Sunday, May 2, 2010

Kerry Ashby Fundraiser

We'll have the virtual shower winners up shortly - in the meantime, here's a post from the lovely Rachel Sue over at Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug.

A few weeks ago a local family's lives were changed forever when their father, Kerry Ashby was involved in a severe ATV accident, which has left him paralyzed.  He will be confined to a wheelchair and has little to no use of his hands.  A craftsman by trade, he was the main provider for his family.

He has 2 sons serving LDS missions and one entering the Army. Their medical bills have already hit 1 million dollars and are still climbing. Their home will need to be renovated to make it wheel chair accessible.

In an effort to offset a few of these costs,  we are holding an online fundraiser at Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug.  Dozens of Etsy shops, as well as Shabby Apple have donated items to this cause. Prices start as low as $3.50 and go all the way to $70.00 for a a wide selection of items.  Please stop by, take a look around and find a way to help out this family in need.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Welcome to our Virtual Baby Shower!

At the baby shower last Saturday we collected over $2,000 worth of baby items for the Teddy Bear Den! Thank you so much to everyone who came, who helped, who donated, who participated, and who helped to spread the word.  Look at what you all were able to accomplish!  It turned out wonderfully, and the people from the March of Dimes were just thrilled.

Welcome to the virtual portion of our baby shower to benefit the March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den! The Teddy Bear Den is a great charity that gives incentives to low income pregnant women for participating in healthy behaviors that help to prevent birth defects.

We need your help to stock the Den with baby items - and if you donate an item to the Teddy Bear Den (or have donated), you can enter to win one of the great donated prizes below! 

To donate, simply send a gift (or buy something online - for example, diapers, wipes, baby clothes, baby supplies, etc. - and have it shipped) directly to the Teddy Bear Den at this address:

March of Dimes UTAH Chapter
Att: Teddy Bear Den Virtual Shower
757 East South Temple Street, Suite 120
Salt Lake City, UT, 84102

Once you've made your tax deductible donation, please come back here and leave a comment stating that you've donated and you're entered to win. (We're operating on the honor system.) We'll randomly select the winners on Saturday, May 1st.

Thinking of donating but don't want to pay shipping? Walmart is offering free shipping on all of their baby rollback items. Children's Place is offering $5 shipping, no matter the size of the order. is offering free shipping on orders over $25.  eBabyCarriers has free shipping every day. If you hear of any other similar offers, please let us know so that we can post them for others to take advantage of. 

Thanks so much for your tax deductible donation!

(If you're a member of Service Soapbox, please help to promote the virtual shower on your blog.)

 Ulta is donating a $25.00 gift certificate good for anything in their online store.

Amy from Mod Podge Rocks is donating FIVE Mod Podge Supply kits with five two ounce bottles of Mod Podge.  Check out her blog, full of fun decoupaging ideas.
Shabby Apple is donating one of their 90 Words Per Minute jersey dresses.

"The updated styling of this secretary dress, included flattering ruching at the hips and banded sleeves, keeps the look fresh and contemporary, while the playful sash at the neckline adds a nostalgic flair.  Pair with heels, tortoise-rim glasses and a sleek ponytail for the office or dress it down with flats and a smart jacket."

Flowerz In Her Hair is donating TWO $25 gift certificates for anything in the store. 

They have a large selection of adorable beanies, bows, bracelets, clippies, flower clips, headbands and much more.

Doodlekins makes whimsical personalized cartoon family labels, stationery, and gifts.  They are generously donating a matching gift pack of 30 personalized note cards with envelopes, a set of 30 personalized stationery with envelopes, a set of 60 personalized address labels, and a set of 60 personalized address seals.

    Marili Jean has darling hats, barrettes, headbands and accessories for little girls.  They are generously donating a $25 gift card to their store.

