Reasons I Love Thanksgiving


  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade
  • The National Dog Show
  • Relaxing with coffee & family watching those two things
  • Comfy sweaters
  • The food: turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cheesy potatoes, sweet potatoes (clearly – potatoes), veggies, those jellied cranberry slices, strawberry pretzel jello. 
  • Finding seasonal bandanas for the family pups and special turkey meals of wet cat and dog to give them. 
  • Wine. 
  • Everyone working together to clean up after dinner.
  • Everyone sleepy and relaxing after dinner with football or Christmas movies on TV.
  • A day that is centered completely on family, good food, & hanging out at home. 

weekly gems



 Sunset in Columbus last weekend


31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 4

Hey, everyone! How are you? I hope your week is off to a fabulous start. I’m feeling well myself! I’m enjoying participating in the 31 Day Blog Challenge. Today’s prompt: Best childhood memory.


Source: via Kelly on Pinterest


I don’t know about you, but to me childhood means elementary school years. When I thought back on them, even though I had amazing teachers at a wonderful schools that I have great memories of, unsurprisingly, most of my favorite childhood memories involve summer!

  • Moments with my siblings: going to the public pool and library with our mom, listening to the cassettes of The Phantom of the Opera and acting it out with Beanie Babies, playing Zelda and Diddy Kong Racing on N64, walking our dog Charlie and going to Zero Zest, laughing while my mom played piano beautifully and Charlie howled along, family traditions on holidays, etc.
  • Family reunions in Port Clinton (photo above) where my cousins and I would get super tan, swim all day, eat ice cream, play crazy games, make random friends, watch my dad build elaborate sandcastles, prank call our aunt and uncles, go tubing, get kicked out of Wendy’s, go bowling, and so much more.
  • Fun times with my friends: creating memory boxes and hiding them under the porch, pretending to train and take care of Santa’s reindeer at recess, Brownies meetings and activities, playing Barbies and singing along to *NSYNC, inventing variations of baseball that we could play in the driveway, actually playing baseball on summer rec teams, going for bike rides, and lots more.

What are some of your favorite childhood memories?

bake it: chewy bars



Chewy bars are a family favorite. I can remember my mom making them for family picnics, school functions, birthdays, and other occasions for as long as I can remember. They’re truly delicious and I don’t know why I never thought to share them on Beagle & Bear before! So, to kick off the new site, here’s one of my all-time favorite recipes:



CHEWY BARS (from Sue Dunson, according to my mom’s handwritten recipe card!)


  • 3/4 cup white Karo
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups Special K cereal
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips


  • Large heavy saucepan
  • 9 x 13 inch plan (glass or metal, your preference, although metal is easier for removing the bars when they’re done)
  • Appropriate measuring cups and spoons
  • Large, durable mixing spoon
  • Small or medium rubber spatula



1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.

2. Put white Karo, white sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla in saucepan.

3. Heat and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes). DO NOT boil. (See below, it looks like it is starting to boil. That’s because I hadn’t made this recipe in a long time, I stopped stirring to take the photo, it started boiling, and I freaked out. But then I just stirred it and it was fine.)


4. Stir in Special K cereal.











5. Once the initial mixture and the cereal are thoroughly mixed, spread evenly in pan. You can use a spoon if you’d like, but clean hands are easiest.











6. Sprinkle chocolate and butterscotch chips over the cereal base. Try not to let either type be too clustered in any one area.











7. Put pan in warm oven for a few minutes.

8. When chips are glistening (4-6 minutes), take pan out of oven.

9. Use rubber spatula to spread melted chocolate and butterscotch chips over the cereal base (if the chips are chunky and not spreading easily, put the pan back in the oven for a few more minutes and keep an eye on it).










10. Once the melted chips are spread easily, set pan out to cool. Putting the pan in the refrigerator helps the bars solidify better so it’s easier to cut them. However, if you’d prefer to have gooier bars, then letting them cool in room temperature is your best bet.











11. Cut up and enjoy!












use it: usps 2012 stamps

Hello, everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was pretty great! I had Starbucks with a friend Friday night, spent literally all of the day Saturday at the conference championship meet with my swimmers (who did AWESOME!), and went to a bridal fair on Sunday.

I really enjoy “snail mail,” for various reasons, and this week I plan on sending several cards and letters. Have you seen any of the United States Postal Service’s 2012 stamps? I’m excited to head down to the post office and pick up some. My favorite ones are:

Cherry Blossom Centennial
Dogs at Work
Mail a Smile (Disney Pixar)
Earthscapes: Natural
William H. Johnson
Heart Health
Frank Capra
The War of 1812: USS Constitution
Santa and Sleigh
Do you enjoy sending cards and letters to friends? Which of these stamps or other ones listed at the link above do you like?

my life: seven things

The “seven things about me” post has been circulating the blogosphere as of late, so I decided to take a cue from Mackenzie of Design Darling and do my own edition of it. Here we go!

1. I attend Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. I am studying AYA Integrated Social Studies Education (grades 7-12). I am currently student teaching and I love it!

2. Nothing is more important to me than my family. We are a crazy bunch, and we might get on each other’s nerves, but we are always there for each other. I am proud of the fact that in addition to an amazing immediate family, I have a huge, close extended family. I wouldn’t trade a big family for anything!
3. I love Ohio, and more specifically, Cleveland. Both get a bad rap and are totally underrated. I am incredibly grateful I got to grow up where I did and will always, always love it.
4. I adore holidays – any holiday. I’m a big fan of traditions and holidays are chock full of them (as well as family get togethers)!
5. Music plays a central role in my life. I don’t think I go a day without listening to music and I have playlists for every occasion. I actually played alto saxophone for seven years before I started college and didn’t have time to anymore with my schedule. (I would love to get back into, but I’m a little stumped as to how when I live in an apartment. Any tips?)

6. In addition to my family, my life would not be complete without my friends. College has definitely taught me a lot about friendship, and I’m so grateful for the caring and fun people I have in my life. Similarly, my life today would not be the same without my own little family, my boyfriend and our dog Madison. I love any time we get to spend together.
7. I love movies and TV. Before I realized I was meant to be a teacher, I planned entering the entertainment industry or becoming a film critic. I love watching both old and new movies and shows, and totally get into trivia, behind-the-scenes material, and award shows.
1. Bowling Green campus, fall 2009
2. Family, summer 2009
3. Cleveland skyline as seen from the Flats, summer 2009
4. My dad as Santa Claus, winter 2010
5. My friends Kaylyn and Sarah, along with myself, summer 2007 (at our last marching band event!)
6. Dan and Madison, fall 2010; Elizabeth, Courtney, Katie, Sarah, and myself at Alpha Phi Omega semi-formal, fall 2009
7. Netflix DVD and movie tickets, spring 2011
What are seven things about you? Leave a comment listing them or with a link to your seven things post!

use it: 2011 usps stamps

I am a huge fan of snail mail. I adore getting cards and letters in the mail, and I love to mail my friends cards for any occasion. Also, as a history lover (and big nerd), I feel strongly about preserving methods of communication that will be used years from now to learn about what life was like during our time. All that being said, I am excited about the United States Postal Service’s 2011 commemorative stamps! While I am interested in all of them for various reasons, I’m most excited about the following:

Stamps commemorating the U.S. Civil War
fuel the history buff in me

As a former saxophonist who wishes she could get
into playing again, I love this jazz stamp
PIXAR stamps! As a huge Disney & Pixar fan,
I am super excited for these

Thanks to simplesong for calling the 2011 stamps’ debut to my attention!
Do you send family and friends snail mail often? What stamps might motivate you to send some fun mail this year?

things that are making me happy (holiday edition)

Christmas Eve on Santa’s lap (played by my dad!)

Christmas pancake breakfast using Star Wars pancake molds & a Darth Vader spatula
Watching holiday specials I haven’t seen in years with my family and boyfriend
Carrying on and out family traditions like potluck buffet dinner & Santa gifts
Cuddling with the dog while wearing a big fluffy robe
Watching the smiles on my family and friends’ faces as they open their Christmas presents
Having Glee and Coen brother movie marathons (The Big Lebowski, True Grit)
Trader Joe’s Lacey cookies
Yummy coffee drinks from Java’s
Blue skies and snowy streets
New music to jam to for the drive home

What things made you happy this holiday?

ugly sweaters

Hello, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Mine was pretty low-key. I worked, hung out with friends, cleaned, hit up Panera, and just generally relaxed. It was nice : )

How about a little fun for your Monday morning! Have you ever been to an ugly sweater holiday party? Maybe you and your friends have one every year. I myself am a fan of the ugly sweater fun (so much so, in fact, that I had an ugly sweater holiday party as a program when I was an RA last year!).

Well, if you enjoy seeing the ridiculous thrift store finds on your friends, look at this slideshow from Marie Claire. Here’s a little preview:


And that’s not even the ugliest one…trust me, there are some truly, fabulously horrendous ones. Check them out!

Are you attending an ugly sweater party this year? What has been your best ugly sweater find?