Giving

Where to Take Unwanted Halloween Candy in Orange County

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Come Thursday morning, I am sure many Orange County moms will be wondering where to take unwanted halloween candy, so I wanted to share information on OC Halloween candy buy-back locations.

On Thursday and Friday after Halloween from 9am-5pm, local families are invited to bring extra candy to local pediatric dental practice, Little Smiles of Orange County, and for every pound of trade in candy, they will pay $1 (up to $20 per family.)

Every child who participate will also be entered into a raffle to win a membership to Pretend City and will receive a goodie to take home.

The unwanted Halloween candy traded in will be shipped to troops overseas in partnership with Operation Gratitude, a charity that sends care packages to troops overseas and those recovering in military hospitals.

Visit www.LittleSmilesOC.com for more information.

Many local Orange County pediatric dentists are also participating in this Halloween Candy Buy-Back program to benefit Operation Gratitude.

You can visit www.HalloweenCandyBuyBack.com and put in your zip code to find a dentist close to you accepting unwanted Halloween candy donations for 2012.

I know for myself, I am a tad repulsed when I look at the volume of junk that comes home Halloween night! NO child needs THAT much candy.

I think it’s a great idea to get your kids involved in their candy for trade in so they can understand how not only can they early a little money, but it is also giving back at the same time to help cheer up people working to help our country.

Happy Halloween Eve!  

 

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South Coast Plaza Pumpkins & Pancakes 2012

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I blog about this Orange County Halloween event every year because it is such a fun party for OC kids and all the proceeds go to help local children in need.

South Coast Plaza presents Pumpkins & Pancakes 2012 on Sunday, October 28th, 2012 from 8am – 11am in the Crate and Barrel / Macy’s Home Store Wing of South Coast Plaza.  We usually refer to it as Crystal Court <- map!

Dress up your kids in their costumes and enjoy Plum’s Cafe gourmet pancake breakfast, music, balloon artists, arts and crafts, caricature drawings, professional photos, surprise characters and a silent auction.

Tickets are $30/pp if ordered by noon on 10/26/12 or $35/pp at the door. Groups of 10 or more are $25/pp if ordered by noon on 10/26/12. Children 2 and under are free.

You can reserve your tickets now by ordering online through the following organizations.  Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the organization you choose.

They are:

CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocates for children

Funds raised at Pumpkins & Pancakes will directly benefit the foster children served by CASA, providing free and fun activities each month throughout the school year. This event also funds the Back-to-School Picnic and Holiday Party that more than 800 kids look forward to each year.

Click here to buy your tickets through CASA and support their organization.

CHOC Children’s Foundation 

The CHOC Foundation exists to generate community awareness and resources for CHOC Children’s at Mission. Since 2004 CHOC Children’s Foundation has been securing philanthropic support for health and well being of children.

Click here to buy your tickets through CHOC Children’s Foundation and support this organization.

Orangewood Children’s Foundation

Orangewood Children’s Foundation provides life-changing programs and one-on-one support for abused and neglected Orange County children and at-risk families to end the cycle of child abuse.

Click here to buy your tickets through Orangewood Children’s Foundation and support their organization.

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San Clemente Run Benefitting Hope 4 Hanna

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On Sunday, October 21st, runners, walkers, families and volunteers will gather at San Clemente’s Plaza Pacifica shopping center, not for their morning coffee or grocery shopping, but to participate in the 4th annual TRACE 3 San Clemente 5k~ 10k~ 1/2k kids’ race benefitting San Clemente-based non-profit, Hope 4 Hanna.

Hope 4 Hanna was started by close friends and neighbors the Aldersons and Beldens, in 2008 in honor of the Belden’s daughter Johanna (“Hanna”), who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) shortly after her second birthday.

Hope 4 Hanna’s mission is to create a less challenging road for families dealing with autism, currently affecting one in every 88 children today, a staggering statistic.

Once diagnosed, every child and their family faces responsibilities like behavioral and biomedical interventions, occupational and speech therapies, dietary restrictions, education planning, specialized playdates and socialization classes. But the resources and therapies often come with a steep price tag, which many families can’t afford.

Since the inaugural race in 2009, Hope 4 Hanna has raised and donated more than $300,000 to leading autism care, treatment and advocacy organizations including Autism Speaks, Talk about Curing Autism (TACA), and ACT Today.

In addition, Hope 4 Hanna has also funded biomedical scholarships, socialization groups, Spanish language advocacy and marriage counseling for families in financial need.

This year’s event kicks off at 7am with the 5K & 10K, followed by the 1/2K kids’ fun run at 9am and welcomes serious runners to casual walkers and everyone in between to participate!

The race will also feature its Resource Fair, open from 7am – 12pm, offering a wealth of information for families seeking answers about anything from diagnosis to legal issues to different therapy options.

New for 2012 is the TACA Fallapalooza Festival for Families.  Open from 10am – noon, the sensory family-friendly activities will include a bounce house, pumpkin painting, face painting, mask creating and other fun fall activities for kids on the autism spectrum, their siblings and friends.

Cost for the Fallapalooza is $10 per family (up to 4), and +$5 for each additional child. Registration includes activities & snacks for the kids. Click HERE to register.

