Saturday, February 27, 2010

3-Day for the Cure Discount!

Are you thinking about participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure? Do you have family or friends that are thinking about it too? Well TODAY is a great day to register!

Register for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure between February 24 – March 9 with the discount code RESOLVE and you will receive a $25 discount off the registration fee.

And you can always use the $25 you save as your first step toward meeting your fundraising goal. Doesn't get too much better than that!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

3 Day Thursdays - Finding the Right Walking Shoe

This past weekend my walking team 'Angels for the Cure' were invited to a shoe clinic at Luke's Locker to get fitted for walking shoes for the 3 Day. For those of you that think 'I already have walking/running shoes for the 3 Day and I don't need to get a new pair', read on!

If this is your first year walking in the 3 Day, YOU WILL WANT TO GET FITTED FOR APPROPRIATE WALKING SHOES!!! Seriously, think about'll be walking 60 miles and that's not even counting all of the miles you'll walk during training (you will be doing training walks, right?). I cannot stress the importance of finding appropriate shoes (and socks) for you to wear.

The benefit of going to a running store vs. a mall athletic store is that a running store specializes with assisting people who run or walk endurance events. The people that work in running stores are usually runners or walkers themselves and they can provide a lot of valuable information (about shoes, clothing, what to eat, etc.) as you prepare for the 3 Day.

In addition to their personal experiences they are able to accurately fit you with a pair of shoes. (Case in point - I am a Nike girl to heart...Nike Shox are all that I wear. But not for the 3 Day.) They will watch you walk and then bring out various shoes that they believe will work best for you. You are then able to try on the shoes in the store to see how they feel. (Luke's Locker actually has a treadmill and a walking path to try out potential shoes).

You're probably thinking that the shoes are expensive, right? Of course you can pay just about any price for a pair of shoes. But the great thing is that the sales associates are not out to make the biggest sale. They want to help you AND your feet. The shoes that I have worn cost in the neighborhod of $110 a pair. Believe me, a small investment for comfort and not getting blisters!

On the day of a foot clinic the hosting store will usually offer an additional discount if you purchase shoes (or other items) at that time. I also recommend taking in a pair of your current walking shoes for the shoe specialist to look at the current tread pattern on your shoes.

One last thing to think about is that you should have 2 pairs of shoes to rotate during your training walks and for the actual 3 Day event. The sooner that you are able to find the shoes that you will walk in the sooner you will know how your shoes and feet will respond in case you need to make a change.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Bachelor

One of my guilty pleasures is the ABC reality TV show The Bachelor (and of course The Bachelorette!). I started watching the reality series because I was intrigued with the concept of a person finding love from a pool of 25 potential members of the opposite sex that had been hand chosen for that person. Being a single female I thought the concept was a great way to narrow the playing field to find true love.

I honestly have to admit that the first few series I watched of The Bachelor that I honestly believed in it. I really cheered for the women and felt my heart melt once The Bachelor gave his final rose and true love was found (and did I mention an engagement ring too?).

But then somewhere along the line I guess the reality set in for me. How could I not see that this show was just an opportunity for someone to date 25 women (or men) at one time? The lucky Bachelor gets to go on fabulous one-on-one dates, two-on-one dates, and sometimes even group dates. It is amazing that somehow he kisses woman after woman and none of women seem to have a problem with it. And as the playing field narrows down to a few select candidates that he 'thinks he is really falling for' there is always the option to spend the night in a fantasy suite (Hmmm...I don't think it takes too much thought about what really goes on in the fantasy suite!).

This past week one of the contestants had to choose between staying on the show and her career. (It's important to point out that this same scenario happened on the last series so it is time for the producers to come up with a new angle...yawn). Although she was a top pick of mine, I really couldn't believe how much time was spent agonizing over her choice. Ok, I am a true romantic at heart, but...if it came down to me continuing on a reality TV show or my career, I think the choice would be fairly easy. (Certainly I know that things happen, but wouldn't she of made certain she had off all the time that she needed to be on the show? Oh that's right! This is reality TV!)

