Have a Not Mad. Motivated. New Year!

Are you doing anything special to prepare yourself for a new year? At Not Mad. Motivated., we are planning a Motivated New Year and we are loving it! We are developing goals in order to provide you with more content that inspires, encourages, uplifts, and connects our communities.

What to Expect from Not Mad. Motivated. in 2020

With excitement, we will launch the Not Mad. Motivated. Newsletter in early 2020, which we intend to deliver monthly! We are looking forward to our newsletter being energizing and thought-provoking for the creators and readers, alike. Remember to subscribe to our newsletter so you do not miss a single issue.

Also new in 2020 will be our weekly blogs. An important aspect that we will bring to our blog is active goal setting. Setting goals helps improve productivity, focus, and growth, but sharing goals with others can add a useful level of accountability! If you feel the desire to share your goals for the year, month, week, or day with the Not Mad. Motivated. community, you are welcome to leave a comment on this, or any, blog post. We would love to hear the success that you are planning to achieve – not matter how small or large!

In addition to our monthly newsletter and weekly blogs, we offer merchandise at our shop. Your support will help us build a sustainable business to create future employment for our Autistic family member. Purchasing a t-shirt will also help us all remember that obstacles may occur but when we use our obstacles as motivation for new solutions and positive outcomes, we win! Wearing a Not Mad. Motivated. t-shirt really can help boost my mood and mindset!

Our NMMountain t-shirt comes in many colors. Check out our shop for more options.

This is an exciting time at Not Mad. Motivated.! I pray for us all to have a Motivated New Year! God Willing, we will have good health, success, growth, and achievement in 2020.

#GivingTuesday2019 #DonorsChoose

Teachers need supplies all school year long!

For Giving Tuesday 2019, we are giving at least ten $10 DonorsChoose donations! To recommend a project for a donation, comment to this post or on Twitter @NotMadMotivated. While you are here, subscribe to the Not Mad. Motivated. (NMM) Newsletter (located toward the bottom of the page). If 30 people subscribe today, I will give 15 $10 DonorsChoose donations instead of 10! Happy Giving! Happy Funding!

Hind’s Hands: A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Book Sharing

My collection of children’s books about Autism continues to grow! I am happy to share my latest addition, Hind’s Hands: A Story About Autism.

Hind's Hands: A Story About Autism by Umm Juwayriyah and Juwayriyah Ayed

When I saw that Author Umm Juwayriyah was planning to visit my hometown with “books in tow”, I could not pass up the opportunity to meet – and purchase a book directly from – an author that I follow on social media. I performed an online search to explore Umm Juwayriyah’s catalog of work and to get a better idea of which book I wanted to buy. To my great satisfaction, I found that she, along with her daughter, Juwayriyah, wrote a book about Autism!

Meet the Author

I have loved reading for fun since I was a child, and once aspired to have my own bookstore. Even now, I look forward to owning a home with a dedicated library room.

Of all the years of me enjoying books, I have only met a handful of the authors who are responsible for providing me with their unique gifts of reading. Umm Juwayriyah is the latest of authors that I had the pleasure of meeting!

We arranged to meet at a local Masjid on a bright Saturday afternoon. As a parent of three school-aged children, and as someone who works full-time from home, having a face-to-face conversation with another adult was a welcomed departure from my typical day. We spent a good amount of time chatting before the North Carolina heat became sweltering. Despite the heat, it was great to meet a sister in both Faith and in parenting an Autistic child.

Faith Helps Sibling Practice Patience

Hind’s Hands: A Story About Autism is a lovely book from the perspective of nine year old Juwayriyah. Juwayriyah is the big sister of Hind, who is Autistic.

She’s kinda rough on the outside, but once you get to know her and her ways, then you’ll see how sweet she is.

Hind’s Hands: A Story About Autism

Having an Autistic sibling can be challenging. But Juwayriyah learns that patience is an important characteristic of any big sister (or brother). When Juwayriyah was younger, she would sometimes yell at Hind, allowing her frustrations to get the best of her. This would result in both her and Hind crying. Their Ummi (Mommy) used these difficult situations to teach Juwayriyah to help Hind learn by showing her good examples.

After receiving Ummi’s words of advice, Juwayriyah tries hard to be a better big sister and she asks Allah (God) for more patience. Now, Juwayriyah reacts differently when Hind messes up a clean room or has an outburst. Instead of yelling, Juwayriyah says Bismillah (In the name of Allah) and softly rub Hind’s hands together for her. Juwayriyah knows that Hind’s hands are special and important. She uses this knowledge to help Hind feel calm. She even shows Hind some hand games!

A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Point of View

I love that this book is full of lessons and teachable moments! This Story About Autism is a true reflection of what “Not Mad. Motivated.” means – using moments of difficulty and growing from them! As the mother of three boys, the youngest being Autistic, I have witnessed many incidences leading to great frustrations. From messing up rooms, to taking food and drinks, to being loud all night, my oldest two sons can truly relate to Juwayriyah’s difficulties. However, reading Hind’s Hands is a reminder to them to practice patience and to seek Help from their Creator. It also reminds them of how important they are to the family and to their younger siblings.

This book is special to me because it depicts a Black Muslim family who loves and grows with someone with Autism. This is the first occasion that I have personally witness this depicted in a children’s book. I am happy to share it with my family because it reflect us in so many ways. I am happy to share it with others because it may also reflect them in many ways. Whether you are Muslim or not, and no matter your race, many of us are connected through our relationship with Autism. We are connected through our need for support and understanding. We are connected through our dreams, our hopes, our pain, our strengths, and our struggles.

Speaking of dreams. . .

