Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Kennedy's Holiday Give Back Project 2014 - #barbieproject

This holiday season my youngest daughter decided to take items off of her Christmas list and use the money that we would have spent on her presents and purchase gifts for less fortunate girls in our community.  I was so proud of Kennedy as I watched her cross several items off of her Christmas list.  What a sweet girl!

We have enjoyed being a part of the Barbie Project this past year and Kennedy gets so much out of her playtime with Barbie.  She decided to give dolls as her gift.  We decided to purchase specific Barbies that focused on careers like Doctors, Teachers, Astronauts and Business Women to give. Kennedy wanted to include a special girl power note to go with each gift.

On her birthday we went to our local toy store and shopped for the Barbie dolls for her Holiday Giveback Project. Mattel's Barbie team heard about Kennedy's philanthropic spirit and also donated some dolls for her cause!  Kennedy was so thrilled!

Kennedy sat down and started working on the special notes that would go with each Barbie. She typed up empowerment messages that she would include on her notes. I just love what she came up with!

Getting More Ideas For Her Girl Power Cards To Go With Each Doll.

She got to work writing out her cards. She collected 20 dolls/accessories for her project.  We wrapped up each doll in cute pink wrapping paper!

Kennedy Wrapping Her Gifts For Her Give Back Project!


Finally all the presents were wrapped and ready to go!  Kennedy and I both got sick with the flu the week before and leading up until Christmas and were unable to deliver the gifts ourselves but through a few local churches, the dolls will be distributed on Christmas day to girls in shelters and to several families in need in the metro Atlanta area.  We will update this post once the gifts are delivered.  I am just so proud to be a mom of girls who love to give rather than receive!  Big thanks also to the Barbie team for donating items for Kennedy's project, you Rock!! 
Here is a final video of Kennedy preparing the special notes and packages!  We pray that you all have a wonderful Holiday Season!!!

Be sure to share your special holiday memories or ways that you give back by leaving a comment! To learn more about the Barbie Project visit

This is part of a group of posts in partnership with #BarbieProject .
All words and images are 100% organic and authentic.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kennedy and Barbie In The Lab #BarbieProject

Kennedy recently got a beginners chemistry lab set and decided to try it out with a few of her Barbie friends! My first 'observation' is that Ms. Kennedy is VERY inpatient in the lab!  She was like a bull in a china set when she ripped open the box and started going through all the contents. She wanted to jump in immediately and get to work.  She flipped through the experiment booklet and ran through the house grabbing items like baking soda and vinegar.  Since several of the experiments had to be supervised I grabbed my camera and pulled up a chair.  I was hoping that we would not have to call 911 as Kennedy started to dive in! She found a simple experiment involving ice, string, salt and went to work.

Instead of reading through the instructions carefully she just started sprinkling and mixing. In my mind I'm thinking: "Ummm Kennedy aren't there a few more steps involved ?" I bit my tongue and watched.  Her first experiment was a big fat flop!  Ice went flying everywhere instead of sticking to the string.  I told her that she needed to SLOW down, read the instructions thoroughly and make sure she had everything that she needed before she got started.  She agreed to slow down and let me help!!! Geez!!

I found a simple experiment that involved acids, bases and pH testing on simple household items.  We read over the definition of acids, bases and the different levels on the pH scale.  We read through all of the steps before she began this time..LOL! She was very excited to start testing out items using the kit's pH indicator strips.  It was so cool watching her try out things like lime juice, vinegar, baking soda water, tap water and bottled water. She checked the chart and determined if each item was an acid or base.  She really enjoyed it and started working on setting up her own lab/classroom with her I Can Be A Teacher Barbie doll and students. It was finally safe for me to step away to start dinner at this point. I came back to see Kennedy's official science lab and classroom.

I was amazed at how Kennedy took the time to set up the classroom and started to explain everything that we had just learned through her teacher Barbie. She showed her results during class. She even found a small water bottle in her toy box like the one she used during her experiment.  I don't know how she keeps up with all of her Barbie accessories!

Student Raising Her Hand For Questions..Too Cute!!

'Chemist Kennedy' Writing Out Her pH Test results!

