There is no denying denim is here to stay and will never go out of style. The excitement for denim will sure give you the right kind of blues. Denim is essentially the backbone of any closet. Year after year the denim trends take a turn and go from skinny, to boyfriend, from wide, to straight and everything in between. But the fact still remains we love them all.
So, what exactly are some of the denim trends this fall? Scroll below to see 4 denim styles taking over. Without a doubt, you’ll be seeing around and will help prepare you to step out in style.
True Skinny Denim
Many of us cringe of the thought of skinny jeans. Skinny isn’t all bad. This fall season skinny is back with a twist. These have just the perfect stretch. With a looser fit, this style is more forgiving while still maintaining that streamlined look. Look for denim with great stretch for an amazing all day fit. You can style skinny jeans denim on denim, add a blazer with a pair of fly booties for a fun look.
For the comfort and flexibility of leggings, but the style of jeans, a pair of jeggings is just the ticket. Jeggings are super fitted and comfortable. These are so perfect paired with cute booties or heels for fall. The easiest way to make jeggings look more polished is to throw a chic blazer over a top or t-shirt. This combination of jeans, a simple T-shirt and accessories is certainly no exception to this rule.
Wide Leg Crop Jeans
If we could marry wide-leg pants, we would in a heartbeat. Not going happen, so lets’ just settle for wearing them every day of the fall season. Wide-leg jeans are nothing new, but they've got staying power for a reason. Whether you rock them in full-length or cropped form, they'll make a major statement with a '90s edge. Wear them with heels, sneakers, or whatever you'd like — they're comfy and versatile all in one. These are certainly perfect for wearing with heels, booties or over the knee boots. Sure to carry you through the fall and winter seasons.
Vintage Inspired Straight Leg Jeans
Vintage inspired jeans are making a comeback for fall 2019. From high waisted, mommy cut, flared or boyfriend, there are so many vintage style jeans, you can’t go wrong with this season. These are the cheekiest pair of GAP jeans. Cut to hug you in all the right places; with hidden holds-you-in front pocket that help give you a sleek, smooth look all day long. They have a look like your favorite vintage jeans with the perfect amount of stretch. Chewed hem and ripped, these are great for fall and beyond. Add a touch a chicness with a denim jacket and statement top.
By SHARRON CLEAR
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world after the oil industry and as industry grows, so does the environmental damage.
We as a society became really aware of how the food affects our health but we do not think about the toxicity of our clothes. Cheap and disposable textile production has grown by 400% in the last decade and it has a disastrous impact on the environment.
So, let’s take a look at a fast fashion. The fashion industry, in fact, is the second largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry. And the environmental damage is increasing as the industry grows. While trying to keep up with the newest trends people keep buying more and more clothes. It has become a challenge to wear a garment more than 5 times and many people believe that it is not ok to wear a garment more than once.
WHY? Who said that wearing the dress to an event for a second time people will notice and it’s embarrassing? I heard it from so many women and I never understood who created this nonsense and why women believe this to be the truth. This is the biggest scam that people buy into because now they are buying more and more clothes and filling their closets with synthetic, plastic and toxic clothing that are only being worn few times. Our skin is our body's largest organ and absorbs anything we put on it, including chemicals in our clothes.
For the industry, cheaper, faster, higher volume has been a great success. Today it is a $3 trillion industry reaching the most profitable moment in history. However, if nothing changes, the negative impacts created by fashion industry can be a true disaster by 2050.
The world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. A new survey found that the average American will toss out 81 pounds of clothing this year. That amounts to 26 billion pounds of textiles and clothes ending up in landfills where it stays and pollutes the ground and water. Think about this, one garbage truck of clothes is burned or sent to landfills every second! We became like robots, consuming more and more without even thinking of how our purchases affect our nature, our oceans and our future generations.
In most countries in which garments are produced, untreated toxic wastewaters from textiles factories are dumped directly into the rivers. Nearly 20% of global waste water is produced by the fashion industry. Waste water contains many toxic substances such as lead, mercury, arsenic and many others which are extremely harmful for the aquatic life. The heavy use of chemicals in cotton farming is causing diseases and massive freshwater and ocean water pollution.
THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS A MAJOR WATER CONSUMER
Huge quantity of fresh water is used for the dyeing and finishing process for all of our clothes. For example, it can take up to 200 tons of fresh water per ton of dyed fabric. It takes more than 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture just one T-shirt and a pair of jeans. Just to produce 1 kg of cotton, up to 20,000 liters of water are needed.