Bonus Book Sharing: YASEEN’S BIG DREAM

Author Umm Juwayriyah has a book that came out earlier this year! Yaseen’s Big Dream is an exciting children’s book about a very ambitious young boy. This book is not specifically about Autism. But a story about dreaming big is really a story about most of us.

Yaseen's BIG Dream by Umm Juwayriyah

What I appreciate most about this book, is that Yaseen’s dream are never selfish. He is not dreaming to be rich or famous. He is dreaming to be helpful to others! Even though he is an important person in his biggest dream, he doing things like feeding the homeless (and feeding them well, may I add) and teaching communities how to start their own gardens. Yaseen is a true leader in his desire to make a difference in the lives of others.

Support “Not Mad. Motivated.”

Thank you for visiting Not Mad. Motivated. We appreciate your support! If you believe that difficulties are best utilized as opportunities of motivation, consider purchasing a Not Mad. Motivated. tee shirt from our online shop. Use our contact form to order specific sizes or colors.

If you are not a current subscriber, please subscribe to have future blog posts and giveaway announcements delivered directly to you!

Do you have thoughts to share about this blog? Your comments are welcomed!

Happy Birthday – A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Giveaway

A GIF with Happy Birthday at center change colors.  A colorful firework displays repeats behind Happy Birthday.
Happy Birthday, Leos!

With us celebrating three birthdays in less than a month’s time, it is officially birthday season at Not Mad. Motivated.!

Twelve years ago, on July 25th, Elijah was born. He celebrated in style in his new suit, tie and hat. Three weeks and one day after Elijah’s birthday, I will celebrate a milestone as I leave my thirties behind! On August 16th, I will turn fabulous forty! I am looking forward to a new year of adventures and achievements! Three days after my birthday, on August 19th, Samir will be nine! Since our birthdays are so close, we plan to celebrate with a mini vacation. I hope to go somewhere with plenty of history for my little historian to explore.

Traditionally, the birthday person receives gifts but there is not rule against the birthday person giving a gift to someone else for their birthday! With that said, we at Not Mad. Motivated. are planning a giveaway for out birthday. We are in the process of deciding what that gift will be, but we are still very excited. It might be a “Not Mad. Motivated.” shirt or mug. It might be a donation to a DonorsChoose project. Once we decide, we will let you know in a new blog. If you are interested in the giveaway, make sure to subscribe to the Not Mad. Motivated. blog and getting the latest news from us.

Support “Not Mad. Motivated.”

Thank you for visiting Not Mad. Motivated. We appreciate your support! If you believe that difficulties are best utilized as opportunities of motivation, consider purchasing a Not Mad. Motivated. tee shirt from our online shop. Use our contact form to order specific sizes or colors.

If you are not a current subscriber, please subscribe to have future blog posts delivered directly to you – and to be eligible for giveaways!

Do you have thoughts to share about this blog? Your comments are welcomed!

Trey, the Chef: A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Book Sharing

Trey, the Chef
Written by Kira Parris-Moore
Illustrations by Federica Fabbian
Newman Springs Publishing 2019

For over a year, I have been collecting children’s books about Autism. Some books have been added to our family library. Other books were donated to my son’s classroom. All of them have been wonderfully unique – similar to the Autistic children that each book represents.

I am incredibly excited to share with you all one of the latest books added to our home collection. Author Kira Parris-Moore was inspired by her son’s passion for cooking when she wrote Trey, the Chef. As the Creator of Books2Inspire, LLC., Kira Parris-Moore aims to “increase awareness of various developmental disabilities and mental health disorders” by showcasing children’s books “that recognize resiliency in children and their ability to overcome life’s challenges”. Indeed, Trey, the Chef, the first book featured on Books2Inspire.com, will help inspire many to widen their views about Autism.

Trey, the Chef is a fictional story that depicts the real possibilities for all children who have proper support and motivation. Kira Parris-Moore imagines her son as a renowned chef who uses his creativity and attention to details to communicate to the world. When the story introduces common tasks that are difficult for Trey, Kira Parris-Moore announces that Trey has AUTISM with a visual style that depicts a true celebration for EVERYTHING that he is! Although the story makes mention of them, Trey, the Chef is definitely not defined by his challenges. Kira Parris-Moore sends to me a clear message about allowing our children to pave their own beautiful path to success while utilizing their strengths versus dwelling on adversity.

Cooking Like Chef Trey

I was ecstatic to purchase Trey, the Chef for many reasons. However, a bonus to owning this book are the included recipes. Both recipes, salmon croquettes and elephant ears, were easy to follow and delicious. We enjoyed the versatility of the salmon croquettes; we ate them plain and with ketchup and/or bread. I do not eat much fish but I was happy to have these, and look forward to my sons making them regularly! I think our croquettes (pictured below) turned out pretty good for our first try!

Our tasty salmon croquettes!

We had our elephant ears with cinnamon-sugar, and the first few moments of eating were composed of many satisfying mmms. Needless to say, I have some new food items to add to the “keep in-stock” list!

Our delicious elephant ears!

Trey, the Chef is a delightful book that I believe has a place in all children’s lives. It can help inspire Autistic children to express themselves in what ever language works for them. It can also teach other children that being different should be celebrated, and that everyone has special gifts. The benefits of this book goes beyond its cover to connect people through better understanding and good food.

You can buy your copy of Trey, the Chef on Amazon.com or at Books2Inspire.com.

Support “Not Mad. Motivated.”

Thank you for visiting Not Mad. Motivated. We appreciate your support! If you believe that difficulties are best utilized as opportunities of motivation, consider purchasing a Not Mad. Motivated. tee shirt from our online shop. Use our contact form to order specific sizes or colors.

If you are not a current subscriber, please subscribe to have future blog posts delivered directly to you!

Do you have thoughts to share about this blog? Your comments are welcomed!