Giving

Tiny Oranges Loves Tiny Truckers!

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Tiny Oranges loves Tiny Truckers!

Well…October has rolled around quickly again this year (HOW???) and it’s always my cue to get my annual mammogram, doctor’s appointments, blood work, etc.  You know, all the appointments that just seem impossible to make in the summer?!  If you haven’t done yours…do it. Like, today.  Just make the call.

We love all things PINK this month in support of breast cancer awareness and wanted to share this Fighter hat, Survivor hat, and Fight Like a Mother hat from San Diego based Tiny Trucker Co. 

All proceeds from the sale of their breast cancer awareness hats will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation

Use Tiny Truckers discount code TINY15 to get 15% off your entire order.

Tiny Trucker Co. was founded by a mom who started by making trucker hats for her baby and toddler. When friends started to ask her to make hats for their kids Tiny Truckers Co. was born and can now be found in over 100 retail locations!

What started as a line of hats for babies and toddlers grew into hats for mamas, families, bridal parties, and sororities. Super cut hats. My favorite thing as a trucker hat-loving mom myself is they  ACTUALLY fit my head nicely without that awkward oversized trucker hat shape! 

The founder’s goal is to provide income opportunities for moms who want to stay home with their kids but also provide financially for their families. Every person employed by Tiny Truckers is a mom.

www.tinytruckerco.com

Use code TINY15 and get 15% off your entire order through 11/30/17.

Photos by Christy Walther Photography

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Charity, Shopping and Wine? Yes, Please.

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The Outlets San Clemente Fundraiser Event

Outlets San Clemente Fundraiser Event

The Outlets at San Clemente invite you to join their Second Annual Shopping Extravaganza charity fundraiser on Saturday, 10/8/16.  Once I took one look at this event I had to make it into an immediate blog because all mamas need to know about it!

Here’s the scoop. 

Click here to purchase tickets (only $35pp) and the charity of your choice will receive $25 per ticket. BOOM.

Go to the Outlets at San Clemente on 10/8 between 10am – 8pm and shop exclusive discounts at many of the more than 50 stores now open. BOOM.

Partake in a private catered lunch, entertainment, and wine, craft beer and cocktail tastings in the VIP Lounge. BOOM.

Enter to win $40K in prizes including grand prizes and gift cards to Calvin Klein, Columbia, GUESS Factory Store, LOFT Outlet, Tommy Hilfiger and more. BOOM.

Click here for the schedule and to purchase tickets.

See you there!

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Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation 2016

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Disclosure: Complimentary media tickets will be provided.

Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation 2016

Next month at Montage Laguna Beach celebrity chefs will come together for a a culinary event to end childhood hunger and 100% of the ticket proceeds would go to No Kid Hungry.

I wanted to share how you can be a part of it and make a difference in the lives of the nations’ hungry children.

Laguna-Beach-Taste-of-the-Nation-2016

The one-of-a-kind, right in our own backyard, spectacular Montage Laguna Beach, will host the 9th annual Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation® Laguna Beach event on May 15, 2016 and I would love to see you there.

What is it, you wonder?

Let me tell you because I have been lucky enough to attend in past years. It’s ahhhhhhhh-MAZING.

It’s an afternoon where you get to get a little dressed up and sneak away with your hubby for an event that is sure to become a highlight of your entire year. Guys, if you are married to a foodie, tickets to this event would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift.

Picture this…

On the outdoor lawn at Montage Laguna Beach, against a background of sparkling Pacific water, a number of celebrity chefs will  prepare fresh farm-to-table delicacies to further Share Our Strength’s mission to end childhood hunger in Orange County and across the nation.

You and your sweetie can stroll from station to station and enjoy delectable, knock your heels off, tastings, fine wines, signature cocktails, while enjoying picturesque panoramic views to the sounds of live entertainment.

Sound fun?

Here’s how to get tickets to Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation 2016…

As contributors to the charity, guests can choose between the following event packages:

Celebrity Chef Tasting  |  3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $200 per person or at the door for $225 per person. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.

VIP “Meet the Chefs” Reception  |  6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Finish the night with VIP treatment and a sunset toast. Enjoy the Celebrity Chef Tasting followed by an after party mingling with the chefs, sipping champagne and making s‘mores. Valet parking and a special VIP gift are included.

Tickets purchased in advance are $275 per person or $300 at the door. Once again, click here to get your tix.

What chefs will be there? 

