The Empower, Inspire, & Thankfulness Challenge

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS Incorporated. All opinions are mine alone. #WhatMakesDove #CollectiveBias

Life’s tough right now, isn’t it??!!

Between the disasters happening on a huge scale, to so many people I know personally just going through HARD hard times, looking around it would be so very easy to get discouraged.

That’s where today’s post comes in!!! I have a mission for you to do within the next 2 weeks.

The Empower, Inspire, & Thankfulness Challenge

Now, don’t worry!! That might sound like a lot. I *know* you’re busy, I *know* you have so much on your plate, and I *know* you could use some help and encouragement, too. Because of this, I’m not doing anything elaborate. This is something you can sneak into your busy day, but this little gesture will have SO MUCH meaning for you, and the women you do it for.

You ready?! I’ll share how I fulfilled this challenge, my story behind the “why” of who I chose, and then I’ll share ideas for who you might chose to encourage and inspire in your life!

Thanks to what I do for my job, I’m the All Things Internet and Social Media Gal for our Center!

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m passionate about helping, empowering, and inspiring other women. In fact, that’s my entire purpose behind this blog! Ever since becoming a mom almost 10 years ago, I discovered I  have such a heart and passion for helping out other moms. I long to teach and inspire them to work hard, support each other, and strive for their dreams every day.

This passion turned into me finding local ways to volunteer and help moms in my community. When we were in Lindale I volunteered for 2 years at a Mom Mentorship and Earn While You Learn program, and in our new hometown I’m volunteering at a Pregnancy Resource Center that offers free tests, ultrasounds, consultations, and also offers an Earn While You Learn program where moms can earn vital items like a car seat, diapers, and clothes all by going through curriculum that teaches them important things about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.

After moving to our new hometown I have had a really difficult time finding “my tribe” or putting down roots. With both of the kids in school all day, and me working from home, making connections was tough. It wasn’t until I jumped back into volunteering that I actually found the empowerment and support that *I* needed, through the other volunteers there! These ladies are so sweet, caring, and compassionate–and not just to our clients! Especially a few of them in particular have allowed me to “adopt” them and given me and my kids hugs, support, and love as we tried to make our new hometown actually *feel* a whole lot more like home.

Because of how much they have empowered and inspired me, I wanted to return just a little bit of that to them, as well! I knew just the way to do it, too!

Like I said before–fulfilling this challenge doesn’t have to be elaborate to be amazing! For all my closest lady friends one of the best ways you can say “thank you” or give them a pick-me-up falls into a very delicious and pretty formula:

DOVE Chocolate PROMISES + Beautiful Flowers = Perfection

This 31 oz Canister is so pretty and it also shows the real treasure that’s inside! 3 flavors of their best-selling DOVE Dark Chocolate Variety Mix! With flavors like Dark Chocolate, White & Dark Chocolate Swirl, and Sea Salt Caramel & Dark Chocolate there is no way to go wrong with this!

It’s exclusively found at Sam’s Club and right now you can Sign up for a free Ibotta account  and earn $1.50 with the purchase of a 31 oz canister of DOVE PROMISES Chocolate 3 Flavor Assortment (if you don’t have an Ibotta account already, you don’t you really should! It’s a super fun and handy way to earn cash back that I’ve used for several months now!)

Not sure where your closest Sam’s Club is? Check out the store locator here!

While you’re in the club you can also pick up some fresh flowers and stock up on essentials–like I said, this does not have to be anything crazy or time-consuming!

The fact that DOVE Chocolate PROMISES are delicious would be reason enough to pick them up, but I actually had another very important reason for choosing this exact product and company for this mission!

DOVE Chocolate, produced by Mars Wrigley Confectionery, together with CARE, announced a partnership designed to empower women who grow cocoa in the communities of Ivory Coast. Along with DOVE Chocolate PROMISES, CARE builds Village Savings and Loan Associations in communities where the cocoa is sourced, which helps female farmers obtain funds that can be invested in their farms, their communities and their future. Here’s a little more about CARE’s Vision:

  • Increase women’s access to economic and social opportunities
  • Provide resources to help women farmers improve their yields and incomes
  • Enable women to make decisions in cocoa farming communities and household

I love that they’re finding ways to empower and inspire women towards a better life across the world–just like we’re trying to do here locally!

