Be Inspired

Living to My Full Potential by Melissa Reyes

Posted on August 9th, 2015 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz, Guest Post

Originally Posted on Kaizen Ways for Jeff Friend

“Presenting Myself Positively and Living to My Full Potential is What Living in the Moment Means to Me”

I discovered this when I realized that I wanted to be called a writer.  I have been writing all my life, in journals, and I knew that I could do it.  I am an accomplished executive assistant and have worked for very high level business executives for whom I wrote documents and letters without a hitch.  I have published hundreds of newsletters for banks, church groups and schools with articles that I wrote and edited. I had a blog where I posted reviews, articles, interviews, poems, songs, and memoirs for years before I would even consider calling myself a writer!  Why?  Because I had not been published by a certified publisher.  I have not submitted my work to any magazine or publishing house.  Yet, I write.  I am a writer.  Right here, right now.  I am a writer. In this moment.

In every moment only I can define who I am, what I want, and how I act.  I am who I am.

IMG_162071844956958I asked my friends on Facebook what “Living in the Moment” meant to them.  I received varied responses which fascinated me and made me think.  I frequently say that I believe in living in the moment.  I tell others to live in the moment.  It is a monumental realization to me that it means very different things to different people.  I must be careful to clarify what it means to me.  First, I will take a look at what others think. . .

The Artist:
Faith Ringgold
The Caldecott Honor winner is best known for her painted story quilts,  which include “Dinner at Gertrude Stein’s” and “Dancing at the  Louvre.”
“Back when I was starting out, someone at a party  asked me what I did, and I said, ‘I’m an artist.’ And a friend of mine said,  ‘Faith, would you please stop telling people you’re an artist? You’re not an  artist. You’re an art teacher.’ I thought: ‘That’s interesting that she thinks  she can tell me who I am. I’m the one who determines when I’m an artist. And  that’s right here, right now.'”
Read more:

“Living in the Moment Means Not Thinking About the Future”

I was surprised at this reaction, but oh, so grateful to have received it.  I honestly think this represents what my kids think I mean when I say “living in the moment.”  It made me consider, do people think that I don’t care about what happens in the days ahead when I proclaim that I am living in the moment?  It’s quite the opposite.  I am most concerned about not obsessing needlessly about the past!  I am trying to let go of the baggage and the perceived expectations and the self imposed pressure of doing things right.  In doing so, I may be projecting an attitude of carelessness.
Living in the moment does not mean not being concerned about my actions.  It does not mean that I do not care about what happens in the future.  I do not live with reckless abandon.  I know my friend did not mean that when she said, “not thinking about the future.”  But that is what I immediately processed.  In fact, I believe that living in the moment is about thinking about the future.
Living in the moment is about being responsible and true to yourself in the present, which can result in a very positive future.

“Living in the Moment Means Being Present to Fully Drink Up Life’s Gifts.”

I believe that “living in the moment” can be celebratory.  I believe it is important to celebrate the every day moments.  Let’s recognize the little milestones and accomplishments along with the big blessings in life.  A friend commented on that note quite beautifully when she said, living in the moment means “being present to fully drink up life’s gifts.”  When we become consumed with the minutiae in our life, we check out.  We become distracted with over thinking every thing we have to remember and everything we have to do.  We become absent.  So, remind yourself to be present.
 When you “check in” you can experience, process, absorb and “drink in” all the little miracles in your day to day life.

“Living in the Moment Means Focusing on What is Around You at the Time- Minus Media.”

For some people, constantly and consistently checking the pulse of media influence is vital to their every day focus.  They are the speed readers, the multi-taskers, the skimmers of information, the keepers of statistics and the trend setters.  They know what is happening and they set the tone for the rest of us.  To someone like this, I can see how “living in the moment” would mean taking a breather to be available and present to what is actually happening to them.
Another friend put it this way, “Focusing on now, appreciating the blessing that moment is.”  Tearing yourself away from the thoughts buzzing around about the next big idea and thinking about the many commitments that are being made can be difficult.  It takes a little extra effort to stop and focus on the people and the events that are happening now.  To live, really live, and enjoy a moment – with your family, your friends, your significant other, anyone who is important to you – is what it means to live in the moment.  Bless each chance you get to break away from the fast life.  Slow down and soak in the real people standing before you.  Give that person the gift of your time.  Give yourself to them.  You can get right back on the information highway and you will be stronger and filled with the very zest you need to keep that pace.
Live in the moment and bless it.  Focus on what is around you.  Minus the media.  Pump life into every chance you get to give of yourself.

