Category: Friday Favorites

On The Sixth Day of Service Rise Together

12 Days of Service

As we are counting down the days until we wake up on Christmas morning surrounded by our families, there are thousands of children in our foster care system just hoping for a family for Christmas. Currently there are around a half of a million children in foster homes in America; many of them waiting to be adopted by a forever family to call their own.

This statistic is pretty heart breaking. But, to hear that foster kids are handed two trash bags upon entering foster care tugs pretty hard at my heart strings too. They move from home to home with their belongings in plastic bags meant to carry garbage.

Kids in foster care get two trash bags to carry their belongings.
Kids in foster care get two trash bags to carry their belongings.

My friend Rachel adopted her beautiful little girl from foster care. At her celebration party Rachel and her family collected comfort items to donate to our local foster kids. They decorated canvas bags and filled them with teddy bears, toys and hygiene items. They donated the bags to the local foster care division at the Department of Social Services.

How can you help? Contact your local Department of Social Services to ask for a list of needed items and arrange for a drop off date. Ask your friends and family for bags and the needed items. Host a get together to decorate the bags and fill them. Kids of any age can help stuff items into a bag and help bring comfort to these vulnerable kids.

The GIVEBACK BOX can assist 10 children in your local community with Care Packages this holiday season.
The GIVEBACK BOX can assist 10 children in your local community with Care Packages this holiday season.

Not sure you have the time to get out and gather up the items yourself? Together We Rise makes it even easier! Make one online donation of $50 to sponsor a sweet case and you’re done! Sweet cases are duffle bags filled with comfort items and hygiene items and it gives children in foster care a more dignified way to move to a new home. You can sponsor one case, or call upon your friends and family to split the cost of a Give Back Box!

For a $250 donation ($25 per person times 10 contributors) you can purchase a kit filled with all the items you need to stuff 10 sweet cases. Host a get together in your home, or round up co-workers at the office to decorate and stuff the bags. Then, deliver to your local foster care agency. Shipping is FREE on the first 20 bags. LAST SHIPPING DATE IS DECEMBER 14TH via FEDEX.

Whichever way you choose to give back it will have a great impact on a child going through a difficult transition. This is a great way to help instill compassion in your young children, and it gives them greater perspective that some kids just need a family.

Watch this clip to learn more about sweet cases:

 

 

Related posts:

One The First Day of Service Host a Food Drive

On The Second Day of Service Host a Coat Drive

On The Third Day of Service Make a Special Delivery

On The Fourth Day of Service Send Some Cheer

On The Fifth Day of Service Give Some Swag

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

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On The Fourth Day of Service Send Some Cheer

12 Days of Service

I am loving the positive feedback about this series! I am so grateful my experiences with making holiday giving simple and easy is inspiring others to do the same. My kids have honestly enjoyed helping in these projects. I hope yours will too!

Today I am sharing how I started my own small charity. I don’t have a board and I don’t have an operating budget, but that is the beauty of using social media to ask for help. Four years ago, I started a small card writing charity called Operation Christmas Cheer. It began when my friend Gloria asked me to send just one Christmas card to two kids in our town who were battling cancer. I sent my two cards, but it just didn’t feel like enough.

I’ve shared before that my niece Ashley was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) when she was just 3-years old. Watching what she and my family endured month after month of chemotherapy, surgeries and hospital stays had a significant impact on me. Having been in the hospital room with other cancer kids (including tiny babies) I know firsthand the grief and anxiety families feel. What these kids really need is a cure. I don’t know how to make that happen, but I do know how to make a kid smile.

Design credit: Rose Door Designs
Design credit: Rose Door Designs

I made an event page on Facebook and asked my friends and family to make a card to send to each child. Then I found a few more kids who could use some cheer too. I had a total of ten kids on my list and over 65 volunteers, several class rooms and scout troops mailing cards to the kids on my list. I thought that would be the end of it. But, everyone started asking the following Christmas if I was going to do it again. My kids and I have continued this tradition every year since. Now I have several hundred volunteers sending cards.

How can you get involved? This operation is found solely on Facebook. You can like the page and get names of the children who need your cheer. Or, if you know of any children in your own home town that needs love and cheer this Christmas, start your own group on Facebook. Send an invite to all your friends and family to ask them to send out cards. Keep them updated with posts and photos of your kids making cards and encourage them to do the same. You can also contact a local children’s hospital and ask if you can deliver cards to kids staying in the hospital at Christmas.

