Sunday, November 27, 2011

Atlanta Botanical Garden - Garden Lights Holiday Nights

Atlanta Botanical Garden's Garden Lights Holiday Nights

Have you flipped your holiday spirit switch yet?  You know, Thanksgiving IS over and that’s what you’re SUPPOSED to do, after all.  Some have found that Black Friday (or maybe even Cyber Monday) get their festive juices flowing, but sometimes that’s all it takes to suck whatever joy you did have right out of you!  Either way, if you’re looking for more or just hoping to keep what you have, I have found the perfect nonprofit event for you.

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is debuting Garden Lights Holiday Nights.  It will run from November 17, 2011 - January 7, 2012 from 5 pm to 10 pm.  The dazzling lights are inspired by nature and include luminescent bees & butterflies, as well as topiaries that dance to the holiday music.  Live Carolers enhance the experience as you stroll through the beautiful gardens. 


If the scrooge in you has got you thinking about our environment and the effects of such a huge display of lights, you’ll have to find something else to bring you down.  The Garden has chosen energy-efficient LED lights that only use 300 watts of power (that's equivalent to the power usage of your kitchen blender) and runs on Georgia Power’s green energy sources, such as solar power and biomass.

Atlanta Botanical Garden's Garden Lights Holiday Nights

 So, gather the whole family, purchase your tickets here, experience 1 million lights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Garden Lights Holiday Nights, and enjoy all your new found Christmas cheer.

Atlanta Botanical Garden's Garden Lights Holiday Nights

*Note: they will be closed Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Taste of Atlanta 2011 Update

Miton's Cuisine & Cocktails Booth at Taste of Atlanta

Last month, I introduced you to Taste of Atlanta and how they were giving back to the community with this year's event which was scheduled for October 22-23, 2011.  You can catch up with that article here. I am happy to announce their great success with this event.  At this year's two day event, their silent auction raised over $25,000 for Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters Program, which is a cooking-based program that provides a strong foundation in nutrition, cooking and household budgeting through specialized courses for adults, teens & children.

Thanks so much to everyone who took time to go support great charities while enjoying amazing food.  To see more pictures from the event, visit the Knowtable Facebook here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Be Rich Campaign

Small Deposits = BIG change

Credit: North Point Community Church,

Do you ever feel like the money you give is just a drop in the bucket? 

Does it sometimes seem like your contributions are insignificant with such GREAT need?

Each dollar, each dime, each hour can and does make a difference.  Let me show you how you can see the difference that you are making. 

Would $1 million seem like a good start to something big?  What about 8,000 hours of community service?  Would accomplishing this great feat in just 7 weeks seem BIG enough?  In Atlanta, and throughout the world thanks to their online community, North Point Ministries is reaching high when it comes to giving  to those in need.  Sunday, October 30, 2011 was the launch of their annual Be Rich Campaign. In his message on Sunday, Andy Stanley discussed how most of us are rich, even if we don’t think so.  Some factors he uses to identify whether you are rich are things like having a change jar at home, having money in your wallet, or keeping extra money in your car’s “ashtray”.  To listen to his compelling words about participating in this great campaign, click here.  No one can say it quite like him.

The specific causes that NPM have zeroed in on are: Sickness, Poverty, Hunger & Children at Risk.  They are partnering with several organizations to donate money for medical equipment, basic needs, and, well, LOVE.  As he says in the link above, all of the money and volunteer hours that are raised from this campaign will go directly to the charities.  North Point Ministries will not be taking admin fees or any other “cut”.  100% will be sent to their partner charities.  To read more about this campaign, please visit their website at  Whether you attend one of North Point's campuses or not, this is a great opportunity for you to be a part of something SO much BIGGER than yourself.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fair Trade Coffee

What's the Buzz about Coffee?

Why do you drink coffee? 

The Taste?  With it's bitter undertones, it is certainly an acquired taste.  It might not be your original reason for drinking coffee, but it might be why you keep coming back.
The Aroma?  The smell certainly brings back memories for me: breakfasts with my parents, coffee dates with my husband, or even hanging out with friends on the lake in the early morning.

The Connection?  I once posted a facebook status all about how crushing it was to grab my morning cup with the intention of savoring the last two sips only to discover that I had already finished.  It was one of my most commented on statuses.  We all like to connect or feel a part of something bigger than ourselves.  With 80% of the U.S. claiming to be coffee drinkers, it certainly can start to make you feel like you are in the cool club.
The Experience?  There is something so incredibly alluring about heading to Starbucks with a great book, your computer, or to meet with friends.

Caffeine?  In our go, go, go society, we are always looking for ways to accomplish more in less time.

No matter the reason for drinking it, there are ways your cup of joe can do great things for others, while attaining that high quality you deserve.  Take a look at two coffee organizations that will warm your heart with each coffee purchase.

Fair Trade USA:  This 501(c)3 nonprofit has designed a certification process for farmers (including coffee bean farmers) in developing nations to ensure that the product is healthy, the workers are safe, and the farmer’s compensation is fair.  

*Video Courtesy of Fair Trade USA

          Why Fair Trade?  The 1995-2005 global coffee crisis is a great example of the need for fair trade.  During this time, farmers in developing countries like, Latin America, South America and Asia were really struggling.  Their coffee beans weren't making enough money to sustain the production.  As a result, farmers were having to change occupations (which could have resulted in a coffee shortage) or start growing coffee in ways that were unhealthy both for the workers and consumers.  As you can imagine, a career change is extremely difficult for a rural farmer in a third world country.  According to USA Today, in order to try and salvage their income, many farmers were choosing to clear cut land, sometimes even rain forests, in order to produce more by means of direct sunlight.  If you're not that into conservation, then this might not sound like that big of a deal, but it affects more than that.  When coffee is grown in direct sunlight, more can be produced, but farmers need pesticides and chemicals to treat the crops.  Not only does this result in unhealthy conditions in the coffee, but can be extremely dangerous to the crop workers.  Fair trade prices insure a healthier growing process, as well as a higher quality of life for farmers, their families, and crop workers.  

Through Fair Trade,  many coffee farmers were able to survive that crisis.  Plus, Fair Trade continues to make a difference in the daily lives of the communities in these developing countries because not only do they allow for just compensation and teach farmers how to thrive in a free market, but special funds are set aside for social, economic & environmental projects.  To read more about how Fair Trade Coffee is impacting these communities, please see the 2010 Fair Trade Coffee Impact Report which you can download here courtesy of Fair Trade USA.

          How can you know that coffee is fair trade certified?  Just look on the bag to see if it has the Fair Trade logo, or ask the coffee shop clerk which coffees are Fair Trade certified.  They also have a new facebook and cell phone app that will tell you where you can buy Fair Trade in your area.  To find out more about Fair Trade and the Fair Trade Finder App, click here.

Photo Credit: Just Love Coffee Roasters

Just Love Coffee Roasters, LLC: This coffee company offers Fair Trade coffee, which can be purchased through their website, but that’s not where their philanthropy ends.  The experience of adopting two children from Kids Care Orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by Rob Webb, the owner of Just Love Coffee Roasters,  resulted in a portion of their proceeds going to help build a school for older children at Kids Care.  Also, he has a vision to help others with their adoption costs by setting up a business model that allows couples to raise funds for their adoption costs by taking Just Love Coffee orders through their own websites and receiving $5 for every pound they sell.

Link to Just Love Coffee Roasters Store

Link to Just Love Coffee Roasters Fundraising Information

So take a "mug half FULL" approach and jolt into action by supporting farmers, families, developing communities or children looking for a forever home by drinking your morning brew!

Do you know of an organization offering Fair Trade coffee or coffee company that is giving back?  If so, give them a shout out in the comments below or email me the details at


Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Shine Project

 Knowtable Person

Today is the beginning of a new segment for Knowtable.  In hopes of inspiring you to make a positive difference in the lives of others, I will be introducing you to people who are taking matters into their own hands and making creative investments into the lives of others.  I like to call them Knowtable People, meaning a person you should "know" because they are making "notable" efforts.

