Tom Attwater Is Dying. His Daughter Might Die, Too. The Letter He Left For Her Is Unforgettable.

Kindness Blog

Tom Attwater is dying of a brain tumor, but he isn’t worried about his cancer. Instead, he is trying to save his 5 year-old daughter from her own.

tom attwater Tom Attwater with daughter Kelli and wife Joely

He has vowed to raise approximately $820,200.00 for her cancer treatment, even if he wouldn’t be around to see her go through it.

Now Tom is almost half way to his fundraising target he is more adamant than ever to reach it. Tragically his deadline is short as his latest scans show his brain tumour is growing.

He says: “These days people make bucket lists, and the very top of mine – the one that matters most – is raising money to make sure Kelli gets the medical help she might need.

Tom attwater

“Some people have advised me to slow down and concentrate on enjoying the rest of my days. But how can I knowing…

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Cran-Apple Cider

As I mentioned the other day, I came down with a nasty cold and a slight fever this week.  Now that I’m feeling better, I wanted to share with you all one strategy I have for those days you’re feeling under the weather: cran-apple cider.


This started off very simple, and the recipe has developed since then to form a (quite spectacular) rejuvenating drink for when you have a cold.  So, here is the recipe!


  • 1 cup cran-apple juice
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 chunk of fresh ginger
  • A tad bit of water
  • Tea bag of your choice


  1. In a medium sized saucepan, heat up the cran-apple juice.  Add the cinnamon, the teabag, and the ginger and boil for 15 minutes.
  2. Let cool and remove ginger and cinnamon.  Add a bit of water (optional- however much you need to weaken it to drinkability).
  3. Voilà! Serve, enjoy, and feel better.

One note about the tea: the type really depends on your needs.  I like to use green tea in the morning for a healthy burst of energy, and at night, I go with an herbal “sleepy-time” tea.  Not a tea person?  You can barely taste it, but you can omit the tea if you really want to.

Basically everything in this is designed to make you feel better: cranberry juice is good, although the reason escapes me at the moment; apple juice is helpful for colds; cinnamon will reduce any inflammation in your throat for a soothing effect; the ginger kills germs in your throat (you may feel it burn a bit- normal!); the tea can give you energy or calm you down; and the heat, of course, soothes your throat.

Remember this next time you aren’t feeling well, and god luck!  What do you think; do you have any home-remedies?

Is Following Your Dream Really Worth it?

Before I get into the bulk of this post, I’d like to take a minute and apologize for the lack of posts lately- I came down with a pretty bad cold accompanied by a fever, and I’m just now getting on my feet.

Anyway, this post isn’t what I originally had planned for today, but it’s been on my mind lately… is following your dream really worth it?

Let me elaborate.  As long as I can remember, my dream has been to travel.  I have countless places on my bucket list (maybe I’ll do a post on that someday), but one that is especially important to me is Paris.  Ever since was a child, I’d wanted to live in France.  Then, in middle school when I started taking French classes, I absolutely fell in love with the French and Parisian culture.  I remember the French classes took a trip to Paris over spring break- I wanted to go so badly, and I tried to start selling my things and starting “businesses” and asking for donations, but it never happened.  Fast forward a few years, and here I am, thinking about college.

There a few that I think would be a good match for me, but one jumps out the most: The American University of Paris.  It’s beautiful; every single one of their degree programs are ones I’ve considered for a career, including environmental science, film studies, history, politics, writing, and literature; and it’s in the city of my dreams.  Everything about it is everything I’ve always wanted, except one thing: the price.

It is crazy expensive and way beyond my price range.  I know there are plenty of options including financial aid and student loans, but it will still be extremely difficult.  And if I did make it happen, here’s what it would look like: constant part-time jobs, leading to an extremely busy schedule with no time (or money) to explore the city; most likely a degree in English that may not even get me anywhere; no money for a plane ticket to visit my family in the U.S.; and a lifetime of student loans that would prevent me from living out the rest of my dreams.

