Make-A-Wish BIG Wish Gala & World Wish Day

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!! My husband and I attended the Big Wish Gala last Friday and let me tell you, it was an emotionally charged, educational, and fun experience. There was a silent action, open bar, delicious food, live auction, amazing speakers, oh, & a puppy…it checked all my boxes!

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And the speakers, omg! When Karen, a Wish Mom spoke about her daughter, her daughter’s illness, & what an amazing gift her daughter’s wish was…this momma’s heart and purse strings were tugged & the flood gates opened. It was such a raw experience; the evening took me to a place I hadn’t anticipated. Are you familiar with Make-a-Wish? Did you know that not all kids wish for luxury vacations? Did you know that granting a wish for a child renews hope & is an integral part of their treatment…it helps them fight their illness?( Stats- ◦89% of medical professionals say that the wish experience influences wish kids’ physical health. (Results from national wish impact study) And ◦99% of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness and 96% said that the wish experience strengthened their families.) Sadly, only one out of two wishes gets granted! But not at the Gala, at the BIG Wish Gala $180,000 was raised & 22 life changing wishes will be granted for local Toledo kids!!! Thank you, Toledo!!

But there are still more kids waiting for their wish, we need you! As the old saying goes: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give! There is a new feature event coming up, click on the clip to see the trailer…

 

 

World Wish Day is April 29th please consider donating, volunteering, and checking out all the numerous ways you and your family can get involved and help other families in our community.

Click HERE for more info. http://oki.wish.org/ways-to-help

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Perfectly Posh Review & Giveaway

These gems arrived two weeks ago & my life hasn’t been the same ever since!

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Don’t know what Perfectly Posh is? Don’t worry, I was totally clueless too!

Perfectly Posh is fun, hip, & responsible papering…..

For as long as a girl has needed to care for her skin, she could find FUN products and she could find GOOD products, but it was difficult to find products that were both fun AND good. Perfectly Posh offers products you’ll feel good about putting on your skin. They feature:

  • Pampering products made in the USA
  • Gentle, natural ingredients
  • No parabens, paraffins, sulfates, lanolin, or fillers
  • Lots of natural butters and essential oils
  • Many vegan options
  • No animal testing

(Source)

 

You are probably thinking, that’s all nice and all, but does it provide real results? I know I was a sceptic. Let’s be honest, some of those “responsible” products out there just don’t deliver that girly, I just got pampered, my skin is so smooth, silky, and smells amazing result we want. Ladies, we bust our butts all day, we deserve not to be disappointed by our beauty products!

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So I opted to take one for the team…after a long day of doing everything for everyone else (I beat my all-time laundry record that day and completed, as in, washed, dried, folded, & put away 7 loads of laundry…I am having the trophy made-up as we speak. Ha-ha!) I gave Perfectly Posh a try.

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Smashing Good Pumpkin Face & Body Clay was the first Perfectly Posh product I tried. Thoughts that ran through my head as I applied the Clay to my face….

This smells amazing!

Is this stuff edible?

Goes on smooth

Ooh….tingles a little…I like it.

Ahhh….is this what a Spa experience feels like? I. AM. SO. RELAXED.

Maybe I will lay down….what if I fall asleep with this on?

And then sadly it was time to wash it off. But no need to fret because I followed it up with another Perfectly Posh product!! I applied the Night & Day moisturizer and nothing but SMOOTH!! Smooth as a baby’s bottom and best of all it is Vegan and has NO petrolatum in it. In fact, the first two ingredients, water & organic olive oil!! Talk about winning! Yep, this momma is officially hooked!!!

What I like best is the fact that while frequent trips to a high end Spa are not in this SAHM’s budget Perfectly Posh products are and they deliver similar results, no joke! But you don’t have to take my word for it, give it a try yourself. Give Jen a call today, because you deserve to be pampered!

Jen Kopitke

419-345-9977

Jen.Kopitke@yahoo.com

http://www.perfectlyposh.com/kopitkeposh

 

ADDED BONUS!! GIVEAWAY!!!

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Enter to win this awesome Posh To Meet You set! Includes Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme, a Chunk, and a Lip Balm!  (Valued at $19)

To enter simply complete the following….

  1. Join Jen’s VIP group on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/102254036794263/  
  2. Share this post on Facebook
  3. Peruse Jen’s Perfectly Posh site; click here  & then post a comment to this blog post stating which Perfectly Posh product you are most excited about trying out.

