PINK for the Cure – Breast Cancer Awareness

For the past several years, my best friend’s mother, Sherry, has been living one of her passion’s through breast cancer awareness during the month of October. Sherry is a breast cancer survivor herself and has family members that have battled with the cancer also.

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She has inspired an entire town, among hundreds and hundreds of others to spread awareness of breast cancer by coordinating efforts throughout the month of October in our hometown of DeWitt. A few years ago, it started as awareness through a “wear pink for the cure” day at the local hospital. I believe it was mostly employees at that time. Nonetheless, it was pretty incredible to see people raising awareness of breast cancer and the importance of prevention and early detection.

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(Pictures: Over the summer, Sherry coordinated a car being entered in the Clinton County Fair Demolition Derby to raise awarness. People were able to sign the car in memory of loved ones and survivors of breast cancer).

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Since that first year, Sherry has expanded her efforts and the results have been phenomenal. Last year, the entire town of DeWitt was painted in PINK! The Quad Cities news station KWQC did a segment on Sherry’s efforts of breast cancer awareness in the town. Local businesses in DeWitt were invited to participate in a contest and be creative in their efforts to raise awareness.

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My sister, Charley, actually won the contest with her students at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in DeWitt by forming a pink breast cancer awareness “human ribbon” (see picture). There were so many businesses that participated that the entire town of DeWitt was covered in PINK. It was very moving to see the efforts of such a dedicated woman being put in affect.

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(Local businesses in DeWitt participating in the contest to raise awareness for breast cancer).

I am comfortable in saying that anyone that knows Sherry feels honored and privileged to be touched by her efforts and passion for raising awareness for breast cancer. She has been such an inspiration to so many people, and you can feel her passion through her kind messages and thoughtful words. Thanks for being such as inspiration, Sherry! We all love you!

Photography Passion

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One of my best friend’s, Alycia, has decided to follow her passion of photography. At first photography just started off as a hobby for her but has more recently turned into a business venture for her.

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Alycia has done a phenomenal job capturing great photographs and memories of her clients, which happen to include myself and some of my dear family and friends. Some of those people have graciously allowed me to share those pictures with my blog followers.

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Check out the amazing talent of miss Alycia! If you would like me to put you in contact with Alycia to take care of your photography needs, please let me know! I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

Flowers on the Side

Earlier this month, my sister, Kasey, took ownership of an existing flower shop known as Flowers on the Side in our hometown of DeWitt. Talk about a new passion developing at a very rapid pace! I am not sure that it was ever in her plans to own a flower shop, but the great opportunity presented itself, and I must say it is the perfect fit for her! Kasey has been in the customer service line of work for almost her entire life, and she is great at working with people and putting the customer first. I have been overly impressed with her transition as the owner and from reviews of other customers, it sounds as if the patronage of Flowers on the Side are also pleased. I have seen some pictures of beautiful arrangements coming from the shop!

Help support Kasey’s new passion by “liking” the Flowers on the Side Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/flowersontheside01

You can join the Flowers on the Side VIP text club by texting “V263” to “36000”.

You will receive $10 off your first purchase of $25 or more. Great deal!

Did you know that Saturday, October 19th is the “Sweetest Day”?!?! To celebrate the day, Flowers on the Side is offering a dozen red roses in a vase for $39.99. Also any fresh arrangement that is purchased between now and the 19th Flowers On The Side will donate $3.00 to Breast Cancer Research (minimum $20.00 arrangement). Send your loved ones and survivors some flowers to show you care!! You can follow the link to the Facebook page for more information and to access the contact information for the shop 🙂

Best of luck to Kasey in her new endeavor as owner of the Flowers on the Side!!

 

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

As part of being passionate in life, many of us will take on special causes. Since it is the month of October, which happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness month, I would like to highlight a special cause. My co-worker, Autumn, is fundraising for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer that will take place in Chicago in May 2014. She will be walking 40 miles in two days to raise money to support breast cancer research to find a cure and aid in prevention. Autumn is walking in honor of a dear friend of hers that has battled breast cancer. Talk about living with passion and supporting a cause!

