MomsLA, CBS, Crowdrise, and the LA Marathon

Have you had a chance to check out It is quite fantastic. MomsLA is the site founded by me, Sarah Auerswald, and Elise Crane Derby for the parents of Los Angeles to find out what moms are talking about.

So far, we’ve had posts about medical marijuana, Jamie Oliver and his attempts to get into the Los Angeles Unified School District schools, love and marriage, and Jane Harman leaving office. We have a little bit of everything and I would love it if you would check us out.

Also, I have a post up on CBS Local Los Angeles about romantic restaurants to take your very special someone on your anniversary. If you’re looking for some bargains in Westwood/Century City, I’m writing about local deals for 

All of these things are happening while I train for the LA Marathon and raise money for Help A Mother Out on Crowdrise. Crowdrise is Edward Norton’s fundraising site where anyone can start a project to raise money for a non profit. I chose Help a Mother Out because they do such great work for families. So if you’re interested in helping some local moms who are struggling to get diapers for their babies, check out my Crowdrise site. 

I'm an LA Marathon Superstar!!!

Yay! A week ago I set up a  page on Crowdrise to raise money for Help a Mother Out while I run the LA Marathon. Now I’m an LA Marathon Superstar!

What does that mean? I get a t-shirt! And the picture of my older son and I (above) is on the LA Marathon website. (It’s in the rotating picture on the top.) But what I’m hoping it means is that more people will look at my Crowdrise fundraising page and want to donate.  If you want to look at my Crowdrise page and donate, well, please click here. 

Running the LA Marathon to Help A Mother Out

I’ve been training for the LA Marathon since September and it’s taken over my life. It affects the amount I sleep, how much I eat, how I plan my week, and how much energy I have for work and for my family.

But that’s how it goes when you’re training for a marathon. I thought I was giving all I had to give until I got a reality check from Edward Norton.

There’s much more to give and there are organizations out there who are working much harder than I am and they are making people’s lives better. One of those is Help A Mother Out, a non-profit that provides diapers to parents who can’t afford to buy them for their babies.

Here is more information about Help A Mother Out’s diaper program from its website:

Did you know that diapers are not covered by public assistance programs like WIC or food stamps? And did you know that diaper companies do not make big donations to shelters or outreach programs? Until we started Help A Mother Out, we didn’t know it either. It was a revelation to us that something so basic as a diaper could have such a big impact.” Read more
So now, I’m running the marathon for more than just myself. Please make a donation to Help a Mother Out by visiting my page on Crowdwise.

Thank you!

Yahoo! How Good Grows

>When Yahoo! gave its Motherboard members $100 to do acts of Kindness I was overwhelmed with choices.

I pictured being in the store and noticing a single mother unable to pay for her groceries. Seeing her in trouble, I would swoop in and pay for groceries. She would cry. I would cry. We would hug.

In reality, I have been taking my kids to the grocery store with me lately, which usually ends in disaster. I was so consumed with getting out of the store without causing a scene, I forgot until we were safely in the car.

I kept waiting for inspiration to strike and it finally did in early December. My family and I were waiting in line at Home Depot to buy a Christmas tree. The line was long, but I was intrigued by a family in line behind us. The oldest daughter seemed so sweet. She would go from quietly standing in line next to her parents to watching her younger siblings while they ran around the tree lot. When it came time for them to pay, I told them I would get the tree for them. They seemed confused and I told them about the Yahoo Acts of Kindness and how I was doing something nice for them in the hopes that they do something nice for someone else.

Of course, I barely got those words out. I was so choked up, which is odd because I don’t get emotional. It just felt so incredible to be doing something nice for someone else. They seemed touched and happy. Can’t ask for much for than that.

After such a great experience, I decided to wait until inspiration struck again. That happened at Los Angeles International Airport after my kids and I were stuck waiting for our flight to Tucson. It was delayed more than an hour, not because of the bad weather, but because something was wrong with the plane. I fought the urge to just go home and Skype with my family instead of getting on the plane, but then I had an idea.

There were so many kids on our flight that my 2 boys and I bought a box of See’s Candy lollipops. My boys split up the lollipops and handed them out to all of the kids waiting in our terminal. The children were excited to get the lollipops, but the parents were even more thrilled by the gesture.

