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.

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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.

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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

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

 

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are the Best People to Fall For

“Because reading is something that molds you and add to your character ,” parents, here is another reason to not only encourage and breed young readers but also a reason why you should get lost in a book.

Click here for the full article, “Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With”, from Elite Daily’s Lauren Martin.

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 10.54.29 PMScreen Shot 2014-07-14 at 10.51.35 PMScreen Shot 2014-07-14 at 10.49.33 PMScreen Shot 2014-07-14 at 10.56.30 PMBe sure to head over to the original article, here.

Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts below.

xoxo

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

The Pavement Bookworm

Hello CeCe Book LoVeRs.

After scrolling through my homepage on WordPress, I came across 101 Books post on Philani Dladla, a homeless 24-year-old in Johannesburg, South Africa.

For the love of reading, you must listen to this young man give synopses for his books, belonging to a wide range of genres. I believe in his desire and attempt to share books and literacy knowledge with our youth and random spectators. I believe he would make a great reading ambassador for young people.

His story is inspiring, especially considering he fell victim to drugs and managed to recover from his addiction by reading self-help books. As he sits on street corners, he does not sit there with a sign nor does he sit there with an open hand waiting for change. He sits on the corners with a stack of books. He offers book review services to the passers-by. After hearing his reviews, if they become intrigued enough to want to read the book, the passers-by then pay Philani for his book.

He is passionate about reading. And at first glance he does not appear homeless, or at least I didn’t automatically think he was. By the video alone, without reading the article associated with it, I thought he was a young man desiring to share with the camera what reading can do for us and our young.

Enjoy and please share :)

Visit 101 Books here for their article on Philani.

P.S. >> If you’d like to donate to Philani and help sponsor more books for him, contact South African director, Tebogo Malope, who conducted the interview with Philani.

xoxo