I was invited to an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles courtesy of Disney to attend the #ThorRagnarokEvent & ABCTVEvent in exchange for my coverage. No other compensation was provided. All views shared are completely my own.

I’m a boy mom and my son, Chance loves any and everything superhero related.  He, like so many other boys, girls, and adults, know all there is to know about the Marvel heroes. When I told Chance that I was selected by Disney to attend the Thor: Ragnarok movie premiere, he was super excited (he thought he was tagging along).  I was pretty geeked as well, I fell in love with Thor during the first movie.  We won my heart after being forced to live on Earth as a punishment, but then protected humans against villains of his world trying to invade Earth.  So to attend the #ThorRagnarokEvent was a magical experience, the stroll down the red-carpet was fantastic, and the movie premiere was incredible.

When I made it home Chance had several questions but being the great mom that I am…I did not spoil the movie for him.  However, we did have a great time playing with the Thor: Ragnarok products.



In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first, he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!

Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins

 Kevin Feige is producing with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Eric Pearson and Craig Kyle & Christopher L. Yost wrote the screenplay.  Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” thunders into U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017.

Thor Movie Poster


I’m sure you’ve seen the glowing reactions on social media regarding Thor: Ragnarok.  I agree with majority, this is by far the BEST “Thor” movie out of the three.  A must see!

One day after returning home I found myself using Thor: Ragnarok to teach Chance a few lessons.  He shared that he was having trouble with a kid at school.  The kid was trying to provoke bad behavior by saying nasty and mean things about him.  Now moms, you know I wanted to explode and cry at the same time. We turn into different people when our children are being hurt.  But I didn’t, instead, I used Thor: Ragnarok to give him the confidence and courage to be content with who he is. 

I have to admit it was hard to capture the essence of the lessons without spoiling the movie.  But don’t worry, there are no spoilers here other than a few photos from the movie.  So, let’s jump right into the lessons.

#1. The Confidence Lesson

Thor is known for his hammer, how in the world can he be Thor without it? Well, he did not miss a beat.  Thor is not powerful because of the hammer and just because we didn’t see his power outside of the hammer, doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist. With or without the hammer he felt accepted and loved by his friends and family without it which helped his confidence.

The incident at school caused Chance to lack confidence a bit. He began questioning himself in the areas where he was teased.  It literally broke my heart, I wanted him to know how very special and amazing he is.  To build a confident kid, you offer words of encouragement in reference to their abilities.  It’s good to highlight their achievements because confidence is derived from competence. 

I told Chance the kid giving him trouble was just like those who believed that Thor was powerless when he lost his hammer.  They really didn’t know Thor at all, and that kid does not really know him either.

Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel

#2. The Courage Lesson

Thor is up against Hela, known as the “all-powerful”, ruthless villain. Not only does he take her on, he has the courage to take her after losing his hammer. 

Apparently, several kids were treated the same way as Chance and that caused Chance to be afraid.  My husband and I talk to Chance all the time about having the courage to stand up for himself.  Having courage does not mean that we are not afraid, it means to do the right thing even when we are afraid. 

I helped Chance understand that courage is a big thing. And courage is hard to see.  From the outside, it looks like you can’t but from the inside, it’s just you being your best self.

Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel

#3. The Contentment Lesson

Thor had to be content with himself against ally and fellow avenger, The Hulk.  He is aware of Hulk’s power and strength, yet he was satisfied with being Thor, a powerful god of thunder.

Being content is not easy. However, it is easier when we know who we are at our core.  Knowing who we are means knowing the part of us that does not change over time.  And to be okay with that person is to be content.  Even Paul had to learn to be content. In Philippians 4:11-12 (NIV), he wrote: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  …I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

I told Chance that no matter what anyone says to him or about him, he had to learn to know himself and be content with who God created him to be.

Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel

I strive daily to grow as a mom. It’s not easy helping Chance overcome labels and stereotypes that are taught out of hatred.  I pray so hard for him in hopes that he would always know that he is special and needed in this world.  My excitement of premiering Thor: Ragnarok quickly turned into a deep gratitude.  The action-packed, funny film with standout performances taught me lessons I could share with my son. It made such a powerful impact.

I could go on and in greater detail with my review of Thor: Ragnarok but these are the most important lessons to me.  And besides, I don’t want to spoil it so you can enjoy every amazingly hilarious and exciting moment in the theatre on November 3rd.  

Have you ever had to deal with bullying behavior toward your children? I would love to hear what you think about these very relevant lessons from one Marvel’s superhero movies Thor: Ragnarok. Share how you teach your children to be confident, courageous, and content with who they are.


© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom


I was invited to an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles courtesy of Disney to attend the #ThorRagnarokEvent & #ABCTVEvent in exchange for my coverage. No other compensation was provided. All views shared are completely my own.

Twenty-five Disney bloggers, me included, had an opportunity to meet and interview Marcel Spears (T.K. Clifton) and Bernard David Jones (Jermaine Leforge) from ABC’s new show “The Mayor” during a press trip in Los Angeles. 


The Mayor” is an American sitcom television series, about a young rapper, Courtney Rose (played by Brandon Micheal Hall) from the inner-city raised by a single mom that creates a publicity stunt that lands him the job as Mayor. 

The Mayor” was created by Jeremy Bronson (“Speechless,” “The Mindy Project,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”). Jeremy Bronson, Daveed Diggs (Tony® winner for Broadway’s “Hamilton”), Jamie Tarses (“Happy Endings”) and James Griffiths (“black-ish”) also serve as executive producers. The series is produced by ABC Studios.

Photo Credit: ABC

Yvette Nicole Brown (Dina Rose) who plays the mom of Courtney. She had him at 16 and not only raised him but played a major role in raising his two friends as well.   I have never heard a single parent say being a single parent is easy.  They make it work, but story after story I have heard of their struggle.  Trying to provide for their children, you know “bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan.”    


