Friday July 2, 2010 11:12

Should I Suck it Up or Give Up?

by Amy Plouf

Hello, it is your long lost blogger here. And I want you to meet my nemesis . Now using a word like that is probably not the right attitude. But my attitude has gone a bit south since this was inserted Tuesday.

Why you might ask, did I allow this to be placed in my mouth. My friend Teri asked just that. The benefit is that it will get my jaw into the correct alignment.

The cons are:

1. I cannot chew. I can do something very similar to chewing, but it takes all the joy out of eating. I do not want to eat. When meal time comes around, I get so cranky at the thought of that work out.  You can imagine with a device of that size, a lot of food is getting stuck before I even get to swallow it.  So far today, I have had nothing solid other than a slice of cheese, that not to be gross, I elected to spit out after I expended too much effort.

2. My mouth is very sore. I am already prone to canker sores, but when my braces are tightened I go through about 10 days of hell. Since the device has already been put in, I think I will have those ten days irregardless, so they are not really a factor.

3. My face is swollen. I was told this device would not be visible from the outside. It is now, but not sure if that is because my cheeks are so swollen from the sores. But, my face definitely looks different.

4. My speech is not clear. I am a speech pathologist and an aspiring blogger. Being intelligible is somewhat important to me.

So I ask you… what would you do? Would you suck it up for 18 months so that you could have proper jaw alignment? I wanted a beautiful smile. But part of the problem is that, my bite really wasn’t giving me any problems that I was aware of. I went to the orthodontist on my own to get straight teeth again, not by referral from a concerned dentist.  I don’t have strong motivation to be going through this. It isn’t like a diet where you get skinny as a result, or a marathon where you feel proud.  I have been told my two orthodontists and a friend who is a dentist that these bite issues could effect me later in life and I am wiser to get them resolved now.

But…. I miss eating. I am a chic who loves to eat. I have already lost weight and the thing has been in only a few days.

My goal is to keep this in 2 weeks until I can get used to chewing and speaking. This will also allow my canker sores to heal. At that point, if it still seems so grim I may elect to have it removed. From what I have read online, I won’t be alone. Oh, I also learned many people get this to avoid rubber bands. I thought I was one of them. But… I have rubber bands on my front teeth  in addition to this.

Sunday June 27, 2010 18:20

Sunset on St. Pete Beach – 6.27.10

by Jodi McLean

Wave Art - St. Pete Beach, FL

Here is what I get to enjoy regularly, living on Florida’s west coast.  Thought I would share.  I found a cool spot where they are building up the beach, so the water kind of bounces back off of the breakers to make the criss-cross waves.   I’m actually sitting in the water shooting this video.

This sunset followed our last beach volleyball day for the summer.  Our team lost in the championship game, so we got second place.  Which really gets us nothing, not even bragging rights, but did result in another slight case of heat stroke.  It’s gonna be a hot summer! 



Tuesday June 22, 2010 20:36

Key West Trip Recap

by Jodi McLean

Me snorkeling at the reef

So, of course Key West was a blast with my four fun-lovin’ girlfriends.  I need to sleep for a week.  It was REALLY hot down there, so we spent a lot of daytime in the pool at the Eden House.  (Did you see us on the web cam?)   We walked a lot and everywhere.  Had lots of yummy food, met fun people, and saw some things that we can never unsee.  But, then again, we did willingly go to the Garden of Eden three times, so we brought that on ourselves.

Here are a couple of videos.  We love the Crazy Cat Guy at Mallory Square!  I told Lori (my crazy cat friend) about him all weekend, and then she missed the show when she and the girls wandered off at sunset.  Lori, here is a little taste of Crazy Cat Guy.  Some girl kept shouting “KITTEH” really loud at the cats…okay, that was me, but I was giving them some encouragement during the “ring of fire” portion!  (I get “kitteh” from the website I Can Has Cheezburger.  SO funny!  If you don’t know of it, you should check it out:  Click here  I Can Has Cheezburger)

And here is an I Can Has Cheezburger for you too!

