Salsa Mama is on a mission to share the BEST HOMEMADE SALSA with you and your family & friends!

Pints $5

1/2 of all profits go to the current charity

Delivery is FREE to Shawnee/Lenexa area--no miniumum order.

For orders in general KC area, minimum order is 7 pints. Contact for details.

Order by emailing erin@compassit.com

or calling/texting 913.530.1510


The MISSION is simple:

Serve the community with love, one pint of salsa at a time, by donating a portion of each sale to a local charity or family in need.

1 Peter 4:10 "As each one of us has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace."

An object in motion....

At mass recently, a volunteer parishioner (You rock, Jessica!) used the concept of inertia in her appeal to encourage more participation in a very important initiative at our church. Remember Newton's Laws? (And if you've been faithful followers of Salsa Mama, you may remember a past email about my wacky science teacher, Mr. Carroll, who was often very "par-TIC-ular" with us, young, silly,  unpredictable 7th graders?? Yes indeed, he was very excited about Sir Isaac Newton. But I digress....already!?). Ok, back to the point... We know that objects in motion stay in motion, and objects at rest stay at rest. Importantly, a force must either propel or stop the motion. For me, Jessica's words were just what I needed. The perfect catalyst, so to speak. I had been waiting for just the right message to "propel" the next sale forward, then voila (!) it was handed to me in the form of a parishioner humbly delivering a pulpit talk.  My biggest takeaway from her message? Giving prompts more giving.  Love begets love.  Pretty simple. Pretty profound.

Regardless of your church, or school, or neighborhood, daily opportunities abound for helping others. Here in the Shawnee bubble, there are teams of friends and neighbors rallying around mighty cancer warriors. There are driveways filled with neighbors in prayer.  There are meals, meals and more meals being lovingly prepared. There are hugs and tears and everything in between. It is so inspiring. This community continually proves that we can turn suffering into something beautiful by extending our love and (here is the most important part!!) RECEIVING the love from others. 

Knowing that receiving is difficult, I am so very happy that the Weathers family humbly and happily accepted the offer for Salsa Mama help for their son, Jackson! This important "YES" opens the door for us to join them on this road. 
Now, let's get to know this little man with the big heart! 
Meet Jackson!

Let's pause for a moment and check out this picture. Don't  you just want to grab this kid and tickle him???

This Royals tee-shirt wearing, thumbs-up, smiling cutie pie is the son of Nikki and Jason and little brother to big sis Isabella who is in kindergarten this year.  Jackson loves playing with construction trucks/cars, riding bikes, playing Ninja turtles, swimming, hiding in his "bear cave," giving big hugs, talking and meeting new people. He especially loves anything that allows him to be outside and MOST especially, anything that involves getting dirty! So basically, he is a typical 3-year old boy!!

This August, Jackson was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, a rare form of cancer that affects 1 in 200,000 people. His particular case is an inoperable tumor in his sinus cavity but thankfully, chemo IS an option. He has finished two rounds of already and will continue chemo/steroid treatment for the next year along with other biopsies and scans. 

From now until January 1, the Salsa Mama community will be helping Jackson's family with medical bills. Every pint sold automatically contributes to their fund. Any extra donations are welcome and greatly appreciated. The last sale for HappyBottoms was a huge success and I know the inertia will carry the Weathers family forward with gratitude and appreciation! 

If you would like to follow Jackson's progress, you can find his updates on Facebook under Jackson's Fight or follow him on Caring Bridge.

As you prepare for Thanksgiving, Advent/Christmas, and New Years, let me know if salsa fits in to your menu and most importantly, keep the Weathers' in your prayers! They are so grateful for your help, and I know that we are grateful for their allowing us to walk with them on this journey!

Life, Liberty, and Diapers for All

Hello Salsa Mama friends,

I have always been touched by the quote from St. Therese of Lisieux:

“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”

Oh, this surge of the heart...it's such a real and powerful feeling, isn't it??? I rely on this when I'm deciding who Salsa Mama will help next. I've become surprisingly chill about this decision, considering my general want-to-plan-every-detail nature, but I'm finally learning that if I'm patient and "stay out of my own way," so to speak, the charity will present itself when the time is right. 

The moment I heard about HappyBottoms, that unmistakable surge of the heart bloomed and has been with me ever since. Oh, my friends, I hope this salsa sale is big! I would love for us to be able to send a significant donation. 

