Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tribute To Rafa Nadal at the U.S. Open

 I have thoroughly loved watching this guy play for the past 5 years.  I am hoping he wins this year.  But the odds are that if Novac Djokovic stays true to form, he would win.  I'm not quite ready for that, as much as I admire Novac's great winning streak that put him at the #1 seed this year.  Go Rafa! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A First Year As An Organ Donor

My driver's license came up for renewal this year and for the first time I checked the little box that says 'yes' for organ donation. Prior to this, I've had mixed feelings about my being an actual donor.  I've heard how much it helps other people and all, but I just felt a tad squeamish over the fact that after my immediate demise people are hovering over me (like vultures, it seemed to me) and harvesting my remaining healthy organs.  Please, I just need a moment to be....dead?  
    But as story after story comes to me about the people who are affected and given another chance at life, my heart has changed.  
   One story recently shows what an impact just a little check in a box can make.  Last summer, July 2010, a wonderful, healthy, good-looking boy was just living his life.  Brandon Curtis had lettered in 3 sports that year at his Springville High School.  After football practice, he was goofing around with some members of his team of which he was captain.  They were driving in the parking lot, doing donuts in a jeep.  Not exactly the smartest thing, but something not unlike what any teenage kid is prone to do with his buddies.  Believe me, as a teenager, I've done some pretty stupid things myself.  The difference is that somehow, I'm still here, while Brandon lost his life that day when their jeep rolled and he was pinned underneath.
    This was not an ordinary kid by any means.  This was a boy who thought about everyone.  "Brandon was the kind of person that if you couldn't finish running your quarter mile and he was done, he would come back and run with you and help you."  -Conrad Beach, 15, teammate
"Brandon loved to bake and cook.  I'm a lunch lady and Brandon would bake and make cookies for me.  He was a friend to everybody."  -Cheryl Beutler, family friend 
"brandon was a good friend to me he was there when no body else wanted to talk to me he made me feel like i was part of the group and i always went to the games to support him he is going to be missed by all who knew him"  -elisia, friend
It was because of who Brandon was, that his father wasn't surprised that he had chosen to be an organ donor.  And with that decision he was able to help 6 people continue on in their own lives.  
   Because of privacy laws, Brandon's parents weren't given the names of those who Brandon had helped, but one day it happened anyway.  Marlee Dalton walked into the Reams grocery store where Brandon's mother, Dianne Curtis works.  She was looking for information about Brandon Curtis so she could visit his grave.  Instead she ran into his mother and told her this story.  As she was in the hospital waiting for her kidney and pancreas that was to be donated by Brandon Curtis, she closed her eyes and saw a young man facing her.  It startled her.  It was only later after reading about Brandon and seeing his picture that she realized it had been him. (That brings chills to me)  She was able to meet his mother by coincidence (?) and thank her and tell her about this experience.  In addition to Marlee, a 10-year old boy received a kidney, a 27-year old father received a liver, a 66-year-old man got a new heart, a 44-year-old man received two lungs, and one other woman was also a beneficiary of Brandon's generosity in death.  
    There are many more examples of how one choice can mean so much to so many.  And while I don't want to be in a position to make this gesture anytime soon, it's nice to know that I might be able to count for a little bit more good on this earth before I'm finally laid to rest someday! In the meantime, thank you Brandon and all like you, for seeing the needs of others and acting on their behalf, even after you're gone.
Brandon Curtis

Monday, August 29, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway - The Mad Hatter's Time Keeper #Rafflecopter

Shabby Apple - what an interesting name!  This is what comes to mind when I think about that title.  Shabby -  relaxed, a little retro, not uniform, free-spirited.  Apple - Abundaance, nourishing, of substance, roundness as opposed to angular, many colors and textures.  
 And indeed this is what you find at www.shabbyapple.com, home of beautiful women's dresses, both vintage and modern, also with accessories and maternity clothing.

Not only do you find dress after beautiful dress in their big selection, but they are all bunched into different themes!  There is Yosemite, Inca Trail, Up And Away, Carousel, The Berkshires and more.  Each of these themes takes my imagination away to a beautiful place where I'm not at right now but would love to step into, if only for just a few moments.  What better way to do that than with a gorgeous dress that fits the mood and surroundings of the location? 
From The Yosemite Collection - "El Capitan"

From The Up And Away Collection - "Fork-Tailed Devil"
They have a wonderful collection of little girls dresses from Shabby Apple too!
Little Girls Dresses from Shabby Apple
I'm excited to be able to offer a great coupon code for 10% off anything at Shabby Apple!  The code is: agalneeds10off  and it is good for 30 days from today!  So hurry and get shopping! 

