Friday, November 30, 2007

Elf Yourself

Haha- I'm an elf!! Office Max has created a fantastic Internet marketing site! Check out my little dance here.

Friday Update

Well, it's been practically a week since I wrote an update.... so here goes nothing... I drove back to Memphis on Sunday night and the week has been a blurr since then.

It's been a week filled with happy hours and news from friends. I've hardly had any time at home and actually only because I woke up 1/2 an hour early this morning have I been able to write this blog or finally start doing laundry. Last night, I didn't get home until around 11 PM and I walked straight to my bed and went to sleep until this morning. That's been the pattern I've repeated every day.

I don't think I've even watched any TV. I did however hook up Guitar Hero, which I recommend highly! As I mentioned, I finally learned to play over the weekend and now I've been able to set up my own game.

On friend news-- One of my close friends accepted a job this week in Atlanta, so he'll be moving there. He's going to be starting an entirely new life, and I get the sense that he's really going to like it. I'm hoping that I may be able to visit! Other friends told me stories of being stranded in a foreign country with no passport...of new events...and life changing moments. All in all, it's been a good week!

Tonight, I'm going to have another go at happy hour-- and will be meeting up with friends again after work. This may turn into a Raiford's night, seeing as the Atlanta friend will be soon moving.
Tomorrow, I'm going to do my best to be up and presentable by 8 AM. The St. Jude Half Marathon is in the morning and 3 of my friends are running in it. I'm hoping to find another person who wants to watch for a few minutes and then go have breakfast. Hopefully, the bulk of the day tomorrow will be productive, but really... it seems as if when it's the most important to be productive is when the least gets done. Tomorrow night, I'll be attending a friend's birthday dinner and party.

I'm very excited about Sunday! After my last post regarding horseback riding, I found a coach! I start on Sunday afternoon.

Well, that's the summary of the week. Paul reposted a link to a great article in the Commercial Appeal about The Warehouse. This is such a cool place and right down the street from me, so I thought I'd share.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Recap: Horses, Food, and Family

I just woke up, but before I jump back on the road to head to Memphis, it's time for a re-cap of the weekend. As mentioned previously, I've been in Oklahoma City this Thanksgiving holiday.

The first part of the weekend, I spent with one half of my family in OKC. We had Thanksgiving dinner, went shopping, and I went to the spa (see previous post).

Yesterday, I went to Shawnee, OK and spent the day with my family there. We started with lunch and then went to a farm to go horseback riding. I haven't been in quite a few years, so I had a fun time. After riding, we went to a cool new pub called Knuckles where I lost in pool against my little brother. My brothers were once so tiny that they'd lay across the pool table to take a shot, but no more. They're fully capable of beating me in almost everything now and it SUCKS! ha. After pool, we went to visit one of my brothers' friends who LOVES to play Guitar Hero. Together, they taught me to play, so now I'm ready to set up the Guitar Hero game that I got for my birthday. Looking forward to it!
Here are a few photos.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Little About Where I Grew Up: Moore, Oklahoma

I've gotten quite a few questions this week about my hometown of Moore, Oklahoma. I was planning to mention it today since it's so cold that it may snow tomorrow. But, with all the questions, lets just give a few facts.

Moore is located just south of Oklahoma City and north of Norman, Oklahoma. It was founded during the Oklahoma land-run of 1889. The land run was when the unassigned lands of Indian territory were opened up for citizens who could race out and stake which land they wanted to own. Those who snuck onto the land early were called "Sooners", which nowdays you see on TV as the mascot for the University of Oklahoma.

Now, Moore has approximately 50,000 people. When I lived there, it had 2 high schools, but I guess this year they're building a 3rd. They also have 5 junior highs and 21 elementary schools. According to Wikiepdia, it's within a 20 minute drive to downtown Oklahoma City, the OK capital, the OKC airport, the Air Force base here, and OU.

One of the most important things to note is that the city gets a freaking ton of tornados-- some of the worst. If you've ever seen Twister, you know what I'm getting at. In 1999, the most violent tornado ever measured on Earth happened here. I was in NY at the time and watched the whole thing unfold on CNN. It's an important thing to note because it leveled practically half of the city and caused around $1.1 Billion in damage. This is one of reasons why I'm lost half the time I'm here!

