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International Women's Day

Did you know that today is International Women's Day? It is! I would like to take a little posting break to acknowledge some smart, beautiful women in my own life.

Today is International Women's Day and I would like to take a little bit of time to recognize some women in my life whom I truly admire.

Of course, I'll begin with my mom. She's always been there for me and has given unconditional love. She can be as tough as nails and strong-willed, crabby (at times), and highly opinionated, but that is just part of her charm and I love her so much.

I have also been blessed in my life to have two other women in my family who have had a great impact on my life--my stepmother and my dad's cousin "Aunt Kathy". My stepmother instilled a love of skin care and beauty products in me when I was a teen and that truly had an impact because it made me realize what my passion career-wise is! My cousin Kathy is funny, wacky, and is a wonderful soul and she is a true fighter.

All three women above have had a major impact on my life and have truly made a difference and have shaped me as a mother, daughter, and person in general.

Tanvi Asher is another woman who is making a difference. I met Tanvi when we were both selling our wares on 1000 Markets. She and I realized we both are in Rochester and have had the chance to meet and become friends. Tanvi is a go-getter with a big heart and she has REACHED for her dreams. She is a hard worker who is now in the process of opening her very own boutique, Peppermint Apparel, on Park Avenue in the city. She's so, so talented and she really deserves this success! I am so proud of her achievements and look forward to watching her business grow!

Heather Saffer of Dollop is another. Through this blog I had the chance to meet Heather when I was doing my cupcake challenge two years ago. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Heather and watch her go after her dreams as well. Since I met her, she has opened a new bakery in Penfield and competed on Food Network's "Cupcake Wars", beating the competition and winning $10,000. Her recognition was TRULY earned and well-deserved!

Sonia Wong is one of these inspiring women in my life. She is one of the founders of alex + von, a truly wonderful company and group of amazing women. I am so happy to have gotten to know her. She inspires, encourages, and is really an amazing woman to talk to!

I also have a great deal of admiration for a woman named Donna Wing.  Donna is the founder of  Nature's Basin, the company I do freelance blog outreach and marketing for. Donna, whose career was as a Speech Language Pathologist for school-aged children, started her company because she was concerned about the effects of harmful ingredients in skin care products. Donna has a true passion for providing healthy products for her customers and I really admire this passion!

Chic & Green bloggers Elizabeth West and Deanna Giglio are also amazing women who are full of positive energy, charisma, and kind hearts. I admire both of these beautiful ladies.

I have many friends whom I admire greatly but have to give a shout of to Liza Voos, a truly selfless, loving wonderful mother of 6 polite, beautiful children.  She is so full of life and love....I truly admire her. She has such amazing strength and I truly admire her.

Joey Forys, my neighbor and dear friend, is also a busy mom and has three handsome boys. She listens to me and is a true friend...she accepts me for me (and my few quirks) and we have fun chatting about kids, our husbands, and about the latest K-Cup flavors. She also has so much strength and gives so much support and love to those around her.

I've also had the pleasure of being part of a wonderful group of women. We've known each other for NINE years now and are a group of women across the country who bonded online. We call each other "Sisters Across the Miles" and even though we are all so different, we share so many things in common and the ladies on there truly inspire one another and are inspiring to me.

There have also been people in my life who are no longer here who gave me life lessons, especially Virginia Zadorozny (my neighbor growing up who was also my first grade teacher), my Aunt Glady, my Aunt Margmy Grandma Scheele, and my friend Bernie Opalka. These ladies all impacted my life and made a difference.

Who inspires you? Think of the women in your life who've influenced you in some way and be sure to thank them!