Archive for the ‘YOU can do it!’ Category

TUESDAY’S TIP: Halloween Fun!

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

(This is a special Blog Edition of TUESDAY’S TIP.  For more Tips and Tricks delivered right to you every week, please visit the Mix Mingle Glow Facebook Fan Page and “Like” us there!)

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Check out this super fun Halloween idea that my dear friend Heidi in Texas just shared with me!   Every year Heidi buys 2 super-giant-mondo-huge Hershey Bars.  About a week or two before Halloween, she tapes one of the bars to the inside of the window by her front door with a sign that says “WIN THIS ON HALLOWEEN!”.

Of course as her children’s friends come and go in the days leading up to October 31, the news spreads and her window is no doubt covered in tiny fingerprints and drool.  While tall tales of the fabled woman and her house-made-of-candy spin throughout the schoolyard, Heidi prepares by filling a basket with small folded pieces of plain white paper and adds a pumpkin drawing to a few pieces (actually, she uses a cute little galvanized bucket that’s been in her family for like 100 years -or something absolutely precious and meaningful like that – but you and I can just use a little ol’ wicker basket).

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Now, she did mention that you need to draw that pumpkin on the paper slip LIGHTLY, cuz you know who crafty those little goblins can be when it comes to trying to lay claim to a giant chocolate bar….anything too dark and they’ll see right through the paper!

Heidi buys two Hershey bars to give the kids more chances to win (they are about $2/each at Walmart right now) and gives the one NOT taped to her window away first.  Every trick-or-treater gets one chance to pick a winning ticket out of the bucket after they get their obligatory treat.  Since this is not an easy win, she does let every kid know that they can come back at the end of their trick-or-treating for another chance IF no one has won the candy bars by then (and no, you can’t come back and try again in ten minutes…she’s on to those sneaky spooks!).

I just think this is the cutest idea.  Heidi told me it has become quite a tradition in her neighborhood and she loves when the kids approaching her doorstep on Halloween have already heard about it and have been WAITING for their big chance to win!  So fun!  I personally can’t wait to introduce this great tradition to my neighborhood this year.

Do you have a fun Halloween tip or tradition that you’d like to share with the world?  Email me at robyn@mixmingleglow.com with your ideas and photos and maybe you’ll be the next reader to be featured here on the blog!

Save the Dates 2010

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Save the Dates are still a relatively new concept in weddings (they’ve really gained popularity over the last 10 years).  It is nice to give your guests a heads-up well in advance of when they’ll actually receive their invitations so that they can plan accordingly, especially if they are coming in from out of town and travel arrangements will need to be made.

Of course there are so many cute ideas for Save the Dates, but if you think the basic paper and ink routine is really soooo 2008, then don’t be discouraged.  Clever couples are doing everything from handstamping vintage hankies   (LOVE!) to having some serious photobooth fun.

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Of course you can buy things like magnets (except not everyone’s fridge is magnetic anymore) and calendar stickers as well.  These pens are a clever idea too!

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My personal favorite way to announce the Big News and ask family and friends to Save the Date is with a video.  You don’t have to be super fly with the camera or know how to do a bunch of special effects to make your video special (let’s face it….most of us are not like Dana and Hunter!).  A video is fun and sweet and you can email it to all your friends, post it on Facebook and Twitter and everyone will LOVE it!

Take a look at this adorable Save The Date I just received.  (The fact that I taught the Bride when she was in Kindergarten Sunday School is really not the point here…although I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how she went from being an adorable toothless five year old to this beautiful college graduate!).

Let’s Celebrate Our Mommy!

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

mothersdayparty.pngHope you had a lovely Mother’s Day.  I certainly did.  I just had to share with you the cutest thing my family did for me yesterday.  Now, I normally don’t feature anything about a holiday that has already passed…no need to torture you with what you COULD have done!  However, this is so cute and honestly could be used for anytime Mom deserves a special celebration (and let’s face it…when don’t we?).

