How to “Take Control” of Cancer

If you watch Good Morning America regularly, then you are most likely aware of ABC News correspondent Amy Robach and her recent breast cancer diagnosis. Robach received the sad news in October after having a mammogram done on air for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Robach has remained on air while receiving treatments and just this past week revealed a new shorter hairdo. The newscaster made the decision to cut her hair when she noticed she was beginning to lose it as a result of her chemotherapy. She decided on the makeover as a way of taking control of her cancer. Many people are rooting for Robach and are hoping to see a survival bracelet on her wrist shortly. Here are some ways that you too can take control of cancer.

Document It – Whenever someone receives a cancer diagnosis, it’s a surprise. People are 2981flooded with emotions and it’s sometimes hard to sort through them all. Getting through cancer treatments is physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting. Many cancer survivors have found great joy in writing about their journeys, as it’s extremely therapeutic and helps process the experience. You can choose to keep a private journal or you may opt to blog where family and friends can read your thoughts.

Talk About It – There are countless cancer support groups out there that act as safe havens for many people battling the disease. Talking to others who are going through the same thing is very comforting, and, according to a Stanford University Medical Center study, support groups can even prolong your survival. The study reports that breast cancer patients who belonged to a support group survived twice as long on average as patients who did not.

Exercise – Robach has spoken on air about how chemotherapy has taken a huge toll on her body and the fatigue that she has experienced. Exhaustion is a common side effect of treatment, but rest is not the best way to treat it. Exercise is actually the best thing for fatigue, so it’s important to incorporate movement into your schedule. It’s important not to overtire yourself, however, so you should stick to light activities such as walking, yoga, or swimming.

Keeping a positive attitude, like Robach, is also a great way to take control of cancer. It’s normal to be afraid, but remaining optimistic is key in fighting this disease. Keep your eye on the prize and visualize that paracord bracelet that will be proudly displayed on your wrist.

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Celebrate Presidents’ Day throughout The Year

President’s Day is celebrated the third Monday in February each year. Americans recognize this holiday as day to celebrate the lives of all of the presidents that have served our country. People choose to celebrate this holiday in a number of different ways and usually show their admiration by proudly displaying their American pride with lapel pins and other decorations. Like many holidays, lapel pins can help people celebrate far beyond a single date on the calendar.

History of Presidents’ Day

Although many people refer to this holiday as Presidents’ Day, the correct name of the holiday is actually Washington’s Birthday. George Washington is the reason this holiday began being celebrated all the way back in 1796. It wasn’t until 1880 that Washington’s Birthday became the first federal holiday and was celebrated every February 22nd until 1968. It was this year that Congress introduced the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which switched federal holidays to Mondays to give United States workers as many long weekends as possible. Although it has been discussed to officially change the holiday’s name to Presidents’ Day, it was never officially or formally switched.

How We Celebrate

Since the holiday falls between February 15th and 22nd each year, many people take the opportunity to specifically honor both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, whose 1116birthday is on 22nd. Other people also use the day to celebrate all of our country’s presidents, both past and present. There are many things Americans can do to celebrate this holiday and it’s a great day to display American pride by wearing patriotic lapel pins and other American inspired apparel and accessories. Americans throughout the country also enjoy participating in celebrations, reenactments and other events that feature the lives of the leaders of our country. Many schools use the month of February to celebrate and study the accomplishments and lives of the presidents of the United States, typically putting a larger focus on the lives of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

Make it a point this year to acknowledge the reason why Presidents’ Day is considered a federal holiday. Rather then viewing the day as an opportunity to have a day off from work to go shopping, take the time to reflect and celebrate this important American holiday throughout the year. Without American leadership, we would not be where we are today … living in the home of the brave and the free.

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Safety First!

We wear helmets when we ride our bikes, seat belts when we’re in the car, and we wash our hands after handling things like raw meat or after taking the garbage out. As a culture we tend to think we’re fairly safety minded, and take heed of safety precautions, but surprisingly, accidental injury is at an all-time high. Because of this and many other reasons, National Safety Month exists!

National Safety Month aims to look at more than just the obvious methods for avoiding 17injury, and seeks to remind the American public about the less obvious causes of injury both at work and out and about. Things like not driving when tired, or texting on the road, as well as at work issues such as repetitive motion injuries, and stressing the benefits of ergonomic office products.

So during June the National Safety Council works hard to get the word out throughout the country by providing seminars, distributing written material to businesses, and providing promotional items to help keep safety on the public’s mind. Items like fridge magnets, key rings, and safety lapel pins can be fun ways to help keep a person’s attention on all the ways a person can work towards making their lives safer and therefore, more productive.

