May 30, 2010

Fair Trade Coffee for you!!!

Sandy Yusen, Director of Public Relations for Green Mountain Coffee also shared a comment in response to my inquiry with Green Mountain Coffee! So, today as I announce the two winners of Green Mountains "Spring Revival Blend" consider purchasing a Limited Edition 10oz bag. I am certain that you will be glad you did!

House:Green Mountain Coffee is an incredible, full bodied blend. How do they share in this campaign?

Sandy Yusen: GMCR is committed to the growth of Fair Trade as part of ensuring social and environmental responsibility throughout our supply chain.  Launching coffees such as Spring Revival Blend is one way we can help small-scale coffee farmers invest in the quality of their coffee and the quality of life in their communities.  It’s part of our dedication to delivering high quality, sustainably-sourced coffees to consumers.

NOW to announce our winners!!

                                                 K.r. Copeland 
I love coffee too!!!!!!! May 26 at 5:49pm

                                                                Wendy Roehl Pike 
Gotta love a great cup of coffee!May 26 at 4:03pm

Each of the winners will receive a 10oz LIMITED EDITION of Green Mountain "Spring Revival Blend".

May 25, 2010

I LOVE coffee, YES I DO ...


Recently I professed my love for coffee and received information about Fair Trade and drinking responsibly.

I was able to sit down and share a bit with Stacy Wagner, PR Director TransFair USA & Green Mountain:

I also read the TransFair blog - simply a MUST read ...


House: Trans Fair USA supports and promotes Fair Trade in the United States. Please tell us about your tracking from farm to finished product.

Ms. Wagner: TransFair USA works with an international network of Fair Trade organizations to contract with each party involved in the product supply chain--from Farm to Importer to Brand or Retailer--to ensure that farmers recieve fair prices for their products and that the Fair Trade community development funds are paid. These funds help provide farming families with critical social support such as access to health care, education, transportation and more to help alleviate poverty in these communities.

House: Why is this agenda important?

Ms Wagner: In the countries that provide most of the food products we enjoy, farmers and workers don't have employment protections--fair wages, representation, negotiation power, etc--that we take for granted. These regions also tend to be extremely poor, and vulnerable to weather fluxuations as well as global prices and middlemen who will pair pennies on the dollar for their products. Fair Trade helps to organize the farmers and workers into cooperatives that have the ability to connect directly with the global market place, gain access to credit and stable prices for their crops, and give all workers a voice in the workplace. Another element unique to Fair Trade is the Fair Trade premium.  These funds help provide farming families with critical social support such as access to health care, education, transportation and more to help alleviate poverty in these communities.

House: Tell us about the men and women impacted by Fair Trade.

Ms. Wagner: For more than 35,000 Rwandan coffee families, Fair Trade certification has translated into new schools, improved healthcare, new clean water wells, and long-term economic security.  Sales of Spring Revival Blend will continue to generate additional income for farmers as well as Fair Tradepremium funds to invest in social programs.  Overall, GMCR purchased over 16.2 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified coffee from Africa, Asia and Latin America during its fiscal 2009. These purchases resulted in over $1.6 million in social premiums paid to farmers in the developing world.

Your readers may enjoy the first-hand account from our PR Manager Katie Barrow: Women, Coffee & Hope: Fair Trade is Blossoming in the Hills of Rwanda.

House: Green Mountain Coffee is an incredible, full bodied blend. How do they share in this campaign?

Ms. Wagner: This partnership with Green Mountain Coffee aims to raise awareness of the Rwandan coffee story, increase consumer demand for the country’s specialty coffee, and inform U.S. consumers that everyday purchases—such as a cup of coffee—can echo across continents to help alleviate poverty in the developing world.

Sales of Spring Revival Blend will continue to generate additional income for farmers as well as Fair Trade premium funds to invest in social programs.  Overall, GMCR purchased over 16.2 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified coffee from Africa, Asia and Latin America during its fiscal 2009. These purchases resulted in over $1.6 million in social premiums paid to farmers in the developing world.

House: If someone were to take away one important thing from Trans Fair USA efforts, what would you like it to be?

