Adventure Time: Portsmouth, VA Edition (2022 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention)

I’ve posted about P.E.O. and Virginia State Convention before, but this was a whole new adventure! In November 2019, I was asked to be a co-chair for the 2022 Virginia State Convention. I gave it some thought, but quickly said yes because the convention was going to be held in Portsmouth! Perfect!

We held all our planning meetings over Zoom because of COVID-19. That was a feat in and of itself!

Friday, May 20th

Friday was a mix of activity and lulls! There was a flurry of set-up. Our fabulous Convention Committee got to work. Rebecca and I helped set up different areas, and answered questions.

We went to lunch at Olde Towne Public House with the Convention Committee and the Virginia State Board. Yum!

I walked more than 18,000 steps!

After Projects Night, the Franc 7’s (P.E.O. sisters under 40) gathered around the fire pit outside the hotel. We had a wonderful time!

Rebecca and I shared a room on the 15th floor of the Renaissance Hotel!
View of the Elizabeth River from our room.
View from the window near the elevators. Downtown Norfolk is in the background.
This is the logo that Al designed for Sue. This was before Projects Night started on Friday evening. We listened to videos of project recipients, and each one was awesome!

Saturday, May 21st

Saturday was the big day. Most of the Convention business was conducted. I walked more than 11,000 steps!

We celebrated our Golden Girls (Sisters who have been in P.E.O. for 50 years) with a delicious lunch.
Sue’s theme was based around a lighthouse. My parents borrowed this lighthouse from our church, and the lighthouse bench was from my parents’ house!
Rebecca and Kevin.
Al and me!
Our table at dinner. The long tables were for the Virginia Handbell Consort. Their performance was amazing!
Bells and flute!
Rebecca, Sue, and me.
The lighthouse centerpieces were painted by different chapters in Virginia.

Sunday, May 22nd

Sunday was the final business session, clean up, and leave! Overall, it was a big success. S

o many people thanked Rebecca and I. It was wonderful to be appreciated and recognized for our work. We couldn’t have done it all without our Hostess Chapters (F/Hampton, G/Alexandria, L/Norfolk, Q/Norfolk, and X/Virginia Beach) and the members of the Convention Committee.


It was an incredible Convention. I’m happy that I’ve been able to be on both sides of the coin now! I’ve been a delegate multiple times, and now I’ve been able to help plan and make a Convention come to life. It was such a cool experience!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #269: My Favorite Things of 2021

Image Credit: Quote Master

So, before starting the lists of favorites, here’s my tally for books and Book Reviews for 2021:


Now, on to my favorites!

Favorite Books

Favorite Movies

  • Baby Driver
  • Beanie Mania (HBO Max)
  • Black Widow
  • Coming 2 America (Amazon Prime Video)
  • Don’t Look Up (Netflix)
  • Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions (Disney+)
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  • Moxie (Netflix)
  • Noelle (Disney+)
  • Richard Jewell (HBO Max)
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy (HBO Max)
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • The Tomorrow War (Amazon Prime Video)
  • Without Remorse (Amazon Prime Video)

Favorite TV Shows

  • Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children (HBO Max)
  • Black and Missing (HBO Max)
  • Cold Case – Seasons 1 – 7 (HBO Max)
  • Hawkeye (Disney+)
  • Head of the Class – Original Series (HBO Max)
  • Hoarders (YouTube)
  • LEGO Masters – Season 2 (Hulu)
  • Loki (Disney+)
  • LuLaRich (Amazon Prime Video)
  • Midnight Mass (Netflix)
  • Supermarket Sweep (YouTube)
  • Ted Lasso – Season 1 (Apple TV+)
  • The Baby-Sitters Club – Season 2 (Netflix)
  • The Muppet Show (Disney+)
  • WandaVision (Disney+)

Favorite Podcasts

  • 48 Hours
  • American Radical
  • Auld Lang Gone: The Lost Carmen Sandiego
  • Criminal
  • Cold – Season 2
  • Crimes of Passion
  • Dateline NBC
  • Embedded
  • Harsh Reality: The Story of Miriam Rivera
  • Life After MLM
  • Mind Over Murder – Seasons 1 and 2
  • Operator
  • Over My Dead Body – Season 3
  • Suspect
  • The Thing About Helen and Olga
  • Up and Vanished – Season 3
  • Small Town Dicks
  • StoryCorps

Well, that wraps up my favorite things for 2021!

