Everything Miz Meliz

10 Things I Wish I knew About Halloween When My Kids Were Little

Posted on October 28th, 2016 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Mindfulness Guidance and Coaching

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is here. The Holiday Hullabaloo continues. This is week two of my six week session on getting through the holidays with joy.

Last week I talked about Keeping a journal to be aware of the things that might be stressing us out at this time of year.

If you are a parent, you have bought the candy and the pumpkins, gone through the costumes and probably made or bought something for your little goblins to wear trick-or-treating. You have the decorations up and have planned the themed food and drinks for the party. You are all ready for a fun time, right?

If you are the way I was when my kids were little, you might be feeling a little stressed and worried right now. It seems like there is a checklist we all are required to do when our kids are small. Carve pumpkins, make roasted pumpkin seeds, bake, make caramel apples, decorate, make costumes, plan a party, take treats to class – – the list goes on. If you work, there are probably a party or two there as well. And don’t get me started on the contests! I was very competitive and loved planning family costumes.

If I only knew then what I know now. Famous last words, right?

Miz Meliz as a "Dark" Effie Trinket photo copyright Melissa Reyes mizmeliz.com October 2014 Hair and Makeup by Valyrie Williams-Schrader

Miz Meliz as a “Dark” Effie Trinket

Here is a list of things that I wish I knew when the kids were little and I stressed out about Halloween:

  1. Not all kids like to dress up.
  2. Not all kids are into carving pumpkins.
  3. Believe it or not – not all kids like candy.
  4. Because you had fond memories of doing those things when you were a kid does not mean your kids have to enjoy it.
  5. It’s okay to simplify things.
  6. It’s okay to make new traditions that work for you and your kids.
  7. If it is fun for you, do it. If it isn’t – don’t.
  8. Ask your kids what they want to be and help them make it awesome – even if it doesn’t fit in your vision or plan to win the contest.
  9. If your kids say they don’t want to dress up, trick or treat, or whatever, don’t make them. Follow your instincts.
  10. All you need is a candle or a flashlight to make a dramatic effect on Halloween – it really doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive. The important thing is to have fun.

Wait, there was homework?

Last week, I asked you to write down some notes and take stock of the things that worry you about the upcoming holiday season. (It’s here by the way!)

I asked you to write down what came to mind when you read the following phrases, here are my notes:

Seasons Greetings...too much, too soon! Why are Christmas decorations up in stores already?

Thanksgiving Harvest...”You reap what you sow.” I feel badly because I have nothing to show for my hard work.

60 Shopping Days left…Shopping? I have no budget for shopping. I guess I will be making gifts again this year.

New Year’s Resolutions...I have this covered! I will set an intention for 2017 and I am excited to come up with my one word. (More on that in Session 2.)

So, what are you doing to have fun and get through the holiday with ease? Don’t say wine! Are you taking care of yourself? Here are a few tips from a mom who has been there and done that! (Yep, even the wine!)

  1. Plan some time to relax. Make it part of the plan to have some down time. It will give you something to look forward to.
  2. Speaking of planning – make a “Must Do” list. Anything that really must be done should be on the list. If you have ideas that you want to do if you have time – don’t put those on the list. They can be bonus ideas.
  3. Don’t forget to ask everyone in the family what they want to do – their priorities might be different than yours. I tried to keep it to one thing per person. I could promise that.
  4. Make it easy on yourself. Don’t commit to doing more than you yourself can do. If you are making chili and cornbread for the school dance – don’t commit to setting up a haunted house for the neighborhood too!
  5. If it is too late by the time you read this for #4 – remember next time – or just take store bought, no one will know.

The last thing I want to share about Halloween is this. If you like to decorate and dress up like I do, don’t make that a condition for your spouse or your best friend to do it with you. Either find a friend who loves it as much as you do and make plans with that person or just dress up for yourself – my biggest issue for so long was getting everyone to enjoy something the way I did. I finally realized it is a lot more fun when I don’t put any expectations on my husband and kids. It’s Halloween – a scary ghost can love a princess – it’s okay. Be yourself. Everyone will love being around you, trust me!

 

Holiday Hullabaloo Week One The Countdown Begins

Posted on October 28th, 2016 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Mindfulness Guidance and Coaching

It’s time to prep for the holidays. Really.

Today is the start of a wonderful, exciting, and fun time of year. Are you excited?

This week, we will explore some of the reasons the holiday season might be stressful and difficult for some of us to manage. During the next six weeks, I will offer tools, resources, and suggestions for making this time of year joyful for you and your family. 

What causes you stress when anticipating this busy time leading up to Thanksgiving, Christmastime, and finally the impeding New Year?

Find what good feels like.For me, it begins with worrying about finances and spending. Will I have enough? Did I make as much as I hoped to this year? Did I make the same mistakes I make year after year?

Every fun and creative idea I have that I would enjoy either for myself or for my family and friends ends up fizzling out and causing me distress because my next though is usually, how will I afford it?

The next thing that stresses me out is time. How will I ever get it all done in time? It seems like there is plenty of time between now and Halloween, and almost another whole month till Thanksgiving. It’s two months till Christmas. Wait! What? Only 63 shopping days until Christmas and Hanukkah? No way! I’m running out of time and I haven’t even gotten started. Why does this always happen to me? It’s not like I didn’t know it was coming.

There are other things to be concerned about, too. My holiday memories are filled with happy visions of my family’s gatherings and festivities. But things have changed and shifted over the years. I’ll be spending the holidays this year with my husband and sons. Now I am at the head of the family and I need to face the emotions that will bring about before I get sad and depressed. I don’t have fond memories of those years I “got through” the holidays and life is too short to just muster through! Life is wonderful and I intend to live every moment of it in an honest and joyful state.