    The Art of Motherhood is donating a fun Spring Minutes With Me Kit.  These kits are like seasonal lesson plans for moms. They give you great ideas for having fun with your children and making the most of each season. Each kit includes a Minutes with Me activity book, activity pages, CarTalk cards, 3 decks of fun activity cards, bingo boards, and more.

    Bellybuds are wearable speakers for moms-to-be who want to play prenatal music and sounds to a developing child in the womb.  They consist of a pair of simple, two-inch modular bellyphones that plug into any standard mp3, digital music player or sound device, and can be placed anywhere on the abdomen. Bellybuds is donating a deluxe Bellybuds package, which includes 1 set of bellybuds™ bellyphones™,  2 sets of hydrogel adhesive rings, 1 set of bellybuds™ buddons™, 1 one neoprene storage pouch with belt clip, 2 bellyphones™ dock and 1 audio splitter.

    Stay tuned for more great donated thank you prizes...

    Thank you so much for your tax deductible 
    donation to the March of Dimes! 
    (Please email us if you need the Tax ID number)

    Service Soapbox Hits the Big Time

    We collected over TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS in baby items for the March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den on Saturday! YAY!!! Thank you so much to everyone who came, who helped, who donated, who participated. It turned out wonderfully, and the March of Dimes people were thrilled. (Check out Hannah's post for some fun pictures.)

    Here we are on Studio 5, a local talk show:

    Please be sure to come back tomorrow morning for the virtual baby shower.

    A special thank you to the event committee who worked so hard to make this event such a success - our event chair BeccaHannah (who also made our cute blog and baby shower graphics), Rachel Sue, Sarah, Lesli, Veronica, and our honorary committee member Kathryn. (If you'd like to be involved in the committee for our next event, please let us know.) 

    PS: If you were there and took pictures, could you email a few to me? I forgot my camera, among other things {facepalm}

    Virtual Shower Update

    The virtual shower starts tomorrow  - be sure to check back here in the morning!

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Don't Forget About the Baby Shower!

    (If you've signed up to be a part of the Service Soapbox blogging group, please be sure to remind folks about this on your blog today - this is the point of the Service Soapbox - to do good stuff with our blogs - and it doesn't work unless we actually USE OUR BLOGS to spread the word!)

    Will you be there?

    It's going to be a fun open-house style party for bloggers and non-bloggers alike, with lots of refreshments and TONS of great door prizes for those who donate something to the charity.  Please bring your friends, kids, and family.  It will be from 10AM - 12PM (open house style) at My Noah's in South Jordan (322 West 11000 South - directions below).

    This is such a great charity. They help to prevent birth defects by educating low income women about how to protect their babies prenatally. Women who successfully participate in the program (by getting prenatal care, quitting smoking, avoiding unhealthy behaviors before and after the birth of the baby, etc.) are offered baby items like diapers, wipes, baby clothes, blankets, and more. We're helping by working to "stock the den" with baby items.

    If you come out tomorrow and bring an item (diapers, wipes, baby clothes, blankets - anything new for a baby) for the Teddy Bear Den, you'll have the opportunity to snack on some great refreshments (from Amberlicious Cakes, Creamies, Cookietree, Lofthouse Cookies, Sweet Tooth Fairy, So Cupcake, Kohlers, and more) and to win some great donated door prizes from:

    We're so thankful to all of our wonderful sponsors.  In addition to these door prize sponsors, Dear Lizzie, Walmart, Western Family, Salutations Etsy shop, Baby, Mobile Airbrush Tanning, Great Clips, and the Jordan River Family Medical Center have all donated money or items for the charity.

    My Noah's donated the space, Zurcher's donated the party supplies, and Garden House Floral donated the centerpieces. We're so thankful for these wonderful folks. I can't tell you how touched we've been by their generosity.

    I really hope to see you there!

    Directions:  Take I-15 to 106th South. Turn left on 106th South.  Turn left on South Jordan Gateway.  Turn right on 11000 South. The building is on your right.

