Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Princess Project!

I am so in love with The Princess Project!  It is an organization that works year-round to provide prom dresses to those who cannot afford it! With prom season fast approaching for high school students, I wanted to take the time to highlight the work of the volunteers who make these girls really feel like princesses!

Karen Martin, a good friend of mine, is the chairperson this year for the San Diego chapter.  This organization has groups up and down the State of California!

She invited us to come out and support the Time Warp 80's Prom event!  I brought my sister Mae and BF Wendy to a night of fun!

We arrived at the San Diego Hall of Champions dressed up in our '80s gear and immediately took to picture taking as there were many photo opp locations!


There was a special butterfly background that the Butterfly Effect sponsored. They donated $1 to The Princess Project any time anyone texted his/her picture to the organization.

There were lots of goodies to eat and a silent auction going on too! Really amazing items, anything from a jewelry party for six, Sea World tickets, Zoo tickets, salon supplies, jewelry, two nights at a four-star hotel and more! I bid on some Padre tickets for a game vs. the Dodgers for my partner at work and won!  It was fun going back and checking if my bid was still good and then upping it if I needed to!

When you checked in you were given a number to wear.  Other guests could nominate you and submit their ballot for Prom King or Queen!  A random number was pulled from each box to crown the night's King and Queen!
We had fun exploring the building and meeting a new friend, Arlene!
Jodi Kodesh from NBC was our emcee for the night and took a picture with us too! 

It was rewarding to support my friend's organization and get the word out there about this amazing project!  In San Diego, the Princess Project's storefront is located at Horton Plaza. You have to make an appointment to see the dresses. If you have a girl in need of a dress for prom or know someone who does, please share! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Total Mom Makeover Show!

Photo credit:  Daisy Teh
I've been blogging for a little over two years now and I've been able to meet some amazing people through it! One of those people is Daisy Teh, known as The "It" Mom.
The "It" Mom, Daisy Teh!
She's someone that I definitely admire for how her hard work has brought her and her family exciting opportunities and adventures through blogging.  I friended her on Facebook and subscribed to her page and blog. At the start of the new year, she wrote a very personal post about how her blog's purpose has changed over the years. Here is an excerpt from her post, Vow to Stand Out:
"For the last five years, TheItMom.com has evolved through the good times and the bad. This blog has been my haven of whatever I’ve wanted to post in my life. It’s been my diary of what I’ve been comfortable posting publicly, and it’s been a way for me to supplement my income as an amazing side hustle.
But God opened my eyes to purpose, and that purpose isn’t just about me…it’s about you, The It Moms of the world who want to stand out. I’m often asked what The It Mom means, but I cannot categorize you in any type of specific box. I can’t say beauty, because it isn’t all about cosmetics, anti-aging skin care, or hair. I can’t say fashion or style, because what’s the point of dressing trendy or stylish when you have nothing of substance to offer? And no, ‘IT’ does not stand for Information Technology! ‘It’ means you are ‘It’…you are everything you could possibly be in your life."
Daisy also shared how she's had the vision of providing transformations to women, particularly moms because she has identified with moms who put everyone else's needs above their own and often fall into a rut, not intentionally of course, but finding that they've "let themselves go."  Since writing that post, Daisy made a huge commitment to go forward with this mission, in fact calling it her ministry, of helping moms remind themselves of their confidence and beauty by partnering with several fashion, style and beauty experts to create a reality webshow which will begin airing it’s first season every Thursday at 8/7pm Central beginning April 6, 2017. Each episode will feature one mom’s unique story and their vow to stand out from the crowd.
So what does this have to do with me?  Well, one day, browsing through Facebook in mid-January, I saw a post with a link to the application for a Mom Makeover. The window to apply was short, only a week or so.  I said to myself, "Why not?" I even shared the link with some of my best friends.  I answered the questions as honestly as I could, injecting some self-deprecating humor as I usually do, and clicked "submit."   
Then, on January 31st, I received a phone call midday from a number I didn't recognize. I let it go to voicemail as I was on lunch supervision at school.  The message was from Daisy! I had been selected as one of the 12 moms on the first season of the Total Mom Makeover Show! They received over 500 applications! You bet I called her back right away! I was beside myself!  She said contracts will be sent shortly.
Contract? Yes, I checked my email a day or two later and there it was, an email containing a four-page contract! Hmmm, what was I signing up for?  Did I tell you that I saw a palm reader in Vegas in December and she told me to carefully screen a contract this year? See that post here. The palm reader did not say that it was going to be anything bad, but I thought it was an odd thing for her to tell me.  So I read the contract, legalese and all! You know how you get vibes about people when you talk to them? After reading several of her posts and talking to her, I trusted Daisy from our short conversation. Mostly, seeing this contract made me extremely impressed at the massive project she was undertaking.  The fact that she felt it was her "calling" to help moms regain their sense of self moved me. I digitally signed my autograph and hit "send."
Those of you who have known me, know I am not particularly shy. I've been told that people can find me from far away because they'll hear my laugh. I guess I am loud, at least my daughters say so. I like to meet new people and sort of interview them, hopefully not making them feel awkward or uncomfortable! I was a cheerleader in high school and started my professional life as a teacher so I'm use to being in front of people. I'm in my forties now. I don't think my personality has changed very much, however, my looks have.  I am a petite-plus mom, petite only because I'm 5'1'. Twenty-five years of being married to a husband who cooks great food, I have temptation around me daily.  I hate going to the doctor and being weighed because I'm the heaviest I've ever been. Lately, I haven't really enjoyed shopping because clothes just don't fit me like they used to.  
I had a massage recently, where the very nice Chinese man noticed I drank cold water.  He suggested that I drink warm water  because "your tummy is over-sized, the warm water will help with digestion and get the grease out." Great. I smiled at him and nodded. He didn't offend me because I know he had good intentions. But nowadays, even my legs and feet are "over-sized" hahaha.  I stopped trying to find tall boots years ago because none would go up my calves!  My motivation to exercise has also declined. I used to at least try to walk around my neighborhood two to three times a week, but that has gone to the wayside. Needless to say, I wish I was less pleasingly plump. But, I have time to change that right! I shall open my heart to receiving all the information I can so that I can do my best with what I have to work with! I'm so looking forward to what is in store for my Mom Makeover!

