Spring Accessories to Brighten Your Wardrobe

It’s been a snow-filled Winter for most of the country, so I am more than ready for a little Spring. Are ya with me?! Even if the weather isn’t cooperating for you yet, there are plenty of ways to infuse a little bit of Spring into your wardrobe!

My favorite Spring staple is always floral print. From shoes, to scarves, to jewelry there a multitude of options! Floral sneakers? Colorful cuffs? Yes, please.

floral print accessories for spring


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If floral print really isn’t your thing, then brights are a great alternative! Even if you’re still feeling the freeze, brights are the perfect way to add a little pep to your step! I mean, how could you not smile when wearing an attention-grabbing tangerine bag?!

brights for spring

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What are your favorite Spring accessories?

Tackling F-e-a-r: Lessons from a School Spelling Bee

F-E-A-R of E-M-B-A-R-R-A-S-S-M-E-N-T.

It can paralyze even the most confident of us. We see an opportunity to do something great, something we know we can do, but that trepidation of being made fun of overcomes us … pushing us off the stage before we could take a step up onto it.

This is the story of a little girl overcoming her greatest fear and proving that putting oneself out there … is A-O-K.

At Assumption School, the reward for winning the 5th grade class spelling bee is the opportunity to compete… on stage… in front of the entire school…for the right to represent the student body at the Missouri-Illinois Bi-State Regional Spelling Bee. 8 Students, 2 from each 5th thru 8th grade class are competing. Winner moves on…

Rewind, 6 weeks prior to the All-School Spelling Bee. 3:40pm. Front Door opens. Delaney shuffles in… We silently wait … Delaney plops down on the couch, buries her face in her hands. My wife and I are sewing, dusting, ironing, tasks we normally accomplish on a Friday afternoon at 3:41pm. Delaney’s freckly face re-appears from her paws with one tear streaming down her left cheek. We both hug her and reassure her that it’s okay, and she can try again next year to win her class Spelling Bee…

“I won”

Is this a tear of a joy or a tear of …

“I’m scared Daddy”


“Now, I have the All-School Spelling Bee… In front of the whole school… Speak into a microphone with all of my friends, classmates, everyone watching. What if I mess up? What if I’m the first one out? What if I mis-spell my own name? Nope, not doing it. No way.”

We assure Delaney of a few things.

  1. The All-School Spelling Bee isn’t for another 6 weeks so let’s celebrate this win. Now. With Ice Cream. The great mind numb-er… brain freeze… thus allowing amnesia to set in…
  2. Her friends will support her, which they will and they did by the way. Great story if you keep reading.
  3. Trust us, Delaney, it won’t be that bad. Yah, that was a dumb thing to say… so, I back pedaled from that statement, then jammed the car in drive and off to Dairy Queen we went…

Delaney Spelling Bee Words

Now, fast-forward to Spelling Bee Eve. Delaney kneels down for bedtime prayers, “Dear Lord, don’t let me mess up. Let me get one word right. Maybe two. Oh, how about three, but please just don’t let me mess up.” Then it’s my turn to pray, “Dear Lord, thank you for Delaney. The End. I mean. Amen.” She laughs when I say “The End.” Got to keep it light, right?

Night Falls. Morning Follows. It’s Bee Big Day.

Delaney comes down to breakfast. “How did you sleep kiddo?” exclaims an energetic, overzealous, rested, proud papa. “Not a wink, Daddy. I’m so scared.” Time for Hugs and Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, They’re G-R-E-A-T. More spelling. I can’t stop. I’ve caught the bug. It was time for the pre-game speech from dear old Dad.

