Tag Archives: blood cancer

Accidental Beauty Blogger

Accidental Beauty Blogger

I use my blog a lot to write about my struggles, adventures, running and fundraising to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma society and their fight against blood cancers! I’ll conveniently post my fundraising page link here – and again at the end of the post. I’m $2100 or so away from meeting my personal goal for the Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon event! That’s a lot of money to support this great cause 😉

Go Big, Go Vegas and Go Team!

I get a few likes and views…mostly from Facebook friends! Last month I wrote a small post about my Face Spackle sample in my Birchbox. It is great stuff…but it cracked me up because I think I got it because I’m in the over 40 crowd! I got way more views and likes  from the beauty blog’ish post than anything before-which kind of made me laugh because the only reason I probably even have makeup is that my mom gifts me Birchbox subscriptions! (I really do love the samples though!) I accidentally became a beauty blogger for a day. And…oooof…those of you that followed my blog because of that Face Spackle post…no worries if you stop following when you realize this isn’t really a beauty blogging type of blog!

Ok. Here are more thoughts on beauty blogging though…You’ve all seen this pic on my blog before, but this is what I look like when I first wake up in the morning.

I think I may be actually wearing some make up in the picture below…maybe the LOC eyeliner and PBJ Lip Smoothie by The Beauty Crop from my June 2016 Birchbox?


I really got dressed up in the next picture…a quick spray of the dry shampoo I received a while back, the Coola mineral face sunscreen and some other stuff (pictured below…with my yoga mat background) and off we went on  a hike! Getting fancy… Not sure why I bothered with any makeup to go tromping around in the mountains. I think I was still giggling about my Face Spackle post!




And finally…here I am in the next pic with the most makeup I probably ever wear! I have a sample of some red lipsticks I got a while back. I’ll have to post those pictures at some point. I’m not used to that much color yet!! I’m failing as a beauty blogger because I don’t remember what products I used in most of the pictures. I can’t review them more than to say…I liked them, they felt good.  I’d buy them all if I had the money…except for that pink lip tar stuff I got once. See…I don’t even remember the names and am too lazy to go look on the packages! I guess the Coola would be the exception. It is perfect for when I run and think that my friends might take selfies or we’ll go out to brunch after. I would buy it by the gallon and bathe in it. It goes on smooth, doesn’t feel caky or dry like some face suncreens do – and I haven’t gotten a burn yet on my face on the days I’ve used it! (See…how was that?) I also really like the actual Birchbox boxes and have saved them all. I’m trying to find a good craft project on Pinterest for them! If any beauty bloggers ares still reading this…tell me what you do with your boxes!


If I don’t wear that much makeup, why am  I posting this, you ask? Well…for one…it really is fun to try out all of the samples. They make me feel special and a little glamorous. It helps with the depression to feel pampered, too. AND, It’s fundraising season again…time to bump up the training and start my fundraising. Since one of my goals this year is to ask for donations from strangers… (because it’s really hard for me to ask to do that) I’ll do this challenge. If someone I don’t know donates $25 or more – I’ll start my accidental beauty blogger blog… It’ll be separate from this but I’ll do it through to the end of the Marathon in Vegas in November.  My mom gets me Birchbox subscriptions from time to time (which really is one of the best gifts ever!!!), I know people who sell Younique, and I just treated myself to at least one month of an Ipsy Glam Bag subscription. I’ll have the supplies! My motto will be:


And, since I’m asking (and part of my motto this year is Go Big) – Birchbox, Ipsy, Younique, Coola, Laura Geller New York, The Beauty Crop…ya’ll want to sponsor Team in Training this year, right? Your naaaame would be on my running Jersey in Vegas and I’d blog about you!!! There are national sponsors and local sponsors  – go here for info become a TNT sponsor  and here are my local staff contacts – they could hook you up with all of the info! Sporty girls wear makeup too sometimes…even if you might not be able to see it! (Hint: any of you business people out there reading this could sponsor, too!)

