Tag Archives

2 Articles

September Shorts By Cynthia Brian

Posted by Editor on
September Shorts By Cynthia Brian


Mark Your Calendars: Come to Vineyard Vines and Make a Difference!

Join one of our lead volunteers Chelsea Pelchat at Vineyard Vines (1301 N Main St.) in Walnut Creek, CA on September 17th! Your purchases can help make a difference to promote literacy and positive message media. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet some of our organizations fantastic stars! See you there!
Join BTSYA at the Moraga Pear and Wine Festival!

Moraga Pear and Wine Festival
Date: Saturday Sept. 24

Join Be the Star You Are!® at the 2016 Pear and Wine Festival on Saturday, September 24 from10 am-4pm at Moraga Commons Park in Moraga at the corner of Moraga Road and St. Mary’s Road. Games, pear pies, local wines, music, dancing, contests, arts, crafts, and fun for the entire family.
This year’s booth, designed by Event Coordinator, Chelsea Pelchat will feature a Reading Circle, Face Painting, Book Giveaways, and Book Sale with all brand new beautiful books either $4.99 or $9.99. Donations encouraged.
pear festival 2010.jg - 2
Thank you to our generous sponsors MB Jessee Painting, StarStyle® Productions, LLC, Lamorinda Weekly Newspaper, and Michael VerBrugge Construction for making the BTSYA booth possible. If you are interested in sponsoring our events, please email Cynthia@Star-Style.com.
pear fewstival 2011 - 11

Please also check out some of our videos from previous Pear Festival Events!
maria-bue ocean-fire boy
Watch the Pear Festival Event and Book Bash

Why Teens Volunteer  by Karen Kitchel
More than half of American teenagers and young adults are volunteers. We might think people of all ages volunteer their time because they want to support a cause they care about.  However, teens and young adults volunteer regularly if and where their friends do, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.  Also interesting to note the research done by DoSomething.org, a group that works to get young people involved in social change. One of their studies, based on data from 4,363 young people, found that the most common form of support by volunteers was assistance with fundraising. Thirty-eight percent of those in the survey said they helped with solicitations. If you combine social networking skills with teens who are passionate about your cause, you might find a surprising amount of funds being raised.
The study also found that boys were more likely to undertake physical activities while girls were more likely to help the homeless and  people in need or to work with art groups. Other findings from the survey included:
• Young people who reported sending out frequent text messages were 13 percent more likely to have volunteered. However, few of those surveyed went online to find volunteer opportunities.
• Seventy percent of young people from wealthy families volunteered, compared with 44 percent of those from low-income households.
• Students in private high schools were 25 percent more likely to volunteer than those in public schools.
The researchers say the responses to the survey pointed out some key ideas to increase volunteerism:
Offer chance to socialize. A top priority for many young people in choosing volunteer activities is having a chance to interact with friends and have a good time.
Close to home helps.  Proximity to home ranks second of the reasons why young people choose the volunteer activities they do.
Make it one time or quick.   With little time to spare, teens want to complete their task and move on. Consider “one minute” volunteers who do nothing but promote your cause online.  You provide the copy and they post to their contacts.
What’s in it for me?   For high-school students, often a concern about the future is getting into college and paying for it. Volunteer activities can give young people an edge in college admissions or scholarship applications.
If young folks have a great volunteer experience, imagine their impact, as well as  involving their friends, and they just might become the volunteer leaders of tomorrow.
best-pear festova; 2-14 - 16
About the author:
Karen Kitchel is a Community Volunteer who is passionate about helping  those who are homeless or disadvantaged.  Previously she served as President of Cheerful Givers, a nonprofit organization, and Director of BI University at BI Worldwide.  She can be reached at karenkitchel@comcast.net
If you’d like to be a part of writing for our newsletter and contribute your thoughts and memories, please contact eaguilar_2018@depauw.edu on how to get involved!

Shop, Give, and Get Connected!
If you love to shop online, you’ll love the ways you can be donating to Be the Star You Are!® without spending a penny more, and sometimes saving a lot. The next time you want to buy ANYTHING, click on one of our links and you’ll
be supporting BTSYA while getting the best value for yourself!
flag US
Ways to Help

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases
2. Discounted books at Amazon
3. Buy or Sell on EBAY 
4. Use GoodSearch to search the web & buy from your favorite stores,. Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too!  
5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE
6. BTSYA Logo Store 
7. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 1800+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA.

