BELIEVE. DREAM. CHANGE the world.

BelieveAndDreamBIG-CEMARIE-BlogPhotoCe’Marie is a dreamer. She’s a doer. An adventurer… She’s confident, capable and will change the world. Ce’Marie will be the voice of her generation.

How about you? Are you encouraging your children to make a positive difference and contribution to society? If we all think in a way to help others and change the world to be a better place than how we found it, then together, we’ll do just that. We will successfully make this world more peaceful than the moment we were introduced to it. Are you up for the challenge?

Please share your thoughts below :)

Take Off Your Makeup

A beautiful message within a song and video… Check out Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat’s new song “Try”. I’m inspired and moved by it. The song encourages us girls and women to take off our makeup, let down our hair, love what/who we see in the mirror…

Colbie became inspired to do the song and video after growing tired of getting photoshop’d and ‘perfected’ by her team made up of makeup artists, photographers, stylists, etc, so Colbie did something about it.

“We are not alone in our insecurities.” – Colbie Caillat

Leave a comment below… what do you think? Are you OK with going to the grocery store makeup-less? Please share your thoughts

xoxo

Ploose

Always #LikeAGirl

When people think of the phrase “like a girl”, stereotypes and less than behaviors come to mind.

I’m guilty of this, me, a girl who fights against those very stereotypes. But not in the way you’re probably thinking. It’s not that I think the actual action of doing something “like a girl” equates to doing something less than the male counterpart. It’s the phrase itself. Society has created a picture for what doing something “like a girl” looks like. I mean, it’s referred to often in the media, by our male family members and friends, by sport coaches and by whoever else attempts to explain an action they see as being performed poorly or mediocre. I am surprised (but grateful) that it is not a defined phrase in the urban dictionary (and I looked…).

So no, I do not think a girl doing something is mediocre or less than a boy’s doing of that same task. Often times, girls excel at the things guys challenge them to. So I definitely believe in the anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you!

I just sometimes forget that the phrase “like a girl” has an underlying meaning to it — one that is demeaning, objectifying and irritably unacceptable to the female gender.

So as a reminder to us of what doing something like a girl really looks like, I have posted this cool Always™ video below. Always™ reminds us that doing something “like a girl”, like running, should not be confused with failing or sucking at running nor should it be confused with exerting little to no effort. Doing something “like a girl”, like throwing a ball, should not be confused with throwing a ball in a cute, submissive manner. Doing something “like a girl”… well watch the video and be reminded by 10 year-old normal, everyday girls what doing something “like a girl” really looks like.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts below :)

What do you think? Has your perception of doing something “like a girl” changed? How do you feel about girls and their ability to do both “gender” and “non-gender” specific tasks, like styling their hair, playing basketball, washing dishes, etc.?

Please forward and share this post with your friends and family, guys and girls, and especially young girls between the ages of 3-18. It’s never too early or too late to show girls and women what doing something like a girl really looks like. Have a dialogue with them. Ask them their thoughts, share with them your thoughts. Everyone needs to see this powerful commercial, please help us spread it with love!

P.S. >> I’ll ALWAYS Walk, talk, Lead, perform, Succeed, cry, Laugh, explore, Inspire and Create “LIKE A GIRL”

xoxo

“Perfect Imperfections” – Part 1 – Why You Should Stop Trying To Live Up To Perfection

Growing up, boy did I put a lot of unnecessary stress on myself.

Even at a very young age. I’m talking first grade young, so like 6 years old. I remember growing up in Arkansas, one of my parents would take my brothers and I to school. My oldest brother would always get the privilege of getting dropped off first – so not fair!

I felt like I had places to be, things to learn, tests to Ace. How could you do this to me mommy?!

Well, seeing as we were always either barely on time or running late, as a junior high student, my oldest brother being tardy actually meant something. But the way I reacted, each and every morning – you would have thought me being tardy meant the end of the world.

