September 30, 2013

BB Found Her Voice and is Telling Her Story. #StopTheStigma

BB's brought you the story of advocacy, the story of global responsibility, and now it's Babushka's story that you will read. Queeee??? JU SO FONII!!! Of course I wrote the other stories and shared them through my eyes, but this one My Beautifuls is a very real and personal tale that affected BB and her family directly, and unfortunately it's not so fonii.  On the final day of the Further with Ford Conference I needed to change my arrival flight from Tallahassee to South Florida; my daughter was in the hospital, and I needed to sign the admittance papers. On June 28 my daughter was admitted into a hospital, catatonic and psychotic; she was put into a public psych ward two days later.  The official diagnosis- Stress related severe depression.

No words can describe the terror of looking into your child's eyes and seeing nothing there.  No way to contact and penetrate that being who was a part of you before birth, loved sight unseen, who now saw nothing. Nothing but a world she mumbled about in bursts of fear, shivering and then shutting down.  The helplessness was almost BB's breaking point but I knew I had to find help, first for my loved one, then for the rest of us following her. I needed instruction on what to expect, what I could do to help her- now in the hospital and then once she left.  Unfortunately no one wanted to share any information.  It was at this low that I found an ever lower truth- the taboo of mental illness.  No one came forth to help, no suggestions, no recommendations, nada.  In a culture that's all about family, solidarity, opinions and being vocal, the silence was permanent in the latino corner.  Through a friend in Crawfordville I was able to contact that local NAMI (National Alliance Mental Illness) chapter, who then helped me find help in Miami.

BB's forever grateful for the NAMI Wakulla group and forever changed by the incident.  Gracias a Dios my child was released after three weeks in the ward, but obviously nothing will ever be the same.  Babushka will never forget the frustration felt and never wants another mother to go through the same nightmare.  I have started a campaign because it's time to end the taboo, time to #StopTheStigma.  Mental Illness is just that, an illness.  Like the diseases of cancer and diabetes, awareness and education on mental illness are vital.

 A video by the National Hispanic Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, League of Latin American Citizens, with a very special speaker, Dr. Antonia Novello- the first woman and the first Hispanic to become Surgeon General of the United States.

Awareness and education, but above all, letting them know they are loved.  

Let's share our stories, erase the shame, and #StopTheStigma.

Babushka Besos a todos. Cuidensen.

P.S. If you’d like to help the #StopTheStigma campaign directly,  I have signed up for the Broward County NAMI walkathon and am trying to put a team together to raise funds and awareness. Any donations, be it monetary, sponsorships, or walking with my team Nunca Alone, is very,very appreciated.

Link & Facebook pages for #StopTheStigma

Facebook page of Nunca Alone:

New Blog- Cristyl's Cry

September 27, 2013

Day 2: Further with Ford- 2013 Trend Conference

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!!

Continuing with Day 2 of  the Go Further with Ford adventure, BB wasn't just whistlin' La Guantanamera when she said in the last post that this would be a full day.  Just look at the schedule below- and try not to wince. 


 If there was one thing I'd suggest Ford to change, it's that 6 am breakfast call.  So does that mean Babushka went without? JU SO FONII!! My Cuban appetite is such a trooper; it ordered a made for BB omelette along with plates of fruit and pastries- and that was before the first cafe.

At 7:15 am Babushka and the rest of the zombies (BB refuses to believe anyone is awake at this time) head to the conference center.  Here we have more cafe waiting for us. Viste?? Babushka's not the only one who saw the zombie resemblance.  

A las 8:15 a.m., in hopes that we're now awake, we officially start the day and are welcomed by Ford's Executive Chairman.

Executive Chairman Ford Motor Company

Bill is the great-grandson of Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone. Si, THE Ford and Firestone.  With that kind of lineage sabes that he's gotta know a thing or two about carros.  And he does, mixing tales of the future with anecdotes of the past, he was knowledgeable and entertaining; he did his tatarabuelos proud.