If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page! 

Please drop in and give us a listen!
We love connecting with so many great people on the air and it would be fantastic if you could listen
in as well! Please join us on Star-Style Radio and Express Yourself! Teen Radio. Please also visit our calendar to find local events. Care to see what other people are saying about us? See our reviews at Great Non-Profits!
Tune into Express Yourself™ Teen Radio Tuesdays NOON PT on Voice America Kids Network. 
You can also listen to all our broadcasts on iTunes!
Celebrating the 18th Anniversary of BTSYA!!!
Congratulations BTSYA for celebrating your 18th year of making a difference and bringing joy to many in need. Our work couldn’t be done without the support of our generous donors, volunteers, and support over these fantastic 18 years! Here’s to many more great memories to come 🙂 Tune in to our special 18th anniversary broadcast on the Voice America Network!  


Do you LOVE StarStyle Radio: Embed StarStyle® Be the Star You Are!® Radio

If you are a fan of the authors, experts, celebrities, and guests that appear regularly on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® radio, you can now be sure to never miss an episode. Embed this code into your WordPress site or any site and you’ll always have Cynthia Brian, Heather Brittany, and all of your favorite pioneers on the planet at your fingertips.  Upbeat, positive, life-changing talk radio broadcasting live each week since 1998. Lend us Your Ears. We are Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!® EMBED: http://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2206 

Listen Live WEEKLY 4-5 PM, PT Wednesdays at Voice America Empowerment Network 
Catch up with all broadcasts on ITunes

Memorial Donations for Alice Abruzzini
Our Founder, Cynthia Brian’s Mom recently passed away and will be greatly missed as Cynthia’s mentor, cheerleader, and gardening guru. Alice was blooming with love and spread the seeds of laughter, fun, and friendship to everyone she met.  A Be the Star You Are!® Memorial Fund has been established in her name. Checks may be sent to Be the Star You Are!®, Memorial for Alice Abruzzini, PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556 or via PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES. 

Watch the You Tube Tribute Video

Read Alice’s Wonderland 

Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®
Positive Results 
About Us 
How to Help
Contact us

Be The Star You Are! 501(c)(3)
PO Box 376
Moraga, CA 94556

Blooming with Love By Cynthia Brian

Posted by Editor on
Blooming with Love By Cynthia Brian


By Cynthia Brian

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” Mother Teresa

Every artist has her or his muse, a person who inspires, motivates, and encourages creativity. Leonardo had Lisa , Quentin has Uma, Mother Teresa had God, and I credit my mother, Alice, with being my gardening artiste. From the time that I could toddle, I was following her around our expansive gardens planted for both the edibles and the pretties. When she and my dad first moved to their house built at the turn of the 20th century on the 365 acre ranch in the middle of nowhere, it was surrounded by brambles, blackberry bushes, and poison oak. Little by little she painstakingly transformed the prickly jungle into a playful park planted with a myriad of beautiful flowers, herbs, trees, grasses, fruits, and vegetables.
azaleas brick.jpg
I can still smell the sweet fragrance of the spring soil as we tilled the plots designated as the vegetable garden. Mom would plant starts of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, bush beans, string beans, eggplant, and whatever other vegetable caught her fancy for the year. The five kids would be given seeds of radishes, beets, corn, carrots, turnips, squash, and melons to plant as we wished. Onions, leeks, garlic, and Swiss Chard seemed to be in abundance year round as did a big patch of culinary herbs-basil, mustard, chives, dill, fennel, parsley, oregano, marjoram, mints, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme. We didn’t have automatic irrigation.  All of us were responsible for daily watering, pulling hoses for long distances as Mom always did. She showed us how to plant rows, squares, circles, how to soak each plant plentifully, what to weed, and what not to touch.
hanging begonias
We couldn’t wait until summer when the first tomato ripened. With a handful of basil, we’d bite into the juicy goodness right there in the garden. One August she grew a five-pound tomato, won a big prize, and carried it around to multiple events exhibiting its enormity to anyone interested until it rotted. Long before the trend of farm to table, my Mom cooked what was freshest and harvested that day. We only ate what was in season or, in the winter months, what we canned during the summer. To this day, I won’t eat tomatoes, grapes, or oranges out of season. Why bother? They taste like chalk. Only vine ripened fruit and vegetables have the flavor that transport me to the joys of childhood on the farm.  And what blissful days they were!
But it wasn’t only the vegetable and herb gardening techniques that she was imparting. Mom also instilled in us a wistful, playful attitude in the art of gardening. “Gardens are an extension of your personality,” she used to tell me. And her gardens were wild, fun, surprising, eccletic, and inviting. Tucked into ravines would be antique stoves with antiquated rusting teapots overflowing with succulents. When we outgrew our swing set, it was turned into a hanging pot canopy accessed by a wooden bridge over a dry creek flanked by palm trees. Gazing balls, clay piglets, and hummingbird feeders dotted the landscape.  Her favorite garden ornaments, a bargain purchase bought for her by my brother decades ago, have always been Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. She decorates the garden for all of the holidays with Christmas being the grand finale-an extravaganza of sound and light rivaling Disneyland.
patios - 4
As an adult, our main conversations revolve around plants. We stroll together through our mutual playgrounds admiring and consulting. I am grateful for the horticultural acumen that she liberally passed along to us. Although there wasn’t a kindergarten where I grew up, I learned everything I needed to know about life in my Mother’s Garden.
nonie and cyn in garden - 1
What I learned from my Mother Muse:

