Dreams Left Behind: Recapturing an Old Flame

This is a bit of an unexpected post, inspired by my daily perusing of my Twitter feed, this morning. Innocently enough, I scoured the trending topics and words of my favorite celebrities, authors, local and national companies, among others. However, halfway through my scan, my interest was piqued. As a newspaper and magazine fanatic, a tweet with a link to an article with an interesting title captured my eye: “If You Want to Be Successful, You Have to Beg For It,” an article written by Cosmopolitan editor, Amy Odell: (http://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebrity/news/secrets-to-success?src=spr_FBPAGE&spr_id=1440_28464741). It wasn’t simply the overall premise of the article that captured my eye, but the fact that after reading several sentences, I realized it was about a career and field I desperately aspired to enter in years past: Journalism, but specifically, as a national magazine editor.

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When I was younger, becoming a magazine editor was truly all I wanted. There was nothing better than the rush of interviewing people, whether it was the football star of my high school, or a teacher introducing the concept of “SMART boards” into the classroom (both individuals I actually interviewed way back when). It didn’t matter what type of article I was writing, but rather, I relished in the opportunity of actually being able to be published and have my words read and heard. However, writing and journalism never came easy to me. Criticism, as I’m sure with many others, was something I experienced and endured on a daily basis. However, I took it hard, probably harder than I should have, looking back. Though, one time in particular stands out to me where I actually proved true what author/editor, Odell mentions in her article. I was all of 15 years old and an incoming sophomore in high school. Each Thursday, my local county newspaper published a teen section entitled, “Reality.” Eagerly, the moment I could, I submitted my application a year prior to that, as a freshman. Much to my dismay, I was denied, as the editor of the section informed me my writing could “use improvement,” and “less adjectives.” Hearing this, though I was heartbroken, I was not discouraged. Back then, I roared with drive and momentum, eager to chase my dreams no matter how far or distanced they appeared and felt. I wanted to be that girl, the one who pushed her way into rooms and situations, determined to get the facts from whatever might be occurring; the one who never took no for an answer. I carried this mindset with me throughout my entire freshman year of high school, into the summer leading into my sophomore year, where I picked myself up and again submitted my application to Reality.

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Weeks after submitting my application, again, I was denied acceptance onto the Reality panel, this time being told, my writing STILL needed work and revision, but to apply again the subsequent year. Again, I was crestfallen, wondering if I should terminate my dreams and change focus. While I flirted with the possibility of change, ultimately, I chose to stick to my goals and went on to become the News Editor of my high school newspaper. As an editor, I delved deeper into the field of Journalism, soaking in the active and busy life of the high school newspaper office, toting around my AP style guidebook as though it were the key to achieving my dreams.

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As the summer leading into my junior year approached, for the third time, I submitted my application for entry onto the Reality panel. Much to my surprise, I received an email from the Reality editor welcoming me onto the panel. That day, I’ll never forget, as the element of surrealism is the only way to describe it. Suddenly, it felt as though the possibilities and potential were endless. Within weeks, individuals throughout the county and beyond would read my words, experiencing the thoughts running rampant through my mind. It felt as though my dreams were finally within achievable reach and for the first time, it felt my life was coming together the way I always hoped it would. The Reality editor congratulated me and applauded my persistence, impressed at my ability to withstand all he said and make the necessary improvements and adjustments to accommodate his requests.

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Reading Odell’s article this morning brought back these emotions and lead me back to that summer leading into my junior year. I truly WAS that girl who was persistent, failing to accept no as an answer. Sure, I could have given up and interpreted his refusal as a sign that perhaps this was not the direction for me, but I chose to stick to what my heart told me and in the end, it provided me with an opportunity I know I’ll never forget.