“How Do You Apply Being Fully Present?”

When I break it down and examine what “living in the moment” means to me, I compare it to “being fully present.”  I asked my friends how they apply being fully present.  One person stated that being fully present means, “To not think about what could happen or what should happen, but just hold on to the power of the human spirit to embrace how beautiful life is.”  Another friend said, “Being present means being aware of the moment.”

I love the idea of embracing how beautiful life is.  Life is beautiful!  My mantra for 2012 has been to embrace and experience every moment.  I believe that awareness is immediate.  Being in the moment is now.  To some, living in the moment is spontaneous.  Just being.  Just doing.  Not thinking.  To me, it is not overthinking.  To me it is taking things in just as they are and not manipulating them to suit my needs or desires.  It means letting go of preconceptions, letting go of control, accepting thngs as they are and as they are happening.  Some call this going with the flow.  Some relate it to the process of unfolding.  I call it living in the moment.

“Living in the moment involves acceptance and appreciation of life’s imperfections and simplicity.  Live, be, do.”


Sandi Amorim on Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town – Promise and Purpose @SandiAmorim #AuthorShowcase @TenMiniTT

Posted on June 9th, 2015 by & filed under #SPARKLE Tinsel Town Tonight Interviews, Be Inspired, Books, Everything Miz Meliz, TenMiniTT 2015

Sandi Amorim is a real life poem.

Sandi Amorim

In her book, The 100 Day Promise, Sandi hopes to help people reclaim their freedom.

“I help people via workshops, online programs, and my book, The 100 Day Promise.” @SandiAmorim

Sandi Amorim, Author of the 100 Day Promise

SA Headshot
“I like to walk my dog along the river, sing, take photos, cook, and generally have fun.” @SandiAmorim

Cover 2In the interview, we will discuss:
– How to create sustainable change.
– Why we don’t keep promises to ourselves.
– What does it take to acknowledge our desires?
– How do we break free of limiting beliefs?

Connect with Sandi here:

“I am most passionate about helping people reclaim their freedom.” @SandiAmorim


Spreecast is the social video platform that connects people.

Check out Sandi Amorim on #10M with MizMeliz on Spreecast.

View the interview on  my Meerkat Live Stream @TenMiniTT

View the interview on my Meerkat Live Stream @TenMiniTT







This post contains affiliate links. Contact me to find out more about this


Celebrate Good Times and Make Them All Good Times

Posted on May 22nd, 2015 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz, Valued by QBeats, Workshops and Webinars

Welcome to the last section and conclusion of Getting Your Rear in Gear with Miz Meliz. (This post is valued by QBeats, read why I feel it is important to support the writer of this work.It really all boils down to this. Celebrate the good times, and make them all good times. It may not be easy, but I will show you how I do it. When you get the hang of it, it is quite simple and life changing. If you haven’t read the previous five parts of this series, you might want to go back to the first one. It started with My Top 5 Tools To Set Goals and Make Things Happen. This is part six of the six part series on “Getting Your Rear in Gear.”

Reflect & Focus 6

Celebrate Good Times, and Make them all Good Times!

That sounds a little cliché, huh? Trite? Too easy. If only life were just that simple.


Here is the thing.

Even if you have heard it before, you need to hear it all the time.

Remind yourself all the time. Being positive is a choice. I choose happiness every day. When I get down, I remind myself that I don’t have to feel that way. Or, if there is a reason to be sad or upset, I don’t feel guilty about it. I allow myself to feel that way. Then, it’s up and at ’em. Try, try again.

Does that make sense?

Choose to be happy. Choose to celebrate every day? Why does that seem impossible? Why should it be so hard to do. The thing is, we think it should be hard, so we make it hard. We are so hard on ourselves. We don’t really let ourselves take the easy road. We hear time and time again to simplify. To just relax and take it easy. That conflicts with our understanding of ambition and drive. Is it possible to be both goal oriented and easy going? Can we be ambitious and driven while living in the moment and celebrating the every day?

Yes, my dear. Yes.

My inner critic says that all of this is dumb. It is too simple and flowery to be true. It can’t really be “the way.” It is overdone. Outdated. Tried it, didn’t work. Been there. Done that. Everything I do and everything say has been done and said before. Nothing is original. Nothing matters. I just have to grin and face it. I just have to find a way to cope. Life is hard. That is just the way it is. Nothing will ever change.

