iLove… iCRE ❦ TIVE

As the R&B singer August Alsina says, “Man, I love this…, Man I love this…, Man I love this…, I love it! I love it! I love it!”

My feelings exactly.

I love working towards this something that has been nothing more than a thought and a dream, for so many years. I love going to sleep thinking about what’s next and how will I go about that – all while wishing my body and eyes weren’t tired in the first place.

I love the progress I make each and every day. And the feeling of accomplishment when I’m able to cross out a line from my ‘To-Do’ list, YAY!

I love talking about my vision for the brand, what the end result will be, what I desire its impact to be. I love seeing a dream come into fruition, a dream that so many people have misunderstood, mocked and looked me upside my head for pursuing.

Ce’Marie has been the source of my happiness.

Broke, tired and sometimes doubtful, I still remain happy with faith and hope, and the ability to stay true to my calling – all while  e m b r a c i n g  |  me   &   i n s p i r i n g  |  others.

Check out my work station. Super small. But my dreams and goals don’t like to be upstaged, no way ;)

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~ ♥ ~

Here’s a special Sneak Peek at what’s been sewing at “La Chambre de Ce’Marie” (aka The House of Ce’Marie) on that very desk above…

Special Note to Those out There w/BIG Dreams & even BIGGER obstacles:

Whoever is out there reading this – I believe in you. I believe in your abilities. I believe in your vision. I encourage you to pursue whatever dream you have that has been weighing your thoughts down, tapping at your heart and whispering to you nonstop. This does not have to be a full time pursuit, if that is not feasible for you – take it one step at a time, one foot in front of the other until you are able and ready to run and conquer. Do your research. Refine your skills. And in the meantime, continue to sew your seeds, be kind and helpful to others, and believe in yourself and your abilities.

xoxo

 

 

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International Reading Month – Let’s Read!!

While over on Amazon’s site looking for my pastor’s book, Purpose Awakening, I noticed on the homepage that this month is International Reading Month! What are you currently reading?

Screen shot 2014-03-20 at 8.41.08 PMLately, I’ve been reading The Writer’s Market – 2014 Edition by Robert Lee Brewer, a NYLON magazine, my business plan. I’m also slowly reading The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and soon will add Purpose Awakening to this month’s group of books.

A few of my ‘International Reading Month’ recommendations – For the parents:

  • Purpose Awakening by Toure Roberts

& my all-time favorites since high school…

  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Screen shot 2014-03-20 at 9.09.18 PMReading with the kids:

  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
  • Lies and Other Tall Tales by Christopher Myers and Zora Neal Hurston
  • Harlem by Christopher Myers

Interesting combinations, huh? :)

Let me know your thoughts along with your favorite books. What are you reading this moth?

I love… Love…LOVE this photo!

I genuinely enjoy seeing women in powerful positions.

Whether it is the Director of a firm, the CEO of her own business, or the Senior Designer at a large denim company – women are making their presence be felt.

In regards to this photo, take a moment to feel their power, take in their strength and love their fierceness! From the umpire shouting and exercising her authority, to the victorious catcher, and right down to the woman who is gracefully extending her body in an effort to reach home base and put a point on the scoreboard… These women are inspiring. These women are bold. These women are fearless!

My High School Blues… Your Daughter’s Gold

photo 2

~ ♥ ~

March 12, 2014.

Dear Parents:

After visiting the junior high school that I had attended a good 12-13 years prior, I decided to also stop by my old high school that I attended for four long years of my life. Looking back on it, those years seemed to have quickly went by, I mean, I can barely remember them now in great detail. However, once I passed its entryway, I was flooded with memories. Some good, and a lot bad.

At that moment, I remembered the days I was made to feel nervous and anxious. Those days I thought about; “Would today would be the day I would have to use the Snapple bottle I had packed in my backpack the night before for protection.” Yes, you read correctly. This is a sad reality of what kids sometimes feel they need to do in order to stand up for themselves – I was a teenager and I felt like I couldn’t just let them pounce on me without at least attempting to protect myself – I had to put up a good fight.

Looking back, I must say… I am so, so, sooo happy I never had to (or more like I didn’t have the balls to) use it. Because truth be told, that bottle could have done some serious damage. Damage that I would not dare wish to carry out on another human being, even if they were making my high school years miserable. I know this today but that wasn’t my concern back then. And now that I look back on it, I feel like I carried it more as something to ease my mind so that I was able to get through the day without the constant worry of someone messing with me… it made me feel secure. I never had the intention on using it deliberately, it was just the plan Z, a “just in case”…  And although I only carried it maybe 2-3 times (a week tops) during my entire four year attendance there, there is no doubt that there were many times that my best friend and I did not feel safe at school. For unknown, concrete reasons, some girls seemed to have been pursuing a vendetta against my bff and myself.

This was a problem then and it is even a greater problem now – in today’s schools.

