Help Children With Cancer This Holiday Season! #tacklekidscancer @tacklekidscancr #Ad

    The holiday season is in full swing and, during this special time of the year, it is so important to embrace the full meaning of the holidays. While many get caught up in giving and receiving presents, others are treasuring the things that really matter in life like family and loved ones.     These support systems become especially important for families with children who are battling pediatric cancer. Tackle Kids Cancer provides an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer.  It is a way for a child to help another child, and families to help other families.    Unfortunately, only 4% of government cancer funding directed towards pediatric cancer, and childhood cancer being the number one cause of death by disease in children – funding in all forms is crucial. Those of you who are long-time followers of this blog know that as a Leukemia Survivor, advancing cancer research is very important to me. As a mother, my heart bleeds for these families … [Read more...]

Let’s Reduce Breast Cancer Risk Together! #BCERP #Ad

    Those of you who have been following Tough Cookie Mommy for a while know that cancer advocacy is a cause that I am deeply committed to. As a Leukemia Survivor, I know all too well the importance of being proactive about my health and the medical care that I receive. Additionally, I also educate myself on the foods that I eat as well as what I expose my body to on a daily basis. In my role as a parent, I have also worked hard to impart this awareness on to my children.     Since this month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is fitting that we should discuss how we can attempt to lower the risk of breast cancer by having these important conversations with our daughters, our nieces and the other women in our lives. We all try to help our children grow up healthy. But the environment around a young girl may change the way her body develops.    It is too soon to say for sure that avoiding certain chemicals or foods lowers the risk of breast cancer. Still, to help protect our … [Read more...]

Let’s Make New York Tobacco Free! #SeenEnoughTobacco @TobaccoFreeNYS #Ad

    My grandmother died of lung cancer.  She was a cigarette smoker for over thirty years and smoking ultimately killed her.  It was horrible to watch her suffer as she struggled to breathe during her final days.  You would think that this experience would have been enough of a deterrent for me to avoid smoking at any cost, but it wasn't.  One day, a friend in college passed me a cigarette and it began my addiction to a dangerous habit.     I smoked on an off for about eight years and finally quit, cold-turkey, in 2007.  It was  definitely a difficult habit to kick but, I am proud to say that I have not smoked a cigarette in almost ten years.  Due to my experiences with tobacco, I am constantly warning my high school students about the dangers of smoking.  Unfortunately, the tobacco industry spends billions of dollars on promotions, in places where children can see them.  They promote cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to young people and funnel a lot of that money into advertising that … [Read more...]

Make The Pledge To Recycle! @Entenmanns #Giveaway #Ad

    As my boys are getting older, we are encouraging them to do everything possible to take care of our planet.  It's important that they understand their role in protecting all of our valuable natural resources.  Aside from some subtle changes that we have made right here at home to conserve energy, we have been teaching them how to recycle some of the things that we use on a daily basis.     Have you made your resolution yet for 2017?  Make the pledge to recycle with Entenmann’s® Little Bites® and they’ll reward you for it!    TerraCycle®, an international recycling company turns waste into plastic that can be used for products such as park benches, recycling bins, and playgrounds.  Through the free recycling program, you can collect waste, like Entenmann’s® Little Bites® pouches, and ship to TerraCycle® for processing using a pre-paid shipping label.     From January through March 31st 2017, TerraCycle® and … [Read more...]

Best Way To Volunteer This Holiday Season

Volunteering around the holiday season is exciting. You get to help people in need and feel good about what you’re doing. Getting out there and volunteering is always better than sitting back and doing nothing. If you’re looking at volunteering this holiday season, these are the best ways (in my humble opinion). 1. Local soup kitchenWhen you don’t know where to spend your time volunteering, your local soup kitchen is always a good start. Soup kitchens always need help and volunteers. Spend some time here this holiday season and watch your perspective change. If you would rather not work in the soup kitchen, it takes a lot to make a homeless shelter run. There are many different volunteering options. Make sure you choose something that you will love doing, this will give you the opportunity to keep coming back for more.2. Do what you canThere isn’t someone out there measuring how much you give or volunteer this holiday season. The best way to volunteer is to do what you … [Read more...]