My Giveaway I chose a beautiful and conversation-worthy piece from the jewelry collection.  It's a beautiful pendant from the Alice In Wonderland collection.  The Mad Hatter's Time Keeper was interesting to me because it is both chunky and delicate at the same time. It's an Antique brass filigree pocket watch with etched detail on back suspended on a delicate 24” long chain. The pocket watch face opens up to reveal a working clock.  Handmade in the USA and valued at $66.00, it will be a great addition to any jewelry collection!

Enter the giveaway: Complete the mandatory entry in my first Rafflecopter giveaway and any other entries you care to do! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

$20 coupon code at eShakti!!

Have you been able to wear all the cool, beautiful dresses you wanted this summer?  I hope so, because we're looking at fall around the corner!  I love a great dress and I've seen plenty of great ones at eShakti!  Right now, you can get $20 off on any dress purchase if you use the code at the bottom of this post!  
 eShakti is wonderful because they customize your dress according to your specs!  Just follow the easy-to-follow chart and answer the questions according to your needs!  Check out some of these cute dresses!

Of course dresses aren't all eShakti carries!  They have jackets, shirts, pants, skirts, accessories and jewelry too!  But oh, their dresses...


Check out the entire selection of cute dresses!  They ship in 3 days with all your alterations made and ready to wear!  Here is the coupon code:  HELENA0811  Use it at checkout!  You'll get a full $20.00 off of the price!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pampering At The Aveda Institute in Provo! {Review and Giveaway}

Congratulations to #37, Deanna, who said, "tweet
The best thing to give myself is self-respect. (According to Benjamin Franklin) Close second - a trip to Aveda Institute for some pampering (According to Me)!
    This week I got spoiled at the Aveda Institute in Provo!   I got a cut, blow and style!  AND I got a 90-minute facial.  I loved it!  
The haircut:  Courtney was my stylist and she was so cute!  She is a senior at Aveda Institute and will be graduating with the required 1200 hours in January. She knows her stuff!  After I got my complimentary cup of Aveda comforting tea, a 100% organic, no caffeine, herbal tea, we headed into the salon. With every cut at the Aveda Salon a scalp massage with a sensory journey is included.  This means that you get to choose one of several hand-selected natural oil fragrances for your scalp before you shampoo.  It is wonderful!  I picked vanilla.  
Natural Make-up Display in the lobby
    Courtney asked me what I wanted to do with my hair and how I would describe my hair.  She gave me her own product recommendations based on the Aveda line.  We decided that I should use a lot of the Brilliance Line because I have thick, frizzy, dry hair.  (It's a nightmare, actually)  The Brilliance Line is designed for all of those features.  Also the Dry Remedy Line is for extremely dry hair.  I love all of their products because they use as many natural ingredients as possible and that is very important to me.  Almost all of them are 100% certified organic!  She brought an instructor to OK the selection she had made for me and we got started.
First we went back to get shampooed  The shampoo room is beautiful.  They have massage chairs you can relax in while you watch beautiful nature scenes on their big screens.  And you get even more scalp massaging with the wash.  I almost fell asleep during that time! 
Next came the cut and the style.  She was great at what she does and at the end, there was an instructor making sure that everything was done right.  I loved the way my hair looked and felt after the session.  It took about an hour and a half. 

The Facial:  This was a first for me at Aveda.  Kaylynn, my esthetician, took me back to the quiet facial rooms. Here again, I was first introduced to a sensory experience and given my choice of 3 oils.  This time I chose lavender because I wanted to relax!  Kaylynn took me through the facial experience by asking me what I was concerned about for my skin and would like to see in a facial.  I thought that I'd like to have an anti-aging experience, since my summer hasn't been very relaxing and I feel like I have aged about 10 years so far this summer, with my son graduating from college and my 14 year old being a crazed adolescent.  Kaylynn introduced me to the Green Science line, which is for anti-aging concerns.  And so to classical music, I received a foot soak, foot massage, 5 facial treatments (cleanse, tone, treatment, eye treatment, and moisturizer), scalp massage, neck massage, decolletage treatment and hand massage.  It was wonderful and when I was done, I saw a visible difference in my skin!  I felt really relaxed as well!  Thanks so much Kaylynn!
Kaylynn, my esthetician
Aveda Institute Provo is located on 1700 S. State Street, Provo, UT   84604.  For services call 801-375-1501.  If you are interested in becoming a student at Aveda, and being part of one of the top 200 salons in the country, give Tiffany in Admissions a call at 801-448-2683.  They are accepting new applicants!
GIVEAWAY:  If you live in or near the Provo, UT area, you can win the same pampering spa package I had from Aveda Institute Provo!  ($60 ARV)  Trust me, it's a good one!

Mandatory Entry:  Check out the Aveda Corporate site and pick out a product that you'd love to try and come back and tell me what it is!

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES - The more you enter, the better your chance!  (1 entry = 1 comment, 2 entries = 2 comments, etc.)

