Thursday, May 30, 2013

Keep Your Dreams Alive!

It's 2013 and my little sister is graduating from high school. We are traveling to watch her graduate and give the commencement speech at her graduation and couldn't be any prouder.

Selfishly I think about my high school graduation and how a lot of people said if wouldn't happen but it did.
I remember being at football games-on the rare occasion that I went- or whenever the situation arised chanting OOOOOO8888888, 0000008888, 0000008888 to let everyone know that we were the class of-you guessed it- '08.

I was proud to be in highschool

Having Leilani at the end of my sophomore year of high school was tough but I was determined to enjoy high school-even though I didn't think high school was that big of a deal really- and so I did. I went to a high school dance, stayed in chorus and drama classes, I sang at Carnegie Hall and Disney and I held onto MY dreams. In May 2008 I walked across the stage with my honors tassels and received my diploma.

Despite what you hear all around you, your dreams are not dead, dumb, too big, unrealistic or whatever else people tell you or think just because you are a teenage parent. Hold on to your dreams because they're the only things that won't leave you, you leave them if you're not careful enough.

For some encouragement check out Dr. Watkins, Dr. Acevedo, Devyni, and all of the other amazing interviews from teen moms who were told to give up their dreams but refused to.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Four Easy Ways to Keep You Dreams Alive.

How to not let fear kill your dreams

  • Make an accomplishment list. 
A list of all the accomplishments you've made so far and keep adding every time you achieve a new one. 
  • Make a How to do list 
Get real and make a "How To-Do List" that help you reach your goals through a plan, not just a list if goals. I used to make unrealistic "To-Do List" list like "save $1,000 by June" with no steady income or checks big enough that would allow for that to happen. A How To-Do List should be more realistic. 
  • Keep moving! 
Do at least one thing everyday that helps you reach your goals. Send an email, send a thank you card, practice writing, do ten push ups. Whatever you goal(s) is/are do something everyday to keep them alive.
  • Stay in your lane
Don't worry about what the next person has of does not have. Don't worry about what their life looks like. Don't worry about not being like them. Be like you, only you, and know that there is more than enough to go around if you work for it.

"Sometimes I have such overwhelming feelings of self doubt that it paralyzes me. I start thinking is what i'm doing worth it? Does it really matter? Maybe I should just give up. 
Then I receive an email or message from someone who has found my blog and it touched their hearts. Then they write me the message and then they touch my hear. Then, I remember this is what it's all about. Touching one another's hearts and supporting one an other. 

These types of emotions are dream killers and dream killers are the worse kind of emotions to carry around with you. I'm still learning how to not give into these feelings and it's a wonderfully disastrous learning experience. 

One day I feel like I'm on top of the world and other I feel as if I'm being squished by it. The worse thing is all of these emotions and feelings come from within.

I've done a good job at removing the people in my life who are dream killers but for some reason I'm struggling with removing that part of myself from myself.

One night when I couldn't sleep and was growing annoyed of trying to fool myself into sleep I laid on my back and just looked up at the ceiling. 

"What is stopping you? Who is stopping you? What is in your way, Malone?" 

I asked myself out loud in the blackness of the night. 
I sat there. 
I thought about it for a while. 
Then I said, "I am."

I let that answer hang in the air for a while. "I am." I said again.
Smiling from ear to ear I realized I found the answer to the questions I had been avoiding to ask myself. 

I was the problem, I still am but I am bigger than my problems. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Enjoy the Journey not Just the End

I am officially done with the spring 2013 semester. To me this semester came and went super quick and with it came, stayed, and finally left my anxieties about the rest of my academic career.

At the beginning of the semester friends kept saying, "but this is your last semester..." I'd cut a look at them "... Right?" They'd finish slowly. No... It's not and I chose to extend my studies for another year I'd reply in the saddest Eeyore voice I had.
I watched friends post about their last semesters and last ever research papers I felt happy for them and a bang of damn why not me? Why can't I be done too?

Then I realized not me because its not my time! I'll graduate in a year and it will be my time but honestly most importantly I've learned that you can't just love when you reach your goal, you have to enjoy and love the whole journey!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Paul Mitchell Product Giveaway!


I'm giving away some travel sized Paul Mitchell products I received at the  Moms Month celebration they have all May long. 

