March 27, 2012
Hello, everyone! I hope you are all doing well.
Writing this post is a bit bittersweet. Dan, the wonderful person he is, has always supported my interest in and efforts toward blogging. He recently (and so generously) has set me up with my own domain for Beagle & Bear and installed Wordpress on it, resulting in a new and improved Beagle & Bear. From now on, I will be posting from the new site. While I am so excited for the opportunities and possibilities that the new site and its platform provides, I am a little sad to be leaving Beagle & Bear's Blogger site, where I began my blogging journey, learned a lot, had fun, and got to connect with all of you! I sincerely hope you enjoy the work I do here at Beagle & Bear, and that you will follow me to the new site and love what is there even more. Thank you all for your continued support and love - I'm grateful for each and every one of you! Can't wait to talk to you all soon : )
March 22, 2012
Notable Cast Members: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Ice Cube, Rob Riggle, Ellie Kemper, DeRay Davis
Overall Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (rating rationale)
Plot Summary: Schmidt (Jonah Hill) has his brains going for him. Jenko (Channing Tatum) has his braun. At the police academy, the two set aside differences from high school and join forces to help each other become police officers. In the process, they also become best friends and partners. After screwing up their first attempt at a major arrest, the deputy chief (played by Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman) reassigns them to an undercover operation located at 21 Jump Street. The two prepare to go undercover at a local high school in order to stop the spread of a dangerous new drug (while living with Schmidt's parents in the house he grew up in). However, they accidentally mix up their newly assigned identities, and Schmidt, who was an academic outsider in high school, gets in with the popular crowd, while Jenko, who was an all-around jock unconcerned with learning, makes friends with the nerds. Add in the fact that their police work is not always top-dollar, and you get some hilarious, action-packed entertainment.
Personal Thoughts: I loved this movie! It's one of the funniest movies I've seen in awhile - definitely the funniest since Bridesmaids. I know I usually like most movies I review, but I claim it's not that I like everything and it's more that I am just good at spending my time on movies I like...although most people tell me it's the first option. I know I'm not alone on my 21 Jump Street opinion, though! Dan thought this movie was hilarious and worth seeing in theaters, as did a few other people with whom I discussed the film. That being said, if you enjoy movies like Superbad, Stepbrothers, Pineapple Express, Your Highness, etc., then you will probably enjoy 21 Jump Street. If you didn't like at least one of those movies, you may not like 21 Jump Street. If you can't handle violence, you might not like 21 Jump Street (or at least will need to avert your eyes for a few moments). A lot of my favorite movies are ones like the four mentioned above, and I am excellent at averting my eyes at any violence that gets to me, so I did enjoy this movie! Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have an excellent rapport as weirdly-matched best friends, display awesome comedic chops, and nicely play the "serious" moments without any cheesiness. The supporting cast is superb, especially Dave Franco and Ice Cube. The story is a bit off-kilter, but just grounded enough. If you're looking for a movie to crack you up while also blowing stuff up, 21 Jump Street has got you covered.
March 17, 2012
- Recipes I want to try: Sally's rum french toast with maple syrup rum, cinnamon biscuits, avocado apple and arugula salad, banana birthday cake, Lucky Charms treats, all of these recipes with blood oranges
- Great article on the new buildings on campus at my alma mater, BGSU, and what it means for the state of Ohio.
- Awesome apps for book lovers.
- Interesting post about Irish wedding traditions.
- I might need to try some of these Hunger Games-inspired nail polishes.
- Happy 100th Birthday to the Girl Scouts of America! (well, it was Monday. But still!)
- I'm in love with this series on Carrots 'n' Cake called Blog Dogs. Similarly, tips for photographing your pet!
- The best 35 cameos in movie history.
- Encyclopaedia Britanica is no longer releasing print books.
- The ten funniest comedic lady tweets of the week.
- I'll definitely be checking out this jewelry company, 31 bits, that works with women in Northern Uganda.
- Interesting article on earning money through blogging.
- I definitely want to try out some of these trainer-favorited abs exercises, as well as these leg and arms workouts!
- Favorite Hello Giggles posts of the week: 1, 2, 3, 4
- Favorite weddings of the week: 1, 2, 3
P.S. Happy St. Patrick's Day : )
March 13, 2012
March 12, 2012
A lot has happened these past couple weeks that have reminded about how blessed my life is and how much I love everyone in it. The Chardon High School shooting was in the northeast Ohio area, and while I didn't know anyone involved, it moved me deeply as an educator. Three students from BGSU, my alma mater, passed away in a car crash at the beginning of spring break - making it six students this year that the university has lost. I hear of other losses, of health problems, of pain, among people I am close to or people that I have once met. It all breaks my heart. But at the same time, it makes me stand up straighter. It makes me take a pause and a deep breath. Then it makes me keep going. It makes me go forward trying to be stronger than before, motivated to make the most of the abilities, opportunities, and love in my life. It makes me want to do all I can to make others' lives easier.
