Erica & Angela
We are excited to announce Mom's Pajamas as our First Featured Charity of 2018. Mom's Pajamas is a wonderful charity established by 4 sisters who wanted to honor their mom after her death. As moms we know the need for pajamas, the love we have for our kids and also the love that our kids have for us. "The Girls" as they call themselves provide women in abuse shelters with all three of these gifts by honoring their mother's legacy. Each year on Christmas these girls gave their mom, Laura, pajamas and after her death they continued their tradition by donating pajamas to their local abuse shelter, one that provided hope to the girls and their mom at one time in their lives.
Mom's Pajamas strives to bring some of the hope that they received to the survivors of domestic violenece and in particular mothers. These courageous and strong moms overcame many obstacles and then continue to focus, as moms tend to do, on the needs of their children. The Girls at Mom's Pajamas wanted to give some comfort to these amazing women by giving them something cozy to wear. As moms ourselves we can relate to feeling of solace when snuggling with our kids in our favorite pajamas, something that can be easily taken for granted. With that in mind we are happy to be featuring Mom's Pajamas this quarter and help give back to these amazing women!
Erica & Angela
Arlene is not only a Lupus Warrior but she is fierce, independent and has been one of my best friends for over 15 years. To be honest, lupus wasn't something I understood until Arlene was diagnosed but even then, I had no idea of the true meaning of what it was like to live with lupus. Arlene has had the great ability to always put her best foot forward, and I might add, they were some fabulous shoes on those feet. Her passion and love for fashion and design mixed in with her big heart always made living with lupus look better and easier then what it truly was. If you know Arlene, you will agree when I say, in over the 15+ years we have been friends, I have never heard her complain about her lupus...not once. But as we grew closer and became more like family(she is my son's Godmother), I gained an understanding as to what Arlene deals with. And what she faces on a daily basis, is exhausting just to think about, but she does it with so much style, courage & Heart! She is my WARRIOR!!
In honor of Warriors like Arlene, we will be featuring Lupus Alliance Research as our featured charity this quarter. Five dollars from each Giving Tee will be donated to help find a cure for Lupus.
"I was diagnosed with systemic lupus at the age of 20, after my first auto immune disease, JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis), at the age of 11. It took a full year of tests and various symptoms to finally diagnose me and truly change my life forever. The journey has not always been an easy one but with age, it has allowed me to better understand my body, my diet, and the best way to live my best "normal" life.
Lupus has given me many obstacles to overcome in the past 15 years. Whether it was not being able to sit in the sun anymore, dealing with a low immune system, trial and error of every medication combination, observing stressful situations effect your body leading to loss of hair and that hair never growing back, and ultimately never knowing how you will feel each and every morning. The biggest obstacle of all is not allowing Lupus to be who you are, it's allowing yourself to live the life you've always imagined and have lupus come along for the ride. I've been blessed to not face this journey alone and the support of my friends and family has been the best medication I could ever ask for.
I have decided to take my positive outlook on such a negative disease and channel it into a Lupus lifestyle platform with my Instagram Lupus l.e.f.f.t (lifestyle, experience, fashion, food, travel). I hope to shine a positive way of life for those dealing with such a life changing disease and show that we can do anything we put our mind to."
Our Featured charity this quarter is Lupus Research Alliance.
Five dollars from each Simply Happy Giving Tee sold will
be donated to support their efforts to
find a cure for Lupus.
Thank you for joining us in our mission to
create HAPPINESS by GIVING!
Angela & Erica
We are so excited for our NEW Featured Charity, Food Bank of South Jersey! Located in Pennsauken, NJ, the Food Bank provides an immediate solution to the urgent problem of hunger by providing food to the needy, teaching them to eat nutritiously and helping them find sustainable ways to improve their lives. To say they are an important and essential charity is an understatement. I had the privilage of visiting their facility with my boys and it was so wonderful to see all the great work they do each day.
