Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and at my daughter’s school they did something pretty cool this year.  They wanted their students to decorate and bring in a valentine holder for their valentine cards and treats.

My kindergartener and I decided to decorate an empty graze snack box (graze.com) because it was already partially decorated for Valentine’s Day (red hearts) and it was the perfect size to transform into a purse/clutch valentine holder! :)

We just added my daughter’s name in the front (covering the graze name) along with some 3D valentine stickers

and glued a piece of purple construction paper in the back and decorated it with a variety of stickers.

Back

I secured the box with a little bit of clear tape and made a slot, which we decorated with a fabric, flower ribbon, for the valentine cards and treats to go in.

We recycled the clear plastic backing, which you can probably see in the first 2 pics, of the glitter tape decoration that we placed around the box (not shown in the pics) for the purse strap.  I then showed my daughter how she could hold the box two ways:  as a clutch with her hand or a shoulder purse with the strap.  The giddiness that ensued after transforming that box into her valentine holder will stay with me forever. :)

As for my third grader, she had a vision and it involved one of her favorite cartoon characters, SpongeBob Squarepants.  She loves that little dude!

She didn’t want to do plain, old SpongeBob though.  No, she wanted to make SpongeBob in his Kuddly Krab work uniform.   This uniform is featured in the episode titled “Bossy Boots.”

We printed out some pics of SpongeBob wearing the uniform so we could easily reference it.

I also made a template of the purple flower design that’s on the uniform so my daughter could easily trace, cut, and glue the design onto the box.

The materials we used were a cereal box, construction paper (pink, yellow, purple, white, and neon green card stock paper), and pipe cleaners.  We also printed out a small spatula and a “Krabby Patty,” which we taped onto his hands.

        

From a cereal box to “Kuddly Krab SpongeBob Squarepants!”

           

Here’s the breakdown: We gift wrapped the box with pink construction paper using tape and glue.  My daughter traced a big circle out of yellow construction paper for his face and two small circles for his eyes with white paper as well as two little squares for his front teeth.  She then drew the details herself.  She used the template for the purple flower designs and we glued those down as well as his face.  The pipe cleaners were used to make the antennas, arms, legs, socks, and shoes.  She wanted to place two pink hearts on the antennas instead of the red K’s.  For his yellow hands I copy and pasted a picture of SpongeBob and cropped the pic until his hands were the only things on the screen, then printed and glued onto the pipe cleaner.  We did the image two sided so it was easier to glue.  A slot at the top of the box ensures that valentine cards and treats will go in nicely!

There you have it!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

“Just being Audrey”

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

A couple of months ago, my youngest daughter stumbled upon this book at the library and was fascinated with the front cover.

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“Just Being Audrey” by Margaret Cardillo, Illustrated by Julia Denos

She simply said, “She’s beautiful,” and I responded, “She sure is.”

Of course, this biography book for children made it to our checkout pile and my daughters were wonderfully introduced to Audrey Hepburn.  The illustrations inside were just as beautiful as the front cover.  What made this book even more fantastic for me was when I suggested to my youngest daughter that she should draw her own version of the front cover and her eyes immediately lit up at the idea (my oldest daughter loves to draw and my youngest loves emulating her sister, so she’s a little budding artist as well.)  The very next morning she sat down on the floor with her drawing pad, a pencil and the Audrey book.  Her concentration was fierce and it took all morning.  I gave her space and didn’t peek once.

Finally, she was ready to unveil her masterpiece.

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Needless to say, I was one proud mama and I couldn’t stop gushing over her drawing.  She did a great job! :)

A book that teaches you about a great person and has illustrations that can inspire a 5 year old to draw her own version is a definite gemstone.  Check it out at your local library and if they don’t have it, request it!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Books, books, oh glorious books!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

One of my absolute favorite places to visit in our hometown is the library.  We officially celebrated our one year anniversary living in Pennsylvania back in November of 2015.  The library here is completely different in so many wonderful ways.  The vast hours of operation offers us an opportunity to visit as a complete family.  The children’s section of the library is spacious, it’s equipped with touch screen computers, educational toys, and hard-covered books galore.  I was so impressed and immediately fell in love with this place.

Before we leave the library, we always check out almost 40 books, which include a variety of easy to read, picture, newly published, and juvenile chapter books.  It’s become a routine to read a couple of books every night before bedtime so we need a lot of material.  My girls usually pick the books that they want and I tend to add to that pile with my picks for them.  My youngest is in Kindergarten now and she loves easy to read books.  She also loves picture books, which is why she was immediately drawn to the cover of this particular book:

“Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors” by Hena Khan, Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

She wasn’t able to read the title.  She simply saw the beautiful cover and quickly glanced inside and saw the rest of the illustrations and wanted to take it home.  When I read the title, I’m not going to lie to you, the word Muslim jumped right at me, but I had no qualms about checking the book out.  In fact, I was curious to see and read the book.  It looked interesting and it was indeed a great book with beautiful illustrations of colors in the Muslim culture.  I had no idea, until recently when I went online searching for a picture of this book to include in my blog post, that this book had a little controversy behind it.  You can google the title of this book and read the article about a father in Georgia who wasn’t happy that his daughter picked this book out at the school book fair.  Yes, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but believe me when I say that this book is a beautifully, illustrated book about colors in the Muslim culture.  You should check it out at your local library and make your own opinion about it.  And if they don’t have it, request it!