The frequency of tragedy does not ease its pain. It does not make it more understandable to me. I will never understand how one second someone can be here and the next second, they're gone. I will never understand why great people, who treat others with warmth and work hard, go through such trials. When I first lost someone very dear to me very suddenly, during college, I felt broken. I remember, shortly after learning the news, I went to the church just off campus that I attended, which was unlocked and open 24 hours. I sat in the dark. I cried. I lit a candle. I prayed and cried. I went home. I cried myself to sleep. I woke up the next day and looked at the window. People were walking to class. I somehow got dressed and ready. I went to the union to get much-needed coffee. People were studying. People were laughing. I didn't understand how the world could keep moving forward when it felt like it should be standing still.
I know people who are loved are lost everyday. I know people receive terrible health news or diagnosis everyday. I know people are hurt and taken advantage of and neglected everyday. I have known all this for quite some time. For some reason, I have been feeling the truth of it more and more lately. It sits heavily in my heart. I just wanted to say, if you are going through pain, if you feel broken, if you don't understand why the world isn't standing still, you're not alone. I won't say it's okay. It's not okay. But I promise: you're not alone.
March 11, 2012
- Recipes I want to try: peanut butter ice cream sandwiches, chocolate stout cupcakes with Bailey's Irish cream cheese frosting, toasted sesame ginger salmon, broccoli asparagus pizza, and mini cheddar popovers
- Seven of the laughably worst celebrity tweets.
- Inspired by this interesting post by Jess about intentions vs. goals.
- This past week saw International Women's Day, and Marie Clarie shared these images of female refugees.
- Gorgeous paintings by Eva Gonzalès.
- Mint is clearly a star color this spring, as seen here and here (I'm on board too - just bought myself Revlon's "Minted" polish)!
- Ashley's six relationship ideas are great guidance for young couples.
- I was very inspired by Laura's post about loving yourself, flaws and all.
- This French manicure is so fun!
- This awesome post by Joanna about being too busy is a must-read.
- How to build a cheese board - can't wait to try making one!
- Loved this interview with Angie of Bakerella.
- I adore both the acting and the style of Rachel McAdams.
- 12 images and quotes to inspire your fitness goals.
March 10, 2012
Lately I've been trying to stay better hydrated in order to have more energy, and I've taken to drinking my water with a ton of ice. Sometimes I wish there was a way to make the ice water a bit more interesting. Conveniently enough, every now and then while perusing Pinterest, Tumblr, or the web in general, I come across some products that are just plain neat. Over time I've found a bunch of fun ice cube trays and molds. Here are my favorites:
Duh-dun. Duh-dun. Duh-dun-duh-dun-duh-dun...
LEGO my ice cubes!
"Babushka" dolls - love!
Ice cubes that can doggie paddle!
Rubber duckie, you're the one!
And my FAVORITE one...Han Solo in carbonite!
Would you use fun ice cube trays? Which of these do you like, or are there different ones from around the web that you enjoy?
March 8, 2012
Book - I cannot stop reading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I'm totally hooked! Perfect for anyone who likes mysteries and/or chick lit.
TV Show - I'm loving the show White Collar. The characters are endearing, hilarious, strong, and smart, the acting is excellent, and the writing is fun and engaging. I highly recommend it if you like shows like Bones, Body of Proof, In Plain Sight, etc.
App - I've had Instagram for several months now, but I've just recently become really hooked. Recording and sharing the small but meaningful parts of life adds a little extra celebration and positivity to each day. Plus, the photos of other users are so fun and inspiring!
Beauty - As I've mentioned, I'm getting more and more interested in the world of beauty, particularly nail polish. Right now I'm really loving Nicki Minaj for OPI Metallic 4 Life.
Snack - Lots of people adore cake. I'm not typically one of them. However, I do enjoy cupcakes and cake pops. As a result, I tried Starbucks's new cake pop, raspberry truffle - and fell in love. Delicious!
Workout - Have you ever tried Zumba? If not, you must! I truly love it. It's fun, and a really is a great workout without even feeling like it. I've been going to a class once a week most weeks for the past couple weeks. I'd love to increase that number or pick up the DVDs.
Quote - I find quotes by First Ladies to be particularly inspiring and wise. This sentiment by Martha Washington is no exception.
March 7, 2012
I am lucky to be engaged to a man who has an amazing family, and I love seeing great things happen for them. His parents recently adopted a 4-year-old beagle-mix named Josie. This event was especially exciting because (a) it's exciting when anyone gains a furry family member, (b) this furry family member happens to be a dog whose part beagle, and (c) it's the first time Dan's mom has ever had a dog! I got to meet Josie a couple weeks ago, and she is ADORABLE. Her and Madison are already fast friends.
