30 Days of Giving – Live With Less Challenge

For just about every year since I started blogging I’ve participated in or led a 30 days of giving each November.  I’ve been blogging since 2009 so that’s quite a long time!

The old challenge went something like this:

The challenge is to give something to someone everyday in November.  The gifts can be anything given to anyone…money, food, old clothes, crafts, your time, or even kind words.  I would love to have  my readers join me in this challenge.  The way I see it, even if I don’t give something every single day it will probably would still be more than I normally would have given any other month…and that’s worth it, right?

Here are some of the gift ideas I’ve came up with so far:

  • –  donate can goods to a local food pantry
  • –  donate new toys in your gift drawer or closet to Toys for Tots
  • –  make and deliver a meal to a grieving family or a family with a sick loved one
  • –  donate a couple of hours of free babysitting for new parents
  • –  rake up the leaves in an elderly friend’s house
  • –  clean out your closets to donate to GoodWill or the Salvation Army
  • –  give few more dollars in the plate at church
  • –  prepare a gift for those new to the neighborhood
  • –  send a letter and a box of non-perishable goodies to a soldier
  • –  have the kids make and mail cards to missionaries (or to vets)
  • –  put together a shoebox (or several) for Operation Christmas Child

The old challenge had zero accountability and truthfully not many people participated, or if they did they didn’t let me know about it.


30 Days of Giving

The New 30 Days of Giving Challenge!

I want to combine this old challenge with a Live With Less twist!  I want to suggest finding things in our homes that we no longer need or LOVE and give them to someone else.  We can still make meals and cards but it’s my desire for us to find usable things we have just laying around and donate them to those who can make good use of them.  This could be giving an old piece of china to a relative who would enjoy it, passing along a favorite book to a friend, or it could be donating a bag full of items to a charity.  The choice is yours!

Giving Challenge Prize!

Wait?  Can you really win a prize from giving away your things?  Yes, you sure can!  I’m going to award one reader a $100 Amazon gift card!  Winner will be drawn randomly from those who have completed the challenge.  (It’s fun to win, just ask Rebecca who won last month!)

Giving Challenge Rules:

  • – You must submit your daily entry by posting photos of your items to be given on the wall of our Facebook group – located here.  You can start a new post each day or continue posting follow up days in the comments of your first post.  Most prefer the latter but whichever is fine by me. (Side note, if you’re new to Facebook groups and you don’t want to see notifications when everyone posts you can change the settings in the group.  Message me in the group if you need help with this.)
  • – If you don’t have Facebook you can also email me the pictures at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com with the subject 30 Days of Giving Challenge.
  • – If you know you’re going to have a busy week you can work ahead in the challenge up to five days ahead of time (this is a change from the previous challenge, you can now work further ahead!) and you can be two days late and still be eligible for the prize.
  • We’re going to start the challenge a on Monday, Nov. 9th so we can give others a few days to find this challenge and give you who are reading this a head start gathering your unwanted items.  Because we’re starting late you don’t have to give away 30 things, just 1 per day till the end of the challenge (21).  If you want to do more, by all means please do.
  • – This is a question I would ask if I was participating so I’ll ask and answer it in case you’re wondering to.  Do you actually have to donate the item to, say Goodwill, or can you just set it aside in a box in your garage until the end of the month?  The garage is fine!  There’s no need to make a trip daily to take one item some place.
  • – Share this with a friend!  It’s easier to stick with it if you have a friend or family member who are joining in too.
  • – Last but not least, have fun!!!

In the words of my wise friend Dawn, “This challenge is about being grateful for what you have and blessing others who are less fortunate!”  I couldn’t agree more!

I’m excited to have you join me.   Feel free to start snapping pics, donating, and posting your pics in our group now but our official start date will be Nov. 9th.

Nature’s Harvest Sandwich Art Contest

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Nature’s Harvest®.

If there is one thing my daughter and I like to do together, it’s to be creative!  Whether it’s making paintings for Daddy to hang up at work, inventing crazy dance moves, storytelling or cooking together, she likes to be original!  This week my daughter and I had a fun time experimenting with different sandwiches and different shapes we could form them into.  Works of art, I tell you!  Does your family like to make creative sandwiches too….or do you think they would?  If so, you should stretch your creative muscle and enter Nature’s Harvest® Sandwich Art Facebook Contest!


Nature’s Harvest® Bread is baked fresh with at least 8 grams of whole grains per serving and it comes in several different family friendly varieties. In a recent survey of moms with children ages four to 13, Nature’s Harvest learned that nearly half of moms are concerned about their children’s nutrition and that 52% consider whole grains one of the most important nutritional considerations when they purchase food at the grocery store. When looking for a great tasting bread with whole grains, Nature’s Harvest is “The easy choice for whole grains.” Isn’t it great that there are no artificial flavors or colors?  It seems like everything these days has artificial ingredients inside.

I was telling my friend, Danielle from FamilyCentsability.com about our creative lunch endeavor and she loved the idea.  She has two young boys that are similar ages to my children and it was fun to talk about different lunches we could create using things we already have.  We both have noticed one thing – even though it takes a bit more effort to make a creatively displayed sandwich our kids end up eating them better and eating healthier foods than they would have otherwise.  Healthier foods, eating without complaining, children helping with the prep work?  Win, win, win!


Fun Flower Sandwich for Kids

This was my daughter’s favorite sandwich of the week!  I would have personally gone with the dinosaur but she’s a girly girl and of course she loves the flower the best.  This was very was fun and simple to make.

Here’s how we made our flower sandwich:

  1. First we cut circles our of two slices of bread using an upside down cup.
  2. We put peanut butter between them.
  3. Added Smucker’s jelly on top with a spoon.
  4. Cut American cheese into triangles with a knife and laid around the flower.
  5. I cut the carrots and cucumber slices.
  6. My daughter arranged the carrots to form the stem and the cucumber slices to represent the ground.
  7. Garnish the flower with frozen blueberries and you’re done!

Do you have some sandwich art skills?  If so, make sure you enter the contest!