I really loved sitting down with Kennedy and doing these fun experiments. I think that it is so important for girls to take an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  I have always worked hard through my non-profit that empowers girls and women and with my daughters to expose them to science programs and trailblazer women and girls. When we were shopping for the chemistry set, I had to go past all the dolls and toys to find a small section of science based toys.  They are there, we just have to look!

I know there has been a lot of recent controversy with Barbie and the mixed messages that were sent in a book that was published a few years ago called Barbie I Can Be A Computer Engineer.  In the book Barbie needs the help of two male programmers to complete a computer game that she started. It definitely could send a mixed message, but what I realize especially through this project, is that we should not allow Barbie or books to shape our daughters or sons. We also should not feel that if our daughter reads a book or plays with a doll that her perception on her future will be tainted.   Kennedy has always played with Barbie dolls, and princesses but I also buy her microscopes for her to play and explore.

 At her Birthday party last December her theme was based off of Barbie's I Can Be Line of dolls which focuses on different careers and the attendees came dressed as who they wanted to be when they grew up.  I didn't stop there, I had someone come in and do a robotics demonstration with the girls and boys and at the end of the party they built their own robots.  We as parents have to realize the power we have to shape our sons and daughters!  I found this cool calendar of STEM based activities that you can try with your daughter click here! Kennedy and I have found a few that we are going to try for sure!

We would love to hear your thoughts and stories on the fun things that happen during playtime with Barbie!  Does your daughter want to be a scientist, astronaut, or computer programmer? Be sure to share your experiences and comments below or on the official Barbie Project website!

This is part of a group of posts in partnership with #BarbieProject .
All words and images are 100% organic and authentic.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Raising Empowered & Ambitious Girls - #Barbie Project

So a few weeks ago, my youngest daughter, Kennedy, came home and announced that she was running for a position on her 5th grade Student Council.  She decided to run for Student Council Secretary. Of course me being Mrs. 'Empowerment' Mom, I asked why she didn't run for President or Vice President. Any daughter of mine should be President..right? She explained to me that she was VERY busy with her school schedule, homework and rehearsal four days a week for her lead part in her school play. With so many things going on she didn't want to take on too much, she wanted to be able to manager everything.  My daughters hear me talk all the time about how important it is to not take on too much, especially as a mom and to create some sense of balance in our everyday lives. I was telling this story to a friend of mine and she said, "You know she is talking just like you, right?"  I didn't even realize the correlation when she initially gave me her answer until my friend pointed it out. As moms and parents we truly do have a huge impact on our children, they are listening and watching what we do all the time. Wow!

Kennedy made it past the primary election and was on the official ballot. She focused her attention on her signs that she could place around the school.  She gathered her supplies and once again pulled out Barbie and friends to help with her campaign.

Barbie & Nikki - Official "Team Kennedy" Campaign Members 
Kennedy was super excited to kick off her "Vote Kennedy for Student Council Secretary" campaign.  She was ready to chant "Take Note....Vote For Kennedy!!!" in the school hallways and shake lots of hands..too cute! After her campaign week, she finalized her speech that she would deliver to an auditorium full of fourth and fifth grade students. She practiced in front of the family and with Barbie, I'm sure she was probably less nervous in front of her dear Barbie friends!  She gave a great speech but said she was super nervous and messed up on some parts. 


As a girl and teen I never had the drive to go for things like this,  I was very shy and insecure. I was afraid of failure.  Both of my daughters are self motivated to try different things and are so fearless. I am amazed at the things that they go after and their confidence.  I try to instill in them that they can do anything, and it is okay to try things and fail.  I also expose them to fearless women and girl role models, through the work that I do in my community and with my non-profit.  Earlier this week I had my daughters watch this new mini documentary about Mo'Ne Davis a 13 year old girl baseball pitcher that is defying all the odds and creating a new meaning to "Throw Like A Girl" with her 70 mile per hour fastball..whohoo!

Mo'Ne Davis (Image Credit: Al Tielemans/Sports Illustrated)

I also love that brands like Barbie are using their platform to show girls that anything is possible, like with President Barbie and their new Entrepreneur Barbie. It is important that our girls see women and girls in leadership roles! Kennedy aka Future President of The United States of America has a nice ring to it!

