Monday, January 30, 2017

Christians... The Latest Hypocrites

I'm so tired of seeing people who are self-proclaimed Christians on Facebook who go to church every Sunday being horribly hypocritical over the Cheeto's executive order from Friday. I know y'all were raised better, and for the older adults in the crowd - I know you TAUGHT ME BETTER. I read the book and drank the Kool-aid. Don't you remember the story of Jesus and the leper? Or how about Leviticus 19:33-34?

Nope - hmm... y'all all seem to forget about all those stories of the trinity helping the lowest common denominator when they're not convenient to your narrow-minded view of the world. But you sit there in your pew every Sunday feeling justified in your crooked sense of righteousness, thinking, "I'm a Christian. I go to church." No. You're a Hypocrite who sits in a pew.

God seems to only be good enough for you when his message lines up with your strict interpretation of the book. I know I'm not perfect, nor do I claim to be, but I am more than happy to mute you and your hypocritical messages of happiness and joy over rejecting refugees.

If you're a Christian drinking the Kool-aid, then it's time for you to remember something. Jesus died for ALL of our sins - ALL OF THEM. Not just for you and your family and your friends - FOR EVERYONE'S. Because God loves EVERYONE. He loves all of his little children - even if they don't follow his religion. God is not someone you can call on for individualistic prayers that are convenient solely for you, when you are not willing to help those suffering in the world. Why? Because GOD LOVES. He LOVES. All I'm seeing from a lot of self-proclaimed Christians are messages of HATE. Does that make you feel proud of yourselves? Proud that you're feeding into the hate in the world.

Don't like what I have to say, then fine. Unfriend me. You clearly aren't someone I'd want to be friends with anyway. My friends don't turn their back on people who need help regardless of creed, color, orientation, religion or country of origin. If you aren't willing to stand up for what is right, decent, and kind, then how do you look yourself in the mirror every morning and still call yourself a Christian.

If you don't like my fact-bomb and feel the urge to set me straight, then your negative responses to this message will be deleted, and you will be blocked, because this is not a debate. It is a fact-bomb.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Smell all the Smells - Perfumes Galore

I don't know why, but I love perfume. It wasn't something that I really ever played with as a child or really had someone in my family that pushed me to like it like I do. My mother never wore perfumes so I wasn't really accustomed to it as a kid. I didn't fully start to embrace it until probably college or maybe my senior year of high school.

I remember my first signature scent quite well, Cast a Spell by Lulu Guinness. I don't however remember where I bought it. As I started to run down the bottle and the last drops clung to the sides of its frosted container, I panicked, because my signature scent was gone. This was before Amazon or online shopping really took off. If I couldn't remember where I had gotten it... I wasn't going to be able to re buy it.

The smell of Cast a Spell was a complex vanilla that hinted at something a little spicy. I loved it. It could be worn everyday and it was just complex enough that it carried over to evening events very nicely.



The other problem in trying to hunt down another bottle of Cast a Spell was that I couldn't even remember the name. The bottle doesn't say it, and the box had been thrown out long ago. So instead of panicking that my signature scent was gone, I headed off to Sephora to find something that reminded me of that smell. So started my hunt for my next signature scent.

What I found was Saint by Kat Von D.


Saint is a lovely little perfume that held me over through my last few years of college and into my post-college years quite nicely. It's a very day friendly scent that wears lightly on the skin and slowly fades over the day, which is why I would always stick the rollerball in my purse to reapply later in the day. But what it lacked that Cast a Spell had was that spicy complexity that allowed it to carry over into night settings. 

This left me wanting something else for those special nights out. This is when my love of perfume really took off. Because unlike the days when Cast a Spell was the only perfume I needed, now I needed more - I needed scents for different days, different events and different moods. Where Cast a Spell carried me day in and day out, Saint, while a great scent that I still wear to this day didn't have the complexity that really made me want to wear it over and over again.

