Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ways to Fundraise for Adoption

Did you know that adoption can cost anywhere between $25,000-$50,000 ! This is such a HUGE topic when couples decide to star the adoption process. "Where are we going to come up with that kind of money?" "Are we even going to be able to afford a baby after we pay all the fees?"

We wish it could be a fraction of that costs but it's not, so we knew we needed to bring in the troops to help bring our baby home. Here are some ideas for fundraising that we have either tried, heard of other adoptive families trying, or are excited to be doing in the near future.

1. Instagram Auction
This was our first fundraiser. My incredible sister helped coordinate it and I am so thankful. Definitely get one or two friends/family to help with this one. We had tons of amazing companies and even friends donate their time or product to our auction. I figured if people were going to help us financially, they deserved something in return. And an auction was just that. Make sure you stay organized with what products are being auctioned off, the starting bid and then who was the highest bidder. Then if the highest bidder has paid or not. We just used a google docs that was shared between my sister and I and it was so helpful! Nothing got lost, we didn't feel overwhelmed and we could thank each person/company who donated easily. We made a good donation off of this and we definitely will be holding another one for our next adoption.

2. Yard Sale
We personally haven't done this one but have heard of other adoptive couples doing them. People can donate their stuff also and it's a win win for them. They are helping a family get closer to their baby and they are getting rid of their junk haha. It's great to put up signs saying what the cause of the yard sale. People love to help other people in a great cause. So make sure they now that they are helping build your family. Who knows, they might end up purchasing more stuff!

3. Sport Activity
We are very close to the college cheerleading team out here. (Both Riley and I were on the team for a bit) They wanted to help in some way so they organized an "open gym" where anyone could come and stunt and tumble and all the admission fees would go towards our adoption. It was incredible! Definitely got in contact with a team you've been working with or even a extra curricular activity. People are getting some fun out of it and also helping build a family!

4. Community Run
This was on our list and we actually had a whole committee organized for a 5k. But since we were matched so quickly, we couldn't find the time to get it going (also why we did the "open gym") We had a list of food trucks that would donate a certain percentage to our adoption. We were going to have a silent auction going on also, with items that companies and small shops had donated. And then there was the 5k, the main event. We had a $5 fee to enter into the 5k and then a deal for larger families. We are so excited to do this for our next fundraiser because it involves the whole family and community. Plus, Riley and I are both very active so it fits our family perfectly. This is a fundraiser where you could make really good donations at. Just stay organized with how much money is going out and who is donating what. Hence our committee that we had. Each person was assigned a different task. It was so organized and relieved so much stress.

5. Donation Page
I put this as our last one because it's something that is going on in the background of things. Riley and I strongly agree that you should work for what you want. A gofundme page or youcaring page is a great place for people to go to if they can't make any of your local fundraising events. But do not rely on this to raise your adoption funds. Work to get your baby here! Work hard, so it's all worth it and you can say you gave it all your blood, sweat and tears. We did have a youcaring account but had 3 other fundraising events going on at the same time. Like I said, it's a great way for Grandma and Grandpa to donate when they can't be here physically.

**Helpful Tips**

- Stay Organized! (spreadsheets, planners, etc)

- Have a separate adoption bank account set up. This will help with not mixing up personal finances and adoption finances

- PRAY! Pray that you wont become overwhelmed with the financial burden. Pray that you will know who to be in contact with to help you with each part. Pray that you will be humble to those asking to help you. Pray for gratitude that you were given this opportunity to welcome a child into your home. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

My Best Of 2017

Foundation: I have super oily skin so I need a foundation that will stay put! I've tried bare minerals for a bit, then Kat Von D but nothing seemed to stay put all day or my skin got used to it after a few weeks and it wouldn't stick. This foundation is incredible! My skin looks so smooth, I don't feel like I'm oily, and it stays put!! 

Best Gym Shoes: I have 5 pairs of these (black, hot pink, blush pink, grey and neon yellow). They are the comfiest gym shoe and super cute too! I don't wear them for my runs but do wear them for the gym and my High Fitness classes.

Lip Scrub: I've posted about this lip scrub on my insta-stories a ton! It seriously is that good! I live in a climate where it's super dry and my lips definitely feel it. I put this on every morning and night and my lips feel so smooth and my lipstick/stains go on so much better! It's super cheap so I always have 3-4 on hand.

Best Blanket: I mentioned these blankets on Lemmon's Best of 2017.  They are sooo comfy and HUGE! Whenever we have guests over they fit over who gets our Minky's haha. We have 2 monster ones but I'm thinking we are needing a couple more!

Deodorant: Kay, this is a little expensive but honestly, the only deodorant that works. I've tried EVERYTHING (even prescription deodorant!) and nothing seemed to hold all day. Try it before you say it's not worth it! I promise you will love it!

