Thursday, March 31, 2011

Getting Down to Business...

And then there were 2... Fair amount of running around today trying to get things finished so that I can stay in one location tomorrow instead of running around with my head cut off!  With that being said, went today to the party center, had a little more work ahead of me than I had planned on, but had my friend Sharon by my side.  ( She can pull something out of nothing, like no one else I know! )  We got to work & got quite a bit done before we had to call it quits for the night. Tomorrow will be much of the same, but moving at a  speed that only the gods can witness... (LOL) Or the truly insane... So, sit back & watch as I work my magic... Will post pictures for your viewing enjoyment.  Still don't have my outfit ready for Saturday night but I am brain storming.  Oh, did I happen to mention that I "Officially" signed up for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in Arizona?  Watch out Arizona!  My sister, with me will be leaving cancer in the Dust! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Keeping it Short...

Unfortunately, I have a killer migraine that is going to prevent me from having any kind of clear, lucid thoughts right now to present you a really good blog entry.  So, this is not the blog entry that I wanted to share with you, but we don't always get what we want.  Busy today scrambling to get everything done.  The phones were ringing off the hook and if it wasn't the phones it was people coming in & out.  Crazy!  Thank you to my friends that are sticking with me thru the thick & thin of this.  I know Saturday Night is going to be Amazing, I just have to get there!  To top it all off we got SNOW Again!!! Really?!?!  I am ready for Spring/Summer.  Fingers Crossed, Prayers Up and off to bed...

Here are a few funny quotes from Calvin & Hobbes:  I miss not seeing them in the paper anymore.  They would always bring a smile to my face.  

"County library? Reference desk, please.  Hello? Yes, I need a word definition.  Well, that's the problem.  I don't know how to spell it and I'm not allowed to say it.  Could you just rattle off all the swear words you know and I'll stop you when...Hello?"

"Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words."  

"Some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants won't help."  

and my final pick for the evening is...

"What fun is it being cool if you can't wear a sombrero?"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deep Breath...

If your going to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk...With that being said, I got my mammogram done today, then an ultra sound.  I was told that mine would be done in Erie, at St. Vincent's Professional Building.  About a 45 minute drive from my house.  During my drive there, my head is racing.  Seeing that both my Grandmother  & Mother have had Breast Cancer.  I know that you need to stay positive, but there is always that nagging little voice in the back of my head.  Is today the day, that they will tell me that I have breast cancer?  I must tell you, of ANY day that you (Should) be told to use deodorant, it should be the day you go for your mammogram.  My hands sweaty and my heart racing, I walked into the office.  Checking in, I was asked to fill out some paper work.  Waiting, fidgeting in my seat trying to just relax.  Thinking about something (anything) other than why I am there. While sitting there I noticed that there is a sign that reads "two weeks to get results back".  Seriously?!?  I will DIE if I have to wait that long!  Finally, they call my name.  I was led to a back room where I was handed a gown and told to remove everything from the waist up.  I went behind the curtain to remove everything.  I was given the option to lock up my things.  Once again I was asked to sit & wait to be called.  Freezing... Waiting... Then a woman came in and called my name.  I followed her to a room where I got my mammogram done.  I tell you ( all kidding aside ) pancakes have more fluff than my ladies had today!  I can say that the "ladies" have been pushed up, taped down and supported by many a sports bra, but there is something very un-nerving about having your "ladies" put between two flat, cold surfaces and then pressed to a very un-natural flat look.  I stood there while the woman positioned me to get the picture that she needed.  Finally, all done.   Next I was off to get an ultra sound done.  Once again in a freezing room, this time laying down with a wedge behind my back.  Surprisingly, I got nice warm gel put on the "ladies" the technician started her clock like rotation while taking pictures.  Then it was time to wipe up, get dressed and wait again. (On a side note )  I have not really slept well in weeks, so I took this opportunity to slip into a mini coma.  Huddled next to the space heater waiting for someone to tell me something.  About 45 minutes later a Dr. came into the room and told me that he was giving me the "all clear", but that I would still be getting a letter in the mail & my primary Dr. would get a detailed report.  I shook his hand and felt a wave of relief come over my body.  Then, I felt horribly guilty for feeling so relieved and happy when so many of my friends are fighting for their lives.  I guess it is just something that I think a lot about these days now that I am so involved in the 3-Day.  So, in closing I just want to say, don't wait.  Check the "ladies" often and get regular check ups.  It could be what saves your life.  

Monday, March 28, 2011

& Then There Were 5...