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All the same, the article this morning made me a bit tearful, as I reflected on what I’ve given up over these past several years. As I entered college, my major was communications/journalism, still believing I could become that magazine editor/journalist I aspired to be for countless years. However, as I entered my junior year of college, I made the shift to psychology, realizing how interested I was in the way the mind works and processes all it encounters. Still, I couldn’t help but feel the void in my life, as I watched my favorite journalist on the television, making a difference and encountering individuals from all walks of life. A heaviness still weighs in my chest with each magazine I open, as I notice the masthead and lists of editors who come together to publish the very pages I hold within my hands. Each month, I receive an amass of magazines, relishing in them and noticing each and every word on the pages. It makes me dream of how it might be to grace the offices of my favorite publications, having the ability to explore and write about all that lurks within my mind. There is so much to be learned and explored and I wonder, if perhaps I should go back to basics, sticking with what I want and know.

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All I have to say is thank you to Odell for producing this piece of writing and for allowing me to ponder what could be the path my life should and will take. I thank her for reminding me I was that girl, the one who Odell writes, “You have to write again and again even after they reject you. If they don’t reject you, you have to write them until they respond. If they finally respond with a rejection, you have to think, Oh my god, I can’t believe that editor I am dying to work for wrote me back! It’s like we know each other! Next stop: brunch! Then you have to regroup and send that editor more story ideas.”

Often times, I’ll wait for people to come to me, in many walks of life, albeit old friends, old crushes, old employers, old coworkers.. I sit and wait, and wait, wondering if they’ll ever come or want to come. Much of the time, I come up empty, wondering if it is something I did wrong, rather than simply taking the mere extra movements or speaking the few extra words to reach out. How gratifying it would be to do this and again, Odell confirms this as she concludes her article, stating, “Don’t sit around and wait for someone to invite you to the party. Invite yourself and show up.”

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So thank you, Ms. Odell... I think I will show up, because quite honestly, what have I got to lose?

To Be Grateful: Appreciating the Small Things

Good morning, my friends! It’s a new week and I’m trying to begin this one on a positive note. After an emotional weekend, I’m trying to shift my focus onto all I am truly grateful for, no matter how “small,” it may seem. Without wanting to ramble, I figured the most succinct way of doing so, would be to place it into a comprehensive list form. Without further adieu, here are a couple “small things” I am grateful for, today:

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1. Family – Okay, I digress, this is not a “small thing,” this is a big thing, rather, comprised of people who are more than essential to my life. This weekend, however, made me even appreciative of them as they came to my rescue, yet again. It is reassuring to me, to know how I can rely on and trust them, as they are my other half. I feel so fortunate and blessed to have them as not only my family, but my friends. Our relationships are uniquely special and I hold them so very close to my heart.

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2. Reusable Bags – Yes, I know, this is a very big jump from above, but still, it is something I am grateful for. Whenever I go shopping, albeit a grocery store, pharmacy, mass market store (i.e. Target, Walmart), I can always be found with a reusable bag. Not only do I find them convenient (how much easier is it to be able to quickly swing a reusable bag over your shoulder rather than having to tote around an awkward brown paper bag, or a plastic bag, which could rip?), but also, they are beneficial to the environment, helping to keep additional waste away from the already saturated environment/landfills. The other day, while in a local grocery store, I took note of an elderly woman’s cart brimming with reusable bags. Seeing that made me smile in approval, glad to see we are doing our part in small ways to help keep the world a cleaner place to live. See, it truly is the small things!

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3. Crowded Libraries – As a regular library customer since childhood, it always makes me happy and comforted to see it filled with adults, teens and children, searching for books, spending time reading at tables, or completing school projects in the confines of the library. From the time I was young, my mom cultivated a love of reading and the library in my sister and I. In fact, some of my fondest memories include, the “Teddy Bear Picnics,” at the library, Summer Reading program, and leaving the library with a stack of “The Babysitters Club,” and “Little Sister” book series. Visiting the library was always an eventful experience and still is, so I am thrilled when I see my fellow peers and community members as library patrons. To me, there is simply something special and unique about the library and while it has changed to accommodate technology and the changing needs of the public, it is still valuable and filled with memories. One of the most beautiful libraries I’ve ever visited has to be the Princeton Public Library, so if you’re ever in town, be sure to stop in and explore!

