Adventures in Florida: The Seacrest Wolf Preserve

Over the weekend, I experienced the adventure of a lifetime when my dad, sister, and I took a trip to the Seacrest Wolf Preserve. Tucked away in Chipley, Florida, the Seacrest Wolf Preserve was one of those bucket list items I never even knew I had until recently, when I met one of the volunteers at the Blue Springs Manatee Festival. I come from a family of animal lovers (who also happen to be involved in German Shepherd rescue efforts), so visiting the Seacrest Wolf Preserve was the perfect family getaway.

For those who are unfamiliar, the Seacrest Wolf Preserve is a non-profit organization dedicated to wolf conservation. Covering more than 400 acres, the preserve is a safe haven for several wolf packs, as well as foxes, skunks, a coyote, and other wildlife. Seacrest offers both public and private tours, allowing visitors to meet and interact with the wolves and smaller animals.

For our first visit, we decided to check out the Saturday Wolf Encounter Tour. When we arrived, we met Cynthia Watkins, one of Seacrest’s co-founders, and it was easy to see her passion for these beautiful animals. For just $25 admission, we had the chance to tour three wolf habitats and meet the packs who live there, as well as visit the foxes and skunks in the small animal areas.

This experience was life-changing, and I can’t wait to return for another visit. Within the wolf habitats, we were actually able to pet, play, and howl with the wolves– we even received a few wolf kisses! I fell in love with an energetic 10-month-old pup who reminded me a lot of my first German Shepherd, Shana, at that age. 🙂

Throughout the day, we learned about how packs form and how difficult it truly is to be a “lone wolf.” We also learned about why conservation efforts are a necessity, as wolves are incredibly vital to the ecosystem, and how greed and legislation have put their lives in danger.

During the tour, we talked about how important it is to speak for the wolves, because they cannot speak for themselves. Supporting organizations like Seacrest is a great way to give back to these incredible animals and fight against the regulations that have put them in harm’s way. Visiting the preserve gives you a greater appreciation and empathy for an often misunderstood creature, and is a must-do for anyone who wants to get up close and personal with a wolf.

I’m excited to return with my family for a VIP Tour in the near future! I highly recommend Seacrest (learn more about tours here) for all of you animal lovers. It’s an experience you won’t forget.

Link Love Wednesday: Rock Mafia and Haunted Houses

ridinghoodshoI can’t believe Halloween is already almost here! The month of October really flew by, and I’m still not really sure what my costume will entail this year — although there’s a good chance that I’ll break out the famous tiger ears again! 😉

What are your Halloween plans this year? Let me know what you’re up to in the comments section below. (I’m in need of some costume inspiration!) As always, enjoy this week’s Link Love.

Things I’m Loving Lately

  • The delicious handcrafted marshmallows at Wondermade, a local cafe in Sanford, FL. You can purchase their many flavors as gift packages online!
  • When The Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka, about one family’s experience with the Japanese internment camps during World War II. A very moving read.
  • The Big Bang by Rock Mafia. It isn’t new to me, but I could listen to this song for hours on repeat.
  • My recent purchases made through Pop Your Pup. It’s an awesome place to make pop art T-shirts of your pets!
  • Julian Edelman, Wide Receiver for the New England Patriots. He’s been on my fantasy football team from the beginning, and what he lacked in points this week, he easily made up for in dashing good looks. 🙂

What’s your favorite link love this week? Share your latest findings in the comments section below!

Link Love Wednesday: Christmas Dinner at Hogwarts

85fcbf058d017908542b481c196b3daf32c7d45244d2a52e65a5c29acabf7ffb_1Happy Wednesday, readers! It’s almost October and you may have noticed that my posts dropped off quite a bit for the month of September. In that time, I launched my very own fantasy football league, turned 25, taught Junior Achievement classes at a local high school, started a new fitness program, spoke on a business career panel at a local community college, spent lots of time with friends and family, and hung around the mall much more than I’d care to admit. September was a busy month! 🙂

October isn’t slowing down, but I hope to have more posts for you as we make our way into fall. In the meantime, take a look at this week’s Link Love, and feel free to add your own favorites in the comments section below!