When I listen to myself, to my head, to my thoughts, I get depressed. Life is hard. It will continue to be unbearable if I keep up that attitude.

You might want to get yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of milk to wash down all the sugary sweetness I am about to feed you…are you ready?


These sayings, cliches, memes, might sound sickeningly sweet or saccharin to you…but stick with me – there is a point to all of this. This is what it is like when you listen to your heart. The inner critic thinks with adjectives. The negative thoughts are always passive, aggressive, descriptive, mean.

When I get those thoughts, I replace them with these:

  • Think positive.
  • Take time for you all the time, not just when you need it.
  • Put the oxygen mask on yourself first.
  • When things get tough, breathe.
  • Take a few breaths and repeat your mantra.
  • Close your eyes and imagine yourself at your “happy place.”
  • Put on your happy face.
  • Smile, you will feel better.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Count your blessings.
  • Take a selfie. Smile!
  • Post a positive statement.
  • Share a funny cat video.
  • Do something nice for someone, just because.
  • Call a friend, just to say hello and ask them how they are doing.
  • Do something nice for yourself, just because.

Take Action:

Get a pen and paper and do this now.

Baby Steps or Giant Leaps

Share your positive statement or focus word for 2015, smile big, and shine! Think joyfully. Look at the sliver lining in each situation. If you can’t find one, allow yourself to be sad or angry because those are valid feelings. Own them. Don’t place blame or judgement on others. Let things go, reasonably. Learn from each situation.

See the goodness around you and if there isn’t anything good around you, be the goodness for yourself and others.

The thing is, being positive requires action. Actions involve movement. The word “celebrate” is a verb. All the words used to describe the action of celebration are verbs. Our heart wants us to live. Our heart tells us to do something about it. Get out of your negative thoughts and be joyful, do something special, live life with a gleeful heart.

Now You're Talkin'!



**Seek Happiness**

That is the assignment for the end of this workshop. Seek happiness. If you don’t feel happy, go out and get happy.

You already know what you need to do to refresh and renew and how important it is for continued success and peace of mind.  You are doing it.  You are here.

In conclusion, I ENCOURAGE YOU to celebrate the successes that you have enjoyed and remind you that every day we live and breathe is another one of those successes and another reason to celebrate.

 2014-02-25 14.38.14

 Suggested Reading: 

  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink
  • Drive by Daniel Pink
  • 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman
  • Healing and Prevention Through Nutrition by Evita Ochel
  • The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben

“Action is the seed of change stirring within you, coaxed by the nutrients that encourage it’s growth.” ~ Raam Dev

Ideas give action hope
Vision gives action direction
Intention gives action focus
Inspiration gives action strength
Thoughts give action structure
Experience gives action validation.
Instead of doing stuff, just do.
Instead of trying to become someone, just be.
Instead of cultivating, cultivate.
Instead of living, live.
Forge action.

Contact Melissa Reyes at for inquiries, books, workshops, guest blog posts, Share the Love Tribe, interviews, Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town Video Podcast, or for Life Coaching.

*Definitions are from, Graphics created on


Thank you for being here. Share with me some ways that you celebrate and honor your life, your heart, with joyfulness.

Join me on Meerkat for LIVE COACHING @TenMiniTT

Join me on Meerkat for LIVE COACHING @TenMiniTT

Chase New Experiences

Posted on May 1st, 2015 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz, Quotes & Notes

“To live life as an artist, you have to chase new experiences, because each one contributes to your talents.” ~Josefa Moe

Josefa Moe Quote picture by Melissa Reyes Copyright 2015 for

My Valentine’s Wish #SharetheLove @Globies @usfg

Posted on February 14th, 2015 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe, Quotes & Notes

Ain’t Love Grand?

This is a review of the Harlem Globetrotters, a shout out to some dear blogger friends, and a recap of Valentine’s Day and my gifts from my hubby which include LEGOs and a thorn bush…

Happy Valentine’s Day My Love!

Today my husband made me feel old.

But that is okay.

I asked him for a rose bush for my Valentine’s gift this year. I thought it would be nice to have one planted in my garden and have fresh cut roses whenever I like. He gave me two. I am very happy with them, but…

They make me feel old because they remind me of my grandmother and my great aunt, who had rose gardens that they tended. I thought they were old. I imagined that is what old ladies do. Tend to their gardens. I know that is not true. They were both very passionate garden lovers with very green thumbs. It is a wonderful hobby and if I can  make these plants survive and thrive, that will be quite an accomplishment. Especially since my rose bushes are starter plants.

