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.

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

  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. 

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?! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Puppy Post - BAHA! Nym's Name & Where it Came From

So I was checking out this website about naming your dogs and came across this:

The Self-Appointed Nobility: You will find that announcing your dog to anyone with a title, usually of royal distinction ,will get you a look followed shortly thereafter by a non-committal noise. Anyone who’s worked with dogs will tell you a dog with a self-styled title is a dog and owner combo you don’t want to deal with. Prince Foxy, Lady Dingles, Princess Mary Molly, Sir Charles and so on. Aside from the fact that you’re naming a dog, not the heir of the Luxembourgish throne, these people are typically incredibly high maintenance. They make the dog snobs look like slobs and while that’s not all that hard to do, it’s an impressive feat in micromanagement.

Well you know what dog snobs.... Our dog is the heir to the throne of STFU and was picked as one of The Daily Puppy's Daily Puppy!!!, so I'll name her how I ever loving please. Our precious little Dowager Countess Nymeria MacBattleby Logiealmond MacGold of the Easter Geddes, the Maid of Nairnshire, Baroness of Drumornie, the First of Her Name is an absolute gem... and she has a story to go with it...

Pretty freaking adorably, noble-looking... right?! 

Here's where she got her name... As JR and I drove through the Scottish countryside on our honeymoon, we were at a loss for what to call a boy puppy, if that's what the breeder had available - so we started picking up potential names as we went.

Scottish Honeysuckle - I LURVE honeysuckle. It's probably my favorite flower. 
All those names made their way into a note on his phone and as he was reading off the potentials, I thought HA those aren't names - it's a friggin' title. Which then turned into - what if we gave our dog a preposterous title for a name and attempted to enforce people to call her by the full name? What hilarity would ensue?

JR in front of Kilravock signage in Nairnshire

So we picked up Nairnshire (which happens to be where my ancestors are from) and MacBattleby Logiealmond off of road signs. We picked out Drumornie, because it was still a funny word, but a lot easier to pronounce than Drumnadrochit. I picked out the Easter Geddes, because that was a part of my family's lands back in the times of landed gentry.

My family's Castle Sign in the Nairnshire, a part of the Easter Geddes
But the reasons for the specific titles... now that's where lil Nymeria's story gets interesting. ;-)

Little Nymeria MacBattleby Logiealmond MacGold is the only daughter of the fake Laird MacBattleby Logiealmond MacGold of Nairnshire, a widower, which means all his estates will become hers upon his death... this makes her according to Scottish titles a Maid of his lands.

Her fake, late, lady mother (also an only child) died in childbirth, which bestowed her title to little Nymeria - Baroness of Drumornie.

And even before little Nymeria took her first steps, she was promised and married by proxy to the Count of the Easter Geddes... who died at the Battle of Bannockburn, in 1314... supporting the good Robert the Bruce (clearly she's very, very old for such a young puppy). That makes her the Dowager Countess of the Easter Geddes.

Hence her perfectly logical name... for all her fake lineage - The Dowager Countess Nymeria MacBattleby Logiealmond MacGold of the Easter Geddes, the Maid of Nairnshire, Baroness of Drumornie, the First of Her Name.

If you'd like to be kept abreast of all of little Nymeria's comings and goings - follow her on Twitter: @NymeriaMacGold!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Scotland Tips - Rental Car

You always get the extra insurance...

We arrived on a Monday in Glasgow and picked up our rental car and the insurance with all the bells and whistles and headed immediately north on the A87 to Fort William. Our travel agent had us staying at the Inverlochy Castle Hotel, a 2 1/2 hour drive from the airport. We had decided to forgo Glasgow for our honeymoon to see more of the countryside - and boy was this the right decision.

Black Mount Estate en route to Fort William

It was JR and my first trip to Scotland, and my first trip across the Atlantic. I thought flying to Puerto Rico took a while.... but clearly I had no idea. Our honeymoon started as all should near Loch Lomond... I'd never seen such a beautiful place - the rolling green hills, the still water caressing the banks, and a sky so blue it was of sapphires.

But it didn't take long for me to realize that while the loch was gorgeous - the drive was a nightmare.

I think the Scottish definition of highway needs to be rethought, because A87 is no highway. It was a cowpath with two lanes of traffic going in opposite direction at 60 mph with only a spotty white line betwixt ya and a solid brick wall on your left and a sheer drop into the loch on your right. I've always been a nervous passenger in cars, but this was a lesson in horror. The road winds back and forth and up and down akin to a drunken camel stumbling in the dunes of the Sahara. But where that's pure open sky, this was a wooded journey into blind faith that the person in the other lane around the corner was actually staying in their lane.