The opportunity was made available to me from one of my favorite travel/family writers Carol Cain of Girl Gone The calming and extremely relaxing services I received from the Raika Studio was AMAZING. 

As a gift I received this Paul Mitchell products and because you all are so amazing I want to share the experience with you! 

To enter:

  1. Like TMNYC on Facebook
  2. Head over to Teen Mom NYC's Facebook page and share this image
  3. Follow TMNYC on Twitter and say Hi when you do :) 
And that's it!
The winner will be chosen on May 31st! 

Good Luck!

Friday, May 17, 2013

5 Simple Ways To Make Your Family Vacation Fantastic

5 Simple Ways To Make Your Family Vacation Fantastic

Traveling with your family is an adventure. Before you start packing, you need some helpful tips to make your journey worth the time and effort.  Here are five ways to travel with your children so they feel happy and safe!

1. Always Eat Breakfast

Most vacation days are long. Sometimes it’s tough to know when you will be eating lunch in the afternoon.

Before everyone storms out the door to begin the day’s events, encourage your family to eat a large breakfast. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, your children will be in a better mood once they’ve eaten a nutritious meal.

2. Try To Keep Their Routine

Children need their sleep. During your vacation stay, your family will be adjusting to a new place. You’ll find that your child will sleep easier when his or her environment is as close to the one at home as possible.

Pack your child’s sheets, blankets and pillows in your luggage. Bring along a noise machine, pacifier or favorite stuffed animal that soothes your child at night. Take a few favorite books they enjoy reading before bedtime just in case. When you recreate their normal sleep environment, they will drift to sleep faster. Keep in mind also that when searching for a place to stay, most Orlando hotels offer quiet hours to ensure that your family gets a solid night sleep!

3. Wear Comfortable Clothes

When you’re traveling, it’s best to plan for temperature adjustments. During a plane flight, the temperature changes very quickly.

If you dress in layers, you’ll be prepared for any climate change. Make sure you’re wearing clothing that’s comfortable and stretchy. It should be easy to put on and easy to take off. A loose sweater can always be removed.

4. Eat In

Instead of stopping by a fast food establishment, opt for a sit-down experience. You may spend more time eating at a restaurant, but you’ll eat healthier and get the opportunity to ask your server how the food is prepared.

Fast-food restaurants rarely serve healthy options when you look at the ingredients they use. Ditch the extra calories and sugars that your body doesn’t need by taking the time to eat a healthy meal! However, if you must make a quick stop, do your best to make healthy decisions at fast food establishments.

5. Use Sunscreen

Be sure to stash enough sunscreen for everyone in your suitcase. If you’re traveling anywhere near the equator or a high altitude, you might not be prepared for the intense sunlight from the late morning until the late afternoon.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your skin and apply it every two hours after sweating and water exposure. It should be at least SPF 15.

A little planning and preparation goes a long way. Relax and remember that the most important part of your vacation is making memories your family will treasure.

Kendra Thorton is a former Orbitz Director of Communications and promoted into full time position in the care of Motherhood. You can follow her online for more tips on Twitter: and her Website: 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NYC Teenage Families Event

I have been sitting on this for a while and I am so excited to share!
Please note A LOT MORE INFORMATION is to follow!
Please share this visual as far and wide as you can!

  • If you are an organization that wants to be part of the event contact me.
  • If you want to attend the event contact me.
  • If you want to donate raffle prizes contact me.

Please contact me for any reasons.

Please RSVP at the Facebook's Event Page and the Eventbrite Page!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Mother's Day Letter by a Teen Mom

When Strong Families asked me to write a post for their Mama's Day blog series I humbly and excitedly agreed! This letter is to all my teen parents out there and to all the people that seek to put us down. 
Keep your head held high! I see you! I appreciate you! You ARE amazing! 

On Being a Proud Teen Mom: I don't hate myself as much as you wish I did

An E-card I made for all my peers!
You can make your own here.
By Gloria Malone 
The problem with being a teen mom is that I don't hate myself nearly as much as you wish I did.

My humble pride and my happy life upset you because I do not embody the self-hate and stereotypes you want me to. 

My existence challenges everything that you’ve been told to believe about me, which makes you uncomfortable. And instead of getting to know me, you cast hate and anger at me. Hoping that your negativity will tell me to quit, hoping that I will amount to the nothing you desperately want me to be, and hoping that your negativity will give you a voice for a moment. 