SYNTHETIC GARMENTS AND CHEMICALS
Chemicals are one of the main components in our clothes. They are used during fiber production, dyeing, bleaching, and wet processing even though they are toxic, bio-accumulative, disruptive to hormones and carcinogenic. Polyester is the most popular fabric that is used in fashion. Every time we wash a synthetic garment (polyester, nylon, acrylic) about 1900 individual microfibers shed into the water supply threatening marine wildlife and introducing plastic in our food chain. Synthetic fibers are a type of plastic, made from petroleum and they are non-biodegradable. They take more than 200 years to decompose. By the way, synthetic fibers are used in the 72% of our clothing.
LOSS OF FORESTS AND HEALTHY SOIL
Every year, thousands of hectares of endangered and ancient forests are cut down and replaced by plantations of trees used to make wood-based fabrics such as rayon, viscose, and modal. Such loss of many trees and entire forests is threatening our ecosystem and indigenous communities.
As we can see, fast fashion is a serious environmental threat to our beautiful Planet. We must absolutely change the way clothes are designed, sold and consumed. We are only guests on this Planet and we are all responsible. Taking away from our planet equals taking away from our future. It is time for people to awaken and understand that each one of us can make a difference. So next time when you go shopping, think carefully if you really need to buy that many clothes just because they are on sale? Look at the label and the composition of the material. I guarantee that most people are buying polyester right and left without even thinking.
What you put inside your body is as important as what you put on your body. Your skin will love natural fabrics much better than any synthetics. Having awareness allows you to make smarter decisions. We all can contribute to the good of the Planet on the individual level. Buying less, higher quality and always recycling or donating any clothes that you don’t wear anymore can make a huge difference. Our clothing can either continue to be a major part of the problem or it can become an enormous part of getting our planet back to balance.
Jurate Luckaite – Fashion Expert, Designer, Entrepreneur, Speaker
I have had the privilege of knowing, and working with a photographer who is no stranger in the world of pageantry, runway shows, and personal photoshoots. His background, when we first met, was his videography expertise keenly captured on locations throughout the world during his tenure at the Miss USA Pageant, and of course, Miss Universe. I captured the gold ring when he and I met twenty-five years ago at a networking event in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Enjoy this month’s CLOSE UP … with Joe Pier.
At what age did photography become your BFF?
First, I want to thank you for taking time and space to feature my story and opinion regarding photography.
I became interested in photography at the age of 17 when living in Mexico. I was given the opportunity to work for United Press International covering the 1968 Olympics. The action on the sports arena, coupled with the turmoil the country was in, was a constant adrenalin rush at the press pool. The call to action to capture the event, be it sport or news, caught my interest, and hence, the beginning of my love for recording moments through my camera, both still and in motion.
Do you enjoy videography or photography more?
Here’s the back story to my two-part answer! I moved to Canada to go to college where I was able to continue my photography as photo-editor of the University weekly newspaper and editor of the yearbook for two years. On a summer job during my last year of college, I was introduced to the medium of video photography and went to work at one of Canada’s leading networks, CTV. This network also had a production wing, which was involved not only in major Canadian TV shows, but equally involved in the US market, giving us exposure to many of the top American shows from the ’70s thru the ’90s.
I was also very fortunate that as a Canadian, I got to go on many remote locations off-limits to US operators, visiting Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, … I even had the opportunity to film Fidel Castro for an ABC Sports Boxing match in Cuba.
I moved to Hollywood and continued in the industry there. So, I would say, I love the challenges of videography, I have a fabulous job! But, ultimately, photography has captured my heart, offering me the opportunity to be my own creative artist – controlling the set, lighting, subject matter, all edited to create my own style.
I know you’ve been working with women of all ages around the world. What in particular do you “search for” when looking through the lens?
Women are a favorite subject matter of mine. The age of my subject influences my approach, be it young and full of life, secure of their beauty and personality, or as they age the doubts that creep in, as to still being the subject of beauty. So my job is not only to create a setting for the image to be captured in, but it is also to work with my subjects in front of the lens to bring out their personality and their beauty. Bad jokes, sometimes do the trick! Who do I enjoy working with … simple – the ones who WANT to be photographed!
Do hair and make-up styles play a part in the “scene”? For instance, pageant hair and makeup may be different than walking the runway. What do you try to capture in the “look” of that shoot?
