Archive for animals

Snow Day: 2 Month Rewind

Um, my bad. It’s been almost 2 months since I posted. I don’t even know where the time has gone or why I didn’t post. No excuses, so let’s just get back on track and do a little rewind of the past 2 months while I’m enjoying a snow day here in Virginia. You know I love a countdown!

4 Must-Know Updates

4. BUCKET LIST CONCERT

Just this week, I went to see Bush in concert. A band I’ve wanted to see since 1996. Only took 19 years! I missed them when they toured in 2010 and I told myself if they ever came around again, I’d be there.

They didn’t disappoint, but like a lot of older bands, I wanted them nix the new stuff and play my classic favorites.

Gavin Rossdale of Bush

Gavin Rossdale of Bush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. ANACONDA

That fat puss is alive and well and still makes me smile every single day. Seriously, why did I wait so long to have a furry friend?

All class, my Anaconda

All class, my Anaconda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. LOCAL CELEBRITIES

No bigs or anything, but I met Sarah Fraser from 107.3. I’ve been a fan of hers since she was on that other radio station. She also told me she loved my outfit. It was a jumpsuit, so of course she did!

Me and Sarah F!

Me and Sarah F!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. AUSTIN, TX

I knocked off one of four travel destinations in February when I visited Austin, TX. While I had originally planned to go by myself, true to form, friends came out of the woodwork – 1 old travel buddy and 1 colleague. I had an OK time – 6 out of 10. I give it that rating mostly because I was pretty sick and just didn’t have the energy to do all I wanted. I was also surprised by the lack of activities you could do without a car. But here were some of my favorite snaps from the trip. I think I’d definitely go back, but I’d like to go for ACL or SXSW – obvs.

Mags in Austin

Mags in Austin

Boots for DAYS!

Boots for DAYS!

Mt. Bonnell overlook

Mt. Bonnell overlook

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to say Happy New Year from myself and Anaconda.

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We kept it pretty low key last night. I think I actually really like (and appreciate) a chill New Year’s Eve. I opened a nice bottle of wine and treated myself. Anaconda was super supportive and insisted I have a few glasses to ring in 2015!

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A cat that can support my life choices…now that’s a cat I can love!

Happy 2015 blog peeps – I’m looking forward to everything the new year has in store for me (and Anaconda)!

Choose joy.

2015 Goals: Anaconda, the kitteh

It is with a smile on my face (and a cat in my lap) that I excitedly tell you that I’ve crossed off a big goal already on my 2015 list. Just 2 weeks ago, I adopted a kitteh from the Animal Welfare League in Alexandria. I randomly went one day to just “look around” and as it happened, I fell in love. It was pretty much love at first sight, but I’d be lying to you if I said the whole process was a piece of cake.

There was a lot of frustration on my part from previously visiting a dedicated cat shelter and then told I wasn’t a suitable kitteh parent because I wouldn’t be home 24/7. All nonsense and I was offended; if anything, I’m an over qualified kitteh keeper. So it was with a heavy heart that I left one kitteh behind, but little did I know that it would open the door for Anaconda to come into my life.

Kisses with Anaconda

Kisses with Anaconda

Now, I know what you’re thinking…Anaconda? Well, it just so happens that my kitteh is a lover of 90’s music just like her mama. More importantly, she loves the butt scratches. Her name just kind of happened and I actually really love it. I wanted a name that was slightly awkward, to the point that you couldn’t help but laugh or smile when anyone asked. So there you have it; plus, it helps that she’s a little bit awkward herself.

Awkward Anaconda

Awkward Anaconda

Sometimes I wonder how I ever waited this long to adopt a kitteh. I know for a long time I wanted a pup, but with my busy schedule and serious lack of a yard – it just didn’t seem fair. I did kind of struggle with the “cat lady” persona, given that I’m 30 and single…but I’ve had more smiles in the last 2 weeks than I can even count. Her ability to cuddle makes me forget how lonely the world can feel sometimes.

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Cuddle monster

But enough of that, how could I not love someone who already loves me so unconditionally?

Kitteh Love

Kitteh Love

Sometimes I think she must be so grateful to be out of that shelter, but I really just think 2 lost souls finally found each other. Together in cuddle harmony. I’ve always known the love of an animal is an amazing feeling, so I’m glad little Miss Anaconda has already wormed her way into my heart.

I love everything from her purr-meow to the way I wake up to find her sitting on my bladder in the middle of the night. When it comes to this kitteh, I definitely chose joy!

She is indeed, purrrrrr-fect.