Today’s Knowtable person may be new to some of you, or you may know her already through her blog, The Shine Project.

Ashley Courtesy of The Shine Project Blog

Having worked with Inner City kids, Ashley realized that there was so much to be done and that a little contribution (whether money or time) could make a big difference in the lives of those who are hurting.  Thus, she started The Shine Project.  There are several aspects to the project: The Shine Scholarship Fund, Change 4 Change, The Shine Project Blog, Shine Necklaces and Shine Raffle.  Although they somewhat intertwine they each represent one thing: Shining in the world, so that you can make a difference.  Here is a quick list and description of each.

The Shine Scholarship Fund - Her goal is to raise money for scholarships for four inner city kids at Cesar Chavez High School in Phoenix, Arizona.  Soon she will even be hosting the Shine Event in Phoenix that will raise money for the scholarships.

Change 4 Change Courtesy of The Shine Project Blog

Change 4 Change - One of the avenues for raising money for The Shine Scholarship fund.  Get a jar from her to keep on your desk at work or your countertop at home so that you and those around you can contribute to the scholarships.

The Shine Project Blog - Where she often posts inspirational thoughts and ideas or updates on the Fund and Shine fundraisers.

Shine Necklaces - Necklaces she creates where a portion of the proceeds go to the scholarship fund.  I think this is also a great way for you & I to tell others how we want to SHINE when they ask us about our adorable necklace.

Shine Necklace Courtesy of The Shine Project

Raffle 4 Scholarships - Taking place October 13 - 20, 2011, this raffle has some great prizes and all the funds raised will go toward the scholarships.  Don’t worry if you miss this opportunity, I am sure this girl has more up her sleeve, so stay tuned to her blog.

Ashley has come up with several ways that she can raise funds for something she is passionate about that will make a positive difference in the world.  She is truly a Shining light, an Inspiration, and a Knowtable Person.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Taste of Atlanta 2011

Logo courtesy of Taste of Atlanta

Have you ever participated in a progressive supper?  You know...where you go from place to place eating a different aspect of the meal at each point.  The first place is dedicated to the appetizer, the second the salad, and so on.  Well, I know how you can achieve that same great experience times 80, because you can experience over 80 of Atlanta’s finest restaurants, all within walking distance. 

2010 Taste of Atlanta Attendees

 Taste of Atlanta, to be held on October 22-23, 2011, was voted “Top Festival Worth the Trip” by Oprah Magazine and “Best Outdoor Festival in the City” by Jezebel Magazine, and it’s not hard to see why.  This premiere festival brings restaurants of every description together to Tech Square in Midtown so that you can try a smorgasbord of delicious dishes.  Whether you are into fine dining, pubs, fast food or ethnic fare, Taste of Atlanta has something for you.  However, it doesn’t stop there!  It goes beyond by supporting local food related charities.  Keep reading to see how your day filled with food can actually be putting food into the hands of those who need it.

Alluvia 2010 Taste of Atlanta

Share our Strength® - This national organization works hard to make sure that no kid in America has to grow up hungry.  Share our Strength® weaves together a net of community groups, activists and food programs to catch children facing hunger and surround them with nutritious food where they live, learn and play.  Through their Cooking Matters™ program, they empower families with the skills, knowledge and confidence to prepare healthy and affordable meals.  As the main nonprofit partner of Taste of Atlanta, they will be receiving the proceeds from the Silent Auction to be held on the 5th Street Bridge.  So, make sure you stop by and buy a little something special.

Silent Auction - Taste of Atlanta 2010

Atlanta’s Table - a project of the Atlanta Community Food Bank collects prepared perishable food from the hospitality industry and delivers it to over 40 Metro Atlanta nonprofit, hunger-relief agencies daily.  They will have refrigerated trucks on site at Taste of Atlanta so that they can do just that!

2010 Taste of Atlanta - Tech Square Midtown Street View

American Culinary Federation - this nonprofit organization promotes the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels.  This year, Taste of Atlanta has provided them with a free booth so that they can prepare a dish to sell for the American Culinary Scholarship Fund.    