Kennedy's President Barbie, Love Her Platform!
After all of Kennedy's hard work she ended up not winning her school election.  I was so nervous for her as a mom and hoped that she would win.  When she got the news she was initially disappointed and a little sad, but she told us that she knew that she was super busy and that maybe this was a good thing as she could stay focused more on school and the other activities going on in her life. This great attitude from a 10 year old! We told her how proud we were of her along the way and that whatever the outcome was at least she tried and it was a great experience that would prepare her for many great things to come.   I am truly a proud mommy to have such amazing daughters!

How do you instill confidence and ambition in your sons or daughters? Do you have children that grew up like I did, with a lack of self confidence and are afraid to try new things? We would love to hear your thoughts and stories as it is not easy raising empowered girls and boys!  Be sure to share your experiences and comments below or on the official Barbie Project website!

Continue to follow our journey on this project and support our mission to empower women and girls by following us on our websiteFacebook, Twitter!

This is part of a group of posts in partnership with #BarbieProject .
All words and images are 100% organic and authentic.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Too Cool For Barbie? #Barbieproject

I can not believe it's been almost six months since we started the Barbie Project. When I look back over my blogs for this project, I am amazed at how much my daughters have grown and how quickly they are changing. When we started they were wrapping up their 4th and 10th grade school year. Now Kennedy is getting settled into her last year of elementary school (where are my tissues) and her big sister, Kayla, is only a few short years away from graduating and going to college..OMG!! 

Looking back over the project so far I have truly enjoyed watching Kennedy's playtime and seeing the amazing adventures that she experiences with Barbie. I have also been surprised to see her big sister's involvement and secret joy that she has found playing with Barbie again through this project.   Recently Kayla came up with the idea to recreate the iconic Rosie The Riveter "We Can Do It" Poster with Barbie. Empowering women and girls is my passion, and my girls have grown up with constant girl power messages. Sometimes I think that it goes in one ear and out the other but I am learning that they are really listening and hopefully I am doing something right!  I was so excited to share their spin on this iconic poster during our Barbie Tumbler Takeover week!  It was so cool to be Editorial Director for Barbie's official Tumblr page for a week through this project! Barbie's Tumblr fans loved this post (view here), just a little dose of empowerment for Ms. Barbie!


As I have mentioned over the last few months, I am truly seeing my daughters grow up before my eyes. I see how Kennedy's playtime is slowly changing and maturing with her.  A few weeks ago, I heard Kennedy busy playing with Barbie. She was talking and giggling and I heard another voice in the room. I walked in and asked Kennedy who she was talking to. She was in her room and Barbie dolls were everywhere!  She had our Ipad in the middle of everything and her friend was smiling through the screen also surrounded by Barbies and waving "Hi Mrs. Kara". She was face-timing with her friend and they were busy playing with their Barbie dolls together..well not together but in their own bedrooms miles apart. Wait..what??? Playtime is REALLY changing!!

I was cooking dinner recently and overheard this conversation:

Big Sister: "So Kennedy, it's probably time for you to stop playing with Barbie don't you think?"

Kennedy: (looking shocked) "No, why do you say that???"

Big Sister: Well you are in the 5th grade, I think I was in the 5th grade when I stopped playing with Barbie. You are getting too old to play with them.  If you stop playing with Barbie, think about what you could do with the space in your room instead of having Barbie stuff everywhere.

I saw the look on Kennedy's face, she adores her big sister and she didn't know what to say. I stepped in and told Kennedy that she could play with Barbie as long as she would like to and that their was no time limit, it was up to her. I shot her big sister aka Barbie Police a look which she ignored.

The conversation shifted to something else and I went back to cooking. In that moment, I had only imagined Kennedy as a little girl who played with Barbie, not a soon to be tween who would be too cool to play with Barbie.  The thought of her packing up her Barbie dolls and toys one day made me so sad.  I think because of this project I have paid more attention to the creativity and joy that comes out of her playtime, this was especially hard to imagine. I honestly don't remember when her big sister made that transition.  All I know is one day she was playing with Barbie and now she is talking about being asked to go to homecoming dances and asking me to drive every five minutes...boohoo, where is the pause button to stop time?