I am turning into the multi-tasking Guru.  Today I had one person on the phone, while on the phone with them, I am texting someone else.  Then I hop on the computer to check something, while I am trying to stuff more things into the goodie bags!  Got a few more people that are going to jump in and help where they can. I even managed to get a few items donated today that I had on my ( Wish ) list.  Yea!  I'm in heaven ( Song plays softly in the background ).  I had a phone meeting tonight with one of the ladies from the Susan G.Komen foundation.  I am now an official training walk leader.  Yes, I know... As if I don't already have enough on my plate.  I did it in the hopes of finding other people that would like to walk together or fundraise.  It would be nice to build a team, but I am alright if I am meo-solo.  I really keep strange hours when I train and having two little ones adds to the challenge factor.  I have some wonderful fundraising ideas that are in the "works".  As soon as they are finalized I will have the unveiling ...Till then, I just have to keep focused on the one that will be in 5 days.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Entering the Count Down...

Well, six days till I have my first official fundraiser for this year.  It is going to be a sock hop/ reverse raffle.   I have never done one of these before, but if turns out anything like I have envisioned in my head, it's going to be amazing!  Spent the majority of today stuffing goodie bags for the event.  It was my idea to have these so that everyone could have a gift.  Great in theory, but Oy Vey!  Very time consuming and a royal pain to do 200 by yourself.  T-shirts are done and I have order forms in case someone wants to order different sizes or T-shirt colors.  Decorations are coming along.  Menu is set with two choices for dinner as well as many side dishes to pick from.  Going to see if we can add a little something from last year into this.  My "Taking a Shot at Cancer" where (if we are allowed) we will have Jell-O shots for people to do, for a donation.  Raffle Baskets are Amazing and mostly done.  So, all in all I think that we are doing well & are on target.  We will see if I still feel this way as the week rolls on!  Stayed Tuned...

Night out with the Girls...

Took a night out with the girls... Decided it was long over due.  Had a great time dancing & laughing... An amazing time with some great friends...  Three shots of Jack later, decided it was time to head home to bed... Thanks for a wonderful night out ladies!  Had Fun! Dancing, the other workout!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fantastic Foodie Fridays... Quatro! ~Chicken Enchiladas~

This Amazing creation comes to you by way of my friend Leah's Kitchen.  Thank You Leah!  I have been battling a blinding migraine since late yesterday afternoon.  I just can't seem to shake it.  So, Leah was gracious enough to help me out with this fantastic recipe!  She tells me that it is "Super easy to make & delish!"  I truly hope that you ( as my readers) are enjoying these recipies every week.  If you have a favorite recipe or dish that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you!  I cook with lots of chicken so unless I hear back from you, that is what a lot of these recipies will be made with.  


3 Cups Chopped Cooked Chicken
2 Cups (8 oz) Shredded Monetary Jack Cheese with Peppers (or if your like me, with out the peppers)
1/2 Cup Sour Cream (can always use a light version)
1 (4.5 oz) Can Chopped Chilies, drained
1/3 Cup Chopped Cilantro
8 Flour Tortillas
Cooking Spray
8 oz Sour Cream (can always use a light version)
8 oz Green Taco Sauce
Tomatoes, Avocado, Green Onions, Sliced Black Olives, Chopped Cilantro

Stir together the first 5 ingredients, spoon mixture evenly over tortillas, roll up, and arrange in lightly greased baking dish. Coat with cooking spray. Bake at 350〫for 35 - 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Mix together the 2 sauce ingredients & spoon over baked enchiladas, top with chopped toppings.

Enjoy!  Make sure you let me know if you make them & find them as enjoyable as we did! :)

My Wonderful Friend...