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Princeton Public Library

4. Spotting New Products on Store Shelves: As I mentioned before, it is the smallest things that can make all the difference or brighten a day! That being said, this happened twice in a one-week period! Last week, I shared with you my new yogurt and cereal finds and this week, I’m proud to report, the new yogurt finds continued! While at Target, I just so happened to spot a brand new Yoplait 100-Calorie Greek Yogurt flavorBlended Strawberry Cheesecake Bliss! Not having seen a new announcement for it, I was shocked to notice a new flavor on Target store shelves. At Target, one never knows what they might find! Naturally, I had to purchase it and plan on trying it tomorrow! Also, while at a local grocery store called Redner’s, I FINALLY spotted the single containers of Dannon Light ‘n Fit Greek Strawberry Banana! In two other local grocery stores – Giant and Shoprite, the strawberry banana flavor was available in multi-packs only, however, now that Redner’s is stocking it in single containers, I might have to visit more frequently (if I like it, of course!). Spotting new products on shelves might seem minor to some, but to me, it is source of excitement! Again, the little things!

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QUESTION: So, tell, me, what “small things,” are you grateful for, today?

 

Discovery on the Shelf: New Products SPOTTED!

Hi, there! Over here in Pennsylvania and perhaps elsewhere, as well, we are experiencing our first “true” taste of seasonal temperatures. True, it is a bit colder than I prefer, but one thing I am loving is the abundant sunshine, warming my car! Plus, it makes the ever-changing leaves/Fall Foliage even more gorgeous and truth be told, I didn’t even think that was possible! Anyhow, this week will be bringing me some changes and adjustments to my daily schedule, so to lift my spirits a bit, I figured I would type up a lighthearted post, which is appropriate, since I have quite a few new product finds to share with you!

It might be a little strange or exaggerated how excited I become when I just so happen to spot a brand new product on store shelves, but in my mind, it’s the little things bringing me joy that counts! Why not celebrate this new finds, which could very well soon become staples in some of our pantries, refrigerators, and more importantly, our stomachs?!

First up: CORNFLAKES EXTRA!

Corn Flakes Extra

As a big cereal fan, I frequently purchase Kellogg’s brand cereal (Special K, anyone?), therefore I’m a member of Kellogg’s Family Rewards, which allows me to enter the codes imprinted inside of cereal boxes and accumulate points to redeem for products, magazines, etc. Periodically, Kellogg’s Family Rewards emails newsletters with promotions, free rewards points, and coupons. In one of the most recent newsletters, Kellogg’s introduced a new variety of Cornflakes named Cornflakes “Extra.” The “extra” in this variety is in the form of dried cranberries and almonds. After reading about it, I was overly eager to spot it on store shelves and after visiting several, I came up empty. However, Saturday afternoon, I visited a grocery store outside of my typical rotation and much to my surprise, ended up spotting the cereal! Although, sadly, I did not purchase it, as it was over $4 – an obscene amount for cereal! I’ll wait until a coupon appears, or if it a sale occurs. I think this cereal will be a decent one. I’ve always been a big fan of cranberries, so it’s interesting to see it offered now in a cereal. I hope there will be a subtle sweetness to the cereal though, as plain Cornflakes are a little bland in my opinion. A couple years ago, Kellogg’s introduced Cornflakes Simply Cinnamon, which I thought were decent, but they mysteriously disappeared after a relatively short shelf life.

Dannon Light ‘N Fit Greek: Caramel Macchiato & Strawberry Cheesecake flavors!