During our visit given by the talented Digital Media Specialist (who happens to also be my little sister...so proud!), we were able to witness their work up close. My boys & I learned about the Our Cooking Matters nutrition classes they provide, saw the many hard working volunteers giving their valuable time sorting food donated and viewed the enourmous amount of donations in the large warehouse. However, after learning they serve over four counties and 250 local agencies, we quickly realized that there is never enough food and it is needed now more then ever with tempertures dropping and the holidays around the corner.
As many of you know, each Giving Tee gives back $5 to our featured charity and with those $5, the food bank can provide 25 meals!! How amazing is that?! Just imagine if we sold just 100 Giving Tees? Together, we can help provide 2,500 meals to families who are struggling to keep food on the table and provide that helping hand so many desperately need!
There are so many causes that touch our heart and fighting hunger is one of them. As parents, Angela & I can't imagine what it must be like to see your child hungry and not be able to provide that basic expectation as a parent or the strengh it must take to put your pride aside and ask for much needed help. Living by major cities, we are constantly reminded that hunger isn't far away and we want to make a difference. We are always looking for ways to do more, give more and create more Happiness. With our Giving Tees and your purchases, we know we can achieve our mission and help provide many meals to those in need with our new partnership with the Food Bank of South Jersey.
We ask that you join us, Shop Happy and learn about all the ways the Food Bank of South Jersey provides food to those is need. Together we know we can make a HAPPY difference!
Erica & Angela
Our mission has always been to create happiness. Whether it is through giving with a Giving Tee or by simply motivating someone with kind words. Recently, Angela & I were gathering items to donate to a homeless program through our August featured charity, The Unforgotten Haven. We discussed that not only do they need donations but they need to know we care. We want them to know they are loved; to show them that beyond their circumstances, they are valued & worth happiness. So, we created small cards to give them with the care packages that have motivational and kind words on them. As we were cutting them out, we thought, why don't we share the Happy with all our Happy Supporters?! How great would it be to find a small, simple note that says you are worth Happiness & Love or a reminder to believe in yourself? Well, we want to make that happen and make it simple. We created a PDF and will be happy to share with everyone. All you have to do is enter in your email below and we will email you a FREE PDF of Happy Cards! Just print, cut and spread the Happy! We would love to see were these cards go and who they make happy. Share them with co-workers, neighbors, kids and who you think needs a little encouragement. Being kind does not need to cost anything, it all comes from within!
Erica & Angela
Angela and I are busy working on new Giving Tees and we are so excited for our winter collection to come out. As always, we have our featured charities in mind and we want to make sure you all know and learn about them. Our current featured charity is Special Spaces and the previous blog explained their mission, to create dream makeover rooms for children who are critically ill. Their last makeover was amazing, inspiring and made the special recipient so HAPPY! We hope you take some time to learn about their non-proft and all the charities we have featured, share with others & if you want to support, grab yourself a Giving Tee! The more happy shoppers means the more we can give & support our featured charities!
Simply Giving + Happy Fashion
Give & Learn More Today!
Erica & Angela
We are so HAPPY to announce our latest featured charity, Special Spaces. Special Spaces creates dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening medical conditions. A bedroom to most kids is a personal space, a place that represents his or her unique personality. For a child with a critical illness who spends a lot of time at home in his or her room, that room should be a very special space. It should be a room that is designed and dreamed up by the child so as to become a place that is unique and loved by him or her.
Special Spaces was founded in July 2004 on the precedent that children battling life-threatening illnesses need their own special space. This is a place of hope and inspiration, and a special space to find peace and comfort.
As of today, Special Spaces has created hundreds of bedrooms across the country. The picture above is their latest and largest makeover they have done to date and it is amazing!!