    Next week, we have a virtual shower going on - everyone who donates (by purchasing something online and having it shipped to the charity) will have a chance to win something in our giveaway (with prizes from Shabby Apple, Marili Jean, Doodlekins, Minutes with Me, Belly Buds, Flowerz in Her Hair, Ulta and more).  Thanks to our awesome committee for putting this event together - and a special shout-out to Kate B. for rounding up MANY of the prizes (thanks so much Kate).

    PS:  The winner of the Writing Contest is Kathryn from Sassafrass!  Thanks so much Sassafrass - email me at suelikestoblogandwastetime at gmail dot com and we'll arrange to get the basket over to you.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    The Writing Contest Finalists...

    If you haven't had a chance to read through the post submissions, you really should.  There were many wonderful entries.  In fact, we ended up with SIX finalists instead of five, because the judges couldn't come to a unanimous decision.

    They are:

    Little Miracles by Amber, Making the Moments Count

    A Life of Purpose by Kathryn, Sassafrass

    UT, LA, CAN in IN by Casey, Moosh in Indy

    A Very Happy Meal by Shellie, Seriously Shellie

    Thanks Mom by Charlotte, Just A Little Bit of Quirkyness

    I Know Where God Hangs Out by Crash Test Dummy writing at The Magic Quilt

    Please check out each post and then vote in the poll in sidebar (scroll down).  You can vote once each day.

    We'll pick a winner on Friday (baby shower eve).  The winner will receive a great basket from  Thanks to everyone who participated!

    Remember - this Saturday is the baby shower for the March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den from 10 - 12PM at My Noah's in South Jordan. Please bring a baby item, bring friends, bring family, bring kids - and come help us raise money and baby items for the March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den. We have lots of donated treats and some great door prizes donated by generous sponsors.

    And remember - the following week we're hosting a virtual shower / giveaway to help raise funds and items.

    Hope to see you there!

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Update on the April 24th Baby Shower


    We contacted a ZILLION companies for donations to the Teddy Bear Den, in an attempt to make sure we would have donations for the charity, giveaway prizes for our virtual shower and items to serve as door prizes for the actual shower.

    We weren't sure what kind of a response we'd get, but  - YOU GUYS - the response has been AMAZING.  I haven't even finished updating the blog with all of the info yet, because there are only so many hours in a day.  We have so many donations! It's almost an embarrassment of riches.

    So what I'm saying is that if you come to the shower on the 24th and bring a donation (baby items - diapers, wipes, baby clothes, etc.) you've got about a 90% shot at leaving with an awesome door prize - from companies like RodWorks, PCLaptops, Blush, The Vintage Pearl, Wishes and Whimsy, D'Lea Designs, Cherry Hill, Classic Fun Center, Great Clips, Leatherby's, The Pie, Hollywood Connection, Wonderfully Wordy, and  more.  It's open house style - so you don't have to stay to play.

    Please, please RSVP and please come - and bring your friends, family, kids, and husbands.  There will be lots of treats - we'll have cake and cookies and cupcakes from a variety of generous local bakeries like CookieTree, Lofthouse Cookies, Amberlicious Cakes, and the Sweet Tooth Fairy.

    And then don't miss the virtual shower the following week - where anyone who donates has a chance to win donated products from Ulta, Shabby Apple, Marili Jean, Belly Buds, Doodlekins, Watch My Style Utah, Flowerz in Her Hair, and many more.

    RSVP and Event Details here.

    Oh - and don't forget about the writing contest.  Right now you've got about a 1 in 5 shot at winning the $100 gift basket...

    PS: I want to publicly thank our friend Kate Bodily (who doesn't even have a blog) so very much for everything she's done to help us obtain sponsor donations.  She's the soul of generosity, and we are indebted to her.

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    The Writing Contest MckLinky is Now Up - Come Enter!

    See here.

    We can't wait to hear what you have to say.

    Good luck!

