Under a Tree

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New life philosophy:  meals are more satisfying if eaten outside, preferably under a pretty tree.


I decided to pack up my office and go to the dog park today.  It’s really beautiful outside and the thought of editing 256 pages indoors was too much to bear.


Plus, I suffer from really bad fur-mom guilt when I don’t take the dogs outside or on long walks.  Does anyone else experience this? I think it’s compounded by the fact that James emits these long, sad sighs all day long as he stares of the window.


I brought a few chapters of the book for editing:


As well as lunch:


I had two vegetarian faux sausages (Morningstar brand) as well as roasted butternut squash and steamed green beans.


Not sure if it was the protein from the sausages or the fiber from the veggies, but this meal was VERY satisfying!  Maybe it was just because I ate it outdoors… 🙂


We stayed for over two hours and I managed to get most of my work done!   I was inspired to leave this Operation Beautiful note before I left. 


The doggies had a blast and looked pretty tired by the time I rounded them up to go home.  Fur-mom guilt, be gone!



Wouldn’t it be funny if humans walked around with their tongues out when they were hot?  Can you imagine what race photographs would look like!


Just snacked on an orange:


And I’m going to take a work break to go swimming.  I haven’t swam since my triathlon in March… let’s hope I haven’t forgotten how!


PS – Want to win a $100 gift card?  Head over to BlogHer and answer my $100 question about your favorite fitness accomplishment!



  • Heather (Heather's Dish) April 7, 2010, 2:35 pm

    what a gorgeous day! i totally get the fur-mom guilt, but it’s just too cold and muddy and snowy here right now to take them to the park! good thing we have a back yard or my dogs would be freaking out…

    have fun swimming! do a lap for me? 🙂

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs April 7, 2010, 2:38 pm

    Yep, I get fur-mum guilt if I don’t ride enough!! It’s very annoying 😛
    I can’t wait for the weather here to be warm enough to work outside…it’ll be SO dreamy!!
    Have a good swim 🙂

  • Liz April 7, 2010, 2:41 pm

    256 is my favorite/lucky number! Obviously, I must buy your book now (ok, ok…I was going to anyway!).

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin April 7, 2010, 2:45 pm

    I don’t have a pet so no fur-mom guilt here! Sounds nice being outside to eat. I like to get out for lunch whenever I can!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing April 7, 2010, 2:46 pm

    That looks like FUN! More offices should be located outside, methinks.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet April 7, 2010, 2:47 pm

    Beautiful outside!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat April 7, 2010, 2:48 pm

    I definitely suffer from that guilt. I’m hoping to get my girl to the doggie park this weekend 🙂 And hopefully a couple more walks too!

  • Kelly April 7, 2010, 2:49 pm

    I wish I could pack up and take my office outside. I took a midday starbucks break just to get outside. It’s gorgeous!

  • Bethany (@ NotUnlessI'mBeingChased) April 7, 2010, 2:49 pm

    I totally suffer from the fur mom guilt. If a day or two passes and there’s been no walking/outside time, I feel horrible. I wonder how bad it will be when I actually have REAL kids…hmm.

  • Liz April 7, 2010, 2:51 pm

    I have the worst fur mom guilt every time I leave my dog at home 🙁 I’m good at getting her plenty of exercise outside but I wish I could work from home and be with her all day (she has bad separation anxiety)

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner April 7, 2010, 2:55 pm

    Hilarious to think of people with their tongues hanging out haha

  • Sarah @ THE FOODIE DIARIES April 7, 2010, 3:01 pm

    I need my laptop for my work today–but my backyard (and 86 degree weather IN NYC!) was calling me. so i made a makeshift laptop “sun shade” and am doing my best to make this work haha. cannnnot resist beautiful weather.

  • Diana April 7, 2010, 3:01 pm

    Aw, an improv picnic. I love it! 🙂 That place does seem like it’s beautiful. Ahh sun and nice temperatures… I missed it so much. 🙂

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! April 7, 2010, 3:02 pm

    Glad to know my Peanut a chi isn’t the only dog that does the “sign” guilt thing!!! She also “huffs” when she is upset at us…….=O Too Cute!

  • brandi April 7, 2010, 3:03 pm

    oh yeah, our Maggie is a BIG pouter if she doesn’t get time outside every day. We have to go running, walking or just to the park for 30 minutes of fetch every day.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) April 7, 2010, 3:03 pm

    I have major fur-mom guilt too. We try to take the dogs on a really long walk once a week to make up for it. They stare out the window all day too.

    I think I have actually hung my tongue out after a race and looked really stupid. I was mimicking the dogs at the race.

