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Monday, June 24, 2019

NOT OUR KIDS?

If you don't already know it, I am a Cuban-American woman, who is immensely proud of her culture and heritage.  Not to be confused with agreeing on the politics of Cuba.  I am proud of where my family is from, my roots and the traditions that were instilled in me from a young age.  I made that choice to be proud, to carry it on with my children.  I think it is essential to NEVER forget where you came from, whether it was a boat from Cuba or Haiti, an airplane from Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia or the freakin' Mayflower!  You have to know that NO one is native to this Country, except the American Indians, but that is a whole other history lesson and article that can be written.  

For now, I want to focus on the problem we have at our doorstep and that is, hundreds and hundreds of immigrants, women and children specifically (of my concern) being held in camps, indefinitely, by the United States of America, while most citizens sit by and idly watch this happen and judge, as if somehow they are better than... 

My parents each came separately as CHILDREN, when they came to this Country at around age 12 or so. It is because each set of my grandparents saw that life where they lived was turning into a dictatorship that would no longer be a viable option to raise their children. 

Truth be told, they got LUCKY!!! The fact that they were able to enter this Country legally and easily is luck, or as religious people see it, a blessing; However, the despair of my grandparents to give their children a better life is no different than the despair that these immigrants coming in at the border feel.

The difference is they may not have the money or the resources to do so as easily or effectively, but the love of their children and NEED for a better life is the same! 

I am not speaking up or standing up for criminals but the scare tactics and fear-mongering regarding M-13 gang members has to stop.  Sure, there are criminals in the mix, but they can go back. The majority of the people being held are hard-working people, who simply seek a better life in this Country. I am vocal regarding  the families, the women, who have traversed miles and miles with their children simply for a better life.

And our response is to lock those children up and often times, just take them away?!!!

I often think of my dad with his younger siblings traveling ALONE to this Country because his parents felt at the time, that was the best choice for their safety and their future. It was a very ballsy move! One I am forever grateful for, as it affected me and my children.  That is called foresight - being able to visualize a better life, not only for yourself but for your children and their children...

I don’t know if I could ever send my kids alone to another Country for their safety, but I sure as hell would go wherever I needed to simply to protect them and give them a better life, if it came to that. I would fight for them hell or high water - which is simply what these migrants are doing.

How then, can you sit there in judgment and say, “Well, they shouldn’t have come,” or “they should know better” or “they should do it legally.”

First of all, SEEKING ASYLUM IS NOT ILLEGAL...and secondly, if you have children, you should know that you would do anything to protect them! The problem here is that people have no empathy and feel entitled once they reach a certain level of comfort.

This is the perfect example.  Listen to what Brian Kilmeade, a host of one of President Trump's favorite cable news shows, "Fox & Friends," had to say, when he was defending the Trump administration's policy of separating at least 2,500 children from parents who allegedly entered the United States illegally, he sought to put concerns about them into perspective. 

He said:  "And these are not — like it or not, these are not our kids. Show them compassion, but it's not like he is doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas. These are people from another country, and now people are saying that they're more important than people in our country who are paying taxes and who have needs as well."  (Source: The Washington Post)

Are we only American citizens now and not human beings?  Do we not have compassion for other human lives?  No one is implying that these immigrants should have more rights than American citizens, only that they be treated in a dignified manner with safe and sanitary conditions, and at the very least NOT DIE on our watch!

Children being held in U.S. detention centers, while two teenage girls watch TV.

How crappy must conditions be in their countries that they walk hundreds, maybe even thousand of miles to put up with this? This to them, is "better." Put that into perspective.

Granted, the Trump administration ended the policy of family separations, but the policy continues to affect children already in separate detention facilities (like the one shown in the image above) and this is what I am referring to, that and the fact that children are literally dying trying to enter here to seek a better life.

How dare Kilmeade  say "not our kids!?" This is infuriating, especially to those who preach constantly about being Christian and living an exemplary life. The hypocrisy is sickening. 

Of course, we have rules and laws in this Country and they should most definitely be followed but there MUST be an element of humanity and compassion in the way we treat these immigrants. I am not arguing policy and I really don't care which President is in office, we have had immigration problems in this Country for a long time.  Why?  Well, because this Country IS GREAT and people want to live here seeking a better future!  This happened under Obama administration as well, however, the detention of migrant children has skyrocketed to the highest levels ever.  

