No Ordinary Girl…My REVIEW: “Stella on Science” Children’s Book and Giveaway

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? 

That is a bold statement and a question I’ve been asking myself since I was a little girl. I still remember that sunny day sitting in the back of that yellow rustic taxi cab window. The sun glistening through the trees and it’s reflection brushing my face as we stroll down that ole rugged mountain road.  Every time we would pass green plants, shrubs or flowers, I was curious as to how they played a part in our world.

I have the greatest honor and privilege of knowing the author, Amber Bennett of “Stella on Science“, a fantastic children’s book that truly resonates with our culture and society today. I had the opportunity to read the book prior to it hitting the shelves in every bookstore around the land and I certainly can say, I fell in love with the story, the colored pages and the entire book!  I certainly believe you’re never too old to pick up a children’s book, in my opinion.

I don’t won’t to spoil the book for you, but I wanted to share with you why this book can change our future for every little girl and how I felt a connection with Stella!

story1 (Image from the book, Stella on Science)

This book had the most vivid and colorful pages I’ve ever seen in a children’s book. Each page depicts every feeling I had as a little girl. To dream.  While reading this book, I couldn’t help but think about the days in the back of that yellow cab. Stella and I had something in common. We were curious.  Curious about life around us and how we would fit in.

story4 (Image from the book, Stella on Science)

Botany, defined as the study of plants was going to be my dream job. I just knew it. I wanted to be the one who found the cure for cancer. As excited as I was to start that journey in chasing my dream, it quickly came crashing down after about four months in. Chemistry, physics and mathematics were definitely not my strong suits, so I gave up and decided to change my major. Why did I do that? I obviously had the mentality that if I couldn’t be successful in the classroom, how the heck could I make it in the field? I remember thinking this career would be better for men vs women.

That was then.

Today, the most important role in my life is being an aunt to my amazing niece, Teagan, and I can’t help but think about her future. What will her dreams be? What will she want to be when she grows up?  Will she be curious like Stella? I do my best to tell her I’ll always be in her corner to tell her how beautiful, amazing and smart she is and that she will grow up to do exceptional things with her life. The life she has ahead of her is limitless. She just has to soar.

story2 (Image from the book, Stella on Science)

If I had at least one person who really believed in me and told me I would’ve been anything I wanted to be as a little girl, I would’ve been living my dream as a Botanist today. All it takes is for our children to be raised with a vision that they are powerful little humans who shouldn’t let a title, label or a corner office discourage them from owning it!

For our future, I have a message:

To: Teagan and all the little girls who will wonder what they will be like as they grow, I hope you choose to live your life to be a warrior! One that’s full of kindness, bravery, purpose, daring, leader, fierce, boundless, unstoppable, equal, creative, flawless and nothing short of EXTRAORDINARY as you certainly are NO ORDINARY GIRL!

story7(Aunt Wiz and Teagan)

Would you like to WIN an autographed copy by Stella and Amber Bennett???
Leave me a comment below telling me what you wanted to be when you grew up, and I’ll choose a random comment on February 23rd, 2017 (using Random.org) and announce the winner here on the blog and on social media!

Want to increase your chances of winning?
Add additional comments below each time you do the following:

 I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The review is written by me on behalf of Amber Bennett. The opinions expressed above are all mine.

REVIEW: No Ordinary BRUNCH

In life, we’re given so many choices. Choices of cars, choices of clothing, choices of nail color, choices of, well you get it. But, IF I was given the choice of having one type of meal all day, every day, Mexican food would be the winner!  I don’t know why that is, but it sure is good! It must be all the collective flavors that sends your taste buds into a frenzy.

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A few weeks ago, I was introduced to a new kind of Mexican food! I didn’t think that was possible, given the fact I thought I had sampled every Mexican restaurant throughout the Bay. This place though, surprised me. When I was invited to Vuelo Mexican Grill, to sample their dishes along with my Tampa Bay Blog Mates, it felt like I was transported back in time. The food, atmosphere and the spirit of the place made me feel like I was actually in Mexico, not Tampa.

BRUNCH, now that’s a word you probably wouldn’t be hearing your friends say about a Mexican restaurant, would you? Well, I’m here to tell ya, this place knows exactly how to BRUNCH SO HARD!