As much as The Bachelor has made me think twice about women finding true love on the series, I'll still be tuned in next week to see what happens!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Did I Miss the Baby Gene?

A friend of mine got married several months ago. Soon after the wedding took place we spoke about how she and her husband were looking forward to becoming parents and were hopeful to become pregnant within the next year. I remember how happy and excited she was looking forward to their new life together.

Then today she shared with me that she experienced a miscarriage at the nine and a half week point in her pregnancy.

When she told me the news my heart immediately broke for her. I know that she will make an AWESOME mother once she is blessed with children. I am thankful that she is in a very good place with what occurred and knows that God has bigger things in store for her and her husband. To top it all off, her doctor is very optimistic that she should be able to conceive again.

Since I began blogging I have encountered many blogs by women who have documented their experiences with infertility and miscarriages. I can't read the blogs for long because I find myself saddened. I don't know if my sadness is for them or if it is for me...I have never had the desire to have children. I sometimes wonder 'Did I miss the baby gene when I was born?' because I don't understand the deep desire that many women have to have children.

From the time that I was a young girl I knew that I didn't want to have children. Even once I married my thoughts never swayed about that (very fortunate for me since my marriage ended before it really ever began). Interesting fact is that I really love children and people often comment how good I am with them. I have a wonderful 8 year old goddaughter who means the world to me and there isn't anything that I wouldn't do to protect her or for her well being.

Until about a year and a half ago I had been suffering for 5 years with a medical condition that had made my life so intolerable and unpredictable, and me, incredibly miserable and unhappy in the process. Since I was in my early thirties at the onset of my medical problems, my physician wanted me to wait until I was older to make a final decision about having a hysterectomy. When my medical condition finally got to the point that I had no other medical alternatives I proceeded with the operation.

Leading up to the surgery I wondered how would I really feel once the choice was no longer mine about not having children? What if I met someone and they really wanted us to have children together? I can honestly say that I have never had a moment of regret about my decision.

So, to answer my original question: Yes, I think I did miss the baby gene, but I also believe that someone more deserving than I received it instead.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Magnolia Bakery Cafe

Last year when I was on assignment in Pasadena, TX I found a wonderful lunch spot called Magnolia Café and Bakery. They have wonderful sandwiches, salads, soups, and I would be remiss if I left out their desserts…FABULOUS! So yesterday as I was driving around between appointments I decided to stop at the location in Lewisville, TX.

For the past week or so I have been in hot pursuit of a ham salad sandwich. And believe it or not, you can’t find ham salad sandwiches everywhere. There are TONS of varieties of chicken salad (and anyone who knows me knows that I do not eat chicken!) and tuna salad in grocery stores, but ham salad seems to be a rarity. So when I saw the sign for Magnolia Café and Bakery I knew my craving would be satisfied.

I had some great ham salad on whole wheat bread along with kettle chips and a side of sliced carrots. But the ultimate ending to my lunch was the homemade Coca Cola Cake that they make. The cake sits on the dessert counter in a pan that looks like it came from my grandmother’s kitchen. The cake is about 2 ½ inches thick and is covered with some type of fudgy, chocolate icing…yummy!

If you are ever in the Houston or Dallas areas you won’t be disappointed (or hungry!) if you find Magnolia Café and Bakery!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Barnes and Noble Nook

After many weeks of waiting my Barnes and Noble Nook finally arrived!

Last Fall I was contemplating purchasing an Amazon Kindle 2. Believe me, this was a big decision since I am definitely old school when it comes to books: I like to touch books, feel the pages between my fingers, and you can’t beat that new book smell. But after I had a chance to play around with a friend’s Kindle, I was like I love it!

Well, right about that time Barnes and Noble announced that they would be introducing their own eReader, Nook. And being the diehard B&N fan that I am, I had to wait until the Nook made its debut to make my final decision.

