10 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby

BreastfeedThere is so much controversy about breastfeeding in public – to boob or not to boob in public! The Orphaned Earring is all about breastfeeding, where and when your baby gets hungry. We’ve seen so many babies in need during our travels that his is a non-issue for us, we would do anything to be able to take this liquid gold to malnourished babies around the world. There are so many other offensive materials online, on TV, explicitly detailed in music and just everywhere we go, that the ONE time a boob should be seen as something normal, some critics say no way! Hold your horses critics, make a list of all the larger social issue you have to fix, such as celebrating sexuality in the way pop culture does, and leave the breastfeeding issue at the bottom on your list, let’s talk when you get to it, koo?

For those moms that still don’t know if they should breastfeed because they may not want to feed in public, here’s 10 reasons you should do it:

  1. Breast milk provides antibodies that support your baby’s immune system
  2. Holding your baby close when breastfeeding establishes a strong bond
  3. Breast milk is easy for your baby to digest
  4. Breast milk contains an ideal combination of vitamins and iron for your baby
  5. Breastfed babies are at a lower risk of becoming obese later in life
  6. Breastfed babies are less likely to develop allergies
  7. Breastfeeding helps a new mom’s body recover naturally from the stress of pregnancy
  8. Producing milk burns up to 500 calories per day, which can help you lose weight
  9. Breastfeeding can reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer
  10. Formula can be expensive – breast milk is free

This information — along with helpful tips — can be found at kp.org.

Mady breastfeed

Global Citizen Festival co-host Salma Hayek Pinault leads CHIME for Education campaign

Globalcitizen

Yesterday, Global Citizen announced that CHIME FOR CHANGE Co-Founder Salma Hayek Pinault will co-host this year’s Global Citizen Festival with Stephen Colbert, Deborra-Lee Furness, Hugh Jackman, Kerry Washington and Olivia Wilde. The free ticketed concert, headlined by CHIME Co-Founder Beyoncé along with Pearl Jam, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, will take place on the Great Lawn of New York’s Central Park on September 26, 2015. By supporting CHIME for Education, fans will be entered to win two VIP tickets to this year’s Global Citizen Festival. Learn more and support here: https://www.crowdrise.com/chime.

CHIME FOR CHANGE has partnered with CrowdRise to raise funds for girls’ education globally, through its CHIME for Education campaign. The activation is led by team captains Salma Hayek Pinault, Arianna Huffington, Freida Pinto and ELLE Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers.

CHIME for Education is part of a 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action (CTA) through No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, a Clinton Foundation initiative to inspire and advance the full participation of women and girls around the world. The No Ceilings “CHARGE” CTA (Collaborative Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls’ Education) is designed to coordinate support, expand access and improve quality for girls’ secondary education globally.

Salma Hayek Pinault teamed up with UNICEF for her CHIME for the Children of Syria fundraising appeal, which aims to increase access to education for out-of-school children in Syria and surrounding countries. Hayek in fact visited Syrian refugees in Lebanon on April 25 to draw attention to the urgent humanitarian needs of children and families whose lives have been upended by the brutal conflict in Syria over the last four years.

Other team captains include:

– CHIME FOR CHANGE Advisory Board member Arianna Huffington, raising funds for the next CHIME storytelling workshop, to be held in Athens, hosted by CHIME Managing Editor Mariane Pearl;

– Freida Pinto, Global Ambassador for Plan International, partnering with Plan to rebuild educational opportunities for children and youth recovering in Nepal;

– and Robbie Myers, editor in chief of ELLE magazine in the US, fundraising to send young female leaders to the 2015 G(irls)20 Summit in Turkey.

Military Gear Repurposed for a Purpose and Style!

Felt_HandbagWe recently came across a brand that found a unique way to preserve our planet while celebrating and helping our heroes, U.S. Military Service men, women and their families, and will make us proud to carry and showoff our handbags, backpacks, messenger and tote bags: Sword and Plough.

There are countless brands that are committed to giving back and with our younger generations being more savvy and holding brands accountable for their action and impact on earth, more and more brands will have to find ways to create a system that helps everyone live in harmony – if we want to save this planet for our children.

blue-toteSword & Plough has worked to achieve authentic and measurable social impact in the veteran community by recycling and repurposing military surplus such as tents, sleeping bag covers, uniform fabrics, camouflage canvas, and parachutes into their products. Since launching in 2015, they estimate that they have sourced more than 25,000 pounds of military surplus, which would otherwise be burned or buried in landfills. Like us, by repurposing textiles, they do their part to reduce the huge quantities of water, energy, fertilizers, pesticides and emissions involved in manufacturing new textiles.

