Thursday, February 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday: I Used to be Skinny

Megan over at Just a Small Town Girl is hosting a Throwback Thursday Link Up today.  I've written some pretty long posts this week, so I thought this would be a little fun thing to throw in there.  You should check out her blog and link up too!

Throwback Thursday

I went through the (limited amount of) old photos that I have on my computer and discovered something... I used to be skinny! I even have some pictures to prove it... too bad they are all before the age of say, 5... There were a couple of pictures from my later elementary school years, and it looks like I was already plumping up by first grade.

Here I am, dressed in my Sunday Best, obviously getting ready to go to church, with Bible in hand. (But someone should have told me to sit a little more lady like, huh?)

I've always had those chubby cheeks, but it looks like they run in our family, because Parker and Maggie both have them too!

Here's another pic, taken somewhere before 1990 or 1991... so I was probably 5 at the time. My first reaction to this picture is "What was I wearing?!"

Apparently, I was trying to be a little fashionista. I'm not too sure about that one piece romper (complete with fake suspenders?) thing that I'm wearing, but I'm kinda digging those red accessories. And how forward thinking of me to pair turquoise and red! My second reaction to this picture is "Look at that eye roll!" Guess what people... that eye roll has never gone away... I still do that (unconsciously) today.

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words... today, these pictures are saying, "Oh to be skinny five again!"

*****
Ady from When In Doubt Just Add Glitter told me about another Throwback Thursday link up, so I'm linking up with them too! 


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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Direct Sales: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly


Yesterday, I was driving home from school, and I was thinking about my blog post: 10 Reasons Why I Love Working in Direct Sales. I thought about how someone who was reading it might think that it was all too good to be true. I thought about how it might come off as "pushy" or just overly positive. Then, I started thinking about the bad aspects of our business, and because I'm all about openness and honesty 'round here in these blog parts, I decided that I would share some of them with you in today's follow up post.  So here you have it... Direct Sales: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, as told by a Tupperware Consultant of (nearly) 5 years. 

The Good

I pretty much covered the good great things about my job in direct sales yesterday.  But in case you are too lazy don't want to click to read the whole post, here's a brief recap. 
  • I LOVE being my own boss.
  • I LOVE working on my own schedule.
  • I LOVE that I can 'work' my business when I want to.
  • I LOVE having fun at work. 
  • I LOVE meeting new people.
  • I LOVE sharing our product and business opportunity. 
  • I LOVE being a part of other people's success.
  • I LOVE being recognized for a job well done.
  • I LOVE working with other Consultants. 
  • I LOVE making more Money!

The Bad

  • Sales is a lot of hard work. Shocker, I know... but to make money, you actually have to work.  When your business kit arrives at your door, there is no magic "poof" that automatically lines your pockets with money. Building a customer base, a party line up and a team are hard work.  Some people aren't willing to put the time and the effort into a direct sales business. Therefore, they make no money, and often end up with a bad taste about direct sales in their mouths. I've seen it happen over and over. 
  • It can be a slow process. Like I've said before, it has taken me almost 5 years to get to the point where I am really dedicated to my business. Remember reading that "Sales is a lot of hard work." bullet point right up there?  Yeah, I didn't do that, so things have moved kind of slow. The majority of the time, it takes a little bit of time before people start making serious money with a direct sales business.  Promotions take time too.  Sometimes, there is that person that opens up that kit box, hits the ground running and gets off to a phenomenal start. We love those kind of people, but chances are, it's going to take some time before the money comes rolling in. It takes patience, and some people just don't have that.  They think that they didn't make any money in the first month, so direct sales just isn't for them. 
  • It can be overwhelming. New catalog coming out? New sales specials? Host specials? Special challenges? Keeping track of personal sales, team sales? Encouraging your team to grow?  All of that, all at the same time can be overwhelming! It takes good organizational skills and time management.  I've not perfected it, yet, but I'm working on it. Many people do not succeed in this industry because they feel like they are swamped. I get it. 
  • There is competition. And there is a lot of it... Not only are you in competition with other direct sellers from your same company, but now a days, there are a ton of direct sales companies available.  People sell everything from kitchen products to sex toys, candles to self defense items, pet items to jeans... all through direct selling, party plan businesses. (cough:Tupperware was first: cough) People can't party all of the time... that's understandable. You have to find a group of people that love your product and party with those people. Then, you have to make yourself and your company stand out. 