Some of the pros that I liked about the Nook are:

1. It has a color, touch screen.

2. When you are in a B&N store you can download a book to your Nook to read just like you would pick up a regular book from the shelf to read.

3.You can lend your eBooks to other people.

(To be honest, there are a lot of similarities between the Nook and the Kindle; for me the choice just came down to a brand that I was familiar with.)

Now the downside to obtaining the Nook was the waiting! I did have to wait about a month until my Nook shipped. I also picked out a cute cover for my Nook but it is still on backorder. So hopefully it will be here one day soon.

Stay tuned for more updates on my Nook! If any of my readers has a Nook, pleae let me know what you think about it too.

Friday, February 5, 2010

When In Doubt Don't Bounce!

The other day while I was out trying to enjoy a quick lunch, I found it quickly interrupted.

A couple of tables away from me there were two ladies and a toddler. Knowing that toddlers will be toddlers, I specifically choose a table a little bit away from them. But I found it wasn’t the toddler that I had to be worried about.

I soon realized that it was the little boy’s first birthday (Yay! Happy Birthday!) and that his mother and her friend had brought him out to have a cupcake on his actual birthday. From the conversation I overheard, his birthday party was taking place in a couple of days.

The little boy’s mother then left the table to go order something else to eat. It was quickly apparent that the friend didn’t quite know what to do with the little boy. (To me he seemed very content sitting there and smiling at the ladies that he could make eye contact with.) So she decided to pull out a toy. This toy was a conglomerate of plastic things on a bouncy string. She then began bouncing the plastic things on the table.

Everyone close by figured out pretty quickly that it wasn’t the little boy bouncing the items due to the rhythmic sound the plastic was making as it struck the plastic table top. Just when I thought I was the only person annoyed by the noise, another customer next to me looked up and had a similar expression of disbelief on her face.

The little boy finally turned around and looked at the toy, but then he did something interesting…he pulled it from her hands and he dropped it on the ground. YAY! But that wasn’t the end of it. She then proceeded to pick up the toy and started bouncing it again. Once again the little boy took it from her and guess what? He dropped it on the ground!

Now, I am not a baby expert, but….I am thinking that if he really wanted to play with the toy, he wouldn’t keep dropping it on the floor. Well, obviously she thought she was a baby expert so she picked up the toy yet AGAIN and began to bounce it on the table!

Fortunately the little boy’s mom returned and the bouncing stopped. Maybe she heard it from the counter and decided to put us all out of our misery and return to the table. Thank goodness for small favors!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

3-Day Thursdays

In honor of me officially signing up for the 2010 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure breast cancer walks in Chicago and Dallas, I have decided to make Thursdays '3-Day Thursdays' on Shannon's World!

I also have more exciting news...I submitted an application to become a 3-Day Ambassador and it was accepted! Since I only became an Ambassador earlier this morning, I don't fully know what my responsibilities will be. I'm not interested in doing any TV or radio interviews, but I am interested in being a social media ambassador and write about my 3-Day experiences on my blog.

I am hopeful that the PR firm handling this will provide me with information about informing other 3-Day walkers about my blog. Hopefully my readers (hint, hint) will share my blog with other people who might be interested in walking for the first time, those that are already signed up to walk, or anyone who might be interested in my 3-Day activities. Also, if any of you have any questions please be certain to email or post the question within the comments.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Is It Just a Car?

One day last week the 'Service Engine Soon' light illuminated in my car. I was a bit perplexed since I had been out of town and hadn't driven my car in about 3 weeks. (Funny how those things just pop on, right?)

Being the independent woman that I am, I proceeded to pull out the owner's manual to troubleshoot the problem myself. Since the light wasn't flashing (which meant if it was I should take it to a dealership ASAP and not drive over 45 m.p.h. - whew!) and was a solid light, it appeared the problem could be less severe. The manual suggested to check the gas cap to insure it was on correctly and tightly. Certainly that must be the problem since I had gotten gas the night before. Well...