The use of hair and makeup is the primary source for glamour and fashion photography, as opposed to everyday life. And yes, it is an essential part of creating a look. The better trained “makeup artists” look at the face as a blank canvas to create their art. Of course, these artists look for guidance from their clients, photographers, producers, editor, etc. to create THAT LOOK. The style is dictated by the situation so sometimes more or sometimes less works best.
When doing a family or couple’s photoshoot, I’ve noticed that many are turning to a monochromatic look in their ensembles. What’s your thought on that – good idea or bad idea?
Photography has gone through some amazing transformations, from those old brownies our grandparents used to capture us with, to today's digital phone. The digital medium has allowed us to make all types of edits to our images with the use of simple apps. And one of these filters converts color to monochromatic imagery, which I find has a wonderful feel to it, sometimes more dramatic than color. But they are hard to compare, it’s in the eye of the beholder to make the final decision.
Can you share some tips for our readers when getting “camera ready”?
My only tip for being camera-ready is for one to truly feel in their mind that they are ready to take the fun and exciting experience of being captured on (oops almost showed my age by saying film!) the medium of photography.
Founder ClassicInternationalWoman.com for women over 35 years of age
In my recent interview with Jasmine Penna, Founder Conges’ Jewelry she explains her love of strong family bonds, overcome a debilitating bout of meningitis, and navigating diabetes all while becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Clarissa: Let's go back to the very beginning. I love this story and I love the image of you being in the room with your Grandmother, who was working fashion in L.A. at the time, and you learning from looking over her shoulder. Tell me a little more about that.
Jasmine: I basically grew up in my Grandmother's house. My memories are with my Grandma and my parents, working or taking a break with dinner and then getting back to work. It was pretty much me growing up with my Grandmother the majority of my life and watching her work. Just watching her was very inspiring to me.” She was always working on gowns for different celebrities and actresses for award shows.
Clarissa: You’re now at the beginning of entrepreneurship and you get sick, right? Do you want to talk about that?
Jasmine: I contracted meningitis and it was a huge setback. That was on my 21st birthday. Meningitis was definitely a huge change in my life because I really wanted to study nutrition and occupational therapy. That is actually the direction I was going in with my studies. I do have a major passion for nutrition and medicine and that was triggered by my diabetes. At a certain point I contracted meningitis. It set me back because I ended up having a relapse and I couldn't walk. I had to teach myself how to walk. It was a awkward time, to say the least. My dad did a transition on me and he's all about, “You got to go to college. You got to get your education.” He's an organic chemist to the highest of education that you can get. When he came to me and he said, “You got to take a step back. Just ease your mind. If you really care about fashion that much, why don't you switch schools? I don't want you going far away.” Then I went to FIDM. I got to continue staying with my Grandma, which was great because she was my best friend.
Clarissa: After some time, you get married and you go on your honeymoon. I don't know when you really get into the jewelry, was it on the Bora Bora honeymoon you went, “Okay, that's it!”
Jasmine: When I went on my honeymoon with my husband, we were in Bora Bora, the only thing that I saw I could get was Tahitian pearls. But two things: one, it was over my budget and pearls don't work with me. I'm talking about the energy of it doesn't work with me. That was my need and the solution was: “I am going to create a jewelry piece. It will become my signature collection, where I'm going to get a design patent on it, be in the form of utility as well – because it's got to be multi-functional – and it’s going to be a collectible. People are going to want to start collecting it, layering it, wearing it in different ways.” And that's how I came up with the signature collection and creating my own line.
Clarissa: Give me an idea as to the philosophy behind your brand, the way you choose the gems and the idea of it.
Jasmine: My first collection was the Signature Collection. It’s personalized with an original signature barrel. This is what I have my first design patents on with the jewelry collection and it's encapsulated. It's a little barrel. You can wear it horizontally or vertically as a bracelet, on a necklace, on a leather choker, however you want. The way I chose the crystals was through an analysis I did of adults, which to some may sound crazy. “What is it we as human beings feel we need or want to amplify in our lives? What's missing? What's there but needs to be a little more advanced or stronger, moved in a positive direction?” I found the crystals give you energy from their properties to help you.
Clarissa: So, now you have your creations in hand. What's the next move? Are you knocking on doors or are you selling online?
Jasmine: Right now, I'm online but I'm also knocking on doors. My biggest goal was something that I took from my Grandmother's time. It was about stylists. I had some experience with it myself when I went to the Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising. That was where I was originally knocking on doors. I started there and progressed more into sales. It was primarily by word of mouth, which was amazing. From there it grew and now we're on Nordstrom.com and we're venturing out into other brick and mortar stores as well here and over seas.
