Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Finds - There Isn't Enough Coffee...

It has been a long a$$ week and today is no exception with a sixteen hour work day. There isn't enough coffee in the world...

Monday, May 24, 2010

The 3 Day: Week Thirteen Progress Report

I've seen this on a few different blogs and thought I'd share it with all of you:

"If you still aren’t sure about making a donation, please remember that all walkers and crew members will be sleeping in 6x6 two person tents, taking showers in a semi-trailer, brushing our teeth at a sink outside the semi and there will be no electrical outlets for hair dryers and flat irons (Janine's edit: or in my case, my smart phone charger). We all have invested our own money purchasing the proper shoes (Janine's edit: that would be two pairs for training and another two pairs for the event), socks and other training gear necessary for the event and the training time alone takes away from our family time. This is a huge commitment for us and we take it seriously. Your financial support is greatly appreciated."

You can support my efforts and breast cancer research either by purchasing a piece from the Pink Warrior Chain Maille Collection (ALL Proceeds go to The 3 Day) on Etsy or Artfire or you can contribute directly to my fundraising on my Personal Page at The 3 Day website.

I spent a lot of time this week dedicated to doing the stretching and strengthening exercises that my physical therapist gave me. It actually does feel like my arches are getting stronger. I had my first session with the PT this week since my evaluation: I warmed up my feet on the stationary bike, did some stretching exercises, and then I was on the table & she worked on me. I hate to say that she massaged my feet because that sounds so luxurious, but even though she really was rearranging things in there it really did feel nice. My next homework assignment: continue doing my exercises and go for a one mile walk. One mile may not sound like much, but after what happened the last time I walked... She seemed to think that I would be pleasantly surprised at how it would go. She was right. I did my exercises and stretched for maybe about twenty minutes before heading out. I did experience some discomfort, but I wasn't crippled and crying when I got home!! As soon as I got home, I stretched again and iced my feet: I wasn't going to mess around. I spent the rest of the day lounging by the pool and swimming: that night, my feet felt fine. Since that walk went so well, I decided to go for another one over the weekend. Again, there was some discomfort but it was even less than before. Apparently, all of the work that I've done and that the physical therapist has done has started to make a difference!!! I'm just thrilled . I have another therapy session on Wednesday: I can't wait to tell her how it went!

It was a very, very quiet week on the fundraising front. Admittedly, I've been focusing the majority of my energy on healing my feet and my work schedule was pretty screwy this week. I was hoping to get some more Pink Warrior Chain Maille made, but sadly never got to it. I did, however, get all of my raffle goodies organized for shipment and made some cute little thank you cards. I'm hoping to finish packaging everything up this week and getting it all shipped out. It took a little longer to get organized that I had estimated.

Mileage to date on training walks: 44
Goal: $2,300
Achieved: $2,049 or 89%
Remaining: $251
Countdown: 159 days until the event!

If you're enjoying keeping track of my progress, please consider supporting me in my effort to eradicate breast cancer. No amount is too little or too much. Thank you!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Simple Joy Sunday

Finding the simple joys each week...

Athena's Armoury was included in a fantastic medieval Etsy Treasury.

This week's Herb Society meeting was bittersweet: it was a great meeting where we talked about tea making, but it's the last time we meet until the fall. I'll tell you more about the meeting in a separate post later this week.

Playing poolside. Enjoying the sun.

I spent a really great few hours yesterday among friends at a soap making workshop. I think figured out what I did wrong when I tried a few months ago, so I really want to try doing it again. I hung out with a few friends from the Herb Society and met a new one, too. The woman running the workshop even gave us a jar of mulberry jam that she made fresh from the fruit on her tree. When I left the meeting, I saw a produce stand by the side of the road so of course I had to stop. I picked up some amazingly fresh nectarines, lemons, strawberries, and watermelon.

In other news, there are so many expensive things that I want/need to do! I am in serious need of upgrading my coil cutting system, I would absolutely love to apprentice with Rosemary Gladstar (it's her herbal correspondence course that I'm taking), and I kind of need to get a new cell phone. Just curious: where does the $ come from? =(

As always, check out more Simple Joy Sundays over at Cool Zebras. What were some of your joys this week?