Winner will be randomly selected March 15th @11:59pm & posted on the blog and blog Facebook page the 16th. Best of luck ladies!

The Culmination of 30 Days of Gratitude

Thank You Notes

As our 30 days of gratitude culminates we are gathered in the kitchen to help our daughter complete her thank you notes for family and friends.  What a beautiful way to complete our 30 days, together helping a family member complete her notes of gratitude towards family and friends.

Our family has truly enjoyed the past 30 days and we hope your family has as well.  We have received so much more in return for our small acts of kindness, it seems like the outlook in our home has become more positive and encouraging.

Our son asked, “Do we have to stop our gratitude attitude now that November is over?”  To which I replied, “How would that make you feel if we stopped doing nice things for others?”  As he looked at me with pure disgust he exclaimed “That would make me feel not happy, I like to help, and I am a good helper”.    I gave him a big hug and stated that I agreed.  So, it has been decided, in our home an attitude of gratitude is not something we merely express during the month of Thanksgiving but year round.

An attitude of Gratitude has become a way of life for our family and we hope this is true in your family as well.  Remember that gratitude, no matter how small or large the act is gratitude no less.

We have collated some of our acts of kindness from the past 30 days to share.

Hannah’s Socks, a non-profit organization founded by a young Toledo girl to help homeless, victims of domestic violence, and underprivileged children. http://www.hannahssocks.org.

http://www.hannahssocks.org

Good Egg awards- I like expressing my gratitude to my children this way. It is important that as parents we address and reward the good behavior, not just address the bad.
Image of Crunch Krispies on a stick, for the bake sale to raise funds for Special Olympics
Preparing a meal to take to a friend
A surprise visit to a family member’s home (Tip- if you are visiting an elderly person, or someone without children, bring something for your children to do, it is your responsibility as the parent to occupy your children’s time).
Kiddos helped make muffins for a friend.
Toby our Gratitude Turkey, it was fun listening to the things each child was grateful for and helping them sound out and spell the words. We are going to miss that turkey; he is packed away for next year.
Thanksgiving package for friends that live out-of-town, kiddos had fun picking out the card and stickers
Dropped off donations at the Animal Shelter
Bubbba was adorable, an 8 year-old Labrador. I wanted to take him home but my house is very small as it is with only one Labrador. We did pray that Bubba found a safe and happy home with a family to play with him.
Sassy was also cute. Again, it was so tough walking away from those cages. If you are a family looking to expand your family by four-legs, do consider stopping by your local shelter first. There are some amazing animals there, some have even been trained but the owners lost their homes or moved.
Kiddos donated their candy to Make-a-Wish

And many more….

Though I enjoyed all the larger acts of kindness we shared as a family what truly moved me was watching my children illustrate small acts of kindness towards each other. I enjoyed watching my four-year-old Power Ranger rushing over to help his one-year-old baby sister get back up and placed her crown back on her head after she slipped on her princess dress.  I enjoyed listening to a conversation between our six-year-old and four-year-old where one gave their favorite toy to the other to borrow (there were some stipulations of course).  But the fact that they are learning to illustrate kindness towards their siblings makes this mom so grateful. I leave you with the following quote and hope you will share some of your family’s acts of kindness and reflect on how the exercise affected your daily activities and life in general.

 There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance. ~Joseph Addison

Thankful Thursday…..Rice Krispies treats, the treats that keep on giving

Thankful Thursday…..

I initially introduced the 30 days of gratitude to my family in hopes of teaching my children the importance of appreciation through simple acts of kindness each day. However, what was meant to be something minute has evolved into so much more.  The acts of kindness have fostered quality time with loved ones, comforting conversations with friends and acquaintances, and magnificent memories.

Rice Krispies Treats, the treats that keep on giving….