Clarissa: Everything sounds extraordinary. I can’t imagine the hurdles you had to get over health-wise, to be as successful as you are. It's really quite a testimony to you and how extraordinary you are as a woman and entrepreneur. Why don't we let everybody know how they can find you and how can they find your gorgeous jewelry?
Clarissa: Which means?
Jasmine: To be on holiday. To be on leave. To separate yourself from everything and take some time for yourself. That's what it means in French. You can find us at Nordstrom.com and CongesLife.com. We're available in those two locations right now online. A lot of people have questions regarding crystals and their properties. I'm always available to answer those questions anytime.
Clarissa: I'm really thrilled that you took the time to tell your story. I think it's given a lot of people the idea that when you go the extra mile, and believe, you can achieve. You certainly have!
Jasmine: Thanks, Clarissa! I feel honored.
Before your feet hit the pavement for any getaway vacation you need to pack the must-have necessities for your trip. Traveling light is the only way to go, so choose the items you stash in your bag carefully. One of the worst mistakes people make while getting ready for a trip is leaving something important behind and either have to do without or purchase a new one. That's why world traveler and influencer Emilia Taneva has put together a guide for getaway must-haves so you don't forget any of your essentials at home!
Chanel Makeup Base. When you need a versatile makeup that does more than just mask your flaws, choose Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base. Ideal for travelers, this cream-gel bronzer can be used under your favorite foundation, as a spot cover-up, a smoother as well as a highlighter. Unlike other bases, Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup was formulated to leave your skin velvety soft with a light finish and a hint of color.
Love & Positivity Rose Quartz Stud Earrings by Congés. When you have finished traveling, are rested and want to stand out look to Congés. Designer Hasmig “Jasmine” Penna leaves her pieces untreated to harness their natural beauty. These hand-cut rose quartz stones represent love and are made in the heart of Los Angeles. In an evening outfit or daytime ensemble, add these 18k gold studs with a white diamond center to create an elegant look.
Mason Weekend Bag. Sole Society created this trendy tote for the stylish traveler. Made soft enough to sleep on, this bag features soft faux leather that will never leave you feeling stranded. The 19½ x 12 x 10 bag is one of the getaway must-haves that works with every outfit in cognac brown or black. What makes this bag a must-have? The spacious interior shoe compartment with a bottom zipper at the base. The sturdy bag still looks chic when it is packed to the seams so toss in anything you need and don’t worry! There are top carry handles, a removable strap, smartphone pockets, protective metal feet, and a sexy leopard lining so you never feel like you’re away from home.
Clinique Pep-Start™ Daily UV Protector. Ideal for daily sun protection the Pep-Start™ Daily UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 50 from Clinique meets all of the FDA’s standards for sun protection, stopping both UVA and UVB rays. Formulated with minerals to flawlessly blend into the skin for a better-than-bare finish on any skin tone.
Summersalt Swimsuit. With a colorful made in Italy style, this swimsuit is available in many different color combinations. Bold, elegant and sure to turn heads the colorblock swimsuit will make onlookers expect a cannonball or a swan dive. So, why not make a splash with this getaway must-have?
About Emilia Taneva:
Emilia Taneva is a creative photographer, travel blogger, digital influencer, and Board-Certified Orthodontist. She is ranked as one of the top influencers in North America, with a focus on travel, fashion, and lifestyle. Taneva was born in the medieval city of Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria) where civilizations and cultures have collided throughout its history. At a young age, she was captivated by history and tour books and would daydream about seeing the world one day. Today, Taneva runs the popular travel blog, Bubbly Moments. The Bubbly Moments is focused on the world's most luxurious destinations and exclusive places. She has traveled to over 40 countries on five continents and knocked some big adventures off her bucket list along the way. Her all-time favorite destinations include Hawaii, the Maldives, Hong Kong, the French Riviera, and Singapore.
Summer is almost here and it’s time to put those vacation days to good use! To help you get ready, world traveler and influencer Emilia Taneva has created some essential tips for getting the most out of your getaway. So pack your suitcase and get ready to experience a new culture and create memories that will last a lifetime.
If you’re searching for the perfect vacation spot, Taneva’s got you covered! Her 5 must-see destinations for summer vacation are Portugal, Amalfi Coast, Machu Picchu, Grand Canyon, and French Riviera. Her blog, and IG @Bubbly.Moments offers the inside scoop on where to stay, dine, and explore.
