L.A. Zoo’s Wild For The Planet

 

One of our staff writers, Juan Pablo Delgado was able to attend the L.A. Zoo to celebrate the WILD FOR THE PLANET.  It was also the 50th anniversary of connecting people and wildlife. That’s right, L.A. Zoo’s 50th anniversary! It was titled ZooLAbrate, you can check it out at #ZooLAbrate, www.ZooLAbrate50.org

The heart of this celebration is to promote their conservation achievements. Did you know that the L.A. Zoo is committed to saving species worldwide? They are involved in 30 conservation projects. Your visit helps save species!!

Our first stop was to meet the one month Pronghorn calves. They are so beautiful. It was wonderful to learn that they are the second fastest animals in the world, after the cheetah. But, the fastest in the western hemisphere. They are endemic to Baja California, specifically to the Vizcaino Desert. Unfortunately, they are losing their habitat and as of today, only 200 live in the wild. L.A. Zoo is one of the conservation habitats for this beautiful animals.

My kids were so excited to see the babies and their mommies! We took tons of pictures, my kids drew them and we loved watching them nurse and walk.

After that, we went to see different animals like the gorillas, chimpanzees, zebras, elephants. We even saw a snow leopard getting fed! It is so interesting to see their behaviors. But the very best is to see the smile of my children while learning about different animals and their habitats.

After touring for a little while, we went to the Carrousel ….. for an Expo Party prepared for us bloggers. I did not know that kids could celebrate their birthday at the zoo. Can you imagine having a “wild” party? Believe me when I tell it is such a great idea! In the Expo they showed us the different options of menus. From a sandwich, fruit bar to a western bbq with pulled pork or chicken, corn bread, cole slaw. They also had a pizza bar and an all American bar with hamburgers and hot dogs. There was so much food that we didn’t know what to eat first! We also had perks for the kids.

Everything was delicious. They arranged the tables really nicely and each one had a different plush wild animal on top of the table. You can check on www.lazoo.org/events

After the meal and the big choices we headed to the dessert bar with different type of cookies and sweets. Again, it was difficult to decide which treat to choose. All of them looked yummy!

My kids had face and arms painting and all the girls received a colorful flower crown.

After that, 2 keepers brought 2 animals for us to meet. One was a suger glider and another one was a snake. Look at the pictures, aren’t they awesome?!

So, next time you are preparing a party for your kids think different, think wild, think fun… think L.A. Zoo.

We had a delightful Sunday, full of laughter, joy, education and pretty little faces of all the fascinating animals we got to see. Thank you to our hosts for this unforgettable day! This spring and summer, visit L.A. Zoo and create happy memories with your family. #ZooLAbrate

*This is a sponsored post. L.A. Zoo hosted one of our staff writers to this event. All story, opinion, and sentiment expressed is our own. 

 

PopTv Red Carpet Event


Is it a 90s nostalgia night? Is it a comeback? What is it exactly? Those were some of the questions swirling around my head the evening of the PopTv red carpet premiere event for Hollywood Darlings and Return of the Mac. Both shows debut today April 12th. Visit PopTv‘s website to find your local channel and time listing. 


There were camera flashes and microphones a plenty. My bow tie was on and I was ready. Joey McIntyre helped me feel comfortable about being a parent and also juggling a career. In the red carpet interview, he shared his family’s new installment of artificial grass (astro turf) which I know all too well about that product. I shared how my son played soccer on fields with the same material. Joey spoke of his new show and how it is a tongue and cheek look at trying to be a serious actor in Hollywood. His wife supports his career and they both juggle family life and work well. 


Jodie Sweetin (Full House, Fuller House) offered up that Hollywood Darlings is a fun look at her and her best friends Beverly Mitchell (7th Heaven) and Christine Lakin (Step By Step). In this improvised comedy, the three actresses play exaggerated versions of themselves in their current Hollywood lives. While they each made their way down the red carpet one detail remained the same in their interviews. Friendship is what holds these three women together. Yes they are moms, performers and career focused. Among all that they focus on each other. 

