• Check out Chief Family Officer's Valentine's Day Pinterest board for fun crafts, party ideas, recipes, and more!
  • Recently read and enjoyed: The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too) by Gretchen Rubin
  • Enter for a chance to win a Mystery Box Full of Goodies!

  • $10 Donation Challenge: Anyone want to join me?

    There are some amazing deals going on at Ralphs right now, so I’ve decided to see how much food I can purchase to donate for $10. I’m looking for holiday staples like stuffing mix, stock, and cranberries, but also basics like pasta and sugar. I’ll be giving this food to a Thanksgiving food drive that ends on Friday (11/2 11/9). How much can I buy by then?

    Many of the items I plan to purchase are part of the Mega Sale, which requires purchases in groups of 10, so I’ll be mixing my own purchases with items intended for donation to maximize savings. It’ll be a little more work to track, since I can’t just take a $10 bill into the store and spend it at once, but I’ll update this post with a tally of my purchases throughout the week.

    Does anyone want to join me?

    Update: You can see my donation challenge purchases here.

    The 29-Day Giving Challenge: Final Thoughts

    My 29-Day Giving Challenge ended yesterday on a sad note, but overall, the experience was an extremely positive one. The challenge showed me that I can find opportunities to give if I just look for them. It also reminded me of how much fun it is to give a random surprise gift just for the sake of giving.

    I did find that the challenge grew tiresome if I hadn’t already planned a gift and I didn’t spend the day constantly looking for a giving opportunity. Then I found myself at the computer just before bedtime racking my brain for something to give to someone. Fortunately, that only happened a couple of times, but I have to admit that in some respects, I’m glad the challenge is over.

    What’s changed? I’ve discovered that giving is like a muscle, in that the more you give, the stronger the urge to keep giving. Even though the challenge is over, I will now always be on the lookout for opportunities to give a gift, no matter how big or small. And I know that the size of the gift doesn’t really matter . . . what really matters is the act of giving itself.

    The 29-Day Giving Challenge: Day 29

    Today was Day 29 of my 29-Day Giving Challenge. I’m ending this challenge the same way I started it off: by passing on some clothes my youngest has outgrown to a colleague who’s expecting a baby boy.

    I was going to share some thoughts about the challenge, but instead of writing, I spent most of the day thinking about my friend J. For a while, we kept in touch in spurts – we’d talk several times during the same week, and then not talk for months. A few years ago, she moved several hundred miles away and we’ve pretty much kept in touch via sporadic email exchanges and Christmas cards. Today I found out that her husband was killed in an accident yesterday. It’s really hit me hard because they have two boys, just like us. The youngest is just two months older than my oldest, so J. and I were pregnant at the same time. J.’s oldest is about three years older than them. And I get teary every time I think of her boys having to grow up without their dad.

    Unfortunately, I only met J.’s husband once. So I can’t do what I really wish I could do, which is write down some memories that they can read when they’re older and have a little piece of their dad back.

    Since J. and I aren’t that close, I’m a little at a loss as to what I can do for her. I did send out a note today that included some money. I have no idea what their financial situation is, whether her husband had adequate life insurance, etc. But even if he did, it will probably take a little while for the policy to pay out. So I wrote that she should use the money for whatever she needs, or she could add it to the boys’ college fund. I may also be contributing to a group gift later, but we’ll have to see about that.

    I just wish that I could give more.

    The 29-Day Giving Challenge: Day 28

    Today was Day 28 of my 29-Day Giving Challenge. I realized that I hadn’t given Marc anything during this challenge, so I bought him a little something (I’m bummed they were out of Boba Fett, though).

    Since tomorrow is the last day of the challenge, I’ll wrap it up with some thoughts about giving.

    The 29-Day Giving Challenge: Day 27

    Today was Day 27 of my 29-Day Giving Challenge. I sent my parents a little gift to let them know that we’re thinking about them.

    I have to admit, the end of this challenge is getting a little weary. I seem to be running out of steam!

    The 29-Day Giving Challenge: Day 26

    Today was Day 26 of my 29-Day Giving Challenge. Today was really easy, since it’s Mother’s Day. In addition to the flowers for both our moms that I ordered the other day, we gave my mother-in-law Madonna’s new CD.