“On this day a year ago..” 

Don’t we all love that facebook never forgets to remind us of that selfie we thought was so bomb a year ago, or the political rant we went on, or the song lyrics we posted during our first heartbreak or even the meme we thought was hilarious but we are now realizing was kinda corny?  Facebooks fairly new feature has been a tool that has helped me realize how far I’ve come. Surprisingly enough I am no longer embarrassed by the things I’ve posted 1 or 2 years ago, instead I am excited. 
Yesterday, facebook shared my memories from three years ago. Both of the memories are posts that I do not agree with now. The first post talks about “not being thirsty” and “having respect for yourself in order to receive respect”. I didn’t even realize it but my opinions have changed. I feel that self respect has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else but yourself. In order to receive respect you must give it to other people first. I don’t believe that in order for you to receive respect as a basic human being it should be based off of the amount of respect you have for yourself. It’s really coming for men or even other women to suggest that in order for them to respect a woman she must have respect for herself. When you ask a woman to have respect for herself before you can respect her you are suggesting that she already doesn’t have any respect for herself. In most cases, many women do respect themselves it’s just not in the way you want them to. It’s only when a woman doesn’t adhere to someone’s archaic views that they are told they “do not respect themselves”. Three years ago I did not agree with this, three years ago I would have told woman around me and on my social medias to “cover up”, “have respect for yourself” or “don’t be thirsty”. I’ve grown out of that thinking and I am so happy I did because I have realized that self respect looks different to everyone. It was differently, talks differently, acts differently and thinks differently and it’s not my job to tell anyone what they self respect should be. 

The second post was an article from WGAL (my local news station) talking about the new “trend” women have started by not shaving their armpit hair and some women were even dying their armpit hair different colors. My response to this article was “lol ew, not judging anyone who does this but I think it’s kinda weird” after I posted this my caption was followed with other comments made by women about how disgusting women were for doing this and how it was just another way to try and “disintegrate the beauty of women”. OMG!!! I cannot believe I ever said that, let alone believed those words. I don’t even shave my damn armpits anymore, or my legs, my lip or down there!!! Like I previously mentioned I did not even notice that my opinion on these things have changed. It’s like over the past three years my opinions have evolved and I did not even notice they did. The bottom line is I think women should do whatever they want to and with their bodies. Our bodies are our homes and, our temples and if a woman wants to shave it, tattoo it, pierce it or anything else for that matter, those decisions are solely up to her!! I believe there is a lot of pressure put on what beauty is and should be and I think a lot of that comes from society, some of it comes from culture and it can also come from the pressure of our families or friends but as women I think we should all realize that we are all beautiful. Most importantly I think we are all special and intelligent, innovative and, strong and we should focus on those characteristics more. 

I am so glad that facebook has reminded my that I have grown, will continue to grow and that even though I feel a certain way now there’s a possibility I will not feel that way a couple years from now.

 Lately, a lot of people have been telling me that my opinions and beliefs will change and that I won’t ” be this way” forever. Although I have just explained that I know they will change.  I would like to add that even though I know my opinions will change id like for them to change on their own and at my own pace. I think often times a lot of people discredit teenagers of their opinions and political standpoints because of our age and I’d just like to say that isn’t fair nor does it even make sense. I may not have as many experiences as someone older than me, I may not have been through as much as someone who is older then me but that does not and will not make my opinions invalid and should not take value away from my ideas or thoughts. 
If you are young and you are passionate about something and you have a lot to say, say it. Don’t be afraid that you’re too young, do not be afraid that you’re not “experienced” enough. Do it, because “experience” is birthed by taking risks and making decisions. You can always come back a year from now and acknowledge that you have changed and take it as a stepping stone towards growth. Do not allow people to tell you what you are and what you are not. For now, be young, passionate, driven, loud and, crazy about what you believe in!! 

Love, J 

Let Amber & her vulva live !! 

Let’s talk about this: If you know me you know how much I LOVE Amber Rose and everything she stands for so when she posted the picture below In support & celebration of her 3rd annual slut walk I was ecstatic. With things like this I know there are always mixed emotions as well as opinions. 

One thing I have noticed is how many men have called her a whore, slut, thot and hoe since she has posted this photo. I think it’s super interesting that the same men who sexualize EVERYTHING women do have a problem with this. You beg to see a naked body and when you do suddenly it’s a problem when a women decides to display her body in a way that SHE FINDS liberating. Are we only allowed to celebrate our bodies when they’re sexy to men or when they make men feel good? Can we not celebrate our bodies by ourselves ? A lesson we should all learn about our bodies is this; our bodies are our home. We will live in this body until we are long gone. Celebrate your body, nurture it, fill it with good things, decorate it and love it. Different things liberate different women and it is not anyone’s place to decide what that is. I think it is important that we clarify and understand a few things. 