Two different new shows and an array of cast members for both. Others you will see are Joey Lawrence, Andrew Keegan, Panum Patel, Jordan Black and Katie Wee. If you want a firsthand look at the red carpet coverage check out the live Facebook links below. 

Red Carpet Live Interview 1
Red Carpet Live Interview 2
Red Carpet Live Interview 3

Remember to tune in today/tonight for the  debut of Hollywood Darlings and Return Of The Mac from PopTv. Click the link to find your local listing time and channel. I left the event having talked to and met some of my favorite stars. I hope you tune in for both shows. 

 

Jodie Sweetin held my phone to take this selfie. She was fierce from head to toe.

How I’m A Beard Boss


*This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® & Remington but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #RemBeardBoss http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH

Recently I started to show my beard who is the boss. I was sent The Perfecter: Beard Boss Stubble & Detail Kit by Remington available at Walmart and on Walmart.com. It is something that I needed to add to my grooming regime. I’m embracing my facial hair. So read along and learn what makes me a Beard Boss with this new product.

There are many attachments that come with The Perfecter. You will see comb attachments to achieve the desired stubble or beard length you seek. It has 5 snap on combs so I let my beard bossing fun loose these last two weeks. Having more than one attachment makes this a great universal tool. What is surprising is that these tools were included in the box. Wow! No need for me to buy other items or tools to be the beard-boss that I want to be of my facial hair.

Now having the Foil Shaver attachment will help with my sensitive areas such as the neck, jawline and making my facial hair styles more precise and unique to me. So daily use of that helps with maintenance. The Premium T-Blade provides me the ability to achieve close trimming and pinpoint precision. That way when I want to control the edges they will be clean and my stubble will be perfect. It will benefit me to look super sharp and dapper so I see that my facial hair is all in order, that’s one thing less I have to worry about.

A few more key features of The Perfecter: Beard Boss Stubble & Detail Kit by Remington is bullet pointed down below:

  • Powerhouse lithium battery gives 5 hours of cordless runtime, for months of trimming between charges
  • 100% waterproof – easy to clean and use wet or dry with non-slip grip
  • Precision Metal Comb – adjustable metal comb locks in the exact length for a perfectly groomed beard
  • Turbo Mode – power boost for thick beards and fast trimming

Since I’m attending a red carpet event tonight I am ready for it after using The Remington Beard Boss Perfecter Stubble and Detail Kit. It makes a great gift for that special someone in your life. I’ve made my own signature beard look with this product. You can too. It is available at Walmart and on Walmart.com Go out and become a #RemBeardBoss . 

Thank You For Forgetting 

Someone said to me I have great alacrity and effulgence. I knew what that meant too. Thank you to the person I had only met once to talk to me, ask about me and want to hear my take on various topics. 
Over a month ago this was the scenario and how the above exchange occurred. Music wasn’t playing. The sound of silence was clear and audible in the room. It made the sound of cars and horns seem that much more excruciating in sound to the eardrum. 
Not a joyous sound came from the walls, calls or halls. The smell of dust and dirt overcame the olfactory senses. Even the sight of papers on the floor still weren’t picked up. They remained in unorganized chaos. Wind from the window didn’t even stir them. 
In a quiet moment of desperation the sunlight was allowed in. Smells from outside made many memories flood and permeate. Was it chaos? Is there something wrong? How is it so quiet? 
The sky filled with more shades of mauve and midnight. Colors of orange red and yellow mixed together and then faded with the sun. Stars became visible. The cool air flowed quicker than it had during the day. 
More than a month ago it was the day I was born. It was the day after that I actually smiled Why? I learned how important I was. 

As I sat alone celebrating alone I saw my reflection. My father stares back at me. He despises me. The mother I never knew stares back at me. Well I know the drug addict she was and that’s it. 