My mother has forever worried about me because I have always been out going and never had a fear of meeting people or going places that I am unfamiliar with.  I think my mom burned the book "Don't Talk to Strangers" when I was very young ( out of sheer frustration ).  That being said, I have met some truly amazing people in my journeys.  One such experience was many years ago (1996).  My Aunt Chris called me and said that at Tyson's II they were going to be filming "First Kid".  It was going to be a Disney Production and would be featuring Sinbad  ( who at the time, his career was already in full swing & growing ever more popular.)  They were looking for extra's and would be in town for a while filming.  I woke up crazy early and headed down to the mall.  Among a sea of people I stood waiting to see what would happen next.  Long story short, I was asked to stay.  Over the next few days I got to see & be a part of movie magic in the making.  You never truly know how much work or how many "takes" you will have to go through before you get "the one" that will actually make the "Silver Screen".  During that time I was lucky enough to not only meet Sinbad but got the opportunity to get to know him as a friend.  At the end of the filming the cast was given a memento for working on the movie.  It was a First Kid T-shirt.  Sinbad was kind enough to get one for me, and it had all the cast members signatures.  ( all except one )  We parted ways and I cherished the experience.  Fast forward to four years ago.  My husband Chad decided to suprise me.  We had a date night, we drove into Cleveland and went to a comedy club called "Hilarities".  We sat two rows back from the stage.  Had an amazing night and the headliner was Sinbad.  I was thrilled!  Not thinking that he would remember me, after the show we got a chance to see him talking to other people.  He called me out of the croud, ( you could have knocked me over with a feather )!  We got to chat, took a few pictures together and I caught him up on what had been going on in my life & introduced him to Chad.  Once again, it was a great time & wonderful to get to see him again.  Tonight two years later, we went back to the comedy club and got to see Sinbad perform.  Funny as ever!  Still giving an amazing show, playing off of the crowd and sharing his love for his craft with all of us.  After the show we caught up to him, chatted for a bit, got a new picture and told him all about my new passion with walking in the 3-day.  I showed him my new T-shirts, explained what they meant and asked him if he would be willing to sign a few.  With a huge smile, he signed them!  I thanked him for signing them & then I pulled out a shirt that I have held on to since 1996.  You see the only signature that I was missing on my T-shirt from First Kid was his!  He laughed & signed it for me.  Wonderful to catch up to my friend & know that he believes in what I am doing and is willing to suport me as I continue my journey.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Feeling Pretty Amazing...

Amazed how a simple concept can go from a raw sketch to a beautiful finished design.  It didn't happen over night, but what an amazing feeling to see it, feel it and to be able to wear it!  This is only the first of     ( 5 ) designs that I hope to roll out.  With the help of my friends and their creative genius!  The concept was mine for this one, but the design for this came from Chris Kean.  Gunner Mick Michael's did the screen printing for me.  I have been blessed to have so many wonderful people that are helping me put all of my (sometimes crazy ideas) into motion or to help me get to the finished product.  I have some really fun & exciting ideas that I will be putting into motion here soon.  I hope that you will enjoy my ideas, designs & journey.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Could it be Possible?

Do you believe or think it is possible to be friends with someone that you have never met in person?  I can honestly say YES!  I have met some AMAZING people through Facebook that have found me because I walk in the 3-day.  They have friends and they suggest that we become friends.  I met my tent mate (Mel) last year  through a friend that suggested we chat.  Now we talk often, share stories and help each other the best we can through all obstacles.  Another wonderful woman I met along the way through one of my High School class mates (Sandi) was Joyce.  (Joyce) has been another wonderful source of inspiration and she brought another woman into my life (Tayor) who is fighting cancer every day, fighting for her life at the tender age of 22.  Taylor, even though I have never met or spoken to her.   Through the blog ( Team 15% ) that Joyce writes people get to learn about Taylor and her amazing ways, never giving up & keeping her faith even when she feels alone.  She has inspired so many people that she has never even met.  Lastly I have met Cathy from Cathy's Creations & Lisa who is a cancer survivor who I have had many chats with.  They are both lovely women that I am honored to be able to call my friends, but yet we have never met.  I am so Thankful for all of my wonderful new friends that have enriched my life more than they will ever know.  All because cancer somehow touched our lives.  So, as much as I HATE CANCER and can't wait for the day that it is no more, I have to sadly say THANK YOU for bringing me closer to so many wonderful people that I may have never met other wise.  Each one of you have taught me so much through your courage, strength, determination & never giving up attitude.  Walking 60 miles over 3 days really doesn't seem like enough giving back for all that you have given to me.  I love each and every one of you for sharing with me & bringing me into a new chapter in my life.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Better than Flowers!

Spent most of the day at the hospital with Chad.  Tyler was watching Tangled and we got a chance to visit.  Late in the afternoon I decided to shout out to my Facebook friends (just having a little fun) 

"Hello Friends, just a friendly shout out from Ashtabula Hospital Room 213. If your in the area & you feel like delivering food we will be here anxiously waiting your arrival... Grrrrr....That would be my tummy rumblin'..."  

Never did I think I would get a serious answer especially from so far away!  67 posts, 30 minutes and a delivery boy later & we had a Taco Pizza from Bruno Bros!  I LOVE my Facebook friends!  Huge Thank You to Cathy from Cathy's Creations!  A thoughtful gift, much better than flowers & Yummy Too!  Amazing how someone that you have never met can have such a HUGE impact on your day.  Cathy is one of my newest friends that I have met (on line) due to my 3-Day walks.  Cathy is going to partner with me at the end of April.  April 30 & May 1 for an on line auction to help raise money for the 3-day walk.  She makes the most beautiful from the heart creations.  I don't think she would mind me telling you that she lost her Hero (Mom) to breast cancer.  So this auction is near & dear to both of our hearts.  I hope that you will check out her beautiful creations & show support when we hold our on line auction.  Wonderful how support comes from places that you least expect and leaves you with a warmth that stays with you long after the moment has past.  Still smiling...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Are you Effected?