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    Enter the Service Soapbox Writing Contest Here!

    In conjunction with our upcoming baby shower to benefit the March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den we're hosting a writing contest!

    We want to hear what you have to say about compassionate service, charity, birth defects, or the March of Dimes.

    Write a post telling us about your thoughts, your experiences, and your views.

    Inspire us, move us, motivate us to action, or make us laugh - give it your own personal spin.

    Leave a link to your post in the MckLinky below - with your name and the post title. The post can be old or new, but your post must mention and link back to the Service Soapbox post (the idea is to spread the word about the upcoming charity events - because we really want and need more folks to get involved!)

    You may enter up to two posts. The deadline for entering is Monday, April 12th, at midnight MT.

    On April 15th we'll announce five finalists, and we'll then leave it up to our readers to vote for the winning post.

    In addition to bragging rights, the winner will receive this nearly $100 Gourmet Feast gift basket from GiftTree.

    Good luck!

    Enter Here:

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Hi there!

    We're the Service Soapbox bloggers - a non-profit group of over 87 women (and counting) who've joined forces to use our blogs for good, putting together local and virtual events designed to do a little good in the world. 

    We would love for YOU to join in the fun. Here's how:

    In April, we've put together a series of events designed to raise awareness and products for the March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den.  The Teddy Bear Den helps to prevent birth defects by giving low-income women baby-related incentives (diapers, baby clothes, wipes) for participating in prenatal care and for avoiding unhealthy behaviors like smoking and drinking during pregnancy.

    If you live in Utah... Grab a pack of diapers (or a case!), baby clothes, blanket, or anything else baby related (see the wish list here), and join us as we gather baby items for the March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den Baby Shower.  Grab a friend and come socialize with some amazing women on Saturday, April 24th, from 10AM - 12PM at Noah's in South Jordan, as we enjoy refreshments, great door prizes and lots of fun.

    If you DON'T live in Utah
    ...The week after the event, starting on April 26th, we'll be hosting a virtual shower.  Everyone who donates baby items to the Teddy Bear Den will be eligible to win great prizes from PC Laptops, Ulta, GiftTree, the Vintage Pearl, Target, Marilee Jean, Blush, Bellybuds, Minutes with Me, and many many more.

    Writing Contest:  On April 10th, we're hosting a writing contest designed to raise awareness. You'll be able to submit your new or old post about service, charity, birth defects or the March of Dimes.  Five finalists will be selected by a panel of judges - and the readers will then select one lucky winner, who will receive a $100 gift basket.

    To become a member of Service Soapbox, just add your name and blog to the list in the sidebar and grab a blog badge for the baby shower or the group (below).  To attend the event, please RSVP below.  And please help us to spread the word by blogging, tweeting and Facebooking about the event. 

    We would love to see you there!


    Becca and Sue

    PS:  Many of you signed up in the sidebar to become participating Service Soapbox bloggers (70 bloggers and counting!), but if you are attending the event we also need you to sign up in the RSVP list below so that we can get an accurate head count for the benefit.  

    Grab a badge:

    Grab a Baby Shower Invite:

    Participate in our Virtual Baby Shower & Giveaway

    Would you like to participate but can't make it to our event here in Utah? Then our Virtual Baby Shower is for you!

    Starting on April 26th, we'll be hosting a fun giveaway with some AMAZING prizes intended solely for those who donate to the Teddy Bear Den.  We currently have prizes to give away from PC Laptops, Shabby Apple, Ulta, the Vintage Pearl, Target, Blush, ModPodge, D'Lea Designs, Doodlekins, Wonderfully Wordy, Watch My Style,, Bellybuds, Minutes with Me, and many other generous companies.

    During the shower, simply leave us a comment letting us know what you've donated and you'll be entered to win a donated gift. 

    Not sure what to donate?  A list of needed items can be found HERE! You might also consider sending gift cards to Target, Walmart or Babies R Us which can be used to shop for needed items. Cash donations are also welcome. If you are sending a check to the March of Dimes please add in the memo line" for Teddy Bear Den."  

