Category Archives: July 2008

Loving the Olympics — And Mr. Phelps’ Abs Are Pretty Nice, Too.

OK, is anyone else OBSESSED with the Olympic games in Beijing. Specifically, Michael Phelps’ abs in Beijing?

Kidding, kidding, honey. Well, not really. But, seriously, I have been having so much fun watching the Olympics, an event in which I have really have not held much interest since the days of Keri Strug and Dominique Moceanu — I loved women’s gymnastics.

But this year I am so inspired by the athletes who are participating in the games. The women’s gymnastics team looks healthy and strong. The USA has a 41-year-old woman, Dara Torres, crushing the age-bias and beating the competition. She became the oldest swimming medalist in Olympic history this past Sunday.

And, of course, swimmer Michael Phelps has made it his job to let people know just how much he rocks. He won his eleventh gold medal yesterday, making him the world’s greatest athlete and far surpassing the nine-medal total other Olympic athletes, like Carl Lewis and Mark Spitz, have held.

I think these people are just the coolest. And watching them makes me so proud of our country and, of course, I want just 1/2 of Dara’s muscle tone, too.

What about y’all? Have you taken a liking to the Olympics? Michael Phelps?


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Filed under August 2008, Eat, July 2008, June 2008, Pray, Run

Kissing a Big (Very Big) Kitty!

It’s been a week with the animal kingdom, and in the spirit of such an event I thought I would share this video with you. I was totally bawling watching this lion with his two human friends. It made me run and kiss my own two kitties. Enjoy:


Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

I Have Moved in With Amphibians . . . and Crickets.

Whew! Moving, well, sucks. Sorry, mom, I know how much you hate that word.

But it does. Suck.

On Sunday, we got all of our stuff schlepped over to our new apartment in Ohio, and we sweated, groaned and struggled to do just that. I have places that hurt on my body that I did not even know had the ability to ache.

Oh, well, it’s over now, and we spent much of yesterday evening beginning to get all of our crap organized. We still have a long way to go.

On an exciting note, however, we absolutely love our new home. It is by far the best place either of us have lived. We even have a laundry room! And for those of you who have been spending your quarters on coin-operated machines, you know just how glorious that little factoid is.

We are back in Pittsburgh now, and will be spending the next three and a half weeks with my parents. Dan has some work to finish up here before we make the final move to Ohio.

It has been a while since I have slept at my parents’ for more than a day or two, let alone bunked with my youngest brother, Isaac. So, needless to say, last night was an “interesting” experience. Dan, of course, shared a room with the teenage brother (Luke) who passed out nice and quietly last night. Lucky for them. (;

I, on the other hand, not only roomed with Isaac, but seven other animals and a bag of crickets. Isaac owns a gecko, two frogs, baby turtle, lizard and food for a few of the critters (gecko and lizard) to munch on. Add the amphibians and insects to my two cats sleeping on my bed with me, and I felt like Dr. Doolittle last night.

I nodded off to Cooper and Emerson crunching their kitty food, water swirling in the turtle’s aquarium and, of course, Isaac’s childlike, incessant questions (gotta love him) of “What if the world ended right now?” and other matters of the sort. When the crickets started chirping at 3 a.m., I considered submerging my head in the turtle’s water or smashing Gary the gecko’s cage over my head.

I exaggerate, but I am wondering if perhaps Isaac could at least consider turning off the multicolored lights that adorn the cages. Dimming them?

I woke up in the middle of the night, unsure if I had stumbled into a bad, bad, horribly-themed college keg party.

With amphibians.


Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Packing Up and Moving On . . .

Hey, there! I have not forgotten about all of you guys and gals. The big move occurred this weekend and, boy, did I forget just how much crap I have! (:

I will be back on track tomorrow, so check back for an update. Until then, enjoy the day!


Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Thought for the Day!

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.Mark Twain

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Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Strawberries + Cereal = Mmm, mmm, mmm!