Linnette is offering an entire Mother’s Day party printable download for FREE on her adorable website called Paper Glitter!  She is so talented (toy designer extraordinaire by day, graphic designer by night!) and generous…check out all the other freebies she offers on her site.  Linnette also has an Etsy shop where she offers loads more cute printable goods perfect for your next party or just to make any ordinary occasion special.

My husband printed out the items and my 3 daughters told me how much fun they had cutting and gluing all the pieces and setting the table especially for me!  With everyone wearing party hats that all say “Mommy” and cupcake flags that declare “Let’s Celebrate Our Mommy“, it was by far the sweetest Mother’s Day I’ve ever had!

Tuesday’s Tips

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

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Every Tuesday the super cool group of people who are fans of Mix Mingle Glow on Facebook get a little treat delivered right to them called Tuesday’s Tips.  It’s just a handy little tidbit of helpful info geared toward making your life a little easier.   Sometimes it’s something directly related to entertaining (an unbelievably easy recipe, a helpful website, tips on everything from cleaning to setting the table).  Sometimes it’s something so helpful in general that I want to share it to help you simplify your To Do List so you can have more time to enjoy the company of others.

Today’s Tip is this:  Get all the juice you can out of your lemons and limes! Microwave them for about 5 seconds and then roll them on the counter while firmly pushing down for about 10 seconds. Cut and squeeze and all you’ll leave behind is the rind…good to the last drop!!

To get your Tuesday’s Tips every week, come on over and join us!

photo source

Beautiful Bunko

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

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I am so excited to share these photos from a gorgeous Bunko night I was invited to.  The lovely hostess, Ellen, loves all things Lilly Pulitzer.  In fact, Ellen could literally be the FACE of the Lilly brand….she exudes warmth, kindness, happiness and, of course, preppiness in the way she acts, dresses and decorates her home.  So when she hosted a Girl’s Night at her home, she took the normal informal gathering and kicked it up a few notches!

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Using pink and green (with an occasional splash of lemony yellow), Ellen created a lovely dinner and dessert table.  Using blankets and sheets as table coverings, pretty flowers scattered around the house and touches of pastel paisley here and there, everything went together so beautifully!

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Even pink dice!!  So cute!

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In the back corner of the sun porch, an outdoor umbrella was perched, complete with lighting underneath…it was so unexpected and a very creative idea, don’t you think?

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Gifts for the winners of various categories were labeled in little white boxes.  She even framed the cute printed napkins… another adorable (and clever) touch on the tables!

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My favorite part of all was that our fabulous hostess asked all her guests to wear white for the evening.  (So very P Diddy of her!)  It was absolutely gorgeous and everyone had a wonderful time.

When hosting an “informal” gathering at your house, remember to:

—> Use what you already have (and what you LOVE!) and then fill in the gaps with small touches.

—> Carry your theme out to the very last detail.  There is rarely such a thing as too much (it takes a lot of decor for guests to “get it”).

—> Don’t be afraid to ask guests to wear a certain color or style to add to the overall theme

—> Wow your guests with something completely unexpected for a sure-fire conversation starter

Gift Closet How-To!

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

giftcloset11.jpg A few years ago, weary from running to the store every Saturday morning to find a gift for one of the 750 birthday parties we attend each weekend, I decided it was time for a change.  I decided to create a Gift Closet…one that would be well stocked with just enough hostess, birthday, anniversary, housewarming and teacher gifts to keep me prepared for the next event.

It took a while to get the closet to where I feel ready at a moment’s notice, and it does require a bit of updating, but once it was set up, I didn’t stress over last minute party invitations.  Here are some tips for you to get started on your own:

First, consider your greatest gift-giving needs.  Because I have 3 daughters, children’s birthday parties are a huge part of our lives right now.  At some point the oldest one stopped getting invited to boy parties (ewwww), but the two younger ones still do, so I consider the age and gender of the gifts I anticipate we will need to have on hand.  We currently have some cool Spiderman and Superman items for boys, but we also have art supplies, a couple fun stuffed animals, books, and DVDs, which are all perfect for a boy or a girl.  In the event of a very girly-girl, there are some fun Hello Kitty things, pretty jewelry sets and makeup kits.  For the bigger girls, I have a couple of items that are perfect to have personalized like denim bags and beach towels.  I just call one of the ladies in town who monograms a few days in advance and we are good to go!