These are the 2 rose plants I received for Valentine's Day 2015

These are the 2 rose plants I received for Valentine’s Day 2015

My dear husband got me two rose bushes with no blooms. It’s true! They are just roots and sticks. It makes me laugh and it shows how sweet and non-romantic he is. He described what the blooms will look like when they emerge, and I can’t wait. Now it’s up to me.

My husband made me feel young today.

And I am happy.

The big surprise was that he remembered to get me what is now a traditional annual Valentine’s gift – he is no dummy! He gave me a LEGO set. Yep, a special Valentine Edition. I can’t wait to build it. Everything is Awesome will be running through my head all day! I love LEGO. I love Valentine’s Day. I love my husband. I was giddy when he handed me the box wrapped in paper that he printed himself, because I knew what it was instantly. I secretly hoped he would remember.

photo copyright Melissa Reyes 2-14-2015 for use with permission only please

My Valentine LEGO collection is growing. Rt-Lt: 2015, 2013, 2014

I was surprised with this gift the last two years and it is just so clever and different. It really reflects our personality and history. I shook the box and I knew he had remembered and I squeeled with excitement. I felt like a little girl with a new toy. I hugged and kissed him and thanked him before I even opened the box. And once I did open it, I hugged and kissed him again. It is AWESOME!



Yep, my LEGO 40120 set for ages 7+ with 140 pieces is perhaps the best Valentine gift ever!

photo copyright Melissa Reyes 2-14-15

Awesome Gift From My Hubby

My BIG Valentine’s Date Night

20150214_202825For our Valentine’s celebration we went to the Home Depot Center in Anaheim with our son and his friend to see the Harlem Globetrotters. (Disclosure) It was an exciting and fun way to celebrate on Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t sure if I would feel old or young at the game, but I had been looking forward to a lighthearted casual evening out.

It reminded me of being a kid. I loved watching the Harlem Globerotters on TV with Meadowlark Lemon, “Curly” Neal, and the legendary Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain. I remember it so vividly, I thought I had been to see a game in person, but as I sat there watching the live show – I couldn’t remember any details except the classic jokes, the amazing tricks, and the joyful feeling I had from watching them. I realized that I had loved it so much, my memory might have created an amalgam – combining memories of going to basketball games and watching the Harlem Globetrotters on TV. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it this time all the same! The best part was watching all the kids getting really into the game and being amazed by the Globetrotters’ antics. They did so much more than trick shots, they were quite entertaining. Our favorite was when they re-enacted a play in reverse and then in slow motion. I was so cool!

If you watched them on TV or had the chance to see a game live when you were a kid, you won’t be disappointed now. I highly recommend seeing the Harlem Globetrotters, young or old, grown up, kid, or a kid at heart, everyone will have a good time. It’s not too late to get tickets with $7 off promo (see side bar) for The Harlem Globetrotters and follow on Twitter @Globies while they are in town. They will be at the Staples Center and Home Depot Center Valentine’s/President’s Weekend.








Do you see anyone you know? Look at the bottom, right - it is the back of Shelby from OCMomBlog!

Do you see anyone you know? Look at the bottom, right – it is the back of Shelby from OCMomBlog!


globetrotters and generals


Sharing is Caring

My Valentine wish for you, my friends, is to remind you how much you are loved and appreciated. I enjoyed meeting many of you at my workshop, Get Your Rear in Gear for the New Year, with So Cal Lady Bloggers in January.#Inspiredfor2015 I am looking forward to meeting more of you at the Lifestyle Bloggers National Conference next week. #LBNC15

As bloggers we know how much we rely on each other to help expand our reach, get feed back and to share each other’s work with others. Ladies and gentlemen, there are a lot of links in this blog post, and I encourage you to check them out. Spend some time here and if you think someone else might like it, please share. I will love you if you do and if you don’t just the same.

photo copyright Melissa Reyes January 2015

Gifts and Goodies from So Cal Lady Bloggers #Inspiredfor2015

I was wondering if you liked the gift bags and the cool stuff that some of my favorite brands gave us. I want to ask you a favor to please share the love for these amazing lovely folks who went out of their way for me. I am grateful on so many levels and I really want to share the love. Tweet them and wish them a Happy Love Day @mindmeister @kidecals @cocacola @seescandies @kehlinsurance @dollarshaveclub @firmoo_optical @farrellsisback @solita_valencia @hotpointapp @paddingtonmovie @worktostylist @socalbloggers @mizmeliz

Thanks and Happy Valentine’s Day!