"The huge increases, which have placed the federal shelter systems near capacity, are due not to an influx of children entering the country, but a reduction in the number being released to live with families and other sponsors, the data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services suggests" (Source: The New York Times)

According to an Associate Press investigation, "It will likely be years before the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors illegally coming to America face any action related to their immigration status.

The immigration system is broken but we are still the United States of America, you know the "great again" country? 

How is it then, that children sleeping on concrete floors, not having soap or toothbrushes, using aluminum foil (mylar blankets) acceptable? Come on now!  Are you seriously going to tell me we don't have the resources to help these people, (at least temporarily) until politicians figure this immigration policy situation out? Are you going to tell me you are okay with seeing kids in cages, fenced in (or however you want to grammatically put it) simply because they are "not our kids?!" That is just wrong on a humanitarian level.

To those of you who were once immigrants, don’t forget where you came from and remember: you got lucky and your parents or grandparents had more chutzpah than you could ever imagine.

To those of you, who like myself, were born here in the U.S.A and perhaps cannot relate, I simply ask you to be more open-minded, to have a little more compassion and understanding. You never know when a Country will be turned upside, whether by economic turmoil or poverty or dictatorship and what you would be capable of in order to protect your family, your children.

You are BLESSED.  Never take your freedom or the sacrifices your ancestors made for granted. I know I do not.

Make your voice and your vote heard, not just with the presidential election, but with every election, locally and nationally.  Stand up and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.  That is what humanity is about, not just some self-contained happiness in your own bubble.

Life is bigger and greater than that, and so are YOU!





Author/Blogger:

Friday, June 14, 2019

POLITICS OF LOVE

As a blogger, I have always tried to stay away from politics, until recently and given today's political climate, it has become a little difficult to ignore.  I guess I have become more passionate about this topic, not only after the election of 2016, but especially, after my daughter was caught in the middle of gun violence in her high school on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. The issue of gun violence, immigration, climate change, economic inequality and overall social justice are all topics that I am passionate about.

As a Latina woman, in a Jewish household, who believes in the power of love and spirituality, this particular candidate caught my attention.  I have always known, Marianne Williamson as an amazing author but most recently, she was a guest on my dear friend, Pedro Biaggi's radio show, La Red Hispana and she really impressed me.  Marianne is a Presidential Democratic Candidate for 2020. She is an internationally-acclaimed American author,  of 13 books, 4 of them # 1 Bestsellers of the New York Times, including "A Return to Love,"

I am sharing the video below with you all simply to show you a different perspective and view on politics that you may not necessarily hear on the campaign trail. 

I love the importance she places on education and the future of our children.

As we all know, politics has always been about who has the most money and usually the most clout.  

I welcome Marianne Williamson to the political table because I am in 100% agreement that it ALL boils down to a "Return to Love" and that there is currently a "moral function" in this world. She also says, "we must now love with conviction and turn our love into political force."

As Marianne said in this interview, "It is time that we all step up our courage quotient!" 



Please take some time to watch and LISTEN to this interview in its entirety.  It is in ENGLISH, as soon as the introduction is over around the :30 second mark or so. I am very proud of my friend, Pedro Biaggi, a Hispanic radio personality, who presented Marianne with all the tough questions we needed to hear the answers to.

You obviously do not have to agree with my views or Marianne's but it is totally worth looking into a different point of view, unlike any other.  And while you may think, why is a spiritual guru and author jumping into the political arena, just remember this quote:

"The Presidency is not merely an administrative office. That's the least of it....It is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership."---Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1932  

This Country, without a doubt, needs a moral and spiritual re-awakening" and someone like Marianne Williamson, just might be the one to play a role in this!  

Just something to think about!





MARIANNE WILLIAMSON SPEAKS WITH PEDRO BIAGGI AT LA RED HISPANA






Tuesday, May 28, 2019

HOW TO START AN ONLINE BOUTIQUE

https://www.jelizabethboutique.com/shirtology/
If you have reached this article, perhaps someone suggested to you that you look into opening up your own business by running an online boutique, or maybe you clicked the info button on the Shirtology USA page on Facebook or maybe you just happen to stumble across it.  Either way, you are in luck because I am going to tell you just how easy it is.

