I Challenge You to A Different Kind of Challenge

I would like to thank Stacy Vanhoose for nominating me for the ALS ice bucket challenge. Of course it's a very good cause, but I'm about to break a whole lot of rules here. The ALS challenge recently topped over 40 million dollars in funds raised. That is some serious cash, folks. Now I have absolutely nothing against that. I think it's awesome, and I hope many people will continue to do the challenge and donate. As to not completely hijack the challenge, I'll keep it going on my end by nominating Nikki Welch and Katie Arthur for the ice bucket challenge. If you can, donate to www.alsa.org.

Though I will be doing something completely different and will nominate additional people for a new challenge. There are so many worthy causes out there, but the ones which have always been dearest to my heart are those which meet basic human needs. Without these needs met, nothing else in life matters much. I grew up in the buckle of the bible belt, where the word ministry often means evangelism. But to me, true ministry is meeting someone's needs. If you truly want to minister to someone, to show them the love of God, simply meet their needs. Feed the hungry, clothe the poor. That is the essence of ministry, and today I want to invite you to minister with me. I'd like to shift some focus onto Feeding America, our nation's largest hunger relief charity which also provides programs like Backpacks 4 Kids. Nearly 50 million people depend on local food programs; that is 1 in 7 people. These people who struggle to feed their families may also struggle to afford school supplies and clothing.

Every fall as the new school year begins and the holidays approach, I start to think about the childen who may be going to bed hungry or walking to school without winter coats. I've seen it in my own neighborhood when I send my girls to their bus stop. There are a few children who always seem so sad - who never smile or joke around with the other kds. Come Hallowen these same kids show up at my doorstep with old pillow cases instead of fancy new candy buckets, wearing homemade costumes and torn shoes. I load them up with pencils, little toys, and treats. I can see their eyes light up and finally I see them smiling. I wish I could give them so much more. It breaks my heart, because I could've been one of them when I was a child. I wore thrift shop clothing (before that was cool), and several of our holiday meals were made possible by our local food bank. Christmas was never a time to make a wishlist but a time to be thankful for what we got. I was incredibly thankful. I grew up with a single mom who worked two jobs and never bought anything new for herself. She taught me what real sacrifice is. Still I always dreaded going back to school after Winter break. I knew all of the other kids would show off their new clothes and swap stories of their family vacations.

By the time I reached high school, we were much better off, but I never forgot to be thankful and happy as long as my basic needs were met. It's one thing to think about those less fortunate, and it's quite another to experience those needs. This brings me to my challenge for you. I'm calling it the #gotobedhungry challenge. Tonight I'm going to go to bed without dinner (or snacks) and will donate to www.feedamerica.org. Mind you I'm totally broke, but I can still spare $20. Just about each of us can spare something, can't we? While you're skipping dinner, you could even pick up some groceries and take them to your local food bank.

Because I'm starting this challenge from scratch and really don't want it to fizzle out after a few people, I'm starting it off by challenging ten people. If I tagged you on Facebook, I challenge you to #gotobedhungry one night this week and to give whatever you can whether that is $10 or $20 or more to www.feedamerica.org and nominate at least two more people. You can tag them with a short video diary of your challenge, or you can simply share a link to this post when you tag them.

If any of my readers would like to accept the challenge, awesome! Please leave a comment on this post and go nominate at least two of your friends on Facebook. Tweet me @KrisztinaAW that you accept the challenge to #gotobedhungry. I'm excited to see how many of you are up for the challenge!:)

My Favorite Jeans for Fall 2014 featuring Madewell

I love to wear dresses all summer, but in the fall, I practically live in my jeans. A nice top with skinny jeans is an easy and comfy way to look put-together. When the weather just starts to turn, I go for my skinnies, ballet flats, and a blouse. Then when winter sets in, I'm usually in my skinnies with riding boots, a sweater, and a pea coat. Though now that I'm in the south, I may have to rework my winter wardrobe. But no matter the weather, jeans are always a staple of mine.

There are a few standout trends in fall denim 2014; like coated jeans, slim boyfriend jeans, and patchwork jeans. Wide-leg jeans are also back, but I'm not too crazy about that. I've featured Madewell to showcase my favorite jean trends for fall, because they have such a wide variety of skinny jeans for 2014. When it comes to jeans, Madewell is a leading seller. They have their own "denim bar" on madewell.com, and offer free shipping, free returns, and even free hemming.

Madewell also has a denim donation program in which you can recycle your old jeans.They've partnered with Blue Jeans Go Green to turn old denim into housing insulation for people in need. Though that is a reward in itself, you also get $20 off your purchase for bringing in a pair of old jeans. This offer is for a limited time through October 6th and must be completed in-store.

Madewell's Skinny Skinny jean is super-slim, perfect to pair with a sexy pair of pumps and a nice blouse. The biker-zip version on the left would also look great with ankle boots.
Pictured Above: MADEWELL Skinny Skinny Jeans: Biker-Zip Edition // MADEWELL Skinny Skinny Zip Jeans in Sky Wash // MADEWELL Skinny Skinny Jeans in Madewell Rinse

The Skinny Crop is a great transitional jean for fall. Hitting just above the ankle, you can style it just as you would traditional skinnies, though because they won't bunch at the bottom, they're perfect to wear with sandals. Pictured Above: MADEWELL Skinny Skinny Crop Jeans in Tempest // MADEWELL Skinny Skinny Crop Jeans: Colorwash Edition // MADEWELL Skinny Skinny Crop Jeans in Mist

If you've ever worn leather pants (I unfortunately have), you know that they can be uncomfortable, and they can look a bit strange if you don't style them just right. The Madewell coated jeans offer the slick look of leather in the comforts of denim. I really like the racetrack version in black on the right.
Pictured Above: MADEWELL Skinny Skinny Zip Racetrack Jeans  //  MADEWELL Skinny Skinny Coated Motorcyle Jeans  //   MADEWELL Skinny Skinny Zip Racetrack Jeans

I love the boyfriend jeans trend, though it's a bit too baggy for my taste. The Madewell slim boyjean is the perfect fit if you want a straight-leg, slightly loose boyfriend jean. Pair it with pumps and a blazer for fall.
Pictured Above: MADEWELL The Slim Boyjean in Akiva Wash  //  MADEWELL The Slim Boyjean in Ecru  //  MADEWELL The Slim Boyjean in Jimi Wash

Madewell's new alley-straight skinny jeans are still fairly slim but has a little give. I'm admittedly quite curvy, so even at my thinnest, I don't always like how my jeggings look with flats as opposed to boots. These seem like they would help to balance everything out. Pictured Above: High Riser Alley Straight Jeans in Madewell Rinse  //  MADEWELL Alley Straight Jeans in Harrison Wash  //  MADEWELL Alley Straight Jeans in Black Sea 

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