I never really considered myself as being raised by a single parent (with exception of living with LaSonia for a year) until my interview with cast members Marcel Spears and Bernard David Jones.  I suppose because I was primarily raised by my grandmother. I mean, there were times when my brother and I lived solely with our mom, and while she was a single mom, we always had the support of my grandmother.  Even when I lived solely with my grandmother, I had lots of family around. I was surrounded by my uncles, aunts, and cousins.

However, after watching “The Mayor” episode “The Filibuster” and hearing more about the show, I began to think about the role of a single mom and the outcomes related to the children they raise.  I am proud of the sacrifices made for me and my brother, in spite of the many challenges, we were raised well. 

Photo Credit: ABC

I love that Jeremy Bronson created a show that sheds a positive light on the role of a single mom.  While Dina’s son, Courtney, clearly did not have it all together, he ended up doing well and making a difference in his community.  It was clear to me that the cast was vested and understood the importance of the show as well. 

“The Mayor” Has Purpose

As parents we want our children to understand their purpose, to know and appreciate what matters. Having an opportunity to watch a show that is based on politics on a level in which we can understand serves an important purpose.  I truly believe children will achieve to the level of their exposure.  When asked how Bernard and Marcel felt about taking on a politically flavored show at this time in our country’s political climate, the answer assured me that they too had found purpose in this show. 

“As artists, it’s kind of our duty, our job to be able to hold a mirror up to our country, our world and say, this is what’s going on.  How do we fix it?  What can we do to fix it? And I think our show is an awesome representation of what happens when somebody that has a heart for people, that understands community and unity, leads with love.  How that can affect a community and you know, this guy, he has no political experience.” – Bernard David Jones

“I agree. It’s an opportunity for us as artists to provoke change and to inspire people and the thing is, when I was kid, people wanted to be the President – even if you didn’t want to be the President, that was the go-to answer if a teacher or somebody asked you and you want to give the answer that’s going to make your mom go, “Awww!” – Marcel Spears

Photo Credit: Christa Thompson

“The Mayor” Is Relatable

Making things relatable for our children is critically important as moms.  Discussing moral, relational or difficult situations can be hard.  I often use storytelling to explain things to my son Chance.  I found it refreshing to hear how relatable the show is to issues that matter from the cast. 

For me, the episode that I connected to, that we’ve shot already, dealt with the boys having some sort of conflict and it just shows that even in the best friendships, or families, there may be times when you just don’t agree or you don’t like the way people handle things or you end up in a situation that’s not conducive to your friendship and you have to figure out a way to still love that person, but check them at the same time.” – Bernard David Jones

Photo Credit: Allison Waken

“The Mayor” Encourages You To Follow Your Dreams

Every child will have a dream of what they want to be when they grow up.  As moms, dads or guardians it’s our responsibility to lead our children through the journey of following their dreams.  I am always careful about the shows that I allow Chance to watch, so when I asked what does this show say to their 8-year-old selves, the smile on my face was just as big in my heart.  Definitely, inspired by the answer.

That your dreams can be actualized. You can actually have a dream, whatever that dream may be.  If you work hard and you’re persistent, and you stay focused, it can come true. The world is literally available to you and no matter what anybody says, no matter what your situation is, Marcel came from the hood. Patterson, New Jersey, and here I am all the way in Hollywood.  Dreamed of it, wanted it, pursued it and God said, there you go.” – Bernard David Jones

Photo Credit: Allison Waken

“The Mayor” Is A Family-Friendly Show

Watching television as a family is a great way to have difficult discussions around important issues.  As a mom I like the one-on-one time talking with Chance but I have found that when we watch television together we have great conversations. From watching a few episodes, it was clear that “The Mayor” was a family-friendly show, but to hear from the cast that it would certainly remain that way was encouraging.   

Yes, it’s a family show. That’s what important about our show and its special….  And I love that Jeremy created these characters that kids can look up to.  They can aspire to be the Mayor or, you know, Director of Communications.  Some may not even know what that is.  They may go home and Google, what is Director of Communications? I can do something like that!  That’s cool.” – Bernard David Jones

“And Jeremy really created a character that doesn’t really have the obvious skill set to be a politician, but still has an understanding by nature of how he grew up in a single parent household.  Growing up with a lot of love, growing up in an underprivileged or underfunded community, by the nature of his upbringing, he sort of understands subconsciously or intrinsically, the things that the people in the community need.” – Marcel Spears

From mom to mom, I wanted to not only share my interview but share why I encourage you and your family to support the new ABC sitcom “The Mayor”.  One of the most inspiring things about the show is the great example of what moms (especially single moms) do to support and encourage their children.  It was interesting to hear such a compelling perspective from Marcel in reference to the women of the show.

“The thing I like about our show, or our cast, it’s a family.  We have fun on set and the cool thing is the women are the pros in the situation, so…we make sure we look out for our girls, but they are bosses.  Like, the women on this show are bosses.”

I love television shows and films where I can learn, grow and/or be inspired.  I was inspired by the show and actors and will be tuning in to ABC every Tuesday night at 9:30/8:30pm CST. 

Watch tonight’s episode of “The Mayor” entitled “Buyer’s Remorse” – As Courtney settles into his new role as mayor, he’s faced with a dismal approval rating as the citizens of Fort Grey express their lack of confidence in his ability to lead, as well as those on his own staff. He realizes that he needs to take an unconventional approach when dealing with Councilman Ed Gunt (David Spade) and comes up with a plan to quickly turn public opinion in his favor.

Photo Credit: ABC

You can also stay in the know by visiting The Mayor website, following “The Mayor” on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  You can also follow along using the #ABCTVEvent and #TheMayor hashtags. 

Were you inspired by Marcel Spears and Bernard David Jones? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. 


© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom

Here are other related #ThorRagnarokEvent blog posts.

Showing Up Great On The Red Carpet With Thor

Living A Dream: Walking The Red Carpet #ThorRagnarok


I was invited to an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles courtesy of Disney to attend the #ThorRagnarokEvent & ABCTVEvent in exchange for my coverage. No other compensation was provided. All views shared are completely my own.

