Posts Tagged ‘giving back’

Summer Camp Themed Cookie Dessert Bar

August 31, 2010

We had the great privilege of being invited to be a vendor at a fabulous fundraiser for Camp Arroyo in Livermore, CA run by The Taylor Family Foundation.  Vendors throughout the Bay Area come together to form a tasty epicurean ensemble.  Donors have the opportunity to bid on auction items, purchase raffle tickets for superb prizes, and mingle all while enjoying great local food and wine.

When I heard about this event I couldn’t stop thinking about all the memories that Summer Camp brings.  The smell of the outdoors, the zip lines, the campfires, the bugs, and most of all laughing with friends hysterically.  We set out to create a “summer camp” themed cookie dessert bar.  Pardon the poor photography.  I had to use the camera phone because I forgot to charge the batteries in the real camera.

Custom Cookie Dessert Bar

Summer Camp Themed Cookie Dessert Bar

In order to give the cookie table a rustic feeling we used a burlap table covering, and created cookie platters using real tree stumps.

Custom Cookie Dessert Bar Teepe and Flower Details

Summer Camp Themed Cookie Dessert Bar Teepe and Flower Details

Custom Dessert Cookie Table Details

Summer Camp Themed Cookie Table Details

When I think of summer camp, I think of kids crafting all kinds of fun things with popsicle sticks, magic markers, twigs, pipe cleaners, and the likes.  So, we couldn’t stop ourselves when it came time to put together some fun kid’s crafts.  Those pipe cleaner bugs turned out to be harder then they look! I couldn’t stop laughing when I couldn’t figure out how to attach the wings.  I apparently don’t think like a 5 year old.

Custom Cookie Table Bugs and Birdhouses

Summer Camp Themed Cookie Table Bugs and Birdhouses

The twigs helped us to hold up the flavor indicators so that people could easily identify their favorite cookie.  We had chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, oatmeal raisin, and peanut butter pecan on hand for the day.  To my surprise, the snickerdoodle cookie was the hands down favorite of the day, flying off the stump at an alarming rate.

Custom Cookie Dessert Bar with Flowers Provided by Alamo Flower Company

Summer Camp Themed Cookie Dessert Bar Flowers in Mason Jars

The lovely floral arrangements used bright, casually arranged flowers, in mason jars to help give the table an added outdoor element.  Alamo Flower Company kindly donated all of the beautiful arrangements to help spruce up the dessert table.

We sure had a fun time out there feeding 1100 hungry souls from our cookie dessert table.  We certainly got a lot of nice comments and it sure is fun seeing how something so simple like a cookie can make people so darn happy.  🙂

What are your fondest memories of Summer Camp?


Patriotic is…

July 2, 2010

July 4 commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Many of us think of BBQ, hot dogs, beer, and fireworks. But, it’s also a great time to reflect on what America is about. defines a Patriot as:  a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.

So, I’m sitting here wondering, what *are* America’s interests. Well, other then TV, celebrities, sports, fast food, and consumerism. 🙂  The second sentence in the Declaration of Independence is one of the most famous historical statements:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

When I read this statement, I can almost feel the sense of community that our forefathers wanted for this country.  All politics aside, it seems like in the last 200 plus years, we may have strayed from the ideals that created this country.  It seems like a lot of us have gotten so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, we forget to look around us and think about our fellow Americans.  We worry about our own woes and we forget that there are others out there with problems much larger then our own.

For this Fourth of July holiday weekend, I encourage you to do something “patriotic”.  Volunteer.  Take some time out of your day to help become a part of your community.  Support the folks around you.  Get to know them.  Shake their hand.  Hear their stories.  You’ll be better connected to your community, and we may slowly get back to what our forefathers wanted.

What are some of your favorite organizations to volunteer for?

What Wearing Glasses Taught Me

June 24, 2010

We all know kids can be cruel.  Not cruel because they’re malicious, but because they’re straight up honest.  They have a thought, good or bad, and it comes straight out their mouth in some of the most shocking ways sometimes.

I got my first pair of glasses when I was in 3rd grade.  Glasses back then were the heavy plastic frames and thick coke bottle lenses.  And, for some reason, the kids glasses somehow managed to engulf your entire face even though they were supposedly designed for kids with smaller faces.

I sat in the back of Mrs. Deichman’s class unable to read the chalkboard.  I was so ashamed and embarrassed to have these giant purple face eaters covering my eyes that I kept them stored in my desk drawer.  Whenever I needed to read the chalkboard, I’d slump down close to my desk drawer, pull out my glasses, hold them up, read the board, then quickly throw them back into the drawer.  All because of the sing song taunting from the other kids that would devastate any 8 year old… “Four Eyes” “Coke Bottles” “Neener Neener”.

Thankfully for me.  I got contacts the next year and what seemed to be the endless taunting finally stopped.  I was cool again.

This is why we’ve chosen to donate the proceeds from our latest Ice Cream Sandwich Bar Extravaganza to The Taylor Family Foundation.  Because they are helping kids with real ailments, not just fixable cosmetic issues, like glasses.  They enable kids with special needs to go to camp with other kids just like them.  The kids don’t have to hear “normal” kids ask them “why do you look like that?” or “what’s that for?” and other questions that little inquiring minds need to  know.  The kids get to go to camp and “just be kids.”

What were you taunted for as a kid?