Now granted, my accidental beauty blogger posts will probably be about beauty products and running…and maybe reviews of some of the gear I try out at run club. Like the heavenly Altra shoes and SmartWool socks! But can’t you just imagine…I could test how a fancy mascara stands up to a double digit run…I’d take photos of how that turns out! Brunch after a 20-miler – lets see what the dry shampoo can do for that. How does that perfume really  stand up after speedwork in 90 degree weather? Or maybe, the Garmin Forerunner 235 may be water resistant to a degree…but how easy is it really to clean sunscreen smudges from the watch face! The possibilities are endless…don’t some of you want to see this happen? This could be funny…and you would be helping support life saving cancer research and supporting blood cancer patients and their loved ones! If you can’t donate  – share – ask your favorite companies to donate or sponsor Team in Training!

I guess if you know me and want to see that blog come to life…donate and write a compelling argument for why I should do this…I’ll consider it.

Here is my fundraising site – Go Big, Go Vegas and Go Team! and more info about why I’m doing this.

Although…in closing, I have to say running, friends, and helping support a great cause like Team in Training is the best beauty product out there, right? Happiness is a great foundation and smiles are good face brighteners. Makeup and beauty products are fun, but they don’t define my worth or how I feel about myself or my looks! Just check out these two lovely ladies below and that’s all the proof you need! Me sans makeup for sure because this picture was taken at the butt crack of dawn the morning of the Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon in October! (That said…if makeup makes you happy – or not wearing makeup makes you sad – go for it -you’re beautiful when you feel beautiful!!)



The final countdown…


It’s October. Hey guys…IT’S OCTOBER!!! I can’t believe we’re down to the final countdown. 5  days (including today) to finish up my fundraising. 16 more days until the race. Tomorrow is mission day…our longest training run! This has, hands down, been one of THE most fulfilling things I have done. Ever. I’m going to do a post a day for the next five days to count us down to the fundraising deadline-and then (at least) one wrap up, sentimental and emotional post after/around race day! Ok let’s be honest -there will be several… And, as always, here is the link to help out with my fundraising. 

My magic life saving fundraising portal 

Post 1 -To honor the end of this leg of my journey…lets go back to the beginning. Why did I get up at 5:30am every Saturday for months to go run? Why did I ask and ask and ask and ask for donations? Why did I bombard facebook with posts about all of this? To raise funds and awareness for blood cancer research  and family/patient support-but to also honor my grandma Margaret and learn more about her life. 

Here is a story Aunt Penny shared with me about Margaret learning how to drive. I hate driving. Really hate it. Margaret and I drove across the country together once-and all I remember is having fun and laughing. She made me feel comfortable and at ease! 

Margaret wanted to learn to drive before Penny began to attend Mayo Junior High School in the fall of 1957. The walk to school was a little more than a mile. Margaret didn’t want Penny to walk that far in the rain or cold winter snow. Penny was a sickly child who contracted strep throat several times a year.  

Penny’s father Marion said, “Walking won’t hurt her. No one except Lennie Alexander drives their kids to school anyway and he only does that because he’s just coming in from his night shift when it’s time for the kids to go to school.”

Marion, who wasn’t crazy about Margaret learning to drive, traded his car for a 1950 baby blue stick-shift Plymouth in 1955. He knew she had wanted an automatic but thought the stick would discourage her from wanting to drive.

He was possessive of Margaret. He didn’t want Margaret jumping into the car and going wherever and whenever she wanted. As if she would anyway. Marion had lost one wife to rambling ways. He wanted Margaret all to himself.

Margaret kept asking Marion to teach her to drive. On one of their Sunday afternoon drives, he decided to let her give it a try. This was her first time behind the wheel of a moving car. On a deserted country dirt road, she tried and tried to get the hang of the clutch. She only succeeded in jerking Penny, David and Larry like rag dolls as they sat in the back seat..  

