Learning from the Influence of Strong Women

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Women leaders are everywhere.  In the workplace, in the community, in the media, and even in our own homes.  When faced with the demands of life, they push through and do whatever it takes to get the job done, whether that means finishing a project, fighting for funding for a cause that is important to them, or taking care of their family.  These women have an impact on us, both directly and indirectly.  Think back on your life and I’m sure you can think of a teacher, an employer, a parent, or even a female friend who jumps out in your memory as a strong woman who made a difference.

When I think about a strong woman who has impacted my life, my mind immediately goes to my stepmom, Dee Dee.  She was diagnosed with Stage 1 Ovarian Cancer back in 2008 and went through six rounds of chemotherapy.  The cancer came back again a few years later, this time as Stage 4, and had spread to her lymph nodes and other areas of her abdomen.  She went through nine rounds of chemotherapy and the cancer went away for a while.  It returned again a few years later, and this time my stepmom decided not to pursure medical treatment.  This time around there were a lot more physical complications such as a tumor growing out of her neck so that she couldn’t even turn her head and a few strokes, and ultimately she passed away in February of 2015 at the young age of 46.

Woman with Glasses

I was one of her caregivers during the last few months of her life and was able to learn so much from her – things that I’ll carry with me throughout my entire life and hopefully communicate to my future kids with the way I live.  Her spirit and faith was strong, even when her body was weak, and I truly believe that is what kept her with us as a little longer.  No matter what others told her, she stood firm on her decision and didn’t back down, not even when in pain or when the odds looked grim.  I’ve never seen someone literally knocking on death’s door and not bat an eye.  I watched her spend her time encouraging others, sending cards, making phone calls, sending emails, etc.  She put everyone else before herself and made sure that others were cared for and felt loved.  She faced fear in the face with a faith that was so strong, and that has forever impacted my life.

I love supporting companies who help empower women and recognize their achievements and importance.  Zenni Optical is one of those companies.  They recognize the positive impact that women make in all of our lives and they offer stylish, affordable eyewear to help everyone feel and see their best.  Zenni Optical pioneered the online prescription eyewear business back in 2003 to help people find stylish and affordable eyeglasses and they are still going strong.  In fact, my husband and I have both ordered multiple pairs of glasses through their site and strongly recommend them to everyone who wants options in their eyewear.

Zenni Optical

Giveaway:  One lucky Thrifty Jinxy reader will win a gift card for a pair of glasses up to $150 courtesy of Zenni Optical!  To enter, leave a comment about the women who inspire you, or about your favorite pair of frames from Zenni Optical and complete the entry form below by 11:59pm on 7/5/16. Good luck!

Zenni Optical Giveaway


ashleyswavel@gmail.com' About Ashley

Ashley is a work from home virtual assistant, who loves her husband and their four-legged child, Baxter. When she isn't finding the hottest deals, she is spending time cheering on her favorite sports teams: The Cincinnati Bengals and the Michigan Wolverines!


  1. kohndr@gmail.com' Kobi Hensley says:

    That would be my mother, she visits my dad in the nursing home everyday for the last few years. He doesn’t even realize she’s there most of the time but they’ve been married for 54 years and she’s says that she doesn’t know what to do without him.

  2. cshell090869@aol.com' shelly peterson says:

    My Mother inspires me. She is a very strong, kind and loving person who raised 4 kids on her own.

  3. jewelwood55@gmail.com' Julie Wood says:

    My Mom inspires me to be a better person and she raised with my Dad 8 kids and did so good in spending time with us and teaching me how to cook and do so many fun things!

  4. rickpeggysmith@aol.com' Margaret Smith says:

    Love the Flexible Plastic Full-Rim Frame with Design on Temples 728816

  5. brianeason62@gmail.com' Brian E. says:

    I like the Rectangle Eyeglasses 195112 !

  6. mrsmchappell@gmail.com' Michelle C says:

    My grandmother has always inspired me. She had a difficult life, but has always kept a positive attitude. She loved learning and was always generous about teaching her skills to anyone who was interested. She encouraged me to excel in school and was so supportive when I decided to return to college after having kids.

  7. groogruxking40@gmail.com' Steve Weber says:

    My sisters inspire me.. they are amazing people!

  8. chmb2011@hotmail.com' Christa Bengtsson says:

    The frames I like the best is Effortless Elegance black frames.

  9. shartmaniam@gmail.com' Susan Hartman says:

    Mymother-in-law inspired me. She was so much fun. Plus she loved unconditionally.

  10. grob75@hotmail.com' Glen Hough says:

    I really want to try Zenni, I just need to get the courage. They have styles I like.

  11. littleangelfire81@yahoo.com' Amy Hall says:
  12. BBrittBrat1398@yahoo.com' Brittney House says:

    My mother inspires me. She is the one who is always in my corner whenever I need her.

  13. spark4573@yahoo.com' Justin Sparks says:

    My girlfriend inspires me for being my rock during my custody battle

  14. hmorgan13@mac.com' Heather Morgan says:

    In all honesty, my daughter inspires me. She just turned 13yrs old. She’s not afraid to follow her passion, even when others are against her. She has such a big heart. She makes me want more in life.