So this week I tackled my challenge and surprised the staff and volunteers with the delicious DOVE Chocolate PROMISES and flowers from Sam’s Club. They were all so surprised, and thankful! It brought a smile to their faces and so many of them commented on how much they love DOVE Dark Chocolate.

They also loved the inspirational messaging inside the DOVE Chocolate PROMISES wrapper. These were two of our favorites! “Don’t Worry What The Neighbors Think” and “Be Proud of Your Age”. Talk about awesome little pearls of wisdom!

Now it’s your turn!!! I challenge you to find a woman, or a group of women in your life that could use some encouragement, inspiration, and empowerment! As you read this I’m sure you immediately thought of something that could really use some DOVE Chocolate and flowers. If not here are some thought starters for who you could target for this challenge:

  • A Mom who has been battling sickness, injury, or surgery in her family
  • Teachers or Staff at your local schools
  • Volunteers at Local Community Resource Centers
  • A Military Spouse whose husband is currently away for training, underway, or deployed
  • Staff at a local nursing home
  • New Neighbors (like me they might not have anyone locally and are wishing someone would reach out!)

The possibilities to reach out and empower and inspire are literally all around you, every day! I think we often feel too overwhelmed by thinking that a gesture has to be over-the-top “Pinterest Perfect” to make a difference, but it really doesn’t!

Stop by Sam’s Club, get your shopping done, and then drop these quietly by for someone who needs them!

Want even MORE amazing inspiration for how to encourage, inspire, and thank the women around you? Check out the amazing ideas here!

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#Ad Empower, Enlighten, and Enrich Your Children’s Lives by Squashing the Entitlement Monster with Community Involvement

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser who supports companies that give back with community involvement and food donation #SummerofGiving  #CollectiveBias

My kids are SO blessed. We’re talking over-abundantly-socks-off-blessed. Thanks to loving, generous grandparents and many other family members, and a Mommy and Daddy who love them dearly, and a Mommy who happens to be a blogger, they have always had an over-abundance of everything. For example–check out this picture from last Christmas. Yeah…..all that pile? That was just and only THEIR presents!!!! And this year me and Grandma both had vowed to “cut back” Oy!!!!

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My Readers Pay it Forward

Kindness Quote

If you’re a frequent reader or giveaway enter-er you’ll know that I always include a “fun entry” for my giveaways.

I always scheme them up and they range from singing the alphabet … backwords, to dancing around the room, to screaming. I have all sorts of fun inventing what random things I’m causing you to do on your couch or in your office–it really does make me smile!!! Although I use Rafflecopter now so it makes it harder for me to respond to you all, I really do read every single one of these entries–and I often smile and laugh out loud as I do!

In my post awhile back about my big scheme to Give the Gift of Sleep (go check out that post if you missed it, it’s pretty cool!) I had the “fun entry” to pay it forward to someone and then let me know about it. I was expecting a lot of smile type comments, but the ones I got were pretty awesome! The fact they didn’t expect anyone but me to see/know made it that much more cool–and it so lightened my heart to hear about these Random Acts of Kindness that I just had to give them a shout out! So to end your 2013 on a high note, here are some sweet every day acts of my readers who pay it forward–many of whom appear to be guys, which is very cool!

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Authors Chop Off Hair for Locks of Love!

You should know by now, I am a total sucker for a good cause! But just in case wearing blue wigs, passing around purple purses, digging in and doing good, or sharing about Dependable Leaders wasn’t quite enough to convince you, here is further proof!

You might remember a few years ago when we cut Amber’s hair for the second time we donated it to Locks of Love. It was something that I’d always wanted to do myself but anytime my hair was long enough to donate, it was also bleached blonde, which Locks of Love can’t use.

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Stand Up To Cancer and #DoGood with MasterCard #MC

I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric community. I have been compensated to share my experience with you by Collective Bias and their client, Mastercard.

