Posts Tagged ‘Sacramento’

Fantastic Florida — Awesome Sale!


Talk about a sweet getaway! Right now from Northern California, you can fly to Florida for as low as $79 each way, thanks to US Airways!

You have to book the tickets by July 26th, but they can be used through NOVEMBER 17th!

From San Francisco:
– Ft. Lauderdale : $79
– Tampa : $89

From Sacramento:
to Palm Beach : $79

We’re digging the Palm Beach one and are looking into a little three day weekend getaway! Such a steal!

Book here before it’s too late!

Signature Stamp - Shannon


Onward to Seattle!

Hey Kiddos!

I’m at the airport right now, waiting patiently in Sacramento until 1P or so when we get to board our plane to Seattle! Even at 11A, I could feel the Sacramento heat bearing down on us, and I’m incredibly excited to be escaping it for the weekend. One of the things that I love most about the airport is people-watching; there’s always such a mixed crowd of people and it makes me laugh.

As I’m looking around, I see the standard techy, plug-your-laptop-in-and-escape type (such as myself), the under 18 crowd who are plugged into their iPods, ignoring their parent’s banter, the occassional business man dotted strategically through the waiting area, laptop open, bluetooth in ear, playing (pretending to actually be working) on their BlackBerry, and then there are the moms… oh, the moms. There’s the tattooed teenage mother, trying to keep her child in line, who is chasing her two-year-old through the airport (which is slightly entertaining), and then there’s the 40-year-old mom. Gotta love those; overprotective because they’re excited that their womanly parts could still bear children. She has her baby strapped to her chest in one of those Native American papoose-style carriers and she’s petting the child’s head, which I find bizarre. My fear, of course, is that this child will be on our plane. From my experience, children and planes don’t mesh well. I think this is likely a documented fact. Typically, after I’ve stepped off of the plane, I want to kill myself, the sounds of a beeping Nintendo DS and high-pitched screaming ringing in my ears. My hope is that this trip will be different. I’ve brought my new book, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, to keep me occupied throughout the hour and a half flight. Hopefully it works!

In any case, I feel satisfied at this moment, having just eating a tofu roll courtesy of Lemon Grass. I didn’t realize that they had a small station in the airport, so that effectively made my day.

Airport Kids

{You know the sight of all these kids scared the life out of me!}

On to Seattle!

Hope everyone has an amazing fourth!

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Salon & Spa Steal

Hoss Lee Academy

Fellow students and others on a budget, listen up!

I found the most amazing place to check out if you don’t want to discontinue your hair and skin care, but don’t have the budget to allow for fancy extras. For my sister’s birthday, I took her in for a celebratory brow wax and facial. I found a local Salon & Spa Academy where students perform the services under a professional’s supervision. I have looked into these places before, but had never actually taken the plunge and visited. However, after looking at the disparity in pricing between the academy and a normal salon, there was a major savings! Depending on the service, you can easily save 40-50% (or more if you get packages) on your services! Tiffany and I visited Hoss Lee Academy in the greater Sacramento area and she snagged a brow wax for $10 (not a huge deal, but still) and a clay facial for $45! The basic facials run at $25 per session, the upscale European facials are $35 (total steal!) and the specialty facials (clay, anti-aging, etc.) are $45. She was pampered for a good hour and a half by a knowledgeable student and raved about her experience afterwards. In addition to the skin care, they have hair care services (cuts, color, highlights, styling, etc.), make-up services and body services (body scrubs, wraps, sunless tanning, and hot stone therapies).  On top of that, the salon is absolutely gorgeous (the picture above is an actual snapshot from our visit) and the staff is great, which added to my confidence in having services done at a school.

On top of that, after perusing their list of services, I found that they have a peel package — 6 glycolic peels + a complimentary Euro facial for $250! To put that into perspective, I paid $85 for ONE glycolic peel and it’s not unreasonable to pay up to $150 per. Getting six of them plus a facial for $250… beyond a steal! With having to save like a mad woman for the upcoming year abroad, I had written off professional skin care until 2010, but now I can afford to indulge once in a while. Check out Hoss Lee (also, click here to get a $50 gift certificate for $25!) or find another reputable academy in your area to save on fun stuff. Just because we would rather spend money on travel doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate an inexpensive facial once in a while, right?

Check out Hoss Lee’s Salon & Spa Menu if you’re local — they can save you a bundle if you’re looking for occasional pampering <3.