In addition to up-cycling surplus fabrics into their products, they also employ environmental manufacturing processes such as 100% domestic sourcing of all fabrics and leather in order to reduce fuel consumption and emissions during transport.

signature-toteCo-founders Emily and Betsy Nunez grew up at West Point and various U.S. Army bases, and Emily even went on to serve as an officer in the U.S. Army in Arizona, Colorado and Afghanistan. Through these experiences, Emily realized that her civilian friends and peers often did not understand the core aspects of service, patriotism and sacrifice, which motivated Emily and the service men and women around her in the Army. Sword & Plough bridges this civil-military divide through the following measurable activities:

  • Often speak publicly on the topics of veteran employment and the civil-military divide and has delivered more than 5,000 products to customers spread throughout the United States and the world. Each product carries an information card describing our social impact initiatives.
  • Leverages their communication channels to convey meaningful stories about service men and women. For example, Sword & Plough ran a yearlong campaign featuring the stories of servicemen and servicewomen to better explain the goals and sacrifices made by those individuals.
  • Sponsors public service announcements (PSA) in support of fundraising for veteran services including post traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

SP WorkSword & Plough donates 10% of after-tax profits to organizations that support veterans. In particular, they look to support veteran employment, veteran physical and mental health, and civil-military understanding creating significant and measurable impact in six key areas of veteran civil reintegration:

  • Jobs
  • Health
  • Family
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Leadership

SistersAll U.S. active duty military personnel, veterans and Gold Star Spouses are truly appreciate for the sacrifices they have made for our country and as a small token of gratitude, Sword & Plough offer a 20% discount on all your orders.

Tips to Keep Kids Happy & Healthy During B2S!

The new school year is just around the corner, marking the beginning of the season of pencils, rulers and back packs. Along with equipping their children with all the necessary school supplies, parents should also equip themselves with the tools and information they need to keep their children safe.

Kaiser Permanente shares these tips to keep children happy and healthy during the new school year:Jacob

  • Educate your children about safety when walking or biking to school. According to the National Safety Council, it is estimated that teens ages 13-17 send more than 3,400 texts a month, which equals to 7 messages every hour they are awake. With this sort of connection to their devices, distracted walking is a rising issue, which can result in hospitalizations due to injuries sustained while walking and using a cell phone. By reminding your child to take their eyes away from texting and look both ways when crossing the street, you can greatly minimize any potential harm.
  • Help your children cope with any back to school jitters by scheduling a tour of new schools, and reminding them about the positive side of starting school again (making new friends, interesting things to learn, etc.)
  • Teach your children the importance of hand-washing often, especially after using the restroom or after P.E. Make sure they learn how to properly wash their hands for 20 seconds to get rid of any potential viruses and bacteria. If they’re not near soap and water, encourage them to use alcohol-based gel hand sanitizers or hand wipes. Make sure you pack these in their school bags!
  • Ensure that backpacks are fitted properly and weigh no more than 10-20% of your child’s body weight. It is best to choose one with a padded back and shoulder straps, or opt for a backpack with wheels for easier carrying.
  • Make sure that they learn healthy eating habits that can set them up for success in the future, by packing healthy, nutrient dense lunches that will keep them full of energy all day. Examples of healthy options include yogurt, fresh fruit and vegetables cut up in fun shapes or made into colorful skewers.
  • In order to ensure a positive learning environment, if your child shows any symptoms of a cold or flu, keep them at home and away from other children during the peak stages of their sickness.
  • Lastly, don’t forget about vision health. Make appJacob 1ointments with your eye care physician every 1 to 2 years for regular checkups.

There are quite a few other elements at play concerning the safety of children as they head back to the classroom. The first and most important consideration is to make sure that children are vaccinated with the proper immunizations before school starts, in order to avoid the school-year rush. “By ensuring that your child is up-to-date with vaccinations, you’re also protecting the health of others and doing your part to prevent outbreaks in the community,” said Daisy Dodd, MD, pediatric infectious disease specialist, Kaiser Permanente Anaheim Medical Center.

Happy Back to School!