Delaney, listen. You’re already a winner. You won your class spelling bee. Anything that happens today is just a bonus, like extra credit on a test. There will be one All-School winner and 7 Class winners. No losers. It’s true. All 8 of you have won already. But, there has to be an All-School winner, so why not you? 500 students started this competition. It’s down to the Elite 8. After today, 1 will stand, and my money is on you. I’m serious. You’re going to win this darn thing. Do you believe me (she nods in disagreement)? Will you believe me after you win (another nod in disagreement)? Alrighty then, after today, there will be another winner. Me. I’m ready. Let’s Fly like a butterfly and Sting like a …

“Bee-Have Students of Assumption,” bellows a voice over the Gymnasium loud speaker. “Today, we’ve all gathered together for the 2015 Assumption All-School Spelling Bee. Please give a round of applause for your 8 Finalists now sitting on the stage! (Crowd Cheers). The winner of today’s competition will advance to the Bi-State Regional Bee with that winner flying to our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Let the Spelling Bee-gin (moderator laughs at her own pun). Sheesh, puns, lowest form of humor. Not punny.

Delaney Spelling Bee School Champion

Round 1 – All answer correctly. I sigh in relief. “Today”… Her first word. It starts slow.

Round 2 – All 8. U-N-S-C-A-T-H-E-D. Delaney’s voice is unwavering, she stares straight ahead and is as calm as an F-15 Fighter Pilot. Ice cold. No mistakes. That’s the way she spells.

Round 3 – The Lord has answered. Delaney is thru 3 as are the other 7 geniuses. Her third word was “Knead” in case you were curious.

Round 4 – Whoops, We lose 1. I feel for that young girl. Even more for her parents.

Round 5 – Double Whoops, 2 more are out. 5 remain after 5. One of those is Mini-D aka Delaney aka My Pick to Click. Her word “parlor.“

Rounds 6-8 – Clean for the Fab 5. I’m, surprisingly calm, she’s still hanging in there. She’s won her grade. She’s proven she belongs. I begin to relax. A little.   Meaning, my right foot has stopped tapping 55mph.

Round 9 – Another falters… Final Four. One of which is the youngest kid on stage, guess who?

Round 10 – Down to Three after this round…

Quick Note: I was satisfied after Round 3, really happy when she wasn’t the first eliminated, elated when it was Delaney and two of the older kids, but then the amazing happened. Round 11…

Round 11 – A former champion falters, staggers, seems to recover but then errs and bows out after 10 correct words. The crowd graciously applauds her strong effort.

Delaney Spelling Bee Cheering Section - Lauren

And, then there were two… , a former champion, super smart, center stage confident 8th grader versus the little girl stage left whose eyes remain fixated on the moderator. She won’t blink. Then, the students begin an impromptu chant of “Delaney!… Stomp… Delaney!… Stomp… Delaney!” Her 5th grade class, the 6th grade class, the gym is pulling for the underdog. The 7th graders join the chant mob. I, actually, feel bad for the 8th grader now. My eyes are welling. Delaney versus the Champ for the right to represent her school at Regionals. And, more importantly, for me to be correct. I mean, more importantly, for her to realize that there has to be a winner, so why not her. A life lesson happening before my watery eyes… My wife is squeezing my hand so tight that I have permanent blood flow issues in my left hand now. Possible exaggeration.

Round 12 – Both answer correctly

Round 13 – Same Result. I’m exhausted. I can’t see because my hand hurts so badly. The pain is rushing to my head. I’m about to faint. I’m hanging on… I need some water. I can’t see. Everything is foggy… Cut me Mick, Cut me… then I hear it.

Round 14 – To the Champ… the word is Ultimatum. He spells “U-L-T-I-M-A-T-E-M.” Ugh. The Champ is down. But, the kid challenger must answer her last word correctly or the Champ gets up to fight again. “Stalwart… S-T-A-L-W-A-R-T”

Then a pause…

“STALWART!” whispers MY DAUGHTER into the microphone.

The Moderator… states … for the record… CORRECT!!!

… and bedlam ensues in the Assumption Gymnasium. The Delaney Chants echo throughout the school. The smallest, youngest, quietest kid on the stage is the new Champ. She’s so shy. She wants to hide. As soon as the moderator dismisses the student body, I rush to the stage, pick her up and she screams at me to put her down. F-E-A-R of E-M-B-A-R-R-A-S-S-M-E-N-T. Even moments after her big win. I whisper her in ear… “I’m so proud of you. You did it. Oh, and by the way, I was right, you won!”

