How Good Grows Through Ripples of Kindness

As part of the Yahoo! Motherboard, I am SO EXCITED to take part in Yahoo's How Good Grows Through Ripples of Kindness. Yahoo! has offered me $100 for random acts of kindness to brighten people's holiday season.

I decided right away that I would match it with my own $100. When I told my mom she offered to match as well. Then my boss told me she'd like to match. Yesterday my mother-in-law asked if she could match. I didn't *ask* any of these people to match, I didn't even think to. They all simply offered, because, you know, kindness brings on more kindness. Yahoo!'s $100 quickly became $500.

I made some phone calls and am still figuring out what to do with the money, but so far I have agreed to "adopt" a couple of families living at the shelter run by the domestic violence organization I used to work for and a friend of mine is looking into what students at the school she works with can use winter coats, gloves, hats, etc.

Today I received the wish lists for the families I've "adopted" and one of the girls #1 wish is a coat, her #2 is snow boots,#3 is a Dora watch. A kid wishing for a coat and boots. Ugh. A woman's #1 wish is underwear. These are the Christmas wishes Yahoo! and so many other great people are going to help me fulfill.

The least I can do is the shopping, right? So, I've decided to stretch the money as far as I can and will brave the crowds on Black Friday. Not for our gifts, but theirs. If you know me this is my worst nightmare. I make fun of people who shop that day. But, why would I ever make it easy on myself?

I hope you'll visit Yahoo!'s How Good Grows Through Ripples of Kindness to see what other people are doing to spread kindness and hopefully you'll make your own ripple.


Realities of Child Hunger Freak Me Out

My new post of TheChicagoMoms.com is about a realization I had about child hunger while feeding William his breakfast the other morning.

This morning I pulled together some extras from the pantry (rice, mac & cheese, corn, kidney beans, black beans, pumpkin, and tomato soup) and dropped them off at my office building's food drive. They were just extra things I threw into a bag without a second thought, but can feed someone who doesn't have other options.

I hope you'll do something this holiday season to help hungry families. Check out my post here.


Gun Control and 90210

I've always been completely against having a gun in my house. The idea of it freaks me out. Guns make me uncomfortable, period.

Today I've been doing a lot of work from home, playing catch up, and decided to put on the Saturday Beverly Hills 90210 block on Soap Net. I found this weekly marathon when I had the flu a couple weeks ago and it's my new go-to on a Saturday afternoon. The early years of 90210 were the best. I was the perfect age for its cheesy acting, over-the-top 90's fashion, and cliche story lines. It was the focus of my television watching back then.

That being said, the episode when Scott (David Silver's dorky friend) shoots himself and dies was on today. I half watched it, but remembered watching it the first time it aired, the hype it created. It was major. Is 90210 the reason I'm so opposed to guns in the house? I mean, besides all the other obvious reasons.


I Want to be an Earthbound Cook

For the From Left to Write Book Club, we read "The Earthbound Cook" by Myra Goodman, a cook book promising 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and A Healthy Planet. This post is inspired by that book.

It's been quiet around here these days, I know. Personally, I'm shocked I'm even getting this post together. A ton of time in the office and some other things seem to be sapping me of all energy and brain cells these days. Not only has this poor blog been terribly neglected, but so has our kitchen and nutrition. One night I ate a bowl of olives and then cereal for dinner. The next night I made macaroni and cheese (the blue box kind bought on sale for $1, waiting for a rainy day...). Indeed most nights William has eaten the best of what our freezer has to offer, I've been content with cereal, and Matt scrounges for left overs. His ability to eat just about anything comes in handy in times like these.

So, when I received this cook book I put it away and figured I'd find a time to get to it. And then I put it off and off and off. When I finally picked it up and started reading through it, looked at the gorgeous pictures, skimmed through the recipes, it was like a slap in the face. The vision of the mac and cheese blue box against the photos of the author's organic farm was torture.

I made a deal with myself then. I would make two recipes from the cook book in that week. I didn't have time to go to the grocery store until Saturday, so I chose two recipes (Orechiette with Broccolette and Mushroom Barley Soup) and took Willliam to Whole Foods to get some organic ingredients. That night I tried to convince myself to order in, take it easy, but instead I threw together the Orechiette with Broccolette. It was great and maybe the fifth time I'd cooked in the last 12 weeks. (It's been that bleak in our kitchen these days.)

I had to go to the office on Sunday, so my plan was to get the soup ready and then catch the train downtown. In stepped Matt, insisting that he could do it. I was skeptical. He knows how to cook, but doesn't do it all that much anymore. Can I tell you how great it was to come home on a Sunday night after a long day of work to a warm bowl of soup that all three of us seemed to equally enjoy?

I want to be an Earthbound Cook. I want to cook delicious, fresh, organic meals. However, with two working parents (one working overtime these days) it's too easy to take the simple way out. And I do. Last year I pulled out the crock pot during this busy time, but this year I'm just too tired. Come January I'll refocus and try more of these recipes, until then, pass the olives.

This post was inspired by the book "The Earthbound Cook" by Myra Goodman, which I received complimentary as a part of From Left to Write Book Club. See how other bloggers were inspired by this book here.