Monday, October 29, 2012

Runner Safety

As a mom of a ten-year old daughter, the kidnapping and murder of Jessica Ridgeway has been heavy on my heart these last few weeks.  If this event is not horrific enough, her murderer tried to nab a jogger several months earlier.  Thankfully, the jogger was able to get away without injury.

Now that the daylight hours are getting so short, many of us will be forced to run in the darkness early in the morning before going to school or work or later in the evening.  Not only has the Jessica Ridgeway case got me thinking about safety, I was at a Girls on the Run retreat recently where a presenter, Beth Risdon, spoke about marathon training, including runner safety.  This issue was close to her heart because her cousin was abducted and murdered while out on a run close to home last January.  You can read more about her cousin Sherry here.

Beth blogs at Shut Up and Run and she recently posted some tips on runner safety.

Attackers generally look for the easiest target: someone distracted, alone, or in a hidden area.  Did you know that running with just one friend decreases your chance of being attacked over 50%.  Run with two friends and your chance of attack drops to almost zero.

I rarely run headphones anymore.  They make me feel too vulnerable.  I like to be aware of the world around me and any threats.  While I don't always run with friends, I always have my dogs with me.  They may look like gentle giants, but I have no doubt they would tear an attacker (be it human or mountain lion) to shreds if they sensed danger.

If someone makes you feel threatened, scream as loud as you can.  They might be scared away by the unwanted attention.  Even if they are not an attacker, it's better to be safe than sorry and feel a little embarassed by your screaming.

Have you ever thought you could out run an attacker?  I know I've considered this strategy.  However, this weekend's Zombie Infested 5k has changed my mind.  During this race, zombies were hidden along a 5k race course.  Runners had flags attached to their bodies that the zombies tried to grab.  Once all of their flags were gone, the runner was "dead."

The race passed by my house and we had an especially wily zombie out front.  His long, stringy hair, ripped jeans and high tops made him appear to be more comfortable on the couch listening to Pink Floyd and smoking a joint, rather than out running around.  I didn't think he would be able to take many flags. 

I was wrong.  He mainly chose women as his "victims."  No matter how speedy the woman looked, he was almost always able to get her.  While his intentions were not malicious, it was eye opening to see how easy it could be to get caught by the "bad guy."

I don't mean to preach doom and gloom on my blog.  In fact, it's highly unlikely that you will ever be attacked.  However, I would be devastated if you, me, someone we know, or ANYONE was that one person who gets attacked.

If you think these tips are worthwhile, please pin or share them.  Here's to being safe out there!!!

Feel free to share any other safety tips you might have too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Family Launch Pad

I've dreamed about having a place to organize all of the things to help us get out the door on time in the morning. A place to corral homework, shoes, backpacks, instruments, and mittens. While I don't have a big, beautiful mudroom to store all of this stuff, I blogged about turning a small space into a functional "mudroom" here.

I recently made a trip to Ikea and was able to put some of my mudroom plans into action.  I have a very unusable, nonfunctional hallway in my house that has been sitting empty.
A few hours of assembly and no we've got this nice little family launch pad.

I put an Expedit on the floor and added black bins.  Each child gets an area to store their shoes and other stuff.

That black door heads out into the garage.

I also hung two Expedit units on the wall.  I thought they were fine "as is," but my daughter was lured by the shiny mirror doors and requested that we add them.  I'm so glad that we did, because now everybody can shove their stuff inside and it still looks neat and organized.

I also hung some filing pockets, also from Ikea.  It's called the "Kvissel," in case you're curious.  Now, when the kids are looking for important school papers, I just have to say, "Check the Kvissel."

Next up is creating a family calendar.  A few weeks ago, I stuck some tape on a white board...just so we could have something!

Soooo embarrassing, I know...but it's working!

I would love to have something like Carmel's:

My walls are super-textured, so I'm not sure this would work very well.  I'm thinking I might be able to do something with Washi tape or vinyl.

Does anyone else have an ideas for a cute family calendar?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fundraiser for a Friend

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  She is the mother of two daughters, a fifth grader an eighth grader.  The fifth grader is good friends with my oldest daughter.  The mother underwent surgery last Thursday and will be starting chemotherapy soon.
My heart is breaking for this sweet family.  In an effort to help with some of their medical bills, I'm holding a Stella & Dot party where I'm donating 50% of any commissions I earn between October 8th and November 13th to the family.

If you are not familiar with Stella & Dot, they sell beautiful jewelry that has been featured in numerous fashion magazines and is worn by celebrities.  The also have candles, iPhone cases, wallets, handbags and tech cases, and scarves.

During the month of October, Stella & Dot also has a Pink Boutique, where 100% of the proceeds are being donated to the Noreen Fraser Foundation benefiting women's cancer research.