I am a proud teen mom. My family is happy. I graduated high school on time and with honors. I am a college student, and I am looking for a Master’s degree program. I've been published in The New York Times and other major news publications expressing my views. My daughter is intelligent, healthy, and happy. I'm on my way and I won't let you get in the way. 

When you do choose to hear my accomplishments, you seek to belittle and change them so they make you feel comfortable: Read the rest of my post!

Let me know what you think! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Moments of Gratitude

The other day I took Leilani to the park after school, as she ran off to play with her friends I sat down next to my friends and chatted.

As we were leaving I looked back and waved good bye to my friends. At that moment I realized I had a seat at the bench.

As I entered the large meeting room of the CUNY Welcome Center I couldn't believe it. I would be addressing the CUNY Social Media Council today. Me. A 23 year old student. As we went around the room and did introductions I found myself saying "My name is Gloria Malone, I'm a student at Baruch college and I am the author of The New York Times article you have in front of you." I addressed the council with ease and was overcome with appreciation for the feedback and suggestions they offered me about creating a CUNY student parent group.

As I left a large get together with some of my friends I looked down at Leilani's hand in mine and paused for a moment. "Do you remember what it was like when we first moved here?" I asked. No.
"Remember neither one of us had friends and we would just sit in the park for hours?" Oh yeah. "Look at us now." Look at us now. I have an amazing group of friends that are more like a surrogate family to the both of us. They always ask about Leilani, how I am, and anything else. They support me, encourage me, and help me believe in myself.

These are just a few reflective moments I had last week but they made me realize many things and above all else they made me realize that my life is beautiful because of the people I have around me and the energy I put out. In two years my life has taken me to so many places that I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams.

It's your turn, think back to your life 1,2,3, or 5 years ago and where are you know? 
Where is the beauty in the journey and in your present situation? 
Let me know :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Meet: Amanda

After reading this excellent post about teenage parenthood on Rants From Mommyland I had to get in contact with the author the rest is this wonderful interview with Amanda. 

Amanda (a.k.a Ginger), 33, lives near Hershey, Pennsylvania (which is apparently, the sweetest place on Earth) with her husband of almost 14 years, her 13 year old son and 16 year old daughter (her 18 year old stepson moved out last summer L), two ugly but awesome dogs and a creepy cat.  She is the Advertising  & Marketing Director for a small automotive association where she gets to write super exciting articles about engine oil and car body paint!  All kidding aside, she truly loves what she does, both in and out of work.  When not working, she can be found spending time with her family, making something crafty, or draining her Kindle battery reading yet another book.

You were 16 when you had your now 16 years old daughter.  What were the immediate responses from family, friend and society when they found out you were pregnant?

Amazingly, my family (while disappointed) was wonderful when I shared the news with them.  In fact, they reacted much better than I would if my now 16 year old daughter came home telling me she were pregnant!

My friends were another story.  Some stuck by me and were extremely supportive; while others just cut off contact with me.  That was hard to handle, losing my “friends.”  But I learned some valuable lessons from them, one being that they weren’t really my friends at all, and that my daughter and I would both be better off not having them in our life.

As for society, I didn’t really have a hard time with them.  Because I was so tiny before I got pregnant, most people that didn’t know me couldn’t tell I was pregnant.  The society judgment didn’t begin until after I gave birth to my daughter.

Think back to when you first found out you were pregnant.  What could the people in your life have done to help you?

When I first got pregnant, I had extremely bad morning sickness (it lasted well into the afternoon), so I began homeschooling.  I was not really pushed to finish my education.  Yes, every so often someone would ask me how I was doing with my schoolwork, but I wasn’t made to do it.  It became a lot easier for me to just blow it off. 

After my daughter was born, I wanted to go back to school.  But to keep the peace, I was splitting our time between living with my parents house and living at my daughter’s father’s house.  Because our homes were over an hour away from each other, it seemed impossible to attend school in a formal setting.  So, again, it became easier to just “blow off” my assignments.  In the end, I didn’t finish in time and instead received my GED a few years later. 

In your piece from Rants from Mommyland you clearly stated: “I took birth control every day.  I’m not trying to dismiss the way this changed my life; I’m just trying to make the point that unplanned pregnancies don’t happen only to teenagers.”  I love that you show some teens are taking the responsible steps to practice safer sex.  How did you get to the point of realizing your sexual health was your responsibility and how did you go about getting birth control?

