Final Farewell

This is my final post for First Time for Everything, and I must say it has been a fun experience overall. I’ve learned alot about the world and myself. One day, I would love to write about more large-scale experiences I have.  I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog this semester as much as I have had writing it. And if anything, I hope I have somehow inspired you to challenge yourself to try something new. Thanks for reading 🙂

Some of my personal highlights: My first professional massage, going to my first stand-up comedy show, joining Twitter, and learning about fine cuisine. Check them out!!

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 6:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s Been a Work In Progress

All semester long I’ve been compiling a list of things I want to experience in life. My blog has opened my eyes to all the excitement there is out there. As I read over my list so far, I saw I had “Go and bet at a horse race”. Well, why wait? I decided this past week to make one of my life goals happen now: I attended the AC Horse Races.

I had always seen horse races on TV where women wear big fancy hats to the Kentucky Derby and men place high bets. Each year, the horse races come to the Atlantic City Racetrack at the end of April, and many locals attend with their families. The idea of placing small bets on horses with crazy names always sounded like so much fun to me. Even though I had heard so much about them, I had never

What did I think? I loved it. Post time was at 3:30 PM, so my friend Ben and I arrived at 3 to buy a game book and look over which horses were racing first. There were all kinds of statistics on each horse, their trainer, and their racing records. To a beginner like me, it was confusing so I had to ask a couple of the older men there for their strategies. They said to look over what kind of race it was (turf, distance, etc..) From there, they said look at how well each horse had done in prior races. Alot of the horses at these local race tracks are not very experienced, so picking a horse to win, place, or show is based on luck. My final strategy? Choose the one with the best name. horse-0661For Race 1, I chose “Lady Fendi” to Win, meaning she had to win out of all 12 horses in order for me to get my money. I put down $2 and waited to see what happened. Well, Lady Fendi didn’t even win, place, or show (meaning come in first, second, or third) so I lost my money. That seemed to be the theme for the rest of the day for me. Three bucks gone here, two bucks lost there… But I had a really fun time. It was interesting to watch how people bet differently and how the horses are trained, maintained, and showcased by their owners.

Many people have “bucket lists” of goals they want to achieve and experiences they want to have in their lifetime. This list I’ve created is no where near done, but it’s a start:

  • Go on a Eurotrip
  • Swim with a dolphin
  • Attend the Superbowl
  • Go on a cruise
  • Be an audience member on a popular TV show
  • Go whitewater rafting
  • Run a marathon
  • Be happily married and have children
  • Get my fortune told
  • Research my family tree
  • Ride a horse
  • Milk a cow
  • Attend the Kentucky Derby
  • Write a song
  • Design my dream home
  • Meet someone famous
  • Learn how to ballroom dance
  • Try all ethnic foods
  • Write a book
  • Own a dog
  • Meet a hero of mine
  • Go paintballing
  • Bake a fancy cake– from scratch!
  • Go wine tasting
  • Learn how to play the piano
  • Be an extra in a movie
  • Grow a plant (and keep it alive)
  • Volunteer work for an organization I’m passionate about
  • Go golfing
  • Go snow tubing
  • Take photography classes
  • Take pottery classes
  • Actually fast a full 24 hours for Yom Kippur
  • Adopt a pet
  • Visit my past homes
  • Create scrapbooks for all my old pictures
  • Find my religion
  • Rewatch all my favorite childhood TV shows on a rainy day
  • Go scuba diving
  • Get lost, willingly

To be continued…

One thing I’ve learned with trying new things is that with one experience comes the desire for another. Since the horse races were great, I altered my list and added “Attend the Kentucky Derby”. If I’ve learned anything this semester, it is that life is a journey. I’m excited to see where that journey takes me!

Published in: on May 5, 2009 at 2:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Girls Can Do It

Sometimes new tasks come to you when you’re not even looking. I definitely was not trying to fix a flat tire, but the situation presented itself. My boyfriend and I were driving when I hit the curb (not anything new for me, oops). The car seemed to be driving okay for the first few miles, and then we heard a POP! On 322, we stepped out and looked at the bubble that had formed on my front right tire.

In a state of panic, I realized I did not have AAA emergency road service or even money for a towing company. My boyfriend laughed at me and said, “You are such a girl. You can put a doughnut on it. This is not a problem, Shay.” No problem to him, right? I had no clue how to change a tire. Yet he showed me step by step. (more…)

Published in: on April 24, 2009 at 10:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Interested In You!

I’m really curious to see if this blog has affected anyone else like it has affected me. Fill out this survey and let me know!

Published in: on April 24, 2009 at 9:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Map for First Time for Everything

I created a map as an interactive experience for my audience (so they could actually look up the addresses of some of the places I have been so far this semester for this blog specifically). From Philadelphia to Atlantic City to right next door at Rowan University, this map is a more extensive look at what I’ve accomplished so far. Check it out for yourself and maybe jot down some addresses so you can try out these things too!

Published in: on April 15, 2009 at 11:38 pm  Leave a Comment  


My Online Journalism course this semester has been a whole new experience in itself. I’ve not only created and monitored this blog, but I’ve learned how to use programs like Garageband, iMovie, Google Maps, Dipity, Twitter, etc. I’ve really been informed about the wide world of the internet and all there is to do! It seems like the possibilities are endless.

My next assignment for class is to create something “interactive” for my audience to engage themselves in. I’ve decided to create a Google Map of all the places I’ve been this semester. Stay tuned 🙂

Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 7:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Try Living Without Something

Until now, this blog has been about trying new things and sharing those adventures. But even more of a challenge I found out is trying to live without something.