Also, I often need” just a little something” for my girlfriends who host dinner or some other gathering, so a smattering of hostess gifts are included.  Bottles of wine and wine stoppers, cute ruffly aprons, sets of coffees and flavored syrups, Mom’s Organizers, scented candles, favorite books and CDs are perfect.

Of course over the years I have also included a few gifts that can be used for a variety of friends like mystery novels, moleskin journals, sports items, grill accessories and frames.

Keep your eye out for sale items, as well as the ever-so-popular Dollar Spot in Target and Michael’s.  And if you live near an IKEA, well….lucky you!  I find I can put several inexpensive items together so that it makes a rather impressive basket of themed goodies.  In the event that I purchase something that needs to be returned but I don’t get around to it (ugh) or have misplaced the receipt (ugh), items have been known to make their way into the Gift Closet that way, too.  Sometimes when I’m traveling I’ll come across something for the Closet (like the time the Four Seasons gave me an extra pair of very cozy slippers to keep).  Sales are the BEST place to look.  Keep your eyes peeled and once you get into the habit of looking, you’ll know a good Gift Closet item as soon as you see it.

Here are a few other inexpensive ideas to get you started:

reusable water bottles

baking/cooking supplies (this is great for children too!  Throw in a cake or brownie mix and it’s a big hit!)

board games

baby items

seasonal items on clearance (holiday, warm/cold weather related things)

gardening kits (seed packs, gloves pretty pots)

notecards, gel pens & stamps

crayons, coloring books & markers

small tool kits

“spa” items (facial masques, pretty polish, foot soaks, bath items)

 perpetual calendars (especially the inspirational/thought/word/joke-a-day kind)

Keep some wrapping paper, tape, ribbon and scissors on a shelf in or near the closet, along with small blank gift cards and you’ll be ready go.  My girls LOVE to “go shopping” in the gift closet and I always feel prepared when we are blessed enough to be invited to celebrate any occasion with  our friends.

Do you have a Gift Closet?  I’d love to know what items you keep on hand and any tips you can share too! 

How I Celebrated My Birthday (aka 38 Random Acts of Robyn)

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

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***Due to the awesome, unexpected response since I originally posted this, I have started  The Birthday ProjectThe website is www.thebdayproject.com and we have started a great community of amazing like-minded people on Facebook too (please jump over to “Like” it and say “HI!”.)  Thanks!***

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago my birthday wish was to complete one Random Act of Kindness for every year of my life thus far, as well as asking friends, readers, Facebook fans and fellow Twitter-ers to each perform one Random Act of Kindness and to let me know about it throughout the day.

I planned out 38 things ahead of time just in case, but really was praying for opportunities to present themselves throughout the day. It was absolutely freezing and windy but we were not to be deterred!  My husband, three daughters and my husband’s parents joined me in the most favorite birthday of my life!

OUR 38 ACTS:

1.  Returned grocery carts back inside the store from the parking lot for shoppers.

raok1.jpg 2.  Loaded bags of groceries into cars for shoppers (received a hug from one adorable elderly man).

raok2.jpg 3.  Handed bottled waters out the car window to joggers/walkers/bicyclists we passed by (felt like we were support for the Iron Man triathalon or something…lots of laughs from people on this one).

4.  Inconspicuously dropped coins on the playground for children to find while they played (my girls are really good at this apparently.  No, no one choked on a random found penny.  Yes, LOTS of squeals of delight floated through the air as we walked away!)