Next came Ford's Global Trends and Futuring Expert, someone who's very knowledgeable and entertaining in her own right, having been named to the Top 100 Most Creative People in Business List-

Manager, Global Trends and Futuring

Sheryl's job is finding the pulse behind consumer's wants and then trying to predict what would start that pulse a racing.  Being a lawyer, artist, and mother gives her the multi faceted vision to do the job right, and Babushka cheered her speeches and her chutzpah.  

After the speeches it was time for the Trend Sessions.  At what are those you ask?  Remember the Myers -Briggs test we took, this was to determine which of the following sessions we were to attend.  There was, with descriptions, panelists and corresponding colors:

Disrupting The Drive - How technology was changing the driving experience-#FordTech
*Milly Wood, CNET  *Steve Wozniak, co-founder Apple computer *Jim Buczkowski, Ford

Greentopia- Global Sustainability-#FordGreen
*Andy Hoffman,Univ. of Michigan,*Erin Simon,WorldWildlife Fund,*Scott A.Vitters,Coca-Cola,*John Viera, Ford

Returning to Your Senses-Balancing Technology & Avoiding Digital Overload #FordWellness
*Jenny Lykken,Google,*Neema Moraveji,Stanford University,*Sherry Turkle,Massachusetts Institute of Technology,*Amy Marentic, Ford,*Gary Strumolo, Ford

Sculpting The Future- Resonating & Finding Purpose- #FordDesign
*Seth Godin,Author,*Rachel Shechtman,Cube Ventures,*Jay Ward,Pixar Animation*J Mays,Ford

Trust is the New Black- Trust & Brand Equity- #FordTrust
*Anjali Kumar,Warby Parker,*Rob Michalak,Ben & Jerry's,*Tim Erblich,Ethisphere Institute, *Jim Farley, Ford

If you notice, there were some pretty big names there. In BB's world we'd say it was an all star cast, but you know what?  They weren't reciting Shakespeare. No My Beautifuls, they were talking terms and temas Babushka could follow. True, I didn't attend the #FordTech session (not surprisingly it wasn't picked by my test score) but something tells me it would have been the same. Not only did BB's eyes not glaze over as they usually do when they start with car lingo, Babushka was so inspired by the #FordDesign panel that instead of questioning them I thanked them for their contributions- and for keeping it real.  What can I say?  BB was bursting with Plebian Pride; this was a car conference one could follow, learn, and contribute to.

Some pics and quotes from the sessions BB attended-

"The future is already here, it's just not very evenly distributed."
~William Gibson as quoted by Andy Hoffman

The story is what is being sold. The challenge is figuring how to matter. Do this with a story.

And speaking of stories...

Babushka was writing this post very late and by mistake erased all her pics. Hopefully they're still in my old laptop (which needs to be repaired upon my return to Tallahassee) and I will continue with the tale of the conference.  The pics are of the fab "Felicidades Mustang on turning 50!" fiesta, the test drives on Ford vehicles (chills & thrills), and helping a neighborhood garden by driving a new, grande, gorgeous Ford truck with supplies. Oh yes BB did!!

Something Babushka also did; BB also realized that it's not enough to say we'd like to "make a difference". WE are that difference.  It doesn't matter your profession, your social status, your monetary situation, ALL of us are part of the greater good. We are part of this global world, and EVERYONE is family.  What part of your family history would you like to tell? Where are the stories sharing your passions and beliefs? As shown in past posts, sometimes it takes a major life event to help us find our voice. Have you found your story, your voice?  

The S Sisters brought advocacy and global responsibility events to BB, and in the next post I'll share with you My Beautifuls the story they were preparing me to tell. 

Hasta la Proxima,

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

September 23, 2013

Wowed by Wubbzy y El Tren Bilingual App

This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Cupcake Digital. However, all opinions expressed are BB's.

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!