She stopped asking me to put her down, hugged me and whispered back, I love you Daddy.

I won too.


A Daddy

Beauty Routine Favorite: How to Shave with the Gillette® Venus Swirl™

I shave my legs every day.

Yes. Every. Single. Day.

It doesn’t matter if it is Winter or Summer…this is just, quite simply, one of those little beauty routine ‘musts’ for me. After nearly 30 years of shaving, I guess you could say it is a habit, or a ritual that makes me feel a little more like me, but either way, it is not something I want to spend hours doing (now you know why I DON’T wash my hair every day). I just don’t have the time.

How to Shave: Gillette Venus Swirl

I can still remember begging my mom to first LET me shave, and then, of course, needing her to teach me how. I promptly put a lovely gash right down my right shin. I wore a bandaid for weeks as it healed. Fortunately, my technique has improved, but so has the technology that makes shaving both easier and more efficient. I was recently introduced to the Gillette® Venus Swirl™ and honestly now spend less time shaving (yes, still every day) and I don’t miss all of those crazy little blond hairs that like to gather and hide around my knees and ankles. (You know the ones that you don’t see until you are out in the sun on the beach or at the pool?)

I made a video to show you all of the reasons the Gillette® Venus Swirl™ and its new technology stand out for me.

As a quick recap, the Venus Swirl™ is the first razor of any kind (for men or women) to have the Flexiball™ technology.

How to Shave: Gillette Venus SwirlThat silver ball right in the middle of the handle allows the blades to swivel from side-to-side instead of just up and down. It is this, plus the Microfine comb and 5 blades that contour to your leg that make shaving so quick and easy.

How to Shave: Gillette Venus Swirl

How to Shave: Gillette Venus Swirl

No surprise, I’m hooked. And….I if you are a mother of a small girl (mine is 10) it is good to know the teaching process will be MUCH easier than it was for my mom.

If you are looking for a new razor, or even want to try something new for a better, happier shave, the Gillette® Venus Swirl™ is available at Walmart.

How to Shave: Gillette Venus Swirl

If you try it, I’d love to know what you think.

Disclosure: I was happy to have partnered with both SheSpeaks and Gillette® Venus Swirl™ for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.


5 Full-Flavor Slow Cooker Meals

Hi everyone.  It’s Kasey from All Things Mamma.  I’m back to share a few delicious recipes with you this month. Enjoy! 

Being a busy mom, I love taking short cuts to make my life easier.  Whether it’s running several errands at one time when I’m out or combining several household tasks to complete at once. If it makes sense to make things easier, I’m all about it. Another way I like to make things a little easier is by using my Slow Cooker for meals. I love that I can put a series of ingredients in the Slow Cooker in the morning and by dinner time, it’s a full meal and ready to go. It is so convenient whether you’re on the go, at home doing homework or for after work. The Slow Cooker can be your best friend. Here are  5 of my favorite Full-Flavor Slow Cooker Meals that are sure to be a hit in your family, too.

5 Full of Flavor Slow Cooker Meals

I’m including a few of my top “healthier” slow cooker meals to help you make life easier a few evenings this week.

5 Full of Flavor Slow Cooker Meals

One of our favorite, time saving meals is this Italian Chicken Sandwich.  Easy to put together and full of flavor. It is sure to become a family favorite in your home as well.

5 Full of Flavor Slow Cooker Meals

I love soup – especially this time of year.  This Vegetable Beef Barley Soup looks amazing….and it’s good for you.

5 Full of Flavor Slow Cooker Meals

Honey Garlic Rosemary Chicken.  YUM!  This recipe is sure to be one that is full of flavor.

5 Full of Flavor Slow Cooker Meals

Tacos are always a hit with adults and kids alike.  This Slow Cooker Hawaiian Tacos are fun and are a twist on the traditional meal.