What about you? What were some of your favorite things of the year?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #262: My First Experience with Microdermabrasion

Image Credit: Medical News Today

I did something completely out of the ordinary recently, all to help out someone who is amazing!

In order to graduate, students have to perform a certain number of services. It’s a lot like dental hygiene school, but these services include chemical peels, facials, LED light therapy, and manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), among other treatment options.

I made a new friend in Kelsey, who is a student at The Chrysm Institute of Esthetics in Virginia Beach. This is a trade school that helps people become Estheticians and Master Estheticians.

I’ll post a link to the list of student services at the end of the post. If you’re close to Virginia Beach, please support these students. Kelsey is an awesome person. She eventually wants to work with lasers, which is super awesome! She wants to help people. These lasers are super sophisticated, and getting more precise all the time.

There are a variety of services offered. And all of them are affordable. As an example, I paid $30.00 for my microdermabrasion session with Kelsey. If I were to go for a microdermabrasion session at a local skin care clinic, I would be paying quite a bit more money. The investment for a membership that includes microdermabrasion at one local skin care clinic is $119.00 per month. To me, going to see Kelsey or another student at Chrysm is worth it! You’re getting the same services at an affordable price, and you’re giving these students hands-on experience and practice with what they’ve learned.


Microdermabrasion

Kelsey explained every step to me. She reviewed several things with me before we started, which was my consultation. She took my notes on my eye color, hair color, skin type and tendencies, and a few other things. This helped her “score” me on what’s called the Fitzpatrick scale or skin type. This helped her figure out the appropriate products to use on my skin. I’m a 2 on the scale, so I’m a Type I. This means that my skin is pale white, burns easily, and extremely sensitive. The scale goes form Type I (0-6) to Type VI (35+).

It was a very relaxing and soothing procedure. I wore a stretchy headband that kept my hair back. She used several products on my face to help exfoliate and prepare my skin for the suction wand, which removed the top layer of skin. My favorite part was the soothing chamomile mask, which felt amazing and refreshing. My skin felt refreshed afterward, and Kelsey noted that the redness she observed when I had arrived that day was already reduced.

I was originally a little nervous, but Kelsey was very confident and amazing. Every procedure is supervised. Kelsey asked a few questions of them during the session. The supervisors were impressed and kept complimenting her work.

I was so impressed and appreciative that I immediately wanted to book another session with her. I’m going back to see her in mid-November before the holidays.

The key for microdermabrasion is to not use any exfoliating products on your face for 24-48 hours after the procedure to reduce irritation. Don’t touch or pick at your skin for 2-3 days to let it heal. Also, use sunscreen every day if possible. I bought moisturizer with SPF 30 for my skin care routine less than a day after my session with Kelsey. After several pre-cancerous mole scares, I don’t play anymore. Especially with my face!

The entire session lasted an hour, and I went back to work when it was done. Easy, relaxing, and painless.


Resources

Skin type and tanning ability based on the Fitzpatrick skin pigmentation scale | ResearchGate

Student Services | The Chrysm Institute of Esthetics


What about you? Have you ever had a microdermabrasion session done?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #232: My Favorite Things of 2020

Image Credit: Quote Master

So, before starting the lists of favorites, here’s my tally for books and Book Reviews for 2020:


Now, on to my favorites!

Favorite Books

Favorite Movies

  • 13th (Netflix)
  • Knives Out
  • Onward (This was the last movie we saw in theaters before COVID-19 took hold!)
  • Soul (Disney+)
  • Spotlight (Netflix)
  • The Vast of Night (Amazon Prime Video)

Favorite TV Shows

  • Forensic Files (Netflix)
  • Hoarders (YouTube)
  • How to Fix a Drug Scandal (Netflix)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – Seasons 7 – 8 (Hulu)
  • McMillions (HBO Max)
  • Murder on Middle Beach (HBO Max)
  • Stargirl (The CW)
  • Stranger Things – Re-watched all seasons (Netflix)
  • Supermarket Sweep (Netflix and YouTube)
  • The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix)
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Season 1 (HBO Max)
  • The Innocence Files (Netflix)
  • The Mandalorian – Seasons 1 and 2 (Disney+)

Favorite Podcasts

  • Atlanta Monster
  • Crimes of Passion
  • Dateline NBC
  • Female Criminals
  • Forensic Files
  • Helping Writers Become Authors
  • Just Us For Y’All
  • Killer Knowledge
  • Monster: DC Sniper
  • Morbid
  • Murder in Oregon
  • Small Town Dicks
  • Spying on Humanity
  • StoryCorps
  • The FRONTLINE Dispatch
  • The Way I Heard It

Well, that wraps up my favorite things for 2020!