A quick snorkeling video for you, also, since I’m downloading.  I was testing out my new waterproof camera that also takes HD video.  It was really wavey that day, so the vid is a bit herky-jerky.  But I’m digging my new 12MP Casio Exilim!

Lastly, a couple of pictures of the gang in Key West.  Themed accessories are key to any vacation or event!  I warn you, we are full-on into Birthday Season here in Florida.  We have a LOT of SHEva birthdays during the summer, each requiring its own theme.  Plenty more interesting group photos to come over the next few weeks.  The themes are usually pretty simple in concept but the embellishments never are!

Hat Night

Pink Night

 More from Key West later!


by Jodi McLean

Here are a couple of web links so you can spy on us from Key West.  We are staying at the Eden House and I anticipate that we will be spending a lot of time at the pool during the day.

Eden House Web Cams

Duval Street – Sloppy Joe’s (with live audio feed!)


Wednesday June 16, 2010 05:40

It’s Hump Day! Have a Little Fun!

by Amy Plouf

Jodi has been telling me to post about my LA trip, so here is a snippet. As you know, I aspired to learn the moves to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance for the FLCE Dance Party. I often like to take on goals that are perhaps a bit too lofty! Hah- to say the least!

Shortly before the party, and sans alcohol FYI, I decided to just dance in the hotel room. Jabie had taken great amusement in this whole task and recorded it. I am glad I left my antics for  Jabie’s eyes only, because…… Bad Romance came on at the party just as I was walking up to James Scott (EJ DiMera from Days of our Lives).

I am reading 125 reasons to celebrate in honor of Good Housekeeping’s 125th anniversary (presented by Walgreens). It is a great list. #125 is don’t take yourself too seriously. So here is me being silly. It reminds me of how awesome it was to escape with my hubby and unwind. I hope it inspires you to be silly and carefree a little today! Laugh and have fun!

Wednesday June 16, 2010 04:42

How Long Till It Feels Natural?

by Amy Plouf

I remember learning at some work training that it takes 21 days to form a habit. According to Psyblog, that is a gross underestimation. Unless you are talking about a simple habit like drinking more water. Which come to think of it, might have been what the training was on. But I digress.

It seems like 2 months is more likely in the ballpark according to this Psyblog post. Although, there do seem to be some habit resisters who take even longer.

So let’s improve our lives in our goal to Have It All together. What is your number one habit you want to adopt? If yours isn’t listed, write it in the comments or email me at

Wednesday June 16, 2010 04:04

Fast, Easy, Healthy and Yummy too

by Amy Plouf

My parents live in upstate NY where Wegmans is a convenient treat. Wegmans is a supermarket that strives to make your grocery getting a real luxury experience. The other day I saw a picture of pasta in the window on the way out. You know how some women have cravings when pregnant- I did not, because that is how I view food at all times! So of course my mom and I were back yesterday and sure enough after a few minutes a young employee in the produce department delivered us the printed recipe.

Well… this in of itself is awesome. To just walk into the store and be handed a recipe (with the locations of all the foods) is probably enough to keep me from ordering take-out. I would say I almost got these ingredients and cooked them faster than ordering out, with almost as much ease.

Turns out my local supermarket has a similar concept, Publix Apron’s Simple Meals. I have to assume all grocers are doing this just out of the sheer brilliance. (The recipes tend to be all store brand products).

So here is what we had. Three Cheese Ravioli with Baby Spinach and Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce. Next time I would double it. We had enough for 3 adults and two kids (who licked their plates clean and asked for seconds-huge added bonus). When I food shop and cook I like to get more bang for my time and have leftovers. Also, I would add pine nuts to get a little MUFA action going on.

Tuesday June 15, 2010 20:47

SHEva Playlist Recommendation 6.15.10

by Jodi McLean

I can’t get this song out of my head as I pack and prep for our big Key West trip!  This is a perfect, tropical, feel-good song that you must add to your summer playlist.  Enjoy–life is good today!