The Ugly

  • Sometimes, people suck. I hate to burst any bubbles here, but sometimes, people just plain suck. Direct sales business rely on you dealing with a lot of people.  Not all of those people are going to do what they say they are.  They will cancel parties. They will not order when they say they are.  They might unfriend you on Facebook. You might alienate some people because they are afraid of the "big bad direct seller." It's sad, but it will probably happen. People who you thought were your friends might not really be your friends. 
  • Not everyone likes {insert your product here}. As much as direct sales consultants don't understand this, at the end of the day, there will be some people who just do not like your product. I face this from time to time. There seems to be a growing trend of people disowning plastic products and switching to glass.  While that's disappointing for me, that's their prerogative. Sell candles? There will be people that don't like them.  Sell food? Yep, even that, people will turn down. Such is life. 
  • Some people aren't social. I know right? Who doesn't like to get together with their friends to socialize? There are those people out there who look at you like a turd in a punch bowl* when you even mention the word party. They will throw every excuse in the book at you as to why they simply cannot have a party. When you run into those people, you just have to keep going. As much as we'd love to share our awesome products with them, they just aren't having it. They'd rather sit at home and play FarmVille or whatever the latest Facebook game craze is by themselves, eating cereal on the couch out of their Dollar Tree plastic crap, because they just aren't social. 
  • Disappointments are a certainty. You will have off months. You will have canceled parties. You will have people that sign up under you to sell that don't even put in one order. You will have disappointments, it is inevitable.  What you do with those disappointments, will define your business. It is easy to just say "Oh well, no one wants this stuff," and give up. I've been there.  I've thought about quitting.  But, when you take the disappointments in stride, and keep going, you will succeed. 
  • You have to step outside of your comfort zone. Everyone has one.  For me, it is walking up to complete strangers, and making phone calls.  You have to step outside of that comfort zone and make your business grow.  Your success is only predetermined by your effort. I have to keep telling myself this one over and over.  It's hard to do something (like make phone calls) that you don't like to do. Tupperware ladies that have been doing this for years, swear by making phone calls. They've built a business doing it. If you can't leave that happy, easy place, where everyone is comfortable, and do something a little edgy (if you can say that making a phone call is edgy) once in a while, then you might not do well at direct sales. 
So there you have it... Direct Sales is really not as bad as people make it out to be.  If you are with a company that is solid, and well respected, there will be people that will help you along the way. If something sounds too good to be true, it might be.  Do your research to find out what company you best fit with. I'd love for everyone to sell Tupperware, but I know other things work for other people.  As always, if you have questions, let me know! 

*My friend, Holly, used this expression the other day and I thought it was hilarious!  I promised her that I would work it into my next blog post and credit her. :) 

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

10 Reasons Why I Love Working in Direct Sales

For almost 5 years now, I've been a Tupperware Consultant. For most of that time, I was also working full time for a major corporation. In October of last year, I decided that I was done with Corporate America and that I was going to focus on finishing my degree and building my Tupperware business. I knew that I was going to eventually leave my job to complete my teaching internship, but I still needed income. My options were to go and find another job to make money or to use the tools that I already had and make money selling Tupperware.  I chose the latter, and I have never been more happy while working. I was thinking the other day about why this business makes me so happy, so I decided to write about the top 10 reason why I love working in direct sales, as opposed to holding a 'traditional' job. 

