Category Archives: Worthwhile Information

Snow Crab & Jumbo Boiled Shrimp

You look like you need plans for this evening.  If I’m right, and if you are in Memphis, and if you often find yourself searching for Tuesday night plans that make you smile, look no further, for the flyer below explains everything you need to know. Mmm hmmm.

$10.95 on Tuesday nights?!? Have I fainted and gone to seafood heaven?! Sounds like a winner to me! Hope to see some of your pretty faces at Cajun Catfish Company on the Tuesdays to come!

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My Bucket List

You all know about bucket lists, those dreamy compilations of travels, skills, desires, and accomplishments you hope to achieve before you meet your Maker. In fact, most of you have probably created your own, or at least daydreamed about its contents.  I have been compiling my list for a couple years now, and I don’t think it will ever be complete. I am constantly coming up with new additions, but here’s the most up-to-date version for your viewing pleasure, and maybe even to get a few ideas to include in your collection!

  1. Buy an around-the-world plane ticket (and use it!)
  2. Live in New Zealand (even if just for a brief amount of time)
  3. Be on the Board of Directors for a non-profit organization (or work for one, I’m flexible)
  4. Learn to surf (preferably somewhere tropical, but I’m not picky)
  5. Learn to ballroom dance properly
  6. Become a freelance writer of sorts
  7. Attend Oktoberfest in Munich
  8. Visit Greece
  9. Shower in a waterfall
  10. Grow an herb garden
  11. Spend a day at a Nazi concentration camp
  12. Hike in the Grand Canyons
  13. Visit all 50 of the United States
  14. Earn a Masters degree
  15. See the pyramids of Giza, Egypt
  16. Go on a cruise
  17. Take an extended road trip across the country
  18. Take part in a missions trip
  19. Visit every capital city in Europe
  20. Attend South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX
  21. Run a half marathon in another country
  22. Volunteer abroad for a significant amount of time
  23. Camp on the beach
  24. Set foot on each of the seven continents (although, admittedly, Antarctica might be a bit difficult)
  25. Climb a mountain (not of epic porportions – not trying to take on Everest here!)
  26. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  27. Attend a game of the World Cup
  28. Visit Canada
  29. Start a profitable, location-independent business doing what I love
  30. Marry the love of my life
  31. Live in another country for  longer than a month
  32. Visit Hawaii
  33. Ride in a hot air balloon
  34. Go sky driving
  35. Zipline through the jungle
  36. Watch a live rocket launch
  37. View the Northern Lights (the Aurora Borealis)
  38. Visit the Parthenon in Greece
  39. Run along the Great Wall of China
  40. Go to Machu Picchu, Peru
  41. Spend time in Salzburg, Austria
  42. Island hop in the Caribbean
  43. Buy a home
  44. Read the Bible from cover to cover
  45. Have children
  46. Have grandchildren (many, many years down the road)
  47. Adopt a child (perhaps literally, otherwise through a sponsorship organization)
  48. Go snow skiing in Colorado
  49. Go snow shoeing
  50. Learn how to play bridge
  51. Become a better cook
  52. Plant a flower garden
  53. Watch every movie that has won an Academy Award for Best Picture
  54. Adopt a dog from a shelter
  55. Get a professional massage
  56. Complete a PhD degree
  57. Become a ten gallon blood donor
  58. Write and publish a book
  59. Go on an African safari
  60. Ride an elephant
  61. Stand astride the Prime Meridian
  62. Go snowboarding
  63. Go horseback riding on the beach
  64. Learn to speak French fluently (or any language, really)
  65. Climb up the Statue of Liberty
  66. Scuba in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia
  67. Save a life
  68. Teach English in a foreign country
  69. Go back to Disney World
  70. Donate plasma
  71. Stand in New York’s Times Square (and also visit the site of the fallen Twin Towers)
  72. Swim in the Dead Sea
  73. Get baptized in the Jordan River
  74. Eat lobster in Maine
  75. Go spelunking
  76. Learn how to play the piano
  77. Take an etymology class
  78. Learn to play the fiddle
  79. Go to Israel
  80. Donate my hair to Locks of Love

And on and on and on. This only scratches the surface. What can I say, I have big dreams. I want to see the world and experience as much as I can in the days I am gifted.

P.S.  I’d love to hear some of the fun things included on your bucket list, feel free to share!

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Free Smoothies for All

From one smoothie lover to another:

Don’t say I never did anything nice for you :-)

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2010 Orpheum Movie Lineup

The Orpheum’s 2010 Movie Series Line Up has been released, and I have shared it below so that you may transcribe it into your day planner for easy access and safe keeping. You do keep a day planner, don’t you??