You know - they normally weren't.

And maybe Scotsmen are made of sterner stuff, but as a Scotsman myself - I screamed and shrieked like a little girl. I'm pretty sure JR was going to kill me. "AH the wall! AH the car! Ah the fuck - was that a fucking 18-wheeler?" Let's just say the first fight in our marriage was about the 5 inches between us and the brick wall to the left of our car as we sat waiting for a construction stop light in the middle of a Scottish highway.

It was probably fortuitous that I was the one complaining about those 5 inches...

Our honeymoon was basically the great-Scottish roadtrip, complete with castles, beautiful purple moors, and sheep... in the actual road - like a frickin movie.

Between JR's inability to cope with the copious amounts of complaining I spurted on our first day of driving and his general distaste for learning to drive on the wrong side of the road... I did the majority of the driving for the rest of the trip... and I loved it.

There is something exuberating in doing something wrong. And driving on the wrong side of the road at 60 mph (okay.... 80 mph) on the narrow roads round curves and bends was like a shot of adrenaline to my soul. I've always loved driving, but driving in Scotland was like driving in heaven. They say heaven has streets of gold... well I hypothesize those streets are crooked and tiny, cutting through grass covered mountains with an ambiguous speed limit.

Loch Ness from the A87
As you can imagine from my blossoming enthusiasm... it was only a matter of time before my desire for the open roads was curbed by slow moving cars and 18-wheelers (which the Scots so cheerily call lorries). In Scotland though this shouldn't have been a problem, because they have posted signs every 10 miles that say, please pull over in the laybys and allow for passing.

Most cars abided by the rules, but those frickin lorries and their ignorance of the stacking traffic behind them never pulled over. It was a miracle if one even pulled over on the A9 (one of the few roads with more than one lane going in either direction) in the slow lane of traffic.

Urquhart Castle
I've never been the patient sort - so on day three, en route to Urquhart Castle on the banks of the Loch Ness, we'd been stacked in backed of traffic for every construction crew, slow cyclist, and janky draw-bridge for nearly an hour and a half, and I was up to my eyeballs in screw this.

As we jolted up to speed after a particularly grueling wait for a road-crew re-affixing metal mesh to the side of a particularly jagged cliff face, I couldn't stand it any more. The lorrie in front with his slow moving ways (seriously 40mph in a 60?!) was driving me wild. Loch Ness was so close and a bathroom was my promised reward. I could just see the oddly flushing Scottish toilet in my mind's eye and racks of kitschy Scottish souvenirs in my future. If only this truck would... just... go... a... little... bit...  aw screw it.

I looked around him, and seeing no one I pressed the gas hard on the 2014 E-Class Mercedes with only 200 miles on it. I could feel the engine rev and the whoosh of air from the window. The wind whipped my still shower-damp hair, and the peaceful sound of the countryside begged for me to join it. Oh the Scottish roads! Ah Loch Ness! You sweet highland air fragrant with the sweet tinge of <CRACK>


And with that... the side mirror detached.

I'd like to say I held some sort of dignified air as I pulled into Urquhart Castle - side mirror dangling from two of the thinnest, dinkiest wires on the side of the brand new Merc.

And aside from a few mental WTFs... I did...

It was the German tourists that appeared nary a second after I pulled into a parking spot that cracked me. Their cheerful demeanor as they said, "Oh Wow, yah! That was a doozy. We saw it from behind!"
Loch Ness from Urquhart Castle

Yeah... you lost the last two World Wars - my one broken side mirror is nothing! Screw you!

So my recommendation for you my good readers? When you visit the UK and drive on the wrong side of the road... You always get the extra insurance.

That extra 10 pounds a day was nothing to the repair bill - let me tell you. Those extra pounds were well worth it to know we didn't have to pay for a new side mirror.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Puppy Post - Week One with Nymeria

1hr into puppy ownership

My First Dress, JR is not impressed.
Wow - it's hard to believe that Nymeria has only been at home with us for a week. Seems like she's been here forever. We picked her up from Blue Ridge Shibas last Saturday and started the lengthy drive home. At first she wasn't too sure of the car, but then as we took some time at the first rest stop, she really started to get not excited, but happy. She seemed, happy.

The first two nights were rough. She very clearly missed her siblings, and we'd spend hours petting her to help her go to sleep, but as soon as you stopped, she started up again. I wound up spending the second half of the first night on the couch, sleeping with her on my stomach.

So far we've learned a couple of things. The Kong Halter, was a huge bust. While it fit properly, it kept rotating around her body and confused her. And the underbody mesh piece kept attacking her face. I don't know about you, but I personally do not approve of things attacking faces... So while it looked good, it wasn't very usable. I don't recommend it at all.