This has been a great way to get my little kids involved with giving back. It isn’t expensive and I don’t have to leave the house (except once to gather stamps and cards). You can send store bought cards, or make them. No matter which kind of card you choose to send you will help bring some cheer to a family in need!

One The First Day of Service Host a Food Drive

On The Second Day of Service Host a Coat Drive

On The Third Day of Servic Make a Special Delivery

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Black Friday Favorites- Barefoot Books! **Exclusive Discount**

Barefoot Books Black Friday Savings

If you have never had the pleasure of reading a book from Barefoot books, allow me to introduce you! My friend Gloria first shared these books with me when our kids were just babies. I was immediately drawn to the rich illustrations and the wonderful positive messages of each story.

Barefoot books began in the early 1990’s as a way to honor children’s stories from all over the world. The diversity offered through Barefoot books is a great introduction to other cultures, different abilities and empowered child characters. There are books for children of all ages and stages. Your kids will immediately love the colors, the beautiful illustrations and become captivated by the stories!

Here are some of our favorites:

The Girl With A Brave Heart – a story about Shiraz, a kindhearted young girl growing up in Tehran. She is miserable living with her stepmother and stepsister because they treat her like a servant. A powerful story about patience, perseverance and empathy.

Photo credit: www.barefootbooks.com
Image credit: www.barefootbooks.com

 

Lin Yi’s Lantern– a heartwarming story shows the rewards of putting others first, and includes educational notes at the end about the Chinese moon festival.

Photo found on www.barefootbooks.com
Image credit:  http://www.barefootbooks.com

 

Grandpa’s Garden – kids are drawn in by the poetic language and warm illustrations. It creates the excitement of watching things grow!

Image credit: www.barefootbooks.com
Image credit: http://www.barefootbooks.com

 

I Took the Moon for a Walk – follow a young boy and the moon as they overcome the fear of the dark and discover the world at night. The end of the book includes notes about the moon and plants and animals that thrive in the wee hours of the night.

I Took the Moon for a Walk
Image credit: http://www.barefootbooks.com

 

Barefoot Books are my favorite books to buy for my kids! I try to include a handful of new ones each year in our book a night Christmas countdown! The books are durable and illustrated with unique artwork. To purchase Barefoot Books you typically host a party (at home or online) where you earn free books and a discount. But, just for being my reader you don’t need to host anything!

My very generous friend Heather is offering a 30% discount on any book orders placed on Black Friday THROUGH Cyber Monday (by 8 p.m.)!!! For every order over $50 Heather will donate one book to a sick child through my charity Operation Christmas Cheer! You can tick off Christmas gifts AND do something good in less than 10 minutes!! No standing in line at 5:00 a.m.! How convenient is that?!?

To receive your 30% discount you must SHOP Heather’s Barefoot Ambassador website and then email your order to: littlevillagebooks1@gmail.com. Write “Whatever30” in the subject line to get your EXCLUSIVE discount!

Go ahead do-gooder, shop and save away! Put a smile on your kids faces and bring some cheer to kids in and out of the hospital during Christmas!

(Tip: The website allows you to take a peek inside of each book! Just click the “Step Inside” circle on the corner of the book cover!).

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

 

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**FLASH GIVEAWAY** Get Your Home Holiday Ready Faster With Norwex!

FLASH GIVEAWAY (1)

I had never heard of Norwex when my friend Rebecca invited me to a Facebook online party. I thought I’ll just look around and order something small so I can help her out. I honestly never, ever thought this stuff was going to work. I scoured the Internet for any red flags and negative posts about the company and the products. All I found were some very happy customers!

Norwex Kitchen Cloth

The first products I fell in love with were the spirinets and the kitchen cloth. Brace yourselves, because what I am about to show you is truly horrifying! The inside of my microwave. (You may want to remove the kids from the room).

Please don't look at my messy microwave

Normally, I’d spend 20 minutes scrubbing one small area at a time with soap and water. With this microfiber Kithcen cloth I finished cleaning the entire microwave in less than five minutes using just water! What impressed me most is this cloth cleaned up more stuck on food in one swipe than my regular kitchen sponge.

Norwex Cleans Microwaves

 

Three parties later and I am hooked on these products! Now I’m in love with the Enviro Cloth! Lucky for you because you might be the winner of this weeks FLASH GIVEAWAY!! ONE reader will win TWO FREE Enviro Cloths!