Top 5 California Water Parks To Visit Before B2S

OC Mom Water Park

Photo credit: OC Mom Blog

What kid does not love water parks? Especially during the hot summers in dry Southern California! Your kids are fortunate to not only have access to a number of parks but the means to pay for them. Our kids also deserve the refreshing fun of a water park but without parents to take them they often just hear about it through other kids – but not this time! Our Rosarito Orphanage Madrina: Sparkling Lala is helping us take all the Casa Estrella Orphanage girls to a water park! It may not be like our favorite water park, Knott’s Soak City, but it’s a place the girls have been wanting to go: Rancho Don Pancho.

Your kids should have fun this summer so here is a list from Travel Advisory of great water parks and remember to hug and kiss your kids everyday, because you can.

#1 Knott’s Soak City

Water park fun_houseKnott’s Soak City – Associated with the famous amusement park, Knott’s Soak City is one of the largest water parks in the country. There are actually three of the Knott’s water parks in Southern California. You will have your choice to visit either the location in Orange County, Palm Springs or San Diego. No matter which location you choose, you’re bound to have a wonderful time on your vacation. There are many attractions while visiting the Knott’s Soak City. Among these attractions are the roller coasters and water rides such as the La Revolution, Rip Tide, Screaming Swing as well as the Wind Seeker. The smaller children can also enjoy Camp Snoopy, where there are activities and adventures for the younger children. Park cabanas are available for rent while the park offers too many water slides and rides to count. It is no wonder why Knott’s is one of the best water parks in Southern California.

#2 Raging Waters

Raging Waters – This is the largest waterpark in Southern California, located on fifty beautifully landscaped acres in San Dimas, California. This waterpark has at least thirty-six water slides and attractions. Raging Waters boasts the famous Flowrider. The Flowrider allows riders to ride atop a surfboard or boogie board in an attempt to successful surf. Another hit at Raging Waters is the Dark Hole, a water slide that takes place in complete darkness. Among the many attractions, you will also find the Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror, the Amazon Adventure, the Bermuda Triangle and the Thunder Rapids. No matter what your tastes are from the milder rides to the thrill rides, there is sure to be something for everyone. This is a great place to visit either for a water park vacation or just for the daily visit. This is something that the entire family will enjoy.

#3 Dry Town Water Park

Dry Town Water Park – Found in Palmdale, California, Dry Town is one of the most affordable water parks in Southern California. There are many attractions to choose from such as the Big Rock River, the Devil’s Punch Bowl, Rattlers Revenge, and the Wildcatter. No matter what your tastes such as mild to the thrill seeker, you’re bound to find something for everyone. For children under the age of twelve there is also the Little Miner’s Camp, where the children can run and splash through the miniwaterpark. A visit to the water park can be in combination with one of your Southern California romantic getaways for a little added adventure. Whatever you do here, you’re bound to have a wonderful time and be talking about your vacation for month’s to come!

#4 Island Water Park

Island Water Park – Fresno offers a water park with fun for the entire family. Island Water Park features a giant Copacabana Cove, which is a huge wave pool. Children’s areas and water slides make the Island Park one of the more popular water parks in Southern California. You can have your child’s birthday party or take them to the children’s park. You can also take the around the world without leaving the park by trying out the different international water rides. These rides include the North Shore Wipeout, the Singapore Tsunami, the Tokyo Typhoon as well as the Acapulco Dive. This is a great place for the entire family to reconnect while having a blast!

#5 Magic Mountain Hurrican Harbor

Magic Mountain Hurricane Harbor – Opened in the early summer of 2010, Hurricane Harbor features some of the most exciting water adventures in Southern California. This waterpark is located in Los Angeles and is part of Six Flags Great America. There are many water rides to choose from at Magic Mountain Hurricane Harbor. Among these are the Tornado, the Black Snake Summit, Lizard Lagoon and the Water Slide Complex. This is just to name a few. There is something here for everyone. The park is also located conveniently near several hotels. You could spend either your entire vacation or just a day or two. This would be a wonderful way for the entire family to spend their vacation.

Ride Uber And $1 Will Be Donated to Special Olympics

 

As seen on #LatinaGeeks

UberStarting July 20 to July 26 Uber is giving riders the opportunity to show their support! You can make every trip an opportunity to support Special Olympics athletes who are reaching for their dreams.

Every time you ride INSPIRE, Uber will donate $1 to Special Olympics athletes.

The rides you take on INSPIRE Uber will support Special Olympics Northern and Southern California in fostering independence, inclusion, and opportunity for athletes like Terence (see video). If you’re inspired to go the extra mile, you can contribute directly to Special Olympics Northern California and Southern California.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

  1. Request INSPIRE between July 20 and July 26 in Sacramento, the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego

  2. Ride and you’ll be charged uberX rates

  3. Uber will make a $1 donation to our friends at Special Olympics Northern California and Southern California

Meet Terence, a track and field gold medalist from Special Olympics Northern California. Watch his video below to see how the Special Olympics has connected him to the people and places he loves.

