I am so incredibly excited to spend an evening at Macy’s next week with Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini, and I’d love for you to join us, too!

Johnny Iuzzini

Come on out to Macy’s The Domain (Home Department, Level 2) next Thursday, November 6th, at 6pm to see this fabulous Chef in action! He will show us how to prepare some of his favorite award-winning holiday dishes, but the best part? There will be plenty of scrumptious samples to enjoy. Ray and I are making a date night of it and I can’t wait!

There’s another fun surprise, too — with any purchase of $35* or more in the Home department, receive a $10 Macy’s gift card and a copy of his latest cookbook Sugar Rush** which Chef Iuzzini will sign directly after the demo.

Seating is limited, so RSVP now at JohnnyIuzziniDomain.eventbrite.com. To learn more about the Macy’s Culinary Council and upcoming events, log on to macys.com/culinarycouncil.

*Purchase must be made on November 6, 2014 at Macy’s The Domain only. Gift card and cookbook will be distributed November 6 only. **One per customer, while supplies last, while time permits. Seating is first come, first served. Macy’s gift card valid Nov 6-13, 2014. Event subject to cancellation or change.

Disclosure: I am being compensated to cover this event for Macy’s, through EveryWhere Agency. Opinions and thoughts are all mine, as always.

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Make a Difference #ShareAMeal

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on October 27, 2014

I shared a bit the other day about how Project Sunlight has teamed up with Feeding America to fight child hunger. But, I was inspired to do something more than just bring awareness. I know there are many ways to help in my community, but I took a look at Project Sunlight’s list of 8 Ways You Can Share a Meal and decided to host a Virtual Food Drive through Feeding America.

Every dollar you give to my Virtual Food Drive helps provide TEN meals to people served by the Feeding America network. That is pretty amazing, don’t you think? I can’t remember a single time my dollar went that far. By coming together, one single dollar at a time, we can help end hunger in America. Give as little (or as much) as you can, because every bit counts!

From Dates to Diapers Virtual Food Drive

In addition to giving a dollar or two (really, that’s all I ask!) to my Virtual Food Drive, by clicking the image above, you may also decided to begin one of your own. It would be a great project for you to do with your kids or even your church youth group, especially if time restraints prevent you from serving physically at your local food bank or you are not able to organize a live food drive.

A Virtual Food Drive is incredibly easy to set up. Go to FeedingAmerica.org and complete just three simple steps.

  1. Create Your Page
  2. Ask Others to Donate
  3. End Hunger

What are some other ways you can Share A Meal in your community or beyond?  I’d love to hear some of your ideas!

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post and to bring awareness to childhood hunger, but I have donated a percentage to my Virtual Food Drive. All opinions and thoughts are my own, as always.

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#ShareAMeal with Project Sunlight

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on October 24, 2014

It’s mind boggling to me that right here in America, there are 16 million children struggling with hunger – that’s the population of Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago combined! Hunger’s youngest victims are often invisible in the United States, but he reality is, hunger in America has no boundaries – rural, urban and suburban – and with 1 in 5 children unaware where their next meal is coming from, one of these children could be your own neighbor or even your child’s best friend.

Unilever Project Sunlight has recruited me to help shed light on child hunger in America and inspire people to help. On October 13th they premiered an original documentary, titled Going to Bed Hungry: The Changing Face of Child Hunger, which reveals the power and the promise of a shared meal for families across America.

What is Project Sunlight?
Launched in November of 2013, Unilever Project Sunlight is a long-term initiative to motivate people to live sustainably by inspiring them to create a brighter future for children. Unilever Project Sunlight believes a future is possible where every child has a healthy and happy childhood and it was natural for this mission to extend to another important cause – child hunger in America. Unilever Project Sunlight believes that even the smallest act – whether it’s sharing a meal, donating time or money, or volunteering – can make a difference when multiplied over time and help build a brighter future for children.

#ShareAMeal

To help fight child hunger in the U.S., Unilever has partnered with the nation’s leading hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, which serves more than 12 million children each year. By teaming up with organizations like this, Unilever is better able to help in the effort to improve the health and well-being of families and children in need across the country. With the help of Feeding America’s vast network of 200 food banks nationwide, Unilever has been able to contribute nearly 30 million meals to families and children over the past five years, more than 13 million pounds of food and more than $3 million to the families who need it most.

The small act of sharing a meal could have a big impact on a family in need. What are some actionable ways that you and your family can Share A Meal and help fight child hunger here in the U.S.? Find some great ideas at Project Sunlight.us

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Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult {Book Review}

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on October 14, 2014

I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult. Her books always seem to touch on the untouchable; the conversation no one wants to have, the situation in which no one wants to find themselves. She always sparks something in me to learn all I can about the underlying topic about that which she is writing. Or, at the very least, devour her latest novel. So, you can imagine that I was more than a little excited to receive an advanced copy of her newest book – Leaving Time – available TODAY.

"Leaving Time" by Jodi Picoult

About the book:

For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.

Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who’d originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.

As Jenna’s memories dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner, Leaving Time is Jodi Picoult at the height of her powers.

Leaving Time was so hard for me to get in to. The story began slow for me… I struggled through tons of detail about elephants, with not nearly enough character development for my taste. But boy, did that change. By Part Two, I couldn’t put the book down. Those “details” only added a layer to the story that wouldn’t have been possible any other way. And, since I won’t give away the ending, I will just say that the ending made the slow start totally worth it!

Get your own copy of Leaving Time at Walmart and Walmart.com for only $16.80 ($11.20 off the list price!)