2015-08-30 18.05.49How will I do it? Well, that’s what the Holiday Hullabaloo is all about for me. I get by with a little help from my friends. Together we will remind each other of what is truly important. We will set an intention and make a plan. Together we can handle whatever comes out way. With someone to help us navigate we can get much further much faster and have time and resources to make the most of the end of this year. We are going to have a wonderful, exciting, and fun holiday season!

What are you stressed about? I suggest keeping a journal and make some notes. List whatever comes to mind when you read these words…Season’s Greetings, Thanksgiving Harvest, 60 Shopping Days Left! New Year’s Resolutions…do you cringe? Would you rather not think about it? Don’t dwell on whatever you write down. Just make a note of it. Awareness is the first step with dealing with these things on our Holiday Hullabaloo Journey. Next we will discover ways to keep it all in check.

If you want to have access to the private private discussion group or have a one on one call with me, reply to this message with your request. It’s only $30 for six weeks. Do nothing and you will get just the weekly email. If you would rather not receive emails from me, simply unsubscribe.

I hope you have a lovely week and I look and I look forward to hearing from you.

With love,
Melissa

It’s time to get real with your holiday planning. It’s time to be you.

Sign up for The Holiday Hullabaloo 2016 Session 1 and I will show you how I did it.

Sooky Tinsel Town Tales 3 with @GoJoeMoeGo

Posted on October 26th, 2016 by & filed under #SPARKLE Tinsel Town Tonight Interviews, Everything Miz Meliz

Get yesterday's news tonight! Or mabe tomorrow...Find out more!
I'm always a day late and a dollar short! @LastNightShow with Miz Meliz
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Spooky Tinsel Town Tales 3 with Joe Moe
https://smiletime.com/channel/mizmeliz

Spooky Trix Cereal Sand Paintings for #DiaDeMuertos #BigG @walmart @GeneralMills #sponsored

Posted on October 19th, 2016 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Product Reviews, sponsored

Family and traditions go together, just like treats and Halloween! This year I plan to make some fun Dia de los Muertes crafts and treats to begin a new tradition for my family. (This post is sponsored by General Mills. Please see my disclosure for more information on sponsored and paid posts.)
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Halloween memories fill my mind as I look at my family photos. Gone are the days of making marshmallow cereal treats and candy apples for my kids. Now, my sons have girlfriends who make them candy and cupcakes. I am actually looking forward to the future when hopefully I have a grandchild to share our family’s traditions with. My kids still appreciate a homemade treat from mom now and then.

I am always making things around the holidays. I think that is when it matters most. Some of the best treats I have made used my favorite General Mills kids cereals like Lucky Charms, Trix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Cocoa Puffs. This year, I am going to make sugar skulls (also known as calaveras) and decorate them with colorful Trix and Lucky Charms cereal to make the flowers.
Making marshmallow treats with cereal is easy. Follow your favorite recipe (Here is mine!) and roll the cereal concoction into balls with gloved hands sprayed with non-stick pan spray or rubbed in some vegetable oil or margarine. Shape the balls into a skull shape and flatten on the bottom as you set them on wax paper. Pour melted white chocolate (almond bark) over each skull.
Recipe by Sarah Phillips and Kelly Hong; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2010 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

Recipe by Sarah Phillips and Kelly Hong; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2010 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

I plan to decorate mine with the cereal pieces from Trix or the marshmallows from Lucky Charms to make fun designs. You can get some colored frosting or edible glitter and really get creative. I get all my baking and crafting supplies at Walmart. It’s cool because I can pick up grocery items after I explore the aisles for fun and creative items to use for crafting.

 A calavera [plural:calaveras] (Spanish –pronounced: [kalaˈβeɾa] for “skull”) is a representation of a human skull. The term is most often applied to decorative or edible skulls made (usually by hand) from either sugar (calledAlfeñiques) or clay which are used in the Mexican onservance of the Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) and the Roman Catholic holy day All Souls’ Day. Calavera can also refer to any artistic representations of skulls, such as the lithographs of José Guadalupe Posada. The most widely known calaveras are created with cane sugar and are decorated with items such as colored foil, icing, beads, and feathers.[1]

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Although I am Catholic and Hispanic, I did not grow up with the cultural tradition of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. I have embraced these traditions as an adult. I love to color and draw things and since I work at a middle school, I have been making skull masks and drawings for years. I use them to decorate the office and classroom and I enjoy making them. I also love dressing up for Halloween and I often make up my face as a skull.

Spooky Trix Cereal Sand Paintings

For fun, my son and I used the Trix cereal to make sand paintings… it was super easy and he liked doing it.  He even said, “This is cool, Mom!” (Win for me!!)

Halloween and Dia de los Muertos bring back so many special memories for me! One year, our family won the annual Halloween costume contest at my son’s elementary school when we dressed up as a family of skeletons. When we arrived at the event, we played instruments and processed into the room like clowns. It was fun and so memorable! It was the only year I could get all three of my kids, my husband, my brother, sister-in-law, and niece to dress up. It took hours to do everyone’s makeup! But it was worth it! That’s the Halloween we won the prize – because we went as a family!

We all enjoy putting together our costumes and wearing makeup for Halloween and other occasions. See some of my previous posts where I was made up as The Bride of Frankenstein and other characters. 
Halloween Makeover
Do you have a fun or scary family holiday memory? Please share it in the comments! Let me know if you try the craft – Spooky Trix Cereal Sand Paintings. #DiaDeMuertos #BigG

Miz Meliz Newz Update Oct 2016 #ChooseKindness @thejessiechris @RDCountry @RDCountry

Posted on October 19th, 2016 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Miz Meliz Newz Update

Radio Disney’s Jessie Chris Proudly Supports
Disney’s #ChooseKindness Anti-Bullying Campaign

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Radio Disney Country Artist Jessie Chris announced today she is a proud supporter of Disney’s new national #ChooseKindness Anti-Bullying Campaign.
Jessie, who was the victim of extreme bullying in school herself, has filmed an Anti-Bullying PSA, and is joining several other artists and celebrities hoping to drive awareness to this growing epidemic.

