The One #WAG Thing You Didn’t Know!

For the past few months I’ve been consumed with joy over the one detail about the We All Grow Summit you might not now…

A portion of the We All Grow Summit proceeds will benefit The Orphaned Earring as the Official Charity Partner!!

Ana FloresIf you have met Ana Flores of Latina Bloggers Connect in person, you know that even with all her accomplishments, success, prestige and almost celebrity status, she is one of the most helpful, loving and genuine person. Her genuine desire for all Latinas to grow was palpable during the 1st conference she launched this year where even the name reflects her heart – because when when one grows, we all grow!

And true to the conference slogan, Ana Flores adopted The Orphaned Earring so that we can grow to new levels of hope, strength and vision to continue helping over 350 children living in impoverished conditions in Latin America.  There are times where we feel like the underdog with so many other conferences partnering with money-making organizations, but in true Ana fashion, she picked the underdog and the cause dearest to her heart.

At this first 2015 Summit you didn’t hear much of me or the partnership but stay tuned to coming years where we will showcase all we’ve been able to accomplish with #WeAllGrow’s support!

IMG_20150311_021714I attend conferences for work and I’m always prepared to turn up my game to network, meet new people and share The Orphaned Earring with everyone I come across. I recently attended the We All Grow Summit #WeAllGrow and the experience was like no other conference experience, it was a pleasant surprise. It was the first-ever bilingual conference designed by women in the forefront of digital marketing and content creation, #WeAllGrow Summit, was specifically created to empower Latina bloggers and digital content creators and share with us the tools we all need to foster meaningful relationships with followers and amplify our voice to truly become digital entrepreneurs. The conference was led by Latinas and boy you could feel that female influence throughout with the loving, understanding, cheerful and uplifting tone that was palpable.

More than a summit, #WeAllGrow felt more like a women’s retreat.  Neutrogena pampered guests with facials, hair and make-up and used Neutrogena products which I loved! Crest gave us a very important tool, they took professional headshots which is a must for conducting business and ViveMejor filled up our goodie bags with the essentials!

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The highlight of the conference for me was story telling by successful Latina women. During this time we got to learn and be inspired by the personal stories from our peers, reminding us that with hard work, perseverance and community love we can achieve our dreams.

I can’t wait for next year – yes, it was that good that I’m already thinking about the next one. Congrats to a great team!IMG_20150301_000208

 

The Distinctive Boysenberry at #KnottsSpring

Boysenberry Vignette_1Boysenberry is such a funny berry to pronounce, where does it come from? The boysenberry was developed in the early 1920s by horticulturist Rudolph Boysen of Anaheim, California, who later turned it over to farmer Walter Knott for commercial development, yep! as in Knott’s Berry Farm. It is a great berry for canning and preserving and for the use in pies and cobblers. Today, although not too popular for commercial use, the unique and delicious boysenberry is only available at farmers’ markets when in season and of course at Knott’s Berry Farm.

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We are lucky to have access to the divine berry thanks to Knott’s who is celebrating delicious roots during the Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival, March 28 – April 12 with a 16-day and entertainment festival! Each year they returns with an unforgettable lineup of exquisite Boysenberry Bites, dazzling entertainment, the Wine and Craft Brew Tasting Garden, and more farm fresh fun the whole family will love! From sun up to sun down the festival includes dueling fiddlers, Jammin’ in the Dark, Peanuts Party in the Park, vine dancing, swing dancing, live music, and other live entertainment. It’s a limited-time Festival and included with admission to Knott’s Berry Farm so don’t wait too long or you will miss this rare California experience during #KnottsSpring.

I figured that the only way to practice how to say Boysenberry is by tasting all the delicious creations that Knott’s Berry Farm has to offer. I’m sure the sweetness, aroma and unique tang of the boysenberry will help get my lips puckered-up before I say B-O-Y-S-E-N-B-E-R-R-Y!

Join me! Get your tickets at https://www.knotts.com/spring

 

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This post is in collaboration with Gigasavvy on behalf of Knott’s Berry Farm, in exchange we received park entrance to experience the Boysenberry Festival but all our opinions are our own.