A few notable people who grew up here include Kellie Coffey and Toby Keith.

One of the questions I've gotten a few times lately is 'what do you like to eat when you go home?' It's a tough one, but here are a few suggestions:

> Fried peaches with extra cream cheese dipping sauce at Harry Bear'x
> Chicken fried steak sandwich supreme at Del Rancho
> Cherry limeade slush and cheddar peppers with ranch dressing at Sonic
> The sopapilas at any Mexican place
> Chicken nuggets at Grandy's
> Hot fudge carmel sundae with butter pecan icecream from Braum's
> Sugar cookies with THICK icing from Darlene's Cakes
> A peaches and cream snow cone during the summer at any vendor

So, that should be enough to get you started. Avoid the wind and happy eating!

Black Friday

Amazingly, I actually went out shopping today. This is pretty much a first for me, as I generally stay as far from the malls as possible on the day after Thanksgiving.

But, I went ahead and braved the crowds today to opt for planning ahead. I purchased gifts for my 3 nieces, 1 nephew, and my twin brothers. On top of that, I found a wristlet for me.

You might be suprised, but I did all of this shopping in under 2 hours. Shopping malls are just not my favorite place!

I made an interesting discovery when I stopped by a western store on the way home. I went in looking for a country belt and came out with something completely different: Lucky t-shirts. The country store was PACKED full of Lucky jeans, Lucky t-shirts, and Lucky dress shirts.

They were all priced at around 25% of their normal retail price. I was just amazed. In California, Lucky is like a stylish version of the Gap. It's where you go for $100 jeans, instead of $200 jeans. They're also relatively alternative looking for many people...

On that topic, they sell quite a few mens shirts that look like old style cowboy shirts. In LA, the stylish guys wear these shirts with their expensive jeans and designer shoes. Apparently, in Oklahoma cowboys actually wear the shirts with cowboy boots.

Wow, so anyway... that was an interesting find. I picked up two Lucky deals!

Angie's Favorite Spa Recommendations

Today, I did what I do just about every time I visit Oklahoma-- I wondered where I could find a good spa. I luckily thought to call my little brother, who in turn asked one of his friends. Considering that my brother is in high school, he was not too happy about my request this morning (especially since he was still in bed at noon when I called).

Thank goodness though because her recommendation was amazing! I had a wonderful day at the spa. It was especially impressive considering I called very last minute and it's a holiday for many people. I had two treatments, including a great massage. Afterward, they offered wine! Now, that's my kind of place. :~)

With all this said, here are a few of my favorite spa recommendations:

Cottonwood Spa, Edmond, OK - This is the great spa that I went to today. The spa is clean and modern. The staff is professional and does a great job. They also have a gift shop and hair salon. It's an all around good experience that I recommend if you're in Oklahoma City.

Gould's Spa at the Peabody, Memphis, TN - This is the spa where I'm a regular. I go here for everything from a manicure and pedicure to a facial to a massage. It's a nice and convenient facility if you live in or are visiting Downtown Memphis. It's located in the bottom of the Peabody Hotel, which is one of my favorite locations in Memphis. I enjoy visiting the spa on my day off and then after, walking up to sit in the lobby and people watch. In the Peabody, everyone's always happy. ;-)

Le Petit Retreat, Los Angeles, CA - Probably the best massage I've ever had was received at Let Petit Retreat in Los Angeles. It's a small facility with service that is unparalleled by any typical spa. When you arrive for a massage, they seat you on a comfortable couch in a room with soft drinks and snacks and put a warm pad on your shoulders. Before you even make it to the massage, you're relaxed. Then, the masseuse takes you into a wonderful tent / cabana that sits outdoors for the treatment. It's very unique and completely worth trying. I recommend the hot stone massage here.

Burke Williams, Santa Monica, CA - Burke Williams is a wonderful spa that offers consistent and available service. With a huge facility, many different treatment options, and plenty of staff, you could spend days at Burke Williams. Their locker rooms and relaxation areas are unparalleled. They almost always have openings. This is a great option if you're booking something for a group, last minute, or if you want to have a large selection of treatment options. When you call for an appointment, be sure to notice how streamlined their process is. They have one number for all of their locations and the person taking your order is completely on top of things.