  • Sarah April 7, 2010, 3:05 pm

    A picnic for one! Sounds like a great idea. I find that I always eat more and am hungrier when I’m outside – I blame it on fresh air. There’s really NOTHING else to blame it on! lol

  • Kacy April 7, 2010, 3:09 pm

    Life is so much enjoyable when spent outdoors. I love nature!

  • Heather (runningwithsass.com) April 7, 2010, 3:13 pm

    what a beautiful day! I love being outside! I feel bad about my dogs too since they are inside doggies.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 7, 2010, 3:13 pm

    Aww picnics are the best! Too bad the weather here sucks today 🙁

  • Kelly @ Kelly B Well April 7, 2010, 3:15 pm

    LOL Our pup Holly does the stare-outside-and-sigh-deeply thing too. My hubs tells me all the time I’m way too devoted to the dog — I feel guilty if she doesn’t get a walk or SOME activity every day!

  • Samantha April 7, 2010, 3:25 pm

    Doggie tongues on the ground, tongues on the ground, lookin like a fool with their tongues on the ground. LOL

    • Caitlin April 7, 2010, 4:19 pm

      Best comment ever

  • Gabriela April 7, 2010, 3:28 pm

    Eating outside always make me feel better, too…
    Must be the fresh air!
    Have a wonderful Wednesday, Caitlin!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite April 7, 2010, 3:32 pm

    I love eating outside!!!

    I never had fur-mom guilt until I had a baby…. talk about guilt!

  • Beth April 7, 2010, 3:32 pm

    We take our dogs–much larger than yours and much more needy (insert male labrador and female boxer into the equation) 😉 to the park for 45minutes a day. We go unless it is absolutely pouring… even if I am on my death bed or leave work early so I can relax they get walks. It makes my life more sane not to be bothered by the moans and groans they give me or the chewing of tupperware out of frustration due to lack of exercise. I agree, the guilt is almost too much to stop me from going…ever…for the next 10+ years 🙂 haha

    • Caitlin April 7, 2010, 4:20 pm

      You are an amazing fur mom!!!

  • Michelle @ HeathyEatingRoadmap April 7, 2010, 3:38 pm

    I get fur-mom guilt everyday! It stinks working full-time and having the dogs laying around the house. I think I’ll take lunch outside tomorrow!

  • Morgan April 7, 2010, 3:38 pm

    I get such bad fur mom guilt! Some days the weather is just too bad and he doesn’t get it, and I feel awful. Or some mornings I plan to take him for a really long walk later in the day, and he spends the morning begging to go out. I can’t really explain to a dog that he has to wait a few hours! I always feel so terrible!

  • emptynutjar April 7, 2010, 3:41 pm

    yeah…so i want your life 🙂
    every post i read , i am just in awe…its ridiculous of me, i cannot help it…u r so “together” (and younger than me)!! your family must be so proud.

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) April 7, 2010, 3:44 pm

    Agreed — picnic lunches are the way to go!

  • Amy April 7, 2010, 3:44 pm

    I don’t get fur mommy guilt, because we make it an absolute MUST to take Jersey out twice a day regardless of the weather. It was absolutely POURING rain this morning, and hubby still took her out. I will say, I’m glad it was HIS morning to walk her, not mine. 🙂

    She’s a big dog though – a golden retriever and needs lots of exercise and mental stimulation. A lesson I’ve learned over time is that a tired dog is a good dog!

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter April 7, 2010, 3:45 pm

    I love your Operation Beautiful notes! I’m going to leave one somewhere in the architecture building for all of those stressed students 🙂

    • Caitlin April 7, 2010, 4:21 pm

      Send me the pictures an I’ll put them on the site!

  • Therese April 7, 2010, 3:51 pm

    Eating outside is really the best thing ever!

    I always thought it would be funny if people peed themselves when they’re excited, like puppies do! Hee hee

  • Maura @ Maura Me to Love April 7, 2010, 3:53 pm

    Just checked out Operation Beautiful on pre-sale at Amazon.com. WOW. Seriously, does that not make you wanna just pinch yourself? Congratulations on a dream come true, so inspiring.

    • Caitlin April 7, 2010, 4:23 pm

      Yes! It’s crazy awesome!

  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story April 7, 2010, 4:06 pm

    What a beautiful day!! I would love to take Chase to the dog park but he is so highly allergic to fleas that even with preventative if he gets a flea bite he scratches for days and days. 🙁

  • Hedda April 7, 2010, 4:17 pm

    Looked like you had a great day 🙂
    I recognize that feeling of being a bad fur- mom sometimes.
    When my dog gives me this look I know it is time to get some fresh air, haha! He is quite good at reminding me of his rights related to eating, playing, cuddling, walking.. Such a bright creature 🙂

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg April 7, 2010, 4:30 pm

    Oh my gosh, Ella does the SAME thing…you’d think she’s never been outside before or something. Makes me feel SO freakin’ guilty.