    You can have donations shipped to:

    March of Dimes UTAH Chapter
    757 East South Temple Street, Suite 120
    Salt Lake City, UT, 84102

    If you mail a donation, please include a note stating that you're participating in the "Service Soapbox" virtual baby shower and that your donation is intended for "The Teddy Bear Den!"

    All donations are 100% tax deductible - contact us for the Tax ID number.  See you on April 26th!

    First Ever Event: Teddy Bear Den Baby Shower!

    Service Soapbox is proud to announce its first ever fundraising event -
    and it's one you won't want to miss!
    It's a Baby Shower!!!!

    presented by the
    Service Soapbox Bloggers
    to benefit
    The March of Dimes
    Teddy Bear Den Program

    The March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den Program (TBD) gives low income women incentives (in the form of diapers, wipes, new baby clothes, etc.) to participate in pre- and post-natal care and to avoid high risk behaviors during pregnancy, resulting in fewer infants with life threatening birth defects.

    Come enjoy food, games, fun, prizes, and the company of some fun women as we collect baby items and donations for this wonderful charity. Feel free to bring along friends, relatives and kiddos.

    Saturday April 24th, from 10am-Noon
    at the beautiful Noah's Event Hall
    located at 322W. 11000 S. in South Jordan
    A million thanks to Noah's for the generous donation of their facility!

    You don't have to live in Utah to be
    a part of the fun...

    Anyone can join in by participating in our Virtual Baby Shower!

    Everyone who donates an item to the Teddy Bear Den will be eligible for a truly amazing giveaway, which will be held the week of April 25th. If you can't attend, but would like to donate an item to the March of Dimes, please check out our shower info.


    The Teddy Bear Den Wish List
    Donations of any of the following items are gratefully accepted. Items should be new or handmade.

    * Diapers and Wipes (Sizes 1-4 are always in highest demand)
    * Baby Hygiene Items: Shampoo, Baby Wash, Lotion, and Diaper Rash Cream
    * Baby Clothes (0-12 month sizes)
    * Coats, Jackets, Winter Hats, Gloves and Mittens
    * Socks, Hats, Shoes, and Sleepers
    * Baby Care Items: Combs, Brushes, Diaper Bags, Bottles and Nail Clippers
    * Soft Baby Carriers or Backpacks
    * Blankets (any size or material) and Crib-size Bedding
    * Cash Donations are always welcome!

    So consider yourself invited!
    Come have fun with us as we help to stock the "Teddy Bear Den" with EVERYTHING BABY!

    If you have any questions about the event or about ways you can help please feel free to email me.
    Event Chair

    Event Committee:
    Becca, Hannah, Rachel, Sarah, Lesli, Veronica, and Sue.

    Sunday, April 4, 2010

    Sponsors Who Are Donating Baby Items to the Teddy Bear Den

    Thank you so much to the following wonderful sponsors who are donating baby items for the Teddy Bear Den, including baby clothing, diapers, wipes, blankets, and other baby items. We appreciate you so much!

    We also have sponsors who have donated to the event itself, and sponsors who have donated to the virtual shower. We are so grateful for all of the wonderful people and companies who are donating their time and products.

    (Sponsor list after the jump)

    Event Sponsors

    We're so excited about our upcoming baby shower and wanted to take a moment to recognize our many generous event sponsors for their generous donations of the things that are making this event possible - the event location, food, decor, refreshments, door prizes, and fun prizes for those who donate to the virtual shower.

    We also have sponsors who are donating baby items for the charity, and virtual baby shower sponsors. We are so grateful for all of you!

    If you blog about this event, please recognize these sponsors who are helping to make our event possible. (Please email me for the html.)

    If you would like to help sponsor this event, please contact us.

