It’s Heavenly

Guess What…

This Blog is a Thing Now.

Things are getting Serious with a capital ‘S,’ y’all. The official Best Buddies Blog/Twitter caught wind of my post titled “My Best Friend” (no doubt my tagging/hashtagging played a role in them hearing about it) and proceeded to reblog and tweet out the link. This would result in the highest views methinks my blog has ever known *Clap clap clap*. The LiveUp Program also gave me a gnarly shout out which caused me to look into their organization and I instantly loved it. It’s a snowball effect and I love it! Follow both world changers here:

https://twitter.com/BestBuddies

https://twitter.com/LiveUpPrograms

ENOUGH ABOUT ME ALREADY! Geez guys! Let’s talk about yet another amazing non-profit causing gigantic seismic waves of change all across the globe! Reader(s) lend me your ear…for I am here to tell you about Sevenly!

sevenly

I’m sure you have noticed that now when you go to Youtube and you look at the ads on the sidebar, they pertain to your city or something you’ve searched recently. What?! Get outta here, Big Brother (just kidding!…please don’t shut down my blog!)! Well, last year I was doing a lot of research on non-profits, when I took a break to YouTube search Best of Rick Moranis Cheese Eating Contest some really cool song! When I looked at the sidebar, I saw a picture of two extremely hip looking people (a guy and a lady) posing in shirts and the caption read something along the lines of Help Bring A Voice to the Voiceless. Intrigued, I clicked the link and it took me to the Sevenly homepage. I soon found out that this organization sells products (really really cool products) in order to raise funds that go towards various causes that need attention around the world. The cause at that time was to raise money to provide services for those living with autism. I thought to myself, “Le duh! Uh’course I’m gonna buy that shirt!” I would try to describe what it looks like, but I’ve tried and the mental image that comes to mind is the Warner Bros. opening credit with the roaring lion, so instead, here’s a picture of yours truly rocking it when I got it:

liveloudforautism

Hot right?

I keed, I keed! But it IS a cool shirt right? And if you’re not called to donate to this cause, then rejoice! All is well! They have a different cause each week! I love this concept of using one model and using it to influence people in the states as well as abroad. Everything from autism, to clean water, to child refugees, these guys are moving mountains all around the world and it’s so easy to be a part of their vision/mission! Their stuff is completely affordable and the shirt I got was the softest thing I’ve ever worn! This brand is the reason I want to start my own non-profit and be apart of this “World Change is How I Roll” movement! “WHOA DANG!”

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https://www.sevenly.org/

Sounds solid right? These celebrities seem to think so:

keycelebs kristensevenly

I highly recommend heading over and checking out their site and browsing their stuff. This week they are working towards feeding starving children in the Philippines!

Be a part of the movement, y’all! Try leaving the world at night better than when you woke up that morning. Find a cause, support it, adapt to a world change mindset and

Go Live It Now.

And as always…it’s time for story time with Uncle Zach. Trust me. We’re related.

So this week…I got a bike :’) I welcomed into my world a hot little red number straight out of the nineties this past Friday.

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He has been very reliable thus far and I’m extremely stoked about it! However, he doesn’t bring me a slither of happiness.

You know when you have a realization and you know it’s real because it hits you like a person on a bike not looking where they’re going?! Well that’s definitely what happened to me this past week. I had put this bike on such a pedestal and had been wanting it and needing it and went to bed every night thinking about it and how much happier I would be once I got it! Well, while it’s true that I am very happy with my purchase and I’m going to save bookoos of money in gas because of it, it’s not what makes me happy. Making idols out of inanimate objects has helped me realize that they are just things. They just take up space. I can’t relate to them, laugh with them, eat Wendy’s with them (shout out to my main, the Baconator!), etc. etc. So long story short, find what makes you happy because I guarantee you, if you take away all the STUFF, you’ll be left with nothing if its your THINGS that make you happy. Keep your fancy cars, don’t want ’em ;]

ALRIGHT…LET’S BOOGIE…sllllooooowwwllllyyyy!

The BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Covers is the best Youtube search you can do when you need a study break! I just searched it on a whim literally 3 minutes ago and discovered this gem! It’s a cover of a One Direction song. A WHAT Zach?! Yeah, just listen. Sista’s got soul!

gabaplin

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Grocery Stores: The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful

HEY AGAIN!!!

YOU CAME BACK!!!

Yo! This week we’re talking about what’s been on my heart for weeks now!

As most of my friends and family know, I have a heart for people with disabilities of all kinds. I’ve worked with and learned from adults and children and everyone in between that lives with some sort of a disability for years now and it always does my heart good to see someone making a change in their lives. I ALSO have a heart (and I would like to think a lot of people out there do) for people living at or below the poverty line, trying to make ends meet, mainly because I know this struggle all too well. What if I told you that there is a non-profit organization in Austin, TX that takes those two worlds, and mashes them together into one big casserole of delicious world change!? YEAH! YOU HOOKED YET?!

Let me tell you a little about all the amazing that is Growing Roots! They work with families that have children with autism. They provide resources and different classes to prepare these parents on how to raise a child that may need a tad bit more attention, love and patience than a child without autism. Located in East Austin, this organization also holds Family Fun Days, and at their most recent one they distributed school supplies for the upcoming academic year. Are you feeling all mushy yet? Well just check out this video to better explain the impact that this organization has on these families.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72CW8Uwom8M&feature=player_embedded

It’s more than free pens/pencils/notebooks and a live music performance once a month (or however often they occur), its educating and helping those parents of these children with autism by leading them to a place where they can fully enjoy and effectively raise a child that many people may deem unreachable.

If you watched the video above, which I really hope you did, because if it does nothing more, it will certainly open your eyes to how you perceive that screaming child at the grocery store and how they are truly just an angel that isn’t really digging the noises going on in the store at that moment (I think most of us can relate to that!) or really show how flawed and mechanical the public school system is when it comes to serving children living with some sort of disability.

growingroots

Go ‘LIKE’ them/Browse beautiful pictures at:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Growing-Roots/110130705727202

Also! This week has been so dang humbling! My debit card number was hardcore stolen in Florida (meanwhile, I haven’t been in Flo-rida since JANUARY) and the perpetrator used it to buy $215 worth of groceries at a Floridian supermarket! I’ve been keeping calm just telling myself that clearly this person needed the money desperately enough to go to these measures, so I can’t be too angry at him/her/them/it.

I am blessed beyond belief with the friends I have here in Austin! From buying me food, to giving me rides to and from places, and essentially more food buying, they all have my back and really know what it feels like to DRIVE the struggle bus! Even though this is a first world issue and will be resolved as soon as I can get my hands on a new card, it’s experiences like this that really show you who your friends are and how something as simple (and delicious) as a Pluckers sweet tea (ALSO! I FINALLY STOLE GIFTED MYSELF ONE OF THE MASON JARS!!!) and chicken strips can take your day from zero to hero. While the food is amazing (y’all…I eat) the company is what I come and stay for.

Friends that can make you cry from laughing after only being in their presence for mere minutes and in their lives for mere months is really telling of their personalities and overall badassness (I apologize for the language…sort of)! I love all of these fools I call friends and many of the chicken buyers are in this picture and many will go undisplayed…but you know who you are 😀

union

Now that we are all on board and have some stuff to think about…let us boogie. This week we’re jamming to the new

Civil Wars Album

civilwars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btcGAAahSTs

In conclusion, take time to educate yourself on something you may not know about, try to notice something that deserves immediate attention and grant it that attention, and be a friend. You never know when someone needs to live tweet the #VMAs and just have a good laugh.

Everyone’s got their junk, help them take it out!

Go Live It Now!

My Best Friend

HEY READER!

I’m so glad you decided to join me once again (Mom)! Here we go…

People…let me tell ya about my best friend. He’s hilarious, athletic, a real ladies man and has more sports medals than anyone I know. He once danced so hard his glasses fell off. He gets his hair cut in a different style almost every month, but his favorite (and his posse’s) by far is his mohawk. My best friend messages me every day on the ole Facebook and when he sees me at his sporting events, he waves at me and sometimes yells my name to acknowledge my presence. He is 38 years old and has an intellectual disability. He lives at a complex with many other people with disabilities and I consider those people my close friends as well. I am a member of the Best Buddies organization at my university and MY GOD has it been a blessing.

