Archive for April, 2013

Weekend review: Animal behaviors (and baby goats!)

This past weekend, I spent 2 days learning about animal behaviors (and playing with baby goats), all in an effort to work towards my big dream. As outlined in my 2013 goals, I began my new dog training course in March, but had only been working on the telecourse portion. This past weekend kicked off the monthly hands-on part where we get to go to a farm and dive into the fascinating world of animal behaviors and obtain practical experience.

This first weekend was about getting our feet wet and learning loads of terminology, overall knowledge, and what we can really do after we understand why animals act the way they do. I’ve been excited for this weekend ever since I found the course because I know now that my true passion lies in working with assistance and therapy animals (not just dog training). And it’s always exhilarating to be learning from the best in the profession!

One of the best highlights of the weekend was getting to pet and feed goats. We met goats at varying ages, but of course the most squee-worthy moments came with the baby goats. Here’s a photo of me feeding Bella her noms. She came up to me and bumped the insides of my knees looking for milk; apparently, this is what they do to their mamas. SQUEEEEE!

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Bella and her brother Murphy will go on to become therapy goats.

And because I couldn’t get enough of the goats, here’s Jake, nomming animal crackers from my hands. He was ravenous for the crackers and couldn’t get enough. Jake is a rescue and used to be on the kids party circuit where he often ate all the birthday cake. Lolz.

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The goats concluded weekend 1 of 6 and I’m already looking forward to May as we’ll get opportunities to work with horses, donkeys, and alpacas in addition to working with dogs, of course.

Watch: Real Beauty

I should be more grateful of my natural beauty. It impacts the choices in the friends we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children. It impacts everything. It couldn’t be more critical to our happiness.

I don’t know if Dove was a strong advocate of real beauty back in the 90’s, but I know I certainly would have appreciated someone taking the time to tell me to appreciate all the good.

Sometimes feeling beautiful is an everyday struggle and sometimes I remember the lessons I’ve learned on my own that I am beautiful. I hope every insecure teen out there or anyone who doubts their own beauty, gets a quick glimpse at what it means to love yourself.

Weekend review: Puppy playtime

The past 2 weekends have been go, go, go and so I was very excited to have a weekend where the only thing on my agenda was to relax. I also happen to be taking care of a friend’s pup, so combine that with a weekend just for me and you’ll get nothing but hikes and puppy playtime.

When I get my own pup, I hope he loves swimming just as much as Sophie:

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Or maybe he’ll love rock and stick chasing in the woods. Can you spot the camo-dog?

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Not too surprisingly, I just can’t wait to have my own pup that says, ‘Hai! You ready to play?’

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Happy birthday to ME!

It’s my birthday today and I LOVE celebrating, so please excuse the little party I’m having on my own blog for my own birthday. While I’m here, I also thought I’d share the awesome gift from BF this morning:

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It’s a double-sided grumpy cat tea mug, complete with Irish sayings. Isn’t it perfect?! Squeeee!!

Weekend review: April’s adventure

My official birthday is tomorrow, but this past weekend, I went to Orlando for a special birthday adventure. I knew I wanted to do something really fun and different this year. I’ve done the big parties in DC, I even had a themed party last year in Annapolis, and while I love celebrating with friends – I definitely knew I wanted an adventure.

BF and I have been planning this adventure since February and while it was a little pricy and a whirlwind mini-holiday, it was one of the best birthday weekends ever! I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in 2 days as I did when I was in Orlando.

The idea of the trip popped into my head because BF and I are Harry Potter fans, but you can’t go to Orlando and not also go to Disney – so we packed Saturday and Sunday with the most fun possible. I’m certainly paying for it now, but it was worth it!

We arrived late Friday night after work and headed for the hotel to prepare for the next day. We intentionally set out late (read that as not at 8 AM with the rest of the kids) on Saturday morning as we knew we’d be staying until at least midnight at Disney. We just had to see the fireworks and Tinkerbell fly from the castle in Magic Kingdom!

It was all a flurry when we arrived – took quite a few pics, saw the ‘Celebrate today’ parade, and of course did a little souvenir shopping. Here we are in front of Cinderella’s castle with the famous duo: Walt & Mickey!

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We rode every possible ride, figured out their FastPass system so we could ride our faves again, and somewhere in there stopped for ice cream. Hey, it was my birthday weekend. Of course I was going to have ice cream!

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I don’t know if I could pick a favorite part of the day, but the night displays were brilliant. Conor and I had put ourselves into the Disney mood when we bought ears and I must have had a permanent smile plastered to my face as we watched the Electric parade and the fireworks. Aren’t the ears the best??

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I think we got home around 1:30 that night and I already had a blister on my little toe, but it was the best adventure! I just didn’t know how Sunday was going to top it.