A few months before I became pregnant, I had a scare.  I talked with my mom, who took me to the doctor for a test.  Once the results came back that I was not pregnant I asked to be placed on the pill. 

Do you think teens are as careful today as you were?  Why?
I would like to think they are.  The availability of condoms and other birth control are a lot easier to access now than they were when I was a teen.  However, I think teenagers now (as when I was a teen) have the “it won’t happen to me” complex that seems to plague us all from the age of 13-19 (and sometimes beyond).  I also think teen pregnancy can be somewhat glamorized now; which makes it seem almost fun.  It is NOT fun.  It’s really hard work.  It’s being extremely sleep-deprived and unsure of yourself, raising a baby while you are still learning and growing yourself. 

What was your biggest motivation as a student parent?
I was fortunate in that I had a wealth of computer skills for my age when I started working.  They afforded me secretarial jobs that paid better than most kids my age were earning.  However, I wanted more for my family and myself.  By going to college when my children were young, I taught them that was hard work, you can manage it all.  So, I guess my motivation was my children.  Not only did my new degree get me a better job, but it also taught them something about determination.

You are now a grown woman with an amazing daughter who is also your best friend.  Why do you think you “…still feel a bit of shame when I see the reactions of strangers finding out I was/am a teen mom[?]”

People’s reactions never bothered me much…until my daughter started school and I would have interactions with other parents.  At school functions we would talk, kind of “comparing notes” on development and general “kid stuff”.  It always seemed they were listening to what I had to say and valued my input as much as I valued theirs.  At least, until they realized how young I was when I had my daughter.  Once they found out I was 16 when I had her, I was often dismissed by many of the other moms.  Or, I would receive an off-handed comment of “It’s so good that you do that for her, considering how young you are.”  They made me feel that because I was young I had no idea what I was doing.  What always struck me about that was that we were all on the same level of parenting.  We all had 6 year olds (or whatever age) and were just trying to figure out how to effectively parent that 6-year old.

Even after all these years, it’s always amazing to me how other women can make you feel.  Often with a simple look, they can let you know (and make you feel) that you are somehow beneath them just because you had your child younger than they did.

What would you like society to know about teenage parents?

That the stereotypes aren’t true across the board.  In fact, more often than not the stereotype is the exception to the norm.  Most teen moms are not “partiers,” bad mothers, and/or dropouts.  Most aren’t having babies just so they can become part of the welfare system. 

Instead, often most teen moms are working harder than an “older” mom at giving their child a better life.  Often these teen moms are going to school, working full time and raising their child.  All without having the same support system most “adult” moms have. 

Teen parents are just trying to do the same thing all parents are trying to do:  Raise their children to the best of their ability.  Do everything they can to provide their child with a good life and raise them to be good, caring, responsible individuals.

Most importantly though, I think it’s important for society to know that while it is okay to provide guidance and encouragement to teen parents, it is NOT okay to pass judgment and spew insults without knowing the situation.  It is important to remember, in every situation, not just that of teen pregnancy, that we are all individuals, and our stories are not the same.  Therefore, since you have not lived anyone’s life but your own, you should not judge others.

If you could wave a magic wand and give all teenage parents in the world something to help them what would it be?

I would make sure that all teenage parents have the support and ability to complete their education.  With a proper education, they will able to provide better for themselves and their children.

As a former teen mom, mother of a sixteen year old today, and member of society what are we doing wrong as a society to help reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy?

In general, I don’t think parents are involved in their children’s lives as much as they used to be.  Often I will be at a sporting event or school concert and there won’t be nearly enough parents there for the number of kids performing.  I know that sometimes this is due to scheduling conflicts or work, but its disconcerting to me that kids don’t seem to have the support they should.  To frequently, parents are communicating with their children through text message instead of having a real conversation.  At times, even I am guilty of this, but I think we all need to work harder to become a part of our children’s lives. 

We have certain rules and traditions in our home.  We must eat dinner together (with no cell phones present) at least 5 times a week.  At least once a month we do a family movie night at home.  And every Sunday we have relatives over for dinner.  By doing these things, we have given our children a sense of family.  When they know their family is there for them, they don’t have to seek others to become their “family.” 