What about you? What were some of your favorite things of the year?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #215: Visiting the Dermatologist – Update!

I have a happy update to report!

Thanks to Caz for checking on me, multiple times!

My recent mole biopsy was not cancerous. It was labeled as an “atypical mole.” This is on the low end of the spectrum for pathology and dermatology. I do not have to come back for another exam in 2020 unless the area becomes pigmented. If that happens, then they will need to get what are called clear margins, which can be significant. This is what happened at least once with a mole on my back.

I’m so grateful to the staff at my dermatology practice!

Thanks to everyone for reading my earlier post, commenting on it, and offering support. This is one of the many reasons why I adore the WordPress community.

Stay safe!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #212: Visiting the Dermatologist

Image Credit: Wandervogel Diary

I have the fair skin curse.

Well, not exactly. But having fair skin is difficult sometimes.


My first pre-cancerous mole was removed from my back before I graduated from high school. I’ve experienced multiple sunburns, and at least two of them have blistered. The song lyric “sunshine on my shoulders” was so true for me, and also very painful.

Since that first mole removal, I’ve become more vigilant about caring for my skin, being mindful of my sun exposure, and seeing a dermatologist for an annual skin check.


However, I’m also human.

Many of you who know me, know that I grew up around water. I don’t enjoy the beach as much as I used to, but I didn’t always use sunscreen or reapply like I should have, especially in my college years.

The combination of multiple sunburns over many years, and having fair skin caused multiple moles to pop up. I’ve had four significant moles (maybe more, I lost track for a while) removed and biopsied from my back. I’ve had more stitches in my back than anywhere else on my body.


The good news? My annual skin checks are working. Plus, I’m much more aware of my sun exposure now, and I’m using sunscreen, hats, and protective clothing more frequently.

I went to the dermatologist today, after my original appointment was changed twice due to COVID. The Suffolk office is really close to my house. The doctor was great, although I miss my old nurse practitioner (NP) terribly. She left the practice in mid-2019 to go out on her own.

Everything looked good for this year, with the exception of a two-toned brown/black mole on my upper left arm. The doctor was great and pointed out why he was concerned about it. A team of two ladies came in after the doctor, numbed my skin around it, and removed the mole for biopsy. I’ll be notified of the results in 1-2 weeks, depending upon how long it takes for it to be reviewed by pathology.

If need be, the office will call and schedule me for a follow-up visit. In the past, my NP needed to obtain clear margins, meaning that they needed to go a bit farther out from where the mole was removed to make sure all the pre-cancerous cells are gone. Otherwise, it could develop into actual skin cancer.


Skin Cancer

There are three types of skin cancer: Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Basal cell carcinoma is typically slow-growing, and the most common type of skin cancer. It can develop from actinic keratoses, which are scaly, damaged areas of skin. These can occur in places with lots of sun exposure – Your face, scalp, and the back of your hands.

Squamous cell carcinoma is less common. UV exposure is a contributor, but you’re at higher risk if you have had chronic skin wounds, radiation therapy treatment, or were an organ transplant recipient.

Melanoma begins in the melanocytes, where the skin pigment cells change into cancerous cells. This is the lowest diagnosed type of skin cancer, but it has the highest death rate. Melanoma has been found on the torso / trunk, lower legs, palms, soles of the feet, and the skin under the nails. UV exposure is the biggest factor, but family history is also significant.


Educating Yourself

You can do self-check skin exams on yourself!

