Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dressember...what in the world?

Dear friends, 
I'm writing to let you know of a project I'm participating in this December. It's called Dressember, and it's a month of wearing dresses. Every December since 2009, women across the world have been participating in this style challenge by wearing a dress every day for the entire month, in celebration of fun, femininity, and fostering a global community.
This year, Dressember has taken on new meaning by aligning with International Justice Mission, a human rights organization that works to end human trafficking, sexual slavery, and other forms of violent oppression that exist in our world. Did you know that over 27 million men, women, and children are trapped in slavery today? That number is greater than during the entire Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Through a fun and quirky style challenge, Dressember participants will rally awareness and raise vital funds to contribute to the global effort to put an end to modern-day slavery.

"This is directly from the IJM website...

What We Do

IJM seeks to make public justice systems work for victims of abuse and oppression who urgently need the protection of the law.

Collaborative Casework Model

IJM investigators, lawyers and social workers intervene in individual cases of abuse in partnership with state and local authorities.
By pushing individual cases of abuse through the justice system from the investigative stage to the prosecutorial stage, IJM determines the specific source of corruption, lack of resources, or lack of good will in the system denying victims the protection of their legal systems. In collaboration with local authorities, IJM addresses these specific points of brokenness to meet the urgent needs of victims of injustice.
IJM seeks 4 outcomes on behalf of those we serve:

1. Victim Relief

IJM's first priority in its casework is immediate relief for the victim of the abuse being committed.

2. Perpetrator Accountability

IJM seeks to hold perpetrators accountable for their abuse in their local justice systems. Accountability changes the fear equation: When would-be perpetrators are rightly afraid of the consequences of their abuse, the vulnerable do not need to fear them.

3. Survivor Aftercare

IJM aftercare staff and trusted local aftercare partners work to ensure that victims of oppression are equipped to rebuild their lives and respond to the complex emotional and physical needs that are often the result of abuse.

4. Structural Transformation

IJM seeks to prevent abuse from being committed against others at risk by strengthening the community factors and local judicial systems that will deter potential oppressors. "
If you, like myself and so many others, are outraged by the stories of forced prostitution, slavery, and trafficking that are happening in virtually every country today in our world, and wish to join in the effort to stop it-- providing rescue for victims without a defender-- one way you can do so is by become a sponsor this Dressember. To sponsor me, visit and make a tax-deductible donation. You will have the opportunity to note that the donation is on my behalf, or you can make a general donation to the campaign (anonymously, if you prefer).

Any amount helps, and 100% of donated funds will go directly to International Justice Mission.  So far Dressember2013 has raised $100K!!  That is in 22 days!  With 8 days left of the challenge....imagine what can be done!  Imagine how many men, women and children could be freed to live without being in slavery, abused, and kept from their loved ones!  Imagine what YOU can do to help!
To learn more about Dressember, visit:
To learn more about International Justice Mission, visit:
To make a donation to my personal campaign:
Together, we can make an impact that outlives us.  Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to know more about Dressember or IJM!
All my best,

Saturday, November 23, 2013

10 days of real did it really go?

We took the 10 day challenge of 100daysofrealfood.  We made it all 10 days and learned a lot about food, what we have been eating and tried some new things.  I will not lie and tell you that we were all happy for 10 days, that we all agreed that we could make all of the changes forever but I will tell you we felt better, we did it as a family and we have walked away with some better knowledge about some of the things we were putting in our body!  We did not eat out at all, which was really good for us!
So kind of step by step, we made out massive shopping trip which we thought would get us through at least 7 days.  We followed sample menu plan 1 from the facebook page.  We did make several more trips to the store to pick up things that were not on the shopping list or we ate a lot of because we liked it a lot!  Looking back I think it was a mistake to follow the menu plan and eat everything that worked for their family, we should have made food that we knew we liked!  However trying something new for the first time we tried to make it easy!
Day 1- We had whole wheat banana pancakes and peaches, we made them from scratch and they were really good.  Our problem here is we were suppose to use 100% maple syrup...but let me tell you that stuff is expensive!  We went off a little and had about 1 tablespoon of regular syrup each except the girls...they are not fans of syrup (weird right?).  Lunch was egg salad with Triscuits, sliced apples and cheese cubes (that we cut our self from a block of cheddar).  Snack was yogurt with honey and blueberries.  Dinner was mahi mahi with green beans and (yum) sweet potatoes in the oven.
my little helper