Since then, I have found another bottle of Cast a Spell, but I've also been driven by this need to find a great date night scent - this was even more apparent when hunting for the perfect wedding scent (yes, I needed a special smell for the day of - Killer Queen by Katy Perry just incase you were wondering). It had become a bit out of control, so instead of buying new ones, I found a couple of Scent subscription boxes.

Looking for your signature scent, but don't want to commit to a full bottle, check out two subscription scent boxes that I'm gaga over: Scentbird and Scent Trunk

Scentbird is very enticing - the perfumes are all major market perfumes that you can purchase individually or schedule out for your subscription deliveries. I've been using this one for a few months, and I like that I'm able to try scents for 30 days without commitment. You get one perfume from your list per month that you pick based on your scent favorites.

Scent Trunk works a bit differently, but has it's own benefits. Scent Trunk highlights small batch artizan perfumers, who are not mass market perfumers. These scents are going to be pretty unique to your friend set so it's likely no one will ever be wearing the same scent you are. Their perfumes come in smaller vial sizes, but you get three to the subscription - so you can try out different scents each month based on your scent preferences. This one you don't get to pick the scents, which is a bit of a bummer, but I do like the tailored grab bag mentality. 



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

DC Metro Animal Shelters & Rescues - Puppy Post

The weather hit 50 degrees today in the DC Metro, and it felt so much like spring that I could hardly believe my luck. I love spring, to me it means gardening, parks, walking my dog leisurely, happy birds, and adoption events!

Something that I've noticed in the DC area is the prominence of rescues at almost every pet store in the area, from the period of March through August. Sitting out front with their wide-eyed-dogs looking ardently for their forever homes. SO I know this isn't just limited to puppies, but actually all dogs out there in the DC Metro area that need a loving home.

I've taken the liberty of compiling an exhaustive list of all the rescues, shelters, & welfare leagues in the DC Metro area (if I've forgotten/missed one - let me know). So as you begin thinking about having a forever furry friend join you for the first (or maybe second time) this spring - consider giving the below a look, if you think dog adoption is the thing for you.

I have to admit though, some of the adoption application processes are quite vigorous - you can't walk into the majority of these places and expect to have a pet the same day. So do your research and choose wisely, because aside from the DC Shiba Inu Rescue, I know 0 things about any of the ones below, and I cannot vouch nor do I represent them.

So essentially - Looking for a Dog in the Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, or Washington, DC Area? The below rescues/shelters/welfare leagues are within a relatively close driving distance, and are looking for high quality adopters!

Breed Specific Rescues

A lot of people say they don't want to rescue, because they want a specific breed - if that's the case for you here are some Breed Specific Rescues in the DC Metro Area. Some have breed mixes and dogs of other breeds, as well. (Listed Alphabetically by Breed)

Rescues(Listed by State & then alphabetically by name)

Virginia


Washington, DC


Maryland


Shelters
(Listed by State & then alphabetically by name)

Virginia

Washington, DC

Maryland

Welfare Leagues(Listed alphabetically by name)


If you know that one of these rescues or shelters not on this list or that are on this list and no longer operating - let me know!


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Friday, January 9, 2015

Planning Spring's Plantings - Garden Post

Nymeria's First Snow
With the frost in the air getting more and more bitter, I can't help but dream of warmer days. The smell of marigolds, while I flip through a Southern Living Magazine with a sweet tea in hand - sunning on the porch.

It's enough to make me start thinking about my plants and my garden and my seedlings.

Last year, I purchased a grow light, which was just the bees absolute knees in terms of prepping seedlings for spring planting, but after a particularly viscous set of aphids, all my seedlings were destroyed and with it my hopes of a magnificent harvest. So I recouped what I could and struggled along the rest of the summer with an eggplant (destroyed by a hornworm), 2 pepper plants (produced until the first frost), and a pineberry plant (my pride and joy).

When the chills of fall set in I pulled my pineberry plant and the runners I had cultivated indoors with me, but a long thanksgiving break killed one of the runners, and little Nymeria did in the rest. So I'm back to my sole pineberry plant hoping fervently for some warmer weather.

