Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Comments for a Cause - Iowa Cookie Crumbs

Comments for a Cause - Iowa Cookie Crumbs
It's November 1st and time to talk Comments for a Cause!  In the month of October I had 28 comments, equaling a $14 donation to My Stuff Bags Foundation!  This money will go to helping children in crisis centers and foster care have their own personal items.

In the month of November I'm looking forward to helping some Iowa bakers and their efforts to send cookies to troops overseas by donating $0.50 for every comment made on my blog to Iowa Cookie Crumbs.

Comments for a Cause - Iowa Cookie Crumbs

Last December I read an article about a group of Iowa bakers that sent more than 30,000 cookies to U.S. military personnel stationed overseas during the holidays and I knew I needed to highlight them as a future Comments for a Cause recipient.  If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know that I have a sister in the Army National Guard and a brother-in-law who was in the Marines and Marine Reserves.  Needless to say, anything to support the troops means a lot to me, because I know how much it means to our soldiers, especially when they are deployed.  And since Veterans Day is celebrated during November, and I knew there would be a lot of cookie baking in preparation for Iowa Cookie Crumbs's holiday shipment, I thought this month would be the perfect time to showcase their compassion and appreciation for our military.

The Iowa Cookie Crumbs was formed by Abbie Crawford, of Southwest Iowa, nearly ten years ago and they not only send cookies to our troops during the holidays, but each month all year long.  In fact, last month the group hit the milestone of baking and sending over a million cookies!

All of the boxes of cookies are shipped to individual service men and women.  Names are collected through Treat the Troops, a larger network that the Iowa Cookie Crumbs works through.  The Iowa bakers do send boxes to local soldiers, based off of requests, but a majority of their cookies are sent to soldiers not directly from the area.

So help me, help this group of dedicated bakers by commenting all month long so we can help cover some of the shipping costs of all of these cookies!  ***If you live in the Council Bluffs area, you can personally help by attending their holiday cookie packing day on November 15th at Emanuel Lutheran Church.***  What is your favorite cookie?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

Country Fair Blog Party: November 2016

Before we get into this month's Country Fair Blog Party.  Jan from the Tip Garden and I would like to share about some changes coming to our Blog Hop!

Big Changes!  As you may have noticed Nicole from A Kansas Farm Mom, and Laurie, from Country Linked, have made the hard decision they need to take a break from blogging and concentrate completely on family and  farming. We completely love and support them and their decision, and send them our best wishes!

The Future?  Jan and I will be running the County Fair Blog Party through the end of the year, and we are looking to figure out where we go now. If we continue as the Country Fair Blog Party, or relaunch in a new direction. Not just a new name, but a new format altogether. This is where we turn to you and ask for your input!

Here's what we do know: We do love hosting a blog link up party! A monthly link up is what we can handle.

Here's what we need input on: If we did change formats would you give us your thoughts on them in the comments section? We will be using your feedback as we make a decision.

Input Questions:
  • Themed Link up: Keep a regular monthly blog party, but if we changed the format to a theme. How do you feel?
    • General, Seasonal, Monthly: Any posts that would fit for that month.  Example, the month of  May might be anything from Mothers day, graduations, Spring foods, Memorial day.
    • Specific: Examples, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter Holidays,Valentines, etc.
    • A Simple Name Change/Rebranding away from Country Fair Blog Party
  • Step away from a regular link up and host fun "link up" weeks and have you all  join us as Blogger Link up Hosts, onto your own blogs! Examples, seasonal foods or holidays, Mothers day, Valentines, Easter, etc. and bloggers would get to link up their post onto the link and get it posted onto their own blogs, as well and share it too for the exposure!  This would mean you'd be joining us as hosts!  We could always "generalize" the theme a bit too, like "Thanksgiving" or "Autumn Recipes" to widen our base of bloggers who have posts to share.  Going to this time of link-up would be similar to the #AppleWeek I participated in, in December with our Blue Ribbon Winner Cooking with Carlee. This themed link up is a fun because you get to focus your own recipe/post on your own blog, but join in as a host on a link up at the same time without doing all the work of a party host!  You just need to do a bit of work with us to get the link to us and then get some code into the bottom of your post so all the other links show up, underneath your main recipe! Like your own little blog hop!
  • Other?  Do you have any other ideas or thoughts we should consider?
To Thank you: We will be giving away a Holiday Gift Bag to one lucky blogger who shares their thoughts in either of our comment sections!

Country Fair Blog Party Holiday Gift Bag Giveaway
Gift bag includes Holiday Apron, Oven Mitt, Spatula,
Cupcake Liners with Matching Cupcake Topper Picks,
Sugar Cookie Scented Candle, Food Themed Gift Tags,
Wooden Canning Jar Hanging Chalkboard Tags in Canvas Drawstring Bag
and Reusable Farmers Market Style Shopping Bag
Here's how to enter our Giveaway:
  1. Link up at least one blog post to our monthly link party. 
  2. Leave us a comment in our post comments with your thoughts on where we might take the future of Country Fair Blog Party. 
  3. After leaving a comment, click on the Rafflecopter button to enter the giveaway.  Giveaway ends midnight November 25th, 2016.  Winners will be chosen at random via rafflecopter.  We will announce the winner in our December 1st Country Fair Blog Party Post.  We hope to take all your thoughts, along with our own, and make a decision. both individually and together; and we hope to have an announcement if possible for the December Link Up! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Ok, now that I have shared about the future of the Country Fair Blog Party, lets quickly review last month's Country Fair Blog Party by sharing our most viewed post from the link-up, Cooking with Carlee's Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork.

Country Fair Blog Party Blue Ribbon Winner: Cooking with Carlee's Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork
I personally have made this recipe three times already!  It is simple and delicious.  I personally use the pulled pork "as is" in sandwiches the first night and then reuse the pulled pork for something else like enchiladas, stroganoff, etc. the next night.  Warning, this pulled pork smells especially good cooking in the crock pot so you might want to make plans to not be in the house, otherwise you're going to be very hungry all afternoon. ;)

Join the Country Fair Blog Party by linking up to 3 of your favorite food, family, farming, crafts, canning, etc. posts!
Thanks to everyone that joined our blog hop last month, and I can't wait to see what great posts get linked up to this month's Country Fair Blog Party.  Country Fairs are all about food, family, friends, farming, animals, arts and crafts, canning, baking and more.  And that is what our our blog hop is all about too.  Feel free to join our Country Fair by linking up to 3 of your posts.  This blog hop is a great opportunity to check out new blogs, and if you blog yourself, have your posts reach a new audience.  Be sure to visit some other party goers and let them know you are stopping by through the Country Fair Blog Party.  

Also, be sure to visit my fellow co-host:
Jan of Tip Garden

We're excited to see everything you share, along with your input on the future of the Country Fair Blog Party this month!  Besides sharing your ideas for the Country Fair Blog Party, be sure to also comment what your favorite link from this month's Country Fair Blog Party is.  Whichever post is mentioned the most in the comments will receive my "Readers Choice" Blue Ribbon next month.  Remember to Comments for a Cause!