For complete event information and to register for the race, please visit www.hope4hanna.com. Register by September 28th to take advantage of lower early bird prices.

Hope 4 Hanna Fundraiser this Week! 

Grab some girlfriends and make it a moms’ night out this Thursday, September 27th from 6pm – 9pm where you can SHOP for a cause at the Hope 4 Hanna clothing party at Talega Village Center!

At the event, guests will have the opportunity to purchase everything from boutique clothing, to Stella & Dot jewelry, adorable flip flips and children’s goodies.  You can also sign up for the race that night!

Food and drinks will be provided by Sundried Tomato and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Hope 4 Hanna. What a great way to get some early holiday shopping done for a cause! 

www.hope4hanna.com

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Macaroni Grill 1 Million Meals Recipe: Deconstructed Chicken Parmesan Bake

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1 in 5 AMERICAN children struggle with hunger. Take a moment to let that stat sink in. We have children. Can you imagine? But there is hope.

This month, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is doing something pretty spectacular.  You see, for writing this post and sharing a favorite Italian recipe, Macaroni Grill is donating 500 meals to children who need them for participating bloggers. Soooooo awesome!

Want to know what you can do to help?  There are three easy ways!

1. Give: Go into a Macaroni Grill restaurant (you can click here to find a location closest to you) and with a $2 donation, and you will receive $5 off your next visit now through 9/30/12.

2. Share: Share an image from their Facebook Gallery, and for every image share, Macaroni Grill will connect a kid with a meal.

3. Tag: Tag an Instagram photo or tweet of your Mac Grill experience with #macgrillgive and for every tag, they’ll connect a kid with a meal.

For more about this campaign, visit www.1millionmeals.com.  Now here is our recipe!

We have been lucky enough to have my mother-in-law, a.k.a Lorayne (maiden name Paoletti=Italian!) in town visiting this past week and she made this delicious dinner for our family.  With the back to school madness upon us this Deconstructed Chicken Parmesan Bake is an easy weeknight dinner (no breading or heavy labor involved!)  Serve it with some simple spaghetti and salad and it’s great for entertaining as well!

Her recipe called for boneless skinless chicken breasts but we subbed in boneless skinless chicken thighs - if you haven’t tried them, do!  They are less likely get dry as chicken breast can and are more nutrient dense.  Their fat content is a bit higher but only a little bit of that is the unhealthy saturated fat.

What you Need:

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or less if you don’t like spicy)

12 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 6 boneless skinless chicken breast if you aren’t feeling adventurous)

2.5-3 cups prepared Marinara Sauce

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 8 oz package shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, divided

1 5 oz package garlic croutons (she used the big artisan ones which I really liked, but you could use smaller croutons to make it easier to cut)

Ready, Set, Cook!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic and red pepper flakes.

Arrange chicken in bottom of the dish and pour marinara sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle basil over the marinara sauce and top with half the mozzarella cheese, followed by half of the parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle on the croutons, then top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Make sure to cover the croutons enough with the cheese to protect them from burning.

(If making ahead: at this point you can put in the fridge until you are ready to bake but be sure to pull out of fridge at least 20 mins prior to baking to let come to room temperature a bit).

Bake in preheated oven uncovered until croutons are golden and the chicken is cooked through about 45mins – 1 hr (depending on how big your chicken pieces are).  An instant read thermometer should read 160 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken. Enjoy!

{Noni got her orig recipe from www.allrecipes.com but we made some edits.}

 

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Deal Blade: You save, They give!

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I’m sure you’ve noticed the surge of daily deal sites in your email inbox- well we wanted to let you know about a different one- it’s called Deal Blade and when you save, they give!  Doesn’t that just feel gooood?

It works like this: they pair their featured retailer’s deal with a fitting charity and a portion of the proceeds go directly to that charity.  Saving & giving all wrapped into one pretty little discounted transaction!

Here are some of their featured Charities:

Don’t Worry Be Happy Shirts

Friendship Shelter Laguna Beach

Lestonnac Free Clinic

The Pet Rescue Center

LOVING that each deal features a video explaining the details and virtually takes you through the doors of  the featured biz so you can get a feel for the establishment before you buy!

Be sure to sign up for Deal Blade’s deal updates so as not to miss upcoming steals & deals from these local high end products and services:

Vogue Salon in Newport and Laguna Beach ~ Fine Italian Wine
Barolo Café in Tustin ~ Electronics and Gadgets
Extreme Bootcamp in Yorba Linda ~ Espresso Coffee from Pasquini
Julian Hans salon in Laguna Hills Mall ~ Crossfit Laguna Niguel

For you pet-obsessed deal seekers out there:

Starting today on Deal Blade is a special offer at Pet Country located in South Orange County, which specializes in high-end, grain free, natural pet foods.  They even have a refrigerated section for their raw pet foods!

$20 for $50 worth of pet products:

$35 Gift Certificate to Pet Country

Personal ID tag for your pet

Premium Sample of dog or cat food

A portion of the proceeds go to The Pet Rescue Center to help save the lives of dogs & cats at risk of euthanasia.  SUCH an important cause!

Check out this video with the details:

If you have a charity you’d like featured on Deal Blade, click here to learn more!

(Deal Blade is a valued Tiny Oranges Sponsor- we heart a deal site with a heart ;) )

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