1. The amount of clothes a woman is or isn’t wearing does not determine the amount of respect she has for herself. 

2. Self respect has nothing to do with anyone other than YOURSELF. 

3. How much sex a woman is having is none of your got damn business and also does not determine the amount of respect she has for herself. 

Also, we all came from vaginas. Why not celebrate them instead of acting like they’re foreign objects when we see them on social media/ tv, etc. Grow tf up. 

#AmberRoseSlutWalk #PussyPower #BlkGrlsBlogToo  

Go kick some ass today! 

“Currently women represent 51% of the population, 57% of college graduates, half the work place, and 54 percent of voters but only hold 18 percent of the top leadership positions across all sectors.”

– Nancy D. O’reily, PSYD: Leading women 

Although women are holding high numbers in population, education, graduates, voting and in work places, many women are not applying for leadership positions. I think some women feel that when they take a role in leadership or become a boss many people do not take them seriously because they are a woman. In the book that I am currently reading Leading Women many of these women that share their stories say that have not taken positions in leadership because leadership comes with power and tha word power can be threatening and offensive to others. Another woman also shared that the word power speaks to dominance and she did not want to be affiliated with that. My message to you any woman or girl who feels like they can’t be a leader because they don’t want to sound or look “bossy” is … take that role, apply for that job, speak up when you know shit is fucked up ! Do not allow others to project their fears and their beliefs onto you especially when it comes to your dreams. We as women are so powerful and can make such an impact if we start negating the preconceived ideas of how woman are “supposed to be”.  

Senior Prom ✨

Last Friday was a bittersweet moment for me as I attended my last school event- ever. With only 17 days left of highschool I am realizing that highschool has been fun and has also been a whirlwind of emotions for me. Prom was fun and I enjoyed myself while talking, eating and dancing. These kind of events always make me feel good about my school and about myself ! 

I got my dress from renaissance bridal in York and when I was picking dresses out this dress was not one that I had picked out. It was barely holding onto a hanger next to my dressing room when my mom suggested that I try it on. When she suggested me to try it on I called her crazy. Anyone who knows me knows I enjoy wearing mainly dark colors, like grey or black so when she suggested green I was scared. I tried the dress on and instantly fell inlove but just to make sure I really loved it I tried on about 20 other dresses after that only to realize that the green dress was the one for me. 

Below are pictures from my prom day! 

Dress: renaissance bridal

Makeup/Hair: Tiffani Rose Cooley 

 facebook @ MarkedByTiffaniRose 

I hope that people become so inlove & comfortable with themselves that the only thing they are able to project onto anyone else is love itself.

Useful ways to practice self care/love 

1. Read a self help book

2. Take some selfies 

3. Nap

4. Buy some flowers or something you’ve really been wanting. 

5. Rearrange your room 

6. Take a bath, use some bath bombs and just sit & soak for a while. 

7. Create a “To-Do list” 

8. Make an inspo board 

9. Journal 

10. Google uplifting quotes, motivational phone backgrounds. 

11. Declutter your room/house

12. Create a positive affirmation for yourself. 

13. Watch a TED talk. 

14. Play outside 

15. Say No to one thing every day. 

16. When you have a thought… write it down. 

17. Apologize when you ARE wrong. 

18. Use a planner. Decorate it, make it fun to use and look at. Use it more than your phone 

19. Record what you are thankful for everyday. 

20. Put your phone on the charger in another room when you go to bed. ( This one is HARD for me) 

Journal Topic: What is something that someone has told you that you believed to be true? What is your truth?

