Graeter’s Cones for the Cure 9/8-9/18

CFTC_LogoThe Cure Starts Now and Graeter’s team up once again this September for their annual Cones for the Cure campaign. The campaign will take place September 8-18 at participating Cincinnati, Dayton, Cleveland, Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, Lexington, Louisville and Pittsburgh Graeter’s locations to help spread the word about The Cure Starts Now and its mission to find the homerun cure for cancer by focusing on pediatric brain cancer.

As part of their continued support for The Cure Starts Now, Graeter’s will be giving away free scoops of Elena’s Blueberry Pie ice cream (available at all locations except Lexington, Louisville and Indianapolis) to customers two times during the campaign period During Cones for the Cure, guests that visit a Graeter’s store during the campaign period have the opportunity to donate a $1 or $5 “Cone for the Cure.” Graeter’s will also offer a $20 savings booklet for every donation of $5 or more to The Cure Starts Now.

There’s so much excitement surrounding this event:

There will be FREE ice cream days! WHAT? Yep! and there will be a photo contest (rules are below)

How do you keep informed about all of these things? Like Cones for the Cure on Facebook, and keep an eye on my Facebook and Twitter accounts for quick updates as well.

In 2015, Cones for the Cure raised nearly $100,000 in two weeks. Let’s help them surpass this number this year. 

Photo contest rules:

1. Like the “Cones for the Cure” Facebook page and upload a picture of yourself posing with your Graeter’s ice cream to the Facebook page between 9/8/16 – 9/18/16 (pictures of questionable nature will not be eligible for the contest). You can also tweet your photos and share them on Instagram.
2. All photos must use #conesforthecure to be considered.
3. Pictures are the property of The Cure Starts Now and all sponsors and may be reproduced or used without permission or payment of any kind.
4. Have fun! The more entertaining you are the better chance you have of being mentioned on air by our media sponsors.
5. The top 5 photos will be selected by WLWT and 96 Rock by 9/19/16 for final voting by followers of “Cones for the Cure” Facebook site. The picture with the most “likes” wins. The grand prize winner will receive a Party Pack of ice cream courtesy of Graeter’s. The winner will be announced on 10/1/16 on the Cones for the Cure Facebook page.

Contest open to all individuals 18 years of age or older with a valid Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois,
Indiana or Pennsylvania driver’s license. Employees of The Cure Starts Now and Graeter’s Manufacturing Company as well as their affiliated entities, affiliated advertising agencies and participating sponsors/promotional partners and the members of their immediate families are ineligible to participate or win. One winner will receive prize of a Graeter’s Ultimate Party Pack valued at $49.95 + tax. For a full list of contest rules, please visit

School Supply Shopping Tips

back-to-school 7Isn’t this post late, Karen? Not really.

Now’s the time to begin to stalk your local Walgreen’s, Target, Kroger, etc. as they’ll begin to significantly mark down back to school (BTS) supplies. Trust me when I tell you that that box of crayons you bought for Timmy isn’t going to last the entire school year. 

Here’s things to look for, and stash away:

1. Invest in a good electronic pencil sharpener. It will be used for at least a decade on a very regular basis.
2. When you see Ticonderoga pencils on sale (you can buy them this time of year for about 1/2 the price), STOCK UP!
3. See #2 above and repeat for things like crayons, markers, glue sticks and dry erase markers. Your kids will come to you in December with a list of things they’re out of, and you’ll have to pay dearly to re-stock.
4. Create a place to store the extras in your home. What you need extras of will change as your kids get older. I now need no crayons, but lots of loose leaf paper.
5. When/if you have to buy binders, buy the expensive ones. Really, just do it. Or you’ll end buying more within just a few weeks of school.
6. Same thing in #5 applies to things such as scissors and crayons. Buy the best or you’ll end up like one of mine who had scissors that wouldn’t cut and crayons that wouldn’t crayon.

Once your kid hits 7th grade, begin to add things like index cards and pens to your list. 

Finally, back to school is tough on teachers. Help them out. In fact, make it a point to ask them what they need. I read years ago that you want your teacher to be your new BFF (not for real, but think that way). Bend over backwards for your kids teachers.  Ask them what they want. Even if they have a wish tree. Ask them, really, what didn’t you put on here because you didn’t see it happening? If they tell you, go ninja on the world, and efforts might not pay off in September. Maybe not even in November, but they will before the end of the school year: when you’re kid is the class pain, brat, trouble maker, or even star student, the teacher will remember who their mamma is, and they’ll cut the kid some slack or give them an extra hug. Regardless, it’s a win/win for everyone. 

What are some great tips/advice you’d like to share? Post them in the comments. 

Look Up

cell phoneOne of my family’s favorite things to do on nice evenings is to go to one of our local parks. We’re really fortunate to live where we do, as our community prides itself on using 30% of the land for parks. In fact, a new park with a walking trail was recently added. It’s our current favorite as in addition to the being able to take nice walks, there’s also a great kids playground. Perfection. Pure perfection.

We let the munchkins hang at the playground while we talk a walk. After a few of our recent trips to this park, I’m feeling amazing fortunate to have the life I have. You see, while my husband and I walk, we talk to each other. Sometimes we hold hands. Sometimes one of us will lean over for a kiss. Or we’ll nudge each other in play. And we’ll laugh. It’s a wonderful time for us to catch up with each other. We can talk about the kids—things we love, things we need to work with them on, things we’d like to do with them, etc. We can talk about our schedules, plans we have. The world for that time in that place is ours for the taking.

What I’ve noticed, though, is that we’re not the norm. There’s normally five or six other couples who, like us, have brought their kids to play while they walk. But these couples aren’t talking to each other.  Instead, they’re walking along with their phones in front of them. What could possibly be more important than connecting with your partner? Not a game. Not a text. Not Facebook.

We conscientiously pay attention to when we use our cell phones in each other’s presence. For me, having the chance to spend real time with my husband is worth more to me than most things in life. I’ve chosen him to be my partner. It’s been 26 years. In order to make sure there’s even a possibility of another 26 years, we have to make conscious choses to make sure that we’re growing, and building our relationship.  I hope you’re doing the same.

If I’ve just described you at the park, it’s not too late. Next time, slip your phone into your back pocket. Reach out, grab the hand of the person you’re choosing to live life with, and talk. If it’s been awhile since you’ve done that, then start out by talking about the dogs running around the park. About the other people all looking at their cell phones. It doesn’t matter what you talk about. Just talk.