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Capture Photos That #BringIt

October 4, 2014

With the back-to-school season upon us, don’t miss the opportunity to capture the perfect shot of the winning touchdown, the last second field goal or the fourth quarter huddle. Whether you are attending your child’s Pop Warner tournament or your teen’s Homecoming Football game, be sure to photograph and videotape every moment with high quality. […]

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Back to School Firsts

October 1, 2014

At the end of the summer, Staples asked me if they could send us a Kindle Fire HD in exchange for a post on Back to School Firsts. The idea was to get the books on the Summer Reading List checked off, which the Kindle certainly would have helped my older kiddos do, but I had something additional in mind… […]

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“Being a good wife will make me a bad mom.” {7 Lies Moms Believe}

September 30, 2014

As moms, we tend to hold ourselves to a pretty high standard. If we are completely honest, we expect too much of ourselves as we constantly believe the lies that we are told about having to be perfect, make our kids our whole world, and forsake all other parts of life because you became a mom. […]

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How the Women of India Inspire Me to Do More, Be More and Live a More Abundant Life {#5by20}

September 27, 2014

I had the great honor of being one of 8 professional bloggers to have been chosen by Coca-Cola to join them in India to witness, ask questions, and enjoy our time exploring their 5by20 initiative. It has been two weeks since we returned home from a trip of a lifetime where I saw how women’s lives are being impacted in India in […]

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Countdown to Confidence

September 26, 2014

“With Invisalign, the confidence of a great smile starts on the first day of treatment and lasts a lifetime.” Just a heads up, friends… You can enter to win an Invisalign Treatment for you or your teen AND $1000 in the Countdown to Confidence Daily Instant Win & Sweepstakes. You may enter daily, now through November 13th, for […]

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Smoothie King Comes to Cedar Park!!

September 26, 2014

You’re invited to Smoothie King’s Cedar Park grand opening this Saturday from 9am-noon! Smoothie King, the premier smoothie bar and nutritional lifestyle center in the industry, will unveil its 700th new store on Saturday morning, with a grand opening event at its new (and very first) Cedar Park location. Kids, 12 years and younger, are encouraged to participate in […]

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Bake the Perfect Batch with New Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets

September 25, 2014

Julia and I do a whole lot of baking and it’s not entirely unlikely that we have to wash our cookie sheets every day, more than once. Needless to say, both of us were excited to hear about new Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets. They are pre-cut parchment sheets that provide an easy, convenient way to “Bake the Perfect Batch.” […]

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Fall Beauty :: Hair

September 23, 2014

Walmart was my one stop shop for changing things up as we move from Summer to Fall! Over the weekend, I shared with you my newest favorite outfit, just in time for Fall. But, I wanted to change my hair color (back to Auburn) and experiment a bit with styling accessories, too. I started off […]

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{DIY} Harvest Floral Wreath

September 22, 2014

Fall colors are one of my favorite things about the Autumn season. Oranges, reds, yellows, and deep greens all around me just seem to bring a sense of warmth and cozyness – a feeling of contentment, I suppose – in spite of the cooler outdoor temperatures. Whether I’m switching out my summer mantle to the deep […]

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My Go-To Fall Outfit

September 21, 2014

I am loving the bright colors that are available in fashion and apparel at Walmart this Fall! Of course, you can still find all of the goodies that make dressing for this season so great – boots, scarves, oversized sweaters, and all – but adding bright splashes of color to my outfit is easy to do […]

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Large Families Need to be Prepared for a Disaster: National Disaster Preparedness Month

September 18, 2014

Disaster, whether natural or man made, can strike at any time. September is dedicated as National Disaster Preparedness Month to get people thinking about what they would do should a disaster hit. Are you and your family prepared? Your first thoughts in a disaster scenario is about those closest to you, your family. You wonder […]

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Laniwai Spa: One of Many Reasons to Visit Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

September 16, 2014

Along the beaches of Ko Olina, nestled between mountains and ocean of Oahu, Hawaii sits the breath-taking and magical Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. There are many reasons to visit this beautiful oasis that is just outside of the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, yet close enough to enjoy all the island has to offer. Laniwai Spa is […]

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A Bedtime Routine Sure to Calm and Promote Sleep Through the Entire Night

September 15, 2014

The end of the day is almost the most challenging, as a mom, it seems. Getting the kids ready for bed and all tucked in is sometimes the last thing I want to do when I am so tired myself. Especially when there are the after tuck in bedtime delays – I’m hungry. I need a […]

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Empowering Millions, One Woman at a Time #5by20

September 4, 2014

I have the great honor of being one of 8 professional bloggers to have been chosen by Coca-Cola to witness first-hand how they are investing in the lives of women in India through their 5by20 initiative. We leave this weekend on a whirlwind tour of communities in New Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Dasna and Bangalore, where […]

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September is Self-Improvement Month

September 4, 2014

We all like to make resolutions at the beginning of the New Year. Commitments to improve something about ourselves; perhaps to diet, work out, stop drinking, and the like. If you’re anything like me, you also make resolutions to improve your family relationships that may include not yelling at your kids, spending more quality time […]

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Miracle Gel {Review}

August 29, 2014

Y’all already know of my love for nail color, so telling you about a new line from Sally Hansen should come as no surprise… Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is a patented and exclusive gel color system. No base coat or UV/LED light is required, and with just two coats of Miracle Gel color and a […]

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Fifteen

August 28, 2014

It was fifteen years ago today. The hottest day of the year. I was to vow to love, honor, and cherish my best friend all the days of my life, and I was a bundle of nerves. As I walked down the aisle, on my father’s arm, I saw my best friend waiting for me […]

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First Day

August 26, 2014

Sending the kiddos off to school after what seems like a long summer is always bittersweet for me. This year, however, it was especially so. While they were all most certainly ready for the routine that the new school year brought with it, I was a bit nervous to drop them off today and yesterday […]

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