Norwex Enviro Cloth

The Enviro Cloth cleans just about everything in your house using ONLY WATER! No need for chemical cleaners! You can dust with it, clean counters and table tops, or heavier stuff like spills on carpets and couches. One Enviro Cloth reduces chemical and water use by 90%!! It lasts for 500 washes or 10 years! The BacLock (TM) technology has silver antibacterial fiber melted into each cloth.  The silver inhibits bacterial odor, mold, and/or mildew growth within the cloth AND it removes 99% of bacteria with just water! Check out Rebecca’s blog for details on how BacLock technology works, and check out videos of Rebecca using the cloths in her own home!

I am so excited to use my Norwex cloths to clean before the holidays!!  The micro fibers pick up so much more dust and debris than other cloths, so it’s a quicker more efficient way to clean! Just one cloth can clean my entire bathroom, or kitchen without any chemicals! No need to carry a bunch of cleaners from room to room. I simply rinse with water between uses and hang it up to dry. Once it is completely dry the silver is again ready to kill bacteria!!

Curious to know how YOU can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying the holidays? My friend Rebecca is working on something special exclusively for The Whatever Mom readers! Click here to join her Norwex Customer Club on Facebook and send her a message that The Whatever Mom sent you! Then, Join us for a LIVE Facebook chat on Friday November 20th at 9:00 p.m.! Rebecca will send you the link to our private event when you join her Norwex Customer Club. I do not like a hard sell! So, I love that Rebecca truly enjoys sharing her honest experiences with Norwex. She is not pushy with sales, and is happy to answer any and all questions you have!

 

ONE lucky winner will get TWO Enviro Cloths for FREE!! Plus a FREE sample of the UPP detergent!! You have 17 Hours to enter before the winner is announced on The Whatever Mom Facebook page! 

**** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED! CONGRATULATIONS JULIANA W!******
The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Friday Favorites – Start a Friendsgiving Tradition!

 

Happy Friendsgiving No Kid Hungry

It’s the start of the thankful season. Everyone is posting their daily gratitude on social media to express what they are thankful for. Here is what I am thankful for- food. I am really thankful my kids have enough to eat (and even throw away). I’m also thankful for organizations like Share Our Strength which helps feed hungry families every where. No Kid Hungry.org helps connect thousands of kids around the country to food resources. They educate struggling families how to to prepare low cost, healthy meals.

Anytime this November you can host a pot luck, or gathering in your  own home with friends and ask everyone to give a financial donation (or, they can donate online at any time). What a great way to connect with friends and family before the busy holiday season starts! Plus, you can help bring Thanksgiving to other families who cannot afford a meal on their own. Spending time with your friends AND giving to a good cause makes “Friendsgiving” a win-win!

To host your own FriendsGiving event visit the No Kids Hungry  website and start a fund raising page. Register your event, send out invites and check out the resource center for tips on how to host a successful event! Super easy!!

There are also incentives for raising the most funds! Check out the No Kid Hungry blog for details. Why not make this an annual event and start a new tradition with your friends and family? Or, get your school involved and encourage your kids to help give!

No Kid Hungry Share Our Strength

 

Remember sharing is caring! Please feel free to share this blog post on Twitter or Facebook with the hash tags: #FRIENDSGIVINGNKH #FRIENDSGIVING

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here, Find her two party Body Beautiful project here and here. 

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Friday Favorites – Poofy Organics GIVEAWAY!

The Whatever Mom Giveaway
Poofy Organics does not offer samples of products for personal consumption, or review. They are a small family run company and unable to fulfill sample requests. No financial compensation was received for this review. All honest opinions belong solely to The Whatever Mom.

Does facing hundreds of little ghouls and goblins, princesses and pirates make you break out into a cold sweat? No worries! I’ve got you covered with this weeks Friday Favorites and a special give away!

First, let me share with you a little bit about why I love Poofy Organics. This is a very small, family run company that is dedicated to producing small batches of product made by  hand. This means significant quality control measures and higher standards for production methods. You can visit their website to meet the team and for an inside look at their production. They are also one of a few USDA Organic Certified personal care companies (but, not every single ingredient has an organic counterpart so organic ingredients are listed individually).

I ordered a few hair care products for my girls. They have thick hair that tangles easily. So, I purchased the Raspberry Lemonade Punch Shampoo and Leave in Conditioner from the Young Wild and Free kids line.

Young Wild Free Poofy Organics

Now that my kids are in school I worry about lice so I also purchased the Organic Lice Prevention Spray (also comes in a shampoo).

