Category Archives: Randomness

Finally, a news story with a happy ending

Having started my college career in broadcast journalism, I have a natural interest in the news. I like to know what’s going on in the world around me.

Maybe it’s just the magnification of social media, but the news has been extremely difficult to read and watch lately. Or perhaps it’s pregnancy hormones… Regardless, there is no denying the hate, sadness, and tragedy that riddle the local and global headlines day after day.

Which is why when I came across this news story headline, I skipped over it several times: Father Refuses to Walk Daughter Down the Aisle. But when I kept seeing some of my normal Facebook friends “liking” it (I know, obviously credible, right?), my curiosity got the best of me.

If you’re in need of a little positivity or reassurance that happy endings can make news stories, too, please take 3 minutes of your day to watch this video. It’s truly a beautiful story.

God bless this family and the amazing medical staff who care for their daughter.

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Garage Sale Saturday

Uh oh. I think I may have found a potentially addicting summer hobby: garage-sale-ing.

A house on the street behind ours had a garage sale this weekend. Within eye sight of our back window, I could see tables of items. Having watched hours upon hours of HGTV, I have learned that the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is often true. So, once Bridget went down for her morning nap, I grabbed my wallet and headed down. After chit-chatting with the home owners for a while, I headed back home with a few very cool finds in hand.

A wooden woven vase that their daughter brought home from a trip to Africa. It will go perfect on our living room shelf. $5

A bracelet that for whatever reason, I am in love with and can’t wait to wear it. Plus, it fits perfectly; which doesn’t happen often for me and bracelets. $5

Super cute pot holders that I know are nothing special, but I like them and will definitely get some use out of them. Free

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Eczema relief

For those of you who suffer from eczema, you can attest to how uncomfortable, at times painful, and annoying it can be.

Following my pregnancy, I developed severe eczema on my hands. According to the dermatologist, I have sensitive skin that reacts poorly to dryness typically brought on by water. Well that’s no good…between my excessive hand washing, bottle cleaning, and bath time, limiting water use would be nearly impossible.

For the last year, I have tried dozens of lotions and soaps to relieve the eczema: Aveeno, Neutrogena, Neosporin, Cetaphil, the list goes on. Nothing seemed to help. I think I finally found some relief, and both are natural to boot.

We are avid Shark Tank viewers. Our Friday nights revolve around the show. A few months ago, a 19-year-old pitched her natural skin scrub, Simple Sugars, claiming that it helped thousands of eczema sufferers, and it was 100% natural–as in safe enough to eat. I was intrigued, but not enough to order a $15 jar online. Fast forward to last month when I was grocery shopping at our local Giant Eagle and happened upon a kiosk of natural skin care of which Simple Sugars was in the spotlight. After a demonstration and sample, I decided to give it a try and within just a few days, experienced noticeable improvement. I finished the jar after using it twice a day for about four weeks.

I then began using another free sample I received that day called Zum Bar a bar of soap made from goat milk. Again, I started noticing more results after just a few uses; plus its sensitive nature made previously painful hand washing much more bearable.

Finally, after each use of the scrub and soap, I use an Aveeno dry skin lotion to help lock in the moisture.

My hands are not back to 100%, but after a year of discomfort, I finally feel some relief. If you suffer from the same, maybe it’s worth a try.

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The hot water tank

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne W. Dyer

On Sunday night, our hot water tank died; conveniently during the 30 minutes between Bridget’s bath and my shower.

While bumming about the unexpected cost and poor timing (hello, we just bought this house!), I attended a health workshop during my company’s wellness fair yesterday. The speaker shared the quote above to support the idea that conscious thoughts are important in our overall well being. While I know she intended much deeper inspiration than how to cope with home repairs, I couldn’t help but think about that darn hot water tank. This may seem silly, but it really changed my perspective on this unplanned, and frankly, rather annoying, expense.

After two cold showers and having to boil Bridget’s bottles instead of washing them in hot water, I thought of all the people that don’t have these “luxuries”-even some people in the very same city we live in. And then this hot water tank, a necessary investment in our home, didn’t seem so bad after all.

This tank that sits in an unseen location in our basement may not be the new countertops or appliances I would have much rather spent that money on, but I’m pretty sure I will enjoy my hot shower, bath time with Bridget, and clean dishes much more.

Thank you, hot water tank, for reminding me what’s really important.

11 questions

These last few weeks have been incredibly busy at work, which has left me bone dry of creative juices for my blog. Fortunately, my near and dear friend and fellow blogger, Whitney, shared a post today called 11 questions, which inspired me to write my own. Thanks, Whit!

These are 11 random questions that were fun to answer. Join in the fun and link your post or answers in the comments section.

1. In baseball each player gets a “walk up song” that plays on his way up to the plate. What song would you pick?

Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ is a certain crowd pleaser. I have so many fond memories of singing along to this song with friends and family at weddings, parties, Michigan football games, or on a road trip with my husband rocking the air guitar.

2. What’s the best thing that happened to you last weekend?

Can I answer this question twice?

#1: We were shopping at Kohls last weekend and Bridget insisted on walking instead of sitting in the stroller. We weren’t prepared for this because truthfully, we haven’t been in public much since she started walking. So, we had to ad-hoc buy a pair of shoes. Since she hadn’t yet walked in shoes, when we put them on and set her down, she was stumbling around like a drunk person. It was the cutest, funniest scene I’ve ever witnessed. (Don’t worry—she was laughing along with us so we’re not horrible parents.) Now that she’s got the hang of it, she’s sporting the pink Converse-style shoes all around town.