  15. I like these Rectangle Eyeglasses 168021.

  16. addictedtorodeo@gmail.com' Ashley C says:

    My mom inspires me because she is an incredibly giving person! I love the Classic Black Rectangle Eyeglasses & Sunglasses 612921

  17. My Grandma always inspired me until she passed away back in 2010…now my granddaughter that was born in 2010 inspires me. She brings such joy and happiness to my life that I never have a bad day with her around. The glasses I like the most are A stainless steel half-rim frame with comfortable acetate temples 970717

  18. ebenz1006@gmail.com' Emily Benzing says:

    My grandmother inspires me every single day, even though she recently passed in February. She was just so strong. Always fighting, waking up everyday and letting nothing stop her – not even pain! She did everything herself without ever asking for help. Not to mention she is German and lived through a bombing in WWII! She’s the strongest and most inspiring woman I have ever known. Also, Zenni has some awesome frames. I would have to look through the website for hours, but would love to have something from there! – Emily Ann Benzing

  19. dlatany@gmail.com' LaTanya says:

    I like the Cat-Eye Sunglasses 168722

  20. clc@neo.rr.com' Cynthia C says:

    I like the Stylish Plastic Full-Rim Frame 233325 in tortoiseshell.

  21. edmondshaunta@yahoo.com' Summer B. says:

    Love the Stainless Steel Full-Rim Frame 166921 in black

  22. princesaportuguese@gmail.com' Carrie G says:

    All the women in my family have inspired me In one way or another but my mother is most inspiring.
    The Zenni glasses I like the most is #33

  23. meghan.berdelle@gmail.com' Meghan B says:

    I like the Effortless Elegance frames!

  24. shanej111@hotmail.com' erica driver says:

    My grandma inspires me she basically raised me after my mom abandoned me and she made me the woman I am today and im so glad for her and blessed she is still with me

  25. My favorite glasses are the Stylish Rectangular Eyeglasses 103121. Both of my sister-in-laws are inspiring.

  26. I like the Classic Square Eyeglasses 124121

  27. My mom inspires me to be a great teacher and ice hockey coach! Thanks for the offer 🙂

  28. jamesrdoyle8@gmail.com' james doyle says:
  29. attea2d@twc.com' Sandy Klocinski says:

    My favorite Zenni frames are the Rectangle Eyeglasses 7806515

  30. gmrichhicks@gmail.com' Richard Hicks says:

    I kind of like the mens Rectangle Eyeglasses 196921

  31. wilburnnewsome@yahoo.com' Giant Sis says:

    My friend, Janella, inspires me. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 2 years ago – so her life took a drastic turn that she wasn’t expecting. Through the cancer fight, she never gave up hope or lost her smile. Now, she’s cancer-free! Truly amazing!

  32. beadqueen197@hotmail.com' Kathleen S. says:

    My mom inspires me. She has been the rock in our family for all my life, and I can only hope to have the kind of strength that she does, when my kids need me. She’s always been someone I can turn to if I need it. I find as I get older, that I don’t need her as much as I did when I was younger, and I think I’ve learned to stand on my own two feet. 🙂 That’s what I want for my kids.

    Looking at the Zenni website, I find that the Stone frames would probably look great on me! These would make great driving glasses. 🙂

  33. afropooh@yahoo.com' Paul Gardner says:

    My mom is the one that inspires me because she has been holding it down all of my life. Any time I need something, she is there for me. I personally like Frame 266216.

  34. debrahall1961@yahoo.com' Debra Hall says:

    i like the Browline Eyeglasses and my mom inspires me always has

    Browline Eyeglasses

  35. tiffanynichole89@gmail.com' Tiffany S says:

    I like the plastic full rim frames #266216

  36. My mom inspires me because she has such a giving heart.

  37. kary2130@aol.com' Karla R. says:

    My mother is my inspiration because she pulled through by herself with two children.

  38. My favorite Zenni frames are the Thin Acetate Rectangle Eyeglasses 4418425.

  39. mcfallsk8er@aim.com' Austin Baroudi says:

    I like the Ain Square Eyeglasses 4419021!

  40. mommywithtwins7@gmail.com' Jessica N says:

    My Mother inspired me! She also wears glasses and makes sure to be proud ond have great confidence in herself.

  41. kylisunshine@gmail.com' Kyli Wolfson says:

    My mom inspires me. She has been through so much in her lifetime, but she’s never let it get her down. She is confident and also has the ability to be humble and to laugh at herself.

  42. versatileer@gmail.com' Jerry Marquardt says:

    I Loved my mother when she was here as she inspired me. I like the Aviator Sunglasses in frame #1130425 the most of all pairs available.

  43. susanaustin216@gmail.com' Susan Austin says:

    My three best friends inspire me. They’re my chosen family. They’re all smart, sweet, and funny, and coincidentally, they’re all single moms who are raising smart, sweet, funny kids. My favorite glasses from Zenni are the ones with the blue light blocking lenses for reducing eye strain from computer or phone screens. The lenses are totally clear, you don’t notice any difference except your eyes won’t burn anymore at the end of the day. I also love that you can use your flexible spending (FSA) and health savings (HSA) plan to make purchases at Zenni.