I’m still in awe after having the privilege of attending the Red-Carpet Premiere of Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel

As I walked down Hollywood Boulevard to get in line for the carpet, memories of my childhood began to flood my mind.  I’ve always wanted to walk the carpet.  I remembered my brother and I walking through the crowded sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd.  We would stand on the sidelines for hours cheering and yelling as we watched celebrities and guests stroll the red carpet, smile, and pose as they entered the Mann’s Chinese Theater. 

One of my favorite memories with a childhood friend, Marcisa, was the time we ran from my house to Mann’s Chinese Theatre for the premiere of Beverly Hills Cop II.  We were hoping to get a picture and autograph from Eddie Murphy.  After being told a million times it seemed “you can’t stand here, you have to move” we went across the street and eased our way to the front of the guardrail and watched in awe…laughing the whole time about how tired we were from running.  Now here I stand, with my ticket to walk the Carpet and attend the premiere of a Thor sequel – one of my favorite superheroes.



Thor: Ragnarok directed by Taika Waititi is based on Marvel’s superhero Thor, and tells a story of a fight to save Asgardian, his home from being destroyed by Hela.  The film opens in theatres everywhere on November 3rd. 

Words can’t adequately describe my gratitude for the opportunity to attend the Thor: Ragnarok premiere.  Walking the carpet with the cast and other celebrities like Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Karl Urban (Skurge), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Mylie Cyrus, and Tim Tebow was absolutely amazing! It was more than I ever imagined as a kid. 

Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel

I went from feeling a tad bit inadequate as a new blogger before receiving my invite from Disney, to walking alongside Cate Blanchett (Hela), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), and Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster); A-List mega-stars once newbies in their industry.

With persistence, hard work, and belief in yourself you can continue to live your dreams.  After several movies, Mark Ruffalo was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  He had surgery, experienced a period of facial paralysis, and then become deaf in his left ear yet he still managed to muster up the courage to transform into the Hulk despite challenges. 

I realized as I watched these amazingly talented and beautiful celebrities walk the carpet, we all have our own insecurities and it takes courage not only for us to continue to put our best foot forward in pursuing our dreams but to show up great through the process.

Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel

It was intense. The lights, cameras, media, talent, and the red carpet police (I’m positive that’s not their true title) giving orders, “keep it moving, don’t stop walking ma’am”, and the chatter so loud that I could barely hear myself think – I was on the FREAKING CARPET! 

I remember looking at my dress designed by Nha Khanh, thinking how beautiful I felt before posing against the Thor poster.  I confidently took photos and walked to the front door of the El Capitan Theatre and took my seat on the front row.



Watching Thor: Raganrok with the cast was incredible. The energy in the room was amazing.  The support and camaraderie from the cast was extra special.  Every time a cast member appeared on the screen for the first time, the room erupted in applause…it was infectious.  I left feeling entertained, energized, and inspired. 


There were so many magical moments on the carpet, the most memorable was meeting Tim Tebow.  We were walking right next to each other, so I leaned over introduced myself and asked for a photo.  He agreed, and we took the picture.  After the photo, he asked about myself and my blog.  I shared my story of how I got started as a blogger, and the mission of A Chance to Learn.  He told me that what I was doing through my blog and A Chance to Learn was so very important.  It was shockingly sweet, and I sincerely appreciated his time and kind words.




While I can’t speak for the other 24 top bloggers selected by Disney that attended the #ThorRagnarokEvent, I do feel confident saying that they too enjoyed the experience whether it was their first time, like me…or multiple times like some of the others.  The process may be the same but the experience can’t be duplicated. 

Photo Credit: Allison Waken

We all have a story, moments (like mine as a kid dreaming of being on the carpet at a movie premiere) stitched together with threads of joy, sickness, doubt, fear, and love.  The bloggers and I in the photo above were given an opportunity to add to our story, and it was up to us to make the best of it.  For me, I lived a childhood dream – but for us all us, it was not without hard work. 

It takes courage to be your best self, especially as moms.  To make the best of the opportunities given instead of complaining about what you wish you had.  We are all walking the red carpet of life, you may as well feel beautiful, be confident and sit on the front row.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing more stories from the #ThorRagnarokEvent.  Stay tuned for exclusive interviews with cast members Karl Urban (Skurge), Rachel House (Topaz), Taika Waititi (Korg & Director), Kevin Feige (President of Marvel), and many more.

You can also stay informed about Thor: Ragnarok by visiting the Thor: Ragnarok website, following Thor: Ragnarok on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  You can also follow along using the #ThorRagnarokEvent hashtag. 

What do you need the courage to do? Please share moments when you needed the courage to make a major decision be your best self.


© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom

5 Great Things TO Enjoy On A Disney Cruise

Christmas is just a few months away and I truly enjoy planning for our Christmas break.  In addition to having an opportunity to celebrate the birth of Christ, I also enjoy the amount of uninterrupted time that I get to spend with my hubby and son together as a family.  Even though I work from home, I usually adjust my work schedule for the majority of the month of December while Chance is out of school.  It gives me a chance to have a mental break and prepare for the next year, but most importantly he and I can spend mother-son time together doing all the things we love during the holidays.


For years I’ve wanted to plan a destination Christmas, but it’s always been difficult when trying to consider family members.  Not everyone can go, finances may not allow…the list goes on.  However, this year, I was asked to join a group of moms that are planning a Mom & Son Disney Christmas Cruise.  What I love about the plans are, if we go we will not miss Christmas Day with the family. 


Photo Credit: Disney Cruise Lines

Since we’ve been on a few Disney Cruises, I was asked to share a few details about the Disney Cruise for the moms group, and I thought I’d share my insights with you.   Our first Disney Cruise was aboard the Disney Dream to celebrate Chance’s 6th birthday and serve as our family vacation.  It was one of our favorite family vacations to date.  The second time was aboard the Disney Wonder for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.  What a real treat, it was literally 8 months after our first Disney Cruise.



