Your Thanksgiving Pie will Provide 8 Meals via Mama’s Kitchen 365 Days a Year

This is such the case for those who purchase or gift a pie via Mama’s Kitchen Pie in the Sky Fundraiser.

For 24 years, Mama’s Kitchen has been feeding and serving our neighbors affected by HIV/Aids or cancer who are too ill to grocery shop and cook for themselves. Mama’s Kitchen cooks, prepares/packs and delivers nutritious meals.  Each recipient receives  3 meals a day for 365 days a year for as long as they qualify.  All is done though approximately 800 volunteers that serve over 350 clients.  All is done with no cost for food or delivery to each client’s door though the generosity of donors and people like you – purchasing a pie during the  The Pie in the Sky Fundraiser, their biggest driver of funds of the year to continue their work.  Each pie’s proceeds provide eight nutritious meals!

This year, I encourage you to learn more about Mama’s Kitchen Pie in the Sky Fundraiser on my pie selle’s page and click on links on the left such as Pie 101.

Purchasing a pie via my pie link helps me meet my goal of selling 2 pies per day.  You get to enjoy a part of American tradition of eating pie on Thanksgiving, but most importantly, we have allowed ourselves to be an instrument, a blessing by rallying around a great cause to help those who are barely able to help themselves out of bed due to HIV/Aids or cancer.

Let’s have some pie!

Here are your pie options:

Mama's Kitchen Pies 2014Each pie may vary slightly in look and exact taste as these fundraiser pies are made and provided by many individual bakers, restaurants and corporations who have donated the pies to the Mama’s Kitchen Pie in the Sky Fundraiser.  You can see our list of bakers and providers here:

Orders can be made via my pie seller link until November 22 at

Pie pickup are available at selected location  ON WEDNESDAY NOV. 26th.  You will see and choose your location upon entering your pie in the online check out cart.

Those ordering 50 or more pies may have them personally delivered at an agreed upon location by one of Mama’s Kitchen amazing volunteers.

Those not in San Diego can take part too! You may gift a pie by ordering a Love-A-Client Raffle Pie. Not only would you be providing holiday meals but also pies for some of Mama’s clients they serve 365 days a year. This also enters you into a raffle to win a new iPad. The more Love-A-Client pies you order, the more chances you have to win!

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For those unable to purchase or gift a pie at $25,  would you consider donating a portion, or at the very least, a $1 to this amazing cause? We would be forever grateful for your gift and generosity.

Mama's Kitchen Pie in the Sky Fundraiser

On behalf of Mam’s kitchen, may you take pride in knowing that you have made a positive difference in someone’s life with your pie purchase or donation.  We would not be able to do this without you.

Have a happy and healthy holiday!


Jennylou Raya

Jennylou Raya Mama's Kitchen Pie Seller

Added Bonus:

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Source: posted yesterday October 27, 2014.

Sam the Cooking Guy has been a long time supporter of Mama’s Kitchen and was honored as Outstanding Celebrity Philanthropist  at the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon.  Yay, Sam!

Church Harvest Festivals 2014 North County Inland (and beyond)

If you are looking for a family friendly Halloween night or Harvest event in the North County Inland, you are at the right place. Here are a few in the area that may be worth trekking to in the cold October night.  The first ones posted here are ones I have been to or have been highly recommended by my friends with little ones and young kids.  They are all free to attend.  As titled, most of these are from North County Inland San Diego but read further and I have added a short list on other church harvest festivals I have come across online.  Some of these events attract a few hundred such as Lifebridge Church while some like Horizon or Maranatha are in the thousands in attendance.  Here we go…


Living Way Church PowayLiving Way Church

13609 Twin Peaks Rd, Poway, California92064

October 31, 2014 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm

An awesome evening of fun for all ages and anyone that would like to attend. There will be jumpers, carnival games, bounce houses, pony rides, petting zoo, train rides, costume parades, live band, food and much much more. It is FREE to attend and everyone in the community is welcome and invited to attend. Share this event and invite your friends and neighbors!



Mountain View Community Harvest Festival Ramona

Mountain View Community Church Ramona

1191 Meadowlark Way, Ramona, CA 92065

October 31, 2014 5pm – 8pm

A free, fun, safe event that the whole family can enjoy!! Each child will receive 10 free tickets upon arrival; use for carnival games, hay rides, face painting, snack bar and more!



Maranatha Country Fair

Maranatha Chapel 4S Ranch/Rancho Bernardo

10752 Coastwood Rd, San Diego, California 92127

October 31, 2014 5pm – 9pm

The Country Fair is back October 31 from 5-9pm! Bring the kids! Rides include Ferris Wheel, Tea Cups, and Super Slide with 16 Game booths, Petting Zoo, Inflatable Jumpers and Pony rides.