Knowing that my parents don’t know me. Knowing that many forgot about me. I still sat smiling from ear to ear. Life is far greater for me now that I spend more of my time alone. 

All my mind was focused on was the many things I’m happy to have happened to me since 2013 to now. Welcome to my new beginning. 

Thank you to those that forgot. It helped make things that much more easier for me. 

Dad 2.0 Summit 2017 Part 2: An Ode to Kia

Yes I’m still having adventures with the Kia Motors America Kia Cadenza. Dad 2.0 Summit was where I first met and became aware of the hashtag #KiaDad . I met John Dominguez as a first time attendee of Dad 2.0 Summit last year. He and I spoke about our children, family and our careers. We didn’t speak about cars. We spoke as men and our fatherhood journey. Yes they helped me get to my destination at my first #Dad2Summit which made me feel like a ‘prince for a moment.’ I mean who gets personally shuttled to an event for the very first time. I was new to this group of fathers, mothers too, the summit and new to it all.

First time meeting Kia & John Dominguez

I’ve been able to learn from a multitude of men, women and beyond from Dad 2.0 Summit. Many friendships have come of it. Some men have cheered me on daily. Seriously. Recently, post this year’s summit I’ve had some overwhelming hate directed at me. Such vacuous thoughts. Rather caustic assumptions. Even threats of harm.

I’m posting this as every voice should be heard. There is a manner in which to express ideas, thoughts and opinions. Unifying humanity is the goal. That is how I best am able to express my desired goal and to be part of my obituary. My purpose. Why I’m here.

The journey and life’s peaks and valleys are the commonalities that I share and express in my social media platforms. There will be times I share something that is my opinion, my beliefs or my views. I will  let my voice be heard. John Dominguez said that to me when I first met him. To be me.

At other event trips I’ve been on, John has expressed that same sentiment. It hasn’t ever changed. He has reinforced in me to really truly be me. It is clear via this blog that I am truly letting you all see/know me, Joël. I’m flawed. I’m a work in progress always, as life doesn’t ever stop letting you learn and grow. I’m many things.

 

That time I matched the Kia red leather interior….

The summit let me know that I’m not alone in this world. There are places and faces that desire to see little ‘ol me. Many of y’all came up to me and made it a point for us to engage in conversation. You made sure I was aware of who you were. That was a ‘whoop-tee-tah’ moment that kept occurring. Bam what!

This is not a boasting post or self-aggrandizing message. I’m letting you all know that I too am a fragile being. I’m dealing with depression. I’ve been taking on a lot for my family alone. Literally alone. There has been struggle and success. What last year and this year so far has taught me is that I truly do have support out there.

 

The Kia Cadenza chocolate leather is giving me life!

My world isn’t just what is here in my city in my daily modus operandi. It is sprinkled across the land and even in the UK. I met him in real life too. What a laugh! Totally a moment that I will have in my mind until my last breath has left my body.

The amalgamation of love, support, openness and growth that is ALIVE in Dad 2.0 Summit helped change and educate me beyond a writer, a blogger and a man. It was often I felt like I didn’t belong somewhere where I could make a difference. Being a first time panelist speaker talking about my perspective as a gay man, father and now a social media influencer has helped me make a difference.

Someone wanted to meet me and they made that happen at the event. They had heard of me by word of mouth. Yes it’s the thing on your body that makes sounds that are commonly known as words, sentences if you will and that is audible and the other human hears it. Then they respond. So technology isn’t fully taking over human interactions but it helps those conversations, ideas and beyond be spread across the world.

So in this meeting of someone I did not know at all. There was a moment of how I am making it known that life is just the same for me as it is for them. There is a plethora of differences but it’s the similarities that brought this person to want to sit next to ‘me’ and talk. They put a face, in real life, to the name they had heard about.