Having been in the network marketing business for a while now, I have worked my fair share of MLMs (multi-level marketing) companies.  Some I liked, some I didn't, some I made money with and others not so much.  I am currently a health and wellness advocate, who runs an online boutique.  I always get the question "How do you start?"

Well, it is actually pretty easy.  If you are interested in running an online boutique that has trendy t-shirts and accessories with high-quality products, then you have reached the right place.

I stumbled across J. Elizabeth Boutique as I was researching network marketing companies.  I loved the concept because I design t-shirts myself, so it is something I am passionate about.

The first thing I fell in love with was the company's motto:  "Do What Makes Your Soul Happy."  This came through to me like a loud speaker!  What I really liked is that the business model was already in place and the company itself was not saturated with affiliates.  The t-shirts are DTG (direct to garment) print and the website tools you are given are amazingly helpful for marketing your business. It also helps that the leadership is excellent.

As an independent J. Elizabeth stylist, you have the opportunity to earn without limits. It is free to join and you only pay a monthly fee of $10 to gain access to your own personalized, replicated online boutique. 

The opportunity for growth is there, so if you have the desire and the hustle, why wait?  Do what makes YOUR soul happy and become an independent stylist and work from anywhere you want!

For access to enroll, simply click the image below and you will be on your way!

https://myjelizabeth.com/shirtology/enroll.html





Saturday, May 25, 2019

WORKING AS A NANNY IN THE U.S.A.

In today’s society, getting by with just one job sometimes isn’t enough. Some people have to work two, even three jobs, just to make ends meet, that is why being a nanny sounds like an interesting option as a job choice. It sounds interesting because it allows you to work with so many different types of people and it gives you a preview into parenting life if you don't already have children. And if you do, you can bring a wealth of experience to the job.

However, it is not as easy as you may think. It takes a special kind of personality to be a good nanny. You have to really love working with children and you have to be flexible, in terms of working hours and days. You have to have the right temperament and a lot of patience - being a nanny is a huge responsibility. As a nanny you are essentially a third parent to the child, you have to be there for them when their parents can’t be. You get to build a relationship with the kids that you are taking care of and they become dependent on you. 

A nanny is a professional, childcare provider that works in a home and takes care of the basic needs of the children, and ensures their safety in day-to-day activities, while providing close supervision. 

The main job of a nanny is to supervise children, while the parents are away, and provide a safe environment, while also being caring and nurturing. Some of the main responsibilities of a nanny are: transporting the child (or children) to various activities, like sports or music lessons, keeping the children’s play areas neat and some may even be required to do the children’s laundry. As a nanny, you would be expected to engage with the kids in age-appropriate games, arts and crafts and other things that may interest the them. Depending on the age of the children, some of the duties could range from helping with homework to reading to them and putting them down for naps. Sometimes, domestic duties relating to children would be: washing dishes after meals, tidying playroom and bedroom, packing and unpacking children for trips/travel, etc.

A person who chooses to be a nanny should be someone who is super responsible, trustworthy, efficient, and well-organized. They have to be nurturing and loving and above all have plenty of patience with children, especially with those who don’t listen to directions well. It would also be helpful if they were a self-starter, meaning, they do not have to be told what to do repeatedly by the parents and they do things before they are asked to do so. The nanny should also be someone who follows the rules and allows puts the children’s needs and priorities first. 

When a family hires a nanny, the expectations are high, as they are entrusting their children with the nanny. In the same breath, nannies also expect just as much in return. According to the Nanny Authority, (nannyauthority.com) they expect their nannies to be provided with: 

  • Private room and Board, Private bath
  • Use of vehicle
  • Home Environment free of all safety and health hazards
  • Accurate description of duties and responsibilities
  • Paid holidays
  • 2 weeks of paid vacation per year 
  •  

Nannies tend to have much more responsibilities than a babysitter, so therefore their salaries are much bigger. As per the International Nannies Association (INA), in 2017, a survey was distributed not only to US nannies, but internationally, and includes results from Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and others. According to their survey, 99% were females. The results are as follows: “Ninety-two percent live outside the employer’s home, 42% have at least a 2-year college degree, and 77% work full time. 53% report that their current employment fits the nanny job description, and 42% are nanny/household managers, up from 38% in 2014. 71% have more than 5 years of experience in the field.

