Sunday, March 31, 2013

Guinness Goes to the Beach!

Well I guess the title isn't entirely correct because Guinness got to go to not 1 but 2 beaches today! Unfortunately it wasn't exactly sunbathing weather  but given that Guinness is not a huge fan of the water or the heat I think today was right up his alley!

We started the day in Rehoboth Beach where Ken and I took Guinness for a run on the beach. He got to run free for a bit (steering very clear of the water as he usually does!) and made some new friends too.

Then Guinness had to some posing in his doggie "I wanna be a model" style....

Of course we had to take a family pic while we were out having fun...

Then on the way back home to Annapolis as we were driving past Sandy Point Park (not far at all from Annapolis) we decided to go ahead and pull off the highway and pull in and let him take a run on the beach there too!

Bottom line is Guinness had a big fun day! And since these beaches don't let dogs on them during the high season doggies are not allowed on the beach we are glad to give Guinness a chance to enjoy them now.

I think it's safe to say Guinness was all worn out from his adventures and travels from the weekend!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Going Out on a Limb...

To say life is always busy is perhaps one of the greatest understatements I could ever make. That said life is fantastic and amazing and I love it just the way it is. So while perhaps one might think I am crazy to take on even more given how busy I am there are so many reasons I feel compelled to do so... Wait I am getting ahead of myself... Let me explain...

Let's be real honest... I didn't grow up with much money so when I wanted to do something crazy out of the box (for a gal like me without much means) as a youngster such as go to Space Camp I had to work my tail off and vie for a scholarship to do so. I was fortunate enough that Space Camp offered scholarships and I was even more fortunate that they felt I was worthy of a scholarship on 2 separate occasions. This was the only way I could afford to take part in something that was so encouraging of my passion about space. I have always been so appreciative of those experiences... now I've decided that I want to give something back...

I am going to start my own non-profit. I love working as a consultant to ISSET and that certainly won't stop but I want to do this non-profit in addition. I want to be able to sponsor scholarships for students to be able to attend ISSET experiences such as Mission Discovery and the Astronaut Leadership Experience. I want to be able to give back. This will be a non-profit that focuses (like ISSET) on using space to get students excited about Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) subjects as well as finding their passion in general about what they want to do in life.

So... I am in the process of getting my non-profit set-up. It's complicated (shocking right?) and I'm trying to make my way through all the insanity but I am hoping to get it done much sooner than later because the sooner I get it done the sooner I can start raising money to start giving scholarships to deserving students.

One thing I am a little stuck on is the name.... Still working on that one... If you've got any ideas please let me know.

I'm very excited but also a bit nervous I must admit... it's a big undertaking... but the excitement definitely outweighs the nerves! I promise to keep you all posted on this as it comes together but in the interim... send happy problem-free "get started" thoughts my way for this please :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Guinness Loves Blankets

Guinness is so funny - he just loves to have a blanket (or equivalent) to curl up on. Lucky for him there are quite a few of those around here for him to use....

One evening Guinness was feeling anti-social because it was late and there were quite a few people in our living room so he decided to curl up on Ken's shirt in the hallway...

Friday, March 22, 2013

We Had a Birthday!

I know I know I am way behind on Guinness Pictures of the Week.... let's be honest if that was the only thing I was behind on I'd be doing pretty darn good! So I apologize to those of you who have been missing your weekly dose of Guinness but here are some pictures to satiate that need :)

Guinness turned 4 on Sunday. Is he really 4? Well who knows - since he's a pound puppy (the BEST kind of dog to get!) we have no real idea so the vet told me to pick a birthday that was at the beginning of the year (based on her assessment of how old she thought he was when we got him) and I naturally decided that Saint Patrick's Day was of course the best possible day for his birthday given how much he likes to party and that his name is Guinness.

This year for his birthday he got all sorts of treats.... eggs for breakfast, treats through the day and then Ken busted out with some quality quality birthday surprises....

First off Ken wrote this card for Guinness - it had me rolling on the ground laughing! Since Guinness can't read Ken drew him some pictures to illustrate his birthday wishes.

Ken felt bad that Guinness has to spend some time alone from time to time (he is a very needy dog - he truly wants us with him 24 hours a day 7 days a week) he got him a "friend" to hang out with...