5.  Fed parking meters.

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6.  Paid for the  next two cars behind us on the toll bridge. (Toll operator said, “You gotta be kidding me”).

7.  Handed out Tootsie Pops to children (asked parents permission first of course!).

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8.  Bought a gift card for groceries and turned around  and handed it to woman in line behind me.  I wasn’t prepared for the look on her face.  I immediately left before I started to cry.

9.  Walked up to a family eating lunch at a local restaurant, placed a gift card on their table and walked out.

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10.  Dropped off several hand written thank you notes and doughnuts at the police station.

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11.  Gave a dozen hot doughnuts to a very cold crew working on the power lines.

raok7.jpg 12.  Took  a large bag of clothes to the local homeless shelter.

13.  Left 3 gift cards with notes hidden amongst books at Barnes & Noble.

14.  Paid for the woman’s coffee behind us in line at Starbucks.

15. Chased down and caught runaway Happy Birthday balloon and returned it to the owner’s unlocked car (then secretly watched as he returned and was completely baffled at the balloon sitting in his front seat!)

16.  Tucked happy notes in car doors in parking lot wishing people a good day full of God’s blessings.

raok8.jpg 17.  Handed out mylar balloons to children shopping with their parents.

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18.  Took art supplies to the Family Waiting Room of labor & delivery floor of the hospital for new big brothers and sisters to be.

19.  Dropped off stuffed animals on the children’s floor of the hospital.

raok10.jpg 20.  Delivered balloons to hospital patients.

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21.  Handed out water bottles to very appreciative nurses (who knew they were so thirsty?).

22.  Taped change to vending machines (I actually saw passersby stop and take pictures of the machines without taking the money).

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23.  Pumped woman’s gasoline so she didn’t have to get out of her car in the cold.  (We also added a bottle of some sort of additive since she asked. I should find out what that stuff was.  I never add stuff to my gas tank.)

24.  Left quarters at a laundromat.

25.  Delivered handwritten Valentine cards to the local assisted living facility.

raok13.jpg 26.  Phone card to young woman in need. (I asked the owner of a store I frequent if he knew of any customers who might need it and he got a big smile on his face.  He looked at the girl working there and told me she had just confided in him yesterday that she couldn’t afford her minutes on her cell phone to call her family back home.  It was a suuuper cool moment.)

27.  Handed out hot chocolate at ice skating rink.

raok15.jpg 28.  Left free Krispy Kreme doughnut coupons on coffee table at church.

29.  Gave coffee to a toll booth worker on our way home.  (He seemed the least affected or appreciative of the day.  I feel like he might have needed it the most of everyone.)

30.  Walked into McDonald’s and asked the cashier to use my free coupon on next person in drive through line.

31.   Wrote a letter to old friend and mailed it (yeah, the total old fashioned way).

32.  Took plates of cookies to 2 neighbors I don’t really know and spent some time talking with them (no, I did not bake them myself but no one seemed to care).

33.   Read a story to children in Barnes & Noble (I think people thought I worked there!  The kids liked it and the parents loved it!).  BONUS:  My 8 year old daughter found a little guy and read him a book too.

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34.  Took pictures of two tourists in front of Hard Rock Cafe and a family in the park.

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35.  Brought in the neighbor’s garbage can for them.

36.  Gathered a newspaper that a woman who’s hands were full dropped at the grocery store.

37.  Left a small treat with a note of thanks for the mailman.

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38.  Read an entire Junie B. Jones book (all 9 chapters) to my children before bed, instead of the usual two chapters.  (Happy girls indeed!)

**************************************************************************

I was overwhelmed by the number of texts, emails, Facebook messages and Tweets I received from family, friends, colleagues and people I don’t even know, telling me a Random Act of Kindness they did in honor of my birthday.  I cried several times throughout the day from how touched I was.  Here are the great RAOK other’s did:

Jeanette:  I am so glad to hear that you had an amazing birthday!  My ROAK – My assistant teacher was having a rough week so I baked her a box of her favorite cookies… Snickerdoodles!!