Here’s 8 reasons why Vuelo Mexican Grill needs to be on your next Saturday or Sunday Funday BRUNCH extravaganza.

1. mex4 Did someone say BOTTOMLESS mimosas?  As much as you can consume for under $10.00!

2.mexThey offer an awesome BRUNCH selection to give you all the festive feels! 

3.mex1The more the merrier! Bring all your friends to enjoy the atmosphere with. It’s more fun that way!

4.mex5 If the smell doesn’t captivate you, then all hope is lost. These steak fajitas are well, simply muy caliente. (no pun intended)

5.mex6 I absolutely love chicken quesadillas! These were especially unique. Hidden underneath the gooey awesomeness: cauliflower!

6.mex7This was by far my favorite of the day. You will find this dish on the brunch menu and I recommend not sharing with anyone :). After your first bite, you’ll want to savor every bit. Mexican scramble was simply that: scrambled goodness with a little bit of everything. I recommend the shredded pork toppings!

7.mex8Don’t let this chocolate cake fool ya! My goal was to eat ALL the cake, but I didn’t succeed. This was the best cake EVER! It wasn’t too rich and each bite just melts in your mouth! Definitely save room for this. 

8.mex3mex2 By all means, if you don’t come hungry and you just want to be with your friends, you’ll have plenty to look at. The unique and creative atmosphere will certainly transport you to another level. 

If BRUNCH isn’t your thing, Vuelo Mexican Grill also offers some pretty cool flavors to suit your needs throughout the week!

  • Lunch/Dinner: Monday through Thursday, & Sunday 11:30 am – 10 pm                                  Friday & Saturday, 11:30 am – midnight
  • BRUNCH: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30 am – 3 pm
  • Happy Hour: mex11
Be sure to check out Vuelo Mexican Grill for a FIESTA of a time!
17641 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, Florida 33647,  813-972-4800

Do you have a favorite Mexican spot? Please share 🙂

Til we GRUB again…

Disclosure: This post is written on behalf of  Vuelo Mexican Grill.  I was able to taste their menu in exchange for blog and social media posts.   All opinions are my own.

No Ordinary Resolutions

Can you believe it? We are here. It has taken me about two weeks to try to digest that 2017 is really here! Ummm…where did 2016 go?  It seems like yesterday I was picking my jaw off the floor over Y2K.  I guess the feedback my teachers used to tell back then were true. “Never wish your life away” they’d always say. But it’s true. Do you ever wake up and say, ” I wished it was summer already?” or “I wished it was 5:00pm?” GUILTY as charged. The “older” I get, the more I realize how I want those words back. If you think about it, the days & years are soaring right by us like a plane taking off. From 0-180mph. Now that’s pretty darn fast.  Marjorie Pay Hinckley  provides the best solution on how we should live this thing called life! “The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead!”

So with that being said, after two weeks of thinking, planning, strategizing, going broke in Office Depot and maneuvering how I wanted to achieve these certain goals in 2017, it really comes down to this: DO YOU!

Well what do I mean by that, you say? It’s simple. If you do the things that make YOU happy, you have already succeeded and your original goals that you set for yourself will play out right before you. Even though life around you is running at maximum speed, doesn’t mean you can’t slow down to enjoy MORE!

In no particular order, here’s a few MORE things I want to accomplish every day of the entire year!

MORE jamming
MORE enjoying life
MORE dreaming
MORE sunsets
MORE hugs
MORE road trips
MORE blogging
MORE love
MORE fun
MORE sleep
MORE coffee
MORE friends
MORE thinking
MORE Netflix
MORE creating
MORE mentoring
MORE sista time
MORE discovering
MORE mistakes
MORE leading
MORE smoky mountains
MORE chicken pot pie
MORE fierce
MORE authentic
MORE chances
MORE inspiring
MORE thankful
MORE chicken & dumplings
MORE LaCroix
MORE learning
MORE media

Hold on to each moment. Cherish it and REPEAT!

quote(photo courtesy of Google)

Have a wonderful New Year being YOU!

Do you have any things you want to do MORE of this year? I would love to hear what those are!

