Saturday, June 27, 2009

Big Cat Rescue

Well, I just got back from vacation from Clearwater Fl, Mobile, AL and Huntsville, AL. Yes, it was a very long trip and much needed! I will share some photos here in the next couple of days, but I just have to tell you all about an amazing place that Chris and I visited in Tampa. It is called the Big Cat Rescue, and it is a charity and sanctuary that saves exotic cats from roadside zoos and people who have these cats as pets.

Their stories are absolutely heartbreaking with the conditions that they have been brought up in such as living in basements, cages that are too small that their noses gets scratched, being breed for fur mills, and being chained to concrete floors that the fur on their joints have been completely rubbed away. That barely covers the extent of the deplorable conditions that these cats have had to endure. As much as this yanks on the heartstrings, you have to be so very thankful that there are such wonderful people in the world that have made it their mission to reach out to these beautiful creatures to take care of them and give them a permanent home for the rest of their lives.

Please do not take this post as me on a soapbox about exotic cats. This is solely written as an informative post about these beautiful animals that have been saved and given a second chance at life. Although it is not the life that they would have in the wild, they have been given a chance to live their life out in peace and comfort while being loved and cherished by the volunteers and visitors. I had never heard about this sanctuary or even had a notion that there are people that would treat animals this way. I wish that there was more that I can do. So I’m hoping that spreading the word does a little something.

Here is the story of the cat that we “adopted”. “His name is Cheetaro and he is a Male Asian Leopard born 7/1/1998. Cheetaro arrived at the Big Cat Rescue in November 2003 for a roadside zoo. Cheetaro was confined to a corn crib with his mate and bred constantly so that his cubs could be sold. They braved the New England winters together where a chill factor of -18 wasn’t unusual. They had no way to escape the sleet and snow. They had only the shelter of the corn crib’s tin roof and a box. They had no choice but to survive by enduring their fate together. When the roadside zoo was closed in 2003, Cheetaro’s mate was sold off and Cheetaro, being male and of no value was sent to the Big Cat Rescue. Here he lays lazily in the sun on top of his cave mountain, or can hang out in his tree, but he has forever been separated from the mate he loved. One of the wiliest cats in sanctuary, he spends hours stalking the house cats, peacocks, and visitors from his large grassy cat-a-tat…Big Cat Rescue visitors are always captivated by Cheetaro as he sleeps or keeps watch on everything from high in his oak tree…That’s why we consider ourselves very lucky that we have many breathtaking photos of this ‘wild and crazy’ leopard lounging on the branches of his tree. This is his favorite spot. We can never make up for the life he had to endure, but we try every day to make life as enriching as we possibly can for him.” –Excerpt from sponsor packet.

If by chance there is anyone out that reads this and volunteers at the Big Cat Rescue or to any of the sponsors of this sanctuary, “Thank You” for all of the work that you have done! Just touring the sanctuary you can see how much these cats are loved and cared for. You all do such amazing work!

If you would like to know more about each of these cat’s stories, their website is:

Thank you for reading this post.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I am a huge fan of the show, HUGE! I get so excited for this time of the year! And to have it again in the fall, OMG!!! Woohoo! (insert flaring arms here) So here is a quick recap of the night for those who may have missed it.

Karla and Jonathan: Hip Hop- Cute, but probably not going to be memorable. I don’t know if it was as bad as a “Sunday School Picnic” as Nigel stated but I agree with Mary, the two of them looked off. We’ll see.

Asuka and Vitolio: Jazz, Okay. There seemed to be a lot of “dead spots” in there between the moves. Maybe hesitation is a better word. I am not a dancer, so of all of my critiques are from an uneducated point of view, just an entertainment factor.

Melissa and Ade: Rumba, Wow, now that was a dance! I would love to be able to pull off and outfit that Melissa had on, it was gorgeous. I really enjoyed watching that!

Janette and Brandon: Hip Hop, That was very cool! And I think that Brandon has to have proven Mia and Lil C wrong with that number.

Kayla and Kupono: Vietnamese Waltz- I like these two together. Kayla is an amazing dancer; she has nailed everything that they have given to her. I think she might be headed to the Top 4.

Randi and Evan: Jazz, OMG, to be in the mind of Mia Michaels, what would that be like?? The butt dance was great, and extremely original. I really like the two of them, they are awfully cute together! Probably my favorite number of the night! Well, Melissa and Ade were pretty darn good too. Hmm…

Katlin and Jason: Paso Doble. I enjoyed that. The music automatically makes number that pretty powerful.

Jeanine and Philip: Broadway, what a cute number! I never would have thought that a “popper” would have been able to pull that off, but I thought that he did great. That was a fun number.

