Category Archives: Animals

Anti-Stress Smoothie

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Feeling a little stressed? Meh, it happens; not fun, but it comes with being well, human.

In my opinion, stress is something that absolutely needs to be combated, whether you get it out of your system by working out (my method), writing about it in a journal, or as I would like to address in this post, eating or drinking certain things that could help alleviate stress.

Anti-Stress SmoothieThat, my friends, is an “anti-stress smoothie”. It’s delicious, nutritious, and is proven to help combat dreaded stress.

What’s Inside: For one large serving
– 1 cup blueberries
– 3/4 cup homemade almond milk
– 1/2 cup chocolate frozen yogurt
– 1 medium banana
– 3-5 ice cubes
– 1 tablespoon honey
– sprig of lavender (for garnish)

It’s not even necessary to include instructions; simply combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, then garnish with lavender – and whipped cream if you have it (I didn’t) – and enjoy!

Aaaand, just to help give you a little giggle, here’s a picture of my cat with bread on her head.

She's So Happy Looking...

She’s So Happy Looking…

Remember: deep breaths. Namaste.

Rhode Island Oyster Trail

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Hello Everybody!

Phew, the last month was a crazy whirlwind of stress and fun! More details to come, but in a nutshell, I finished up my first year of Master’s classes, took finals, studied and took my Masters Comprehensive Written Exam, passed that damn exam (!!!!), spent 11 days in London and turned 25! Now, I’m back in the states and starting to do real life things again, so I will be back on my blogging grind. I also have a ton of pictures and stories from London, but that may take some time until it’s post-worthy.

In the meantime, you guys may know that I’m sort of obsessed with Oysters and Oyster Aquaculture, especially in Rhode Island. My mom introduced me to this amazing concept thought up by Bowen’s Wharf called the Rhode Island Oyster Trail, or “RIOT”, and I wanted to share the wealth with all of you. Please watch the video below. I also went on a free tour of aquaculture sites in Ninigret Pond the other day, so please keep your eyes peeled for that post as well.

Stay awesome and let’s start looking forward to summer — yeaa!!!

Awesome Oysters

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Happy Friday, Mes Belles!

Lately, for a project I have in my Ecosystem Science and Sustainability class, I have been doing a lot of reading and research on Shellfish – more particularly on Oyster Aquaculture in Rhode Island – and I wanted to share some of the interesting things I have learned along the way with you fine specimen. If you recall, I went to the Ocean State Oyster Festival back in the Fall, and it was amazing.

Let me start off by saying that Oysters are awesome. Not only are they delicious raw on the half shell (click here for a list of Rhode Island buck-a-shuck oyster bars; it’s something you won’t regret), but they are incredible filters, with an adult oyster being able to filter up to 50 gallons of seawater per day as it goes about its feeding business. What does this mean? Well, as some of you may know, water quality is a serious issue all over the world, and we have felt these effects throughout Rhode Island, namely in the Narragansett Bay and it’s surrounding estuaries. When you have a plethora of oysters, they are able to improve water quality by filtering out the impurities that arrive in the water via nitrogen loads from failing septic systems, discharges from sewage treatment plants, and the overuse of fertilizers by farmers.

Not only do oysters help clean our waters, but oyster/shellfish beds “provide important ecosystem and economic services, such as providing food and habitat for birds, finfish and other marine life, sustenance and recreation for people who harvest wild oysters, and coastline protection from waves and storm surge” (source). The problem that we run into, particularly in Rhode Island, is that we no longer have a significant population of wild oysters. Back in the day, we have a sufficient amount, but due to pollution, over-fishing and the Hurricane of 1938, our waters no longer support wild oysters. Our sea bottom has actually changed from the rocky, hard bottom that oysters prefer to a soft, sandy bottom that is more ideal for quahogs.

