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Archives for April 2010

It’s time to “come clean”


Person Washing Hands with Soap in WashbasinI have been writing the story of my family’s journey for the past year and when I began this it was a way of putting some of my ideas together for a book that I plan on writing, to start my creative juices flowing. However, it has been a little tricky because I really didn’t mind using my own name however I didn’t want to expose my children’s real names but it has been a bit difficult and due to actually the “real” story I think it’s time to disclose who my family really is…

Yes, my name is Shelley and I am a mom to two wonderful and special daughters, and wife to an entrepreneur butttt there names really are Sarah (not Rebecca) and Hadley. (not Ainsley) Sarah being my college senior and Hadley being my sweet special needs child. And my husband is Kenny.

So why am I choosing to disclose this now? Well as I said, I would very much like to write a book and would love to have all of you who follow me at some point when that does come to fruition realize Oh that is Shelley and her family who I have read about for a few years now. It also makes a little more sense for those of you who follow my other sites, or my wellness makeover page, or my twitter where I use their real names.

My site is not about giveaways per say or coupons it is about our family’s journey with a special needs child and how through her disability so many children’s lives have been changed around the country and world.(Coming posts!)

So there you have it, my little white lie has come out and from now on you will know who the “real” players in my story are.

Do you disclose your family’s name?

*Right now we have a tie for last week’s giveaway so I have decided to break the tie with anyone who commented on last week’s post return comment today..

Happy Blog-a-versary to Me!

photo credit: epicurine

I’m so excited to actually have hit this milestone! One year!! Yay for Shelley and I’m Still Standing! I jumped into the bloggy community a year ago on April 9, 2009 with just a passion to share our family’s story and have found so much more.

I had no idea what I was doing other then loving to write and knowing my topic for sure. I did a little research, bought a few books, hopped online and looked at a few other blogs and was quickly introduced to Mom Bloggers Club and The Sits Girls who both have sites I joined and started meeting other bloggers.

I have loved the bloggy community and meeting new friends from all over the country. It has been a hoot learning about so many wonderful and supportive ladies. There are many stories that I have shared with friends who don’t blog.

I quickly joined Darren’s 31 days to a better blog and tried to keep up but it was a bit faced paced for me, I’m thinking of going back now and redoing the lessons that he gave because there are some wonderful things to be picked up there. The first my “elevator speech” who are you in 1 line… That is when I came up with the tag line “a few special stories,” “a few special inspirations” “from a special needs mom”

I went on to get a “twitter” and began to follow other mom bloggers and build up a little following there and then joined Twitter Moms where I have made some wonderful friends who retweet my blog posts for me weekly in a supportive group. Not only have these fine ladies retweeted for me I now would call them friends and “shout out” to them weekly to see how their lives are going.

A little over a month ago through a site I co founded with my daughter I met a nutritionist who wanted to give someone a “wellness makeover” on television as part of National Nutrition month. I thought hmm I was so going to call a good friends nutritionist and jump on that bandwagon and so I asked her if the person would have to “weigh in” on TV because if that was the case, um not for me but that wasn’t the case and 17lbs later here I am on another journey… My life continues to unfold day by day and post by post. lol

So where is this going? Well, we all know I’m not so much a giveaway or coupon mom, although I have loved meeting many cool ladies who are excellent at doing this. And it has made me savvier about weekly purchases and signing up for giveaways, come on its fun….

Through one of my bloggy buddies I was introduced to the world of “Etsy” and found it to be a wonderful place to buy unique items you can’t find in stores, and being an interior designer (see something you probably didn’t know about me) I love that. I have gathered up some of the fine ladies whose shops I love and I will feature one a week for the next month with a giveaway from each as part of my celebration followed up with my Grand Giveaway of “My Favorite Things” which includes of course Ellie Krieger’s “So Easy” cookbook (which I have loved on my wellness makeover) My fav movies “The Holiday” and “love actually” Michael Buble’s “it’s time” cd, an organization pad to help you since I’m the queen of organization lol, a Starbucks $5 gift card to try a Vivano or a latte and to top it off since we all know that dark chocolate is “good for you” a bag of Ghirardelli’s dark chocolate squares total value about $75.00. I think that’s pretty good right?

I’d like to thank all of you for a year of friendship and wonderful comments, I love hearing from you and hope to continue for a long time.

