Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Technically it is October 31st so I guess that makes it Halloween. Although to be honest, I’ve never really been a big fan of Halloween. I mean aside from the candy there’s really nothing that exciting about the day to me.

I don’t really remember being excited about dressing up as something as a kid. And I’m really not excited about dressing up as something as an adult. Although when I see people with interesting costumes, I am somewhat amazed with their creativity. And then there are the other group. The group that walks the fine line that begs me to ask “Is that a costume or what you’re really wearing?” I saw several of those people out this past weekend.
Although I haven’t talked about it much on my blog, I have been working on a costume of sorts for the upcoming Dallas 3-Day Walk. During the DC 3-Day Walk I debuted a tutu that I made. (Yes, I made it myself!) And I decided to add to it for the upcoming Dallas walk. Through all of this I have learned something: I don’t have the patience for arts and crafts!

I really thought the tutu would take an evening to make. It turned into a two evening instead. The other night I was working on signs (ok, onesign) for the walk. One sign took me the better part of four hours to make! And I’ll be honest that this isn’t a sign that is going to win any awards. I just underestimated how long it would take me to stencil out letters, cut them out, and then place them on poster board. The lesson learned here is that maybe stencils aren’t to be used to cut out letters. I probably should have stenciled the letters on to the poster board and then filled them in with glitter or something else.
Well, yesterday I decided to begin working on a sparkle bra for the Dallas walk. And I really thought I was up for the challenge. Let’s just say that after spending at least three hours gluing sequins on a bra cup that I’m not even half way done with the project. And to add insult to injury, I thought two 800 packs of sequins would be enough to cover both cups. Well, as of right now I have gone through one package and I only have about ¾ of a cup covered! (At this point you might be wondering just how big the cups are. Well let’s just say that I my‘girls’ are really women!)

Hopefully the sparkle bra will be completed today. And yes, once it is I will post a picture for you to see it. And let’s also hope that I don’t have any Trick or Treaters stop by either since I haven’t picked up any candy. At this point all I can give them is a pear or string cheese.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


This past weekend was a pretty good weekend for me to catch up with friends. As much as I enjoy doing things with other people it can sometimes be a bit of overload for me which causes me to retreat into my own little world.

On Saturday I was able to get together with a friend who has been in town for business. She and I first met about 7 years ago due to the job that I have now. And amazingly she and I have been able to see each other a couple of times a year in spite of living in different states. Recently she received a job promotion which gave us even more reason to celebrate being able to see one another!
On Sunday morning I met up with my 3-Day walking team for breakfast after their training walk. (And yes, I probably should have met them for the training walk!) It was good to see all of their excitement about the upcoming Dallas/Ft. Worth 3-Day walk this weekend. Although I decided not to walk Dallas this year, I will be out there cheering them on each step of the way (also known as a Walker Stalker!).

After that one of the ladies and I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few items that I needed for my Walker Stalking duties. From there, I kind of invited myself to go to a soccer game with her. Even though it was a bit windy and cool we had a good time catching up. From there we ended up at lunch and met two 3-Day walkers sitting at the table next to us!
And my Sunday ended with calling another friend to gossip about something that I saw on Facebook! (Facebook can be good for something I guess) And I always say that men gossip more than women do since he already knew the back story on what I was calling him about!

What I realized this weekend is that I have a pretty eclectic group of friends. I honestly don’t know how well they would ‘mix’ with one another since we all have become friends from different situations. All I can say that I am pretty lucky to have a great group of friends!

Monday, October 29, 2012


First, I’d like to say ‘THANK YOU’ to the new readers that have recently found my blog! Over the past week I have received comments on my posts (which I love!) which lets me know that someone other than myself (and maybe my family) is reading my blog!