Jessie is currently in the middle of a radio tour for her new single and also visiting schools throughout the country speaking to students about her personal experiences and sharing with students the need to #choosekindness over bullying.
Jessie Chris at 18 years old was the youngest performer at the 2015 CMA Festival and has opened for iconic artist to include Luke Bryan, Chris Young, John Rich and Billy Ray Cyrus and has performed at The Country Music Hall of Fame.  She has also recorded an acoustic version of 98 Degrees hit song “I Do” with 98 Degrees Jeff Timmons and will be back in the studio with Jeff in September 2016 to record a new duet.  Earlier this year she was one of only four people nationwide selected to perform at the William Morris Speakeasy Showcase in Nashville.  
Her first album “Wildfire” was recorded at the Legendary Dark Horse Studios in Nashville and her current single, “In The Meantime” is being played nationwide on country radio to include Radio Disney Country.  Jessie will be releasing her next single “1963 on October 24, 2016.

Growing up Jessie was the victim of extreme bullying and music was always her way of coping with life’s experiences. Besides singing and songwriting, Jessie plays the guitar, piano and dabbles with the banjo. She has received extensive global media coverage and has headlined both an Anti-Bullying Tour and a Walmart Tour. 

Philanthropy is very important to Jessie and she recently visited and performed for the Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC and has been a frequent guest of Ryan Seacrest Studios at Boston Children’s Hospital and other Children’s Hospitals. 

Jessie’s favorite quote is “dreams come a size too big so we can grow into them” and she believes that her dreams are many sizes too big but that just means it will take the continued hard work and passion to get where she wants to be.

The Holiday Hullabaloo Begins October 21st Join Now

Posted on October 18th, 2016 by & filed under Events, Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe, Intentional, Life Coaching, Mindfulness Guidance and Coaching

life-happensThe Holiday Hullabaloo is a group coaching experience which guides you through the hustle and bustle of the holidays with grace, patience, support, and love. 

Join by sending a private message to me on social media or email me at MizMeliz @yahoo .com You will receive an invoice via Paypal for $25. Upon payment you will have full access to the private Facebook Group, weekly one on one sessions with me via phone or Skype, and daily inspirations in your email inbox – for six weeks.

focus wordsHere is what some of the group members said about the Holiday Hullabloo Group last year:

“I love the way you speak. You’re so calm and clear in everything that you say. You listened to every word I had to say and you were very helpful with my situation. I like how you tied in stories of your own to give me examples and tips that would motivate and inspire me.”

“I really appreciated how easy it was for us to schedule a time to talk – you are so great about being flexible with your time. And being able to have sessions over the phone was such a blessing for a busy mother of two! You are a very good listener but also skilled at not letting me ramble on – you knew just when to be quiet and when to speak up to keep me focused, move us forward, or hone in on a point. You have a very good memory and were able to connect dots from our different conversations. I also truly felt you were sincere – when you told me my work was meaningful and valuable, I believed you and it made me stop devaluing what I did and see my work in a new light. Your sincerity and caring is real and is much appreciated!”

“You are very in tune with such a vast variety of people, from all walks of life. You truly care about your friends, and I always feel good after visiting your group:) Definitely a great listener, and you know how to give advice without ever making someone feel bad; you can address the flaws or issues, but keep it positive.”

“I felt the advice you gave and the tips and tricks to handle the stress of the season to be great insight and helpful. I like how you would listen to others approach or ideas and gave your insight on them. I liked that you were open to anyone and wanting to help.”

“I love your voice, it’s very calming…”

“My experience was pretty good! The coaching met my expectations – I want to continue and I will refer you to others because I see some improvement in how I feel.”

IMG_162071844956958Join now and get $5 off, and as a special bonus – refer a friend and get 50% off – that will be $15 each, or $30 for you and your friend can join for free. Join any time within the six week period, however if you join after October 21st – the total is $30 per person.

The Holiday Hullabaloo is a six week coaching experience to help you get through the holidays. I guide you through the stresses, sadness, doubts, and fears that are associated with this time of year. I offer hope, support, understanding, openness, guidance, and acceptance. As a coach and a friend, I can show you how to move through this time of your life with joy and ease.

I teach simple and effective ways to feel happier and more in control of your emotions and how to be accountable for your intentions. I live my life day by day using mindfulness techniques and cognitive behavior therapy practices such as breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, and prayer. More than that, I show you how to experience and practice these things in a simple, effortless way, that anyone can do – and I show you how it can change your life for the better.

See the goodness around you and if thereMembership includes:

  • Access to a members only “Secret” Facebook Group.
  • Daily motivational posts and insights straight to your email box and on Facebook.
  • Weekly live video messages from me with themes for the week.
  • Optional private one on one, weekly 15 minute coaching calls with me via phone or Skype.
  • 50% off membership to future group sessions with me.

A Classic Interview with Keith Hemstreet @GannonAndWyatt

Posted on October 17th, 2016 by & filed under #SPARKLE Tinsel Town Tonight Interviews, Books, Everything Miz Meliz, Travel

Meet author, Keith  Hemstreet and learn about his newest book, Travels with Gannon & Wyatt: Hawaii

 When I was asked to review Travels with Gannon & Wyatt:Hawaii  I thought, Oh cool! I would love to go back to Hawaii someday, it will be fun to review a travel book. I didn’t realize at first that I was being asked to review a young adult/middle school book. Yet, it still sounded interesting to me, and after all it was about Hawaii. So, I read on…

This and previous volumes in the series are written in the style of journals kept by famous explorers – both to engage middle graders in science and to make for a fast, dramatic read about the cultures. The stories set in Botswana, the Great Bear Rainforest, Egypt, Greenland, Ireland and now, Hawaii, share the experience of seeing these special places first-hand. Authors Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet love to talk about why it’s so important for kids to learn about these places and people.

