“anthology of anonymoUS” (What Is It That Bullies You?)

Memories of my childhood  make me smile, laugh, cry, cringe, regret, regress, and reflect.   There was someone in Jr. High who bullied me, and during that time I was a tornado of negative emotions with no real understanding of why it was happening.  A classmate of mine, Michael Anthony (who you have read about before For Billy: The Movie) made it his goal to show people who have had a bullying experience that we are not alone.

“The anonymoUS initiative  is a non-profit anti-bullying movement dedicated to helping all people — all ages, all races, all demographics and all orientations — come out, come together and overcome the things that bully them. What began as a simple letter writing campaign has since exploded into an artistic movement, inspiring a feature-length documentary, a book, a musical soundtrack and a live stage show; all focused on exploring the most painful bully of all.”

anthology of anonymoUS (The Book): A powerful collection of 99 responses to the question: “What is it that bullies you?”   This book is a unique look into raw, uncensored truths, experiences, and emotions that will amaze you.  Each story, poem, email, confession is different, yet we can all relate.  Michael Anthony inspired these anonymoUS authors to band together and show us all “Even in our darkest moments, we are never alone.”  Order your copy of this book today! For each copy of the “anthology of anonymoUS” that is purchased through this site (www.iamanonymous.org), $1 will be donated to an anti-bullying program that operates within the delivery zip code.  It is extremely important to consider that by referring this book to your friends, parents, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, teachers you could be helping someone going through a difficult time.

anonymUSe (The Music): “An 18-track musical collection that explores our inner bullies through an eclectic mix of folk, jazz, new age, R& B, spoken word and dance music.”  Anthony asked a group of talented musicians to respond in song to a variety of the anonymoUS written pieces. Beautiful music has been created to release and re-illustrate the pain someone has once gone through (if this isn’t Karma for the bullying, I don’t what is!) The pain someone has felt, has now been turned into a candid,amazing song.   This is also one of the first non-profits EVER to release a soundtrack along with its book. Show your support to these artists by ordering your soundtrack today and be sure to get a listen preview at the anonymoUSe site.

Let’s face it, we know Michael Anthony is not stopping with a book and a CD.  The anonymoUS initiative isn’t even CLOSE to being done yet.  Plans for a play and workshops are also in the mix, so keep visiting http://www.iamanonymous.org for more information, updates and news.    I also recommend you follow Michael Anthony on Facebook, or YouTube.

Since I could not word it better myself (to describe the incredible achievements and drive this man has), I will end this blog with more information on Michael Anthony and why he is making my generation PROUD!

Michael Anthony Nalepa is a Wheeling, Illinois native who now works as a professional writer and producer in Los Angeles. His work has been featured in Glamour, The Advocate, Reader’s Digest, TV Guide and TMZ, as well as on NBC, Country Music Television, Sirius Radio and TV Guide Network.
 
For four years, he served as Creative Director of Alternative Programming for the Celebration Theatre and now hosts and his own award-winning theatrical variety hour at Lilly Tomlin’s LAGLC theatre in Hollywood.
 
His work as an equal rights activist launched the “anonymoUS initiative”, an international letter writing campaign dedicated to helping people of all ages, races and orientations overcome what bullies them through art and activism. An anti-bullying documentary based on Michael’s childhood in Wheeling, IL is slated for national release in 2013.

 

 

How an iPod Touch is changing my life….

On my 30th birthday my sisters, brother in law, aunt and mom all pitched to get me an iPod Touch and it’s changing my life.  I constantly have internal battles with myself on what I did prior to the “technology” era.  At times I find myself rushing home to go back on the computer instead of the gym.  I often think, “I should try to give up the computer for a couple a weeks and see how productive I could be.”  I never end up staying away from it, but I’ve been able to cut down on computer time.  You would think the iPod Touch would be another distraction; however it’s one of the best inventions of our generation and here is why:

Continue reading

Zumba Songlist

For a white girl who learned basic spanish in highschool and didn’t retain much, it was tough to find the majority of my Zumba songs online.  I was able to Google certain phrases and eventually found a good amount of the music I hear at my weekly classes. There are still a few I can’t find, but the following songs are awesome not only for Zumba, but to jam to in the car. I encourage you to leave a comment with your favorites!

