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Celebrity Chef Cook-Off: You Be The Judge

by: ellis j. still (@ellis_still)

What do you get when you have the opportunity to judge two well known chef’s and culinary students who are rivaling against each other?

An amazing fund raiser that benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton, NJ, a national community organization that provides  young people with  safe havens, academic enrichment, and recreational activities through after-school, weekend, and summer programs.

Join us as Chef Barbie Marshall and Chef Justin Antiorio, finalists in Fox television show Hell’s Kitchen, along with four of Mercer County Community College’s most talented student Sous Chefs prepare delicious hors d’oeuvres, and you will be the judge!

My wife, Tina (@Tina_Still), and I are huge proponents of giving back to communities whenever we can. Since Hell’s Kitchen is one of the shows that we watch/Tivo on a regular basis, having the opportunity to see these great Chefs battle it out for a worthy cause is a great way to spend a Wednesday evening.

On November 7th, 2012, every person should be the difference by attending this culinary event. Here are ten reasons why:

  1. You get to meet two of Hell’s Kitchen’s finest cooks, Chef Barbie Marshall (@BarbieMarshall), and Chef Justin Antiorio (@ChefJustinHk).
  2. This makes for a great date night for you and your spouse (or significant other)
  3. You get to sample a variety of appetizers.
  4. You get to take the night off from cooking or ordering fast food.
  5. You get to network and meet new people at a new venue (at least new to me – I have never been to The Stone Terrace before).
  6. The weather is still relatively warm… a great opportunity to find someone to create/complete your #Golf foursome before cold weather finally sets in.
  7. If you ask, maybe you can find out more about Chef Barbie’s new initiative, “5 Star Chefs
  8. Like me, you were sitting in the dark for days as a result of not having power due to Hurricane Sandy, and you desperately need a change of pace.
  9. You need some new culinary ideas. For example, I subscribe to the notion that bacon makes anything taste better. To my wife’s (and my personal trainer’s) disdain, I add bacon (bits) to everything in an effort to make it better.
  10. Proceeds of the event benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton and Mercer County, NJ

For more information on the event and its venue, click here. To buy tickets ($25.00), click here.

Question: What is your favorite appetizer?

© 2012, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification
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Golf!!!

By: ellis j. still

This summer I decided to take on the game of golf. I have participated in several sports in my lifetime – track & field, football, earned my black belt in Taekwondo Karate – and now I need something else to do, so I figured why not golf? I enrolled in a month-long introductory class at Princeton Country Club, hired a personal coach, purchased a beginners set of Taylor Made golf clubs and now I am ready to go!!! I am no Tiger Woods or Nick Price or Vijay Singh, but I am happy that my skills are in line with peers at my level of golf experience.

On Monday, June 20th, I will be participating in my first ever golf tournament, the Abundant Life (ALFWC) 3rd Annual Golf Tournament, which will be held at Royce Brook Golf Course, Hillsborough, NJ.  The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore (TBBbookstore.com) is also serving as a major sponsor the tournament. The tournament is structured to accommodate beginners like me, as well as those who are extremely competitive and capable. The following is a letter in part from ALFWC’s Senior Pastor (and avid golfer) Bishop George C. Searight:

Abundant Life’s 3rd Annual Golf Tournament will be taking place on Monday June 20th at the Royce Brook Golf Course located at 908 Hamilton Road, Hillsborough, NJ.  Enjoy a day of festivities including golf, fun, food, and fellowship. There will be a barbeque, silent auction and giveaways.

For over 20 years, ALFWC has supported the community by sponsoring food drives, Back to School Drives, Narcotics/Alcohol Anonymous meetings, and educational, financial, and professional development workshops. Each year more than 1000 individuals in the community have benefited from our programming.

The proceeds raised this year will be used to expand our services to include providing housing assistance for the elderly, more educational assistance for youth and adults, and additional services to the homeless.

We are committed to making a difference in our community, and with your support at the Golf Tournament we can continue these efforts. For more information about ALFWC, visit www.ALFWC.org.

On behalf of the Golf Tournament Committee and myself, “Thank You” for your generous support, and we look forward to seeing you at the event.”

Bishop George C. Searight,

Senior Pastor

There will also be an Awards Recognition Banquet that evening honoring outstanding fathers, so plan to attend this great night. Particpating in the Golf Tournament is not a requirement for attending the banquet. For more detailed scheduling information or if you have a business and would like to be a sponsor at the tournament   Click Here, or email Elder Jim Hart at jhart@alfwc.org.  