In Travels with Gannon & Wyatt: Hawaii, readers soon learn that the big island Hawaii has four the of five major climate zones on earth; that Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, is both sacred and one of best locations in the world to view stars; and that the island is known as the bird-extinction capitol of world with 70% of its birds now extinct. It also quickly becomes clear how important the history, culture and language is to the Hawaiian people –and how that’s increasingly at risk. Hemstreet called Hawaii, “one of my favorite locations because of the environmental diversity and rich culture.”

He said, “In each book the main characters have an adventure with people from different cultures, who have different beliefs and lifestyles. We’ve also found everywhere we go, the indigenous people are talking about climate change and telling us what is happening in their part of the world. We aren’t looking to take sides, but to convey ‘this is what is happening, this is how the traditional inhabitants of this land feel about it, and this is how these changes may affect things long term.’ We do everything we can to share what we’ve seen and experienced with readers. In addition to the books, we have a website where we blog about our experiences and share our photos and videos. We also utilize social media to share news and run contests that include prizes from places we’ve been.

I was sold. Not only on the book, but on the inspiration of the authors. I wanted to interview Keith and Patti and learn more about what motivates them to use their talent and affinity for learning about cultures to make a difference in the world. I scheduled an interview through their publicist. I received the book, I read the first few pages and I knew – this is something special. Then I got this email from Keith – – my heart sank a bit. I am always disheartened when someone cancels. It took a lot for me to overcome shyness and I know most authors would rather be pulled apart limb by limb by wild horses than be interviewed on a live talk show. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I received this…

“Hi Melissa, First, thank you for inviting me on your show. Unfortunately, I am just back from speaking at schools and libraries in Wyoming and feeling under the weather. In lieu of a video interview tomorrow night, is there another format we could use, possibly an audio interview (if my voice holds) or a guest post/text interview on your blog? In fact, audio and text are my preferred interview formats, so I would be happy to do either or both. Also, should you wish to offer a give-a-way to your audience, I’ll send send you a free set of our middle-grade adventure novels (there are currently 6 in the series).”

These books were a welcomed surprise for the library at Chaminade College Prep Middle School!

These books were a welcomed surprise for the library at Chaminade College Prep Middle School!

It is my goal to connect with people and to learn from them, and there are many ways of doing this. It doesn’t always have to be on Tinsel Town Live – – and what better way, what more inspired and enriching way – could I get the most out of an opportunity to have a guest post from a seasoned author than to have his answers in written form – in his own hand – I believe that was a pure gift.

I received Keith’s response today, the exact date he said he would send them to me. I am over the moon excited about sharing this classic interview with you. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do!

Dear Keith,

Here are some questions I love to ask, and a few from a middle school student pal of mine…

What do you like to be called?

Keith Hemstreet
 
What do you most want to share about yourself with my audience?
I am a Floridan by birth and graduated from Florida State University. I now live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and enjoy hiking into places where you’re more likely to see a bear or mountain lion than another human being. 
 
What motivated you to reach this point in your career?
Since I was young, I wanted to be a writer. Reading and writing are two of my greatest passions. Over the years, I have taken on a variety of jobs that moved me away from full-time writing, but even then I’d wake at 4:30 a.m. and work for 2-3 hours on something  a novella, a newspaper article or blog, a screenplay. It is all I’ve ever wanted to do, but to do it well takes years and years of practice. Same goes for any profession. I have been writing for over 20 years now and I am still learning. Patti Wheeler, who had the brilliant idea to create a travel/adventure series for young readers, was the primary motivator behind Travels with Gannon & Wyatt. Patti and I work hard to make sure each book in the series is action packed, entertaining and educational. Hopefully, these books will be around long after we’re gone, and the idea that they could be provides added motivation to do all we can to ensure each story will be appreciated for decades to come. 
 
What inspires you?
First, my wife and children. A child’s sense of wonder is a tremendous source of inspiration for me. I wake each day inspired to do my best for my family, to create an environment that is loving, supportive, creative. I’m also driven by a desire to do something good for the world while I am here. To contribute. To leave it better off in some way. Travels with Gannon & Wyatt addresses this desire, as each book brings the magic of nature and distant cultures to the imaginations of young people and their families. The series subtly promotes conservation, diversity, and global understanding. We hope readers will embrace these themes and be inspired to continue on their own journey of self discovery.  
 
How do you relate to your characters?
There are parts of Gannon and Wyatt’s personality that are similar to my own. Patti’s, as well. Their interests, on the whole, are also similar. Specifically their fascination with travel, cultures, and the environment. There are few things as thrilling as exploring a place you’ve never been. The characters embody this excitement in the books, and Patti and I can totally relate. Truthfully, the fictional characters are the sort of teenagers I always wanted to be. Curious, smart, and worldly. Avid readers and prolific writers. Both Gannon and Wyatt, and key characters they meet in each location, are also driven to do right and have strong family values. 
 
Are the brothers real?
While all the characters in the book are fictional, the main characters, Gannon and Wyatt, are very loosely based on two brothers of the same names. They are Patti’s twin sons, and have traveled to all of the places we write about in the books. Patti was a flight attendant for 15 years, just like the mom in the book. One of the great perks of working for an airline is that you and your family get to fly for free. So, their family has been traveling for some time. It’s in their blood. 
 