Hey Pink Warriors! Come get some armor. All proceeds to benefit my fundraising for The 3 Day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Finds - Herbalism Tools

I must admit, my brain has been on a bit of a hiatus lately in regard to my herbalism studies. But this past week, Scott came down with a case of laryngitis and then a cough with chest congestion so he had me busily preparing throat soothing teas, an herbal throat coat spray, and a cough syrup with an expectorant for the congestion. Here are some tools that you might find in an herbal apothecary...

Monday, May 17, 2010

The 3 Day: Week Twelve Progress Report

On Tuesday, I went to a Super Clinic. We heard from one woman who is a five year survivor: this year she's doing her 7th & 8th 3 Day walks. She partially credits her survival to Susan G. Komen: one of the treatments that she received was actually discovered thanks to grants from Komen. We also heard from another woman about some fundraising ideas. And last, the owner of the store gave us some insights to proper shoes & socks for the event. There's a lot I didn't know about shoes and I found it fascinating considering what I'm going through with my feet. If you're doing the walk and there's a clinic going on near you, I highly encourage you to check it out! You will gain so much insight from it, get properly fit for shoes, and be able to ask experienced walkers and professional shoe people questions.

I knew my official training start date was coming up, but I thought it was actually another couple of weeks away. Needless to say, imagine my shock when I realized that my training actually starts the week of the 17th... this current week. I had a bit of a freak out, to say the least.

At my last doctor appointment, he said that since I'm wearing the orthotic I don't need to get a $200 pair of shoes but that I also couldn't go super cheap either. I had tried on some fairly inexpensive Saucony's recently and liked them, but that store didn't have my size. For some bizarre reason, the pair that I ordered online didn't feel anything like the ones in the store. I was stumped. So, I figured it would probably be a good idea to try to get fit by professionals. Again. I did get fit at the clinic, but I was really hesitant to buy them simply because of everything I had been through with shoes and my feet to date. The girl told me to take them home and try them for a week and if they didn't work to just bring them back. Okay, so I tried them the next day and was in pain. I tried to bring them back and the store wouldn't let me return them. They only offer exchanges or store credit. The girl knew exactly what was going on with my feet and told me that I could return them and now I'm stuck with store credit that I can't use. Needless to say, I'm pissed. That's American Running Company in Dunedin, FL.

Getting back to that painful walk... I spent probably a good 15-20 minutes stretching before I even left and then when I did, I took it really slow. I was in pain somewhere around half a mile. I came home and cried. I was so upset and frustrated. Kristen over at Kristen Walks wrote a great blog post about the real goals of the 3 Day: to raise as much money as possible and to raise awareness. That helped put things into perspective for me: I am nearly at my fundraising minimum goal (and am hoping to surpass it!) and I have been out in the public and raising awareness every chance I get. Yeah, I'm frustrated that I got injured and I'm really disappointed that I may not be able to do the walk, but I have made a difference and I need to remember that.

In order to be proactive about my feet, I went to my physical therapy evaluation this week. Turns out that the therapist that I saw has done the walk three times already and said that she doesn't see any reason why I won't be able to do it. I nearly cried, I was so happy. She even invited me to join her team. She sent me home with some homework: stretching & strengthening exercises. When I go back this week, she said that she's going to work me and have me walking by the weekend. I have no doubt that this journey to recovery will be a challenge but I think that may be part of what the 3 Day experience is for me. This is a chance for me to step up and show my mettle.

On Friday, I announced the prize winners for my 3 Day handmade raffle. I just want to say again how grateful I am to all of my sponsors who contributed their time and talent (and promotion!) as well as to all of the donors who gave so generously to such a good cause!

I sold a scale maille piece from my Pink Warrior Chain Maille Collection (available on Etsy or Artfire; ALL proceeds to benefit Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure) before it was even listed online! I sold it to a co-worker. Another $25 to fight breast cancer! Woohoo!

