Sunday, December 30, 2012

Here we come 2013! A recap of 2012

2013 is almost here!!!  I honestly can't believe how quickly 2012 has flown by!  It's been a fun year full of lots of interesting moments. Akula Hope Designs has had a really successful year.  Yay! I had such a great time designing new jewelry and had the great opportunity to add my personal touch to many brides' special day.  It occurred to me not too long ago that there are literally THOUSANDS of people wearing my jewelry now.  Amazing!

On a more personal note, I started the year off finding out that I needed to have spine surgery for a severely herniated disc, which resulted in many months of varying levels of rehab and recovery.  Okay.... so, that might not have been so fun, but what can I say?  I like to look on the bright side!

After my surgery I knew I had to get back into shape and strengthen my body again.  My friend Christina suggested we try Couch to 5K.  I knew I needed some kind of motivation to help with my physical recovery, and it sounded like the perfect solution... start slow and work my way up to running.  Now, I've never been a runner...  I've always been the person that runs a block and has to stop because my lungs are killing me, and I have a stitch in my side.  In no way, shape, or form did I ever expect to really get into running.  Boy was I surprised!

This month I ran my first 5K with an awesome group of friends, and I'm happy to say that I actually RAN the whole thing!  It was great!  Not only did we get more fit in the process, but we got to dress up like reindeer! lol!

Post race with friends Christina (aka Dancer), John (Blitzen) and Julie (Rudolph). (I got to be Comet!)

I truly felt like I accomplished something that I never thought possible.  I had so much fun with it that my sister Vicki and I have already signed up to run another 5K in Miami in March!  Yay!

The rest of the year proved to hold many other exciting moments.  It included...

A trip to Alaska with my husband
(and friends Christina and John):
 My husband and I at Mendenhall Glacier

Following by a fun stop in Seattle:
Seattle Space Needle

A summer of boating on Candlewood Lake:
An amazing opportunity to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
Beautiful mandala

The opening invocation

The annual Halloween trip to Lake Ossipee, NH:
Skipping rocks!

And a fun holiday season with a lovable (and surly) cat!

Crossing my fingers for an even more eventful and memorable 2013!  Happy New Year everyone!!!

- Carrie             

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Has Sprung Giveaway!!!!

Yes yes yes.... I admit it... I have absolutely and completely ignored my blog for AGES!!!!  Is it horrible to admit that I've been going through quite a phase of having nothing to say. ha!

I think that the boredom has finally gotten to me, so I'm back!  Almost two weeks ago I had spine surgery, so I've been cooped up in the house. Yes, I'm a bit stir crazy.  So, I figured, there's no better time than now to sit down and do a little blog post.

I'm happy to say that I've been adding quite a few new additions to the hand stamped jewelry arsenal in my Akula Hope Designs Etsy shop.  I even have a brand new heart shaped charm that I can't wait to use! (that's where you come in).

I hate to admit that I've had these adorable heart shaped charms sitting on my jewelers bench since sometime in December.  Horrible!  I'm ready to finally use them, so what better time than to do a giveaway!  I'd love to have someone special out there to make my heart initial necklace for.  Yes, one lucky person can win my very first Heart Initial Birthstone Necklace!  The necklace will be made especially for you and will be photographed and featured in my store so that other wonderful people will have the opportunity to purchase it too.

Giveaway Guidelines and How to Participate

This giveaway is open to anyone worldwide that would like to participate. It will be running for two weeks from Monday, April 9, 2012 through Sunday, April 22, 2012.  One lucky person will be selected using a random number generator from all of the valid entries received by April 22, 2012.  The winner will be notified via email.  You must claim your prize within 48 hours by emailing me back or a new winner will be chosen.  Good luck!

Listed below are the ways to enter this giveaway.  You have twelve possible ways to enter.  For each entry, please make a separate comment on this post so that your entries can easily be counted.  I hope you take a few seconds to participate because I’m really excited about giving away this brand new necklace!

Main entry: Visit Akula Hope Designs on Etsy and leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite shop item is. (Required – Without doing this, no additional entries will be counted.)

1 additional entry: “Like” Akula Hope Designs on Facebook and leave a comment on this post with your name. 

1 additional entry: Share the link to my giveaway on Facebook.  Leave a comment here to let me know that you shared it.

1 additional entry: Follow @akulahope on Twitter and leave a comment on this post with your Twitter name. 

1 additional entry: Tweet about this giveaway.  Please include @akulahope in your tweet for it to count and post a comment here including your twitter name. You can of course tweet as many times as you’d like about my giveaway, however you will only receive one entry for this. 

1 to 5 additional entries: Pin your favorite piece (or pieces) of jewelry from my Etsy shop on Pinterest. You must post a comment here including the link to your pin for each entry to count. Don't forget, separate comments for each post!

1 additional entry: Write about this giveaway on your blog!  Be sure to include a link to this giveaway page.  Leave a comment here including the link to your blog post and your name. 

1 additional entry: Join the Akula Hope Designs mailing list! Please leave a comment on this post with your name so that I know you’ve joined.  You can subscribe to my mailing list by entering your email information in the top right corner of my blog.

*** All entries must be posted as separate comments at the bottom of this post. Be sure to include a valid email address in one of your entry comments.  Alternately, you can email me your email address at if you would like your email kept private.  You will be contacted via email if you win this giveaway, so don’t forget to give it to me! If I don't have your email, an alternate winner will be chose.

Good luck to you all! Have fun!