Snapshot Sunday!

6 Mar

This week, the Snapshot Sunday is Jeremy and I. Since we just made 3 years of marriage yesterday, I found it only fitting that we should be rockin’ our shirts this week for Snapshot Sunday. ;o)

Do you have an Adoption Rocks t-shirt?! I would love to see a photo of you in it!

Ni Hao Y'all

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Snapshot Sunday!

27 Feb

Jess. Such a good friend. She feeds me once a week and we use her casa to “scrapbook” (aka gossip). She got a few shirts to share with her family. Here’s her and g-ma rockin’ the shirts. Photos of her lil’ one coming soon! Thanks for ALL the support, Jess (and tell Brian many thanks for all the food). ;o)

Do you have an Adoption Rocks t-shirt?! I would love to see a photo of you in it!

Ni Hao Y'all

Snapshot Sunday!

20 Feb

This week’s snapshot is brought to you by the letter “C”. “C” is for Claire. ;o)
Thanks for the support Claire-Bear!

Do you have an Adoption Rocks t-shirt?! I would love to see a photo of you in it!

Ni Hao Y'all

Zumbathon: The Budget Breakdown.

18 Feb

This post is intended for others who are fundraising. I feel as though our Zumbathon was a great success for us and while I was a bit flustered by the time the event came around, I would totally do it again; especially now that I know what to expect. This was my first time planning an event (other than our wedding) and it really took time some time…and great friends to pull it off.

Details about the event:
I honestly have no idea how many people came out for the event; somewhere between 40-50 people. We had 4 people who came just to support and to take advantage of the refreshments and adult beverages. Everyone else Zumba’d their toshies off. The event was 2 hours long, with 2-45 minutes Zumba “sessions” with a break in between. This gave people time to check out vendor tables (we had 2 vendors set-up tables at the event, Scentsy and a nutritional product table), participate in the raffles and hydrate. We pulled winners for the raffles at the end of the event. Food and drinks were available throughout the whole event.

Alright, now for the breakdown…

ZUMBA Instructor: Free
I must admit, it wasn’t my idea to have a Zumbathon, my friend, Audrey originally came up with the idea, since she is friends with a certified Zumba instructor. Cyndi, the zumba instructor, volunteered her time for the event and also gave us some info to help us start planning. I am very appreciative and grateful for her taking the time out to help us out! I took many photos during the event; I hope she’ll be able to use for future advertising for herself.

Venue: Free
First thing we had to book was the venue. Just like planning a wedding, we had to have dates in mind and check to see when the venue would be available. Cyndi was a great help in this department. She had suggested the local VFW and also the Purcell Friendship Hall. To be able to book the Purcell Friendship Hall, you had to either be alumni or an employee of Milton Hershey School. We booked this through Cyndi and Milton Hershey waived the rental fee, once they heard what the event was for. Yay! But I would suggest looking at  firehalls, VFWs and churches as possible venues. Make sure you venue can hold a minimum of 50 people.

Advertising: $14.64
People can’t come to the event if they don’t know about it! I designed and printed flyers from our home computer, but I also had 4×6 flyers made using clubflyers.com (my hubby uses them for show flyers). You can get 500 4×6 flyers for “free”, you just pay shipping. The catch is that they advertise their business on the other side of the flyer (see photo below). I made sure to give my friends stacks of the 4×6 flyers, so that they could hand out to their friends, family, co-workers, etc. Friends and I posted flyers printed on 8.5×11 paper at local businesses; ie. Turkey Hill (gas station), Sheetz, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Borders, local library, grocery stores…any place that has a bulletin board. We utilized the internet and emailed the flyer to friends (who then forwarded the flyer to their friends and co-workers), we facebooked and tweeted the event and I put it up on craigslist. I also had an ad run in the local Merchandiser/Community Courier (free). And somehow a friend (Meghan!) got our event announced on the radio.

Front and back of 4×6 flyers from Clubflyers.com. What you can’t see is the nice glossy cardstock; super professional looking.

