Lastnight’s Event: “All For The Love of Kids”

Yesterday my friend invited me to the event “All For The Love of Kids”, held in Downtown Los Angeles. It was incredible. The vibe was wonderful. People mingled and ate finger foods as we waited for dinner and the event to begin. We were all there for a greater cause, a cause to raise money for foster children in Los Angeles County and to honor two individuals who have given back tremendously to the foster children of LA. The two honorees were Ms. Tige Charity, from Kids in the Spotlight, and Mr. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, from Skyhook Foundation (and former NBA star — and phenomenal Lakers player).

Not only was the food delicious, but the event itself was packed with excitement. Not a boring moment, which I was grateful for.

Co-anchor on KTLA 5 Morning News, Chris Schauble, welcomed us and introduced each segment of the program. I must say he’s handsome and quite a funny one in person.

Jacob Lusk, finalist from American Idol – Season 10, entertained us with 2 beautiful songs. Boy did he do it!–that guy can definitely sing! I couldn’t stop smiling with joy, witnessing such a talent in-person was really cool.

Dee Hanskin, a former foster youth, shared with us an admirable story of perseverance and hard work. Though he had moved around from house to house a good 12+ times within a short period of time and began acting out as a result of feeling unwanted and alone, Dee decided he wanted more and then began to turn his situation around.

Los Angeles County Supervisor, Michael D. Antonovich elaborated on the importance of helping our Los Angeles foster children have a shot–a fair opportunity like the rest of us.

The honorees, Tige Charity and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gave a short acceptance speech for their award.

Although I didn’t win any gifts from the raffle, I felt good about making a contribution to the cause. Granted my contribution was small, it came from a big heart.

The event succeeded in making me more aware of the needs of foster children. Excellent event.

xoxo

Love The Skin You’re In

The beautiful and talented Ms. Lupita Nyong’o talks to our young kids on Sesame Street about loving the skin we’re in. Sesame Street is a wonderful television program that teaches kids fundamental concepts at home before they even enter pre-school.

Lupita loves her skin, Elmo loves his and you and I definitely should too!

Watch the 2 minute Sesame Street clip below.

We All Need A Little Motivation

As I sit here, under the fan working on la Ce’Marie, my mind starts to wander. I begin to imagine Ce’Marie (my in-progress picture book) complete. Then I go on to imagine it being praised by the critics and received well by parents and educators everywhere, internationally too.

I then imagine actually being able to afford that “studio office” (a sewing & craft studio mixed with a home office) I’ve always dreamed of having and lately salivating over…

I’m excited now–somewhat like Olaf, in the Disney movie Frozen, when he imagined the possibility of experiencing summer for the first time. I’m excited about all the possibilities that finishing my first book could bring. I then imagine being happy, free and eager to freely create products that I believe the Ce’Marie girl and her parents would love and enjoy…. … …

Then just like that….POOF! No more Olaf.

All of those wonderful visions disappear back to where they came from… some would say my imagination while others would say my dreams but I say: my future.

I have faith that my future holds many incredible things for me. I believe that I will conquer every. single. dream and goal of mine. And then some.

Sometimes it’s easy to loose sight of where we want to go in life and how we’ll get there. But we must remember, “it costs something to be worth something.” -PT

So what are your dreams? Have you ever felt so strongly about your vision that you feel in your gut that that vision will in fact be your future? Or maybe that vision has already come into fruition. If there was one word of advice you would offer fellow dream catchers, what would it be?

We all need a little motivation…

 

The Impact Art Education in Schools Have on Your Kids

Well Helloooo there!! It’s been a little while since I last wrote a post. But not to fret, ‘cus I’m baaackkk! ;)

So, today, September 14th*, marks the first “official” day of National Arts in Education Week. But I declare all of September National Arts in Education Month! Why? Because the arts are important! And I feel strongly about this topic.

I was that nerd growing up in the public school system who did all of her homework, participated in class and even tutored her older brother and some of her friends. I was the nerd who cried when I was sick, in fear of having to miss school (yes, I was that girl – *chuckles). But I also was a regular kid. A kid who sometimes was too antsy and too hyper to listen attentively to monotone teachers and boring movies for 7-8 hours a day, 5x/week (well 6x/week, if you include Saturday tutoring at Cal State Long Beach). Nevertheless, I needed a break. I needed some excitement. I needed balance.

Arts education gave me that balance.

The harsh reality is: sometimes being in the public school system means one have to deal with bullies, gangs, drugs, overcrowded classes, poverty and an array of other distractions. This is not to say private schools do not have similar issues. I am only giving an account of my experience in public schooling. That being said, arts education provided and currently still provides (for as long as law and state budget-makers will permit), an outlet to students who not only need an escape from monotony, but also students who need an escape from their harsh realities, in and away from school — for example, personal psychological issues (like eating disorders and depression), abuse, gang affiliation, bad neighborhoods etc.