100 Good Deeds in 2015 With The #DeedADay Movement

1GD_SocialAssets2015_3eIt’s 2015! We had a great 2014 with unexpected growth and blessings that at times we felt we couldn’t keep up. But God is good and gave us just enough to help our over 300 kids.

We are excited to what the New Year has for us. We’ve learned that with every small act, great reward comes. We may not see the reward right away but the good deed seed is planted and will produce greatness at some point. We want to continue our mission of helping others and invite you to join the do good movement.

There are several ways to make a difference, what will you do in 2015?

Similar to what we do for The Orphaned Earring, the #DeedADay movement is an intentional movement to spread kindness and service to others by doing GOOD DEEDS. To help with that intention, The 100 Good Deeds Project created a beaded bracelet that encourages everyone to do a good deed a day. A good deed means you’ve gone out of our way to help someone and it only counts if the deed remains Deed A Day Avatar 3anonymous. Each time you do a good deed, move the ring on the bracelet closer to the button. It’s very simple and the bracelet itself is beautiful.

The artist behind the GOOD DEED bracelets is artists Mary Fisher, author and HIV/AIDs activist, who designed this simple but stunning bracelet strung with 100 beads by HIV positive and economically fragile women in Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, India, Indonesia, and Haiti. These bracelets remind you to do a good deed. Every time you go out of your way to perform a gooddeed, you move the bracelet’s rubber ring closer to the 100th bead. How cool is this? It’s both a fashion statement and a cause to encourage everyone to do a GOOD DEED a day.

Let’s work together to do one small act for someone else that makes an impact. Imagine if we all did a GOOD DEED a day, what a better place the world would be. And after a year that has brought so many unfortunate events seen on the news we could use some good and start practicing as a nation. We can do this!

“To join the #DeedADay movement, share one of these images on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest using hashtag #DeedADay and tagging the 100 Good Deeds Bracelet.”

Note: I am to receive a Good Deed bracelet as compensation for this post but I’m more than happy to support such an amazing cause. All opinions are my own.

How KIA Helped #OEDrive be a Success!

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Ana Flores and husband Alan all smiles while donating

Our busiest month is almost over, a month that we had the honor to work with great friends and supporters and a great car brand, KIA. Before we started the #OEGiveaway we didn’t know what vehicle we were going to get but surprised with a minivan #Sedona at the steps of my door. When I first saw the minivan I was doubtful about being able to drive it comfortably since I was under the impression that only moms could be expert minivan drivers. I’m a mom at heart but don’t have any children of my own. I could have not imagined how easy, convenient and comfortable the Sedona was, helping #OEDrive be a complete success!

 

I was in for a surprise. The moment I hoped into the passenger seat I was taken away by the luxurious feel the Sedona has. The leather seats, the navigation system, the control from the steering wheel and the comfortable seats made me feel I was driving a sports car!

The Sedona was definitely a getaway vehicle and lounge while we collected our donations. The Sedona offered comfort to all my passengers with the slide-n-stow seats and all-around comfort options anyone can make the seat their own personal thrown. Airlines should learn from KIA and design seats this good!

IMG_20141209_200953Advanced Technology:

This vehicle really cared for me. It is intelligent and responsive and loaded with features that helped me keep navigate smoothly. Features like Blind-Spot Detection (BSD), UVO Local Search Powered by Google, and the Smart Power Tailgate provided hands-free opening with both feet on the ground – extremely helpful when carrying things and have both hands occupied. And the surround viewing through the cameras blew me away, so helpful when parking and calculating space and I sure needed that! Can you spot the camera on the grill of the vehicle? See look at the photo carefully.

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The Sedona has an unexpected personality: legroom, luxury amenities in every row, a class-exclusive center console for ample storage and easy third-row access made loading so easy. The dual sunroofs was a treat as we drove from Los Angeles to San Diego in a sunny day – the warm rays re-energized all of us and made us forget we were in a minivan because we felt we were in a small luxury car.