I think I forgot to mention this last week, but I broke the $2,000 milestone in my fundraising!! I had hoped to be at 75% of my goal by the time training started so that I could focus on that, but I surpassed my hopes! I'm currently at 89% of my goal with only $251 left to raise!

Mileage to date on training walks: 42
Goal: $2,300
Achieved: $2,049 or 89%
Remaining: $251
Countdown: 166 days until the event!

If you're enjoying keeping track of my progress, please consider supporting me in my effort to eradicate breast cancer. No amount is too little or too much. Thank you!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Simple Joy Sunday

Finding the simple joys each week...

Despite being slightly perturbed that my truck didn't start this week, it turned into a simple joy when I saw the technician that AAA sent: it was a woman! Being the woman warrior that I am, I am always thrilled to see women working in fields that are dominated by men. She inspired this Woman Warrior blog post.

Scott and I have this thing: we love to go to the movies, but we hate dealing with the insane crowds on the weekends. We've started going on the Monday night after opening weekend instead. It's perfect: there's usually hardly anyone there! So, on Monday night after work we went out. I *found* a gift card on the street a few months back to Maggiano's (an Italian restaurant), so we went there for dinner: for free! Then, we hit the Imax theater in St. Pete to see Iron Man. I highly recommend it, it was a lot of fun (definitely check out the first one, too). It was so gorgeous out after the movie, that we stopped as the local beer garden for a drink. They had some great blues music playing, there was a warm, gentle breeze, the beer was cold, and the greenery in the garden was beautiful. It was such a nice evening!!

I had yet another thoroughly enjoyable evening last night! Scott went off to play games with his friends leaving me to my own devices at home with the cat. I made some green iced tea with lemongrass and mint from my herb garden -- it so refreshing and tasty. I sat outside on the lanai reading my book and eating seaweed salad and sushi. Then Jack the cat and I came back inside to crash on the couch and get caught up on The Tudors. It was such a nice way to spend the night.

As always, check out more Simple Joy Sundays over at Cool Zebras. What were some of your joys this week?

Friday, May 14, 2010

The 3 Day Handmade Raffle Drawing

This week's regularly scheduled Friday Finds blog post will resume next week. This week, I'm so excited to announce the drawing for The 3 Day Handmade Raffle winners!

I was originally going to use a random number generator when this was strictly an online raffle, but that plan changed a bit since I was actually able to get out in public with it. We've got a nice little glass jar of actual raffle tickets instead. As I got donations in from each of you, I added the appropriate number of tickets to the jar.

So, without further ado... The winners are...

Sassy Pink Armband by 88 Links
FaerieKat (ticket #685690)

Watercolor Portrait by Amber Moran
whskr (ticket #685713)

Flower Necklace by Anika's Art
aquariann (ticket #685769)

Aware. breast cancer awareness fairy art print by aquariann
cascreates (ticket #685785)

Beaded Bliss Earrings by Armored Hearts
FaerieKat (ticket #685707)

Japanese 12-in-2 Chainmail Bracelet by Baron Byron
cascreates (ticket #685778)

Bright Gold Peyote stitch & Red Tear Drop Glass Set by cascreates
FaerieKat (ticket #685697)

Sweet Sweet Honey - 2 sets of cards: Plain Pink and White Fur and Classy Lady Earrings by Crazy4Cards
Savannah, Tampa Downtown Market (ticket #685766)

Ostara, German Goddess of Easter by Daydreamer Art
Lady Steel (ticket #685708)

Pink and Silver Stepping Stones Bracelet by Coldfire Customs
cascreates (ticket #685784)

Canterbury Bells Earrings by FaerieKat
Joyce N. (ticket #685798)

Lavender Babies Set - Hearts by Fairies Nest
Char Anderson (ticket #685802)

Three Flower Buds, One with Breast Cancer Ribbon Choker by Fairy Queen Crochet
FaerieKat (ticket #685703)

Wire Wrapped Heart Pendant Necklace by Gypsy Moon Art Studio
FaerieKat (ticket #685706)

