I Love My LIfe

This is My (deep breath) Audacious Project for 2016 #Create #100Mandalas @redbubble

Posted on February 18th, 2016 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe, Intentional, Passions

Okay, (deep breath) I would like to debut my mandala artwork available for sale on various products on Red Bubble. This is huge for me because I never shared my drawings with anyone publicly until this year. I started a 100 Mandala Project and I am holding myself accountable by telling others and making it a community endeavor. (I tried this last year and I stopped after four drawings!)

mandalaSo far, in just the past four weeks since I started drawing my own designs I have completed dozens.  I have tapped into my creativity in a big way and the Mandala Project has spread! I have been asked to introduce drawing and coloring mandalas at the school where I work and with the homeless at the recuperative care center where my brother works. I want to show how drawing and coloring is a good way to reduce stress and can be a very powerful spiritual experience.

Recently, I overheard a student telling another girl that she feels so good when she finishes coloring one. It made my day! I want to propose making a community mandala -combining the work of my students into one big mandala and transfer the design to a mural that I will paint on a wall at the school.

Why the deep breath? Because this is one of those projects that is taking off as fast as I can tell you about it! It wasn’t planned or thought out other than in my dreams. And now, I can weave the project into everything I do and it all makes sense to me.

http://www.redbubble.com/people/mizmeliz?ref=artist_title_name

Here is a checklist of places I intend to share my story:

  • Tinsel Town Tonight
  • My Facebook Profile Page MizMelizLA (check, all the time!)
  • My Facebook Fan Page Tinsel Town
  • Facebook Groups
    • SoCal Lady Bloggers
    • BlabNation
    • Women of Midlife
  • Twitter
  • Twitter Cards (Thanks Jen Lenher! Learn How to Rock Twitter!)
  • SnapChat (check, but more to come!)
  • Instagram (of course! check!)
  • Live Streams
  • Pinterest (Yep, check it out!)
  • My website MizMeliz.com (check, but maybe weekly?)
  • Trainer.ly courses (This is where you sign up, only $10 per session)
  • Zoom Sessions
  • The school where I work (check, and double check!)
  • Hope of the Valley and other homeless shelters and children’s groups like Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Community classes – maybe the library, parks and recs, community college. (Jeeze! That’s maybe more than I can do now – but I’ll keep it in sight.)

I think that’s a good start!!

My goal is to see my Blabber, Snapper, and Blogger Friends showing off their own colorful Miz Meliz Mandala Mugs!!

Oh My GOSH! I almost forgot!

I want to start sending emails with new artwork and information on how to work with me.

Please SIGN UP to be on My Mailing List – I promise I will use this only as a direct line from me to you!

 

Let me know if you have any other ideas for ways I can share my artwork and story.

Thank YOU for making my life Sparkle!

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Joyful Heart Whisper and Feeling Fabulous! @SuzieCheel

Posted on September 26th, 2015 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

I am Feeling Fabulous today.

Love the World and Yourself In It.

I feel a change in the atmosphere.

As the wind blows, new ideas float by.

I want to reach out and grab one.

Is there something new on the horizon just waiting for me to reach it?

How will I know if I don’t try and see if it suits me?

This excites me.

Am I being distracted? or perhaps, disrupted?

Head asks questions.

Heart says, just go!

Heart confirms.

People react.

Heart smiles.

What if everything goes right?

I smile.

MELISSA REYES (1)

Meeting Suzie Cheel online on Blab was such a treat! I have “known” her and “followed” her for many years on Facebook and Twitter. I have always been enchanted by her and admired her for many reasons. But I never really “met” her. You know how it is.

One day, I was on Blab and I saw her. The Real Suzie Cheel! I typed in the chat, “Hi Suzie! Wow! It’s Suzie Cheel! Suzie Cheel!” For me at that moment, it was like seeing a Rock Legend. Why? Because up until that moment, I had not seen any of the bloggers or life coaches or empaths that I knew and loved in the live streaming space. I was feeling lonely and a little out of place. Yet, there she was. Someone I knew and trusted. Someone who I knew had experienced some of the awakening that I have experienced. She was someone who could light the way for me and countless others in the realm of acceptance and love.

And she did.

Suzie embraced me like a lost sheep. She took me in and welcomed me. She was thrilled to have a “super fan” at Blab who could show her how things worked. She was enthusiastic about having a platform to share her interests and to help people. She asked me to help her. Me. (Insert huge heart smile here!)

And I did.

I have co-hosted a few Blabs with Suzie. One was quite remarkable for me. She did an oracle card reading for me (my first ever, actually) and it was the catalyst for substantial change. And then it happened again, the following week. The first card is pictured above. It indicated a change in direction. I had been concerned about a relationship I had lost and wondered if I should press to see if I could repair it. After the card reading and sharing with Suzie, I felt comfortable in letting it go. And that was a good move for me. I was able to change direction. Next, I was open to new things. I saw an opportunity and I grabbed it. This gave me new confidence. Things have been so great for me ever since!

The next time Suzie read a card for me, I was concerned about a situation I was in. I asked if I could trust myself. I needed to know if I should redirect my reliance on someone who I was not sure had the best intentions. Suzie pulled a card that she had never pulled before and seemed rather distraught about it. Basically it was a warning and was very timely indeed! I made my decision and it was the best ever! Since then I was blessed with a wish that I had years ago that has changed my life in a huge way. I am more at peace and back in a groove of safety and love. I am spiritually whole. It feels really good.