5 Full of Flavor Slow Cooker Meals

Keeping on with the Mexican theme – these Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken Nachos are amazing….

Do you have any favorite go-to recipes?


Kids and Pop Culture: Keep Them Little

“I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!”

Every time one of my children utters that line, my soul gives a little smile. Because I believe boredom to be a necessity of childhood. In a world that barrels forward full steam ahead, our children are growing up like no generation before them.

Constantly entertained, kids today have little need for imaginative play. At their fingertips is a world created for them. It’s pixelated and colorful, and it threatens to undo them entirely if we don’t step in and shut it down.

There’s something magical about childhood boredom. Out of it is birthed some of the greatest imaginative fantasy our world has ever known. Entire worlds are erected when a child is given the freedom to be bored. When he isn’t told how to think, he actually begins to think all on his own, a novel idea indeed.

But boredom does more than simply ignite our children’s dormant imaginations. It also allows them the opportunity to just be kids – to explore and play with toys; to paint, and climb trees, and maybe even lie on their backs in the grass and finds shapes in the floating clouds.

As a mom, I feel like I’m in a constant battle with the pop culture that wars for my children’s attention. They come home daily telling me of books that their peers are reading – books meant for audiences much older than they are. They want to watch all the movies they see advertised – movies that were not designed for little eyes.

And there is the constant pressure to indulge in the latest piece of technology, or to jump into the world of social media, because my children are of the mindset that everyone in the world but them has an Instagram account.


Parenting is a battle. It seems that every day I am waging a war against pop culture, and the conflicting messages that culture sends to my children. I’m fighting too much exposure to the online world, too much screen time, the lyrics of popular songs. I’m battling against a world that tells them to grow up young, that tells my daughter her worth is found in how she dresses (and looks in clothing). Television shows emasculate men, while music demeans women.

This isn’t to say that we’re hard core limiting what they see and hear. On the contrary, we allow quite a bit of freedom for our children to see and hear things in this pop culture world. We don’t want to put them in a bubble. But we do want to teach them that just because something is popular doesn’t mean we need to be exposed to it.

The fact is, my kids aren’t ready to hear all the messages the world has to offer. They are not adults living in tiny bodies. They’re children learning to navigate their way through this world. And pop culture is not the voice I want dictating who my children become, how they think, and how they behave.

I want to challenge them to be deep thinkers, to have minds of their own, rather than to be tiny robots easily controlled by the next popular books/song/movie, etc…To that end, I’m taking my job as guardian seriously.

Children have a life time to be grown up – a life time to long for the days when boredom was the worst of their problems. Children have a life time to worry about relationships with the opposite sex, and they have their entire adult life to deal with adult things.

Their time to be little is so very short, so as a mom I will do everything in my power to protect that short amount of time. Once the tween years hit, life begins to spiral forward. And as those tweens step into their teens, the time for childish things will be something of the past.

Until that day comes, I’m going to enjoy the imaginative play brought about by boredom and innocence.

This is a topic that can be touchy as we all have different opinions on when it’s okay to let kids use social media, watch certain movies, listen to certain music, and read bigger books. For that reason, I purposely did not put an age limit on what I felt appropriate in this post, because what’s right for my family may not be right for your family. But I’d love to hear your thoughts.

How are you combatting this business of raising kids in a digitized, pop-culture world?


A House Full of Girls: Entertain with Love #AnnieMovie

The amount of time I have left as a ‘cool mom’ is likely limited. I know this. Fortunately, my small girl and her friends aren’t yet quite aware of this fact.  I have a small window of opportunity to spoil them, invite them in, entertain them and host with a home that feels like theirs –  and sometimes with the added bonus of some extra fun thrown in.

When Sony reached out to ask if I would like to throw a party in celebration of the soon-to-be-released movie Annie, my small girl and I raised both hands, nodded our heads, and started planning. We love time with friends. We love a great movie (especially one that I knew and loved as a little girl and can now share with a new generation of girls). And we LOVE any excuse to throw a good party.