5 Seasons 2010 Taste of Atlanta Booth

Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia ProStart® - ProStart ® teaches high school students culinary skills and business management training. HEFG bridges the gap between high schools and the hospitality industry by providing teacher resources, scholarship opportunities, hospitality education and industry partnerships.  Taste of Atlanta is proudly showcasing this valuable program at this year's event. The top two students and their professional chef mentors will perform cooking demonstrations on the Home Plate Main Stage.  So grab something delicious, have a seat & cheer on these amazing students who are achieving goals at such an early age!

Main Stage - Taste of Atlanta 2010

Les Dames d’Escoffier Atlanta Chapter - This worldwide society of women is dedicated to creating a culture in the community that fosters excellence and promotes the achievement of women in culinary professions through educational and charitable activities.  Their scholarship fund will receive the proceeds from the Live Auction to be held Sunday at Taste of Atlanta.  You won’t want to miss this opportunity to support women through shopping!

HobNob - 2010 Taste of Atlanta


Can you smell the aroma of garlic?

Can you hear the bacon frying?

What about the smiling faces of those in need receiving a helping hand...can you see those?

Maybe not yet, but soon!!  Grab some friends, make a date for October 22 or 23 to go enjoy the amazing fall weather that makes Atlanta such a great place to live, and participate in Taste of Atlanta: a progressive meal that feeds the soul!

Mondavi Toast - Photo Courtesy of James Camp

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ulta - Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Ulta Fights Cancer One Dollar at a Time!

Bare Minerals Veil Duo
 Ulta is doing their part to raise awareness and funding for Breast Cancer Survival.  For the month of October, they have different promotions that will fund organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation,  The Women's Cancer Research Fund & The National Breast Cancer Foundation.

All month long, you can SHOP PINK and purchase products that are giving back to Breast Cancer Fighting Organizations.

Then, on October 16, 2011, donate $10 or more to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and receive a free shampoo, cut & style.*
*Walk-In's Only.  Subject to stylist availability.

PhilosophyAmazing Grace
Plus, you can receive free gifts for making a donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  

The more you give, the more you get and the more lives are saved at Ulta.

For more information on the MANY things they have planned, visit the Ulta Website.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Knowtable Blog Gets a New Look and Supports a Great Cause!

 Last post, I introduced you to No Longer Bound and their many industries.  I was so impressed by this organization and the way they fund their program!  Therefore, I decided to put my money where my mouth was by hiring Dark2Light Studios to create my new logo, business cards and blog header.  I cannot begin to tell you how pleased I have been with both the design work and the experience of working with Esther, who was amazing.  She listened to my likes and dislikes, created a logo that was an inspiration for me, and was more than happy to create a design that I love using as a representation of my blog.

You can see the logo, header & business cards she created for me above...I can't wait to pick up the business cards from the studio!!  If you subscribe to this blog, I would love it if you would click on over to the blog today, so that you can get the full effect of the web design. :)  

If you are interested in finding out more about the No Longer Bound Addiction Recovery Program or would like to celebrate their successes with them, visit their website,, and checkout their upcoming I AM event on October 13th, 2011.

Thanks Esther, Dark2Light Studios, and No Longer Bound for everything you do for our community!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Graphics, Custom Furniture, Plants, Cars & More benefitting No Longer Bound

When you think of nonprofit fundraisers, you most likely think of events.  What if there was an organization that made roughly 80% of their own support through various industries that they run for themselves?  If you can believe it, I have found an impressive 501(c)3 that does just that!  No Longer Bound is a faith based drug and alcohol program for men ages 18 and up.  They operate 5 different industries where 100% of the proceeds go directly into their program...but wait...there’s more!  They also use their own resources to support people in the community as well as other Non-Profits.

So what are their 5 industries and how can you support them?

Logo created by Dark2Light
Dark2Light - A graphics and printing studio that can do as much or as little as you like when it comes to your promotional needs. Pricing is a fraction of the industry standard cost, and the quality is outstanding.  Take a look at some of their sample work below or on facebook.