    Thanks so much for your generosity:

    (Sponsor list after the jump)

    Sponsors Who are Donating Items for the Virtual Shower

    We'd like to recognize these sponsors, who are donating items for the virtual baby shower. Everyone who donates something to the charity will be able to participate in the virtual baby shower giveaway. A huge thank you to these wonderful sponsors.

    (Sponsor list after the jump)

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Help Sponsor Our Events!

    Becoming a sponsor for one of our events is easy and beneficial for you and your business! Not only will you get that warm fuzzy feeling inside for supporting a worthy cause - but you'll be getting some amazing exposure in return.

    Service Soapbox is a unique platform for potential advertising. Because we are a network of bloggers who collectively reach hundreds of thousands of viewers per month, your business has the opportunity to potentially be seen on over 60 blogs, and will receive recognition on multiple social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

    Support can come in many different forms. Here are some ideas for supporting the Service Soapbox Bloggers as we support worthy causes:
    • Locations are always needed for hosting future events! Reception halls, gardens, restaurants and other meeting halls are always on the top of our event planning list. Planning meetings, socials and fundraisers will all need donated locations.
    • Catering for events! Any form of a donation in this department is always welcome. From a tray of cookies from a local bakery for a planning meeting to a full spread for a fundraiser, we welcome all donations.
    • Decorations! Making our events as beautiful as possible increases the enthusiasm for future projects! Local florists, Party Supply retailers and any other potential donor can help add to the events atmosphere by donating services and supplies.
    • Prizes! This is the easiest way for the majority of us to become sponsors. Our projects always include virtual components in order to encourage non-local bloggers to participate. Gift cards, store credit and products are always needed to use as reward incentives.
    • Monetary donations. Donations to the specific cause we're supporting are always gratefully accepted! Cash donations can be donated directly to the chosen cause. Cash donations are also welcome to help support the planning phases of our events.
    In return a link to your business may be displayed on our Service Soapbox blog, on posts promoting the event, and on post-event wrap-up posts. Depending on the degree of sponsorship, some sponsors will also receive recognition on the blogs of many our participating bloggers and at the event itself.

    Thank you so much for your potential support. We can't do this without your help!

    Please contact the following directors if you'd like to support Service Soapbox:

    ** Please label your subject line "Potential SSB Sponsor"

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    March Meet-Up

    There is no March meet-up - instead we're supporting the Snuggies for Seniors drive and meet-up hosted by Kristina and Stephanie on Saturday, March 20th at 1:00 at the Fort Union Golden Corral.

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Service Soapbox Planning Meeting

    The first meeting of our Service Soapbox group went just SWIMMINGLY.


    We did a little speed dating, a little networking, a little eating and a little project planning.  The lovely Becca came up with a really simple, fun idea for a spring event that we quickly decided would be a terrific kick-off project.  She graciously agreed to serve as the committee chair for this project, and will tell you all about it on her blog and our Service Soapbox blog in a few days.

    Thanks again to the Blue Lemon for hosting us.  It was a beautiful room and a great morning.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Ladies and Gentlemen - We Have a Location!

    On Monday night I found out the location I was planning to use for the bloggy brunch had fallen through, and after attempting to book a few other locations (using our budget of zero dollars and zero cents along with our wondrous time frame of zero advance notice) and hitting roadblock after roadblock, I was nervously trying to figure out how many people would fit into my family room.


    I was fooling around on Twitter and tweeted my dismay thusly:
    "Was planning to host Saturday's blog brunch at a friend's reception center but now they've booked a last minute something or other. GAH."
    Within SECONDS, the Blue Lemon (@blue_lemon) restaurant in Highland (only a few minutes from my house!) tweeted back, offering their banquet room for our brunch.


    I couldn't announce it earlier because they had to check their calendar, but it's all set now.