Refreshments: $111.25
Besides having 2 dozen cupcakes donated by BeeBakes, which were sooo delish! A friend also donated 3 cases of beer.
We purchased most of the beverages from Sams Club, which included 2 cases of bottled water (36 bottles in a case, $3.98 a case) and 2 cases of 12oz bottles of Gatorade (24 bottles in a case, $9.88 a case). We also purchased 2 large bottles of wine, fruit trays, veggies, ranch dressing, crackers, pretzels, sausages, forks, plates and napkins. We purchased serving trays and tongs and cups (for the wine) from the dollar store. We ended up with leftover veggies, fruit and pretzels and also have PLENTY of plates and forks (purchased from Sams Club) to use at future events.

Raffles: $20.00
Almost everything we had to raffle off was donated. I really didn’t feel right asking for donations, considering we’re not a non-profit organization or anything, my friends really stepped up and took this task off my shoulders. Alex P., especially. She went to many businesses in the local area and got TONS of donations from them. I did purchase a $20 gift card to Tokyo Diner to go along with a sushi set that a friend (Audrey) had donated.
Some of the items we raffled off were:

  • Scensty Warmer (donated by Erica)
  • Sushi set w/Tokyo Diner gift card
  • Movie Night gift basket (included 2 DVDs and TONS of movie type snacks, donated by Erin)
  • Wine gift basket (included 2 bottles of wine, wine glasses, chocolates, donated by Culeen)
  • $25 Bath & Body Works gift card
  • $25 American Eagle gift card
  • $25 Victoria’s Secret gift card
  • $30 Great Escapes gift card
  • 2 bags of Mary Kay products (donated by Irene)

We ran the raffles by selling tickets ($1 for 3 or $5 for an arms length of tickets), we had boxes placed in front of each raffle item and the person would put their raffle ticket in the box of the raffles they wanted to win. At the end of the night, we had lil’ B pull a ticket from each box and announced the winner. I think they also call this a “Chinese Auction”. Once we were done announcing who won the raffles, we mixed ALL the raffle tickets together and pulled a few names for giveaways.
Items we gave away:

  • $10 Toys R Us gift certificate
  • $10 Quentin Tavern gift certificate
  • $10 Turkey Hill gift certificate
  • $10 Sheetz gift certificate
  • $10 A&M Pizza gift certificate

DJ: Free
Luckily I have a friend who DJs (Tony from ITI Pros) and he was nice enough to provide his services and sound system for us. As “payment”, we gave him some of the left over beer. ;o)

Bartender: Free
Due to regulations of the venue, we had to supply a “certified bartender” in order to serve alcoholic drinks. Alex J. came through and hooked us up with a great guy who also volunteered his services for the night. I did have a tip jar out for him, but at the end of the night he refused to take any form of payment (I tried!) or the tips. He donated his tips to us. Thank you.

TOTAL SPENT: $145.89
Zumbathon & Raffle Donations: $1162.00
TOTAL PROFIT (Spent – Donated): 1016.11

I hope this was helpful for anyone who plans of fundraising an event similar to this, if you have any questions, let me know…you can leave them in a comment below.

We just completed our homestudy (I will blog about soon, promise!); we plan to use this $$ for our UCIS paper work, Pre-file I-800A with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. We also still have to have Psych. evaluations done. Once we hear back from UCIS (and psych evals. are complete)…we send our dossier to the Philippines and we’re officially on the wait list! Yay! Paper work is almost done!

Zumbathon!

9 Feb

I didn’t advertise our next fundraiser on the blog; mainly because I don’t think anyone local really reads it. But on February 4th, we had a Zumbathon and it was fantastic.
Between being frazzled and the nerves of speaking into a mic, I forgot the most important thing…to thank specific people. So I’m gonna take the time to do it here. Better late than never. ;o)

First and foremost, I want to thank Cyndi. She volunteered her time and talents to host the zumbathon. She is a certified Zumba instructor and she literally kicked everyone’s arse. She also got us the awesome venue for our event. It was such a great space; perfect. Thanks again, Cyndi!

Many mahalos to Audrey! Besides the Zumbathon being Audrey’s idea in the first place, I really don’t think we could have pulled it off without her. She really was a lot of help in planning the event. Thank you Audrey! And thanks to Audrey’s mom, Karen, for volunteering at the door.

Thank you, Alex P.! We also had many raffles and a few giveaways at the event and Alex was the main reason why we had so many great things to giveaway.