While nationally the council works to promote safe work and life practices, individual companies and cities have their own initiatives and focus in on safety issues unique to their industry or location, whether that means physical safety for construction sites, or water safety for cities near the ocean or lakes. But the methods for teaching are the same regardless of the content: public events, printed teaching material, and free, fun swag like rubber bracelets and safety lapel pins.

However your company or community chooses to address safety issues, do your part to help raise awareness in June, and throughout the year, about the safety issues that matter to you.

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4 Perfect Pins for Men’s Health Week

Men’s Health Week is June 9-15, 2014 and it’s the perfect time to think about what you (or the man in your life) is doing to keep healthy. It’s also a good time to show off your support of men’s health and raise awareness, and there is no better way to do that than with pins. Here are a few pins that are perfect for the occasion:

1. Cancer Awareness Pins. While cancer is not a disease specific to men, it does affect millions of men a year. Cancer awareness pins will mostly be ribbons with colors specific to the type of cancer, or often silver and blue for cancer generally. By wearing a cancer awareness pin you invite questions about your dedication to the cause of curing cancer. Starting conversations can help educate and inform people—maybe even save a life. It’s a wonderful way to show support for men’s health whether your family has been plagued by the disease or you yourself or a survivor.

2. Heart Disease Pins. Unlike cancer, heart disease is a condition that affects more men706NEW than women. For a variety of reasons, from physiology to diet to lifestyle, men are more likely to end up with high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease than women are. This can end up leading to a heart attack or other life-threatening conditions. Many men in their 40’s or older have to pay close attention to what they eat and how much exercise they get in order to manage cholesterol and blood pressure, and a heart disease pin is a great way to show support for this responsible lifestyle management.

3. Sports Pins. Men love sports, and as it turns out sports are a terrific way to stay healthy. Many men only play sports in their youth and then slip into a more sedentary lifestyle by their mid 20s. But men who continue to play sports, whether in a formal league with teams or by just getting together with buddies once a week, get valuable exercise that can help prevent diabetes, obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol. Sports pins don’t need to be for a specific team—they can just be for the sport you always loved playing.

4. Custom Pins. Did you know custom pins can be made for virtually any occasion? You could have Men’s Health Week pins, a custom pin for your buddies’ pickup basketball group, or any other pin you could imagine!

What are you planning for Men’s Health Week? Will you help the cause by wearing one of our pins?

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A Brief History of Marine Corps Challenge Coins

Whether you’re in the military yourself, have a relative who is, or you’re just interested in collecting military paraphernalia, the use of challenge coins is perhaps one of the most interesting customs – and the coins themselves, in an amazing array of variations for different units and purposes, are great keepsakes.

While used in all branches of the service, no one seems to love challenge coins as much as the U.S. Marine Corps. There are probably more variations of Marine Corps challenge coins than any other branch has, and they are still in active use for “challenges” by Marines today.

But where do challenge coins come from?


The truth is no one knows the exact origin of challenge coins, but there are several plausible legends. The earliest of them starts in World War I, “the Great War”. As cn7361volunteer American pilots flocked to Europe to join the French air corps, it’s said that a unit commander honored their bravery and selflessness by having solid bronze coins struck with their unit insignia and giving one to each man. One of these pilots was later shot down behind German lines. He was able to escape by stealing civilian clothes to wear, but when he reached French lines they suspected he was a spy or saboteur. They were about to execute him when he showed them his coin, and recognizing the unit insignia they spared him. If true, this was the first “challenge” and the lucky airman was returned to active duty.

Other legends place the origin of challenge coins in World War II, the Korean War, the Philippines or later. Unlike the WWI story, all of these variants have the coins made deliberately to identify undercover members of a unit: sometimes the coins were stamped with the insignia, other times they were normal coins but the agent was told to bring a specific denomination from a specific year. Only by showing this coin could he prove who he was.

How to Challenge

In the Marine Corps the rules of the challenge have become almost sacrosanct. Every member of a unit should carry their Marine Corps Challenge Coin at all times, and if they neglect to do so they could lose the challenge. Any Marine can pull out his challenge coin and tap or slam it on the table in front of any other member of his unit, “challenging” them. If they can immediately display their own coin, he owes them a drink; if they can’t, they owe him one. Some units have their own variant rules.