Executive Chef Craig Strong of Studio, Montage Laguna Beach’s award-winning signature restaurant, will be joined by the following talented celebrity chefs:

Chef Nathan Beriau, Montage Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, SC

Chef David Coleman, Chianina Steakhouse, Long Beach, CA

Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Los Angeles, CA

Chef Ray Garcia, Broken Spanish, Los Angeles, CA

Chef Walter Manzke, République, Los Angeles, CA

Chef Flynn McGarry, EUREKA, New York, NY

Chef Kris Morningstar, Terrine, Los Angeles, CA

Chef Lee Smith, Executive Pastry Chef, Montage Laguna Beach, CA

Tell me more about No Kid Hungry 

One in five children in this country struggles with hunger, including more than 2,487,750 children in California.

Take a moment for that to sink in. We all know what it feels like to be hungry. We call it “h-angry” in our house because being hungry can also make you angry and grumpy. Yet, 1 in 5 children in this country struggle with hunger daily. Heart-breaking. 

The No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in this nation by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day, by connecting them to nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and by teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals at home.

One hundred percent of ticket proceeds from Taste of the Nation benefit No Kid Hungry thanks to generous support from national sponsors Citi and Sysco®. Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach for No Kid Hungry is also supported by national sponsors Food Network, and OpenTable. Local sponsors include Montage Laguna Beach, and S.Pellegrino Natural Sparkling Water. Local beneficiaries include Second Harvest Orange County Food Bank, and Community Action Partnership of OC.

The 2015 Laguna Beach event raised $200,000 which was enough to fund $2 million meals for hungry children. Awesomeness.

Thank you No Kid Hungry for helping our nations’ children. Now, click on over and get your tickets! I hope to see you there! 

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Facing a Fear to Save Lives

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Facing Blood Donation Fear to Save Lives

Facing Blood Donation Fear to Save Lives

Was it Eleanor Roosevelt that said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”?

Well, last week I did something that has scared me for my entire life when I put on my big girl panties and donated blood for the very first time and I DID IT!!!  Man, does it feels good to conquer a fear!

Now that I know what to expect, next time will be easier, and for anyone who has feared donating blood, I am writing this post to share the real scoop on exactly how it works.  You too can do it! It’s really not that big of a deal. But first…

Why Is It Important to Donate Blood?

From www.redcrossblood.org:

* 1 pint of donated blood can save 3 lives
* Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood
* Approximately 41,000 blood donations are needed every day
* 1.6 million people are diagnosed with cancer yearly, many will need blood sometimes daily, during chemotherapy
* A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood
* Donated blood has a shelf life, which is why continuous donations are needed

blooddrive Facing Blood Donation Fear: I Did It for Ben

This beautiful boy, Ben, lost his life last year at the tender age of 4-years-old to rare forms of leukemia.

Over the course of his treatment, he received over 50 blood transfusions as well as a bone marrow transplant from a donor that was a match in Germany.

Ben’s family goes to our elementary school. His passing affected our community deeply.

One of his mother’s friends organized an American Cross Blood Drive and Be the Match bone marrow registry collection at our local elementary school.

When I saw the flyer and heard about it, I knew this was my chance to face a lifelong fear, donating blood. I might not have been able to do it before, but I could deal with facing blood donation fear for Ben and for any people who might need my blood.

How to Donate Blood

First off, here is information eligibility. All good? Time to find a drive!

1. Find a Blood Drive Near You

It’s really easy and blood drives are going on every day. All you need to do is visit www.redcrossblood.org, then put in your zip code under “Find a Blood Drive” and you will see all the blood drives close to you.  Select the one you want, then make an appointment that is most convenient or drop in during operating hours.

2. Prep Your Bod for Blood Giving 

I was told it is important to eat a healthy meal beforehand, not too heavy or greasy, and drink an additional 16 oz of non-caffeinated fluids before as well. Also, pay attention to getting some iron-rich foods in your diet in the days before and get a good night’s sleep. You can find out more tips on how to prepare here.

3. Save Time with Rapid Pass 

The day of the blood collection ONLY (has to be the day of) visit www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass and you can complete the health questionnaire online before going. You will also be fascinated with the types of questions you will be asked.

4. Show Up + Go Through Registration 

Bring your photo ID, list of any medications you are taking, and budget enough time for the whole donation process, which for me was about 1 hour 15 mins total.  You will first be given a little mini physical…temperature, blood pressure, etc. and they will take a prick of blood from your finger to test and make sure you are eligible to give.

5.  It’s “Go” Time

I told my registration lady that I wanted the very best, most experienced person to do the needle since it was my first time.  She told me OK, and matched me up with someone. Now I have no idea if this really was the best person, but psychologically it helped me to think so. Finally the moment arrived, and it was time for me to face my fear. I was led to a bed and laid down.