But what to grow with my pineberry plant - what to grow... what to grow...

I've decided that I'm going to stick with what I know and what I can eat. I want to limit myself to the bare necessities, because we might be moving places in the middle of the summer and it would be a beast to have to move 20 containers.

SO.

What to grow.

I want my garden to have some focus, and I want my garden to not die, like it did this past summer (which might have been my fault - planning a wedding and all that jazz). So I'm going to limit my plants. 




I'm thinking that I should pick up some pineberry seeds and start from seeds, to see how that goes, and add to my one prize, lonely plant. I always love a challenge.

I'm also thinking about branching out into another kind of strawberry - I think the alpines all have a nice small size to them, and one I found doesn't have runners - so that would keep it all in it's container.



I also like having scallions and chives about - they have such a distinctive smell, and my chives grow quite prolifically.

I think I'll bring back some basil. It's always so expensive to get fresh basil at the store, and I do so long for some fresh pesto.

Aside from that... I still have some garlic in the ground, trying to get it to winter properly so that it grows me some big, honking bulbs, but if that fails - I think I'll wait till next summer (2016) to try again.

SO that's it:
Strawberries, Scallions, Chives, Basil.

It's going to be small, but I hope it's at least fruitful.

Best Gardening,

Laura

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Scotland Tips - Get the Explorer Pass

Take my advice, if you're ever in Scotland... see some friggin' castles. See the friggin' history - it's got a good 2+ millennia of history on the United States, and the lore and the culture and the people just beg to be seen and told.

The view from Eilean Donan Castle (Not on the Explorer Pass)
So, with that said, if you're traveling to Scotland to see the historic sites, then I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you get the Explorer Pass. Seriously, If you plan on visiting more than two castles in a short-time frame, it's worth it. The $$ to get into the various castles ranges, based on popularity and location, and to be perfectly honest the length of the lines to get in at some of the more popular castles is completely unreal.

Walking down the historic Royal Mile, which involved
a lot of buying things, as you could imagine.
I also recommend that you do NOT get it at Stirling or Edinburgh Castles. These are two of the top tourist destinations in the Highlands and as such, they have the longest lines. If you get your Explorer Pass at a less popular destination then you get fast-tracked at the other two, which means you get to waltz past the people who did not get this tip and do not have to waste countless minutes or hours, depending on how busy they are that day, in line just to get past the gate.

JR and I did not set out to Scotland to see castles, we just set out with the hopes of letting our feet guide us, but we wound up seeing quite a few in the 6 days we spent galavanting across the highlands. We saw privately owned castles, as well as nationally owned castles, and while the privately owned had a stronger feel of charm and homeliness (since some are still used as a home), the nationally owned ones were quite awesome for the history they told and the views. Seriously, the views were amazing.

In fact, since JR and I did not set out to Scotland to see castles, we did NOT get the Explorer Pass, until we had already visited two of the locations at which we could have used said Explorer Pass... man... wish we would have known that - but the last thing you want to do after knocking the side mirror off of a brand new Mercedes is stand around and talk about the various ways to explore Scotland with a cashier... I wish we would have stood around and talked about the various ways to explore Scotland with that cashier....

Standing outside Doune Castle, which is where parts of Outlander, Game of Thrones, and the Classic Monty Python Movie that involves the Holy Grail.
Anywho, the Explorer Pass is not universal - not all castles we went to would accept it, but you know that going in - you can see the full list of historic sites that the pass allows you to see here and they even have a mobile app - HOW FRIGGIN' HANDY IS THAT? Basically the most friggin' handiest, that's how handy. The Scots are always using their thinkers that's for sure!


ALL I'M SAYING is that's the wall Bran's climbing up when
Jamie pushes him out of the window in the first season of Game of Thrones,
and that well is definitely in a few Outlander scenes.