Nowadays, Marine Corps challenge coins are not only carried as a sign of membership in a unit, they are also given as awards by commanders.

Do you have any Marine Corps challenge coins? We have an array you can add to your collection.

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Memorial Day Means Beginnings… And Memories

Where did May go? Everyone’s asking that this week, myself included. And it’s true, it has flown by, and now the first holiday of the summer is upon us: Memorial Day. Personally, this is one of my favorite holidays. It combines beginnings (summer kicking off) with honoring others’ brave endings (remembering fallen soldiers), and there’s something about the balance to that that really inspires me.

This Monday, there will be parades, cookouts, and everywhere you go there will be veterans selling poppy flowers. I remember these pieces from when I was very young and they haven’t changed a bit in the interceding years. But while these little paper poppies are still given out for donations all over the country, there are lots of ways to remember veterans on this day, and not just on this day, but all year round.

Take time to thank veterans whenever you come across them throughout the year. In airports or hospitals, on the street, at work. Thank them. They’ve given the entire nation a gift that we can never fully repay them for.

Wear a poppy lapel pin all year round, and give them to others who have family and 1507friends in the military. Poppy lapel pins are fashioned after the sweet paper poppies given out on Memorial day, but are meant to last forever, and serve as a reminder and a tribute to fallen vets every day of the year.

Surprise a vet selling poppies this year by donating money and instead of taking a poppy yourself, pin a poppy lapel pin on their shirt instead. That way you can give back to things like V.A. hospitals and veterans programs, and also give back to the vet themselves, those great men and women who stand out all day on Memorial day collecting those donations.

Whatever you end up doing on Memorial day, celebrate. Celebrate summer, freedom, family, and thank a vet. We at PinMart are so grateful to our former and currently serving service men and women. We wouldn’t be who we are without you!!!

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I Mustache You A Question: Will You Marry Me?

It seems that my formal wardrobe always doubles this time of year. Between the engagement parties, the weddings, receptions and then the anniversary parties, May is a month of marital celebration. And unless you’re eloping (and sometimes even when you do!) the celebrations these days for engagements and weddings are no small affair. Every single aspect of the event is carefully coordinated, choreographed and complimented to every other aspect of the event. Weddings especially have become an art form, and originality and theme are at the top of the list of important aspects. And for people looking to get cutting edge, gorgeous wedding planning ideas, most brides and planners turn to the guru: Martha Stewart. And who did Martha Stewart turn to recently? PinMart!!

That’s right! PinMart is featured in Martha Stewart’s current issue of Real Weddings, and we here couldn’t be more proud. They turned our creative lapel pins into a center piece on save the date and wedding announcement cards. Camera lapel pins, airplanes, and our 1337pineapple lapel pin were shown, with puns and alliteration added in for effect. It was a great way to use lapel pins in a non-traditional way, and of course, after the cards are delivered, attendees are more than welcome to remove the pins from the cards and wear them to the event!

It was a very big honor to be included in such an influential magazine and we here at PinMart were thrilled to see our lapel pins in print! And believe me, with all the weddings and wedding related events I’m going to be going to this summer, you can be sure I’m going to bring up our feature at every possible moment. It’ll be a nice way to turn the conversation away from when *I* plan on getting married, which, you know, also happens every summer at weddings.

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Military Pins are used for more than Just Special Occasions

Military pins are a popular item these days, but many people don’t realize just how versatile they are. When many people imagine an occasion for wearing them, they think of war memorials and official military occasions exclusively, but there are lots of other instances when people will wear these symbolic pieces.

Why wear a military pin? Here are a few of the best reasons:
To show support for a particular military branch

Whether you’re a veteran yourself or you just have one in the family, lots of people have an attachment to a particular branch of military service, whether it is the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard or National Guard. Wearing a military pin is a great way to USARMYshow your support of a branch. It will also help you to strike up conversations with other people who share your enthusiasm!

To show your patriotism

Supporting the U.S. armed forces is supporting the U.S. as a nation. Someone who adds a military pin to their outfit is usually someone of unquestioned patriotism. That’s why a military pin is a great addition for any patriotic occasion or even for everyday display.

To connect with other veterans and active military members

If you’re a veteran or you’re currently in the armed forces, you are part of an elite group who has dedicated their lives to defending our nation and its values. There’s no simpler way to let others know that you’re a veteran and to connect with them than wearing a military pin. To a civilian, it’s a subtle accessory, but to another service member, it will stand out immediately. More than one veteran has met a new friend simply by spotting the military paraphernalia they’re wearing.