That wasn’t my kids first Act of Kindness for the holiday season. They both helped pick out gifts for girls who were spending Christmas at the Maryvale orphanage. It was arranged through my son’s preschool. I also donated some of the fabulous gifts that I got from the Los Angeles Latina Bloggers Discovering Mas Luncheon that I went to a few months ago to Maryvale.

The kids and I were full of ideas for the rest of our Yahoo! How Good Grows money, but it was my niece who had a truly inspired idea. It was pouring rain when we got to the San Francisco Bay Area and she thought it would be nice to buy rain slickers and give them out to the homeless. Unfortunately, the day we planned to do it was sunny and beautiful. No rain for the next few days.

Instead, I donated the rest of the money to Help A Mother Out to buy diapers for kids whose mothers can’t afford them. It’s a great organization and they are definitely spreading Kindness. I love Yahoo’s Kindness program and it was a fun way to teach my kids that the holidays aren’t all about us. If you’d like to read more about how other people spread a ripple of kindness through their community, check out the Yahoo! How Good Grows page or Yahoo! Motherboard’s page on Shine.

Mother's Day

I worked at my booth today at the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market. A couple of people said they weren’t sure if I would be there because it was Mother’s Day. I chuckled at this. Oh, the dream of Mother’s Day, where you get breakfast in bed, a diamond ring, a trip to the spa.

But in real life, Mother’s Day is like most days except you get something. In my case it will likely be Type 2 Diabetes. My boys and husband gave me a box of See’s Candy, which I love, and surprised me when I got home with a box of cupcakes. This, plus the fact that I was at the farmers’ market selling gluten-free baked goods that I had made, sampled and then just ate because I was hungry, not knowing cupcakes were waiting for me at home.

While I was at the market, my 4 and 6yrold boys went with dad to a birthday party. They spent the rest of the morning trying to get their hands on Rock Band, because I really wanted one for Mother’s Day (ummm, ok…). Apparently, there’s a new Rock Band coming out and they are out of the old version at the stores.

The husband told me about their adventure trying to get me my dream gift. I felt bad, but I had to tell him. “Don’t get me Rock Band. It’s too expensive for Mother’s Day (and I don’t want one).” I barely have time to sleep and I’m going to play Rock Band? He got the idea after we went to a fabulous fundraiser party last weekend for Help a Mother Out. The Game Truck was there and we played a few songs on Rock Band and I said, “That was fun.”

I’m just giving the husband a hard time. All of the boys were so sweet today. They gave me a card that plays the theme to Charlie Brown. Later, the 4yrold breakdanced and the older boy did his best Snoopy impression to the music. The 6yearold hid the gift he made me under his pillow for 2 days even though he was worried that the tooth fairy might take it. They gave me many hugs, picked flowers, and helped me shell the fava beans. And the husband made a lovely dinner (fish and vegetables to counterbalance the cake and candy) and cleaned the kitchen.

But I did do 4 loads of laundry, helped get the kids ready for bed, and cleaned up around the house. Mother’s Day was nice, but just because someone decides you have a holiday doesn’t mean you get any rest.

Yvonne's Gluten-Free Goodies

Attention fans of Yvonne’s Gluten-Free Goodies. There will be two great opportunities to catch us this weekend and get some tasty gluten-free goods. On Sunday, we’ll be at the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market from 9 to 2pm with agave muffins, cupcakes, and Mexican Wedding Cookies. I’ll also have lovely gift jars filled with cookie mix or brownie mix that will delight any treat-lover on your holiday shopping list.

But the goodies don’t stop there. Later on Sunday, you can come by the Treehouse Social Club from 3 to 6 pm for the fabulous Help a Mother Out Holiday Playdate. The admission “fee” is a donation of a pack of diapers that will go to needy families (Huggies has agreed to match donations up to 3,000 diapers). It will be a great time for a great cause. The kids will enjoy the indoor playgym while you sample some gluten-free cupcakes and cookies. If you’re interested in attending the playdate there’s still time to RSVP to or 818-317-5507.

Help a Mother Out Holiday Playdate

A fellow blogger and all around nice person, Kim Tracy Prince of House of Prince, is hosting a holiday playdate on Dec. 13 to collect diapers for needy families.

Bring a sack of diapers and come say hello to me at the event. Yvonne’s Gluten-Free Goodies will be providing treats including mini cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies.

Speaking of Yvonne’s GFGs, I’ll be at the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market tomorrow from 9 am to 2pm with berry pies, vegan chocolate cupcakes, and gluten-free oatmeal cookies.