Bead Crochet Bracelet by Inner Muse Jewelry
Monica R., Tampa Downtown Market (ticket #685736)

Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Chainmaille Scales Bracelet by Kali Butterfly
FaerieKat (ticket #685702)

Cartilage Chain Earring by merigreenleaf
Joyce N. (ticket #685796)

Cop A Feel by mermaiden
Eirewolf Creations (ticket #685772)

Stainless steel Half Persian 4-in-1 bracelet by Nicole Hill
cascreates (ticket #685790)

FAIRY CAT STATUE - Fantasy Fairie Concrete Art by Phenome Gnome
whskr (ticket #685712)

Wings of Hope Owlet by Plushroom Soup
Lady Steel (ticket #685710)

Heart Strings Wallhanging by Threads of Magique
Elle Belle (ticket #685711)

April Spring Blue Pin by whskr
cascreates (ticket #685787)

Congratulations to all of the prize winners!! I'm so excited for all of you, there were some really amazing prizes! I will contact each of you directly to confirm your mailing address. I have all of the prizes and will be busy putting packages of them together over the next few days to ship out to all of you. I'm hoping to have everything shipped by the end of next week and will notify you when your package goes into the mail.

A Very Special Thanks:
~It started with the amount of people that were willing to help me and help the cause. I had no idea that I would have so many amazing artists and crafters offer to donate their work. I get warm fuzzies when I think of all of the support I received from these amazing people. Not only did they donate products, but also helped promote the fundraiser.
~Tiffany at the Tampa Downtown Market rocked my world when she let me set up my fundraising tent for free. Thanks to Tiffany, I was able to bring all of the amazing raffle prizes out for showing off, raise money to find a cure, and help raise awareness.
~Tara at Scoutie Girl and Mallory at Miss Malaprop were insanely cool and helped promote the raffle to their readership. Thanks so much for the support, ladies!
~My main line of support, my rock: Scott. Thank you so much for helping me get my signs made, being my wing man at the market (including making sure I ate something!), listening to me talk about the raffle incessantly for the month of planning and then the month it was running, and so much more. What would I do without you?
~And finally, to all of my donors: those of you who were able to follow my rather wordy instructions to donate online and the others that I met at the market that oooohed and aaaahed over all of the prizes. Every dollar that you donated will go straight to Susan G. Komen to fund breast cancer research, education, and breast health programs. With all of my heart, I thank you.

A little bit of a synopsis:
The final week started with $125 raised for the raffle. There was $600 worth of amazing goods donated and what I thought would be a realistic goal for the fundraiser would be $200-300. The final amount raised was: $210

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Woman Warrior: Alice Ramsey

Today, was like any other day: my alarm went off, I got ready for work, I got in my truck... and then nothing. My truck didn't start. The same thing happened the other day, but I was kind of just hoping that the battery just got run down. I took out the battery charger (again), but this time it didn't hold a charge. Despite the fact that I was just sitting in my driveway, I called AAA. The technician was there in less than an hour and... get this... it was a woman!! You know that I was thrilled to see a woman working in a field that is dominated by men.

That got me to thinking about my woman warrior series and women who have made strides in the automobile industry. A little bit of looking around led me to Alice Ramsey. In a time when women still didn't have the right to vote and were far from independent, Alice Ramsey was the first woman to drive across the United States. It was 1909 and she was 22 years old. She drove a dark-green, four-cylinder, 30-horsepower 1909 Maxwell DA, a touring car with two bench seats and a removable pantasote roof. The highest speed it reached: 42 miles per hour. At this time, it was typical to see women travel short distances, but a cross-country trip had been tried only a handful of times and never accomplished. Only six years had passed since Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson’s 1903 drive marked the first male cross-country success.