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Recap of the Week

Man, this week flew by! The fact that it’s Friday already completely blows my mind. This could be due to the fact that I have come to realize that tomorrow is the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Walk, which means I have a banner to finish and a few shirts to make before then. For anyone that doesn’t already know, I am captaining a team for our local Kidney Walk and we’ll be walking in memory of my grandfather who recently passed (on March 5) from renal disease. I began supporting the NKF shortly after and started a team called Paul’s Partners. The fact that three months have passed since then flabbergasts me. Where does the time go?! Sometimes I find that I have to look back at all of the things that I have completed this week to actually feel like my week has been productive, regardless of the fact that it feels like our days are shrinking down to 12 or so hours.

In relation to my impending London excursion, I managed a few loan-related tid bits. Got my Student Aid Report and Master Promissory Notes into the LSE for review last week; they should be done this week and I should have some serious funding in my account in the next couple of weeks to pay for tuition and housing — before the exchange rate goes up any more, hopefully! Additionally, I have been researching UK banks that are international student-friendly and thus far have been focused on NatWest, Barclay’s, Lloyds and HSBC. Unfortunately, despite all of the research, I am unable to come to a decision as of yet. If anyone has any knowledge on this subject, input is more than appreciated! For some ungodly reason, obtaining loans, student visas and opening a bank account are completely ridiculous hardships; you’d think they’d want my money.

Also, on a personal level, I just discovered my first glycolic peel at Mellow Me Out Day Spa with Amber. I didn’t really know what to anticipate going in, but for the minute or so that the glycolic acid was on my face, I’m not quite sure if it warranted the $25 extra… still deciding if I’ll do another one. I’ll probably know better in a couple of days when it’s not so fresh (just got it done last night!) Also, I took TWO pairs of shoes in to get repaired since the rubber heel stoppers have fallen off all four shoes. It’s always a travesty when this happens to my favorite shoes and this actually happened to two of my favorite pairs within a few weeks of each other. As you can imagine, I was less than enthused. In any case, this great little shop in Arden Park repairs them in no time and they’re brand new again for about $10 a pair. Not bad. Better than buying a new pair, I say.

As if all of that weren’t enough, I managed to get in three pretty long sweat sessions at the gym in the past four days and have been preparing and planning my sister’s upcoming birthday bash (which she has no idea about, as of yet!) When her birthday rolls around (20th of June), I’ll make sure to keep you all posted on my amazing surprise (you’ll be jealous that you don’t have an anal party planning sister like me <3.) Also, as I’m sure you guys all noticed, I added a brand new feature to my site — The Scholar’s Shoppe, which has a great selection of items that go to benefit various charities and organizations.

Seriously — if you guys haven’t done so already, you should make a list of everything you’ve done during the week. It definitely makes you feel better about the fact that time flies; at least you’re accomplishing things on your to-do list!

Happy Friday!

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Asia Store Jewelry

Loving the earrings? Check em out at The Scholar’s Shoppe. They benefit the Asia Society.

A Splendid Saturday <3.

Due to the fact that my birthday fell on a Friday, we decided to really celebrate my birthday on Saturday! The day was brilliant from start to finish and we had an absolute blast! We started the day by heading out for breakfast and coffee and then headed to Arden Hills for a workout sesh (mandatory!) and some pool time. Although we were 50/50 on the weather, it ended up being absolutely perfect — 75 degrees and sunshiny all afternoon!
It always feels like vacay here!

It always feels like vacay here!

Tasty Treat

Tasty Treat

After relaxing poolside for a few hours, we headed home for me to enjoy my homemade facial mask and then headed out to dinner and the theatre! We decided to dine at Sofia’s for the special occasion and it was amazing (as usual)! There are a number of spots we frequent for dinner, but Sofia’s on 11th has been seriously taking the cake the last few times — the food is always spectacular (amazing gnocchi and salad last night!) and the service is always spot on!

Chris & I pumped to head to Sofia's!

Chris & I pumped to head to Sofia's!

At Sofia's for my Birthday!

At Sofia's for my Birthday!

After Sofia’s we headed to The Lion King at the Community Center! I cannot even begin to put into words the experience! The entire performance was breathtaking. Aside from having the most fantastic performers (the kids were darling & incredibly talented!), the costumes, the lighting and the stage design was remarkable. It was, hands down, the most amazing performance I have ever seen. In fact, I’m trying to snag five tickets to another performance this year to take my family to see it.

