Drum Roll Please….. We Have a #Happiest5k Giveaway Winner

February 2, 2014

We have a winner!  Rafflecopter randomly selected the winner of our #Happiest5k giveaway.

And the winner is…….

Nicole B. from Massachusetts
Thanks to everyone that entered.  I want to thank The Color Run for sponsoring our giveaway.  
So you still want to run a The Color Run race and you didn’t win?  
They have offered my readers a discount with the code below.  
Stay tuned for other great giveaways, I have a few in the works!  

How to Make a Memory

January 28, 2014

Maybe it was growing up the oldest of four siblings or the oldest grandchild, but I never really felt like I had anything of my “own”.  I always tried to share and I didn’t mind that.  I was raised to believe that if I had 2 dollars in my pocket, I could give you one.

I think this made me obsessed with things and stuff.

Once I became working age, I wanted to work so that I could buy my “own” stuff.
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It started with an occasional gold trinket, or maybe some clothes from Abercrombie or American Eagle.

As I grew up my tastes progressed, Gap or Banana Republic became closet staples.

Burberry eventually caught my eye, along with Kate Spade and Tory Burch.  They are a whole lotta gorgeous.

For a very long time, I felt like I always wanted something, and then that “thing” was never enough.
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When my son was born, I spared no expense with him.  I have Burberry and Ralph Lauren to prove it.  I got compliments galore on how well dressed he was, or that he looked like a “little man”.

My obsession with possessions progressively worsened after the death of my brother.  I purchased things in an attempt to cheer myself up.  Have you heard the expression, “trying to put a band-aid on a bullet wound?”  It wasn’t pretty, pleasant, or pleasing.

I have spent the last year soul searching and in self discovery.  Why didn’t “things” make me happy?

In the middle of a stack of self-help books I found an answer.  A book asked me to recall the 5 happiest memories of my life, none of which involved “stuff”.  In fact, when I recall my fondest childhood memories none of them involved gifts or presents.  I certainly didn’t go without, but I barely recall anything my parents purchased.  An Alf doll when I was 5ish because I broke my arm, and a pink banana boat seat bicycle with pink streamers that I wrecked racing my brother, are two of the sole presents that stick out in my mind.

Don’t take me the wrong way, I still love Kate Spade and Tory Burch as much as any girl.  I realized my life needed to be about more than the things I owned.

What kind of an example was I setting for Gabe?  My Grandfather and I were discussing the devaluation of holidays.  Once upon a time, kids got presents just for Christmas and birthdays. It isn’t uncommon for children now to get random gifts throughout the year.  Gabe is an only child, he might have gotten 2 new toys within a week “just because”.

I hate to shamefully discuss Gabe’s wardrobe.  I live in Kentucky, and at 2 years old my son had several pieces of Burberry in his closet.  I would freak out every time he wore them.  Who wouldn’t be terrified of pizza stains on a $90 shirt?  If he was wearing Burberry as a child, what would he expect when he got older?

I needed to stop placing emphasis on possessions, and more about memories.

I have seriously curbed my toy buying habit, and Gabe doesn’t need a new outfit every week.

Memories don’t require money.

We had an unexpected snow.  It was several inches of frosty goodness.  My boyfriend had his dad find an old Outdoor Tire intertube.  It had to be patched with a bicycle tire patch and blown up, but it equaled hours of fun.  We played in the snow for nearly 2.5 hours, running up and sliding down a long hill.

As soon as we made it back to the top Gabe would scream, “Mommy lets do it again!”

Jeremy helping Gabe climb back up the hill, and then doing it all over again.

When we got back into the truck that day, I said I wanted Gabe to remember days like today.  I didn’t want him to place value on the things I bought him or his possessions, as much as I wanted him to treasure those memories.  Clothes can stain and shred, toys will eventually break, but a snowy day in Kentucky with the people you love can never be erased from your memory.
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Happy Memory Making Monday,

2014 The Color Run: #Happiest5k Giveaway

January 13, 2014

Walk, Run, or just there to have fun?  The Color Run 5k has it all.  

Objective:  Walk or Run 5 kilometers which is roughly 3 miles and have fun doing it.
                     You will want to wear white for the most colorful experience.  

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, get fit, or try something new?   
A 5k race is great introduction to running, and for most people you can train for a 5k in roughly 8 to 9 weeks.  But who said you HAVE to run it?  

Last year, The Color Run hosted over a 170 events in 30 countries.  

What’s new in 2014 for The Color Run?  Every race entrant gets a colorful “goodie” bag.  If you enter and participate in a 2014 The Color Run you will receive a designer t-shirt, a cool sweatband, a packet of color, a very happy temporary tattoo, a “brag” bracelet, and a colorful sling bag.   

Can’t wait to enter a The Color Run race? 
Do you want a race discount?  
The Color Run has offered my readers a $5 discount on a paid race entry.  Here are the details:

The 2014 The Color Run race calendar can be found here

Didn’t I say something about a giveaway?  

