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.

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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

“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

~ ♥︎ ~

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

Note from Kola – #BringBackOurGirls

Guess what!

I received a letter from my friend Kola! If you would like to read the letter I wrote, you can click here. I came home from school today and my mom handed me her letter. I was so excited I read it right then and there!

My Dear Friend CeCe,

I am so happy to speak to you again. I know it’s been over a month since we last spoke but it’s been scary around here. I was taken with a lot of other girls away from the school. I managed to escaped alone the night I was taken. I was so scared but I kept thinking about my mother and father and brothers and told myself that I mustn’t be afraid. So I became brave – like the ninja we always talk about!! A nice family took me in, fed me, then helped me find my way back to my village. I was so happy to see my family! And my friends and everyone else. But, I learned that a lot of my classmates, who have become my family, did not return. I am sad. So much is going on.. I am scared. Also..I have bad news.  I do not know where Lulo is. No one knows where she is. I couldn’t stop crying for days when I came back. I pray for her and everyone else everyday. I do not know what the future holds but my mommy told me everything will be alright. But I don’t know. ‘Cus if everything will be alright, why did we have to leave our home? I think mommy is looking into moving away from here, she kept asking me and my brothers questions about other places. I miss Lulo, Ce. I miss her soo much. I miss you too! A lot has happened around here. I wish I could just video call you but we aren’t at home anymore… ♥︎u. I’ll be in touch

Kola

If you would like to read more about bringing back our girls, click here and learn more about events and support groups for the movement here.

#BringBackOurGirls. Now.

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The above story is fiction. It was written to keep awareness going about #Bring[ing]BackOurGirls – there is still more work to done. Please do not be blindsided by the Beyonce-JayZ-Solange situation. Let’s get back to finding these girls.

#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