Don't know how many of you are from a bilingual home, but it can be a tricky thing teaching the younger generation their ancestors' tongue.  Babushka never spoke Spanish as a child, hence the Spanglish and the reason why my trio speak Miamish (that's Spanglish Miami Style).  Thankfully we lived with La Tata when the children were young and at least they learned some Spanish correctly.  Problem is, the young don't find the foreign language "cool". Yep, even in Pre-K they balk at speaking it, but I think I may have found a perfect way to "coolify" el Español for my grandbabies.

Ya can't beat an iTunes app for cool.

Brought to you by Cupcake Digital executives Jennifer Powers and Carmen Hernandez, these Latina,bilingual moms know the importance of the cool factor and have found a fun way to interest children in Spanish.  Via games, music, colors and stories little ones learn with alegria!

"Wubbzy y El Tren Loco features:
  • Fun mini-games within the story and added learning games for practice of number, letter and sight word recognition
  • Professional narration of the same story in English and Spanish is a good introduction for initiating natural language acquisition
  • Individually highlighted words in the app are designed specifically for teaching the basics of spelling and vocabulary and can be used to practice Spanish
  • Three reading modes: Just a Book for quiet reading time, Read to Me and Read & Play
  • Three original sing-along music videos taken from the popular Emmy® award-winning series  Coloring pages with scenes straight from the story
  • A Grown-Up’s Corner to guide parents, teachers and caregivers in discussing the story with kids"

Rinquincaya  starting out not too happy but quickly found the games.

Then after the games he tried the stories.

By his own admission this was "Cool" and by himself decided to repeat the words of the story.  Pero the coolest thing?  He answered his mother's question asked in Spanish and wanted to continue playing in the language of his ancestors.  What a great way to learn Spanish.
Hope he shares it with BB.

; )


P.S.  The app is also available for Androids. Coolisimo & $2.99 - Tremendo twofer!! 

September 21, 2013

BB Falls for Pumpkin and #DDFuelsFlorida TWEETY FIESTA!!

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!!

As you well know, Fall is BB's fav time of year; it's cooler, and time for the yummies to appear.

Septiembre is the start of the fall season, children are back to school and the pumpkin menu is back at Dunkin’ Donuts! New pumpkin menu items, including a new Pumpkin Pie Donut, and a new Frozen Pumpkin Coffee Coolatta, are at Dunkin’ Donuts, America’s all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods.  Several popular customer-favorite pumpkin selections, including pumpkin coffees, lattes, donuts, muffins and more are all available at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide for a limited time.

Did you know? Dunkin’ Donuts offers guests one of the largest varieties of pumpkin food and beverages of any national restaurant chain. Want to know more about the ready-for-fall Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin menu and other DD offerings?

 Join in the fun with all of the Dunkin’ Florida regional Twitter handles including: @DDCentFla, @DDNeFla, @DDTampaBay, @DDSWFLA, @DD_Gainesville, @DDPanhandleFL & @DDSoFla, our host @JoscelynRC and co-hosts @ClumpsofMascara, @MakeitAllWork, @paulabendfeldt, @teachme2save and @BBAbushka for the #FloridaRunsOnDD Twitter Party on Thursday, September 26 from 7-8pm EST!

Learn about the latest news brewing at your local Dunkin’ Donuts at the oh-so-virtually yummy event and RSVP to be eligible to win $500 worth in mGift prizes via the Dunkin’ Donuts mobile app!

Party Details: 

What: #DDFuelsFlorida TWEETY FIESTA!!

When: Thursday, September 26, 2013 from 7 to 8 PM EST
Where: Twitter
Hashtag: #DDFuelsFlorida

Who to Follow:

Host: @JoscelynRC 
Co-Hosts: @ClumpsofMascara, @MakeitAllWork, @paulabendfeldt, @teachme2save and @BBAbushka
Moderator: @DDCentFla,@DDNeFla, @DDTampaBay, @DDSWFLA, @DD_Gainesville, @DDPanhandleFL and @DDSoFla

Up to $500 worth of mGifts (mobile gifts), i.e. virtual gift cards via the new Dunkin’ Donuts app. (Virtual gifts can also be received via text, email and Facebook Connect).

