Wednesday, August 26, 2015

There's Still Time to Register for the Upcoming 2015 Jimmy Fund Walk in September - Save $5 Off Registration NOW!!! #JimmyFundWalk #ad

Disclosure: I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.


Register Now For the 

Photo credit to John Deputy

See You There!

The 2015 Jimmy Fund Walk is fast approaching -- exactly one month from tomorrow.  My family and I are gearing up for the 3 mile walk from Dana Farber Cancer Institute to Copley Square.  This is just one of four routes walkers who register for the 2015 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai and help Dana-Farber Cancer Institute can chose.  The other starting points include:  Hopkinton, which is a 26.2-mile walk; Wellesley, a 13.1-mile walk and Boston College, a 5-mile walk.  All routes finish at the Copley Square finish area in Boston where walkers will enjoy live music and food, and can celebrate their fundraising achievements.

Photo credit to John Deputy

Why did I choose this route?  If you don't follow my blog regularly, you may not be aware that I, myself, am a cancer survivor. This past May parted 7 years in remission from stage 2 nasopharyngeal carcinoma.  This is a rare head and neck cancer which affects about 2% off the US popular and is usually seen in older adults and those of Asian descent.  Leave it to me to get a rare of cancer in my late 20's.  But, thanks to the amazing doctors and staff at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, where I received my cancer care, I am happy to say I kicked cancer's butt, and am living each day now as a gift.  



Photo credit to John Deputy

Not only is being in remission a gift, but I am also blessed with two beautiful girls -- which doctors didn't think I would be able to have, as I had to undergo both radiation and high dose chemotherapy treatment for my form of cancer.  I began my cancer treatment in March of 2008 and finished the end of May that same year.  And, by fall of the following year, I found I out I was pregnant with Savannah, and then Bella the next year.  


Miracles do happen...I am living proof of this each and every day thanks to the folks at Dana Farber Cancer Institute!



My girls are my world, and now that they are older -- Savannah is 5 yrs. old and Bella is almost 4 (this November), I wanted to do something special to celebrate my 7 years in remission and thought participating in the 2015 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, would be perfect, as I have never walked before.  

Savannah can't wait to walk in the 2015 Jimmy Fund Walk...


Look for her in her Red Jimmy Fund Hat! :-)

While my girls are still too young to understand what happened to me, I will definitely be sharing my cancer journey with them and reassuring them that will yearly checkups at Dana Farber and taking care of myself, I plan to stay in remission and live a long and healthy life, watching them grow, marry and have children of their own.  I will also be sharing with them stories of their relatives, including my aunt and grandparents who are no longer with us, as cancer took their lives.  I know I am not alone in having to experience cancer in some way.  You may be a cancer survivor yourself or know someone who is...or, you may be a caregiver to someone currently battling cancer, or had to watch someone very close to you lose their battle. 

While there may never be a cure for cancer, I hope that through continued research and testing that more treatment options will be available to those affected by cancer, that will put them in remission, just like me.  Cancer is fight no one should have to go through, but with the expertise and compassion offered by doctors and staff at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, know you or a loved one will be in good hands.  I owe Dana Farber Cancer Institute my life, and am so grateful to have the opportunity to walk with my family on September 27th in Boston with so many other cancer survivors, supporters, etc., all looking to take steps towards a cancer-free world.  I hope you will join me in  this walk to raise money to support extensive treatment, research and development, to conquer all cancers in children and adults  Through fundraising efforts of walkers (both in person and as a virtual walker - Learn more about participating as a virtual walker here), we can raise money that is vital to Dana Farber, as they focus on continued research and patient care, so that more and more people can say "I kicked cancer's butt!," just like I get to. :-)


Photo credit to John Deputy


There is still time to register for the upcoming 2015 Jimmy Fund Walk.  And, right now you can save $5 off registration by using coupon code "BLOG" when you register yourself or a team at http://budurl.com/ewkz.  I, for one, and loving the many tools available to help with raising money for this worthwhile cause.  And, depending on goals and fundraising milestones you reach, you can be rewarded with Jimmy Fund Walk swag, Red Sox tickets and more.


I have taking advice from previous Jimmy Fund walkers on how to raise more money for this worthwhile cause.  In addition to reaching out to family and friends and asking for their support, as well as donating myself in honor of family members I have lost to cancer, I have also been using the Walk Facebook app to promote my team, Team McCoy.   


So far, I have raised $600 towards my $1,000 goal, thanks in part to this fundraising app, which is a cinch to set up and use.


Also, my hope in sharing this and my previous Jimmy Fund Walk blog post last month, is to raise awareness of this walk, encourage you to walk, or at least give, as we all have been affected by cancer in one way or another.  Every little bit helps...won't you join me and so many others already registered for the walk, in raising crucial funds for research and patient care at Dana Farber?  


So, what are you waiting for?  Register to walk or donate today!  Hope to see on September 27th in Boston! :-)


Photo credit to John Deputy

Stay up-to-date on all things related to the upcoming Sept. 27th 2015 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk by following the Jimmy Fund Walk on FacebookTwitter (hashtag #JimmyFundWalk) and YouTube.


Disclosure: I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer Time Fun in Boston Made Sweeter with a Stop at the Sweet’N Low Truck #ad #IC #DontHesitaste

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Sweet’N Low. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.


I love when my blogging job sends me to Massachusetts, especially the Boston area, to cover events, as I get to meet up with family and friends and enjoy quality time together.  Born and raised in the Boston area, and having most of my family and friends still there, it is so nice to have an excuse/reason to visit.  And, two weeks ago, I got to visit not only Boston, but the North End for the annual Fisherman's Feast.  


If you live in New England and are Italian, then you know that August is filled with Italian festivals. Growing up, my family would meet up with other family and friends and spent the day enjoying the festivities and food.  Now, with a family of my own, I get to share some of my favorite childhood memories and places with my girls.



So, why I was invited to the Fisherman's Feast anyways?  In addition to the many vendors and food trucks that filled the streets in the North End, there was a hot pink truck that stood out -- it was the Sweet’N Low truck.  


I was asked to attend the event and experience Sweet’N Low truck, which included sampling different summer time drinks made with Sweet’N Low, as well as had a chance to take fun photos with the family with Sweet’N Low props and a cute #DontHesitate picture frame next to the truck.


"Sweet’N Low, America’s favorite pink packet zero-calorie sweetener, just launched a national sampling truck tour, bringing their sweetness on the road to “surprise and delight” people currently missing out on their great, sweet taste."

Upon arriving in the North End, I looked all around and quickly spotted the Sweet’N Low truck...how could you miss it as it was bright pink. :-)  With the girls in their strollers and my family and friends who met us in Boston, we headed right for the Sweet’N Low truck.  As we approached, we received a cheery welcome from the two Sweet’N Low truck folks manning the trucks.  And, before I could tell them I was from Inspired by Savannah, they were filling cups with iced tea and other summer drinks for us to sample, as part of their “Don’t Hesita(s)te” movement.



Everyone who was with us, couldn't believe how great the drinks tasted.  You would never know they were made with Sweet’N Low, if you weren't told it, or standing in front of the bright pink Sweet’N Low truck.  


I, for one, am always reaching for Sweet’N Low at home when making drinks and baking, as I try to offer healthy alternatives to sugary sweets and drinks for my family and friends. 


So, what is the “Don’t Hesita(s)te” movement you ask?....“Don’t Hesita(s)te” represents that moment when someone hesitates before tasting something which can mean they miss out on something delicious."



By offering free sweetened beverage samples to consumers through their mobile truck stops, Sweet’N Low wants to introduce those not familiar with their product, and show how you can reach for package of Sweet’N Low to add to your beverage to satisfy and delight your sweet tooth.  Did you know that one little pink packet of Sweet’N Low, which is made with saccharin, is about as sweet as two teaspoons of sugar? When my friends and family heard this, they couldn't believe it.   Like I said, everyone who was not familiar with Sweet’N Low couldn't detect this sugar substitute when sampling the sweet beverages.  All they knew was that the drinks tasted amazing, and they wished they could get another cupful. :-)  But, after hearing about how one packet equals about 2 tsp. of regular sugar, they were ready to make the switch to Sweet’N Low -- without hesitation.  They realized they would not be sacrificing on flavor and able to continue to satisfy their sweet tooth when it comes to sweet tea, iced tea and even lemonade during the hot summer months.  


So, why choose Sweet'N Low over regular sugar when looking to sweeten your drink or when baking or cooking?  Simple..."Numerous reputable organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, World Health Organization, and National Cancer Institute have acknowledged saccharin’s safety for human consumption and its benefit in helping to develop a healthy eating plan for long-term weight management, as well as for maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle."  

After sampling the drinks made with Sweet’N Low and taking photos with the Sweet’N Low props and #DontHesitate picture frame, we shared with the two behind the counter that we came from Inspired by Savannah.  I have to admit, I wasn't sure what they would do, or if they knew what I was talking about.  But, after I said I was the blogger behind this blog, and had brought family and friends to sample the Sweet’N Low truck, as well as sharing through my social media days before, they reached for a cute promotional Sweet’N Low pouch, which contained a sample and lip balm.  My girls, especially Bella, who is the girly girly, went crazy applying the lip balm.  When they were done, they were ready for more photos to show off their plump lips. :-)




I don't know if it was the bright pink colored truck that was attacking festival goers or people looking to sample Sweet’N Low firsthand -- either way, the truck continued to have crowds around it, during the four hours I was at the event.  Every time I went to look towards the truck, there were groups of people going and coming to the truck, with everyone having a smile on their face.  My husband and a few friends kept telling people walking towards the truck to mention Inspired by Savannah for a free gift.  And, we had a handful of people find us in the crowd, to thank us for scoring them a fun Sweet’N Low gift. :-)


The Sweet’N Low truck has been touring the country, spreading the sweetness all along the way.  In addition to stopping in Boston a couple weeks ago, they also made stops in NY, TX, OH and TN, just to name a few.  And, in the next couple of weeks you will find the Sweet’N Low truck making stops in VA, FL, NC, MO and PA....


