Murphy’s Least Favorite Holiday

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Check out what I woke up to yesterday morning!


Yikes! Happy Halloween from my husband. He’s such a joke-ster.

I wasn’t expecting to see a skull on the pillow next to me when I woke up, but it actually didn’t startle me all that much. It scared the crap out of Murphy though!

After I saw the skull, I got up and left the pug sleeping in bed. I went into the kitchen to make breakfast, and, about 5 minutes later, I heard barking coming from the bedroom. It’s not unusual for Murphy to bark when he hears our neighbors leaving for work in the morning, so I didn’t think anything of it. Usually, he barks a few times and then goes right back to sleep. He’s like our little neighborhood reporter keeping us informed about what’s happening: Hey, the neighbors are leaving for work! The neighbors are leaving for work! Thanks for the update, Murph. Well, Murphy didn’t stop barking this time. He kept barking and barking and it actually sounded like he was getting more panicked, so I went into the bedroom to see what was going on. Poor Murphy was at the end of the bed, fur standing up on his back, and barking like a mad man at the plastic skull on the pillow. I know he was scared, but I immediately started laughing. Skulls are scary for pugs! I “rescued” him by removing the skull from the bed and putting it in Mal’s closet so he couldn’t see it anymore (and to scare Mal later on. Pay back, baby!)


Yesterday’s breakfast was a Sweet Breakfast Scramble with a big scoop of Teddie peanut butter. I also drank a glass of coconut-flavored Dandy Blend with almond milk. Clearly, I love this breakfast in a big way.

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After breakfast, I did a bunch of work and then headed out for a run. It was beautiful fall day and perfect for running. I ran 4.25 miles in 36:53.



After my run, I stretched, showered, and then threw together a quick lunch with a bunch of random goodies: leftover veggies and chicken, butternut squash, and a can of Spicy Thai Chili tuna.

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Awhile back, I had a coupon for the Spicy Thai Chili tuna, so I bought one. My favorite way to eat canned tuna is mixed with avocado, salt, and pepper, but this option was pretty good. It’d be great for traveling or a quick lunch like yesterday’s. It had a strong flavor and it was kind of spicy.

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After lunch, I ran a couple of errands, cleaned up the house, and then broke out the Halloween candy.

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I needed a piece and went with a Butterfinger. I can’t even remember the last time I had one, but, man, it was good.

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I bought twice as much candy as I did last year for the trick-or-treaters, so I thought we were all set for last night, but, sadly, we ran out again. Thankfully, it was toward the end of the night, but we need to buy even more candy for next year!

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Dinner was an Italian “hot plate” made with ground sausage, spaghetti squash, red bell pepper, onion, carrots, and scallions. It was fabulous. This recipe is becoming one of my very favorites””Mal’s too!

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Almost as soon as Mal and I finished eating dinner, the doorbell rang. The trick-o-treaters had arrived! And they totally freaked out Murphy! The combination of screaming kids in costumes and the doorbell ringing every few minutes made him mental last night. It was too much excitement for his little pug brain!

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We ended up putting Murphy in my office with Mal (while he worked at my computer) and bribing him with treats to keep him calm.

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Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Every time Murphy heard someone come to the door, he started spazzing out, barking, and scratching at the door, so we let him out of the office. We thought maybe if he could see and be part of what was going on, he wouldn’t get so bugged out.

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Umm”¦ well”¦ it sort of worked.

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Murphy wasn’t loosing his sh*t anymore, but he was still pretty amped up by all of the excitement.

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Halloween is not his favorite holiday.

Health News & Views

Pumpkin is all the rage right now with orange recipes popping up everywhere (like these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies), but here’s a different seasonal squash to try that is just as versatile.

Spaghetti squash a mild-flavored, yellow squash that separates into spaghetti-like strands when you cook it and run a fork through it. It’s a great substitute for pasta! Spaghetti squash is a Superfood that contains lots of nutrients, including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, and it’s low in calories with about 42 calories per serving. Don’t know how to cook spaghetti squash? Here’s a helpful tutorial.

