Posted in Uncategorized

SHARK WEEK!

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It’s that magical time of year again, guys! โค SHARK WEEK! โค

It’s no secret around here that I friggin’ LOVE sharks. I love marine life in general, but sharks always take the cake for me. Needless to say, this week it’s all about sharks on my blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ Even at work, I’ve planned my weekly activities with our finned friends in mind. I’ll have my group doing shark arts and crafts, doing cool mini-lessons about them, and making shark-themed snacks and desserts for cooking! I can’t wait! A few of my awesome participants love sharks as much as I do so I can’t wait to see what they think of the activities I have planned. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Sorry in advance to the parents who will have to hear about sharks ALL.WEEK.LONG. from the participants on my team. Haha #sorrynotsorry

Do you tune into Shark Week each year? What are you looking forward to seeing? I personally would be thrilled to see more love for the sharks that aren’t great whites. Great whites are awesome too, but there are SO MANY amazing and fascinating types of sharks out there that they could cover. Gimme those whale sharks, your Greenland sharks, threshers, goblin sharks, gimme ALL the sharks! I get that great whites are what the average person thinks of when they picture sharks, but all the more reason to mix it up a little. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, what can you expect to see around here this week? More shark doodles from yours truly, updates about what shark projects we’re doing at my work this week, a special spotlight post on a great artist with a mission, and more! I hope you guys enjoy the posts and have a JAWSOME Shark Week! โค

Posted in Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

Book/Comic Mini-Reviews: Part 1

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Since I kind of fell off the bandwagon the past few months as far as posting, I feel like I have some catching up to do on my reading reviews. Since I prefer to write reviews right after having read something (while it’s still fresh in my mind) I decided the best way to go about it was to do a whole smattering of mini-reviews.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:

This one was a re-read, but it deserves a mini-review just the same! ๐Ÿ™‚ Cupcakes & Machetes and I decided it was time to revisit the beloved series with a buddy read back in February (told you I was behind on my reviews!) ๐Ÿ˜› The book was just as magical as I remember it, and the second time around you get the cozy, warm fuzzies that come along with the good old feeling of nostalgia. It was like visiting an old friend. I usually don’t do re-reads since I barely have enough time for all the new books I want to get into, but this was definitely worth coming back to. โค It gets a solid 5/5 stars from me the second time around as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Remarkable Books: The World’s Most Beautiful and Historic Works

A book about books! What’s not to love?? Crammed full of information on old manuscripts, the evolution of books, how they were made at various points in history and how they shaped the world we live in, this one was just lovely to read. It also makes a rather dashing coffee table book if I do say so myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I enjoyed this book bit by bit, savoring all the information over many, many cups of coffee.ย  โค Another fun thing I discovered once I’d finished reading it, is that there is a pocket in the back of the book with four fancy little book marks in it for your future reading endeavors. Very informative, and you get presents in the book! Fantastic! 4/5 stars.

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Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe (Deadpool Killogy #1)

A quick read where you get exactly what the title tells you you’re going to get. After Professor X sends Wade off to an institution of sorts, our beloved Merc with a Mouth goes off the deep end (though his reasoning isn’t exactly wrong in its own twisted way) and takes down our beloved Marvel characters, both friend and foe, one by one. Loads of murder and mayhem fill the pages. And although we’ve all come to expect Deadpool to break the fourth wall by now, he doesn’t just kind of break it in this story, he utterly destroys it. I liked it, but I wouldn’t say I loved it. If you’re expecting really sassy and funny with a healthy dose of violence, this isn’t really the comic you want to go with.ย  It’s kind of the opposite of that, actually. It’s pretty much ALL bloody murder with only a hint of humor and sass. I’d give it 3/5 stars. That said, I do want to finish reading the “Killogy” (nice wordplay on “trilogy” btw), especially since the second installment sees Deadpool taking on characters in classic literature! ๐Ÿ˜€

Well, that’s it for today’s installment of mini-reviews. There are definitely more to come, so I’ll probably have 2 more posts similar to this one til I get back on track with my reading/reviews! They were short and sweet, but hopefully you guys enjoyed them. What are you currently reading? Let’s talk books! โค

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Greenland Shark Facts Because “SHARK WEEK!”

Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus)

Greenland sharks are seriously interesting sharks, so I was really looking forward to doing the Info portion of this post. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had also intended to include an illustration like I did for my recent Whale Shark Post, but 1.) Greenland sharks are kind of wonky to try to draw/color (at least for me) and 2.) My access to scanners is much more limited at the moment than I had anticipated. So thank you google images! Phew! Excuses aside, onto the info:

Greenland sharks are part of the family of sharks known as Somniosidae, more commonly known as “sleeper sharks”. As the name would imply, this group of sharks are the more mellow of the bunch, swimming at lower speeds and just being pretty “chill” in general. The Greenland shark specifically is known to be the world’s slowest shark, not even reaching 1 mile per hour.

Other names for the Greenland shark include: the “gurry shark”, “grey shark”, and “eqalussuaq“.

These guys get old. Like, realllly old. Being the longest-living of all vertebrate species, these big guys are estimated to be capable of living for anywhere between 200 to even 500 years!

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Many people tend to only think of sharks living in warmer waters, but Greenland sharks prefer the cold. In fact, they can be found thriving in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters year round, making the waters around Greenland, Iceland, and Canada their home.

Comparable in size with the Great White, these predators have never been recorded to attack humans. They sustain themselves by hunting and scavenging, and have been found with some interesting things in their stomachs when caught. (One particular Greenland shark on record was even found with the body of an entire reindeer in its stomach!) Due to their slow speed, scientists were surprised that these guys were able to prey on living seals which can travel so much faster . . . until they discovered that Greenland sharks were nomming on the speedy little guys while they were sleeping under water.

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Due to the depths these guys like to hang out in, their tissue is loaded with a potent neurotoxin (trimethylamine oxide) making their meat toxic. Despite this, they are still hunted for food, and through a lengthy and longstanding process involving fermentation and curing of the meat, they are not only eaten, but even considered a delicacy in Iceland.

There are loads of other awesome things to learn about these sharks whether it comes to them themselves or the mythology that surrounds them. Seriously, if you’re looking for an interesting shark to research, look no further than the Greenland shark. They may not be much to look at to most, but they truly are fascinating. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Happy Shark Week!

Woo! My favorite week for television is upon us: SHARK WEEK! ๐Ÿ˜€ I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, but when Shark Week is on, Discovery Channel reigns supreme in my home. I love sharks (and marine life in general) so an entire week of non-stop specials about sharks is always a big plus in my book. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let the binge-watching begin!

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In honor of Shark Week, I will be posting multiple shark-related posts throughout the week that I’ve been putting together. You can count on there being a couple new drawings and plenty of snazzy shark facts I thought you guys might find interesting. I’ve got several posts that shine a light on some of my favorite types of sharks. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully you will enjoy reading the posts as much as I’ve been enjoying creating them. โค

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So, how about you? Are any of you fine folks planning to partake in the “Jawsome” glory that is Shark Week? Any particular sharks you’re hoping to see and/or learn more about from this year’s specials? Ever seen or encountered a shark in real life?? Let’s talk SHARKS!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Aaaaand on a related note, I’m still attempting to catch up on reading other blogs after my recent absence. There’s so much to catch up on and I look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s amazing how fast you can get behind and how long it takes to try to catch up. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Science & Nature Days: Geode Project!

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Have you ever had one of those days at work where you just wanna take a hammer and SMASH things?? Well, I got to do just that recently. ๐Ÿ˜› I found this cool geode project in a catalogue that I thought would be fun for a science and nature day project. I thought we could get the job done with the tools pictured above, grossly underestimating just how hard we had to smack the hammer against these geodes, so it was time to up our game and get a bigger hammer!