I’ll admit that I follow all of my blogs in a reader which places them all in one space (and I won’t say how many blogs I read either!). The downside is: I don’t get to see the fancy layouts of blogs; the blogger may or may not know that I am actually reading their blog on a regular basis; and it’s not as easy for me to comment on their posts (ok, maybe I’m just being lazy but not going to actual blog to comment).
One of the comments I received is that I make blogging look easy. At least I have one person fooled! Seriously, I love blogging yet it can be pretty time consuming. (I’m sure my regular followers already know that I can fall off the grid from time to time when my professional life gets hectic) And I have the mentality that if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right. So I like to take the time with writing my posts, adding pictures, and making certain that my actual blog is visually appealing. (So, for those who are reading me in a reader, please go check out my actual blog!)

I’m also lucky that my life is a bit interesting from time to time which gives me something to write about. For those who don’t know, by day I work for an insurance company with their catastrophe response division. (And yes, that might be a hint that my life may get hectic due to Hurricane Sandy and her antics!) This means I travel a LOT, eat out a LOT, and meet a LOT of interesting people along the way. And when I’m not on a work assignment (which isn’t as often as I would like) I have a great family and group friends (who’ll probably say they don’t see me as often as they would like) that I hang out with, I enjoy personal travel, and I always seem to have something going on.

I’d like to take my blogging to the next level. For me that means acquiring my own domain and creating a personal brand across all of my social media outlets. I’m slowly getting there…and if you have any helpful hints to help me get there, please let me know!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Taking The First Step

I've learned that taking the first step is always the hardest. I've decided to take the first step again with Weight Watchers.

Earlier this year during Lent I decided that I wanted to adopt some healthy eating habits. What ended up happening was that I decided to give up meat. And since that time I have continued to be a non-meat eater with the exception of seafood (also known as a pescatarian). What also happened is that I didn't take into consideration what I should or shouldn't eat, which has resulted in additional weight gain for me. So now, I am at my personal breaking point of trying to lose all of my unwanted weight once and for all.

A friend who I work with has also been struggling with weight loss. For her, it was joining Weight Watchers earlier this year with her cousin. Her cousin has had great success and has lost over 80 pounds...AMAZING! My friend? Her weight loss hasn't been then great and it also seems to be in a yo-yo phase - up and down, up and down. She is also diabetic which presents additional challenges for her.

So my friend (who I'll call 'L') and I decided to do a mini weight loss goal with one another: lose 25 pounds by the end of January (which also happens to be to time of our annual department meeting). This is a realistic goal since Weight Watchers states a healthy weight loss is 1/2 to 2 pounds per week.

So that's why I decided last week week to take another first step with Weight Watchers. I have had success with Weight Watchers before, and I believe I can have success again. I also know that I will be home for the next several weeks from any work assignments which will give me a good foundation to implement new eating habits. I also have my 3-Day training behind me. I struggle with training for the 3-Day and eating. For some reason I seem to think that I can eat anything that I want if I'm walking 20+ miles a week.

I already know this won't be an easy journey for me. I also know that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to too!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

SGK Washington, DC Walk – Day 3

After accepting a little bit of defeat on Day 2, I woke up ready for Day 3 of the walk!
Day 3 is here and I'm ready!!!
Me and some of my team mates waiting for the Day 3 route to open.
The nice thing about Day 3 of the walk is that the mileage is a little bit less to ensure that everyone will make it to the end of the walk in time for Closing Ceremony. There is also a certain level of energy and excitement knowing that the 60 miles is almost over and the impact that I’ve made.
A lot of the Day 3 route covered portions of the city that we had previously walked on Day 1 and 2. Although I never really thought about it, geographically Washington, DC isn’t that big. I really didn’t mind re-walking certain parts since the city is so beautiful!
One of my biggest surprises of the day was that a friend of mine who lives in the area came out to cheer me on and was at the first cheering station!
Claire, Willis, and Me
I can’t explain how good it felt to see a friendly, familiar face out in the crowd! With the exception of my walk in Tampa last year, I have been fortunate to have family and friends attend my walks which does my heart (and feet!) a world of good.
A couple of other unknown people who did my heart good were these two gentlemen:
I have no idea what their names are, although I know that that I saw them from Day 1 when the walk started all the way until the end of Day 3 when the walk ended. So I had to stop and take a picture with them. The gentleman on the left told me that his wife and daughter were walking and they were out to support them.
I walked behind this sign attached to a walker for awhile:

