When we heard that the children of Sandy Hook Elementary would return to their new building in January surrounded by thousands of snowflakes made by people all over the world, we had to help. My daughter (who does not know about the shooting) and her friend spent much of the day making snowflakes. All she needs to know is that it her contribution will brighten the day of a child her age when they come back from winter break.
We’re sending a little love.
Here’s more on this sweet project: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katelyn-darroweystad/post_4254_b_2339750.html
I’m the spokesperson for the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association. The thing that makes AARDA special is that it looks at all autoimmune diseases as a category of disease rather than a group of single diseases.
I’ve had many people in my life affected by autoimmune diseases and feel honored that I can raise awareness and research money on their behalf.
To learn more, go to aarda.org.
Baby, it’s cold outside (and inside sometimes too). Today we donated a few of my daughter’s baby blankets to keep some dogs and cats warm during their stay at a shelter.
There is a Christmas tradition in my family and it involves cookies with frosting shaped like Santas and stars. My mom has been making these cookies since I was a year old! I’ve continued the tradition with my daughter. We make these and give them to neighbors. They are without a doubt my favorite cookie on the planet and they’re too good not to share!
Today we dropped off canned food to a local food pantry. Tried to pick holiday necessities, protein and some spicy favorites!
We put a bit into the Salvation Army’s red bucket. Every little bit…
Living in Southern California is pretty awesome in the winter. Even in January we can go for hikes in the mountains around here and not take much more than a sweatshirt. With all the noise of modern life, it’s essential to get out into nature and just turn off the world. I’ve been trying to teach my daughter how important the natural world is to our sanity and happiness. The Children’s Nature Institute has been an important part of that lesson.
“The Children’s Nature Institute (CNI) is dedicated to providing young children with the opportunity to explore the natural world through hands-on, educational experiences. We use nature as a tool for fostering creativity, discovery, independence, personal development and improved social and academic skills. Through our programs, including the award winning Outreach Discovery Program, Tykes on Trails Program, Kids Leading Kids, and Family Walks, CNI connects nature to the everyday lives of children by incorporating parents, grandparents, and teachers into the learning process.” - ChildrensNatureInstitute.org
Today for ExtremeGiving, I signed up at CNI as a volunteer. I will assist on future hikes, helping the kiddos learn about trees and bugs. Sounds like a blast!
If you have a baby, you need baby gear. Stocking up on that gear is one of the exciting parts of preparing for parenthood. But for a lot of families out there, buying it can be a financial hardship, and that’s where organizations like Baby2Baby come in.
When the founders of Baby2Baby, who are all moms, found themselves with more kid stuff than they knew what to do with, they decided to create an organization that would collect new and gently used baby and toddler gear to distribute to poor families around Los Angeles. Since 2006, Baby2Baby has been helping some of the over 130,000 poor families with children under the age of five.
For more information on Baby2Baby, visit Baby2Baby.org
Maggie and I spent the evening filling mason jars with markers, gems, little stars and small bottles of glue. A jar full of creative possibilities for the impoverished children helped by the Aviva Family and Children’s Services. Aviva is a non-profit social service organization with a mission to provide therapeutic and educational services to abused and neglected children and their families. This Los Angeles-based agency serves over 8,000 children and families..all of whom live below the federal poverty line.
While Maggie filled the jars with craft items, she decided that there was something missing. She asked me to write little messages on each jar, offering Maggie’s words of encouragement to the children—just to send a little love along with it.
I’m a treehugger. Trees make life in a city a lot sweeter.
TreePeople is a fantastic nonprofit that is dedicated to expanding the tree canopy thereby creating a sustainable future for Los Angeles. Their mission is to “inspire, engage, and support people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun and sustainable and to share the process as a model for the whole world (TreePeople.org).”
My daughter is going to grow up in this city, and it’s vitally important to me it be a healthy, beautiful and inspiring place to live. So today I dedicated three trees to a friend through TreePeople. Hopefully, I’ll raise my daughter to be a treehugger like her mama.