You bake, they donate: Help me raise money for breast cancer research

Bake It Happen - pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Honest mamas! How are you? Today I have a special post for you that involves two things dear to my heart: food and advocacy. Specifically pumpkin-flavored food because I LOVE PUMPKIN, as you may know from my fave pumpkin recipes post.

Now hold on, pumpkin haters! Don’t leave! There’s stuff for you too! I promise. Just read on…

Today I baked delicious pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for my kiddos — not just because they, too, have the pumpkin-loving gene — but because by baking these cookies and sharing them on social media, I’m raising money for metastatic breast cancer research with Bake It Happen.

Bake It Happen - pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
tbh these are too pretty to be the cookies I baked

First: What is metastatic breast cancer? MBC is stage 4 cancer, which is when breast cancer spreads outside the breast to other parts of the body. As of January 2017 there are nearly 155,000 women living with MBC in the United States alone, and about 25 percent of them were diagnosed at stage 4 from the beginning; the other 75 percent progressed to stage 4 from an initial earlier diagnosis. 30% of those diagnosed with early stage breast cancer will eventually be re-diagnosed with MBC.

MBC is currently incurable and the average prognosis is 2-3 years. That’s it. If you are told you have MBC, you know you will die from it. And think about this: MBC is responsible for the deaths of nearly everyone who dies from breast cancer. So why aren’t we focusing on research that cures MBC?

MBC research is drastically underfunded — the huge majority of breast cancer research funds go to prevention, early detection, and early-stage cures, and not curing MBC patients. I know people dying from MBC right now, and that’s why I’m passionate about helping raise money for its research.

So here’s where the baked goods come in.

Bake It Happen cookies
so mine aren’t totally Pinterest-pretty, but they’re DELICIOUS

During the month of October, if you bake one of Bake It Happen’s recipes and share a pic of your deliciousness on Facebook and/or Instagram, Bake It Happen donates $5 for each pic you share to The Cancer Couch Foundation, founded by Dr. Rebecca Timlin-Scalera. Rebecca has raised over $500K in just 6 months — and all while she has gone through 11 surgeries, chemo, etc., from her own Stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis.

100% of the money TCCF raises goes to MBC research AND every institution they fund commits to matching donated funds, dollar for dollar.

Bake and share — that’s it! By just spending the money on some baking ingredients and posting on social media, you’re donating to MBC research and filling your kids’ bellies with yumminess!

And don’t worry, pumpkin haters: You can choose from banana bread, “compost” cookies, black-bottom cupcakes, or the cookies I made. YUM. They’re all original recipes by Judy Levin, whom Bake It Happen was founded in honor of.

#BakeItHappen recipes
those cupcakes are next on my list

Be sure to tag @ubakeithappen on Facebook and @bakeithappen00 on Instagram, and use the hashtag #bakeithappen so the Bake It Happen people can count your shares! If you’re not on social media, just email your pic to

If giving to cancer research is a priority for you, or you just don’t want to bake, you can give directly to Bake It Happen or The Cancer Couch Foundation. TCCF is currently funding research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Read about the research they do with TCCF funds — it’s pretty amazing!

Now go forth and bake, my friends. Let’s help metastatic breast cancer research get the money it deserves.


Why does anxiety come out of the blue? Or does it?

how to deal with a panic attack

Hello my friends! After a blogging hiatus I am BACK and refreshed and ready to write. I’m working on a new post for you now and it’ll be here on Honest Mom next week after the long Memorial Day weekend!

First, though, I have a special post from my friend, Jodi Aman. I’ve known Jodi since we went to the same summer camp, and a year or so ago we unexpectedly reunited on Twitter. Jodi is a psychotherapist who helps people with all kinds of challenges, and her work with people who have anxiety and depression is how we rediscovered each other.

Jodi shows people how to shift their thinking, change unwanted situations, and stop the out-of-control downward spiral by releasing their internal self-critic. She is wise and kind, and has all sorts of excellent advice on her website and her YouTube channel.

Jodi has a great new book out called You 1, Anxiety 0: Win your life back from fear and panic to keep calm in a crazy world which I can honestly recommend. I think it’s really great — and said so in my own review of her book!