Arts education encourages and damn near forces the participant to use his/her imagination. How, you ask? Well, much, if not all, of the arts require some form of creativity. And in my opinion, creativity comes from seeing something done and using wisdom + our imagination to push the envelope even further. Creativity comes from actual dreams. Its the result of being inspired. And we all know inspiration is all around us, from our environment and life’s events to magazines and museums, inspiration is everywhere and comes in many different forms. Like reading a book, arts education is a swell way to invoke innovation and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.

Still question if arts education is worth your tax dollars?

Why not ask your little ones how they feel about art, dance, music or theatre class? I mean, hey, I’m just a creative person who has always made everything art-related in order to enjoy and appreciate it enough to comprehend and retain the information…

Hey, it makes even more sense now that I further think about it. I was always pushed to be an excellent student and trained to earn good grades. But more often than not, getting that ‘A’ was easier said than done. So I learned to apply what I loved most and excelled in – arts education – to just about every subject in school. Even today, I pull from my days of arts education. I mean, who cares if by playing the violin for 5 years helped developed my auditory skills which enabled me to effortlessly spell tricky words and learn a new language… not to mention is responsible for the countless number of compliments I receive on my excellent, confident posture (to name a few examples ;).

But don’t take my word for it. Ask your kids.

xoxo

*Note: some organizations proclaim National Education Week to be September 7-13

Photo Cred

  • Top Photo: NaeA website

Questioning the Lack of Diversity in Historical Fiction

Ce'Marie World:

#WeNeedDiverseBooks of ALL genres for ALL ages

Originally posted on The Book Wars:

Miriam Makeba
Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 10 November 2008)

Two weeks ago, I talked in a complicated sort of way about why it is so important to be aware that the language history is written in is not necessarily the language it occurs in and as such, discrepancies exist and the lens through which we view history is, perhaps unavoidably, flawed.

This week I want to question a marked lack of diversity in historical fiction written for children. Let me define what I mean and set up some limits etc. so that what I say has some relevancy and makes sense. In fact, let me restate my question.

Why does children’s literature not have a more noticeable number of titles that deal with non-European, non-white history written not by white people but by the very people whose history is being narrated/fictionalized etc.? To simplify further, why don’t we have more…

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Shaking Up Social Media and How Women Are Portrayed

Ce'Marie World:

Inspiration of The WEEK. Being proactive in changing the stereotypes… #GirlPower #WomanPower #Feminist #LikeAGirl

“…once you find your true path in life and do what it takes to follow it, you’ll be the better version of yourself that everyone hopes to be.

Be inspired by the strong trailblazers who have left a wake that shakes things up.

Be challenged by women making art, building skills, making things, and getting business done.

We can all learn from each other’s stories and advice.”

How about I, you ask?
You’re damn right!

Originally posted on craftedincarhartt:

Women Run the World / Crafted in CarharttWomen Run the World / Crafted in CarharttWomen Run the World / Crafted in CarharttWomen Run the World / Crafted in CarharttWomen Run the World / Crafted in CarharttWomen Run the World / Crafted in Carhartt

Let’s take a minute to think about women in media and how we’re portrayed. It’s a common enough topic these days. Many of us are aware that our society is continually bombarded with gorgeous glamazon women, thin and flawless, with glowing skin and shiny hair, perfectly positioned, sitting, standing still, just waiting to be admired.
We all know the wonders of Photoshop, the great works of make-up artists, and the phenomena of calorie counting. Even once the smoke and mirrors are revealed, it can still be hard to shake the conditioned image of what women are expected to be in this day and age. Of course what we need is an adjustment of those expectations. We say we’ll think differently and react on a more educated level when we see these constant reminders of what our culture demands of us. But it can be tough to stand strong against the nonstop…

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A Night of 4D-Watching, Art-Critiquing, Roscoes-Eating, Fun.

Yesterday I saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 4D. It. Was. A-Mazing. From the smell of the forest to the light sprinkling of water that fell on my head at every raining scene, I was thoroughly intrigued.

Although i loved the movie, I would rate it a 4.5/5, just because I felt there could be more movement of the chairs at other parts of the movie. But overall, I enjoyed myself.

Next, we attended an event called ‘LA Renaissance’. It was pretty dope. There was art, fashionable people and talent everywhere. I even got a free 6″x8″ graffiti canvas painting from my friend who seems to always talk himself into something…

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But the point is not to simply share some of what I did yesterday, but more-so to share how enthusiastic I became during and after the event. I wrote on their glass wall about Ce’Marie – and that made me feel incredible (see photo below). This is one of the first places I advertised Ce’Marie…granted it wasn’t a children’s book type of party… It’s the thought that counts and especially the courage taken that mattered.
* “toddler” steps *

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I’m ready to take Ce’Marie to the next level – I’m ready to take her into production. I still have a lot of work ahead of me but I definitely look forward to the day that I excitedly post the great news of the e-book (and later paperback) launch.

Stay tuned, my book lovers ;)

xoxo