Autumn also runs her an online business selling crocheted items for children, as well as adults. As part of her fundraising efforts she will be taking custom orders until Christmas and all of the proceeds will go towards the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. If you are interested in having an items custom made for the holidays, let me know and I can put you in contact with her! She has made some fantastic custom items for me, and I highly recommend her services to anyone :). I have attached a picture of a chevron blanket she made for me to give as a gift to give you an idea of the great quality that she produces in her product.

If you would like to help Autumn in her fundraising efforts to participate in the walk and support a great cause, please visit her website:

http://info.avonfoundation.org/goto/Aingels

Here is a little more information about the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer:

http://www.avonwalk.org/about/about-the-walk.html

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Inspire a Shared Vision

I am currently participating in a Leadership Academy through work. As part of the academy, we are assigned to read the book The Leadership Challenge. The book outlines five practices of exemplary leadership, which includes inspiring a shared vision. One of the concepts underlying inspiring a shared vision is to feel your passion. How fitting is that for the theme of my blog?!?! In order to inspire a shared vision a tool that can be used is visual aids. As part of growing and inspiring a shared vision, it is important to identify your values. I thought a good way of doing that would be to make an inspiration board. Ironically, as a I was looking for words that express my values in magazines to complete my inspiration board, I came across a sheet already inscribed with the words “live your passion”. I was inspired and knew that I would be using that sheet as the backdrop to my inspiration board. How perfect?!?! Check out my inspiration board in the picture and enjoy!! AND…remember to LIVE LIFE WITH PASSION!!

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“Crafty”

Another life passion of mine at this point is crafting. While I do not claim to be the most “crafty” person on the planet, it is definitely something that I enjoy. I blame it on Pinterest!! There are just so many fun and cute ideas, darn it!! Pin after pin after pin after pin of cute ideas, I tell you! Anywho… I do attempt such projects. Usually with the assistance of my hand-dandy co-worker aka work wife, Autumn. Some projects turn out better than others. Most of my projects, I try to do at low cost. What can I say? I am frugal. Remember my previous post on budgeting. This has made me more conscious of spending too! Over time I will post some of my favorite past projects, and as I make new ones in the future, I will post them. I am sure some will be more impressive to you than others. Stay tuned! 🙂

Living Debt Free – Dave Ramsey and The Total Money Makeover

Another one my life passion’s that developed shortly after Sean and I got married is living responsibly financially. This all started on our trip home from our honeymoon. I had borrowed my sister’s Kindle, and I had just finished reading the book Water for Elephants. Since we were on our way home, I did not want to start a book that I could not finish. I stumbled upon the book The Total Money Makeover, and my thought was, I will browse through this book because I do not care if I am not able to finish it. Ironically, I was not able to finish the book, but instead of the mentality that it was a book that I would not mind finishing, it was the complete opposite. I immediately went to our library and checked the book out to finish reading it. Then I persuaded my husband, Sean, to read the book. While the concepts of The Total Money Makeover are so simple, somehow reading the book and the way that Dave Ramsey outlines the concepts was revolutionary for us. I mean it when I say that reading the book The Total Money Makeover was life changing. When we got back from our honeymoon we decided to test out the concepts for the rest of the month of January by doing a loose budget, then we officially began budgeting and using the Dave Ramsey envelope system in February of 2012. When we began our journey to become debt free our debt snowball (or total amount of debt) was over $70,000. Our debt consisted of student loans and car loans only. As of now, we are on target to be able to yell “we’re debt free” in November 2013.

Sean and I are so pleased with our choice to follow the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover plan and to live debt free and be financially responsible. It has been extremely rewarding and has strengthened our relationship. Statistics show that disagreement over money is one of the leading causes of marital problems and divorce. This makes us feel optimistic that we chose to take charge of what we do with our money and open the communication when discussing money matters so early on in our marriage. We are both “nerds” when it comes to budgeting and actually look forward to planning our budgets each month and being on the same page when it comes to “telling our money where to go”. The future looks so bright from this view!!