My heart knew in an instant when I saw her that day on Blab that Suzie was my Rock Star! Her Heart Whispers guided me to a beautiful place of self reliance and joy.

 

Let Go of Negativity and Move On

Posted on August 20th, 2015 by & filed under Discoveries, Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe, Intentional

This is a re-post, originally published on April 18, 2014

I am in Love! I Love My Life! It isn’t always easy. It’s a choice.

The past has no power over the present moment.Acceptance

I first saved the quotes in this post and started writing it in October 2013. I saved it in a draft file. The topic came up again recently and caused me to revisit it. As I began to write this, the thoughts and ideas sounded familiar to me. When I found the quotes stored in my draft files, I was not surprised that I have had this in the back of my mind. It is an integral part of my message, my core beliefs. This is about Falling in Love with Acceptance and Letting Go of Negativity:

“Always fall in love with what you are asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever’s going. Not against: with.” ~Robert Frost

Are you happy? Can you be happy and negative at the same time? I think perhaps some people can. For some, it makes them happy and satisfied to express their opinion openly. It may be the way they choose to live and be. Maybe they don’t want to be stifled. So, I accept that there is a place for what can be perceived as negativity. My eyes have been opened to the fact that saying negative things and having strong opinions either for or against issues does not mean a person is negative or even unhappy. Everyone is free to say what they want to say and feel how they want to feel. That is a part of acceptance.

Is not sharing outwardly your strong negative feelings about things a sign of weakness, or strength? I come from a place of depression and anxiety. I work hard to choose happiness and joy on a daily basis. I have suffered loss in my life. I have overcome major obstacles in my relationships. I have survived tragedy and serious health issues. I have experienced racism, sexism, ageism, and I have been challenged for my religious beliefs. I have been discriminated against for being overweight. I have been called a hypocrite for supporting gay friends. I don’t always fit in. I don’t always agree with the status quo.

What you believe in your heart and what you stand for comes through your actions more so than your words. Anyone can say they believe in something, and you can agree with them. When you choose to make it a core belief, you don’t have to talk about it. You live it. You model the behavior. You walk the talk.

Staying in Control

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change, rather than allowing it to master you.~Sri Ram

I choose to believe in hope and I practice unconditional love. Does this make me seem weak and without opinion or position to others who do not know my personal history? It’s something to think about next time you judge someone for what they don’t say. They might be biting their lip and making a strong choice to remain positive.

I have been told that statements I make seem passive aggressive at times. When statements are taken out of context, or perceived by someone other than the intended audience, without background or history – I can see how my statements could be understood to be passive aggressive. It is all in the interpretation of the reader.

I am often so conscientious as to not offend anyone when making a statement, that my carefully chosen wording ends up sounding passive aggressive. I also have a wicked sense of humor that does not come across the written word (unless you know me well.) As a writer, expressing oneself is a learned skill. The bottom line is, I am an honest person. I am careful not to hurt feelings. I prefer not to confront others. I usually let things go. If I decide that I need to say something to someone, I will confront them honestly and privately.

“Passive-aggressive means that a person finds ways to express himself indirectly so that he doesn’t have to admit how he really feels or thinks. Typically, the term is associated with feelings of bottled up anger, but more broadly, it refers to being untruthful about any emotion or desire (passivity) and retaliating against the frustrations arising from being unable to be honest (aggression). Professionals think that, for the most part, acting this way is a coping mechanism that an individual learns over time. With a lack of honesty potentially leading to problems such as relationship conflicts and insecurity, it is usually to a person’s benefit to try to stop the behavior in some way, such as by practicing “I” language.” ~WiseGeek.org

I respect others and their opinions. I don’t often find it necessary to share my own opinions outwardly or publicly. If you want to know what I am about, you can ask me, read my blog or my book. I am open and happy to share my feelings and ideas with you. I accept you for who you are.  Honestly.

2013-02-01 18.20.00

Let it Go

Thinking about this reminded me of an app that I was asked to review some time ago. I liked the idea of it, but the app itself didn’t do anything for me personally, so I didn’t review it at the time. I kept it in the draft folder in case I wanted to refer to it – knowing the concept brought up emotions that I wanted to address eventually. (I know that after you read this you will have the song, “Let it Go” in your head, like I do right now. It’s okay. It’s a great song!)

Nate Stein is a 24 year old musician/entrepreneur living in Santa Cruz, CA.  He created a self-help app that he considers to be great for healing.  It started after a break up he had when he was having trouble letting his negative thoughts go.  He said, “There should be an app for this.”  He had never made a mobile app before but after a lot of research and some help from a friend, he created Let It Go.  Here is how he describes the FREE self-help app…

Let It Go allows you to deal with your problems in a unique way. Write down anything that’s bothering you and Let It Go will release the negative thought for you! The releasing process is completely random for each thought and takes between 1 and 72 hours. Live freely and Let It Go! (Disclosure)

“I want people to benefit from my app and utilize it as a helpful tool.  I would love for more people to be aware of the app and most importantly the process of letting something go.” ~Nate Stein

Stand Up For Your Rights

Yeah, but what about standing up for yourself? How about defending yourself and others? What about making a difference? What about fighting the good fight?

letting go

We are called to fight the good fight. It’s our duty to help others. We wouldn’t stand by and let someone get picked on by a bully or watch someone being demeaned in our presence. Sometimes we must speak up. I will speak up and express my concerns when it matters to me or someone I love. There are some things that are unacceptable.