We take some things for granted with our cars today: at that time, the sheer physical triumph of survival of a cross country trip was impressive. Though the Maxwell-Briscoe Company published an ad stating that the group (Ramsey traveled with her two sisters-in law and a friend) traveled “without a particle of car trouble,” this was far from the truth. Ramsey had fixed at least one tire blowout and had called for a mechanic to repair a coil in Syracuse, waiting near their car as someone in the crowd cried “Get a horse!” as Ramsey would recall. In the Midwest, the car ran out of gas. The women had forgotten to check the tank, a process that required the driver and her seatmate to leave the car, remove the front seat cushion, and stick a ruler into the Maxwell’s specially fitted 20-gallon fuel tank. The next day, moving through mud in low gear overworked the car, and the transmission needed water. There was no extra on board, so her two sisters-in-law proved their mettle by using their toothbrush and toiletries holders—made of cut-glass and sterling silver—to transport water ounce by ounce from road-side ditches to the radiator. Some potholed, muddy roads proved practically impassable for the tread-less tires. It was slow-moving and, in one case, no-moving: the women slept beside an overflowed creek until the water receded enough that they could ford it.

Because the automobile industry was yet in its infancy, America’s roads were not yet designed for long-distance driving. For navigation, Ramsey relied on the Blue Book series of automotive guides, which gave directions using landmarks. But sometimes the route changed faster than the books. The women struggled to find a “yellow house and barn” at which they were supposed to turn left; a horse-loyal farmer had deliberately foiled drivers by repainting in green. Worse, there were no books for regions west of the Mississippi River. The Maxwell took worn routes, at crossroads following the telegraph poles “with the greatest number of wires,” according to Ramsey. On certain days, the Maxwell-Briscoe Company hired pilot cars familiar with the area to lead them. Even so, the party sometimes hit a dead end at a mine or sandpit and had to backtrack for miles.

Finally, on August 7, 1909, and they had made it. In total, the trip had taken 59 days and covered 3,800 miles from New York to California.

After her brief bout with fame, Ramsey returned to New Jersey by train, where she resumed a relatively low-key profile raising two children. She continued her cross-country drives, losing count after her thirtieth. In 1960, the Automobile Manufacturers Association named her their “First Lady of Automotive Travel” for her trek across a “trackless land.” The next year Ramsey published Veil, Duster, and Tire Iron, a chronicle of the 1909 trip. She later drove five of the six passes of the Swiss Alps, giving up the last under doctor’s orders regarding her pacemaker. Ramsey died in 1983.

It's crazy for me to think that even today, in our forward thinking society, there are some women that don't even know how to fill up their gas tank, that simply look at their engine and get intimidated. And then you look back at a brave, pioneer like Alice Ramsey... I don't know about you, but it makes me want to get greasy and learn about the inside of my truck.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The 3 Day: Week Eleven Progress Report

A little bit of fun...
I came home from Lowe's with a whole bunch of plants this week and... a 3 Day garden flag!

Another bit of random goodness...
I received a very sweet, very supportive e-mail through my blog from an absolute stranger. She's actually a fellow walker and Training Walk Leader in Denver and even though I know walkers from around the country through blogs & twitter, I had never "met" her before. She shared with me her experiences buying shoes for the event and tips for getting started training. She was incredibly kind and supportive of me and my efforts so far and basically told me not to give up on myself (the whole frustration with my feet thing). It was awesome e-mail and I really appreciate that she took the time to reach out to an absolute stranger for a virtual hug like that. Warm fuzzies...

I nearly had a heart attack this week when I saw how much it's costing me to go to the foot doctor. They even charged for taping up my feet at that first visit! It's nuts, but I don't have a choice: I have to get my feet healthy.

That said... I went back to the doctor again this week for yet another follow up. If you follow my blog, you would have seen my announcement earlier in the week (I was too excited to wait for this blog post): at my follow up, the doctor cleared me to start walking again!!! I'm not 100% yet and he wants me to do some physical therapy, but he said that since there's been improvement I can go ahead and start back. He seemed to think that the semi-custom orthotics are working just fine for me for now, too. Obviously, I'm going to take it slow and be smart about it; it certainly wouldn't make sense for me to hurt myself at this point. I'm not going to go out with any goal. I'm just going to go for a walk for as long as it feels comfortable. He stressed that I shouldn't walk every day (obviously) and to include cross training (I would have done that anyway).