  1. I LOVE being my own boss.  There is no one telling me what time to go to work, or what days I have to be at work. There is no one to tell me that my idea is silly or that it will cost too much for the company. There is no one to tell me that I need to do something different. I make the decisions about how I want to run my business. I decide when to work, what time to work, and how to work. Any idea that I have, I can implement any time that I want. 
  2. I LOVE working on my own schedule. The flexibility that comes with working in direct sales is one of the biggest reasons that people join our industry. I love that on days or nights that I have class, I can schedule "off time." I don't have to worry about handing over my class schedule to someone else to work around it. On days that I want to spend with my family, I can. I don't have to worry about missing important things because of work. 
  3. I LOVE that I can 'work' my business when I want to. This one might sound like the previous one, but I will explain... When I need extra income, I simply schedule more parties. When I need to take a break to focus on other things, I can work a little less. I can a week or two off and not schedule parties if I need to work on a school project. I don't have to worry about my job not being there when I need it again. As long as I maintain my active status, Tupperware is there for me to 'work' when I need to. 
  4. I LOVE having fun at work. We have this saying, "Every time I go to work, It's a Party!" That is so true! I have the most fun at my parties.  I love when the group really gets involved in the demonstration and they are having fun too. When I was working in my old job, I hated going to work. I could not wait until the end of the day.  Work drained me and stressed me out. Now, I look forward to going to work.  It makes a difference when you are doing something that you love. 
  5. I LOVE meeting new people. Party plan businesses allow the consultants to meet lots of wonderful people. When you are working a 'traditional' job, you see the same people every single day. At almost every party, I meet amazing people that I've never known before. I love meeting them and learning a little bit about them.  When I work vendor events and festivals, I meet hundreds of people. I love interacting with so many different people. 
  6. I LOVE sharing our product and business opportunity. I can talk for hours about Tupperware. I've done entire parties talking about just one product line. I believe in our products and I love sharing them with other people. We have some of the most innovative products that serve so many purposes from organization to food prep. I also love sharing our business opportunity. As much as I love talking about the products, I love sharing what being a Tupperware Consultant has done for my life. I'm so happy when people ask me about my job and inquire about starting their own business. 
  7. I LOVE being a part of other people's success. I really like helping people start their own Tupperware business. More than helping people get started, I love helping them be successful. There is no greater joy in this job than seeing a person who you've shared the opportunity with succeed.  I imagine, it is much like watching your child take their first steps or listening to their first words. I love knowing that because of me, people are realizing some of their dreams. 
  8. I LOVE being recognized for a job well done. There is so much recognition involved when you do well in direct sales.  Not only does the company celebrate your successes, but your Directors and other consultants celebrate with you as well.  When you work a 'traditional' job, there is not a lot of people telling you that they are proud of you, or giving you free things just for doing your job (at least not where I worked). I've earned so many awesome rewards just for doing what I am supposed to do. Free products, business supplies, and other prizes just scratch the surface. I'm currently working on an all expense paid trip to Hollywood. Whether it is something as elaborate as a free trip, or something as simple as seeing your name on a list of top consultants, the feeling of knowing that people are sharing in your excitement that your business is thriving is inspiring. 
  9. I LOVE working with other Consultants. My fellow Tupperware Consultants are a great group of people. I love working with them. They are creative and full of ideas to help other consultants.  I learn so much from other people in direct sales. I love being a part of a group of like minded people who share the common goal of sharing Tupperware with the world. The consultants in my Organization have become like my family. 
  10. I LOVE making more Money! Money is the bottom line, right? Because my business has grown and I am working it more than ever, I am making more money than I was at my full time 'traditional' job. I love knowing that the money I'm making is directly affected by the work that I'm doing and not what someone else says is what I should make. The more I work, and the harder I work, the more money I make. Since I left my job last year, I've been making more money than I was while working there. More money for less work and less stress? I'll take it! 
The perks and benefits of having your own direct sales business are endless.  I love that you can begin your own business for a small investment and that your life could change. If you are interested in learning more about Tupperware or beginning your own Tupperware business, feel free to send me a message. (See my contact info for ways to get a hold of me.) Right now, we have an amazing offer that ends this week!  You can begin your own business for only $30! I'd love to have you on my team! 


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Monday, February 18, 2013

Conversations With My Nephew

One of the most amazing things about being an Aunt is watching Parker and Maggie grow up and hit milestones.  Seeing all of the things that they are learning to do is mind boggling. I know that these kids aren't my own, but I love them like they are, and if you would hear me talk about them, without knowing, you would probably think that I was talking about my own children. I love the stages of life that they are in right now.  Maggie is a little over 6 months old and is sitting up and laughing at everything.  Parker is a little over 2 and a half, and this kid makes me laugh every single time that I'm around him.