Always sleek even in the rain

 

My takeaway from this, my work with Kia, Dad 2.0 Summit and beyond is that I’m just glad that I’m still here. Even with my current woes I find that letting it all flow and to just be ‘me’ that I still will make a difference. It is beyond the nay-sayers, haters, those that want to cause me harm or wish it upon me.

Plus Kia has been a brand that has been supportive of many endeavors of mine. I’ve been invited to many events, experienced their awesome cars and even a recent event with B.R.A.K.E.S. that changed the way I drive forever. Here is a clip of that and stay tuned as more is to come.

Attitude of gratitude toward Kia Motors USA, John Dominguez and last but not least Dad 2.0 Summit.

Preparing My Children for Academic Success With TestingMom.com

*This post has been sponsored by TestingMom.com.  The opinions and ideas expressed here are solely my own.  The content and story are my own.  It was not in any way shape or form influenced by the brand.

Preparing My Children for Academic Success With TestingMom.com

What I am going to share with you all is that my children both have struggled with their academics.  It has become part of my everyday life and modus operandi.  My son and my daughter have made significant strides while utilizing tools from TestingMom.com .  Let me share with you all how I have utilized the TestingMom.com site.  It has really helped me to foster a new academic approach with both of my children.

Part of the TestingMom.com site that caught my attention was the various tools available to help my children.  I both like and used the 100 Free Skill Building Practice Questions for Pre-K to 8th Graders.  It has some great ways to really build on your child’s thought processing and understanding.  When using it with my son, I didn’t think that I was making him feel like it was practice.  It was definitely a more natural approach to supporting him and my daughter too.  I encourage my readers to get started with TestingMom.com & download the 100 Practice Questions.

Another asset I enjoyed was the continual email tips sent to my inbox.  I remember President’s Day being observed which meant no school for my children, so how was I going to help them keep up the academic support and engagement?  Well on that day, an email from TestingMom.com arrived and it had President’s Day themed practice questions designed to assess a child’s knowledge of general information.  I used all of them with my son and most with my daughter.  That made learning fun, even on a day when most would take a day off from academics.  It didn’t feel like study time at all.  More of a new family time moment and a new memory made.

I received a very informational email about TestingMom.com that had me asking myself if this program was right for me and my children.  I will outline it below.  I am after educational success for my kids. That’s what I want.

TestingMom.com is NOT for you if:

  • * You want to outsource your child’s educational support to tutors and after-school programs
  • * You’re too busy or believe you don’t have the expertise to help your child build needed skills
  • * You really don’t want to know what’s on the test – you are confident your child can do well on their own

TestingMom.com IS for you if:

  • * You believe you are your child’s first and most important teacher
  • * You want to understand what your child can do and how he/she learns so you can help
  • * You want to know what’s on the test so you can guide your child on how to master the material

Yes, TestingMom.com was right for me.  It has helped me to learn new engaging methods for nurturing and supporting my children’s academic and educational success.  My son has improved his critical thinking,  efforts and confidence.  My daughter is a better speaker and researcher when completing school projects.  Their analysis of their own work and areas of improvement show me that they understand what they are doing.  TestingMom.com has helped me improve the educational success my children needed.

 

Overall, this is a great site with many tools, email support and other academic resources.   Here are some links to testimonials & reviews of TestingMom.com.  The 100 Practice Questions are Free.  Simply sign up to get started on preparing your children for educational success.  It was and still is a great help to my family.

Dad 2.0 Summit: A Journey Explained

How do I express something that often left me speechless? Even when someone approached me to talk, I would flub my words and stutter too. My excitement would overwhelm my mind and then my mouth would sputter something out that sounded like words and sentences. Was it though? My hearing was a bit hazy too.

Throughout my journey as a parent and a stay at home dad I spent alone. No really…alone. I was the only parent and then stay at home parent. How would I socialize? Who would mingle with me about puréed food and little bite sized snacks for my children? When did I see other adults? I saw them and they saw me.