Nothing really hit me as an amazing “OMG, I have to see that dance again” but that is just me. What did everyone think?? Let the discussions begin!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Daily Update

I found an interesting bit of information in the First Magazine (usually in the checkout lane of the grocery store) about the benefits of walking, and I thought that I would share them with everyone. I knew walking was good for you, but wow it can make a bit difference. The article was sometime in mid-April if I remember correctly. I also have it posted on my fridge to keep me inspired.

"Research suggests that taking a daily stroll can do more than blast-fat-- it's guaranteed to make you healthier, happier, and less stressed. Look at what else walking can deliever:

  • 40% Sounder Sleep
  • 65% More Energy
  • 71% Less Anxiety
  • 88% Better Moods
  • 90% Improved Confidence
  • 166% Increased Libido
  • 200% Sharper Thinking"

Not bad for a daily stroll, ehh?

Well as promised, I have been good today, but boy did I want to be lazy this morning. So here are the stats:

  • Treadmill
  • 3.51 miles
  • 59 minutes
  • 521 calories

Thanks for everyone's support, it will definitely help me stay on the path to thinness!

If anyone wants to join me in this journey, please add your walking stats so we all can celebrate your success!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Alright Ladies, get your rulers ready!!

Okay Ladies, it is time to get my butt in gear. The wedding is in 11 months, 1 week and 3 days away according to the hundreds of emails I get counting it down for me, (no wonder there are crazy brides out there!) and there are lots of pounds that need to say bye-bye. And yes, that white dress and the thousands of pictures that are going to be taken is usually enough motivation for women, but for me I am still dragging my feet. But I have had enough!

So I started exercising something fierce on Monday and I am going to let you guys know about it so that if you see that I haven't been good with exercising I am giving everyone free reign to wail on me! Let me have it! Just send me a slap on the wrist. And hopefully this way, I will keep this up and get back on track. So, is everyone with me??

If anyone would like to join me, in the "don't want to get a slap on the wrist" club, please let me know and we can all keep each other accountable.

So here is what I have done thus far this week:

  • Treadmill
  • 7.36 miles
  • 1 hour 54 minutes
  • 1214 calories
  • Treadmill
  • 2.44 miles
  • 44 minutes
  • 402 calories
  • Greenway Trails (beautiful paths here in Nashville)
  • 8.24 miles
  • 2 hours 12 minutes
  • 1359 calories
I can't guarantee that I can keep these kinds of numbers up, but I will guarantee to you that I am going to do my best!

Challenge is set! Anyone with me?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Is that green on my thumb?

By no means would I claim to be a good gardener, but I have been completely surprised by my little apartment garden. I have always wanted a herb garden and after all of the shows that I watched on the Food Network, I thought I would give it a shot. It has been about six weeks since this garden has been established and the one thing that I can say is that fresh herbs are absolutely amazing! Here is what I started with: basil, cilantro, dill, thyme, oregano, rosemary, tomato, jalapeƱo, red bell peppers, and catnip (for the kitties). It seems like we are pulling something from the garden everyday, it is fantastic! Stay tuned for some recipes that my fiance and I have worked up!

Here are the beginning and present day pictures of my first attempt of a herb garden.



Monday, June 1, 2009

Party like the Irish

I was in the middle of graduate school in Architecture when I had a fabulous opportunity to travel overseas. So a classmate and I were on our way to Barcelona and decided that we were going make a couple of pit stops in Dublin and then London for a couple of days. I have never been overseas prior to this new adventure so I had all kinds of nerves and anxiousness about what kinds of experiences I was going to encounter. Landing in Dublin was a whirlwind, raining of course, and the honking roll along suitcase I had was such a marvelous idea in theory, but after a quarter mile on cobblestones it was a complete nightmare. There is a reason why people wear backpacks while backpacking. Learned that lesson the hard way. So after a long evening of bar hopping and enjoying hanging out with the Irish (which by the way was so much fun) I was looking forward to passing out. It was about 9 o'clock in the morning when I starting hear these strange noises outside the window. (And no, it was not a funny dream from being hung over, for all of those who were thinking that ;) ). So in my half awake stake I pinpointed the sounds to a group of steel kettle drums. Now wait, I thought I landed in Dublin, rained and drank Guinness like I was in Dublin, but maybe I was in Jamaica? After a few minutes of trying to recount the previous day events, I got out of bed and looked out of the window and this is what I saw. The rolling of the kegs down the cobblestones sounded like steel drums! Mind you this was a Tuesday morning!! So for everyone who wants to party hard, party like the Irish!


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