One of the most interesting things about the stage that Parker is now is having conversations with him.  He has the memory of an elephant, so we often hear stories about things that happened weeks or even months ago. For the longest time, my sister was afraid that Parker wasn't going to talk until he was much older, mostly because she was comparing him to our cousin's twin girls, who talked a lot earlier than Parker did. Well, once he started talking, there was no stopping him!  For a while, we couldn't understand anything that he was saying, but now, he's talking in full sentences and you can actually have a conversation with him.  The first time that we actually talked on the phone was such a sweet day for me. Because let me tell you... this boy definitely has my heart.


I took that picture right after Parker sat at his desk (the same desk I sat at as a kid) and said to me "I write Crystal's face!"

I love that when he talks to me, he calls me "Crystal," but when I ask him what my name is, he enthusiastically says "Aunt Crystal." He loves talking about trucks and race cars. He loves talking about his baby sister. Maggie is "his baby," and he will argue with you if you try to tell him differently. 

A rare occurrence happened this weekend... it snowed.  It was so fun to hear him talk about the snow.  When it started coming down, we were at my Mama's house.  He said "It's snowing! White snow!  It's stuck on Crystal's car... we need to wash it off!"  Then he wanted to know if it was snowing at his house.  When I showed him a picture of a house near his, he excitedly said "Snowing at my house!  Look baby! Snow!" It was so cute! When he actually went out in the snow for a minute, I think he was a little scared of it. 


Perhaps, my favorite conversation, to date, with Parker happened on Saturday.  He dumped a whole box of puzzle pieces on the floor and I asked him to pick them up and put them back in the box, because he obviously wasn't interested in playing with them.  He quickly put one piece back in the box and then said "Help me Crystal!" To which I replied, "I didn't help you dump then out Parker.  You can pick them up." He came back with "I'm cleaning up my best Crystal." Oh, be still my heart!

I'm so lucky that I live close to my sister and her children.  A lot of Aunts don't have that luxury.  I look forward to many more conversations with my nephew. I'm always wondering what he is going to say next!

*****
Today I'm linking up with these fabulous ladies. 




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Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Favorites: Favorite Fonts - Script Edition


I have a little bit of a confession to make... I'm a font hoarder.  I LOVE downloading new fonts onto my computer.  I can spend hours scouring dafont.com looking through pages and pages of fonts.  Something about seeing words in pretty fonts makes my heart happy.  So, dear readers, I have decided that I am going to start sharing some of my favorites with you!  Wanna know the best part about these fonts?  They're all FREE!  Who doesn't love pretty free things? Am I right?  So, every so often, I will pick a group of 10 fonts to share here on the blog in a little series I like to call... 
Doesn't looking at the graphic just make you happy?  I will try to group them in similar categories and then give you the links where you can download these fonts for yourself.  Today's category is Script fonts.  I love a good script.  I like something that is pretty easy to read, but beautiful at the same time.  Some of these are more decorative than others, but overall, they are easy to read and look great as decorative fonts. 


These 10 are just the beginning!  I have a ton of fonts saved to share... What are some of your favorite fonts?  

*****
Congratulations to the Winners of the Tupperware Gift Certificates!  $50 Winner: Michelle R. $25 Winners: Courtney B. and Autumn C. Winners have been notified by email! Thanks to everyone who entered! 
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Stuck in Singledom?

Disclaimer: This is not going to be your typical flowers, hearts and puppy dogs Valentine's Day post. Why? Because it's just not. This post has taken me a long time to write, and it's been hard y'all... real hard. Harder than writing it? Living it. If you're looking for a post full love lovey dovey kittens and sparkles today, you might want to come back and read this post tomorrow!
Source
I started writing this post around the end of January. January 25th is an anniversary of sorts for me.  On that day in 2007, I called of my wedding and re-entered the world of Singledom. I don't think that I've ever written the whole story of why that relationship ended on this blog, and I won't go into all of the specifics now.  What it all boiled down to was that I settled. Sure, he did some very mean things to me, and in the end it wasn't pretty, but I should have seen the red flags a lot earlier than I did. I was young, and more in love with the idea of being in love, than I was in love with the person who I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

Six years later, I am still single. I learned so much about myself after that last break up, and through countless therapy sessions. The one thing that I promised myself that I would never do again is settle. I was not going to become one of those women that jump from relationship to relationship just to be able to say that they have a boyfriend. (Admit it, you've all seen the type on Facebook.)  As much as I want a boyfriend, I'm not going to be with just anyone just so that the want is fulfilled.  So, I guess you could say that I've stayed single by choice.  Maybe...