Heidi: we collected old towels, washcloths and newspapers and am donating them to the local animal shelter!

Debbie: Just paid for the order for the car behind me at the drive thru lane….

Kimberly: Happy Bday! We just taught an older lady how to use the automated postal machine from start to finish ;o) (everyone deserves to learn how to avoid the postal line!!!)

Will
:  Called a new colleague to tell her a press release had a major typo on it before it went any further! Handled it graciously and with understanding that we all make mistakes.

Becky:  Happy Birthday Robyn! I let someone use my discount card at the grocery store since they didn’t have one…not major, but I thought of you and smiled! Hope you get all of your Random Acts of Kindness fulfilled! Enjoy your day! Xoxo

Deanne
: I didn’t kick the %$#* out of someone who drove me crazy tonite~~~ does that count?

Sandi
:  I collected something from Freecycle (electric Hannukah menorah) that I donated to an Adult Living Facility. I know that they prefer electric over real candles. Does that count towards your 38? I love your post!

Heidi
:  In honor of your birthday i cleaned out our closets and have donated 7 garbage bags of clothing to haiti!! (this was on my radar and i needed a little incentive, thank you!) happy birthday sweet friend!

Traci: We bought a box full of medical supplies, food, etc to donate to Haiti. O. was thrilled to help me pick out band-aids, gauze pads, tape, etc. Love you friend…hope you had the best birthday ever!! XOXO ♥

Mara: Happy Birthday Robyn!  A. and I are making valentine cards to send to the military troops today! Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

Shandra: My random act was that I just paid for the bridge tolls of strangers behind me in line coming back from Logan airport. :) Also gave the toll taker a coffee from Dunkin Donuts. It’s WICKED cold here today. :)

Stacy: This pay it forward thing is an amazing idea. Wow. I am going to have to do this on my next bday. You have inspired me!!! Giving away free food randomlly to people at our (pizza) place today in your honor…probably shouldn’t say where, huh? xoxo

Lara
:  Today we spent the morning at the school doing yardwork and then came home and cleaned out closet/garage and donated everything to The Bargin Box!!!

Cameron
: I let a mother with two squirmy kiddos ahead of me in line, even though she had way too much stuff :)

Lynn:  Does it count if the lady next to us in “Avatar” was crying her head off and I gave her some tissues? She was most grateful…:)

Nicolle: My RAOK in honor of your Birthday…but, before I share, I have to say that you have started a tradition…and I, too, will use this request on my Birthday in August! I just LOVE this, Robyn…it is right up my alley and has filled me up today with good cheer and warm vibes and in turn has brightened the worlds of complete strangers~ matter-of-fact, I had such fun doing so, that I did it twice today! Ok, ready?
RAOK #1: Walked up to an elderly man in the mall today and simply smiled, asked if I could bless him and was surprised to find how open he was to the occassion…rested my hand on his shoulder, said a silent prayer, smiled and told him he was a special addition to this world of ours~ he, in turn, had tears and a smirk all in one. My heart was fulfilled~
RAOK #2: On the way home, stopped in 7-11, a little girl was glaring at the big cookies…asked her Mommy if I could, she said yes, so we (D. delivered) bought her a BIG GIANORMOUS cookie and some milk to go with it….D.’s little heart was fulfilled and his cheeks were rosy~
Thank you, Robyn!!! YOU, my friend, have made MY day! I adore you! HAPPY BIRTHDAY all over again!!! xoxo

Lara:  My raok today, I bought coffee for the man behind me at Starbucks today!! And I just read that you did the same thing! How fun!

Amy:  Bought tea for the lady behind me in line at the coffee shop declaring “it’s Robyn’s RAOK day.” Granted she has no idea what that means but my new friend, Betsy, declared that I must be the nicest person in the whole city. : ) I do stuff like this at the Holidays all the time. Thanks for the reminder to keep it going all year long. Love to you! (And I’m totally stealing this for my 38th in 2 weeks!)

