Archive | September, 2012

Champions For Kids Donation Drive

Making Any Event An Opportunity To Give

I enjoy getting the ladies together in my home from time to time to unwind, mingle and have silly girl fun.  Sometimes I make the party into a play date for the kids at the same time.  But whatever the occasion, I never miss the opportunity to turn any event into a simple fundraiser for my community.

Moms Night Out Party

Moms Night Out Party


As the Co-Founder of Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation, I know all too well that half of the challenge for any fundraiser is getting people to the event.  So if people will be in my home anyhow for a party, it’s so easy to hold a donation drive at the same time.

Last December I had many local female bloggers here in my home to sample holiday food and wine.  After putting together the party details- food, wine, games, invitations, etc., I simply sent out an email to the attendees letting them know that I would be collecting food for my local food bank if anyone wanted to bring a donation.  As a prize for the person who brought the most food to donate, I gave away a beautiful apron.

Blogger Party

Blogger Party


I think that by turning the simplest of events into a small donation drive, I’m making it easier for friends to be philanthropic.  While someone may not think its worth it to drive a small bag of food to their local food bank, they may bring one to a party they were planning to attend anyhow knowing that their small donation will be combined into a much larger donation.  And what’s even better is they don’t have to drive it to the food bank themselves, I’m taking time out of my schedule to do so.

Champions For Kids

This past weekend, I held an intimate afternoon party in my home to talk about a business opportunity for bloggers.  The ladies and I enjoyed some food, drinks and girl talk while the kids had fun collecting and sorting donated items for our Champions For Kids donation drive.

Champion for Kids

My girls sort donated items for our Champion for Kids donation drive


Champions for Kids is a national non-profit working to improve the lives of children across the country.  As part of this campaign with Dial Soap, Champion for Kids is encouraging people- like me- to make a difference by holding donation drives for hygiene products to donate to local schools or children’s shelters in need.

Because I was already having this party in my home, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to hold Simple Service Project for Champion for Kids at the same time.  I emailed guests before the party to let each one know that I would be collecting items to donate to our local charity, Safe Nest.


Planning The Party

Just like any party, I started with invitations letting my friends know about the party.  I let everyone know on the invitation that I was collecting hygiene products for my own Champion for Kids donation drive, and that I had a special prize to give away to whomever brought the most donations.

Planning the food was simple, with some cupcakes, cheese tray and other goodies from my shopping trip to Walmart.  I was able to purchase my own Dial Soaps and other hygiene items for my donation to the drive and the party food and drinks at the same time.  Check out more photos from my shopping trip in my Google+ photo album here:

Google+ photo album


It could be me, but I feel like everyone enjoyed the party more knowing that we were doing something for the children in our community at the same time.


I encourage anyone who is having a party in their home to Dial Into Giving with Champion for Kids by turning any small event into an opportunity to hold a small donation drive for the local community.

For more information about Champions For Kids, visit, Twitter or Facebook.


I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Dial Soaps #DialCFK #CBias #SocialFabric but the views and opinions expressed here are very much my own.

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Whats For Dinner

What’s For Dinner… This Week

The Organized Cook answers the question “What’s For Dinner Tonight?” with the answer- “What’s For Dinner This Week“.  And this week we’re dishing up our favorite Fall recipes in our Weekly Meal Plan “Fall Favorites”.

Fall Vegetables

If you’re a subscriber to The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System, here’s what’s on your dinner menu this week:


Vegetable Lasagna

Day 1: Fallsagna (Vegetable Lasagna)



WonderFall Chili by The Organized Cook

Day 2: WonderFall Chili



Fall Rigatoni

Day 3: Fall Rigatoni



meal planning by The Organized Cook

Day 4: Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Roasted Brussels Sprouts



meal planning by The Organized Cook

Day 5: Turkey Pizza Burgers with Minestrone Soup


Weekly Meal Planning For Busy Families

Meal Planning

Weekly Meal Plan


It’s not too late to get your Fall Favorites Weekly Meal Plan.  Subscribe Now.

The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System

Manic Monday Giveaway

Everyone’s a winner this week.  Simply tell us your favorite Fall recipe by leaving a comment below and our Facebook page and we’ll send you Fall Favorites for free!

Bon Appetit Busy Moms!


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Unfriending Over Politics

My Facebook friends and family page is typically bustling with photos, random humorous thoughts and inspirational quotes.  Occasionally I’ll see the angry rant about some frivolous problem, like a flat tire, or sometimes not so frivolous problem, like a request for prayers.

I personally love social media for giving me the effortless ability to stay in touch with friends and relatives from across the globe.  It would be a full-time job to keep aunts, uncles, cousins and friends updated on what’s going on with me and kids, and conversely stay informed about their lives.  For example, without Facebook, my sister-in-law would never see photos from the girls’ dance concert or Connor’s beeper baseball game, or Cassidy’s monologue videos, because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to share this information with everyone.

