Inspiration, Humor and Love: Melanie Shankle!

Melanie Shankle was in fourth grade when her teacher asked her to read a story she had written...

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Summertime is here and we hope you are doing all the right things to protect your skin and that of...

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Inspiration, Humor and Love: Meet Melanie Shankle!

It may be only July, but we are already counting down the days until Oct. 1 - the night of Care Begins With Me 2015! This year's event promises to be just as fun, inspiring and memorable as years past. This year we are especially thrilled to welcome our guest speaker, Melanie Shankle, inspiring author of the current bestseller about women and friendship, Nobody's Cuter Than You.

If you are not familiar with Melanie, run - don't walk! - over to her blog Then, pick up one - or three! - of her insightful and hilarious books. And then read Melanie's story below, provided by her publisher Tyndale House. Finally - register for your tickets to Care Begins With Me before Aug. 15 so that you are guaranteed priority seating to see Melanie speak in person!

Melanie Shankle was in fourth grade when her teacher asked her to read a story she had written to the entire class. Even though that story now seems a little silly and simplistic, it made the students in Mrs. Rice's homeroom laugh out loud, and a little dream began in Melanie's heart - a dream to use words to make people laugh.

Over the ensuing years, Melanie wrote when she had a chance and tucked things away in notebooks and journals, rarely showing any of it to anyone. But in July 2005, on a total whim and in desperate need of a creative outlet, she began writing a blog called Big Mama. No one was more shocked than Melanie when someone other than her dad and her college roommate began to read it.

Since that time Melanie has seen her blog readership grow beyond her wildest dreams and open the doors to writing and speaking opportunities she never could have imagined. It's proof that God wasn't playing around when he inspired Paul to write Ephesians 3:20. It is "immeasurably more" than she could have asked or imagined.

In addition to her blog, Melanie writes a quarterly column for the popular online magazine Praise and Coffee, is a regular contributor to the Pioneer Woman's blog, and serves as co-administrator and writer for LifeWay Women's AllAccess blog. She also serves as emcee for LifeWay's annual DotMom event and participates in Compassion International's blogger initiative. Melanie has written three New York Times bestselling books: Sparkly Green Earrings, The Antelope in the Living Room and Nobody's Cuter than You.

A graduate of Texas A&M University and a former pharmaceutical rep, Melanie loves writing, shopping at Target, looking to see what's on sale at Anthropologie, and encouraging other moms in a humorous, yet relatable way at

Most all, she loves being the mother of Caroline and the wife of her husband Perry. The three of them live in San Antonio, Texas, with their dogs. She also believes she owes a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Rice for making her read that story out loud all those years ago.

Register today for Care Begins With Me to see Melanie in person this Oct. 1!

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Exercise Smart in the Heat

It's only July and the Sacramento region has already seen numerous triple digit temperature...

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Exercise Smart in the Heat

It's only July and the Sacramento region has already seen numerous triple digit temperature days. While the best way to handle this type of extreme heat is to stay indoors in air conditioned comfort, we hope that you are also still being active and getting some exercise. Obviously an air conditioned gym is a great option, but if your exercise takes you outdoors, here are some tips from the CDC to help you beat the heat.

  • Replace Salt and Minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
  • Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen: Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
  • Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body's thermostat will have a chance to recover.
  • Pace Yourself: If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
  • Use a Buddy System: When working or exercising in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.

If you're looking for outdoor exercise opportunities this summer, check out the free Saturday morning yoga sessions every Saturday at 9am at Palladio at Broadstone in Folsom. More information here.

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