Culeen and Erin also donated gift baskets to be raffled off. Erica from Scentsy donated a warmer and Irene from Mary Kay donated two gift bags to be raffled off, thank you all sooo much!

And thanks to Jess and Katie who managed the raffle table.

Thank you to Meghan! Who apparently got the event announced on 105.7! LoL. Love that girl!

I also want to thank BeeBakes for donating *super yummy* cupcakes and Tony from ITI Pros for donating his time and services by DJ-ing the event.

And of course, many thanks to everyone who came out! The event was sooo much fun because of you!

Now…photos! And a short video (provided by Debra Schell)

Thanks to Cyndi, we were able to secure a fantastic venue.

Jeremy and Lil’ B watching the fun from the 2nd floor.

Jeremy trying to get Lil’ B to dance.

The 2nd floor was also a great space for the kiddies to run around. Here are the lil’ ones chasing Jeremy. He’s such a kid magnet.

Shake that arse!

Tony from ITI Pros doing this thing.

Tony even joined in on the fun. I heard him him say, “That’s my song!” as he ran out on the dance floor! ;o)

Such a fun event; thanks again to everyone who came out!

Check out the video to see some of the live action:

Snapshot Sunday!

6 Feb

Another Birth Day on the horizon! Alex (who is dating my cousin, Mike) just turned 29 on Friday! Alex has been an great friend for about 8 years or so. Thanks for the support, Alex.
And puuuuuulease enjoy the last year in your 20’s! ;o)

Do you have an Adoption Rocks t-shirt?! I would love to see a photo of you in it!

Ni Hao Y'all

Snapshot Sunday!

30 Jan

This week’s Snapshot Sunday is brought to by Lisa and Tristan. ;o)

Did you have an Adoption Rocks t-shirt?! I would love to see a photo of you in it!

Ni Hao Y'all

Snapshot Sunday!

23 Jan

This Snapshot Sunday Shout out goes to Anita (aka Snow Pea from Weddingbee)!
I met Anita last spring at the Weddingbee meet-up in Vegas. Love her! She and her husband got our shirts to show off love for their “babies”, Guinness and Basil, that they “adopted”.

Did you have an Adoption Rocks t-shirt?! I would love to see a photo of you in it!

Ni Hao Y'all

Snapshot Sunday

16 Jan

This is my cousin, Mike. Thanks for the support, Mike!
AND Happy Birthday! Mike turns the big 30 today!

Do you have an Adoption Rocks t-shirt?! I would love to see a photo of you in it!

Ni Hao Y'all

The obligatory New Year post.

13 Jan

Ohhh neglected blog. How I strive to do better in 2011. ;o)

Late as usual, 2010 has come and gone and 2011 is here. Isn’t it funny how time seems to be at a stand still when you’re a kid, but flies by as an adult?!

My highlights of 2010…

I officially went into business. Mariko Photo (although still part-time) had it’s first year as a legit business.

Attending the HUGE Weddingbee meet-up in Vegas (and the WPPI)! Soooo much fun!

Lil’ B turned 6!!

AND started kindergarten!

Jeremy, Lil’ B and I went camping. Had an awesome time! Sorry no photos of that one.

We spent the weekend in Philly and hit up the Please Touch Museum. Blake luuuurve it!

Jeremy had a plethora of shows this  year. If you didn’t know, he produces hip  hop beats and also enjoys performing for fun.

We decided to add to our family through adoption! And thus leading to our massive paperwork and journey.

Worst of 2010:

  • Having to buy a new car after my Rav4 totally took a dump on me….and that was after I already threw in THOUSANDS for a new transmission. We weren’t planning on having to buy a new car for a few more years.
  • Jeremy was unemployed for about 2 months. And while he did eventually find work, it was rough financially for a short while. I know the economy took a dump, but who would have thought that 20+ job applications and resumes would be soooo daunting.

2011 has already been eventful!

  • We *finally* had our homestudy interviews!! Eeeep!
  • Toyota FINALLY (after 6 months) paid me $$ for an extended warrenty they put out for the exact same issues I was having with my Rav4. They paid me in FULL for all my transmission problems!

And the worst of 2011 already…

  • The program I work for is still fighting to get its yearly funding. :o(
    Which means that unless we get our funding approved, I might be unemployed. Here’s the news clip!

What was your best and worst of 2010?

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