  1. Latinos by Proyecto Uno
  2. Candelo by Papo Mc & Sandy
  3. Hasta el Fin by Monchy & Alexandra
  4. On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull
  5. Cali de Rumba by Fruko y Sus Tesos
  6. Calabria 2007 (Radio Edit) by Enur
  7. Motivate al Baile by Baby Rank
  8. Pam Pam by Wisin & Yandel
  9. En la Disco (Studio) by Olga Tanon & Tito El Bambino
  10. Que Te Pica by Notch
  11. El Bombon Asesino (Dance) by Ninel Conde
  12. Mueve la Colita by Los Callejeros
  13. Cuando Volveras by Martin Lopez
  14. Fuego by Kumbia Kings
  15. El Rompe Cintura by Grupo Arena
  16. Movie It Up by El General
  17. Mi Puerto Rico by Aventura
  18. Lets Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez
  19. Calle Ocho by Pitbull
  20. Abreme la Puerta by Guillermo Davila
  21. Stereo Love by Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina
  22. Mueve la Pompa by DJ Kuri
  23. La Batidora by Azul Azul
  24. Zumbalicious by Zumba Fitness
  25. Hella decale by DJ Mam’s
  26. Zumba He Zumba Ha by DJ Mam’s
  27. Cumbia pa la Nena by Bachaco
  28. Rabiosa (feat. el Cata) by Shakira
  29. Loca (feat. el Cata) by Shakira
  30. Danza Kuduro by Don Omar Arcangel & Daddy Yankee

I’m always looking for new music! Leave some comments with your faves 🙂

Jennifer Hudson….Weight Watching

WOW. 80lbs lighter, Ms. Jennifer Hudson looks unbelievable. After revelaing her weight loss on an Oprah appearance, I was inspired. I gained 60lbs when I was pregnant with my daughter and so far I have only lost 20lbs of that.  My daughter is now 10 months old so I will think of Jennifer’s journey while I continue working on myself.  Personally I thought Jennifer was gorgeous before she lost the weight, but the clothes she has been rocking are PERFECT for her new body and she looks ecstatic to model them.  I love this story so much because it reminds me of my own weight loss struggles & accomplishments.  Jennifer Hudson puts such a “Smile” on the face of weight loss. She was able to shine beautifully when she was heavier and she still has the same warm, can-do attitude as a size 6.   Continue reading

For Billy: The Movie

A 2009 study by the Indicators of School Crime and Safety showed that 1/3 of teens reported being bullied at school. An even more alarming statistic showed that school bullying can be related to violent actions, including suicides outside of school.  It is truly outrageous and heartbreaking to think of a young child or teen who thinks there is “no way out”  that they actually contemplate taking and in some cases do take their own lives.   A fellow WHS alum of mine, Michael Anthony is standing up and making an effort for change. It all started with this hilarious You Tube video.

Michael’s video sparked a reaction in many people and the documentary, For Billy: The Movie, was created.  After posting the You Tube video, “It Gets Better:” “Michael received over 100 responses from friends and strangers alike; however, one letter in particular changed the course of Michael’s life. Simply signed “Billy”, this semi-anonymous note was written by a boy from Michael’s hometown, one who currently attended his very same high school. In the letter, Billy shared his personal struggle with his sexuality and the sadness it has created in his life – a story Michael found all too familiar.” I urge you to go to the For Billy: the movie website and read Billy’s letter, find out how you can help, donate and mark your calendars for the event:  BE: The Exhibit on March 18th in Arlington Heights, IL.  I asked Michael if I could write this blog because it is such an important message to send to kid and adults. He was kind enough to let me share this story and his objective of this documentary: “What do I hope to accomplish from this? My goal is this…You can’t change the world, but you CAN change conflicted hearts, the people that are on the border of accepting everyone. Maybe I can change 10 people in Wheeling. Maybe my media coverage can change 100 people in Illinois. Maybe this documentary can change 100 people in each state. That’s 5,000 people who, before, weren’t accepting or aware of our culture of bullying, homophobia and ignorance. 5,000 people can change the world, I think. That’s what I hope to accomplish.” Michael’s open heart and kindness gives me hope and I feel so proud to support his vision with this movement.  If you have been following my blog, I hope you gather that I am a strong believer in accepting others for who they are.  This is the quintessential time to act on that belief ! See you on the 18th and special thanks to Michael Anthony for the message, movie and motivation to stand up for our youth!!