My first blog-a-versay giveaway comes from Megan. I met Megan when I purchased 2 sweet tassels from her. For my “fall decorations.” Megan has a great blog which has some great crafty ideas. She is a very talented lady and I’m glad to introduce you to her!

I fell in love with this colorful Halloween tassel which hung in my front hall and got many compliments. Don’t you just love it? Now you can win one of Megan’s beautiful creations all you have to do is follow below:

How to enter my first blog-a-versay giveaway from Megan:

1 entry– Follow this blog, if you are already a follower leave a message as to what you enjoy about “I’m Still Standing.”

1 entry-Follow Megan’s blog and leave her a comment that you popped over from “I’m Still Standing.”

1 entry-Become a follower at my secondary blog

1 entry– Join my Wellness Makeover Fan Page

1 entry– Grab I’m still standing button.

1 entryFollow me on Twitter and leave a comment that you are following on twitter.

1 entry-Tweet about this giveaway. Up to once a day! and leave a separate comment here with the twitter link.

1 entry-Subscribe to my feeds

1 entry– Favor my blog on Technorati

1 entry– Blog about this giveaway and include a link back to this contest

1 entry– Post on Facebook:, leave a separate comment here that you posted this on Facebook

Contest Rules:

• Contest ends Monday April 26, 2010 at 11pm Eastern Standard Time.

• Winner MUST either have their e-mail address on their profile, or leave their e-mail address with their comment.

• I will announce the winner of the giveaway on April 27, 2010 on this blog as well as through e-mail to the winner. If I do not receive a response within 48 hours, I will randomly choose a new winner.

I would like to thank all of you for “giving” so much to me…

*please note all giveaways have been donated by the third parties and I am not responsible or cannot be held liable for any actions associated from them.

I went from a “B” to a “D” and no boob job required?

Breast-Sizesphoto credit: dimension guide dot com

I did a quick run to the mall to pick up some “much needed” makeup for my daughter at her request since we are going to visit her for her last parents weekend for her sorority (and mine too) before she graduates college. A topic for another time, none the less, I did my “dutiful” mom thing and went to pick up her bronzer, why she needs bronzer when she is already tan I don’t understand but again none the less… blah blah blah I went to Nordstrom to pick it up, I won’t even go into the fact that she also had concealer on her “needed list”… Come on she’s only 21 what is she needing to conceal? But again another topic lol

So I had a few award certificates “saved” up. You need to know I save these and hoard them for something “big” and then I go and get something I wouldn’t usually buy myself… but today I just kept thinking about my bras… I really need some new bras. Now mind you as much as I like to feel “feminine” I just don’t run out and buy lacey, frilly bras and panties, maybe it has something to do with the fact that my weight has gone up and up and up and well I just haven’t felt “pretty.” You know what I mean. But I know it’s time to “retire” some of my bras as the straps keep falling and are stretched out…

So I walked over to the lingerie dept and thought I’d take a look. Ahhhh I long to be slim and trim so I actually don’t freak out when I look in the mirror in anything none the less my skimmies.. Nordstrom’s has such a beautiful selection and of course being spring the bridal lingerie is out, I love white, white and lacey, so clean and fresh looking.

As I was strolling along I started seriously looking for a new bra. Hmm, so many choices as I picked one up I heard a voice over my shoulder, “Can I help you?” I responded with my embarrassed “No thank you” and then the woman just stood there and looked at me holding the bra in my hand and asked me again, “Can I help find your size?” I looked down at the bra as if the size was in neon flashing and she was shaking her head at me saying “wrong size lady.” I again thanked her and said “No, I am fine.” Can you image, I’m in my late 40’s don’t you think after all of these years wearing a bra that I would know my size, for Pete sake! And then she continued… “Well, what size do you think you are?” Think I am? Think I am? Come on now this was bordering on harassment. And I thought OK I’m just going to tell her because she obviously isn’t letting this go, so I showed her the size on the tag, and she just smiled and shook her head and said “Oh no, you are not a B you are definitely a D!” I almost laughed in her face! A “D” come on I thought to myself no that is for women like Heidi Montage or Pamela Anderson who have had themselves enlarged. I’m just your typical middle aged mom and I know my bra size!

She then asked me kindly to just try the D on; I said OK, what did I have to lose? I mean I had the others in my hand why not one more. So I tried on my B and she politely knocked on the door as I had myself shoved in the bra with the little “overflow” I hate around my back showing and she asked if I would like her to “measure” me. Meh, at this point why not…I’m sure I’m not the first woman you have helped today and I’m sure I’m not the last. So she pulled out her tape measure smiled and said, “Yes, you are a D.”