D2L can create invitations & Save the Dates

Cars4Recovery - This industry is the one you may already know.  A donor can give their car to the program and receive a tax deduction.  Most of the cars are sold with 100% of the proceeds going to NLB, but a select few are donated to people in need, like single mothers or men who have graduated from the program.

Community Closet - A thrift store where you can donate your items and get a tax deduction.  They sell some of the items through online markets, but most are placed in the store for others to buy.  Look for them in their new location on Dahlonega Hwy in Downtown Cumming opening October 2011.

NLB Greenhouses - Plants abound in 20,000 square feet of greenhouses.  You can place orders in advance or stop by and see what’s available as the seasons change.  Before you make your purchase somewhere else, you might want to check them out.

NLB Woodshop - Specializing in custom pieces, the woodshop will help you meet your design needs for retail or personal use.  Let them know what you want, and they can give you an estimate. 

NLB Conference Table created by the Woodshop

The great thing about each division is that it does even more than just provide much needed funding.  It is also part of the healing process, since each program participant works within the industries during their journey to recovery.

Take a look back at these industries and think about the things you need, so you can save money in a way that gives back to others.  You could also support them through their upcoming fundraiser, I AM, on October 13, 2011.  Ginny Owens will be performing during this evening of celebration, inspiration, emotion, and restoration.

For more info about No Longer Bound and their industries and fundraisers, please visit the following:

Friday, July 29, 2011

August 2011 NonProfit Event Preview

August is full of thrilling NonProfit events! 

Dan Uggla
If Celebrity events are what motivate you to get out and party, then you won’t want to miss Celebrity kids strutting their stuff on the runway at the WonderLand Kids Fashion Show to benefit the Show Me the Way Foundation or the Celebrity Servers Night at Morton’s Steak house, hosted by Atlanta Brave, Dan Uggla, to benefit his Diamonds in the Rough Foundation.  

Spending time outside is a great way to enjoy these last few months of Summer, so you might want to grab your friends/family and head over to the Barbecue, Blues & Bluegrass Festival supporting the Decatur community, the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival for Grant Park Conservancy, and/or the Atlanta Free to Breathe 5k that is helping the National Lung Cancer Partnerships.

Calling all local Foodies, and I know there are plenty of you!  August is full of culinary delights that will leave your heart and belly full.  Give Me Five will be giving you 10 Chefs, 5 Sommeliers, and all the event proceeds to Share Our Strength in an effort to end childhood hunger.  Cupcakes & Cocktails will be fighting Aids & Cancer, and Culinary Fight Night will be pitting two Atlanta chefs against each other with the winning team’s charity of choice as the beneficiary.  Simple Abundance Cooking Classes with 100% of proceeds benefiting Atlanta's Table, a project of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, will teach you how to make delicious dishes at home.

If a night on the town is what interests you most, then get your pen and calendar ready.  Kate’s Club for grieving youth will be hosting their 8th annual Kate's Club Cabaret, which will make you feel like you are in Paris with their Moulin Rouge theme.  Plus, the Can Can Ball, hosted by the Atlanta Apartment Association, will have you dancing the night away to provide food for the hungry through the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Photo provided by the Atlanta Community Food Bank

Turn your good time into goodwill! 

To find out more about these and other Knowtable NonProfit events, click the calendar tab at the top of the page.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival

If supporting local businesses or eating organic foods are important to you, then the Attack of the Killer Tomato
Festival was the place to be on Sunday, July 17, 2011.  For the past 3 years, Georgia Organics has teamed up restaurant chefs & mixologists
with local farmers to invent some of the most creative and delicious tomato dishes ever!! Festival attendees wind around the super cool
Westside Urban Market & JCT Kitchen.  The tomato dishes range from classic BLT's and Pimento Cheese sandwiches, with a new twist, to unusual dishes and cocktails, like the tomato basil ice cream that certainly won my vote for best dish of the day. Taste, Sight, Sound, Smell and Touch...each of the five senses are intrigued as you hop
from table to table and take in all the festival has to offer. Never fear if you missed this event, Georgia Organics offers events throughout the year, including
Sunday Supper at the Lake Rabun Pavillion on August 7, 2011. For more information, visit their website at Georgia Organics. Take a look around, and you'll find out how just $10/week per GA household on locally grown food would be $1.9 BILLION back into GEORGIA's economy.  To see more photos, checkout our facebook page.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Milton's and Dinner & a Cause

