Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

It's that time of year... the sun is shining and everyone heads outdoors for fresh air, family fun, and some sun. It also means it's time to stock up on the sunscreen and sun smarts. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer?

When I moved to Western New York almost five years ago (having been born and raised in Southern California) I was somewhat surprised to notice how tanning - either at a salon or out in the sun - seemed much more prevalent than in my hometown of San Diego. I'm not saying I've never laid out in the sun but it seems the awareness (perhaps even fear) of skin cancer must be much more prevalent in sunny San Diego.

Please, please... use your sunscreen (and don't forget to re-apply), spend time in the shade, and be sun smart. Check your sun safety IQ by clicking here.

Some quick facts from the American Cancer Society:

  • Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. This type of cancer can almost completely be avoided if people would protect their skin and follow simple guidelines when they are outside.

  • There are more than 1 million skin cancers diagnosed each year in the United States. That’s more than cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, colon, uterus, ovaries and pancreas combined. And the number of skin cancers has been on the rise for the past few decades.

  • The vast majority of skin cancers are due to unprotected ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure. Most of this radiation comes from sunlight, but some may come from artificial sources, such as tanning booths. The amount of UV exposure depends on the strength of the light, the length of exposure and whether the skin is protected.
Reduce your risk of skin cancer:
  • Limit direct sun exposure mid-day (between 10am and 2pm have long been said to be the strongest rays - this has now been extended to 4pm)

  • Cover Up

  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher

  • Wear a hat

  • Wear UV blocking sunglasses

  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps
Read more about each of these tips here. Visit the Sun Safety page for even more information and tips.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge

First, my apologies for neglecting my blog writing and reading over the past week. I just don't know where the time has gone. I really, really do intend to get back on track. Promise! Part of the problem is that I've had my nose in a book. (FYI - I've become one of those Twilight people.)

If you know me, you know I love books. I wish I could have a room in my house dedicated as a library. Walking into a bookstore or library makes me giddy... I love the smell of library books and love the look and feel of a book. I like the crackle a new hardcover makes when you open it and the soft thud of closing a paperback. Ahhhhhhhh books. (BTW - did you know that they actually sell book scented candles? They do... check it out.)

At the beginning of the year, I joined a Fifty Book Challenge. I have so enjoyed getting back to reading for pleasure although I think I may have fallen slightly behind as we hit the spring weather, after a long and cold winter, here in Western New York. I'm currently a little more than half way through my fourteenth book and I think there's still hope.

Today, I was over at Pam's Perspective where she posted about a library book challenge. Of course I had to check it out. J. Kaye's Book Blog is hosting the 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge. You can go here for all the details and to sign up if you're interested. I think it's a great way to re-discover how wonderful libraries really are. (My challenge list is currently empty, because I'm just starting today, but I'll be updating this post with books that apply.)

Library Challenge Books I've Read:
  1. The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them by Amy Dickinson (ISBN: 978-1-4013-2285-4)
  2. The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig
  3. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig
1/01/10 Update: Yes, I seem to have lost my challenge.  I did check out numerous children's items but, alas, didn't keep track of those.  Trying again in 2010 with a goal of reading 10 library books.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Loose Teeth Vintage Inspired Sundress with Petticoat GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Loose Teeth Vintage Inspired Sundress with Petticoat GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

What an adorable dress! Yes, I'm apparently lucking out on the contest finds this evening.

I LOVE purses...

... and totes, and wallets, and anything even remotely related to a purse. Yes, I am one of those women who just can't have enough purses (or shoes, but that's a topic for another day). That being said I've made a new discovery. See, I was over at Shawn's blog, SWANEESINGER, and she mentioned what a wonderful Mother's Day she had and that her dear hubby had managed to win her a great tote through a bloggy mother's day giveaway. Well, the picture she posted looked adorable so I just had to find more of these wonderful totes. Find them I did. I also found that this same wonderful tote maker (is that term correct? I don't know) is doing another giveaway! Did I mention the tote she's giving away is gorgeous and absolutely my color?!? Wanna check it out? You should, you really should.... Suzanne's blog is Just Another Hang Up and you can enter to win, too. Of course, I don't really want the competition but I do think you should take a peek anyway. Maybe shop her etsy shop, too. (To my friend, Turtle ~ you KNOW you wanna.....)

Thankful Thursday

As always, I am thankful for my wonderful husband and son. Today, however, I am also thankful for:

Washable crayons
Carpet Cleaner
Bissel Spot Lifter

Can you guess how my day went?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Ok, I just got my first ever ticket this evening. A speeding ticket. So, I think this is a good exercise for me to partake in since I'm not feeling particularly grateful. Here goes....

