from the heart
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Lilly is known for bright colors but today the pink for love stands out!

make a wish layout
photo credit: A Colorful Blog

My heart was just “touched!” Which is really something that I needed lately. Today I decided to give a “spring break” to all of my 31dbbb review participants because well it’s spring and with the spring comes flowers warm weather and yes, new “Lilly.” I love Lilly! Being a color loving kinda gal the Interior Designer in me just wants to leap out every time I pass a Lilly store. Unfortunately I don’t really have the shape for a lot of Lilly clothes but my daughters do, so you know what they say… those who can’t…. shop for others lol.

But when I opened my mail today with an update of the latest from Lilly I popped by their blog and saw this most heartwarming story. (You have to know how happy this made me after the debacle that Ina Garten pulled)

Lilly Pulitzer welcomed 6 year old aspiring Fashion Designer, Kylee, for a magical visit to the “Pink Palace.” Kylee and her family joined everyone there for a day of print, painting, designing…and of course SHOPPING! Now this is the special and wonderful way to treat a Make a Wish Child….

• Kylee and her family arrived at the Pink Palace in a stretch limo

• Greeted by Janie Schoenborn, Fashion Director she gave Kylee a very special VIP tour starting with a tour of the office, the distribution center and then visited the Merchandising, Design, and Product Development where she met a lot of the faces behind the company and showed her the process of creating one of their fab shifts!

• If this wasn’t every little fashion plates dream, Kylee then went on to the place where the real magic begins… the print design studio! Kylee was met by print designers Stacey and Paige, as well as Fashion Designer, Abraham. And then they gave her the special tools and let her creative side come out; apparently Kylee has a knack for colorful styles as her drawings are supposed to be fab!

• Lunch was every kids fav PB & J and pink and green floral cupcakes… how cute is that?

• If a morning like that wasn’t enough Kylee was then whisked away in the “Lilly Jeep” to one of their stores where she had a ball trying on lots and lots of clothes, and it only seemed fitting to these wonderful people to let Kylee have all of her choices… 4 shopping bags full and even a dress for her to match her mom!

Now that’s what I’m talkin about… that is a wish… for a special little girl… with a dream… fulfilled by a special company! Yup, that is something to smile about!

Top 10 reasons why Ina wouldn’t make “time” for a terminally ill child

make a wish
photo credit: Ree

Ina, Ina, Ina (also known to many as The Barefoot Contessa)I am so disappointed in you! I have followed you for years, watched your show, made your food, remade your food to make it “healthy” and just smiled when I heard your little tune on TV, but come on now…. Please tell me you didn’t actually turn down a 6 year old “make a wish” child, three years in a row, whose wish was to cook a meal with you? Wow, I actually had thought about writing to you about being on your show and cooking but now I know I have no shot!

So here are my top 10 reasons why perhaps you wouldn’t make “time” for a terminally ill child coming from a mom of a special needs child who understands just how important it is to make these kids with daily challenges smile:

1. You were out getting a “new” blue shirt…

2. You just didn’t have the time because I understand how important it is to run to the “market” for fresh cheese every day!

3. You were busy getting ready for Jeffrey to come home and eat your delicious meal you spent hours making, (which is why you are to busy to see sick children)

4. Or perhaps you were busy having lunch with your editors coming up with a new cookbook to quickly follow up your last one.

5. Or perhaps you were to busy working on making a new prepackaged food (um do you actually do this?)

6. Oh, I get it, you have to actually bid at an auction to “have lunch” with Ina then she isn’t to busy for you…

7. You just don’t have the time because when you aren’t cooking you are lurking in your herb garden.

8. Of course you spend hours cleaning that perfect white kitchen you spend all day in.

9. You were coming up with a new recipe for your new cookbook, something cold and blue… o wait that isn’t a food, it’s just you!

10. For someone who is concerned about getting down to the “basics” what about basic compassion for those less fortunate then yourself?

That’s it, my little list and I know that celebrities get hit up all the time for things like this and I know they have challenging calendars, we all do! But if it weren’t for the everyday people to put these people where they are today in this case TV and buying cookbooks, then where would they be? I’m just sayin’…

Ignorance is bliss…

bird looking away from others
photo credit: The Dream Sky

“abortions are good is surprisingly absent from her list.”

Was the statement that stunned me as I sat and stared at my comments.

OK, I understand the whole freedom of speech thing but come on this was a post where I as a special needs mother poured my heart out with 10 things that this has taught me

If you read my blog you know that my daughter suffered a bilateral grade two hemorrhage on her 10th day of “life”. I didn’t know that the medical community could perform an “abortion” after a baby had already been born…

An abortion… because I wrote I was a special needs mom…

Come on now… talk about lack of sensitivity and understanding…

Funny enough, when I look back I see that the number 1 thing, right at the pinnacle, of 10 things being a special needs mother has taught me is; “ignorance is bliss” Serendipity? I think not…

5 reasons why I am so glad Zach got his show from Oprah

oprah magazines
photo credit: Joyce Buckley

Anyone who has not been living under a rock over the past few months knows that Oprah debuted the next chapter in her life;“OWN” the Oprah Winfrey Network. Wow, she has climbed up from new woman to talk show icon to Network extraordinaire. Oh, how I’d be happy with just my own TV show, I don’t’ need the whole network… um, hello Bravo, Discovery Channel… but we are not talking about me right now we are talking about Oprah and her latest brain child; “Search for the next TV star;” which was designed to be a reality show that was also a competition to find the next big TV host.