While both cruises were absolutely amazing, there are a few differences on each ship.  The Disney Dream was a tad bit larger than the Wonder and had a few more features…both offered the same amazing service and 5 things you will enjoy while on any Disney Cruise.


1.       Specialized On-Board Activities for Kids:  The Disney Cruises were designed with moms taking trips with their kiddos in mind for sure with spacious, supervised play areas and scheduled activities.  You can register your child(ren) at the port or on the ship. The super cool Disney band serves as a tracker, and allows the Disney cast to keep up with your child while in their care.  Chance loved the kids club, we had to make him come out to enjoy dinner each night.  

2.       Disney Themed Entertainment and Characters: You and your kiddos will have an opportunity to see, meet and greet the Disney Characters. There are specific on-board events that you can schedule in advance, and others that are available at different times throughout the cruise.  You definitely want to take advantage of the movies and live performances.  There’s a themed Deck Party, both times it was Pirate Night for us.  We loved it!  We watched Frozen on the Disney Wonder in the Walt Disney Theatre, it was spectacular.  The Disney Dream is now featuring the musical Beauty and the Beast, I’m sure it will be just as amazing as the others.

3.       Cruise Restaurant Experiences and Good Food: Every night the family will have reservations at a different restaurant and their specific time for dinner.  The restaurants are all amazing, and your wait staff follows you each night.  We loved our wait staff, and they treated us as if they had known us our whole lives.  They remembered our favorite drinks, and even remember to sing a happy birthday song with cake to Chance during our family vacation on the Dream, and me during the Social Media Moms Celebration on the Wonder.  There are also other places to eat or grab a healthy snack on the ship. We LOVED the ice cream, it is the best ice cream we’ve ever had.  We talked about it for weeks.  The banana flavor was a family favorite.

4.       Castaway Cay, the Disney Private Island:  Castaway Cay is in the Bahamas. The island offers so many super fun activities.  You can rent snorkeling kits, floating tricycles, and bikes.  There are amazing excursions available as well, things like glass bottom boat trips.  I even participated in the Castaway Cay 5K!  I would love to say that I was surprised that Disney has its own island, but I am not.  It’s Disney they have their own Land and World for that matter.  You will absolutely love Castaway Cay!

5.       No Kids Allowed, Adults Only Area: Now I know you aren’t wanting adult time away from your kids, but if you are (and I’m not judging) you will certainly have that opportunity on the ship.  There are tons of activities for adults only aboard the Disney Cruise.  Yup, you can check your kids into the kid’s club and go to the adult only pool, night club or mixology class at the bar.  There’s also a private beach for adults only at Castaway Cay.  During our family vacation, my mother had a ball at the adults only pool, and we were able to experience it for ourselves during the Social Media Moms Celebrationit was spectacular!


I can go on and on talking about the amazing things that you can do aboard a Disney Cruise.  I’d say the best part about both times we cruised with Disney, it was the experience.  The Disney Cruise is a magical experience!


Are you ready to book your Disney Cruise?  If you are planning a cruise in the future, or maybe you want to find out more about the Very Merrytime Disney Cruises, please visit the website for the many options.  There are cruises from three to seven nights to the Bahamas and the Caribbean with a stop at Castaway Cay.  The ships will be decorated with Christmas trees and lights, sure to put you in a joyous mood. 


© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom

Showing Up Great On The Red Carpet With Thor

Thank you Disney/Marvel Studios for inviting me for an all-expense paid press trip to LA for the Thor: Ragnarok event. All opinions are my own.


There are days when life has landed one too many swings and we begin questioning our ability to get out of bed, let alone go about our day.  The pain takes you to the punch where the force of rejection, low self-worth, and failure hit you so hard it left a permanent scar at the forefront of your mind.  It’s during days like these when you need to be reminded of your unique purpose and assignment in life that ultimately gives you the power to be great!

I was having one of those days, I felt dazed, confused and defeated. Have you ever hit your head, or been hit in the head and it took a minute to gather your thoughts? I mean, you could see, hear and think but the blow altered your ability to understand what was actually happening.  Yup, that was me on this day.  I knew what I needed to do, but there were so many reminders of how painful it is to work out with sore muscles.

As usual, I’m Skyping with my Coach Elayna, and she asked, “when are you going to get serious, let go and trust what God has given you?”  I lowered my head into the palm of my hands and I began to cry.  While I had not said anything to her about what I was feeling, she could see that my previous battles were getting the best of me.  You see I was struggling to believe that I could make a living as a full-time blogger.  I paused for a long while, lifted my head and looked into the computer only to find her looking back at me in tears as well.  She was looking at me as if she could see something that I couldn’t see at the time.  She said, “you are amazing LaToyia. You have been given an assignment and it’s time for you to truly commit to it. Trust yourself, you can do it.”

Yes, that was a very intense session but one of the most impactful.  That day, I committed myself fully to my 5 Core Intentions, and vowed to graciously decline contributing my energy to doing what I had always done.  This was huge, I was pretty much giving up the way that I had earned a living for nearly 20 years and doing things differently.  It was gutsy, and I certainly felt the butterflies in the pit of my stomach but I believed in the mission of my assignment.

Shortly after ending our call I checked my email and I did not believe my eyes.  There it was, just hanging out in my inbox waiting for me to accept it.  The subject line read, “Marvel Studios, Disney/Pixar & Disney Junior Invite You to Los Angeles!”  I was overwhelmed with gratitude and suddenly I felt stronger, my acknowledgment and acceptance of my assignment was giving me such power.  As I read the message in its entirety, I discovered that this trip was so aligned with me discovering my power to be great. I was invited as one of the top 25 bloggers, for an all-expense paid trip to walk the red carpet at the premiere of Thor:Ragnarok opening in theaters on 11/3, AND interview the directors and cast.  WHAT?!?!?




I can still hardly believe that my very first invitation to attend a Disney movie premiere would come at a time when I felt defeated, and the movie is Thor:Ragnarok.  At the moment of discovery, I realized that I was in fact created to live the life I desired, and it rewired my thinking.  I immediately began thinking I am not powerless, I am more like a fearless hero fighting for the good in all mompreneurs to be great…including myself.