I have a pair of race registration entries to giveaway to a lucky reader.  You have to complete a few simple tasks to earn entries to the Rafflecopter giveaway, and you can earn up to 4 entries into the raffle.  Sorry folks, you can’t choose a race that has sold out.  


Good luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are a few rules:
No purchase is necessary to win.
Giveaway is open to U.S. residents.
Entries open on January 12, 2014 at midnight EST and close on February 1, 2014 at midnight EST.
Winner will randomly be generated through Rafflecopter.
Winner will be contacted via email, and announced on the blog when entries are confirmed.  

The Happiest 5k just got happier.  Did you know that a portion of a race entries go to a charitable organization?  The Color Run has donated over $1 million dollars between 80+ local and national charities.  Your race entries aren’t tax deductible, but you know that you’re supporting a business which supports worthy non-profits.  The Color Run also has a global charity partner, Global Poverty Project.  Their mission is to help eradicate extreme global poverty.  

Find The Color Run on Social Media.

Follow The Color Run on Twitter here.  
You can like them on Facebook here.
You can follow them on Pinterest here
You can follow them on Instagram here

Happy Magical Monday,

BJWC Charitable Purchase: Poinsettias For a Purpose

Every year many families “deck the halls,” but what if your seasonal decorations could help support charitable projects in your community?  Bluegrass Junior Woman’s Club in conjunction with Pemberton’s Nursery are offering poinsettias, fresh wreathes, and garland.  A large portion of the proceeds will go to the Bluegrass Junior Woman’s Club and the many projects we conduct in the community.  Bluegrass Children’s Fund, Santa’s Shoppers, along with partnership organizations such as Bluegrass Domestic Violence (now known as Greenhouse 17), Ronald McDonald House of the Bluegrass, Hope Center, Children’s Advocacy Center, and many more local agencies benefit from the hard work of Bluegrass Junior Woman’s Club.  We are unable to fulfill all of our commitments without the support of our community.  We ask that you consider purchasing your live and fresh holiday decorations from BJWC this year.  

Poinsettias are $13 each 

In addition to the poinsettias, we have the return of the greenery options:

  • 22” Mixed Noble Fir w/ Cones Wreath – $24
  • 20” Boxwood Wreath – $26
  • 75 Feet of White Pine Roping – $35

Orders will be placed on Wednesday, November 20, so any order will need to be received on the evening of Tuesday, November 19.  Please contact [email protected] or myself directly.  
Our club greatly appreciates your continued support.  Your generosity allows us to contribute to and continue our partnerships with many other non-profit organizations in the Lexington, Kentucky community.  
Have you satisfied all your holiday decorating needs?  You can still help us.  We are asking for Santa’s Shoppers sponsorships.  

Please check out Bluegrass Junior Woman’s Club for more information on our non-profit organization or any of our charitable giving projects.  

Happy Thoughtful Tuesday,

I Want to Go Back to Mayberry, Walton Mountain, or Maybe Just Home to Barbourville

August 4, 2013
Daniel Boone Festival Princess Candidates

I was born in Barbourville, Kentucky, which is of little significance to most people.  
It is a sleepy little town nestled in the foothills of the mountains. Knox County is home to Union College, the original Daniel Boone Festival, and two former Kentucky governors.  The population of the County is just over 30,000, so it is very easy to know (or be related in some way) to everyone in this beautiful little town.  The separation of church and state isn’t clearly defined, and the County is on a shrinking list of “dry” counties in Kentucky.  Residents generally go to church Sunday morning and evening, along with Wednesday night.  Church Revival and Vacation Bible School weren’t just options.  

Union College Cheerleading

Socioeconomic boundaries which often deter friendships in larger cities really aren’t an issue here.  I have had friends since before I was born.  The Maid of Honor in my own wedding was the niece of the Maid of Honor in my parents wedding many years before.  It wasn’t uncommon that I had the same teachers as my Mom and Dad, or that my teachers were once students of my great grandmother.  

My childhood friend who became my Maid of Honor

There is very little I would change about my childhood.  I ran barefoot up and down Kay Jay til my feet were calloused. I fished “crawdads” out of the creek and somehow managed to not catch hepatitis A.  I wrecked or flipped a four wheeler, motorcycle, or go-cart more times than I care to count.  I climbed hay bales and occasionally drove a tractor.  I was raised by a village and not just my family.  Trips around the world could never replace the time I spent with my family and friends.  

One of the greatest advantages of small town living might be the friendships.  Today Gabe and I will help a sweet little girl celebrate her 4th birthday.  I’m sure there were more than a few people that never thought Monica or I would ever have children.  She taught me to hula hoop at the Hooter’s in Richmond.  We had all night conversations that occasionally involved copious amounts of alcohol, and

Monica and I 

resulted in random texts and phone calls to unsuspecting individuals.  There were countless other adventures that were too random or mischievous that I wouldn’t dare make public.  I can still recall the day she called to say she was pregnant.  I would discover that I was pregnant, before her daughter was born.  