The INSPIRE option follows the launch last week in Los Angeles and San Francisco of uberASSIST — a new option for riders who may want an extra hand and just one more way we’re working to make the Uber experiences as seamless as possible for our riders and driver-partners.

We’re all going somewhere and reaching for something. We’re proud to support the athletes of Special Olympics Northern California and Southern California who inspire us to do more and reach higher every day.

At Uber, they connect people to places and possibilities.

Safe Sex or Save Sex?

by Katherine Lozano

Holding handsTeen pregnancy is a huge problem and everyone talks about “safe sex,” but how about “save sex?”.  It is the number one predictor of poverty in our country.  If a young girl becomes pregnant, she will be faced with extraordinarily hard choices, each of which hold life-long consequences; she can choose to keep her baby, abort her baby, or give her baby up for adoption.

But as bad as teen pregnancy might be, it is not the worst thing that can happen, not by a long shot.  Pregnancy is not a disease, and it won’t kill you.  Yet, if you ask a teenager what her biggest fear about having sex is, she will likely answer, “getting pregnant.”  The average  teenage girl is not aware of the fact that sex can lead to diseases that can drastically affect her health, the health of her future spouse, and the health of her unborn children.  We have been indoctrinated with the idea that there is such a thing as Safe Sex.  But what most people refer to as safe sex only deals with birth control, not the prevention of deadly diseases.

Safe sex, is a misnomer of major proportions.  There are dozens of inventions and medicines out there designed to prevent pregnancy: pills, shots, patches, devices, etc.  But none of these things keep people safe from diseases.  Condoms can help protect against viral STDs, but they do nothing to prevent bacterial STDs, such as Human Papillomavirus (HPV).  Also known as Genital Warts, HPV is contracted through skin-on-skin contact, and is one of the deadliest STDs out there and the leading cause of Cervical Cancer.  According to the Center for Disease Control, over 80 million people currently carry HPV, and over 14 million people contract it each year.  Young people are infecting one another at exponential rates because they do not realize that all it takes is skin contact in the genital area to pass on HPV, often which does not display symptoms until it is too late.

HPV is only one STD that is infecting young people.  There are dozens more.  So why isn’t the healthcare industry making abstinence its first recommendation in the prevention of pregnancy and disease?   Obesity is also a major health problem.  But doctors are not suggesting pills or shots to people by the millions to lose weight. They are suggesting diet and exercise.  Why?  Because these are the most logical solutions to the problem.  Abstinence is the most logical solution to the problem of teen pregnancy.  Abstinence costs nothing.  Abstinence has no adverse effects on the environment.  And abstinence, like diet and exercise, teaches people self-control and respect for their bodies.
The simple truth is this: abstinence is the only 100% effective method of preventing pregnancy and disease.

My Familia is My Inspiration – Who Inspires You? #McFarlandUSA #Giveaway

This is part of a sponsored campaign with DiMe Media and Buena Vista Home Entertainment. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

McFarland_MiInspiration_EnglishOnce in a while you hear of a story that may seem just too incredible to believe, such as the REAL-life story from high-school students in California’s Central Valley, McFarland High School. #McFarlandUSA tells the story of how a coach (Jim White) discovers a few students’ exceptional running ability and leads them not only to achieve physical prowess but also builds them up for success but not without the help of their strong family ties, incredible work ethic and commitment to their team.

There are incredible stories like #McFarlandUSA that may not be told on the big screen but are happening in smaller scale with our familias and inspiring those around us.

#MiFamilia #MiInspiracion

In my familia education is important but there was never money to go to school. My dad, a truck driver his MiInspiracionentire life, and my mom, a nanny and cleaning lady till this day, knew that they would not be able to pay for our school because they migrated from a very poor country. So they gave us the best next thing: a great example of hard work, perseverance, excellent work ethics and our cultura that includes how to be resourceful and use the little means to survive no matter what – because they knew these would be the tools we needed take us further than tuition could.