I will be sharing more book finds with you because there are so many books in this world that need to be acknowledged and praised.  I love reading to my girls and hearing them read out loud.  I have seen great results in their reading skills from their first marking period in school to the second, which just passed about a week ago.  My third grader is currently reading at a fifth grade level and my five year old went from reading zero sight words to 59.

my daughters reading at the library

I’m going to leave you with this little tidbit regarding instructions/directions usually found at the bottom of homework assignments or school worksheets like this for example:

Instead of just reading the directions to your child and doing the problems together, teach your child to read the instructions as well and make it a habit.  Read the directions for each problem together and eventually they will learn how to read it themselves.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Kyemah McEntyre

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well

I’m still around, just honestly finding, at a very slow pace, my place in this vast world.  Yes, I know that completely sounds so cliché, but it’s the truth.

In the meantime, I love stumbling upon words of wisdom that come from the heart and passing it along so everyone can do the same and the world becomes a better place.

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Meet Kyemah McEntyre!

She designed and made this gorgeous dress for her prom.

She also said in her Instagram, which I feel is a STUNNING message,

” You have to understand who you are because if you leave that space open, you leave your identity in the hands of society.  Don’t let anybody define you.  Beautiful things happen when you take pride in yourself.”  – Kyemah McEntyre

This quote is getting printed asap and being framed for all to see in my household because it speaks volume.

What inspires you?

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Inner beauty has no shade

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.  I wanted to share something with you that I believe is greatly inspiring.

http://www.upworthy.com/oscar-winner-lupita-nyongos-speech-on-beauty-that-left-an-entire-audience-speechless?c=reccon1

Transcript from link above:

I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

My heart bled a little when I read those words. I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no consolation: She’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden, Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me. When I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty, but around me the preference for light skin prevailed. To the beholders that I thought mattered, I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me, “You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.” And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade to that beauty.

There may be small errors in this transcript.

 

Take good care all.

Until next time…

When Street Harassers Realize The Women They’re Catcalling Are Their Moms In Disguise

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I came across a PSA video on Huff Post Women that I believe needs to be shared immediately around the world because the message it’s trying to convey is done splendidly.  The video is sponsored by Everlast and I commend them for it.

View it here at Huff Post Women http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/26/street-harassers-realize-women-catcalling-moms-everlast_n_6549086.html (When Street Harassers Realize The Women They’re Catcalling Are Their Moms In Disguise by )

or here without English translation: http://www.silbaleatumadre.com/

YouTube:

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Coming to you from a new home in Pennsylvania!

Hi guys!

I hope you are all well and ready for the Christmas countdown!

I know, it’s been awhile.  So much has gone down and that’s the reason why I haven’t been posting.  We’re no longer living in Brooklyn, NY.  We made the big move to Pennsylvania on the 1st of November and so far things are well.  Slowly, but surely we’re settling into our new home.  My mind and heart hasn’t quite adjusted to the move, but I’m doing my best to sort of embrace the new location.  It’s definitely a better place for my girls to grow up in so I’m taking that into great account.  I just have to take things one day at a time!

In the meantime an idea  sprung up in my mind and I wanted to share it with you guys.  My girls are very fortunate to receive Christmas gifts from friends and family members who don’t live near us and I’m always telling them on Christmas day, “This is from so and so,” but I can always see their little faces trying to register who the person is and I don’t think they get it.  This year while I was making the labels for their presents that came in the mail I thought, “Maybe I can print out their pictures on the label.”  

Using Word and address labels, I printed the wording and the pictures separately because my program didn’t allow me to cut and paste the pic.  You can always print everything out on Word and simply tape it onto the gift, but I didn’t want to use tape.  I just improvised by cutting and using another label to assemble the words and pics together.  This is what I got and I love it:

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These lovely people are my girls’ paternal grandfather and step-grandmother who live in New York, so this year when they open their gifts from them they’ll actually see who the gift is from. :)

I hope you enjoyed this idea.  More to come later on, hopefully.

Thanks for stopping by and may all your holidays be MERRY, SAFE, AND BRIGHT!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Grand Opening of Arrogant Swine

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’m going to plug a grand opening of a restaurant/beer garden called Arrogant Swine.  If you’re in the NYC area and want to check it out, please do.  My husband is a part of this grand opening so come out and show us some LOVE!! It’s going to be a grand opening like no other.  Cheers!

Here’s the info:

Arrogant Swine

173 Morgan Ave.

New York, NY 11206

(347) 328-5595

Grand Opening:

OCTOBER 8TH, 2014, 5 PM TO 2 AM

Hours: Sundays – Thursdays 5pm to 2am

Fridays – Saturdays 5pm to 4am

Check out these links on the grand opening of Arrogant Swine:

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20141007/east-williamsburg/beer-garden-with-whole-hog-bbq-open-with-free-tattoos-burlesque

http://bushwickdaily.com/2014/10/arrogant-swine-grand-opens-next-wednesday-heres-the-details-on-this-bbq-beer-and-free-tattoo-bonanza/

Have a lot of FUN everyone!!

Take good care.

Until next time…