Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Over the next 8 days I challenge you to an unexpected act of kindness each day. Hold a door for someone. Stop and listen to a friend that you can tell has something on his/her mind. Spend time with someone you know is lonely. These daily acts of kindness can change your life. We would love to hear about these kind acts, so let us know about them in the comment section below!
In addition to that, think about the products you purchase every week at the grocery store. There are dozens of products that donate to special causes every time you purchase. For a list of some of these products, go to www.lovinscoopful.com/documents/LovinScoopful-ShoppinWithLovin.pdf. Lovin' Scoopful donates 25% of post tax profits to Special Olympics. We believe that it's important to highlight other socio-friendly products so that you can easily find products that help you bring more love and light to the world. Show some love by sharin' some Lovin' this holiday season.
Happy Hanukkah, Season's Greetings, and Merry Christmas!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
From some aspects it's been a tough year and now the holidays are upon us. Money's tight, tensions are high, guests are in, the house is a mess, and we just don't know WHERE to pull the money from to budget for Christmas gifts. If this has been your year, take a deep breath, close your eyes for a moment, and know that you're not alone. First, I've found that it takes effort to change your mindset so that you think of positive things before negative. Here are some things I've found that have helped raise my spirits over the long run. These have changed my life.
1) Live in the moment. When you're feeling horribly stressed and the world is crashing in, I ask myself "Am I OK right now?". Forget about what happened yesterday, last week, last month. At this moment am I OK? Forget about tomorrow, next week, next month. Right at this very moment I know that I'm OK. Love the moment that you're in. If you can love the moment that you're in, you'll find you can be happy most of the time.
2) Do what you can. We often spread ourselves too thin financially and let guilt drive us to buy more than we intended. Buying gifts on a tight budget is so difficult. Here are some things I've found to help ease the burden.
* Draw names rather than buying everyone a gift.
* Re-gift or give gifts you spend little or no money on. Now before you throw this one out completely, this has worked wonderfully in our family. If everyone agrees to do it, it's works like a charm. Rather than going and buying more stuff when we all have so much more than we need already, walk thru your own home and shop for others from what you have. This can be even more of a sacrifice than pulling out a credit card and spending money you don't really have. Do you have something of your Grandmother's that your sister always wanted? Do you have a talent you can share? If you're a great cook, gift catering a dinner for someone who likes to entertain. Can you babysit? Give 12 certificates for babysitting to allow a friend or family member some time out on their own. You get the idea. Shop from your own possessions and talents. You'd be amazed at what wonderful gifts you can come up with.
* Agree to exchange ornaments.
* Give each other time and attention. This can even work with the kids. It can be taking them to the park or skate park even and watching them play. Maybe you can even join them!
*Give lessons. Can you teach someone one of your talents?
* Barter! Trade some of your free gifts with others to expand what you have to give! Want to give your niece piano lessons but you can't teach? Is there a piano teacher in your life that you can barter with in order to take care of those lessons?
* Do a "Toy Exchange" with the kids. Within the family pair up the kids with similar interests and have them exchange a box full of toys that are in good working order. It's not about having something brand new. It's just fun to have different toys to play with.
* Do a "Movie and Game" exchange between the families. You can label them if you want to exchange back in a few months.
* If you can't afford to donate to the charity or non-profit that you support every year, consider volunteering your time instead. This is especially beneficial if you've lost your job. It's amazing how many potential job leads you can find, too, when you're out in a crowd and you're open to the possibility that you may meet someone who can change your life situation. Another good way to help non-profits is to buy products that support those organizations, especially if they give a percentage of sales or profits. At Lovin' Scoopful, we donate 25% of our post tax profits (a minimum of $50K annually) to Special Olympics.
3) Appreciate what you have. Look around you and see the good. Acknowledge it verbally. A positive attitude is contagious and most people enjoy being around others with a positive attitude. Do you usually call your friends when something bad happens to vent? Call them today. Wish them Happy Thanksgiving and tell them how grateful you are to have them as a friend. Be happy for your job, your home, your family, and each breath that you take. We are all very fortunate.
I hope you've found an idea or two that is helpful. Please comment if you have other ideas for Livin' a Lovin' Lifestyle and I'll include those in future posts. Now step away from the computer, go hug a family member (or pet) and have a very happy Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Thanksgiving's just a day away
We've got so much to do
Both families come to stay
The beds are all full up
So will our bellies be
Black Friday afternoon
The kids are sitting on Santa's knee
Thanksgivin' Time, It's Lovin' Time
Stock up the freezer now
Ralphs has Lovin' two for $7
Bi-Lo has BOGO, WOW!
Thanksgivin' Time, It's Lovin' Time
Stock up the freezer now
Ice Cream pies light up their eyes
Lovin' 'll always please the crowd!
Tip: For a simple ice cream pie, spoon your favorite flavor of Lovin' into a graham cracker (regular or chocolate) pie crust and top with whipped cream or your favorite whipped topping.