This brings me to the underlying question: is it worth it?  It’s my dream, but will my life really be better if I find a way to make it happen?  People often say to follow your dreams, to never let anything stop you, especially finances, but I don’t know if that is really the best option.  The picture I see of my struggles in Paris isn’t ideal, but is it worse to not even try?

When I imagine my life at some other boring, affordable college, living in a dorm, taking classes in some tedious subject that will lead to a tedious yet “successful” career, never getting a chance to travel and live out my dreams, it makes me shudder, more so than living out my dreams on a tight budget.  I understand it isn’t “exciting but poor life” or “boring but financially safe life”- nothing is black or white like that, but it certainly feels that way.

What do you think?

Let’s Go Green Together


So lately I’ve been trying to think of ways to “go green”, and I started something I’d like to share with you all.  I’ve been collecting glass bottles and using them around the house- they look very unique, and I actually think they look nice.


I put a few stones at the bottom of each one (I have TONS), and then filled it up with water and a few drops of flower food, and added the flowers- pretty simple.  For those of you who don’t have any or don’t want to buy it, here is a simple recipe for flower food:

1 tsp. sugar; 1 tsp. bleach; 2 tsp. lemon or lime juice (fresh is best).  I mixed mine with some water, put it in a plastic water bottle (go green!), and I keep it under my sink.  That way, you can keep using it.

When you put it in the vase with your flowers, you’ll need to change out the water every so often- whenever it turns colors (always a bad sign haha) or when it gets down to about half full.  Or half empty, depending on your philosophical outlook :)


So that’s that!  I’ll be back soon with more ways to use glass bottles.  In the meantime, enjoy sprucing up your homes with some flowers while saving the environment!

Easy Spring Rolls

ImageBefore I begin: I understand that this is not exactly an attractive picture.  Sorry, guys.  I can assure you that it tasted much better than it looks.  I promise.  Anyway, here’s the recipe- hope you like it.

4 sheets rice paper
Water sufficient to dampen the rice paper
2-3 torn lettuce leaves
Small bunch of Thai basil
1 cup bean sprouts
Bunch of cilantro
1 cucumber, sliced into 8 2 x 1/2-inch pieces
2 spring onions, sliced into 8 2-inch pieces
1 carrot, sliced into 8 2-inch strips
1 cup boiled rice noodles
Vietnamese Spicy Red Sauce

• Dampen the rice paper in the water, then pat dry with a kitchen towel.
• Place small amounts of the torn lettuce, basil, sprouts, and cilantro approximately 1 inch from the end of a sheet of rice paper. Add 2 pieces of the cucumber, 2 pieces of the spring onion, 2 carrot slices, and a small amount of the rice noodles. Fold the end and sides of the paper over the filling and roll tightly into a cylinder shape.
• Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
• Slice each roll into 2 to 3 pieces and serve with the Vietnamese Spicy Red Sauce.

You can also try frying them in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil.  They’re relatively easy, require little experience, they’re healthy, and they taste great!

P.S. Happy Valentines Day to you all!



I’d like to apologize for all of the poems lately- I’ve been feeling poetic and they’ve been replacing my usual posts.  I’ll probably post something usefull in a few days.  Anyway, this one is a sonnet which wasn’t easy, so I hope you like it.

Ignorance is blind, the world so hazy,

Seeing only what is lovely and kind:

A brook, rainbow, mountain, or a daisy,

The stars above, the beauty in one’s mind.


‘Tis a gentle thing, to see just a dream,

The world at its best, all troubles away.

Everything is magic, so it may seem-

In this mindset, I wish I could stay.


But ignorance will never change the Earth.

That lovely brook contains death in its flow;

The rainbow? From the cruel storm came its birth;

The mountain has buried souls in its snow.


Even the daisy, in its quiet sweet

Will be plucked from the ground and face its end;

And the stars, gazed at from the silent street

Are large balls of flame waiting to ascend.


‘Tis often said that ignorance is bliss,

But when cloaked by its mask, what do we miss?


