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#27 Buy a Condo/House

19 Jan

Yeah, that’s right…I think this officially makes me a grown-up. On March 23, 2017, we bought a house!

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Now, when I first put this on the list I figured I’d be buying a house in LA on my own, hence the “condo/” addition. But, like I said, I’ve been working on #39, so now I have a partner in all these important life moments.

When we made the big move from Santa Monica to San Francisco in March 2015, we looked to rent an apartment/condo similarly sized to our place in LA. We had an amazing thing going in Santa Monica – 3 bedroom, 2 bath, walking distance to the beach – so we knew it wouldn’t be quite the same, but we had no idea what we were in for up in the Bay Area. We ended up finding a 2 bedroom, 1 bath in the outskirts of the city for 150% what we were paying in LA.

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We were optimistic and we were still walking/riding distance to the beach, but we had to trade in our bathing suits for sweatshirts. We quickly came to learn though that the city wasn’t the place for us. The weather was just such a downer.

In spring 2016, we came to the realization that for the amount we were paying to rent a condo in the city, we could buy a house in the East Bay. So in July we started casually looking. We weren’t really ready to buy, but we wanted to see what was out there and what we could realistically afford.

We looked at houses in “up-and-coming” areas of Oakland, but it didn’t exactly feel safe and some of the spaces were…creative.

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We looked at a “fixer-upper” in Piedmont and after that decided to add walls and floors to our checklist.

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We worked our way further and further from San Francisco and finally stumbled on a cute city called Concord. Concord is up-and-coming in a much less scary way than Oakland. It’s older and some houses could use some work, but you don’t need to get a concealed carry permit to walk alone at night. 😉

We kept casually looking for a couple of months and then had one lucky weekend where we found not one, but two houses we loved! That was a Saturday. By Tuesday we had a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, we were pre-approved for a loan and we put in an offer. Everything happened SO fast!

After a little bit of negotiation (while I was in NY for work) and beating out 11 other offers, we got the place! It was the most exhilarating and, at the same time, scary experience of my life. But now we’re proud homeowners and, added bonus, turns out Mychael is quite the handy-man. 😃

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We’re almost ready to have people over, so get ready for the housewarming/1-year anniversary party, coming soon!

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#39 Find my Soul Mate, Fall in Love and Get Married–Part 1

16 Jan

Well obviously I can’t completely check this one off the list yet, but I’ve made a ton of progress. This is actually a really lofty, three-part goal, of which I’m two thirds of the way done, so I figured it was worth a shout out. As probably the most important item on the list (or perhaps tied with #40, but I’ll let you know about that when I get there), needless to say it has taken a lot of time. This is perhaps the reason I took a four-year hiatus from this whole blogging thing.

You may remember the cute trainer that was introduced while I was checking #4 off the list (run a 10K). Well, I bought a Groupon for bootcamp classes, set out to get in shape and run a fun little race, but ended up joining a triathlon team, finding my soul mate and switching some things up that would completely change the trajectory of my life.

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(Best triathlon coach award…yeah, I ordered that trophy)

Mind you, I didn’t know how to swim and only owned a beach cruiser, but that didn’t stop me. Workout all the time? Sure, trainer Mychael. Join a triathlon team and nearly drown on the first day of swim practice? No biggie, Mychael. Dedicate all my free time to a sport I’d never really heard of before? Whatever you say, Mychael. Love is weird like that…it makes you do crazy things and at the time they make total sense.

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I knew instantly that he was the one. My roommate at the time, Beatrice Guapo, can attest to that. We watched a video of Mychael online the day before my first bootcamp class and I told her I was going to date him (I obviously couldn’t have done this blog post back then…crazy girl alert!!).

Now on his end, it wasn’t so quick. It took a long, painful year for me to wear him down and convince him it was ok to date a client. That people wouldn’t think he was a sleazy trainer because well, everyone already thought we were dating anyway!

Separate from the love element though, meeting Mychael really was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I started really enjoying working out and built a strong professional interest in sports and fitness that has shaped both my career and personal life.

Fast forward five years and here we are. I’m happier than I ever dreamed I could be. It’s something that’s incredibly difficult to put into words, but Mychael makes every day a little bit better. He’s the only one that can make me smile in any situation…and he does.

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I’ve always aspired to have a relationship like my parents…married over 40 years and still madly in love…grab a quick kiss in the kitchen sort of love (something I thought was so gross when I was a kid). My mom always told me that their love grew over the years and I shouldn’t expect to be that close to someone right away. Well, after a year as Mychael’s client and best friend, 5 years as his girlfriend and a few months as his fiancĂ©, I have a good idea what she was talking about. I can’t wait to become Mrs. Shannon.

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To be continued…

BONUS–Flying Trapeze Training

15 Jan

This one is a little old, but still worthy of a post. On October 11, 2013, my good friends Beatrice Guapo, Sarah Arvizo and I decided to take a flying trapeze class. I’m not at all afraid of heights, but when you get up there on the platform and have to actively jump off, I’m not sure how anyone would be completely fearless.
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It’s a short lesson with very little instruction and then you’re strapped in and ready to go. You climb up the rickety ladder and up onto a platform. The worker pulls over the trapeze and then 1-2-3, you jump. It’s that easy.

We got to do it several times and on our final turn we completed a complex move where you hang upside-down, let go and grab onto another person’s hands on the other trapeze. It’s a little difficult to explain, so check me out in this video.

Not necessarily something I ever thought I would do, but we had so much fun and I was so proud of myself for sticking that last run. Circus Circus here I come!

BONUS–Ring the Bell at the NYSE

15 Jan

As I get older (and wiser), I’ve realized that this list is ever-changing. Things that used to be really important to me are no longer even a consideration and amazing new opportunities keep coming my way. Because of that, I’ve decided to add some bonus posts to highlight the cool things I’ve been up to that weren’t even a consideration when I started this blog 6 years ago.