3 Tasty Ways to Eat Spaghetti Squash

Question of the Day

What’s your favorite holiday? What’s your least favorite holiday?

P.S. For the pug lovers: 23 Perks Of Working From Home



  1. Yup – pumpkin is everywhere! I actually just posted a non-dessert pumpkin recipe this morning.

    Poor Murphy. My cat hates Halloween too. She’s not a fan of guests, so every time the doorbell rang, she scurried upstairs under our bed. The other cat loves it though. She’s a people-kitty. 🙂

  2. Murphy is so cute!! Our dog would have flipped her lid, but we didn’t even have ONE trick-or-treater! Now we have all this candy… ugh. My favorite holiday is X-mas since I love the beautiful lights & coziness, least favorite is probably Easter.

  3. I love pumpkin everything, but I am also a huge squash fan, both butternut and spaghetti! I eat as much as I can of the fall fruits and veggies this time of year to get me through until the following fall.. 🙂 My favorite holiday is definitely Christmas and then Thanksgiving since it is definitely a family and festive time of the year.

  4. I love the pug patrol! Murphy cracks me up with those scared, weary looks he gives the camera. I love Christmas and it’s by far my favorite holiday. Not because of presents- because of the amazing food my mom cooks. Chicken wild rice soup, monster cookies, pulled turkey, cheesecake and other yummy treats. It’s also a great time to get together with family. Thanksgiving is a close second. I’m not a huge 4th of July person, probably because I live near the lakes in MN and the town I live in becomes overridden with random people who are there to party.

  5. Halloween really is a dog’s worst nightmare. Masks, doorbells ringing, screaming children…oh my! Our mini dachshund had a similar experience to Murphy last night. Eventually we just hung out on the front porch so the doorbell stopped ringing!

  6. The sticker that comes on the spaghetti squash I buy from Trader Joe’s has a super easy way to cook it–in the microwave! Pierce it 5 times (not 4, not 6, not sure why 5 is magic, but I’m a rule follower) and cook it on high power for 12 minutes, turning it every 3 minutes. So since I have a carousel in my micro, I rotate it so a new part is on the bottom every 3 minutes. Then just slice it open and take the seeds out and shred the rest. Turns out great!

  7. Hahaha this post totally cracked me up, because I can totally relate! We have a pug and he absolutely went ballistic last night (it’s our first Halloween where we have actually had trick-or-treaters since we bought a house in April). I finally figured that if I held him under my arm and handed the candy out with the other arm, he wouldn’t bark. Pugs are neurotic! Gotta love ’em.

    Also, I have to say that I have been reading your blog for over a year and this is the first time that I’ve commented. I, too, am a runner from Massachusetts with a pug! And my husband is a teacher! Too funny.

  8. Our dog was the same way but thankfully we might get 2 trick or treaters on a good year (we haven’t had one in about 5 years!) but it would still put her on edge all night from anticipation.

    My favorite holiday is Christmas. (No, I mean REALLY, I’m obsessed). My least favorite is probably Halloween. Nothing against it, we just don’t participate and since we don’t get kids here, I can’t get jazzed about it.

  9. Oh your dog is just too cute! I love those bug-eyes and all of the photos with his super-intense stares! I think smaller dogs, like Pugs and my Shih Tzu, have such huge people personalities. So adorable!

  10. He is SO cute!! My parents have a jack russell and we used to have to leash her in the house during Halloween! Every time someone came to the door she would freak out and jump all over them. Too excited for her own good 🙂

  11. I have to say, I’ve been a lurker for the longest time, and I always look forward to your blog. One main reason is: Murphy! He’s sooo cute! You make me want to get a cute little pug, but not sure my cat would be too happy about that! Maybe when I buy a house. 🙂

  12. I was worried about our dog because he spazzes whenever anyone comes to the door. We didn’t have any trick or treaters. The only thing he spazzed out on was this “horror” movie we watched with Vincent Price called “Comedy of Terrors.” There was a terrible Opera Singer who hit the most god-awful notes. Poor little guy was traumatized!

