My First Blogiversary (and a GIVEAWAY!); plus it’s American Heart Month and Wear Red Day!

There is so much going on this month! It is unbelievable that as of tomorrow (February 8th), I’ll have officially been blogging for a year! (Check out the post that started it all here.) I also didn’t expect this milestone to coordinate with something that is near and dear to my heart (figuratively and literally)…
so this won’t be your typical blogiversary celebration, but I hope you like what is in store.

(There are TWO giveaways too – including the one at the end of this post!)

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I have a lot planned for this week, so I thought I’d kick it off with a general post about what is coming up. You see, February is American Heart Month and today is Wear Red Day! (Have you seen my tweets?!?) This upcoming week is also CHD Awareness Week. You may recall that I recently posted about a non-profit organization that I found out about through Jess (The Tambura Runner) and I also briefly discussed my connection to the organization. That should shed some light on why I am so excited to talk this week about these awareness events that coincide with my blogiversary.

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Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women – and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.

  • While one in 31 American women die from breast cancer each year, heart disease causes one in three deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
  • An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
  • Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
  • Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.

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What is CHD Awareness Week?

CHD Awareness Week is an annual awareness effort to help educate the public about Congenital Heart Defects. Participants include individuals, local support groups, national and local organizations and congenital cardiology centers throughout the world!

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Why is it important?

  • Congenital Heart Disease is considered to be the most common birth defect, and is a leading cause of birth-defect related deaths worldwide.
  • Despite the fact that CHD affects approximately 1.8 million families in the U.S., only a small amount of funding is currently available for parent/patient educational services, research, and support.
  • By sharing our experiences and providing information, we hope to raise public awareness about conditions that affect approximately 40,000 babies each year in the United States alone.
  • It is our sincere hope that efforts to educate the public will result in improved early diagnosis, additional funding for support and educational services, scientific research, and access to quality of care for our children and adults.

If you are interested in learning more on these issues, there’s actually going to be a Go Red For Women Health Expo and Luncheon at the Cleveland Convention Center on Friday February 21st at 10am.
Visit this link for more information!

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I didn’t know what I wanted to do for my blogiversary at first, but once I found out about these events, I knew I wanted my blogiversary to be more than just looking back at my experiences blogging (which don’t get me wrong have been incredible and I’ve had so many amazing opportunities that I’m extremely grateful for), but I’ve basically already recapped my year of blogging a couple of times already (see herehere, and here), so this just made more sense.

I’m SO honored to be able to share about these events and my experience with you and I hope you will appreciate learning more about heart health! Throughout the week, I will be posting my 3-part heart story about my experience with Congenital Heart Disease, as well as a few other related posts… then we’ll finish out the blogiversary week with my guest post for the 2014 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon (and my 2nd giveaway!). I hope you are as excited as I am!

Guess what time it is… It’s GIVEAWAY TIME! In honor of all this heart-health love, I’m partnering with a few of my favorite bloggers to giveaway these awesome Embroidered Hearts TOMS Shoes and one each of these Pura Vida bracelets! That’s 4 winners total! (See below for more details.)

Seriously, how cute are these? I think I need a pair for myself!
Seriously, how cute are these? I think I need a pair for myself!
This contest is brought to you by these lovely ladies!Thanks for celebrating my blogiversary with me! <3
This contest is brought to you by these lovely ladies!
Thanks for celebrating my blogiversary with me! <3

{Top L-R: Rachael / The Rachael Way; Me (Jessica / Anchored in CLE); Rachel / It’s a Hero}
{Bottom L-R: Ashliegh / The Darling Prepster; Margaret / Life After Athens; Lisa / Ameliorer la Vie}

To enter to win these awesome prizes, click this link and follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget! Good luck! {a Rafflecopter giveaway} — I also have a coupon code for you for any Pura Vida bracelet (though I do hope you get one of these 3!). Use “CHD10” to get 10% off any bracelet.

**Note: I am aware that the winner’s size may be sold out (as these shoes turned out to be really popular and sold a lot between the time I decided to give them away and the time this post actually went live), so in the event that these particular shoes are not available in a certain size, the winner can opt for a different shoe of the same price, or a gift card in the amount of the value of the original shoes.**

Thank you so much for all of the love & support this past year, and for continuing to motivate me to improve as I continue on this blogging journey. I’m so incredibly humbled that people are interested in hearing what I have to say on a regular basis. Stay tuned this week for more posts!

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