After speaking with the counselor at my old junior high school, I was made aware of the bullying that goes on, which I would say is even worse than what I endured. Due to social media “mean girls” are able to taunt kids beyond 3pm. So even when school lets out for the day, the bullying does not stop (as it did when I was in high school – actually sometimes we had confrontations on the public transportation that we all took and relied on, but that was not often). And even beyond that, it has the potential to even follow you to other levels and phases of life, like college and grad school. This ugly truth is not okay. The exact opposite should be happening – the amount of bullying cases should be decreasing and our youth should feel more safe than their parents felt in school. That is how progress is made.

With that said, this is why I do what is that I do. I want to help young girls. I want to reach out to those who are without guidance, afraid, full of doubt or hurting so that I can not only share with them my story but so that I can hopefully inspire and prevent them from feeling a need to carry a Snapple bottle in their backpack as protection. No girl should have to do that. No one should have to do that.

I write and illustrate children’s books as a way to share my experiences, not only with bullying, but also with low self-esteem, shyness, fear and anxiety, peer pressure, and so on. Through my experiences, along with research, I will educate young girls on how to cope with fear, stress and other issues and emotions girls face, in a fun and fashionable way. It is time for girls to see the “cool-ness” in embracing themselves and conquering their dreams no matter what. I intend to show just that. So stick around for the adventures.

xoxo

Back To Junior High School

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Will Rogers Middle School. Who would’ve thought I’d be back there? Not I. Well, at least not until I had a car load of children to drop off, became a member of their PTA, and stopped by the auditorium for the orchestra concert that hopefully one of my-to-be children will be a part of.

But why was I there? In preparation for Ce’Marie‘s release, I decided to set up an appointment with the counselors of my alma mater to discuss the issues they see on a daily basis from the adolescents there. So on Wednesday, March 12, at 11am, I went on my mission. It was an amazing visit. Even the ride down Ximeno Avenue and 4th Street to get down the hill to the school was an experience. I had not been back to the area in over 12 years. But things seemed to have stayed as they were before; same ol’ pizza parlor on the corner of Ximeno and 4th Street, same ol’ donut shop and adjacent burger joint across the street, even the people in the area seemed to be the offspring of the people I had remembered a good 12-13 years prior. Maybe I was hallucinating. Whatever it was – it seemed like just yesterday I had departed my usual city bus in my red/black/white uniform on Ximeno Ave. & 4th St. to begin my downhill walk to my school.

I gained valuable information and got many questions, and then some, answered. I left with a sense of accomplishment and gave myself a pat on the back for a business meeting well done. I received great feedback from her and it felt amazing. I am so excited to get this book completed! By the time it is done, it will be one of my best works of art. My goal is for it to exceed (or at least closely compete) with my best quality work to-date. I am ready to get it into the little hands of our young female leaders.

The future is bright. Stick around for an amazing adventure.

xoxo

Today – International Women’s Day ♥

Today is International Women’s Day!

We love to spotlight days like this. It’s awesome that there are so many organizations around the world that continues the fight & work towards equality for women. And I am especially happy that the Women’s Suffrage did not just end once women were given the right to vote. Enjoy some empowerment below:

“A charming woman doesn’t follow the crowd. She is herself.”

– Loretta Young

~ ♥ ~

“The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.”

-Charles Malik

~ ♥ ~

“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”

– Margaret Thatcher

~ ♥ ~

For more information on International Women’s Day – visit their website by clicking on their logo below or by clicking here:

iwd_long

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Work Cited:

  • Google images

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

I read an article from the Huffington Post that spoke directly to me, because it was about me; I felt like it was a brochure educating people on what to expect from working with me or being around me… yes, me, Huffington Post wrote an article on me. Haha :) Anyway, I found it interesting, maybe you will too. Parents, if you ever notice your children doing one of the following things, don’t be alarmed – they can’t help it… they’re just creative ♥♡

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently (an article by Carolyn Gregoire)

1. We Daydream

  • Creative types know, despite what their third-grade teachers may have said, that daydreaming is anything but a waste of time. (Excerpt from the article)

2. We Observe Everything

  • The world is a creative person’s oyster — they see possibilities everywhere and are constantly taking in information that becomes fodder for creative expression. As Henry James is widely quoted, a writer is someone on whom “nothing is lost.” (Excerpt from the article)

3. We Work the Hours that Works for Us

  • Many great artists have said that they do their best work either very early in the morning or late at night. (Excerpt from the article)

4. We Take Time for Solitude

  • “In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone,” wrote the American existential psychologist Rollo May. (Excerpt from the article)

5. We Turn Life’s Obstacles Around

  • Many of the most iconic stories and songs of all time have been inspired by gut-wrenching pain and heartbreak — and the silver lining of these challenges is that they may have been the catalyst to create great art. (Excerpt from the article)

6. We Seek Out New Experiences

  • Creative people love to expose themselves to new experiences, sensations and states of mind — and this openness is a significant predictor of creative output. (Excerpt from the article)

7. We “Fail Up.”

  • Resilience is practically a prerequisite for creative success, says Kaufman. Doing creative work is often described as a process of failing repeatedly until you find something that sticks, and creatives — at least the successful ones — learn not to take failure so personally. (Excerpt from the article)