Monday afternoon I found myself pressed for time, as usual.  So I threw the kiddos pajamas, diapers, cups, box of Rice Krispies, bag of marshmallows, stick of butter, wooden sticks, bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, sprinkles, wax paper, and my book for book club into a laundry basket. I  put this kiddos in the car, picked up my daughter from school and headed to my mother’s.  We have dinner at my mom’s on Mondays; it has slowly become a tradition in our family, which works out great to because I have book club every other Monday.  So, we got to my moms and I started making Rice Krispies for my preschoolers snack box and the bake sale the next day to raise money for Special Olympics.  I formed them into balls and placed them on wooden sticks, way easy.  Then my mom got home from work and she started helping me melt the chocolate while we enjoyed conversation about our day.  We had the perfect consistency and started dipping the treats in the chocolate at which point the kiddos wanted to get involved too, so each took turns sprinkling the sprinkles on the freshly dipped Rice Krispies treat. Half way through we realized we were not going to have enough chocolate for all the treats.  Just then, as if on queue, my father came home from work and made a b-line for their leftover Halloween candy.  BINGO! My father and mother began unwrapping Nestle crunch bars like it was their job while I stirred the chocolate and the kiddos stood by with sprinkles in hand.  It had become a family affair, no longer was it just a task to check off, it had transformed into a family memory.

After book club my father helped me wrap the dozens of Rice Krispies Treats and we placed the necessary amount in my preschooler’s snack box and the rest were ready for the bake sale the next day.

The next day we dropped off the snack box, along with my preschool, at school.  When we picked him up the teacher said the Rice Krispies Treats on a stick were a hit. Thanks goodness, I was a little concerned since we invented the last batch via Halloween Candy.  I was also a little concerned that the teacher might be upset with our choice of snack given that it was picture day (looking back, it was a bad choice on my part but he was so excited to take in somthing on a stick).

Rice Krispies treats on a stick dipped in Nestle Crunch Bars, delicious!!

After I picked him up from school we were off to vote.  He had some leftover Rice Krispies Treats on a stick and asked if he could give them to people inside.  I thought it was such a kind gesture.  So we headed inside to vote and he passed out Rice Krispies Treats on a stick to the individuals volunteering.  Our neighbor happened to be volunteering at the time and my son made certain he received two.

After we voted it was time to drop off the initial Rice Krispies Treats on a stick for the bake sale to support the Special Olympics. We dropped off our Treats, the kiddos each picked out another baked-good, and we donated to the cause.  I am not sure who purchased the Rice Krispies Treats that we had made the Monday night at my moms but I do know that those Treats brought about much happiness and illustrated our gratitude towards our family, friends, and neighbors.

Recipe for Nestle Crunch Rice Krispies treats on a stick

  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 bag of large marshmallows
  • 4 cups Love
  • 6 Cups Rice Krispies Cereal
  • ½ cup gratitude
  • Package of wooden sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of panic (when you realize you are running out of chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup relief (when you realize there is Halloween candy, Nestle crunch to the rescue!)
  • 1 bag of fun sized Nestle crunch bars

Directions:

In a large sauce pan melt butter and add marshmallows. Stir constantly till both have melted, remove from heat, and add Rice Krispies.  Spray measuring cup and/or spoon with cooking spray and divide into portion sizes.  Spray hands with cooking spray and form the portions into balls.  Place wooden stick into the ball and let cool for 15 minutes. While the Krispies treats are cooling you can begin to melt the Crunch bars.   You will want to use a double boiler so that the chocolate doesn’t burn.  Once the bars are melted grab a treat, holding it by the stick, and quickly dip it in the chocolate and then sit it on wax paper or foil to cool.
Please note: if you leave the treat in the chocolate to long it will melt the marshmallows again.  To expedite the process you can place them in the refrigerator for a little while till the chocolate cools.

Thankful Thursday….30 days of Gratitude Update

Blogging from Bed today, it feels like my tonsil has taken over half of my head, crazy swollen gland.  But I am still living a Thankful Thursday and in honor of Thankful Thursday I will update you on our families 30 days of gratitude. Granted, it is only day 3 of the month so I do not have much to update you on but we have illustrated acts of kindness through the following activities;

The children each donated half of their Halloween candy to Make a Wish foundation.  There is a teacher at my daughter’s school who collected the candy for Make a Wish Foundation.

The kiddos made thank you cards for their grandparents, thanking them for the fun Halloween treats.  While the kiddos made their thank you cards I made good egg awards for them.  Our house is on the market and we recently had a showing for our house and the kiddos were amazing.  They helped by cleaning their rooms, watching their little sister, and being all around great listeners.  So, in their good egg awards I have included a coupon for each of them.