However, there is still a large demand for these tasty morsels in the restaurant business, which brings about the boom of aquaculture. Aquaculture is essentially a farm in the ocean, where humans buy “seed” (very small baby oysters), placing them in various mesh bags or in particular areas of the Bay to let them grow for 18 months before they are able to be harvested. It’s quite sad that we are no longer able to sustain wild oyster populations, but I guess it’s still a step in the right direction that we can keep the populations alive. If you are interested in seeing a local aquaculture in person, head over to Matunuck Bay Oyster Bar and Perry, the owner, will you give a tour of his farm.

I am not aware if Rhode Island is planning to do anything about increasing wild oyster populations, but I recently read an article focusing on a Massachusetts restoration project where they plan to restore 5,000 acres of native shellfish beds by 2050 (here for more information). That I can support! I think that’s probably enough oyster information for one day, but if anyone is interested in learning more please let me know as I have done some extensive research on the subject. I would also recommend reading “Rhode Island’s Shellfish Heritage: An Ecological History” by local RI resident Sarah Schumann. It’s from 2015 and free copies are available at the URI Bay Campus if you feel so inclined.

On that note, enjoy your weekend! It’s starting to feel like spring so make sure you spend some time outside soaking up the rays of sunshine.

How Dogs Do It

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Hey Baby Loves,

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving 🙂 I ate lots of tasty food, spent time with family and drank copious amounts of wine and champagne because well… why not? Antioxidants, yo. There was an underlying hint of sadness to the holiday for me [though I hate to say it]; mostly because my boyfriend and I broke up the week prior so it was my first holiday sans partner. We were together for 5 years, so suddenly not seeing or talking to my best friend has been difficult, but life continues. I’m trying to stay distracted so if anyone has any advice, I’d love to hear it.

That’s all I’m going to say on that depressing subject SO to lighten the mood… these pointers are derived from this article which focuses on 10 Things We Can Learn From Our Dogs That Will Make Us Happier and Healthier Humans. Being an avid dog lover, it’s extra fabulous. Anyway, here they are:

1. Live in the moment. Each day is new and singular with great possibilities untainted by the lens of past experiences; take it as they come. Don’t dwell on past disappointments and don’t fret over the future, good or bad. This moment is all any of us has for sure.

2. Forgive. Don’t analyze why people did what they did, don’t harp on understanding it. Simply forgive you. The past is gone and time is precious. Every day matters.

3. Reward yourself with treats once in a while. It’s OK. Treats are good! Treats are part of being in the moment, showing love and appreciation to yourself and those around you. Treats can be small and include time spent together away from the complicated busy-ness of the world.

4. Take good care of yourself. Take naps, clean yourself, get exercise, get pampered, get regular checkups, take walks in nature and enjoy life without guilt. Make time each day for basic care so you are vital and ready for challenges and opportunities. Be the best you and be happy.

5. Attitude is everything (and body language and tone of voice matter). We’re here together now and that’s what matters.

6. Walk in nature. You’ll feel better, notice the natural beauty and let the stress of the day go.

7. Hugs matter (and kisses even if you have dog breath). Touch matters. I want to sit next to you and lie next to you and look you in the eyes so you will know how much I love you because I can’t put it into words, so I will show you.

8. Know your real needs. We don’t need a lot of stuff. Remember that.

9. Take time for the simple things (like laying on the furniture together). It doesn’t matter that I don’t like the Real Housewives of anywhere but I’m lying next to you and you’re happy. That’s enough.

10. Love is the only thing that really matters. If you are breathing, it’s a good day. Neither of us is perfect and it doesn’t matter. Real love sees no flaws. You will love me regardless to the end of my days. And I will do the same for you as long as I can and after.

Stay fabulous. Woof.

A Little Of This, A Little Of That

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How’s it hanging, pretty people?