We saw Urquhart Castle, Elgin Cathedral, Doune Castle, Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle, among others... all eligible for the Explorer Pass, but we didn't get it until we were two places in. IF ONLY we would have known those passes were there...

Don't be like us - get the Explorer Pass, and explore to your heart's content. Because who doesn't hate paying for something twice, when they could have just paid for it once, all at the same time... and just flashed a book to go through the lines without a fuss.... no one. That's who!

Happy Travels, and bring me back some clotted cream and scones!

Monday, October 27, 2014

What's in a Name? A Lot of Hootenany, That's What - Puppy Post

Now that we're on the path to certain puppydom x2.

Don't worry, it's a year and a half down the line. We got to recover from this one first...

Isn't she looking a lil Harry Connick Jr. in this pic? It's the eyes... just don't tell Harry. 
And expand... our current place is only big enough for the three of us... and maybe a few more misguided necessary art purchases (It was Phill Singer! How could I pass up on a Singer!?), but that's neither here nor there. Okay, where was I...

Oh yeah! Now that a 2nd puppy is as sure as Nymeria is cute - it's time to start thinking about names. I mean, how do you top an AKC name like Nymeria MacBattleby Logiealmond MacGold?! It's nearly impossible! And granted the lil' pup his or herself will have a lot of say in the matter as well... you couldn't name a Swedish Vallhund Melly Joe Carmichael, could you? No! 

So to start where our last puppy name search ended, I give you - potential AKC puppy names of the next puppy MacGold:
  • Brodie Tighnabruaich Crieff MacGold
  • Ullapool Rosemarkie Golspie MacGold
  • Onich Banavie Halkirk MacGold
  • Keiss Braetongue Cannich MacGold
  • Altnaharra Scourie Plockton MacGold
  • Bettyhill Gairloch Netherley MacGold
  • Dalwhinnie Coldbackie Inveraray MacGold
  • Torridon Wick Laggan Doune MacGold
  • Shieldaig Poolewe Farr MacGold
  • Thurso Whaligoe Kingussie MacGold
  • Beuly Dalnaspidal Tyndrum MacGold
  • Cammachmore Drumnadrochit Keiss MacGold
  • Crieff Invergordon Lochgilphead MacGold
  • Maryculter Lochailort Muir MacGold
  • Shandwick Spey on Braemar MacGold
  • Siar Tullich Groats MacGold
  • Fairbairn Codswallup Dougal MacGold
  • Lennox Spey Coldbackie MacGold
  • Angus Waldroup Wallace MacGold
  • Trask Urquhart Kirriemuir MacGold
  • Brechin Ardbeg Turriff MacGold
  • Cladich Ellon Rosehearty MacGold
  • Iona Aven Cumnock MacGold
  • Ailsa Rannock Thurso MacGold
  • Texa Inverurie Glendaruel MacGold
  • Oban Tayvallich Dingwall MacGold
  • Gretna Sanquhar Dumfries MacGold
  • Govan Balloch Kirkintilloch MacGold
  • Tarbert Tiree Dornoch MacGold
And yes, any of these could be rearranged for the perfect Scottish puppy name, but what's the fun in just telling you a bunch of potentials, if I haven't created names with them. I do have some favorite first names for the pup - depending on the gender and you'll find all of them above, but I thought I'd share the basics with you as well. These are in no particular order.

Girls: 
  1. Ailsa
  2. Texa
  3. Gretna
  4. Ullapool
  5. Aven
  6. Banavie
  7. Beuly
  8. Dalwhinnie (could call her Winnie)

Boys: 
  1. Onich
  2. Oban
  3. Brodie
  4. Thurso
  5. Crieff
  6. Brechin
  7. Lennox
  8. Tarbert
So that's that! I mean something I've learned recently is that we did not properly name little Nymeria - apparently if you have a Shiba Inu, you are basically by law required to give the lil' kipper a Japanese name, like Hachi, Kenji, Hairu, Sumo, Nori, Yuki, Yoshi, Masa, Saki, Kuma, Kiko, etc...