Spent the day between the hospital with my husband, checking in on the kids, running around getting things ready for the Reverse Raffle/ Sock Hop.  Completely Exhausted, leaving the hospital (ACMC) and I see a truck hit another vehicle.  I ran over to confront the driver of the truck, yelling at him he stated that he was going to go up to the hospital and talk to security.  This is NOT what happened. He got up to the hospital door loaded a baby in a carrier into the truck, then slunk into the passenger seat.  He had a woman who had been sitting in the wheelchair holding the baby drive them away.  I had been on the phone with 911 while I was standing in front of the truck yelling at the driver and recited the licence plate.  The police told me that they don't come to calls on private property. Really?!?!? I do not understand this way of thinking!  I went by the police station on my way home.  I was told by a cop that the driver most likely didn't have insurance, may have had a suspended licence or no licence and could have been intoxicated.  REALLY???  Wouldn't this be the EXACT person that we should be going after?  Not to mention it was a Hit & Run.  People at the hospital thought I was crazy when they found out that the car he hit wasn't even mine.  So, have we as a society gotten so callous that we no longer care if something happens as long as it doesn't effect us?!?  Guess this is another reason why I do the 3-Day.  I care!  Even though I have not had cancer, I still want to do something about it.  Guess this just makes me strange?  I don't want to wait till I am in the Dr.'s office and sitting in the chair to hear I have cancer before I get up and do something.  Why wait to be diagnosed by cancer before you are effected by cancer?  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fantastic Foodie Fridays... Whoopie it's #3! ~Healthy Sloppy Joes~

Sorry that this is getting up so late.  Been in the ER almost all day with my Husband.  Thank you to my dear friend Rochelle for this recipe.  I hope that everyone will enjoy this lighter version of a family favorite.   


~Sloppy Joes~

Ok... so here it is... Modified to make it "kid friendly"...

Sloppy Joes (serves 6)- 

Adapted from "The Best of Clean Eating" cookbook

8oz Extra Lean Ground Turkey (you can also use Ground Chicken)
1 Large Red Onion- chopped very fine
4 tsp Chile Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
2 Medium Tomatoes- chopped small
1 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth (I like organic free range low sodium)
1 Tbsp No-Salt-Added Tomato Paste
2 tsp Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
6 Whole-Wheat Sandwich Thins (I use Arnold)- lightly toasted
1 Tbsp Arrowroot dissolved in 2 Tbsp cold water (can use corn starch)
1/2 cup Shredded Low-Fat Monterey Jack Cheese

1. In non-stick skillet, sautee chopped onion over medium heat, until translucent.

2. Add turkey, and cook until brown (about 3-4 minutes). Stir in chile and garlic powders and salt. Add tomatoes, broth, tomato paste and soy sauce, increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer and cover for 20 minutes.

3. During this time you can toast Sandwich Thins under the broiler or in the toaster. For extra flavor you can lightly "butter" one side with a margarine (this will add approx. 5 calories per sandwich).

4. Stir in arrowroot mixture to the sloppy joe mix for 30-60 seconds until it thickens.

5. Place 1/2 cup of mix on bottom of sandwich thin and top with 4 tsp of cheese.

Calories: 175, Total Fat: 3.5 g, Sat Fat: 1g, Carbs: 15g

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day!

My favorite Irish toast to all of my friends today... 
May you live as long as you want, and never want for as long as you live!  
I hope everyone today had a wonderful day.  
No matter how you chose to celebrate this day,
I hope you made memories that will last a lifetime.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Plan the work & work the plan...

The Book of Ideas...
Today was a slight diversion from my normal routine.  I spent the day going through my book from last year.  I got on the phone and called all of my donors from last year.  Many said that they were expecting my call.  It was good to know that I have built a relationship with these people and have their support.  Makes it emencly easier not having to start at ground zero.  Not to say that it still isn't work, but when you already have a solid foundation, it is so much easier!  On a high note, I got a letter today with a check to go towards my walk.  Amazingly, I never even contacted this person.  Two weeks till my first fundraiser and I am already feeling the pressure starting to build.  Wanting to pull off an amazing event, one that people will talk about for a long time to come.  I want people to have a wonderful, fun time that takes you away from everything, even if it is only for a little while.  I tend to go over the top when I do events.  If I had more money I would even go bigger!  As a Marine, I have learned that you can go very far with very little.  Just remember to plan the work and work the plan.  I know from experience until you have all the money raised that you need, you are always feeling the pressure.  Just remember this, you have lots of people in the 3-day community that are willing to lend a helping hand and give you ideas.  I am always amazed at the endless creativity of people in the community and their willingness to share them with others.  If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a break, take a walk & revisit your plan.  It will work, as long as your willing to work at it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What % are you?

