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Talia Joy Castenallo

15 Aug

When I was 13, I was experimenting with unblended lip liner and goopy body glitter and my biggest worry was wondering if I was going to asked to dance at the Winter Ball.


At 13, Talia Joy Castellano is not only a makeup prodigy who does a mean smokey eye, she is also light years cooler than I was at 13/will ever be. Talia is the most vibrant and upbeat specimen I have seen despite the fact that she is fighting an aggressive form of cancer called neuroblastoma.

When chemo caused her hair to fall out she experimented with wigs but wearing them made her feel like she wasn’t herself. So she ditched the wigs, embraced her bald head and made her motto: bald is beautiful.


Bald IS beautiful!

Instead, she uses makeup and beauty products to feel beautiful, although her beauty is much deeper than her flawless liquid liner.

Waah waah.

She uploads video tutorials to her YouTube channel and she has a ton of followers and supporters. I dare you to watch one video and not feel uplifted. Her energy is contagious and she refuses to let her cancer make her a Debbie Downer.

Talia is a great reminder not to sweat the small stuff and to remain positive, even when the glass appears half empty.

Watch Talia’s videos here and follow her on twitter @TaliaJoy18. Find out more about donating blood and/or blood products for those in need here and join the bone marrow registry here!


(RECOMMENDATION) (PLEA) (COMMAND) Save Kyle’s Life and Join the Bone Marrow Registry! Especially if you are half Asian, half Caucasian. It’s free, it’s painless and it takes two minutes!

11 Jan

How to Donate

You don’t even have to donate blood or bone marrow if you’re not a match. You just have to swab your cheek to get in the bone marrow registry. That’s it.  Have a free kit mailed to you by clicking here: Be the Match. 

And if you match someone that needs help, you can make a simple donation that can save their life! You could save Kyle’s life.

Look at this face!

How’s that for a great way to kick off 2012?

Life Saver: What’d you do today Jane?

Jane: Oh did the dishes, watched Zoolander. What did you do?

Life Saver: Oh, saved this adorable little kid’s life. You know, same old. Anyway, it was great catching up! See ya around!

Kyle’s Story

My dad saw Kyle and his family on the news in Northern California and it just broke our hearts.

Kyle is 4 years old and has aplastic anemia and he urgently needs a donor. He is half Chinese and half Caucasian and they really need half Asian, half Caucasian donors NOW.

I’m half Asian and half Caucasian so obviously that spoke to me. All I needed to do was go to Be the Match and have a test kit mailed to me for FREE.  I just did it. It took 2 minutes.

Did I mention Kyle is completely adorable?

What a muffin. (And that’s his adorable little sister.)

Please, please, please this family needs your help. I cannot imagine if it was someone in my family. Hopefully, you’ll never have to. But if you ever did, you’d want everyone possible in the registry.

It is easy to do, it is FREE and you can save Kyle or someone else’s life.

When I feel passionately about something, I will not shut up about it. Let’s save this kid’s life. Especially you, Half Asians! Get a test kit mailed to you today. Or you won’t stop hearing from me. And I can be incredibly annoying.

Important Links

Get a test kit mailed to you here: Be the Match

Learn about Kyle here:

Watch their news story here:Kyle’s Story

Follow Kyle on twitter here and retweet his story here:!/KyleNeedsYou

Like Kyle on Facebook and share his story here:

Donate to help Kyle’s family cover his medical costs here: Donate to Kyle’s Family

If you live in Northern California you can go to a drive here:

Upcoming Marrow Drive for Kyle Crawford

Friday, January 13, 2012
Skyline High School
12250 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, January 14, 2012
Haight Ashbury Free Clinics
558 Clayton Street, San Francisco
12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Now join the registry and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, tell your date from, whatever. Just help. Thanks!

(Motivation) Why you SHOULD make New Years Resolutions!

3 Jan

I resolve to kiss the mayor of NYC! (P.S. How did I miss this?)

I am amazed by how many people say you shouldn’t make New Years Resolutions. I’ve been hearing it everywhere.


That’s like saying,

Why make goals? You’ll just fail!

Why floss? You’ll just get gum disease!

Why start that project? You’ll just fall on your face! And I’ll just laugh!

But you don’t hear people say those things. I guess for some people, there is something about making goals on New Year’s that is just stupid. That’s fine. Then make them on January 2. Make them today. Make them on December 31st or July 16th for all I care.

Call them something else, like a goal. Call them Bob. Call them Jane. Whatever you have to do to trick your brain into not immediately associating a New Years Resolution with failure, do that. Just don’t give up dammit!

I watched “The Pursuit of Happyness” recently and it is a really inspiring movie.  My favorite part is when Will Smith plays basketball with his son. His son says he wants to be a basketball player and Will Smith tells him not to make dreams like that. And his son agrees with him.

Then Will says,

Will: Hey. Don’t ever let somebody tell you… You can’t do something. Not even me. All right?

Will Jr.: All right.

Will: You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.

It’s some of the best advice I’ve ever heard.

Don’t let someone tell you you can’t because they couldn’t.

Don’t let someone tell you not to make New Years Resolutions, goals, Bobs or Janes because they always fail at theirs.

I love New Years Resolutions. Have I failed at some years and years in a row? Yes. Have I also gotten better at some of those things after years of trying? Yes.

The best advice I’ve ever read on overcoming bad habits is in this article called “The Motivational One-Two Punch for Overcoming Bad Habits,” from Psychology Today.

The author talks about making an if-then plan. I took it as whatever bad habit you are trying to kick, you think of when or what situation you are most likely to do it and you do the good habit instead.

I do this if-then thing on all my bad habits that I’m trying to kick. You  know when you are in a situation where you normally do x when you want to do y. And everytime is an opportunity to stop doing x and start doing y.

So I say make some New Years Resolutions. And don’t let anyone tell you not to because they fail at theirs.

Go 2012.

Motivating Monday: SNL Mom Translator

31 Oct

We can’t exactly send candy to your inbox, so we thought we’d go for a laugh instead. This is one of my family’s favorite SNL commercials. I swear this commercial was made with my parents in mind. Maybe yours too.

Happy Ha-lloween! (Sorry, had to.)

Motivating Monday: More Girls in Video Games!

17 Oct

If you think writing letters and voicing your opinions won’t make a difference, check out this article from, called Puck Yeah!

Fourteen-year-old Lexi Peters wrote to the CEO of EA Sports to voice her frustrations on the lack of female characters in video games.

Much to her surprise, not only did they listen to her, they created a female character that looks like her!

I love this.

Most video games are male dominated and if they have a female character it’s Barbie with a gun- a blonde with a miniature waist and huge boobs.

Who looks like that?!

I played video games growing up and  it was always awkward when there were multiple girl players and we all had to fight over who was going to be Chun Li or the Pink Power Ranger. Maybe girls would be more into video games if there were more female player options.

Then again, I’d still want to be Chun Li.