Ostracized from many groups is what I experienced a lot. Mommy groups wanted ‘moms’ only. I was a man and then on top of that a gay man and now a father. A stay at home father. I was a young father at 28 years of age. I’m still young and virile, at least that’s how I feel. That is not up for debate here.

So I searched for someplace to have commonality. A group to support my parenting questions or to help entertain and engage my children. And me too. Again time was often spent with just us 3 during the week. I needed and craved for a play date. Was I ever going to have one?

I did eventually find a group. L.A. Dads Group which is a part of City Dads Group and then to find that Dad 2.0 Summit is connected. Well I found my home. A place where I can thrive. A place where other dads are trailblazers in their everyday life. A place to learn and grow. To nurture and rejuvenate. A place to have many hugs and many new experiences. A place of support and love.

My voice was heard at the convention this year. I had the opportunity to be on a panel. A first time panelist speaker position for me was a full circle moment. I was telling my story and perspective as a father, a social media influencer and a gay man. It allowed for many other wonderful opportunities too. Two fans/followers of mine came up to me and said hello. I was so engrossed in them I didn’t take a photo. Why? I was basking in them and being attentive.

I have been suffering from depression for some time. I have been taking care of my family too. My focus has been on taking care of me. Over several years before I found my true home and tribe of father I lost 5 of my closest friends, they passed away. I also had to edit out friends. Again lonely and without my support system.

So as a child I had been a loner. At the start of my parenthood journey I was a loner. In my life that has occurred twice. In my time of need as an adult I was fortunate to have met fathers online and moms too. Then I experienced them in real life, IRL! We actually spoke and hugs and laughed. There were many memories made.

The convention is my home of my support system. The dads and moms and friends who welcome me with open arms and embrace me completely. If you didn’t see me, I’m sure you heard my name. Many of the brands mentioned hearing my name before I even spoke to them. I’m not a celebrity…I’m just telling my story.

Having lost my previous husband to cancer and many other life experiences has made me strong. I too am fragile still. So when I speak of my depression it’s from having to still process the years of consistent death and loss I experienced. Even as recent as of last year before the holidays. I’m healing my heart still.

All of what I was able to experience at Dad 2.0 Summit was utter bliss and joy. My little brown self worked and worked hard. I’m still working hard. Many friends and new acquaintances inspire me still. I fell more invigorated and rejuvenated. I’m beaming with pride as the summit was exceptional. Just what I needed.

I’m sitting here typing this and all that is happening is a big huge smile on my face. My soul was touched. My heart was mended a little. My tears wiped a little too. My pride was made stronger. My world has been changed. That is amazing.

J.O.Ë.L. – Just Obviously Enjoying Life

Welcome to my new website brand launch. It is time you get to know me a little bit better. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Joël Lëoj. Take a moment to read a few tidbits that I’m sharing with you all.

People want to know who I am and what I’m all about. My journey as a parent has had a lot of peaks and valleys. Faces weren’t always smiling. Fun was not the main focus. It was a challenge to witness and experience life and how society felt about me being a stay at home parent.

Many focus on another aspect of myself. A battle in my mind raged on. I fight it daily. More than ever I’m proud of myself. Proud of my family and proud of my friend family. Support was here for me when I needed.

If you wanted to know something about me. Truly a mind blowing detail. I love and I love hard. Family is very important to me. My true loving friends. If you’re in you’re in. Won’t ever let go.

Many have passed on in my life recently. Many new faces have come in to my life. I feel blessed. My work ethic and fortitude kept on. I worked myself and I still work myself.

My indomitable spirit and outrageous outlook have always been one thing I pride myself on. When I smile, I smile from ear to ear. When I laugh, I laugh with a bellow and a strength. My heart and body sing when music is on. I know myself.

Join me on my journey and let me share with you what made me who I am and how I proceed. See how I became Just Obviously Enjoying Life.

J.O.Ë.L.

