Ce’Marie’s Progress & Check-In

Imagine your daughter exploring her imagination, expanding her mind and loving reading. Now imagine her discovering all the possibilities of who she can be. Ce’Marie books offer this, imagination and so much more! Let your little girl get hooked on reading with Ce’Marie as we discover the long-kept secret: being different is the new black. Join the movement!

Above is Ce’Marie’s original pledge to parents and its readers, created in November of 2013.

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Now lets fast-forward to March 2015. By mid-March, I had finished about 3 rough drafts of Ce’Marie picture book. Thinking the third draft would be the one, I started looking into editors and making preliminary plans for Ce’Marie’s launch party. I was so stoked! But I had to slow it down; planning for the launch party was interrupted by the tough realization that Ce’Marie was not all the way, 100% ready for its big debut.

After taking Ce’Marie (text only) to a critique group, I received constructive criticism that made total sense to me. Following the critique, I thought long and hard on my next move. I desperately wanted to be finished with her, but I knew I’d later regret the decision to proceed with putting it out IF I did so purely out of complying with my ego and not because I felt it was best. So, commence with my launch party planning or go the extra mile and figure out what needs to be done to push my newly-finished Ce’Marie picture book to the next level, that was my big question.

I chose the latter.

I knew in my heart there was something more that had to be done to really achieve the high standards, well-worth-it end-result I dream so much about.

So since around the time of my last post on March 20th, I have been re-working book 1 of the Ce’Marie series. And guess what… I’ve decided to turn what started out as a picture book into an early middle grade chapter book! I feel this is the right move and the best direction to take Ce’Marie. I am extremely excited, a bit anxious but more excited. I know Ce’Marie Version 2.0 (hehe) will be the product I’ve been working so hard and diligently to produce; something of substance and value, something I can be proud of and smiling ear-to-ear happy about–and not to mention, have no shame in bragging on! LOL.

This is not to say that I am not happy with the picture book I have created, because I am. I am proud of myself. I did just what I sought out to do–and then some! Like, me, yep me–I did it! I wrote and illustrated my very own children’s picture book! That’s an amazing accomplishment that I take pride in.

My standards for myself are higher than ever. A few friends who have experienced the book in its entirety actually love it just as much as I do. But I do not have a feeling of completion with it, just yet. There is just something missing… And I have accepted this. I have set new goals and timelines of deadlines — this baby is underway and I’m inspired more than ever! CeCe’s going from a luxury Mercedes to a transformer Tesla. Vroom! Vroom! ;) And the picture book itself will definitely not go to waste — in fact, I can’t wait to share how I’m turning this minor “setback” into a major accomplishment and beautifully thought-out product.

So there’s my lengthy update on Ce’Marie. She and her BFFs’ are doing wonderful and going on many cool adventures! Stay tuned, bookworms :)

Until next time friends, Carpe Diem!

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Hello Spring. I’ve Missed U.

Why, hello there spring; so nice of you to come! Today marks the first day of spring… What did you do to celebrate?

I went to the big public library downtown Los Angeles. Today was an adventure. I first packed a backpack, then I walked half a mile to the bus station. After about 12 minutes or so, the bus opened its doors to 5th & Hope. 

As I hopped off the bus I excitedly took in the busy scenery – I loved every minute of it.

Here are a few photos I snapped while at the Central Library…

 

 

    

Today was an awesome day. I got lost in the children’s literature section. A lot of work was done so I’m happy.   

The library offers a coding program to middle grades 4-6. I found this to be really cool. And in April there’s even more science-related activities going on for the kids. Go check them out! 

Halloween in November

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Halloween in November, can you imagine that? I mean if you ask me, I’d tell you all the reasons why Halloween fits perfectly in October…and not just on any day, but the 31st of October. It just seems right. The last day of the scariest-sounding month is, I think, the most spooky, fitting date. Don’t you think? *chuckles to self.

Ok. I digress. I don’t know why the heck I am even convincing myself of Halloween — it’s a day (holiday for some) that I have not celebrated for years, probably because I don’t fit into any of the categories: kids, college students or parents, all of who can appreciate a mask and a treat.

But, there was an important message I received a couple days ago as I was catching up on my prime-time tv shows. The tv show black-ish — yes, I agree, bizarre name that actually almost kept me from tuning in to the new sitcom, but again, I digress — anyway during this tv show one of the character’s made a simple statement. A statement in which I totally agree with and ended up further reflecting upon. Someone on the show (I believe it was the father, not sure) mentioned how,

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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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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.

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

“I didn’t raise no follower…!”

The only thing we need to follow is our dreams. Otherwise – we choose to be avant-garde leaders ♥︎ ♡

“Don’t you find it odd,” she continued, “that when you’re a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you’re older, somehow they act offended if you even try.”
― Ethan Hawke, The Hottest State

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“People who lack the clarity, courage, or determination to follow their own dreams will often find ways to discourage yours. Live your truth and don’t EVER stop!”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

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“Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.”
― Ray Bradbury

Yaass!! Time To Rise & Shine & Work At Our Potential!

Do you have an idea you’d like to bring to life? Or maybe there’s a new, more challenging, better paying position that is up for grabs that’s more closely related to what you have always wanted to do career-wise. Heck, maybe you have always wanted to learn a new skill or hobby, like how to crochet or knit. Whatever it is, why not pursue it?

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Will it give you more purpose? Help provide for you and your family? Breakthrough a mean cycle of settling and/or procrastinating? Or simply help you smile more often? Any of these reasons are enough to believe it is worth the risk, time and hard-work. Follow through with your right-brain’s nagging…  Still need some convincing?

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Watch & enjoy this quick, awesome video. It may just be the push you need… I use it every morning when trying to get out of bed at 5am. It’s a great reminder of WHY I set that alarm & have to get to it.