About two years ago, I switched from regular soda to diet soda. No calories, no sugar, no carbohydrates… Perfect, right? Sure, diet soda tastes a little funny, but to me it was worth it to shed off the pounds. no_diet_coke2Recently though, I’ve been reading about how dangerous diet soda can be. Apparently, the artificial sweeteners in it convince the body to consume more calories and therefore gain more weight. By offering the body something sweet, our taste buds desire glucose sugars. This sends cravings way up so we unknowingly give in and eat more than we normally would. In addition, the caffeine makes you jitter, you’re not consuming any vitamins, and aspartame (one of the key ingredients in diet soda) is linked to many defects and diseases.

So for two weeks now- and counting- I have given up diet soda. This has been an extreme challenge, especially when 2 o’clock hits and I shake for a midday energy boost. The first few days without diet soda, I kept getting headaches. As I drank more water and juices though, I began to balance out. By day four, I was doing fine. Juices have minerals and vitamins that are good for the body, and water keeps us hydrated and detoxifies our system. It’s a win/win.

Getting informed on health issues is important and sometimes a real shocker! I am so happy I’ve decided to give up diet soda, and I suggest everyone else try as well. It’s funny though how trying to live without something is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to try.

(Photo Provided by
Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Art of Food

Recently, I got a new job at in an Atlantic City gourmet restaurant. The training process is intense and highly confidential (which is why I can’t disclose the exact name of the restaurant). People often vary on what they think “Fine Dining”  is. Based on my experience so far, I can say it is much different than the chain restaurants I’ve worked for in the past. Sure, I was taught how to serve food and deal with customers. But I was never required to become an expert on the product I am selling.

My new serving job entails a complex training process where I must learn every ingredient to all the menu items. I studied all the salads and fried foods for a written test today. If I pass this exam, I move on to the grilled section. It isn’t just “Oh, this salad has tomatoes, red onions, and a vinaigrette dressing”. Instead, it’s detailed and specific. Julienne tomatoes, Greek-style herb-vinaigrette made with thyme, basil, and oregano, napa cabbage, haricot vert. It’s a whole new world.

I also have become aware of all the different food allergies. Every dish has about four or more  allergies so it is important to study what has dairy, shellfish, cilantro allergies, etc. Also, cooking styles are way more than grilling a chicken breast. I’ve learned that braising is the cooking method of browning food in fat at a low heat for a long period of time in order to tenderize the food and develop flavor as their fibers are broken down. And this is just one of the 22 cooking techniques I am required to explain to the customers!

I have a new respect for fine dining facilities. It is much more complex and takes a great knowledge of food, customers, cultures, and creativity to create the dishes served at my restaurant. You may not want to study food, but my suggestion to everyone is take a real hard look at the menu the next time you go out. It is very interesting to think about every little ingredient and method that goes in to creating your food!

Published in: on April 10, 2009 at 11:39 am  Comments (2)  


As I walked into my local gym the other night, I thought “I’ve taken other workout classes before. I can handle Zumba“. After interviewing a specialized Zumba instructor and doing research online, I prepared myself mentally. The question now: Was I ready physically though?

The room was filled with women from ages 17 to about 60. There was one man who stayed towards the back, overwhelmed by all the estrogen surrounding him I’m sure! I was the only beginner so I positioned myself towards the rear corner of the room. Class started with everyone doing synchronized stretches to salsa music. The cool thing about the class to me is the music. It had over ten styles of musics, from Latin to Hip Hop, so there is definitely something for everyone! The moves picked up as the beat did. The exercise format is like learning a dance, bopping and shaking and shimmying all over. The room begins to feel like a highly-energized dance studio rather than an average gym fitness center. It’s not like a step-and-sculpt class where you use mats and steps. It’s just you, dancing and burning off 500+ calories while probably looking like a complete uncoordinated idiot. But the cool thing with Zumba seems to be- Nobody cares! Everyone in a way embraces that no one besides the instructor can dance, so inhibitions are left at the door. The hour class flew by as everyone laughed and pulled out their craziest dance moves. One thing I found interesting is lot of the girls said they have taken some of the moves learned in class to clubs with friends or weddings with family members.

Who ever knew working out could be so much fun? I’ve caught the Zumba craze. I recommend everyone try it, and I bet they will love it too…

Published in: on April 8, 2009 at 10:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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2DO Before I Die

I am in the process of making a list of goals and experiences I want to accomplish in my lifetime. As I walked around Border’s looking for a book for another subject, I ran across 2Do Before I Die: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to the Rest of your Life. On the cover were small pictures with captions like “Plant a Tree” or “Meditate in a Himalayan Cave”. I knew right away I needed to buy it.

2DO Before I Die features personal accounts of experiences people have had when they made it a mission to make a list of things to do in their lifetime. The book helps inspire people to find what THEY want to do in life. It’s broken down in themed chapters. For example, “Roots” deals with perhaps “Meeting a Childhood Hero” or there’s “Challenge” which suggests “Take up Karate”. The levels of the ideas all vary and anyone can find something that they’ve wanted to try.

Another very cool thing is they have a 2DO Before I Die official website that has it’s own blog. Different contributors offer insight daily on what others can try. There is also a section of life lists that the public has started, and people are constantly posting new ideas.

I strongly recommend that everyone gets a copy of the book. It’s an easy read, very creative, and a wonderful inspiration for my very own life list that’s currently in progress!

Published in: on April 3, 2009 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment