Monday, February 23, 2009

I love a parade!

This weekend was the Parada Del Sol parade in Downtown Scottsdale - and I got to ride in it! The annual Parada del Sol Parade is known as the World's Largest Horse Drawn Parade. No motor vehicles allowed!

As the Drinkwater Award recipient, I was privileged to ride with our City Manager John Little and his wife this year! My friend Frances - donning her Charity Chick t-shirt - came along for the ride. I didn't know, but she is already Parada royalty having marched in the parade many times prior in her junior high and high school band days. She grew up in Scottsdale and was a good choice to accompany me.

It was fun - I mean, no one really knew who I was - but since Big Red, the AZ Cardinals mascot, was just ahead of us working the crowd, they seemed truly excited to see us. I imagined when the kids and people were yelling "Yea, Big Red!" that they were talking to me :) I think my wave got a little limp at the end - but hey, I'm not seasoned at this stuff!

And John Little has been Acting City Manager most of the year and has recently removed the "acting" from his title is royalty in his own right. He's worked with the City for I think 30 years and MAN, he knows everyone! I was excited every time I saw a face that was familiar, just so I could try to stack up.

We had fun - and who knew? Parade Del Sol is apparently the biggest day-drinking day of the year! We drove home and came back on the trolley to enjoy the festivities the RIGHT way. A very good day it was!

Friday, February 20, 2009

First, "ewww" - and then: "I gotta buy these"!!

Check out THIS product brought to me by the folks at Daily Candy:

Tired of having your food stolen by sticky-fingered coworkers or roommates? Bullies taking your kid's lunch? Well, worry no more . . . Anti-Theft Lunch Bags are sandwich bags that have green splotches printed on both sides, making your freshly prepared lunch look spoiled. Don't suffer the injustice of having your sandwich stolen again! Protect your lunch with Anti-Theft Lunch Bags.

To view and purchase (or just gag):


Monday, February 16, 2009 Got a Makeover!

It's been time for our website to get a face lift for a while now - and I finally got around to it - and our Charity Chicks website went PINK!

I've got a lot more to do on it - and will try to squeeze it in over the next few weeks. I hope to change all of the photo albums to one consistent design. I'm torn, the last few events have featured a Flickr photo album which is AWESOME for me because uploading, labeling, creating and embedding a new album can be done pretty effortlessly - and it's important to get that stuff posted and on the site right after an event. BUT a lot of people view the site during their working hours - and a lot of business firewalls block Flickr, so I know those people just see a blank white box. I really want to do something with the Grey Box technology, which is I *think* the direction I want to go . . . but am happy for suggestions for new cool (and easy) photo album programs!

I also want to add some more images to our "About Us" page and add links to images and video of the various awards that I mention. I've started a YouTube Channel and am trying to look for more opportunities to promote Charity Chicks via YouTube . . . AND the last step is to expand our "Links" page. I want a partners/sponsors listing where we can highlight more of the venues and major prize donors. And what is UP with the white bar in the "Upcoming Events" sidebar when I view it on Firefox??

My last immediate goal is to expand on our Facebook group and try to maximize some exposure there. I created a group but am wondering if I should have created a Fan page instead. I really need to learn MORE about how to use Facebook as a marketing tool beyond my social uses of it.

Crazy weekend with a bunch of skirts

I can't believe I've fallen into yet ANOTHER week and have not accomplished HALF of what I needed to this weekend. Seriously, it's not like I sat around . . . where do the seconds go?? Come to think of it though, I did cram in a LOT this weekend and it was fun, fun, fun!

FRIDAY night - our band played so the girls went to dinner - had some wine, and more wine - and then went to the show. We had FUN - but we are a little too old to go that hard and that late - and not regret it a bit in the morning. I was not being conscious of having to get up early the next day, pack and set up a booth, run a race and network my brains out! BUT I was fuuuuuny and I can persevere!