Welcome to Milton's Cuisine and Cocktails

Have you ever been to a place that while you were still there, you were already excited about your NEXT visit?  That’s how it was for me yesterday when we tried Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails in Historic Crabapple for the very first time.  When we arrived, we were seated in one of the rooms of this 150 year old farmhouse.  The rich wood that adorned the floors and ceiling was a true testament of what was to come.  The food, like the wood, was a combination of old and new.  It delivered those southern favorite comfort foods, like fried okra, mac and cheese , and fried green tomatoes, yet gave a new twist. 

Pan Seared Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

Once we were seated at our table, We were greeted by our waiter who not only fulfilled his duty as our server, but did so with pride.  He told us the origin of the Broadwell farmhouse, the history of the chef, Boyd Rose, and the garden in the back which delivered fresh ingredients for each and every dish.  We decided on the fried green tomato stack with goat cheese and tomato puree, as our appetizer.  Since our little one was getting restless, I decided to take her for a walk around the outdoor patio, which would definitely be a great option for your dining experience, weather permitting.  As our waiter opened the door to the patio, he suggested we walk back behind the small, red barn to checkout the garden.  So, that is exactly what we did.  When we got back there, we saw the diagram pointing out where everything had been planted.  There happened to be someone working in the garden, who was happy to point out the squash blossoms, cobs of corn on the stalk, partially grown watermelon, and tomatoes of every variety.  Not only was it a great lesson, it built excitement for our upcoming fair, and was an experience we will not soon forget.

Out Back at Milton's Milton's Acre. A Story in the Making.

We arrived back at our table to tell of our adventure only to notice our tomato stack had arrived (and had been partially eaten thanks to our dining companion who self admittedly had no will power when the dish arrived).  It was a culinary delight.  It had a basil infused olive oil that gave it a flavor that two fried green tomato connoisseurs could only dream of consuming.  Not much later, our entrees arrived, consisting of Grilled Cilantro-Basil Marinated Chicken Breast with roasted garlic spinach, asparagus, and grilled vegetable ratatouille plus the daily pasta feature which was linguine with chicken, andouille sausage, corn, tomatoes, saffron and basil.  The chicken was tender and juicy.  The Cilantro and Basil marinade added the perfect flavor combo.  The vegetables definitely delivered that fresh, local, home-grown can't beat that!  The pasta was NOT covered with a sauce that took away from the flavor of the vegetables and herbs, but instead was finished with a luster of butter that highlighted their essence.  As I savored every bite, I found myself looking forward to the next visit, wondering what I would order then, and anticipating the reaction of my friends and family as I introduce them to my new favorite.  If you are looking for a meal that is filled with a combination of nutritious vegetables, but that will indulge your cravings for your southern favorites, then head to Milton’s in Historic Crabapple.

To make your visit to Milton’s (or a large variety of other Atlanta area restaurants) a more Knowtable experience, go to the Dinner & a Cause website for more information about purchasing a card that benefits Children of Conservation and gives you a 20% discount for your entire table at over 80 participating restaurants.  Act fast!  Although you can use the card as many times as you would like until August 31, 2011, that is when the offer ends. 

What is "Children of Conservation" Project?

“In 2009, the Children of Conservation project established a scholarship program to help provide an otherwise unattainable education to the children of wildlife sanctuary workers in Africa.  Since public funding for schooling in many third world countries ends at the 2nd grade, many bright and intelligent children grow up illiterate and unable to advance their station in life. Our program focuses on educating children who learn the value of conservation every day from their sanctuary employed parents. Another aspect of the project is the benefit provided to the soldiers of conservation (the parents). The end result is better care for the animals and a culture where the future leaders come from a background of conservation.”       -

This is the first year for this fundraiser, so help them spread the word in anyway you can!

*Milton's Photos courtesy of Studio 7 Photography