Young Wild And Free Poofy Organics

All the products are toxin free and use mostly essential oils. I love that the website lists every ingredient in each product so you know what you are getting before you buy. Each product I purchased is labeled as vegan, eco friendly, cruelty free and made by hand. (Except for the lice prevention spray- it is so new they haven’t even designed a label for it yet). The only thing about the shampoo that I don’t like is that it is not tear free. So, we have to be very careful while shampooing. Otherwise, these products smell great and my kids get excited to use them. And, I like that I can pronounce every ingredient.

Now my next product of choice is the Max Deo. It’s a natural deodorant. I have been reluctant to make the switch to natural deodorants because well, in the past they’ve never worked for me. My friend Rachel and Poofy Organics Guide gave me a deodorant to try. The results are it works! I started using the Peppy Mint a few weeks ago and so far it has worked just as hard as my traditional deodorant. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a white, flaky residue.

Max Deo Poofy Organics

I love it so much I’m giving away one Peppy Mint Organic Max Deo for you to try!! Just follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter for your chance to win! One lucky reader will be chosen at close of the contest on Sunday at 12:00 Midnight EST. Winner announced on my Facebook page on Monday morning!! (If you aren’t following already head over there now!).

OK, so you won’t receive this in time to get you through the Halloween rush, but it will arrive in time to get you through Thanksgiving with the in-laws!

**GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED**

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here, Find her two party Body Beautiful project here and here. 

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Friday Favorites- Beauty Counter Cleansing Balm!

As promised last week here are my new favorites from Beauty Counter skin care. I know a cleansing balm sounds strange. Rubbing a balm with the same consistency as my lip balm all over my face feels a little odd … at first. After a couple of days using this method I am totally hooked and in LOVE!

Nourishing cleansing balm

I received a small sample of the CounterTime Nourishing Cleansing Balm in my face kit. After applying to my face I used a warm wash cloth to remove the balm. I don’t know why this just feels so relaxing and simply luxurious. It’s like a hot towel service for your face.

Beauty counter nourishing balm

After using the balm, I apply the Lustro Face Oil 2. This part made me incredibly nervous! We have all learned that oil is what causes break outs. But, with the mix of oils in this little bottle there is no worry about break outs. My skin felt so soft and completely hydrated after using. I was completely amazed!

Lustro Face Oil 2

Again these products are all toxin free and score low on the Environmental Watch Group database. These products aren’t cheap because Beauty Counter uses quality ingredients. Chemical additives can be manufactured cheaply- so cheap products can give cheap results and have long term harsher effects. A little bit of these products goes a long way!

Take a look at the Beauty Counter website to learn more about the company and read the list of ingredients in every single product they offer.

 

Tune in next week for more Friday Favorites!

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry and writing her blog. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

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Announcing: Friday Favorites!

A few of my favorite things!

 

Happy Friday Everyone!

I’ve discovered some new and exciting products I want to share with you, as well as some fun websites and videos. Tune in every Friday for some fun stuff! Starting right now!

This week I discovered Beauty Counter. Now, I am a Mary Kay girl at heart but they have changed a few formulas for one of my favorite products. So, I’m on a search to find something new to love. Enter my Beauty Counter Rep, Lynn. I told her what I am looking for and she sent me an entire face kit to try out. How awesome is that?! Getting to try in home before you buy is such a fantastic way to shop!

Beauty counter face kit

Why Beauty Counter? Beauty Counter products are toxin free, safe for cancer patients and their products score low on the Environmental Work Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. A low score means there is a low hazard to using a product.

I tested Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer with an SPF 20. One of the best weapons we have against fine lines and wrinkles is using an SPF. Sun damage is the number one reason we get wrinkles. This tinted moisturizer is light weight, non-greasy and provides a slightly dewy look. I was most impressed that the light color fit my skin tone immediately. You have no idea how much this pale girl has struggled to find the right shades of foundation/cover up.

dew skin

I have worn this tinted moisturizer every day for a week and I love it’s flawless coverage and how it evens out my skin tone! It has a very light scent and I love that I am not covering my skin with chemicals that are just not necessary to be beautiful!

 

Take a look at the Beauty Counter website to learn more about the company and read the list of ingredients in every single product they offer.

 

Tune in next week for more Beauty Counter Favorites!

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry and writing her blog. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

 

No financial compensation was given for this review. All opinions and excitement expressed for this product are provided by The Whatever Mom.

 

 

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