Last summer a young man named Zach Anner submitted his video to Oprah for a show he calls “Rollin’ around the World with Zach Anner” this is with a pun intended as Zach rolls around daily in a wheelchair due to his cerebral palsy. In his audition tape, Anner described himself as a man with “the sexiest of the palsies” and said he wanted to “make a travel show for people who never thought they could travel.” Anner video quickly went viral and attracting over 9 million votes from the public and even got the attention of celebrities like John Mayer.

I admit I watched the season finale with great anticipation and hopes for this young man (being a special needs mom myself) and here is why:

1. He has a great sense of humor.
2. He does not let his disability stop him.
3. He has courage; anyone who can “stand up” to Oprah has my vote!
4. He has the best positive attitude.
5. He puts the “dis” is disability! You rock Zach!

Have you ever dreamed of having your own TV show? What would it be on?

5 Organizations that pull at my heart

Valentine’s Day is the day we all think about “love” and those who we have fond feelings for. I’d like to dedicate this post to 5 organizations whose “love” has touched me one way or another.

my babies1. Preeclampsia Foundation: Both of my daughters were born prematurely due to the fact that I had sever Preeclampsia. Unfortunately 23 years ago I did not know of this organization but now for patients who are faced with this there is a wonderful resource.

The Preeclampsia Foundation is an empowered community of patients and experts, with a diverse array of resources and support to help you have the best possible pregnancy or to help you navigate the questions you’ll have if you don’t. We provide unparalleled support and advocacy for the people whose lives have been or will be affected by the condition – mothers, babies, fathers and their families.

Sarah supporting WalkAmerica for the March of Dimes

2. March of Dimes: After delivering 2 preemies 4 and a half years apart. I can truly appreciate this organizations work to help preventing birth defects and prematurity.

President Franklin Roosevelt’s personal struggle with polio led him to create the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis at a time when polio was on the rise. Better known as the March of Dimes, the foundation established a polio patient aid program and funded research for vaccines developed by Jonas Salk, MD and Albert Sabin, MD. These vaccines effectively ended epidemic polio in the United States.

Its original mission accomplished, the foundation turned its focus to preventing birth defects and infant mortality. The March of Dimes has led the way to discover the genetic causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screening, and to educate medical professionals and the public about best practices for healthy pregnancy. We have supported research for surfactant therapy to treat respiratory distress and helped initiate the system of regional neonatal intensive care for premature and sick babies.

Since 2003, our fight to save babies has been strongly characterized by our Prematurity Campaign. The rising incidence of premature birth has demanded action, and the March of Dimes has responded by initiating an intensive, multi-year campaign to raise awareness and find the causes of prematurity.

Hadley and her buddies at Halloween Dance

3. Best Buddies: I can’t say enough wonderful things about this organization. Every month when Hadley comes home with a note that she is going to have a Best Buddies event at her school that week a smile overcomes her. She has met some very special friends through this club.

Best Buddies is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).Best Buddies is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership.

Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant, international organization that has grown from one original chapter to almost 1,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States, and in 50 countries around the world. Best Buddies’ seven formal programs – Best Buddies Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies, Jobs and Ambassadors – positively impact nearly 700,000 individuals with and without disabilities worldwide. Best Buddies volunteers annually contribute, at no cost to their communities, support services that equate to more than $164 million USD.

4. Shane’s Inspiration: After creating and running Hadley’s Park for about 10 years, I had to hang up my hat for family reasons. Through our work we met another organization in the beginning of their existence with a similar mission. Although they were clear across the country (California) their vision and mission was on par with ours; all children should have a safe and fully inclusive place to play. To this day Shane’s Inspiration works to keep that dream alive, and I cheer for them daily!

In 1998, Shane’s Inspiration gave a gift to thousands of Los Angeles children through the creation of an environment where all children can play together at the highest level of their ability. With the support of visionary community leaders, Shane’s Inspiration created the first Universally Accessible Playground in the Western United States and the largest in the nation: “Shane’s Inspiration.” Located in Griffith Park, “Shane’s Inspiration” provides two acres of fully accessible, sensory-rich and physically challenging equipment.

Since the opening of our flagship playground, Shane’s Inspiration has helped raise millions of dollars to develop over 40 Universally Accessible Playground projects throughout Southern California and as far away as Sri Lanka. We also reach over 2,600children each year through transportation, education and community outreach programs.

5. American Heart Association: Since starting my healthy makeover last year I understand the importance of having a healthy heart! Heart Disease is the number 1 killer amongst women and I wanted to lower my odds and began my journey last year. February is American Heart Month. Their website has a wealth of information, so stop by!

What organizations do you hold near and dear to your heart?