 

ps. in related news, I’m really happy to let you guys know that I have also successfully removed the couple of negative people I had in my life. I fulfilled the last of my obligations and have cut communication. It honestly felt like there had been a weight lifted off my shoulders. I really love that 2015 is off to a good start and it’s still 2014 🙂

Weekend Review: 90’s jammin’

It was a long weekend and while I could stop to tell you about my non-traditional Thanksgiving, I’ll just skip right ahead to the good stuff. Saturday night!

On Saturday, my good gal pal Sandra and I went to see a 90’s cover band called White Ford Bronco. It’s exactly as awesome as it sounds. Everything from Bush to the Cranberries to even some Backstreet Boys – nothing was off limits. It’s been nearly 6 years since I last saw them (randomly at a New Year’s Eve party), but I was jazzed when I saw they were playing a local bar, instead of a semi-larger venue.

I didn’t really have intentions to dress the part, but as soon as I got started I couldn’t stop. Of course, this is all an updated version of 90’s garb because no way in hell was I cool enough to pull off this style in the actual 90’s. Also, I was a little bit too young for fishnets.

It just so happened that I even had a Paul Frank bag that I’d snagged at a resale shop in Glasgow a couple years back for a festival. Fun, right?

Paul Frank in the hizzous!

Paul Frank in the hizzous!

You’ll notice I’m not smiling in my selfie – going for the grunge, my life is so hard as a teenager look. But I was totally smiling after a few drinks and awesome songs at the bar.

photo 3(6)One guy even randomly called us Daria and Jane. I totally took that as a compliment! Maybe that can be next year’s Halloween costume – brown Daria & Jane. Ha!

This is a crap picture, but here’s one of the band too:

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White Ford Bronco @ Clarendon Grill

And I even made it home without any rips in my fishnets – not sure if that does the 90’s proud or not?

Sunday was for sleeping in and watching movies, but I did get up to one fun activity that will help cross off a goal for 2015. I visited King Street Cats and put in an application for a kitteh!

I don’t want to reveal my little furry friend yet, so here’s a ridiculously cute picture I took of a cat snoozing in a basket high up on a shelf. You could only see his paw and 1 ear. The cute was strong with this one.

MOWR!

MOWR!

Fingers crossed I’ll have a new furry friend before 2015 is here. 🙂

Weekend review: Dog love

Last September, one of my good friends moved to Boston. I was happy for her because she was starting a new chapter in her life, but also sad as she was my hiking buddy and she took her pup, Sophie with her. Rude.

But last weekend, I went to visit said friend, Sophie, and do a little Paddy’s Day celebrating in Southie like a local. This visit also meant I could cuddle with Sophie!

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I was actually really excited for the change in city and the change in pace as compared to my previous weekend shenanigans. Instead of being a lush, we were outdoorsy and did several hikes in the North Boston area.

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There was still plenty of snow on the ground, but it was manageable. It was also good training for my knee. I’m finally comfortable enough to get out there and do more rigorous activities…and not a moment too soon! But of course after every hike, there was always a bit of cuddle time. Sophie really has mastered the selfie…

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After 2 relaxed days of hiking, nomming, and catching up we headed to South Boston on Sunday for the St. Patrick’s Day parade and to hang out with some of her friends. Her friends had a townhouse right on the parade route – talk about an amazing view! Nothing beats a good Sunday session!

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It only took me 2 days into this week to feel rested and back to normal, but it was worth every minute. Tiny hats ftw!

Weekend review: DC bucket list

This past weekend, I put a big dent in my DC bucket list. Last we checked in, I had celebrated Oktoberfest in Reston with a few girl friends and this weekend, I visited the National Arboretum and picked fruit from a local orchard. I’ve even got the pictures to prove it!

First up, The National Arboretum. Located off New York Avenue, this little gem of plants and collections is probably unknown to most tourists and residents. I first learned about it from a friend who learned about it from her sister and while it’s free to visit, it is a bit out of the way. They certainly didn’t make this little retreat easily accessible for anyone without a car.

Of course, the arboretum is best during peak seasons for certain plants, but beggars can’t be choosers when you procrastinate and don’t think of things in advance, so I went ahead and made the trek to check it out. I can always visit again when certain parts of the park are in bloom. The most visited areas are the herb garden, the Bonsai Pavilions, and the Capitol Columns – which seem to be beautiful regardless of season.

I stopped off in the Bonsai Pavilion first, mainly because I love bonsais.

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Without sounding completely nerdy, my mind is still blown by all the ways bonsais grow and how they can be molded. Here is a compilation of my favorites:

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Look at the one that’s practically a tiny forest! And right across from the Bonsai Pavilion is the herb garden with everything from peppers to clementines, to covered walkways that just beg you to sit down and relax.

photo(233)I was slightly tempted to pick a clementine, but I refrained and then listened to little kids debate whether or not they wanted to pick one of the crazy spicy peppers. (They decided not to, in case you were curious).