REVIEW: No Ordinary Dinner

Like many others, I was a bit hesitant about dining at Piquant.  Not just because of its location, price point, or reputation, but also because I was afraid of being able to keep up with level of the service. Yep, I was intimidated. 

Would I fit in? (I’m a simple girl). Could I afford it? (#budgetlife). Would I know how to order something off the menu? (The only French I know is French fries). How in the world do you say Piquant anyway…Pee-cant, pi-qwant, pi cant?  Thankfully, my friend who studied French was able to help me out, but it still made me a bit nervous. 

In retrospect, I should have walked in that place like I owned it. I’m a foodie by heart. I love trying new things. This experience should not have been any different. As our tasting event began, my thoughts definitely began to shift and I settled into the comfort zone I know best- surrounded by delicious food. 😉

Calamari, the fried kind, is generally quite good. This plate, however, was served with seasoned potatoes with Spanish oil seasoning, of which was both confusing but oh so satisfying. It is not often that I want to be surprised with seafood, but in this case, I welcomed every bite.

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Follow that with pork belly, béarnaise, egg, and lemon scone, and I am already in heaven.  This was totally a brunch worthy meal!!

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But I am yet to even begin on what my actual dinner was. Surprise, surprise here comes a tantalizing salad with beets (I know I know, but trust me).

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Ok, about now, I can’t possibly conceive of how this could be any better. And BAM. How about another sampler from the chef? Oh yea, the chef dangled a sample of croissant bread in front of our table. I was about to devour in the most decadent slice of heaven that has ever hit Tampa!  Can we take a moment to talk about that fresh out of the oven smell? p4

Partake I did. Little did I know, I had only the best plated dinner waiting;. Napoleon Salmon. Little guy combined with fish. What could go wrong? Nothing! I am assuming the only reason they named my dinner after a small power hungry man was due to the fact that you can pack a lot of power in a little punch. Hence my fabulous plate. A simple fish plated over pate braise, ratatouille, hollandaise (holla), and dill… I never thought I would write any of those words in a post, let alone in the same sentence together, yet I can’t wait to shout it from the mountain tops.

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It is nights like these that I love to be disproved, shocked, even rendered speechless. Don’t discount those places that you think may not be your style, or not your jam, or no ordinary you. Because let me assure you; when you dare to delve into a #noordinarydinner, you dare to be the only and true version of you. And honestly, that is the only version of you that really matters.

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The last thing that would make this night over-the-top perfect, was to treat my taste buds with this amazing Valrhona Chocolate Cherry Croissant Bread Pudding. Everything about this dish was amazing and a great way to end the night with awesome blogger friends.

In the words of my lovely friends from the south,  Laissez les bons temps rouler; and the good times are rolling when it comes to filling my belly at Piquant.

To learn more about Piquant and their amazing dishes, be sure to follow Piquant  on Twitter Facebook, or Instagram!

Disclosure: This post is written on behalf of  Piquant.  I was able to taste their menu in exchange for blog and social media posts.   All opinions are my own.

REVIEW: No Ordinary Sandwich

What if I told you I know a place where you could get a sandwich that made Thanksgiving explode in your mouth with all the FALL flavors?  Would you believe me?  Trust me, I didn’t believe it at first, but the moment that beautiful sandwich found its way to me, I BELIEVED at taste of first bite. I’ve had many fun/festive sandwiches in my day, but had yet discovered a taste like that before.

earl3 (Friends make any experience FUN with Tracy (left), new blogger over at A Trace of Fun and Nayra (right))

Last week, I was a special guest along with some of my Tampa Bay blog mates and amazing friends at Earl of Sandwich’s table located at International Mall in Tampa. I have to say it was an awesome way to end my day. We had the opportunity to sample some of Earl’s top sandwiches as well as soups, mac “n” cheese and dessert. General Manager, John Dozier took us on a walk through history to learn how Earl of Sandwich was born.   WOW, what an experience it was.  My goal that evening was to do my part in tasting all the things.

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I’d like to rank the top sandwiches that had my taste buds watering from highest to lowest for your reading and viewing pleasure.  If at any point, you get the urge to google an Earl of Sandwich near you, you’re welcome.