So we moved over to a mesh style halter - just your standard Petco/Petsmart mesh halter in her signature, teal/turquoise color. For the first few days this was perfect. She was still uncertain of other people and dogs so she'd stay pretty close, but over the last two days it's become very apparent that she's gonna be a puller.

We decided after a couple days of watching her freak out when the stretch lease stopped and after more than a few, 'oh, I am so not walking that way, I want to walk this way' experiences that we needed to move towards a halter (at least while training) that is front guided. So after our petco halter proved the wrong size, I did a bit of research and bought a SENSE-ation, and it should be here on Wednesday. I forsee tug-of-wars in our future.

She's definitely starting to come out of her shell more, and she's quite the awesome pup. Aside from her new-found dislike of her puppy kibble: she loves people, she loves other dogs, she's everything a puppy should be, including certifiably adorable - The Daily Puppy said so, and she's definitely a great fit for JR and my lifestyle.

Off-Leash Play at Woofs with Atlas the Puppy
Overall she's settling in nicely. We've met some toddlers and babies and lots of people, but by far her favorite thing she did this week was the puppy party over at WOOFS! She got to have some off-leash fun with other puppies in her age/size group and made some great friends. She was completely not having us put her in the car to go there originally, but after it was over - she didn't want to leave. We're gonna enroll her in puppy kindergarden so that she gets more off-leash play time and some basic obedience training. She's gonna love it. We think. We hope...

Playtime with another neighborhood Puppy, Harvey! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's Been Too Long

It's been too long my friends.

Summer is here; our plants are thriving; we have a deposit on an adorable girl puppy, and JR and I have tied the knot.
En Route to Scotland for our honeymoon! 
It's been a busy few months, but boy have they been productive and happy! The wedding was a blast, and it has been very lovely to have gotten to spend our engagement around such an amazing group of family and friends. We're just very much looking forward to having a few nice relaxing weekends, before we do anything else too crazy!

We've just gotten back from Scotland, and let me tell you. If you don't have plans to go there... you should. It's everything you could imagine - picturesque, friendly, tasty, and absolutely just like a scene out of a novel. It has hiking and castles and gorgeous flowers and friendly people and some might-i-ly tasty food, and if you like tight windy roads, it's a utopia! 

Now that the wedding is over and the honeymoon has wrapped, it's time to start planning for our next great adventure - Our PUPPY! We just found out that we'll be getting a girl puppy so It's official that she'll be called:
The Dowager Countess Nymeria MacBattleby Logiealmond MacGold of the Easter Geddes, the Maid of Nairnshire, Baroness of Drumornie, The First of Her Name

Had it been a boy, he would have been called: 
Sir Onich Wynd MacBattleby Logiealmond MacGold, the Thane of Nairnshire, Laird of Easter Geddes, Bane of Cawdor, fifth son of Drumornie, The First of His Name

One of the Puppies in the Litter ours is coming from. Could this be, The Dowager Countess Nymeria MacBattleby Logiealmond MacGold of the Easter Geddes, the Maid of Nairnshire, Baroness of Drumornie, The First of Her Name?
It could have been, but that's not her, that's her sister!

This is little Nymeria! Isn't she a cutie?

There is so much to do to prepare for our little bundle of fur, we have to get a collapsible crate and puppy bed and harness and vet and leash and water bowl and food bowl and toys and food and piddle pads!! So many things!

But we definitely have to have them all by August 2nd, because that's the day we pick her up from the Breeder (Blue Ridge Shibas - VERY nice people).

When we first met little Nymeria, she licked all of JR's fingers, which is a pretty big deal considering he was never a big fan of puppy slobber. She also fell asleep with her head in my lap and stood near us most of the time we were there. It was like she knew that she wanted to be our puppy.

She's also pretty adventurous and likes to roam, so I have a strong feeling we'll have to keep an eye on her out and about! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Garden Post - Tiptoe through the Tulips with Me...


Because if I'm going to have nightmares you need to... too!


Aside from the obvious reasons of yay sun, and yay wedding coming up, and yay experiencing warmth and overall happiness. I am excited for my tulips... and my soon to bloom ability to tiptoe through them.

Tulips are in the purple pot with the towel
draped over the top. Gotta keep them safe! 

Last fall, as the winter winds began to creep through the trees and found their ways to JR P.I.'s and my porch, I planted some happy little tulip bulbs (what color, I'm not sure, because... it's me). I had determined that I was going to do my green-thumbed grandmothers proud and grow tulips.