The last two weeks have been grueling, so please excuse my lack of blogging. I’m about to make up for it, though 🙂

In case you care to know, I had three exams last week (two in optimization/mathematics for economists and one in advanced microeconomic theory), two big homework assignments and then this week I had one major presentation in Econometrics, more homework and I have a final exam for my Mathematics for Economists class on Friday. BLAH. On the bright side, after Friday I will be officially done with one class! That’s a whopping 6 hours of class time and about 3-4 hours of studying every week.
Hopefully after that life will get a little bit calmer. My workout routine/climbing has seriously diminished as well, so that is where some of my free time will go.

Although I have been swamped with school, I have been managing to enjoy myself (because well, why not?). Last week I stopped in to watch a little bit of the Zedd concert, but because I had a crazy week of exams I was only able to fit in an hour. Still, it was a break and a musical one at that. Tonight I will be going to the Passion Pit concert, wahwahweewah.

The first weekend in October (Saturday the 3rd), Max and I attended the first session of the WBRU Craft Brew Fest at Lupo’sit was awesome. Lots of delicious craft beers were consumed and I ended up winning the “hangover basket” raffle which had a bunch of fun goodies. Afterwards, we met up with a friend in Providence and ate at one of my favorite Mexican spots – Viva Mexico Cantina Grille. Overall, a very successful Saturday.

"Stay Pretty And Drink Real Beer" + hangover basket!

“Stay Pretty And Drink Real Beer” + hangover basket!

I’ve also been managing to fit in a little ride time here and there; hopefully more post-Friday. Sunday, October 4th I rode Digger (my mom’s horse) in an Eric Horgan clinic – a fabulous clinician I have been riding with since I was 10. It was a fantastic lesson and we have some high hopes for next show season… he even mentioned I should aim higher than first level, which would be freaking awesome! But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. We did, however, have a wonderful show a few weeks back in Connecticut – we won first place with a score of 70% in Training 3 and second place with a score of 68% in Training 2. For those not aware of dressage scores… those are high. Basically, I self-proclaimed us being official graduates of training level. About damn time!

WinningLet’s see, what else have I been up to…

Did I mention I tried hot yoga? Max and I went a few weeks ago and I highly recommend it. We went to Rhode Island Power Yoga in North Kingstown; they were offering a free class due to their one year anniversary and it was so much fun we both bought their “beginner package” which was 3 classes for $20. Woo! Let me know if anyone wants to give it a try.

I’ve still been working, albeit only once a week, since that’s all I can handle. My juice game hasn’t been as on point lately, but hopefully when I get more time that will be altered.

Oh! Last weekend, I went to Point Street Pianos for a friend’s birthday. It is a dueling piano bar in Providence, and if you have a dirty sense of humor (as I do), or if you enjoy a fun, musical time with a bit of raunchiness mixed in, I highly recommend you check this place out. We went on a Friday night so it was pretty crowded, but we had reservations; I encourage you do that as well to ensure a table. It’s a comical time, but be forewarned: it does get loud, so if you’re looking for a place to sit and talk/be romantic, this should not be your destination.

Yaaaas
The final fun thing I want to touch on is my rock climbing as of late. The Rock Spot (my climbing gym) started this new thing called the “Adult Climbing League”, which is a low-key competitive league that runs on Thursday evenings for 6-weeks; the kickoff event was last Thursday and I scrounged myself up a team! Obviously Max was part of it, but we needed at least one other person, so I convinced one of my fellow ENRE classmates, Kyle, to join us. He’s an amazing climber so that’s a feather in our cap. Our team name: The Crack Fisters. Yes, it is inappropriate, but we only chose that because everyone else had raunchy names as well. Teehee.

Kyle also happens to be friends with some of the really kick-ass climbers at our gym, and on Saturday, Max and I went with him and some other diesel climbers to Lincoln Woods to climb on some real rocks! It was challenging in the best way. Afterwards, we went to this little Venezuelan restaurant called La Arepa in Pawtucket. SOOO GOOD. Go there if you are into that kind of thing and in the area. Seriously, though.

Okay! Well, I think that is enough for me for one day. I should get back to some school work and final exam studying… later my loves ❤ I’ll post a side note later on about some upcoming events that may be of interest to you all.