We have a need for many volunteers to make this outreach a success. If you can help, please sign up on the church website: or email



Life Bridge Church Rancho BernardoLife Bridge Church Rancho Bernardo

17645 West Bernardo Drive, San Diego, CA 92127

October 31, 2014 6pm – 8pm
Join us for an evening of costumes, games, jumps, candy and lots of family fun on Friday, October 31, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Play games, bounce in the inflatable jumps, and enjoy hot dogs and popcorn, and collect lots of candy. Bring the whole family.

Horizon Fellowship Light up the Night 2014

Horizon Fellowship, Rancho Santa Fe

6365 El Apajo Road, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

October 31, 2014 6pm

This year, on October 31st, join us here at Horizon for an awesome night of fireworks, carnival rides, and of course, candy! Starting at 6pm, this night is open to all with the following:

• Hot Air Balloon Rides
• Live Music
• Petting Zoo
• Food Trucks
• & Much More!

So be sure to save the date and plan for an awesome night – you don’t want to miss this!




Church Harvest Festivals but not in North County Inland:

Chinese Evangelical Church of San Diego, Genesee – Oct 31  6 – 9 pm

All People’s Church , Horace Mann Middle School – Oct 31 6 – 830pm

Claremont Mesa Church of God – Oct 31  5- 8 pm 

Saddleback Church Blocktober; Lake Forest, CA 5 – 8 pm  10,000+ people last year and expected to be bigger this year. $5 entry.


Harvest Festivals and events not through a church, visit


Already past harvest festivals =(

Emmanuel Faith October 25, 2014

The Church at Rancho Bernardo October 26, 2014

North Coast Calvary Church 


Compared to my 2013 Harvest Festival post, the following churches not having one this year:

Hope Methodist, Rancho Bernardo

Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church

San Diego Community Bible Church, Mira Mesa


If you would like to share your local church events, please state the Name, Address, Date, Time, Link or Source of information in the comments section. Or you can email me at to be added to this list.


Birchbox October2014

October 2014 Birchbox First Impressions

I opened up my box and before I got to the products, there was a postcard and there was this card:

birch box 2014 random giveaway

I answered Taylor Swift on my Instagram slideshow.  If you share this with any post of your Birchbox box, you get entered into a drawing for 1000 Birchbox points – thats $100 to use in the Birchbox store!

Birchbox October 2014 contents

Onto the products… these are it.  You may say that these are too tiny and ask where the full sizes are, but I say, do not judge any beauty product by it sample or size.  Let’s judge them by other things: First, ingredients and second, does it work like it markets itself to work.

With this being first impressions and with  what I have, I may not be able to give a full comprehensive review of every product, compared to someone who uses a product thoroughly and on a daily basis, but I will be able to tell if I like something or not and if I would be buying based on the sample in my Birchbox.


First up is a shower gel by Essential Elements:

Birchbox October 2014 Essential Elements

I opened the cute little bottle and took a whiff of the scent.  It smells minty and refreshing.  This would be something that I would use in a shower or bath if my nose was stuffed up and my body is achy.  Nowhere is it marketed for that but the minty scent is what triggered the thought. It is not a strong medicine min, it is a light and refreshing mint.  So for those who just like mint, this may be a good option.  Ingredients wise, the second ingredient listed after water water is Sodium Laureth Sulfate.  Because I avoid the purchase of beauty products with that ingredient in it in all my body products, I do not forsee purchasing this in the future.  If it is incredibly amazing after my bath with it, I might reconsider.  I love minty things in bath products.  All my recent shampoos and conditioners have mint in them.

Second is an eye cream by Balance Me:

IMG_0285.JPGBirchbox October 2014 balance me skincare

Right off the bat, I notice that it says 99% natural and that made me happy.  The packaging says that it soothes, brightens, and lifts.  In tieback it says, ” Gently tap and smooth our triple-action ice-cream around the eye socket to help revitalize weary eyes, smooth away dark shadows and reduce the visible appearance of fine lines.”  There is just no way to see a difference at first application as event he best things take time to work.  I put some on my eyes and there was a tad bit of cooling effect, it was easily absorbed and since applying it 30 minutes ago, my eye area feels moisturized and yet not greasy.  Its ingredients include with hazel, and oils from coconuts, jojoba seed, and cucumber  oil.  I will give this a go and apply it daily.  This brand is dedicated to counter problem skin and if you have any, it may be worth a shot checkin out.

