Tag Archives: Holiday

Inspiring Change: Women’s Equality

Happy International Women’s Day!

This year theme is Inspiring Change.

Women’s equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal. International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.


I wanted to take a kind of different approach to my post for International Women’s Day. Originally I was going to share my thoughts on inspiring change, but just minutes ago a documentary came onto our public television station about this worldwide holiday. The stories are so moving I feel that instead of sharing my tips for inspiring change, it would be more impactful to tell you about a few women who have inspired others to make a change.

Jane Austen


What did she do?

Today we know Jane Austen as one of the greatest writers of classic literature. In her time though, it was not common for women to be published authors. Through Jane Austen’s books, not only did she provide us with a wide array of strong female characters (also uncommon to the time), she set the stage and opened the door for the male-dominated literature field to be more accepting of women writers.

What did she say?

“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”

Susan B. Anthony


What did she do?

Susan B. Anthony is famous in the United States for helping in the suffrage movement for women. She ended up being arrested and taken to court for her work, but afterward continued to fight until the day she died. Although Susan B. Anthony was never able to vote herself, her almost 50 years of dedication to the movement did eventually lead to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment,  which prevents voters from being discriminated against on the basis of gender.

What did she say?

“I have encountered riotous mobs and have been hung in effigy, but my motto is: Men’s rights are nothing more. Women’s rights are nothing less.”

Amelia Earhart


What did she do?

Amelia Earhart is probably most well-known for her disappearance in 1937 during her circumnavigational flight around the world. While she was never found, her accomplishments as a pilot before her disappearance did a lot to encourage other females to pursue paths in the male-dominated field of aviation. Amelia Earhart also had a somewhat unconventional marriage for the early 1930s, where she not only perceived both the wife and husband to be equal partners, but in which she kept her maiden name (something unheard of then).

What did she say?

“Women must pay for everything. They do get more glory than men for comparable feats. But, they also get more notoriety when they crash.”

Ellen Degeneres

Ellen DeGeneres

What did she do?

This talk show host may not be the first person that comes to mind when you think of activists for women’s rights, but that’s what makes Ellen Degeneres so perfect for the job- she’s so subtle about it. One of the most recent examples can be seen in her shaming of Abercrombie and Fitch’s sizing declaration. While she made the news story into a joke and had everyone laughing as she shared her opinion on the matter, it still impacted women everywhere. She shared publically on television that Abercrombie and Fitch’s discriminatory policy against plus-sized women was not okay.

What did she say?

“Beauty is not between a size 0 and a size 8. It is not a number at all.”

Malala Yousafazi 


What did she do?

The most recent in a long line of influential women, Malala Yousafazi who first became well known for her blog with the BBC in 2009 (which originally was anonymous) and then a documentary later which showcased her beliefs on the needs for educational rights for women. She has received numerous death threats for her beliefs and was shot in her school by the Taliban in 2012. After being on the brink of death, she miracuously recovered and has since continued her fight, writing a book and inspiring a backlash in her home country of Pakistan. Currently Malala is heading an education movement that spans worldwide.

What did she say?

“There was a time when women social activists asked men to stand up for their rights, but this time we will do it by ourselves.”

I hope that hearing the stories of these women were as inspiring to you as they were to me. While there has been much progress towards change thanks to not only these five, but countless more, there is still a long way to go towards seeing men and women as equals in the world. 

Thank you to Jan at Sprouts and Squats for creating a link-up where fellow bloggers can share their posts on International Women’s Day, and also for making me aware of this wonderful even- something that I am happy to be a part of.

“For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women.” – Elizabeth Blackwell (the first female U.S. Physician)

12 Days of Allergy-Free Christmas Recipes— Everything you Need to Know, and How to Sign Up

I have just been amazed at the response I’ve received on my idea that I shared on Friday. You all are truly wonderful and I’m so lucky to have you as both fellow bloggers, and friends. I asked for help and you certainly delivered.

I have no doubt in my mind now that we will be able to do this 12 Days of Allergy-Free Christmas Recipes with great success. In this post today I am going to give you all of the fine details and hopefully better explain what the round-up is all about, and more importantly- how you can participate.

Don’t be worried by the enormous amount of text that is about to come. I have already written up a draft of my contribution post, and it took me less than an hour (which if you know me, is quite quick 😉 ). Most of the information below is just me trying to be a thorough as I can so there is no confusion. Still, if there are any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask!

To get started, here is the “button” that I have created for the round-up event:


Feel free to scale down to size (I just wanted provide the largest amount of pixels possible to prevent blurry images).

Now onto all of the details…


What are the who/what/where/when/whys of the 12 Days of Allergy-Free Christmas Recipes?

  • Who: Any blogger that wants to join in, can. If we surpass the 12 bloggers, you can still participate by submitting a recipe link directly to the blogger in charge of a particular theme. In addition you could also still use the round-up button for any Christmas or holiday posts that involve allergy-friendly recipes that you post throughout the season.
  • What: We are gathering up Christmas allergy-free recipes into one large collection. The recipes don’t need to be “free” of everything, just at least one common allergen like wheat, dairy, gluten, peanuts, eggs, etc. One post doesn’t need to be all gluten-free or all peanut-free. Mix it up and provide options for everyone!
  • When: The round-up will be starting this Friday, December 13 as “Day One” and will end the day before Christmas on Tuesday, December 24 as “Day Twelve.”
  • Where: You will post your themed post as you would a regular post on your blog, and I will have a page on my blog dedicated especially for this event, with a link for each day.
  • Why: This round-up is so that at the conclusion of the 12 Days we will have a full list of Christmas recipes that can help those with any dietary needs or restrictions. The holidays are supposed to be about sharing smiles, spending time with family, and getting to make amazing memories. Having to be concerned with finding safe food to eat is often stressful, time-consuming, and not very fun. This collection of recipes will be an invaluable resource to lessen that burden and help people enjoy the holidays!