So excited!

So excited!

The Lion King!!

The Lion King!!

This was our first time not sitting in the Orchestra section of the theatre. Our tickets were on the first tier and I have to say — although we were a tid wary — I really liked our seats (1st tier, Row L). We were able to actually absorb the entirety of the performance. I find that sitting up front narrows your view of the stage and the performers; you don’t really have the opportunity to grasp the totality of the experience. If you have a chance to see it before the 28th of June, I highly (highly!!) recommend it!

Has anyone else see The Lion King? What did you guys think?

Lots of love,

Signature Stamp - Shannon

The Sky is Falling — Santa Barbara is a no-go!

Seriously. Does anyone else think that the world is coming to an end?

It’s June 2nd and it’s raining in California! I have never seen such a thing! Now, normally I don’t think I would care all that much, but this weekend happens to be my birthday weekend that Mother Nature has decided to interfere with and I’m not too happy. I had taken Friday off so we could take a trip down to Carmel on Thursday night and then head down to Santa Barbara as our final weekend destination. With it being only three short days away, I could practically smell the salty beach air and feel the sand stuck underneath my bathing suit. Well, being that Santa Barbara’s forecast includes pleasant bouts of showers and a lack of sunshine, I figured that heading down there for the weekend might be a waste of time and money. Sadly, we have had to cancel this much anticipated getaway. While we were trying to figure out what to do instead, in a stroke of brilliance Chris perused tickets to the Lion King (which is currently playing in Sacramento) and found two tickets on the first tier for sale! So, as luck would have it, although our Santa Barbara getaway is being put on hold, we will be going to see the live performance of the Lion King, something I have been wanting to do for quite some time! I have heard amazing things about the Tony-award winning production and I’m hoping that it’s as amazing as we’re (I’m) anticipating! Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. I don’t know that I was ready to jump into my bikini this weekend anyway. <3

I will keep you guys posted with full reviews of this, plus a review on our dinner location once we decide on that — input on dinner spots is welcome!

the lion king
For anyone interested in seeing The Lion King, it’s playing in Sactown through June 28th! You can get the seating chart for the Community Center Production (1301 L Street) here. For a schedule and ticket prices check this.

Hope everyone’s having a good (rainy) week so far! 

Who Really Needs Two Kidneys Anyway?


After spending yesterday evening at a National Kidney Foundation-sponsored dinner, I had an opportunity hear the story of a kidney recipient who, at 41 years old, had her kidneys fail completely after an infection had spread. Her brother was the one that came to her rescue — a living donor who was tested (to see if he was a match) and donated one of his kidneys to offer her a normal life. A happy, fairytale story in this case.

Fortunately, since most of us have two functioning kidneys, we can legitimately donate one and share our little detox buddies with those in need. 52% of kidneys that are used for transplant patients are from living donors — that’s an amazingly high number! Family and friends make up the majority, but altruistic strangers come into play as well. I have been considering doing a living organ donation at some point (not any time in the super near future). There are various organs that can be donated to help make men, women and even children’slives more normal and fulfilling. Currently, there are about 83,000 people waiting for kidney transplants and around 15,000 waiting for partial liver transplants, with the number of liver transplants expected to soar to around 70,000 by 2010 due to the high rate of Hep C (boo!). The number of people who donate partial livers is still relatively low; the procedure is still pretty rare but adult-to-adult transplants have definitely been successful. Although it would be hard for most of us to voluntarily part with our organs, it’s an awesome thing for the recipients on the waiting list. For the majority of donors and recipients, the donation process is free of complications and, due to modern technology, the risk of rejection is very minimal! If being a living donor seems a tad excessive (understandable), consider putting the pink “donor” sticker on your Driver’s License in case of an accident — after all, those perfectly healthy organs could benefit a person in need!  

Read all about being a living kidney donor or a partial liver donor here! Worth a look :)

Consider participating in a walk for a foundation dedicated to finding donors for those waiting for kidneys, livers and other vital organs. Fundraising is a vital step in helping generate the funds to help those in need and assist with preventative measures in our communities.

If you want to join my team, Paul’s Partners, for the National Kidney Walk taking place in Sacramento on June 13th — sign up here! If you don’t feel like a 5K walk, consider donating to the cause! <3.

Much love,