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With the proper tools for the job, we busted these little bad boys open, sending sparks flying multiple times in the process, and were delighted to see what we could find inside. ๐Ÿ™‚ Some were duds, but some were quite pretty. My photos unfortunately don’t quite do them justice, but I wanted to share them just the same.

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We get to do some pretty snazzy things at work, but my favorite days are usually the ones we do fun nature projects. For our next science and nature adventure we’re going to be hanging out with rescued sea turtles and other cool marine critters at the aquarium. Needless to say, I cannot wait! ๐Ÿ˜€

Have a great weekend, everyone! โค

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, Writing, Tra La La

NaNoWriMo 2017 Weekly Update: No. 2

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Woo! Half way through the frantic chaos that is NaNoWriMo! It’s hard to believe it’s half over already. How’s it going for those of you who are participating this year? Are you right on track where you were hoping to be at this point? Any tips on what’s working for you so far this go around?

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Not getting sick helps, of course. This is my second year doing NaNoWriMo and it also just so happens to be my second time getting sick during it. Lovely. Yay, tradition, am I right? ๐Ÿ˜› Oh well, it and some other things slowed me down this week, but I’m not out of this fight yet! I’m behind where I wanted to be, but I’m not giving up. It’s called a writing “challenge” for a reason, after all.

Alright, that said, let’s get down to business, shall we? Last week my writing update had a day by day word count breakdown, but I failed to track how much was written each day this week, so we’ll just go over the end game number I wound up with this week. I’d been hoping to write an additional 11,669 words this week, PLUS I wanted to make up for the 339 words I was shy of from last week’s goal. Well, it did not happen this week, guys.

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I finished the week with an additional 9,168 words written. With the month being half over at this point, I was hoping to have reached a minimum of 25,000 words by now. After adding this week’s numbers up with last week’s I see I am at exactly *drum roll please* . . .ย  20,498 words!

That’s a whopping 4,502 words less than I’d hoped.

Oops.

Oh, well, I feel like if I get my butt back on track and split up the extra words I still need between the two weeks I have left that I can do it. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but it’s better than giving up! ๐Ÿ˜›

Good luck to those of you still in the good fight, too. โค NaNoWriMo is one tough beast, but we’ve got this, guys! ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh! And on a non-NaNoWriMo-related side note, you should go check out this snazzy giveaway Kate over at All the Trinkets is doing for her blog’s 3rd birthday! She’s a great artist and blogger and has a few different giveaway options you can pick from going on right now. ๐Ÿ™‚ She’s got an awesome and inspiring blog so be sure to give her some blog b-day love. She deserves it! She also deserves an adorable gif of a hedgehog in a little party hat eating a tiny cake, so here ya go, Kate! ๐Ÿ˜›

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Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, Writing, Tra La La

NaNoWriMo 2017 Weekly Update: No. 1

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Hey, guys! Well, we’re through the first week of NaNoWriMo. I hope everyone is right on track and having a good go of it so far. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll try to do one of these writing updates each week throughout the challenge just to touch base on where I’m at and how writing went throughout that particular week.

Here’s my progress throughout week 1 when it came to my daily word count:

November 1: word count of 1,679

November 2: word count of 1,688

November 3: word count of 1,321

November 4: word count of 1,092

November 5: word count ofย  1,895

November 6: word count of 1,927

November 7: word count of 1,728

My goal for this week was to reach a minimum of 11,669 words. I accomplished:

11,330 words written in 7 days!

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I came in just 339 words shy of where I’d planned on capping off the week, but hey, not too shabby of a start, right? ๐Ÿ™‚ I can catch up. I know I can. As is the case for many people, November has been shaping up to be an incredibly busy (and financially-draining) month. Still, I remain optimistic! I nearly made the first week’s goal, so I just gotta catch up a wee bit and then I’m right on track. ๐Ÿ˜€

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? How did your first week of the writing challenge go? Let’s talk NaNoWriMo!