P.S. If you think this video Dan made excellently showcases her cuteness, you should see her in person!
March 6, 2012
In January I introduced the 2012 New Year's, All Year Challenge, in which I made broad "endpoints" goals for the year and explained that each month I will make specific small goals that are stepping stones to my endpoint aims. Each month I will also reflect on the previous month's goals and efforts.
My goals for February were:
- Health: track food daily; do yoga at least once a week
- Finances: save specific percentage of each paycheck; open separate wedding fund account
- Relationships: cook dinner for Grandma; plan presents and cards for birthdays in March
- Wedding: set a date for engagement photos; research vendors
- Career: sub 3-4 times a week; reflect on swim season and start prepping for swim team award night
- Self-enrichment: Cook and bake more
Reflections on February:
I did well with my goals for career (subbing is going well and swimming ended nicely), wedding (we might have our reception venue chosen!), saving money, and planning out gifts. While I continued to eat decently the majority of the time and attend Zumba when I was able to, I did not do much yoga in February. Also, while I did spend time with my grandma, I was not able to cook a nice dinner for her last month. Similarly, I wasn't able to bake as much as I would have liked. I hope that I will be able to do more (or all!) of these activities in March, as it seems there will be more time since swim season and all post-season work (except for awards night!) is complete now. All that being said...
My goals for March are:
- Health: get enough sleep; stay hydrated
- Finances: keep saving money
- Relationships: complete as many little acts of kindness as possible - like cooking dinner for my grandma, for instance ; )
- Wedding: continue researching and meeting with vendors and start booking them
- Career: read more articles and books related to my content area (social studies)
- Self-enrichment: volunteer - hopefully at the local animal shelter
Do you have any goals for 2012? How are they going? Any for last month? What are your goals for March? It's not too late to become part of the challenge!! : ) Shoot me an email if you decide to join in.
March 4, 2012
- Recipes I want to try: chocolate caramel brownies or brownie squares, bacon cheddar scones, browned butter blueberry muffins, and bacon arugula pizza
- I love the idea of a pancake bar for any party!
- In honor of her birthday this past week, here are some rare and unpublished photos of Elizabeth Taylor.
- The photo diary of Uggie, the canine star of The Artist (and Water for Elephants!), is so cute!
- Do you watch Parks and Recreation? Its newest star is another canine actor - a three legged pit bull named Lucy. Also, check out this playlist inspired by the characters of Leslie and Ben.
- Great tips on how to style an entryway.
- Pumped up for Mackenzie's Design Darling Boutique!!
- I'm also loving these these Hello Giggles posts: 1 & 2
- The peplum is in right now, and I'm surprised to say I'm liking it.
- The best articles about this year's Oscars: best quotes of the evening & an interview with Christopher Plummer
March 1, 2012
Today is my fiance Dan's birthday! I am so lucky, blessed, and grateful that I not only have him in my life, but that I get to marry him! : ) Dan is from Columbus, OH, and we met in college as members of the same teaching program. We worked together as peer facilitators for that program, shared a group of mutual friends, and took the same classes due to having the same major (social studies education). Over time, we became close friends, then best friends, then boyfriend and girlfriend. This past fall, we got engaged and have since began planning a summer 2013 wedding. I am so proud of all Dan does and who he is, and hope he has the best year yet! In celebration of his day and our shared love of history, here's a list of other great things that happened on March 1st. Happy Birthday, Daniel! I love you! : )
- 1692: The Salem Witch Hunt began
- 1781: Articles of Confederation were ratified
- 1790: Congress authorized the first U.S. Census
- 1803: Ohio became the 17th U.S. state (History of Ohio was the first class Dan and I took together!)
- 1845: U.S. President Tyler signed the congressional resolution to annex the Republic of Texas
- 1867: Nebraska became the 37th U.S. state
- 1869: Postage stamps with scenes were issued for the first time
- 1872: Yellowstone National Park was established and became the world's first national park
- 1917: The Zimmerman Note was published in the U.S. (WWI is Dan's favorite topic to research and teach about!)
- 1928: Paul Whitman and his orchestra recorded "Ol' Man River"
- 1936: Hoover Dam completed and turned over to U.S. government
- 1941: FM radio began in Nashville, TN
- 1949: Joe Louis retired
- 1961: Kennedy established the Peach Corps
- 1966: Soviet probe crashed into Venus, becoming the first unmanned spacecraft to land on another planet (Dan loves to learn more about space and the world's space programs!)