Miz Meliz


*Shout out to one of my dear blogging friends, Melissa Burton at the Valentine RD – February 14th is her birthday and I want her to know how much I appreciate her support and friendship throughout the year. She is quite lovely! Happy Birthday Melissa!


copyright Melissa Reyes 3-7-2014

With Melissa Burton at Women Get Social 2014





#IAK Intentional Acts of Kindness

Thanks to Us Family Guide for providing tickets for me and my family to see the Harlem Globetrotters. See my review on the US Family Guide. All opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure for details on why I write about events like this. 

How Coca-Cola intends to #MakeItHappy on Super Bowl Sunday

Posted on January 27th, 2015 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe, Miz Meliz Newz Update

The Big Game is just around the corner!

Family and friends will gather together for the most anticipated gridiron rivalry of the year. Once again, Coca-Cola will be part of the evening as it debuts an all-new commercial for the ninth consecutive year. (Disclosure)

Since 1886, in the U.S. and around the world, Coca-Cola has proudly stood for positive ideals and values. They have communicated joy and happiness, and inspired many moments of optimism, diversity and bringing people together. Remember “Have a Coke and a smile?” or “Sing in perfect harmony?”

Now Coca-Cola’s advertising illustrates the importance of injecting a positive spirit into the real world and beyond. The folks at Coca-Cola are asking people to stand together with them to spread happiness – and help make the internet a happier place.

Let’s help them spread happiness and positivity. Together, we can inspire America to #MakeItHappy and help blunt the pervasive negativity many people experience across the internet and social media.

Look for the premiere of Coca-Cola’s 60-second ad during the first quarter of the game.

The stories that will be shared on the Company’s social channels leading up to the game, feature personal stories of online negativity. They are voiced by teens and influential people who have experienced it up close, including Danica Patrick, Michael Sam, and those who make it a mission to spread happiness online like Kid President. Please view Kid President’s video and the three teaser ads here. Leading up to the Big Game, look for new videos to be released on Coca-Cola’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social channels.

 Don’t miss the Kid President Video! See it here:

I hope Coca-Cola’s ad campaign inspires people to be more positive in their online actions. It is an opportunity to increase awareness of an important topic on the world’s biggest advertising stage.

For more information on Intentional Acts of Kindness read my post from Dignity Health. Intentional Acts of Kindness

Join me and Coca-Cola and #MakeItHappy

Tell me about some ways that you have spread positivity on the internet or share how you have seen either Coca-Cola or other companies spreading happiness via social media.

I am always happy to share information about positivity and kindness. I was not paid by any company to post this. All opinions and photographs are my own. See my disclosure for more details on why I write posts like this on my blog. The video, links, and some copy above was sent to my by the Public Affairs & Communications department of the Coca-Cola North America Group and it is being shared with permission.

Why is Christmas Still on My Mind? The Magic of it All @usfg @talktoSantalive

Posted on January 9th, 2015 by & filed under Be Inspired, Discoveries, Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

Here Comes Santa Claus! Here Comes Santa Claus!

Wait a minute, that was last month. We sang Christmas Carols and listened to Holiday music all through November and December. Why am I writing about Santa Claus coming to town? Isn’t he on vacation in the Bahamas right about now? (Disclosure)

Getty Image

Santa Surfing (Getty Image)


Okay, okay. Hold on to your reindeer! Or hold your horses, whatever.

I am Not One to Name Drop, But I Really Do Know Santa Claus, He is a Friend of Mine.

Why is Christmas Still on My Mind? The Magic of it All

by Melissa Reyes, January 2, 2015

Our Sparkling and Happy Christmas Tree

Our Sparkling and Happy Christmas Tree

I want to share with you my feelings about the Magic of Christmas and why it had such an impact on me this year. Christmas is a tough time for lots of people. Even me. Christmas has never been the same for me since my parents passed away. It has always been my favorite holiday, but the last five years or so, I may have been just going through the motions. I suffer from minor depression and I get very stressed out at the end of the year with the hustle and bustle, time crunch, and financial pressures. Yet, I have always believed in the Magic of Christmas. I believe in miracles, big and small. I believe in Santa Claus.