Ms. Wagner: Through small, every day purchases, U.S. consumers can feel empowered to make a difference in the lives of farmers and farm workers around the world. Fair Trade is just that--it's trade, not aid. We're helping farmers to build sustainable businesses and all consumers need to do is ask for Fair Trade when they order their morning coffee and look for the Fair Trade Certified label when they shop at the grocery store. Through conscious shopping, we've been able to send just under $200 million to the developing world in just 11 years.

Thank you so much for your time and wonderful information Trans Fair USA & Green Mountain Coffee!

This is so important to me being a coffee drinker and free spirit who deeply believes in fair trade. Please tweet me what you loved best about this post - or leave a comment - you will automatically be entered to win Green Mountain's Limited Edition "SPRING REVIVAL BLEND" - Regular Ground!! will choose the winner Saturday, May 29th at midnight!

May 23, 2010

Chevy Missions & YOU!!!

WildFire Restaurant's Social Media Director, Melodie Clemens & GM/Chevy's Communications Director, Connie Burke

Chevy and I threw a PARTY.

It was an incredible evening full of food and fun at the WildFire Restaurant.

Chevy Missions is a program that allows common folks the privilege of hosting or completing some sort of service project using a fleet of Chevy's latest model vehicles.

What could be a better motivator to helping your fellow man, woman, or child out than by doing so in a new auto that has a taste of what is surely to come - fuel economy, luxury, and durability.

Connie Burke was on hand to give us the 411 on Chevy , as Melodie Clemens and Laura Rosen of  The WildFire Restaurant served us and wowed us with their beauty and grace.

This was an event for the ages.

The children who have participated in this particular Chevy Mission have now  learned that corporations need to bridge with them and their communities because we are all in this  together!

An evening of The Wildfire's Martini Flights, spinach dip and wheat pizza taught the parents participating in this Chevy Mission, that life is good, Chevy is fun and that Connie Burke is no longer a part-time Chicagoan ~ we gave her the key to our fine city!

Sign up for a Chevy Mission TODAY!

May 16, 2010

O Store Yea!

Time for tea with Oprah!!

Well, not exactly. The Media Mogul/Icon did not make an appearance - but many of her signature "Friends" did appear and graced us with their incredible products!

Trust me, as much as I was hoping O would pop in, it was an equally satisfying treat to meet Chef Art Smith, Tea Extraordonaire Shane Talbott, and Karyn Calabrese.

We sipped tea infusions, and munched on "O" cookies. Karyn Calabrese provided VEGAN fare YES!

What a joy to eat tid-bits that were gourmet with NO caloric back-butt-lag.

There were closets full of "Oprah's Favorite Things", her "No-Phone Zone" Campaign and things that displayed her world travels.

We met wonderful staff members and delightful tourists!

The afternoon was a complete delight.

Thanks to the Oprah Store all of you can venture inside of O's world and experience the posh and divine.

May 15, 2010

When you hear "Mommy Blogger" what do you think?

     Connie Burke & Lainey Canevaro representing Chevy Missions

I attended an incredible SV MOMS event April 11th at Chicago's Hard Rock Hotel 230 N. Michigan. MJ Tam ( & SugarMyBowl) along with GM/Chevrolet sponsored an event that was a beacon for social media involved moms.

It was truly spectacular. The forum of bloggers who are moms ( I REALLY don't consider myself a "Mommy Blogger" per se but LOVE the mothers who are), shed light on culpability, monetization, liability, responsibility, branding, content and more!

We were also able to interact and exchange with brands. It was a healthy conglomerate of minds melting down this new phenomenon which is social media.

Being the neophyte that I am (3 yrs blogging!), I was fascinated. Many mothers take issue with reviewing, gifting, and advertisement. I am thankful that they have legitimized blogging. Additionally, many of the mom bloggers in the room, like MJ, Jill Asher and Linsey Krolik, pioneered mom blogging.