- Google the power plugs and sockets when traveling to foreign countries in advance so you bring the appropriate travel adaptor.
- Always plan at least a week in advance- Do I need sunscreen? Do I need a mosquito repellent? What type of clothes would I need? Does it get cold at night?
- Keep a flexible itinerary- don't try to see and do everything during your vacation. Slow down and make sure to relax and enjoy.
- Talk and interact with the locals especially in foreign countries; they will often share the best restaurants, attractions, and things to do in the area.
- Stay fit & healthy by touching on 5-minute workouts and nutritious foods.
Traveling in style:
- Wear a maxi dress and a denim jacket; or a matching set. This clothing is not only trendy but also very functional.
- Bring your favorite fashion handbag or smaller purse and add a long strap for easy hands-free carrying.
- Pack some face wipes, WhitenFresh, and make-up in your carry-on; refresh and retouch before you land.
- Bring a Minimergency Kit to add to your carry on. It’s got everything you need just in case you lose your luggage.
Tips to packing right:
- Always bring a travel pillow and eye mask; the pillow will prevent any neck strains and upper back pain during 2h+ long flights; the eye mask will help you fall asleep and arrive rested.
- Make sure you get travel sizes of your personal skin and hair products (make a list if necessary): pain relief medications, dry shampoo, and mouthwash are easy to forget.
- Pack clothes that can be worn in multiple combinations.
- Wear your heaviest clothes and shoes on the flight so your suitcase stays light.
About Emilia Taneva:
Emilia Taneva is a creative photographer, travel blogger, digital influencer, and Board-Certified Orthodontist. She is ranked as one of the top influencers in North America, with a focus on travel, fashion, and lifestyle. Taneva wad born in the medieval city of Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria) where civilizations and cultures have collided throughout its history. At a young age, she was captivated by history and tour books and would daydream about seeing the world one day. Today, Taneva runs the popular travel blog, Bubbly Moments. The Bubbly Moments is focused on the world's most luxurious destinations and exclusive places. She has traveled to over 40 countries on five continents and knocked some big adventures off her bucket list along the way. Her all-time favorite destinations include Hawaii, the Maldives, Hong Kong, the French Riviera, and Singapore.
In the Limelight today I had a great chat with, not only a Superstar in her own right when it comes to her being a Board Certified orthodontist, but she is a Super-Influencer in travel and lifestyle on Instagram. I’m thoroughly intrigued with Emilia Taneva because I want to know where she gets all of her energy and if she has 48 hours in her day!
Clarissa: Hello, Emilia and welcome to In the Limelight! I’ve taken a look at your website and your Instagram account. I love the name that you chose! Tell everybody how you came about your handle.
Emilia Taneva: The name of my website and my blog, is Bubbly Moments. I feel it's a happy and lovely place where I can share all my adventures.
Clarissa: The pictures that you are taking as you're traveling around the world as an Instagram Influencer are really beautiful. Are you doing that by yourself or did you have someone with you?
Emilia Taneva: Oh, thank you so much! I usually travel with my husband or with my family, and they are the ones that take the photos.
Clarissa: How do you decide what it is you're going to wear that day? Are you the creative direction behind the picture?
Emilia Taneva: Usually, for each trip, I have all the outfits planned and then I have a full schedule planned day by day depending on the destination . My husband also has a lot of ideas. We decide together what angle or which settings are best for the shot.
Clarissa: You're also a very well respected orthodontist. I understand that you've also been the President of the European Dental Students Association. Congratulations! Where are you from originally?
Emilia Taneva: I am originally from Veliko Tarnovo, a small city in the middle of Bulgaria. It used to be a Capital back in the 12th century. It is very historic; it has a lot of history, fortresses, and churches.
Clarissa: You're an orthodontist and I'm assuming you work 9 to 5 in an office with you dental practice, and then you turned around one day and decided that wasn't keeping you busy enough, so you were going to be a Super-Influencer. Walk me through that process. How did that come about and why?
Emilia Taneva: I really enjoy traveling and we traveled a lot after I finished my residency. Two years later, I started sharing my photos with my family and friends. It started gradually, so I decided to develop the website. I usually work in my private practice three or four days a week and my schedule is flexible enough so that some months we can take a whole week.
Clarissa: Walk us through the process for anyone that is thinking about becoming an influencer on Instagram. . Truly, how much work is involved?
