Philanthrofest has made a huge impact on the South Florida community. The event, now in its third year, connects 1000’s of South Florida residents to valuable resources and services in the areas of Business & Economic Development, City/County Services, Civic Engagement/Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Cultural/Arts/Humanities, Educational, Environmental, Health/Human Services/Disease Prevention, Poverty/Welfare, Animal Related, Food/Agriculture/Nutrition, Recreation & Sports, and Youth Development & Services.The PhilanthroFest Community Engagement Festival features more than 100 South Florida non-profits and community agencies, art, music and dance entertainment, a kid’s zone, a community stage, healthy living section, and other family friendly attractions.

PhilanthroFest is FREE and open to the public with the goal of connecting volunteers and donors to not-for-profit organizations while creating an environment that promotes civic engagement, deepens community connections and sparks the philanthropic spirit of South Florida.

3 ways YOU can support PhilanthroFest TODAY:


Donate to support the PhilanthroFest 2014 Festival and we will include your name on our donor recognition page and donor activation at the festival. DONATE VIA EVENTBRITE!


Cast your vote for PhilanthroFest in the KIND “Do The KIND Thing” Challenge: VOTE NOW!


Share your #PhilanthroSMILE with us and be featured in our social media campaign: SHARE YOUR #PHILANTHROSMILE

My New ‘Mommy’ Blog

53 Weeks is OFFICIAL! This new Mommy Blog isn’t as much about its creator as it is about the huge network of Mommy’s who make the world go ’round!

53 Weeks is all it took for site creator Aubrey Aquino to become a mother to two beautiful baby boys, and now “53 Weeks” has become her platform to showcase anything and everything that happens in the realm of a Mom’s world! 53 Weeks will share first hand stories in Mommy 101, spotlight the diverse lifestyles of all types of Moms through Q&A profiles, check out and review new, hip and cool baby gear, offer tips for fitness and fun, fast recipes for families on the go, as well as be a place for you to show off your favorite kid pics!

Special thanks to Tony Robles aka tony.psd for creating the awesome cartoon illustration take on Aubrey and her 2 boys for the 53 Weeks graphic, Adrienne Aquino for her additional graphic and design consulting and of course to Darryl Lee Sang of Interactive Minds for his hard work and input in setting up the website.

Be sure to check the site everyday for new content and you can follow us via social media too!

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FIRST Birthday

I recently planned a FIRST Birthday bash for my son…so I thought I’d share some of the fun stuff I did with a “Stars and Stripes” theme! He was born on July 3 at 11pm, so he was just one hour shy of being born on the 4th of July! 🙂 At any rate, the nice thing about this theme is that there’s lots of “Americana” and “Patriotic” party stuff available out there! These days with pinterest and etsy, generic is NOT the way to go! hehe

In the photos above, you can see my firecracker clapping it up in his homemade #1 birthday hat. I bought plain red and blue (cone) birthday hats and adorned them with red, white and blue “star” themed stickers and cutouts. In the background you can also see (sort of) his custom Happy Birthday bunting, made with an assortment of patterned pennants strung together. And, what’s a party these days without a cupcake tower!?! I had to get one of those and filled it with mini-cupcakes decked out with red and blue sprinkles!

Then I also found some fun “stars and stripes” candy… swirl lollipops with birthday tags, and red, white & blue sour gummy stars. I also made centerpieces (not pictured) with cylinder vases and filled them with the gummy stars and stuck matching pinwheels and small #1 mylar balloons..but the wind kinda didn’t work with me and so they didn’t photograph too well! grr!!

However, the big face cut outs were a BIG hit! I was looking for something different using his photos…and the faces were FUN!! They provided good photo ops and also doubled as a fan on a hot day in July. The babies also got a kick out of seeing a BIG baby face on a stick! LOL!! Then I ordered a first birthday “chalkboard” off Etsy. A cute, keepsake idea as it lists his size, favorites and memorable “firsts” for baby’s 1st!

Then there’s always the food, which I could keep entirely red, white and blue…BUT I managed to have fun with this fruit salad, complete with “star” shaped watermelon. Another themed food item were the white and blue (corn) tortilla chips and “red” salsa!

Finally, I also ordered a pull-apart cake made up of cupcakes…nothing too fancy, but it still made a “cool” impression. So those are some of the highlights from the first birthday party. For future reference though, when having a party at the park, opt for heavy table covers, as my flimsy plastic ones couldn’t withstand the wind…and tape wasn’t the answer! Also, I had a stand for my chalkboard poster (BTW…had it printed and mounted at Walgreens), but that also couldn’t hold up with the strong ocean breeze! ha! Foodwise, I think we did a good job, stuck to hot dogs and hamburgers and chose salads, fruits and sides that didn’t perish too quickly in the heat.