Find a  Sweet’N Low truck event in your area here: http://www.sweetnlow.com/tour.


Do you live in or near any of these upcoming Sweet’N Low truck stops?  If so, I would highly recommend seeking out the pink Sweet’N Low truck to sample sweet summertime Sweet’N Low enhanced beverages, enter fun contests and giveaways, receive samples and take photos that you can share on social media (for a chance to win wonderful prizes).  Don't forget to mention "Inspired by Savannah" the blog sent you, so that you, too, can enjoy a FREE gift from Sweet’N Low. :-)


I can't wait to see your fun #DontHesitate photos from your stop at the Sweet’N Low truck and hear what you thought of the drinks you sampled.  I loved the iced tea sample, and have since made more to have on hand for the recent heat wave we have been experiencing here in New England.  :-)

Stay up-to-date on all things Sweet’N Low, including remaining stops on the #DontHesitate tour by following them on their official website and social media pages...


Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Sweet’N Low. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Pantene Shampoo and Conditioners Repair and Protect Your Hair with Each and Every Use #PanteneProtect #ad @Pantene @Walmart @SheSpeaksUp #WantThatHair

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Pantene.  However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.


Pantene.com

"Pantene shampoo and conditioner work together to keep your hair frizz free and protected 

from damage"

I love when a review opportunity comes along that is all about me and letting me pamper myself.  If you have children, especially young ones, then you know how you may lose yourself in taking care of them.  So, it is always nice to be reminded to stop and take a moment for yourself, to recharge your batteries, refresh and just breath. :-)  Thanks to the folks at SheSpeaks and Pantene, I was recently sent a gift card to go shopping at Walmart to pick up new Pantene shampoo and conditioner to add to my daily beauty routine (yes, I laughed when I typed this as it is hard to keep a beauty routine with kids running around the house.  But, with this review opportunity, I did make the time each day to truly experience the Pantene shampoo and conditioner products I picked up - which definitely breathed new life into my frizzy, dry hair (thank you hot summer weather!).

I couldn't get over how many different types of Pantene shampoo and conditioners were available.  I guess I haven't been really taking the time to look and see what was out there for beauty products and grabbing something on the rush out of the store.  But, this time I really did pay attention and look, and was amazed at the product offering, for all hair types.  And, with prices around $3.84 and $4.97, you can't go wrong for a trusted brand like Pantene.

While checking out the different products I found myself learning more about the importance of using conditioner.  Not only does it keep the frizz at bay and protect your hair from damage, but Pantene shampoos and conditioners work together to make hair 2x stronger than shampoo alone. Also, Pantene Repair & Protect allows you to use straighteners and curling irons without worry about damaging your hair.


After browsing the Walmart store shelves, I ended up picking up a few different Pantene hair care products to try out, including the Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner, Pantene Pro-V Classic Clean 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, Pantene Pro-V Smooth & Sleek Anti-Frizz Shampoo, and Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Smoothing Conditioner with Avocado Oil.

Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner, 21.1 fl oz

Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal erases the damage of 100 blow dries



Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Smoothing Conditioner with Avocado Oil, 20 fl oz
Pantene shampoo and conditioner work together to give your hair strength against damage


Pantene Pro-V Smooth & Sleek Anti-Frizz Shampoo, 29.2 fl oz
Try Pantene Smooth & Sleek and have frizz-free hair for 72 hours


I have been taking must needed "me time" for the past few weeks to really try out the different Pantene products.  Thanks to this review opportunity, I have found out firsthand how important it is to keep conditioner in your hair care regimen.  From the first use, I noticed a dramatic improvement.  My hair went from dry, frizzy and flat to smooth, shiny and full of life. I couldn't believe it.  And, guess what? My husband even noticed when he came home from work.  He thought I had left the girls with a sitter and went to the salon. :-)  I wish!



Don't forget your Pantene shampoo and conditioner on your next Walmart shopping trip, or when shopping online at Walmart.com!

I can't talk raving about the different Pantene shampoos and conditions I picked up at a recent shopping trip to Walmart.  And, I find myself leaving my hair down instead of putting up in a ponytail, just to show off how great it looks. :-)  So, while you are out and about back-to-school shopping with the kids, why not make a point to check out the hair care aisle at your local Walmart and pick out a few shampoo and conditioners to try from Pantene?  You can find brands you trust, like Pantene, for everyday low prices at Walmart. And, if that wasn't enough...Pantene at Walmart has a 2x money back guarantee. So you have nothing to lose in picking up a bottle to try, but so much to gain, including shine and volume to your hair.






Stop forgetting to make "me time" for yourself, and use this opportunity, like I did, to pamper yourself and breath new life back into your hair.  You will find great and it will really boost your confidence, as you can't help but want to show of your hair.  Once you find your favorite Pantene conditioner, be sure to leave a comment below, as I would love to hear which one of the many you chose and why. :-)


Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Pantene.  However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.