 Can you believe that she is a 3 time survivor out walking a 3 day, 60 mile walk?! Amazing! Although I didn't talk to her when I snapped the picture, I did see her later at a Pit Stop. I had to go over that I had read her sign earlier and how happy I wass that she was here with us walking.
Before I knew it I was quickly approaching the end of the walk. And guess who was at the finish waiting for me?
Me, Willis, and Claire at the Finsh!
It was great walking across the finish with all of my Angels for the Cure team mates who walked DC. At every walk, The Angels walk into the finish together. Although I never mentioned it, I walked this walk with my friend Claire and this was her first time walking. and honestly, I don't think this will be her last walk.

Closing Ceremony was just as emotional for me as Opening Ceremony. It is so hard to put into words all of the emotions that I felt. I thought about my family and friends who have battled this disease. I thought about all of the people I walk 'In Honor Of' and 'In Memory Of' with their names attached to hearts on my fanny pack. As we gave a One Shoe Salute to the Survivors, I thoughts about all of the Survivors that I know and who walked with me the past three days.

One Shoe Salute to Survivors
And as the Survivors Flag was raised and waved in the wind with the words 'We Will Never Give Up', I thought about the impact that I have made and that I can't stop walking until a cure is found.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

SGK Washington, DC Walk – Day 2

Little did I know how difficult Day 2 of the walk was going to be! Partially due to my training being inconsistent this year and mainly due to HILLS! Hills and LOTS of them!

I never thought about DC being a hilly city. (Ok, yes I have heard of Capitol Hill, although…I didn’t realize it is an actual hill until I walked it!) The most deceiving part is that the hills are long and slow gradual inclines and they last about 2 miles before leveling off and only to start again.
The great thing is that our Walker Stalkers were at our first cheering station of the day!
Angels for the Cure - Walkers and Walker Stalkers
After switching our accommodations, we realized that our hotel was only about a ½ mile from the first cheering station and that much of the Day 2 walk was in walking distance for our Walker Stalkers. This was great since parking is a premium in DC and it allowed the Walker Stalkers to get in some training miles for their upcoming Dallas 3-Day Walk.
Once we arrived at lunch, my feet and legs were really feeling the toll of walking the hills. So I decided that I would take a sweep van to the next Pit Stop and catch up with my team there. Although I hated to take the sweep van, I knew that it was important for me to be able to save my feet for the miles ahead of me. And little did I know that I would end up taking the sweep van again to take me to Camp for the end of the day. I’ll be honest, this is my 6th 3-Day event and I have learned to listen to my body (ok, my feet!). And there’s no shame in taking a sweep van especially if continuing on might result in an unnecessary injury.
I almost forgot! At the end of Day 1, I did check the Camp Post Office and I had mail and Sweet Treats from family and friends! I have to admit that the mail is one of the highlights of the event although I typically don't provide my family and friends with the address to send me mail. It's nice to know that people are thinking of me and their words of encouragement really help to get me through the miles.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SGK Washington, DC Walk – Day 1

My team mates and I arrived at the DC Armory nice and early for the first day of the walk. We also met up with the other 5 Dallas Angels for the Cure team mates who would be walking as well. We had time to register our SmartCards with Facebook for automatic check-ins during the next three days. (If anyone is a 3 Day Walker, I will recommend bypassing the long line for this. Basically it’s 3 check-ins each day of the walk and I’m certain that you will probably already be checking in at key points throughout the day anyway)