  • Samantha April 7, 2010, 4:33 pm

    Have I mentioned I want to live in Florida?! It was cold and rainy all day here!

  • Amy April 7, 2010, 4:46 pm

    Thanks for the comment at Pretty Babies! Please keep stopping by over there, because I’m documenting my journey and sharing what I’ve learned. Sounds like you have a similar mission, so I’m adding you to my feed reader!

    Nice to “meet” you!

  • Sarah-Mae @ Eat, Run, Knit April 7, 2010, 4:53 pm

    I wish it was this beautiful out today here!
    This post did inspire me to get outside after work regardless of the weather though ^_^

  • Tiffany April 7, 2010, 5:11 pm

    what a beautiful day!

    I totally understand fur mom guilt. I am especially guilty today b/c I have a full day of work then a 4 hr class. I’ll barely be home long enough to take her out and feed her =(

  • Mellissa April 7, 2010, 5:39 pm

    I have really bad fur mom guilt too, I feel so bad when he is home all alone and I have an evening event. We actually have someone come and let him out once during the day 3 times a week to help make his days less long.

  • Tracey @ TropicalHappiness April 7, 2010, 5:40 pm

    Awwww, both pups look so happy! Crazy how you can basically SEE what they are feeling on their faces! Adorableness!

  • Jesika April 7, 2010, 5:41 pm

    This is an interesting article in the New York Times about taking pictures of what you eat!


  • Teresa April 7, 2010, 5:50 pm

    I love that you got to work outside today, and your meal looks wonderful! Did the dog enjoy a treat today too?

    Our weather has been amazing too, and if I had a dog I would be a good fur mom 🙂

  • Kate April 7, 2010, 6:05 pm

    I suffer from serious fur-mom guilt. I’ve been working 12+ hours a day recently, and though my partner is able to take our pup for walks and such, I hate not being able to do so myself as well. I’ve started taking him to doggie daycare some days, and I feel so much better knowing he’s spending his day running around with a bunch of other pups instead of cooped up in his crate.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 7, 2010, 6:12 pm

    Lunch in the sun = perfect! Love it!

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookie's Crumble April 7, 2010, 6:20 pm

    That would be hilarious if humans walked around with their tongues sticking out! Looks like a great day to be outside! Glad you could take your work to the park!

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething April 7, 2010, 7:21 pm

    oh i suffer from fur mom guilt all the time. i feel like i have not had a good day unless i have gotten the puppy girl out and tired!

  • John April 7, 2010, 7:27 pm

    You should have seen me after my run tonight. Tongue out and panting hard! Quickest I’ve run in 3 years!

  • Candice April 7, 2010, 7:28 pm

    Aww, I totally know what you mean about fur mom guilt. I feel it ALL the time. I work an hour away from home, so I don’t see my little baby at all throughout the day. My hubs comes home to let her out at lunch, but I can’t wait ’till I can be home with her all day – someday!

    Way to go for being productive!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople April 7, 2010, 8:27 pm

    That’s definitely why I want to wait to get a dog until we get a house so it can run around outside. I am an indoor girl!

  • Therese April 7, 2010, 8:47 pm

    Fun fact: I’m a Neonatal ICU nurse and we use high frequency ventilators on really tiny or really sick babies (they vibrate over 100 times a minute instead of giving 15-60 normal breaths per minute). Anyway, the guy who invented it actually based it off the idea of dogs panting when they’re hot/worn out!

    • caitlin April 7, 2010, 9:25 pm

      that is a pretty cool fact!

  • Rachel April 7, 2010, 9:47 pm

    What a gorgeous day! James and Maggie are positively grinning after their day at the dog park. It is so funny that James lays the guilt on you 🙂 Glad you enjoyed your afternoon!

  • Emily Eats and Exercises April 7, 2010, 10:26 pm

    It was in the 80s today even here in Boston! I wish I had eaten my lunch outside – maybe tomorrow.

  • Lori K. April 8, 2010, 9:35 am

    I can’t agree more about eating lunch outside on a beautiful day. Unfortunately I only get a half-hour for lunch, but there is a picnic bench right outside the building. Lunch, a crossword puzzle and the sunshine; even after 30 minutes I feel recharged. Too bad it is supposed to rain today 🙁

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