I have to admit, once I realized “OMGOODNESS I’m going to finally walk the Red Carpet” I felt pretty powerful combined with a tad bit of insecurity.  Growing up I wanted to be an actress.  I’d tell stories to my grandmother and her friends about the roles I’d play, the awards I’d win, and how I would use my riches to take good care of them and take them to the Horse Races (they loved betting on horses) whenever they wanted to go.  I never pursued an acting career because the damaging words of discouragement weighed heavily on my self-esteem.  But, I could not let the memories of my past hinder me from channeling my inner hero, and walking the Red Carpet with confidence. 

  • Channeling your unique power means not allowing the things you’ve LOST in your past to hinder the impact you can make right now. 


  • Becoming a hero means taking the JOURNEY OF SELF DISCOVERY to consider who you really are, your strengths and weaknesses.


  • Finding your inner power means to be REBORN in your heart, mind and thoughts – not allowing the wrong in the world to harden your heart to do what’s right.

I’ve done all three so that I could walk the Red Carpet of Thor:Ragnarok in confidence, fighting for the good of my own hopes, dreams and desires.  I am inviting you to join me by following #ThorRagnarokEvent.


Can’t you tell by the trailer that Thor:Ragnarok is going to be a great movie?  The all-star cast, both old and new is giving a stellar performance: Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Stephen Strange), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster), Jaime Alexander (Sif), Karl Urban (Skurge), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Taika Waititi (Korg), Ray Stevenson (Volstagg), and Clancy Brown (the voice of Surur).

But that’s not all!  I will also have an opportunity to attend a CARS 3 themed dinner to celebrate its In-Home release available on Digital 10/24 and Blu-ray 11/7.  I’ll be sharing a review of the bonus features, and the many lessons that we can teach our children from Lightning McQueen and friends.




My pursuit of becoming a more powerful version of myself does not end there.  My journey of self-discovery will continue as I am introduced to Vee, a kid struggling with fitting into a new community in Pennsylvania from her familiar home of Transylvania during the screening an episode of the new animated series “Vamprinia” which premiered October 1st on Disney Junior.  Immediately following the screening I will have an opportunity to talk to Executive Producer, Chris Nee – who is also the producer of Doc McStuffins.  If you have questions, please tweet me or add them in the comments section below.




The fun doesn’t stop there, it will take “Thor Hammer” kind of power for the next event.  I will have an opportunity to get “hands-on” and bring my very own R2D2 to life during a luncheon hosted by technology company littleBits using their STAR WARS Droid Inventor Kit.  The best part is they are sending one to our home and I will get to assemble it with my eight-year-old son, Chance.


As you can see I will have an amazing time on this media trip with Disney.  While I am not an actress appearing in the movie Thor:Ragnarok, I am an Extra walking the Red Carpet as a Mom Blogger, and that fuels my faith and makes me feel a lot like Thor – great!  My Blog is symbolic to Thor’s Hammer, and I will use it to motivate, inspire and educated moms.

Are you ready to claim your power to be great and walk the red carpet of your life? It is my hope that you allow your children to watch Vampirina on Disney Junior; snag a copy of CARS 3 on Digital 10/24 and Blu-ray 11/7; and treat your family to a movie night to watch Thor:Ragnarok in theaters everywhere on November 3rd. 

For more information, photos, trailers and updates, visit the official Thor:Ragnarok website.  Remember to like the Thor Facebook page, follow on Instagram and Twitter.  I’d also like to invite you to virtually join me on this trip by following me and the other amazing bloggers on social media using #ThorRagnarokEvent.


© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom


It takes courage to set boundaries. Especially boundaries around your family, your time and your energy. For years I’ve heard people talk about setting boundaries, and I’d agree but I never really implemented boundaries in my life. I’m not sure why, but I think I thought I didn’t have a need for boundaries. Like, I had it all together and was completely balanced and good. 


Well, that changed just the other day as I was talking with my Coach Elayna. She’s coaching me through a very unique phase, and while I’m not sure all that we will tackle during this phase, I learned very quickly that I needed to set boundaries so that I can fulfill my life’s purpose.



Lately, I’ve been making a lot of changes, it seems that once I make one change the need for another is vastly approaching. And while I’m not opposed to change, I felt that if I were to get clear on a few things perhaps the need for change wouldn’t be often. 


During my conversation with Elayna, boundaries came up and it hit me like a ton of bricks. My eyes got so big. I couldn’t even let her finish her thought before I burst out saying “Oh my goodness. That’s what God has been saying to me during my quiet time. I need to set boundaries.”  A huge smile came across Elayna’s face as she continued to share with me how boundaries would make things clearer for me.


You see, before I had that Mary J. Blige “Love Without Limits” attitude when it came to boundaries.  Do you know the song?

Baby, there’s no need to tell ya
As far as I can clearly recall
My love has been here for you
So you don’t have to worry at all
I’ll sacrifice my time 
I’ll make sure you’re satisfied
And it’s no hard thing to the joy I bring
I want to give you all my love

Loving you 
That’s all I want to do…..

I was always willing to give my all to everyone, and I sacrificed the time I needed for myself.  Boundaries sounded so restrictive to me before. It was as if I was saying to myself that I couldn’t do something. Now I get it. Setting boundaries is like being free. Living free does not mean I do what I want, it means that I am free to live the complete life that Christ created me to live in the confines of His goodness and mercy.  Setting boundaries gives me permission and freedom to focus on the things that I was created to do in this life. 


I’m ready! I’m ready to fearlessly set boundaries so that I can truly live a life of purpose, in abundance and financially free.  And I need you to be my accountability partner. Are you in? I hope so, by setting boundaries I am allowing myself: 

  • To take care of my own needs by saying no to things that does not serve my purpose.
  • To have more freedom to focus on what’s important to me, like my health, family and future.
  •  Protect my physical and emotional space from distractions that can potentially take me off track.
  •  To be more creative in my writing, speaking and extracurricular activities.
  •  To teach people how to treat me…with respect and care.



