Grab Your Passport! We’re Going To Europe.

Europe here we come! This summer me, my sister and cousin will travel through Europe visiting Germany, Netherlands, France and Italy. (insert happiest emoji)

Below are maps with circles highlighting places we will visit within each country. Flights are booked, passports are ready, but there is so much more to be done. My biggest challenge will definitely be packing. One suitcase for three weeks … how will I survive? I have already dreamt about packing, forgetting everything and almost missing the flight trying to pack last minute. The trip is in July, but I should start practice packing tomorrow.

Ahhh! I’m so excited. mgermany mfranceitaly_states_map

Short Term 12 is “Raw & Honest”

“Remember you are not their parent, you are not their therapist, you are here to provide a safe environment and that’s it.” -Grace (Short Term 12)

Short Term 12 tells to story of Grace,  a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers.

This film sparked my interest because I was placed in foster care from about age 9 until I was adopted at age 16. I lived in a family home setting as opposed to the group home setting featured in the film. Hearing Grace say the quote above captured my attention. Those words are a reality for too many foster youth.

I thought, “This trailer just got real”. More often than not, foster youth are removed from what they know as home, for reasons beyond their control. To think that they are then placed in an environment where the staff are instructed to only provide a “safe” environment is horrible. How can youth reach their full potential? Without nurturing, love and support, the system is setup to produce few successful adults. I digress.

Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12 writer and director) presents a raw and honest depiction of life for staff and foster youth in facilities similar to Short Term 12. The relationship between the staff and youth warm your heart. Be prepared for the whirlwind of emotions you will experience.

At the end of the film, reflect on the beginning. Unfortunately, that reality is a continuous cycle for some.

Check out Short Term 12 now playing in select theaters.

Graceland

Since 90210 said farewell, i’m in the market for a replacement show. After watching the premiere episode of Graceland, I think it may be able to fill the spot.

The series follows the lives and lies of six undercover agents living together in a gorgeous SoCal beachfront property.

Watch a 5 minute sneak preview here. Check out the full episode tonight 10et/9c on USA Network.

Let me know what you think.

947035_10100539156842466_1334094814_n

graceland_aspot_2490x1418_keyart_v6_0

Upgrade You

begreat

Whether it’s a career, job, relationship, friendship, health or fitness, don’t be afraid to upgrade.

Confession: I’ve allowed myself to accept less than I deserve and sat comfortably in a below great position. That’s not the person I am, nor want to be. I decided to give up good and go for great. Let’s do it together!

How to Upgrade You

1. Evaluate – Take notice of where you are and where you want to be. If you don’t know where you are and where you’re going, it’s easy to get lost.

2. Plan – Map out the steps you must take to reach your goals. Write a list, create a vision board and compose a outline. Having multiple visuals serve as constant reminders to keep you focused on your end game. Lists allow you a sense of accomplishment, each item crossed off brings you closer to your goal.

3. Execute – Fulfill the requirements of your lists, vision board and outline. Keep placing one foot in front of the other. It may seem that you are far away, but you can reach your goals. If you fall down, get back up. Remain consistent, positive, focused and work for what you want.

Operation Gratitude

188899_10151541939559391_208076242_n

Operation Gratitude sends 100,000+ care packages each year to U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, their children left behind, veterans, first responders, wounded warriors and their care givers.  Packages are individually addressed and filled with snacks,letters of appreciation, personal and entertainment items.

Packages are  assembled at the Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California for safety and security. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude has shipped more than 915,000 packages.

In February, Be A Light volunteers spent the morning assisting Operation Gratitude with “Prep” and “Assembly Day” tasks.

Prep” work includes sorting donated items, folding shirts, screening letters, and otherwise preparing the products for Assembly Days. In addition, if time allows,  instructions and materials are provided  for making Paracord Survival Bracelets.

Assembly Day” work includes production of the care packages, labeling, taping, letter reading and writing, running packages, re-stocking the lines and breaking down cartons.

Check us out in action below.

1713_10151541939899391_1789440950_n

420087_10151541938284391_2097152871_n

482771_10151541938474391_1548687062_n

374477_10151541937784391_488419358_n

576197_10151541939009391_195037246_n

530408_10151541938764391_494402088_n

544473_10151541938629391_1782045857_n

Youngest Best Actress Oscar Nominee Ever

Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild, allowing her to make history as the youngest individual to ever be nominated as best actress in a leading role.

Look out for this tiny force of nature in Twelve Years a Slave and Boneshaker.

Congrats Quvenzhané!!!

wallis-beasts-jpg_064424

Photo Credit: Mary Cybulski/Fox Searchlight Pictures

National Board of Review Awards 2013

Photo Credit: quvenzhane-wallis.com

Watch a clip of Quvenzhané acting in the Beasts of the Southern Wild trailer.