Guestbook Giveaway + Life Update

Whew! It’s February and I haven’t blogged in HOW MANY days? Sorry about that. I had TWO trips planned to Boston in that time and both were cancelled due to the massive amounts of snow that have been dumped on the Northeast. Seriously, MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF SNOW. So work has been a little crazy to say the least.

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On top of that, I’ve had some fun appointments for swollen lymph nodes that WON’T GO AWAY but aren’t anything deadly (unless you ask WebMD), so there’s that. However, my throat hurts and we still don’t know what is causing them to swell. So 3 rounds of blood work, a CT, ultrasound and two ENTs later, I still have swollen lymph nodes and no answers. But sore throat = ice cream, so I still consider myself to be winning!

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Yesterday, I had to drop my big guy off at the vet for a dental cleaning and to have a mass removed from his elbow. I cried like a baby when I left. It’s what I imagine leaving your child at daycare for the first time feels like. Yes, I just compared having a dog to having a baby. It was awful and I was a wreck for most of the day. Especially when they called me and told me that he was getting ready to have his surgery and I could hear him barking in the background. Everything went fine and he’s back home and resting peacefully with his cone of shame. We’re just waiting on his test results now.

Customized Wedding Guest Book
Customized Wedding Guest Book

Since there were only two entries in the latest giveaway, I decided not to post the video I made of me drawing the winner (it was yesterday and I may or may not have had mascara smeared under my eyes after dropping Tucker off at the vet). Our big winner is Heather P! And since there were only two gals who entered, I decided to also give Ariel something. So I’ll be sending her the “Say Yes to New Adventures” 2015 planner. It will definitely help with wedding planning! Anything to stay more organized.

Image from Nude and Loitering Tees
Image from Nude and Loitering Tees

Thank you to both of you for entering. I will be doing giveaways for the other items in the coming weeks. I’m so pleased with the progress we’ve made on helping these ladies cross items off their bucket lists. Right now, I’m waiting on Beverly to select a 5k to run and we’ll pay for her entry and I’m working with some paddle boarding (SUP) and kayaking companies in Wilmington to help mark a few more items off of other lists. Sadly, Janet, one of the women I saw at the Pretty in Pink Fashion Walk, passed away in January. Her story touched everyone in the room. She was brave and strong and loved her son deeply. I hope we see the day where there’s a cure and women like Janet get to do all the things in life they want to, like take their kids to Disney World and watch them grow up and get married and to spend a lifetime growing old with her husband. I really hate cancer.

Giveaway Winners!

Going to make this post short and sweet! I recorded a video last night of me drawing the winners of the giveaway. I did change up the giveaway a little bit, so be sure to view it to get the deets and find out who won what!

Also, second part of the giveaway is happening in the new year so stay tuned and keep sharing! You can click the link on the right hand side to “Follow Blog” and get email updates each time I post, OR you can visit Blog Lovin’ and sign up there!

Hoping to announce another item to be crossed off of a bucket list today (will be posted on the Go Fund Me site) and all of the winners will have their items mailed to them this week!

My heart is so grateful for all of you who have read the blog, donated to the giveaway, shared the giveaway and for all the site owners who were generous enough to donate items, too! Also, please excuse my outfit, I got home from the gym and wanted to do the drawing last night as I had promised!

We Believe Santa 5k recap + giveaway

Before I tell you about my 5k today, I wanted to share a few more items that are part of the giveaway. When I contacted Wendy with LoveW Boutique to see if she would be willing to donate something for the giveaway, she responded with “Can I send you 10?” I mean, seriously, the generosity of this woman is overwhelming! I received the bags and they are even more adorable in person! She sent two different sizes, some change purse sized ones and some larger make up bag sizes, and all different designs.

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And I may or may not have squealed over the charms that are attached to the zippers:

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The smaller bags will be paired with the jewelry that was donated by The Painted Pearl, Lori’s Wire Jewelry and Island Cowgirl.

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So, by donating just $10, you could win some fabulous earrings, a necklace, or pink ribbon rings PLUS one of these darling bags. If you need a reminder on the jewelry, here you go!

Earrings from The Painted Pearl in gold or silver:

Painted Pearl
                         Painted Pearl

Necklace from Island Cowgirl:

Island Cowgirl
Island Cowgirl

Pink Ribbon Rings by Lori’s Wire Jewelry:

Lori's Wire Jewelry
Lori’s Wire Jewelry

Aren’t these items incredible? And aren’t the shop owners who are so generous also incredible? Their kindness has blown me away. And I’d love for you to have a chance to win any or all of these items in the giveaway. So go enter TODAY and don’t miss out!

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This morning I ran what will be my last organized race of 2014. I ran the We Believe Santa 5k at the US National Whitewater Center. I’m not a huge fan of trail races (although trail running can be quite enjoyable).

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I really should have been doing a 7 mile run today, but my legs were actually still a little sore from my 6 miler and workouts earlier this week, so I figured strenuous hills and trails would be enough of a workout today. And it was. I finished 206 of 480 participants. Somehow, I did not do so hot in my age group but I reminded myself that I wasn’t there to compete, just run and that I did.

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And I had my biggest supporter waiting for me when I crossed the finish line, so it was a good run.

