“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…

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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…

Remember me?

Hello everybody!

Remember me?

Probably not, but that’s okay because it’s my fault.

Let me re-introduce myself. I’m Angelica and I hope you guys are doing well.

A lot has happened since my last post, which was back in April of this year.

Here’s the rundown:

 

1. My sister and her fiancé announced they were expecting their first child!!!

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Congrats Dave and Monchie!!

2. My youngest daughter turned 4 years old and we had a party at the bowling alley! The theme was Peppa Pig and my husband made her TWO cakes! Yes, my hubby made those cakes you see below!

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Two Peppa Pig cakes

3. My daughter received a certificate in her school for writing an essay on the most special woman in her life. She chose to write about her Grandma Rose (my mom, Rosa).

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The essay read:  A remarkable woman in my life is my Grandma Rose.  She’s a very brave and strong woman.  She became ill a few years ago and isn’t able to walk without her crutches, but she recently surprised us by walking without them by using her special brace on her right leg.   This was very exciting for me.  I held her hand and we walked together.  It’s a memory that we now share.

(That’s a black and white copy of the original above.  My daughter drew the picture and asked my mom if she could send her a picture of her wearing the brace so she could draw it.  My daughter gave my mom the original for Mother’s Day.)

4. My oldest daughter turned 7 years old and we had another party at the same bowling alley! The theme was the Minions from the movie, “Despicable Me” and this time around the cake was store bought (yeah, we got lazy, but the cake was still yummy).

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The birthday girl and her Minion cake!

5. My daughter successfully completed the first grade!

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Summer vacation begins!

6. We went to see the New York Yankees play against the Toronto Blue Jays!

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My youngest strikes up the funniest poses! 🙂

7. We went on vacation for a week with family to a Pocono resort, The Villas at Tree Tops. We had a lot of fun and great memories were created.

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8. Final days of the summer were spent going to the library and spending time with family, then it was back to school!

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My oldest entered the second grade and I’m keeping my youngest with me at home, even though she can enter Pre-K, but I’ll rather have that time teaching her myself and having fun together before she officially goes off to school next year.

So that’s the recap and there are so many things in the horizon, for example, we’re preparing to move (yikes, more on that later on), a Halloween themed baby shower as well as a destination wedding next year in beautiful Puerto Rico. Oh boy! or girl…it’s a surprise, due in November. We can’t wait and I hope to be a better blogger!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

 

Poem in your pocket day

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Today I sent my daughter to school with a poem in her pocket for “Poem in your pocket day.” At the beginning of each month, I receive a detailed calendar from my daughter’s school filled with PTA meeting dates, workshops, test dates, and special fun days like today. Parents were asked to send their children to school with a poem in their pocket.

I went on Google and searched for children’s poems. This article, http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/poems-for-kids, stood out the best and I chose one of the poems featured in it because it was fun and short.

Rabbit by Mary Ann Hoberman

A rabbit

Bit

A little bit

An itty-bitty

Little bit of beet

Then bit

By bit

He bit

Because he liked the taste of it

 

This poem is a bit of a tongue twister, which is great for my daughter’s speech. She loved how silly it was and couldn’t wait to share it with her class and teacher.

Happy poem in your pocket day!

Take good care all.

Until next time…