Summer in Florida is back again, and the t-shirts, crop tops and flip flops have slowly begun awakening from their short lived hibernation.
Just days ago I was able to finally unfold one of my favorite T's, and was once again reminded of the undeniable impact that my favorite non-profit continues to make on the surrounding community!
Top Buttons is a 501 (c)(3) in Lakeland, FL that is passionate about build self-esteem in young women through fashion. Top Buttons provides full wardrobe makeovers, and hosts/facilitates educational events and seminars for young women who may have come from difficult backgrounds, inspiring them to see their true beauty and worth undefined by their past hurts & difficult experiences.
TB has been warmly received by this charming little city-town called Lakeland, and thousands upon thousands of individuals and organizations continue to rally around this cause through hosting fundraising events and purchasing clothing at TB's newest upscale clothing boutique location downtown.
Some of my readers have asked me how I became involved in Top Buttons, so I thought I would write a little blog post about my experience for all to see!
Let me take you back to a particularly warm day in March 2012....
...actually, let's go back to 2007 first :)
I have always been particularly ambitious. During my freshman year of college I registered on my universities career portal looking for employers interested in hiring young talent.
Fast forward 3 years, and it's my junior year of college. My university was hosting a leadership forum, there were an estimated 700 people in attendance and I believe George W. Bush and his wife were slated to speak at this particular event. In order to pull off a massive undertaking like this, a large number of volunteers were needed and willingly jumped into the fray (myself included)!
On the first or second day of the forum, a woman approached me asking for a hair tie. The A/C in the room was covered by a couple of massive screens, and the temperature inside the room was rising fast. This woman had a glorious head full of curls, which looked to be contributing to her rising body temperature. She was also about 7 months pregnant at the time with her precious son Graham,
I promptly set off to find a hair tie, and returned with a rubber band which she willingly and gratefully accepted without skipping a beat! I asked her name, it was Sarah. She asked me mine, and we got to chatting, eventually deciding to add each other on Facebook.
Fast foward 2 years...
I received a phone call from a local number that I did not recognize. I answered a bit hesitantly, and heard "Hi Anastasia. This is Sarah Powers. Do you remember me by chance?" and in fact, I did! Sarah had found my number via my universities online portal, and after typing in her search criteria, recognized my name on the resume I had posted almost 5 years before! It's simply wild and absolutely no coincidence!
We got to talking, and she told me all about her heart for young women, and her desire to launch a movement that will empower them to recognize and embrace their true worth and beauty!
Sarah had it all planned out, and would use fashion as a medium to accomplish this goal!
I wasn't particularly into the latest fashion trends, BUT I had quite a large network of well-educated and inspiring college students that I knew would LOVE to be a part of something so new and exciting!
And the rest is history! Our small team started meeting at Starbucks once or twice a week well after the sun had set and meet for 2-3 hours at a time. It was only the beautiful beginning!
Back to present day...
Top Buttons is thriving! I have never been more convinced of the positive impact and the overwhelming need that it has continued to meet in this city.
Currently I serve on the Board of Top Buttons, and it has been such a joy playing a small role in this inspiring and life changing organization.
For all my young professionals out there, one of the best things that you can do early on in your career is to donate your time toward a cause that's greater than yourself. I believe there is something positive that happens in our hearts and minds when we are able to see a need and meet it! We gain a new perspective, and a more developed world view. We are also able to network along the way (and networking can always lead to better and brighter opportunities).
We have a responsibility to help make this world a better place! Let's have fun and do it together! Subscribe below to have the latest updates delivered to your inbox!
You can Join the TB movement by visiting their website and donating here!
(2 minute read)
I have only a few memories left of my father.
Most of them are small moments. Moments in time I didn’t realize I would cherish so deeply and unknowingly choose to bring with me into adulthood. Even now, 18 years after his passing, I continue to re-discover new moments with him that teach me more about life. More about people. More about family and faith. More about myself.
In this particular memory I was young, no more than 7 or 8 years old, and riding in the back seat of the car with my brother and step-siblings. I honestly don’t remember where we were going, but I had my brother and my father with me and I was happy.
I was a quiet, inquisitive and introspective child, which is probably why I loved sitting in the window seat during car rides. I used to (and still do) look out the window, and contently consider everything – the trees, the sky, the birds, the people, and on occasion the road kill.
On this particular car ride with my father, my eyes drifted to a strange series of ridges that appeared to be grafted into the pavement beside the car. We must have been on a highway because were driving fast, but no matter how fast we drove these dark ridges seemed to be keeping pace with us.
My small voice spoke up as I asked “Dad, what are these bumps on the side of the road?” His response to this question is what remains branded in my mind over 20 years later.
My father heard me, and without skipping a beat, slowly steered the car toward the right – getting closer and closer to the strange ridges until one or two tires ran over them completely.
The vibration of the rubber tires meeting the mysterious bumps in the road literally shook me - filling my ears with sound and my body with adrenaline. It took me completely by surprise. My father then explained to me that those bumps on the roadside were meant to warn drivers if/when they start to drive off the road. They were there to encourage drivers to return to their lanes.
A simple lesson but he showed me, THEN told me - and I never forgot.
Whenever you have the chance – show them, then tell. You never know what kind of lasting impression it could leave on someone whose watching.
Thank you Dad. I really mean that. I was so young, and I don’t believe that I said it enough, but I can say it again now.
(1 minute read)
Florida, the queen state of the coastlines. It might just be the only state where you can drive east, west or south and have a 100% guarantee of reaching ocean.
I often ask myself how I got here. How did this New England girl venture so far from her childhood home? From lakes and mountains and one-red-light towns, to oceans and beaches and highways full of tourists.
The simple answer? Through hard work, favor and a series of wild opportunities.
Opportunity is as vast as the ocean for receiver, seeker or a creator alike.
And like the oceans waves, the repetitive (and sometimes painful) crashing is inevitable – but so are the treasures that you will discover through exploring the deep.
So jump in, make mistakes and learn from the crashing tides. Choose to treasure the beauty of the life you will be working hard to cultivate along the way.
Each day, the ocean sky experiences an equal chance of sun and storm, and so do we. In a moment, calm seas can become volatile. High winds and rain can seem to threaten your equilibrium and hard work – but take heart. Every setback is a setup for a comeback.
And with time, the sun will break through the stormy clouds and shine on you again!
Sweet Potatoes - I definitely should have added them to the list of things that will bring about world peace.
Who doesn't love the sweet deliciousness of a beautifully roasted sweet potato? (That's a rhetorical question for all you anti-sweet potato people).
I'm not going to say we saved the best recipe for last - but I will say that you have earned every single bite of this scrumptious meal after making your way through the entire 5 day Healthy Recipe series!
A Healthy THANK YOU to Victoria Sgro, the lovely mastermind behind each and every one of these delicious recipes! You are truly a lovely soul, and it has been the most simple pleasure cooking along with you over the last 5 days.
If you want to read even more delicious recipes, don't forget to check out www.ahintofgarlic.com and subscribe to get first dibs on even more tasty recipes!
Until next time <3
Kale, Sun Dried Tomato, Goat Cheese & Bacon
Just over one year ago I started my blog, www.stasiarose.com, and have LOVED every second of it! My blog caters to providing tips and insights from my personal experiences in business to help young professionals succeed early on in their careers!
Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be an author. I would dream about writing books, and as a Kid I would take loose leaf college ruled paper from my older sister’s binders and write these elaborate stories about “cool kids” and their adventures! Humble beginnings for sure!
One day, a few months back, I came to a realization…I thought “Anastasia. Why are you sitting here dreaming about writing a book. Just write one.”