Education and experience correlate with higher hourly wage.
60% received an annual bonus in prior 12 months.
Nannies that have taken the INA Nanny Credential Exam and/or the INA Basic Skills Assessment get a higher hourly rate.
64% are paid legally.” (http://bit.ly/2017INANannySurvey)
The outlook for a career as a nanny looks to be steady. As per the Occupational Outlook Handbook of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, the median pay in 2018 (www.bls.gov/ooh ) for a childcare worker was $23,240 per year or $11.17 per hour. According to ZipRecruiter, “As of May 15, 2019, the average annual pay for a nanny in the United States is $32,612 a year. Based on recent job postings on ZipRecruiter, the Nanny job market in my area and the surrounding area is very active. Florida ranks number 49 out of 50 states nationwide for Nanny salaries. (www.ziprecruiter.com)

In order to be qualified as a nanny, you don’t necessarily need a degree, however, an associate's degree and/or specialized certifications in early childhood development would be very helpful and would look much better on a resume when applying for a nanny job. It is very important that a nanny be CPR-certified and have first aid certification. Some of the career requirements according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Nanny.org, and Payscale.com. are listed below:


Career Requirements
  • Education
  • None; associate's degree and/or certifications in early childcare preferred
  • Certification
  • CPR and first aid certification common; voluntary certifications available
  • Experience
  • Varies by position
  • Key Skills
  • Strong communication and instructional skills; patience and stamina
  • Additional Requirements
  • 18+ years old; good health, up to date on immunizations, and negative TB test; pass background and drug tests
  • Salary
  • $25,692 (2016 median for nannies)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Nanny.org, Payscale.com.


Most agencies in the U.S.A. will not refer foreign candidates  to a family for consideration if they do not have valid work authorization. If a family (parents) hire someone directly on their own (for example online job matching service,) they are responsible to confirm that the candidate is legally eligible for work in the U.S. (Nanny.org)


Three classes that would be helpful if choosing a nanny career, would be 1) Psychology class because it would help you be a better communicator and understand the human psyche better; 2) CPR/Health class because if there was ever an emergency you would be qualified and know what to do to help the child in need. For example, there is a place called CPR Test Center that offers online training and certification that can be completed in less than 30 minutes. 3) Time-management or Life skills class because you have to be able to be organized and have a structured schedule you have to maintain. 

If your plan is to work as a nanny, providing childcare to children in their home,  just know that you will be expected to provide a nurturing environment for them, while being able to complete other tasks in the home as requested by the parents. It can be a very rewarding experience where you can influence the hearts and minds of young children in a positive way.





WORKS CITED PAGE
Nannyauthority.com
(http://bit.ly/2017INANannySurvey)
www.bls.gov/ooh
(www.ziprecruiter.com)
Nanny.org,
Payscale.com






Thursday, May 9, 2019

THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS VS. PROTECTING OUR KIDS

A NEW DAY...another school shooting and life goes on...May 8, 2019, was the most recent date of yet another school shooting, (that I know of!) This one was in Highlands Ranch, at a STEM school in Denver, Colorado and it was barely breaking news or a top of the news hour kind of story. When you literally have to Google a shooting because it is not plastered all over the news, we have a problem, meaning, we have become numb to this type of occurrence.

Now, we just count how many died and measure the gravity of the situation by the number of kids shot dead.  Only one this time, so a lot of people don't even know about it.  Sounds callous right?  Well, that is what we have become, callous and apathetic.

Sure, some will argue: "let's ban guns, bring back school prayer, discipline kids better..." well, guess what? They are all correct!  ALL OF IT MATTERS!

"Todos los poquitos cuentan!" (~JJR)  

WHAT IS HAPPENING? Well, it is the culmination of a LOT of things: Gun obsession, frayed families, politicians in the pockets of the NRA (National Rifle Association,) lack of faith, the integrity of the family unit has been broken often times, lack of discipline and so much more; however, the biggest thing (in my opinion) is that our fetish (in the U.S.A.) with guns has superseded the need to protect our children and citizens in general, and that within itself, is detrimental. 

The original concept of the “right to bear arms,” I’m sure was not intended for today's assault rifles, high-capacity ammunition magazines and weapons of war on our streets. 