Do you incorporate your own life’s experiences from childhood and from your own travels in your writing?
Yes, we do. We travel to each location to do some research before writing the book. We hope that our extensive field research will add authenticity to our books, and it’s not unusual for some of our own experiences to make it into a manuscript.  Especially if something exciting happens. We do embellish, so again, the stories in the book are fiction, but in some instances they are based on our own experiences. The rhino encounter in our first book, Botswana, was based on a frightening experience we had in the Kalahari Desert. Sorry, I won’t spoil it. 
 
What is the most vivid memory you have of your travels?
Staring into the eyes of a lion in Botswana that was resting ten feet away from me, or watching a glacier calve in Greenland and being horrified by the size of the wave that came racing toward our boat. Entering King Tut’s tomb in Luxor, Egypt, or seeing a Spirit Bear materialize in the Great Bear Rainforest. Crossing paths with crocodiles the size of dinosaurs in the Australian Outback, or our expedition to the top of an active volcano in Iceland, or casually strolling the streets of Havana, Cuba. All of these experiences are etched in my mind forever. And, of course, everywhere we go we meet wonderful people and make new friends. Also, returning home to my wife and daughters, wrapping them all in giant hug, that’s as exciting to me as the trip itself.
 
What is your favorite travel destination to date?
I have truly loved every place I have visited, so it is hard to say. There are three island nations I was especially enamored with and hope to return to with my family — Greenland, Iceland and Cuba.  And having the opportunity to travel through South Africa, Botswana and Zambia was the thrill of a lifetime. Ireland is also hard to beat. Italy, too, because of the people, history, architecture and art, not to mention the country’s food, which is my favorite. I could go on.
twgw-book-set-2
 
Why do you like to write?
Maybe it’s that writing allows me to use my imagination. It gives me the ability to create. With writing, there is a level of freedom and opportunity that is invigorating. Writing is all I ever really wanted to do. While it takes significant time and focus, it’s not really work to me. When I wake up in the morning, I can’t wait to sit down and start writing. 
 
What is your core value? When it comes to your passions and purpose in life?
Compassion. Acting with kindness and compassion in every day life. My wife and I always tell our daughters, the most important thing is to be kind. If you are a kind and caring person, a person who takes a genuine interest in the wellbeing of others, everything else in life will work itself out. 
 
Is there anything else you would like to share with me and my viewers?
Travels with Gannon & Wyatt has been described as a mix between The Hardy Boys and Indiana Jones, or Magic Tree House for slightly older readers. We intend to have a minimum of 12 books in the series, but hopefully we’ll have many more. Patti Wheeler and I speak at elementary and middle schools across the country, via Skype and in person. Teachers and librarians interested in a school or classroom visit can contact us through our website — GannonAndWyatt.com. Also be sure to follow us at Facebook.com/GannonAndWyatt
 
What promotion would you like to tell us about?
We are happy to give away a complete set of autographed Travels with Gannon & Wyatt books (there are currently 6 in the series) to one of your readers. You decide how to choose a winner, and we’ll ship a set of books to them.  [See details below on how you can win!]
 

These questions are from my friend and fellow blogger, Samantha, who is in the 7th grade:

What made you come up with the idea for Travels with Gannon & Wyatt?
Coauthor Patti Wheeler was a flight attendant for 15 years, so she and her husband traveled the world. When you travel, you learn lots of great things about the culture, environment, and wildlife of these places and Patti wanted to come up with a way to pass on all of that valuable knowledge to young people like yourself. So she and I started brainstorming and decided that a fictional adventure series would be the best way to do it.  
 
Is your book series about your own life?
No, although some scenes are inspired by our own experiences. We try to use a lot of what we see, learn and do while traveling in each book. 
 
What makes you use realistic places in your story rather than fictional places?
There are so many places on earth that are simply magical, as magical as any place of fantasy, if not more so. We want to bring the magic of these real places to young readers. There is a great big and wonderful world out there! We are fascinated by it and hope to capture a little bit of it in each book. 
Why did you put a page for notes in the back?
The stories are told through the journal entries of the main characters, Gannon and Wyatt. In part, this was done as a nod to the historic journals of famous explorers from the 1800s and 1900s. Explorers like Lewis & Clark. It was also done to encourage young people to keep a journal of their own. The lined pages in the back are for readers to write their thoughts or jot notes. When we speak at schools, we talk about the importance of reading and writing. The more you read and write, the deeper your understanding of the world, and the deeper you understanding of yourself. 

I can’t thank Keith enough for this fabulous insight into his and Patti’s process and for sharing his passion for travel and writing with me, Samantha, and our readers. I still hope to interview Keith and Patti on Tinsel Town Live – or perhaps, I will have a chance to meet them at school one day.

Connect with authors Keith Hemstreet and Patti Wheeler Here:

gannonandwyatt.com

facebook.com/GannonAndWyatt

youthexplorationsociety.org

Please comment with any questions you may have for the authors, or myself. Please share any story of your own travels and adventures with us! We would love to hear from you.

Keith and Patti would like to send you a gift! A winner will be chosen randomly from those who Tweet the message below between now and Tuesday, November 15th and will be announced live on Tinsel Town Live with Miz Meliz on Smiletime.

What to Expect on MizMeliz.com and Tinsel Town Live this Fall @Tenminitt

Posted on October 12th, 2016 by & filed under Discoveries, Everything Miz Meliz, Miz Meliz Newz Update

Fall and Winter always gets me in the mood for writing and reading, making crafts and gifts, and of course – celebrating with friends and family. I do all of these things here on MizMeliz.com!

It is Time to SMILE!