Here’s how our AnnieMovie event came together…

Delaney and I came up with a guest list – a pretty good sized one, including friends from school, our neighborhood, her basketball team and softball team. We loved the idea of including girls who knew each other and some who wouldn’t – it would give everyone a chance to make new friends – much like the girls in the movie.

Annie Movie InviteOur invitation was simple – we created it on Evite so I could readily keep track of RSVPs and it was easy on the invitees to let us know if they could make it.

The good news for us? Almost everyone could make it – our guest list total was definitely a full house – 22 girls.

Annie Movie All GirlsNext on our list – Decor. Of course.

Sticking with a Red, White, Black and Silver theme, we created a ‘movie atmosphere’ with a Red Carpet, turned our family room in to a movie viewing area with red pillows and blankets, and covered the main floor with balloons. We wanted the girls to feel as though they were watching the movie in comfort.

Annie Movie Viewing AreaAnnie themed cookies, red and white cupcakes, movie popcorn and a candy table gave the girls plenty of options for movie snacking.

AnnieMovie Cookies

Annie Movie Popcorn

Annie Movie Candy Table

Annie Movie Treats 2

I would be lying if I told you they didn’t take full advantage (and that my family room wasn’t a bit of a candy-popcorn-movie-war-zone as they watched) but the joy, the giggling, the crowded moments of sharing pillows and singing songs was beyond worth it.

AnnieMovie Girls Watching

If you really want to step up the party, offer your guests printouts of the songs so they can sing along. The little girl in me couldn’t stop grinning as I watched and listened to them sing along.

AnnieHardKnock Printable

Finally, the girls were simply giddy over a few extra special gifts Sony sent our way for this special launch party – soundtracks to the movie and adorable bracelets with charms representing special moments in the film.

Annie Bracelets1

Annie Bracelets2Now that the red confetti has settled, I can say with some confidence that the event was a success.

And I just might have to make this event an annual one. Complete with singing.

Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration between Sony Pictures Entertainment and SheKnows

For the Love of New Orleans: Join Us for iRetreat June 28-30th

I think we each have a city we love. Sure, I love my hometown of Los Angeles (what’s not to love about the City of Angels?) But if I’m to pick a city outside of my hometown that just suits me – one that fits my love of culture, of food, of people, of welcoming outsiders and wrapping you in goodness?

It is, without a doubt….

New Orleans.

NewOrleans Street

Every single time I have visited the city, I have been enraptured by so many incredible sites – including those that are ALL history: take for example… the St. Louis Cathedral.

New Orleans St. Louis Cathedral

Or the music. On Every street corner.

New Orleans Street Performers

There is so much unique and beautiful that makes makes New Orleans truly unlike any other city I have visited.

Naturally the food plays a part: – the brunch can’t be ignored – the poached eggs and the crab cakes? To. Die. For.

New Orleans Brunch

And the beignets? I finally learned how to eat them well…. with lots and lots of powdered sugar.

New Orleans Beignets

And if you are visiting with family – there is so very much to do…. the Audubon Zoo is glorious, and the Carousel Gardens is one of the most extraordinary in the country…

New Orleans Zoo

New Orleans Carousel

I could write for days merely on the care it takes to keep one of these horses in tip-top shape.

Just a mere few weeks ago, I was delighted to tour the city for the third time in preparation for a conference this coming summer – iRetreat: an event for online influencers. I was honored to keynote this conference two years ago just outside Atlanta and am DELIGHTED they are going to be in New Orleans this summer. The line-up of speakers is just getting started. This event is going to be not only educational, but so uniquely geared to influencers looking to take the next step in their business AND those who would love to have a true taste of New Orleans.

I happen to be both.

The conference is run by some women I both admire and count as friends.

I’m already registered and hope I will be able to count you among the people I will see there. They are doing a Twitter Party tonight – Monday, March 16th  if you would like to join in or learn more. (They are giving away a full pass and quite a few other prizes- so I hope you will be able to stop by.)

iRetreat New Orleans

The conference is from June 28-30th. I look forward to seeing you.