Don’t want to be called “Pee-Pants?” Try Kegel Exercises.

A Kegel Exercise is the contracting and relaxing of muscles that form part of the pelvic floor.  I found out about these when I was about 18 years old and to be honest, I had a “WTF?” moment.  It was kind of like, “You can exercise your pum pum…say what??”

Turns out it was the truth and all women should do these to prevent pelvic organ prolapse ( a condition that sometimes results in urine leakage & uncomfortable pelvice pressure), combat urinary problems, & improve your sex life.   After researching the internet for the best explanation of these, I found the Mayo-Clinic website was really informative to share below:

  • Find the right muscles. Insert a finger inside your vagina and try to squeeze the surrounding muscles. You should feel your vagina tighten and your pelvic floor move upward. Then relax your muscles and feel your pelvic floor return to the starting position. You can also try to stop the flow of urine when you urinate. If you succeed, you’ve got the basic move. Don’t make a habit of starting and stopping your urine stream, though. Doing Kegel exercises with a full bladder or while emptying your bladder can actually weaken the muscles, as well as lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder — which increases the risk of a urinary tract infection. ( Click HERE for Diagram of find the right muscle)
  • Perfect your technique. Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, empty your bladder and sit or lie down. Contract your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, then relax for five seconds. Try it four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions
  • Maintain your focus. For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Avoid holding your breath. Instead, breathe freely during the exercises.
  • Repeat three times a day. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day. You might make a practice of fitting in a set every time you do a routine task, such as checking email, commuting to work, preparing meals or watching TV

No age is too late to start these. Talk to your doctor if you have any trouble, your doctor can walk you through the right way to do the Kegel Excercises.

Dear Ms. Lohan, You are a HOT MESS, but I love that dress!

Where did the talented and adorable actress from the 1998 remake of Parent Trap go?  She rocked that english accent like nobody’s business and had gorgeous red locks of luxury.  What was there not to love? I was super bummed when I came to the realization that there was only 1 of her when she acted her little heart out as twin girls trying to get her divorced p’s back together in a captivating performance (in my opinion she was just shy of an Oscar nod.lol) 6 years later the actress reappeared in Mean Girls and was an instant “it” girl in Hollywood. Men wanted her and women wanted to be her (both a little scary since she was only a teenage girl) She was beautiful, healthy and greatest of all a real-life “ginge.” She joined the elite Ginge Hot List (members also include Wilma Flinstone, Shaun White, Prince Harry, Lucille Ball etc…). Talented Ginges are RARE to come by, hotter ginges are even more rare. The world fell in love with Lindsay overnight. Sadly the put together LL fell apart as quick as her rise to the top.  A downward spiral of events from anorexia, DUI’s, partying, drugs, relationship probs, rehab, lawsuits, jail and the most current grand theft case plagued LL. One of the worst changes of all, LL took that gingery hair and turned it blonde.  This girl can’t catch a break, but does she deserve one? Definitely not my place to decide! On a serious note I do wish well for Ms. Lohan and hope she can pull it together and get back to the “Mean Girl” years of her career. Frankly this blog is dedicated to the amazing and popular white dress she wore to court on Wednesday.  Peeps are in a frenzy for this Kimberly Ovitz mini-dress and apparently it is sold out and doesn’t even become available for a couple months.  I don’t think its as big of deal as others may think that she wore it to court, I mean what’s the biggie?  Out of all the things LL did, people are shocked by a dress? LOL Amazing what we focus on. Anyways here is a pic of LL (at a healthy weight) in the form-fitting Basic Instinct-esque frock.  Although Ms. Lohan appears to be a hot mess, I do love that dress!