Thursday, October 30, 2014

How Walmart Empowers Women

Walmart represents one of the biggest promotors of female leadership in our country, and that becomes clear just by looking at the Forbes 400, the list of the 400 wealthiest people in America. 

Alice and Christy Walton, two women in the family behind Walmart, are changing the game of leadership in this country by making their way to the top ten on the Forbes 400 list. They are actually the only women in the top ten. In fact, Christy and Alice Walton are two of the 34 women who make the cut. This means that only 8% of the entire list are women. This reality is not because women in the world lack the ability, motivation, or desire for entrepreneurial success- but because throughout history and still today, they often lack the opportunity and support necessary. 

Walmart is looking to change that reality and shape the business world as we know it to become a place where women and men alike can flourish. Through the launching of the Empowering Women Together program as well as an online space where business women around the world can talk and exchange ideas, Walmart hopes to spark the fire that attracts more women to the business word through opportunity. It is their hope that providing women with these opportunities will improve hard working women’s lives and the lives of their families while creating jobs and bringing together communities. 

To further demonstrate their cause not just through words, but actions, each supplier of the Empowering Women Together program is a women-owned business or a company with the mission of supporting and creating women-owned businesses. 

70% of the people living in poverty are women and less than 7% of the venture capital goes to female start-up companies, Walmart and countless others are trying to change this and enhance the quality of life of women everywhere by allowing them to fulfill the “American dream” that everyone, not just men, dream of. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Most Popular Halloween Costumes Every Year Since 2000

Aside from the classics that repeat year after year, each year a few costumes rise up above the rest as the most popular for that Halloween. What costume that is often depends on the most popular or well known movies, television shows, artists, and events that took place over that last year. 

Get ready for a serious blast from the past because below we have listed the most popular costumes every year since 2000, many of them still popular today. 

2000: Austin Powers

2001: Harry Potter characters

2002: Spider-Man

2003: Captain Jack Sparrow

2004: Spongebob Squarepants

2005: Anakin Skywalker

2006: V from V for Vendetta 

2007: Master Chief from Halo

2008: The Joker

2009: Alan from The Hangover

2010: The Cast from the Jersey Shore

2011: Angry Birds

2012: Walking Dead Zombies

2013: Minions from Despicable Me

It's awesome to look at how costumes have changed over the years and which ones keep coming back. Have you ever been any of the above for Halloween in previous years? And what costume do you think will be #1 for Halloween 2014? I guess we will just have to wait to Friday and see!

Watch This Hilarious Jimmy Kimmel YouTube Challenge: “I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy”

A few years ago, Jimmy Kimmel challenged parents to take the trick part of “trick or treating” literally to trick their kids in the meanest (and most hilarious) way possible. He had parents tell their children that after all their hard work walking from house to house collecting candy on Halloween night, the parents had done the unthinkable and eaten every single hard-earned piece. 

Kimmel then requested that the parents film their kids reaction and send the results to him to put together into one hysterical clip. Reactions range from despair to temper tantrums, but each as cute and funny as the one before (some of them even make you feel guilty for laughing!). The prank was so successful and popular that Kimmel has continued to challenge viewers to participate in this post-Halloween trick each year since. 

Click below to watch last year’s YouTube challenge and hopefully we can expect another clip from Kimmel in the next few weeks after this year’s night of Trick or Treating (at the expense of our poor little candy collectors)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Creative Kid's Halloween Costume Ideas Courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres

Halloween is next week so if you are still looking for a cute and creative costume for your little one, look no further! 

Ellen DeGeneres has complied a list of kids costumes for everyone trying to do something a little different for their children this year. And trust me, these suggestions are as adorable as they are unique! For all our procrastinators out there who save costume-making for the last minute (something I am guilty of this year), no need to fret because some of these costumes are incredibly easy to put together at a moment’s notice. 

1. Flower in a Pot

Just some fake flowers, a headband, brown pants or skirt, and a plastic container are needed to put together this super cute costume.

2. Baby Einstein 

This was one of my favorite ones on the list. @ellieperillo transformed her son into a miniature Einstein using just a white onesie, a fake mustache, and some fake gray hair coloring. 

3. Little Pilot

For all arts and crafts lovers, this is the perfect costume. If you aren't good with crafts or don't have time, you can forgo the cardboard plane and put together an outfit using a hat, scarf, leather jacket, and the signature goggles. 

4. Pretty Peacock

The nice thing about this costume idea is that it can range from quick and simple to really detailed depending on how much time and energy you have to put into it. All you need for the basics are purple tights, a blue tutu, blue shirt, and a feather tail. The rest is up to you!