Things have to change and we have to start somewhere. People often times comment on my social media posts that there are "too many guns in the streets" or "it's too late," some even say, "that things can't be changed at all."  What kind of world do you want to live in?  What kind of world do you want to leave for your children and grandchildren?  I know I don't want it to be this kind, a world, and a country where school shootings happen so frequently we lose track of the victims and the school names. That is just unacceptable.

I am all for the "right to bear arms" as per the Constitution, but I am also all for common sense, to which, apparently, we have lost! 


I believe you can be a gun owner and believe in the right to gun ownership (the "right to bear arms") and yet, NOT have to back NRA-funded candidates. It is always about greed and money when it comes to politicians (that are A-rated by the NRA.) The gun manufacturing industry is a very profitable industry and the NRA is at the forefront of all it!  The real problem is that gun violence has not really affected those that make the decisions, not in their families and not in their pockets!

Here in Florida, we have a three-day waiting period to purchase handguns, but that restriction doesn't apply to assault rifles. Really?! We also have the infamous "stand your ground" law (2005), which basically lets people go around shooting others if they feel threatened in some way. How crazy is that?!

PARKLAND,FL 2018


Florida also has no restrictions on large-capacity ammunition magazines.How in the world does that make any sense? These are things I am referring to when I advocate for common sense gun reform.  How does it offend someone to require age limits, background checks, waiting periods, restrictions on assault weapons?  And for crying out loud, what about mental health and gun ownership - that is a ticking time bomb!  I think that if someone has a track record of mental instability, owning a gun (especially an assault weapon,) may not be the wisest decision.
   
Back when the Orlando, Florida massacre happened, then governor, Rick Scott, was asked about assault rifles and his response was:  "The Second Amendment didn't kill people. Evil killed people."

And so, while I have to agree that there is obviously an element of "evil" to every mass shooting and gun violence incident, there should also be some semblance of common sense.  Let's take for example, my daughter's high school, where on February 14, 2018, an 18-year old was able to enter the school (with "evil intent") except, he had an assault rifle in tote and literally blew up 17 people, and injured another 17 and wreaked havoc emotionally on an entire community.  

Now, had he had a knife or baseball bat, for example, do you think he would have left behind so much destruction and carnage?  Even the surgeons attending to the victims at the hospitals talked of the irreparable damage caused by automatic weapons to the organs of the victims.

It is sickening what is happening in this Country and many are unmoved by it.

People will start the "a vehicle is also a weapon" argument but honestly, I am not even going to engage in those debates right now because we don't have a "drive a car into a school" epidemic,  we have a serious problem of gun violence in this Country. You would have to be blind not to acknowledge that. And while statistically, you may argue that the problem is not of epidemic proportions, losing the life of even ONE child at school, is one too many!

And so in conclusion, my belief is that while we do have the right to bear arms, we also have a right to safety, especially for our kids.  A gunman's hobby and obsession, should not trump the safety of our children. There has to be balance, common sense and legislation passed to enable gun reform and a safer future for all. It has to become more difficult to obtain  weapons of war. 

In case you are wondering  who the NRA spends money on and who the members of the House and Senate are here is a detailed list  of Senate and House members with the most contributions from the NRA. In the 2016 election, the NRA spent $11,438,118 to support Donald Trump—and another $19,756,346 to oppose Hillary Clinton. That’s over $31 million spent on one presidential race.  We could be using that money to invest in better education for our children, who are our future and keep them safe!

Even though this list and graphic is from a few years ago, not much changes. Some politicians come and go, but the fact remains that they are happy to fill their pockets with "blood money," while our children cower under desks during school lock downs and active shootings.


https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-7PdCI2NawSgP1QE-cGYVYedetYqepR-4jBweaJyqFo/edit#gid=1782600961


So, therefore, I will be actively advocating to NOT vote for any NRA-funded candidates. We have to hit them where it hurts, their pockets and show them that the lives of our children are worth more than their greed and desire for control and power!

Thoughts and prayers mean nothing when our children are being shot dead at SCHOOL!!! 









BLOGGER:

Bilingual|Blogger|Network Marketing & Social Media|Mompreneur|Organ Donor Advocate|Online Boutique Owner|Author in Progress|Brand Ambassador|Gun Reform Advocate|Passion for Inspiring Others




Sources:
The Washington Post
Fortune
Open Secrets

Thursday, April 18, 2019

HOW DO WE HELP OUR TROUBLED YOUTH?