Stand Up To Cancer #shop

Stand Up To Cancer and #DoGood with MasterCard

Although he has never experienced it, my little boy has made me feel the disastrous, horrible, gut-wrenching effects of cancer the most. His vibrant little face, and the people who have missed out on seeing it, are what drive my passion to Stand Up To Cancer.
The very first time that evil word, cancer, popped into my mind in association with Tyler was when I found out I was pregnant with him. After the initial joy and sharing the news, there was a sadness that came along.

Maytag Dependable Leader Award

https://www.addcolo.com/human-hair-wigs.html
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Maytag. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating. Wigs from addcolo

Maytag Dependable Leader Award

As you all know by now I *love* kids and I’m a total sucker when it comes to a great cause! That why I wanted to share with you that Maytag needs your help to select the best candidate for the 2013 Maytag Dependable Leader Award – an award to recognize someone committed to making a difference in the lives of youth! From November 12th through November 29th, you can visit here  to learn about all five finalists and the exemplary work they do in their respective communities, and to help make a difference, vote once a day for the nominee you think best represents a Maytag Dependable Leader! The choices are tough ones! The finalists are:

Albert Hernandez – Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena
Ethan Harris – Boys & Girls Club of Bryant
Nate Ford – Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco
Ricky Gallon – Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay
Steve Hixson – Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland

The winner will join 24 of this year’s other Dependable Leaders across the country and receive a $20,000 financial grant to help his Club continue to improve its impact in its community. The Maytag Dependable Leader Award gives back to Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s professionals and volunteers who continuously give their days to help better the world of youth with whom they work.

America’s Vote is an extension of the Awards, inviting Americans to select the final Maytag Dependable Leader Award winner in 2013 by voting online! So do your good deed to pay it forward today and help out by taking a few moments of your time to get a great grant to some amazing people! #MC

How Passing a Purple Purse Can Help Save a Life

christmas photography backdrops
Legalese Nonsense: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with The Allstate Foundation and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own

When I read that statistic I was just shocked! Growing up I never really heard, or thought, much about domestic violence. It was more something from a crazy episode of Cops on TV than it was something that might ever affect anyone I knew.

That was until I grew up and all of my generation and friends all started getting married–and then getting divorced. And after talking to some of these girls I was just shocked to hear their stories. Being in a very loving, wonderful marriage where my husband always and only treats me with respect it was horrifying to hear about these “one in four” girls stories. When that one in 4 really is one out of every 4 of your friends, it begins to hit home–especially when you have a healthy relationship to compare to what they’re describing to you.

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Paying it Forward with the “Gift of Sleep” from Pampers

perruque femme
This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Pampers. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine

I have this super awesome friend here in Texas. She was actually the very first friend I made right after moving here last year. We went to our very first Moms Inc outing and I chatted with her for a few minutes in the sandbox until Amber was attacked by fireants. I knew she was a “kindred spirit” the moment she didn’t bat an eye when I stripped my 4 year old down to her panties in the middle of nowhere as she jumped around screaming because of the bites. Instead she lept into action–helping squish the ants, recommending how to make the stinging go away, and showing sympathy.

Her name is Heather and although you might not think you’ve ever heard of her, you have seen her work many times because she’s the photographer for Arrow&Wren and the she is the one who makes the magic in the pictures & behind the camera happen in many of my fashion blog posts {that headshot up there in my header that I’ve gotten a zillion compliments on? Yepp that was Heather’s work}. Most recently she gave me a free shoot so we could really rock my charity based Fierce Fund post since we’re both complete suckers for a good cause–basically she’s just awesome like that!

In addition to being a work-from-home mom she’s also pregnant right now with baby #2! I remember all too well how totally brain-numbingly-exhausting and draining my pregnancy with Tyler was. Being constantly tired and throwing up 3 times a day my entire pregnancy (yes, all 9 months with both kids) while chasing around an active toddler and working from home was just so hard! And I also know that so many women do not have these kinds of struggles and you get the “What’s wrong with you, suck it up.” attitude or hear “Really??!! You’re *still sick*???” so often it’s very discouraging! So my heart has just gone out to Heather lately because she has an even harder time during pregnancy than I have (poor thing is over half way along and until recently had a hard time even keeping water down and was losing weight instead of gaining it!!) and while I’ve tried to give her helpful tips about what helped me (thank God for Zofran!!!) I still really wanted to do something special for her!

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