1.  earlturkey (photo courtesy of Earl of Sandwich) Holiday Turkey  :::faints:::

2. earlroast (photo courtesy of Earl of Sandwich) The Original 1762

3. earlchipotle (photo courtesy of Earl of Sandwich) Chipotle Chicken Avocado

4. earlclub  (photo courtesy of Earl of Sandwich) The Earl’s Club

earl2  Thank you Ghirardelli for getting me “dessert wasted” with all your sweetness!

November 3rd was National Sandwich Day and yes, I’m a day late in celebrating this delicate holiday, BUT, you never need a reason to celebrate a no ordinary sandwich. Make sure you pencil in a lunch date to see “EARL” real soon!

To learn more about THE WORLD’S GREATEST HOT SANDWICH and their loyalty program, be sure to follow Earl of Sandwich on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

Comment below if you’ve dined at Earl of Sandwich and which sandwich was your favorite!

Disclaimer: This post is written on behalf of  Earl of Sandwich.  I was able to taste their menu in exchange for blog and social media posts.   All opinions are my own.

Review: No Ordinary Sushi

IF you know me, you would know that I have a couple of favorite things I enjoy about life.  Spontaneous road trips, inspiring others, blogging and of course SUSHI! If I could have the same meal three times a day, I would choose SUSHI! I’m always on the hunt to find the latest and greatest sushi around town, and when I do discover a place, I think I had found THE jackpot!  The one. Well folks, I hate to say it, but I really think I found the ONE!

Steph, from the blog Orangespoken  and I had an awesome opportunity to partake in discovering Yo! Sushi, a new SUSHI gem, tucked away in the heart of International Plaza and Bay Street. We both agreed that this place was a hit!   Together, we sat down and brainstormed some awesome reasons why!

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Here’s the top reasons why this place has No Ordinary SUSHI.

– It’s in a great location. Grab a bite to eat as you’re walking around the mall or Baystreet. Sure there are lots of places to choose from at International Mall, but this place stands out far about the rest and worth the walk away from the food court and down to the first floor to scope it out. It’s hands down the only place at the mall where you’ll be able to enjoy dinner AND a show! (Keep reading to find out how!). 

– The food comes out on a conveyor belt. No matter where you choose to sit at YO! Sushi, you will have a conveyor belt of goodness passing by you. If you’re an adventurous foodie (like me), you can feel free to grab anything that rolls (heh) by that piques your interest. OR, you can play it safe and use the menu to help guide your choices. OR you can order directly off of the menu and bypass the conveyor belt altogether. YO! Sushi has you covered with options that fill whatever your taste buds desire. They also make it easy for you to know what you’re eating (and how much your meal will cost) with a color coded menu and price guide. Now that’s how your ROLL!!

14317503_10154591220442474_748877440687834941_n (photo courtesy of Orangespoken)

14358885_10154591221167474_1096224496020309644_n-1(photo courtesy of Orangespoken)

– The food is delicious; fo real. We tried sooooooo many amazing dishes off of the YO! Sushi menu including garlic ramen, shrimp tempura ramen, chicken katsu curry (amazing), spicy seafood udon noodle bowls (my favorite), chicken, tuna and tofu poke bowls (only $4.50 for a nice sized, filling bowl!), sushi rolls, steamed buns, octopus fritters (another favorite- trust me, you MUST), desserts like mochi ice cream and Japanese cakes, Japanese sodas, matcha tea (unlimited free refills!) and so much more. Everytime I chose a favorite, something else would come out to take its place. The food is SO fresh and everything is made right there in front of you by passionate, skilled chefs. If you sit at the bar, you’re able to get a front row seat to all of the culinary action. 

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– The staff truly cares about their customers. Not only are the chefs passionate about what they do, but the staff, from the wait staff to the managers, are constantly performing quality checks, interacting with customers to ensure their satisfaction and making sure that each and every person is talking about the next time they are coming back as they walk out. The staff at YO! Sushi also make coming back EASY. Not only will you be back for the food, atmosphere and customer service, but there are fun specials that will lure you back for more without hesitation! On Mondays YO! Sushi hosts an event called Blue Mondays. On Blue Mondays at participating YO! Sushi locations, you can find up to 40 dishes on special for $3.50!  You can check out current Blue Mondays special here. It’s a fun and easy way to take friends and family to try YO! Sushi for a steal! They also featured a new Happy Hour. Happy Hour runs Tuesday-Friday from 3:30pm-6:30pm. You can enjoy $1 off all plates, $2 sake shots, $3 domestic beers, and $4 house wines during happy hour! 