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, Writing, Tra La La

NaNoWriMo 2017: Let’s Do This!

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It’s that time of year again, guys! As many of you know, November 1st marks Day 1 of NaNoWriMo, aka: National Novel Writing Month. (Otherwise known as that 30 day span of time where you never see your writer friends because they’ve gone into that annual highly caffeinated full-blown hermit mode to reach that 50,000 word count.)

Last year was my first stab at NaNoWriMo, and I can honestly say that I went into it all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Something like this:

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And then when it came toward the end of November I suddenly found myself feeling more like THIS:

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Needless to say, things did not go exactly as I had planned. BUT, quite possibly the best thing about not succeeding is learning from your mistakes you made the first go around. That’s why I chalk my first attempt at NaNoWriMo as a valuable learning experience and not a “failure”. As long as you pick up on what hindered your goal and keep at it, it isn’t really a failure anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I know that my number one NaNoWriMo nemesis is that damned backspace key. I am a compulsive nut about re-wording things over and over again to make them sound “just so”. (Not a good habit to have when working on first drafts.) Thankfully, I don’t have this habit while blogging. I just wing it and keep going. I’m really going to try to avoid deleting things at all costs. Just keep pushing forward. That’s the goal.

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50,000 words in 30 days is the mission. It can be done. It isn’t easy by any means, but I’m really planning on passing that finish line this go around. Some of you might remember when I decided to challenge myself to a similar goal I dubbed the “Necro Rhino” since my boyfriend and I call NaNoWriMo “Nano Rhino” and this was me resurrecting the challenge in a different month after my little nano rhino bit the dust well below the planned word count. I may have not made it during 2016’s NaNoWriMo, but I did during the Necro Rhino challenge I set for myself, so now that I know I am capable of doing it, I am hoping to go for the gold this time around! ๐Ÿ˜€

Another useful tool? Those heavenly caffeinated beverages. Coffee? Sure! Red Bull? You betcha! I can sleep in December when NaNoWriMo is over. ๐Ÿ˜›

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Good luck to all of you who are participating in this month’s dash to reach at least 50,000 words! I saw a lot of people make, and even surpass, that goal last year, so don’t get discouraged. We’ve got this, people! โค

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, Writing, Tra La La

Celebrate Good Times, Come On: Rise of the Necro Rhino!

Writing challenges can be hard. I suppose that’s why they’re called “challenges” to begin with. This past November I took my first shot at slaying the fearsome beast known in the writing community as NaNoWriMo (aka- National Novel Writing Month or “Nano Rhino” if you’re absurd and silly like my boyfriend and I are). It did not go as planned.

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But, hey, instead of letting it getting to me or giving up I took it as a learning experience. I took a hard look at what didn’t work for me and read people’s tips on what led them to their own NaNoWriMo success. One of the best tips I read was: Do not go for perfection. It’s called a rough draft for a reason. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This month I decided to take what I learned and try again at writing 50,000 words over the span of 30 days in a challenge I dubbed The Return of the Necro Rhino. Again, because I am absurd and silly. And also morbid.

I started off strong and then hit a bump in the road earlier in the month when I got sick AND lost power for 48 hours due to some crazy high winds. Luckily I caught back up and have been going strong for the most part and staying right on track. Aaaaand today I finished the challenge by completing just over the 50,000 word goal for the month!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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I still have so much work left to do on this book and the rough draft isn’t even fully finished, but a big chunk of it is, and for that I am pretty damn jazzed. I got over a major writing hurdle I was experiencing and feel liberated because of it. I’m also really, really thankful for all of the wonderful support, advice, and love I’ve gotten from you guys during this challenge (and just overall in general). You guys are seriously awesome, and you make blogging such a joy!