Third item in my box is nipple cream:

Birchbox October 2014 Dr Lipp Balm

Yes, that is what I said! Nipple cream.  I was pleasantly surprised and in giggles when I came across this in the Birchbox store last month.  I mean, what took them so long?  When I found out my nipple nursing cream was safe enough for my nursing baby to consume as I was healing from chapped boobie-skin brought on by improper positioning and latching, I figured that the nipple cream was probably going to work for my crazy jacked up lips too!  And I was right.  That was 7 years ago!  Today, there is Dr. Lipp.  It is the exact same ingredient as the one I was using, (a brand that starts with a L and ends with h) but if you feel better not having a product in your stash or purse that says, “Soothes and protects sore, cracked nipples,” then go with this Dr. Lipp. I have no clue who Dr. Lipp is but I sure wish I thought of this. Come on, Jennylou!! Why didn’t you use your marketing genius and turn a nipple cream into a lip cream?!!  Bummerrrrrr!

Items 4 and 5 were in the Birchbox envelope.  Every Birchbox box has an envelope inside, usually of smaller samples.  This month,  I got a perfume from Harvey Smith called Petally Noir and an eyeliner pencil from Lord & Berry in #5072 Sparkle Black with Glitter.

Birchbox October 2014 Harvey Prince Petally Noir

Item four – I am perfume illiterate so let me just tell you what the packaging says, ok? Petally Noir Notes : A fresh, lush, floral woody oritental.  Lily of the valley, night blooming jasmine, tropical orchid, sandalwood, patchouli and a warm amber with hints of vanilla and musk. (<– as crazy as all that sounds, it really does smell like all that in real life.) Pettaly Noir has extraordinary village and is Harvey Prince’s favorite perfume,  Highly recommended by our staff and loved by perfumistas.  It is luxuriously sensual, Insanely great.  It soothes the mind and emotions with its euphoria inducing inducing recent.  Very very feminine.  Style: Mysterious, Provocative and Amazingly captivating. (We really mean: Sexy as hell.) – Harvey Prince

I am liking the scent and before I read all what I just wrote, I thought the scent was “sexy.”  I only wear perfume when hubby is not around (me time and out with the girls) as most fragrances make him sneeze but if I were to pick a perfume that those R&B boys like sang about in their songs, it must have been this one.  I will try this out with the hubby and see if it won’t cause him sneezes and actually like it.  It’s worth a shot.  Hubby will love me more or hate me, hahaha.  As far as ingredient, Harvey Prince states that their products are made with the highest quality, natural ingredients.

Item 5: The eyeliner from Lord and Berry looks like any other pencil eyeliner. I took a pause from typing this post and applied it on my eyes.  It applied smoothly and easily (beauty tip: breath hot air on make up pencils from the back of your mouth before using).  The silver glitter shows up on the black color base.  I have tried other glitter eye pencils before and this has more glitter that others I’ve had.  I also like that the black is black and not a shiny black.  This size is perfect for my many clutch-size purses and perfect to use tonight for a Halloween event where I am Maleficent.


And that is my box =)  Did you get any of the same things in your Birchbox?  Do tell!  If so, which one is your favorite? I think for right now, my fave is Dr. Lip.  Perfect size for on the go and if it were to fall out of my purse, I would reserve myself from any weird looks from eyes being set upon the words “more, cracked nipples” ;)

Birchbox Blogger Jennylou Raya

Care to share? I would love to connect with other bloggers, including other #birchboxblogger.  Feel free to post your blog posts on your October Birchbox in the comments section.  Will any of these make your favorites?  Talk to you soon!


My Week in Review: Oct 11 – 18, 2014

Saturday: I painted the nails of Alice. I also did the nails of two other seniors.  I volunteer at a nursing home nearby and spread a little love with color. Isn’t this color gorgeous on her?  It is by Ruffian in Rosary.  Color knows no boundaries.


At night, I put on some color from my Ipsy and Birchbox and felt the need to go out:


I went on an impromptu date and had a beautiful evening with my hubby, this guy:


We ate and drank plenty at Cork & Craft and ended it with this:


Sunday, was my niece’s 1st birthday and there was a whole lots of sweets there by MaggieMaed:


Monday, I decided to show my support for Domestic Abuse Awareness Month by painting my nails purple. I rarely ever do my nails despite all the polishes I get from Birchbox and Ipsy. I’m pretty bad at it but color makes me happy!


Tuesday, I found the most amazing buffalo sauce I purchased at Jimbo’s called Wing Time, and made this:


Wednesday’s weather was sweater weather. Yup, it’s here and wore this sweater for the first time. This sweater was for a great cause; proceeds were contributed to a woman in the hospital with a rare bone disease and to help with expenses related to her baby she lost just days after being born.


Throwback Thursday, Time Hop app sent me this picture below. It was my first major beauty product sent to me for review. The video is up on YouTube.  I love these Real Techniques brushes and still use them to this day!


Fashion Flashback Friday: I found this picture in the company’s photo archive taken at the convention.  I suddenly had an urge to dress up and get all glam.

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Saturday, I spend my morning with Bellus Academy to learn some things we can share with our blog readers. Look for it in future blog posts.  I even got my nails did!


Catch you later!



the diary of Jennylou : food, style and living in San Diego, CA