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When you are on the go like I was, taking pictures and talking with potential donors your devices will drain fast. But the Sedona offered a great feature: multiple power outlets take social sharing to a whole new level! No batteries needed.

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Monique Fausto of Curves & Chaos just had to check the KIA out herself!

As I drove through Southern California picking up donations, my supporters were also taken away by the luxury car hidden in this minivan. My fiancée and I have decided that the next vehicle we lease or purchase must be a KIA – we completely had underrated this brand and delightfully surprised. Can’t wait for the next car shopping experience.

In the Sedona we collected donations that will now benefit our kids and that has no value – priceless. Thank you KIA for giving us the tools to do our jobs and experiencing a great ride while at it!

Snoopy, Inspiration & Memories with Knott’s

SnoopyI can’t believe the year is almost over! And although it saddens me to think I’m one year older and have about a million more grey hairs on my head, I also feel so honored to have had the support of so many friends and a couple of brands.

Among the brands that I’ve had the honor to work with is Knott’s Berry Farm. Throughout the year they have offered fun and entertainment for my family and friends – a little escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Knott’s also inspired and made us proud as they created pink tickets in support of Susan G Komen Foundation and invited cancer survivors to tell their triumphant stories. They invited us to see the flowers bloom in the Spring, helped us create memories with my nephews and scared us with Scary Farm.

To end the year strong, Knott’s made one final act of kindness; they donated a Snoopy for each girl at an orphanage in Rosarito, Mexico, bringing so many smiles to girls that otherwise would not have a plush toy to cuddle with at night.

Words can’t express how grateful we are with Knott’s for giving a Snoopy to each girl. And even though it may seem like something small, the message that they delivered to each girl is that someone cares and is thinking of them and that may change their entire lives.

SnoopyNow to celebrate the New Year, we are putting on our party hats and getting ready to ring in the New Year at Knott’s family-friendly New Year’s Eve event that offers something for everyone! Knott’s is a fun and safe options for families who want to ring in the New Year together. My family and a couple of friends will be receiving the New Year at Knott’s thanks to the extended park hours, live entertainment, and a fireworks display which are all included in the price of regular park admission.

If you have a 2015 Season Pass the value is even better, because each 2015 Season Pass includes one FREE visit in 2014 that can be used on New Year’s Eve!

I can’t wait to close the year at a park that has brought so many smiles not only to me and my family but to over 20 needy children in Rosarito, Mexico.

Join us and celebrate a great year together and you can also join the conversation by using #KnottsNYE. 

Annie Movie to Visit Our Orphan Girls!

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We are so excited for the upcoming Annie movie coming out Friday, December 19 set in modern day New York. The cast is amazing and sure to make this movie a great one. And the protagonist is cutie pie Quvenzhané Wallis who recently was nominated for a Golden Globe. I love to see her adorable personality come through while I watched the trailer, she won me over already.

Annie is a movie about an orphan girl that despite her hard life is optimistic and was adopted. HELLO!! How perfect if this movie? We wish this was a true story for all our kids at our centers!

This Saturday we will be spending the day with real orphans and Annie Movie will be taking gifts to our 15 girls in Mexico! How cool is that!?

Growing up, Annie was my favorite movie. My parents never took me to the movies as a little girl so when the movie came out on TV and the songs would play as part of the teaser, I would run from whatever room I was at to watch the 30 seconds of this red, big hair little girl dance and sing like I had never seen before. The day finally came when I would watch the movie but unfortunately it was school night and I had to go to bed early and missed it. My dad promised he would tape it; he was eager to use his new VHS recorder. I couldn’t contain my joy when the day finally came when I would watch Annie. My dad pushed play, my heart racing and the movie only played for 15 minutes, my dad had messed up the recording.

I was devastated and didn’t watch the movie until years later. My parents were not the type that would go out of their way to rent or buy a movie, it was too much luxury for a little girl so I had to wait until the movie played again, by then I was almost a tween.