⎫ Be an original: You can reference Pinterest, but when it comes to your own personal style, do what you love. Surprise yourself!
⎫ Don’t follow the rules: Because there are no rules in the garden except those you create yourself.
⎫ Love the birds: My Mom has hung bird feeders and birdhouses in every cranny for her feathered friends. She even has a Bird Tree. Birds eat the insects that prey on her flowers plus their melodic songs are music to her ears and their playful antics make bird watching an amusing pastime.
⎫ Encourage eccentricity: If you don’t feel happy in your backyard, no one else will either. Be playful.  Add unexpected treasures that may be another person’s trash. Capture the charm.
⎫ Share the bounty: One of my Mom’s most sacred rituals was sharing the harvest of everything we grew with everyone she knew-her doctor, dentist, priest, hairdresser, bank teller, repairman, even other famers. Be a cheerful giver.
⎫ Grow everything: It can be boring to stick to just a few specimens. Give a whirl to experimenting with the exotic as well as the mundane. Whether it’s a new breed of ever-blooming azalea, a delicate peach begonia, or a hardy lavender trumpet vine, brave the unknown.
⎫ Color Your World: Although you may start out with a strict color palette, be an artist. Volunteers revert to their original color according to Mother Nature’s whims. Enjoy the rainbow.
⎫ Provide places to relax: Gardeners work hard. Make sure to include comfortable sitting and lounging areas for you and your guests.
⎫ Believe in Magic: A garden is a lesson in miracles and magic. Embrace the whimsy and the mysterious. Have fun.
⎫ Pull hoses: You may have a drip or other irrigation system, but you’ll need the humble hose to get to every corner.
⎫ Make people happy: With her outgoing, enthusiastic personality always ready for the next dance, my Mother lights up a room, including the outdoor variety. When your table features fresh fruits and vegetables that you have personally grown, you can be certain that you are providing the highest nourishment for your family and friends, helping everyone be happier and healthier.
⎫ Leave a Living Legacy: A garden is to grow. Every garden is different reflecting the individuality of the gardener. Family is everything. Bloom with love.
snow white-dwarfs
Everyone who has ever experienced the gardening hospitality of my Mother, Alice, has left feeling better and happier. Let the wisdom of my generous garden guide Muse inspire you to be the best gardener possible. Thanks Mom!
Hummingbird Garden2 .jpg
Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Mark your Calendars:

SHOP and save at the 10/10 sale on September 17th at Vineyard Vines, 1301 N. Main St., Walnut Creek. Customers receive 10% off their purchases all day with 10% of the proceeds benefiting Be the Star You Are!®. A reception will be held from 5-8 pm with refreshments and goody bags. www.btsya.com/events_calendar.html

ATTEND the Pear and Wine Festival at Moraga Commons on Saturday, September 24 from 10-4pm. Pick up complimentary potpourri and a new children’s book from the Be the Star You Are!® booth sponsored by MB Jesse Painting, Starstyle® Productions, llc, Lamorinda Weekly, Children’s Success Unlimited, and Michael VerBrugge Construction. Click on events at www.BetheStarYouAre.org

Read More
cyn-garden - 1
Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at www.StarStyleRadio.net
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.  

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email