We are so excited about this partnership and sharing this amazing charity with you! We would like everyone to join us by simply making a Simply Happy Brand purchase and staying connected! Together we can inspire, motivate and create happiness while giving to others in need! ❤
Erica & Angela
*To learn more about Special Spaces- Chapter (Newark/Delaware/Philadelphia), view their facebook page at www.facebook.com/specialspaces.newark.philly/ or check out their corporate page www.specialspaces.org
This past week we introduced our new featured charity, Postpartum Progress and we are so happy to join them in creating awareness for PPD while raising needed funds with our Simply Happy Brand Giving Tees. Honestly, it has surprised us with the response we are receiving and it made us realized that postpartum and other maternal mental illnesses are more common then we ever had imagined. As mothers we all have a story. As much as we imagined our life with a new child while pregnant, it never goes exactly as we planned. We support all moms and know from experience, that it is not only the best job we will ever have but one of the most challenging & toughest.
As with any charity we have featured, we do our research and after learning about Postpartum Progress, their history & how much their nonprofit has helped so many around the world, we new we had to help too. We praise them for there amazing website filled with recourses, information and most importantly support. Their blog is the most widely read blog in the world on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. It has reached more than 2 million women this past year and each blog posted is written and shared from a mother who has gone down a similar road which gives other women seeking help, hope.
Sometimes all you need to begin your recovery is to know, you are not the only one who has felt these certain feelings. Our friend and founder of Mom2MomNJ, Sandy, described her experience with PPD. She explained that it wasn't until she finally shared her feelings with a friend that she was able to begin recovery.
"Everything came to a head one afternoon when a neighbor, a new friend at the time, stopped by to visit the baby. I didn’t know she was coming and in a fit of anger towards my son I threw the candy he was whining about into the garage. As I slammed the door and everyone around me was crying I heard the doorbell ring. I had never behaved this way and everything was beginning to feel out of control. I answered, flustered and upset and in that moment just knew, I had to open up to someone. I’m not sure what made me spill everything, but as we stood in my foyer I let it all out. Many tears and many hugs later I finally felt less alone."
Sandy went on to explain that it wasn't until after hearing her friend share her story and how they had similar feelings that she felt less alone. "It put things in perspective for me. It not only made me feel less alone, but it helped me make sense of the feelings I was so confused about. I didn't understand why I was so sad and mad, but it now made sense to me which helped me start to feel better."
Now, years later after recovering, Sandy has shared that taking time for herself is what keeps her going. "Whether it be working out, going to dinner with friends or simply going into the other room to read a book, I try and make some time for me whenever it works for my family. I'm lucky enough to have a very supportive husband who helps with this! "
Many people may find Sandy's story a little surprising because most know her as Mom2MomNJ, a mom reference site that helps us NJ moms connect with places, family information and gives moms a place to ask questions about motherhood. However, if you take notice of her posts, especially on her instagram you will view the honesty of motherhood and the sometimes failed attempts of getting it "perfect".
In a time were social media is how we share our "edited" highlights of life, it is good to have an honest place were we share our darkest of times like the Postpartum Progress blog, so we can let others know that life isn't always perfect. If we find the courage, as Sandy did, to let go of the stigma and guilt to share her experience, we can help many Warrior Moms out their find the light in the mist of darkness. We ask that if you are reading this now and are wondering if your feelings are normal, please head over to www.postpartumprogress.com and check out their site. You can read about other moms who have PPD and It will also give you references to seek medical help from a professional in your area.
As always, we asked Sandy what was her last Simply Happy Moment and she happily described it. "The other night all four of us decided to play Trouble. It was close to bed time and the game was lasting VERY long! I looked over at my husband, who is a stickler for bed time, and he just smiled at me and kept on playing. The little inside jokes and funny moments during the game were the cutest! It was a small moment, but one that made my heart smile, knowing that this simple game could turn into a lasting memory for all of us! "
We continue to live out our mission at Simply Happy Brand, to create happiness through motivating, inspiring and giving to others in need. We are more then aware not everyday will be rainbows & butterflies but what we do know is that every day there is at least one thing to be happy for, whether is it just getting out of bed in the morning, taking a breathe or seeing your child smile. We hope you find that one thing to be happy for and continue to fight each day for more!