This year, I was given an opportunity by to have a conversation with the Big Man himself – a visit, an interview, a face to face – yep, me and Santa! Having the chance to talk to Santa ignited the Magic of Christmas in my heart in a way that I thought had been lost forever. I was once again excited about the holiday. I could hardly wait to have my chance to talk to Santa.


Lorenzo Lamas, 1989 My Mom had a picture of herself with him!

My Mom always said that she knew Santa personally. She said she had photos to prove it. She also said she knew Lorenzo Lamas. But that is another story.

Even when she was a Grandma she loved to get her picture taken with Santa. The following year she would show the little kids that picture and say, “See? Grandma really knows Santa! He is a personal friend of mine.”

My Mom with Santa, Dec. 1997

My Mom with Santa, Dec. 1997

We are a religious, faith filled, and mostly traditional family. One of the traditions that my mother maintained, (that I also do) was keeping a youthful spirit alive by proclaiming our belief in the unknown, the unproven, and somewhat mystical ways of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. I feel like that is a way of teaching our children that it is okay to act like a kid and enjoy the fun, light, and magical celebrations as well as that you do not have to have proof to believe in things. After all, that is the cornerstone of our faith – believing in the miraculous.

It is no wonder then, when I doubted my faith and when I was depressed and grieving the loss of my loved ones, that it was difficult for me to entertain, enjoy, and engage in the fun and spiritual traditions of the holidays. If you are familiar with the story of The Polar Express, you will know what I mean when I say that for that time in my life, I could not hear the sound of Jingle Bells.

My time of grief may be over, or I may just be in a better place, but since I got the news that I could actually talk to Santa via video cam on my laptop – I have not stopped hearing the Christmas Bells ringing! I have been joyful and excited. I enjoyed singing and listening to the Holiday music, shopping, wrapping, cooking, sending cards, hosting parties, all of it. And I still feel good.

I have video proof that I know Santa personally. My mother would be so proud!

Roman and Me Getting Ready for our Chat with Santa

Roman and Me Getting Ready for our Chat with Santa

I shared this experience with my son, Roman. He is the youngest and most willing candidate in my family. He is theatrical and often helps me with my blogging ventures, especially the ones relating to entertainment. He is also the one who has always been the most skeptical about Santa’s existence and when he was little he stopped at nothing to prove that my husband and I were the ones who left the gifts under the tree. He has always needed a little coaxing to believe that which he cannot see, or prove. As much as I appreciate his scientific nature, he challenged me when it came to explaining why, at 46 years old, I still believe in Santa. I may have finally convinced him. After talking to Santa online, I think he gets it. Yet, he may never understand, and I may never be able to explain to him, why I needed to believe.

t2s_300x100_bnnrTalking to Santa was easy and anyone can do it. First, just going to Santa’s website is amazing! There are fun things to do and see. Children of all ages can interact with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There you can schedule your own personalized online chat with Santa or watch other videos to see what it is like. Just before Christmas Eve, you can even see where in the world Santa is delivering gifts.

After scheduling the online chat and filling in a little information about myself and Roman, I received a confirmation letter from Santa. When the big day came, we were prepared with a few questions to ask and we even got a little nervous about what Santa might ask us. It was so much fun and very easy. Now we will both have that video forever and I will definitely be showing it to my grandchildren someday. Roman and I also had a nice experience together, which as he gets older, I value very much.

Not long after our talk with Santa, and before Christmas, Roman and I each received a certificate stating that we were both officially on Santa’s nice list. It sure was nice for Roman to have that guarantee! Just kidding, I know he is a very good boy. I am pretty sure we both got what we wanted for Christmas.

Next year, add this to your list, for $20 you can get a video with your child talking to Santa. What could be better than that?

I want to thank and the U.S. Family Guide for giving me this opportunity. I received the chat with Santa free of charge for the purpose of reviewing the service. Please see my Disclosure for more details on why I write articles like this. All opinions are my own. This is a true story, written from my heart. It is my intention that it warms your heart. All photos are my own, unless otherwise noted.

Who is “Creating Lasting Sustainable Change for Those Who Need It the Most”?

Posted on December 13th, 2014 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

His name is Jonathan Lopez, I like to call him “John.”

