About Me

My photo

2 time ovarian cancer Survivor, Advocate for ovarian cancer awareness & research, Teacher of Zen Method Tai Chi, Blogger, sharing the wonderment and power of essential oils, proud fan of Cathe Friedrich's workouts, Reiki practitoner, A Course in Miracles student, paper crafter

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I won, I won!!

I won my first blog giveaway this morning!! Yippie! Thank you SOOOO much, Steff Says! I discovered Steff's inspirational, humorous, and sexy cool blog last week on Twitter. I highly recommend it!. Her blog has some yummy gluten and wheat free recipes with some fun 5 ingredient challenges to her partner. She's all about inspiration, and who's not into that? Steff, you've got a friend in me. You rock, in my book.

This is what I won! I'm super excited about ALL of these books. I've been wanting to read Omnivore's Dilemma for a couple years now. Looks like the time is now. I'm not a runner, but perhaps Chi Running will inspire me to give a whirl. I'm concerned about the impact on my post-chemo achy and sensitive knees.

My best friend's name in middle school and first 2 years in high school was Steph so winning from a Steff felt extra special. I know that's corny, and I don't care. 

True confession, I haven't had time to read anything other than Clean Eating magazine's recipes in months. I miss reading and it's escape and relaxation it brings me. My mom brought me home a couple of books from her book exchange at work two days ago. All of them sound interesting to me, but I gave them the one shoulder shrug because I didn't think I had the time to read. Then I won this giveaway and I finally got the message. I should MAKE time for reading. Hmmmmm.

So, I'm going to put together a fresh schedule/routine for myself this weekend. I have soooo many things that I want  to include in my daily, or at least weekly, life. It's not going to happen by luck or magic. It's going to take a plan of action and practice to establish a this new groove. Here's the beginning of my action plan, in no particular order:

I want more....
Self- Reiki
blog writing and development
healthy cooking
chat time with my sisters 
building my professional life

I'm content with the time I'm spending on...
enjoying my nieces and nephews (aka the Peeps)
Cathe workouts
TV (I only watch about 2 hours in the evening with Mom- IF that much)

To gain the time for these things I'm willing to reduce the time I spend on...
Facebook (bummer, I know)
Twitter (sooo fun and addicting- also useful and educational)
 (I will be sure to get at least 8 hours, but I think I've been babying my post-cancer treatment body a bit too much. If I discover that I really need 10-12 hours each night I'll make the time.)

How do you manage your time? How often do you re-evaluate? Anyone willing to share a sketch of their routine? Post a comment and share your advice, I'll appreciate it very much!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Vegas Vacation- The End

By the last full day of my Vegas vacation I was pretty worn out. The smoke from the casinos gave me a headache from Day 1 even though the hotel room was non-smoking. It was physically the worst part of Vegas for me. I've been sensitive to second hand smoke since I quit 14 years ago. Since chemo I'm even more sensitive.

I slept late and then started organizing my stuff into my suitcase. That reminds me, the secret of what I got as Vegas souvenirs is out of the bag. My treasures were found at Basin White at the Grand Canal shops in The Venetian. I was drawn in by the wonderful and relaxing smells. I left there with freshly ex-foliated and moisturized hands and lips. I'm now a GIANT fan of these spa quality products that don't have chemicals, parabens, alcohol or mineral oil. I'm a happy owner of a fresh cut Lilac soapshea salt scrub (which is absolutely amazing!!), relaxation bath bomblime sugar lip scrub (it tastes like a margarita, whohoo), Dr. Spot laundry stain remover, and Satsuma spa wax (it has a wick so you can put hot wax onto your skin! So nifty!) My bathroom smells awesome. One of my new goals in life is to try every one of their products. Thanks, Basin White!

**Just a reminder that I am not receiving any, I repeat ANY, compensation for product reviews. My opinions are only my opinions.**

Going to Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, where I had the great pleasure of staying, was on the top of my list. If I would have know how incredible it was I would have gone much earlier in the day so I could have stayed in the presence of the magnificent dolphins and tigers for a couple more hours.

