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.

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

My High School Blues… Your Daughter’s Gold

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~ ♥ ~

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

Ce’Marie Postcard Gems

Guess what arrived lastnight to the doorsteps of la casa de Ce’Marie…

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Ce’Marie’s Gem Postcards!! We are in love with them – they came out looking as lovely as we hoped :)
The objective is to spread Ce’Marie Girl Power awareness and get people ready for the launch of the oh so chic & educational picture book series (Coming Soon – Summer ’14). We are excited to get them into the hands of our current and future fans — or who we like to call the Ce’Marie Tribe ♥

Stay tuned for more great news & updates on Ce’Marie and her Adventures!