I can't tell you how happy and relieved I was when I left the office that day. I literally had perma-grin for the rest of the day. I was so happy, that I actually started to cry at one point. I know that it isn't going to be easy and that I'm going to have to take it slow, but at least now I know that I can do it. I feel strong again. I AM a Pink Warrior.

Four pieces from the Pink Warrior Chain Maille Collection sold on Etsy this week!! I thought it was cool that two of the bracelets that sold will be Mother's Day gifts and the other two pieces are for a fellow 3 Day walker. Thank you so much Blue Buddha Boutique for donating all of the jump rings that made this possible!!!

I contacted some of the very popular handmade blogs this week to see if they might be interested in sharing info about my handmade raffle to their readership. The amazing Tara of Scoutie Girl announced the raffle on her Facebook page. I haven't seen any donations as a result of it but there were a few comments, so I at least know that people did check it out.

Mallory over at Miss Malaprop also promoted the raffle in a post about a fundraiser that she's doing. It sounds like a really amazing cause, so if you're in her neck of the woods please be sure to check it out!

In order to try and drum up some more interest for this last week of the handmade raffle, I'm offering a gift to everyone that participates regardless if they win a prize or not. Hopefully, it will draw a few more donations! We're at $175 raised through the raffle so far, I'd love to get it up to a nice, even $200.

Mileage to date on training walks: 41
Goal: $2,300
Achieved: $2,014 or 88%
Remaining: $286
Countdown: 173 days until the event!

If you're enjoying keeping track of my progress, please consider supporting me in my effort to eradicate breast cancer. No amount is too little or too much. Thank you!!

Don't forget to check out my raffle benefiting the 3 Day!
This is the last week to make a donation in order to enter to win a prize: the drawing is on Friday, May 14, 2010.
Everyone that participates this week receives a gift regardless if you win a prize or not. Details here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Simple Joy Sunday

Finding the simple joys each week...

First of all, a big Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there! You've got a hell of a job and certainly deserve this holiday. I hope you enjoy it!!

This may sound ridiculous, but it was so nice to go to Costco on Monday after work and not have to battle my way through the aisles or wait 20 minutes to pay. I could actually wander and take my time looking at things. It really drives me nuts to deal with people when the place is packed. So, mark your calendars and keep it on DL: apparently, Monday night is a good time to go to Costco! Even more Costco happiness: I got a tremendous bag of Miracle Grow potting soil for only $10 and I picked up this beautiful Sabal Palm.

I put together a little gift for my mom:
I got the cute little teacup planter from Michael's on sale and the lantana plant is actually quite prevalent in the wild in Florida. I added some little hot pink and deep purple flowers to my mom's cup while I made one for myself with just the lantana. I've read mixed reports of the medicinal use of the lantana plant, so at this point I'm just considering it a pretty addition to the container garden. I also treated myself to a stevia plant. If you've never tasted a leaf from the stevia plant: after about three or four chews, it tastes so sweet you'd think you were eating candy. It's a great addition to teas.

My witchy work friend cracks me up. Whenever she treats herself to something new, I get bequeathed with the old. In the past, it's been stones & crystals, tarot cards, and fairy & pentacle pendants. This week, she gave me yet another pentacle pendant and it's just beautiful! It's actually double sided: one side is pretty simple with a yin/yang at the center; the other side has a yin/yang, too, but there are also gemstones at each of the points of the star. I think I have to make her some chakra chain maille or something as a thank you.

Foodie simple joys this week include: fresh strawberries (yum!) and an absolutely amazing Cuban sandwich (double yum).

I'm also thrilled to share with you that there's been some activity in Athena's Armoury! I sold my Feminine Warrior Handflower from my Artfire shop and am talking to someone about making a custom one from my Etsy shop. After no activity for a few months, this is very exciting! Maybe a strange little coincidence, but exciting nonetheless.

As always, check out more Simple Joy Sundays over at Cool Zebras. What were some of your joys this week?