Overall I am pretty sure Guinness had a pretty awesome birthday!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Beer Pairing at The Melting Pot

Some of my favorite things in life are beer, cheese and chocolate.... last night I got to really really combine those for an amazing evening!!

The Melting Pot Annapolis hosted a Beer Pairing dinner with their fondue. Let me start by saying if you haven't been to a Melting Pot then you are missing out! It's not only delicious food it's an incredibly fun experience. We've visited The Melting Pot for date night just the two of us but we've also brought large groups of people and had a blast that way too! It's the kind of place that is fun for everyone. (By the way - Guys if you need to impress a gal definitely take her to The Melting Pot! Also if you're ever in trouble some flowers and a night at The Melting Pot will get you out of almost any trouble you've gotten yourself into!)

Needless to say I was super excited when I found out that the Annapolis Melting Pot ( was doing a beer pairing dinner with Heavy Seas Brewery ( a Maryland craft brewery which has some AWESOME beers! Not only was it a pairing but the Brewery Founder Hugh came along for some fantastic entertainment. Plus how can you not love a group that gives you an eye patch with your dinner?!

After a great intro from Hugh we dove into our first course which was of course.... CHEESE!!

1st Course
Red Pepper Stilton Fondue
Paired with: A Small Keg of Pale Ale called Powder Monkey made in collaboration between Heavy Seas & 2 Melting Pot team members (Rich & Greg)

Of course with it being cheese you just know it was good. Honestly I think the cheese course is my favorite - in fact the last time Ken and I went to The Melting Pot we had 3 courses of cheese and nothing else.... but I digress... let me get back on topic! The pairing was a good one and the beer was fantastic! 

2nd Course
Strawberry Almond Salad
Paired With: Small Craft Warning Uber Pils

I know you might be thinking that a salad course isn't worth it when it comes to all the options of deliciousness but truly the salads here are fantastic. I am not much of a salad person but this is the one place that I actually eat nearly all my salad. There was great balance between the flavors of the salad with the raspberry vinaigrette and the Pils. I definitely love he Uber Pils and Ken & I get a kick out of it's name! As Hugh said - why the heck would you want a Small Craft Advisory when a Warning is really what's needed!

3rd Course
Loose Cannon IPA-marinated Pork Tenderloin
French Quarter Chicken
Jalapeño-marinated shrimp
Teriyaki-marinated Sirloin
Paired with Loose Cannon IPA

Meat! Very tasty meat! The sirloin is always delicious but the marinated pork was probably my favorite. Naturally Ken also loved the Jalapeño-marinated shrimp. Neither of us were in love with the chicken but we ate it all so obviously we didn't dislike it too much! The Loose Cannon IPA is definitely the Heavy Seas flagship beer if you will and even though I am not a big IPA drinker I enjoy the Loose Cannon. Ken is a HUGE IPA drinker (the hoppier the better!) and the Loose Cannon has become one of his absolute favorite beers.  To add to the delight of this course we got an entire pint of the Loose Cannon in a glass that we got to keep! Bonus!

4th Course
Mint Dark Chocolate Fondue
Paired with Peg Leg Stout

Bring on the chocolate! This was an absolutely perfect ending all around. Though I was at first fearful that the mint flavor would be overpowering it certainly was not. It was balanced enough to add to the flavors not overwhelm them. The Peg Leg Stout also delicious! Great chocolate roasted tones but not really any "coffee" taste so right up my alley!

Needless to say it was a delicious and fun night. I personally think The Melting Pot should do one of these a month! We had such a good time I was already on the Heavy Seas website looking for other opportunities for their beer dinners. Lo and behold I found one - April 22nd at Stan & Joe's which is within walking distance. TOTAL BONUS!

On the topic of The Melting Pot in general - if you go to the Annapolis location I highly recommend requesting Rich. He is an absolutely wonderful server. He's attentive, knowledgable, incredibly personable and he really knows his beer. (I had met him a previous time I was at The Melting Pot and was thrilled to see him again at the beer dinner.)

We left VERY happy campers :)

Cheers to beer, cheese & chocolate!!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013