Hotel Botanico and The Oriental Spa Garden, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain - Hands down, if you ever want to make a vacation out of a spa, go here! The entire hotel is built around the spa experience with around 5 different types of saunas, multiple pools, treatment areas, and more. They have all sorts of equipment and machines that I've never seen in the US. It's just an overall wonderful, relaxing experience. My only caution is that you may not speak the same language as anyone there... not that this is normally an issue, but it did create a few interesting stories from my trip.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Recommendation Needed: Memphis Horseback Riding Trainer

I need your help: I'm currently in the process of finding a new barn to ride horses at. Unfortunately, because Memphis is much less country than Nashville, there aren't many places to do this. There are places like Shelby Farms that give trail rides, but that's not quite what I'm looking for.

What I am looking for is this: A barn and a coach that offer English riding lessons, including jumping (i.e. hunt seat). I'd like a place that has healthy horses that can be used for the lessons.

They also need to be sure to have an indoor arena for cold or windy days. I'm hoping to find something tucked away in Germantown or Collierville. Surely there's something, right?

So far, I've looked on the American Quarter Horse Association site, and other sites geared toward either tack or English style riding. Great sites, unfortunately no mention of a coach in Memphis.

As you may have noticed, this isn't my first rodeo. :~) I rode horses growing up in Oklahoma and then continued through college. It's been around 5 years now since I stopped and the time has come to get back into it!

So, I need your help! It must be out there. There are most certainly Memphians jumping their horses! If you hear of something, please contact me at

Thank you!!

Thanks and Giving

To my surprise, I'm in Oklahoma City yesterday evening. At the last minute, I decided to come here for Thanksgiving with my family. I'm very much looking forward to it. I remembered to bring a bottle of wine, which hopefully I won't forget in my suitcase! (hint)

Anyway, the drive here was much more pleasant than normal-- significantly so. One of my friends from high recently moved to Arkansas, around midway between Memphis and OKC. I stopped at his place on the way and he drove the rest of the way. It was perfect!

More to come later...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Year, New Goals

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a birthday recently. Thanks to everyone who made it out or sent their well wishes. It was one of the best birthdays ever!

In all, around 30 people joined me in my celebration which snaked along the Downtown Memphis trolley from Harry's Detour to Circa to EP's Delta Kitchen to Earnestine & Hazel's. It was wonderful!

Because I'm getting older this year, I've been thinking about the goals I'd like to acheive this year. My biggest goal is to try new things and to devote a significant amount of time to being happy. That's fairly general, I know. But, I've spent the better part of the last 10 years trying to "achieve." I'm finally to a place where I'd like to "enjoy!"

Along those lines, I'd also like to take more time to get back into things I haven't done in a while like horseback riding. I'd like to take more time to travel. I'm considering even trading in my practical car for something sporty.

And, after having fun and enjoying, I'd also like to document! In other words, I'll try to blog more and take and share more photos.

Along those lines, I'm going to go ahead and post photos of my early years to Facebook, and maybe here. For starters, here's me enjoying my first birthday and doing what I do best, eating!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Birthday Wishes

Thanks Paul for mentioning me on your blog twice this week. Yes, it is in fact my birthday coming up-- and in preparation, here's a fun article from

Approaching 30 can cause angst for some twentysomethings. But for Jen MacNeil, it was a reason to celebrate her life and try some pretty cool things. MacNeil decided to give her 20s a big sendoff by doing one new thing every day from her 29th birthday until the day she turns 30.The things she says she has tried range from giving someone a haircut and learning to fold fancy napkins to castrating a calf (which she says isn't as gory as it sounds) and serenading an overworked customer service representative. Some of her favorite experiences include adopting an endangered species (a blue-footed booby), culturing organic honey by using a chainsaw and attending an Al-Anon meeting. Of course, being featured on CNN makes the list, too.MacNeil documents all of her adventures and misadventures on her blog: In the New. She gets hundreds of readers from all over the world, inspiring people to step outside their comfort zones. As she says on her blog, "Life is short, let's make it interesting."