A SmartyPants Pants

Recently I partnered with SmartyPants Vitamins and was sent some of their products. I met them at Dad 2.0 Summit last year. It was great interacting with their brand. What transpired out of that meeting was a lot of new changes to my life and health journey. Let me share that with you.

First I am not a super active guy as I once was. My activity level was to endure 8-10 hours of dance rehearsals, dance training and musical rehearsals. Not to mention college work and life. Then I remained active in my post-college days with the gym, hiking, recreational sports and being an adult. Life took me to marriage and then to start a family. Well life did change and so did my health.

I did put on some weight when I started my stay at home dad journey. Activity was not the issue. It was the choices I was making outside of the lessened activity. Soon I canceled my gym membership. Inactivity then became part of the domino effect. A focused father is what the modus operandi became. It is funny though because I remained active with my children. Dance class and practice for my daughter. Head soccer coach for my son. I was breaking a sweat folks.

Well my habits were the problem. The food intake and what types of food I was eating. Just too much fatty food. A lot of soda….I was on a binge of sorts. Luckily I came across SmartyPants Vitamins which helped me think about my health. I started taking the Men’s Complete multi-vitamin. Then came the addition of Kids Complete to my children. My new direction began. An ah-ha moment set off in my head. Bam what!

So come to now. I have added the new Adult Probiotic Complete and the Kids Probiotic Complete to the mix. It has been very great to be taking a probiotic that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Now to let you all know my eating habits have changed. Just last night I cooked roasted boneless skinless chicken breast with sautéed broccoli alongside some whipped parsnips. Super healthy.

SmartyPants Vitamins helped me think about my SmartyHeath and my family’s health. Over the coarse of a year I am now 35 lbs. lighter than I was a year ago. That is attributed to consistent exercising, new healthy food choices/meals and the incorporation of the multi-vitamins. Plus the new probiotic products. All in all significant progress has been made. Visit smartypantsvitamins.com for more information about their products. Their vitamins are gummy powered.


*This is a sponsored post in partner with SmartyPants Vitamins. All ideas, content and opinions are my own.

Kia: Built With Steel

Kia: Built With Steel

As many of you know I’ve interacted with Kia Motors USA at many events last year. Some of which were ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities to me. It was a lot and looking back on it brought some new details I remember to mind. Let me share that with you all.

Now remember the first car that arrived on the scene was the Kia Optima SX T-GDI. A sporty rugged sedan that had red leather interior and a sleek dashboard. It was a sleek sedan with many bells and whistles. For such a fast car it was light. A detail about the 2016 Kia I learned is more than 50% of the car’s frame is made up of advanced high-strength steel. So it provides crash protection, better dynamics and a quieter ride. I can attest to that quiet ride. I like to be enveloped by the music playing while in the car, so no other sound interruption is taking away from that.

 

A new car that debuted from Kia is the Niro. The Niro is offering what I feel to be the best combination of mpg gas mileage and an engaging driving journey. A cool design that doesn’t scream ‘hybrid’ plus utility usage too. Send one my way. This car is built with 53% advanced high-strength steel and an estimated 50 mpg. Kia Niro, a crossover hybrid that is making a category splash.

Many other Kia car models have been built using steel. Strength, design and improvements continue to add value to the design and safety. Why is steel important? Through greater formability and manufacturability, engineers and automakers are now able to make lighter, stronger and more fuel-efficient and affordable vehicle structures with the next generation of advanced high-strength steels. Many brands are doing just that. If you would like to read up on more information about steel then click on this link.
https://driveusingsteel.com

 

 

Kia Motors USA sent me many vehicles to experience. The Optima SX T-GDI, the Kia Sedona EX, the Kia Sorento SXL v6, the Kia Sportage EX and then the Kia Optima EX. All very different vehicles with quality, safety and comfort in mind. Knowing that the strength of the steel is not just a benefit but also an attribute. Steel matters.

 

 

*This is a sponsored post with SheBuysCars.com & driveusingsteel.com. Any opinion or statements expressed are my own. All photos are taken by me.