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How was your Saturday? Hope it was AMAZING and I hope you’ve had a chance to check out all the amazing items in the giveaway and entered. Remember, it all goes to a great cause of making some special wishes come true for ladies who have breast cancer. Your support is appreciated and you’re basically guaranteed to win something with all of these amazing prizes!

What I’m loving Wednesday!

I am excited to share some products with you today that I am loving right now! And I’m proud to say that none of them are tested on animals – which is something that is near and dear to my heart. But first….

I wanted to share something else that’s near and dear to my heart: THE BIG GIVEAWAY that’s happening RIGHT NOW from which all proceeds go to help women in NC with breast cancer or who are survivors, cross things off of their bucket lists! You have until December 15th to enter (by donating to the GoFundMe) and you’ll be entered to win a variety of prizes such as these items from Carolyn Leona!

Dishtowels

Liz, the owner of Carolyn Leona, donated two fancy dishtowels (valued at $14 each!) and one DARLING pig apron. Now, her pig items have been FLYING out of the shop, so this is a great opportunity for you to win one and make sure you get your hands on it before she sells out again!

pig apron

Is that not THE CUTEST? Her aprons are $30 each. If you’re interested in ordering any of her items, she has free shipping through tomorrow with the code “SHIPFREE” at checkout. I am a HUGE fan of her linens and aprons and will definitely be purchasing my own – but YOU can win yours here. And by donating $25, you are entered 3 times to win (which is still less than the cost of the apron or both dish towels!).

Now, for those products I wanted to share with you. Have you ever heard of the Beagle Freedom Project? Their videos make me cry all the time. These poor pups have been caged up since they were born and had products put on their skin and in their eyes and mouths to see what kind of reactions they have to them. What products, you ask? TONS of products that you have in your house and probably use on a daily basis. There’s an app that you can use when shopping to find out if an item is tested on animals – isn’t that handy?

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Image from Beagle Freedom Project website

So, in an effort to not support testing on animals, I’ve been very careful about what products I purchase. I’m proud to say my current toiletries do not fall in the category of being tested on animals.

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First is Dr. Teals: I use the foaming bath and epsom salt (I like the relax and relief kind!) for my post-run or hard workout baths. They have a variety of other products available as well, and other scents.

Next is Organix lotion: I have the coconut milk hibiscus scent and love it. You’ve probably seen their hair products when you’re out shopping, those are good too!

Method is a brand I’ve been seeing pop up in different places, but it’s definitely available for you at your local Target, grocery stores or drug stores. Not only do they have body wash, they have household cleaning products – and all at reasonable prices – including laundry detergent.

Jessica Alba’s brand has been one of my favorites for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve used her hair products. I have the conditioner pictured here and I can’t tell you how much I love the smell! It also does a great job of making my hair silky feeling! Did you know Jessica Alba also helped found the Honest Company and they have a ton of baby products?

Jason is a new one for me. I saw this shampoo and thought I would give it a try (I also tried Aquage but I didn’t love the smell of the shampoo. I do like the volumizing products though!). This particular shampoo boasts that it has biotin and of course, that it doesn’t test on animals. It kind of smells like baby powder to me. I do like the way it works, so I’ll probably continue using it.

Lastly, the Neutrogena Naturals line offers a wide selection of acne treatment, creams, cleansers and scrubs for your face. I am currently using the pore scrub and liking it. It’s just enough scrubbing for my face and doesn’t dry me out.

What are some of your favorite products? I’m currently seeking make up that also isn’t tested on animals (and working on convincing my husband we need to foster one of these beagles!).

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

First of all, DID YOU SEE THE BIG GIVEAWAY that’s happening NOW?! A donation of $10 tiny dollars gets you entered to win over 25 items!!! I am super grateful for those folks who donated items for the giveaway and want to highlight them over the next few weeks. I’m starting with the “Love Never Fails” prints. There are THREE of these to giveaway and any of them would look just lovely framed in a bedroom, or a hallway, or anywhere to give you a sweet reminder that true love, never fails.

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I ordered the first one from Southern Weddings for our very own wedding, and ordered a second one for this giveaway! The black version pictured, is from Lovely Little Paper Co. and is STUNNING. This would stand out on just about any wall! The third one is classic with it’s black and white look and is from The Stationary Boutique. All three of these prints are $16-20 each, so by donating just $10 and having the chance to win one of these, you’re still coming out on top – and you get something pretty out of it!

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Now, for our Thanksgiving Tour wrap up. We started in the triangle area of NC with my in-laws and spent 2.5 days with them, eating ourselves silly

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….and playing tons of games.

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I made some special treats to take with us, including Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies, Mini Sweet Potato Pies and Apple Butter Cookies (with my Paw Paw’s apple butter). They were all delicious but the Nutella Cookies obviously took the cake, or cookie.

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On Friday, we hopped in the car (with the dogs!) and headed to Virginia for time with my family and to celebrate my cousin’s recent marriage with a Hokie themed reception!

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Our niece and nephew loved spending time with the doggies…

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On Saturday, we went to the Pete Dye River Course and celebrated my cousin and his wife, Katie.

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The Hokie themed reception was so much fun – especially the photo booth. All of the little ones loved putting on moustaches and crazy hair. It was so nice to catch up with everyone and see how happy Alex & Katie are together. And now that wedding season is over for us (whew!), it’s time for everyone to start having babies (except us!).

How was your Thanksgiving? What was your favorite part? For me, it was definitely the sweet potato casserole. I think I could live off of that!