OK, so I have a new favorite cereal. I know, can you believe it?! Something other than my beloved shredded oats. (: I just found these babies yesterday, and, boy, are they yummy. Just the right touch of strawberry flavor! Every 1.9-oz. serving of Kellogg’s Smart Start Strawberry Oat Bites cereal is 200 calories,2.5 grams of fat, zero grams of trans fat and 6 grams of fiber.

If you can get your hands on a box of it, go for it. And the even better news: My grocery store had it on sale, so, hopefully, yours does, too!

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Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Weekend Wiffle Ball and Sushi . . . Oh, Geez!

Wow! What a busy weekend. I did one thing after the other and, before I knew it, it was over. It’s always a bit sad to say goodbye, but it is also nice to start the week off having had a great weekend.

On Thursday evening, I went for a run with my brother, Luke, and sister, Amanda. We hit the trails in Schenley Park and had a fun, albeit sweaty, time. It was hot! I had a bit of trouble breathing the thick air, — even at 6:30 it was still in the high 80s — but made it through the 40-minute workout anyway. Luke is training for soccer and Amanda is gearing up for a marathon, so I was traveling with quite the athletically-inclined pair!

Thank goodness for Anthony, my sister’s boyfriend, who greeted us at the end of the trail with water bottles and Edy’s Whole Fruit popsicles. Yay, for Anthony!

After our run, we hit the Squirrel Hill sidewalk sales where I got a cute sleeveless shirt for $1.00 (Yes, $1.00!!) at Avalon and a used copy of one of my favorite movies, Now and Then, at the Exchange. Both stores are places where you can trade clothing and accessories (Avalon), or DVDs, CDs and records (the Exchange) for money or items of equal value. You can also go in and check out the many items that people have traded in, purchasing them at a much lesser cost than you would if you were to purchase them new. I love the idea of reusing everyday items, and the sidewalk sale fulfilled my recycling dreams! (;

While we browsed, I had a honey green tea with tapioca pearls (boba) in the bottom. If you have never had these babies before, they are quite tasty. They are also pretty high-calorie, –about 100 calories every seven — so I do not drink boba tea often. I did not finish this one because the tea was a bit too fragrant for me.

Friday morning and afternoon was work, work, work and then, pack, pack, pack. I cannot believe we are already moving this Sunday! After many hours spent with the computer and boxes, Dan and I decided to take a short walk (about a 1/2 mile) and do some quick shopping at Whole Foods. We also sat down at one of the tables indoors, cooled off and ate some sushi. Mmmm … this was so yummy.

Saturday was another exercise session on the trails. This time my sister and I walked, and my brother, Isaac rode his bike along side of us. We made a plan to meet on the trails, but completely forgot there was a grand prix this weekend. The event caused some major blockage of the entrances to the trails, and it took about an hour for me to finally get to my brother and sister. I was on the trail and they were not allowed access it. So, I walked by myself until they found me. It was frustrating, but also quite humorous when my sister told me she feigned tears to woo a security guard into letting her on the trail — it didn’t work. (Giggle.) Oh, Amanda! Once I met up with them, we walked for about 45 minutes. My bum was a little sore after almost 2 hours of walking!

Sunday was more packing. I packed the entire closet! I also got rid of a lot of clothing that I haven’t worn in ages and it felt good to purge. Later that night, Dan and I made our way over to my parents’ house for our traditional Sunday night dinner. After dinner, we geared up for a new Shannon family tradition — wiffle ball! I have been a cheerleader the last few times, but this time I joined in and, boy, did I work up a sweat. I typically completely stink at all sports involving a ball, so I was completely surprised when I actually hit the ball! I even made a few runs into home plate. Go me! (Sorry for the dark picture.)

I wanted to focus this post on fitness because I promised to show you more of what I do for exercise. I used to be a hardcore exerciser and, while I am still pretty adamant about it, I have learned a few lessons along the way. One being that it is OK to slow down every now and then. When I was younger, exercise had to be my way or it didn’t count. Now, I have learned that it is OK to not always take fitness so seriously and have some fun à la a wiffle ball game!

I am curious: What is your favorite way to exercise? Has your philosophy changed over the years?

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Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run