I am always 100% in or 100% out.  I don't know how else to do things.  I will go until I have nothing left to give as long as I know that it is for a reason.  I don't do something just to do it, I do it because I have a passion for it.  My father has always told me that I am the champion for the underdog.  Maybe this is true.   I always want to see the good in someone or something.  This does not always work out the way that I hope, but I keep believing that if you put your heart & soul into what you believe, it will come back to you. Since joining the Susan G Komen foundation, for the 3-Day walks I have found this to be 100% true.  All the hours I spend training, fundraising, talking to people I met along the way.  Has come back to me in ways that are imeasurable.  The new friends that I have made on facebook to the newest business owner that has extended their hand in friendship.  People who Thank you for walking and for all that you do.  I can't even start to tell you how many times people that I have met in passing (even if for only a few brief minutes) have etched a place forever in my heart.  That is the amazing thing about the 3-Day walks.  You meet people that you may have never met before (from different backgrounds to ages and reasons why?) All because they have the same passion that you have.  Before you know it you have formed a bond that is so amazingly strong, you sometimes feel like you have known each other forever.  I can't explain it in a way that will do it justice.  All I can tell you is that with whatever you choose to do in this life time give it your all, your very best give it your 100%.  After all, you deserve nothing but the very best life has to offer you!  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Always Learning....

First Design
This is a learning experience for me.  Every day I learn something new.  Today it is proofing the ( 5 ) logo's that I will have on my T-shirts.  I was so excited to reveal them!  Still not 100% set up to print them all up but getting close!  Ordering shirts and getting feedback on the logo's.  Still have three designs left to show.  Oh the excitement of it all!  To come up with the name, create all the accounts and then to work closely with the graphic artists, to design the logo's, finally finding a wonderful, local shirt guy.  I am using Gunner Mick Michaels (Custom Screen Printing).  I hope that everyone likes what we have come up with and will enjoy wearing them.  Right now we are going to design short sleeve T-Shirts in Black, Grey, Lt.Pink & White. One shirt will be $15.00, two shirts for $25.00.  If you need a 1x or larger it will be an additional $2.00 per shirt.  I will soon have a form that people can fill with their information to order exactly what they want with their size.  
The money for the shirts will go directly to my Susan G. Komen account. or call 800-996-3DAY to contribute over the phone.  Once the money is recieved, I will send the shirts. These shirts will not be available to ship until April 5.  Thank you for your interest & for your support of me and the Susan G. Komen foundation.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just Moving Counts...

Sometimes some days you may not "Feel" like doing a training walk.  Trust me, we have all been there at least ONCE!  What I always say is as long as you are doing something it counts.  Life for all of us gets in the way and especially when the longer training walks come (and they will come) it gets a little bit more tricky.  So I count all the miles that I walk as I go door to door asking for donations.  I count all the floors that I run up and down as I help load cars with angel food to people at church.  No matter what you say all the running around I do after the kids at Chuck E. Cheese's COUNTS!  So, it may not always be the training walk that I invisioned, but I am still moving!  

Saturday, March 12, 2011

You are never Alone...

Even if you are an individual walking in the 3-Day you are never alone.  Support comes in many forms.  From all of those people that wish you well as they donate to you, to the business that reaches out to help you achieve your vision for an event.  As you walk the people that reach out to you and "Thank You" as they share their stories.  When you train you may be alone, but if you extend your hand to others you may just find that as you support them they are doing the same for you.  Strange as it may sound, I don't train alone even though I am always alone when I train.  You see I have my friends that are with me. Mel that is in DC and Joyce that is in Nashville and all my other friends that are doing the same thing as me are with me every time I lace up my shoes.  I know that all I have to do is reach out to them and they will support me in any way that they can, as I would do for them.  This is the beautiful thing about the 3-Day.  Even if you have never met someone before, you find that your kindered spirits and desire for finding a cure trancend time and space.  So, if while you are on your 3-Day journey if you start to feel alone reach out and you will be suprised how many people will be there for you.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fantastic Foodie Fridays... Part Deux ~ Ginger Chicken ~

Once again it's that time... I LOVE Ginger!  When I make this recipe I usually make it up at least a day a head of time leave it in a Ziploc bag.  I find that it gives the meat more flavor and makes it really tender.