2014-02-25 14.38.14

He is my brother. He inspires me daily by his example. Here are some things he has accomplished, and these are just a few ways he has made his life’s work to help others…

Kaiser Permanente Program Provides Hope and Resources to Homeless Patients

By Michael Carter

Homeless patients are getting the help they need to rebuild their lives thanks to a unique program at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center. Led by staff member Jonathan Lopez, the Homeless
Navigator Pilot Program aims to find shelter and other vital community services for homeless patients who seek care in their emergency department.

The program is the first of its kind for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. This unique program addresses the needs of homeless patients by using a coordinated approach that involves a dedicated team of staff and community resource providers. The team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, case manager, administrators, and the Homeless Navigator.

Since its inception in April, 2012, the program has placed more than 576 homeless patients into shelters, transitional housing, permanent housing, and substance abuse treatment programs. That’s a dramatic increase from 2011, when just 25 homeless patients were placed in shelters during the entire year.

“We offer an atmosphere of hope and caring to our homeless clients and we are making a significant difference.” ~Jonathan Lopez

The program has been so successful in ending homelessness for Kaiser Permanente patients that it has become a new model of care for this vulnerable population. During the past year, the program has received many accolades, including the 2013 Community Impact Partner of the Year Award from Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission and the Community Partnership Award from The Salvation Army in March 2013.

“Kaiser Permanente is not only a leading provider in health care, but now they are leading the way in health and human services through their Homeless Navigator Program,” said Ken Craft, president and chief operating officer for Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. The Mission is a non-profit agency serving thousands of men, women, children and their families in the San Fernando Valley.

“Through the leadership of Mr. Lopez, homeless people who come to the hospital are treated with dignity and respect and they are connected to community resources. The program links the homeless with service providers that assist them with accessing case management and wrap around resources. ,This unique program has been a catalyst in transforming the landscape of homeless service providers. Now, thanks to Kaiser Permanente and the San Fernando Valley Homeless Service Providers we are all working together to assist the most vulnerable in our society,” added Craft.

Here’s how the program works:

Lopez serves as a liaison between Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center and nonprofit community partners that offer an array of services, including shelter, food, clothing, job assistance and substance abuse treatment. That’s in addition to permanent housing which is the main component to ending homelessness.
Working with emergency medicine physicians, nurses, case managers, social workers, and deputy administrators Lopez connects homeless patients with the services they need to end their homelessness.

Tom Gray, 46, credits the Homeless Navigator Pilot Program with saving his life. Addicted to crystal methamphetamine, he lost his home and job and had been living on the streets for many years. He came to the attention of homeless team after seeking emergency treatment for an abscess on his leg.

With the team’s support, Gray is now rebuilding his life. He is living at the Cabrito House, a sober living home for men overcoming alcohol addiction. He is also working as a sales representative for a heating and air conditioning company in Canoga Park, where he has been the sales leader for three out of 11 months. In his spare time, Gray gives motivational speeches to patients at the Tarzana Treatment Center, a behavioral health care organization that provides substance abuse and mental health treatment to adults and teens.

“Without this Homeless Navigator Program, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I would have gone back to the streets,” said Gray. “It’s a great program.” The homeless navigator team is committed to helping more people like Gray.

Last summer, Lopez expanded his scope of responsibilities, assisting homeless patients that had not entered the emergency department and consulted with dozens of homeless clients monthly after they were discharged from the ER. As the Homeless Navigator, Lopez develops community partnerships, through which Kaiser Permanente’s NavigationTeam is able to arrange for transportation and placement in local shelters, transitional housing and substance abuse treatment programs, when needed.

The goal of the Homeless Service Provider partnerships is to facilitate access to a continuum of care and coordinated services enabling them to identify long-term solutions to improve homeless clients’ living conditions and ultimately end their state of homelessness through permanent housing. Community Partners include the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, House of Hope, LA Family Housing, Columbus and Corbin House, San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission in North Hollywood, the Bell Access Center, Genesis House and The Lighthouse, a shelter for women and children in Ventura County.

In addition the Homeless Navigator Pilot Program works closely with Tarzana Treatment Center, Northeast Valley Health Corporation, and the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center. The newest community partners include the Frequent User System Engagement System (F.U.S.E) and SSG Alliance – Project 40.

Paul Read, president of the Cabrito Foundation, which oversees the operations of the Cabrito House, a sober living house for recovering alcoholic men, praised Lopez’ hands-on role in assisting homeless individuals.