For me the Open Ceremony is always emotional. I think about what brought me to this place…my family, my friends, my donors, and all of the people who I walk for. I also think about all of the people I will meet over the next 3 days and what their story is. I think about all of the people I pass on the streets who are there to cheer us on and what their stories are. All I know is that I’m where I’m supposed to be and couldn’t imagine not being there.
Before I knew it the walk was starting!
I did have the chance to take pictures with Santa AKA Mr. December 2012 of the 60 Mile Men and with Gerald who is walking all 14 cities this year! Yes, that means 840 miles and raising over $32,000. How amazing is he??? I later learned that Gerald's Father had passed away the night before and he had just arrived at the DC walk that morning. His family wanted him to be with his PINK family and decided to have his Father's burial after his return on Monday.
The route took us past the Pentagon Row and I was able to see a small portion of the 9-11 Memorial. A friend who toured the memorial a few months ago told me that depending on how you read the names on the benches, it depicts whether the person was in the air or on the ground of the day of the attack.
I had the honor of carrying the 'Grandmother' flag for 3 miles of the walk. My Grandmother was a breast cancer survivor and is the reason for my passion for finding a cure for breast cancer which will hopefully lead to a cure for other types of cancer. My Grandmother was always an important part of my life, and I could not have imagined growing up without her.

I also had the pleasure of seeing the SGK National Spokesperson Dr. Sheri Phillips! She is such an inspiration and I was glad she had a few moments to take a picture and chat.
We also walked past the Georgetown Waterfront which was absolutely gorgeous! While in the area I had a chance to see Georgetown Cupcake and the ton of people lined up outside to get one of their fantastic cupcakes! At that moment I was so happy for my Mom and sister’s thoughtfulness to have a dozen of their cupcakes delivered to my hotel. Their cupcakes are soooo good and they started a cupcake war conversation on my Facebook timeline!
Before I knew it, Day 1 of the walk was over and we were headed back to the hotel. Thankfully our Walker Stalkers had order pizza for dinner and it was ready and waiting when we arrived at the hotel! It was great to be able to come in, eat, shower and then go to bed. Especially since Day 2 of the walk would be a tad bit longer.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm Back!

Well, I’m finally back from my SGK 3-Day DC Walk!

All of the 3-Day Walks that I have participated in have been amazing for many reasons. Walking DC definitely tops my list strictly from the location of the walk. DC is amazingly beautiful and the walk allowed me to see so many things within the city.
The group I traveled with arrived in DC two days before the walk to be able to do some sightseeing. The first night we did a night tour of the memorials which was AWESOME! We were able to see the Washington Monument, the White House, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. I only wished that we had time to do the same tour during the day to see the contrast form day to night. The tour lasted about 4 hours and we were pretty beat afterward.

Soon after leaving the tour, the rental car that I was traveling in was involved in a car accident. We were sitting at a red light when a car approached and rear ended us. Thankfully no one was seriously injured although three of us experienced some soreness following the accident. Thankfully we had a day before the walk, and in the end each of us was fine. The other driver accepted liability for the accident which also made everything go smooth.

Unfortunately, we did have some challenges with the condo we rented to stay in during the walk. I’m sure you have all figured out that I can be a bit of a Prima Donna. I’ll just leave this part of the story that we spent the day before the walk relocating to the Dupont Circle area of DC and to hotel rooms. Thankfully all of the traveling I do for business paid off and I was able to secure hotel rooms with reward points!
The other bright spot to our bumpy beginning was that my Mom and sister were thinking about me and my walking team, and they had surprise gifts for us! Pears from Harry and David were at the condo when we arrived. The next day we received wonderful pink ribbon Tervis tumblers with our names on them! And if that wasn’t enough, cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake were delivered to our hotel! These surprises were so unexpected and greatly appreciated not only by me, but my team too. It’s so nice to know that other people were thinking about us and wishing us well on our 3-Day journey!
Before we knew it, it was time for bed since we needed to rise early for Day 1 of the 3-Day Walk!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DC Bound