Emilia Taneva: It's honestly a lot more work than seeing patients and more stressful! You have to know so many different skill sets like web design, different platforms, software, photo editing, knowing how to work with a camera or if you use your iPhone. I think the most important thing is to find your own niche. Make sure that you're consistent with your content, whether it's fashion, travel, cooking, etc.
Clarissa: When you talk about your niche from an entrepreneurial standpoint, how is it that you distinguished yourself within the travel/influencer/blogger world to find a niche or even a sub-niche?
Emilia Taneva: In the beginning, I started only with travel and suddenly I transferred to lifestyle as well. Right now I also like to share more information about dentistry and orthodontics. It changes depending on my audience. When you get asked questions about your lifestyle, then you know what your audience will be interested in. That's why I decided to expand more.
Clarissa: How did you grow your numbers on social to the point where you are now considered a Super-Influencer? What kind of platforms did you use? How much did you post?
Emilia Taneva: I try to post every day on social media like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram. On my website I try to post at least once or twice a week or three times a month depending on how much time I have. It's very important to keep a very organized schedule to follow and plan your content in advance. Once you are consistent, then your audience is expecting your post.
Clarissa: You started first as a travel blogger. Now it looks as though you moved into doing some reviews of product, too. Did you start from the beginning with reviewing products?
Emilia Taneva: First the website, then the social media and after that, it was all the brand endorsements I was asked to do. It depends what I'm excited about at the moment. I usually am very familiar with the product or have used it for several weeks or months before I endorse it.
There are different types of influence platforms you can register with. Usually the brand looks at your social media channels, your numbers and your website traffic, that’s how they decide whether or not to approach you. There is TapInfluence, AspireIQ, Open Influence, for example, but there are more coming. Those platforms connect influencers and brands.
Clarissa:. Where are you off to next, beautiful lady?
Emilia Taneva: For now, I'm staying in Chicago for the next two months because I'm expecting a baby. We just came back from Connecticut last weekend so that was the last trip for the next six weeks
Clarissa: Congratulations! Is it a boy or a girl?
Emilia Taneva: Thank you! We don't know the gender yet, we'll wait.
Clarissa: I'm so thrilled for you. What happens after baby? What are you thinking of for your platform, blog and influencing?
Emilia Taneva: I'll probably have to wait a few months, but there are a lot of wonderful destinations in the US that I would like to explore first before we start traveling internationally again.
Clarissa: Well, you're going to have to dress the baby up now! Do you have a name?
Emilia Taneva: No names yet.
Clarissa: I am so happy for you and your husband! That's extraordinary news! You certainly are one busy lady! I wish you all the best. Please keep in touch with us. We'd love to know if you had a boy or a girl and what name you chose. We're looking forward to the news and pictures after the baby is here!
Emilia Taneva: I will! Thanks, Clarissa!
Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook @BubblyMoments.
The Difference that Actor CJ Jones and Others are Making for the Deaf Community
Sometimes we go through life with blinders on. We don’t pay attention. We don’t observe the problems and we ignore simple messages that are really calls for help. Perhaps this is because we create narratives in our minds, which are just plain WRONG! That was me before I met the most incredible human being, actor CJ Jones. CJ is an actor with an amazing IMDB and is hard of hearing. He had a part in the movie Avatar. He has a remarkable story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges facing all members of the deaf community. Did you know that there is 70 percent unemployment rate for deaf people? This fact astounds me and something I knew so little about before I met CJ and became immersed for a day in the world of the deaf.
I was privileged to host CJ and Amber Galloway Gallegos, another hard of hearing celebrity, at a special assembly at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf this spring 2019. This visit was a reward to the school for raising the most money in a fundraising competition on our Fund Duel site. As the winners, they earned a well-deserved trophy and the surprise appearance of CJ and Amber. What was remarkable about this competition was that each school created their own hand-syncing (similar to lip-syncing) video. Each school picked a different song and created their own choreography to music that most of them could feel, but not hear. The campaign had a slow start but after CJ and Amber and other hard of hearing and deaf celebrities posted the campaign on their social media, the awareness of the campaign heightened and donations came rolling in.
Attending this assembly was breathtaking. I was startled at first at the lack of sound during this assembly. I was used to going to events where speeches were blasted over the microphone and music and other sounds grabbed attention. I was mesmerized as I sat in silence and yet witnessed enthusiastic responses of precious kindergartners flickering their fingers from outstretched arms as they clapped in excitement. CJ was remarkably charismatic. He took the stage and used gestures and amazing facial expressions to get his point across to the engaged and spellbound student body.