Dannon Light and Fit Caramel       Dannon Light and Fit Strawberry Cheesecake

As many of you may already be aware, not only am I a big fan of cereal, but also yogurt. As far as yogurt goes, I eat both regular and Greek, but mainly prefer Greek, for it’s thick consistency and hearty texture. One of my favorites, Dannon Light ‘n Fit Greek is sweet and satisfying, with a mere 80 calories. However, I was tiring of their typical flavors, so I was pleasantly surprised to spot a new flavor on Walmart shelves several weeks ago – Strawberry Cheesecake! In fact, I hadn’t even realize Dannon was even releasing such a flavor, so you can imagine my surprise when it stared back at me on store shelves. With only 2 containers on the shelf, I snapped up both and was eager to dig in! I’m proud to report, this flavor definitely did not disappoint, however, the taste was more reminiscent of strawberry shortcake, as opposed to strawberry cheesecake, though both are definitely acceptable, in my opinion! Then, my spirits were uplifted again once I saw Dannon Light ‘n Fit’s recent Facebook post, informing consumers Caramel Macchiato would soon be hitting store shelves! Ever the coffee fan, I was eager and enthusiastic, hoping to spot it on store shelves sooner, rather than later. Well… Saturday proved to be an excellent day of finds, as I spotted a four-pack of none other than the Dannon Light ‘n Fit Greek Caramel Macchiato in a refrigerated case at Target! It took only a minute or less for me to decide this four-pack would be coming home with me. Yesterday, I decided to try it and at first, my tastebuds were unsure how to handle this flavor. It was unique and tasted exceptionally strong of coffee. I’m not quite sure I captured a caramel flavor, but it was overly sweet (take it from me, if I am saying it was overly sweet, then it definitely was. I like my foods and beverages super-sweet!). Of course, I’ll have it again (I do still have three containers left), but I’m not quite sure I would buy it again. Maybe every now and then. Also, a caution for those of you actively attempting to avoid caffeine – according to Dannon Light ‘n Fit’s Facebook page, this flavor DOES in fact contain caffeine, as it is comprised of genuine coffee… so exercise caution, my caffeine-avoiders!

Last, but not least, on Friday, while out shopping with my sister, Hope, we just so happened to spot a new Quaker Oats find:

Quaker Warm & Crunchy: (available in – Apple Cinnamon, Cranberry Almond, Honey Almond)

Quaker Warm and Crunchy

According to Quakeroats.com:

  • A new deliciously crunchy hot cereal
  • Specially baked granola clusters stay crunchy even after being heated with milk
  • Made with whole grain Quaker Oats
  • As much whole grains (32g) and fiber (4g) as a bowl of Original Quaker Instant Oatmeal

Oh, yum! I practically DANCED in the aisles of Target after spotting this! What better than sweet, crunchy granola clusters with the addition of creamy milk?! The only thing better are the flavors it is available in! All sound absolutely inviting and satisfying, making for an ideal and easy breakfast! It is effortless nutrition and quite frankly, I cannot wait to try it! Come on coupons/sales!

QUESTION: Have you tried any of these new products yet? If so, what did you think? If not, which, if any, would you most like to try and why?

Happy Shopping, friends! OH, P.S. If you happen to spot any newbies on store shelves, feel free to drop me a line! The more new products, the merrier! Cheers!

Goodness in a Box!

This week is a very special week, or at least, to me, it is! Not sure what this week is? Well, without wanting to leave you in suspense, it is….

NATIONAL CEREAL LOVERS WEEK! Did you know there was even such a thing?! I know I didn’t! However, this week it is being celebrated everywhere from television shows (tune into ABC’s daytime program, “The Chew,” for dozens of cereal-inspired recipes!), Pinterest (Check on General Mills‘ boards dedicated to cereal-related recipes. They are unique, varying from desserts, main courses, sides, smoothies, cocktails, and more!). Also, unbeknownst to me, there is even an entire website dedicated to this particular week:  http://www.hellocereallovers.com/NationalCerealLoversWeek/?d=1 On the website, you can even enter your own unique cereal-inspired recipe for a chance to win a whopping $1,000! Not bad to have an extra chunk of change in your wallet or bank account for submitting a fun, tasty recipe celebrating some of our favorite cereals. For those of you who might be active on social media, National Cereal Lovers Week is even trending, so be sure to join the fun at: #CerealLoversWeek.

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For perhaps as long as I can remember, I’ve been a dedicated cereal fan. When I was younger, my favorite cereals included:

Quaker Oat Squares – those little squares with subtle sweetness I often enjoyed as a snack right out of the box, with cereal, or in a baggie I brought with me to school or out shopping. It’s hard to eat just one serving!