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/latino-students-families-mobilize-march-our-lives-n859316
In the quiet town of Parkland, Florida, torn apart by a school shooting last year (2018,) I sat at home working on my computer, when I got a notification on my phone regarding a news report from a media outlet. There was an FBI manhunt for a teenage girl from Miami Beach, Florida, my birthplace and hometown! Immediately, I went to the TV.

An eerie feeling of deja vu, watching this story unfold. It brought about horrible memories of me anxiously being glued to my television on February 14, 2018, as I watched in horror, praying I would see my daughter walk out of her high school, as many of the survivors were doing that day. It would be a quite stressful and scary 30 to 40 minutes of silence that day before we knew our daughter was okay.

Fast-forward to April 2019.


While the outward appearance to the rest of the world was that of a "quiet and smart girl with good grades and a pretty smile," Sol Pais, the South Florida18-year old, who was wanted by the FBI for an apparent threat to Denver schools on April 17, 2019, was actually busy posting questions to online gun forums under the name, "dissolvedgirl." (See below)  Pais had been expressing her true feelings and desires online. 

Question About Non Colorado Resident Buying Shotgun

"hello everybody

Florida resident here. I am planning a trip to Colorado in the next month or so and wanna buy a shotgun while I'm there and I was wondering what restrictions apply for me? I've found a few private sellers I might want to purchase from; is it legal for me as a Florida resident to purchase a shotgun in Colorado? I'm 18 years old too, if it's important. thank you for reading, i appreciate any response" dissolvedgirl

People who knew her, like her classmates were shocked to hear that this quiet person in their class could have been planning something so horrible and unfortunately, ended by taking her own life, according to Denver authorities.

It is becoming more and more worrisome, that some of today's youth seems so troubled and tormented, many of them, suffering in silence until it is too late.

As parents what can we do?  How do we help this troubled youth?  Where can we start?  If you follow my blog or me personally on Facebook, you know that within the last year, I often express my opinions on mass shootings, gun violence and dealing with teenagers. The moment I knew my daughter had survived the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, I was eternally gratefully and vowed to help be the voice for those who can longer speak. 

I think this topic transcends politics or gun reform. As a mother, as a parent, I can see that there is a deeper, more intense problem and that is a social and personal development issue. This is not a fun topic, nor a topic that I intentionally set out to write about, it is something that I sort of fell into, simply based on the love of my children, and wanting to protect their future, my desire to bring about change and my passion to empower today's youth to seek help, if they need it. I also want to be a source of motivation and positivity. If I can help even one student or one parent, then I have done something to make a difference and that is ultimately my goal. 

So, back to my question - "What can we do?"  In light of recent suicides in my community and the school shooting last year, the topic parents have most been discussing here has been, "How can we help our kids?  How can we see the signs?" And "how can we prevent further tragedies?"

As a result, I recently, I attended a few workshops on those topics and everyone suggest counseling, and seeking out professional help, but my personal opinion is, this "help" has to start way BEFORE there is actually any kind of problem.

There are numerous issues intertwined here, such as gun violence, mental health, school shootings, and more, but I believe that it all starts at home with parents and/or guardians.  My father always taught my brother and I this: "Todos los poquitos cuentan," and the translation (more or less) is: all the little pieces add up. As a parent now, I can see the full effect of that statement that I always use to hear growing up.


You don't just wake up one day and suddenly have a troubled teen or a school shooter or a child who randomly wants to kill themselves or harm others. This is a slow problem that is festering inside of an individual, that may not necessarily be apparent to the outside world.

When it comes to our children, no one knows them better (or should know them better) than a parent. It is our job and obligation to know what they are doing, who they are hanging out with, how they are doing at school, what is troubling  them?  It is our job, as annoying as they may think we are, to ask the difficult questions, to inquire who they are going out with (if they are teenagers.) If they are younger, it is also vital to ask them questions as well, even if you have to ask things like, "How was lunch today?" "Who did you sit with?"  

We can also teach them to be involved by helping others, even when they are young, starting in preschool even. As they get older, it is important to teach them that they too can make a positive difference in the world - that they matter and they are important to many people who love them. Self-love and self-development is crucial in the nurturing of a child! Be someone's hero!!

All these little things add up to show that you as a parent, a guardian or a friend care about them. It demonstrates to them that you are involved, but most importantly, it shows that our children are LOVED and that they matter!

