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Sponsored Video from the American Cancer Society #FinishTheFight

There are lots of things to worry about when you are faced with a cancer diagnosis:

How far along is it?  Has it spread? What is the treatment that will give me the best chance of survival? How will I pay for treatment?  What if the best treatment center isn’t nearby – then what?

If the best treatment isn’t right where you live, “Where will I stay while being treated?” should not have to be one of them. Last year the American Cancer Society provided lodging for 50,000 patients and caregivers.  They filled a need that most of us probably didn’t even realize existed.

If you are like me, you are probably familiar with the American Cancer Society, but unsure what types of services they actually provide.  The American Cancer Society is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and has a presence in more than 5,100 communities.  One of their networks is the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge® network, which provides cancer patients and their families with a free place to stay when they have to travel far from home for treatment. In 2011, the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge network provided more than 250,000 nights of free lodging to nearly 40,000 patients and caregivers, saving them more than $23 million in lodging expenses. During 2012, those number grew even higher.

If you have a moment to spare, please take some time and give this video a quick watch.  You may have seen it on TV or shared through social media already.  If you agree that anyone facing a fight with cancer should not have to be worrying about where they will stay during treatment, I encourage you to pass this video along via email, Facebook, Twitter or even word of mouth.  Let’s make 2014 the year no cancer patient had to worry about lodging costs during treatment! (This post was sponsored by the American Cancer Society.)


CaringBridge Gives All Year Long #sponsored #MC

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for CaringBridge. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

During the holiday season, most people are concentrating on preparing for gatherings with family and friends and also getting their last minute shopping done.  Hopefully, all of the hustle and bustle does not overshadow the true meaning behind the season – caring for and giving to others.  The holidays are a perfect time to highlight and recognize those nonprofit organizations who support and help those who need it all year long.  CaringBridge is a nonprofit that provides free, personal websites, aims to help people to stay connected and receive support during any type of health journey. CaringBridge serves more than 500,000 people each day to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, hoping to make each journey a little easier.

I have had the opportunity to use CaringBridge myself a number of times over the last few years and appreciate the ability to keep up to date with friends and family during rough periods without having to burden them to repeat updates over and over.  I’d love it of you could take a minute and watch and share this video to help spread the word about CaringBridge and how a small word of support can inspire hope and impact the lives of our loved ones this season.

Maytag Dependable Leader Award Program #sponsored #mc

maytag_logoI participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Maytag. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Two of the brands I have really loved working with over the last few years are Maytag and The Boys and Girls Club.  You may remember that I had the privilege of being a Maytag Mom (and am still loving my washer and dryer!!) and I’ve had several occasions to work with the Boys and Girls Club and mention what a great resource they were for my students when I was teaching back in NH.

Well, now 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 – through America’s Vote competition. I have to warn you – choosing who should win is a pretty tough task. All of the finalists are amazing! From November 12th through November 29th, visit 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 they find to best represent a Maytag Dependable Leader! 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 at


So who are you going to vote for???

Caring Messages Card Contest #MC #sponsored

UCC_CardContestImageI participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for CaringBridge. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

The other day, I was logging onto CaringBridge and realized I am following 4 separate accounts on the website.  Four. That number is sobering to me. (If you are not familiar with CaringBridge, it is a website that allows people experiencing a health crisis to create a page where they can update friends and family in one fell swoop.  Kind of like a blog without all of the hassle!)  I’ve really come to depend on CaringBridge to keep me updated on how my friends and family are doing and am grateful that they do not have to worry about trying to keep me up to date on their ever changing conditions while they are already stressed enough.

To celebrate and support caregivers, the strong personal heroes who tirelessly help families get through one day at a time when experiencing a hardship, CaringBridge, the nonprofit caring social network, and Hallmark Cards are kicking off the “Caring Messages” card contest during National Family Caregiver Month.

From October 28th through November 17th, the “Caring Messages” card contest encourages participants to draw on personal experiences as a caregiver or as someone receiving care and create a message of love and support appropriate for a caregiver. Participants can submit one card idea in each of the following categories to

Support and Encouragement: What can you say to lift someone up or help them get through the day? Let them know you’re thinking of them, send happy thoughts and cheer them on.
Compliments and Appreciation: Let someone know how much you admire them: What they do and how they do it.
Words from the Wise: If you’ve experienced something yourself you understand what it’s really like. Write a supportive message for others based on what you’ve learned or what you needed to hear.

This partnership aims to provide patients, caregivers and supporters with love, hope and compassion. Winners announced in February will receive a cash prize, and their entry will be sold at with in-store sale to be determined.

Planters: The Power of the Peanut – Nature’s Tiny Miracle!

I’ve always been a huge peanut fan.  While I will always love peanut butter, my absolute favorite way to eat peanuts is to just snack on them whole.  I love that they taste good AND provide  much needed protein and other nutrients to my diet.  They are easy to carry around with me since they don’t need any refrigeration or special packaging and survive well in my luggage when I’m traveling.  (They are still my go-to snack when I need to stash something in my carry-on luggage.)

Anyone who has ever been stuck on a plane while hungry knows how valuable a tasty and good for you snack is in that situation.  It also helps guard against grabbing something in the concourse that you will regret later!  I know I’ve grabbed a sweet on occasion and then later kicked myself when I hit that sugar crash.

When I think of peanuts, I always think of Planters.  I grew up watching Mr. Peanut in their commercials and always thought he was cute and clever.  Well, now Mr. Peanut has graduated to a new job – motivational speaker!  Mr. Peanut has released a series of humorous videos that motivate and educate about the benefits of peanuts while also bringing a smile to your face.

As someone who has been to plenty of conferences and watched lots of motivational speakers, I got a good chuckle from the video “Nature’s Tiny Miracle“.  While the video is definitely a funny tongue in cheek parody of your typical motivational speaker, it actually does a really great job of pointing out how amazing it is that there are so many essential nutrients in such a tiny package!  Take a minute to watch it and you’ll see what I mean:

So, what do you think?? Check out the other Power of the Peanut videos – they are all equally informative AND entertaining!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.