I talked to Kennedy some more later that evening and asked how she felt about her sister's conversation about Barbie. She said it made her sad because she really enjoys playing with Barbie. She said that she only has a few friends that still play with them, but overall she is embarrassed sometimes. I told her that she should enjoy this special time and to do what makes HER happy not everyone else. She looked so relieved and had a big smile on her face. She hugged me and said thank you and told me that she would NEVER stop playing with Barbie!  If only that were true!! I know one day she will probably think that she is too cool for playtime like her sister but for today I will enjoy and cherish these special moments that she is experiencing and continue to watch her grow.

I was looking back through the pictures that I have captured so far during this project and the sheer joy that I see when she plays makes me so happy. I encourage all the moms and dads out there to make time to play with your children while you can, it goes by so fast!!!

Love seeing her smile, her creative, brilliant spirit and imagination!
Love when she cracks herself up during playtime!
Love seeing what her big sister does during her playtime..Barbie Selfies..ha!!!!

Do you remember when you packed up your Barbie dolls as a young girl and decided that you were too cool to play? Are you a mom like me who has rediscovered the joys of playtime through your daughter or son's play? We would love to hear your stories! Be sure to share your experiences  and comments below or on the Barbie Project website! We would love to hear your experiences! 

Continue to follow us on our websiteFacebook, Twitter and the official Barbie Project website!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kennedy aka Interior Designer #Barbie Project

I can not believe its been almost six months since my daughter and I started the Barbie Project. Where has the time gone?  Watching Ms. Kennedy and her big sister on this journey has been so rewarding.  Kennedy's creativity and imagination never cease to amaze me. From building elevators to starting a new business,  Kennedy's Space Boot Camp, Kennedy comes up with some pretty cool things during her playtime.

Recently Kennedy was inspired by some curtains that she saw in a hair salon over the weekend.She begged me all the way home to stop and buy curtains for her door in her room. Her exact words were  "Can you and daddy tear down my door so that I can put up curtains instead?"  I explained to her that we would NOT be tearing down her door and that we would look for some curtains for her windows for a future home project. I watched as she folded her arms and started to pout in the rear view mirror, her mind not letting the idea rest. Then all of a sudden a light bulb went off and she told me that she did not need to go shopping she would look through some of my tablecloths and fabrics that I used for my empowerment parties.  She was so happy! 

So we arrive home and she goes flying upstairs to my home office and started pulling out bins in my closet.  She found some fabric and ran downstairs and asked if she could use it.  She was already back upstairs before I could get my 'yes' out.  I walked by a few times and saw Kennedy aka Interior Designer busy cutting and measuring.  She had pulled out her Fashion Designer Barbie and they got to work!

Barbie With Her Measuring Tape and Scissors

Kennedy used a few thumb tacks and some old shower curtain rings that she found and created a very nice curtain for her bathroom room!  I was very impressed that she had cut the one piece of fabric in such a creative way.

After getting her curtains up, she went to work adding some custom curtains to Barbie's dollhouse.

Barbie Busy Taking Measurements!

Both Designers Showing Off Their Work!!


She was so proud when she showed me how they worked when she took the rings off.  She loved going in and out of the curtains when they were closed!  I enjoy seeing how she always includes her dolls in her adventures and the many things she comes up with during her playtime  We would love to hear about the creative projects that your children have taken on in their playtime adventures as well! Be sure to leave a comment on our blog or share them on the Barbie Project website or on our website, social networks Facebook or Twitter!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Every Great Dream Begins With A Dreamer - #Barbie Project

Today was the first day of school for my daughters! My oldest daughter started 11th grade and my youngest started the 5th grade. I can't believe that I only have a few more years with my oldest daughter before she goes to college and that this will be the last year of elementary school for my youngest. Where did the time go??? Sniff Sniff!