As much as I don't want to settle, the other part of me wants a boyfriend so badly... and not just wants a boyfriend, but wants to be in a good, loving relationship.  I read a book sometime last year and my favorite quotes from it is "Because at a certain point, it stops being strange to be the last single woman on the block. It just begins to hurt."  It is so true... and that's what I feel like... the last single woman on the block.  Every female in my family is now married...with kids, and when you're the oldest of all of the cousins and you don't have that, it hurts.  With each new engagement, every new wedding and then each new pregnancy announcement a little part of me died. Was I happy for them?  Absolutely. But, I think that part of my human nature always thought, 'when is my turn coming?'

So why am I still single?  That's a question that seems to be popular with guys on online dating sites when they message me.  I always give them the 'settling' answer because, in part, that is the truth.  I've been on a few dates with guys, and I've realized right away that things weren't going to work out, so I didn't continue to waste my time.  So what's the other part?  Here goes...

A few months after I ended things with Will, I met another guy. Granted, I was not looking to start a new relationship right away, and neither was he.  In all honesty, our relationship was meant to just be a hookup. However, the moment that I met this guy, I knew that he was different.  Something about him was different than all of the other guys that I had met and been involved with in my life. I didn't know what it was, or what it meant, but I knew that he was going to be a part of my life for a while.  Instead of just being a random, one time hookup, we actually became really good friends.  Both of us were going through difficult times in our lives, and we sort of became each other's confidants. We would talk for hours and hours. We'd make each other laugh. And over the course of time, I fell for him... hard. However, I never told him.

He eventually moved away, but we stayed in contact a lot.  We kind of have a cycle of where we would stay in touch for a few weeks and talk a lot, and then we would go months without talking, but pick back up like we never lost touch. All the while, I was still harboring feelings for him.  There was just something about him that I couldn't shake.  Every time that we'd see each other or talk, I felt like I needed to tell him how I felt, but I never could.

Fast forward to last year.  He came for a visit, and again, I couldn't bring myself to say all of the things that I needed to tell him.  At this point, I'd had feelings for him for about 5 years. (Crazy, right?) I felt like I needed to say something but I couldn't bring myself to do it in person.  So, one night, I sat staring at a blank Word Document, determined that I was going to type out all of my feelings for him. So I did.  Hours later, and a couple of pages, I felt like I'd encompassed 5 years of feelings into one single document.  And then I sent it to him.. on Facebook... so that I'd know when he saw it.. and then I waited... and waited... the ball was in his court now, and I wasn't going to say anything to him about it. If he wanted to discuss it, it was going to be on his terms.

Well, I'm still waiting. A week after I sent the 'letter' he told me that he wasn't ignoring me, but he was writing a response and needed more time.  I got that.  It took me a while to get out everything that I needed to say. But, 5 months and some change later... still nothing.  My heart is broken. I've held onto hope for so long, and now that I finally see things between us not happening, ever... I'm crushed.

I know it may seem silly or whatever, but seriously, there are no words to describe my feelings for him.  I've never felt this way about anyone.  Not even the person I thought I was going to marry.  That's hard stuff right there... I don't know what to do with it or how to even deal with this.  I don't know how to move on.

So for now, I feel stuck.... stuck in this crazy, scary place of singledom.  I know I'm still fairly young, and that there is 'plenty of time...' believe me, I hear those things all the time... but it doesn't make it suck any less. Especially on days like today.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Music Monday: Wagon Wheel Showdown


Something a little different for this week's Music Monday post... a Showdown of sorts. If you haven't heard the song Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show by now, you've probably been living under a rock for say, oh the last 3 or 4 years, at least.  Well, maybe you have to be a certain kind of 'people'... I don't know. But me, I'm from the South, and here, this song is kind of a BIG deal. Something about this song makes people go nuts when it's played at a concert or a bar, no matter who it being sang by. Maybe, it has something to do with the lyrics "Headed down south to the land of the pines, And I'm thumbin' my way into North Caroline" or "And if I die in Raleigh, At least I will die free" We have a local band here that actually does a pretty decent cover of the song.