As a lapel pin for important occasions

Even if you don’t wear your military pin on an everyday basis, it can be a great formal accent when you need to look your best. While an Army t-shirt or Marine Corps baseball hat might not fit in at a black tie event, a military pin can go anywhere. Worn on the lapel of a suit or near the shoulder of a dress, it is a tasteful accent that still emphasizes your affiliation.

As a keepsake of your particular unit or division

Military pins go far beyond simple branches of service. There are hundreds of pins for individual units, both current and historic. You can show pride in your particular unit and remember the times you shared as comrades by wearing your unit’s insignia as a pin.

For Veterans Day

You don’t have to be a veteran to show pride on Veterans Day. Let vets know you appreciate their service by wearing a military pin… and then thanking the vets in your life!

Do you have a military pin? When do you like to wear it?

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4 Ways to Show Support when a Loved One Has Brain Cancer

Cancer is one of the world’s most powerful, deadly diseases. Of course, you hope a loved one is never diagnosed with any form of cancer; however, with over 12 million Americans living with some form of the disease, the chances that you or someone you know will develop cancer someday are fairly high. According to, over 20,000 individuals will be diagnosed with brain cancer each year. It’s never easy to deal with a loved one being sick, especially not with an illness as serious as brain cancer. Nonetheless, it is important that you show your support for them during this tough time, and here are four of the best ways to do so:braincancer

1. Help them. Chances are, your loved one will need a bit of help when dealing with brain cancer. How much will depend on the stage of their cancer and whether or not it has spread to other body parts. Because the brain controls so many of our actions, brain cancer patients may lose the ability to perform simple tasks, including feeding and caring for themselves. Always offer to help them, but don’t baby them. Remember that they are still capable of feeling emotions and can become easily embarrassed or upset at the realization that they can no longer care for themselves like they used to.

2. Avoid making a fuss. When you make a big deal about your loved one’s illness, you may be drawing too much negative attention to it. Cancer patients are aware of their illnesses in ways that you may not even be able to imagine and often feel frightened by them. Don’t make too much of a fuss or you may make it worse. Avoid talking about their illness in front of them unless they bring it up first. Instead, show support and converse with them as you would have before they were diagnosed.

3. Show your support. While you won’t want to make a fuss over their illness, it’s still important to stick by your loved one’s side and show support. Listen to them when they talk about their illness and any fears, concerns, or questions they may have. You may not know the answers to their questions or know what to say in response, but simply being a good listener can help them feel like they aren’t alone. You may also want to visibly show your support by wearing a pin or doing cancer awareness fundraising to help give them confidence about their ability to fight off the disease. While there’s no cure for cancer currently, it can still be defeated. Help your loved ones feel empowered to fight the disease and raise money for research and awareness to find a cure.

4. Avoid getting emotional. It is easy to let our emotions get the best of us when people we know have cancer. However, it is very important to be strong around our loved ones and to not give in to negative emotions. Concentrate on ways to make your loved one feel happy, confident, and hopeful that they will prevail against cancer. Never let them see you cry and never let them know that you are afraid.

Cancer is never an easy thing to experience, whether you’re the patient or your loved one is. However, if you follow these four tips, you’ll be able to help your loved one and make them feel less alone during their illness. Similarly, your loved one will feel your compassion and may be better able to manage their own emotions.

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The Aloha Spirit

I just got back from an amazing vacation. I found myself in Hawaii for a wedding, but it also included a fair amount of free time to explore our amazing 50th State. And what I noticed most about Hawaii was that its whole economy, or at least a good chunk of it, seemed to be centered around themselves as a culture. Not like other states that focus in on a tourist attraction like an amusement park, or a mountain range, or a mall. That’s not to say other states don’t value their whole culture, but Hawaii seems to be awfully proud and awfully good at selling a lifestyle, a mindset, a culture.

It wasn’t just the tourists wearing flowers in their hair, around their necks, or in the form 1506of jewelry like earrings or lapel pins. The locals were just a big a fan of their home state as we visitors were. We learned to surf from locals who used to be just visitors like us, but felt the aloha spirit strongly enough to stay, and I can’t say I blame them. The beauty and the laid back atmosphere in Hawaii was certainly easy to fall into. And the locals were not immune to it.

The personal pride that everyone seemed to take in the landscape and each other in Hawaii was as impressive to me as the ocean and the weather. And it was a huge incentive to bring home some of the aloha spirit with me, in the form of Kona coffee and yes, lapel pins. I mean, come on, would you expect any less?

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