Here are the “ABCDEs” to look for:

  • A – Asymmetry (Not the same shape on all sides)
  • B – Border irregularity (Ragged / blurred edges)
  • C – Color (Different shades of tan, brown, or black)
  • D – Diameter (Larger than 1/4 inch)
  • E – Evolving (Changes over time)

Now – Don’t panic if you see something suspicious. It’s important to call your dermatologist to make an appointment, or ask family / friends for recommendations. You can also check your health insurance (U.S.) for in-network providers that are close to you. Some providers also perform virtual visits, or you can text photos to a secure phone number for review.

Also, make an appointment as soon as possible if you experience itching or swelling of a skin lesion, if the lesion changes size or color, or there’s pain in the area.


Not Just Fair Skin

There are many factors with skin cancer. Here are a few things to be aware of regarding higher risks.

  • Hair color – Blond/blonde or red
  • Skin that freckles or sunburns easily
  • Family history of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer
  • History of unusual moles
  • History of sunburns, particularly blistering ones
  • History of tanning bed use
  • More than 50 moles, or any that look irregular
  • Organ transplant recipient

It’s a good idea to visit a dermatologist annually if you tick off more than one of these. Most skin exams take 10-20 minutes. For today’s visit, I was out the door in 35 minutes, and that included the biopsy. I have to let the area heal with twice-daily bandage changes and petroleum jelly after the first 24 hours (Tip: Don’t use Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment!) It’s really simple and virtually painless.


Resources

For more information, check out the links below.

Annual Exams | Skin Cancer Foundation

What to expect during a skin exam | MD Anderson

Skin Cancer | MD Anderson


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #94: “Books as First Dates Tag”

I’ve seen this blind date with a book idea in libraries and bookstores! Image Credit: Hawaii State Public Library

I was tagged by the lovely Jenna at Bookmark Your Thoughts! Thank you!

Here’s the link to Jenna’s post, where I was tagged: Books as First Dates Tag

Jenna discussed her ideal first date. For me, it’s definitely biased, but my first date with Al was absolutely magical. The original plan for September 4, 2010, was to go to dinner at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and then wait for Chicago to perform as part of the American Music Festival. We had a lovely dinner, and then strolled along the boardwalk. We kissed for the first time that night, and I legitimately saw sparks and fireworks. We talked for hours. I think he took me home at 1:30 a.m. Turns out, he knew he wanted to marry me after that first date, so I think it worked!


The Creator & the Rules

The creators of this tag is Alice @ Love for Words! The rules are …

↠ Link back to the original tag.
↠ Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
↠ Tag 5+ bloggers.
↠ Have fun!


One. First and Last: A book/series you’ve read and enjoyed, but can’t bring yourself to read again.

Ghettoside by Jill Leovy. It’s a really good book, but I don’t think I’ll ever read it again. Some of the visual images I got will haunt me forever.


Two. With a friend of my friend: A book/series someone recommended to you that turned out to be different from what you had expected

The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. Many of you know my feelings about Allegiant, so we’ll leave it at that. I don’t have the books in my collection anymore. I was so disappointed. I haven’t picked up any of Roth’s other books since.


Three. Double date: A book whose sequel you immediately had to read

The Hunger Games! I didn’t have the sequel after finishing it, so I immediately went out and bought both Catching Fire and Mockingjay.


Four. Let’s go to the movies: A book/series that should be adapted to the screen.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware.


Five. Dreamy stargazing: A book that made you go ahhhh and ohhhh

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.


Six. Fun at the fair: A book full of colours

Mosquitoland by David Arnold.


Seven. Amusement park adventure: A book that was a roller coaster

Smashed by Koren Zalickas.


Eight. Picnic with cherries: A book whose food descriptions made you feel all *heart eyes*

I agree with Jenna, the descriptions in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban always make my mouth water.


Nine. Trip to the museum: A book that taught you valuable stuff

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.


Tag – You’re It!

Kristian – Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table

Destiny – Howling Libraries


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #194: My Favorite Things of 2019

Image Credit: Quote Master

So, before starting the lists of favorites, here’s my tally for books and Book Reviews for 2019:

Ratings Tally

  • 5 stars: 4
  • 4 1/2 stars: 5
  • 4 stars: 5
  • 3 1/2 stars: 2
  • 3 stars: 0
  • 2 1/2 stars: 0
  • 2 stars: 0
  • 1 1/2 stars: 0
  • 1 star: 0

ARC Reviews – Zero this year. Here’s to more in 2020.


