to go. We just had to make some adjustments, but we did that the next day when he was more open to the idea. We cut off so much hair, we got another dog out of it:
Saturday morning we were up bright and early. I took Echo for a nice long walk around the block and then made breakfast. Ben had to teach tennis so we tagged along and while he was doing that we returned some stuff to Target. The weather was so nice that it called for some frozen yogurt. I couldn’t wait for Ben to get done 😀
After tennis we went to get froyo to an awesome little shop, called Cultured. They have a wonderful atmosphere, great frozen yogurt, delicious coffee and sandwiches and provide board games to play with friends. So much fun!
I picked fruity flavors, they felt very light and refreshing bu then topped the whole thing with mini cheesecakes, brownies, and some pieces of salted caramel chocolate…
Echo has never been this focused before!
Look at this place, isn’t it adorable?
After the froyo date we went home and I went straight to the gym. I am doing a month long squat challenge with my friend and even though we had to adjust the rules a tiny bit we are still keeping up with it.
I did 20 minutes cardio on the elliptical, 45 squats, 45 jump squats, 45 sumo squats, 45 split squats, 90 crunches, 56 leg raises, 120 second plank, and another 20 minute cardio. It was fun but it hurt so much. The amounts are getting way too much and there is still 6 days left of this month.
After the work out I was starving again (story of my life) so when I got home I made a smoothie and some rice cake sandwiches
The smoothie had: frozen mixed berries, banana, cinnamon, Greek yogurt and almond milk in it. This was the first time I tried rice cakes with sour cream ( I am a Hungarian, we love sour cream) and salami, it was so good that I have been making the same combo since then.
After the meal we laid down a little bit. I haven’t taken a nap in a very long time and maybe that is why or maybe because we were exhausted but this nap felt like the best ever.
When we got back from our morning walk with Echo, I spent the rest of Sunday morning working and doing some preparation for the up-coming week. As soon as I was done, I changed to work out clothes and went to the gym.
I did the same routine as yesterday but the amount of the ab exercises got increased by 5. Look how fast I am going…
Just kidding. This was warm up. Clearly if you have time to take photos of yourself while doing the execises, you are not working out hard enough. 😀
After workout I went back home and made a green tea matcha/banana smoothie.
It had two teaspoons of matcha, 1 whole banana, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, a tablespoon honey and two cups of milk in it. Ben didn’t like it too much, but I loved it. It might be my new favorite drink! I love the taste of matcha but unfortunately that is exactly what he struggled with. I understand, it has a very unique taste and he likes more fruity smoothies.
After sitting down and drinking our smoothies we went for about a two mile walk with Echo. He has a lot of energy and loves walks! The weather was amazing so we took advantage of it! I woke him up from his nap, so he wasn’t too excited to leave at the beginning but got moving as soon as we walked outside!
After the walk we did some laundry and cleaning (the usual fun stuff) and started cooking dinner. I love cooking Hungarian meals and luckily Ben loves them too. Our favorites are paprikas krumpli (paprikash potatoes I guess), goulash, chicken paprikash, and layered potatoes (I will post recipes) but sometimes we don’t have the right ingredients or side dishes for it to be 100% Hungarian so we end up with some Hungarian inspired spinach pasta meal for example.
This time we had some spinach noodles and beef. I also found bunch of veggies and SOUR CREAM in the fridge and this is plenty to work with.
I cut up onions, tomatoes, carrots, and yellow pepper and sauteed them in a pan. When they were well-cooked I put the cut up beef on top of them. I added salt, pepper and paprika to them, turned it around a couple times and let it simmer in the sauce of the veggies.
After a couple minutes I added water to them, just enough for it to cover the meat, turned down the heat a little and left it there. It needed about 20 minutes for the meat to be well cooked.
During this time in a small bowl I mixed up 2 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 tablespoon flour, and 2 tablespoon from the hot water from the pan into a liquid and when the meat was well cooked I added the mix to the pan. It made the water into a creamy sauce. YUM!
We cooked the pasta in like 5 minutes and dinner was ready. Of course I had to top it with more sour cream 🙂
Hope you all had a great weekend!
If you enjoy Indian, Nepalese, and Tibetan cuisine, I’ve got a great tip for you! You must visit the Himalayan Grill when you are in Flagstaff!