I really think that the first time I was introduced to this song was when Vanessa sang it in her American Idol audition for Season 9.  I've heard it many many times since then, and this song just makes you want to sing along! It's country, it's folksy, it's bluegrass, it's just good music.  If by some chance haven't heard this song, allow me to introduce you.  Here's the original version by Old Crow Medicine Show. 


There have been many covers of this song, and some by very notable people.  However, recently Hootie, err.. Darius Rucker, released his version of Wagon Wheel to radio, and it will be on his upcoming album with guests Lady Antebellum.  There has been mixed reviews of Rucker's version.  I kind of like it, but it is definitely not the original.  Some people are downright outraged that he would even touch the song.  Here is the Darius Rucker with Lady A version: 


Different? Yes.  Completely horrible? Not in my opinion... No matter which version I hear, the volume will still go up, and you can find me belting "Rock me Mama like the wind and the rain, rock me Mama like a south bound train, Hey... Mama rock me..." at the top of my lungs! 

Which version has your vote?  OCMS or Darius Rucker? Let me know in the comments! 

*****
Today I'm linking up with some awesome Blog Hops/Link Ups today! This is new for me, but I hope to meet some new awesome bloggers and to continue this!  I think it's going to give me more motivation to be more consistent with my blogging!  So... check out these link ups! 



*****
Also, don't forget to enter the awesome Tupperware Gift Certificate Giveaway that I have going on right now!  You don't want to miss out!  It ends Friday! 


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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Help Me Celebrate! (With a Giveaway!)


Let's Celebrate! January was an awesome month for me, especially for the Tupperware business!  I worked the hardest that I've ever worked, and it paid off big time!  I received a promotion to Manager!  This is the first step to getting me where I want to be... a Director.  I'm on pace to meet my goal of Director before the target date that I have set for myself.

Not only did I promote, but my team was the top Manager team in our entire organization, and I was one of the tops in sales and recruiting in the whole company... we're talking over 80,000 consultants in the United States and Canada! There were so many people that helped me a long the way and that contributed to my success and encouraged me along the way.  I am so grateful to all of those people. 

To celebrate this awesome success, I am doing a Giveaway for some Free Tupperware!  What's better than free, right?  And to make it even better, there will be 3 winners! One lucky winner will receive a $50 Tupperware Gift Certificate from me.  Two more lucky winners will receive a $25 Tupperware Gift Certificate from me.  The Gift Certificates will be sent via email to the winners on Friday, February 15.  

Enter for your chance to win in the Rafflecopter Giveaway below! Good Luck!!

Terms: This giveaway is sponsored by Crystal Dunn, Independent Tupperware Manager.  It is not affiliated with Tupperware Brands.  Open to United States Residents only. Prizes must be redeemed at www.crystaldunn.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Teaching Thursday: Meet Kate


It's been a while since I've done a Teaching Thursday Post, and this one might be a little bit of a stretch, but I think that you will see how it all ties in.  I feel like one of our jobs as teachers is to teach our students about social issues that affect children just like them.  By teaching them these lessons, that might not necessarily be a part of the curriculum, or the Common Core standards, we are teaching them to be better citizens of their community and of the world.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am a Social Media Ambassador for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern Carolina.  Recently, they have launched the Hungry Kate campaign.  This new campaign puts a face and a name to hunger, and makes it easy to relate to, especially for children.  Take 2 minutes and watch this video, and meet Kate.

This video is specific to Central & Eastern, NC, but I have seen a Feeding America version of the video that covers the same thing, from a national perspective.  What I love about the video is that it shows children that hungry children can be right in their own classrooms.  It shows them that children do not make the choice to go hungry, and that there are often circumstances that force families to make very difficult decisions.  

Since I got the email that this campaign was coming out, I've watched this video about 30 times. Something about it just moves me. There are things that we can do.  The teacher in me immediately thought of how I could use this in a classroom setting.  How could this 2 minute video, and the whole idea of "Kate" compel students to get involved.  Luckily, the Food Bank has some great resources on their website available for educators and parents.  There are ideas for using this in a whole group setting, and for using it with your family.  (Just click on the "Learn" link on their website to find all of the resources)

As I said before, sometimes teaching things that aren't pulled straight from the standards is important, but I know that teachers struggle to find ways to make sure that they are covering all of the standards, so sometimes, things like this fall by the wayside.  So, I went looking in the North Carolina Essential Standards for Social Studies to see where this could fit in.  Here are the standards that you can use for K-5:

Kindergarten
K.H.1.3 Explain the impact of how life events bring change (a new sibling, moving to a new house, a new job, a new school, etc.).
K.E.1.1 Explain how families have needs and wants.
K.E.1.2 Explain how jobs help people meet their needs and wants.

