BEAR Some Gifts This Holiday Season

Mission Statement
BEAR…BE A Resource for CPS Kids is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that provides hope and help for abused and neglected children and the caseworkers who protect them within Harris County.

Hey everyone, I’m back! Yay! And I’ve missed this. I have to say that I’m disappointed in myself for the lack of volunteering and posting I’ve done in the last 3 months, but I’m ready to pick up where I’ve left off. There were some things I had to resolve and I’m feeling like myself again now. This post won’t necessarily be a volunteer spotlight (ok maybe a little), but rather an idea to maybe inspire you this holiday season!

Last year, I hosted my first Annual BEAR a Gift Party. It was a lot of fun and so worth all of the prepping and time spent on getting everything ready. Everyone loves a good themed party, so I figured this would be a great opportunity to do some good while we’re at it!

The point of the party was to provide toys for kids that may not otherwise get anything. My dad’s work with at-risk juveniles has always been inspiring to me, which is largely why I chose BEAR as the organization I wanted to contribute to. The toys were donated to youth in the CPS system; which includes approximately 17,000 children in Harris County alone. These are kids that have seen it all — and being provided with a new toy that is 100% their own gives them a sense of hope and comfort. Anybody could come to my party, but in order to get in, you’d have to bring one unwrapped toy valued at $10 or more. The turnout was pretty good and some people went above and beyond and brought more than one toy! One of my favorite parts of the night was listening to people explain why they picked the toy that they did.

These aren’t the best pictures (who knew 11 months ago that I would be posting this on my future blog lol), but hopefully it gives you some ideas if you’d like to host a “toy drive party” of your own. I made special holiday themed drinks, snacks, and had a backdrop for photo ops!



Overall, we ended up with around 40 toys to donate. How awesome is that! I can’t wait to host my second Annual BEAR a Gift Party this year and I hope to surpass the number of toys we collected last year! If you’d like to come, purchase a toy to bring and mark your calendars for December 10th!

Side note, I’ll also be volunteering on Thanksgiving Day with Operation Turkey as a driver, so if you’d like to help out an awesome cause and get some Thanksgiving meals out to the homeless in Houston, sign up here! If I don’t see you there, then I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We truly have a lot to be thankful for. 🙂

*To report a suspected case of child abuse, call the Texas Abuse Hotline at (800) 252-5400. The hotline is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reports can also be made here.

Volunteer with BE A Resource

More info on the BEARing Gifts Program

Celebrate Everything,

It’s Never Too Late to Turn Your Day Around


Hi! Is anyone else having a bad day out there? I hope you aren’t, but if you are, hey! I am too! Let’s talk about it.

So, the “bad day.” The most important thing to remember is that no matter what, it’s going to get better. Whatever issue you or I are having, it will be resolved. Every bad day comes to an end. Sometimes it feels like the only thing you want to do is go to sleep, forget about all of your problems, and wake up to a brand new day. That’s okay! But it’s also never too late to turn your day around. And this option is the one we should always aim for.

Let’s reflect on our negative emotions, figure out what is causing them, figure out how we can make things better, and start that positive mindset over. We all have our moments. Even the people who seem to lead the most positive lives have their moments. And that’s okay too. What am I going to do? I’m going to eat some Oreos, pause for some deep breaths, say a prayer, and then clean my room…which I’ll say a prayer for too. If you know me personally, you know I’m not the neatest person. But I really do believe that a clean space equals a clean mind and sometimes, that’s all we need.

So, do what makes you feel good. Go for a run. Try a new recipe. Buy that pair of shoes you’ve been wanting. There’s still 3 hours and 9 minutes left in the day.

bonus*Raw, bonus picture of Salem climbing on me as I write this…messy room, Oreos, and all…because just like our days, not every picture will be the the best. And that’s okay. 🙂

Celebrate Everything,



Smile at a Stranger Today


Hey, everyone!

Looking back, I have had a lot going on this year and man, 2016 has really tested me. But through it all, I am often reminded of my many blessings. Things are not perfect, and they never will be, but we must continue to make the best of any situation. The wall art that I found out about, posted above and written below, really speaks to me. It’s so easy to say these clichés (for a lack of a better word), but how many of us really put the words into action? And why is it so hard for most of us to do so?

“See, you and me have a better time than most can dream. Have it better than the best. So we can pull on through whatever tears at us, whatever holds us down. And if nothing can be done, we’ll make the best of what’s around. Turns out, not where, but who you are with that really matters.”

Last night, I was fortunate enough to be at an Astros game with tickets that I had won. I was sitting in the row behind a little girl that was crying; at one point, she turned around and saw me – so I smiled at her. She returned the biggest smile on her face! We kept exchanging little pleasantries like that and little waves throughout the game and it was the sweetest thing.

Every day when my mom would drop me off at school back in Elementary, Middle, and even some High school, before I got out of the car, my mom would tell me: Make sure you smile at a stranger today! and things like “You never know what kind of day they’re having…Maybe they don’t get to see smiles all the time like you do…It could turn their day around.” And let me tell you, I’ve heard her say these things so many times that I swear they are permanently etched into my brain! And I’m grateful for that. Thanks, Mom!

I had a great time volunteering last month and I’m ready to volunteer again with a different organization next week. I’ve had some really cool feedback from friends and strangers alike; I get so excited when I see that Nicessities has gained another follower! It seriously warms my heart. Please feel free to comment or send me a message if you’d like to join me next week! I’d love to have you.

I hope you all have had a great week and have an even better upcoming weekend! Lastly, don’t forget – smile at a stranger today!

Celebrate Everything,