Question:  It will be a great day on June 20th, 2011. Why not spend it having a great time with some great people for a great cause on the golf course?

Golf!!!   :- )

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I have a marketing connection (tournament sponsor) to a brand, topic or product herein. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

Lupus: The underrated disease, and the faith that beat it.

by: ellis j. still

May 3rd, 2011

Over one million people have been estimated to have Lupus in the United States. Lupus is a potentially fatal disease where the immune system attacks the body instead of the viruses and infections that they are supposed to eradicate (click here to learn more about the disease). I, myself, have heard of Lupus and understood that it was a disease, but never fully understood its impact until I had the chance to speak with Mrs. Brenda Blackmon of My 9 News in New York, and her daughter Kelly. I came to realize that many people are like me, in a sense of having a vague image of what Lupus is. As I continued to learn more, I began to appreciate the work being done to eradicate the disease (you can watch them tell their story in the video below).


The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore (TBB) has partnered with Mrs. Blackmon to help raise money for further research in order to lessen the impact and find a cure for the disease. All proceeds from Mrs. Blackmon’s new book “Brenda Blackmon; a Mom’s Story” will be donated to their 501C3 non-profit organization, The Kelly Fund for Lupus, Inc.

The Walk.

On this past Saturday, The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore participated in a walk-a-thon at the Meadowlands new stadium to benefit The Alliance for Lupus Research.  Over the past week or so, the northeast has been blanketed by frequent and random periods of rain and thunderstorms, but this day was gorgeous sunny day. The staging area for walkers was on the football field of the brand new stadium (the artificial turf is a far cry from the rock-hard artificial turf I once played on in high school at the Philadelphia Eagles’ now demolished Veterans Stadium), and the start / finish line was at the 50 yard line. There were rides and events for kids, Elmo and Sponge-Bob were taking pictures with people, and NY Jets players were there hanging out with walk-a-thon participants.  It felt kind of awkward at first being that I am an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, but the walk-a-thon was for a good cause, and the atmosphere of entire event had a spirit of cooperation and giving back to others.

Everyone had a great time, and I had great conversations with people I met along the way. NY Jets coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson walked along with us (the NY Jets was the host and co-sponsor for the event), and was having just as much of a good time as anyone else. Although the walk was only approximately three miles long, I spent a half-hour lying on the cushy artificial turf after the walk to recover. (Note to self – I really need to get back into the gym). It was a great time had by all  :- )

The Book

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. Mrs. Blackmon’s new book “Brenda Blackmon; a Mom’s Story” is a great story about overcoming, about perseverance, about healing, and about faith. Your purchase of the new release not only donates towards a worthy cause, but it will deposit in you a real life example of hope, and the fact that even today, God still works miracles.

The action

The Kelly Fund for Lupus, Inc. is a great organization to contribute to. Why not help fight the disease by purchasing the book?

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have a marketing connection to a brand, topic or product herein. Through the use of affiliate links contained herein, I may collect fees from purchases made that will be donated to The Kelly Fund for Lupus, Inc, a 501C3 non-profit organization. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification

Through Future Eyes – Be the Difference

By: ellis j. still

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. It is the only thing that ever has”

               Margaret Mead

I am personally thankful for the many blessings, grace, and mercies on my life. Just last year my wife and I spent the Christmas holidays living in a hotel. Our furnace had stopped working which left our house heatless on the coldest days of the winter, our basement was under water and there was a sewage line break… with no idea as to how we were going to come up with the thousands of dollars to pay for it all. Looking back on all of this, it really makes you appreciate what you have. You realize that no matter where you are in life, there are many people less fortunate than you. If the economy  didn’t teach us anything else, it taught us that nothing can be taken for granted… that money, or anything else in the world can be gone in an instant. In my gratefulness for what I do have, it is my natural tendency to give to others.

I recently connected with a non-profit organization called Through Future Eyes  that acknowledges that unemployment, illiteracy, domestic violence, and poverty are factors that impact the homeless (http://throughfutureeyes.org). Their goal is to promote positive change. From Thursday, December 9th through Sunday December 12th, Through Future Eyes is sponsoring a Christmas drive for homeless shelters in various cities in Northern New Jersey. TBB will be volunteering to help take in donated materials for the multiple day events. Giving to the homeless is an area that is especially close to my heart, since I once lived in a homeless shelter myself. Nothing warms the heart more than knowing that there are people out there that care.