This lovely little place is located on the west side of town, right off one of the main roads in Flagstaff. It is not pricey at all, there is a lunch buffet, and they offer delivery as well. They are open 7 days a week from 11:30 am until 9:30 pm.
We stumbled upon this place during lunch time – lucky us – and took advantage of the buffet. I was a little worried that picking from the buffet was going to be a hit or miss, since we had no clue what was what. We picked a little from everything and by the time we got to the end of the table, our plates were just overflowing with food. We sat down and pretty carefully (at the beginning) tried everything and all of sudden the plates were empty.
It was a ridiculous amount of food and all I could think about was: Would I get judged if I got up again and loaded my plate one more time? But then I realized that everyone else was too busy stuffing their faces and they would never judge me…they understand me.
It might not seem like too much food but then you try them and you just want to keep eating…
And if as this was not enough, they bring some garlic flavored pita to the table because go big or go home!
At this point there is no turning back. You tried the corner of the pita but OMG it was so delicious and who knows where your self control went.
You must remember one rule when you enter the front door though: You can’t let your thoughts wonder off and think about bathing suit season coming up because there is just no point and that does no good for anyone. Your husband is busy enjoying his food, he doesn’t want to listen to you whining about your belly rolls, plus you are a semi-responsible adult, you made the decision on your own to get more food. So quiet and eat your food.
The wall next to the entrance door is decorated with all the awards and recognition that the restaurant has received in the past.
The other wall has photos of famous sport teams, athletes, celebrities, and politicians who have paid a visit to the restaurant and enjoyed their stay very much so.
One of their latest guests was for example, Bernie Sanders…
Here you can find the restaurant on TripAdvisor and see all the well-deserved love they have been receiving.
Leaving the place we ran into some people who were going in. It was funny to see how they looked at our filled tummies and nap ready faces and headed in, accepting their faith, knowing this was going to be them in a short period of time.
Last weekend Ben’s mom came to visit us! And of course, when someone visits you in Arizona, you take them to Sedona. Not that she has never been there before, she has been many – many times, it is just a place where you must go for a couple hours or maybe even for a weekend when you are around!
It is such a lovely – little place and there is so much to do. The entire town is surrounded with red rock buttes and gorgeous canyons. There are many hiking trails and a cute little creek where you can cool yourself down during the hot summer days.
The town is filled with the art of local painters, sculpture makers, jewelry makers, musicians and you name it. Everyone is friendly, happy, and hangs out on the streets, enjoying the warmth of the sun.
All the local stores have a little sit down area in front of them and they have plenty of benches too in the town where you can sit down for a couple minutes with a cup of coffee or a delicious ice cream and enjoy the wonderful view to the red rocks.
We left early enough in the morning so we can have brunch in Sedona. When we got there most stores were still closed and there weren’t many people on the streets. We found a cute little breakfast place called The Secret Garden Cafe. They had a patio and also were very dog friendly. They got Echo a bowl of water so he can cool himself down a little bit.
I got an egg white omelette with spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese and had some fresh fruit on the side! Ben and his mom both went with the breakfast burrito and Ben got roasted potatoes on the side.
While we were waiting for the check to come, Echo was getting pretty impatient so I left a little early to walk him around the area. By this time there were more people walking from art gallery to art gallery. Of course it took about 2 minutes before someone had to stop and pet Echo 😀 He loves getting all the attention and loves being spoiled by everyone.
After breakfast we walked back to the car and headed for a hike. It took us a while to find the trail but it was worth the search. We hiked the Slim Shady Trail, which is also a mountain bike trail.
I have to admit I was amazed by all those bikers cruising through the trail without planting on their faces. I was just explaining to Ben and her mom how I would possibly injure myself at such reckless activity when I tripped and almost fell. They got a pretty good laugh out of it and also realized that I was not joking when I said I would risk my life there.
We did not hike for too long, but got to go high enough to see the wonderful view of the canyon around us. It feels like time stops when you stand there and stare at such wonderful view. I just can’t get enough of it. It makes me feel so tiny and insignificant standing there in the middle of the vista. It felt like we were tiny little ants.
On the way home Echo and I passed out in the back seat, we both took a pretty amazing 40 minute nap
I can only recommend Sedona to everyone who is ever in the area! You will probably hear more about it from me in the future too! 😉
have a great Friday afternoon!