The Kindness of Strangers

I just wanted to share a quick update on our inspirational book drive for the women at Amethyst Recovery Center. You can read more about that project here.

Many thanks go out to the generosity of organizations, businesses and individuals. Without the kindness of strangers and friends, this project wouldn’t be possible.

We have quite a collection going so far!


Due to the generous response, we now plan to give one book to each woman enrolled in the program and get a small library started for all of the women to borrow from.

We still need more children’s books so we can give a book to each child, as well. So if you’re about to make a Goodwill drop off of books or you are with an organization hoping to participate, please let me know. You can email me at


Book Drive For Women’s Recovery Center

Want to make a difference?


Maggie May’s Gifts is requesting donations of new or used inspirational, non-fiction books. Even one book will help. Check your basements!
We will be donating them to the women enrolled at Amethyst Recovery Center.

What is Amethyst?


Amethyst is a holistic recovery center for women. The women enrolled have made the decision to be there and have agreed to the conditions of the program. They are provided with housing, food, counseling, treatment programs, and career coaching in a family environment. In exchange, they must abstain from all drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and be commited to a full recovery and entrance into the workplace.

Why Amethyst?

The only time to truly help another person is when they are open and accepting of the help. Until then, no matter how loving your intentions are, your efforts will be wasted.
That is why offering the gift of motivation and inspiration to the women at Amethyst is so important. Each woman there has made the courageous decision to get help and now is the time to be there for them.

While all material needs are provided for them through this program, dedication and commitment must come from within. The power of a great book can be enough to encourage a woman to keep going when she feels like giving up. It can remind her that the love of her children is much stronger than any drug. It can even inspire her to reach out to someone else who may be in need.

While it may seem like “just a book”, please know that it is so much more than that.

book heart

We all want a society filled with less crime, abuse, hunger, and violence. Getting to the root of the problem (poverty and drug addiction) is the key.
Helping these moms can help keep their children out of foster care and safe from hunger and abuse.

book red heart

Thank you so much for helping us make sure that every woman in this program gets her own book.

All book donations may be mailed to:

c/o Maggie May’s Book Drive
455 East Mound Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Be sure to tell the post office you are mailing a book. They offer a discount for media mailings.

If you are in the Columbus area, please feel free to email me at maggiemays{at}live{dot}com and I will be happy to pick the books up from you.

Healthy Ice Cream (non-dairy)

If you are avoiding dairy or just looking for a healthier version of ice cream, you will love this recipe.


It is so easy and tastes amazing. Plus, it has no dairy, added sugar, or weird ingredients.

All you need are:
2 (frozen) bananas
1 tablespoon almond or peanut butter
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
3-4 tablespoons almond milk.

For a low-fat version, just omit the almond butter.

non-dairy ice cream

First you will want to slice up some bananas and put them into a freezer bag.

non-dairy ice cream

Be sure to separate the pieces so they freeze flat. Otherwise you can get a big clump of banana slices when they all freeze together.

This is a nice way to save a bunch of bananas that aren’t going to make it much longer.

non-dairy ice cream

Slice them up and freeze them so you have them ready when you get a sweet craving. You can freeze them in single serving bags to make it easier. I usually do two bananas per bag.

When you are ready, pour a bag of your frozen bananas, carob powder, almond butter and almond milk into a food processor.

non-dairy ice cream

Blend for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and you are done. If you want more of a milkshake consistency, just add more almond milk.

I love this treat because kids think they are getting a sweet dessert but it’s actually all good stuff!


You can also do this with frozen strawberries for a version of strawberry ice cream. I’d love to hear your variations on this. I’m sure there are a ton!


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Greeting Card Mission Complete

Maggie May’s has been on a mission to get 500 volunteer-made greeting cards into the hands of local foster kids and teens.

Through a lot of helping hands, we just dropped off our 500th card!

We dropped off half of the cards (250 of them!) to Jessica at My Very Own Blanket. They are a wonderful organization that has given thousands of volunteer-made blankets to foster kids over the years. They are going to give a handmade card along with a blanket to a foster child to help them feel loved and secure.


The second half (250 cards) were dropped off to Elizabeth and Leesa at Franklin County Children’s Services. 

children's services


Leesa gave me a tour of their Holiday Wish warehouse. It is such a great program to get holiday toys to kids and teens currently in foster care. If you are able to donate to a toy drive in your area, please do. It really does make a difference to a child.