Things I’m Loving Lately

  • Getting my morning news updates from The Skimm each day.
  • Why Not Me?the latest book release from Mindy Kaling. Fantastic read!
  • Fantasy football — in particular, the impossibly handsome Julian Edelman.
  • The Mathematics of Love, by Hannah Fry, which relates mathematical theories to dating and relationships. It’s a fascinating read and I’m tearing through it!
  • Kate Spade online flash sales.
  • Community. Why didn’t anyone tell me over the past six years how great it was?

What are your favorite links and articles from the week? Sound off in the comments below!

Link Love Wednesday: Limited Too is Back!

enhanced-30175-1437505404-2Happy Wednesday! I can’t believe it’s almost back-to-school time… It feels like the summer just started. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that I want the month of July to drag on as long as possible!

This week has brought on a few exciting opportunities for me in my personal and professional life. I’m especially proud to share that I have been named Writer of the Month at Career Camel, where I regularly contribute guest articles with career and academic advice. I have loved writing for them in the last year, and look forward to writing more in the future. Check out my portfolio section to scope out a few of those articles!

My Hump Day could certainly use a pick-me-up, and perhaps yours could, too. Enjoy this week’s batch of Link Love, and as always, share some of your favorite findings in the comments section below! 🙂

What are some of your favorite links from the week? Sound off in the comments section below!

The Weekend Five: Awesome Things That Happened Last Week

funny-dinosaurUnless you were living under a rock for the last week, you probably saw the Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover reveal on social media. Caitlyn’s very public transition has been extremely educational for many who have never met someone in the transgender community before, and in turn, I feel that this will inspire more widespread kindness and acceptance in the future.

However, amidst all the latest media coverage of Caitlyn’s transition (both positive and negative), many of us have missed out on other important events in the news lately. This edition of The Weekend Five will bring you up to speed on some of the other awesome things happening in the world in the last week or so.

The Weekend Five: Awesome Things That Happened Last Week

1. A brand new dinosaur was discovered.
The “Hellboy” dinosaur, as scientists have nicknamed it, was recently discovered and is related to the triceratops we all know and love. What is especially cool about this discovery is that, according to researchers, “it’s the first example of evolutionary convergence in horned dinosaurs.” On a romantic note, one of the lead researchers actually proposed to his girlfriend in the paper he published about the dinosaur. How sweet!

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DNA Analysis.

DNA Analysis.

2. A new DNA test has been developed to determine the history of viruses in a patient.
This test, called VirScan, will tell you what viruses you have had throughout your lifetime and could lead to early detection of other medical conditions. Scientists also believe that this could give us better insight into what triggers other diseases, such as cancer.

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3. Guam became the first U.S. territory to legalize gay marriage.
I honestly don’t understand why this isn’t legal everywhere, but this is still an important step toward equality.

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4. Orange County, NY signed an animal abuse registry into law.
What this means is that convicted animal abusers will be logged into an animal abuse registry, which will prevent them from being able to own animals. As an animal lover and member of a dog-rescuing family, I think this needs to happen everywhere! The law is very tough, especially on two-time offenders, and hopefully will protect a lot of animals from abuse and neglect in the future.

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5. Researchers were able to restore lost memories in mice.
This is a huge breakthrough because it could ultimately help to treat patients with amnesia. Researchers are hopeful that this treatment could restore memories for patients with early stage Alzheimer’s, head trauma and other brain disorders.

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What are some awesome news stories you picked up throughout the week? Share your favorites in the comments section below!

Link Love Wednesday: Dog-Human Hybrids

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to your September! September is one of my favorite months because the weather starts to cool down and my birthday is almost here! This month, I also began a new exercise routine and started my fantasy football career. I defeated my boyfriend’s team in our first week of fantasy football, and look forward to facing off against my mom’s team in a few weeks! (We have a very interesting league.) 🙂 What have you all been doing to kick off the month?

Enjoy this week’s batch of Link Love and share your own favorites in the comments section below!

What are some of your favorite links from the last week? Share them in the comments section! 🙂

Happy reading!

Link Love Wednesday: Boy Bands, The Sorcerer’s Stone and Romantic Comedies

harrypotterI hope this week’s Link Love finds you well! Can you believe how quickly the summer is flying by? When I was in high school, I always felt a sense of dread around mid-July, when the new school year seemed to be looming all too closely. Nowadays, I work year-round, but I will never forget the way I felt as I watched the summer slip away. For those of you who have a break from school or work this summer, hopefully you are finding ways to make the most of your days off – away from the computer!

Of course, when you do stop to check Facebook and your favorite blogs (wink, wink), be sure to enjoy some of our latest Link Love!

How are you spending your summer? Any great links you’ve come across this week? Feel free to share in the comments section below!

Link Love Thursday: Let’s Go To Eataly!

Benvenuto a Eataly!Cute animals, Disney villains and pizza, oh my! This week, the Internet was filled with gold, and I’m excited to share with you in a one-day-late Link Love!

What great links have you come across this week?

The Friday Five: Videos That Will Make You Laugh

Before bringing you this week’s Friday Five, let me warn everyone that I am the girl who can laugh at even the most ridiculous and low-brow of videos. In fact, my friends have been known to play certain Youtube and College Humor videos just so they could see me rolling on the floor laughing. (Yes, I literally ROFL like a five-year-old — apparently that’s entertaining on its own.) Because about half of my friends are computer engineering majors and the other half just happen to enjoy the Internet, we have a pretty wide variety that we like watching. To wish you all a happy and lighthearted weekend, I would like to share some of the videos that will hopefully make you smile.

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The Friday Five: Videos That Will Make You Laugh

1. Sassy Gay Friend.
Created by Second City Network, this series of videos poses the question, “How could [insert female literary heroine here]’s tragic fate have been avoided if she had a Sassy Gay Friend?” The Sassy Gay Friend intervenes in various works of Shakespeare and classical literature, as well as some contemporary books and films, and brings some light to an otherwise dark story. Let’s face it — most girls would love to have this guy around to keep themselves from making stupid decisions. All stereotypes aside, these videos are funny because they point out some of the craziness that even the most acclaimed of literature will contain, and if nothing else, will expose you to some of the books and plays you’ve “been meaning to read.” Check out the Romeo & Juliet video; it’s my favorite!

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2. Ultimate Dog Tease.
I am obsessed with my two beautiful dogs, as is the rest of the family, so of course we were drawn to this video. Pet lovers will laugh as the dog owner describes the perfect sandwiches to the adorably expectant dog, who is led to believe that the sandwich is for him. For a few days after watching the video, my family’s catchphrase seemed to be, “The maple kind?” If you love animals, especially dogs, chances are you will love this video.

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3. Nannerpuss.
Warning: DON’T watch the whole thing! This wasn’t meant to be a particularly funny video, but rather part of a Superbowl commercial for Denny’s that ultimately made its way around the Internet. This is the extended version and although a lot of you will probably find this completely inane, I had to include it because my friends from school who read this blog would be very upset with me if I didn’t. (This is a video they like to play specifically because of my reaction to it; it would be dishonest of me NOT to include it) The extended version goes on with the same thing for 10 minutes, but I’m including that version because it’s the one my friends always get me with. (Don’t judge me, you guys.)

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4. Hooked On A Feeling.
This next video is a music video of the song Hooked On A Feeling, remade by the one and only David Hasselhoff. The song is okay, but the awesome special effects and stock footage is what really makes this the best music video ever made. Most of the video makes no sense at all, and I still wonder how and why the Hoff can fly a motorcycle using only his hands. No, you’re not on an acid trip — this is really his video.

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5. Legalize Shrooms.
My friends and I fell in love with this video at the beginning of freshman year of college, when we were first getting to know each other, and we still happen to quote lines from it. Originally posted on College Humor, the video features several characters fighting for the legalization of shrooms, and most of them are kind of incoherent. Two years later, my friends and I still claim to be “fading into the wall behind me” and when one of us can’t find our phones, we might say, “I lost my phone but I think it knows where I am.” That probably means that my friends and I are weird, but it’s still a hilarious video!

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What videos make you laugh?