I have been waiting for a platform that would easily blend my love of interviewing and socializing via live stream video with the ability to connect directly with my community on Facebook. I have my wish! It’s called Smiletime and it’s awesome!

smiletime-metadata-thumb

If you would like to be on my show – Tinsel Town LIVE with Miz Meliz, just complete this form and we can talk! https://goo.gl/forms/a7droCwSwuvNvHLd2

To watch live episodes on my very own channel on Smiletime - go here: https://smiletime.com/channel/mizmeliz

To watch live episodes on my very own channel on Smiletime – go here: https://smiletime.com/channel/mizmeliz

Also, you can simply view my videos on Facebook in my feed – –  https://www.facebook.com/MizMelizLA

Here is an Overview of What to Expect on MizMeliz.com this Fall:

Books, Reviews, and Interviews

I will be reading quite a few books in the coming months and I am doing my best to schedule interviews with editors, authors and illustrators. I think it is fascinating that anyone can take their passion or expertise and make it into a book that can open up worlds of possibility for other people. They may never know first hand the impact their book will make on people far and wide and for generations to come. That’s the true power of influence! I’ll be diving into the worlds of Children’s Books, Children’s Technology and Learning, Parenting, Self-Care, Business, Health and Wellness, and Art and Creativity. Whew, that’s a lot! But you know what? These are all of my interests and it’s my blog. LOL! Seriously, if you would like to go on this journey with me, I am happy to share my discoveries!

Children’s Books

  • I am excited for my next interview with Bible Stories Through the Ages Children’s Book Series author, Jann Martin on Tinsel Town Live. On Tuesday, October 18th, I will have Jann as my special guest. Jann is in the group, Writer’s Chat on Facebook. I am looking forward to talking to her about her books and what it is like to publish children’s books. Hopefully, she will read a page or two! Jann just got through her first hurricane watch, and I am glad she is okay. Meet Jann on Tinsel Town!
  • Sally Loves…™ is a popular children’s book series by author and illustrator, Jody Mackey. I hope to talk to Jody about how Sally may have inherited much of her adventurous personality from Mackey herself— as she loves to compete in sports and other activities. She is a woman of many talents such as an Ironman triathlete, a runner, a cyclist, an equestrian and even a golfer. Sports have enriched her life, and so it seems only natural for her to share her experiences and inspire young children to be active through her books.415hpx3tg9l-_ac_ul320_sr250320_

Debut children’s book author Kat Kronenberg says, “it’s important that children feel empowered, and it’s up to us to let them know we support them not matter how big their dreams are.”

  • Kat knows how easy it can be to get bogged down by negativity when pursuing a dream. That’s why she is helping young children realize their dreams through songs, activities, games, and a new book aptly titled Dream Big. I love that phrase and use it often! So, of course I am excited about reading it. It will be fun to see what Kat shares with us on Tinsel Town Live!

Children’s Technology and Learning

  • Studies from The Joan Ganz Cooney Center show that high-quality, educational content delivered through mobile devices has the potential to increase a child’s ability to learn. PlayKids Learn’s UX/UI (a new app) was designed in collaboration with The Joan Ganz Center experts to optimize this learning potential.

Through content that includes Disney Imagicademy games and activities, kids can learn how to draw Mickey Mouse, Olaf, and more through guided tutorials or watch videos with iconic characters like Snow White and Hercules that help guide and teach young ones about the importance of exercise, the magic of creativity, how to make a good bedtime routine, and more. I am working closely with the publicist for this app, I will review it and interview the creators live on Tinsel Town!

Disney's legacy of learning and enriching the lives of families around the world continues with this app.

Disney’s legacy of learning and enriching the lives of families around the world continues with the PlayKids app.

“PlayKids intends to be a learning space and with relevant content like ImagiCademy on board, it helps us to drive this educational experience with quality and safety,” explained Eduardo Henrique, Head of Global Expansion at PlayKids. “Parents know they can turn to us for a safe, educational and entertaining place to laugh, play and learn with their kids.”

  • The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is on a mission to encourage girls around the world to join the tech workforce. We will discuss this topic on an upcoming episode of Tinsel Town because I strongly believe that young people would be encouraged to do what they are passionate about. Why are we all going back to our childhood dreams to fill our bucket lists with things undone? Let’s empower our children to reach for the stars and dream big, now.

Please watch this inspiring video:

Parenting

  • I will be receiving Patty Wipfler‘s LISTEN: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges soon. I am interested in talking to Patty about Hand in Hand Parenting and get her advice on parenting and communicating with teens.
  • Another book on my list is Raising Kids with Accountability by the bestselling father/daughter duo, John Miller & Kristin Lindeen! Their newest book is coming out in late October and I am crossing my fingers that I will get to interview them together! What an amazing experience it must be to write a parenting book with your own father. It almost brings tears to my eyes. I wish my parents knew that I published a book and I wish I had spent more time listening to their advice when I had the chance. Our parents are the only source of inspiration for parenting our own children – good or bad, we learn from them and their experiences. It will be very interesting to discuss this with the authors.

Self Care/Relationships

  • In “My Personal History: My Story,” author Janice Costello entrances readers with the story of how she became her best self. From love to death to rebirth, Costello is able to encourage readers to make the effort to change and embrace the person who is underneath it all. Costello believes in striving toward a greater goal and enjoying the accomplishments that follow. “My Personal History: My Story” holds the memories and journeys of Costello’s life, including the good and bad times. I can relate having gone through a similar journey in my own life. I am interested in reading this book and sharing stories with Janice. Bring some tissue to that episode!
  • Grief is something we all experience at some point in life. Anna Oginsky reminds readers with her new book “My New Friend, Grief” that embracing grief is not only part of life, but it makes us stronger and more appreciative of what we have. This is another subject that is close to my heart having lost both of my parents, my sister, and three of my best friends in a matter of a few years. I have written about grief myself on this blog and in my own book, This is the Sound of My Soul. It will be a bittersweet experience to revisit this topic as we discuss her new book when I have the opportunity to interview Anna. Since dying and death is a part of life, it is important – and I can’t stress this enough – to not only endure but to embrace it. We need to talk about it and prepare ourselves in terms of living each moment with integrity, grace, and love. It is okay to be friends with grief, everyone who has lost a loved one knows that grief is a familiar and often misunderstood “friend.” Those are the kind we should try and get to know better, right?
  • Another heart-wrenching topic is uncovered by Charlotte Canion, author of “You Have To Laugh To Keep From Crying:  How To Parent Your Parents.”  Charlotte joined the Hospice Plus Seniors and Caregivers Expo in Decatur, Texas recently. Multifaceted author and authority on the timely subject, she is preselling her new book at the event.

