Freedom Park Walk

Today I drove a little ways to take my morning walk with Sadie outside of our neighborhood.

Freedom Park

Hello, Freedom Park!

Ryan and I had such a nice time walking around Freedom Park during our first visit to Charlotte and I wanted to check it out again. I had a feeling Sadie would love the park as well, mainly because of the super-brave ducks.

Freedom Park Ducks

The ducks at Freedom Park are clearly fed all the time because they know no fear. This obviously drove Sadie bananas and she tried her best to “hunt” from the end of her leash. If I would’ve unclipped her harness, I’m 99 percent sure she would’ve bolted into the water.

Dog Hunting Ducks

We circled the park and meandered around the nearby neighborhoods in an effort to get to know this part of Charlotte a little better. I’m still not sure where we’ll end up living and while we really like the feel of this part of town, living here may not be conducive to Ryan’s commute. We shall see! I’m trying to be patient when it comes to finding a place to live (we’ve only been here two weeks and I was gone for half of one), but I am hoping we find a more permanent place to live sooner rather than later. The good news is that there are a handful of areas that appeal to us, so that is a good problem to have, I suppose.

Sadie and I walked for a little more than an hour and stopped about halfway through for a water break.

Happy Dog

Dog Water Bottle

A quick side note for the dog owners out there: If your pup is anything like Sadie and is super weird about drinking a stream of water out of a normal water bottle, I highly recommend the Gulpy! It’s a water bottle with a long bowl attached that flips up against the water bottle when you’re not using it. Sadie loves it and we bring it with us on all of our walks or hikes with her in the warmer months.

During our water break, I sat down in the soft grass while Sadie drank her water. When she was done, she licked my face and then decided to make herself quite comfy…

Dog On Lap

The “Velcro dog” nickname for vizslas could not be more true. 

After our walk and a chat on the phone with my friend Kristen (whose wedding is in a week and a half!), I drove home to fix myself lunch and spend the rest of the day on the computer working on some blog-related stuff.


Lunch today was weird and basically a super fail.

Kale Bowl

I topped a bed of kale with avocado, tomato, cottage cheese, ground pepper and garam masala. As I type that out, I realize I should’ve known it wouldn’t taste the best, but I wanted to use up some stuff we had in the fridge gave it a shot. I ate about 3/4 of that bowl because I was hungry but I couldn’t stomach much more.

At least the apple was delicious!

Green Apple

About 30 minutes after my first attempt at lunch, I made myself a tuna salad sandwich which was much better.

Hope you’re having a great Tuesday! (And goooooooooo USA!!!!)

Question of the Afternoon

  • What was the last major fail you had in the kitchen?


  1. says

    It’s so fun to see some of my favorite places in the city popping up on your blog! I go to Pure Barre in Birkdale as well – I work in Huntersville – so maybe I’ll run into you there sometime. I’ll be sure to introduce myself if I do, in the least creepy way possible of course. 🙂


  2. says

    Anything that involves raw kale is usually a bust for me, I just can’t stand it! Which is terrible, I know, but I try to eat lots of spinach to make up for it!

    Haha Sadie glued to your lap cracks me up. Too sweet!


  3. says

    I just love all the pictures of you and Sadie on your walks and adventures. I swear that dog knows she is getting her picture taken to make all of your readers smile! What a ham! The last fail in the kitchen I had was of course when I thought it would be a great idea to participate in a Christmas Cookie Exchange and signed up to make some extravagant cookie that I never tried to make before but looked beautiful and delicious…Turtle Thumbprint Cookies. Oh and I had to make 18 dozen… don’t ever do that. I am totally signing up for Chocolate chips next year! LOL!


  4. says

    The ducks by my house are the same way and sometimes you can’t leave because they block you in! My last kitchen fail was a crock pot buffalo chicken something. I love buffalo but it was REALLY hot. I ended up turning it into lettuce wraps and it really helped with the heat. My poor dog never drinks water when we are out no matter what I put it in!


  5. Stacey M. says

    I feel you on this one … I hate when I’m in “cleaning out the refrigerator” mode, create a “meal” with random leftovers and what’s left of the veggie drawer, only to absolutely dread eating my dinner in the end. Ugh … sometimes I think it might be better to just throw out the leftovers sometimes. Nothing worse than having to eat a meal that just doesn’t taste good.


  6. says

    I once attempted to make an angel hair pasta with a spicy tomato and shrimp sauce. I cleaned all the tomatoes and chopped them up with no problem. Then, I got distracted by my roommates and rather than adding 1/4 tablespoon of red pepper flakes, I added 1/4 cup! Needless to say, it was a LOT too spicy so we ditched it and ordered a pizza instead. My good friend Brit kept adding ketchup to the pasta and said, “Oh, this helps! Not as spicy!” She was sweet for trying to save my feelings but even I knew it was bad!