On April 20, 2015, I started working at Fitbit managing all of the celeb/athlete relationships and consumer events…dream job! This also marked a career shift for me from public relations to marketing, which I couldn’t be happier about. It was a whirlwind start and things haven’t really slowed down since.

On June 18, 2015, just short of 2 months after my start date, Fitbit went public. Having previously only worked at agencies, I had never been through this before and honestly, I didn’t even understand what it all meant at the time.

Our CMO asked me to oversee our consumer activation, which would be a huge workout on Wall St. in front of the NYSE. No big deal, just meet everyone at Fitbit and build something really awesome for the most important day in our company’s history….no pressure.

With the help of the incredible marketing team at Fitbit, we put together a kick-ass event that was a huge success. We had 100 people working out with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak and actress Jordana Brewster in the middle of the day on Wall Street (and we had to turn more people away due to space restrictions). We gave out 5,000 Fitbit teal t-shirts and even nearly caused a riot with so many people trying to get their hands on one.

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The success of the day and the energy from everyone at the company was a huge rush and a great way to start off my time at Fitbit. The even more incredible thing though came earlier that day when a few members of the marketing team had a chance to go up on the platform and ring the bell.

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It was such an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience and I was so proud and honored to be a part of it. It was a moment and a day that I’ll never forget.

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I’m Baaack

15 Jan

Well, it’s been a while. Several years to be more specific. I’ve been working on a lot of things – been putting in a lot of effort on #39, but more on that to come – and even checked some items off the list. So here goes. I’m back and ready to make a dent in this list!IMG_3703

#8 Keep a Plant Alive for Three Months

4 Aug

After a bit of a hiatus, I’m happy to report that I’m back to blogging! I haven’t been completely slacking…I’ve been working on a couple of these more long-term goals, but nothing to cross of the list just yet (stay tuned). In the meantime though I’m going to give one of the most difficult things on here a try – keep a plant alive for 3 months (insert scary theme music here).

I’ve never had much of a green thumb, which is not entirely my fault as I’m pretty sure this is hereditary (I’m looking at you, mom :-)), so this one is going to be tough.

After an impromptu trip to The Home Depot yesterday (yes, my life is very exciting)…

 

I am the proud owner of a Fuchsia plant.

Fuchsia PlantIt has really pretty hot pink and purple flowers that hang down off the branches. There are a bunch of unopened pods, so hopefully soon I’ll have some really beautiful photos to share.

Wish me luck!

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#19 Go to the Magic Castle

31 Dec

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Ever since I heard of the Magic Castle I wanted to go check it out. Yes, I’m intrigued by magic, but I also just hate that there’s an exclusive place I’m not allowed to go.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Magic Castle, it is the private clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts. Beginning with a charter membership of 150, it now boasts approximately 5,000 members. And not just anyone can go. You have to be specifically invited by one of the members to be allowed in.

Built as a private home in 1909, when the owner moved out, the mansion was divided into a multi-family home, then became a home for the elderly, and was finally transformed into a maze of small apartments. In September of 1961, Milt Larsen began renovations to turn the building into an elegant private club for magicians and on January 2, 1963, the Magic Castle opened its doors.

Back to the story…Somehow I got subscribed to the email list for a club called Things to Do LA and one day when going through the clutter in my inbox I came across an email from them that had “Magic Castle” in the subject line. I opened it up to find that the group was planning a trip to the illustrious club that would include a private show followed by the opportunity to roam the halls of the castle and take in other shows. I immediately bought two tickets (for me and new boyfriend Mychael).

As the day drew closer and the anticipation was building, I started to get really excited for what this evening of magic and mystery might hold. And when the night finally came, I could hardly wait. The dress code was fancy, including a dress or nice pants suit for ladies (sexy!) and a coat/tie for men (Mychael, being a t-shirt and shorts kind of guy, wasn’t too excited about that part). After changing in the office bathroom, Mychael picked me up and we were on our way to Hollywood.

After navigating through the craziness of rush hour Hollywood traffic and quickly grabbing a bite to eat, we pulled up to the Castle. Interestingly, it is located right behind the Hollywood & Highland complex. Who would have thought that right behind the cheesiness of Hollywood Blvd. there would be this cool building?

We turned over our car to the valet, were inspected by the doorman and let into the building. (They really weren’t joking about the dress code. A guy in front of us didn’t have a coat and they made him rent one for the evening.)

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Upon checking in with the hostess we were told to whisper “open sesame” to a little owl statue on the bookcase next to us and in a scene straight out of a Sherlock Holmes movie, the bookcase opened and a waiting area/bar was revealed!

We grabbed a drink and went to the private show. It was a pretty small group so it was cool to see all the tricks up close. From there we set out on our own to check out the other shows. At any given time, there are at least four different performances going on. We saw a few on smaller stages and the big show on the main stage. Personally, I really liked the smaller ones. They were a little less cheesy and I liked seeing everything up close. For some reason in nearly every show we went to they used Mychael to pick a card or somehow be involved. Must be that adorable smile. 🙂

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We took in three performances and were just looking around on our way out the door when a random guy asked if we wanted to watch one more. He told us to sit at a table and we were joined by about 10 other people. This was by far the coolest part of the night. This magician practiced his tricks in an intimate performance just for us. And somehow I STILL couldn’t figure out any of his tricks!

I guess that’s part of the appeal of the club…world-famous magicians are walking the hallways taking in shows and looking for opportunities to practice their craft.

It was the perfect ending to a really cool night. And the most exciting news of all…since we purchased a photo, we got a pass to return with 8 of our friends! We’ll definitely be going back. And I’ll figure out some of their tricks!

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