“But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

I have been inspired by Maya Angelou who does not accept racist remarks or jokes that put others down in her presence. She says, “Not in my house.” And She has actually asked people to leave her home when they crossed the line. I have never gone that far, but I will walk away from a conversation or change the subject if I don’t feel it is appropriate for me. There are some things I will not tolerate in my presence. I don’t always feel up to a confrontation and I am passive in the sense that I don’t feel like I need to correct other people publicly. I am clear about my convictions and I ask that others respect my beliefs.

It Takes Courage To Defend Your Convictions

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~Winston Churchill

Standing up for what you believe in is one of the most important skills you’ll need in life. People in life will always try to knock you down, but as long as you get back up, you’re showing them that you can stand for what you believe in.

I realize that many people agree with the idea of standing up for what they believe in and some call the process, “speaking from their soapbox.”  They want to right the wrongs of society. They want to explain to everyone the correct way of doing things or at least offer their opinion. I think this can be an effective way of getting one’s point across. I have a sopabox I suppose, in my blog. Social media is a sea of soapboxes. Everyone is shouting out what they stand for. Some people flock to listen. Some voices carry loudly far and wide. Some voices float around like a soft whisper.

I have been considering what it takes to be a person of action. I have been told that I am one who “gets things done.” I believe that one person can change the world. I believe that together, we can make a difference. Other than talking about it or even writing about it, what can I do to stand up for my beliefs? I was going to make a list. I Googled it and found a great example:

Here are some Steps from Wiki How:

  1. Believe in Yourself. The first step to getting anyone to believe in you is believing in yourself. Do not let yourself think negatively. If you want to stand up for a good cause, you need to believe that you can make a difference. The ones who don’t make differences are the ones who don’t think they can. Know what you are capable of. Never have doubts in yourself. You are capable of anything as long as you believe you can do it. Don’t listen to others put you down. The only reason why people say that you can’t do something is because they don’t think that they themselves could do it. Prove them wrong. Don’t cave in to their insults, and stand up for what you believe in.
  2. Write it out. Often times, a letter is required to fully get your point across. As an example, if you believe something in the school system should be changed, you will need to contact the principal. Make sure that your letter is persuasive. Make sure you clearly state what you believe in. Add persuasive points, and offer help to complete the task. Seem dignified. Use clever phrasing of words. Show them that you are intelligent, and that you understand what you’re talking about.
  3.  Know what you believe in. Many people don’t realize that they don’t actually know what they believe in. Think it through- Am I doing this because it’s for a good cause? Am I doing this because of a trend? Will I probably still think this way in a few months?
  4. Are you being seduced by someone else’s plight? Do you really think this way? You may actually lie to yourself just so that you believe you are doing it for the right reasons. Only you can determine if you really believe in something, not a trend.
  5. Follow through. Don’t start a petition, and then never hand it in. In order for people to really believe you are serious, you need to show them that you are dedicated. Leave no loose ends. Plan out any presentations, respond to arguments, and don’t waste people’s time. Why would you get everyone worked up about a show if you don’t even have it planned? Don’t get in an in depth conversation with someone discussing your thoughts just to no longer believe in what you did a few weeks later. Remember, you need to finish what you started.
  6. Get help if needed. Some jobs are just too large to accomplish on your own. Inform friends and family about what you’re doing, and tell them to tell others. Another way of doing this is starting a petition. Make sure that what you’re doing is actually for a good cause.

Important Reminders:

  • When you’re talking to a person don’t raise your voice UNLESS you MUST. Get help if needed.
  • Writing a letter or starting a petition greatly improves your chances of people believing in you.
  • Follow through with what you want, or you might as well be wasting everyone’s time.
  • Don’t get too excited. Sometimes, things may not go as planned.
  • Avoid getting into fights with people just because they may believe differently than you.
  • It’s okay to keep your feelings to yourself. Choose your battles wisely.

Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Stand-Up-for-Something-You-Believe-In

Think of positive ways to express your beliefs. Remember, if you can’t say something nice – sometimes it is better to not say anything at all. Choose your words carefully. As Miguel Ruiz says in his book, The Four Agreements, “Be impeccable with your word.”

It is my core value to model positivity and unconditional love. What is your core value? How can you change the world and make a difference by practicing what you believe in a passive way? What do you think?

 

What do Guys Want?

Posted on March 5th, 2015 by & filed under Affiliate Links, Discoveries, Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

I am a People Pleaser. I want to Be Good at What I do.

So, I found out some interesting statistics about my blog readers. I was surprised (at first) to find out that more than half of the folks who stop by and check out my blog are men 25-45. I thought it must be because I put “Super Bowl” in the title of a recent post. But, then I looked at my Twitter and Instagram following, and I realized that I had actually reached a goal that I set a while back to even out the demographics of my online community. Up until then I had mainly corresponded with other female bloggers and life coaches. I have been writing things that would be interesting to – let’s face it – people like me. Yet, I had spent quite a bit of time of late engaging with and making connections with people in all fields and walks of life. So, it is time to find out…what do guys like to read? What do men want…from a blog?

I asked the men I trust most, the gentlemen in my life, to answer that question on Facebook recently. I got answers from my husband, brother, nephews, cousins, a close friend I have known since high school, my son’s godfather, my friend’s boyfriend.  I was quite pleased with the insights they shared. They were all very forthcoming. I got a little too much information even! But I can’t thank them all enough for helping me out and for their honesty and expert opinions. You can expect to see more of these types of articles on Miz Meliz. Because as a reflection of me, I am about all people. I am interested in you. I want to share what you like.