Just on the other side of the herb garden are the Capitol Columns and probably the most iconic spot in the arboretum.

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It’s pretty much a photographer’s playground; there was even someone doing a modeling shoot at the top. After I saw these 3 main areas, I hopped back in my car to drive around the park. I could have walked, ran, or biked if I had known more but I didn’t have much time left in the day and wanted to see as much as possible. There are small parking areas at each collection which is very handy and keeps things orderly for visitors. I stopped into Fern Valley (slightly unimpressive), National Grove of State Trees, and finally the Asian Collections. There were more, but I decided not to stop in since I knew they wouldn’t be in bloom this time of year.

Maybe it’s my pending trip to Asia or maybe because I’m sure I was Asian in another lifetime, but this collection was my favorite. Filled with downward slopes and paths made from various materials, the Asian Collection looked out over the Anacostia (which if you pretend it’s not the Anacostia, it seems lovely). There’s also a nice little Pagoda you can explore:

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In all, I spent an hour an a half exploring the arboretum and while I definitely didn’t see everything, I think I sufficiently crossed it off my list – at least until the peak seasons when everything will be in full bloom. It’s definitely a little getaway in a busy city that lets you explore and enjoy the great outdoors.

Next up, Butler’s Orchard; because knocking off one bucket list item this weekend just wasn’t enough. On Sunday, my friend Kasie and I headed up to Germantown, MD and while we had originally wanted to go apple picking, neither of our schedules allowed it. Instead, we went pumpkin picking and enjoyed the Fall Festival at the orchard.

Neither of us realized the festival was as large as it was, but we had so much fun! There was a corn maze:

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And a giant slide:

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And of course, a pumpkin patch where you could pick your favorite pumpkin!

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I ended up with a small baking pumpkin and an even tinier white pumpkin to paint (hopefully, I’ll have that to share later this week!), but we did love the imperfect pumpkins that had big wart-like spots and weren’t fully orange with green speckles. Kasie and I chalked it up to character!

After our hayride out to the pumpkin patch, we also petted some farm animals:

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And took some fall cutout pics. We had to wait in lines with the kids, but it was totally worth it:

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We ended the day with pumpkin rolls (they were out of the apple cider doughnuts) and a cup of warm apple cider. Honestly, I knew I’d have fun at the farm, but I didn’t think I’d have this much fun. If you’re in the DC area, get yourself to Butler’s Orchard before Halloween.

So that was my weekend, which leaves me with only 2 more items on my DC bucket list:

  • MLK Jr. Memorial
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island
  • American History Museum
  • National Arboretum
  • Pick fruit from a local orchard
  • Oktoberfest

I think I got this.

Weekend review: Hiking with Tessie

This past weekend, I got to puppy sit one of my all time favorite pups, Tessie. She’s part hound and just needs to run and exercise; otherwise, she kind of loses it and gets stir crazy. So when I made plans for the long weekend, I made sure to include Tessie-friendly activities.

On Saturday, I went hiking with Sophie and her human. We’re regular hiking buddies, but it was a little different this time since I had Tessie. We went to Great Falls on the Maryland side and totally rocked Billy Goat B and C paths which put our day’s total at just over 6 miles. We skipped Billy Goat A since you can’t take dogs on that trail, but we still got some great views.

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It’s amazing to see dog’s communicate and to watch how they show each other stuff. Tessie is apparently a total chicken when it comes to water; where as Sophie is part fish. The first beach area we spotted, Sophie was just waiting to chase rocks and sticks and Tessie just wasn’t sure…

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But after a few romps and some encouragement from Sophie, Tessie got her paws wet and even went up to her chest at one point.

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Which gave me time to enjoy the scenery a bit more and take in this view…

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By the end of our hiking day, Tessie was leading us and letting us know she wanted to play in the water a bit more. Of course by the time we finished 6 miles, all she wanted to do was lay down in the back of the car. Sweet pup 🙂

On Sunday, my sister and I had made plans to hike Old Rag but since we both weren’t sure if we were up for the 8 mile loop and rock scramble, we opted for a less intense hike and one where we could bring Tessie along. This time we headed out to Fountainhead National Park in Fairfax, Virginia. Totally different to Great Falls, this trail was definitely in a more wooded area with fewer watering holes. There was no rock scrambling, but there were some hills that put the cardio in cardiovascular. We did a 6 mile in and out hike. Here we are at 3 miles just before we looped back:

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I don’t think Tessie could believe her luck at all the running, sniffing, and exploring she got to do this past weekend. I was pretty impressed myself. I just gotta say I’m loving all the hiking I’ve been doing this year and the old knee isn’t complaining either!

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