“We have to love our parents enough to find a way to care for them that is respectful to all of our needs,” said Canion.  “Being able to smile and to see the big picture is one important part of the story.  It’s my pleasure to share my own experience parenting my parents in my new book in the hopes that it helps bring strength to as many families as possible who are facing these challenges.”

When I interview Ms. Canion, I will ask her how her own strength helped her to come up with the solutions she presents in the book. I expect her to share how her inspiration came largely from things she learned from her own family and her Christian faith experiences.  For more information be sure to visit http://www.basketjacket. com/.

  • We may still be weeks away from the holidays, but it’s never too early to start to feel the stress from this “most wonderful time of the year.” In fact, 45 percent of Americans would prefer to skip Christmas (via Think Finance) all together and nearly 1 in 4 people feel extreme stress leading up to the holidays. So often we focus and obsess over giving the perfect gift, playing the perfect host, or making the most perfect holiday dinner – things we believe will make us happy. We reflect and dwell on resentments and on the people and things that frustrated or angered us during the year. We are often consumed by pettiness and completely miss that a new year lies ahead of us. We view ourselves as the center of the universe – referred to as perception disorder – and unfortunately, this is normal human nature for many of us. We all need guidance to develop the tools to appreciate our gifts this holiday season.

I will be hosting a support group on this very topic called, “The Holiday Hullabaloo” for the 2nd year in a row. People need a place to vent and ask questions. Is it normal to hate the holidays? Why can’t I “get into it”?

I am excited about the opportunity to discuss this with Charles G. Hanna, the highly successful CEO, philanthropist and author of the new book, Higher: Awaken to a More Fulfilling Life. Through his firsthand experience and his understanding of human nature, neuroscience, and life management, Charles, for the first time, is revealing his practical and achievable techniques, tips and tools so that everyone can apply the “higher” way and find holiday cheer this year. You will want to see this interview as we dive into the topics that may very well shape the focus of the group this year!

Some of the topics I hope to discuss with Charles include:

  • Tips to get a head start and not let the stress of the holidays creep up on you this year   
  • Perception Disorder: What it is and signs you may be suffering from it this holiday season
  • Reaching a Higher State: What this means, and his top techniques that anyone can apply to get there
  • Why he believes happiness is a way of thinking and not the result of great achievement

What about love?

  • I will be interviewing the incredible Mr. Drew Waters (director) about his new film, New Life – it’s about love! Of course, I will ask Drew about his writing and directing process and how it relates to his acting experience. A main topic will be about his feelings about making “good” films with “relatable” characters. I’ve heard that the film NEW LIFE is actually promoting life in Africa and it’s helping support an orphans’ program. We will discuss Drew’s passion and purpose as his story unfolds…

After service in the U.S. Navy, Drew Waters became well known for his three seasons on the Emmy­ winning series Friday Night Lights. His nearly 60 professional credits include NBC’s Surface, Chase and Victorious, AMC’s Breaking Bad and Major Crimes. Film credits include MAD MONEY, HOME RUN and the critically acclaimed PARKLAND with Paul Giamatti and Marcia Gay Harden. Starring roles include BREAKING THE PRESS, THE REDEMPTION OF HENRY MYERS and THE ULTIMATE LIFE. Drew produced and starred in the films HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT and CHARLIE: A TOY STORY. As producer, his projects include A Tale of 2 Soldiers and Art Junkies, a reality series he also directed for the BBC. Drew co-­founded Argentum Entertainment with Erin Bethea.

Drew’s latest venture is the film, New Life. NEW LIFE (Nouvelle Vie) is a film about hope. Benjamin Morton’s life changed forever the day he met the little girl next door.  Ava was and always would be the girl of his dreams. From the innocence of a childhood friendship, through adolescent attraction, their love strengthens and grows. When life takes a turn neither of them expected, their entire future is called into question.  NEW LIFE explores the ups and downs of life and love, showing us that in good times and bad, life can be approached with hope and the opportunity for something new.

newlifeposter1copy

Business

  • As we approach 2017, new business trends are quickly taking shape—including globalization. No company set on growth in the New Year can afford to ignore our increasingly borderless world of business. According to globalization and language expert Anna Schlegel, any business can go global, but they won’t all succeed. Now, she has mastered the science of globalization and is revealing the ultimate model for true international success.

“For a company to be truly global, there has to be a globalization master plan, thoroughly mapped out and followed like any other discipline,” says Schlegel, author of Truly Global. “You can’t wing it. The more you understand what globalization is, the more you will see how it can help your company grow and make real money.”

unnamedWhen I interview Anna Schlegel, we will discuss the essence of globalization: what it is, how to achieve it, and how it will establish significant ROI – this is something all people need to understand.  Globalization affects everyone. I am also interested in what Anna has determined to be a global content strategy that will help companies localize to any number of markers and locations. Since I have so many friends with small businesses and startups, I will ask Schlegel what they can do to prepare for international success! 

Health and Wellness

  • FitFluential is the leading multinational network of highly influential fitness, health,  and wellness enthusiasts sharing their journey both online and offline through multiple social media platforms. Founded in 2011, FitFluential connects health and wellness brands with their ideal target market through customized, long-term experiential and contextual social media marketing campaigns. FitFluential currently has over 5,000 Ambassadors. Connect with FitFluential on @FitFluential, Facebook.com/FitFluential, Pinterest.com/FitFluential, and Instagram.com/FitFluential.