They had a fantastic first day today and came home full of excitement for what the new school year will bring.  Over the weekend I talked to both of them about setting goals for the new school year and to start thinking about what they wanted to accomplish this year.  I told them about the power of visualization and focusing on the positive outcomes they would like to have. I suggested that they do a vision board which is a fun way to dream big and put your ideas on paper.  I love to do vision boards and  have been surprised at the many things that came to fruition when you dream in detail. (check out my previous post on this topic).

So I picked up some poster board over the weekend, pulled out magazines and supplies.   My youngest daughter, Kennedy, came home from school today and immediately started working on hers.  I was surprised to see that she had brought down her Barbie dolls to serve as her assistants for this project!

Kennedy Cutting Out Pictures For Her Vision Board
Barbie and Friends Helping To Create Her Vision Board

Get A's, Awesome Test Scores and Barbie Dream House
Kennedy's Vision Board Coming Together Nicely!
Love seeing some of the amazing things that she put on her board: Straight A's Do Awesome On CRCT or Any Test , Get A Barbie Dream House, Be The Smartest Kid In Her Class, Meet Fifth Harmony. She is aiming for a great school year!  Her big sister was inspired by her board and plans to work on hers this week as well. She is already coming up with ideas for her board, like what college she wants to get accepted into, receiving a academic/soccer scholarship, getting all A's, prom dresses and a car (umm yeah!
I love this quote/poster I made a few years ago which features my oldest daughter.  I came across it today and feel that it is a perfect theme for this school year!
Wishing all of the students and parents a great and safe school year this year!  Please be sure to share you dreams/goals or other cool ways that your children use their playtime to dream big! Be sure to leave a comment on our blog or share them on the Barbie Project website or on our website, social networks Facebook or Twitter!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

International Barbie #Barbie Project

The best memories of my childhood are summer vacations to the beach with my family.  As a parent who is often going in a million directions any quality time away with my hubby and our daughters mean the world to me!  This summer we were able to take the girls on their first international trip!  They received their passports prior to the trip and were super excited about going out of the country and getting their very first passport stamp.  I didn't get my passport until a few years ago and was so overjoyed when I received mine.  I remember being so in awe that I could now travel anywhere in the world!

As soon as they received their passports, my daughter created a 'mock passport' for her Barbie doll Nicki.  She made sure that her passport was packed with the rest of the families passports before we left.

The day of the trip the girls were buzzing and ready to go!  Ms. Kennedy changed her Entrepreneur Barbie into her pilot outfit and packed her in her carry on bag.  This was my youngest daughter's first plane ride so this trip was special in many ways.

Kennedy Making Sure That She Had Her Dolls Passport Ready!

They Are Ready For Take Off!
It was so neat seeing my daughter's excitement as we took off into the sky.  She giggled during take off and kept her nose pressed to the glass as we flew above the clouds!  We landed in Mexico ready to explore.  We passed through customs and the girls received their first stamp. Kennedy wanted to have Barbie present her mock passport to the customs agent but I didn't think that would go over to well, didn't want Barbie to get detained with fake!!
We had a great time at the beach, relaxing in the pool, eating great food and visiting beautiful Mayan Ruins during our long weekend away.
 Could Not Get This One Out Of The Pool!

Both of my daughters also went snorkeling for the first time with their dad. I am NOT a swimmer and I was just so amazed that both of my daughters especially Ms. Kennedy hopped right into the middle of the ocean with no fear!  They saw beautiful coral reefs, stingrays, eels, jellyfish and exotic fish, Dory from Finding Nemo to be exact!
Kennedy got out of the water grinning from ear to ear. She said over and over that snorkeling was the best thing that she has ever done in her WHOLE life and the best part of the trip!  It was a truly priceless moment as a parent, and made the whole trip worth while exposing them to different cultures, worlds and adventures! What a blessing!

I'm excited to see how Kennedy's playtime will be shaped by her new experiences! I will have a lot to share in my upcoming posts I am sure!  I can not believe the summer is winding down and the girls will be back in school in a few short weeks, where did it go???   We would love to hear about your adventures and any special playtime experiences that you have had with your daughters or sons this summer! Be sure to leave a comment on our blog or share them on the Barbie Project website or on our website, social networks Facebook or Twitter!
Cheers to the rest of the summer and Adios Amigos!!