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off ~ June 11, 2010
Gone With the Wind ~ June 12, 2010
Philadelphia Story ~ June 17, 2010
North by Northwest ~ June 18, 2010
Caddyshack ~ July 9, 2010
Mary Poppins ~ July 14, 2010
The Godfather ~ July 16, 2010
Back to the Future ~ July 21, 2010
E.T. ~ July 28, 2010
The Sound of Music ~ July 29, 2010
The Wizard of Oz ~ July 30, 2010
Top Gun ~ August 19, 2010
Rocky Horror Picture Show ~ August 20, 2010
Casablanca ~ September 17, 2010

This reminds me of a story. Last year, my friends and I attended The Wizard of Oz showing, and seeing as though I had a Dorothy Halloween costume tucked  in the back of my closet from college, I thought it would be fun to dress the part. I donned my little gingham dress and shiny red shoes, and off to the Orpheum we went. All of the little boys and girls were in awe of me, asking their parents if I was the real Dorothy. This was sweet and touching, sure, until the announcer called the costumed attendees to the stage for a costume contest. A WHAT?!?! I had not signed up for this. You see, I do not participate in costume contests on large stages in front of packed Orpheums. But my entire section was cheering me on, and the little ones thought I was Dorothy in the flesh, and my friends were practically pushing me out of my seat, so I had to. I was really given no choice. Jax walked me down to the stage and sat in the front row, my number one supporter, while I smiled and curtsied in front of a sea of faces. A large sea, mind you. The winner was determined based on crowd applause, and I somehow made it to the final three. I placed either second or third, I really can’t remember now, as the mind tends to block out traumatic experiences. As it turns out, I survived relatively unscathed and ended up having a great time, but beware, if you come dressed in character, there will be consequences!

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Festival Camping Checklist

In two short days, I’ll be heading west to Mulberry Mountain for yet another music festival, Wakarusa. As such, this gives me two short days to do laundry, take into account every possible weather combination, track down and pack my camping gear, hit the grocery store, gather supplies, and load the car. I am currently on step one of this process, which is not unusual for somebody with my procrastination skills.  As I contemplate which clothing and survival items will make the cut, I am fully aware that I pack with little method and zero rhyme or reason. And there is nothing wrong with that. But with festival season upon us, Wakarusa on the horizon, and Bonnaroo the weekend after, I have decided to make your preparation easier by posting this handy Festival Camping Checklist, which I snagged off the Wakarusa forum. This list is quite detailed and brings up several useful items that could easily slip your mind, especially given all the excitement surrounding these events. To all of my fellow festival goers, I hope this helps make your camping experience that much more comfortable! 

After all, camping is in tents….. (tehe, intense!!!) 

Bonnaroo 2009

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How Shall I a Bad Habit Break?

I randomly stumbled across the poem below while searching for fun smoothie recipes to try with my fancy new blender. Oddly enough, it has virtually nothing to do with smoothies, and everything to do with the making, breaking, and undoing of bad habits. Seeing as we are all imperfect and therefore struggle with this issue, I figured I’d share. Sometimes we are not aware of our negative tendencies and need them shoved directly in front of our eyes before we recognize them, but oftentimes they are glaringly obvious, and reversing their effects occupies much of our time and effort, ar at least good intention. Bad habits form as such: the doing of a thing once makes it easier to replicate, and this repetition becomes a habit, which becomes ingrained in our lives and a part of who we are. Habits determine our character, and our character determines how we live, where our priorities lie, and to what actions and attitudes we involuntarily resort. We can alter these behavior patterns, but it requires determination and dedication.

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How shall I a bad habit break?
As you did that habit make.
As you gathered, you must lose;
As you yielded, now refuse.
Thread by thread the strands we twist
Till they bind us, neck and wrist.
Thread by thread the patient hand
Must untwine, ere free we stand.

from “A Builder’s Lesson” by John Boyle O’Reilly

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How To Save the World in 24 Hours

At Shelby Farm’s Down to Earth Festival, a book entitled New Day Revolution: How to Save the World in 24 Hours was tucked into my recyclable tote. Being the avid bookworm that I am, I delved right in. The authors walk through small, seemingly insignificant changes you can make in your daily life that can add up to have a big impact on our world. It certainly isn’t comprehensive, but it does help one to refocus and become more conscientious. We humans have made such an awful mess out of God’s beautiful creation, and this book gives a little guidance on how to be a part of the solution. They cover all of the behaviors you would expect – recycle, conserve water, donate your oldies but goodies to charity – plus some more innovative suggestions that are worth incorporating into your routine. I have listed a handful below, just to get your mind moving in the right direction.