  13. You may have been asked this a million times, but do you pre cook and mash your squash for breakfast? Seems like it would be a lot of work for just 1/2 cup in the morning if you made it fresh. Just curious. Thanks!.

  14. I love trick or treaters! My dog, unfortunately, does not. But for one night of the year, they can calm their jets and let the kids have some fun! It’s so fun to see all the adorable costumes! Your dog is pretty adorable, though. I love his costume 🙂

  15. Hahahaha oh poor Murphy! Yesterday was just not his day! But at least he looked good with his jester collar. I can’t wait until I live somewhere with trick or treaters. Right now I live in an apartment building and I think there are two very small children, but that’s it!

  16. Fav used to be Thanksgiving. But this year I am not cooking and we are traveling so that moves it to the bottom of the list. I am also not a fan of Halloween ONLY because of what it does to the dogs. DH sat on the porch with the candy last night so that the doorbell wouldn’t be ringing.

    Thanks for the spaghetti squash info. I have a couple right now and was wondering what to do with them!

    The Kidless Kronicles

  17. Tina, I have a question. Please don’t take offense to this because I am not trying to be rude or anything. I thought paleo was all about eating natural, grass fed, local products. It doesnt seem like your pictures of your groceries or your meals really reflect this. Are you eating paleo like without taking this into consideration? Just a question.. have a wonderful day!

  18. That’s funny/sad about Murphy and the skull! My dog once lost his mind over a carved wood bear at the vet’s office. Poor guy was already nervous about being at the vet and then he’s faced with what he thought was a real bear!
    You have turned me into a spaghetti squash fan! I tried it once years ago and didn’t like it, but all of your dishes that include it look so delish that I gave it a second chance. Glad I did!
    Favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, no question 🙂

  19. Poor little Murph-a-roo! He’s just to damn cute for words! I feel your pain with regard to his demeanor and Halloween. We have to get out the baby gates so Otis can see but not go crazy at the door. He’ll only bark when he hears the doorbell but won’t continue once we open the door, thank God. Hopefully Murphy won’t be traumatized for life with that skull 🙂

  20. We only had seven trick-or-treaters last night. Way too much candy left!
    Hope Murphy is feeling less stress today. 🙂

  21. My husband has tried that tuna and he loved it, however it is hard to find in the grocery stores around here. So sorry that Murphy bugged out over the trick-or-treaters (and the skull). We always put our dogs in their kennels for Halloween and sit outside on the porch to hand out candy that way the doorbell does not freak them out so much.

  22. Kind of a strange question, but does your 2-ingredient pancake and sweet scramble taste “eggy”? I know major ingredients are eggs, but do they overwhelm the smell and taste?

  23. His eyes really say it all. He was NOT a happy camper. Our dog used to go nuts with aerosol cans and I used to have to lock her out of the bathroom when I was using hair spray or dry shampoo.

    I really don’t like New Years…so much hype and it never is that good.

  24. Murphy sounds like a perfect candidate for a thundershirt! My dog is a high-strung, anxious type too, and the thundershirt works wonders on him when he’s anxious. It’s basically like a swaddle, the same idea as for babies, or adults with developmental disabilities like autism who are soothed by gentle pressure (it calms the nervous system). I highly recommend it. It has improved my dog’s quality of life, which is the bottom line for people like us, obviously 🙂

  25. I’m sure Halloween is a traumatic experience for dogs…almost as bad as the 4th of July!! haha My favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas! I love fall/winter holidays 🙂 I don’t think I can think of my least favorite holiday…I like them all!

  26. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday EVER! Looking forwrad to it now that it is November. I wish I got to be home to pass out candy to the trick or treaters. My work hours are just to crazy!

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