Oh! And don't forget to check out my raffle: ALL proceeds to benefit breast cancer research!
It's super easy: check out the amazing goods, buys tickets (which really means donate to my fundraising for the 3 Day), and comment on my blog to let me know. That's it!

**Plus, this is the final week of the handmade raffle fundraiser & everyone that participates (whether you win a prize or not) will receive a Euro 4-1 bracelet from Athena's Armoury!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Finds - Raffle Sponsor Spotlight Part IV

This is the final Friday Finds to feature the amazing sponsors for my handmade raffle benefiting the 3 Day. Because of these wonderful artists, ALL proceeds from the raffle will go directly towards my fundraising for the 3 Day to help fight breast cancer. Please check out these amazing Etsy sellers and, of course, the raffle where you can win some of their work! The raffle is super easy: check out the amazing goods, buy tickets (aka: donate to my fundraising), and then comment on my blog to let me know. That's it! Enjoy! Let's make this final week of this fundraiser a good one!

Make sure you read through until the end for a special offer!

Not only has whskr made a beautiful piece to contribute, but she also made an impressive commitment to help spread the word about the 3 Day and this raffle. In addition to making this beautiful Art Doll Brooch, Marjorie is a doll.

Crazy4Cards has donated these adorable and very appropriate bra cards. Whoever wins her donation, will open the package to find not just the cards but also some earrings and some other goodies. I think she had some fun putting together her package!

When cascreates offered to donate a piece for this raffle, Chris very generously offered for me to pick any item from the shop. This necklace and earring set glimmer and glitter like pure gold and the beadwork is beautiful!

Amber Moran has offered a very special piece as her contribution. She will create a custom portrait of up to two people and/or animal. Talk about an amazing way of honoring a loved one.

Don't forget to visit the 3 Day Raffle for your chance to win one of these or many other amazing handmade items!
It's super easy: check out the amazing goods, buys tickets (which really means donate to my fundraising for the 3 Day), and comment on my blog to let me know. That's it!


As I mentioned, this is the last week of the handmade raffle fundraiser. I'd like to make this last week count, so I'm going to make a special offer to everyone who participates this week. You don't even have to be one of the lucky prize winners. Everyone who purchases tickets (aka: makes a donation) for this raffle will receive a free Euro 4-1 chain maille bracelet from Athena's Armoury.

All you have to do is:
-Make a donation of any amount (the minimum that the 3 Day website will accept is $5) to my 3 Day fundraising.
-Make a comment on the raffle blog post (with you name, e-mail addy, & number of tickets or dollar amount) so that I can correctly cross reference.

There are $600 worth of amazing products to be won. So far, this raffle has raised $125 to go towards breast cancer research and breast health programs. Will you help me raise at least another $75 (to get up to a nice even $200) to go towards the fight against breast cancer?

Thank you so much for your support!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pink Warrior Inspiration

I have really great news that I couldn't wait for my weekly 3 Day Progress Report to share with you. I went to the foot doctor again today for yet another follow up: he said that there's an improvement and that I can start walking again!!! I practically cried today, I was so happy. I've been getting pretty down for the past couple of weeks and, honestly, was fearing that I wouldn't be able to do the event. So, this news was HUGE for me today. I feel unbeatable. Once again, I feel like a Pink Warrior.

I feel like celebrating, so I thought I'd share with you the song that inspired my Pink Warrior Chain Maille Collection (available in Athena's Armoury on Etsy & Artfire).

The supplies for the Pink Warrior Collection were all very generously donated by Blue Buddha Boutique, so ALL proceeds will go straight to my 3 Day fundraising. Also, check out the special going on from now until Mother's Day for free breast cancer awareness accessories.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The 3 Day: Week Ten Progress Report

Well, the good news is that my feet don't seem to be constantly uncomfortable and for the most part, I've been able to start walking normally again. The bad news is that it doesn't take long after I start walking for them to start to hurt. Now, I'm not talking about training walks here, I'm just talking about walking in my daily life. I have to be honest with you, I'm having a hard time imagining being able to walk the event with how quickly they start to hurt. I realize that I've still done a lot for the cause with raising the money and the awareness that I've been able to raise, but it really meant a lot to me to be able to participate in the event.