Alexandra
:  In your honor, spent 2 hrs counseling a past acquaintance in his new walk with the Lord. Happy Birthday….

Claire: Hey Robyn- RAOK took $40.00 worth of quarters into Magic Kastle Laundromat and asked the lady behind the counter to pass out to all customers for a day of free laundry. Guess great minds think alike!

Diana:  WOW ROBYN! I have never been so excited to have my Bday! You have inspired our whole day! My husband got involved we cleaned my 96 yr old great grandmothers house then went grocery shopping for my cousin who is currently unemployed! My acts werent randon but they were kind! Thank so much for a wonderful day!HaPpY BiRtHdAy my friend!

Michelle
: had to call a maintenance guy out to my place yesterday (friend of a friend) – his 7yr old daughter was tagging along with him everywhere on Sat – when I realized I didn’t have any goodies for her, I stepped out & bought some Little Debbie Zebra Cakes & her very own bottle of milk – when I brought them back they were both blushing & smiling when they received them – the whole time I was thinking about your day! Thanks Robyn. B-)

Laura: RAOK We boxed our pizza up and handed it to two guys on the street in NYC. They were so excited.

Corinne
: I pushed wayward grocery carts up to the front of the store so the bag guys/gals didn’t have to.  :)

Carlos:  RAOK – A boy came to the house selling chocolate bars so that he could earn money for him and his baseball team to go to Cooperstown. When I paid him, instead of picking out the bars I wanted, I told him to take what he wanted for himself. His face lit up! Not the biggest deal, but it was nice for him. And plus, it was for baseball!

Lynn:  While visiting the freezing cold restroom at the Outlet Mall, I realized that the lady cleaning the area must really need lunch and a hot cup of coffee. Her sweet face and shocked response when I handed her the cash REALLY made my day! Thanks for inspiring us, Robyn!

Sean:  After purchasing our tickets at the theatre, we purchased the next in line’s tix too! The Mom and her two teenagers were completely floored. “WHAT??? WHY????” then…”thank you so much, thank you!!!” We were giddy with having made their day and saved them a buck or two!

Joanna
:  Our random act of kindness on Saturday in honor of your birthday… At R.’s cheerleading competition we met a girl from Pensacola who was competing as an individual. Her coach, her family and her friends weren’t able to go to the competition, so she didn’t have anyone to cheer her on. We all yelled our lungs out for her. She placed 1st in her division :) Happy Birthday Miss Robyn!

Kylene: Inspired by your RAOK so I paid for the ladies’ coffee behind me at Starbucks this morning. She seemed excited. :)

Julie: In honor of your bday I treated the stranger behind me @ Starbucks to their morning coffee. Thanks for the inspiration!

Amy
:  Just bought gift card for lady behind me @DSW shoes. :)
Lindsay: not that creative but I paid for a girls cookie at the great cookie co at the mall:)

Amanda
: RAOK – paid for the person’s meal in the car behind us.

Michelle:  Hi Robyn – hope ur having a great wkend!  Reached out 2 a troubled teen 2day-thx 4 the inspriration

Kate:  I paid for the next two people behind me at the coffee shop this morning in honor of your bday.

Elisha:  I’m organizing an event with friends to help raise money for a friend that has lost 5 members of her family in Haiti and is trying to get money together to send to other family members who are in need of a tents that are ranging in price from $500 -$700 each.

Kylene: Me & my hubby took pictures for 6 different groups of people at Millenium Park in Chicago yesterday. We’re both photogs. ;)

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CELEBRATED WITH ME.  With the exception of my wedding day and the days I gave birth to my children, my 38th birthday was by far the best day of my life.  We were both exhilarated and exhausted but mostly reminded how opportunities to help others are all around us all the time; we’re just usually too busy to notice.  And thank you again, Kimberly, for the inspiration.  You, my dear, are the original Rockstar!

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