                                              Ginger Chicken

8  boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves
4  garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger root (or 1/2 tsp. ginger powder)
1/4  tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4  tsp. black pepper
1/4  tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4  tsp. ground cardamom
       salt to taste  (optional)
1TB ketchup
1 TB red wine vinegar
1 tsp. water

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine the garlic, ginger, ground spices and salt in a small bowl.  Then add the ketchup, vinegar and water then mix well.  (Here is where if I did it before, I would toss all of it into a Ziploc bag and put it in the fridge for the night.)  If you are making it at the last minute.  Brush the mixture over both sides of the chicken and bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through.  Found that 2 regular size 9x13 pans let the chicken brown more evenly than trying to squeeze them all into one.  Serve with veggies or a fruit salad on the side.  Don't forget that tall glass of water!  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Wonderful Present...

I am pleased to announce that my sister will be joining me on a 3 Day Walk.  We decided to walk in Arizona together, as our mother & father live there.  We are going to tear up the desert, leaving cancer in the dust.  As I walked in Cleveland and Washington DC last year I got a chance to see many teams and even become an honorary member in one, team ( Me and the Girls ).  I loved getting to see mothers and daughters walking together, a husband with his wife .  Families that would have members walking while others would be crewing or working in the medical tent.  I would always think that the teams I loved seeing the most was sisters walking together.  I guess the reason why I loved seeing sisters walking together is because I always wanted to walk with mine.  The last time that I got to do something alone with my sister in a ( BIG ) way was climbing Ayers Rock in Australia.  It challenged us, but it was a wonderful experience that replays in my mind often.  Since then we have both gotten married and moved to different states and opposite coasts.  My sister living in Lake Tahoe while I live in Ohio.  I cherish every moment that I get with her, be it a phone call or a visit.  So, the chance to have 3 days to walk, share and laugh for 60 miles...Priceless!  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A promise...

I am sorry that I did not post my blog yesterday.  No Excuses!   I was not happy with what I wrote and did not want to publish something that was, less than perfect.  I know that I am not the only one that is busy, with all that life throws at us.  I just look at it this way... If you are going to take the time to follow or come here to read what I have written I owe it to you to only publish the best that I can offer.  So from today going forward if for some reason I can't get a post that is worthy for the day.   I will post some inspirational quotes or thoughts. Thank you for visiting my blog and taking time out of your busy day to follow my journey...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Strength, Perseverance & Believing...

When all else fails these are the three things that carry me through.  Strength, which does not always translate into the physical sense.  Perseverance, which manifests into all forms, and believing.  Believing which can be your greatest strength or biggest detriment.  If I was only able to keep one, it would be Believing... As long as you believe you have hope, and as long as you have hope you can keep going. So I will ask you to keep believing! Believe that you CAN do anything that you put your heart and mind into.  Believe that behind the darkest cloud a rainbow will follow and Believe that there is still good in the world and that every prayer is answered in some way...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beginning or the End?

Depending how you look at this day ( Sunday ) it can either be the beginning of your week or the end.  With that being said I hope to use this day as a day of reflection.  Did you accomplish all that you set out to for the week?  If you could change anything would you?  Looking forward to the new week that lies before us I would like to challenge each one of you to take a step out side of you comfort zone.  Challenge yourself!  Don't let comfort be your crutch.  I have recently gone thru some situations that have rocked me to my very core and have tested my faith.  From these experiences I want to grow, learn and change.  I do not want to come to the end of my days to find out that I have not lived my life, but merely existed.  We all have greatness in us, we just have to challenge ourselves to bring it out.  I hope this week you will challenge yourself, even if it is as simple as parking at the end of the parking lot and not at the beginning to take those extra steps.  Push past the limits that you have set on yourself, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.  I hope you have wonderful week.  Thank You for reading, sharing and commenting on my first week of doing this blog.  I hope that over time it will evolve into something that everyone can read and take something away from.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Just Going for a Little Walk...