What do guys like, the results:

  • Sports, photography, Disney. I like tutorials and advice columns.
globetrotters and generals

I like going to and writing about sporting events

 

  • Motorsports (especially F1 and MotoGP), automobiles, gadgets, and RC cars. I want the latest information with links to related articles, even if they are old. Anything about music! Industry stuff, gear reviews, and interviews with artists. I especially love in-depth interviews — long-format, like in Rolling Stone, where the interviewer can really delve deep into the musician’s background.

ford ecoboost

  • I tend to check my local sports, for instance today I read a couple articles on the Dodgers Spring Training starting. I also read a couple different articles on the same subject in the LA Times paper. Otherwise when scrolling through a social network page like Facebook I will click on things of human nature, or more so human need. I’ll check out controversial issues whether political or moral (in my opinion). A headline can bring me in to a topic I may not usually click on, and it could cause me to pass over without a thought despite its content (which may be of value or interest to me). I hate when a site (especially ESPN and other sports) shares a headline and then the article has nothing to do with that. If I am picking a book to read I tend to go with either a biography or a Grisham type story. And one more thing, this tends to happen when I have just a few minutes to take a break, so the article that has the headline to bring me in for that moment and is the right length while I am surfing wins.
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My boys made me a sports mom

 

  • I scan the LA Times everyday for stories of interest, but most general news is rather boring. I usually just read the lead graphs, which is more than enough due to the inverted pyramid style of journalism. I enjoy analysis and commentary on stocks and the financial markets, sports, and travel. I’m also a sucker for restaurant and film reviews. And when I run out of real news, I read The Onion for a few laughs.

 

solita's Tacos & Margaritas, Valencia

solita’s Tacos & Margaritas, Valencia

  • I devour magazine content – my faves; Surfer, Surfing, Interview, Economist, Esquire, Bon Apetite, Cooks Illustrated, Luxe Interiors & Design, House  Beautiful, Dwell, Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan ( the best “how to” regarding sex), Poets and Writers Magazine, Ski, Powder, Stand Up Paddle Board, Art News. And I like reading Christie’s and Sotheby’s luxury home listings. I like to read about things I am doing or things I want to do. I like contemporary culture travel, and adventure, interior design (a favorite hobby) and gourmet cooking (I am a self taught Courageous Gourmet. When I am reading novels I choose regional Mystery with gratuitous sex and violence. I also recently have embraced asking Google every question I have in my brain to advance my personal education about everything. Now you know way to much about who I am.
Yesmins Adventure 4

Yesmin and the Wall Family’s Whitewater Adventure

 

  • I usually read articles on the latest video game releases (including how the games are developed, if I’m really interested in a certain title) as well as biographies of musicians and actors I’m interested in (both old and new.) From time to time, I’ll also check out information about old gadgets, and how they’ve evolved/progressed into what we are using today.
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My friend David Covarrubias at Legacy FX

 

  • I’m always fascinated with our latest advances in technology and science. New gadgets are fine but bigger advances such as the stuff DARPA works on I always follow. New discoveries in science from small stuff on Earth to all our space exploration. I enjoy reading political articles as well if they have an interesting perspective on a topic. Movie articles also grab my attention. Usually they are in regard to news but sometimes I like reading an article that delves into a particular film’s intricacies. With all of these it’s usually the title that drags me in. It’s especially important when it’s on a bigger topic since I don’t always have the time to read it all. If the title and content is interesting I’ll save the page for later. I usually base this off of the first paragraph of the article.

winter-soldier-poster-no-mask

  • I like restaurant and travel reviews. Human interest stories sometimes , current events catch my eyes more. I definitely like outdoorsy type stuff & pics of nature.

 

Jonathan with his dog, Indy

Jonathan with his dog, Indy

I am friends with artists, writers, bloggers, marketers, social media peeps, entrepreneurs, podcasters, traditional media and public relations folks, bankers, athletes, coaches, teachers, students, technology experts, programmers, gamers….everyone. I love the moms and girlfriends that got me here. Especially the SoCal Lady Bloggers, Latina Lifestyle Bloggers, and the California Mom Bloggers. I wouldn’t be here, a writer, a life coach, a blogger, a podcaster – without the angels and spirits who lifted me up and showed me the way.

So, tell me my friends, what do YOU want?

What do you like to read about? When you surf the internet, or read the news – what are your favorite things to read? What do you enjoy reading about? What do you require in an article or blog post?

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…

http://www.albena-vatcheva-painter.com/

http://www.albena-vatcheva-painter.com/

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 http://mizmeliz.com 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  http://mizmeliz.com

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.

Globetrotters

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 http://mizmeliz.com

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!

MontiLoveHeartBadge3Love,

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

#SharetheLove

#MakeitHappy

#BeKind

#HelloHumanKindness

#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. 

Old Friends and a New Resto – A LOVE STORY by Melissa Reyes @solita_Valencia

Posted on February 1st, 2015 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Foodie Reviews, I Love My LIfe

A Love Story

by Melissa Reyes February 1, 2015
http://mizmeliz.com New Love by Melissa Reyes 2-1-14

6 Pack Taco Sampler (Photo Credit: Courtesy of solita Tacos & Margaritas Valencia)

Some Tacos

That should be read, “Some tacos!”

