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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Volunteering for a good cause

DSCF5173 Last weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, I volunteered in the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation booth at the Family Expo. Not only did I learn a lot about DetermiNation, but I also had a little fun doing something for a good cause.

DetermiNation trains athletes for marathons and half marathons for free by partnering with Get Fit Atlanta. More specifically, according to their website, “The DetermiNation program is the American Cancer Society’s nation of athletes determined to end cancer.” DetermiNation covers participants’ entry fees and the participants commit to raising a minimum of $1,000 for the ACS.

DSCF5176 As I listened to Karen Krause (pictured here), the Endurance Events Project Manager, talk to different individuals who walked up to the table I began to consider whether this is something I want to do. The reason I volunteered – besides the fact that I received an email about it – is because I like to participate in different things and help out when I can. The reason to walk/run a half marathon or marathon is a little more complicated than that.

If I decide to do it then it’d be tricking myself, so to speak, into working out. But, on a larger level, it would give me an immense satisfaction to do something for someone else. It’s not doing it because I or someone in my family has been affected by it. It’s doing it because it’s important. Because so many people suffer and fight because of cancer.

I’ve never done anything close to a marathon – hopping along in a walkathon when I was about 8 years old doesn’t count even though my best friend and I received certificates for being the youngest walkers to finish. Karen assured me that I didn’t have to run, but I can walk/run. It’s a little intimidating – doing the Atlanta Half Marathon in November – and that is the main reason I haven’t officially signed up yet.

Realistically I need to stop dragging my feet because time is winding down. Have you ever run or walk in a marathon? If so, tell me about your experiences – both positive and negative.

For more information about the American Cancer Society and DetermiNation, visit the following websites and

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Keeping kids safe

When my oldest daughter was a baby I had a regular playpen to corral her in when I was trying to clean up or there was something out she shouldn’t get into. Sometimes I also used it so she could play in one area or take a nap. Whatever the reason she was in there one thing is for sure: she was always safe.

As she got older the need never arose for her to use a baby gate and by the time we lived in a two-story townhouse there wasn’t a need. As I had more children – three, to be exact – we moved into a home and used the most interesting things (think couch pushed in front of entryways) to keep the toddlers out of the kitchen during cooking or from entering a room where they could get into something to hurt themselves.

It probably would have been a good idea to tap into KidSafe, which is a great place to learn about and purchase Baby Gates and Child Safety Gates. If you need it, be sure to keep your baby safe with a safety gate.

Keep up with all things KidSafe by following them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and their KidSafe Blog.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fashion Show raises awareness, support of ovarian cancer research

Today, Electrolux and brand ambassador Kelly Ripa partnered with some fashion-savvy bloggers and hosted a special fashion show to help raise awareness and funds to support ovarian cancer research. This month, September, is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and the event was meant to be a fun and innovative way to show women everywhere how to go from rumpled to runway in no time flat!

During the fashion show the Perfect Steam™  function was demonstrated, which showed how to take any garment from “Rumpled to Runway.” The show was shown live at (don’t feel bad if you missed it because I did as well).

Visit to find out how to support the cause (and to watch the video of the event). When you participate, Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. While you’re there you can enter for a chance to win a daily shopping spree (between $50 and $250) and the grand prize a luxury washer and dryer from Electrolux.

I don’t know about you, but I need a new washer and dryer because not only are mine on the brink of death (the washer doesn’t even spin anymore), but I could really use that Perfect Steam™ function to have each and every one of us (including the neglected mother me!) leaving the house looking freshly pressed.

In addition to that, by entering and participating we’re helping a good cause, right?. The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund fuels the research behind finding a method of early detection and hopefully a cure for ovarian cancer. According to Kelly Confidential, Electrolux has committed to donating $750,000 to the cause.

Want to keep up with everything? You can also follow Facebook/KellyConfidential and @KCbyElectrolux on Twitter. … Okay, what are you waiting for?

Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post, but including it on my blog does qualify me to be entered into an exclusive contest for the chance to win a Perfect Steam™ washer and dryer from Electrolux. That, however, in no way influenced any opinion expressed here. Thank you to Electrolux and MomSelect for the opportunity. More information can be found in my complete disclosure policy.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Get Tip Junkie’s new eBook: ‘Mom-preneur Blog & Etsy Guide’

Laurie Turk, the Tip Junkie, has compiled advice from 80 women in business to help those with products or services have the most successful selling holiday season. At only $19.95, it’s an invest that’s sure to bring you a return on your money.


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Disclosure: I have not received any compensation to post this information; however, should you choose to purchase by clicking the link I will receive a commission on your purchase. Thanks for your support. More information can be found in my complete disclosure policy.


Tuesday Twitter Hop with Shining2Save

Normally I don’t take the time to participate in the hops and whatnot even though I often want to. Today, I thought it would be nice to get involved with Tuesday Twitter Hop, which is hosted by Shining2Save. She posted something about it at The Product Review Place so I went to check out, enjoyed her blog so much and decided to play along. Will you play and hop as well?

The rules are easy:

1. Add your Twitter ID to the Linky below: when you add it, it will automatically appear on everyone’s page that posts this Linky so you do not need to add it more than once

2. Click on the top 5 Twitter Names and follow them: The first one will be me, Shining2Save, and every week I will pick 4 more randomly. (I will list up the comments and pick from It would be a big plus if you add the Twitter Hop Button to your Page.

3. Follow as many people on Twitter as you like:
just make sure you at least do the Top 5. Also be sure to leave comments with your Twitter name so they will know where to follow you!