1st Grade
1.E.1.2 Identify examples of goods and services in the home, school and community.
1.E.1.3 Explain how supply and demand affects the choices families and communities make.

2nd Grade
2.E.1.5 Explain how money is used for saving, spending, borrowing and giving.
2.C&G.2.2 Explain why it is important for citizens to participate in their community.

3rd Grade
3.C&G.2.1 Exemplify how citizens contribute politically, socially and economically to their community.

4th Grade
4.E.2.1 Explain how personal financial decisions such as spending, saving and paying taxes can positively and/or negatively affect everyday life.
4.E.2.2 Explain how scarcity of personal financial resources affects the choices people make based on their wants and needs.

5th Grade
5.E.2.1 Explain the importance of developing a basic budget for spending and saving.
5.E.2.2 Evaluate the costs and benefits of spending, borrowing and saving.  

It is easy to fit the social issue of hunger into all of these standards. You could also incorporate writing activities, using the Conversation Starters that the Food Bank has provided.  I have so many ideas swirling around in my head right now of ways that you can use the Kate campaign in the classroom.  I decided to see if there were some children's books that you could incorporate to help your students understand the hunger problem more.  I came across this list from Lasso the Moon and another list from fellow Social Media Ambassador, Greg.  Some of the books on the two lists are the same, but some are different. 

In Middle and High Schools, this would be a great project for clubs and organizations, such as Honor Societies or Beta Clubs to tackle.  They could hold food drives or even volunteer their time at the Food Bank.  The opportunities to help are endless. 

I feel that it is important that we begin teaching children at an early age to get involved in their community.  If they become a part of the solution early on, then maybe the problem will become smaller and smaller over time. I hope that you will share Kate's story with everyone that you know.  Unfortunately, Kate's story is the story of way too many children in our country.  Do you have other ideas of how you can use the Hungry Kate campaign in the classroom?  Leave them in the comments below! 

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Sunday Supper

Our family has a tradition of Sunday Supper. For as long as I can remember, we've had supper at my Grandma and Granddaddy's house. We have a relatively small immediate family (my Dad has 1 sister, and she has 1 daughter), but Sunday nights were the time that we all gathered around Grandma's table and had a meal.  Afterwards, we would sit around and talk and just hang out.

Over the years, our family has gone through some changes.  Most notably, my Grandma passed away almost 9 years ago. The three granddaughters that were so young back then, have all grown up, and are now 20 somethings.  Boyfriends have come and gone.  2 of them are married now and live about an hour away. The family continues to grow with the addition of 3 Great-Grandchildren (and one on the way).  Throughout all of this, Sunday nights have remained our constant.

Grandma used to do all of the cooking.  She loved to do it, and the food was good.  Over the last 9 years, my Mom and my Aunt have taken turns cooking, but we still bring it all to Granddaddy's house.  Every once in a while, one of the Granddaughters will jump into the mix to give them a break. (Most of the time, its me...)  Both my Mom and my Aunt have birthdays coming up this week, so I decided to give them a night off last night and to cook for everyone. This is no easy task... we have some picky eaters and some tough critics.

The Menu:
Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Corn
Garden Peas
Biscuits
Dessert: Birthday Cake

I cooked everything at my Mom's house and then took it over to Granddaddy's. (The live next door to each other).  Everything was packed in Tupperware (of course!), which makes it easy to serve in and then easily store the leftovers.

The BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves was a new recipe that I found on Pinterest.  The original (linked above) uses caramelized onions. We have a lot of onion haters, so I skipped that part.  It was a little risky to move away from the traditional meatloaf, but I think it went over well.  I made the Loaded Mashed Potatoes from scratch, not using any particular recipe, but they were super yummy.

Here's my plate:
And the cake (quick decorating job... nothing fancy)


It turned out to be a good meal. No one complained, lol... What is your favorite family tradition?
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