On Sunday, we pulled ourselves out of bed super early to pack in as much park time as possible at Universal’s Islands of Adventure because we already knew that we’d want to spend at least half the day in Harry Potter world!

There was butterbeer, every flavor jelly beans, chocolate frogs, turkey legs, a visit to Olivander’s, riding every ride at least twice, and a trip to Hogwarts!

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We even got to meet the conductor on the Hogwarts Express!

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But with all that sugar and excitement, I definitely think both of our favorite part of the day was Hogwarts and the journey you can do inside. When we were deciding what rides to do again, both of us said that one first. Even if you’re not a massive Harry Potter fan, this part of the park is just unbelievable and could easily turn you into an instant fan!

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We flew back this AM with bags in our hands and bags under our eyes. We also managed to bring back 2 extremely sore legs – I couldn’t believe the amount of walking we did! But it was without a doubt, the best weekend of 2013 (so far!). BF and I have had a lot of great adventures, but this one takes the cake. I don’t know if the next will live up to this past weekend, but it’ll sure be fun to try!

Life: The View

In 2008, I went to T in the Park. I was nearly crushed in the crowd trying to see The View. I never actually saw their set and since then, I’ve been patiently waiting for 5 years. Last night, I got my chance in a tiny venue here in DC called DC9. The View haven’t made it big just yet in the US, but more than deserve the spoils of fame as they are brilliant performers.

I was jittery going in to the club since the tour bus door opened right as I got to the entrance of DC9. Looking back to see the band, I only saw a random guy with a vacuum. So you can imagine my complete and utter surprise to find The View sitting at the bar having a few pre-show drinks. I was gobsmacked. Star-struck. Giddy with excitement. I smiled at Kyle, the front-man, and I’m telling myself he smiled back. I turned to BF and mouthed, ‘THAT’S THEM!’ in what I imagine to be a very overt manner.

I wanted to go up to them and say that I was a fan. To say I’d been itching to see them perform since 2008. To offer to buy them a drink, but instead I sat there on a bar stool with a stupid grin on my face and never said anything. I racked my brain for something clever, for something Scottish. I had nothing and completely missed my chance. I’ve been kicking myself all morning and I was actually mad at myself last night. I think BF thought I was nuts as I went on and on about it.

I didn’t get my chance to hobnob with the soon-to-be rich & famous, but I did see them perform a stellar set with about 40 other people. Talk about a drastic change from the last time I tried to see them, but I loved it. Getting up close or snagging floor tix in a large venue is brilliant, but standing 5 feet away from a great band is memorable. And now, a few photos.

The set list – literally so close. Kyle actually handed it to the guy standing in front of me after the show. I was a little jealous.

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3 of 4 performing at DC9:

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And here’s one of Kyle. I pinched the guitar pick left on the mic stand after the show. What? 🙂

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So needless to say, if you see The View coming to your area definitely take the time to check them out. Here’s a tune to end the post, because it’s how they ended the gig:

Weekend review: March’s adventure

March was filled with a whirlwind of weekends. From trips to NC for bridesmaid shopping to catching up with my professors at Elon, to Paddy’s Day festivities..I’ve pretty much been on the go since the month started. However, I think this past weekend qualified as the month’s adventure even though I just stayed right here in DC.

My sister, her 2 kids, and my mom came up for the long weekend and we packed in at least 5 different adventures! So let’s get this weekend review started and countdown March’s big adventures:

5. Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

Saturday we took the metro down to the National Mall and saw hundreds of kites flying for the Cherry Blossom kite festival.

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It was a gorgeous day with plenty of wind. Here’s me & BF:

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4. Natural History Museum

We followed up the kite festival with a trip to the Natural History Museum, at which point, I learned it’s a little traumatizing to tell a kid all the dinosaurs are dead and that he can’t play with them outside.

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3. Arlington National Cemetery

On Sunday, we did the usual Easter routine and then went to Arlington National Cemetery. I’ve lived in the DC area for 5 years now and this is the first time I’ve visited. I’m only sorry I waited so long to pay my respects.

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While we were there, we saw the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

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2. Air & Space museum

My sister likes to pack in the fun when she goes on trips, so on Monday afternoon, we checked out the Air & Space museum. Loved seeing all the rockets & telescopes!

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1. White House Easter Egg Roll

And of course, the BIG adventure of the weekend was our trip to the White House Easter Egg Roll. I entered the lottery and surprisingly got lucky! I had my fingers crossed that I’d get to cuddle up with Bo, but getting to see him in person is definitely a close second. Here’s Bo (and Mr. President) at the story book time.

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And since I couldn’t get close enough, I made do with a cutout on the south lawn. Maddie, wanted to be in the pic too 🙂

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So there you have it, March’s adventures. April’s adventure is coming up this weekend. I can’t wait to report back on all the fun BF and I will be having in Orlando! Stay tuned.

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