Finally, Marion got so aggravated he yelled at her until she cried. She got out of the car, slamming the door. By the time she got to the passenger side, Marion was sliding across the bench seat to the driver’s position. The children shrank into the back seat hoping to disappear. Being on the receiving end of Marion’s wrath was not fun. His growl was very loud and scary.

That evening Margaret vowed that she would learn to drive but not a stick shift car. She threw such a fit, Marion traded the Plymouth for an 1955 Buick with an automatic transmission.  

Marion tried again to teach Margaret to drive. That episode wasn’t quite as bad as the previous one but still ended with yelling on Marion’s part and crying on Margaret’s. Once back home, Margaret told him, “I’ll learn to drive but it will be with someone else.” That was the end of the discussion.  

A friend and neighbor taught Margaret to drive during the summer of 1956. Several days a week, they practiced on country roads until Margaret was ready to take her driving test. She failed her first but that was typical in Paris. No one ever passed the first time.

A week later Margaret was all set to take her second driving test but David was ill. She decided she would take him to the doctor, check him in and leave him there while she went to take the driving test even though it was against the law for her to drive by herself.

Her eyes had the sparkle and shine of success as she left the Department of Motor Vehicles with her interim license.

Unbeknownst to Margaret, David had passed out in the waiting room. The staff had taken him back to a treatment room. He had pneumonia. The doctor could not treat him without permission so they were trying to find Margaret. They may have even called the police.  

When Margaret finally showed up David was on a table in the back, still unconscious. She was totally mortified and flooded with guilt.  

After David recovered from his illness and Margaret from her humiliation, she ventured outside of Paris and Edgar County. She drove to Danville, Illinois and Terre Haute, Indiana. The first trip to Terre Haute was to exchange S&H Green stamps for a lamp.

The summer of 1957, while Marion worked away from home, was a fun one for Margaret and the children. She took them to the drive-in theater on weeknights since Marion didn’t care to go after being away all week. She fixed popcorn, fudge, and an RC Cola for each of them. What a treat!    

On a Wednesday, a payday, Margaret had the children get up early. She packed a picnic lunch to be eaten while visiting Marion. She was taking them on a seventy mile road trip to Clay City where Marion was building a highway. They knew the drive would take all morning. She’d pick up his check instead of waiting for it to arrive in the mail on Friday. By picking the check up early, she could pay bills and shop before Friday. Since she had learned to drive, he didn’t mind if she did the banking and grocery shopping. Those chores had been his on Saturdays until the past year.

When they arrived it was very hot and bright. Not a cloud in the sky. A white chalky dust covered everything, even the men. There was no shine on any vehicle except the one Margaret drove and the dust accumulated quickly.

Marion saw them and ambled over to the car. He kissed Margaret but didn’t hug her because he was too dirty. He pretended he was going to hug and kiss the kids, too. They ran around screaming and laughing using Margaret as a shield.  

Their arrival coincided with the 11:30 lunch hour. Marion took the picnic basket from the trunk of the car and carried it to the tailgate of his truck, a good place to sit and eat sandwiches. Just as Margaret was clearing away the leftovers, Marion had Penny, Dave and Larry gather round to see inside his lunch bucket. Fried pies! One each.

Because it was the last summer Marion worked away from home, it remained a very special summer to Margaret and the children.

Within the next three years, Marion would be grateful that Margaret drove. It was Margaret who drove Marion’s father the one hundred sixty or so miles to Chicago for his weekly prostate cancer treatments.

Margaret had a lot of get up and go. Following Marion’s death in 1988 she went wherever and whenever she wanted. Margaret continued to drive until the last few months of her life when she herself became a cancer victim.

NOTE from Aunt Penny about the picture: 

My  mom made the dress she is wearing. She always dressed so stylish. She was one classy lady. Her Home Ec teacher said she should make a statement with her appearance. Getting dress and groomed as if she were going someplace was a daily ritual even if she was just staying home. Sometimes it didn’t happen until after she cleaned the gutters or mowed the yard. 🙂

This picture was taken before she wore glasses. Her first eye exam showed she needed bifocals. She was very surprised.