- 1968: Johnny Cash and June Carter were married; Elton John's first single was released in England
- 1969: Mickey Mantle retired (Dan proposed to me by writing "Will You Marry Me?" on a baseball we played catch with!)
- 1974: Queen began their first headlining tour in England
- 1987: The Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons for the 2,235th win (Dan is a big basketball fan!)
- 1995: Yahoo! was incorporated
- 2002: Announced there is a possibility of water on the planet Mars
- 2005: Honda unveiled its new Civic (which is the type of car Dan drives!)
- 2008: The naming of the U.S.S. New York occurred
Some famous birthdays on this day: Glenn Miller, bandleader (1904); "Deke" Donald Slayton, astronaut (1924); Robert Clary, actor known for Hogan's Heroes - a show Dan & I love to quote! (1926); Robert Daltry, musician in The Who (1944); Alan Thicke, actor known for Growing Pains (1947); Bryan Winters, basketball player (1952); Ron Howard, producer and actor known for Happy Days (1954); Javier Bardem, actor (1969)
Photo above of Dan & Madison, summer 2011
February 29, 2012
In case I haven't made it clear on this blog, I adore the Muppets. This new commercial for Google+ (featured during the 2012 Academy Awards) just puts me in a fantastic mood. Watch it and I dare you not to smile!
February 28, 2012
Though I'm not a huge beauty product person, my interest has increased over the past couple years and I'm always on the lookout for useful, bang-for-your-buck goods. I'm especially a sucker for nail polish. My favorite colors as of late are:
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in All Fired Up
There's no need for any base or top coats, and it lasts without chipping for at least a week (maybe more if you are better at maintaining polish than I am!). I love the shade All Fired Up - it's the perfect, classic "Matchbook Mag" red.
I love Essie nail polish for its adorable bottles, cute names, and gorgeous shades. This fun pairing was just what I needed to brighten up the gray days of February in Cleveland. I fell in love with the Luxe Effects and want to collect all of them. Next time, though, I will use a clear top coat in addition to the top coating of Luxe Effects in order to make the job last longer.
Butter London in No More Waity, Katie
One of my best friends, Elizabeth, got me this polish for Christmas this past year. We are both big "royal watchers" and adore everything to do with the Middleton sisters and 2011's wedding of the year. I was excited to get this shade not only due to fact it was created in honor of the royal nuptials, but also because it is truly a beautiful shade. A glittery polish, I applied two-three coats until the shade appeared solid on my fingers and added a clear top coat. It holds up well for basic day-to-day functions, but not so much for tasks that require a great deal of handwork, like big cleaning projects or something of that nature.
In addition to wanting to try more of the Essie Luxe Effects line, I really want to try out Zoya nail polish, as I've heard a lot of good things about it in the blogging world the past few months. And of course, I've been wanting to try Deborah Lippmann polish for quite awhile now. Have you tried either line? What do you think? What are your favorite brands and shades?
February 27, 2012
I love watching the Academy Awards. I seriously act like a kid on Christmas. Everything about the show interests me: fashion, montages, behind-the-scenes, host and presenter humor, touching speeches, etc. This year, in addition to avidly discussing the show as it happened with my family, I also shared my thoughts and followed others via Twitter. In fact, I created a collection of my favorite Oscar 2012 tweets that offer humorous commentary and brief recaps of stand-out moments. That collection does include any photos of the evening's fashion, however. For that, you can check out one of these three slideshows (1, 2, 3) or check out my personal top ten looks list below:
10. Miss Piggy in Zac Posen and Kermit the Frog in Brooks Brothers : )
9. Sandra Bullock in a gorgeous backless Marchesa gown
8. Cameron Diaz in Gucci
7. Penelope Cruz in Giorgio Armani
6. Milla Jovovich in Elie Saab
5. Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture
4. Tina Fey in Carolina Herrera
3. Kristen Wiig in J. Mendel
2. Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji
1. Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen
It was really hard to narrow down to a single "Best Dressed," but I fell in love Jessica Chastain's look. She just looked so regal and beautiful. I love the colors of the intricately detailed dress and how it complemented her skin tone and hair color. She looked like she was glowing! Octavia Spencer was definitely a close second for me. Her dress flattered her perfectly, in addition to being totally gorgeous. I adored Emma Stone, Tina Fey, and Kristen Wiig's looks as well. I felt like the gowns all fit their personalities (well, at least the view I have of their personalities) and took their natural beauty to the highest level. Milla Jovovich, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, and Sandra Bullock all looked outstanding. Their gowns are what I imagine when I think "Oscar dresses" and they all pulled them off flawlessly. Lastly, I had to include Miss Piggy and Kermit. I just can't deny the Muppets, especially in formal wear. I mean, really - who can resist this?
What were your favorite moments of the Oscars? Favorite red carpet looks? What wins were you happiest to see?