Zac Brown Band – “Toes”


Saturday June 12, 2010 08:23

Gainfully Employed!

by Jodi McLean

As an update to my employment saga, I am now a full-time employee!  In case you haven’t been following this blog, I lost my job in March.  I had been with the same company for 11 years.  I’ve been “gigging” for 3 months – taking part-time jobs, 1-3 day production gigs, etc. to pay my bills while I looked for my next big thing.  I really tried to use that time to explore what’s out there, to try new things, to meet new people.  I did all of that and gained some really valuable experience, plus made some phenomenal contacts!!  I feel that losing my job was one of those pivotal “meant-to-be” moments.   It forced me to venture out and find the job that I love.  I think I’ve found it.

Without getting into too much detail (as the new company hasn’t officially been announced) I am working with some of my favorite people again!  People from my past whom I have admired for their positivity and proactivity.  I think this will be a really igniting atmosphere for me.  I am creative and inspired again, and look forward to an exciting future full of possibilites!  I forgot what that felt like the last few years. 

So, for those who are unemployed, there is hope!  And I tell you, there ARE jobs out there.  In the 3+ months that I was unemployed, I only claimed one full week of unemployment.  I was not at all ashamed to call on people that I know to help me.  I let everybody know that I was available and willing to work, and I told them repeatedly so that my name would be the first one they thought of when they heard of an opportunity.  It worked!  I took on a lot of little jobs, some of which I had little-to-no experience in, and ultimately this new company called on ME to interview!   I interviewed that same day and we were negotiating the next.   Just be willing to think creatively.  This is your future.  Don’t wait for your perfect future to come to you, because it won’t.  You have to be hungry for it and you have to actively pursue it.  And you have to believe in it – all of it.  Your worth, your right to do what you love.

Hopefully soon I can post new video content for you – things that we are developing for the web over the next few months.  I’ve never helped to launch a new company before, and from what I hear, it is so much fun!   It will be a lot of work, but it will be a labor of love as we develop something that we are proud to present to the world.   Stay tuned for more…

Below are a few of my past blog links so you can follow my job search to see what I’ve done to finally land a fabulous full-time career.  You can do it!

I am an Unemployed Blogger!

Working at The Most Magical Place on Earth

New Job Prospect

New Job/ Dream Job/ ANY Job!

I’m Freee!  And Employed! (this week…)

How to Get a Better Job in Today’s Market

My First National TV Commercial!

My Second National TV Commercial

Gigonomics – Get Giggy With It! (Video Post)

GIGONOMICS:  Be a Gigger Like Me!

GIGONOMICS:  The Dark Side of Gigging


Wednesday June 9, 2010 16:22

Jodi’s Next Adventure – KEY WEST

by Jodi McLean

Snorkeling Key West

Another SHEva hits the big 4-0 this week, and we like to celebrate landmark birthdays with fun trips full of photo moments!  Stacie has chosen Key West as her 40th B-day destination, and we leave next week for an adventure-filled 5-day weekend.  We almost moved the trip to a different location due to the impending tar balls, but we decided that Florida needs our fun money and the tar balls haven’t arrived yet, anyway.   We are hoping for clear waters for our snorkeling day.

So, to the Key West aficionados, what do you recommend that is “off the beaten path?”  Of course we will do Duval Street, and I think our whole group has seen the Southernmost Point, etc. but I’m thinking of the little-known native-recommended ideas.  Any good psychics?  Funny one-man or animal acts at Mallory Square?  The best catamaran/snorkel trip?  Any can’t-miss events or opportunities that you have run across, please share!   AND, if you’ve never been to Key West and want me to visit something to report back on, let me know!  I’d love to be a travel writer, among 1,000 other things. 

Thanks for your input!  I will gladly share tales & photos from our Key West adventure, so stay tuned.   HAPPY BIRTHDAY STACIE!!!


Family Trip to the Keys - March 2009

Sunset at Mallory Square