LOVE these rules! Thank you SO MUCH Amanda for your wonderful post on Rants From MommyLand and agreeing to do this interview! You have an amazing a beautiful family! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Meet Christy

Briefly introduce yourself. Name. Occupation. How many children you have. An interesting fact about you.
Christy Herring I am the Founder and Event Coordinator of The Divaz Network, a mom to three boys - Ages 15, 7 and 4. I was a Division One Scholarship Athlete!
How old were you when you became a teen mom? 
Pregnant at 17, gave birth at 18.
What was the immediate family and your partners response?
Well, I would love to say it was all candies and roses, but it was a very trying and emotional time. Once the initial shock wore off, our families were very supportive and excited. As for my partner, we were both scared out of our minds. What did we know about being parents, we ourselves were just starting to experience life as adults. Now, we had to take the role of parenting on! But we accepted our responsibilities and made promises to one another that we would always be there for one another and our child. Our first challenge came before he even entered the world! Sitting in the hospital, awaiting his arrival...and he decides he needs to make a dramatic entrance! LOL. I can look back and smile about it now, but I almost lost my son before he was even born. He went into fetal distress and I was wheeled in for an emergency c-section. I have never been so scared in my life. Thankfully, the doctors worked fast and he was born healthy. But it was the first time both mine and his dad were tested with the need to protect our child and he wasn't even born. And then the relief in knowing, we survived our first test! 
Were you able to complete your education?
I was in college when I found out I was pregnant. And I knew that I would not stop until I finished school. I was on scholarship for volleyball and I had to fight for my scholarship when they wanted to take it away. Why? Because I decided to keep my baby and it was unheard of. But I appealed and I won! I kept my scholarship, I played volleyball for my college, I held a job, and I was a mom. I not only graduated, but I received three awards: 1. Arthur Ashe Scholar Athlete Award and 2. Clinical Excellence in my concentration 3. Coach's Award -- Leadership for my teammates. I was blessed to have a great support system.
One piece of advice to teen parents?
I will not say its easy. Because it was HARD!! But it's not impossible. Set Goals, Be Realistic and Fight every day to achieve them. People will try to tear you down. They will tell you that you ruined your life and that it can't be done. Stand Up and Prove Them WRONG!
When/how did you decide to start the career you have now?
About 7 years ago, I was playing around with career changes and what would be beneficial for raising my family. At that point, I was now a mother of two. I found myself engaged in parties and helping people put them together. So, I focused and created my own company. I took courses online, while I stayed home with my children. I became successful in my business but I was failing at home. It was consuming so much of my time, I had to take a break from that world. In the time of my hiatus, I started to join mom playgroups and build friendships for myself with  moms just like me and my children were meeting new friends. It was from those experiences that I joined a company to help them grow their "mom-base" and I started working on events for them. Remembering how great it felt to bring happiness to others with my ideas, gave me the strength to move forward and revamp my events company. In doing so, I created a company not only focused on your typical events, but one built from a network of entreprenuers and media. One that was geared towards women and success. Thus, my company was born.
Tell us more about your event coming up in May.
On Thursday, May 9th from 7pm to 10pm, my company is hosting our - "Divalicious Ladies Nite Out" in celebration of National Moms Nite Out at Villa Russo's Catering Hall in Richmond Hill, Queens. National Moms Nite Out is happening across the country on this day in big events and small get togethers of moms. We wanted to offer these women a night out away from the kids, to celebrate being WOMEN! Tickets are on sale now and with our discount code, you can say 50% off the regular admission price of $20. The ticket includes your admission to the fab event, drinks, first hour of passed hors deouvres and for the first 100 ticketers, a FAB SWAG BAG! We will have over 25 vendors under one roof, promoting and selling their products. There will be music and live entertainment. A presenation from a national recognized dermatoligist on a new procedure he offers. As well as, a fashion show where our models are real women, real moms... aka "MOMdels". We will also have, I Heart on site with their wheel of prizes to raise money for ACS Making Strides Against Brest Cancer. She raised over $8500 last year for the cause and her goal is now $10,000! We want to help her attain that. This event will sell out and we want you there with us! Get your tickets online at:
Use discount code HALFOFF at checkout 
Where can people find you on the web?
You can find us on Facebook at:
or via blog:
or Tweet Us:

Watch Christy's full length interview on Teen Mom NYC TV below.