Meet Nyahok – A Child In South Sudan #SouthSudan @CARE #Ad

    When my two sons were five years-old, they were in Kindergarten learning how to read and writing their names on everything they could get their hands on.  It was a magical time of curiosity and learning how to be a little more independent while still depending on mommy for quite a bit.  South Sudan will be turning 5 on July 9th, 2016 and, as the world's youngest country, upon its founding people were full of promise and hope.  Unfortunately, this hope quickly vanished in 2013 when armed conflict wreaked havoc on the region.    Children who currently reside in South Sudan and are five years-old, have no recollection whatsoever of anything but war.  Since the war broke out, 2.3 million South Sudanese have been forced from their homes into an uncertain future.  That’s 1/5 of the country which means that 5.1 million people, nearly half the country, are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.  CARE is a leading humanitarian … [Read more...]

Celebrate A Decade Of Good Together! #CelebrateGood #ATTInfluencer @ATT #Ad

    Today was a wonderful day at the school where I am a teacher.  We had Career Day and our students had the opportunity to meet various professionals from different fields and interact with them by asking questions and listening to their stories.  I was proud to be a part of it because it is a wonderful way to broaden the horizons of these kids while giving back to the community.       As an educator, I stand behind any initiative or brand that makes it a priority to pay it forward once they achieve a certain level of success.  AT&T supports TOMS in celebrating a decade of good together that has resulted in TOMS distributing more than 60 million pairs of shoes to children in need.      AT&T has been with TOMS since the beginning of the company and is thrilled to celebrate its 10-year anniversary with Blake Mycoskie and his team.  I have personally been a customer of AT&T for over ten years and it makes … [Read more...]

How Did You Shine It Forward This Monday? #MondaysForGood @JimmyDean #Ad

    Let's face it, Mondays are never any fun for anyone and we often spend the entire day lamenting over the fact that the weekend wasn't long enough.  Today was a particularly long Monday because of Daylight Savings Time this past Sunday when we set the clocks back one whole hour.  All of that just equalled an even longer beginning of the work week and it was hard to keep the momentum going at the job today.      It became quickly apparent this morning that I had to do something drastic to get this week off to the right start.  After all, whatever tone you set on Monday tends to follow you throughout the entire week.  Suddenly, it came to me and I realized that the best way to not let Monday get the best of me was by "shining it forward" and making this day matter by doing something nice for another person.      Yes, I know, it's a great idea but I cannot take the credit for it.  You see, Jimmy Dean is … [Read more...]

Take A Stand Against Domestic Violence! #HopeLine @Verizon @SheSpeaksUp #Giveaway #Ad

     October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and it is definitely a cause that I feel very strongly about.  Unfortunately, a friend of mine whom I attended high school with was physically abused by one of her boyfriends.       I can still remember sitting on the floor of the bathroom at school while she confessed to me that some of the bruises she had on her arms and legs had been cause by him.  Honestly, I never imagined that anyone I loved would be treated this way and I was at a loss as to how to get her help.  One thing I did know is that I had to get her away from him.     Fortunately, my friend had a great support system and was able to remove herself from an abusive and dangerous relationship.  Sadly, not all women who find themselves in this situation are so lucky.     This is why it is so important to keep the dialogue going about domestic violence.  It  is a national problem that … [Read more...]

Every Baby Is Born To Do Something Special! #imbornto #MoDSquad @MarchofDimes #Ad

    I'm very excited and proud to share with you all that I have been selected, along with 39 other moms across the country, to represent March of Dimes in the #ImBornTo campaign.  That number was chosen to represent the number of weeks in a full-term pregnancy.  They call us the MoDSquad and we are here to celebrate all of the moms and dads who keep babies healthy and safe, before and after birth.     During my second pregnancy, I started having contractions at 34 weeks and my son was in real danger of being born early.  Every week, I had to go into the hospital to receive IV fluids in order to stop my contractions and keep me from going into labor early.  I was very afraid because I knew that babies born prematurely are at risk for developmental delays and medical problems.  Thankfully, the medical interventions worked and I was able to hold off giving birth until 38 weeks and had a healthy baby boy.    March of Dimes believes that every baby is born to do something special and … [Read more...]