Cognitive of time, I cried my little eyes out. I hated being late. Not only was it just not right, it was embarrassing, I never got to enjoy the play time before the bell rang for class to begin, and worst of all – it knocked me out of the running for having perfect punctuality.

Attendance – now that was an even bigger issue for me. I wasn’t ’bout to miss no days, huney. Sick, tired, chicken pox and all – I demanded to go to school (thankfully didn’t have to worry about the chicken pox scenario, ‘cus I’m sure I would’ve lost that battle). I hated the thought of getting behind. What if I missed an important lesson? What if I missed something amazing that only happens once in a lifetime? What if, (Uh Oh), I missed a key assignment that would have aided in me learning something for an upcoming test, which then would cause me to earn anything below an A+?

Oh, no. I wasn’t having it.

And God forbid I don’t receive the ‘Perfect Attendance’ reward at the end of the school year, among my other honors, I would have a fit. * flashback moment

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Achieving perfection was something I had naturally always fought for. I wanted to be the best. And to me, the best meant perfect. But as you may know, perfection is merely an illusion of the imagination. What may be perfect to me may be a disaster or mediocre to someone else.Stress Meter Showing  Panic Attack From Stress And Worry

The determination of reaching perfection in all that I did only made me sick, literally. The stress “perfection” caused me over the years, built up inside of me. My stress level was out the roof. I developed bad anxiety. I welcomed thoughts of negativity and self-doubt. Taking on the task of being perfect meant I also took on a persona of being perfect. So what did that mean? That meant I began caring absolutely too much about how I was perceived by others.

Even when I knew I was doing an excellent job, the unknown thoughts of my peers ate away at my confidence, thus making me insecure about not only my abilities but also my decisions. I second-guessed every move and decision I made, asking myself, “Well how would xyz take this? How will that make me seem? Is that the right thing to do? Maybe I need a few other opinions…” I no longer trusted myself to make the right, sound decisions alone.

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Who gets to judge accomplishing perfection? Because if we simply judge perfection for ourselves, will we ever be good enough to stand tall against our own standards? If we judge perfection of different situations, things, outcomes, others, and etc, individually… What makes his standard of perfection any better (or worse) than my standard of perfection?

Absolutely nothing. Our individual thoughts, feelings, experiences, and definitely societal norms, shape our perception of perfection – which (good news!) makes “perfection” totally subjective, thus arguable.

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So, I challenge you today to stop conditioning yourself to achieve “perfect” outcomes from your “perfect” goals. Let the idea of needing to be perfect go. It’s simply unhealthy. And be careful of the thoughts you feed your brain. Just as you protect your money, protect your mind and thoughts. Your mindset is the difference of you being happy or defeated.

Instead, here’s something to feed on: begin to love who you are and believe in yourself and your capabilities. Be OK with those quirky things about yourself that you or others view as different – those traits are your unique perfect imperfections. So stop wasting time telling yourself how you wish you were… or what you wish you had… and instead live in the now and strive for excellence. The difference of striving for excellence as opposed to perfection, you ask? A wholeee lot (chuckles).

Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Perfect Imperfections”   :)

xoxo

Notes to all the Special Mothers out there on Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day… Ce’Marie and I would like to wish all of the fabulous mothers out there a wonderful, happy day and year!

Here’s a special note from Ce’Marie to her mother:

“To my pretty, caring and hardworking mommy, I love you! :) :) You are shapping shaping my life to grow up and become a fun fierce, brave Queen, like you. You are our #1 fan – always going above and beyond to help us pursue our dreams. Thank you for believing in me and all of my bright ideas. I’ve been told my imagination is stupid and dreaming is for losers – and I believed it for 1 second until you told me it’s actually pretty unique and a good sense of wild. You taught me to not worry about what mean people say and to just enjoy being free in my imagination. I thank you mama for never belittling my dreams and instead telling me to shoot even higher than the stars… Momma, I hope you like my our card I we got for you – I really really hope so because I spent all of my allowance on it. ~ ♥︎ ~ P.S. it was alot of my idea to get you the bamboo plant, thought it would brighten up your desk while at work. I hear you sometimes talk to daddy about the stress of work, so this should help alot tremendously. I got Rewo [Ce’Marie’s older brother] to pay for it – I told him he owed it to us mommy ;) Ms. T [Ce’Marie’s school teacher] always says, ‘Keep up the hard-work, because someone is taking notice and another is always watching while the other is taking notes.’ I never really understood what that meant, until now (well more like 42 minutes ago when I asked Rewo). Well, I’ve taken notice of your hard-work and now I’m watching you while I take my notes :) xoxo, Ce’Marie Your Kids”