1) Drive and Learn. Instead of listening to music while driving, why not spend your time in the car learning? Over the past couple years, I have found it quite enriching to spend my daily commute listening to various talk radio programs. I’ve always enjoyed learning about a wide gamut of topics, and squeezing in these extra hours of educational exposure makes me more informed and aware of current events and other crucial topics such as how tidal waves are formed, whether businesses purposely design products to become obsolete, and John Lennon’s climb to superstar status. You know, the important things in life. This isn’t to say that I don’t sing along to tunes occasionally, because that is absolutely false; I just divide my time between the two.

2) Trick Your Plate. When it’s time to renew your license plate, get one supporting a cause you care about. Switching to a specialty license plate is such a simple gesture, and the cost is minimal. It’s an easy way to channel money toward a good cause while making a statement about what’s important to you. For those of you residing in Tennessee, you can browse the specialty plate options here.

3) Reuse Your Bag. Paper or plastic? Ditch them both, and take your long-lasting canvas bags with you every time you go to the store. I keep several in my car and use them every time I’m forced to shop. You can find cute canvas totes at practically any retail store, usually for only a buck or so. They are stylish, durable, can carry much more than a flimsy plastic bag, and help keep waste out of landfills. Sounds like a no brainer to me.

Your turn.

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Surrounded by Love

While sitting around the dinner table tonight with eleven of the beautiful women in my bible study group, my heart swelled with joy. Every single one of those smiles serves as living proof of God’s love. Over the past several years, our group has steadily shifted and changed, always with divine purpose, and tonight as I spent time with the gals that currently make up our group, I was overwhelmed with happiness. Doing life with these ladies – growing deep and meaningful relationships, sharing experiences and stories, and chattering about our days – has been one of the most fulfilling things I have ever been a part of. My girls have incredible depth, wisdom beyond their years, faith that is contagious, and are loads of fun. Their encouragement and enthusiasm has been such an immense blessing in navigating through this crazy maze that is known as the twenties.

Three years ago, I was hesitant to join a bible study. The opportunity was there, but I was too busy, and it didn’t fit into my schedule. My life was full, and I couldn’t fathom where I would find the time. I grudgingly attended the first session, and looking back at these excuses, I laugh at how glaringly naïve I was. How could I have thought for even one second that my plan was better than God’s plan? I am so thankful for the guidance toward that first step, for I have learned so mercifully and so gently that His plan and His timing are perfect, and that He placed me with these ladies with exact precision, knowing that their friendship would make my heart smile on a Monday night three years down the road.

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Tendonitis and Overwork

This is the diagnosis my doctor at Campbell Clinic gave me after hours of prodding, stretching, and x-raying my grotesquely swollen right knee. Despite the fact that I am told the next time I run I will only be capable of a tenth of a mile, this is the best outcome I could have hoped for. I do not have to forego running forever, only temporarily.

Tendonitis refers to the inflammation, swelling, and irritation of tendons in the knee area. Unfortunately, once tendons have been damaged in such a way as I am experiencing, they are weak and much more susceptible to injury than before. This is not good news. My workouts are more often than not intense; bootcamp and running, that’s what I do. Weak tendons will likely not be able to tolerate the strenuous impact and exertion of this variety, at least not for a while. I am not one to take things sitting down, therefore I will work as hard as I can to overcome my injury, yet be smart and careful to not further put my health in danger.

Knee tendonitis

What does all of this mean for me?

1) I am optimistic but not unrealistic of my athletic capabilities. I am desperate to resume my normal activities, but realize that this goes with the territory of being a runner, and I will accept it for what it is. Working out has always been a natural and understood part of my day, and not doing so is foreign to me. Although I am very limited with what exercises I can do, I will say my trusty hand weights are coming in most useful….

2)  Not going out running or to the gym before and/or after work drastically frees up my time (and increases my hours of sleep). I am determined to use this time to partake in activities I previously did not have time for, such as cooking. Last night was dill salmon and mixed vegetables. Yum. These extra hours allow me to be crafty, creative, studious, and productive in areas that I previously was not.

3) I am sure that the Lord is trying to teach me something through this experience, and I whole-heartedly believe He is telling me to sloooooow down. Anyone who knows me knows that I am constantly moving one hundred miles per hour, cramming as many things into one day as physically possible. I know there is a need for relaxation and reflection, and that is exactly where I have been placed.

4) My family and friends have made every effort to make my immobility as comfortable as possible. As much as I don’t want to be this clumsy and un-self-sufficient forever, it is quite nice to be reminded that I am worth the hassle and inconvenience. Thanks, loved ones!

5) My injury may or may not change my upcoming running plans and vacations, and I’m ok with that. I am flexible and adaptable, and I will take these challenges in stride. Instead of being disappointed with this turn of events, I will look for new opportunities and open doors. That is the beauty of life.

To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) and a time to every purpose, under Heaven.