#2: The company I work for recently moved into a brand new, state-of-the-art office building and hosted an Open House for friends and family this past Sunday. It was fun to show my workplace to Brian, Bridget, and my mom, and enjoy the afternoon with them and my co-workers with their families.

3. If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick?

Easy peasy. Rose Dawson played by Kate Winslet in Titanic. Firstly, because Titanic is the best movie in the history of movies. I would know, after all, since I saw it in theaters seven times (yes, that’s approximately 24 hours or one day of my life). Not only is her character and the story line amazing, but she gets to wear old-fashioned fancy dresses and hats.

4. What actor/actress would you have play you in a movie of your life?

A few people have told me I look like Audrey Hepburn. I am ashamed to say that I have never seen one of her films, but according to Wikipedia, she’s the third greatest female screen legend in American cinema, so she seems like a solid choice.

PicMonkey Collage

5. What is your favorite quote?

“It’s the little things in life that mean the most.” – Zac Brown Band

6. What was your first concert?

Technically, it was Tim McGraw at the Medina County Fair in the mid 90s. My cousin, Erin, and I watched through the gaps in the bleachers outside the stadium. But, my first legal attendance at a concert was for Kenny Chesney at Blossom Music Center. Years later and he’s still got it.

7. What Internet website do you visit the most?

Honestly, a website I use for work called Salesforce. Personally, probably Facebook. Although I will admit, 40 days without it was refreshing.

8. Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you the best and why?

Happy, I hope. However, allergy season is quickly approaching, so Sneezy may be more accurate.

9. If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?

General Tsos chicken, French fries, guacamole with chips, and every dessert in my mother-in-law’s repertoire, with a large fountain Pepsi.

10. What is the background of your computer?

This picture taken last fall of me with my B’s…makes me smile every morning when I turn on my computer.

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And the eleventh question is… to you! Answer one of the ten above!

@ShannonSKL: The “newest” member of Twitter

As I shared last week, I gave up Facebook for Lent. One week in, and I’m going strong.

With my Facebook-free time, I have written 2x more blog posts than in a typical week, started a new book, The Fault in Our Stars, and reactivated my previously neglected Twitter account.

I know you’re probably thinking that I’ve defeated the purpose of giving up Facebook (and you may be right), but I disagree and here’s why:

  1. Twitter is a surprisingly reliable avenue for news if you follow the credible news sources. I feel more connected to what’s going on around the world than I ever have before. Full disclosure: I also follow E! News and Perez Hilton, so some of the news I’m consuming is meaningless.
  2. I find it strangely fun to challenge my OCD for description, grammar, and punctuation when compiling a message in 160 characters or less.
  3. It’s an excellent resource for quick tips or links to articles on parenting, health, and more.
  4. As is with Facebook, I have found that I’m not wasting time reading the narration of a high school classmate’s daily life, but instead that Kristen Stewart was voted the least sexy actress in a list published in Britain and Fergie is loving her new #lovelyladybump.

Now that I’m officially a tweeter, I invite you to follow me @shannonskl. If you aren’t signed up, join me and we can figure out this #hashtagthing together.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2013

Valentine’s Day may be overly commercialized, but it’s still a fun way to celebrate the most important thing in life: LOVE.

Remember in elementary school when you’d pass out cards to classmates? Wouldn’t that be kind of cool if we did that as adults?

Earlier this week, I got inspired to host a mini Valentine’s Day photo shoot with Bridget to create a digital Valentine’s Day card for you, my readers, family, and friends.

I am not a professional photographer, and therefore don’t have access to creative props that are all the rage in photography. What I did have was a big idea, a Valentine’s Day-themed outfit, chalk board, red lipstick, and an adorable (so I think, but I am biased) but crabby 8-month-old model. My big idea didn’t pan out as planned due to the latter, but nonetheless, I snapped a few memorable shots.

Here’s how this “photo shoot” played out:

PicMonkey CollageAnd here is what my Valentine’s Day card would be if we celebrated it like we did in 3rd grade:

PicMonkey Collage 2

Facebook-free for 40 days

Lent is the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter that people of some faiths commit to fasting or giving up certain luxuries as a form of penance.

Every year, for as long as I can remember, I have given up pop or chocolate for Lent. It’s not that I drink that much pop, but I really, really enjoy it when I do. On the contrary, I eat a lot of chocolate. Some may even consider my consumption of chocolate a form of addiction. 

This year, I have decided not to give up either. To be frank, between having the appetite of a growing teenage boy (thank you, Bridget) and preparing for our move in March, I will need the spurts of pleasure that both pop and chocolate provide. 

Back to the drawing board…

Source: Google
Source: Google

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have challenged myself to make better use of my not-so-much spare time: spend less time on my phone, read more, etc. Bingo! What is the greatest distraction of achieving this goal? Facebook. While I don’t consider Facebook to be a “luxury” (more like a bad habit one can’t kick), giving it up for 40 days would be a challenge. So, challenge accepted and no Facebook it is.

I have permitted myself three exceptions:

  1. If I receive a message, I can read it and respond. Come on, I don’t want to be rude.
  2. If I receive a notification from a group to which I belong, I can review it. I get frequent notifications from our HOA, work groups, etc. In many cases, Facebook is my only method of receiving this news.
  3. Brian can relay to me important news shared via Facebook and comment on my behalf if I deem appropriate. What if a friend of mine announces a pregnancy or has a baby? Again, I don’t want to be rude.

If you don’t receive a thumbs up from me on your next Facebook status or photo, now you know why.

So long, Facebook. See you in 40 days. Until then, I’ll be drinking a Pepsi, enjoying a Snickers, and cruising Pinterest.