To start off, HappyBottoms is Kansas City's Diaper Bank. They provide diapers to 30+ organizations around the KC Metro Area. Since their beginnings in 2009, they have provided 1,853,197 diapers and counting. Their mission is simple and straightforward:

Our mission: working with our partners to provide diapers to low-income families through donations, both financial and in-kind while raising awareness of the need for diapers. 

In discerning how to present this information to you, I honestly can't even begin to focus. I want to ramble on and on about the facility I was able to tour. I want to elaborate on how amazing Liz Sutherlin, the current director is. I want to share with you all kinds of facts and figures and charts and graphs that Liz gave me showing the needs of our community. I want to explain how it breaks my heart that government assistance money cannot be used on diapers. And I want to shout out from the rooftops about the love and generosity of those involved in this HappyBottoms effort. It's so simple. It's so profound. It's just right and good and deserves our attention.

Please, please, pretty please, click on this link and then on the YouTube video link for a wonderful peek into the world of the HappyBottoms diaper bank. I promise it won't be time wasted. I know this is asking a lot....In general, I normally only click on about 1 in 100 YouTube links, thinking that I just don't have the time. Trust me, just go grab a cup of coffee and plant yourself for a teeny bit of time to understand why my heart strings were tugged. You won't regret it. 

Salsa Mama will be sharing with HappyBottoms for the rest of the summer through mid-September (Sept. 8-14 is Diaper Need Awareness Week).  In partnership with Salsa Mama, there are several ways that you can HELP this effort all summer long.

 ***Please keep in mind that monetary donations are the greatest wish because of the volume discounts they can get! 
If you choose to donate diapers, the larger sizes---4s, 5s, and 6s---are the most needed.***

Ways to help:
  • Leave diapers (any amount, whole package, part of package, 2 diapers, anything...) with your cooler/payment on salsa delivery day
  • Include extra payment for your salsa order and I'll keep track of the extra donation for you. 
  • Click on the HappyBottoms donation page and choose your method of payment for a $10 minimum donation. Look for the "select designation" drop down and click on Salsa Mama. This works for ALL modes of donation---credit card, eCheck, all of them.
  • Encourage your children to collect small change or even have their own little diaper drive. I'm happy to come pick up.
  • Make a direct drop off at one of the convenient locations around town (for our area, most convenient will be Wonderscope and Little Monkey Business in Shawnee but check this list for many other drop off sites).  Send me a quick text if you do!

ANY of these loving, generous acts of kindness automatically qualify you for a prize, not that any of you expect a prize or any recognition (that is why I love you so!) but hey, this is fun for me to reward you.

Two prize levels:
  • Donating diapers or leaving extra payment enters you into a drawing for a free pint of salsa.  
  • Donating directly to the HappyBottoms website using the link above enters you into a drawing for $50 worth of salsa. That's right...Your $10 donation could turn into 10 pints of salsa. Wahoo!
Thank you for your support and for continually inspiring me to link people like YOU up with amazing people like LIZ and the team at HappyBottoms. We will most likely never see these sweet babies or their grateful moms face-to-face, but we will know that our efforts came from that surge of the heart so eloquently described by St. Therese.  

I hope that you are enjoying your summer!

You're going SHOPPING!

If you know me well, you know that I'm not much of a shopper. Even before I avoided shopping because of my kid's "occasional" monkey-like behavior, I avoided it like the plague. In high school, my girlfriends and I came to Kansas City from Wichita to shop for prom dresses on the Plaza. My friend Liz and I lasted about 5 minutes before we were wandering around as far from clothing racks as possible. As an adult, I'm a huge fan of online shopping or quick dashes into stores if I know what I need, but somehow I was skipped over in the passing on of the "Let's go shopping!" excitement that many other friends and relatives enjoy. I'm tempted by the occasional space-out-and-wander-through-Target run and every so often I will go crazy at the Old Navy clearance, but honestly, it's on the lower end of my enjoyable activities. My poor mom...she needed a better shopper for a daughter! :)
As we get to know the needs of more and more people in our community, I have discovered that shopping can be fun if it seems worth while.  In this spirit, Salsa Mama fans, I'm happy to announce that the next sale will give you a chance to win a shopping spree for the Catholic Charities food pantry!
Our friends Marianne and Justin Morgan are dedicated volunteers who work monthly to collect food at Hy-Vee on Mission. Volunteers across the county do the same each month, enabling over 1000 families in our area to have much-needed groceries.  Justin and Marianne (and their kids, Drew and Rachel) are just as busy as the rest of us---or more!---have a house to run, jobs to manage, sports, activities, and many church volunteer positions, but they have passionately committed to this cause as a family. So inspiring!!

