March 27, 2012

BIG news!!!

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

watch it: 21 jump street

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

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

weekly gems

P.S. Happy St. Patrick's Day : )

March 13, 2012

LOL: bugsy and malone

This super cute video is a couple years old and has a ton of views, but I couldn't help but share it. It always makes me smile, and you can never smile enough!

March 12, 2012

a letter to those who are hurting

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

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

weekly gems

March 10, 2012

use it: cool stuff round-up

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!

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest


"Babushka" dolls - love!

Ice cubes that can doggie paddle!

Rubber duckie, you're the one!

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

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

recent loves

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.

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

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!

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

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.

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

Quote - I find quotes by First Ladies to be particularly inspiring and wise. This sentiment by Martha Washington is no exception.

What have you been loving lately?

March 7, 2012

my life: meet josie

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

new year's all year 2012: february reflections and march goals

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

weekly gems

March 1, 2012

my life: happy birthday daniel

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)

Sources for information: 1, 2, 3
Photo above of Dan & Madison, summer 2011

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