Yes, this story really does begin with tacos. And boy are they some awesome tacos. solita’s has the best Baja style tacos. Remember when I first had them and I told you that they talked to me? They still do. Do you want to know what they are saying now? Now, that we are in love, they say, “Mi Amor, my love, don’t share me with your friends. This can be our secret.”

But, I don’t want to keep it a secret. I want to tell everyone about my love. These tacos are meant to be shared. I want everyone to experience what I have at solita Tacos & Margaritas in Valencia! (disclosure)

It started with the first bite. And I knew. I knew I made the right decision when I suggested to my friends that we try this new restaurant. I had been there once already. Lito and I attended a soft opening. For a preview, it was well orchestrated and everything was absolutely perfect. We met Executive Chef Deborah Schneider  and Owner/Partner Rich Howland and they told us about their dream and vision for solita. The food was amazing that night. Would it be as good now that I brought my friends with me?

We shared a few plates of tacos. I tried the “wood-grilled ancho chile chicken taco” and the “red chile beef ‘borracho’ taco.” I will keep my secret of just how good they tasted. Some things must remain private. Besides, if I told you, you would stop reading this and go straight over there and order some. I want you to read the rest of the story. This isn’t even the juiciest part!

A Few Margaritas

solita's Grande Casa Noble Margarita (Photo Credit: Melissa Reyes 2015)

solita’s Grande Casa Noble Margarita (Photo Credit: Melissa Reyes 2015)

Just a few. A few each. Who could resist the temptation? Top shelf imported Tequilas. A bar with an emphasis on freshness, quality, and affordability. They have the best tasting margaritas. Cue the blurry flashback sequence and strange throwback music…

General Manager Jason Goetz greeted us at the door. It was a very busy Friday night. He seated us at a big table right in the middle of everything – and there was a lot going on. Couples dining in the glow of the romantic fireplace in the front area engaged in low toned conversations, groups of families and friends were laughing and having a grand time in the main dining area, the bar was active and buzzing with young people imbibing before dinner and a movie perhaps, outside there were small groups of friends by the outdoor fireplace and around the outside bar area enjoying the pleasant evening ambiance as if it were somewhere tropical, somewhere beachy, and I felt transported to somewhere different. Is this what it is like in Baja?

Watermelon Margarita (Photo Credit: Melissa Reyes 2015)

Watermelon Margarita (Photo Credit: Melissa Reyes 2015)

Jason brought us our drinks. He was so warm and welcoming that we all instantly hit it off with him. He treated us like a friend. We asked him to surprise us with the cocktails so we could sample the special concoctions that solita is known for. He brought us each something different, gorgeous, icy cold, luscious, fresh, and well, yummy!

All the drinks were good. Seamus had “the bulldog” – a big margarita with a Coronita beer bottle inverted in the glass. Kristy tried the “guava margarita” which was – to – die – for with freshly prepared fruit juice from the kitchen.  Mark had the “el hombre,” a margarita made with a unique tequila infused with chipotle peppers. Tina tried the “watermelon margarita” which was sweet and then ordered a classic solita house “cadillac margarita.” Lito had “solita’s grande casa noble margarita” which comes in the shaker and is served table-side. Much like a fountain ice cream malt when it is served with the blender container, you get more than can fit in the ice cold glass and the shaker is left on the table.

The bar at solita’s specializes in tequila. Much like a vodka bar is known for great martinis, this margarita bar has over 40 different exotic and unique tequilas and serves margaritas especial (that’s Spanish for “special margaritas” folks.) I had a “skinny margarita,” tart and fresh, it was possibly the best skinny I have ever had – and I finished Lito’s shaker of margarita made with Casa Noble. Sharing is caring, right?

solita’s encourages sharing. Many of the dishes we had were served family style. The appetizers are prepared at the table. Many of them come with some verbal instructions. Our server, Rachel, told us how she prefers each dish and suggested varied ways of mixing items to make them even more spectacular.

photo copyright Lito Reyes Feb 2015 http://mizmeliz.com for solita tacos and margaritas valencia

photo by Lito Reyes, Feb. 2015

As we were sharing our “queso al forno,” the “tequila shrimp and avocado sundae,” and “grilled corn elote” – Co-Founder and Director of Operations Matt Baumayr  brought a special gift to the table. The bottle was empty, so don’t get overly excited. What made it special was that it is a collector’s item. Casa Noble is the single barrel private label imported tequila that solita serves exclusively. Each bottle is signed and numbered. Each barrel produces a limited few hundred bottles. Only a few barrels are allowed to be imported to the U.S. at a time. Muy especial!

Old Friends, New Friends.

Our group of friends are very special to Lito and me. We had grown apart for awhile. However, the bonds of friendship are very strong. In recent years we were reunited at the funeral of a dear mutual friend from the high school and college days. Sadly, we were reminded how precious life is. We vowed to get together for the good times and make each moment a celebration. We happily just spent time together at Mark & Tina’s wedding in Oceanside. We reminisced of the days spent in San Diego together when Lito and Mark were in college there and Kristy and I would drive down from the Valley to visit. Those memories were blurred for years as we “grew up” and moved on in life. Now, we can make new memories! That is the reason I thought solita would make the perfect spot for us. It is a neighborhood restaurant with a South of the Border atmosphere (similar to the San Diego area restaurants we frequented in our youth) and a super friendly welcoming staff, our new friends at solita.

This will be our new hangout. This is where I will bring out of town visitors from distances where they do not have anything like this. This is where I will bring my kids on their birthdays. I will meet clients here. I will suggest it the next time Lito asks me, “Where do you want to eat?”