14344359_10154591220892474_8421320003589808128_n(photo courtesy of Orangespoken)

I know the weekend is a few days away, BUT I would start making plans right now to get a group of your best pals together for a SUSHI-venture you’ll never forget!

To learn more about this FUN place or to stay up-to-date with the latest happy hour deals, be sure to follow Yo! Sushi on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

Disclaimer: This post is written on behalf of a blogger collaboration with Orangespoken and Yo! Sushi!  I was able to taste their menu in exchange for blog and social media posts.   All opinions are my own.

No Ordinary Thrill (GIVEAWAY)

FEAR
A word that is constantly hiding around in everyone’s back pockets.  FEAR of heights, FEAR of public speaking, FEAR of spiders, and FEAR of the dark.  It comes in many forms and learns to camouflage itself in a way that you don’t know how to identify it until it’s too late to brace yourself for what is about to happen!

Has it been awhile since you’ve had those hair-raising moments long enough to slice anyone who stumbles in your way?  Are you ready to determine if you should tackle the “Fight or Flight” approach? Do you have that sensation AKA adrenaline that rushes through your entire body that makes you feel like you’re every superhero in the Marvel club?  

Well, you’re in luck! There is a new park that is lingering the Bay area. It’s guaranteed to make you flash that FEAR card the moment you step on the premises. 

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SCREAM-A-GEDDON is the newest Halloween park that brings you three terrifying attractions: Bedlam 3D, newly re-designed Cursed Hayride, Deadwoods and two haunted interactive attractions: Infected and Blackpool Prison that is spread over 60 acres. If you need a break from all the thrill, The “Monster Midway” will feature carnival games and a variety of food and beverages, including beer so you can refuel and continue to tackle those FEARS.

WARNING: Please continue to read further if you DARE!

These new attractions are not for the faint-hearted. It is the ONE and ONLY choice for victims who want a grisly, disturbing and thrilling sinister experience.

scream4 Bedlam could be thought of as pandemonium and anarchy, but you could also say that it’s immersion in the chaos of the unknown. The clowns and fiends that fill Bedlam 3D will terrorize you, chase you and try to consume your flesh. Experience the 3D clown house known as Bedlam 3D!  With the current clown epidemic strolling the streets throughout the country, this attraction will certainly put your mind at ease!

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Cursed Hayride  is residents of a town cursed with immortality have wanted to die for years, but their attempts to reach the afterlife have been in vain. In order to escape their never-ending torture they must replace their soul with yours. Ride the wagon through Cursed Hayride and witness the horrifying sights and sounds of the doomed souls. But remember – they want your life, and your soul…

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Infected  Shortly after the landing of a large meteorite in a farmer’s cornfield, an unexplained phenomenon began to make the locals act… peculiar.  Reports of their aggressive and irrational behavior caught the attention of authorities and a special government containment team was deployed to study, analyze and quarantine. Not long after deployment, communications were lost and the team’s fate is unknown. Try to control your terror as you weave your way through fields, military tents and the farmhouse to confront the creatures within. Will you be the next one infected?

SCREAM-A-GEDDON: 27839 Saint Joe Road,  Dade City, FL 33525

Doors are open and patiently awaiting for your unnerving arrival now through November 5th. Tickets start at $19.95.

Are you ready to chase your FEARS?

For more information, be sure to follow SCREAM-A-GEDDON on social media!
On Facebook.
On Twitter.

This is no TRICK, but it is a TREAT!  Want a chance to win tickets to experience this No Ordinary Thrill?
Leave me a comment below telling me WHY you’d love to have this awesome opportunity to exercise your FEAR skills, and I’ll choose TWO random comments on October 15th (using Random.org) and announce the winners here on the blog and on social media! Stay tuned.