I know now that having boundaries in life is critically important. Not only will it free you from the frustration you feel when you don’t take care of yourself, but it will teach people how to treat you.


For too long I’ve placed others’ needs above my own.  I’ve agreed to help when I didn’t want too. I’ve said yes to projects because I did not want to be seen as selfish.  I realize that I was only hurting myself.  Being selfish is not a bad thing, especially when self can use a little love.  We are to love our neighbors as ourselves; well, that means we love ourselves first.  Setting boundaries means I am properly loving myself.


Perhaps you’ve struggled with setting boundaries. Or you may have set boundaries but not stuck to your guns with implementing them.  Now is the time!  If we are going to live our lives with purpose, on purpose then setting boundaries is absolutely essential.


What boundaries do you need to set in your life?  What do you need to do to ensure that you stick to those boundaries that you’ve set? Let’s become a better version of ourselves together!


© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom


P.S. For additional resources around setting boundaries please check out Elayna’s series “How to set Clear Firm Healthy Boundaries Without Feeling Guilty.”

 Read the introduction

 Read Step 1

 Read Step 2

 Read Step 3

 Read Step 4

 Read Step 5



This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Prudential and Black Enterprise. However, all opinions expressed are my own.


I recently attended the Black Enterprise Black Men Xcel (formerly Black Enterprise Golf and Tennis Classic) for the second time as an influencer and speaker for Prudential. The event is held at the Beautiful PGA National Resort and Spa in West Palm Beach. 

Photo provided by Black Enterprise


Black Men Xcel is a multi-day celebration of enlightenment, empowerment, and excellence for men and women.  There are empowerment sessions for men, women, and couples on finance, relationships, and business.  The keynote lunches and celebratory dinners are highlights of the event. 

It was so much fun and very relaxing!  Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot in the sessions especially about men and how they think, but boy did I soak up the sun and sink into the massage table a whole lot too.  I needed that! Have you had an opportunity whether it was a business trip, speaking engagement, or a two-hour nail appointment when it was just what you needed at that time?  Good, so you know exactly how I feel when I say, it was just what the doctor ordered.



While I did thoroughly enjoy myself relaxing, I was asked to come speak on the “Sunset Spa” Panel powered by Prudential.  I was joined by ShirleyAnn Robertson, a Financial Planner with Prudential and our moderator, Michele Thornton Ghee, SVP of Sales at BETher.  We spent an hour talking about the importance of financial planning for women.  It was such an interesting and educational conversation, I’m excited to share a few of the questions from the panel discussion and my answers with you. 

202161 PRU Social Media2
Photo provided by Prudential


Name 3 things that you’ve done to become financially secure in your business as an entrepreneurial woman?

This is such an important question to consider.  Cameka Smith, founder of The BOSS Network once told me, “if your business isn’t making money, then it’s just a hobby.”  I quickly had to identify how I would become financially secure with my blog business….and I am still working on it.

I Created and Used a Budget – I learned the hard way with my first Motivated Mom Tour that ensuring that you have and follow a budget in business is critical.  I was so passionate about the mission, I ended up investing $30,000 of our money into the Tour.  My blogging coach, Elayna, told me early on with my blog to know what’s coming in and going out

I Identified Strategies for Monetization – It’s important to have several streams of income. I’ve been hosting the Motivated Mom Tour, and I am just now creating products to sell at my events.  Be ahead of the curve with monetization strategies. Don’t wait until you need money to think about ways to get it.

I Treat My Clients Well – Treating people good is the best way to attract and retain clients.  I may not always be a top performer, and that’s okay, but I always treat my clients well so that they come back. 


What would you tell a Mom to consider before becoming a Mompreneur?

One of my favorite quotes by Tommy Tenney is “Passion makes complacency uncomfortable” from his book “God Chaser”.   I considered this quote before deciding to become an entrepreneur.  I wanted to have a business that I was passionate about and prospered from.  I would tell moms to align their passion with this advice:

  • Know Your Why – Know WHY you want to start a business.
  • Don’t Give Up Before You Grow Up – Don’t allow your emotions to impact your productivity.
  • Be Confident – Don’t allow your experience or lack thereof to deter you.
  • Stay Focused on The Goal – Create strategies that will help you exceed your income goals.
  • Learn More – Earn More – If you don’t know, hire someone who does. Have people on your team that believe in your mission, that you listen to, that you learn from and that you labor with.
  • Stay Balanced – Balance starts with the notion that you can’t please everyone. As a mompreneur, it is important to remember that you are balancing your home and your business.


Do you have any financial tips for moms who are part of the ‘Sandwich Generation?’ They pay for today’s bills, save for their kids’ college education and take care of their aging parents, too.

While I didn’t “care for” my mom in the way that it is meant in this question, there have been a few times when my mom has lived with me as a single adult as well as married with a kid.  I also have several friends caring for their parents while managing their own home.  My suggestions are from taken from my key learnings from Prudential:

  • Pay down debt. You may want to consolidate your debt where the interest rate is lower.
  • Save for retirement. Enroll in your workplace plan or set up an individual retirement account (IRA).
  • Ask your parents the tough questions. Find out if your parents have a life insurance policy, annuity, pension, will or estate plan, long-term care insurance, etc. Consult with a financial professional to see if there are any products that can help.
  • Teach your children about saving. By educating your kids at an early age, you’ll increase their motivation to save later. Start by having them earn an allowance by doing chores around the house and setting up a bank account for them to keep their earnings.
  • Practice Self-Care. Plain and simple if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to properly take care of others. It can be easy to forget about self-care when caught up in your daily jam-packed schedule.
  • Share the Load. You may handle most of the caretaking duties, but that doesn’t mean you need to do absolutely everything yourself. Stop stressing and start delegating.
  • Prioritize What Matters. You are one person and there are 24 hours in a day. Those two numbers won’t change. Make a list of all of the things you think need to be done. What can you cut out? How can you minimize your workload each day?