8. We Ask the Big Questions

  • Creative people are insatiably curious — they generally opt to live the examined life, and even as they get older, maintain a sense of curiosity about life. (Excerpt from the article)

9. We People-Watch

  • Observant by nature and curious about the lives of others, creative types often love to people-watch — and they may generate some of their best ideas from it. (Excerpt from the article)

10. We Take Risks

  • Part of doing creative work is taking risks, and many creative types thrive off of taking risks in various aspects of their lives. (Excerpt from the article)

11. We View All of Life as an Opportunity of Self-Expression

  • Nietzsche believed that one’s life and the world should be viewed as a work of art. Creative types may be more likely to see the world this way, and to constantly seek opportunities for self-expression in everyday life. (Excerpt from the article)

12. We Follow Our True Passions

  • Creative people tend to be intrinsically motivated — meaning that they’re motivated to act from some internal desire, rather than a desire for external reward or recognition. Psychologists have shown that creative people are energized by challenging activities, a sign of intrinsic motivation, and the research suggests that simply thinking of intrinsic reasons to perform an activity may be enough to boost creativity. (Excerpt from the article)

13. We Get Out of Our Own Heads

  • Kaufman argues that another purpose of daydreaming is to help us to get out of our own limited perspective and explore other ways of thinking, which can be an important asset to creative work. (Excerpt from the article)

14. We Lose Track of the Time (all the time…)

  • Creative types may find that when they’re writing, dancing, painting or expressing themselves in another way, they get “in the zone,” or what’s known as a flow state, which can help them to create at their highest level. Flow is a mental state when an individual transcends conscious thought to reach a heightened state of effortless concentration and calmness. When someone is in this state, they’re practically immune to any internal or external pressures and distractions that could hinder their performance. (Excerpt from the article)

15. We Surround Ourselves with Beauty

  • Creatives tend to have excellent taste, and as a result, they enjoy being surrounded by beauty. (Excerpt from the article)

16. We Connect the Dots

  • If there’s one thing that distinguishes highly creative people from others, it’s the ability to see possibilities where other don’t — or, in other words, vision. Many great artists and writers have said that creativity is simply the ability to connect the dots that others might never think to connect. (Excerpt from the article)

17. We Constantly Shake Things Up

  • Diversity of experience, more than anything else, is critical to creativity, says Kaufman. Creatives like to shake things up, experience new things, and avoid anything that makes life more monotonous or mundane. (Excerpt from the article)

18. We Make Time for Mindfulness

  • Creative types understand the value of a clear and focused mind — because their work depends on it. Many artists, entrepreneurs, writers and other creative workers, such as David Lynch, have turned to meditation as a tool for tapping into their most creative state of mind. (Excerpt from the article)

To read more about each, click here to view the original Huffington Post article from Carolyn Gregoire.

Stay creative, my friends. xoxo

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Work Cited:

Gregoire, Carolyn. “18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently.” Huffington Post 04 Mar. 2014. 05 Mar. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/creativity-habits_n_4859769.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular&gt;.

  • All information (outside of the first paragraph) in this post is from this article. All rights reserved to the Huffington Post.

28 Days Of Royalty: A Black Woman’s Smile

Good Morning Mothers,

*♥* This video is for you, not the babies – please be advised that the video requires Parental Guidance.

If you’ve ever been called an angry black woman, or asked to give your opinion on behalf of all your people, or went to a predominately other (Caucasian, Asian, etc.) university in which you’ve been mocked or chastised by the others or even by your fellow African Americans because you being you is simply different from them being them, or maybe you are from a background of mixed ethnicity and people attempt to degrade and downgrade you as if you are any less than who or what they are…

We understand.

Some forget the past and are insensitive to the fact that some people have a long history of turmoil, pain and hardship… However, I urge you to not sulk around and dwell on this. Let’s end the cycle of pulling out the “race card” just because we can. And instead, I challenge you to speak up and act peacefully towards a real change — and in doing so, if that’s labeled as pulling out the “race card”, so be it. It is not enough to just get angry at the ignorance we witness and are subject to but it is especially not recommended to throw ignorance at ignorance. So I propose we do our part in helping the next generation(s) see a different day and age. And in doing so, smile… Help combat the stereotype of black women being angry all the time.

Let’s work towards bringing to fruition a day and age where our children are aware of their worth. Content with the things that are happening for and by them. Aware of history – their own and beyond that. Eager to help, serve, love and be kind to others. And unapologetic for their differences–i.e. their natural skin tone and natural – big hair, larger than “average” nose and other features, likeness of a certain genre(s) of music, clothing, topics, etc. and/or choice of study in school and career.

Over at Ce’Marie headquarters, we are working towards our goal of getting more diversity into the media – first step, book 1 of la Ce’Marie picture book series.

What are you doing to make a difference for today and our future generations? Please share below :)

Until next time,

xoxo

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Work Cited:

  • Video: Ty Gray El spoken word & youtube