Yesterday I was BLESSED to be the recipient of a BABY SPRINKLE! What is a “sprinkle” you ask? Well, it’s a celebration to help Mom welcome baby #2 or #3 and so on. Basically you’re not showering the Mother with gifts, but rather sprinkling her with a few items!!! So, since I am having my second child, I already have many baby items and wasn’t anticipating any “hoopla” to accompany the impending arrival of baby #2…however my dear friend Constance aka “The Crafty Reporter,” insisted that we needed to celebrate!

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Well, I was just so flattered and she really went all out to make this intimate gathering of my Miami “family” really special — I am SO THANKFUL! She crafted lots of handmade cuteness with the dessert table and decor….I am SO IN LOVE with her crocheted crowns for my “Little Prince.” If you want to see some of her other yarn by design creations you can visit her website for Huggabeans. She is so good at making the most adorable baby hats, blankets, etc… 🙂

Every touch, from the printed menu’s, goodie bags, color scheme, fancy treats and all the extra attention to detail, really show and the sprinkle was nothing short of FABULOUS! Take a look at these photos of the “spread!”


And — of course I can’t forget the lovely women who attended the sprinkle…THANK YOU for coming and sprinkling me and baby #2 with LOVE!!

FYI — The venue for my Sprinkle was City Hall the Restaurant in downtown Miami…and the food was extra YUMMY!

Now it’s countdown time til my “Little Prince” arrives!



Who doesn’t love a good cookie, or two or three!?!? Well, I’m a self-proclaimed cookie monster and I wanted to post about “Cookies by Courtney.” Courtney is a wonderful chef who makes healthy food taste extremely good…AND she also bakes some of the best and most original cookie flavors around!

Courtney’s online cookie operation is based out of Atlanta, but she can ship her sweet treats anywhere! And — there are no added preservatives and no trans-fat or high fructose corn syrup. She’s conscious of the environment too, using biodegradable products to wrap and package these sweet treats! I know Courtney has been serving up the cookies from coast to coast..with a cookie clientele looking like a nice list of who’s who, especially in the NBA… BUT regardless of the other people who luv her baked goods, you’ve gotta take “bite” for yourself.

From RED VELVET to KEY LIME cookies…there’s also Buttery Toffee, Pumpkin Spice, etc… Can we say YUMMY!!!!???

P.S. With the Holiday season upon us, Courtney’s cookies are great for parties or GREAT gifts for the cookie monsters in you life! 😉


OKC is OKAY with me, BUT…

All eyes will be on OKC this evening, well, the eyeballs belonging to NBA fans who are tuned into the 2012 season FINALS that tip off tonight. This is MUST SEE TV peeps!! 🙂 Anyhoo, Oklahoma City isn’t exactly one of those top travel destinations that everyone flocks to..BUT I have actually been there twice and I like OKC. My first time visiting Oklahoma was when I was on ESPN’s Beg, Borrow and Deal, it was pretty much my “team’s” last stop before the other team beat us to the finish line – we were 2 teams racing across the country. The year was 2002, we had ended up by OU, and some friendly fraternity guys (who were ready to head home for the summer), helped us out and somehow we ended up at Mickey Mantle’s restaurant and then some nightclub! LOL

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Then, last year I went back to OKC for a work assignment with Chesapeake Energy, the same company who has the naming rights for Arena where the OKC Thunder play…and where the NBA Finals begin tonight versus my “hometown” Miami HEAT! So, all this to say that I like OKC, the city, the team and the company it’s teamed up with, Chesapeake. The segment I did for them was shot on the Chesapeake campus at their state of the art gym…very cool..and the entire company campus has a distinct university feel, on purpose by design. Click play below to see the segment I did at Chesapeake!

And — if you happen to be in OKC for the series, head to the Bricktown area for some eats, I ate at a spot called Crabtown..and yeah, I’ll definitely have to go back one of these days, just to eat crab there!! I also loved downtown’s Hilton Hotel Skirvin, where I stayed. It’s the cutest boutique feeling hotel, and did I mention their grilled cheese!?!? LOL

Now, as random as this post is…even though I kinda sorta really like OKC… I’m going on the record to say this series, these NBA FINALS belong to MIAMI!! Yes, the HEAT will bring it home to the 305!!! 🙂 I’m wishing, hoping & praying to see the championship trophy in South Florida, with a HUGE parade and all the fanfare..BUT SERIOUSLY I FEEL it in my bones!!!! I have no doubt this will be a very competitive, exciting series… filled with drama, so as an NBA fan, thanks in advance. No offense Oklahoma, it’s just not your time, yet…

Today is….

Happy June! The first of this month is…the start of (Atlantic) hurricane season! I’ve been super fortunate the entire 6 years I have lived in Miami, I have yet to experience one….and HOPEFULLY I keep the streak going for 2012 too.

Apparently today is also National Doughnut Day…hmmm, hurricanes + doughnuts, the 2 go hand in hand, ya think??

What a perfect combo…just sayin’… j/k!! Any other ways to mark June 1st?? 🙂