The Main Event

Our Table (Photo Credit: Melissa Reyes 2015)

Our Table (Photo Credit: Melissa Reyes 2015)

We were in the mood for surprises, so we asked our new friend Matt Baumayr to choose our entrees for us. He brought out some of his personal favorites and a newer dish that Head Chef Rogelio Vazquez had suggested. As Matt described, we would be needing some protein after our appetizers and cocktails. He brought out Chef’s smoked & grilled beef ribs, a half oak-roasted chipotle chicken, and classic chile rellenos con queso, beans and rice.

This is the juiciest part of the story that I promised. Have you ever had an orgasmic experience while eating something that exploded with flavor in your mouth? I didn’t want to swallow it because it tasted that good! I am having a hot flash this moment just thinking about it. I am talking about the chicken at solita. It happened to me just when Jason asked me how I liked the food. My mouth was full. Typical restaurant happening, right? The waiter comes by and asks you, “How is everything?” just as you take a bite. I usually nod and say, “Very good, thanks.”

This time, I reached out.  I grabbed Jason’s arm. I held on tightly. Right in front of my husband. Lito watched me as I leaned back in my seat, swallowed the mouthful of delectable smoked, fire-roasted, marinated, mouth-watering, out of this world flavorful moist and crispy chicken that I have ever had – and I said with utmost delight, “I am having a chicken orgasm right now.”

I can’t believe I said that to a man I just met.

But, it was truly amazing. (Honestly, I didn’t drink that much.) I took another bite. I looked around and everyone was loving it. We all kept saying, “Wow, this chicken is amazing!” Everything is great, but, “make sure you try the chicken.”

When Matt came over to the table, he asked what I liked best. I told him, “That chicken is so good. If they can make chicken like that, why would anyone make it any other way?” He agreed. It was magical.

Wait, There is More!

What could top that? Magical food, a truly memorable dining experience, presents. Then Jason and Rachel brought out the desserts. Fried Ice Cream, Creme brulee style Flan, fresh baked Churros with chocolate sauce, and a “Grown Up” Churro Sundae. At this point, I will admit – even though I tried to pace myself – the chicken really was the climax of the evening. But, I couldn’t resist solita’s charm. I was seduced by the beautifully presented and purely decadent desserts with their warm spicy cinnamon aroma, the chocolate sauces, the vanilla and rum taste sensations. We all tasted each of the delights that were placed in front of us. And guess what. They were terrific. You guessed it, huh? It’s hard to fool you.

I want you to experience these desserts for yourself, but to get you to read this all the way to the very end, I will just say that we weren’t satisfied. We loved them so much we wanted to get to know them even better. Kristy and I wanted to see how they were made. We asked Jason to take us…to the kitchen!

The Amazing Chef and Crew! (Photo Credit: Melissa Reyes 2015)

The Amazing Chef and Crew! (Photo Credit: Melissa Reyes 2015)

Bold move, I know. Jason was gracious and happy to escort us to the busy active kitchen. Everyone can see the kitchen in motion, it is an open kitchen with big windows so you see your food being prepared while you wait. We got the grand tour, and a demonstration of the secrets to making the perfect scoop of deep fried ice cream.  It was the perfect way to end the evening. Being romanced and charmed by the friendly people behind the scenes in solita’s kitchen.

 

 

 

Wow! What a night. You can see all the pictures we took of our evening at solita Tacos & Margaritas Valencia in the gallery below.

Thank you to Matt Baumayr, Jason Goetz, Rachel, Chef Vasquez, Lawrence Moore, and everyone at solita’s for your hospitality and welcoming spirit. I received my meal gratis however, I was not asked to write this post/review, all opinions are my own, photos are copyright material of Melissa Reyes and Lito Reyes, unless otherwise indicated. Photos and press release information of solita Tacos & Margaritas Valencia were sent to me by Lawrence Moore & Associates and used with permission. Read my disclosure for details on why I write blog posts like this on MizMeliz.com

Have a Romance of Your Own

solita Grand Opening Celebration

“To celebrate the official Grand Opening of their new Valencia location, solita Tacos & Margaritas is throwing a blowout celebration on Thursday, February 5th, 2015 that will highlight both their authentic cuisine and delicious cocktails, while also supporting the benefiting charity, the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley.

 

GRAND OPENING INVITE 2015 (1)

100% of the beverages sold during the solita Tacos & Margaritas Grand Opening Fundraiser

will go directly to the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley’s “it just takes one” Campaign

 

At the February 5th fiesta, there will be complimentary eats all night long, but drinks will be for sale, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, an organization offering education, leadership, sports and arts programs to needy youth in the area. “We are a community-driven company, and it was really important to find a cause that is not just important to us, but that is also important to the community,” says Co-Founder and Director of Operations Matt Baumayr. “We have a very lofty goal of raising enough money to fund the programming of twenty of our local youth for one year at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita, which is $10,000.00. Being that Santa Clarita Valley is so community driven, it is a goal we hope to achieve, if not surpass.”

I encourage you to enjoy the complimentary Fresh Guacamole Station with fresh mango, tomato, onion, chile and cilantro alongside their House-made Tortilla Chips and Duros. The Taco Bar will feature some of Executive Chef Deborah Schneider’s famous Baja-inspired wood-grilled and smoked dishes ranging from their Wood-Grilled Ancho Chile Chicken, Carne Asada, Pork Carnitas and much, much more.