“It is a great privilege to work with someone as dedicated as Mr. Lopez. He works tirelessly to find people just the right place that will give them the best chance to regain their status in the community,” said Read. “We are fortunate to be a part of his team.”

The Homeless Navigator Pilot Program benefits not only homeless patients but the community partners as well.
For the past 18 months, Kaiser Permanente employees have volunteered to prepare and serve dinner at L.A. Family Housing, The Lighthouse, and the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. The staff also helped paint the library at The Salvation Army and partnered with the agency on several events. Joint activities include The United Way 5K Walk to End Homelessness, the 2013 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count and tuberculosis screening for residents of the organization’s residential substance abuse treatment program.

“We’re developing an interactive, supportive resource-sharing partnership with our homeless service providers,” said Lopez. “Our goal is to provide the highest quality of care for our homeless neighbors and to be the best community partner possible.”

*posted with permission from Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills

Jonathan shared this note he received from a colleague recently:

“Just wanted to congratulate you again for the Hope of the Valley award Saturday night.  Well deserved and truly a labor a love.  Where would we all be without the support of people like yourself and your ‘friends’ when things go bump in the night and you feel totally helpless, scared and hopeless…..  “

“Thanking you from the bottom of all our hearts…. Kaiser family & framily : )” 

14517984Jonathan Lopez with Kaiser’s Homeless Service Provider partners:
Ken Craft, HOTV, Tim Walker, Columbus House, Tim Pardue, House of Hope, David Faustina, HOTV.
accepting the

Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission 2014 CATALYST AWARD:

Presented to Jonathan Lopez, 

“Creating Lasting Sustainable Change for Those Who Need It the Most”

2014-04-18 14.43.39

Intentional Acts of Kindness

In 2015, Jonathan begins a new path on his journey as the V.P. of Development for Hope of the Valley. With his partners and community connections, he will lead the way in establishing a new facility that will offer transitional care for homeless and needy people when they are discharged from the hospital and have nowhere else to turn.

In addition to all that he does for the community at large, John is always there for me. He actively supports his own family and mine in everything we do and he leads our family with great pride and undoubted unconditional love. Joyful, joyous, caring, sensitive, funny, humble, celebrated and beloved, he is the best friend to have and of course, an amazing person to have as my brother!

Jonathan has been honored with many awards for his service and commitment to helping others. I am quite proud of him for that. My entire family is immensely proud of all of his and my sister-in-law, Jennifer Lyons Lopez’ work as they both devote their life’s passion to helping others. By posting this, I not only commend them for their actions, but it is my hope to inspire you to do something. Every little bit helps.

Together we can make a difference.

I wrote this post and shared the articles above for the simple joy and pride it brings me. I am not affiliated in any way with any of the organizations mentioned above, other than in connection to my family members who serve as employees or as volunteers.

A Prayer for My Friends, Do Not Fear

Posted on October 11th, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Prayers

I was inspired by this letter I received that I will share with you. I hope that it helps you in your time of need my friend. These are concepts that I believe, they give me hope when I can’t explain things. When you ask for prayers (positive vibes, good mojo, a universal or cosmic hug) this is where I go…

Dear Friend, Prayer has the power to transform our fear into faith. Prayer reminds us that we are never alone. Everything we are, body and soul, is in the hands of God. God’s presence fills the universe, and He is as close to us as our own breath. No matter what pain sends our way, with God by our side, we can find the strength to confront our fears. With God accompanying us on our journey, no matter what the path, no one walks alone. God invites us “not to be afraid.” The Lord tells us throughout scripture that He is with us, and so we need not fear. In Christ, Father Pat Father Patrick J. Tonry, SM Spiritual Director Marianist Mission Province of the United States

Comfort for Those in Pain

Yesterday is gone.

Tomorrow has not yet come.

We have only today.

Let us begin.

~Joseph Cardinal Bernardin

Pain is limited…

It cannot cripple Love,

It cannot cripple Hope,

It cannot destroy Peace,

It cannot erase Memories,

It cannot silence Courage,

It cannot invade the Soul,

It cannot steal Eternal Life,

It cannot quench The Spirit,

It cannot lessen the strength of God’s Love for us.

Prayer for MizMeliz

Do Not Fear

Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you… Isaiah 41:10

 For Laura and Christine

Do You Have Character?

Posted on October 9th, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe, Quotes & Notes

Character -- the willingness to accept (1)

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