My parents were right, they gave us values that helped us reach our goals and never allowed us to forget our roots. I had the privilege to be the first of my family to graduate from college followed by my recent little sister graduate who is also an Army veteran and my baby brother a Marine veteran and a police officer; together we achieved more than what our parents could have imagined – We have our own McFarland story and I bet you do too! #SiSePuede #VivaLaRaza #MiInspiracion

I Can Only Hope

JacobToday I can only hope that my niece and nephews NEVER forget where they come from and the people that helped pave the road for them. From that poor life in Nicaragua to migrating to the U.S. and living a hard life, I will make sure they grow up knowing who they are and where they came from and learn from the stories of struggles and perseverance of the Montalvans and other great examples such as the students at McFarland High.

The release of Disney’s McFarland USA now on Blu-ray, Digital HD & Disney Movies Anywhere, has all of my family and The Orphaned Earring team excited. My team and I were among the first to stand in line to watch the movie release and now excited to be able to own the movie and have countless movie nights with our nephews, little cousins and friends so they too can be inspired and realize the sacrifice and work that younger Latino generations invested in their future.

We don’t want to be greedy about owning the movie, thanks to #McFarlandUSA you too can own the movie and experience the joy and inspiration we felt when we watched this movie.

Giveaway

McFarland_SeSepuede_JuntosDisclosure:  No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.  Giveaway ends June 10th.  Sole Sponsor: The Ophaned Earring.  The prize was provided to me by Buena Vista Home Entertainment and I have been paid to blog and promote the film.  Buena Vista Home Entertainment is not a sponsor, administrator, or involved in any other way with this giveaway. All opinions expressed in the post are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 ‘Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.’

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Inspiration: Paintor James Kessinger – No Vision? No Problem!

Artist Jamesby Kat Lozano

Once in a while you meet or read-up on someone extraordinary that makes an impact in your life and artist James Kessinger is one to be noted. An inspiration to other creative minds that might face struggles and overcome obstacles for the love of their art and passion.

Famed artist, James Kessinger has been making headlines in recent years, not only because of his development of a new artistic painting style called, strata reduction, but because James Kessinger has the use of only 3% of his vision. Kessinger was born and raised in Kentucky having always demonstrated a flare for innovation. In his childhood days, he invented toys and painted pictures using whatever meager supplies he could find around his family’s farm. James grew up and joined the Army, eventually fighting in Viet Nam. After returning home, he owned and operated successful businesses in the areas of science and electronics. But at the age of 32, James Kessinger began to lose his sight due to macular degeneration. Now, in his sixties and only able to see what can be viewed within one inch or less of a special glass monocle, Kessinger has begun his life as a professional artist.

Humble and oh so gifted, James Kessinger has made an indelible mark on the art world. Making the biggest impact are his abstract pieces that have been described as “pure and non-derivative.” In the world of modern art, that is a rare compliment indeed. James describes his abstract pieces as being envisioned through his mind’s eye. Not confined by the limitations on his physical sight, he has stunned art critics around the world with his unique style called, strata reduction. Strata reduction, as Kessinger describes, is the practice of painting layered pictures on top of one another, then sanding away portions of the top layer. The results are truly breathtaking.

James’ process, like any artist’s, is unique to suit his needs. His studio, as he describes, is structured in such a way that all of his colors are placed in a unique order. His memory of color makes it easy for him to be in tune with what he is painting. For James Kessinger, blindness is not a setback, but an opportunity to express what so few sighted people can. His intuitiveness and ability to express color and life should inspire every artist to find and bring to life that which is intangible until it reaches the artist’s hands.

Next time you may feel discouraged, think of James and how love, passions and perseverance such as his can, and will take you to where you need to be.

 Who is James Kessinger
Who is James Kessinger

MAY: 31 Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge

 

BLM_logo_horizontal_finalMay is #‎BilingualLiteracyMonth‬ and you’re on time to join the “31 Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge” to raise awareness among parents on how to raise a bilingual child for a more successful future through the use of our FREE resources at www.ReadConmigo.com ‪#‎31libros‬

The “31 Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge” directs parents and children to the Read Conmigo library, www.ReadConmigo.com where free books can be downloaded. A RC book will be recommended for nightly bedtime reading through social media, daily, throughout the month of May. According to research,, bedtime reading provides a strong parent-child bond, prepares children for a good night’s rest and boost a child’s brain development.

To sign up and participate in the Bilingual Reading Challenge for free, parents and teachers should:

Visit ReadConmigo.org and register for the Read Conmigo program.
Click on the banner for the “31-Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge” and pledge to read daily to their kids during the month of May.
Follow Read Conmigo and hashtag #bilingualliteracymonth on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Instagram (@ReadConmigo) for daily reading suggestions, weekly trivia questions, and chances to win prizes.