    Thank you so much to the Blue Lemon for jumping in and saving the day.  They normally charge for the use of their lovely banquet room, but are letting us use it for free.  If you are on twitter, please tweet them your thanks - they've really charged to our rescue and I've promised them we'll be like a little twittering, blogging goodwill army.  

    So here's the info:

    What: Utah Bloganthropy* Brunch
    Come get to know other local women / bloggers (blogger speed dating - oh so nerdy and delicious), and then help us start planning an exciting online and real world service project - so we can all use our online platforms (PLATFORMS - SO FANCY) to do a little good in the world.

    Date: Saturday, February 20th

    Time: 10AM - 12PM

    Location: Blue Lemon Restaurant Banquet Room (second floor)
    11073 N. Alpine Highway, Highland, UT 84003

    What to bring: A few cans of food for the Utah Food Bank and your enthusiasm (or as much as you can muster up on a Saturday morning), and a brunchy treat if you are so inclined.

    What NOT to bring: YOUR CAMERA.

    (Oh, FINE, you can bring it. Just don't expect me to be happy about it if you point it in my direction.  I'm still really fat. And I doubt you will bother to photoshop out all of my chins and wrinkles.)

    (Question:  If bloggers have a brunch and it isn't captured on film, DID IT ACTUALLY HAPPEN?)

    If you would like to come but haven't already RSVPd, you can sign up below, shot me an email or tweet letting me know you're planning to come.  Or you can just show up. (Although you might not get a name-tag that way.)  (THE HORROR.)

    (You don't have to have a blog to come, by the way.  We enthusiastically accept all humans, even the social media impaired.)

    Questions? Email me at suelikestoblogandwastetime at gmail dot com.

    Hope to see you there.

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    See You There?

    If you're planning to get together with us for the Utah Bloganthropy Brunch on February 20th, please put your name and blog link in the McLinky below. This way everyone can start getting to know each other prior to the big day by visiting your blog.  (There's no need to link back, tis not a carnival.)

    Pledge Your Social Media Influence for Good at BloganthropyIf you can't come this month, but still plan to be involved, please still go ahead and sign up in the McLinky so I can get an idea of who is GENERALLY interested.  If you want to be involved but can't come this month, just let me know in the comments.

    I do need to get a feel for how many people plan to come, so I can nail down the location. From emails, comments and tweets, it looked like around 45 women were tentatively planning on it, but that was before I announced an actual date.  Turns out it's much easier to commit to an imaginary event.

    Date: Saturday, February 20th
    Time: 10 - 12 PM
    Location: TBA
    Bring: Cans of food for the Utah Food Bank, and, if you are so inclined, some kind of brunchy treat (not required though, I know Saturday mornings are nutso).

    (Oooh, and if you'd like to bring paper cups, plates, or napkins (CLASSY), please shoot me an email.)

    That morning we'll start off by getting to know each other via speed dating Enforced-At-Gunpoint-Friendship-Rotations.  This is so you don't end up spending the whole morning talking to the same two bloggers you happened to sit down next to when you walked in the door.

    After that, we'll throw around a few ideas for projects we'd like to try to tackle over the next few months. The idea is to pursue projects that have both online and real world components, so that our efforts aren't limited to what can be accomplished by local bloggers. HARNESSING THE POWER OF THE INTERNET and all of that jazz.

    You are welcome to invite anyone and everyone - blog about it, tweet about it, even {EGADS} TALK about it - because non-bloggers are also completely welcome. I'm hoping to bring along a few non-blogging friends and relatives and I hope you'll do the same. The goal is to be like an internet based Junior League, but without the snob factor and wealth.  Accomplish some good stuff and have a little fun.

    Thanks guys - hope you can come!

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    Bloggy Meetups - ALL FOR YOU

    I want to start hosting a monthly get-together for local bloggers - everyone brings something to eat, we get together, we talk, we meet new people, we blogger speed-date (MAYBE.) (MAYBE THE SPEED DATING IS TOO NERDY, I HAVE NOT DECIDED), we get our friendship thing on.  We bring the kids if necessary.