Face Serum: I started seeing an esthetician about a year ago to get my skin looking better in this dry climate and because I know with age your skin only gets worse. She recommended a serum to start out with and with oily skin I thought that it would make it worse! WRONG! It's one of the best things to happen to my skin. It has actually calmed down the oiliness and made it softer. I love his products because they are super light and you don't feel caked on

Setting Powder: Again, I used a few setting powders but after a few weeks my skin got used to them and it stopped working. I LOVE this setting powder. My skin looks so matte (which is crazy with oily skin).

Blow-Dryer: I didn't get this till the end of the year but wish I had it sooner! I am more of a basic hair-tools girl but I really am trying to grow my hair back out and healthy. I have super thick course hair and this blow dryer makes my hair look so smooth and silky. I really thought it was just a trendy brand but don't smoosh it till you try it! It's powerful but not like your basic blow-dryer. It doesn't make your hair look like a fro after your done. I am thinking of buying their curling irons and straightener too!

Water Bottle: Riley got me this water bottle a couple years ago and then got me the smaller one for Christmas. It keeps your water super cold and is the perfect size for your car and diaper bag. I think I have 3 of them now, which is awesome because I can leave them around the house to remind me to drink more water!

Toothbrush: I get tons of questions on how I get my teeth so white and this is my magic wand! I used whitening strips in high school but they made my teeth so sensitive so I stopped. Riley got us these toothbrushes about a year ago  (He always knows the best stuff ha!) and I noticed such a difference about 3-4 months into it. There is a whitening setting, a sensitive setting and normal setting. I always keep mine on whitening. Again, an investment but better then having sensitive teeth from the strips!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Lemmon's Best of 2017

Favorite Bows: You will often see Lemmon wearing these or these. They are the only bows that stay on her head with all that thick hair ;-) She doesn't pull them down and I love that they don't leave an imprint in her head. Plus, they are always coming out with new designs! 

Shampoo/Conditioner: We have been using these products for a while now and just got their whole kid styling line. We LOVE them! I've noticed such a difference in Lemmon's curls and washing her hair has become not such a crying fit haha.

Favorite Vest: Lemmon calls this her "Suave" (soft) and reaches it for it every morning. We have about 3 of these and then 2 more fur coats. She loves them and they keep their fluff even after every wash. What I love most is that she is still wearing the one she got from her baby shower that is a 6-9 month vest! They tend to run big so they last a while.

House Slippers: We have hardwood floors and I knew once the winter months were approaching that The Squeeze would need something to keep her little toes warm. She loves to put these on herself since they are so easy to slip on and off. They are lined with fur and keep her feet nice and warm. I've even washed them a few times (she ran outside into dog poop one time! ugh!) And they look (and smell haha) like they did when I bought them.

Bottle: Since I never nursed Lemmon I knew we needed to invest in good bottles. I got some recommendations from other mama's and Lemmon seemed to love these the best. She's never had an stomach issues or problems drinking from them. We've had the same ones since she was a newborn and LOVE them! They are small and fit the right amount of formula/milk in them.

Best Blanket: We got TONS of questions on Lemmon's blankets. She only has these Minky's and won't go for any other blankets (we've actually gave away all her non-minky's haha) They are hands down the softest blankets you will ever touch. This one particular is Lemmon's favorite. I don't know if it's the size or the print or whatever, but she is obsessed and also calls it her "Suave" I know it's an investment but they always have some sale or discount code going on. So keep your eyes peeled!

Princess Jeep: Lemmonade got this for her first birthday and rides it everywhere. Inside, outside, will watch her shoes on it, do tricks on it haha she loves it! It's just a fun, entertaining toy for her.

Best Lotion: We knew Lemmon would be prone to eczema so we needed something strong but with zero scent and not to thick. This lotion is so smooth! We've been using it for almost a year now and she hasn't had one eczema breakout! Before that she would get them monthly. I love it because a little goes a long way! 

Favorite Snack: These are perfect to throw in your diaper bag/purse when you know you wont be able to stop for any food or are in a hurry. We used these on our road trip actually and it saved us time from stoping every couple hours to feed her. She has loved this brand from day one and has never turned down a flavor. 

Best Thinking Toy: So, we didn't get this till the end of the year but a friend of ours gave this to Lemmon as a gift and she is obsessed! She could sit there forever putting these boxes together. It's basically a big box with tons of smaller boxes inside of it. They also have the alphabet on the outside for when they are older. Lemmon loves stacking things and putting things inside each other. So this toy is perfect for that! She does get frustrated because she's putting the wrong box inside another box but it's amazing to see her little mind work to figure it out. Plus, it's helping her to use her words to ask for help! We ended up buying a few more toys similar to this one.