Friday, May 9, 2014

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Tomorrow, May 10, is the largest single day food drive in the United States... Stamp Out Hunger. This food drive could not be easier to participate in. Simply, leave your non-perishable food items in a bag for your letter carrier. They will pick up the food, and deliver it to a local food bank. That's right... all of the food stays in your community. There are over 10,000 cities across all 50 states (plus DC, Guam, PR, & US VI) participating in this food drive.

Clean out your pantry, or pick up a few additional items today at the store and leave them to be picked up tomorrow. Last year, 74.4 million pounds of food was collected by postal workers. With your help, they can top that number this year. The National Association of Letter Carriers has been putting on this food drive for 22 years and has collected nearly 1.3 billion pounds of food since it's inception. The food that they collect helps feed the 49 million people in the United States who suffer from hunger... That is 1 in 6 Americans who don't know where their next meal is coming from.

"Many people in this country still go hungry every day," NALC President Fredric Rolando said. "We are honored to be able to help people in need by leading an effort that brings out the best in so many Americans. Six days a week, letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities where we work, and we're committed to helping meet those needs."

As we head into the summer months, it is critical that we help stock the shelves of local food banks and pantries. School will be out in a few weeks, and over the summer there are hundreds of thousands of kids who will rely on the services provided by local food banks in order to have meals this summer. In the spring and summer people don't think about donating as much as they do during the winter months during holiday season.

So, before your mail is delivered tomorrow, leave a bag filled with non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, peanut butter, rice or cereal, and your letter carrier will pick it up.

Source: Stamp Out Hunger Press Release 
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cinnamon, Cheddar & Pear Panini (With Sargento Ultra Thin Sharp Cheddar)

When I got an email letting me know that I was selected to participate in Influenster's Sargento Ultra Thin Slices Vox Box, I was super excited... I love cheese! I don't think that I've ever met a cheese that I did not enjoy.

The box arrived in the mail, and I've been kind of busy lately, so it took me a while to open it. Of course, they couldn't send cheese through the mail, so they gave me a voucher to go get a package of free cheese. I made a video of my 'unboxing'.

One of the tasks for the Vox Box was to try one of the recipes that Sargento has on their website. I looked for one that was quick and easy, and that I thought would be delicious. I was quickly drawn to the Cinnamon, Cheddar & Pear Panini. In addition to loving cheese, I also love all things cinnamon. I'm a big fan of fruit, and pears are one of the fruits that I don't eat enough. While I was at the store picking up my cheese, I gathered the ingredients to make the recipe. 

4 simple ingredients... a few simple steps. Just butter your bread, layer cheese and pear slices and use a panini maker or a skillet to heat the sandwich and melt the cheese. Literally takes like 10 minutes with prep and cook time. Here's what mine looked like...

It was super easy, and equally as delicious.  The Ultra Slim cheese melts pretty quickly, and becomes nice and gooey. The pears soften just a bit and almost melt in your mouth. This will probably be one of my go to quick meals from now on. 

What is your favorite kind of cheese? 

Disclaimer: I was given a free pack of Sargento Ultra Thin slices, compliments of Influenster. All opinions are my own. 
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thirty Before 30 Update: 13 months to go

So, it's already May, which is so hard to believe. I turn 29 on May 28 of this year, which means that I have just over 1 year to finish up the things on my Thirty Before 30 List. If I'm going to complete all of the things on the list, I really need to get my butt in gear...

In my last update, I updated my list to be a little more reflective of what I want to accomplish now. I didn't change many goals, but you can click on over there to see the ones that I made edits to.  Since I listed all of the goals there, in this update, I will only talk about things that I have finished, or have made progress towards since my last post.

Read 50 books (including 5 classics and 10 nonfiction) - In Progress
I am now up to 5 books... 3 nonfiction and 2 fiction. I made a shelf on my Goodreads account so that I can keep track of them. Here are the books that I've read so far. 

Go to a Concert - DONE
This past weekend, was the Farmville Dogwood Festival, which is a local festival that I have been going to for years. Every year on Saturday night, they have a concert. I haven't ever been, but this year my sister and I decided to go. The main reason I wanted to go is because The Swon Brothers were going to be there! You might remember The Swon Brothers from The Voice a couple of seasons ago. They were on Team Blake... I loved them on the show, and voted for them many times. They were not the headliner of the concert, but were definitely the reason that I was there. They did not disappoint! The headliner was Cole Swindell. I didn't even really know who he was... apparently, he has been writing country songs for a while, but has just started singing his own stuff. He sang some familiar songs. Overall, it was a fun time. I need to do concerts more often. I love live music.

Mail 20 cards (not including Christmas cards) - In ProgressLately, I've been obsessed with watching Daily Vloggers on YouTube. Many of them have PO Boxes where you can send "fan mail," so I sent a couple of them cards. I love getting handwritten notes in the mail, so I figured they would too. So far, I've sent 2 out of the 20 cards... I have some more written out, but haven't mailed them yet... to people that I know, not random people online. 

Have a Girl's Night with my Sister - DONE
So, I kind of killed 2 birds with 1 stone by us going to the concert the other night. Since it was just the two of us that went to the concert together... no kids... I'm counting it. We need to have more time together like this... Before the concert, we did walk around the festival and do a little bit of shopping.

So overall, that brings me to 5 completed tasks, and 7 in progress... time to pick up speed!

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