Sadie’s Annual Birthday Challenge

Last night Sadie’s annual birthday challenge continued!

Ever year on Sadie’s birthday, Ryan and I select two different foods that we think Sadie will love and put them both in front of her at the same time, taking bets as to which one she’ll go after first.

Longtime PBF readers may remember the previous challenges that popped up on the blog:

Each year the winning food progresses to the next year, where it faces a new challenger.

This year the contenders were… 

McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich vs. Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich

I though the chicken sandwich would win because Sadie is a chicken fiend. Ryan, on the other hand, put his money on the roast beef, since roast beef gives off an incredibly mouth-watering scent.

Before watching the video below, which sandwich do you think she chose?

Now behold the results!!!

Sadie is faced with a serious dilemma: A McChicken sandwich OR an Arby’s roast beef sandwich?

(You may click here to watch this video directly on YouTube.)


(And yes, we have a room in our house with nothing in it and no plans to ever put any furniture there. Holla!)

We’re already brainstorming the competition for next year. Any suggestions? Right now we’re thinking a Sonny’s pulled pork sandwich might sway her…

Obviously we couldn’t hit up McDonald’s and Arby’s to pick up Sadie’s food without nabbing something for ourselves even if we try not to eat a lot of fast food.

McDonald’s soft serve cones make my heart smile.

egg sandwich 012


Today Ryan and I hit up the gym but my workout plans were a little unusual! I decided to do Ryan’s workout with him.

I want to change up my workouts a bit and incorporate some new-to-me moves and exercises and figured following him would be a great way to challenge my body in a new way. Thankfully he’s always more than willing for me to copy his workouts.

We started with 20 minutes on the elliptical before I let Ryan take over.

Our workout looked like this:

total body workout

It was definitely a total body workout!

I did modified versions of the pull ups and push ups and my arms were burning. Ryan and I talked about me possibly doing all of my Saturday workouts with him. I like that his workout schedule has Saturdays as a total-body day with lots of powerful exercises. I think it will challenge me in a new way!


Before the gym I only ate an apple with a scoop of Justin’s honey peanut butter, so when we got home I was hungry!

I quickly made a hearty breakfast that included scrambled eggs (three eggs + milk + shredded cheese), a toasted whole wheat English muffin with raspberry preserves and a banana.

egg sandwich 016

I’m hoping this meal will keep me nice and full through a late-morning hike with Ryan and Sadie!

egg sandwich 017

I’m sure a mug of peppermint crème coffee will help keep me energized, too.

egg sandwich 019

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!


  1. Kristi @ SimplyKristi says

    I knew as soon as Sadie got the little nibble of the roast beef beforehand that she was going back to that one! (or at least I had a feeling!). So fun that you do something like that every year…


    • says

      My dachshund is FAMOUS for his doggy head tilt!!! Especially when something is super exciting. It’s funny that you call it the same thing!!! PS. Am I allowed to reply to other posters comments!!? 😉


  2. says

    Sadie is so adorable, such a fun tradition! l

    ove the total body workout – it seems short reading it (i’m sure not while doing it) did you still feel like you got a good burn going? sometimes I worry just because my workout goes faster than normal I am not working hard enough or with a 20 min elliptical warmup I don’t sweat enough?


  3. says

    Aww! Lucky pup. I am all about celebrating dogs’ birthdays! They definitely love it.

    I remember one year on my dog’s birthday I left a large pizza on the counter while I went to get his present…came back to an empty pizza box and a very happy dog! Happy birthday indeed!


  4. says

    I can’t believe Sadie didn’t devour those when Ryan allowed her to sniff them. I could never get my dogs to even look at the video camera or me if we had those two sandwiches sitting on the floor. Sadie is such a good doggie!!


  5. Kelly says

    Love watching these videos! They fuel my desire to want to get a dog even more. Just wanted to comment to say your living room/family room/whatever it’s called (the room you can see in this video) looks awesome!! I’ve been wanting to add some new furniture and decor to ours and yours is giving me inspiration to do so. It looks great!

    Also: I thought those eggs were popcorn at first!


  6. L says

    What did you do with the chicken sandwich? Did Sadie eat both?

    My dog would have ate the roast beef and then went straight for the chicken, skipping the bread. She’s a heffer though!


  7. says

    I love all your guys cute traditions! Between this and the dates!! I told my boyfriend about the date night thing and he is totally for that!! It’d be cute if you featured people like once a week/month who did a cute date so people could get ideas! And also when you make breakfast for yourself does Ryan normally eat the same thing or does he make something else?!


  8. Jodi @ I Run for Food and Wine says

    My $ would of been on the roast beef, because of the smell! Next year should be the roast beef and a hamburger…the one she eats is probably the most “real and fresh” food 😉


  9. Sharon says

    Happy Birthday, Sadie – I love her 🙂

    I suggest a slice of pizza for next year’s birthday challenge. I have 2 Vizslas and they go crazy every time my husband & I have pizza. I think I’m gonna try this challenge, too! My youngest turns 2 in April & my oldest 4 in June 🙂


  10. says

    i LOVE the McD’s cones!! BK has them now and they are yummy, but I def think McD’s wins that race.

    bonus is they are pretty low-cal for a treat….assuming they make them the right size. in grad school, my two roomies and i were all fans and got them a lot. one day, we showed up all together and the staff got SUPER excited that “the ice cream girls” knew each other…they made us cones piled HIGH (like the length of our heads!!).


  11. says

    YAY for Sadie’s birthday challenge! Most dogs I know go straight for the beef, so my money would have been on that!