Now, on to my favorites!

Favorite Books

Favorite Movies

  • Avengers: Endgame
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • A Girl Like Her
  • Blinded by the Light
  • Captain Marvel
  • Dolemite Is My Name
  • Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
  • Frozen II
  • Long Shot
  • Midway
  • Shazam!
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • The Devil We Know
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Favorite TV Shows

  • The Act (Hulu)
  • Cold Case (Netflix)
  • Emergence (Hulu)
  • Flint Town (Netflix)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – Seasons 2 – 6 (Hulu)
  • Mindhunter (Netflix)
  • Stranger Things – Seasons 1, 2, and 3 (Netflix)
  • Sesame Street 50th Anniversary Special (PBS)
  • The Orville – Seasons 1 and 2 (Hulu)
  • The Passage – Season 1 (Hulu)

Favorite Podcasts

  • Aftermath
  • American Girls
  • Bag Man
  • Cold
  • Dateline NBC
  • Forensic Files
  • Not Guilty
  • The City
  • The Dream
  • The Thing About Pam
  • Today in True Crime
  • Visitations

Well, that wraps up my favorite things for 2019!

What about you? What were some of your favorite things of the year?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #208: Romantic Movies (Day 8)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Dirty Dancing.jpg

Oh my word. This movie!

Much like Footloose, I memorized much of the soundtrack before seeing the movie in full.

I didn’t see the movie in full until I was well into college. Now it’s one of my favorite movies, and definitely a guilty pleasure.

While at Longwood, I had the great opportunity to attend the annual S.E.A.L. Leadership Conference twice, once as an attendee, and another time as a workshop presenter. The cool thing? The conference was held at Mountain Lake, near Pembroke, Virginia, where portions of the movie were filmed! They have Dirty Dancing Themed Weekends, and I’d love to do that someday.

When I joined the Longwood chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau, we participated in a fun event called “Greek Sync,” where many of the fraternities and sororities would select a group of members, and the groups would choreograph and perform a routine to that year’s theme. During my first semester as a sister in 2009, we used part of “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” as our opening number of our performance, where Erica and Kirk, one of the sorority sister-fraternity brother couples, performed part of the dance that was in the movie. Ironically, when we were first starting rehearsals and decided to have this part in our performance, we were watching the movie so Erica could learn the dance moves. We found out that night Patrick Swayze died! We all cried our eyes out. None of us could watch the movie again for at least a week!

Back to the movie!

Patrick Swayze sets my heart on fire. May he Rest in Peace!

Jennifer Grey truly comes of age in this movie! I’m always jealous of their dancing skills!

It’s a good story, of course. And I love the scenery!

I shameless sing along to every song in this movie, especially “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.”

I want to watch this movie again, right now!


Come back tomorrow for a new movie!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #152: My Favorite Things of 2018

Favorite Things - Quote Master

Image Credit: Quote Master

I’ve seen several blog posts like this pop up in the last week or so. I wanted to do my own!

Also, I wanted to capture how many books I actually read in 2018. Several blog posts mentioned this, and I wanted to tally mine. One young lady read 110 books this year. That’s incredible!

So, before starting the lists of favorites, here’s my tally for books and Book Reviews for 2018:

Ratings Tally

  • 5 stars: 2
  • 4 1/2 stars: 8
  • 4 stars: 5
  • 3 1/2 stars: 1
  • 3 stars: 1
  • 2 1/2 stars: 0
  • 2 stars: 0
  • 1 1/2 stars: 0
  • 1 star: 0

ARC Reviews (First year ever!)

I really enjoyed reading these two books. I hope to read more ARCs in 2019!


Now, on to my favorites!

Favorite Books

Favorite Movies

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Aquaman
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • Blockers
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Christopher Robin
  • First Man
  • Game Night
  • Incredibles 2
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout 
  • Ready Player One
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Favorite TV Shows

Favorite Podcasts

  • Assassinations (Parcast)
  • Conspiracy Theories (Parcast)
  • Female Criminals (Parcast)
  • Hostage (Parcast)
  • Kingpins (Parcast)
  • Small Town Dicks
  • The Adventure Zone – “Amnesty” (Maximum Fun)

Well, that wraps up my favorite things for 2018!

What about you? What were some of your favorite things of the year?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