Most exciting was being able to speak with brands directly: Stonyfield, Chevy Missions, Yodeling Mamas from Yahoo, Schlage Residential Security, litl, eBay Classifieds, Peapod, Easy Print Design, BitDefender, Powerade Play, Garrett Popcorn Shops, 1800Baskets, Busy Body Books, Tide, Energizer, Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, Cinnabon, IGo, BABIES the movie, The Oprah Store,  and Army of Women.
The display of food and product was appealing and we were fed! That is ALWAYS a plus.
Mingling with Chicago's top social media was of course the best part.
The pre-vendor event consisted of an extremely informative mind melting where we learned about being approached by corporations with pitches to review and or promote their products.
Most moms concurred that the only way to play is though maintenance of integrity. 
Despite regular media's injection of doubt in attempts to discredit our movement, many moms remain committed to our voice and vehemently resounded that our opinions are not for sale - but if you want our opinions, by all means - we are serious business partners who deserve proper compensation.
After all of our often heated but incredible thoughtful conversations, we were released to the brands who really wowed us with futuristic, green-energy-saving products, lots of chocolate, sports drinks and paraphernalia.
We mingled with one another and laughed - and hey, I even cried (I received a huge Starbucks basket from 1800Baskets- and I am a coffee fiend).

Let the naysayers pour out their loudest cries, but be well-advised - we moms are here, we are not "for sale" and we will be a marketing force to be reckoned with!

May 13, 2010

Keep Hope Alive!

How does mentoring impact other's lives?

I guess the statistics are still out, but according to the, there has been a sharp decline in service from 1999. The good news is that participating in service oriented activities has gained momentum with an upswing that is occurring now. This increase is being closely monitored. To put pen to paper on the positive influence volunteering to help someone else's circumstances can be for the community and for the self may inspire more service!

Research is now determining that helping out your fellow man has more benefit to it than the rudimentary "helper's high". suggests, "volunteering provides them with physical and social activity and a sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing. Some of these findings also indicate that volunteers who devote a 'considerable' amount of time to volunteer activities (about 100 hours per year) are most likely to exhibit positive health outcomes.These findings are particularly relevant today."

Altruism can be good for your heart, it improves brain activity and is a great supplement on your resume.

People like to hire folks who are giving. It means you are well-rounded, unselfish, and socially oriented.

Even through my chronic shyness, I have always been a giver.

You don't need to be an extrovert to help someone in need. Many times, it only takes a few hours, a bit of  effort, an idea or movement.

Encouraging our children to be less self-absorbed may also chip away at many of the behavioral issues we have been seeing the past few decades.

If children are too busy helping someone else, how can they be a pain!

Additionally, many children who are  suffering disorders, may simply need to be needed in a postive way.

I applaud all of the organizations who make it SO easy for us to put our hands in!


May 10, 2010

A 1, and a 2, and a 3! Notes from Chevy Missions Week 3!

Look at the boys on one of the "Mission" trips to the school where they mentor elementary aged kids and assist the teachers with Afterschool programming!

During Chevy Missions Week 3 mom Donna shared, "I wish I had that DVD player when my boys were younger!! You can see how mesmerized they were when watching Anchorman."

Donna was also excited to exclaim, "I really enjoyed my week with the car. It rides extremely smooth for such a large vehicle. I'm used to driving smaller cars so I was pleased with how easily it handled. The 
turning radius and pick-up were also better than expected.

I picked up my mom, who is a thin/small woman, and thought we'd have a nice laugh seeing her trying to get in and out of the car (she didn't know I had it).  We were both stunned when she got into and out of the Traverse with ease! Not what I expected.

As far as future purchases, I would look for a model smaller than the Traverse since it is bigger than I need at this point. I'm anxious to hear about Dwana's experience with the 

Dwana is excited to SHARE her experience with the Equinox and is COUNTING down the days!

But back to the Traverse missions ...

Lugging young men to their duty the past few years has been fulfilling and has always been fun, but thanks to the Chevy opportunity, it has been economical, fascinating in so many respects, and quite the learning lesson for all of the kids.

The GM reinvention is now part of their beings, they feel invested, and a part of bringing the USA auto reign back home.

What a concept to be considering right as these 8th graders end their youthful middle-school lives and move into more critical thinking. 