    I would like anything off the Men’s Metropolitan line or the California line. I see a lot of frames I really would enjoy and think wear well.

  45. I’d like the Tortoiseshell Round Eyeglasses 109825 for my 10 year old granddaughter

  46. kport207@gmail.com' Kathleen says:

    My mother inspires me every day. She has been through a RIDICULOUS amount of health problems over the past few years and never complains about them. She just fights them and moves on.

    kport207 at gmail dot com

  47. susansmoaks@gmail.com' susan smoaks says:

    i am inspired by my mother. she is a terrific example of a woman for me to follow. i love the eames frames, they are really nice.

  48. lvoyce108@gmail.com' Lisa V. says:

    My favorite pair are the Aviator Sunglasses 1126411.

  49. My mom is the woman in my life who inspires me.

  50. My daughter inspires me with her devotion.

  51. I am inspired by my friend Jill.

  52. adrianecoros@gmail.com' LAMusing says:

    Hillary Clinton inspires me. Whatever you think of her politics, she is a determined woman who can take a punch, get knocked down and get right back up. I admire strength in a woman.

  53. bncrainer@gmail.com' brandy c says:

    I’d think I would get the Heart Shaped Glasses as sunglasses. They’re funky and cool.

  54. suschris1@gmail.com' Susan Christy says:

    My favorite Zenni frames are the Tortoiseshell Browline Eyeglasses 677525

  55. crankyyanky1@charter.net' Kim Keithline says:

    I like the Stainless Steel Half-Rim Frame with Acetate Temples 999617 frames in purple

  56. Even though she has passed away, my Mom continues to inspire me on a daily basis.

  57. katbur2win@yahoo.com' kate burton says:

    I’m inspired by lots of women but recently I’ve been the inspiration for more people than I ever have been. I’ve been battling stage IV breast cancer for 2 1/2 years now and while it has slowed me down it doesn’t keep me from doing things with my 15 and 11 year old kids. Good luck all.

  58. sweepingTRP88@gmail.com' Tricia Pesce says:

    I’m most inspired by my mother, she always makes the best out of any situation. She’s truly an amazing and strong woman.

  59. willitara@gmail.com' Betty C says:

    I like so many of the frames. One design I like is the Metal-Alloy Rectangular Eyeglasses 411516.

  60. m.seeman89@live.com' sharpLess says:

    Full Rim Plastic Frames 273425

  61. m.seeman89@live.com' sharpLess says:

    The woman in my life that inspires me is my older sister, who has a great work ethic.

  62. sweepsiwgacc@gmail.com' Gordon Yu says:

    My mom inspires me everyday.

  63. My daughter inspires me, she’s 7 months old!

  64. pmogish23@gmail.com' Peter M. says:

    Cool Contest

  65. hamjenny66@gmail.com' Jenny Ham says:

    My mom she keeps going no matter what is going on..

  66. mycatlovesme@outlook.com' cassandra says:

    I look up to my mother the most and she is a constant source of inspiration to me.

  67. mountainman1234321@gmail.com' Logan Carpenter says:

    My girlfriend is growing so much and inspires me to keep looking at the details at all I should be thankful for.

  68. bloghappy@gmail.com' Nicole H says:

    My best friend inspires me. She is switching careers and going back to school all with a kid at home.

  69. kripley81@gmail.com' Kimmy Ripley says:

    I like Stylish Rectangular Eyeglasses 103121

  70. letitall0utt@yahoo.com' Courtney H says:

    My aunt inspires me and she is beautiful

  71. breannet89@gmail.com' Breanne says:

    I like the Acetate Full-Rim Frame 626634

  72. My favorite pair of frames is the Retro Square Eyeglasses 270421.

  73. My mom like many on here.

  74. Tammysweeps@yahoo.com' Tammy Iler says:

    I really like the #7805221 frames!

  75. pheetphancy@gmail.com' Sarah Mayer says:

    My kids inspire me to be the best mom and friend I can be.

  76. terwellshelby@gmail.com' Shelby Terwell says:

    I love Zenni, I have purchased a few pairs already!

  77. My sister inspires me every day! She is my rock.

  78. tridingermckee@gmail.com' Trisha McKee says:

    My daughter is such an inspiration. At sixteen years old she has shown strength and grace and a heart so large and sincere. She forges ahead with what she believes is right and follows her heart and she sticks up for the underdogs. I strive to be like my beautiful daughter.

  79. My mom inspires me. I like the Oval Sunglasses 111921.

  80. cjcon76@gmail.com' Carrie Conrad says:

    I am inspired by my younger Sister, Rachel. Her strength and her heart are amazing! She is stronger than she thinks she is and is a rock in our family.

  81. jamesmjenkins5@gmail.com' james jenkins says:

    I am inspired by their selection to be more audacious in my glasses selections; I’m usually so conservative.

  82. Will you be announcing a winner on the Gleam entry form?

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