So this is what I know, exactly five days from now, I and the other 11 moms will be meeting the "Dream Team" of stylists and experts for a whirlwind all-expense paid weekend in Newport Beach, CA.

We will each be receiving:
  • A personalized hair styling session by celebrity hairstylist, Dusty Simington, who has styled the likes of Tiffany Theisen, Jenny Garth, and Daisy Fuentes. 
  • A personalized makeup session with products from It Cosmetics and lashes from Make-up Pro
  • A manicure session by an expert manicurist
  • A personalized styling session by expert and/or celebrity fashion stylists
  • A shopping experience with a personal stylist
  • Tutorials on skincare and beauty
  • Professional photoshoot and personal interview
  • Jewelry from Alex and Ani.
  • Outfit(s) provided by Adrianna Papell
Can you believe it?  I am still pinching myself. I will try my best to social media-ize my experience live as much as possible.  For more information on the upcoming show, please click here.  
Thank you to Daisy Teh and her team for making this possible. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to re-discover how to put more effort into myself and hit "reset."  #TheItMomMakeover

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sweetwater Educators Karangalan Scholarship



Photo credit to Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia
The Sweetwater Educators Karangalan Scholarship began in the year 2000.  The word “Karangalan” means pride, dignity and honor.  Our committee has awarded close to 260 scholarships over the last 15 years to well-deserving Filipino-American High School seniors furthering their education. Our winners have all demonstrated academic excellence, involvement in school activities and leadership in community service. In fact, many of our winners are the valedictorian or salutatorian of their respective high schools. There are 12 high schools in the Sweetwater Union High School District located within the area between South San Diego and as far north as National City, CA.  
Our committee is made up of teachers, counselors, and administrators. Each scholar receives anywhere from $100 to $700 in scholarship money. Over the years, we have awarded close to $76,500 to students. 100% of our funds come from donations and money raised through fundraising.  Here is a link if you feel compelled to donate. Our goal this year is to raise $5000. In the past we have also received in kind support for our scholarship from organizations such as “The Filipino Press”, the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of San Diego, as well as assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’ office. Along with a check received at the annual Magkaisa conference, students are featured in publications, receive certificates and a Filipino-themed stole to wear at their high school graduations. 
A big part of my involvement is fundraising.  One fundraiser we do at my school is Filipino Food Friday!  We receive orders from staff members and a portion of the cost goes to the scholarship. Staff enjoy lumpia, pancit, chicken adobo, chicken barbecue and turon from local turo-turo places. We've even had thai tea and milk tea offered as well from our good friends at Snoice. 

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling
Special thanks to Lorena and Mike who help me organize!

In addition to Filipino Food Fridays, our next fundraiser is scheduled to happen next month!  We're also planning a silent auction of all kinds of good stuff!
Special thanks to Chef DJ Tangalin for making this happen! I first met Chef DJ as a blogger attending a tasting menu at one of his former restaurants. He was so humble, hospitable, with such HUGE TALENT, I immediately became a fan. He is now the executive chef at Tidal. Wherever he is at, DJ always features a few signature Filipino fusion items on his menus. I love that he pays tribute to his heritage in his food. I've followed him since in his career began here in San Diego and I am very grateful for his involvement with our scholarship. Search under my tabs "For Foodies" for previous posts on him.
Photo credit to K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune
As an educator working in National City, where there is a heavy Filipino-American population as well as many living near the poverty level, I find extreme satisfaction and reward contributing to an organization where we are directly investing in our youth.  Many of our past recipients of the scholarship keep in touch and let us know what they have been up to.  Check them out here.

Here is the information on the Karangalan Fundraiser Dinner!  Seating will be limited as it will be an intimate event! If you cannot make it that day,  I hope you can also be involved as no donation is too small for furthering our youth's education goals. Follow us on Facebook too!
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