For starters, if you haven’t heard of the Best Buddies organization (which is fine but grrrrr!) then here is the site, go ahead…I’ll wait:http://www.bestbuddies.org/

BestBuddiesEmblem

I have been through the RINGER with college organizations and trying to find my place in this huge place. I thought I’d take a year off and not really put myself out there and see if I could find friends on my own (which I did) and it was awesome. Then, my sophomore year I chose to join a Christian fraternity. I promptly quit. I would go on to try out for, join and quit a “spirit/service/social” organization, which I actually enjoyed, but quit due to personal reasons. Just when I thought all hope was lost, I got on my Facebook and began scrolling through my news feed, casually hiding posts from high school friends, when I saw a post reading: “Today is the last Info Session for Best Buddies! Hope to see you there!” I sat on my bed for a while and I pictured my year in this organization. I thought, wow. I can make such a difference in someone’s life this year and probably make a friend from school or two in the process. So long story short – went to the info session, I was sold, joined and instantly loved it! I would go on to help recruit members (and meet the love of my life/other best friend in doing so) and become an officer and make some awesome friendships through that position. I had a BIG part of my whole master plan very wrong though. While I may have helped my “Buddy” come out of his comfort zone and make some new friends, he made a MUCH bigger difference in my life than I in his.

My Buddy used to not talk to anyone at the events we would have, shy away from getting his picture taken, and not really want to talk to me or anyone else for that matter. He would get in arguments with his girlfriend and choose to sit and watch others enjoy the activities at the party instead of partaking.

Flash forward one year and my homeboy is a COMPLETELY different person! He is constantly asking to take pictures with his friends, other college members (especially the laaaaadies), dances like nobody is watching (when in actuality, many are watching and simultaneously loving it), and probably wouldn’t notice if I was even at our events because he has made so many friends to keep him occupied! He also became a Best Buddies ambassador this past year and read a speech he wrote in front of our entire chapter! Through sports he has learned discipline and leadership, through our events he has learned social skills that will help him throughout his life and the dance practice he gets at our events helps him fit in his daily cardio.

glennambassador glennhighfive

While the efforts of this AMAZING organization have definitely made improvements in the lives of the “Buddies,” I have learned so much from my friend. He has taught me to stop caring what others think of me and that the people in the middle of the floor dancing like crazy are having WAY more fun than the people on the sidelines. He taught me that it’s never too late in life to change your attitude and take the necessary steps in order to make yourself a happier person. I learned to set realistic goals for myself and whenever I win a medal of any sort, go ahead and wear it for weeks and weeks, because why else would they make them right? And among an entire list of other things I’ve learned from him, one last lesson I learned was never have the mentality that making a difference in any situation is a one way street. World change isn’t limited to those that are volunteering their time and efforts to try to make a difference in someone or something’s life. Take time to reflect on what others have taught you. Be a teacher and a student. And dance like a fool until your glasses fall off.

I will conclude this week’s blog entry with a few picture’s from my Buddy’s softball game this past week. I walked up as the game began and he was on the pitcher’s mound waving his arms up and down getting his team hyped up like a true leader. He pitched the entire game and when the game was tied up in the bottom of the last inning, my homie hit a double to keep his team alive and they would go on to win by 4 points! At the award ceremony, he was named MVP! Keep in mind, this is the same guy who wouldn’t leave his chair to play kickball one year before.

IMG_3900   IMG_3906

IMG_3910   IMG_3931

If you are looking to make a difference and see a difference in yourself, I highly recommend joining a Best Buddies chapter or creating one at your school or in your community.

This was my calling. If it’s not yours, go discover it! Find your passion and

Go Live It Now!

Now…I’m going to go cut a rug and I suggest you do the same and suggest doing so to my jam right here! Till next time, person reading this!…

kc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m47EQtAMzI

OH! And special shout out to my awesome/beautiful/amazing friend for picking me up, taking me to Auto Zone, then back to my car, helping me jump my car, failing with me, then taking me back to Auto Zone and then back to my car. YOU ROCK FRIENDO!

jeanan

The Birth of a Blog No One Will Read

Howdy Person Reading This!