Within a matter of minutes I’m able to wish happy birthdays, see photos of my high school best friend’s kids and get a quick laugh or dose of inspiration from posted jokes or quotes.  One time, when I forgot my mother-in-law’s birthday, I salvaged the oversight by filming the girls singing happy birthday and posting it on her Facebook page.

Recently, however, the tone of Facebook has changed with the upcoming presidential election creating online riffs and hard feelings between friends and family.  Anti-Obama wars are resulting in pages upon pages of argument that have led to death threats or even worse- “unfriending”.

I have stayed, for the most part, completely neutral and silent online about my political views because I honestly do not see the point otherwise.  Do I really believe that I’m going to change someone’s political convictions by writing slurs about the candidate they support?  Of course not.  And I wonder if these political warriors ever worry that posting negative rants will alienate cyber friends who have opposing political views.  Regardless, I resolved early on to remain quiet and not comment on anything political, positive or negative.

It hasn’t been easy.  Yesterday, I came across a paragraph posted by a girlfriend that starts off relatively eloquent in describing how she appreciates the fact that she lives in a country where she has the right to voice her political views, and the power to help determine who will be our country’s next leader.  Unfortunately, this well-begun post took a turn for the nasty when she summed it up with unkind words like a%* and “idiot”.  I had the fleeting thought to “unfriend” her for her crude remarks before remembering the pact I made with myself to simply ignore the political rant.

And then the issue hit home.  My uncle began targeting my brother with anti-Obama propaganda, even writing, “Bryon, this is for you”, with a link to some FOX News article.  The ironic thing here is that my brother is truly neutral in this presidential election and supports neither at this point.  This began a series of back-and-forth rhetoric that went on for days.  Due to the fact these arguments were posted on the public walls of each party’s Facebook pages, anyone commenting on these posts then opened that conversation up to their friends who would then comment, and it went on and on from there.  What I learned by watching this dialogue is that there are either no Obama supporters on Facebook, or they choose to not initiate this type of nasty and time-wasting exchange of political views.

In either case, the public argument resulted in numerous death threats to my brother from people he doesn’t even know.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems hypocritical, in my opinion, to threaten someone’s life for publicly voicing their support of a presidential candidate when the entire purpose is to elect a leader of our free nation to uphold and defend this basic constitutional right.

Furthermore, I wonder if the people engaging in this type of online bullying truly believe that threatening someone’s life will actually help their candidate win the election.  If one truly that much conviction in their presidential candidate, perhaps doing something positive like holding a rally or fundraiser in their home is a more productive approach to winning.

In any case, my mother at this point decided to step in and personally ask my uncle to please discontinue any public political conversations with his nephew and continue them privately either through email or direct-messaging (DM) on Facebook so that others could neither see nor participate in the dialogue.

The conversation turned ugly and my uncle ended up calling his sister names so awful that I won’t repeat them here.  He then went on to threaten her that he was going to have her “kicked out of the family” and would work to “turn everyone against her”.  Among many things one can accurately call my uncle, delusional is obviously among the first.  He is, after all, one of the conspiracy theorists who believes Barack Obama is a secret Muslim plotting to take over the U.S.  And I won’t even begin to talk about his views on a woman’s place in this world- that’s another story, but supports his fantasy that he has authority or persuasion as a family patriarch to banish his sister.

Anyhow, I’m not sure how he went from supporting to Romney to venomous name-calling, but I do know that it has guided me to make that delicate decision that I’m sure many social media fans have had to make at some point.  See, everyone has that line in the sand, either large or small, that brings them to make tough choices.  I’ve always loved my uncle and always will, but calling my mother vulgar names is probably my big fat line in the sand.

So today, with great remorse, and without the option of an “unfamily” button, I moved my mouse to the big “unfriend” button on my uncle’s Facebook page while thinking about how unfortunate it is that opposing political views are the origin of such an uncomfortable conclusion.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to November 7th when Facebook will once again inspire and humor me with postings of important things like that first lost tooth, school awards, family vacations, funny comics and photos of my cousin’s garden in bloom.

Signs of happier days on Facebook:

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Manic Monday Giveaway- Grill Gift Set

Fall Indoor Grilling

Summer may be over, but I still enjoy my favorite grill recipes during the Fall by bringing them inside and using my indoor grill.  To celebrate our indoor grill recipes this week, we’re giving away a gift mini pack of these amazing dry rub seasoning from Char Crust that can be used for broiling, baking or grilling.

Grilled Chicken Recipe

Lemon-Basil Grilled Chicken & Grilled Garlic Bread Recipe


Also included in the gift pack are these adorable Grill Charms from Charmed Life Products.  With these functional and aesthetic charms, you can mark your food prior to cooking to distinguish temperatures, flavors or food allergies.  For example, I like my steak medium-well, so one of these charms would mark mine.

Grill Gift Set Giveaway

Grill Gift Set Giveaway


The Giveaway

Entering the giveaway is simple here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Weekly Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan

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