Today, I am happy.


Today, I am happy.

Today, I see the beauty in the world,

The beauty so many are blind to,

The beauty often forgotten in the midst of life.

Today, I am free.

Free to run,

Run as far as my body will carry me,

Run to the end of the world and back.

Free to fly,

To leave the world behind

And live in my dreams.

Today, I am beautiful.

As I stare at my body in the mirror,

I don’t see the imperfections.

I’m not pretty, I’m not flawless,

But I am beautiful.

Today, I am fearless.

Because I know that I can overcome anything,

And I can take whatever this world may offer

And more,

Because I am powerful, courageous, and strong.

Today, I am at peace.

The world is beautiful, and I see it.

Today, I know that everyone has a plan,

And I know that mine will be wonderful.

Today, I know that I am not alone.

My soul mate is out there,

And someday, we’ll find each other.

Today, I will dance

To the beat of my heart,

To the music of life,

To the rhythm of the Earth.

Today, I am happy.

Nail Art is Difficult.

I have this friend who is constantly painting her nails in the most beautiful designs and sending me pictures of them.  Unfortunately, I’ve never had this ability.  I think my most refined nail art to date is polka dots…and even those didn’t look good.

But, this is about to change for any of you who have the same life problems.  (Yeah, I know, that isn’t a life problem, but you get the idea.)

I did my nails today, and I actually got pretty fancy with it, to my extreme pride.  It’s really easy though, so I thought I’d share it with you all.  First, after your base coat, put a piece of tape on half of your nail.  It can be vertical, horizontal, diagonal, whatever.  Then paint the other half (the tape makes a straight line).

I know this is probably painfully easy for some of you, and I’m sure I’m not the first to think of it.  It’s probably already floating around the internet somewhere (oh look, it is! And much better than mine), but it’s still an accomplishment for me, haha.

ImageYou cannot fathom how proud I am.  Anyway, if you’re anything like me, I hope this helps you!

As a sidenote, my sister is starting a blog, so make sure you check it out.

Fun With Super Bowl Snacks

Today I’ll be sharing my plans for the Super Bowl with you all.  First: dessert.  Obviously, that’s the priority here :)

We’re having oreo truffles, which sounds much more complicated than it is.  You’ll need: 16 oz. cream cheese, 72 oreos, and 4 or 5 bars of dark chocolate.  Crush the oreos and put them in the food processor with the cream cheese until it is smooth and dough-like.  Form them into balls and let it sit overnight.  The next day, melt the dark chocolate, and dip the oreo balls in.  Put them in the fridge so they can cool, et voila!  Oreo truffles.

Let me tell you, they are so good.  I really can’t stress this enough.  They’re amazing.


Honestly, they don’t look as good as they taste, but some sprinkles could easily fix that, haha.

Our second plan is… sushi!  We’re going to have one regular platter (for my family) and one vegetarian platter (for me and our vegetarian friends).  I’m excited; sushi is the best.  Thing.  Ever.  (Besides the oreo truffles.)


This picture is of the sushi platter (from New Year’s Eve), but I have no idea what the vegetarian one will look like.

Well, I hope you enjoy your Super Bowl as much as I will!  xoxo

Closet Organization for the New Year

I started a blog series about ways to keep organized during the New Year– I know that’s definitely one of my resolutions.  Here is the second tip: closet organizing!

It’s definitely something I’ve struggled with, but I’m here to help you all out.  One thing I’m trying this year is this:


Flip your hangers backwards so the hooks face you.  When you wear something, put it back in with the hook facing in.  That way, at the end of 2014, you can donate anything you haven’t worn in a year :)

Another tip (which you can sort of see in the picture) is that I organize my clothes by color, that way I can form outfits pretty quickly.  It’s convenient, but the problem is that with so many patterned clothes, rainbow order gets pretty difficult.

Anyway, good luck and let me know in the comments how it goes!  (And stay tuned for some fun with super bowl snacks haha)