Whether we are starting a business or managing our home, being financially secure or financially well is important…especially as moms.  Financial wellness is different from person to person and can be hard to define.  Our goals, economic factors, and standards for living fluctuate.  Prudential says, for most people, claiming financial wellness is based primarily on two things: feeling secure and sound money management.


There are so many of us who live in the moment rather than thinking about the future.   We spend money on things we don’t need and tend to think that we will have time to save…until we don’t.  It’s difficult to know where to being with a financial plan, that’s why I am happy to share these tips from Prudential. 


Are you ready to create financially wellness?  What are you most difficult financial challenges? Share them with me and share this post with those who need it.  Let’s take control of financial wellness together and follow the tips provided by Prudential.   


© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom


I think about my past mistakes, moments when I didn’t fit in, or the times when I felt rejected and those thoughts are taking up more of my energy than they should. These memories spark emotions that overwhelmingly shape my self-image and influence my insecure thoughts and behaviors.  It’s true, I have feelings of insecurity. And lately it’s been more often than usual.


For me, my past is one of the main influences for my insecurities.  When I was young my aunt told me that “I would never be anything.”  While I am very proud of who I’ve become, I am still affected by those words.  For example, I have been struggling with my business.  I have so many ideas, but I don’t always think they will work for me.  I am quick to offer support to others, but I don’t always trust my own advice and instinct.  Deep down, it’s because of that seed that was sown years ago.


The factors that play a role in our insecurities are many. It could be child abuse and you can’t seem to feel whole because your innocence was stripped away by a pedophile.  Maybe it was a cheating husband that made you feel like you aren’t enough.  Perhaps its weight gain or you are still hanging on to your baby pooch and you don’t like how you look – at the end of the day it is real to you.  And guess what? You’re not alone.


As moms, managing our insecurities are key so that we provide the best possible example for our children.  Insecurity does not discriminate. Everyone has something that they are insecure about.  Some are dealing with it more often than others, but insecurity is insecurity and if not handled properly can ruin your life.  As moms, not only do we have our own insecurities to deal with, but we must help our children learn to deal with theirs.  That’s why I want to share a few ideas with you about feeling insecure.



Idea #1: Insecurities are mostly invisible.  No one can see what you feel. Some people may notice that you’re nervous, but most time they are so consumed with their own insecurities they can’t see yours. For example, I get very nervous when I am about to speak in public the audience may not be able to tell.  I am usually okay within 5 minutes of me talking, but I am very insecure initially. 

Insecurities are mostly invisible.


Idea #2: You may not be perfect, but please know that you are pretty awesome! When you allow your insecurities to reign in your life, you are saying to God and to yourself that you aren’t enough…but you are.  I used to let my past hold me back from my dreams.  I began giving myself permission to be me in spite of my past.


Idea #3: An occasional insecurity does not mean that you are weak.  It takes strength and courage to be insecure about something and do it anyway. 

An occasional insecurity does not mean that you are weak.


Idea #4: Know that all the things you feel aren’t real.  Don’t let the fears in your mind hold you back.  Some things are real, others are imaginary. Know the difference.


Idea #5: Insecurity can cause you to miss out on new experiences, opportunities, and memorable moments. Decide to discard negative thoughts, worry less, and live out loud.  I’ll never forget the time when I was asked to speak for a group. I was so insecure about my weight that I turned it down.  Later I felt horrible and realized that I missed out on 3 other opportunities because I let my insecurities rule.

Insecurity can cause you to miss out on new experiences, opportunities, and memorable moments.


We can overcome our insecurities, and we must.  When I was younger, I never imagined how my mistakes would haunt me as an adult.  If I would have known the importance of good credit as a youngster, I would have never ruined mine as a young adult.  Once I learned the importance of my credit score, I lived in shame for years.  I did not want people to know that I had bad credit.  I was so fearful thinking that I would look bad if I was declined.  I feared that it would hinder my ability to build a life with my husband…and in some ways, it did.  In the early years of our marriage we paid higher interest rates for things, got declined for other things – it was a mess. It took years for me to rebuild my credit score.  My husband encouraged my saying “we can do this,” “this is an easy fix.”  What once caused me shame, I later overcame.  It took time, hard work and dedication but I did it.  We took control of our finances and budgeting first.  Then we hired a company to help us rebuild our credit and get things back on track.


That’s how we handle insecurities. We counter them with voices of truth. In the book “So Long, Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend To Us,” Beth Moore writes “We’re going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us.”  I love her book and this quote, it’s true – you have let the truth saturate your insecurities to move forward.


Are you insecure hoping that no one notices your flaws, failures, or foolish behaviors?  It’s time to make a better life for yourself, and that won’t happen by being insecure about who you are. It’s time to forgive yourself and walk in the freedom of being the perfectly imperfect best version of yourself. Share how you handle insecurities and share this post with those who may need it.


© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom


Mom, you make the difference!  Studies show that a warm and sensitive home environment and responsive engagement in play activities with your children boosts their communication, emotional and social development, and their ability to focus. Your daily interaction with your children can reinforce a positive attitude about learning and can help them develop a true love for learning.

Since I was a kid I have loved to learn. The quote “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom” by George Washington Carver is exactly what my grandmother taught me to believe.  She never gave credit to George Washington Carver, but she made it clear to me that education was a door opener. 



As parents, we know that education is a huge benefit to our children.  Even for parents that did not finish school like my grandmother, she encouraged me to go to college.  She told me up until her death “to go to school and get your college degree.”  While she wasn’t very educated, I knew she was a wise woman.  Our discussions about school, my potential, and what I could become with a college degree fueled my faith and impressed a permanent motivation for me to finish school.

I’m convinced that success or failure in school starts at home.  You could enroll your child at the best school with the teacher the year, and the impact on your child’s learning ability in home is still greater. You are your child’s first teacher.  Regardless of educational background, socio economic status, or race – you can help your child develop a love for learning and achieve academic success.  Here are a few tips to ensure that you are creating an environment in your home that develops a love for learning.