    (And also we do a service project.) 

    (See how I'm sneaking in the service part?  SNEAKY)

    It's true though.  I'm forming a BRAND NEW blogger clique.  The Utah Bloggers Who Like To Eat and Do Painless Service clique.  (We're better than most of the other blogger cliques because we also get to feel legitimately self righteous. WOOT!)

    I want my friends and family who don't blog to feel welcome though, so I will probably call it the Not Necessarily Just Utah Bloggers But Also Real Life Friends Who Are Not Bloggers Plus Random Facebook Friends and Relatives Who Like to Eat and Do Painless Service clique.  (CATCHY!)

    It will be TOTALLY painless service, I promise.  You will barely even know you are doing it. In fact, you will probably drive home thinking, "Wow, what a fun get-together, I just met the most awesome, friendly, hilarious women who will probably be my FRIENDS FOR LIFE, to the extent that I will NEVER BE LONELY AGAIN, and I will ALWAYS HAVE COMMENTS ON MY BLOG, and then - then - I think there was something else we did, but I can't even remember what it was because of all the FUN FUN FUN we were having."

    Like that.

    Seriously, did you know that serving with other women is an amazing way to make friends?  IT IS!  Especially with ME.  Not only because I will love you instantly for coming, but also because I have VERY LOW FRIENDSHIP STANDARDS.

    (I realize this may not actually be a draw.  I'm just saying. You'll have at least ONE friend there, right?  And if you come and you are feeling initially uncomfortable, just come hang out with me, I'm the acknowledged leader of the socially awkward.)

    The first get-together (and I realize saying "get-together" repeatedly sounds extraordinarily dorky, but "meeting" sounds too clinical and "event" sounds too ridiculous and unfortunately my brain is currently suffering from total-synonym-fail) is going to be in February, time/date/location to be announced once I get a feel for whether or not there will be one hundred of us or three.

    If you think you'd be interested in coming, (AND YOU SHOULD BE INTERESTED IN COMING) (ALONG WITH YOUR FRIENDS) (AND RELATIVES) please let me know in the comments or via email (or Facebook or Twitter or carrier pigeon or doorbell ditching, etc., etc.) so I can start to figure out how many people we're talking about.  

    In the meantime, my friend Kalli dreamed up a wonderful way for us all to help with Haiti. She's hosting a quilting bee THIS MONDAY in American Fork.  I'll just quote from the post on her blog:
    "Did you know that within 48 hours of the quake, LDS Humanitarian Services and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had commissioned two planes loaded with 160,000 lbs of relief supplies with additional supplies to be delivered via truck through the Dominican Republic?

    My friend Melanie and I got in touch with LDS Humanitarian Services to ask how we could help, turns out their greatest need at this time is full size quilts.

    This is where you come in.  We need your help.  Let's help an organization so busy actually helping those we only wish we could.

    On Monday, January 25th we will be hosting a quilting bee at a church in American Fork.

    The details are:

    Where: American Fork LDS Stake Center at 240 S. Center St.
    Time: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
    Bring: A surger if you have one!
    **Supplies will be provided BUT batting donations are ALWAYS appreciated (hint hint)!
    Email ME (if you're planning on it):

    Doesn't matter if you can't sew, your help can be used cutting, ironing, tying or somewhere else. I know this is a somewhat inconvenient time, but I am begging you to do what you can to make it work. Even if you can only stay an hour, or a half hour, come on your lunch break, we need you!

    Bring your kids, mine will be there going batty because that's smack in the middle of his nap time. Sweet!

    We are doing this! Come and do it with us. Here's how you can help."
    You should come!  We'll meet.  We'll be friends. We'll pretend that we know how to tie quilts and do things with batting.  And you'll meet Kalli, who is hilarious and wonderful and one of the very few bloggers I know who looks just like her picture. (And I am including myself in that statement.)

    See you there?