I'm truly hoping that I am able to raise some money to help the family.  I think about how easily any of us could be suffering what they are going through.  It has also added a new perspective to my life.  I might complain about my weight or not being a fast runner, but I am vowing to be thankful everyday for my health and the health of my family.  I am so grateful for our healthy bodies.
To view the rest of the Stella & Dot collection and to place an order, go here.  You can order online and your merchandise will be shipped directly to you.  You can also order through the button on my sidebar.   If you have any questions, please ask!  Also feel free to share this on our blogs too.  Let's try to do some good!!!  Thank you!
If you are interested in holding your own online Stella & Dot trunk show on your blog, let me know.  The average show earns the hostess $250 of free jewelry + 50% off additional purchases.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Where I've Been

Hello my friends!!!  Wow, that was a long, but unintended blogging break.  Sometimes life gets so busy...but my life has been filled with "good" busy things that I wouldn't trade for the world (except maybe a little more blogging and exercise time!).

Fall is generally a busy time for my family.  I have two soccer players and a competitive gymnast, so that means we are travelling around the state to meets.  My oldest, the gymnast, and I took a trip to Colorado Springs where we visited the Olympic Training Center.  Our tour guide was a fencer living and training at the center.  Those athletes are dedicated!

We also got to see the Fierce Five perform.  It was so exciting being thisclose to Olympians Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Weber and the rest.  We even got autographs after the big show.

While on this girl's trip, we stopped into IKEA where I bought some things to make a mini-mudroom that I'll share with you later on this week.

The next weekend, I helped organize and attend a "Women's Camp" in Beaver Creek, Colorado that was sponsored by Girls on the Run.  If you're not familiar with Girls on the Run, it's an elementary school program that coaches girls to run a 5K race.  It also provides lessons on self-esteem and health.  It's a GREAT program for girls.  I'm going to be helping coach my school's group this spring.

Women's Camp was filled with motivational speakers, activities, delicious food, and of course, RUNNING in the gorgeous fall weather!

As you might remember, all of my girls transferred to a Catholic school this year.  The school is wonderful, although it is quite a drive from our home.  I've been spending lots of time in the car as well as volunteering at school.  I've been doing most of my blog reading on my phone while I have short breaks, which is not very conducive to commenting!  So, I apologize for being out of touch.

My middle daughter has been having a hard time transitioning to the new school and the tougher academic requirements.  So, I was so proud of her when she was chosen to read the Gospel in front of the entire school last week.  She did such a good job!

She has also been busy playing on her soccer team, which is undefeated this season with only one game to go.  GO FAIRIES!!!

My youngest never stops talking.  In fact, her voice is always hoarse from her constant stream of talking.  At least she makes up for the other two, who barely say anything!

She is also playing soccer.  It's so cute to watch the little girls.

I have jury duty on Monday (praying I don't get picked).  And then my parents are flying in from Minnesota to spend the week with us.  I'm so excited!!!

While these little girls keep me frazzled, stressed busy, I am so thankful for them and for their good health.  I am so grateful that we are able to do all of these busy, yet fun, things together!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Giveaway Reminder

Remember to enter the Wear It aGinn giveway.   There aren't many entries yet, so you have a great chance at winning.

Check out this cute belt she made:

You could win a cute wristlet for your keys.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Starting Simple

I haven't completed any big projects lately, but sometimes completing the simplest things can be just as gratifying.

For example, I have the dreaded junk drawer in my kitchen.  I cringe every time I open it and then quickly try to slam it shut and cram all of the clutter back in.

While Mary was playing in the kitchen, I decided to empty the entire drawer.  It's only be bothering me for 3-4 months!

I emptied the stuff and sorted it into litte plastic containers I had around.
While it's not perfect, it's so much better.  This little project only took me about 10 minutes and zero dollars after 3-4 months of procrastinating!

I have a house filled with little projects like this that need to get done.  I just need to start simple, not stress about making it perfect, and get things done. 

What little projects do you have around your house that you've been avoiding?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wear It aGinn Giveaway!

I know you will like my friend Renee Ginn.  She crafts. She cooks. She DIY's.  She parents two adorable children and she's an army wife.  She basically can do it all!  She doesn't have a blog...yet!  She has just started a new little venture called Wear It aGinn.

Renee is making adorable items, such as these preppy wristlets.  How cute would these look attached to your key chain?  I might never lose my keys at the bottom of my bag again!  Wouldn't these make perfect teacher gifts?

For your favorite Republicans out there.

For all of my dog lovers, check out the dog collars. 

How about a Jacquard Ribbon Belt?  This is just a small sample of the collection.

Here's how you can win a wristlet of your very own:
You must be a follower of Saved by Suzy on Facebook or through Google Friend Connect to enter.  Leave a comment for each and increase your chances of winning:
1.  Be a liker of Wear it aGinn on Facebook.
2.  Pin your favorite Wear it aGinn item to Pinterest and leave me a comment saying you did.
3.  Leave a comment telling Renee your favorite item.
4.  Share the news: blog or facebook about this giveaway and let me know you did.
This giveaway will close on Wednesday, Sept. 26th and the winner will be announced on Thursday, Sept. 27th.