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Life Cereal – For awhile when I was a child, I brought Life cereal with me everywhere, or my cereal was brimming with Life and another one of my favorite childhood cereals I’ll reveal below. I still like it today, but it’s not a cereal on my typical rotation.

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Crispix – As I mentioned above, this is the cereal I would often combine with Life. I love how Crispix allows us to enjoy the best of both world – rice on one side, corn on the other. In my opinion, the name brand Crispix is a bit better than the generic, unlike other cereals.

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Oreo’s O’s – Do you remember these?! These were around for only a brief period of time and tasted similar to one of my favorite cookies: Oreo’s. It’s a shame it was discontinued, but I still hold out hope that one day it will make it’s return to stores.

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My Favorite Cereals of Today:

Special K – I’m a big fan of pretty much every Special K cereal. They are unique, varying from the red berries variety, chocolate strawberry, vanilla almond, cinnamon pecan, multigrain flakes, etc. All are great with milk, yogurt, or as a snack!

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Barbara’s Bakery Puffins – I’ve mentioned these many times and to me, they are ideally crunchy and satisfying!

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Kashi Indigo Morning – Lightly sweetened flakes mixed with assorted blackberries comprise this cereal, which is one of my favorites. While it’s not exactly cost-efficient, I recently purchased them on Amazon.com, with one of the gift cards I earned from taking online surveys and it was exciting to receive them in the mail! It’s an easy way to order a favorite cereal.

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Cereal-Inspired Recipes (via hellocereallovers.com): Check out some of my favorite cereal-centered recipes as shared by General Mills, one of my favorite cereal and snack foods companies!

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Cereal Milk Latte

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Lucky Charms Latte

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Cereal Sundae

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Cinnamon Cereal Milk Banana Cream Pie

Question: So, tell, me, how are you celebrating National Cereal Lover’s Week?

 

 

An Unlikely Teacher: Lessons From Oliver

Hello there, friends! I hope this week is going well thus far, as we’ve already made it to mid-week! A couple days ago, after I retrieved the mail, I noticed a seasonal catalog from Hallmark. Now anyone who knows me, is aware that I am quite a big fan of Hallmark stores, in general. I’ve been known to spend significant amounts of time perusing the aisles, reading cards (in particular, the sentimental, meaningful “Between You & Me” line), and simply enjoying the ambiance of the store. To me, Hallmark stores often feel like a comforting blanket, filled with trinkets, beautiful words and an aura of a homelike comfort. When I’m in Hallmark, I am at peace, similar to the sentiments I experience while in a bookstore or library.

Hallmark

Perhaps I am overly enthusiastic about Hallmark, but in particular, as I leafed through this catalog, something just so happened to catch my eye, but more importantly, heart. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been fond of quotes. Many of them speak to me and I’ll often reread the quotes I’ve pinned on my Pinterest page (@Stylinstar53 is my name on there, for those of you who might have similar interests, or are curious as about what I’ve pinned). Many of them are comprised of thoughts I could never imagine conjuring myself and often provide me with hope, strength, courage and comfort, knowing that tomorrow can be filled with promise and triumph and that there is always an upside to situations which seem unsolvable. I’d like to share with you a quote I stumbled across in the catalog which is available for purchase on a large canvas:

Taken from the Hallmark Catalog:

My dog taught me everything I need to know. It’s okay sometimes to just eat and sleep. When you fall down, get back up, shake it off, forget about it and go on. Be very brave no matter your size. Make your own fun. Unleash your talents. Learn new tricks no matter your age. Make new friends. Sniff out opportunities. Chase after your dreams. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. At the end of the day, it is best to snuggle no matter what has happened. Everyday is a brand new day, just be happy!”