~ ♥︎ ~

And a note from the author of Ce’Marie books to all the responsible, great mothers out there who are making a positive difference in the lives of their kids and others:

I thank you.

I thank you for all of your hard work and dedication in raising strong, confident, smart, and loving children. We need more people, and especially more mothers, like you in this world! It is no easy task to not only birth a child but to also raise a child. Raising children takes strength, determination, money, PATIENCE and a good heart. So to all the mothers out there who are taking care of business and making it happen, I applaud and humbly thank you. And those of you superwomen who have to do it alone, I take my hat off to you. Today was designed in honor of the mothers and your persistence in making sure when it came to your family, sh* got done correctly, each and every time!

So… a toast to you, a beautiful future and a blessed year of happiness. Cheers! *clink *clink *clink

backgrounds-cute-happy-mothers-day-card-screenshot-hd-wallpaper-for-desktop~ ♥︎ ~

And lastly, the most difficult note to compose – a note to all the Nigerian mothers who are awaiting the return of their innocent daughters:

We are all praying for you. We want our girls back. We want our daughters back, and we want this NOW!  So #BringBackOurGirls!

I pray that they are safe and unharmed. I pray that God helps them get through whatever it is they are battling. And when they do return (I am talking this into existence), I pray they suffer no more. We love you all and wish you comfort in God’s word. You AND your daughters will overcome this.

Your daughters will remain in our prayers until they are declared well and in your loving arms.

Written with so much love, empathy and concern,

xoxo

R.

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Thank you for the beautiful pictures! (Picture Credits)

#RockACrown[LA] and #BringBackOurGirls!

Wow, how could I forget to share this event with you all! Ce’Marie and I attended a wonderful event this past Sunday afternoon. It was called #RockACrownLA.

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The purpose of the event was to raise awareness of the #BringOurDaughtersBack movement. A good 35-40 LA dwellers came together to pray and stand in solidarity at Manhattan Beach on May 4th. I heard about it via social media and instantly knew I wanted to be a part of it.

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As we walked up to the designated meeting area, we noticed a group of gals and guys – old and young – gathered in a circle. It was such a beautiful thing. Everyone had on their head-wrap “crowns”, as suggested by the organizers. With my head-wrap on, I felt a sense of connection to the young Nigerian girls.

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Unsurprisingly though, a lot of people had no idea what had occurred in Nigeria on April 15th. So they had no clue as to why we were there. There were some who thought we were preparing for a church ritual while others thought someone had just gotten married. After explaining to curious onlookers why we gathered there and what we were doing – they were stunned at the news. They had not previously heard about what happened to the over 300 Nigerian schoolgirls. And what touched my heart, outside of the event itself, were those who, after being informed of why we were there, stopped what they were doing and joined us for the cause – signing both the petition on charity.org and the contact sheet with their information for notice on future #Bringbackourgirls events.

I left the event feeling a great sense of inspiration. From church to brunch then lastly to the beach, I had had a wonderful, invigorating Sunday.

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How about you? Have you been enjoying your weekends? Do you fill them with activities that you are passionate about? Tell us below :)

 

 

#BringBackOurGirls

Dear Friends,

It has been 23 days since my friends in Nigeria went missing from their beds on the night of April 15th, 2014.

I am sad and hurt by this tragedy. But I remain hopeful.