There are now about 1500 stores across the US that sell Lovin' Scoopful. You can find the one closest to you by going to www.lovinscoopful.com/findastore.aspx. Watch on Twitter and Facebook for more money saving offers.
25% of Lovin' Scoopful's post tax profits go to Special Olympics, so buying and serving up some Lovin' this holiday is one great way to show thanks to the people who donate so much of their time and effort to support that wonderful cause. You can also make direct contributions to Special Olympics by going to http://www.specialolympics.org/ and click on "Make a Difference"(on the right side of the screen).
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Save time on the day of your event! Prepare a dessert you can put together ahead of time like an ice cream pie made with Lovin' Scoopful Gourmet Light Ice Cream. Put your favorite flavor in either a regular or graham cracker or chocolate crust and top with whipped topping.
Save effort by creating a delicious dessert that only takes a few minutes to prepare. Whether you create an ice cream pie or simply have a few flavors of Lovin' Scoopful and serve by the scoopful, you'll find it's a crowd pleaser. Try Lovin' Scoopful Rockin' Raspberry Cheesecake or Oh My Blueberry Pie if you want your ice cream to contain the pie within!
Save Money on the west coast by picking up Lovin' Scoopful 2/$7 at Ralphs in Southern California and Nevada. On the east coast Bi-Lo has Lovin' on BOGO, so take the opportunity to try new flavors at both chains!
Monday, November 22, 2010
With the heavy feast upcoming, plan a delicious dessert made with Lovin' Scoopful gourmet light ice cream. It has 1/2 the fat and 1/3 fewer calories compared to other premium ice creams. Not many ice creams allow you to stay on track with your weight goals while still enjoying all the taste you're looking for.
If you're on the east coast, Bi-Lo has Lovin' on BOGO. Buy one at regular price and get a second 56oz container for FREE. For our friends in California and Nevada, Ralphs has Lovin' on sale 2/$7. Don't forget, 25% of our post tax profits go to Special Olympics!
Monday, November 15, 2010
1. Plan a simple menu- As much as you may like to have a dozen dishes laid out, consider limiting the food YOU prepare to the basics. A turkey OR ham, dressing of choice, 3 veggies (each a different color), a simple salad (gives people an option to top the salad with a small portion of meat and stay on course with their diet) with two salad dressings (one light, one rich), and a dessert (or two if you keep it really simple).
2. Consider purchasing a smoked ham or turkey fully prepared from a reputable restaurant.
3. Prepare the dressing NOW! When it's cooked outside of the bird it's dressing rather than stuffing. Now, freeze it. Move from freezer to refrigerator one day in advance. Move from fridge to oven the day of. Easy! Take it a step further and bake it in a disposable metal container. Either buy a cheap aluminum one at the grocery store or pick up a cheap find at a flea market.
4. Use simple frozen veggies for 2 of your 3 vegetables. Add water, a pat of butter, salt and pepper (or your seasoning of taste) to the frozen ones and cook those the day of your dinner. For the third veggie, consider something like green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, or some other favorite that requires a little more work. Prepare it the night before, though!
5. For your salad use a ready mix. Buy one that has everything in it that you like or select a couple of extra "ready to use" items (like shredded carrots) to add to the mix with no effort.
6. Dessert- We always over-do it with dessert. Keep it simple. Make a Mud Pie simply by adding "Lovin' Scoopful's Mad About Mud Pie" to a chocolate pie crust and top with whipped topping. You can garnish it with chocolate sprinkles to remind you which flavor in case you decide to have more than one. Another delicious option is to take a graham cracker crust and fill it with "Lovin' Scoopful's Rockin' Raspberry Cheesecake". Again top it with whipped topping and this time garnish with raspberries if you have some available.
7. Here's the fun part... If your guest asks if they can bring something, let them know you have it covered but they're welcome to bring along a favorite dish if they'd like. If no one brings anything, you're already covered. If everyone brings something you've got a huge feast, but those dishes with the leftovers will go home with the loved one that brought them.
With this plan, on Thanksgiving Day all you have to do is:
1. Warm up the turkey or ham that was prepared for you.
2. Put the dressing into the oven.
3. Heat up the veggies (two that you just add water to and a third that goes in the oven but was prepared the night before).
4. Empty the salad into the bowl and set out the dressings.
5. After dinner take the pie or pies out of the freezer.
You can take care of those 5 steps Thanksgiving Day stress free. Your kitchen will be clean when guests arrive because there was no last minute heavy cooking. No mixing bowls or messy prep areas to clean up. Relax and enjoy your family, your friends, and your easy Thanksgiving Dinner!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Is Lovin' missing in your life (and your grocer's freezer). We can help there, too. Watch for updates on easy ways to get Lovin' Scoopful (and other products that benefit special causes) into the store nearest you.