She went on to show me how a bra is “supposed” to fit. My goodness after wearing a bra for O I don’t know 30 some years I have never been fitted properly and never knew how to wear a bra. Wow! It was actually an eye opening experience. I laughed so hard as I changing back into my old bra and clothes and listened to other women in the dressing rooms being helped just like me and all in amazement just as I was they were ALL wearing the wrong size bra!

I told her as I paid for my purchases with my awards that I was going to bring my daughters in next because god knows they have never been measured and you know I think it is nice to know your “correct” size don’t you?

So tell me have you ever been measured? Go and get it done you might be surprised; I know my husband sure is going to be…

Spread the Word to End the Word

Last week I was asked to come into my daughter’s high school to speak at an assembly “To spread the Word to End the Word.” I was honored that the President of the schools Best Buddies chapter had asked me to come and address the students on this topic.

I spent a day or so organizing my thoughts as I often do when I give a speech but this time it was going to be a little different because I knew my daughter was going to be in the assembly itself while I was speaking along with some of her classmates, and the regular student body.

I have very strong thoughts on this topic, the “R” word and the negative connotation which it holds to me as a parent of a special needs child.

When I was young I heard that word get thrown around alot. It used to offend me a little bit then, not sure why, maybe the stars above were aligning themselves and wanted to hear and see how I reacted.

Retarded” it just sounds so belittling! “What are you retarded?” Seriously, I have heard children and adults say this to each other still today and I see it as a “slap” in the face, a put down and it is what I call a garbage term.

The actual definition of retarded is “To cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede.”

I used these examples in my speech of times I have overheard teens use the term:

Let’s say you show up at the mall in a polka dot shirt and stripe pants and your girlfriends are all giggly and look at you and ask, “What are you wearing? That looks retarded!” Personally you might like the outfit, it might be in bad taste but it is not “retarded”

Or, let’s say you are a high school football player and you just got your schedule for next year and instead of getting your choice of “weight lifting” for your first period somehow you were placed in Chorus. You exclaim, “What, this schedule is retarded!” Well unless you are on the current hit show Glee where it might not be an error but none the less the schedule is not “retarded.”

By using that term it reinforces the discrimination and intolerance children like my daughter face every day.

When we were all little we heard the phrase “sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never heart you,” well that is just not true, names do hurt and it is time to “remove and retire” the “r” word from everyone’s vocabulary.

I’m not a member of the “Clean Plate Club” anymore!

photo credit:

It’s been 30 days and I’m proud to say I’m not a member of the “Clean Plate Club” anymore! Although this is a huge leap for me I have to tell you this is a journey that I know is a lifetime change and to get to a “healthy” lifestyle will take me a good 6 months of continuing to do what I have been doing this past month.

So let’s recap for all of you new friends who don’t have a clue of what I am talking about. In February I was contacted by Nutritionist Rebecca Scritchfield who wanted to know if I knew of someone who would be interested in a “Wellness Makeover” which would be part of a month long segment which would air weekly on ABC’s “Let’s Talk Live.” I thought about it for a moment and then thought hmm I was just about to call a Nutritionist that a friend of mine was using, because I was tired of looking in the mirror and seeing a distant memory of myself. I asked Rebecca would the person have to stand on a scale in front of all of Washington DC and the world or have measurements taken on TV and she said “No.” So without a second thought I jumped at the opportunity and said “Yes, Me!” That was the beginning of the journey.

I am not a dummy and know that in order to really be successful you need to actually move your body to reduce the number of calories you take in and as much as I don’t love exercise I thought I would like to have a trainer to help get this party started so to speak. That is when I met Ryan Walker of Alchemy Fitness. He and I began to work out weekly 3 days a week to work on Strength training. Which is a bit hard because over the years my balance has gotten “off” if you know what I mean, but I was determined and Ryan was great about working on a program that was tailored to a person who has high blood pressure. In addition to strength training I rode the bike for a cardio workout 2-3 other days. This in itself was another huge milestone for me. I only missed working out with him once due to a migraine, which is another topic for another time.

So what did I learn?