One More Time, Please…

Valentine’s Day

“Don Juans who are looking to show their ladies some hot and spicy romance on Valentine’s Day, should look no further than solita Tacos & Margaritas Valencia. With cocktails and cuisine made for two, and a fiery atmosphere (literally, the space features both indoor and outdoor fireplaces!) this sophisticated Mexican restaurant has everything couples need to celebrate their love. Executive Chef Deborah Schneider and Head Chef Rogelio Vazquez have created a special Valentine’s Prix-Fixe Menu for $39.95 per couple, with three mouthwatering entrées and several sides to choose from.  Lovers can experience both land and sea by ordering the fresh Surf and Turf with marinated carne asada and chipotle shrimp, sautéed corn, mashed potatoes, grilled jalapeño and lemon cilantro dressing, or the Catfish, cooked to a flaky perfection, and served with avocado salad. Can’t decide on just one thing, but want to indulge? You and your love can share a solita 6 Pack Taco Sampler, which is perfect for two and offers something for each of you, such as the Oak-Roasted Chipotle Chicken, Carnitas and Beer Battered Shrimp and so much more. Compliment your dinner with a side of Mexican Rice or solita’s Signature Slaw with a creamy lemon cilantro dressing. One glass and two straws please! Make sure to pair these romantic specials, with a decadent and delicious 32 ounce shareable Frozen Margarita for Two topped with La Pinta, a pomegranate flavored tequila. End the evening with a little sweet with your sweetness, and nibble on the rich and creamy Homemade solita Flan, flavored with vanilla and a dash of Mexican spices, and served in a deep dish on a bed of caramel, and lots of love! solita Tacos & Margaritas Valencia will be open on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14th from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm with the bar remaining open until 12:00 Midnight; 24201 Valencia Boulevard, Suite 3470, Valencia, CA 91355; 661.291.1399; http://www.solitatacos.com/locations/valencia

 A Love Story in pictures to make your mouth water:

If you liked this story, please leave a comment. If you love solita Tacos & Margaritas, let them know @solita_valencia on Twitter.

Cheers!

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 TalktoSanta.com 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

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 TalktoSanta.com 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.

An Intentional Act of Kindness Can Take You to a Happier Place #IAK #Hellohumankindness

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

Thanks to Dignity Health and InNetwork for partnering with me so that I can bring these words to your eyes, and hopefully, to your heart. (Disclosure.) #Sponsored

2014-03-05 14.30.36

“I believe that an intentional act of kindness, is a unique stance of being that comes from the heart, that impacts your own life as much as it helps others in their time of need. For it is in giving that we receive, and when we give with intent without expecting anything in return, it is then that our heart is filled with love, peace, and joy.” ~Melissa Reyes of MizMeliz.com

 This blog post may blow your mind, and hopefully warm your heart.

I want to tell you about an innovative way that Dignity Health is providing help to those in need and share with you an inspirational story about someone who shows intentional compassion in his daily life. I hope to express what motivates me to use my talents and strengths to help people in need as well as spread awareness about the effects that acts of intentional kindness and service can have on society and in our own lives.

The Volunteer Match on the Hello Humankindness website unites people with ways to go above and beyond a random act of kindness and provides the most effective and impactful ways to give to non-profit organizations. This is especially handy during the holidays, but it doesn’t stop there.

Follow @HumanKindness on Twitter

Follow @Humankindness on Twitter

It is important for us to realize that we can make a difference. By helping someone in need, we are not only helping that one person with one act, we are changing the world and making it a better place for EVERYONE. It just takes one person and one act at a time. We can make a difference in our own lives, in the life of the person we help, and we can produce growth and prosperity for everyone in the world by sharing our experiences and spreading the positivity. That is what the Hello Humankindness campaign is all about.

Check this out:

At the heart of the Hello Humankindness.org website – you will find the Volunteer tab. This is where you are called to action. This is where you can connect and if you act on it, this is the door to finding your happy place and your next experience in helping to make the world better, healthier,and happier. Use the “Volunteer” tab on the Hello Humankindness website to find opportunities to perform an Intentional Act of Kindness.

Through their partnership with Volunteer Match, Dignity Health has compiled information about the most meaningful and impactful ways to give to non-profit organizations, when the need for these organizations is highest, and what kind of volunteering actually helps the most in need in the most effective way.

hello humanOur social news feeds are being inundated with short-form examples of kindness – Random Acts of Kindness, Upworthy videos, and Buzzfeed lists. These posts promise easy ways to perform token acts that have little impact on the beneficiary and mostly serve to boost the ego and get attention for the giver. This is especially acute around the holidays as people wrestle with their own sense of charity and altruism.

During this holiday season, there is an opportunity to cut through the noise and promote Intentional Acts of Kindness – acts of compassion that aren’t necessarily easy to commit, but are thoughtful, impactful, and have the potential to lead to a more kind world.

Here is my favorite thing that Hello Humankindness is doing and it is on Instagram! Nothing to download, no website to connect with, just go to your Instagram, follow @HelloHumankindness and check out suggestions for Intentional Acts of Kindness – some are as simple as reposting and spreading awareness.

Here is my favorite thing that Hello Human Kindness is doing and it is on Instagram! Nothing to download, no website to connect with, just go to your Instagram, follow @HelloHumanKindness and check out suggestions for Intentional Acts of Kindness - some are as simple as reposting and spreading awareness.

