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Why I’m Attending ShiftCon & You Should Too

Health, wellness, organic food, recycling, green products, creating a better and safer environment for ourselves and our families. If you agree that ALL of those things are meaningful, you should join me at ShiftCon 2019 – an eco-wellness influencer event.

What is ShiftCon? Their mission statement explains it best: “ShiftCon was born out of the idea that together we can create a profound impact on the world around us. We can literally shift the way we eat, raise our families and our impact on the environment. That shift has begun, and now it’s time to come together and leverage our collective voice. ShiftCon was created to give wellness and eco-friendly influencers a place to network, share ideas, learn from experts, empower one another and organize their efforts into social change.”

Sounds pretty cool, huh? As someone who has attended three ShiftCon events, I can assure you that it’s awesome in person. Not only can you network with other bloggers and influencers, you’ll get to interact with sponsors and speakers who are incredible. 

Last year’s conference (2018) was headlined by Ed Begley Jr. Most recognize him as an actor, but Ed is also deeply committed to environmental issues. (Remember She-Devil with Roseanne and Meryl Streep? I love that movie!) His speech was great and being able to meet him up close, talk together and take a picture was even better. (Yes, I was a little star-struck, but he was so friendly.)

2019’s conference will feature Alysia Reiner who is an actress, activist, and writer, that you’ll recognize from Orange is the New Black.

ShiftCon will be held at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Buckhead (Atlanta, GA), October 3-5, 2019. 

Attendees will experience:

  • Professional workshops
  • An exhibitor hall with over 50 brands
  • Networking with hundreds of peers
  • Top-notch speakers
  • Fitness events 
  • Goodie bags 
  • Delicious meals and drinks (organic, vegan, keto, etc.)

This event sells out every single time it’s hosted, so don’t wait to sign up. Register Here and be part of the change you want to see in the world! 

Largest Butterfly Migration Ever Seen in Israel

Millions of beautiful butterflies are moving through Israel. The annual migration is always a special sight to behold, and this year, it’s the biggest on record

The butterflies are headed to Europe for breeding (they stop in Israel for food). This particular species is called “Painted Lady” and they do look lovely. Can you imagine being surrounded by a bunch at once? It must be beyond incredible.

I love butterflies. I don’t see them often, so it’s always a sweet surprise when I do. A million at once, however, would freak me out! 

Easy Ways for Busy Moms to Get Involved with Their Kid’s School

No matter how old your child is, your involvement in their education at home and in the classroom means a lot. It inspires them to make school a priority and enhances their learning experiences. Finding ways to fit volunteering into your schedule, however, can be challenging, especially if you work during the day.

Even during the busiest times, there are ways to show support for your child, their peers, teachers, and administration. Here are 6 easy ways to get involved:

Join the PTO or PTA

Most schools encourage parents to participate in a Parent/Teacher group. PTO’s are designed to help with common issues, plan events, and fundraise. To accommodate working moms, many PTO’s now schedule meetings in the evening or on the weekends.

Volunteer to Read

Instilling a love for books in kids is so important! Why not go during your lunch break and read to the class? Or talk with your employer to see if they’d allow you to leave once a month for a whole afternoon. (Some companies have partner programs with local schools. If yours doesn’t, mention the idea to them. They might welcome it.)

Help With School Events

Schools are always hosting fundraisers to earn money for resources and to bring everyone together. You can make your child proud by pitching in. Maybe you could buy wholesale backpacks for a back-to-school giveaway, create cupcakes for an upcoming bake sale, or man a table at a school flea market. Whether your participation is through the donation of your time, money, or talents, it will be cherished.

Trip Chaperone 

Class trips happen frequently for students, offering exposure to the world around them. If you can’t volunteer regularly at your child’s school, maybe you could occasionally chaperone. This helps teachers keep an eye on all the students and is also a great way to spend some quality time together.

Assist Coaches or Club Leaders

If your child’s school has an athletic program or other after-school clubs that you’re interested in, volunteer to assist. You could help by making sure the kids stay hydrated by handing out drinks, or work the concession stands during home games. If you enjoy drama club, for instance, you might help with making costumes or props for upcoming plays.

Contribute From Home

What about moms that truly can’t take off work? If you can’t physically be at the school, that doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to the cause—you just have to be creative. Talk with teachers and administrators to figure out where they need help. Some things can be done after hours like making templates for art and craft projects, copying packets for class, or updating the school calendar.

Being hands-on in your child’s education is one of the most important things you can do for them. Every suggestion listed above may not be right for you, but at least one should be. Don’t let work schedules interfere; there is always a way, and everyone needs a healthy work-life balance.

Ridiculous Michael Jackson Innocence Claims & Fundraising

GoFundMe has lost its last shred of moral standing by allowing Taj Jackson—nephew of Michael—to solicit money for a pathetic documentary series that will “defend Michael Jackson’s name and legacy from calculated lies.”

The pushback from the Jackson family was sparked by Leaving Neverland, HBO’s shockfest about Michael Jackson’s long history of child abuse and exploitation. (It doesn’t premiere until Sunday, but I’ve seen some clips and cast interviews that were absolutely heartbreaking.)

It’s hard to believe that anyone could deny mountains of overwhelming evidence, but the “super fans” refuse to see the truth. To date, over $65,000 has been raised by 1,781 people in less than a month. 

I have no doubt that some of those suckers are also part of a Facebook group called “The Michael Jackson Innocence Project.” It’s only right to pity the 953 people who liked it because they are truly clueless, pretending that it’s normal behavior for a grown man to surround himself with an entourage of young boys who toured with him, lived in his home, showered with him, and slept in his bed. 

These are the same trolls who are terrorizing Wade Robson—accuser in Leaving Neverland—for changing his story. (He once testified that Jackson had not abused him, but now admits that was a lie and the molestation began when he was only 7-years-old.)

I do not condone perjury; what Robson said under oath was a lie and that’s 100% wrong, but I can understand a victim being afraid of their abuser, even as an adult. Some victims need decades worth of therapy before they’re able to admit the truth. I admire him for coming forward now to set the record straight. If he had testified honestly, the first time around, Jackson probably would’ve been convicted.

Just because someone is talented in music doesn’t make them a saint. Jackson is no different than R. Kelly in this regard. Their fame and money allowed the abuse to spread like a cancer, hurting hundreds of innocent kids.

Regardless of what the lawyers say and what the family says, it’s not about money. It’s about justice. Victims deserve to tell their stories, how ever and when ever they are ready to do so—even if it takes them 50 years. More than anything else, they deserve an apology. Because Jackson is dead, they’ll never get one and that’s the saddest part of all.