Ok, as most of you know, I am an ambassador for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  I am very passionate about helping to find a cure for breast cancer and raising awareness in the process.  With that being said, we all have to start somewhere.  My journey started with just going for a little walk.  Saying that you are going to walk 60 miles and actually walking 60 miles are two totally different things.  So, where do you begin?  Not everyone is in shape and ready to tackle those 60 miles ( YET ).  You have to make a commitment.  To do a little each and every day, to get you ready for those three days.  Now, I have met some people that never trained or prepared themselves for those three days.  All I can say is, if you really think that you can walk twenty miles on day one.  Then, sleep on the ground, in a tent ( air mattress or not ), get up on day two and walk another twenty miles.  ( Repeat the sleeping arrangements from the night before ) then finish up the 60 miles on day three.  Well, then you are better that I am!  I will tell you that I trained for six months.  Some days harder than others, but every day I did something.  I did really well walking in Cleveland.  Was I sore?!?  ( Can I say, He- double hockey sticks ) YES!  Even with all my training I still felt like I got hit by a mac truck!  Would I do it again YES!!!  To be exact 3 months later.   I drove to Washington DC to do it all over again.  I changed some things, but another 60 miles lay before me.  I will tell you that walking in DC was much more of a challenging course than Cleveland.  ( In my opinion )  So, if you are going to walk in DC my sincerest advice is to train on hills!  If you can find a ( Small Mountain ) feel free to train on that, multiple times!  I loved the scenery an all the amazing people that I met walking in DC, but it was rough.  I'm not going to lie to you!  I did end up getting blisters on this walk, and losing multiple toe nails, but nothing that would keep me from finishing.  So, where do you start?  When you sign up to walk in the 3-day, you are offered a wonderful ( FREE ) service called the virtual trainer.  If you sign up for this service.  Every week you will get an e-mail out lining their suggestion for what you should do for your training.  It also includes other helpful tips.  I found this to be really helpful as a first timer.  I sometimes changed things up, because I felt like doing a little more, or I would change my day off from training.  I also found as time went on that I kept a record of what I was doing and how I felt during and after the training.  It may take a little more time and effort on your part, but on days that you are feeling a little less than motivated you can go back and look at your progress.  We all have to start somewhere, even if it is just going for a little walk.  So, do a little bit each and every day. Before you know it you will be at the opening ceremonies of the 3-Day and you will start your Amazing journey...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fantastic Foodie Fridays... Lemon Chicken Fingers

Every Friday I will be dedicating my blog to FOOD!  Part of training is fueling your body.  I hope to post something for everyone.  Most of the time it will be health conscious, but I will have times when it's just good, flavorful food.  I ( LOVE ) my spices!  I use Penzeys Spices if I am not cooking with fresh herbs,  I am growing myself.  I have found over the last eight years that they have consistently made a difference in any dish that I have made.  They are always fresh, they have blends that you won't find anywhere else and if you ever get to go to a store it is a wonderful experience.  I love going to their store and just smelling all the different spices, then thinking about what will I make next.  This is my gift to you... So, seeing that I can't be there to make this for you.   I figured this was the second best way for me to send you a gift once a week.  For your first of many recipes.  I am going to give you a recipe that anytime I have made it people have always asked for seconds and the plates always come back spotless!   I found this recipe in Penzeys One, Volume 3, Issue 2 2008. Page 22 ( if you care ).  It was submitted by Carol Heart...  
         Lemon Chicken Fingers ~

3     boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about one pound)
1      egg plus 1 TB water
1/2   Cup plain breadcrumbs
1 tsp.     dried basil
1 tsp     dried oregano
1/4     Cup olive oil, divided
1     clove garlic, crushed
1/2     Cup of white wine
1       lemon, juice of

Cut each breast into 4 pieces lengthwise.  Pound the chicken until it is thin and flat with a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy glass jar.  Briskly whisk the egg with the water in a wide, shallow bowl.  In a second wide shallow bowl, or a plate with a rim, mix the breadcrumbs with basil and oregano.  Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium-low.  When hot, dip half the chicken pieces in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs, coating the chicken evenly.  Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds ( do not brown ) Add the chicken pieces. Brown lightly, turn the chicken and lightly brown the other side,  1-2 minutes per side.  Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken, adding the remaining oil if needed.  Add the white wine to the pan and stir to loosen all the yummy browned bits.  Add the lemon juice.  Return all of the chicken to the pan and cook, covered over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until done.  If there is not enough sauce in the pan, add a bit more wine.  If there is too much, remove the cover and let it reduce for a bit.  Remove the pan and serve.  

Ok, here is where I am going to put my 2 cents worth in...
I throw all the breadcrumbs in a Ziploc bag with the spices.  Once the chicken is coated with the "egg wash" I shake away!  I also don't always cut them into "strips".  If I am making this for adults I usually just leave the whole breast and continue as instructed.  I think it gives a better presentation when serving.  Also, instead of throwing away all the leftover breadcrumbs and spices that are in the bag I toss them into the pan towards the very end so that I have extra sauce.  You will see if you make this that people can't get enough of it.  I usually pair this with grilled veggies and lemon water.  

Here is the website to Penzeys if you want to check them out. 
I have a handful of spices that I can't live without, and that you won't find anywhere else, here are a few of them.

*Sandwich Sprinkle
*Mural of Flavor Seasoning
*Mulling Spices
*Raspberry Enlightenment
*Vanilla Sugar

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why re-event the wheel?!?