To be eligible to win prizes, you must RSVP, be 18 years old or older and actively participating during the Twitter Party. RSVP at:

This is BB's 1st time Co-hosting a TWEETY FIESTA; the S Sisters couldn't have picked a better one! 

Cafe, Fall, Pumpkin and Dunkin' Donuts.


Hope to see y'all there.


September 19, 2013

And the Flow continues: Further with Ford- 2013 Trend Conference

My thanks to the Ford Motor Company for providing my flight,lodging and meals during this event. There was no request to write about my experience, nor was BB given monetary compensation. The post is Babushka's thoughts of the adventure.

As I mentioned in my last post, apparently the S Sisters wanted me to see the Universal Flow we're all part of, how each of us can make a difference, because they kept sending me to events that emphasized just that. Next, BB was sent to Detroit to go "Further with Ford". Queeee?? JU SO FONII!!!  Ok si, when we think of Ford we think cars and not anything else, but they're so much more. It has been said that with great power comes great responsibility and Babushka was pleasantly surprised by what was talked about during the conference. To give you an idea of what the mindset was behind the event, before it even started Ford asked its' attendees to complete a Myers-Briggs personality test to see what our preferences would be. Oh si My Beautifuls, this was not to be a regular car show event.

The colored dots represented the different panels/discussions- chosen by the results of our test,
 pero let's follow the steps of my prior Ford trip and begin with the trip itself.

Cachita guardando & one overhead suitcase.  BB's getting used to this airplane travel.

Another thing Babushka can get used to-

The hotel right inside the airport.
i like, i like.

Once we checked in we were given our badges, our room keys, and told to board the bus for dinner at the Henry Ford Museum.  Now, you know BB loves an adventure, but seriously, a museum? Ford Museum?? Carros and all that??  Y'all can imagine the jetlag, but being Cubana the thought of dinner won out. In all honesty, I'm glad my growling tripas led me, because again my assumption was all wrong; the museum wasn't all about Ford and their cars.    

The beautiful decor and architectural details of the original Ford era.

So much to see, and they promised we could explore later, but first, our welcome.

President & CEO Ford Motor Company

Our first speaker of the conference, who in Babushka's opinion set a tone that was hard to surpass. Obviously an educated man, but his speech was easy to follow- even when he touched on some of the technical aspects Ford is working on, and he genuinely seemed impressed and content to be working for and heading the Ford team.  Management who is down to earth and actually enjoys his job and the promise of all it entails. Who'd of thunk it? But then again, not much about "Further with Ford" matched the preconceptions of esta vieja.  BB for one found him fascinating and was sorry we didn't see him again during the rest of the conference.

Now what we did see lots of during the rest of the conference-

A celebration of 150 years and excelente comida, with details Ford is known for.

After the wonderful meal, we were invited to continue visiting the museum. 
In truth, a full day is needed to just visit this part of the complex, but from my mini visita some of BB's Favs- 

Hot wax souvenir maker,old style McDonald's, working diner,Baby Boomers, and a fellow re-enactor portraying Henry Ford.

Bueno, si, there were cars and motorized vehicles,
but not your average everyday variety.

Model T,Presidential limos,Wienermobile

The actual bus Rosa Parks rode when she decided to seek justice for all.

Now My Beautifuls, after that last exhibit BB couldn't imagine anything could top it, so con barriga llena y corazon contenta- my belly and heart full, it was time to return to the hotel.  Day 2 had a full schedule y escapades of enlightenment for Babushka- and some thrills and chills too.  

Until the proxima My Beautifuls,

Babushka Besos a todos. Cuidensen.

p.s. BB was flown in, fed, and given a place to snore,
 the rest- like her post & opinion, was all Babushka's. 

September 12, 2013

Scene in Wakulla- Healing Through Theater and the Power of One

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!