 FitFluential has launched the FitFluential Radio Podcast.  The Podcast will feature an interview format with thought leaders and health, wellness and fitness industry experts daily. Guests for Podcast include: Dave Asprey,  Gary Vaynerchuk , Dr. Amy Meyers,  Robb Wolf,  Sarah Fragoso,  Fred Devito, Todd Durkin,   Josh Henkin,   Valerie Waters,  Heidi Powell,  John Berardi,  Dr. Dominick D’Agostino, and Teresa Tapp.79ipe1gg1lsluktmz09r_400x400

“We saw a strong need in the health & wellness space to deconstruct and demystify overly complex and confusing topics and that is the focus of the podcast.” according to Co-Host and Founder of FitFluential Kelly Olexa.  “With each episode, listeners will walk away with actionable tips in information that they can apply to their everyday lifestyle.”

Olexa is joined on the Podcast by health & wellness industry leader Kevin Cottrell, Co-Founder of Paleo f(x)™.  Cottrell, is a seasoned start up executive originally from Silicon Valley, and brings extensive health & wellness experience and contacts. The podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud.  http://bit.ly/fitfluentialradio

I love me some podcasters! I think it will be a blast to interview Kelly and Kevin on Tinsel Town Live, don’t you think? I know lots of bloggers who have done campaigns for Fitfluential and I can’t wait to find out all about it.

Art/Creativity

  • I can’t plan the next few months without including my passion for art – and I am going to have the best and most interesting friends join me in discussions on a weekly basis! I have invited Cindy Harrison to be my co-host on a variety of shows. We will have some fun with “Tinsel Town Game Night!” and a Sing-a-long Musical Throw Down! Some of our guests will include, Alexia Anastasio, Claudia Santiago, Shawn Diddy, and more.
  • And if you want to see artwork in action or even dive in yourself – don’t miss Paint with Heart, most Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Eastern / 12 Noon Pacific on Zoom.us.

Schedule

Keep an eye on the Events tab on MizMeliz.com for dates and times of all the interviews and reviews coming up this Fall and Winter! Be sure to enter Tinsel Town Tuesday on your calendar right now – it’s every Tuesday at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on Facebook.com/MizMelizLA and Smiletime.com/channel/mizmeliz !

Save $100 on family-friendly Hawaii vacations with Pleasant Holidays – USFG’s new travel partner!

Posted on October 9th, 2016 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Travel

Save $100 on family-friendly Hawaii vacations with Pleasant Holidays – USFG’s new travel partner!

I am so excited! I just learned that US Family Guide has partnered with Pleasant Holidays, a leading provider of package vacations. They’re based in the U.S. and have great deals on family vacations worldwide – Hawaii, contiguous United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Europe, Tahiti, Fiji and more. They can also book complete cruise vacations with airfare, on-board accommodations, and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays for vacations where everyone can relax and enjoy.

pleasant-holidays-travelmap1-comPleasant Holidays is new to US Family Guide, but has been partnering with hotels and resorts for more than 55 years to get great offers you cannot book anywhere else. When you’re planning to explore close to home or farther away, make them your one-stop-shop for everything you need: flights, accommodations, car rentals, ground transfers, exciting activities and tours, and travel protection coverage to protect your travel investment (because if parenthood has taught us one thing, it’s to expect the unexpected). And unlike some other online travel providers, they have in-destination customer assistance should you need it.

They’ve currently got a great deal on Hawaii vacations that saves you $100 per booking. Select from 26 hotels and resorts on the four most popular islands: Oahu, Maui, Kauai and island of Hawaii. Explore the exciting sights of Oahu, including world-famous Waikiki Beach and historic Pearl Harbor. Watch the sun rise from the slopes of a dormant volcano on Maui. Snorkel, hike, kayak, surf, experience Polynesian culture and more. This deal is valid on new vacations booked by 10/30/16 for select travel through 6/30/17 that include round-trip airfare from the continental United States and a stay of five nights or longer at a participating hotel or resort. The $100 savings is per booking and taken at time of booking – no waiting! For more information or reservations visit www.PleasantHolidays.com, call 1-800-837-5154 or contact your travel agent.

Be sure to keep an eye on MizMeliz.com. I’ll be sharing more great deals for memorable family vacations from Pleasant Holidays soon!

Interview with Laura Gehl Author of Peep and Egg @Tenminitt @sraab18 @MacKidsBooks

Posted on October 5th, 2016 by & filed under #SPARKLE Tinsel Town Tonight Interviews, Books, Everything Miz Meliz, Interview, See the Video on YouTube, Tinsel Town Live 2016

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October 5, 2016

Interview with Laura Gehl, Children’s book author

interview-with-laura-gehl-children-s-book-author_thumbnail.jpgI thoroughly enjoyed getting to chat with author, Laura Gehl! She is a super star children’s book creator and author of One Big Pair of Underwear, Peep and Egg – I’m Not Hatching, Peep and Egg – I’m Not Trick-or-Treating, among others. In this episode of Tinsel Town Live, we talk about the book, Laura’s motivation behind it and what could happen next once Egg learns to get over her fears and enjoy trick-or-treating. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did! Please comment with any questions you may have for Laura Gehl.

lauragehlbooksPeep and Egg – I’m Not Trick-or-Treating is available to purchase at Target Stores, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other retailers. Visit Laura’s website for more information: LauraGehl.com

Get the behind the scenes story of Egg in my interview with Laura Gehl on Tinsel Town Live

Get the behind the scenes story of Peep and Egg in my interview with Laura Gehl on Tinsel Town Live

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