Little did I know that my life would be directly tied to orphans for the rest of my life. I remember watching the movie and although I was a child myself, I wanted to bring them all home with me. I could say that Annie was the inspiration in my life to be compassionate to needy children and want to take action and help them.

Watch Trailer Here:

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BEEP BEEP! The Orphaned Earring Drive + 50$ Giveaway!

Disclosure: The Orphaned Earring received a week long media loan from Kia and no other compensation or sponsorship.All opinion and initiatives are own.

We are kicking off holiday season for our kids! In preparation of the holiday parties for all our orphanages, we are doing an Orphaned Earring Drive (#OEDrive) where we’ll be driving all over Los Angeles collecting donations in the form of new and used clothes, swag from events (thanks to my blogger friends) and other items that our kids and pre-teens need.

The Orphaned Earring Drive is possible thanks to the kind vehicle loan from Drive STI on behalf of Kia Motors. Many times we don’t pick up donations because we don’t have a large and reliable vehicle that can accommodate many packages and odd shaped items, until now! For an entire week @Kia is helping us gather all the donations while experiencing firsthand the sweet and spacious ride of a KIA Sedona, the most comfortable vehicle for the entire family!

Everyone knows that when you give, you get back! That’s just the way God designed blessings and we want to give you a gift for your support too! Enter to win two beautiful Orphaned Earring bracelets inspired by KIA and a $50 dollar gift card!

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 BEEP BEEP! WHAT DRIVES YOU?

All you need to share is what drives you? What motivates you to live, laugh, dream or work hard? We all have something that drives us to greatness and we want to know!OEDrive Giveaway

We encourage you to not only drive but to strive for greatness and be part of the social change we need to better this world. Imagine if everyone did ONE act of kindness a day? That would be 7.1 billion acts of kindness a day, enough to end with poverty and despair – be #1 today and do good!

 

Thanks to your support and donations, we will be able to give Christmas parties to:

  • Casa Hogar Estrella – Rosarito, Mx (December 13)
  • Colombian Street Kids – Santa Rosa, Colombia (December 24)
  • Casa Hogar Hosanna – Tipitapa, Nicaragua (December 26)
  • Hogar Madelaes – Santo Dom., Dominican Republic (December 27)
  • Comunidad El Progreso – Cuilapa, Guatemala (January 10)
  • Casa Hogar de la Gracia – Tijuana, MX (TBD)

Now go and enter the giveaway and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Emma Story, What’s Your Story?

My Emma Story

Disclaimer: This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TheStoryOfEmma #CollectiveBias

Head Start

According to statistics I should have been just another number in this country, an immigrant that depends on government assistance all her life, that might have more children than what I can afford and live paycheck to paycheck. But God had other plans for my life. I had access to education.

My parents brought me to the U.S. as a baby and I was able to attend elementary school until they moved back to Nicaragua when I was 9 years old. I came back to the U.S. at age 17 and briefly lived with relatives before I had to move on my own. With no money, no family support and in a country that was now so foreign to me I struggled to survive. I met many people in my life but only a couple of true friends that helped me live one day at a time. I also met many people that caused lots of pain and sorrow and I knew that that was not the life I wanted for myself.

At some point duBlogger Badgering my tough adjustment period in the U.S. someone I really looked up to discouraged me and said I would not be able to serve or help others because my ideals and beliefs were not similar to his own.

Deep inside I knew he was wrong and my desire to serve was so much more powerful than his words of discouragement. I needed a change in my life and a real opportunity to serve others. But what would I do when the opportunity came? That’s when I knew I needed education to achieve my dreams and goals. I promised God that if He helped me achieve my education, I would serve Him with it.

Ten years after I came to the U.S. I finally received my degree in Communications/Public Relations and dedicated to God. That’s how The Orphaned Earring was created, a desire to help, education and a promise to God.

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My lil bro graduating from preschool

Today my organization helps many children providing their school supplies, food and clothes so they can have a better future. I know firsthand the impact that education has on someone’s life and that’s what drives me to work hard and help others.