  7. says

    I’ve been to Freedom Park! My fiance’s brother lives literally right next to it – such a beautiful area of Charlotte! Make sure you hit up the Greenway trail for a walk with Sadie 🙂


  8. Sarah says

    Myers Park/Dilworth are awesome parts of town – you get to be right in the middle of all the action and can walk to so many fun places. I lived there for several years and my parents still live just off Freedom Park. Y’all should consider it! Even if Ryan works out near the Lake, he would have a reverse commute – always going against the majority of traffic.


  9. says

    I attempted to make crock pot chili awhile back and something about the ingredients and amounts was off. It was not tasty. And of course I hate wasting food so I made myself eat a few portions of it before I could get rid of it.


  10. Laura says

    I love Freedom Park! I have a feeling you would like a neighborhood nearby called Chantilly (right between Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood). It’s very dog friendly, you can walk to a ton of restaurants and shops, and there are several parks nearby. And one of the streets in the neighborhood has a little trail that connects to a large field at a local elementary school – secret spot for dogs and owners to play on the weekend. There are so many great neighborhoods in Charlotte though, you can’t go wrong!


  11. Ruth says

    The first time I used my crockpot, I was making a roast and thought that it would burn if I didn’t add water. I filled that sucker to the brim. I had a soup when I got home, and a very blah soup. lol
    I made banana bread the other day and forgot to add sugar, it was like eating cardboard. Of course I went the other way another time I did baking, I thought I would use a fake sugar stuff, not reading that it is extra sweet, and wound up with such sweet muffins, no one could eat them. hahahaha….I did burn rice in the rice cooker the other day, which I didn’t think was possible. I am an average cook most of the time, nothing spectacular out of my kitchen, but usually it’s edible.
    We have the Gulpy and are usually a hit at the dog park, as stranger’s dogs will come up and help themselves to a drink too, which is totally ok, I have no problem with a thirsty dog having a drink. Owners usually ask about it, and it really is a product that sells itself!


  12. Laura says

    I am selfishly so glad to read about other people’s kitchen fails! I’ve had a lot, but probably my most spectacular was when I attempted to make a Bobby Deen sweet potato dish. I apparently didn’t cook the sweet potatoes long enough because when I went to beat them, they were like rock hard still. I was in a hurry, so I kept trying, but all that happened was that my mixer completely died. I had to scrap the whole dish. I actually want to try to make it again, though, because I’m convinced it would taste great!


  13. says

    We’ll have to try the Gulpy! One of our dogs is a pro at drinking from a regular water bottle, but the other one just tries to bite the stream of water. It’s hilarious, but not very effective.


  14. says

    I LOVE that doggy water bottle. We also take it with us whenever we are traveling or taking our 8 month old husky/ridgeback puppy on a long walk. It’s also great to take in the car/truck because it doesn’t leak and saves the mess of trying to pour water in a bowl while driving!


  15. says

    Avocado egg cups! Who knew that cooking the avocado would completely change the taste! They were awful and I ended up just eating the egg and throwing the avocado away, which was a bummer because I love avocado!


  16. says

    My last cooking fail was using kale in a smoothie rather than spinach. I like kale chips just fine, but for some reason I can’t handle the raw stuff. And I thought the fruit (pineapple, mango and frozen banana) would mask the flavors…WRONG!


  17. Rachel says

    I had a cooking fail over Easter. I was making bacon-wrapped chicken bites, then dipped them into a mixture of cayenne pepper and brown sugar. I didn’t have a baking rack, so I placed them on a cookie sheet, not thinking.

    Ten minutes later, the oven was smoking. The grease from the bacon bubbled over the cookie sheets and onto the coils of the oven. Total fail!


  18. Veronica says

    It might not be my most recent fail in the kitchen, but I tried to make homemade macaroni and cheese, and somehow parts of the melted cheese separated, and it was an epic fail… I obviously didn’t read some part of the directions correctly. This is probably why I try to stick to desserts … I’m a way better baker than cooker!!!


  19. Alana says

    My very limited attempts at healthy baking have turned into EPIC fails, ugh! I blame the high altitude… Thanks for the link to that water bottle! One of my heelers is water crazed and loves to attack sprinklers while the other is a big scaredy-cat and won’t get near spraying water. This will be perfect for her!


    • Gretchen says

      Wellll, I attempted to leave you (Alana) a reply about high-altitude baking, but I can’t tell if it actually went through as a response to you or just a comment on the original post…I’m so confused!


  20. Gretchen says

    Have you tried Googling “[name of whatever you’re making] high altitude”? I moved to the Denver area a couple of years ago after growing up in Louisiana/college in Minnesota. The altitude here threw off my baking so much, which was a bummer because I used to bake a lot. I can’t manage my own tweaking of recipes and can never remember if you’re supposed to use more or less liquid or rising agent or whatever. BUT when I started searching for things like “banana bread high altitude,” I found recipes that are already altered and that turn out beautifully!


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