Our lives have changed dramatically over the last few years but our friendship remains the same.  We are both devoted mothers and silly friends.  One day I look forward to telling Harley and Gabe “select” stories from before they were born.  Gabe and I are both blessed to have this opportunity.  

My grandparents “Maw” and “Paw” 

I spent most of my life dreaming about running away from this little town.  I have traveled the world and lived in lots of exciting cities, but part of my heart will always remain here.  I grew up in “Mayberry” or as close as you might imagine.  The “Walton’s” were my neighbors.  I know at least one Andy, John-Boy, Mary Ellen, Aunt Bee, Barney, Opie, and Zeb Walton.  Life here might not be glamorous, but people make the best of what they have.    I am starting to look forward to being home for a few months.  I can spend time with my family and reconnect with old friends.  This town and these people inspired the life I have.  

Real country girls still ride in the rain 

The Andy Griffith Show and The Walton’s are no longer prime time television but places like Barbourville, Kentucky will always exist in rural America.  I encourage everyone to find their roots and discover what keeps you grounded.  

While I am home I would love to hear stories about growing up in Barbourville.  If you have a story you want to share or know someone who does, please feel free to reach out.  

Happy Social Sunday

What is Run Foam Run 5K? Let Bluegrass Junior Woman’s Club Show You!

Themed runs are a current trend.  You have various color runs, night runs, mud runs, and even zombie runs.  Bluegrass Junior Woman’s Club is proud to host Lexington, Kentucky‘s first foam run.  The event is brought to you by the creators of Glow in the Night 5k.  It will feature large inflatables, goofy obstacles, and lots of foam.  The event titled Run Foam Run will benefit Bluegrass Junior Woman’s Club and the clubs special projects.  BJWC is a local non-profit devoted to helping disadvantaged women, children, and families through various outreach project.  The Santa’s Shopper’s program, Ronald McDonald House, Bluegrass Domestic Violence, and the Children’s Advocacy center all benefit from the hard work and dedication of BJWC members.

So grab a few friends, maybe a funny costume, and help raise money for an amazing organization.  
Please stayed tuned for updated obstacle alerts and information.  
Heats will run from 9am to 12pm but the most popular time slots will fill fast so get your entries in.
Entries are $45 up until Friday, August 2, 2013
Day of race entries will be based upon availability and will be $60
Happy Terrific Tuesday,

Blood, Sweat, and Ink

June 1, 2013
My late brother Brandon and his daughter Bella

I dread May and December.  My brother was murdered on May 25th, which fell on Memorial Day that year.  Now I’m not sure which day to mourn my brothers passing, so instead I mourn both.  December 15th was his birthday and shortly after is Christmas.  I always have a six month cycle of mourning and grief.  This year I promised to celebrate his life instead of mourning his death.  I spent the days reflecting on all the incredible memories we shared.  My sister got a beautifully scripted memorial tattoo in his honor.  The text read, “Brandon, If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”  In my heart he will live forever, he is alive as long as our memories are.  

Photo Credit: Anna Peace 
I had been considering a memorial tattoo for a while.  I have one small tattoo that I have had for many years, I take body art pretty seriously.  When my sister surprised us saying she was getting hers, I knew I wanted to get mine too.  It wasn’t that I was competing with her, I just found it ironic that the symbolic tattoo I had chosen many months before related to the text my sister chose.  

Photo Credit: Jessica Urgelles

My regular readers know I grew up in a very small town in rural southeastern Kentucky.  It isn’t uncommon that people were born, live, and eventually die here.  The local tattoo artist when to high school with my father, and had known my grandparents for a very long time.  

The really special thing about Chuck Hendrickson is that he also tattooed my late brother Brandon.  He also tattooed both of my other siblings.  I know Brandon was smiling down on us that day, and probably laughed as I gritted my teeth.
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 I chose to get my tattoo on my rib cage under my right arm.  It isn’t the most pleasant place to get a tattoo, but I like them discrete.  I also don’t have very much meat on my rib cage, and that didn’t help matters.
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At least I knew I was in the capable hands of a tattoo artist who was responsible and was covered with specialist insurance (these details cover some of the information that may be of interest to other tattoo artists or parlour owners like Chuck). 
Photo Credit: Jessica Urgelles 
                                                                                                                              My dear old friend Monica joined me for moral support and everyone chatted with memories of Brandon.  I almost felt like he was actually there with me, I like to remind myself he is always with me. He wasn’t perfect but he loved his family, and he would do anything for a friend.  He had a big heart, a goofy demeanor, and a zest for life.
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My tattoo turned out more beautiful than I had hoped.  I will always have it as a reminder of brother, friend, and childhood playmate that I was so viciously taken from me.  

I love you Brandon Michael Peace, your body might be gone but you will never be forgotten.  

Thanks again to Chuck Hendrickson of Knox Street Tattoo in Barbourville, Kentucky for doing an incredible job on the tattoo.  I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.  

Happy Sassy Saturday,