Hoy we revisit a series of events that happened in my home town of Crawfordville . It's a little rural town, but it has lots of heart and caring.  One of our major prides is that it's home to the Palaver Tree Theater Company .  Under its' director Herb Donaldson, the passion and power of drama has taken us on many journeys. Sharing topics ranging from racism to the history of our town, this theater company runs with our emotions and we trust their vision. Palaver introduces us to other topics or views that we never really thought about or dwelled upon.  As BB wrote in the prior Scene in Wakulla post, positives can be made out of negatives, and most times it begins with the power of One.

On the last night of the Scene in Wakulla 2013 Film & Playwriting Festival, we were introduced to Agnes Furey and her book Wildflowers in the Median: A Restorative Journey into Healing, Justice and Joy.  A dramatic reading/adaptation brought the story of Agnes' heartwrenching pain when she was told that her daughter and grandson had been murdered, and her finding forgiveness and healing when she reached out to Leonard Scovens, the man who committed the crimes.  Book excerpt:


To understand something about how one person can forgive and how another can kill, we must know something essential about ourselves.  What makes the forgiver different from most of the rest of us, who want to kill the killer in the name of justice?  What makes the killer different from most of the rest of us, who only sanction killing as an act of either revenge or protection?  Or are they really different from any of us at all? Don't we all begin by loving our mothers, worshipping our fathers, tolerating our siblings, and crawling before we walk?  When do we diverge? Where in our journey can we find the moment that determines whether we will kill or forgive?  ~Agnes Furey

It is no Universal coincidence that Kurt Wadsworth was going to be visiting family in the area when this event was being organized. As the founder of March for Life and Justice  this young man has started a march to stop the death penalty, beginning with 2,000 + miles in Florida.  An excerpt from his Feibu page:

"On May 25, 2013, I decided to embark on a march across Florida to end the death penalty. I have now committed to marching through all 32 states in the United States that still have the death penalty as a form of punishment and I will walk through India and all countries if need be to stop the use of the death penalty. An injustice that affects all of human society must be brought to an end and can only be done if all are included and united. A change in society must be understood by all or it will and can be reversed."

" We have a choice to either perpetuate the crime of violence or to not perpetuate violence. We have that choice. I choose to end violence, I choose to end the death penalty. We have lost many lives, many lives lost by people taking life, we have lost innocent life by execution. How many more must die in the name of "Justice?" How many families shall be even in loss and love? How long must we allow a very imperfect system of taking human life continue? My faith in humanity, government, and religion becomes stronger every step I take and every person I meet. I will never give up on the pursuit of human society becoming more humane, more just, and more peaceful. - Love, Kurt"

The official March on Florida's State Capital will be on Sept. 28 and everyone is invited to attend.

Kurt Wadsworth Jr and Agnes Furey

pics thanks to Louise Reid Ritchie

We found them through the power of theater and shared in the healing.
They have found their healing from a peace from within.
And it all started from the Power of One.

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

P.S. If you think this is the last post like this- JU SO FONII!!! 
 The S Sisters have a Universal Flow coming to BB and I can't wait to share it with My Beautifuls.

P.P.P.S.  More pics from the event can be found on Babushka's Feibu.

September 07, 2013

#BeautifulLengths Dancing with Cancer & Being Bella!!

How do you measure beauty? Is it an outward, physical thing or is the inner blaze the true beauty of a person? 
 Like most things in our vidas, it's a combination of various factors and opinions. 

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!!

Ok si, not the usual way BB starts her posts, but then again, this is not a usual happening.  September 7th is National Donate Your Hair Day, and since 2006 Pantene has lead a campaign to donate natural hair wigs to cancer victims.  Over 28,000 wigs have been donated to the American Cancer Society through the Beautiful Lengths/ Pony Up program and this year they plan to add many more thanks to the collaboration with Walmart to reimburse the cost of the haircut (up to $30).  The Go to Beautiful Lengths initiative is done with lots of heart for those needing help remembering that they truly are Bellas.

Babushka not help in this campaign?  JU SO FONII!! 

This campaign means so very much to Babushka that I had to dedicate it.

Oh Si My Beautifuls, sometimes our definition of beauty changes and surprises us. 
 But no matter what your definition may be, isn't it a blessing to help someone see and feel bella?  
Because we all know, Beauty is as Bella does.