SATURDAY - I had a very rough start but got myself packed up and dressed in my little running skirt and we headed out to Tempe Town Lake to set up a booth at the expo area for the Skirt Chaser Race. The Skirt Chaser run is a FUN 5k event that goes around Tempe Town Lake. It was started and is sponsored by a company called Skirt Sports who brought running skirts into the market and made them cool - and now they are everywhere! It's fun to run, sweat and STILL look a little cute! :-) In the Skirt Chaser race, the girls start 3 minutes before the boys (who wear shirts that say "Skirt Chaser" surprisingly enough). There were all sort of skirts - the official race skirts - and a whole bunch of homemade FUN skirts (on some of the boys as well).

This was my friend Diane's FIRST 5K and I think I've got her hooked. She has no desire to ever do a marathon - but I see a few more 5ks and maybe a 10k in her future! I'm happy to say that I was in the top 30% of the girl finishers - someday I might be in the top 20%?? Who knows . . .

The race promoter/organizer was kind enough to give Charity Chicks a free booth at the expo, so I bought us a pop-up awning (my garage is almost completely stocked with Charity Chick supplies at this time) and we set up a table and signage and managed to get some NEW peeps added to our email list!
Could we be any cuter in these matching skirts?

After breaking down the event and loading everything back in my garage, I spent another couple hours (still in that crazy running skirt - BRRRR) at the park with another group of old friends and co-workers. It was great to see everyone but I was BEAT.

Sunday was another whirl of tasks, responsibilities and me nursing a scratchy throat. My body just can't take all this excitement! My folks came over with pizza for dinner and then I spent the rest of the night trying to finish work - adding my NEW people to the database and finally sending the Charity Chicks email at 12:30!!

Does it feel like this blog is turning into a "Dear Diary: Here's what I did last week" thang? Must work on it!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Friendships that LAST

So. I was just filling out my eHarmony profile this weekend (more on that later, I think) and drinking champagne with my friend Diane. The profile questionnaire asked a LOT of questions about my biggest influences and the things I treasure and the things I can't live without . . . and it basically all came down to PEOPLE.

I have been TRULY blessed with an amazing family and fabulous friends. Some people are lucky to have one or two good friends in their lifetime - I'm not sure what I did that was so good - but I have much more than that. And now this crazy thing called The Internet ™ allows me to re-connect with friends after life has separated us, stay in touch with friends I wish I could see more often and even meet new ones!

The past month or so has been about re-connecting with old friends. My high school girlfriend Stacey - we MEAN to see each other more often, but it takes her dad to fly in from Iowa once a year who insists that I join the family dinner to prompt us to book something on the calendar. (Although I'm happy to say I'm taking a day off work this month and going to a Cubs Spring Training game with Stacey and her cousin Karena - yea!).

My "other" family @ dinner!

Then through the magic of Facebook, I found my friends Donna and Sheila. I think of Donna often and miss her contagious energy. Sheila - how I lived life without hearing the TRUTH from a Brooklyn tongue before, I don't know. (It was through Sheila that I met my other Brooklyn girlfriend Chrisann.) Sheila plays the violin (or is it officially a fiddle??) in several Irish bands and she is INSANELY talented! The minute we all connected online, we planned a girls evening and spent a LOT of time remembering some CRAZY stories - dang, I've lived a life!!! I can't wait for us to spend more time together - in fact, Donna is going to help out at a Charity Chick event THIS weekend!!

The gang - we haven't been in the same room
together all of us for 15 or so years!

Sheila and Donna!

This weekend I had the pleasure of going to my other high school girlfriend Kim's 40th birthday party. We have made our best efforts to stay in touch over the years - a lunch here and there - but time still manages to keep on ticking. Her baby sister is grown into a wonderful mother. Kim's kids are outgrowing all of us - and so grown up! And that fabulous husband I had the pleasure of donning a red dress and watching her marry 21+ years ago (almost to their 22nd anniversary!!) was the BEST host and made her party special. I'm so glad to still play a small part in their lives.

Approaching their 22nd anniversary and STILL smiling!

The birthday girl et moi!

Now I'm all warm and fuzzy!