As I read this quote, I felt a kaleidoscope of emotions. A part of me wanted to shed a tear, while the other part of me wanted to smile and hold Oliver, my dog and friend tight and relish in his carefree nature. Reading this, I realized, I owe a lot to Oliver. He truly has taught me life lessons I know I’ll never forget, or take for granted. Saying this, I realize sometimes I do take him for granted. Too many times, I’ve taken my frustrations out on him, shooing him away when all he wanted was love, or to play. Often times, I am too distracted by my own disappointments or frustrations within myself to take the time to stop, pet him and simply enjoy his warm body snuggled against me as I watch TV or read. He has taught me resilience when all hope seems to have been lost. What he experienced just over a year ago, fighting for his life with all the courage and strength he could summon, given the surgical error on part of the veterinarian, was something many other dogs and humans could never have successfully weathered. Though, Oliver on the other hand, rebounded. He battled through the pain, discomfort, and emotions and triumphed. He shows me that anything is possible with the right mindset and willpower. Even when I feel discouraged and fixated on my appearance, believing I am inadequate, still he rushes over to greet me, tail wagging and eager to play. It doesn’t matter if my hair is knotted, my lip is cut, or if a blemish has erupted on my chin, to Oliver, I’m just me, Melissa, someone to play with and share meals, laughs and love. He teaches me to accept others for who they are, no matter their appearance, no matter if they don’t always say the things I’d like them to. Oliver has helped me understand that everybody has different ways of both giving and receiving love.

Oliver sofa

Sometimes the greatest lessons we learn are not those taught in a classroom or a book, but by the unlikeliest creatures or canines, for that matter. I’m thankful for Oliver and all that he is, all that he does. Each day upon my awakening, I look for him, trusting he will be there, silently teaching me lessons each day, letting me love him the way I can and receiving his love in countless ways.

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Thank you, Hallmark for reminding me of all I have to be grateful for, even when I get distracted by all that seems to be missing in my life. There is always a lesson to be learned and someone/something to be appreciated and thankful for.

 

If the Shoe Fits…

Welcome to a new week! I hope the weather is holding up where you are. Right now, winds are starting to pick up and it has been raining on and off throughout the morning and early afternoon. From what I hear, it is expected to get worse during the evening rush, but hopefully it will taper off and end up not being as bad as anticipated. Anyhow, this weekend was a bit different than the usual. More often than not, I spent the weekends relaxing at home and catching up on favorite TV shows and reading, however, this weekend was spent venturing out for a yummy dinner at P.F. Chang’s, as well as an event hosted by one of my favorite local radio stations since I’ve been young – 94.5 PST, based in Princeton, NJ!

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While perusing PST’s website a couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon their contests section and noticed an invitation-only event entitled, “Choose Your Shoes.” In order to attend the event, you had to “win your way in.” Therefore, being the self-professed “shoe fiend” I am, I jumped at the opportunity to enter! Much to my surprise, I ended up winning an entry, therefore guaranteeing me a pair of designer shoes! I was also told I could bring guests, so my mom came along! Everyone who attended had the chance to win a pair of shoes, but all names were placed in a jar and randomly selected, whereas those who won their way in, each checked in upon entering the catering facility where the event was held and were given a number. I was in shock when I noticed the number I was given – 3! Since I’ve been a child, the number 3 has been my favorite number as I am often assigned it AND my birthday just so happens to be on May 3rd! It’s funny how it happens to turn out that way. Anyhow, I took that as good luck and hoped that the shoes I wanted would still be available by the time my number was called.

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The shoes available for picking included a vast array of brands and styles, from classic UGG boots and moccasins, to Sperry’s, Tory Burch and Burberry flats, Michael Kors boots, Coach sneakers, Jessica Simpson heels, Ivanka Trump pumps, plus the heels I chose…

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Enzo Angiolini Fayson Suede Pumps in Crimson Red!

Ahh, how I love them! These shoes, in my opinion, are truly high-quality showstoppers! Unfortunately, they aren’t my size (they are an 8, I am 6), therefore I need to do a quick exchange, which should be pretty simple, since PST provided all winners with a gift receipt! I’m VERY excited to sport these with a black dress, leggings, or even skinny jeans! They are apt to instantly take a simple outfit to the next level!