Want to increase your chances of winning?

Add additional comments below each time you do the following:

Disclaimer: This post is written on behalf of SCREAM-A-GEDDON!  All pictures and descriptions were provided by SCREAM-A-GEDDON.  I was able to chase my fears by attending the attractions in exchange for blog and social media posts.   All opinions are my own.

Congratulations to Kristy, @Momhatescooking &  Adriana @MrsALOMartin for winning the free class to Wine & Design!  I hope you enjoy the class!  

No Ordinary Design (GIVEAWAY)

It’s that time of year where we raise a glass to send off an awesome Summer filled with lots of sunshine, sand and seashells to welcoming Fall with flip-flops, pumpkin spice lattes and 70 degree temps!  It doesn’t get any better than that!  OR does it?

I’m happy to share the good news! On Saturday, September 24th, a new establishment will be opening their doors to you and your family, bringing a wide variety of fun and excitement!  If you’re looking for something new and invigorating that involves VINO, Wine & Design has all the ingredients to make you experience all the feels! You’ll get the opportunity to meet new people, explore your artistic side and share special moments with the ones you love!

In addition to the kick-off event on Saturday, a portion of the proceeds collected that day ONLY, will go towards the non-profit organization, Blue Turtle Society (BTS). Not only are you taking care of yourself, but you’re helping take care of our environment and all the adorable species along the way.

So have you ever seen a grand opening party last more than 24 hours?  Nope, me neither. I’m happy to share that this party will continue through Wednesday, September 28th!  Check out the detailed schedule of events to follow Saturday’s extravaganza!  Come on out and party with us!

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If you think the fun stops after the 28th, I’ve got awesome news for you!  Check out the different opportunities that you get to delve into anytime you want!  It’s certainly a win/win!!

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Wine & Design is located at 14219 Walsingham Road | Largo, FL 33774

PLEASE NOTE: A free future class ($35.00 value) will be offered to the first 20 people who sign up right now!  Be sure to claim your spot ASAP!!

Doors will open on Saturday, September 24th at 6:00pm with lots of laughter, a blank canvas and new paint brushes ready for your imagination!

For more information, be sure to follow Wine & Design on social media!
On Facebook.
On Twitter.

Would you like to WIN a FREE class to Wine & Design?
Leave me a comment below telling me WHY you’d love to have this awesome opportunity to exercise your art skills, and I’ll choose TWO random comments on September 25th (using Random.org) and announce the winners here on the blog and on social media! Stay tuned.

Want to increase your chances of winning?

Add additional comments below each time you do the following:

Look forward to seeing you on Saturday with VINO in hand…

No Ordinary Parents

Internships are stepping-stones.  They provide real world experiences for students transitioning from academic to professional careers. I know all about transitions.  As a child, I transitioned from Spain to America and then one placement to another, never knowing a sense of stability or a sense of belonging. Then, at the age of 18, I transitioned from ward of the court to emancipated adult.  The transition from dependent child to independent adult could have done me in, as I have seen it do others like me, but I vowed to overcome it, to thrive, no matter what.

As a child who grew up in multiple foster homes, I can honestly say to this day that I still have a void in my heart for parents of any form and I’m 36 years old!  No matter the person, we all want that feeling of being loved.   I know that bringing a unique child into your home can be uneasy, but all they want is YOU!  I would like to share with you a few tips on what it takes to open your home and becoming a foster parent through a former foster child’s perspective.

Here’s 5 tips on why foster parents ARE No Ordinary Parents

1. Routines and how that is important to predictability – We all need that sense of security in our lives.  When a child has been removed from his/her home, they are leaving behind what they have known and with that goes security.  For new parents, it’s important to build that foundation right off the get go and help the child develop self-discipline.  Once you do this, you’ll start to see a change and for the better!

2. Building trust and relationships – Don’t get discouraged if you have a child in your home and feel they are distant.  These children are coming from all walks of life and are put into uncomfortable circumstances.  My advice, for the first few weeks, you should take the time to get to know them on a personal and deeper level and mean it.  Be in their moment and let them know you are there for them. Listen to their wants/needs. Smile often and share hugs.  Trust and relationships don’t happen overnight.  It may take months or perhaps years before you gain their trust. Work on building the relationship and trust will soon follow.