Welcome to the first of many gems I plan on posting on this blog! My history with the blogosphere has unfortunately been one of ups and downs and predestined failure…but I think this one may be the one that stands the test of time…and patience *single fist pump into the air*!

No one cares about what I had for lunch (I finally had the chipotle chicken sandwich at my favorite coffee shop and almost cried), where I’m currently vacationing (mainly because that word doesn’t exist for me…I’m tired y’all…struggle bussin’), or what I think about the last thing Obama said in his State of the Union Address (but I’m borderline positive it was probably amazing and filled me with Hope™ and Change™). This isn’t one of those blogs…*collective “PHEW”*!

I fully intend on constructing this blog with one solid purpose in mind: to share inspiring people, organizations and happenstances with you, throw in some music that happens to be getting me through life/my day at the time of posting, and just get the word out about things I love. I would hope that somewhere in all of my rambling, posting and, oftentimes, impassioned discussions, you too would find something that you love and will be changed by someone else’s work and gain a fire that fills you with desire to make a change yourself.

Considering I recently had an epiphany that I do not belong in the world of Occupational Therapy (holla to those of you pursuing it! Yooooou are the champions, my frieeennnddssss) and instead will focus on the world of non-profit management/entrepreneurship (spelled it correctly first time out of the gate, kids!), look forward to many posts about my favorite non-profits out there right now. Those will come later once I gain an audience…shooting for 5 people! If I get 5 followers, I won’t shave my head or let you throw a pie in my face…but I will eat a chipotle chicken sandwich in your honor! It’s a win/win if you think about it.

So, now that you know how this is gonna go down, I hope you’ll (Mom) continue to join me  on this journey of a person who can’t write, attempting to write an enjoyable/inspiring/not-too-personal-but-just-personal-enough blog. That being said, here’s my first thought grape of my blogsperience…

I have made a conscious effort to find inspiration in the smaller things in life. I am constantly looking up awesome non-profit organizations and getting super into them and then feeling so helpless because I have a year of undergrad left and a while before potentially entering into a master’s program (Yes, I heard myself say that, heard how boring it was…it won’t happen again!).

I returned to my favorite coffee shop after a kick-butt afternoon nap and when I arrived I saw that there was not a seat available and no table for me to do (this) my studying. I don’t know if it was the pathetic look on my face, the fact that I had sweat all over my unshaven face, or just the kindness of this woman’s heart (WHICH IS WHAT I’M GOING TO GO WITH), but something that has never happened to me before happened! I was packing up my laptop to book it out of Dodge and head to campus to find a library to study in, when I hear, “We’re leaving in like five minutes…actually, here, I’ll just move my stuff over.” GOOD GOD!

People always say how things like that can turn your day around and I’ve never doubted it, but I guess I haven’t experienced it in a while. It was very refreshing! After I sat down, two tables opened up with cushioned seats and outlets-a-plenty. And even though I’m sitting here on a hardwood bench with nothing but a 1 cm thick seat cushion providing any sort of comfort to me, I wouldn’t give up this little table for anything!

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Random acts of kindness change people’s days/lives/afternoons/etc. Jump on that gravy train homeboys and sister-friends! I don’t know that woman’s name, in fact she just walked out of the coffee shop and I may never see her again for all I know, but today she made my day and it was something so simple as what I described. I’m looking out for any opportunity to pass on the favor, but for now, I’ll just leave you with some sweet jammage, courtesy of one of my favorite bands The Head and the Heart! If you don’t love them yet, YOU’RE ABOUT TO! REMEMBER THIS DAY! YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE!

https://soundcloud.com/theheadandtheheart/the-head-and-the-heart-shake

Thanks for reading this (Mom)! I promise all of the posts won’t be this long. But it’s Bloggy’s birthday, and he/she/it deserves a proper introduction!

If you’re a human being with a dream, Go Live It Now! (as in, don’t wait! You TURKEY!)