That didn't appear to be the problem. After 'driving several trips' the light did not go off as the owner's manual suggested it might. So off I was to contact the dealership service department and probably get taken for a real ride.

Now is probably a good time to point out that my car is 10 years old with 140,000 miles. For the past 5 years I have driven it less due to my current job, but let's face it, the first 5 years were probably pretty tough on it. I take good care of my car - I wash it, take it in for scheduled maintenance and when it's sick (like now) take it to the dealership service department.

Since I am celebrating the Big 4-0 this year (that's another story!) purchasing a new car has been on my mind as a presant to myself. BUT, I want to purchase a new car when I am ready to purchase a new car. NOT because I am faced with a high auto repair bill and I will make a rash decision to 'fix' the problem. So I began to do my research...

I found out what the Kelly Blue Book trade in value and private sale value of my car would be. Then I came up with a make it or break figure for the car repair:

1. If the car repair was over X dollars, I wouldn't get it fixed and would negotiate with the dealership for a trade in towards a new vehicle or

2. If the car repair was under X dollars, I would get the car repaired but begin working on selling the car myself.

Fortunately the repair was under my break figure (whew!). I really didn't want to make a rash decision about purchasing a car and I have been without a car payment for soooo long that I am really not that excited about having one again.

The real thing that I realized through all of this is what my car means to me...this car is the first brand new car that I purchased all by myself. I purchased the car while I was married (in my name only) and I was able to afford the payments after the divorce and without anyone's assistance. I have been able to pay for the maintenance and repairs. For me this car represents my independence and what I can do on my own. I'm not so certain that I am ready to trade that in to someone else just yet.

But if someone showed up with this and a red ribbon tied on it, I think my new love affair would begin:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

An Afternoon With My Goddaughter

The other day my 8 year old goddaughter and I had an outing to a local mosaic studio Smashing Times. The first time we went was a couple of years ago and she absolutely loved it! She is sooo creative and it amazes me how quickly she can come up with an idea and then BANG! she has created something!

Me on the other hand...I want for whatever I am going to make to be perfect. (Well, as close to perfect as I can get it.) I want to pick the right project, the right color tiles, and the right placement of the tiles. While I was sitting there contemplating life, my goddaughter was a third of the way finished with her project. Needless to say, I didn't do a project on this outing!

After we were finished we stopped by Sonic because it was Happy Hour! And if you don't have a Sonic in your area...Happy Hour means that all drinks and slushes are half price everyday from 2 pm - 4 pm. (Certainly you didn't think I would take an 8 year old to a real happy hour, did you?) Her drink of choice was a Green Apple Slushie and mine was a Strawberry Lime Aid Slushie - yum!

On our way back to her house she said 'Auntie, I used to think that you were my fairy godmother and not my godmother.' (Yes, I do remember her telling people that but honestly I thought she knew what the difference was)

She went on to say 'I used to think that you could fly places.' (Yes, I do remember her asking me about flying. Just when I thought we were joking about flying, I guess she was serious!)

The more I spend time with my goddaughter she reminds me of things that are important in life: laughing, having fun and believing in oneself. Sometimes I get so caught up in the busyness of the day and forget about the things that should be important, not the things that I have no control over or cannot change that I let dictate my life.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February NaBloPoMo

For those new to blogging you are probably wondering ‘What does ‘NaBloPoMo stand for?’ Yes, I too asked the same question at one point when I was a newbie to the world of blogging.

NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month. The idea is to post a blog every day for 30 days (or in this case 28 days since February is a short month!) to set the habit for posting regularly. Each month there is a theme, and the theme for this month is ‘TIES’. (I am just going to be hopeful that I can get through 28 days of posting and not worry so much about the theme my first go around.)

Over the past several months I have wanted to take my blog to the next level (whatever that might be!) I am hopeful that participating in NaBloPoMo will help me develop my blogging voice, pick up new followers, and tie me closer to the wonderful world of blogging!