This mission could not have been accomplished without all of the help! Thank you to all the kids, adults, and seniors who helped make these greeting cards.



art chix

And thank you to Dublin Recreation Center, Whole Foods-Dublin, Whole Foods-UA, Columbus Museum of Art, Mrs. Chrisenberry, The Art Chix and Aussie Fit Hilliard for your help!

We hope these cards will help brighten someone’s day and give encouragement and hope to a child.




Thank You Gift

In the spirit of gratitude this month, I am giving away a gift over at facebook.

Whether you are the host or the guest this Thanksgiving, you are sure to need these wine bottle wraps to spruce up your table wine or your hostess gifts!

wine wrap

All you have to do is come on over and “like” us at and then “like” the giveaway post.

One of you will receive these three wraps in the mail just in time for Thanksgiving!

Contest ends 11/10/13 at midnight. Wine not included, sorry! 🙂

Pine Cone Holiday Projects

With the sunshine, air conditioning, and trips to the pool, it’s hard to start thinking about Christmas already. But now is the perfect time for this holiday project because your materials (pine cones) will be free. Plus, cleaning and sun-drying them is easier, and having this done will give you one less thing to worry about when the holidays do come around!

First, collect some pines cones that have fallen to the ground, clean them in a bucket with water and a tiny bit of bleach. You can also collect the sweetgum balls that have fallen, which are those ping-ping sized balls with spikes on them that fall from trees.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

Lay them in the sun to dry (all day). You many want to turn them and dry them the next day as well. You want them completely dry.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

Then spray them with spray paint. I used red and silver but could you do blue for Hanukah, gold, white or any color you want!

Pine Cone holiday crafts

red pine cones

Once these are dry you can put them in holiday bowls or display them on plates or other containers. I found this old, gold mirror and just updated it with white paint.

gold mirror

I just used painter’s tape to cover the mirror and used a basic white spray paint.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

I just put a few of the cones on the mirror for this look…

Pine Cone holiday crafts

and glued some on wine corks for holiday wine stoppers. These would be cute for holiday parties and would also make cute gifts.

Pine Cone holiday craftsYour centerpiece could hold the table’s wine…

Pine Cone holiday crafts

While we are setting our holiday table, let’s make some napkin rings. Just tie a ribbon around the pine cone.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

Just pull it through the little tabs in the cone so the ribbon knot is hidden tight inside the cone.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

Wrap the ribbon around your napkin,

Pine Cone holiday crafts

and tie in a bow in the back.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

And there you go.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

Pine Cone holiday craftsNow, go treat yourself to a margarita by the pool. You deserve it. You just saved yourself time and money for this coming Christmas!


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Candy bag woobie

Babies just love sounds, especially if they are the ones making them. This is such a fun, easy way to make a woobie that is also entertaining. The crinkling sound this makes could keep your baby occupied for hours. Well, okay minutes, but every second counts when it comes to keeping a baby content.

If you developed a sweet tooth like I did after having kids, you probably have empty candy bags at your disposal. Just be careful that the bag doesn’t have any sugar or residue in it. Hard candy bags are best becuase then there was no contact with food in the bag at all.

Anyway, what you will need is the candy bag and two sections of fabric that are a little larger than your bag. If you want you can add some ribbon tags that stick out for more entertainment.


Next, put your sections of fabric together with the right sides of the fabric facing towards each other. Basically, you are going to sew this up inside out.


If you are doing ribbon tags fold them in half and pin them inside your fabric strips (with the folded part tucked inside and pin in place. Do this all the way around, placing ribbon tags every so often along the way. Then place your plastic bag over the top of your project and pin it onto the top. This is going to look SO strange and you’ll wonder how this will ever turn out right, but trust me.


Sew all along the project  (about 3/4 inch from edge) and leave a 3 inch opening.


Now start working the fabric through the hole to turn the project right side out. Just squish it on through little by little. This process isn’t pretty. Once you get it right side out, a ruler helps to push the corners out. They can be stubborn otherwise.


Now you have a 3 inch opening to stitch up.

Just fold the edge of the fabric down so the edge stays consistent with your sewn edge. If you want to put a final ribbon tag in, you can. Pin the opening closed and stitch it up. I prefer to do this final part by hand (rather than sewing machine) so I can control the process. Since your seam is hidden on the whole project, you don’t want this 3 inch section to look awkward.


And that is it.

Here is the final product. It makes a crinkle sound every time you touch it.


So have fun with this. I hope your baby enjoys it as much as mine did. 🙂


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