Your kids will model your behavior. If you want your child to be a reader, let your kids see you read. Make time to try new things with your children and learn together. Children learn by example. 



Your words mean everything to your child. Encouraging them with statements like: “You are doing an amazing job in school.” “Great job on your homework, you nailed it, buddy.” Positively affirming your children is a great way to boost their self-esteem. 



One of the best ways we can encourage our children in school is to expect them to succeed.  Not by setting unhealthy expectations and causing children to have low self-esteem because they didn’t meet your goals. But rather, sharing by the importance of hard work and encouraging them to always do “their best.”



We’ve heard readers are leaders – and it’s true. Studies show the barriers faced by children struggling to read without proper guidance, they never overcome them.  When children spend their early years learning to read, they spend the lives reading to learn.  Reading aloud to our kids, or encouraging them to read during the weekends can help their reading proficiency.



Praying with your child build their faith in the Lord, communicated to them that you believe in prayer, and gives the comfort and confidence to know that they are never alone. 


These are simple yet impactful tips to support your child’s educational endeavors.  When I was pregnant I prayed a lot for Chance to have the wisdom of Solomon.  I wanted to for him to have a love for learning and use the wisdom of God as a tool combined with academics.  I purchased curriculum and dedicated time daily to go over it with him as s toddler.  Today, my son Chance is in the third grade – reading on a 5th-grade level and match on a 6th-grade level.

I started early, but it’s never too late to become engaged in your child’s education.  How do you ensure your child’s success at school? We are always learning, I would love to hear from you.


© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom


I recently hosted the Motivated Mom Tour in Atlanta.  The Motivated Mom Tour is a half day intensive experience designed to equip an intimate group of 125 moms to be “Great Women and Extraordinary Moms” by offering life-changing content to help activate their dreams. 


The event powered by Prudential, Coca-Cola, Hilton, BETher, Cantu, Real Beauty Real Women, and Black Enterprise is for the entrepreneur mom, working mom, stay-at-home mom, or aspiring mom representing different socio-economic backgrounds, education, and cultures gather together to participate in empowering discussions around finance and wealth building, entrepreneurship, goal planning, and parent engagement.   We bring out some exceptional speakers and influencers like Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, Dania Santana, Nicci Gilbert Daniels, and Michele Thornton Ghee to name a few.      



During the Atlanta event, I felt off.  I couldn’t gather my thoughts, I stumbled a lot, and had a hard time being in the moment.  By the time we made it to the Empowerment Panel Luncheon, I struggled to get my thoughts out.  I even had trouble reading the notes I typed for myself (which I never use by the way).  I managed to make a few announcements and introduce the panelists.  I began with the first question and by the time the second panelist began to answer, I fell over on Dania, she was closest to me.  I could not believe what just happened, but I felt horrible.  I stood up, walked off stage, asked for someone to take over and left the room.  As soon as I went out of the door, I began falling forward toward the ground.  Not only could I not moderate my panel, but I was not able to return to the event.  I was so scared because I did not feel that I had control of my body.  I could not walk on my own, I was shaking like a leaf, and my friends were looking at me with a great deal of concern.


While I was being escorted to my room by Yvonne, all I could think and say was how embarrassing.  I asked Yvonne “what is happening?’  She responded with “I’m not sure, it sounds like vertigo, but you have nothing to be embarrassed about.”  The guilt was overwhelming, so much so that I believe I was putting even more pressure on myself.  Once I made it to my room, I immediately feel into a deep sleep.  I was given an antihistamine since Yvonne and one of the attendees who happened to be in the hallway and overheard the conversation thought it was Vertigo.  When I awoke, I began reflecting on when I began feeling ill.


I initially thought about how I feel when flying.  I get sick to my stomach and feel like passing out during landing.  This had been happening for about a month or so.  I had experienced hot flashes, nausea, and headaches.  And it happened on Thursday when I flew into Atlanta for the Tour.  So, I thought it was a carryover from the flight.  Shortly after the medic arrived in my room and confirmed that he too thought it was vertigo.  I rested and prepared myself to fly home the next day. 


Laying in that hotel room I grew very upset with myself.  How dare I blame myself for being sick? And then it hit me…. When one of my sponsors brought me to the room she said, “La’Toyia why are you embarrassed? You’re the Motivated Mom, you’re not perfect.”  Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever felt guilty about something that made you human?

Several people reached out asking if I was feeling better. Telling me how they were praying for me and how they enjoyed the event. I have to admit, it gave me a great deal of relief to know that everyone had a great time – in spite of me of being sick and things going off script due to my absence.


The messages from attendees also triggered me to deal with the guilt that I placed on myself.  The truth is, I was not taking good care of myself. I was so busy being the motivated mom that I forgot to consider LaToyia.  As I thought my about it, I began to cry and made these personal self-care vows to myself.  I vow to:


  • Take Care of LaToyia: I will mediate daily on God’s word and pray, aligning myself with God’s perfect will and receiving His grace, mercy and direction for a fulfilled life.
  • Make Healthier Choices: I will not make decisions out of convenience, rather I will make better choices about the food I eat – more fresh fruits and veggies, less sugars and processed foods.
  • Say Yes Less: I am giving myself permission to focus on what’s really important.  I am eliminating things that are not critical to my life and the life of my family.


These three vows are essential to me.  This incident was just another reminder that I need to be more intentional about taking care of myself.  Over the last year, I’ve had a series of illnesses, meltdowns, and mini-emergencies that I truly believe could have been avoided had I been more intentional about my own self-care.

Being the Motivated Mom is my choice! Taking care of myself is my RESPONSIBILITY! These are tools for me to ensure that as the Motivated Mom – I LIVE a life of purpose, in abundance, and financially free.  I am determined to practice these vows regularly.

How are you taking care of yourself? Do you need to start? I’m here with you for the journey, as moms we can do it together.


© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom