My new coworker

Get ready, Kristen Bell…you’re going to lose it over this new cutie. ♡

Working at the National Aquarium has its perks sometimes…including this week when I got to meet our newest addition! Felize is our new baby sloth!

baby sloth national aquarium

Felize was just born this Monday and is happily clinging to his momma Ivy. Luckily, I got to bring some local media up to see them today!

BABY. SLOTH.

baby sloth national aquarium

Ok that’s all. ♡

[Wedding] Surprise Bridal Shower

Seriously, I have the best work team/friends/crew in the WORLD from the National Aquarium. They threw me a (total!) surprise bridal shower yesterday! Too cute.

It’s been an INSANE week…and that’s putting it lightly. Our wedding is less than two weeks away. They know I’m a little on edge. haha However, when a meeting was put on my calendar for 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon, I honestly didn’t even blink…but I should have. It was ALL A RUSE! :)

They had planned a surprise bridal shower for me! Complete with signs and presents and guests from all different walks of work-life! Not to mention a cold drink handed to me when I walked in! It was so amazingly humbling and wonderful!

This was all planned by my unbelievably incredible teammate, Nabila! Some of you know her but if you don’t, just know that she saves me daily. Ok FINE…more like minute to minute. She is such an amazingly talented lady – don’t know what we would do without her! <3

Also, check out these GORGEOUS things she got me from Antropologie! She (aka the world) knows I love pie!

LOVE THESE PEOPLE!!

katekatebear nabilachami

katekatebear bridal shower gifts

katekatebear octopus bridal shower

katekatebear emmahayden mendalkiller

katekatebear bartenders baltimore

 

[Recipe] PABU Asian Chowder

So you’ve heard me talk about how much we love PABU. I’m excited to share that their head chef, Jonah Kim, will be featured at the National Aquarium’s upcoming Fresh Thoughts sustainable seafood dinner on March 25!

Recently, I worked with Jonah to promote the dinner on WBAL-TV and got to taste two of the special menu items the PABU team is preparing!

PABU Jonah Kim at WBAL-TV

Jonah made this delicious Asian Chowder with fresh, sustainable clams and I’m pumped to share it with you!

PABU Asian chowder

Asian Chowder
Original recipe: Chef Jonah Kim from PABU

  • 2 1/4 ox soy-cured bacon (or regular bacon)
  • 1 1/4 C fennel (sliced)
  • 1 1/4 C leeks (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 C Spanish olives (diced)
  • 1 large russet potato (diced)
  • 1/2 C celery (diced)
  • 1/4 C roasted root vegetables (diced carrots/parsnips would be great!)
  • 1 1/2 L clam juice
  • 1 C white wine
  • 3 C heavy cream
  • 1 t Fenugreek spice (can be substituted with curry)
  • 1 sprig thyme spice
  • Chinese red vinegar and black vinegar for taste
  • S&P

Directions:

  1. Toast fenugreek spice over medium heat until you smell it then set it aside.
  2. Cook bacon in a stock pot over medium heat for approx. 2 minutes
  3. Add vegetables and thyme and sweat for approx. 6 minutes
  4. Add fenugreek spice and some white wine – make sure to scrap the sides of the pot to get all the flavor
  5. Add clam juice and bring to a simmer. Simmer for approx. 10-15 minutes
  6. Add heavy cream and cook for another 5 minutes
  7. While chowder is cooking, steam clams in white wine (clams will open when fully cooked)
  8. Remove thyme sprig from chowder and blend until smooth (a hand blender works really well!)
  9. Season with S&P and vinegars
  10. Ladle chowder into bowls and garnish with clams and vegetables
  11. Enjoy!

 

Scenes from Shedd

Over Monday and Tuesday of this week some of our work team had meetings in Chicago. Prior to this trip, I had never been to the great windy city. Funny…why would I stay away from a place that’s typically windy/cold…?

Anyway, even though most of the trip was dedicated to meetings, we did have a few hours to explore the Shedd Aquarium! Tons of fun (and not just because I’m a huge Aquarium nerd).

shedd aquarium sea dragon seahorse

shedd aquarium poison dart frog

shedd aquarium emmahayden penguin

shedd aquarium crazy shrimp

shedd aquarium visit

shedd aquarium colorful fish

shedd aquarium visit

shedd aquarium eels

shedd aquarium visit

shedd aquarium fish

shedd aquarium national aquarium team visit

And, of course, we couldn’t help but reenact the amazing fish hug outside!

man fish statue fish hug shedd aquarium

We unfortunately didn’t get a chance to really explore the city itself very much but it’s now definitely on my list to go back to (in a warmer season)!

Have you been to Chicago? What’s your favorite part? 

Give Thanks: Animals

As most of you know, I’ve worked at National Aquarium for a little more than 2 years now. It’s been a crazy ride, to say the least. One thing I consistently appreciate about it is that it continues to push me to be a better person (not just because that’s probably a good idea but also…) for the world. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times….while this planet is ours now, but what we’re doing to it will affect how it is for our children and our children’s children, etc.

I saw this and it totally blew my mind…

greenpeace rain forest issue

It’s mind boggling when you think about all that we do that affect the world around us. Particularly our oceans, which (at least in my experience) people tend to think less about. It’s easy for people to see the rain forest disappearing. You can (almost) wrap your head around that and how much humans are destroying. But, with the ocean, it’s almost too big to understand. There are no boundaries dividing what water goes where. I feel like most people to look out at the greatness of the ocean and think it’s just so immense that anything we do doesn’t necessarily affect all of it…But it does.

Through working with some of the talented people at the Aquarium (and our partners), I’ve learned so many things to help. Yes, people can do little things every day to help!

  • RECYCLE
    You’d think that people get thi
    s by now, but no…
  • Cut up those plastic soda rings
    If you’re going to get soda in cans, cut those up! It may seem like one more annoying step, but do it!
  • DIY gift wrapping 
    It’s almost holiday time…get ready for the gifts! There are so many cute ways to use recycled materials!
  • Actually use reusable grocery bags 
    Don’t just leave them in your car – bring them in the store! Some stores even give you cash back for using them.
  • Donate money and/or to amazing conservation organizations!
    And we make it easy – I even set up an Aquarium fundraising page for ya!

But seriously, I am so blessed to be surrounded by amazing animals, and people who (let me meet and) help me learn about these awesome creatures. It makes me so happy to know that what I’m doing day to day is helping feed, care for and protect these species!

katekatebear national aquarium frog

It doesn’t hurt that they are just so cute! Here are just a few of my favorite animals:

So, in the spirit of giving and conservation, I’m asking for donations for our mission – to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures!

Please check out my National Aquarium Fundraising page!

What nonprofits and/or organizations do you give to every year?