I'm thankful . . .

that I have a happy, healthy family

that my traffic ticket was just a traffic ticket and not an accident or anything truly terrible

that my wonderful friend Julie came to my aide to step in as baby sitter while I was getting my speeding ticket (trying to get home fast to relieve the baby sitter who had to leave; go figure)

for beer - I wish I had wine right now, but I'll take the beer

that my son went to sleep easily tonight so that I can relax and attempt to unwind
*Photo by joebeone on flickr

Monday, May 4, 2009

Too Tech Busy

So I realized, just now, that I previously hit 100 posts. I'm pretty sure this is considered some sort of milestone in bloggy land and I missed it. Which leads me to my point: I think I've finally encountered tech overload.

See, the whole thing started about four years ago when my husband and I became engaged, bought a house, and began planning our wedding and life. Given that I now live 3,500 miles from "home" I started a personal website for our little (soon-to-be) family at the time to keep long-distance friends and family apprised of our news, events, etc. With the addition of our little munchkin a few years later, I really began to keep our website updated and learned how to play with html and other fun "techy" stuff. I stayed on top of the website, adding pictures and updating regularly.

Then came facebook. This little addiction was so much fun! I re-connected with friends and discovered all sorts of (mostly) useless applications to play with and sufficiently waste my time. (I swear time moves faster when you're distracted by facebook.)

On the heals of my facebook addiction came my mom's group forums. This, however, also added to my facebook addiction since many moms from my group also friend requested me on facebook. I know... you'd think online contact via our message boards would be enough. No, no it's not enough. Why? I don't know. Just trust me on this.

When I decided to go public with my postpartum depression, I needed some sort of outlet and I missed writing so I started blogging but didn't tell anyone. Then I slowly invited some friends and family to read my blog. Now, I'm officially addicted to blogging - writing blogs, reading blogs, finding and following blogs. You name it, I seem to love it.

Ah, but I'm not done yet.... you see blogging turned me on to twitter which I just had to learn how to use so I could add the cute twitter logos and widgets to my blog. Uh huh.

Then I started selling Tupperware - this means keeping a business website up and running and the addition of my business blog.

Enter overload.

I'm so behind on my family website that I don't even know where to start adding pictures. I'm trying so hard to read and comment on blogs that I can't seem to find time to write (or at least can't find the inspiration). If I find the time or inspiration to write, I slack on the reading and commenting. Then there's the endless facebook invites, requests and updates (by the way, WHY do I need to know every quiz that every friend has taken at every moment of the day?!?), the pressure of creative tweets, building my business, and, oh yeah, being a wife and mother. Hmmm.... The addiction must. stop. now. Ok, no, I won't be giving up my blog, my tweets, my facebook friends or my family website. I am, however, going to try very hard to not get sucked into to any more addicting Internet activities (oh puh-lease don't let your mind wander there).

Friday, May 1, 2009

Book of the Month - May 2009

Ok, first I have a confession: I have not actually read this book. I just happened to come across it today and it really looks interesting so I'm adding it to my list of "to read" books.

For those of you not familiar with the In-N-Out fast food chain, they are touted by many to have the best burgers around, healthier options and, in my humble opinion, the best fast food chocolate shakes ever.

Out last month, from author Stacey Perman, is In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules. From Amazon:

"Author Stacy Perman's Guide to In-N-Out Burger's "Secret Menu"
Except for the addition of 7-Up and Dr. Pepper, In-N-Out Burger's menu has
remained much as it was when the chain opened its first drive-thru in Baldwin
Park, California in 1948. However, at some point in time, a "secret menu"
emerged. Something of an insider's code, it is an off-menu series of variations
on the chain's standard fare (Double-Double, hamburger, cheeseburger, and french
fries) that has been passed on entirely by word-of-mouth through the years.

Although the "secret menu's" origins remain a mystery, part of its existence can
be explained by the fact that In-N-Out Burger has always insisted on
cooking-to-order each individual burger any way a customer wanted it prepared.
Over time, several of these variations gained traction and somewhere along the
way a number of them were given their own names. While frequently steeped in
rumor and apocryphal tales the "secret menu" is almost always used by those
In-N-Out customers in the know."


Thankful Thursday on Friday. Oops....
I'm thankful for my healthy little guy.
I'm thankful for coffee to help me start the day even if I did somehow get grounds in the pot
I'm thankful for chocolate... I'm convinced I wouldn't survive some days without it.
As always, I'm thankful for my husband.
I'm thankful that Friday is finally here and our weekend isn't looking to be ridiculously crazy.