One of the coupons is for a video of your choice, or in this house, a Netflix movie of your choice (this is kind of a big deal come family movie night). The other coupon, for my eldest, is good for staying up an extra hour past her bedtime (which I might be looking more forward to then she is, it will be nice to have time with her while the others are in bed, like old times).

Love Coupons for Kids

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I have a booklet of coupons in mommy’s secret hiding place (top shelf of the pantry) and I like to hand out a coupon at least twice a
month to the children.  It is important that we reward our children and acknowledge good behavior.  It seems like far too often parents focus on the bad behavior and spurt out unnecessary names such as “Brat”.  It is just as important to focus on the good.

This evening we plan on calling family that lives long distance but given the current state of my throat I have a feeling I will not
be doing much talking.  God is helping me become a better listener (life, forever a learning experience).

30 Days of Gratitude….a way for family to stay grounded

I was disappointed this morning. I was watching the news and noticed that there was a commercial for Christmas, Christmas! It is only one day after Halloween and already the attention has turned to Christmas. What Happened to Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving seems to be one of those Holidays where retailers can’t make much of a profit so why not skip it all together? I did hear that Nordstrom has taken a stand and they will not be putting up their Christmas decorations or marketing Christmas until
after Thanksgiving, way to take an initiative Nordstrom’s (we don’t have one around here but this might call for a special trip, that is an initiative I can support!).

So, thanks to Nordstrom’s inspiration and my own passion for thanksgiving our family will be living 30 days of gratitude and we invite your family to do the same.  I realize as mothers we already give so much of ourselves to our family which is why this
needs to be a practical endeavor.  30 days of gratitude is not meant to be overwhelming or add stress to your life, in fact it should hopefully have quite the opposite effect on you and your family. Living gratitude can be quite fulfilling.

Gratitude is more than an attitude. Recent studies show that grateful people are happier, more resilient, and less depressed. They also have higher self-esteem and better relationships. These results prove that gratitude is more than polite manners and positive thinking. It is a way of life, and a wonderful legacy to leave our children. http://www.more4kids.info/184/teaching-gratitude/

So, when thinking about different ways to express gratitude think of simple acts of kindness, and make sure you get your children involved.  Sure mommy can grab the Halloween candy, throw it in a box, and mail it but without expressing the purpose behind the act the act goes unnoticed by your little ones.  So remember to share these acts and when possible contribute and express gratitude as a family.

To get your family started I am providing a few ideas for ways in which your family can demonstrate gratitude.

Turkey of Gratitude

The first week of November or, two weeks prior to Thanksgiving have your children begin writing down something they are grateful for each day. Then have them stick the feather in the Turkey. On Thanksgiving Day your family will have a lovely center piece of thanks.

How to make it: Cut a 1-inch sliver off the bottom of a 9-inch polystyrene ball. Wrap sphere neatly in thick dark-brown yarn, covering surface completely; knot on bottom. Make a 4-inch ball from light-brown yarn and attach to body with a wooden craft stick. Create simple facial features using felt: white circles (approximately the size of a quarter, with 1/8-inch pom-poms for pupils) for eyes, yellow triangles for the beak, and long red felt teardrops as the wattle. Cut feather shapes from colored craft paper and bend in half lengthwise to create seam. Glue wooden craft stick to the bottom third of the feather and insert in a fan shape on turkey body. (Parents Magazine)

Donate Halloween Candy

If you don’t know what to do with all that left over Halloween Candy, send it to Operation Shoebox and they will get it over to our troops! Every year they go through tons of candy that they send to our troops and would be happy to have your leftovers!

Our mailing address is:

Operation Shoebox

8360 Highway 25

Belleview, FL 34420

Help a neighbor, family member, or elderly rake leaves.

Donate Food to a Food Bank

Donate Food- What they Can Use

  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned Goods: Meats,
    Stews, Tuna Fish,
  • Pork & Beans, Navy
    Beans, Spam, Soup
  • Apple Sauce, Peaches,
    Pears, Fruit Cocktail
  • Green Beans, Corn, Peas and other vegetables
  • Dry Pasta and Ramen
    noodles
  • Dried Beans
  • Powdered Milk
  • Spaghetti Sauce,
    Tomato Sauce, Ravioli, Beefaroni
  • Macaroni & Cheese
    and other packaged dinners
  • Cereal
  • 100% Juice
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Toiletries: Toilet Paper, Soap, Shampoo, Deodorant, Feminine Napkins