Without further ado, here’s Jodi explaining why anxiety seems to hit you out of nowhere…

Jodi Aman - You 1 Anxiety 0

Why, oh why, does anxiety come out of the blue?

You are going along just fine, and bam! Anxiety comes out of the blue.

Your heart is racing and it’s hard to breathe. You look around, pace, and search for something to stop it. “I must really be crazy!” you think. “There is no reason for me to feel this way.”

That good-for-nothing anxiety has you all up in arms. Tied in a knot. Fumbling and immobilized. Discombobulated. Turned so far upside down, you don’t even know what hit you.

I used to think I was totally losing touch with reality when this happened to me. It was out of control, having no warning like this. I blamed myself and felt like there was nothing I could do to change it. I was in a no-win situation.

Thank goodness I figured out what was going on so I could stop thinking that I was insane in the membrane! I can’t wait to tell you about it so it can soothe your heart and mind, too.

So your anxiety is not your fault, it is biological!

Anxiety is never out of the blue. There is always a trigger.

Like I said, you have to do the heavy lifting here to change this. You have to un-trigger yourself to free yourself. But knowing what is going on will give you the advantage and help you not to feel so out of control all the time!

Be gentle with yourself. This is not the easiest problem to have and you have been through the ringer. Give yourself a hug. Have confidence that people get better from anxiety all the time. And so you can too. Even if you’ve had it forever. Even if you’ve tried everything. Anxiety is curable. You’ve got this!

If you need help, I go into all of these in depth in my new book You 1, Anxiety 0: Win your life back from fear and panic to keep calm in a crazy world.

Tell me, what does it feel like to know anxiety doesn’t come out of the blue?

[Tweet “Why #anxiety seems to come out of nowhere and what to do about it! @JodiAman explains on Honest Mom”]

Jodi Aman wrote the bestseller, You 1, Anxiety 0, to help people WIN their life back from fear and panic. From the garden she started when she was 8 years old to the baby ducks she found a home when she was 10, Jodi has always been passionate about nurturing life and helping people overcome pain. Find Jodi on her website, Instagram, FacebookTwitter, and YouTube — and check out her great video on how to calm down during a panic attack:

homepage photo credit: DSC_06571 via photopin (license)

Here are the candy conversation hearts that moms want

Candy conversation hearts for moms

Hello moms, and happy Valentine’s Day! Does your house look like Cupid threw up all over it? I can’t even see the table in our sunroom. It’s a sea of heart stickers, heart pencils, valentine-themed erasers, pink paper, white doilies, and all sorts of sticky sweet sentiments. This year I stood my ground and banned the glitter. As we all know, that crap is the herpes of the craft world and mama ain’t got time for de-sparkling her house. I swear I’m still finding glitter in my hair from last year’s Valentine’s Day craftastrophes.

Given the big V-Day is looming, we’re living on a steady diet of candy conversation hearts around here. Those things are addictive, aren’t they? I’m not even a big candy person, but those little white hearts are delish and I can’t stop won’t stop eating them. I love looking at the little messages on them and seeing how they’ve changed over the years. Pretty sure that TEXT ME and BFF weren’t around in the 80s, right? I bet MY BAE and TURNT UP are next and that’s okay, just as long as they never get rid of LOVE BUG. That’s my fave.

But wouldn’t it be great if we moms had our very own candy conversation hearts? Ones that could deliver a not-so-subtle message to our offspring about what we really want on Valentine’s Day? I pondered this last year and came up with a few conversation hearts for our kids (and our husbands) that I’d like to see some fabulous candy maker create. Sadly, no one’s fulfilled my wishes yet, but I am undeterred! This year I created more sweet sentiments for my dear darling children. Take a look…

18 candy conversation hearts that moms want!

What do you think? Should I get into the candy making business so my snarky candy hearts can brighten the Valentine’s Days of moms everywhere?

If you could write your own conversation hearts for your kids or spouse, what would they say?

18 funny candy conversation hearts that moms would love! Click To Tweet

photo credit: “Conversation Hearts” via Deviant Art (license)