Shennell Barnes, Founder, President and CEO of the Newark, NJ based Through Future Eyes simply saw a need to be met, created the opportunity to meet the need, and acted on it. Through Future Eyes has since provided clothing and shoes to more than a thousand people in Newark alone. Not everyone has to go out and create a non-for profit organization in order to make a difference. There are many organizations out there in our communities where you can volunteer your time and effort to help someone less fortunate than you are. If you are in the northern New Jersey area, you can come out and join us as we seek to make a difference for someone else. For more information on the dates and times, visit http://throughfutureeyes.org, email at volunteer@throughfutureeyes.org or call Shennell Barnes at (201) 306-7511.

Question: What are you doing to serve those in need in your community?

© 2010, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

__________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification

The importance of paying it forward

By:  ellis j. still

While my wife and I were on vacation for our birthdays, I read an article in the local newspaper about a mother who was attempting to teach her middle school aged daughter the importance of paying it forward. In summation, the daughter took on the task of collecting bible donations to send to military troops overseas. But while the mother and daughter were in line to ship the bibles, a stranger noticed the boxes of bibles asked what they were doing. The daughter explained that it was for a bible drive to troops overseas… that they were doing a random act of kindness by shipping bibles abroad. In turn, the stranger paid for the shipping in its entirety.

Paying it forward takes one random act of kindness at a time, which multiples into other acts of kindness towards others. Basically, when someone goes out of the way to do something kind to you without expecting anything in return, you do the same to someone else.  There are many examples of paying it forward in the bible… of being in service to others in the bible.  The story about the Good Samaritan comes to mind, where someone on the side of the road was injured and in need, but people walked around him without helping. But the Good Samaritan took pity on him and went above and beyond to give him the help that he needed (Luke 10:25-37 NIV). Good deeds can be big or small… can involve money or just a kind gesture. Your only limitation in the number of ways that you can pay it forward is the creativity of your mind. You don’t have to wait for someone to be kind to you before you make it a point to be un-expectedly kind to others.

It is important to do good deeds because it is not only a demonstration of love towards others, but with practice, it creates a habit of being nice to others without expecting anything in return. Likewise, if you are an entrepreneur, business owner, or have direct reports, a random act of kindness program would be a pleasant addition to the company culture of your workplace. It is applicable to every part of our lives. At work. At school. At the Laundromat. Everywhere. At work you may notice that one of your coworkers that you do not normally interact with may be having a bad day. Go out of you way to offer some kind words. It may not fix their problem, but your demonstration of kindness may help then get through their situation.  At school, you may be part of the “in” crowd, or even an upper class person. Maybe take a freshman under your wing and show them the ropes. One thing you will notice about the power of paying it forward is that once you are kind to someone, and you are confident in your kindness, others will seek to do the same thing. Or if they don’t, they will have a different but favorable opinion about you.

Here are some ideas for paying it forward: 

  • Every day say “hi” or “good morning” or something of the sort to at least three people you have never seen before (you have to smile… otherwise, it does not count).
  • If you are on an airplane seated in first class, trade your seat with someone in coach.
  • When driving through the tool booth, also pay the toll for the car behind you
  • When eating out, pay for someone else’s meal
  • Buy someone a book or inspirational gift
  • Leave the newspaper or magazine in good condition someplace so that someone else can read it.
  • Shovel your neighbor’s snow. If you already have a relationship with your neighbor, shovel the snow of a neighbor that you don’t know.
  • Give someone waiting at the bus stop a ride
  • Carry someone’s bags to their car at the supermarket or mall 

One Saturday afternoon as we were waiting to be seated, my wife and I saw two young ladies (we later found out that they were sisters) at our local Red Lobster. They were a happy bunch, but we could sense that there were troubles on the sister’s mind…. that the smiles were to ensure that whatever they were going through, the kids would be protected from the worry. When we ordered our food we informed our waitress of wanting to pay the family’s meal. The waitresses emotions welled up in her, as if the kindness was directed toward her, overjoyed that anyone would extend such kindness to another human being. The waitress told the family, and the sisters found their way to our table, crying and thanking us for the kind gesture. Whenever anyone cries around my wife, she starts crying. So of you are reading this post and you are a guy, imagine sitting at the table in a restaurant with your wife, the waitress, and two sisters crying uncontrollably.  :- )  I joke about this, but these were authentic tears of joy flowing from their hearts… the core of their very being. 

Question: What random acts of kindness are you planning today?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

____________________________________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

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