I’m so glad I was able to attend this very special event in that it not only commemorated my favorite accessory – Shoes, but also supported a cause I am particularly passionate about – Breast Cancer Awareness. EVERYTHING purchased that night (from the signature Pink cocktails, to the candy bags, raffle tickets, t-shirts, and game chances) all went to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research! Plus, a local hair salon and spa provided attendees with a signature “pink nail,” nail polish, as well as an opportunity to have a massage done!

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                                                                       My mom and I at the event!

QUESTION: I noticed I haven’t posted a question in quite awhile, so here’s a query to spark your thoughts: Have you ever attended an event such as this? What type of shoes would you choose?

Put a LID on it and Go PINK!

Happy October, to you! So, we’re currently three days into a month I used to detest as a child and even as recently as a teenager. I have multiple reasons for my previous dislike of October, which include: being hospitalized multiple times in the month, including for an appendectomy as a child (on Halloween, of all days!), plus another hospitalization over Halloween, and a vast array of other unfortunate events. Thankfully, my perspective and thoughts on the month of October has changed for the better over the past couple years and I am now able to see the beauty in it. During this month, Fall foliage is often at its peak, candy corn and other tasty treats are at their peak and one of the most imperative causes to date is celebrated this month – Breast Cancer Awareness. This year, I hold the cause even closer to my heart and aspire to do all I can to contribute to combating this potentially vicious illness and halt the spread of it.

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Though my present financial state isn’t the greatest, I’ve come to discover I can STILL contribute and make a difference, in some way. If you’re curious like me, about how you can contribute in unique ways, here’s a quick debriefing:

Ways YOU can contribute to the cause:

Show your support by wearing PINK! Whether it is a pink shoelace, t-shirt, belt, scarf.. simply by wearing the color, you can show your support and interest in combating the disease and supporting those with a current diagnosis and their family/friends.

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Participate in a walk. Typically, the fee to participate is negligible, and donating your time and steps to the cause, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to show support. Plus, you are given the option to raise funds by having companies and other individuals sponsor you and/or your walking group. The camaraderie experienced during these walks is a gift all in its own.

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Purchase YOPLAIT yogurt with a PINK lid:  Perhaps one of the easiest ways to show support, besides donning pink attire is to purchase one of my favorite brands of yogurt this month – YOPLAIT! Since 1997, Yoplait has been known for it’s SAVE LIDS TO SAVE LIVES campaign. In fact, I recall the very first time I became acquainted with the program. The year was 2005 and friends of mine had become interested in the campaign. Each time one of us peeled open a yogurt, it was only customary to pass the lids to the designated “lid collector” to compile for mail-in submission to Yoplait. Now, however, the submission is significantly easier, as the code imprinted on the lid can simply be entered via Yoplait.com! Therefore, a stamp and envelope is no longer required. With the mere touch of a button, a code can be submitted, and Yoplait will in turn, contribute .10 per code entered. In my opinion, ten cents here and there, adds up and can really make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.

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Nothing makes me happier than seeing those pink lids on the dairy shelves within the grocery store. Each time I see it, it makes me want to purchase nearly the entire shelf, or leave behind the other yogurt brands in favor of purchasing Yoplait, simply because I am so taken with the cause they support. It is a beautiful thing, in my opinion, to see those lids, but even more beautiful to see them within individuals’ shopping carts. I can only hope, however, that prior to tossing away those lids, consumers will take a minute or two, to enter those imperative codes on Yoplait’s website. The power is in our hands and within those short codes.

Curious about the Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives program? Click here to check it out in its entirety:

http://www.yoplait.com/yoplait-in-action/save-lids-to-save-lives

https://savelidstosavelives.com/desktop/ (click here when you’re ready to enter a code!)

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However you decide to support Breast Cancer Awareness/Research/Treatment, your contribution is significant and meaningful. No contribution, in my opinion, is too small. To contribute is to help and every effort is imperative. ❤

* Sending my love and support to all of those fighters out there. Thinking of you each and every day!