I think I need to pull myself up and stop thinking about it. Yes, training starts in just a few weeks and I may not be able to start training with everyone else. But, there is still a very real possibility that I can participate. I shouldn't rule it out yet.

And even if I can't do the 60 miles, I can either walk part of it or it's probably possible to switch and become a crew member so I can still be a part of the event.

In the meantime, I will continue to do my yoga & pilates. I also have a follow up with the doctor this week. Fingers crossed.

The Pink Warrior Chain Maille Collection debuted this week!! You can check out the announcement at this blog post. I also have a special going on from now until Mother's Day (Sunday, May 9): with the purchase of any item from the Pink Warrior Collection, you will receive a silicone breast cancer awareness bracelet, a pink awareness ribbon, and a breast self exam card all for free! The offer is good for a purchase of raffle tickets, too! Check out the details in this blog post.

I spent some time one afternoon calling up a few different stores to try setting up my fundraising table out front (Girl Scouts do it around cookie time). I had heard from many walkers who had done this and were quite successful: easily raising $400-800 over the course of just a few hours. It didn't work out so well for me, however. The answers I got included:
"That's solicitation. No."
"The store manager isn't here. Call back."
And, my personal favorite: "Isn't it a little early to be fundraising?"

Oh, well, if it's too early, let me just tell breast cancer to go on hold for a little bit while I wait for the appropriate time for fundraising to start. Breast cancer doesn't wait, why should I?

I also had one guy who said that they don't normally let individuals (as opposed to groups like the Girl Scouts) do fundraising because they have no way of tracking the money. I couldn't make him understand that I'm not doing this as an individual, that I am a part of a larger group (like the individuals that are selling Girl Scout cookies). I also offered three different ways for him to "track the money" through the 3 Day. He, apparently, wasn't satisfied with any of that.

Talking to these people was such an aggravating experience. I think I'm going to try asking a few local businesses who may want to do good and don't have to go through "corporate".

I also may try to contact the market that let me set up & see if they have any other space available for me before the market ends for the season. I really do want to get back out in the public eye with all of this.

Mileage to date on training walks: 41
Goal: $2,300
Achieved: $1,964 or 85%
Remaining: $336
Countdown: 180 days until the event!

If you're enjoying keeping track of my progress, please consider supporting me in my effort to eradicate breast cancer. No amount is too little or too much. Thank you!!

Don't forget to check out my raffle benefitting the 3 Day!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Simple Joy Sunday

Finding the simple joys each week...

Scott's birthday was this week! We both had to work most of the day, but went out afterward. We drove over to Orlando and went to a couple of geeky stores that he likes and then over to Universal City Walk for dinner. I think we both had a really nice time!

I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening last night. I grabbed a glass (or three) of wine, finished my book, started a new one, and went for an evening swim in the pool. I think I need to do that more often.

As always, check out more Simple Joy Sundays over at Cool Zebras. What were some of your joys this week?

Oh! And don't forget to check out my raffle: ALL proceeds to benefit breast cancer research!
It's super easy: check out the amazing goods, buys tickets (which really means donate to my fundraising for the 3 Day), and comment on my blog to let me know. That's it!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Free Breast Cancer Awareness Accessories

From now until Mother's Day (Sunday, May 9), I'd like to share some love with all of you!
I want to give you a free silicone breast cancer awareness bracelet, a pink awareness ribbon, and a breast self exam card.
All three free!!

What do you have to do to get the free goods? It's simple, really:

-Make purchase from the Pink Warrior Collection at Athena's Armoury on Etsy or Artfire and use the code "awareness." ALL proceeds from the purchase of items in the Pink Warrior Collection will go directly to my fundraising for the 3 Day to support breast cancer research & breast health programs.


-Enter the handmade raffle that I'm hosting to benefit breast cancer research. If I pick your ticket to win one of the amazing pieces, you'll get this bonus gift, too!

Have fun & thanks for supporting breast cancer research!!