There are 3 pools for the dolphins. It's a serene tropical setting. You can walk right up to the edge of the pools, too!

The above and below pictures are of babies. Aren't they the cutest things ever?

Then the tropical trail takes you into another world- the world of tigers. 

Believe it or not, this is a baby white tiger. That's one HUGE baby!! Very cute, too!

Baby white tiger dropped the box he was playing with and had to make a dive for it. 

This is an adult tiger looking tall and strong. And a bit intimidating. 

I wasn't zooming in to get the pictures above and below- I was really that close. It was intense in a cool way.

I'm not really sure why they had statues of lions, but they were really well done!

I was hoping I would find a cool souvenir-y shirt to bring home, but they didn't have many adult choices. Lots of very cute kids choices, but we already bought cute shirts with matching cups at M&M World.

I enjoyed being so close to the dolphins for so long that Mom and I had to hustle to pick up our tickets for the evening Cirque du Soleil Mystere show. We ended our once in a lifetime vacation on a very high and amazing note! If you EVER go to Las Vegas, you absolutely must see this show. It's beyond entertaining! I can't pick a favorite Act- they were each unique and awesome in a different way. The acrobatics, strength and grace of the characters is inspiring, thrilling and amazing to the 10th degree. Truly the best show I've ever seen in my life. Many thanks to my Facebook friends who recommended it so highly! 

The next day we flew home on a thankfully nonstop flight. Amazing, wonderful, exhausting, entertaining vacation of a lifetime!! The icing on the vacation cake was losing 1.5 pounds. Thank you, Sandra Ahten, for your 9 Tips to a Friendly Vacation e-book! It was wonderful to have a vacation eating strategy that didn't bring any deprivation. 

Most of all, thank you to my Mom. It was an honor and pleasure to vacation with you. Thank you for making it so special in celebration of my Remission. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vegas Vacation- Day 3 Part 3

I got back to The Mirage after the Cirque de Soleil Criss Angel show pretty late, but I was keyed up. I rode on the elevator with a kind Hawaiian lady who was wearing this real orchid lei. I commented on how beautiful it was and she took it off and put it on me and said 'Aloha'. It was really nifty! It smelled absolutely divine and brought back very fond memories of my Nana who loved orchids. 

I played a few penny slots, and drank a few 'free' drinks. A guy about my age sat at the machine next to mine for awhile. He struck up a conversation and we had a good time flirting. I haven't been flirted with for a very long time. It's good for a Survivor's ego to flirt with interesting, cute, and funny guys. Too bad he doesn't live near Memphis. It's probably for the best. While we were talking I won $22! I had a hot machine, it was lots of Vegasy fun!! When the flirting came to a natural end I wished him a good night and set off to find fire. 

Actually, I took these pictures of The Mirage's nightly volcano eruption the second night of my vacation. I only watched the eruption on the third night. 

The eruption is very cool free show with a nice blast of actual heat. It was in the 40s both nights I watched and so I appreciated the shot of warmth. 

The eruption is done to music. It's a very nifty show to catch if you ever find yourself in Vegas.

The Venetian is in the background, in case you were wondering. 

The Mirage really does put off the tropical island in the middle of a desert vibe. The volcano fits the theme quite well. 

I shared my blog post about Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak on his Twitter page, and I also emailed a link to the restaurant to express my gratitude and giddiness. I didn't really expect any reply, but I hoped for one. Tonight,  just after my sister and her family left to go back to their Texan home (wipes tear), there was an email from Craftsteak's general manager in my spam folder!! Yay and WHEEEEEE!! SO very glad I checked that folder tonight! Very niftyand exciting!! She and Chef Matt Seeber are going to be sending me something to remember the highlight meal of my life. WOW!! I feel like camping out by the mailbox, but I won't because that would just be weird. I can't wait to share my memory-keeper with you, my dear readers. Ohhh the suspense!!!

Tomorrow's Post = Vegas Vacation, The End. It is time to move onto real life. I have exciting and (hopefully) interesting food and exercise news to share with you this week.