It’s so mental.

It took several minutes to prep everything, and then finally I was given a little foam block and told to squeeze.  It was go time. The needle went in, little pinch, and I was told just to relax and lightly squeeze the foam thing about every 5 seconds for the duration.

If you are squeamish, just don’t look. I actually closed my eyes for the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME. I didn’t look one time at anything. I just tried to think of other things.  In the future I would bring headphones and listen to music or listen to something distracting.  I took the time to pray and so some deep breathing and relaxation. I tried to keep my mind off of it.

Next thing I knew, the guy said, “You’re done!”

I was DONE?! That was it? I asked him how long it took to actually get my blood they needed, and it was 8 minutes.  Interesting. I asked him the average amount of time, and he said 7 – 12 minutes.  It’s quick!!!

6. After You Donate Blood 

I was told to just lay there for a few moments after, and then slowly sit up. They gave me a bottle of water and told me to drink all of it while I was sitting on the edge of the bed. I felt a little light headed, but nothing terrible. However, I thought I was OK to get up finally, but one of the nurses turned me right around and told me to go sit down for a little while longer.  I must not have been as ready as I thought. I probably sat on the edge of the table for about 15 minutes.

Afterwards I transitioned to the snack station where I drank another bottle of water and had some cookies. By the time I was ready to leave, I felt pretty good, and then I made sure to go home and eat a meal and drank extra water for the rest of the day.

They told me no alcohol for 24 hours and no lifting or vigorous exercise after, so plan accordingly.

The rest of the day I felt a little woozy and out of it, that’s the best way to describe it, but could carry on my normal afternoon activities. By evening I felt almost 100%.  Overall, I was FINE!!! And I DID IT!!!!!

I felt so blessed to be able to face this fear. More than that, I loved feeling like I was a part of something good that came out of something so tragic.  Ben and his legacy are saving lives and that is so incredibly powerful.  Here I am with his beautiful mom, Liz, what an amazing event to be a part of.

Are you interested in hosting a blood drive for your community? Click here to find out how. It’s easier than you think!

meandliz

 

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I’m Turning it Purple This Month

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Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Before my mom’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis I had not given this disease much thought at all.  The only thing I knew was that it was bad.  I remember seeing Patrick Swayze on a news program during his battle with pancreatic cancer, and I knew he died of this disease.

Now I know more than I ever wished to know about this ugly disease.  I won’t go into the statistics, but I can tell you that in 40 years no significant progress has been made in the realm of pancreatic cancer.  In the year 2015, I think that is unacceptable. Organizations like Pancan.org think that is unacceptable too and are working to raise funds for research, government funding and advocacy, patient support and community awareness. Change is happening, but so much more needs to be done.

Significant funding is the only way advancements can be made to find ways to detect it earlier (majority of cases are diagnosed after it has already spread), more research is needed to find more options to treat it, and funding is needed to raise awareness.

Make a Difference | Wage Hope 

Sometimes it takes knowing someone personally to motivate you to want to do something to help.  I hope after all of these years of blogging, that you feel like you know me, at least a little bit.  My mom is not a statistic.  She is a beautiful, vibrant, 68-year-old wife, mom and grandma that deserves more.  The other people affected by pancreatic cancer deserve more.

How You Can Help:

Doing something is easy and doesn’t take much time.  Here are some things you can do to help me shine the light on pancreatic cancer this November during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

1. If you are in Orange County, sign up to walk or run a 5K with us on Team Julie on November 14th, 2015 at 10am in Irvine for PurpleStride to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  Bring your family.  It will be a morning of hope and inspiration. Click here then click Join Team top right to join us!!

2. Make a small donation to my -> personal fundraising page. Any amount counts!!

3. Share this post on social media to raise awareness.

4. Write a post on the – >Today Show Facebook page urging them to dedicate #justoneday to pancreatic cancer in honor of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

WPCD15_1.1.2-copy-816x600 5. Wear purple on November 13th, 2015, World Pancreatic Cancer Day and share a photo of your purple power on social media using #WPCD.

6. Like the World Pancreatic Cancer Day on Facebook Join the Thunderclap virtual event on November 13th to spread awareness about the disease. Visit the Facebook page to learn more.

Thank you so much for reading this post and for listening to me talk about a cause that is deeply personal to me.

Change is on the way, but people need to start talking about it.  And, as a reminder, always listen to your body. If you have a new symptom or something going on that just doesn’t “feel right” – go to your doctor.  Wishing you all health and happiness.

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