4. If someone follows you from this Linky, PLEASE follow back.

5. You do not have to make a post to join: but it is always a plus if you do so everyone else can see and join in on the fun!

Help spread the word and add this Linky to your blog! The more we spread it the more followers we will get!

Below the Linky box, you will see see “What is a blog Hop? Get the Code Here" Click on it and just copy and paste that code into your post and the same Linky will appear. Your blog visitors can add their Twitter ID to your list and it will show up on all lists!

Feel free to copy and paste these instructions or just post the button and link back to me.

Please only add your Twitter URL. All other entries will be deleted.

Thank you and Have Fun Twitter Hopping!


Surviving choppy waters

Sometimes despite the best efforts, things can take a turn for the worse or unexpected. Sometimes those unexpected things put a fire under your butt and make you move more efficiently and get a lot done. Then, at other times, those things can throw you for a loop, cloud your eyes, muddle your brain and cause a pain so unique and deep in your head and in your heart that you can’t catch your breath.

image Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water. The problem is that just because it isn’t safe I still have to wade through it, find the raft and paddle like freaking crazy. Hopefully, once I get through the waves and rain, pass the seaweed and sharks there will be calm water, dolphins and sunshine on the other side. If not, I guess I’ll just have to keep on paddling. Even if my arms get tired and I want to sleep, I’ll paddle away.

image Maybe there will be a cruise ship somewhere along the way and they’ll allow me to come aboard and rest. Give me some champagne, shrimp cocktail and a hot towel. If I’m lucky there will be a hot shower, clean clothes and some dry socks.

image Once I’ve rested I’ll dive back onto the raft, which may have been replaced by a lifeboat with supplies, and reach my destination. When I look into the horizon I can’t see it – right now the island is too small – but I know it’s out there. I’ll just keep straining, working, struggling and sometimes floating until I make it.

Photo credits: Click each picture to find photo credit.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Elmer’s Bag It Forward

Melissa, a sweet blogging friend at Frugal Creativity, tagged me with a virtual bag overflowing with school supplies, which is part of Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward, a charity blog meme.  I haven’t participated in a meme in quite some time so I guess there’s no better time like the present. (I just hope Melissa doesn’t mind if I copy her blog post almost word-for-word!)

Bloggers are able to raise $10 per blog post for Adopt-A-Classroom by writing a blog post or Facebook note and donating a virtual bag of school supplies. Elmer’s will donate $10 per post written for Adopt-A-Classroom, up to $10,000. The Elmer's Virtual Bag It Forward campaign runs through September 10, so don't delay!



  • Copy and paste these rules into your blog post or Facebook note.
  • Create a post giving a “virtual bag of school supplies” to other bloggers or write about your Back to School shopping trip at Walmart.
  • Link back to the person who gave you a bag of school supplies.
  • Let each person you are giving a virtual bag of school supplies know you have given them a bag.
  • Leave your link in the Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward comment section. You can also find the official rules of this virtual #bagitforward program there.
  • Please note that only one blog post per blog URL will count towards the donation.

Now it’s time to tag five friends… let’s see, it’s always so hard for me to decide. Here are the five friends (of the five there is one who I know doesn’t like memes so I couldn’t resist tagging her! LOL)

If you don’t have time then don’t worry about it, but otherwise take a few minutes and post for a good cause.

Oh, and before you leave here, check out the short post I wrote about helping children with rare diseases.


Hangin’ with the pros

In my editing and writing business I work for individuals all across the country and occasionally internationally, which means that I rarely get to meet them in person. Last week, I had the opportunity to meet a few of the speakers I do some work for through Pro Speakers Bureau and Campus Talk Blog. They all congregated in Atlanta for a learning conference with Rick Sherrell (seen in the first picture below), the founder and owner of both Pro Speakers Bureau and Campus Talk Blog (By the way, I write a Parents’ Perspective column at CTB. Check it out when you get the chance and let me know what you think).

The group worked on photos for their sites and projects, software and computer organization as well as video presentations. They met beginning early last week and will conclude at the end of this week. The meetings are informal with speakers coming and going throughout the two weeks, and my goal is to be able to spend some time with each of them learning more about their brand as well as talking about the writing and editing services they’ll need outside of PSB and CTB.

I’ve been impressed by the confidence and power of the speakers I’ve met thus far and want to share a little of their information with you:

DSCF5165 Marja Lee Freeman, or “The Employment Lady,” addresses workplace issues from employment to empowerment. Her talks include actionable information delivered in a powerful, friendly and humorous way. She helps college students and job seekers to jumpstart their career management.


DSCF5167 Millicent St. Claire uses “Accelerated Learning methods to access the whole brain, HeartMath technologies to access the whole heart and personal experience to access human understanding.” She also the author of “Simply Ridiculous: A Realization and Transformation of Ridiculous Beliefs and Behaviors,” which is a quick-to-read little book that holds a powerhouse of information.

DSCF5163 Dr. Torri “Love” Griffin is the College Love Coach and she talks about practical information, and offers actionable steps, about sex, abuse and dating. Her lively discussions include role plays, questions and statistics to enhance these often sensitive topics.

Those are the ladies I met last week. This week I’ll spend some time with a few more speakers, which I may tell you about at a later date.

As a freelance editor and writer, I often spend long hours working alone at my home office. It was a nice change of pace, and a big boost of encouragement, to share space, ideas and resources with a group of successful entrepreneurs and speakers.

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