Erica & Angela
"Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome." -Unknown
Since starting Simply Happy Brand we have featured several charities that are close to our hearts. As mothers of seven kids between us, Postpartum Depression and Anxiety has been a topic of discussion over the years. Pregnancy, giving birth and becoming a new mom or a mother to an additional child is stressful on your body and your mind. As moms, we have felt sadness, stress, and anxiety and have questioned ourselves over and over (as I'm sure many of the moms out there have). Are these “normal” feelings or something else? How do we distinguish between the two? Where do we go to seek answers?
Our newest Featured Charity, Postpartum Progress does just that. Not only does Postpartum Progress create awareness, it’s also a place to find answers, support and a community. They are an organization based on relationships to help women recognize if they need help from mental illness, confidence to reach out for that help and a community of thousands of mothers who support each other. They envision every pregnant and new mother with a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder will identify the illness, understand the importance of treatment and seek that help to move toward a successful and full recovery due to the access of information, services and support they provide.
With their goals of providing awareness, a community of support and banishing negative attitudes towards postpartum depression and anxiety, Postpartum Progress has created several programs to help women get the help they need with so many avenues like their blog, educational resources and terms guide, their signature Climb Out of the Darkness hiking event held each year, and their Warrior Mom program to name a few. Anyone who visits Postpartum Progress can find the resources they need to overcome postpartum depression and anxiety.
We are overjoyed to feature this award winning charity and spread their mission. We thought featuring a charity that aims to provide love, support and community was the perfect way to step into 2016! Our new giving tees are inspired by Postpartum Progress’ vision! Visit www.simplyhappybrand.org to learn more about Postpartum Progress and Shop Happy to support their cause!!
Angela & Erica
Give the Gift of Happy
If your list looks anything like ours, it is long. From kids, family, teachers, friends, the bus driver and many more that we usually remember at the last minute! Well, we have something for everyone at Simply Happy Brand and as always, each purchase donates $5 back to our featured charity, Pennies from Heaven, which makes this gift even more special!
Depending on which lady you are purchasing for, you have a couple choices to choose from our Giving Collection. Our KInd, Brave, Happy Giving Tee is always a great pick. Its positive message, women's cut and casual which is easy to pair with for an everyday look. If you aren't sure of their size, our Giving Infinity Eco Scarf is another great pick and perfect for any women. It's eco-friendly and soft feel will definitely make it a staple piece. What is better? Knowing that each purchase helped a family in need. Win-Win!
For the Happy Kiddies
Whether it is a baby, toddler or youth, we have a Giving Tee for them! Our Best Gift Ever Giving Onesie is a perfect for the little ones on your list. Filled with inspirational words and 100% cotton, it will definitely make your heart melt at the BEST GIFT anyone can ever have. Our toddler Happy Hero Tee, Young, Brave & Happy Tee & our Be Kind, Brave & Happy Girls youth tee rounds out our Giving Tees. And when you tell them this Giving Tee gives back to someone in need, it makes it more special. Every time they put it on, it can not only motivate them but they will know they are helping someone. The perfect message to spread this holiday season.
For everyone else on your list!
When you are looking for a gift for a co-worker, friend or neighbor we have some easy gifts that will make a big difference. We have our Giving Tote, Happy Wraps, Giving Bands & hand painted Giving Glasses that will be a great gift for all those left on your list!
We hope whatever you decide to Give this holiday season, we hope it brings you and the receiver Happiness!
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday filled with family, memories & happiness!
Erica & Angela
We are proud to introduce our new featured charity, PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, Caleb's Foundation. This foundation is especially important to us because of our connection & friendship with the Mitschele family (Caleb's aunt and I were college sisters, Jess was actually my big sister in our sorority so we grew very close). And now as Angela and I are mothers, we would only hope, if put in this position, we would be blessed with the assistance this foundation has given to hundreds of families during the most difficult time in their lives. As mentioned in our posts online, when we were in the beginning stages of developing Simply Happy Brand, this foundation was one we new we had to feature and share their amazing work with everyone.