There are times when parents think they are doing all the "right" things and yet, their children show signs of trouble. It is no easy task. Parenting is one of, if not the hardest job you will ever have!  There is no handbook on parenting, but it is important to ask for help, to seek guidance and to acknowledge that you don't have all the answers, when it comes your children. We are all learning as we go through this journey of life.
It is also important to recognize those little problems or signs you may have ignored before. Those times your child may have isolated themselves in their room or complained about someone bullying them or told you about a love interest gone awry.  You just never know what is going to trigger someone, emotionally-speaking. We no longer have the luxury of dealing with our kids the way we were raised "back in the day." It may work sometimes, but the truth is, times have changed drastically and social media has played an enormous role in this change. 

Kids (and adults) today, have the ability and easier access to live a "double-life."  They can appear to be one type of person in the real world, while expressing their true feelings online and sometimes in an "underground" and dangerous internet world.

We can help or at least try to help our children by being actively involved as much as possible in their lives every step of the way! And if you don't have the answers or know what to do, do not be afraid to ask for help!  It takes a village is not just a cliche!  I highly believe in the 3 F's in life: Faith, Family and Friends.  As long as you try to keep those 3 present in your life, you are making every effort to raise your kids in the best possible way.

There are never any guarantees in life or on raising our children, so all we can do is educate ourselves on these topics and communicate with one another, on every side of the aisle and every part of the world. We all want peace, love and happy, healthy children!

It is our moral obligation to protect our children the best way we can.  Whether you are a parent or not, they are the future of our world!


https://www.facebook.com/AlexsAngelsBeSomeonesHero/


Friday, April 12, 2019

DANGERS OF RIDESHARE CAR SERVICE

https://amzn.to/2XaTYi9
Years ago, they use to tell people to never get into a car with strangers, now-a-days, this is an everyday common occurrence, especially with the ever-growing popularity of ride share services. We take for granted that the driver picking us up is a law-abiding citizen. Most of them are, but sadly, some people use ride share car services to take advantage of vulnerable and naive individuals. 

Ride sharing is a service that arranges one-time shared rides on very short notice, usually arranged through a smartphone app.

I am sharing this video with you all because it is an eye-opener to the dangers we face when we get into a car, when we don't know who the driver is!  






This is good advice if you use any ride share service such as Uber, Lyft or any car service that you are unsure of.




And just in case, always carry some kind of self defense protection with you! 

https://amzn.to/2Dc1f9Q



SELF-DEFENSE GADGETS
ARE A GREAT TOOL TO CARRY
WHEN YOU KNOW YOU WILL BE IN A SITUATION, WHERE IT MIGHT BE DANGEROUS. BE SAFE!












UPDATE - A story from one of my neighbors, just so you are aware of the scams going on out there:

HORRIBLE UBER EXPERIENCE  (edited for privacy purposes)

"On May 23, 2019, (Thursday) my daughter ordered me an Uber from her home to mine (14 Miles & about 25 minutes). From her app, a woman driver was supposed to arrive to pick me up. Who showed up was a man, but by the time I realized that, I had already gotten in the vehicle. Once I got in the vehicle I realized how extremely dark and tinted his windows were. I was uneasy the whole ride. Once we got to the security gate, he refused to lower the window to say my name and asked me to speak to the guard gate. I arrived at my destination and later on was told by my daughter that instead of the $24 she was supposed to be charged, she was was charged $124! 

After speaking to Uber, she was told that the Uber driver said I had vomited in the vehicle and that he drove 30 miles (54min) WHICH WAS NOT TRUE. I’m posting this to share my story and to ask for people to be more careful when taking Uber’s and Lyfts."




AUTHOR'S COMMENT - Please note that specific incidents with Uber and/or Lyft should not negate the efficiency and effectiveness of these ride share services, however, you should be aware of the things that go on with some of these drivers to avoid having it happen to you or a family member. 

SAFETY FIRST!

Monday, April 1, 2019

GETAWAY TO THE KEYS - ISLA BELLA BEACH RESORT

https://www.islabellabeachresort.com/resort/
Everybody needs a little time away from home, especially if you are a mom, with the craziness of getting the kids off to school, working, helping the kids with their homework, domestic life, business life, all of it! It is important to give yourself some time off, even if it is just a weekend!