There is another organization that I really admire and I will support for what they do and the impact they have in the future of Latino children. Mi Escuelita preschools provide Latino children with a foundation of developmental and educational skills by teaching English to children and preparing them for success both in school and in life. Who is Emma you may be still wondering. Emma is the star of the movie trailer below and represents our future Latino generations. Will she succeed? Will she fail? It all depends in our support to Emmas everywhere!

What will be the future of children in 2034? View this video and see yourself:

What’s your Emma story? How has education or PreK made a difference in your life? Share your story and encourage others to share too.

Please join us for #TheStoryOfEmma #LATISM Twitter Party on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 9:00pm. @LATISM and @ColectivaLatina will be joining forces to support of the Mi Escuelita campaign and create awareness about #TheStoryOfEmma.

5 prizes of $50 gift card + $50 donation to Mi Escuelita in winner’s name will be awarded during the twitter party.

Every share, tweet, or retweet that utilizes the hashtag #TheStoryOfEmma will generate a donation of $1.00, up to $10,000 in donations!

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30 Dominican Princesses Adopted into Our Family!

MadelaesIt is with great pleasure to announce that The Orphaned Earring has now adopted 30 beautiful princesses from the Dominican Republic!

Through a good friend and founder of La Familia Cool who is looking into opening her own non profit to help the poor in the surrounding neighborhoods from where she grew up in Dominican Republic, I learned about MADELAES, a small home orphanage that is home to 30 girls ages 2 months to 20 years old. Madelaes1

Before we officially adopt a center we talk to the center director and find out about the needs, struggles and dreams of the girls. After learning about the hard work this center goes through to NOT ONLY feed and clothes these girls but also fundraise to send the eldest girl to college.

The Orphaned Earring does not make much money but we do what we can with what we gather from bracelets sales. Even though it may not seem like much, we help each orphanage with $50 a month. In addition to the monetary help we provide clothes, school supplies and pay for several other activities through the year – not bad for an organization that operates with a few volunteers with full time jobs themselves!

We can only base our adoption decision on our gut feeling and lots of prayer but we can feel how the love for them grows a little more each passing day.

GUESS WHAT? We get to meet them this month! On Christmas day, we’ll be visiting Dominican Republic and meeting our new girls in person!!! 

Madelaes2We are truly lucky to have friends that want to help and God knows we really need it! Our first donor of items for the girls is Daily Curlz who was nice enough to donate some of the swag she receives as blogger – THANK YOU Daily!

We need to raise $300 to give our girls a nice Christmas party, that’s not including the gifts for each girl, but we hope to get them in time for our trip. The money we raise will pay for food, beverages and dessert.

We welcome our girls and encourage you to help us raise the money we need for this unforgettable party that will change the lives of these girls because from now on they will know that they are loved by people like you and me! 

THANK YOU!

 

 

 

Black Friday, Cyber Monday #GivingTuesday!

 

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We are one week away from #GivingTuesday, a global movement brought together by over 10,000 organizations worldwide. It’s a chance to share some of your blessings with someone else.

As we get closer to the holidays we hear about Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals but we must also remember to be grateful for what we can buy during these deal-filled-days and think about GIVING. On every 1st Tuesday of December (after cyber Monday) you can choose to give to ANY non-profit organization as long as you GIVE. Wherever you give to a small or large non-profit, you will have an impact on someone’s life. A small blanket, a few dollars or canned goods are just some things you can donate that will make a difference in life.

Of course we encourage you to give to The Orphaned Earring cause as we are working hard to raise money for a few projects:

HelpMingo
Christmas parties for all our centers
Help Guatemala orphans + indigenous community

You can donate by CLICKING HERE

When you give to ANY organization be aware of NOT giving “leftovers,” make a conscience decision of giving something you would like to receive. Would you like to receive old torn clothes or broken toys? Be mindful of what you give, give from the heart. Donating is a thoughtful act to bless someone else and not a way to get rid of your junk.

On Tuesday, December 2 upload a selfless selfie on your instagram account and use the hashtags #UNselfie and #GivingTuesday and pledge to GIVE to a charity.

For more information and to pledge your support visit http://www.givingtuesday.org/

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