From Farm to Table: The US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Shows How it Happens

I’ve always been a ‘city’ girl. I grew up in Los Angeles and can safely tell you that my first experience at a farm of any kind was when I was in my 20’s. In fact, I first stepped foot on a farm as a result of my work as a reporter. I covered stories first in Yuma, Arizona (nearly 90% of all leafy green vegetables grown from November through March come from in and around the Yuma area**) and then in Springfield, Missouri. I was so out of my element that the farmers spent their time playfully chiding me about everything from my inappropriate shoes to my lack of understanding about the agricultural process. (The first time I ever milked a cow was on live television and if I remember correctly, the woman I was interviewing said something to the effect of, ‘looks like we’re going to be here a while’. That was right before the cow moved away from me, kicked the bucket over and left me looking awfully silly and inexperienced.)

I’ve come a long way since then. Not because I’ve spent more time on farms, but rather because I decided I wanted to understand how farmers and ranchers make their living and provide the food that ends up on our tables.

As a mom who regularly brings her kids in to the kitchen to help prepare meals, I want to be educated about the food I’m giving my family. As so much of our mainstream conversation has turned to the quality and health of what we eat daily, it has been important for me to understand both the process and the culture of farming.

Cooper Cooks Kitchen

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance reached out to me to show and share their site. They have opened up a ‘food dialogue’ to educate people like you and me about this very thing. The USFRA represents virtually every aspect of agriculture, from crops to milking cows and harvesting eggs. It is made up of more than 80 farmer and rancher organizations with the goal of starting the conversations about their work and livelihood and showing how it is done.

USFRA HomePage

They talk about animal welfare, food safety, prices, GMO’s (some use them, some don’t), fertilizer and pesticides. And they have a ‘Food Dialogue’ video series that takes you to farms around the country to see how more than 50,000 eggs are collected in a day (that is right here in Missouri) to how to care for 7,000 pigs.  This one below shows not only how 1,200 cows are milked in a day, but how that milk is cared for and is never touched by human hands.

For me, it is important not only that I know and understand how the food we are eating (and milk we are drinking) moves from the farm to our tables, but I appreciate that this is not only a job, but a way of living for farmers and ranchers.

Did you watch the videos? What do you find most surprising or interesting about farming and ranching?

Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with SheKnows and the USFRA, and partially funded by one or more Checkoff programs. As always, all thoughts and opinions shared are mine and mine alone.

**Source: VisitYuma.com

How to: Simple Braided Half-up Hairstyle

Hair can be a hard thing to manage. Most of us stick to what we know as far as hairstyles are concerned, and it’s understandable. But I try to create hairstyles that are so easy to do you can’t help but try them. A little while back I showed you three simple braids and today I’m going to show you a simple half up hairstyle that can be done in 10 minutes. No teasing or twisting involved. Just two braids and some pins!

Braided Half-Up Hairstyle

Braided half up style

This style is the perfect way to get your hair out of your face without just putting it in a ponytail! Not that ponytails are all that bad, but it’s nice to mix it up every once and a while.

I’ve broken down the simple pictures in the photos below and then under I’ll explain each step. Although it truly is so simple I imagine you’ll be able to get it just by looking at the photos….

EM simple braided half up

  • Start by separating out a section of hair on each side above and behind the ears. I left the front, bangs section out and it was held back by the braids. You’ll see what I mean.
  • Braid a simple braid back with the left section of your hair. You can ‘pancake’ the braid a little by pulling it out to make it look more full or just leave it how you braided it.
  • Bring the braid across and pin it on the right side. You shouldn’t need a hair tie, but you can use one if you want.
  • Repeat on the right side and pin the braid over the first braid, hiding the end under the first braid.
  • Finish off with some hairspray if you need it and you’re done!

A few things about this style: You can tease the top from the back to the crown of the head if you want more volume or if you want the hair to stay back better. It’s meant to be a somewhat loose-looking style so you can just leave it. If you want your bangs more secure, you can just take the complete section in front of the ears to create the braid. Other than that, you’re all set.