OH… For the Love of…there’s a spider crawling on my hand…. (aka the Day I met Rosie the Tarantula)

OH… For the Love of…there’s a spider crawling on my hand…. (aka the Day I met Rosie the Tarantula)

So….today was the day I faced a fear. I asked, you answered. I pledged to hold Rosie the Tarantula if I received a certain amount of donations by a certain date. Check out this blog post if you want to see how this all came to be –

Risk-Free Sibling Rivalry

You lovely people made it happen!  Ok. Without further ado…my journey to the Butterfly Pavilion to meet Rosie! (a Chilean Rose Hair tarantula).

Slightly nervous leaving the house.

Arriving at the Butterfly Pavilion

The moment we met . If you look closely you may notice my eyes were a little teary. Just a little. I didn’t full on cry, but it was pretty darn close. I took my inhaler before we left the house. The first part of the video is blurry – but stick with it. Sorry it is such a huge file…working on that.  Listen for Dave softly laughing in the background. He was awesome moral support! I was thinking I’d have time to work up courage to see Rosie after we entered the Butterfly Pavilion. Nope. Turned a corner and there she was! I’m glad she was right there at the start though.

Done and done!

It was quite a while before I took that sticker off!

The room Rosie is in has several other tarantulas.  Here’s the big’un. Involuntary reaction. That’s honestly how big I thought Rosie would be…but she wasn’t. There were walking stick insects and scorpions, too. Dave took about a thousand pictures. And if you know him, you know I’m not joking at all.

Still a little scary.

Happy to have moved on to sea creatures.

Although, I did decline to touch the starfish and the horseshoe crab. Hey…that wasn’t part of the deal 😉

Stick insects delicately holding on to branches.

Mr. Crab? Mrs. Crab?

I think the signs said there were 1200 butterflies in the tropical rainforest area. You can apparently go to yoga classes there sometimes, too. I wish I lived close enough for that! It was beautiful – even though I am a little creeped out by flying things. As you leave this area you have to go through a mirror-filled room to make sure you don’t have any little butterflies hitching a ride out of Dodge.

In the tropical rainforest.

Look at that giant butterfly?!?!?!?!


Really? I mean….really? Come on.. birds, too?


The things I do for Team in Training.

Next stop lunch!!

Guess where we ate?

Guess who won game one?

Guess who won game two?

Enjoying our staycation day.

Yes. Yes I am sitting in a child-sized chair.

OK guys, what’s my next adventure? Help decide? How about this…if I can raise $100 additional this week (ending at 11:59pm on 9/6/15) I’ll go through the aviary at the zoo. If I raise $500 total additional by 11:59pm on 9/6/15 I’ll do that AND go have a sushi lunch after – the raw stuff, too! That’ll be a fun video, right? I’m kind of betting that no one will actually read this…lol. I’m still on the fence…but will put it out there again that if I exceed my fundraising goal of $2000 I will think about getting a tattoo…a small, discrete, cover-up-able tattoo so I can work at Disney again some day if I want to. What’cha think about that? Any other scary things you guys would like to see me conquer? I’ll do it for donations!! No shame. September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month…so it’s a good time to challenge me!

Be on the lookout for posts about my other upcoming fundraisers – Thirty-one gifts online party starting any day, Jamberry online party starting Sept. 13, and my painting party on September 19th https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tnt-paints-the-park-tickets-18146492648 (Sign up by September 4 please?) I’ll update my Team in Training Fundraising site with info –

Here’s the link to my fundraising page!

My Magic Fundraising Portal – Help Save Lives Here

Thanks everyone for supporting and encouraging me along the way. It means a lot!!!! PS – don’t be scared of Rosie! She’s pretty awesome and was soft and light as a feather.

Stay-tuned! The next post is probably going to be about  G-Ma Ham (aka Margaret ) learning how to drive. i think I would have enjoyed telling her about my visit to see Rosie the Tarantula… We would have chatted about it sitting side-by-side in those kiddie chairs outside of Cracker Barrel!