Week 1 & 2

1. I am an emotional eater, which is why I “graze” all day in the kitchen like a cow would do. I eat not because I am hungry, I don’t think I even would taste the food I was just shoveling it into my mouth to ease my emotions, if I was sad I ate, mad, I ate, upset I ate, worried, I ate… you see the pattern here? Does it sound familiar? Because I never stopped to realize what the heck I was doing.

2. I have been a chronic dieter my whole adult life. I have done Optifast, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystems and was very successful each time I was “on” a “diet” but when I was done well back to #1 and you know what would happen, bloob bloob bloob over a few months I’d put back on the weight and sometimes more because I never “got it.”(this in itself is another whole post lol)

3. So what was it, what made me “get it?” I think maybe realizing that I’m not getting any younger i’m in my late 40’s and I don’t want to keep this up and possibly become diabetic at my own hands, or maybe have a heart attack, and not see my grandchildren. I woke up one day and realized I want to “live” I want to dance, I want to travel, I want to be healthy to take care of my disabled daughter. I needed to change and not for a minute, for forever.

4. We shopped for food. Rebecca and I went to Balducci’s which is where I love to shop since our local grocery stores produce taste like nothing; seriously I don’t know where they buy there produce but attention people at Giant and Safeway your produce is awful! So back to our adventures at Balducci’s we picked up a few new things like, Almond butter, and Pomegranate/Cherry Juice, and Quinoa. It was a true adventure shopping through the eyes of a Nutritionist not thru my Junior Chefs. Always try and take a shopping list with you to the store and follow it! One other little tip I picked up this week is stay away from the “middle aisles” in the store or what I will call the heavily processed foods and saucy foods. Eat fresh and clean!

5. Rebecca took a look through our kitchen and I’m happy to report that it wasn’t so bad! Not that I’m really surprised we usually don’t have a lot of “craparoo” around.

6. This was a big one for the week, eat “if” you are “hungry” hmm what a novel concept of eating when one’s body wants to be fueled. But that is what I really tried to concentrate on, “am I hungry?” And then “stop” eating when you feel satisfied! Do not continue, put down the fork and walk away from the table! I did it a few times, not all the time, but enough to know that I am ready to turn in my membership to the “clean plate club.” Parents please do NOT teach your kids to clean their plates you are doing them such a disservice in the long run, just ask me!

Week 3 & 4

1. You can eat out; just make it more about the “experience” and less about the food. I mean eating out is not something that most people do every night or every week even so when you do make it about the experience enjoy the company you are with and the surroundings. With that said, I learned I was eating way to fast! Slow down, “try” and I say that lightly because I know it is hard but try and chew each bite 30 times. Put your fork down when you have had a few bites, drink your beverage, ask your company a few questions and then go back to eating. When you eat out most restaurants give you wayyyy to much food, actually a salad at the Cheesecake Factory could easily feed a family of 4 if you eat the proper amounts of food. So what are the proper amounts of food? Take a dinner sized plate ½ of the plate should be your veggies, and ¼ of the plate grains and the last ¼ protein. That’s it, it’s that simple. And stay away from extra’s like salt, butter, creamy sauces or dressings those are just unnecessary and unhealthy.

2. We spent a lot of this week making over recipes which I loved from Ina, (my favorite gal) and I was introduced to a new friend/chef Ellie Krieger. After making the first recipe from Ms. Krieger’s cookbook “So Easy,” I was hooked and knew we would become good friends! As I said I do love to cook and entertain and I spent a good deal of time trying “new” things.

3. Step up the exercise a bit more, Ryan and I continue to work out but I was getting “tired” of sitting on the bike, I wanted to “move” so I saw this dance/exercise class called “Zumba” and I gave it a try (yup you know it, another post lol) and I loved it, you can bet I will be Zumba-ing 3 days a week from now on!

Although this is brief and in an outline type form it gives you a pretty good idea of how things have gone the first 30 days and I’m proud to say I’ve lost 11 pounds and 18.5” all over. So I would have to say this is a great beginning, and although I know this is a journey I keep telling myself that I’m taking it one day at a time.

Here is a the video of Rebecca and my last segment on Let’s Talk Live, but don’t worry the journey continues and we will be back to check in with them next month and will keep you updated!

In honor of my wellness makeover and to introduce Ellie Krieger to some of my friends I am having a giveaway of her new cookbook which will be through April 9th so go and sign up!

I would love to hear from you! Are you an emotional eater? Are you a member of the “Clean Plate Club?” Join me nowand QUIT!