Amber Galloway Gallegos was equally exceptional on stage as she danced and signed to music. She is an expert interpreter of sound and is a committed translator of music for the hard of hearing at concerts and festivals all across the globe. Both CJ and Amber inspired the children and teenagers of the school with positive messages. They reminded the students that barriers presented to them could be overcome and that with tenacity and hard work they could lead successful professional lives.
What I learned from both CJ and Amber is that there is a ridiculous lack of access to communication and support from members of the majority-hearing world. A large number of deaf children have parents who do not learn sign language and many deaf students attend schools that have limited or no services to assist them. So many events, concerts, movies, etc.… are not accessible to the deaf community. The resources are limited beyond grade school for training and employment. It is appalling and the problems are not well publicized or known. As a result of this experience, I decided that our first monthly campaign that we sponsored by our celebrity ambassador and television producer Wendy Wheaton would champion a deaf cause. We chose to raise money and social awareness of CJ Jones non-profit called Elevate.
CJ tells us that this is what Elevate is all about: We are a deaf and hard-of-hearing 501c3 non-profit organization that specializes in and focuses on the advancement and education of children of all ages in the fields of TV and motion picture entertainment as possible career choices. We celebrate and honor companies and organizations that hire hard of hearing employees. We advise, consult, and educate the entertainment industry on hiring, promoting and advocating for the advancement of deaf and hard of hearing community. SPECIFICALLY: We are raising money for our first-ever hard of hearing Sign Language Film Festival which is meant to elevate the awareness of Hollywood executives as to the talents and capabilities of our deaf and hard of hearing actors, writers, producers, directors. Check out our live campaign under Trending Duels on www.fundduel.com.
The lesson I learned from my visit to the warm community of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf is that learned is that I had formerly shut my eyes, closed my ears, and had not paid attention to an amazing community that suffers adversity in ways that I could never have imagined.
By Linda Hansen
CEO and Co-Founder of FundDuel.com
Links to videos created by some of the Schools for the Deaf:
Ohio School for Deaf:
Pennsylvania School for the Deaf:
Mill Neck Manor:
Something just like this https://youtu.be/SB_BL5QSbew
As a proud contributor to In The Limelight Magazine, I look forward to sharing the incredible Community Care opportunities in our society, to bring healing to the ills that surround us. My personal experiences will lead the way. However, first… I would like to share what drives me.
There are those who help others, and there are those that devote much of their life to the work of helping others, that it becomes their mission to heal the community. I am the latter. I have a missionary’s soul, and the topic of community work for those in need constantly tugs at my heart.
“The miracle is not that we do this work, but we are happy to do it.” Mother Teresa
I see myself as always having had a mission to heal what I can in society. Caring for the community is engrained in me. From my younger years onward, I have found myself actively seeking out ways to give back to the community and help those in need. At one point in those formative years, I had considered becoming a missionary. I dreamed of traveling to places where the downtrodden were, to do what I could. For the last 37 years, community care continues to be an integral part of my day-to-day life. Some of my assistance is small, some large. No matter the extent, to touch just one life in a day makes that day a success.
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean will be less because of that missing drop.” Mother Teresa
Community responsibility efforts on my part have touched a variety of life stages in society. Infant through the end of life. Diligent work within female-based nonprofits as well as coed. While many focus their service work on one segment of the population, its fair to say that because I say “Yes” to serve no matter the area, I have had the reward of knowing ills in a wide breadth. Saying “yes” also has a domino effect. One incredible opportunity leading to another. I always muster up a can-do attitude, because I will continually find the strength to do what is needed.
“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle.” – Mother Teresa
The difference you make in the community has benefits in both directions. There are times in my life where I needed to get out of myself and issues in my world, some may coin “quality problems.” Getting outside of my life, and into the life of someone in need, brings an alternative vantage to my own life. Maybe we each have a great life, but with the weight of our issues, we don’t realize how great our lives are. Giving back to the community gives us perspective. Maybe, just maybe, as compared to others, our problems are minor. Working one on one in various areas of community need has enlightened my mind to how it must feel. How it must feel to have that illness, ailment, issue, or obstacle. Otherwise, without open eyes and heart, I would not have known what it's like to be that person. Community service work breaks down stereotypes. Diversity is broken down when you work one on one with a downtrodden individual, understand their situation, and work towards assistance. After your good works, general humanness squashes diversity and stereotypes. Humans are humans. Our differences are superficial to the depth of the individual. At its core, we are all the same. In that frame, compassion can lead.