How to participate in the 12 Days:

1. Leave a comment below with what days you are available to host, and what theme you would like to showcase (if you can give a couple of each that would be great for scheduling purposes). This is open to absolutely any blogger that would like to join up to 12 (but like I said previously, if we go over 12, you can still submit a recipe to the the other co-hosts for their specific themed round-up).

2. I will contact you as soon as possible to let you know what day and theme is yours. I will also update the lists below on this blog post as days and themes are taken so you not which are still available.

3. A few days before it is is your posting day, start to gather your recipes. Make a call out to your readers for links to their favorite allergy-free recipes, and gather some of those from your favorite bloggers. Also, work on the recipe that you are contributing and get all of those delicious photos taken!

4. Write and publish the round-up on your assigned day. No need to send me the link. I will grab it when reading your blog along with everyone else, and I will come back here to add a hyperlink to the round-up home base.


When it comes to making your post, just a few things to remember:

  • Explain what this round-up is for and why you are participating. Maybe you are doing it because you have dietary restrictions and know how hard it can be to find good holiday recipes, or perhaps you are doing it just out of the generosity of your heart!
  • Include the provided round-up button and link back to the home page located on my blog. I will be listing and sharing a link for each host’s themed post so that they are easily accessible all in one place.
  • Share the collection of recipes that you found within your food theme. You can include a link, optional photo, and most conveniently, a quick breakdown of who the recipe would be good for. As an example- Easy Apple Cinnamon Pancakes from Eating 4 Balance (Grain-Free, Paleo).
  • Then include the recipe that you made specifically for the event! If you don’t have time to make a recipe, no worries. You can just repost an old one, making sure to give a breakdown of what food allergies/diet it would be good for.
  • And finally, make sure to remind your readers to check out the other bloggers who will be sharing their round-ups and recipes!


Here is the current list of available days (which I will update as bloggers confirm when they can host):

Click here for an icon that you can include for your specific day. Example of Day 1 below.



Here are the available themes (again, which I will update as they are taken):

***I would like to try and have the 12 days of food themes run in at least some sort of chronological order with breakfast starting first, then followed in some combination of drinks, appetizers, the main meals, side dishes, bread, dessert, leftovers, etc. Here are the 12 themes that I think would be best to include, but feel free to suggest/replace one with your own idea!

  • Breakfast- Pastries and dessert-like items. (Me from Eating 4 Balance)
  • Breakfast- Casseroles, Porridge, Eggs/Quiches, etc. (Jan from Sprouts N Squats)
  • Snacks- What you could snack on throughout the day while cooking up the big Christmas feast! 😀 (Sarah from Slices of Sarah Pie)
  • Drinks- Hot cocoa, juice, smoothies, flavored water, cider, fruit punch, coffee… (Rosie from Facing Your Storm)
  • Appetizers- Easy-to-pick-up foods to eat before the main meal. (Andrea from Pencils and Pancakes)
  • Main dishes- Self explanatory. (Kendra from Veggie Dancer)
  • Side dishes- This can be anything from vegetables to stuffing to a traditional family favorite. (Olivia from Liv Lives Life)
  • Bread- Sweet breads, savory breads, muffins, fruit cake, etc. (Juli from 1000 Lovely Things)
  • Cookies- One of the essentials for Santa on Christmas Eve! 😉 (GiGi from Gigi Eats Celebrities)
  • Pie/Cake/Cheesecake/Pudding- Almost every celebration has them. (Cat from Cat Food is Good for You)
  • Candy/Fudge- This can be simple homemade candy and/or seasonal twists on delicious fudge.
  • Nut butters and spreads- Come on, you nut butter lovers out there know that this is a holiday must! (Kathleen from Kat’s Health Corner
  • Leftovers- An inevitable part. Some creative, allergy-friendly suggestions for what to do with them would be so helpful!

**If you are listed as “tentative” above that means that we have discussed a theme but I haven’t 100% verified that you can do it. Let me know if you’re still able to or would like to change, and what day you want!**

Thanks in advance to everyone who participates!


Please comment below with what days you are available, and what themes you would like to host. List them in order of preference so that I can work our the schedule and find the best fit for everyone!

Are there any themes that you would rather see, or do you have any questions about the round-up details? Nothing is set in stone and if you have a good suggestion for improvement, I’m all ears! 🙂

As always, if you don’t want to leave a comment here, you can also e-mail me at alleyhays[at]gmail[dot]com (<<< I promise I will get a better one soon with my actual name! 😉 ).

And if for any reason you end up being not able to post, please e-mail me immediately. If you could find a blogger that would be willing to replace you in that event, I would thoroughly appreciate it, but if not, the sooner I know, the sooner I can find someone!