(+1 each)  Like @AvedaProvo and @Xocaisgood on Twitter! 
(+2) Visit Aveda Institute Provo and tell me about a service you'd love to try!
(+2) Visit Aveda on YouTube and like a video.  Tell me which video you watched.  
(+2) Follow @evmiller on Twitter and tweet "@evemiller Aveda rocks-- @Xocaisgood sent me to say hello and give you a follow"  Leave me the tweet link and your Twitter name!
(+5) e-mail 5 friends about this giveaway! Make sure you CC me at helenalemon@comcast.net!
(+1) daily - Tweet this: "Get pampered with a pamper-me package @AvedaProvo ($60 ARV) @Xocaisgood #provo #orem #americanfork #heber http://bit.ly/p64xlf"
(+2) Blog, Facebook, Stumble, Digg or list this giveaway post on a giveaway linky.  Let me know the link where you do!  Do as many as you want!  2 entries each!
(+2) Click the +1 icon on the bottom of this post for Google +1!

This giveaway will run through August 31, 2011 at 11:59 pm at which time a winner will be chosen with random.org and notified with e-mail.  Winner will be given 48 hours to respond.  Open to Utah residents only.  Thanks to Aveda Institute Provo for providing services for review and giveaway!  Special Thanks to Brittany Sharp for facilitating this giveaway and for all the great students and professionals at Aveda Institute Provo!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Underage Drinking - Lots Of Hazards

Today I read about a mom who is charged with hosting an underage drinking party. 

"Julie A. McPike, 49, of the 200 block of Beverly Road in Barrington was charged July 28 with hosting an underage drinking party at her home..."
Drinking, Beer and Alcohol Pictures, Comments, Images, Graphics
There are so many things on so many levels that are wrong when a parent chooses to host parties like this.  I can almost hear the rationalization--"well, at least they're at my house so I can monitor their behavior...."  Apart from the stark fact that alcohol kills more teens than all other illegal drugs combined, here are a few hypothetical situations:
What about the neighborhood kid who gets so drunk at the party that he totally forgets where he lives?  He staggers around the neighborhood and finally recognizes a familiar street corner and that's when it hits him.....the car, that is. Seriously, 6000 kids per year that are 15 or under end up in a hospital because of alcohol!  

Or what about the inebriated kid who is just playing around and accidentally shoves a broken bottle into his friends face, lacerating him badly and then ending up in juvenile detention for it?  It's true that 1 in 5 sixteen year old kids are involved with violence after drinking alcohol!  
Here's another possible scenario--A young 15-year-old girl goes to a party and gets royally smashed for the first time.  But that's not the only first.  She also hooks up with a guy there and they have unprotected sex and then she ends up with a baby.  Yep, 1 out of 8 15-16 year old girls have unprotected sex after drinking alcohol.  

It's just too easy for teens to become victims to the effects of alcohol.  And for adults to think they are doing any favors by promoting drinking in any way, shape, or form, is a badly misguided mistake!

I'm glad that some states are stepping up and holding adults responsible for what is happening on their property.  For instance, Missisippi just stepped up to the plate and established the "social host" law, which holds adults responsible for underage drinking.  Violations result in a $1000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.  

I have a 14-year-old son and I feel inclined to not only be aware of the friends that he will be with, but also have a good feel  for the parents.  Just because he is going to a party and the parents will be there doesn't mean that he will always be in good hands.  Thankfully, I know many of the parents in my community and I absolutely shouldn't have to worry about something like that.  But it's always a good idea to be sure!

Another thing that should give my son pause when confronted with a drinking situation is that we don't drink in our own home.  He sees his parents doing just fine without booze and so most likely he will stop and think twice before drinking.  Personally, one of the reasons I don't drink is that I want to know when I'm having a good time!  That's just me, though!  

Here are some more reasons, if you're still on the fence, as to why you shouldn't expose your underage child to alcohol!
• Teens who begin drinking before age 15 have a 40 percent higher chance of becoming alcohol dependent than those who wait to 21 to begin drinking.

• Teens who drink regularly can shrink the part of the brain that controls learning, memory and decision-making. An adolescent's brain is still developing and is especially sensitive to alcohol and drugs.

• According to a recent Monitoring the Future survey, nearly 1 out of 5 10th graders and 1 out of 4 12th graders had engaged in binge drinking at least once in the previous two weeks.

• A 2009 national CASA (Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse) teen survey found that 1 out of 3 teen drinkers usually drink with the intent to get drunk, and teens that get drunk are 18 times likelier to have used marijuana.

• Teens who drink are more likely to get poor grades, drop out of school, have unplanned and unprotected sex, and be a victim of car crashes, date rape, alcohol poisoning or suicide.

• According to a recent study, an estimated 29 percent of high school students rode in a car with a drunk driver in the last month.

• An alcohol conviction can limit a teen's scholarship opportunities and future career choices. Many careers require a license to practice, which may be denied.

source:  cafeprevention.com