I pray everyday for all of my friends that are missing, along with their families, my other friends remaining in the area, the people of Nigeria and my American friends who have friends and/or family affected by the kidnapping.

My mommy has been allowing me to watch the news coverage about the kidnappings with her. She knows how much the well-being of the kidnapped girls mean to me. The news lady had announced around April 16th or 17th that at least 53 girls were able to escape. My mother and I were so happy to hear this! However, there are still at least 234 of our friends out there who have not returned home. But I remain hopeful.

I asked my mommy, the day after it aired, how such a thing could happen to them when they were under the supervision of their school’s officials. ‘Cause at my school, there are so many rules about the fence that protects the perimeter of my school. Like, no talking through the fence, no going outside of the fence, no fetching flying balls on the other side of the fence, no shoving things through the fence, no playing on the fence, no looking at the fence…ok, I made this last one up – but I think you get my point :). My school is very strict about the fence. And I used to hate that and complained to my mom all the time about it. But she would always tell me it was for our safety from strangers.

Now, I understand.

The news lady also told us that the men who took my friends came late at night while everyone was sleeping. I usually talk to my friend, Adebukola (I like to call her “Kola”), at least once a month around 9:00pm her time and 1:00pm my time. And my other friend, Ifeolu (I call her LuLo), at least once a month as well, but the time fluctuates. I have not heard from either of them since the kidnapping took place at their school, Chibok Government Girls Secondary School. I am worried. But I still remain hopeful. Because I know that my friends are all strong and smart. And every night before I go to sleep, my mommy, daddy, sister, brothers and I pray for them together. I pray that they are all safe and unharmed. I pray that they are even stronger than expected and more intelligent beyond their age and grade level so that they are able to figure out their escape. I also pray that Kola and Lulo are OK and safe at home with their parents.

I hope our prayers are being heard each night.

Friends, I must go now. I want to catch the ending of Oprah reruns with my mom. But I will keep you updated on whatever I hear about our girls. I will also let you know immediately when my friends either skype, email or write me a letter – I know my friends are well and safe and I am positive that I will be hearing from them soon. My mommy tells me to just pray and watch out for their communication. And I do. Everyday after school, I run home, check the mailbox, log onto skype and turn the alerts volume all the way up so that even if I am outside, I will hear the skype ringer.

xoxo,

Ce’Marie

 

 

How I Spent My Saturday: The Cinderella Project

Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12, 2014 – hundreds of high school seniors arrived to be treated to a day of elegance & charm at the Cinderella & Prince Charming Project. IMG_7381

The Cinderella Project is nothing new nor out of the blue. Founded in 2000 by Disney executive, Dana Green, it was created to help underprivileged teens in need get ready for prom and/or graduation with a free dress/suit, accessories and shoes.

At the APCH Cinderella Project, anything and everything a girl could ever imagine her prom to be like (appearance-wise) was there and up for grabs. So much thought went into the event. Volunteers even went as far as to make sure there was not two of the same of anything laying out (including dresses, accessories and shoes). This way no two girls from the same school would have the same of anything.

Now that’s extra-ordinary.

 

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The donations of dresses, tuxedos and jackets, accessories and shoes was outstanding. There was enough for at least 2 dresses per girl to go around! JUST FAB and Ms. Kimora Lee Simmons made a wonderful donation of dresses and accessories. Kimora Lee Simmons also came out Friday afternoon to sprinkle her fabulosity! I’m a little bummed I missed her but glad the girls enjoyed her.

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I must not forget to mention the volunteer turnout – quite amazing. In addition to APCH volunteers, there were also representatives from Bank of America, Disney VoluntEARS, Rotary Club, Herbal Life, America’s Tires and Ce’Marie.

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The Cinderella & Prince Charming Project was a success! It was fun to see the seniors go through the experience; the process included first learning about the “Pay it Forward” campaign, then attending two inner-beauty mini-workshops, next they chose their special occasion suit or dress, and lastly the shoes and accessories were picked. Girls were also given a free accessory from Just FAB and free make-up.

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Saturday was a good day.