The big day is finally here…I’m headed to Washington, DC this morning for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk!
Even though this will be my sixth walk, I’m looking forward to it with as much excitement and anticipation as I have all of the others. I’m excited about going to our nation’s capital for one thing. I haven’t been there since probably 1987 (wow, am I dating myself!) when my Dad was graduating from the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. And the presidential election is mere weeks away. I am certain that the city is bustling with lots of extra added energy based on that fact alone. And now throw in hundreds of walkers and crew members fighting breast cancer? It’s going to be great!
I’m excited to be walking in this event with some of my really great friends from my Dallas walking team. This will be the second year that we have traveled together for a walk and I know we’ll have a great time. We’re going in early before the walk and staying later after the walk to take in some sites. It’s really going to be great to see some of the sites while on the walk. In case you want to get an idea of where I’ll be walking, here’s a journey map for you to check out.
The biggest reason I’m excited is the impact that my PINK family will make on creating awareness about breast cancer and raising money to find a cure for breast cancer (which will certainly lead to a cure for all types of cancer). Breast cancer has personally impacted my family and the families of a lot of my friends. It's time to find a cure!
If you’re on Facebook please send me a friend request and you’ll be able to check out what I’m doing. I’m also on twitter as @indygirl_1997.
See ya next week when I return!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Awkward and Awesome

Here are my awkward and awesome moments for the week (Inspired by E from E is Random who was inspired by Sydney at The Daybook):

·         Thinking that I was going to just ‘run in’ Wal-Mart during my lunch hour. Funny how the Speedy Checkout lane isn’t really speedy.
·         Learning the hard way that if someone in Wal-Mart offers to let me go ahead of them in the checkout line that I should jump at the offer and not say “Thanks, but I’m fine.”
·         Going to a nail place and receiving shoddy work. The nail tech already knew her paint job was questionable as I saw her looking at it. Then she wanted to act offended when I asked her to correct the problem.
·         One of my favorite chick lit authors writing an essay for Allure magazine and it leaving me feel a mix of emotions about her thoughts and myself.
·         Going to Starbucks and having the Barista know my name. What’s awesome is that this isn’t my local Starbucks and I have only been inside this particular one two times.
·         Booking my plane ticket to leave my current work assignment.
·         Picking up a postcard to send to a friend’s nephew who is learning about the states in school. Hopefully he doesn’t already have one for the state of Missouri!
·         This time next week I’ll be in Washington, DC walking my yearly breast cancer walk!
·         Receiving additional donations this week for my breast cancer walk.
·         Making a weight loss pact with a good friend of mine. Our first goal is lose 25 pounds before our department annual meeting in January. (Stay tuned for more updates!)

Friday, October 5, 2012


Anyone who reads my blog probably has figured out that I like to shop and enjoy trying new things. Well, I have recently refound an old favorite that has made my Shannon's Picks list…Pureology!
It has probably been over a year since I have personally washed my hair. And before you get too wigged out, 1) African Americans typically don’t wash their hair every day and 2) I typically go to a salon to have my hair wash and styled every one to two weeks.
While on my current work assignment, and having a lack of available resources, I decided to wash my own hair. After a trip to Ulta (and $200 later) I was ready to tackle my do. I decided to pick up Pureology shampoo and conditioner since it has an exclusive AntiFade complex which is good for color treated hair and relaxed hair. I also had a previous stylist who used the Pureology line in her salon. Wow, did I forget how wonderful it is!
Photo Credit:
While using the Hydrate Shampoo I noticed how great it was for detangling my hair. I could easily get my fingers through my hair to really get to my scalp. And the conditioner…double wow! I have a dry scalp and I could really feel the Hydrate Condition working on my scalp. There is peppermint in the conditioner that created a tingling sensation on my scalp. After leaving the conditioner on while I finished showering my hair soft and silky when I rinsed it. And I finished things off by using the Fortifying Heat Spray before blow drying my hair and using my Instyler.
So if you’re looking for a new shampoo and conditioner, I think you can’t go wrong with the Pureology line of products!
Do you have any styling products that you love and would recommend others to try?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lies, Lies, Lies

NaBloPoMo Prompt: How good are you at telling a lie?