So JR and I went to the Home Depot... or maybe we bought them from Burpee, but needless to say we bought some tulip bulbs and some garlic (this one definitely came from burpee), and we began planting for our spring crops.

We're going to ignore the fact that the garlic died in the throws of winter, because of all the damn snow, and instead revel in the the fact for some bizarre reason, they survived, because
through all the snow, the unthinkable happened, they started to sprout.

And now I have happy little tulips "popping out of the snow, like daisies!" If you can name that quote you get a high-five!

I've been tending them with a gentle touch and plenty of water (most of it snow based). Hopefully in a few weeks, these tender plants will produce gorgeous flowers... hopefully. I am so, so, so excited that I can barely stand it, to get back into the "garden" again. I use the term loosely, because my garden is a series of pots and planters, but I am still really excited to see what we'll be able to grow and eat this year. 

I've got high hopes for our batch of pea plants that we started from seeds, as well as, a bunch of lettuce that started as seeds too. The radish sprouts died quicker than I could say, "Oh my gosh! Yes! Radish plants!" So... yeah, but we've got a couple of hybrid on deck corn sprout-lings still going and a few carrot seedlings. I'll bring those around to you next post! 

Tasty, Tasty Pineberries
Happy, Happy Chives
And on another, happy note, I had a whole heaping of chives that actually over-wintered, so that's ober exciting. They've actually already started to really hit their growth spurt. And, I have gotten a new pineberry plant to replace the one that I killed this winter as well, so soon I shall have delicious pineberries to snack upon.

Happy Gardening! 

Much Love, 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 Restaurants to Try

In 2014 I plan on eating a lot of food... 3 meals a day, plus snacks and deserts!

So with that in mind, I wanted to give myself kind of a DC Metro Area Restaurant Bucket List. These are the places in the area that I haven't eaten at yet, but my mouth waters every-time they're mentioned, or in some cases I just want to know what all the hype is about.

So here goes:

  1. Willow
  2. Melting Pot (I've just never been)
  3. Acadiana 
  4. Capitol Grille 
  5. Fuel
  6. G Sandwich Shop
  7. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
  8. Medium Rare
  9. Kaz Sushi Bistro
  10. Maté
  11. A Tapas Place... Any Tapas Place... (Open to Suggestions)
  12. Fuego 
  13. Thai X-ing, though I'm a little nervous to not know what I'm going to eat.
  14. Bourbon Steak
  15. Pupatella
  16. Stoney's
  17. The Passenger
  18. Graffiato
  19. P.J. Clarke's 
  20. Lincoln
  21. Rumors for Brunch (because I want to see what Aaron's Chicken and Waffles are all about)
  22. Menomale
  23. Il Canale
  24. We the Pizza
  25. Red Rocks
  26. Rustico
  27. Del Ray Pizzeria
  28. Pizzeria Orso
  29. Ethiopian (Open to Suggestions)
  30. Osteria Marzano
  31. Water & Wall
  32. Maple Ave.
And yes there's a reason that a lot of them are all places I want to eat pizza... I friggin' LOVE PIZZA.

So that's my list! Let me know if you think there's anywhere else I should eat this year that I haven't heard of yet, because I am open to suggestions. Also! Let me know if you know of a Tapas or Ethiopian place I should eat, because I'm curious and I've never done that. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Oh 2014 Resolutions

New Year, New Resolutions...

Last year I resolved to only drink soda/alcohol once a month through the first 6 months and then only soda once a month through the last 6 months.

What did I learn?

One... Goodbye tolerance... hello hangovers.
Two... I prefer soda to alcohol. Seriously there is something so satisfying about the smooth twang of liquid brown velvet sweeping down my tongue. When I had the choice of cheating on alcohol or soda for the month, I usually spent my one "bad for me drink" on soda.
Three... I fell off the horse there at the end I drank probably 4/5 sodas in November and December, but you know what... that's a LOT less than I could say about drinking soda pop from last year.
Four... I learned the key to moderation with beverages. This one is definitely the most valuable. Don't get me wrong I love soda pop, and I enjoy drinking margaritas, but my wallet and my waste-line probably survived better this year without me enjoying them every-time I went to a Mexican Restaurant.
Five... I will sustain this limited soda/alcohol drinking through this year... This time we're just going to let me have one alcohol beverage and one soda a week. No use is punishing myself.

SO for my New Year Resolutions.

I will exercise (UGH GAG VOM - MAKE IT STOPPPPP!!!!). I'm not talking running a mile or anything, but I will at least make the block and do some cardio. I can do that... I think.
I will write more. I need to start writing some books and scripts... my creative juices are not flowing like they used to.


Okay that was exhausting.

Happy New Years and Hope you all make some great Resolutions!