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Posted in Random Fun Stuff, Uncategorized

Spread the Love: The One Lovely Blog Award

I was so pleasantly surprised to see that I was nominated by none other than The Shameful Narcissist for The One Lovely Blog Award! ๐Ÿ™‚ Special thanks for the nomination. I really do appreciate it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Her blog is a fun and well-worded medley of her love for retro video games, fantasy, books, her own reviews/fan fiction, and more! Her passion for these things shines through in her well-worded posts. I highly recommend checking her blog out!

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Although I had never heard of The One Lovely Blog Award until I was nominated for it, I can really get behind what it stands for. Those nominated share a few interesting facts about themselves and then nominate others to do so as well. As said by The Shameful Narcissist: “It creates a potentially never ending cycle of sharing and positivity, something there can never be enough of in the world.” I couldn’t agree more. With all the negativity out there, we could use a little more fun and love out there for one another.

The Official Rules of this Award go as such:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

  • List the rules and display the award.

  • Nominate 6-10 bloggers to receive this award.

  • State 7 facts about yourself.

So, without further ado, here are 7 random tidbits about yours truly.

Fact #1: I have what is often described as a “young” sounding voice. It makes doing most vocal impressions difficult for me, but I have a couple that I am quite proud of. One is the titular character of Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo when she gets excited and screams “HAM!” and the other is that I can do a mean impression of a Murloc from World of Warcraft. It isn’t much, but you work with whatcha got! ๐Ÿ˜›

Fact #2: When I was a kid my first little girl crush was on David Bowie in Labyrinth. I regret nothing!!

Fact #3: I have a cat who is my furry little minion. Her name is Bailey and I love her beyond measure. I call her by like a thousand nicknames. Some are plays on her name like “Bailbo Baggins” or “Peter Bail-ish”. Others are things like “Chub Cat”, “Pound Cake”, or “Chubkins”. She is a cheeseburger cat.

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Fact #4: I love learning. My favorite subjects are history, mythology and folklore, anatomy and physiology, and marine biology, but I love to research a wide variety of different subjects. I adore museums and libraries. If schooling was more affordable I would probably be enrolled in classes until the day I die.

Fact #5: My favorite holiday is Halloween! What’s not to love? The spooky fun, costumes, candy, scary stories and movies, pumpkin carving, apple orchards for cider and donuts, the list just goes on and on and on for me. It’s also the highlight of my favorite season: autumn.

Fact #6: I love sharks. There are so many kinds and so many interesting things to learn about them all. They truly are amazing creatures. They’re just fascinating. My favorite species is probably the whale shark. They’re gentle giants.

Fact #7: I am very passionate about people learning first aid and CPR. Sounds weird, I know, but these are easy things to learn that can literally save a life. I took my first CPR and First Aid class in 2009 and I remember as we learned the Heimlich maneuver thinking, I’ll probably never use this, but I guess it’s good to know. I kid you not, the following weekend I was out to dinner with my ex and his family and his great uncle began choking on his dinner. And I don’t mean he was coughing like crazy kind of choking, I mean his windpipe was completely blocked off and he could not breathe or even make a sound because of the food lodged in his throat. My ex’s step-mother noticed his situation just before I did and saved him by preforming the Heimlich on him at the table. A couple years ago, I myself was choking but there was no on there who could help me, so using a chair, I performed it on myself and saved myself. That was empowering to say the least. If I hadn’t known how to do it, I can say with almost certainty that I would not be here today. It’s a humbling thought how easily things can end if you are not able to take matters into your own hands when needed. I feel like these are things students should learn in school and that should be much more widely taught to the public.

So, there’s my 7 facts about me! ๐Ÿ™‚ I tried to think a little outside the box with these since I’ve covered other more general facts about myself already in my blog. Thanks again to The Shameful Narcissist for the nomination. If you hadn’t already just completed this fact challenge I would have your blog on my list of nominees as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

I nominate:

Cupcakes and Machetes

The Mighty Castle

Forged From Reverie

Unbolt

Crumble Cult

Agatha Chocolats