So, how will this work? EASY!
Order salsa anytime between now and Easter and you will automatically be entered into a drawing. The winner will get the same amount of money that I would normally donate to a charity (half of the profits). They will take that money and hit the grocery store to buy items for the Catholic Charities food pantry. I will coordinate the delivery, or better yet, their family can deliver straight there to see how the food pantry operates.

Right now, the most needed items are:

Spaghetti  sauce
Paper towels
Canned Veggies or Fruit
Cereal ( any kinds)
Mac and cheese
Ramen Noodles
Can Openers (hand held)

In the mean time, please check out the Johnson County Emergency Assistance Center for more information about donating food or other items. Food is just one type of donation needed. From this link, you can find much more information about helping in other ways.

For now, thanks for your support and know that I appreciate each and every one of you!

Inspiring or tiring??

For those of you who don't know how this Salsa Mama gig started, let me give you a little background.
Back in 2009, my friend Ann was fighting a valiant fight against breast cancer. Oh, how much I learned from her, including countless lessons of love and acceptance and keeping priorities straight. Ann's faith was awe-inspiring in many ways, but two messages remain with me on a daily basis:

1) Only do that which inspires you, not tires you.
2) Keep it simple.

The picture below is of Ann and our dear friend, Linda. For many years, they worked hard planning the Kaw Valley Relay for Life's Survivor Dinner together. I worked on the Relay committee for several years too, and what a BLESSING it was to soak up all the love from so many hard working, dedicated, and loving members of this community who genuinely wanted to CELEBRATE, REMEMBER, and FIGHT BACK against cancer.

Salsa Mama grew from this Relay for Life endeavor. Ann helped me with the logo and was very supportive, recognizing the potential for it to touch people's lives. One year she went crazy and made me two personalized Salsa Mama aprons, a tee-shirt and tee shirts for my boys. I think she had more confidence in it than I did! Having this encouragement, I decided to give it a go beyond the Relay world----to continue making salsa (a very simple task) and continuing the charitable aspect (which inspires me, not tires!). 

Each time Salsa Mama's "sale" changes, it is prayer that leads me to the next charity. Over the years, there have been a variety of individuals and groups who have tugged at my heart in that special way that I recognize now as the nudge of the Holy Spirit. In keeping with Ann's spirit, let me share with you that the recipient of the next sale will be Sacred Heart Catholic Church. 

Trust me when I say that it's very hard for me to keep this message simple...I don't really "do" simple. I do complicated! (Ask my husband, he'll tell ya!) A huge part of me wants to go on and on about the way my faith has developed and grown in the nurturing Sacred Heart parish community, but I will honor Ann by keeping this message simple. I am inspired by SO many people, families, causes...too many to count! But simply speaking, it is heaviest on my heart to support my parish at this time. 

I wish you a beautiful, blessed, happy and joyful Advent season and I invite you to reflect on where your inspiration and simplicity lead you. 

Thank you for your continued support over the years!!!


It's been a long time, I know, but here is what has been keeping me out of the salsa kitchen and in the whirling vortex of 2 under 2, and an 8 and a 9!
I feel blessed every single day by these gifts, so you won't hear a single complaint from me about what's keeping the salsa production erratic at best! You may not get an updated blog for another year, who knows! All I know is the laughter, the wrestling, the chaos and the love are music to my ears.
Jillian and Sofia are both mobile now, and that means "boo boos" galore. They are old enough to notice if you don't kiss the boo boo in the EXACT place, returning over and over for that perfectly placed TLC that makes it all better. I can't help but learn from their example. In my adult mind, I know that I have a much harder time identifying my needs and asking for specific help. It's easy to ask for help for others, though, isn't it? In our never-ending quest for balance, however, we know we are called to give and receive.
As we move into Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will be spending all kinds of time and energy focusing on doing for others, through gifts, food and visits. I encourage you to allow others to give to YOU. You will make their hearts joyful! Salsa Mama has been supporting the Garrett Bathurst fund for the past few months. Thank you to the Bathursts for allowing us to help them with the salsa sale!! 
In December a new fundraiser will be announced. Until then, thank you and God bless!