5. Cuddly Koala

Ellen loved this submission by @tsmurray that she added it to her list of best costumes- and we don't blame her! This little koala couldn't be cuter. 

6. Cabbage Patch Kid

All this clever costume requires is a pink shirt with a denim dress and a wig.

7. Instagram 

As a fan of social media, I obviously had to include Felicia R's clever submission from Ellen's list! 

8. A Spelling Bee


This was one of the most creative ones I came across, and not too difficult either!

9. The Simpsons

An awesome idea for family costumes!

10. Wizard of Oz

Such a cute idea for siblings. Thanks to @sefull7 for submitting this to Ellen's list!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

MusEffect Stands Up to Cyber Bullying in this Powerful Clip

October is one of my favorite months of the year, not just because of Halloween (although that is a big part of it!) but also because it is a month for raising awareness about several very important issues. In addition to being the month dedicated to breast cancer awareness, October also serves as National Bullying Prevention Month.

Bullying has always been a problem, especially with kids and teens, but with the rise of social media and other various forms of technology a new kind of bullying has also risen- cyber bullying. Access to cell phones and the Internet in school as well as at home has created an atmosphere where bullies can thrive because it rids of the face-to-face conflict and allows people to bully anonymously. Proper use of social media and technology is a beautiful thing, but cyber bullying is a serious concern for today’s kids and teens. Because of this, it is important that we work towards preventing cyber bullying and this starts with awareness of the causes as well as the detrimental effects behind the issue. 

MusEffect, a non-profit company that highlights current issues through performance, decided to take on this difficult task and contribute towards the spread of awareness through the creation of a public service announcement. 

Choreographed by Muse founder Jessica Starr, the clip features a group of talented young dancers to the powerful words of poet Azure Antoinette. The extremely moving short film provides a peak into the world of painful world of cyber bullying and I encourage everyone to watch it and share with others!

Click below to watch: 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Reminder of Why We Wear Pink in October

October is not only the month for spooky costumes and apple picking but it’s also the month dedicated to breast cancer awareness. Students, athletes, and organizations across the country are going pink this month to represent and support breast cancer survivors everywhere. 

To join to fight against breast cancer, staff at ONCEKids has dedicated themselves to “thinking pink” for October. But this concept means so much more than just a color. So although we love and participate in the idea of pink, I want to remind you the purpose behind that (awesome) color. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created to spread awareness and encourage steps towards prevention of the disease that affects 1 in 8 women during her lifetime. It was also created to support, encourage and inspire hope in those who are currently battling breast cancer or who have recently overcome it and their loved ones. The color pink symbolizes hope, unity, and a common cause: to overcome the disease that more than 12.4% of women fight. Integrating pink into our daily lives reminds women fighting breast cancer that they are not alone and that there is hope. In 2011, more than 2.6 million women fought and won their battle with breast cancer. 

So while “Pinktober” remains an amazing idea, lets not forget why and for whom we are going pink for in the first place. Some breast cancer fighters have expressed concern that in the sea of pink, the message behind Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been drowned out. So let us remind these strong mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and friends that behind all the pink the message stands clear and stronger than ever- the key to prevention is awareness and this month we will be dedicated to spreading that awareness to everyone around us. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ONCEKids Shares Pictures From This Year's Orange County Children's Book Festival

On September 28th, OnceKids joined over 150 other authors, illustrators, and publishers at the 11th annual Orange County Children’s Book Festival. The festival was created by Barry Ackerman to promote literacy and a love of reading in children everywhere, a message that still stands strong today. Since it’s inception in 2004, the festival has grown substantially, with over 130,000 attendees this year. 

OnceKids was so excited and honored to have our beloved author Eileen Wacker and her amazing Fujimini Adventure Series featured at this year’s event and it could not have been more fun! 

Scroll below to see some of the photos from this year’s festival:

1. Setting up our booth!

2. Prepping for the big day!

3. Author Eileen Wacker and two of our amazing actors

4. Early on in the festival

5. Blue Penguin and our new friend share a high five

6. Our first visitors!

7. More high fives!

8. One of our biggest attractions of the day- Face painting! 

9. Our new adorable friend

10. Lia from OnceKids is ready!

11. Another great shot of author Eileen Wacker with actors Anita Vora and Jason Richter

12. Cassidy getting ready to rock out in our Blue Penguin suit!

13. Author Eileen Wacker

14. Little fans get a sweet surprise from the Blue Penguin

15. Author Eileen Wacker signs her new book for a fan

16. A snap shot of the main stage from the OC Book Festival!

These are just a few of the many photos from our awesome weekend at the Orange County Children's Book Festival! If you weren't in attendance for this year's festival make sure to make an appearance next year and experience what is becoming one of the largest children's book festivals in the country.