Hopefully, what thoughts they may now have, and considerings as to how they can be proponents for industries, how they can seek improvements for those less fortunate, or who are unable, and how they can maneuver quality and reliability into whatever equations they become faced with. Coming from a place of defeat and rising above. They are so young yet are an integral part of pushing from down-under and flying high - despite adversities.

My best hope for all of this is that they garner empathy for all situations ~ urban and corporate alike, and use this for a range of insights as they forge into the new unknown.

May 4, 2010

More than fun, it's mother to my son

"Mommy Blogging" has become the official categorization for women with children who blog or are in social media. Until recently, I never considered myself a "Mommy Blogger" but alas, I guess that is what I am. I very rarely mention my mothering status, but the fact is, I am a mom. I have an opinion, a voice and a powerful economic consumer responsibility.

Having older kids, many of us are faced that some kids desire anonymity. Until very recently, I was not blogging about my son. Then the changes started creeping in. The mustache, the tenor voice and the new towering stance. The emotions surfaced and spilled at a rushing rate.

Initially, I began my blog as an outlet. Having received my undergrad degree in English, I made sure that writing has always been in my life. Working in a government law enforcement capacity the past 20 years stifled that passion - yep, it was just about dead, when I hit a brick wall and began to uncover that unless I allowed myself to truly be me, I was always going to be at a deficit.

Slowly I began to reinvent myself. I could still be rough and tough and emote about it!

Beginning my blog set me free.

Being exposed to the county's most hardened offenders on a daily basis can drain one's since of civility.

There are amazing people in this world. Expressive, talented, uplifting people who make this world a better place. I want to meet them all and share their passions.

Recently I was featured on Funsherpa - the blog - Interrogating the Interesting.

Much like what my blogs do, they catch folks in their rapture. Conquering what we are compelled to do is so incredibly important to many of us.

Be sure in your daily travels to be authentic and loving about yourself and your goals.

No path is identical - that would be BORING - we must foster our journeys and nurture our paths.

For me, keeping an online journal turned into 3 blogs and social media, networking and what I now see, the capacity in which I was born to be in.

I always considered myself chronically shy, but I have now reconciled that I simply enjoy being in comfortable atmospheres with people who have open hearts and minds.

Recently, I was explaining to a newcomer to social media, the difference between the "Tweetup" we were attending and commonplace "after-work" networking.

Amazingly there is a difference. Yes, everyone is there to promote themselves, their missions and their spiel, but the vibe of open heart and embracing spirits is evident.

People are genuinely interested in what you do, why you do it and are invested in trying to help. This makes all the difference. This is why my being in Funsherpa's profile as a MOMMY BLOGGER has meant so much to me. Defining yourself but giving yourself room to grow, mutating from day to day into that butterfly, and taking deep breathes before every plunge is what life is all about.

Embrace it, yourself and all the possibilities!

If you visit Funsherpa, and see a deal that you would like, use this code mothersday-hhh ~ this will give you 10% off any purchase until Mother's Day! This let's them know the HOUSE sent ya.

May 1, 2010

Hooray for Chevy Moms

General Motors has a lot to answer for.

The terror of realizing that the world economy shifted due to the demise of the old GM, and other auto manufacturers, was quite an experience.

Thankfully, and brilliantly, the United States has risen from the ashes. A phoenix in the night. A star dimmed, once again shining brightly.

As I handed off another Chevy Traverse to an excited mom, it became apparent enthusiasm IS contagious!

Did you know that, as of 2004, 65% of vehicle purchases are by women?

Give the U.S. consumer quality and affordability and they couldn't be happier!

The first thing you notice is that the Chevrolet Traverse doe NOT have inferior interior!

The dials and buttons are sturdy enough to handle the fidgety fingers of teen aged boys.

They slam doors, turn knobs vigorously, stomp and hurl loaded back packs.

The Traverse is built to withstand.

Teen boys must go here and there and everywhere there is dirt, mud, and dirtandmud.

The Chevrolet Traverse can take it.

Watch us again this week as we take the Traverse to task.