Growing up I was that one kid who was always in grown folks business, and I always acted older than I was. I used to enjoy hanging out with people three times my age better than hanging out with my peers because they never really interested me enough. As I began to get older I noticed that my maturity level was not the same as my peers. I was ahead of them in a lot of ways and I had a​ different type of personality that in my opinion, turned people off. I was blunt, always spoke my mind, talked even when I was not asked to and always felt like I needed to chime in on things. This type of personality began to translate to others as me being mean, aggressive and, angry. Although there were some situations that I let my emotions get the best of me, I do not believe that I am all of these things. Now that I am a lot older and have been through certain situations I have learned that certain shit doesn’t need a reaction and I do not need to speak on things all of the time. Now, ironically even with me taking a step back and humbling myself many people, especially my peers still continue to call me angry. In school, I do not have many friends and it is because as I mentioned before, my maturity level has always been higher than those around me. One of my peers made a comment to me the other day suggesting that my life is “so mediocre” I purposely act a certain way to make others feel bad or to “ruin” other people’s lives. She also suggested that since I have decided to separate myself from people that I am a troublemaker and I don’t know how to keep friends. These types of comments surely do not make me feel bad about myself because I know who I am but they do make me think. Comparing my current self to who I used to be is a battle for me because it seems as though regardless of how I act or what I say and do people will continue to hold onto the preconceived impressions that they have always had of me. I have not and will not choose to believe that I am angry, miserable, mediocre and, mean. My truth is that I am so passionate and driven by so many things my mind is constantly spinning. My heart is constantly racing and touched by things that affect me. My mom always tells me “you attract more bees with honey than you do with water” and when she said that to me the first time I was like “Okay mom what the hell are you talking about” but now being told that I am miserable or mean and nasty I have realized, I will attract more bees with my honey than I will with pouring water on them. These types of comments do not need a reaction from me. Instead, I want the people who have been making this kind of comments to watch me work and live in my truth and I want my life to be an example to them of how someone can be passionate, driven and positive but still not take anyone’s bullshit. I think that is the reason why a lot of people have this kind of perception of me. I am not a fan of fake shit. I hate small talk, if I do not like you I will respect you but the fake “lovey dovey” ​shit isn’t going to happen with me. I call people out when they are wrong and I don’t take anyone’s crap and I believe that reason is why I am all of these things to people. In society nowadays people want to be able to talk out of their asses without any backlash or repercussions and that’s not okay with me.
I go to a predominately white school that really prides itself on “diversity” ( Ironic isn’t it?). Our school is terrible when it comes to creating conversations and spaces to talk about discrimination and race, etc. A lot of the time we have these talks I am hesitant to speak up because of these preconceived ideas my peers have of me. I do not want to be that “angry black girl” but to be honest I am fucking tired of not being able to be angry, black and, a woman at the same time. Being a woman is hard, but being a black woman is extremely harder. It does not matter how much pain we are feeling or what we are going through because our expression is always translated as being angry, bitter or aggressive. I feel like most times people want me to minimize myself or omit pieces of myself to satisfy their comfort but I am done doing that. It is not my job nor responsibility to carry the burdens of others on my back. I will continue to live by my mother’s motto “ You attract more bees with honey than you do with water” but I will make sure that as I am attracting bees I am attracting goods ones and ones that support and understand me. Although I stated that these negative comments made to me do not need a reaction I think I have to work on teaching myself when to pick and choose which ones to react to. I think it is important to invest my reactions into situations that will have a positive outcome. If I have to be the angry aggressive black girl to make a point and to educate someone then, by all means, I will be her.

Hades & Hera 🐶 

We got puppies!! 

I feel like I should have posted this so long ago because our puppies are 3 months old now but better late than never. 

I posted about our Dog Bella who we had to put down due to health issues. After Bella’s death my family swore up and down that we wouldn’t get any more dogs and that we would never be able to love another dog again…. well we lied. Months after putting Bella down a friend of my dads was selling puppies and my dad contemplated the idea for a while. After some thought he decided we were going to get another puppy. We got Hades and just a few days after we got Hera. NEVER in a million years did we ever think we would have two crazy puppies running around especially two Rottweiler puppies! We got the name Hades from the Greek God Hades who is the God of the underworld and we got the name Hera from Hade’s sister who is the Greek goddess of women and marriage. The names worked out perfectly and we are all so absolutely in love with our puppies. Although Hera is the small one out of the two she is vicious! She is so smart, so quick and always alert. She’s only three months and she can get up and down the steps on her own. Hades on the other hand is my big baby. Hades is smart but he isn’t as quick or alert as Hera. Me and my family joke that he’s the goofball because he’s HUGE and he’s clumsy. 

After we put Bella down I really never thought we would ever get another dog again. Im so glad we decided to get Hades & Hera because they helped to bring life and excitement back into our home and it’s so exciting to watch them grow. 

Hera’s full name is Hera Bella McNeil in honor of Bella and Hades full name is Hades Cyrus McNeil in honor of another Rottweiler we had while I was growing up. 

Above is Hera and below is Hades 
Follow their Instagram @Hades_and_hera 

Also, follow my sisters page @organicpawstries where she posts about all of the organic and grain free dog treats she makes. Our puppies love them! 

*P.s, all  photos pictured above were taken with IPhone 7+ camera.