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Mother Teresa
When it comes to healing the lives of those faced with diverse situations, many facets play a role. Those contributing towards making other’s lives better generally give forth time, talent, treasure or prayer. Time, talent, treasure and prayer are like the spokes on a wheel in turning lives around. I find that my best work happens in the trenches. One on one direct contact with the needy. Today my endeavors take me to assisted living homes, Alzheimer’s units, high school art rooms, community center art programs, recovery shelters for women and their children, food banks, school fundraising foundations, donations to the poor, etc. In my future articles, I will go into depth as to my day-to-day volunteerism looks like. On the other side of that community care work, at the end of that day, you will see smiling faces, repaired hearts, renewed confidence, and the rewards of coming out the other side of tragedy. Transformation into a life they were always meant to have.
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Mother Teresa
Classic International Woman 2018
Vice President of Business Development EAS, Inc.
Committee Member, Shemer Art Center
Event Chair, Paradise Valley Women’s Association
Operations Board Member, New Directions For Women
When I was 13, a friend and I went to the neighborhood park pool. Amidst seeking a good time, there was one thing that was holding me back. I did not know how to swim. My friend tried to show me, however, I felt pressured. I remember looking around, seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter of pure fun. I wanted so badly to be able to join them. Time went on…and I soon came to a decision. Again, I looked around at the party and I said to myself: “I am not afraid of the water.” Immediately after I declared my destiny, I pushed myself off from the side of the pool simultaneously swinging my arms forward then backwards and kicking my feet. I taught myself how to swim by making. One. Simple. Choice.
The power of the mind. Peace of mind. A miraculous combo. Priceless. I could tell many stories of how I have used my innate superpowers throughout my journey, and I am positive that you can too. Inevitably though, life does hit us with those walls…bumps…dips…and for sure we get stuck. Hence the other half of how we are hard wired. You see, we consistently have in our possession the ability and the strength to navigate purposefully, intentionally and successfully through everything that life throws at us! I taught myself how to swim simply because of a mindset change. Allow me to dig deeper by my introducing two crucial choices we must make in order to live our best lives and to come to a permanent place of peace and power. Please note that the right choice in each of these two questions are imperative.
Question number one. This is our component of peace. How will we choose to live…externally or internally? Externally is where we live by being swayed by what happens to us by which is beyond our control and by anything or anyone that is outside of us. For example, are we still upset at what someone did or said to us last week? Do we continuously complain about traffic? Why stress over what or whom we do not have any control? We must be very careful of our focus. Now internally is living according to what we do have control over…which is ourselves…our mind and heart. For instance, have we done self-introspection? Are we aware of our own habits, behaviors and motives that can affect our day to day? This is when the focus is more on, we than it is on others. Take a moment to choose whether you would rather live on an external or internal basis.
Assuming we choose internally, this brings me to question number two. This is our component of power. By living internally, in which way will we choose to live…unconsciously or consciously? Unconsciously is the way we have been programmed by our past learning and experiences. For example, what habit that we currently have that was taught to us by our parents that seems to go against how we truly are or feel about the situation? What are we fearing now because of what happened in a past relationship? Again, what will be our focus? Now by living consciously is to live in our awaken state, where we are intentionally taking control of our actions and behaviors based on our unlimited state of mind. What is it that we want or need regardless of how we feel about it and how will we get there? Which one is more in control…the conscious or unconscious? Yes, we currently live by both, but please choose which will be more dominant.
Congratulations for choosing to live internally, and where we are consciously in control through our mind! One thing to be sure is that the mind is the one in control. Not what happened last year. Not what it is that we are used to doing and being. I started swimming not because of 8 sessions of swimming classes. I did so because I made a change in how I was thinking. We can do and have anything we want by first understanding how it all begins to shift in our favor. Two vital decisions have been made, and now we are on the path to creating not only the life we desire, we are also uncovering genuine joy, peace and power which is our birthright! Bear in mind that there are many, mini choices along the way. It’s about making the decisions that are best for you, best for others and that are absent of any setbacks. I would love to go deeper; however, I will uncover the very first tip to our newly defined path. And that. Is. Awareness.
Tiffany J. Norwood
Transformational Speaker and Emotional Intelligence Expert