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Give and Get

For the next four days (March 18th through March 21st), you can get 30% off your purchases at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic by printing this coupon and presenting it at the register. Equally awesome is the fact that they will donate 5% of the amount you spend to the noble organization of Big Brothers Big Sisters! All around, it’s a great deal! So go shopping this weekend, it’s for the children!

Here’s the link (http://www.gapinc.com/giveandget/bigbrothersbigsisters/) in case you need to copy and paste it into your browser for viewing purposes. Enjoy the savings!

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2010 Beale Street Music Festival

Memphis in the month of May wouldn’t be complete without this mind-blowing muddy music festival along the Mighty Mississippi. (Please take a moment to appreciate my use of alliteration here. Thank you.)

Artist suspicions and confirmations have been leaking all day, but now that the official line up has been announced, I thought I’d link to it here for easy access. Without further ado, I give you the 2010 Beale Street Music Fest line up, as posted on the official Memphis in May website.

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It’s Officially Crawfish Season!!

Fear not, Memphians, the crawfish are back in full force, and they are tasty as ever! My personal recommendation is that you look to Cajun Catfish Company on Sycamore View to satisfy all of your Cajun Crawdad crawfish needs. They are one of the few places in town where you get the real deal, just like you’ll find in New Orleans – fresh boiled crawfish cooked daily and served with all the fixins, including potatoes, corn, sausage, garlic, and onions. Mmmmm. Any day of the week is a good day to enjoy three pounds of this deliciousness, but ALL YOU CAN EAT Tuesdays are probably the best! They serve 2 for 1 draft beers daily from 3 to 6, and on Tuesdays you can get a 12 oz. frosty mug of PBR for only $1.25, which is, according to my extensive research, the best PBR deal in town. Annnnd if you would like to host your own crawfish boil on their patio, let me know and I can hook you up (I know people).

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Big Brother Big Sister

I am a Big Sister.

Not only am I a big sister to my handsome, hilarious, and personable little brother, whom I love with the deepest of sisterly loves (that’s for another post), but I am also a Big Sister according to the highly respectable non-profit organization, Big Brother Big Sister.

In college, I was an active member of a volunteer organization that gave me oodles of opportunities to touch lives; there were literally service projects at my fingertips for any time slot I desired. Once I graduated, that changed. The service projects were no longer sitting on my doorstep; instead, I would have to search this wide world and find them myself. After a little researching and a lot of praying, I was led to Big Brother Big Sister, which is a beautiful organization that helps children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-on-one relationships with mentors. They match children ages 6 through 18 with people who are devoted to developing positive relationships that have direct and lasting impact on these little lives.

After going through the interview process, I was eventually matched with an eleven year old girl desperately in need of a good friend and positive influence in her life. That was over a year ago, and since then Natasha and I have shared countless excursions involving laser tag, roller skating, movie viewings, museum visits, sporting events, library afternoons, and holiday activities, among other adventures. While the time commitment is substantial and sometimes overwhelming, the results are more than worth it. Watching a child soak up your love, encouragement, and guidance is an incredible blessing like no other.

If you are interested in getting involved with something bigger than yourself and making a profound impact on somebody’s life, perhaps Big Brother Big Sister is for you. It is such a rewarding way to put life in perspective, reach beyond your bubble, and do something solely for the benefit of another. I encourage you to consider it, and I’d be happy to talk to you about my experience if you have any questions.

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The Book of Eli

For those of you who have yet to see this penetrating film directed by the Hughes brothers, you can read ahead in confidence, knowing that I will not give away any spoilers in this post. In fact, I really won’t say much about it at all, as part of the fun of The Book of Eli is piecing the puzzle together yourself. There are many layers to this movie; it is very profound and very intentional, and thus very thought-provoking. When the closing credits roll, you will immediately want to watch it again in order to dissect the two-hour adventure you just experienced. I am curious as to how others responded to the movie – if you have seen or do see it, please feel free to share your reactions.

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Hope for Haiti Benefit Concert

If you will be in the Memphis area this Saturday night, look no further, I have just the plans for you. In non-erasable pen, mark your calendars for the Hope for Haiti Benefit Concert at Young Avenue Deli in Midtown, kicking off around 9pm. Musicians who have graciously agreed to perform include Amy LaVere, Snowglobe, Devil Train, and the Craig Schuster Band, and they guarantee a rocking good time.

I am not familiar with all of the acts, but I can tell you that Amy LaVere alone is worth the trip. Cute as can be, she thumps an upright bass bigger than she is and sings melodies that mesmerize. I was lucky enough to stumble across her talent at an obscure music festival a few years ago (rest in peace, Mucklewain) and have been hooked every since. You will not be disappointed.

A minimum donation of $10 gets you in the door, but keep in mind that all donations go to Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis and Food for the Poor, both good reasons to consider splurging.

Hope to see you all there!

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