My ability to tell a lie isn’t the best. Mainly because my memory isn’t the best and I usually don’t remember what I said. So I usually try to stick with telling the truth. Now having said that, I am pretty good at the art of omission which I don’t believe is telling a lie. It’s just not telling the entire story. For instance…
If someone asks me a question, I’ll answer the question. In most cases I typically don’t give too much additional information. I realize that this can cause a bit of frustration to others although I’m a firm believer of people asking what it is they really want to know. If I want to know something, I ask the question I want. I don’t ask a ‘feeler’ question in hope of pulling out the information that I really want to know.
As I get older I believe in the importance of telling people the truth instead of a ‘white lie’ that might make them feel better about themselves or a situation. I would want for them to do the same for me. And besides, my face is an open book and they would know that I'm not telling the truth.
What about you…are you good at telling a lie?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

One Week Countdown

I can hardly believe that a week from today I’ll be headed to DC for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk! Although I’ve had plenty of time to prepare it always seems like it sneaks up on me with last minute things to do. And it doesn’t help that I am out of town for a work assignment either.
Project Tutu went well. Well, it’s finished. When I started making my tutu I had no idea what was involved in making it a.k.a. I didn’t think it would take as much time as it did to make it. I’ll admit that it is a bit fluffier than I thought it would be and it does add some unneeded girth to my roundness, but I’ll wear it proudly!

This past Sunday I walked 18 training miles and I’ll admit that it wasn’t pretty. The first 9 miles went fine but the last 4 miles were a bit much. It could be partially that I didn’t have enough liquids with me since I forgot my 24 ounce water bottle. Thankfully I had a bottle of water already in the car, and there was a gas station next to where I parked. I was feeling really fatigued by time I finished. I’m just hopeful that I will be able to make due during the walk since I haven’t trained as much or as consistently as I would have liked to this year.
At the very least I’ll have a fabulous looking tutu to wear!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


NaBloPoMo Prompt: Are you good at hiding your feelings or is your face an open book?
I think that most people who know me will say that I wear my feelings all over my face. Especially if someone says something that I think is strange in a ‘Are you serious?’ kind of way.
I remember years ago while working in the same unit as a friend of mine our manager sharing an observation with us. She said that during weekly staff meetings if another member of the team said something that was a bit obscure, we would look at one another and our faces read exactly what we were thinking. After that coaching moment, we would just look down and doodle and not make eye contact.
I would like to say that since then I’ve matured and that my facial expressions have gotten better, but they haven’t. And I honestly try not to look at people like they are asking me the dumbest possible question in the world, or that I have close to no interest in what they are talking to me about. But it’s hard. I have a short attention span, and if someone doesn’t engage me pretty quickly then I lose interest just as quickly.
On the other hand, I am good at hiding my feelings in non-face to face encounters. For those who are in my inner circle, I try to place their feelings ahead of mine. If it’s something that I’m not really interested in doing, I will still probably do it for them. And if I’m angry or upset about something that has happened, I usually won’t say it, but my actions probably say it loud enough.
What about you…are you good at hiding your feelings or is your face an open book?

Monday, October 1, 2012

October NaBloPoMo - Mask

Here it is another first day of the month and I’ve decided to participate in NaBloPoMo! Seems like a good way to get back into blogging and the theme is intriguing (and what probably really pulled me in)…mask.
When I first think of the word mask, I think about something that covers someone’s face. But then there are all of the synonyms for mask: cover, disguise, conceal, and hide to name a few. And those are the words that resonate more with me. I don’t think I liked to wear Halloween masks when I was younger; yet I am pretty good at the other things.
Maybe this month will help me to figure out more things about myself. Or maybe it just might be some very random things that you’ll read!