I hope you liked this simple half-up braided hairstyle and get to give it a try! What do you think, is it something you’d wear?

For the Love of the Game: Teaching Your Kids to Give

It is no secret that my family is sports addicted.

We play.


Cooper Baseball Swing


Delaney Softball Swing


Delaney Basketball Action


Cooper Soccer

And we watch. Rabidly.

Cardinals Playoff Family

We even plan our vacations around it.

Spring Training 2015 Kids

Spring Training 2015 Family

Having just returned from Spring Training….I mean Spring Break…. which absolutely included watching AND playing, it is safe to say we might not ever have our fill. But I do know this, my family probably wouldn’t survive without balls, bats and gloves. And yet, there are kids who live every day without these simple luxuries….so saying my small people ‘wouldn’t survive’ suddenly sounds both selfish and trite.

As it has always been one of my primary goals as both a parent overall and as the mother to these two little ones to teach them not only how to give, but to show them how important it is to do so with a true and generous heart. I’m always looking for opportunities to teach them ways they can help others and to do it in a way they understand.

Knowing how much they love to play sports, they can comprehend what it would be like to do without the equipment they use everyday.

I was recently introduced to an organization called Good Sports. Good Sports has the beautiful goal of promoting healthy and active lifestyles among young people by providing athletic equipment, footwear and apparel to disadvantaged young people around the country.

Since 2003, more than $12 million worth of brand new sports and fitness equipment has been donated to more than ONE MILLION kids in need in 48 states.



And now, it is especially simple for you and your family to get involved and help kids who want to PLAY as well.

Party Like a Good Sport

We’ve seen the trend towards ‘parties’ for a cause as so many kids (and parents) have looked for ways to give back to their communities when celebrating birthday parties (and other family celebrations) by offering guests an alternative to traditional presents, instead requesting donations to animal shelters, a family in need, or cans of food for a local food pantry.

Party Like a Good Sport

GoodSports has done something similar – making it possible for you and your kids to put sporting equipment in the hands of young kids. They have created an online toolkit that includes customized flyers or invitations as well as a fundraising page that allows your guests (both big and small) to donate to kids in need instead of bringing a gift to your party. (Naturally, those amounts are based on the total you raise from your party – not individual donations.)

Party Like a Good Sport

I love that the flyer even lets you know how far certain donation amounts can go towards helping kids – from providing jerseys to a basketball team to outfitting a tennis team with racquets to giving an entire little league team everything they need – from balls, to bats to gloves, to helmets and catcher’s gear.

For every $20 raised, another kid ‘gets in the game’.

The basic steps to getting involved are simple:

  • Have a passion for helping kids to ‘get in the game’ and teaching your kids to give.
  • Learn about GoodSports.org on their website. Click on the Throw a Party link under Get Involved on the drop down menu.
  • Get Started by registering your party or event.
  • Customize your invitation (your flyer could appear similar to the one I created for Cooper above).
  • Share your invitation or flyer with your invitees – be sure to check out the FAQs for additional ways to spread the word and understand the impact of your fundraising.
  • Know that your fundraising can come in through your personalized fundraising page OR via check to GoodSports.org. Checks would include the party host’s name in the memo field.

In the last two years, almost every party my small people have attended has had a charitable component and I LOVE IT. I love that we are moving to a place where we are teaching our children to give, to help others and to find causes that matter to them. In our world, sports and kids MATTER. Making sure that the kids in the cities and states around us have the access and the opportunity to PLAY…well it matters and this is such a pure, beautiful and EASY way to make it happen.

Every $20 helps another child play basketball, play tennis, play baseball and softball. And it happens amidst a celebration.

Good begets good.

It is a beautiful thing.

Disclosure: I’m happy to tell you, the good folks at GoodSports reached out to me to ask if I would partner with them to share this program, knowing that sports is a big deal in my family – and I was happy to do it. As always, all thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and mine alone.