PENNIES FROM HEAVEN was started in loving memory of Caleb Joseph, a beautiful little boy who brought love and happiness to everyone he met. Caleb was happy and healthy until a malignant brain tumor ended his life suddenly in February 2007… he was only 2 years old when he gained his angel wings. Caleb’s Foundation was started out of love for him as well as the desire to be a support system for families in need.
PENNIES FROM HEAVEN is dedicated to providing financial assistance to families with a critically ill child fighting for their life. Help comes by way of covering rent or mortgage payments, electric or medical bills, groceries, transportation and much more. PENNIES FROM HEAVEN helps families relieve the stress of financial burdens at home, so parents can concentrate on the more important issue at hand, their child’s recovery. No parent should ever have to prioritize a payment or job before the care of their sick child.
We recently reached out to the founder of Pennies From Heaven, Caleb's mother Nichole, to get more insight on PENNIES FROM HEAVEN and she gained strength and happiness through giving in her beautiful son's honor.
You have taken your pain and turned it into a beautiful foundation in Caleb's memory. What gave you the strength & motivation?
Wow, such a tough question. The short of the long is that something inside me couldn't forget those kids in the hospital who had no family with them. Caleb was blessed with more than 25 people visiting with him on a daily basis. It was truly heartbreaking to find out that parents had to make the devastating choice to leave their sick child alone in the hospital. It wasn't fair. I couldn't let go of the nagging feeling that I was supposed to do something...that Caleb was sent here for a bigger reason than even I understood at the time. I started finding pennies in the most obscure places and knew they were signs from Caleb. It became my mission to carry out Caleb's legacy of helping other children, and I couldn't be more humbled and proud to be his mom.
What advice would you give a parent who is struggling with an ill child and providing for them?
Ask for help. Even those families who don't think they have a lot of support, I promise there is at least one person willing to help you. It's hard to ask for help, it really is, but you have to. And definitely don't turn down any help that is offered to you. Say yes right away!! Maybe in the future you can pay it forward by helping someone else out. Most importantly, don't lose hope...in the end that's all you've got
How many families to date has PENNIES FROM HEAVEN assisted?
To date, we have assisted more than 360 families with a critically ill child. Our help comes by way of mortgage and rent bills, electric and other utility bills, medical bills and more. No parent should have to prioritize a payment or job before the care of their sick child. We do whatever we can to help families stay together during the most difficult time of their lives.
What were some of the things that made Caleb Happy?
Caleb was a super easy going baby and toddler, he didn't need a lot to play with to keep him happy. One single matchbox car that he could roll back and forth would keep him entertained for hours. He loved when I played my guitar and he had his own little one to play with as well. Caleb loved calling people on his toy phone and most of all, he loved his Mr. Bear. He didn't do anything without his beloved stuffed animal and it brought me joy to see how happy it made him. I'm lucky enough to have Mr. Bear with me now and it brings me such comfort, especially when I'm having a hard time.
At Simply Happy Brand we believe those everyday simple, small and happy moments are the big things in life. Can you name your last Simply Happy Moment?
Well that's easy. It was this past Sunday October 18th, which was Caleb's birthday. He would have been 11 and in the fifth grade. Through all the tears that day and missing him more than ever, I was able to find joy in celebrating the day my hero was born. Don't get me wrong, I cry a lot of sad tears for Caleb. But this year, I was able to focus more on the happiness of the day and the amazing things that have been carried out in his name. Caleb is a true inspiration to all and it felt so good to celebrate his birthday this year with a little bit more of a smile in my heart...
Caleb's Pennies...sent down to us from heaven, given out with love to those in need.
To learn more about PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, Caleb's Foundation and the families they assist, view their website.
Purchase your Giving Tee today to assist this beautiful foundation and assist families in need.
Erica & Angela
Erica Conway is a wife, mother of 4 active boys, Co-Founder of Simply Happy Brand & very active in many community non-profits.