3. Having fun – They say that laughter is good for the soul.  I believe it.  After the trauma that these children face, laughter could possibly be the best medicine for them.  Carve out time in their routine to have some fun as a family. Communication is key in asking what the child wants.  Depending on the ages, entertainment can vary.   When a child is having fun, they are more accepting, active and enjoying life with YOU!

4. No labeling –  I’ve never been a big fan of the word “foster” before child/parent. But it’s there. One of the biggest ways to make a child feel like they don’t belong in/out of the foster care system is putting a label to their name.  Be careful how you introduce your child. NEVER put the disorder before the child.  You should always address the child first such as ” Liz, my foster child vs my foster child, Liz.” Make him/her feel like an individual and that they are worth a million bucks.  Please don’t label them. Labels belong on cans.

5. Acceptance into the family – We all want that one thing, to be accepted. When a child has just had their world turned upside down, the most important action to take is to make that child feel like they belong.  Help them see their value and what they can contribute to your life as a parent.  Never exclude the child from family activities and make every effort to introduce them to your whole family. Help them find a place they can call home.

 I truly believe that your life is already planned out for you before you are born.  Each of us are unique in our own way and we all have our own reasons as to why we are placed in each other’s lives strategically.  I’ve come to believe that people travel in and out of your lives for a certain reasons.
Foster parents are extraordinary individuals who are on this earth to give children a second chance at life!
Will YOU be that change in a child’s life?
 Disclaimer: This post is written from the heart!  Some of these sentences are exerts from my story found in the powerful book by Waln Brown, titled Growing Up In The Care Of Strangers;  All opinions are my own.

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Review: No Ordinary Ride

It’s that time of year again, Monday night football, pumpkin spice lattes and young adults chasing their future.  A few days ago,  I had the opportunity to review a 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 as part of a blogger outreach program through DriveShopUSA.  After my fun week of driving this firecracker, I realized that this car would be a perfect for those who are experiencing college for the first time.

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Steph from the blog Orangespoken  and I had the same car to review back to back and we both agree that this car would be perfect for students who are trying to be budget conscious.  Together, we sat down and brainstormed some awesome reasons why!

For the first time ever, the Mitsubishi Mirage comes in a compact sedan version, in additional to the familiar hatchback we all know and love! But don’t worry- the features you love about this vehicle are still there amazing gas mileage at 35 city/ 42 highway, 10 years/100,000 power train warranty, tons of safety features and upgrade options, and the perfect price starting at$13,995! 

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Here’s the top reasons why this car is No Ordinary Ride.

– First up, it’s spacious. Between the roomy and secure trunk space (12.3 cubic feet of space!) for all of those dorm furnishings and supplies, the amazing gas mileage for those weekend trips home, the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 the bill!

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– In addition to the roominess of the Mirage compact sedan, worried parents can put their minds at ease with all of the safety Mitsubishi has integrated into the Mirage. The G4 comes equipped with safety features like:

  • 7 standard airbags
  • wide-angle rear view backup camera with assist
  • tire pressure monitoring system
  • anti-locking brakes with brake assist
  • active stability control sensors that monitor the grip of each tire
  • three-point seat belts
  • reinforced impact safety evolution (RISE) body utilizing crumple zones that route and absorb energy during high-impact collisions
  • hill start assist
  • great visibility with less blindspots

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– Lastly, the available display audio with smartphone link offers a smarter and safer way to use your smartphone in the car. This awesome feature supports Apple CarPlay and lets you access music, maps, make phone calls, and send messages through the touchscreen, or with voice command using Siri. The system also supports Android Auto! 

The Mitsubishi Mirage G4 is compact in size but has been rated best-in-class in turning radius, making it the ultimate car for navigating narrow and busy city streets.

To learn more about this FUN car or to stay up-to-date with the latest on new arrivals, be sure to follow Mitsubishi USA on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #DriveMitsubishi

Disclaimer: This post is written on behalf of DriveShop!  I was able to drive this AMAZING car in exchange for blog and social media posts.   All opinions are my own.