To spare you the day by day blow of everything we ate here is a just summary.......we made a lot of not so yummy foods but we also discovered some that we really liked!  We made granola! We cut out sugar (except for honey and natural sugars in fruit).  We used butter instead of margarine.  We ate natural peanut butter (which I really liked but I think I was the only one!) and fruit spread.  We stayed away from anything that had more than 5 ingredients on the label.  We had a hard time finding bread that way so I attempted to make some....not so good but Jake found some with no preservatives and very few ingredients that were edible.  We gave up Coke and sweet tea.  We drank lots of water, unsweet tea and milk.  Triscuits, apples and cheese became a staple in this house! 
All in all I am glad that we accepted the challenge.  We are more conscious of what we are eating.  We have not gone back to drinking Coke after Coke and sweet tea all the time.  I am checking labels and we are making better decisions!
Jake making granola!

Ansley helping out!

Yum, this stuff is GOOD!

My failed attempt at it was not horrible but don't think I'll be making it again!  :)

Yum, really good dinner!

My favorite way to eat the granola!

Vegetable Fajitas with homemade whole wheat tortillas

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pre-Day One (10 Days of Real Food)

We have decided that we are going to take the 10 day real food challenge from the website 100 Days of Real Food !  We did all of our shopping today and let me tell you I have never dissected a nutrition label quite like we did today.  So we are cutting out all preservatives, white flour AND sugar!  My first thought is what in the world will we drink?  No Coke, sweet tea, coffee with cream and sugar....oh the horror!  But it is 10 days and I believe that we can do it, especially since we are doing this as a family.
We start in the morning and I am hoping to keep a log as we go....wish us luck!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

January Photo Challenge {Fav Photo of 2012}

This is one of my FAV pictures ever of my daughter.  We were out and about on a zombie hunt.  We spent a wonderful Fall day visiting places that the television show 'The Walking Dead' is filmed.  We stopped in a quaint coffee shop for some lunch when I snapped this picture.  {October 2012}

This is my January Rock the Shot entry.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

sayonara 2012...

Oh what a year! 
2012 was an exciting and crazy year!  {Aren't they all?} 
Here is a little review of our year...back in early August my hard-drive died and I lost the last two years worth of pictures so there will be huge gaps in picture fun (January thru July) but I have had several people try to recover them and I have one more trying to get back all of our memories!  I appreciate everyone that had tried to help me out {and a huge BOO to Best Buy for trying to charge me a TON of money)! 
So first and foremost in 2012 I need a new way to save photographs!  I need to do this asap!
Many of you know that I participated in TWO photography challenges faithfully throughout the year.  I must say that I am proud of myself for completing them.  I did miss a couple of weeks but I did catch up and am very happy to say that I took 52 themed photos for My Four Hens Photography {and even was featured a couple of times on the blog}.  You can check them out here.  I also participated in the 'Let's Do 52' for Paint the Moon Photography, you can check those out here.  I learned a lot this year about photography and really want to learn more this year!  I am going to do the 52 projects again for sure!  I also want to try to do a lifestyle project this year....take at least one photo daily of my family.  It may be a lot to tackle but I am going to try.  Here are a few of my favs, hope that you enjoy!
And starting in August...unless I can find some pictures that I have saved somewhere.... (tear, tear)
Of course, it was the beginning of school (Fourth grade and Kindergarten!!!) and we went to the Braves game...on Star Wars night!

Onto September...and Fall...and just acting plain goofy!
October...We went to Woodbury/Senoia, GA (for those of you who are Walking Dead fans) and it was a beautiful day!  And there was Halloween...Ansley was Wednesday Addams and Sarah was Rapunzel (complete with frying pan)!
November...where did that come from?  We hit up the Zoo with some besties and then there was Thanksgiving yumminess!  And Happy First birthday Reagan!
And December...what a busy month!  Christmas, friends, Ansley donated her hair AGAIN (so very proud of her!)
And today begins 2013...WOW!  I always feel so goofy when I say seems like time is flying but I think today we'll have some yummy New Year food and maybe do some 'early Spring' cleaning!  Can't wait to tell the chickies!  :)
Happy New Year Friends!