I am really looking forward to my upcoming "ladies/moms weekend" getaway, which will be in the Florida Keys!  As a Florida native, I have to admit, I do not get down to the Keys often enough.  

Now, I have a great excuse and place to visit! There is a new resort, located in the middle of the Florida Keys. It is called Isla Bella Beach Resort. It is specifically located on Knights Key, which is midway between Key West and Key Largo, only a 2-hour drive from Miami and a 1-hour drive from Key West International Airport.

If you have never visited the Keys in Florida, now is the best time, especially with the beautiful springtime weather. It is a perfect time to enjoy all the fun in the sun that Florida offers plus amazing temperatures, warm, but still breezy enough to be enjoyable!

Below is a little preview of this luxury 199-room gem that just opened April 2019 -the NEW Isla Bella Beach Resort.




http://bit.ly/2VuSwKd


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

HOW DO YOU MAKE OTHERS FEEL IN A SOCIAL-SETTING?

Are You Guilty of This Social Faux-Pas That Leaves Others Feeling Gutted and Angry?

A mom’s group I attend announced a night out at an art studio. You choose a project and spend the evening sanding, painting and stenciling until you are holding a work of art you can take home or give as a gift. I had just moved to town and was hoping to cement some of the new connections I had made, so I decided to use up all my marital capital and ask my husband to serve dinner and put our four kids to bed alone so that I could attend this event.

As I drove home, reeling with emotion, I wondered what went wrong. Instead of leaving recharged, I was coming home from a mom’s night out feeling gutted and angry. I walked into a chaotic house and faced an overwhelmed husband who did his best to mask the stress he was feeling from flying solo that night. “How was it? Did you have fun? Tell me about it”.

I came to the event and was assigned a seat based on the project I chose. Instead of being in a big group, we were divided into small tables. I was assigned a seat with two women who were obviously good friends and as it turns out, neighbors. I did not know either woman very well but since I am an extremely extroverted person, I was not concerned. I might even make a new friend!

I know these women did not mean to leave me out intentionally. Their obvious friendship made it easy for them to enjoy fun chit chat and banter as I repeatedly tried to interject myself into their exchanges, asking thoughtful questions about what was happening in their lives. “How was your vacation”? “Tell me about the plans for your baby’s nursery!” I received polite, quick replies but they repeatedly went back to their conversation, never once engaging with the outsider at their table. I finally gave up and used that time to sit quietly and think about my to-do list, then politely excused myself as soon as my project was done.

I am never one to wallow in sadness too long; I would rather learn the lesson and move on. As I reflected on the evening, I realized that this was not done out of mean-spiritedness. An established friendship can make it easy to exclude others around you in social situations. The more I thought about it, I was reminded of an unspoken rule my friend Alison and I had.

Alison and I had a friendship that was one of the most intimate of my life, coming from the shared experience of living abroad, raising a large family and practicing the same faith. We met at a women’s group that met on a weekly basis and our friendship grew from there. Phone calls, meals out and coffee dates with her became an important part of my life as an ex-pat. She took my kids while I was in the hospital giving birth and helped me with marital problems. We read books together and discussed podcasts. She was a friend sent me during a long and often trying season of living in a foreign country.

Friendships that run deep are one of life’s greatest gifts but they can make you myopic in social situations, unable to see and ultimately, include the other people around you. Even though this intimate friendship gave us a familiarity that I have experienced with only a few other people, we had one tacit agreement: in social situations, we do not stick together and only talk with one another to the exclusion of others. Ex-pats often attend social functions, to help the trailing spouse create connections and friendships with other people in the same lot in life.

Group events were places where we would engage with everyone instead of pairing off and potentially making others feel unwelcome. If Alison and I wanted to spend time together with just the two of us, we would set up something for another time. I am so glad she set this tone early on in our friendship and taught me this important lesson.

Life has a way of making me re-learn the same lessons over and over again. I firmly believe that every difficult life experience is a part of my becoming. I hope that every day I become a kinder, more compassionate woman. When people are with me, do they feel seen? Do they feel heard?

Even though I was already aware of this rule, I am glad that I was reminded of this important social grace.



GUEST BLOGGER:
Leslie Fischer is a mom of four children and lives in southern California. She writes mostly about sleep, wellness and organic mattresses at Sustainable Slumber.

http://sustainableslumber.com