I know you are sitting back scratching your head on this one... Honestly, how many times have you started something and instead of researching and pulling from resources that are available to you,  you have ended up re-enventing the wheel?  Well, the 3-day is no different.  Once you have set up your account you should  take a virtual tour through all of the tabs and get familiar with all that is available to you.  Under the "Learn More" tab there are 10.  Yes, I said 10 ways to get information and help in areas that you may not be familiar with or think you could use a little help in.  Believe it or not they actually have a fundraising ideas library just in case you are struggling with coming up with ideas to raise your donations.  If you still can't find what you are looking for you can pick up your phone and call 800-996-3DAY.  ( This number will become a number that you will likely use often.  So you might just want to add it to your speed dial now.)  ( It will save you time later...)   Ok , here's the BEST PART!  you get to talk to a REAL LIVE PERSON!  ( Imagine that!)  I should have had you sit down before giving you that little tid-bit of information.  Sorry, I will warn you next time before I send a Zinger your way!  A friendly, warm, inviting voice will be there to help you and answer all of your questions.  You can also go on Facebook and find lots of wonderful 3-Day participants that are willing to help you along the way.  You will be amazed how quickly that "stranger" will become part of your extended family or friend base.  Another way to meet and talk to people prior to the event is to go to one of the meetings or training walks in your area.  We all were first timers at one time.  So, don't be afraid to reach out and get the answers to your questions.  You will find that the only "Silly or Crazy" question is the one that you didn't get the answer to.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One Step at a Time...

If you are anything like me, after signing up for the 3-day.   My head was spinning.  I had so many ideas and things that I wanted to do.  My best advice... Take one step at a time... Write everything down.   Just because you write it down doesn't mean that you will do it all, but I found it kept me more organized.  I made a game plan.  I would take one idea and run with it.  I first went and secured the sight that I wanted to hold the fundraiser at.  Then I would get all the art work and signage together.  ( I to date have never paid for a party center or venue to hold an event at. ) I trade my advertising of the establishment for their donation of location.  I take the artwork back to the owner of the location that I am using and get them to sign off on it.  Once that is done I go and have all the copies that I want done run off.  If they are fliers I usually have them put of varying shades of pink paper to make them "POP".  I save the color copies for posters that I will put in highly visible locations. ( You want to be careful when you are doing your advertising as I have found that it adds up quickly if you are not careful. ) I did one event last year and I spent more on fliers trying to get people to come to the event then I ended up making at the event! ( Lesson Learned ) !   As I would go out into the community I always had fliers with me for my next event, donation forms, and letters to explain to people who I was and why I was doing this.  I would walk around town and literally go from one business to the next asking for donations and handing out my letters and asking to post fliers in their store windows.  Does this take a lot of time... YES!  However, I found that I was much more successful going door to door and explaining what I was doing and why.  On the phone, people can hang up on you.  Face to face, people are more willing to sponsor you because they can SEE your dedication!  Now, I am not saying that this will ALWAYS work, but I found I got much better results.  Ok, here is where some of you will have problems...( Listen to what I am going to say before you lose heart...)  "NO"... When some of you hear "no" you take it personally... DON'T!!!  Do not let "no" sway you from your goals!  You never know what the situation is.  Sometimes it is our timing, sometimes they have been asked by so many people that they have to make a cut off somewhere and other times they just don't chose to donate for whatever reason.  Before I completely give up I make one last "pitch"... Instead of asking for an item, I ask for a gift certificate.  Here is why... If you ask the business for a gift certificate that is ( HALF ) the value of most of their items, then it becomes a WIN-WIN situation.  Here is why.  You get something to raffle off or use however to make the money that you need for your donations.  They get a customer that may have never been to their business before and they are guaranteed to make some money in the process.  If they still say "no" then thank them for their time and move on.  I usually don't send letters out "into the unknown".   I have had literally no luck in that department.  If you can write amazing letter then go for it!  I am by no means and expert in this. This is only my second year walking, but I just hope that some of my ideas can be helpful or give you insight.  Last year I had five different fund raisers.  I was exceedingly busy trying to coordinate it all ( mostly by my self ) if you can get a team together or find friends that will help you along the way it will make your fundraising much easier.  GET CREATIVE & HAVE FUN!  This is a journey, your journey... It's not just about raising the money that you need, or showing up and walking for three days and covering sixty miles.  It is everything that you do and put into it.  Take pictures, make memories and above all else enjoy your journey, what ever it may be or where ever it may take you.  If you need help ( even if this is your first 3-day ) it is there, all you need to do is ask.  You will find some of the kindest people that you will ever want to meet and they are all willing to help you.  Even if you are an individual walking remember you are part of a TEAM!  When one wins we all win!