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

P.S.  Click on the links, donations will be accepted for a month more.

September 04, 2013

Cryoow! Corazon Taker- Keepsake Maker

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!!

Babushka has a very good friend, Paula, who gets the best giveaways for parents- especially those who want to raise their children bilingual. Interesting enough, she has a blog called "Growing Up Bilingual"- imaginate!  Well, if you've been reading BB's posts you'll recall many a giveaways I joined with her, but THIS one My Beautifuls truly did take my corazon.  Go on and read the official intro, you'll see what I mean.

"Cryoow! is a company that literally makes your child’s imagination become a reality! Cryoow! turns your child’s drawings into dolls they can play with, hold and sleep with. It brings your child’s creations from the a two dimensional paper to reality and it does so staying true to the child’s original idea down to the smallest detail. Children learn through play and the best toys are those that leave the door open for children to use their imagination and creativity. Cultivating a child’s imagination and creativity will promote learning and brain development in young children, so I try to stay away from fancy toys that talk and walk and only require children to push a button or two.

cryoww! doll
 Cryoww! doll and the original drawing by Sebastian, age 5.

Cryoow! dolls are a truly unique toy that any child would love and cherish and that would make the perfect gift for a creative little one. Not only that but this toy is also a great motivator for children to work on their drawing skills, which in turn improve their fine motor skills and their cognitive development.

Cryoow! Bringing Children’s Creativity To Life

All your child has to do is make a drawing. Then scan his artwork and email it to Cryoow! You can add some notes regarding colors and even had some ideas regarding textures. Once Cryoow! had received the drawings it takes them 2 weeks to produce the doll. Each doll is hand made and once it is finished it is shipped via DHL and it takes around 3 working days until it arrives on your doorsteps. While you are waiting your kids can play the free memory game that you can find on the Cryoow! website.

cryoww doll and dog
The inspiration for this Cryoww! doll was the family dog Sally.

The dolls arrive in a beautiful bag, wrapped in tissue paper and accompanied by the name of the person who had created each one. You will be truly surprised by the attention to detail and how the choice of colors and materials follows the original drawings as closely as possible.

You can visit the Cryoow! website, like Cryoww! on Facebook and follow @Cryoow on twitter to learn more about their handmade one of a kind creations and stay up to date with their latest news.


Win your own Cryoow! doll and make your child’s imagination come to life. You can win a Cryoww! doll based on your child’s own drawing ARV $149.00 including shipping. Giveaway open to US residents 18 and older. To enter follow the instructions in the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want more pics, go to Paula's post and see the ones her children made. Cutisimos!!

As for BB, I'm sure y'all are thinking I'll be making this for my grandbabies- and I might, Pero what came to my mind/heart were the countless pics I have that my trio made. Queee???  JU SO FONII !!!  Of course I still have some.  Esta bien, you're right, it's been a long while since they've made pics for their vieja, but this empty nester remembers as if it were just yesterday.  Oh si, the memories of their childhood, much better than the memories of their ::shudder:: PUBERTY. Definitely prettier pictures all the way around.

; )

Which pictures will you send?

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

Disclosure: This blog is not responsible for prize fullfilment.
 If you have any questions about this giveaway send an email to

September 03, 2013

Halloween Cash Bash 2013- Gain Followers not pounds!!

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!!

Bueno, Halloween is right around the corner and BB decided to try something new for you. Queee?? JU SO FONII!!!  Of course that doesn't mean I'll stop buying chocolates, it just means I want to get something sweet for y'all too!  How about more followers?  How about Cash?  Buenisimo right??

Now THAT's BB's kind of TricOTri bag!!

The requirements to join are few and easy:

- Post Announcement post or pay a $5 fee.
- You must agree to post the HTML on time (all links will be confirmed) and promote at least 5 times a week during the event.
-Grab the code and place the ad in your sidebars 

To sign up click on the link:

Believe me, you won't be saying Boo.

; )

Perdoname, BB couldn't resist.

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.