The Food Bank accepts contributions of both food and non-food items. They accept donations from individuals and companies. To get more information on making a product donation please call 419-242-5000 or email the Outreach Coordinator, Jennifer Mirelez: jmirelez@toledofoodbank.org

Donate Toys to Charity-Nationwide Donation Pick Up

Donating toys to charity has never been easier thanks to the free toy donation pick up service offered by charities nationwide. Schedule a toy donation pick up today and donate toys to the local charity you choose. While the holiday season is a favorite time to donate toys to charity, toy donations are needed year-round. Budget-strapped families often don’t have enough money left at the end of the month for these extras that can brighten the day of a little one in need. Schedule a pick up today… http://www.donationtown.org/donation-pick-up.html

Love Letters: Random Cards of Kindness Inc.

Mission Statement:

Our goal is to create positive and inspirational homemade
cards for children with life-threatening illnesses. We also want our “Love
Letters Pen Pals” to inspire others in their community to commit to making
a difference through our organization.

Be sure to checkout the guidelines and suggestions for holiday & birthday cards, and share the idea with others. http://loveletterscares.org/

Please Send Your Cards To:

Kaitlyn Chana

Love Letters: Random Cards of Kindness, Inc.

P.O. Box 161058

Altamonte Springs, FL 32716-1058

While you are filling your freezer make an additional meal for a neighbor or loved one

Drive-thru random act of Kindness

The next time you go through a drive-thru pay for the person’s order behind you, or a fraction of the person’s order behind you.  They will be delightfully surprised to hear that the complete stranger in front of them just paid for their drink and/or meal.

Volunteer at the Local Ronald McDonald House

Volunteer at the Local Ronald McDonald House

You could……

  • Bring homemade cookies or cupcakes for families. Or help children bake and decorate them.
  • Organize a craft project for children
  • Host a pizza party, ice cream social, or popcorn & movie night
  • Make welcome goodie bags and care packages for families
  • Make quilts, afghans or knitted hats and mittens for families

Give thanks for each other around the dinner table (we do this on
Sundays)

Each family member takes a turn and express why they are thankful for each of the other family members, specifically something they did that day.

Send a Letter to a Soldier

http://www.letterstosoldiers.org/write-letter

Call a friend who doesn’t live in town and ask them how their day is going.

Mobile Meals of Toledo

Home Delivered Meal Programs: Volunteer 1 -1/2 hours a day, two days per month or offer to substitute on an on-call basis.

Have kiddos send a Thank you for being a great friend Card.

http://www.kidprintables.com/thankyounotes/

I will be sharing updates on my families 30 days of gratitude every Thankful Thursday. There are so many ways to express gratitude everyday. Maybe your family has a special Thanksgiving ritual that illustrates gratitude, if so, please share.

Fashion for a Cause

Mama’s to do list this past weekend:

  • Fashion for a Cause at Treo in Sylvania

I had a magnificent time at the Fashion for a Cause event that benefited Beach House Family Shelter of Toledo. Beach House has been a critical refuge for thousands of individuals at a time in their lives when they desperately needed a place to turn, providing a place to sleep, food to feed their children, and a place to begin again. Thus, offering women and families a new lease on life!

The event was held at Treo which is located downtown Sylvania and began at 11:30am with cocktails and lunch followed shortly after.  The tables were decorated in an exquisite fall theme. The food was delicious; the pumpkin soup was a fall festival for your taste buds.

While enjoying the main course the fashion show began with styles from Lady C and Juni Boutique. It was so much fun and a relaxing time to enjoy with friends.

Though none of the moms in our group won the raffle we all had a lovely time and enjoyed the fact that the event  benefited a great cause here in Toledo.

Beach House Family shelter depends on the kindness, donations and gifts from others. There are so many wonderful ways in which you can give. Hope Totes are one great way to show your support and share information about the Beach House with others whom you may come in contact with while running errand with your hot tote on your arm.

It is sure to be the hot commodity for this winter. Don’t be seen without yours! Also makes a great Christmas gift, the gift that keeps giving.  So call today and get yours!

Tip: if you are a stickler for time management, go pick up your tote and drop off donations at the same time.  For a list of items they commonly use and need click the following link, http://www.beachhousetoledo.org/Default.aspx?pageId=125286