Here is my favorite thing that Hello Humankindness is doing and it is on Instagram! Nothing to download, no website to connect with, just go to your Instagram, follow @Hellohumankindness and check out suggestions for Intentional Acts of Kindness – some are as simple as reposting and spreading awareness.

“Our goal is to cut through the noise of token acts of kindness and promote Intentional Acts of Kindness #IAK.” ~Dignity Health

I want to help inspire and celebrate Intentional Acts of Kindness by sharing my story with you.

niceI am proud to say that I see many intentional acts of kindness happen all around me in my daily life. Starting with my kind, generous and thoughtful family, I was raised to be helpful and to always give unconditional love. I also work in a place that teaches and practices what is called apostolic works. More than community or Christian service, it is a form of selfless aid to those who are in need of our unique talents and strengths. I am also quite fortunate (and believe me, very grateful) to live in a society and culture that is willing and able to come to the aid of the needy. Especially during devastation and times of hardship (including personal tragedy) I have seen first-hand how people can come together and enrich the lives of others when it is most needed.

Not everyone in our world is as fortunate. In fact, most people will go their entire lives without ever knowing such goodness exists. Some may fall victim to the random acts of kindness, acts that are completed for self-gratification or status, without forethought. Perhaps meaning well, but terribly misinformed, our society has turned to performing these acts to attract attention from the public. I am sure that many people are helped in these momentary instances, or are made to feel good at the time. Yet, what is truly needed is a deeper understanding of how we can help our fellow man and make a positive and lasting change in their lives.

I have thought about this quite a bit, in fact for this entire year I have had a blog post in my draft folder that I have kept going back to and not publishing about a special person in my life who is the most selfless and kind man I know. It is more difficult than I thought to highlight the goodness of a truly kind person. More than just being nice, or kind, this man lives each day with an enormous amount of compassion. He makes his goal to help those who are often forgotten in our society, all the time – not just in the midst of media hype or at the holidays, or after a storm or earthquake – all   the   time.

My brother, Jonathan Lopez, is one example of a person who has an enormous capacity for intentional compassion. When Dignity Health asked me to help out in spreading the word about Intentional Acts of Kindness, his story is the first thing that came to mind.

*Read my blog post about Jonathan Lopez: “Who is Creating Sustainable Change…”

Connect with Dignity Health and Hello humankindness on Facebook

Connect with Dignity Health and Hello humankindness on Facebook

The powerful influence of goodness is astonishing.

You will be surprised how easy it is once you get started. By using a website or an app, like Hellohumankindness.org – you will be well on your way to making a real impact on our society and making positive differences in the lives of people everywhere.

I realize that for most people, it isn’t easy to know for sure if an organization is legit and if you don’t know someone who needs your help, where do you turn? Who can you trust? There are many places one can go to find information about volunteering. This is when you can use the Volunteer Match tab on the Hellohumankindness.org site that helps people find volunteer opportunities in their neighborhoods.

Find the Instagram tab a Dignity Health  on Facebook

Find the Instagram tab at Dignity Health on Facebook

What blows me away is how once you get started with being kind and taking it outside of yourself and putting aside your own needs to help others, it becomes a part of who you are. That is what I mean when I tell you that one act can and does make a difference. This is something good that we want to spread.

This will knock your socks off – but it doesn’t surprise me as it has become the norm. As I am writing this, believe it or not, I received this text message from my brother, Jonathan:

“Melissa, I am supporting Living Purpose Community Center in Chatsworth. They are having trouble collecting toys for 50 homeless kids attending elementary schools in the West Valley. These kids live with a parent in their cars and in people’s garages. Please let me know if you know of any organizations that may have extra toys or if you know anyone who can refer me to someone who might be able to help.” Thx, Jonathan

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Jonathan is ALWAYS doing this kind of thing. He thinks and acts way beyond his own course of action and abilities. He engages others to help out when he can’t. He asks for assistance, he develops relationships and connects people with others who need each other. Jonathan’s values are just like those of Dignity Health. It has become a part of his character to be kind and helpful to those in need.

How could he possibly know that I was just considering reaching out to help someone in need? He doesn’t need to know. He just acts, with intention, with compassion. You can too!

My family helped this kind woman move out of homelessness and into an apartment in Las Vegas when Jonathan knew we were going to be in the area. He asked me to deliver some items to her and we made a friend for life. Talk about random!

My family helped this kind woman move out of homelessness and into an apartment in Las Vegas when Jonathan knew we were going to be in the area. He asked me to deliver some items to her and we made a friend for life. Talk about random!

After years of connecting with organizations like Dignity Health, projects seem to come to me at times when I am willing and able to forge action. I know how special that is and I never take it for granted. But it is not that easy for everyone. One way to see beyond your front door and find opportunities to help others is at your fingertips right now.

I encourage you to think broader past the small daily acts of kindness, to focus on the most impactful ways you can help, give, and donate your time, your talent, your abilities, and your generous spirit during the holiday season, and always. When you do, you will see how doing so takes you to a place that is beyond happy.

This year at the holidays, I will be collecting toys for the homeless kids who live in my very own community and I will be sharing my experiences with you.

Use #hellohumankindness and #IAK on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest

Use this link to the Volunteer Match on Hellohumankindness.org and share your experiences.

Share the countless ways people around the world are acting with intention to be kind.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to partner with Dignity Health for this campaign and look forward to learning about ways that you have made a change for the better and live happier, be healthier, and share kindness every day. (See full disclosure here.)

 

 

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.”

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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”

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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.

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