Wrapping our arms around them

You know how easy it is to remember people's kindness, especially when you're "the new kid?" I vividly remember being the new kid in 6th grade when Liz befriended me by the swings on my first day. As an French teacher, I clearly remember the friendly welcome of Pat when I moved from one district to another. These warm smiles and reassuring welcomes make such a huge difference to those who need them. Which leads me to my friend Kathy....

I remember being in the preschool hall at Sacred Heart, feeling rather "green" and inexperienced, watching my oldest son navigate the new world of 3-year preschool. Kathy walked right up and introduced herself, chatted, smiled, and really didn't do anything out of the ordinary for her. This moment of reassurance and love sticks with me even today as we're getting ready to celebrate that same son's 9th birthday next week. As I said before, it's easy to remember kindness.

I was so happy to eventually become close friends with Kathy as members of the same Christ Renews His Parish team in 2009. We have had all kinds of interaction in our church and school community (can I interject that she is the best school librarian...ever!!) and our families have gotten to know each other over the years.

Anyone who knows Kathy and her husband Ralph would agree that their four children are their most cherished treasure. In January of this year, their son Peter was killed in a tragic accident at the age of 25.  It broke my heart for them. It still does. It's May 1 and I'm just now writing about it even though it's been in my heart for months. I ask for your continued prayers for their family, for healing, for peace, for acceptance and for laughter in reminiscing on what made Peter unique. Like many people in our parish, I did not know him personally because he lived in Texas at the time; however, this amazing community wrapped their arms around Kathy and Ralph and the three siblings, Kaylan, Monica and Aaron. We will continue to do so!

The Salsa Mama mission is to help the community. This sale will benefit the Peter Clevinger Memorial Fund. Kathy and Ralph will use this donation to help others and to honor their beloved son.

Peter's funeral mass was (yes) a tear-jerker, but filled with smiles from stories of Peter's character. He lived a short but meaningful life. The program at mass had this on the back page, from his Facebook page. Read it once, twice, today, tomorrow and whenever you need a boost.

With love to the Clevinger family from the Salsa Mama community

Summer---A Whole Different Animal

Go Karts at the lake.  No, Jillian didnt drive!
Isn't it true? Summer IS a whole differnt animal in so many ways. On the one hand, summer offers great warm weather and many fun activities we don't usually have time for. On the other hand, every routine normally established for the kiddos or ourselves go "bye bye." Even with the best of intentions, it just seems impossible to keep much structure. This in't good, isn't bad....just a whole different animal until school begins again.
To me, early summer feels like what a painter must experience when they get a clean new canvas. Ahhhh...the possibilities! In reflecting on the "work of art" I hope to create this summer, I find a recurrent theme. Be CONTENT in the moment. Enjoy PEACE in the moment. Slow down so I don't MISS the moment. You get the picture! Whether it's folding the increasing amount of laundry or checking something off of our summer wish list, I pray for peace and appreciation for each and every summer moment with my family and friends. (By the way, I'm not really organized enough to have actually written a summer wish list, but there are a few goals floating around in my head!)
I am happy to report that I, shockingly (!), have found many serene moments lately, nestled amidst my usual flurry of activity of trying too many new recipes, struggling with time management, and failing to reign in my over-active brainwaves. Thanks to some beautiful friends who remind me to slow down, friends and family who model a prayerful life, and thanks to a wonderful husband who always makes time to play with the kids, I am surrounded by many role models on this attempt to enjoy the moment. In keeping with the "summer is a whole different animal theme," I've learned that it's a jungle out there! Surround yourself with positive allies! :)
If any of your serene moments involve a giant bowl of chips and some freshly made salsa, you know where to find me!

Peace to you,
P.S. I know, I know...it doesn't seem to match up, does it? I'm talking about slowing down, yet I'm hoping to make you lots of salsa. Believe it or not, I kindof count the Salsa Mama gig as "down time" in a strange sort of way. I love doing this for many reasons, but at the top of the list is getting to witness your giving hearts (to current charity) and hearing about your events with friends/family. Ending on a highly sappy but totally sincere note...feeding you feeds me too. :)