Of course, if you've met me - you'll know I already disagree. Where's the fun in that? That's like finding a Scottish Terrier named Angus... how many of those are frickin' running around?!

It's cute for all about 5 mins before people realize you have absolutely no imagination. At this point in time, I've met 12 Shibas named Kenji... and that's only in the DC/MD/VA area. Come on people! Just because your dog is historically from X, doesn't mean you need to name them a name from that culture. Base it off of their sparkling (or unsparkling) personality. Granted yes, I go back to the Swedish Vallhund reference, no Vally should be named Melly Joe Carmichael, because I just don't see that fitting, but you could name them something other than Helga or Lars, couldn't you?

Yes. You could.

So that brings me back to my array of fine Scottish names - It fits with the MacGold that all our little AKC bundle of joys will have. It fits because it's fun, and what's not fun about naming a little pup that will be your forever companion? Nothing. That's what!




Friday, October 3, 2014

The Most Important Election of 2014 - Puppy Post

In case you didn't know. It's political season, and with five weeks left to go in this uncertain time of backstabbing, name calling, straight up deceit and dishonesty - It's time that we get to what really matters. No. Not next year's open enrollment for Obamacare.

Deciding the next member of the Gold/MacGold family. Pssst, the secret's out... it's going to be another puppy.

Okay, okay, okay.... I know we just got this little ball of joy, like 2 months ago, and it has been just the peachiest, but guys - it is way past time to start pondering which puppy to get next.
Lil' Nymeria Solving World Hunger and The Proper Way to Nom on a Wubba

So I know you are all on the edge of your seat, pondering what beautiful (and remarkably cleverly named) puppy we want next.

And let me tell you, this is a tough one. I'm sure you my loyal readers, remember the puppy debate that we had around this time last year.  And it was heated. I mean come on... how do you pick between a Swedish Vallhund and a Schipperke!? Nearly impossible... Nearly impossible. 

So I give you...

The 2014 Puppy Election Debate 

This is seriously the most important election of yours, mine, and America's life this political season. 

And we have some of the same contenders from 2013's vital race

The Oldies:

The Swedish Vallhund in all his Spitzy-Squat glory. 

This my friends, is a puppy that's just going to get cuter WITH age. 
SERIOUSLY! JUST AS CUTE IF NOT CUTER THAN THE PUPPY.

The Schipperke in all his Pint-Sized-Spitzy glory. 

Look at that face. And those eyes. And Just everything about him. UGH. ADORABLE. 
UGH. Imma puke. Look how adorable this lil one is. It's like a mini Shiba Inu, but equally as awesome in just a different breed. 

The Havanese in all his Adorably-Fuzzy-Non-Spitzy glory.

How can you say no to this face? You couldn't... There would be no disciplining this face. 

Come ON when they grow up you can make them look like miniature Old English Sheep Dogs... That's brilliant! 

VS The Newbies:

The Skye Terrier in all his Bizarrely-Shaped-Yet-Captivating-Non-Spitzy glory. 

Such a cute bizarre body-ear-head ratio, it's enough to make you squee with delight... SQUEEE! 

And their bangs are supposed to be in their eyes... Like that's how theyre supposed to look. All those years of "laura, fix your bangs," "laura your hair is in your face," or "laura why can't you just pin them back?" Should have been retorted with - because I want to look like my dream dog mom! Geez! 


 The Tibetan Spaniel in all his Adorably-Adorable-Quirky-Yet-Still-Adorable-Non-Spitzy glory.

This is a face that only a mother, her baby-daddy, her baby, her momma, her pops, her pop's mamma, her pop's pops, her mamma's mamma, her mamma's pops, and everybody would love. Everybody could love this frickin' adorable face. And - they're not just a pretty face - this pup is one smart unedible cookie. 

I mean COME. ON. It's an adorable adult dog, too?! This just isn't right. It's just tooooooo right! ;-)
So there you have the 2014 Puppy Debate contenders. Who do you choose?!