    I have to know–how in the world can you do pull ups??? I think I could do about one before dying! I strength train, but that’s the one move I just can’t get.


  12. Meg @RunRideLove says

    I LOVE that. Also I knew that roast beef would win, dogs can’t resist! My mom always makes roast beef on Christmas, and used to put the gravy/drippings pan down for the dogs to lick. Our sweet dogs who never fight would go crazy trying to claim all the roast beef gravy. 3 purebred spaniels against my pound pup…I’m proud to say my rough and tumble girl always won. But we stopped the tradition after a few too many teeth were flashed.


  13. Susie says

    Chick-fil-a! Although i might try to take it from her…. haha.
    Chipotle or Taco bell would be funny too. But my vote is definitely for Chick fil a.
    also–I NYC loves Ben and Jerry and my market has Oatmeal Raisin Cookie in spades (i stumbled upon your love of the flavor earlier today). Get some when you come up! And bring me some Chick fil a! We’ll trade.


  14. Julie @ Orcas Health Journey says

    Lol I had my bets on the roast beef! Beef just has more of a distinct smell for dogs than the chicken.

    Well Happy Birthday again to Sadie! She has so many birthdays in the future to look forward to!!!

    Oh! And if you cramp up badly before you hit the gym, try eating at least half of a banana or a clementine since it’s not too good for you to work out in an empty stomach! I cramp up like crazy too if I eat something filling before a workout. Half of bananas or clementine seems to give me more energy to lift! 🙂


  15. says

    Holy mother, that is a TON of pull ups! I started incorporating the assisted pull ups machine into my workout about three times a week about a month ago and even though I am definitely seeing progress, they are still one of the most challenging exercises ever. Diesel!


  16. says

    Happy Birthday Sadie! What a fun challenge 🙂 Julie, I’m sure you’ve mentioned this somewhere in your posts before but when you do a workout do you do it circuit style where you do one set of each move you list and go through the whole routine three times? Or do you do all three sets of one move before moving on to the next? Or maybe both!? Happy weekend!


  17. Haley @Fit Young and Fabulous says

    Hmmm…pizza! Has Sadie tried Pizza? Kudos to Sadie for going the low-carb route! (; I had a cheese bagelwich this morning. Soooo goooood. Thought of you!


  18. says

    Ok, I would have picked her picking the roast beef sandwich too, BUT do you think she went for that one because she got a pre-lick in on that one and not the chicken sandwich?
    I almost feel like you need to try this one again in a week.

    I feel like a filet-O-fish needs to get in on this action. 🙂


  19. robin says

    We have a four year old lab and after seeing your video two years ago we started giving her mcdonalds on her birthday. I finally showed my husband the video this year because it’s so cute, and his reply was that our lab would manage to trip or tie us up and then eat both options! Hope Sadie had a happy birthday! Our lab is our “first baby”, and has become a fabulous big sister to our biological 9 month old baby…you have much to look forward to!


  20. says

    How cute is that video!! I never thought of doing that with my pup!

    Just wanted to share that I absolutely love those McDonald’s cones…I think I may have an addiction! With snow on the ground and freezing temperatures, I got one last night and enjoyed every last bite even though I was shivering uncontrollably!


  21. Christie says

    I never thought of a birthday challenge for my pups! One of them turns 9 in March, maybe I’ll start a new doggy senior citizen challenge for him, buy him something good! lol


  22. says

    Awesome tradition! It would be fun to do something similar with our puppy- although I think we’d have to get him a kids meal considering the max weight he’ll get is supposed to be around 10 pounds haha!


  23. says

    Love this idea. We don’t feed Olive human food but if we did it would be fun to see what items enticed her more.

    It’s so funny that Sadie skipped the bun! Sounds like someone is getting ready for the summer. haha 🙂


  24. says

    I always love Sadie’s birthday challenge- too funny 🙂 I just watched this one & the past 2 years with Craig ( had to let him catch up- haha!)
    She is just so funny- always leaving the bread. Did she get to eat the chicken too?


  25. bridgette says

    I haven’t looked through all of the comments but after watching your video I just had to ask…Where did you get that AMAZING tulip print that you have over your tv??? I’m a HUGE tulip lover and I’m a huge fan of black and white photography.

    It must be weird when people ask about your personal belongings so they can look into getting similar items!

    Thanks and Happy 4th Birthday to the 2nd cutest dog in the world (sorry, even though Sadie may or may not be a little cuter than my dog, I still have to act like my Addie’s the cutest of all lol)



  26. says

    Happy Birthday Sadie! Love the celebratory challenge!

    Also I just had to share with you my discovery today. I ran into a starbucks that does not have the sugarfree peppermint syrup anymore. I know you love the peppermint mochas and I am not sure if you do the sugarfree syrup but feel free to check out my blog with my rant of devastation


  27. Danielle says

    My puppies get a twinkie on their birthday. The challenge being sure there is enough for all three. The birthday boy or girl always manage to wiggle a full one all to themselves.


  28. Erica says

    Ha! Love Sadie challenge! My husband is part owner of an Arby’s franchise, so he will LOVE to watch this video! 🙂 She is just so cute.


  29. says

    I love that you’re incorporating some of Ryan’s workouts!
    I have to ask, how do you feel about the rowing machine?
    I’ve always been an elliptical girl, and never gave the lonely looking rowing machine in the corner a second look, but I decided to try it and I actually kinda love it!
    I’ve worked up to almost 45 mins (before my form starts to gets sloppy) varying my grip, resistance and speed and I’ve noticed a definite full-body difference!



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