Release your inhibitions

In today’s society of social media, selfies, big butts, and Brazilian bundles… chances are scrutiny is everywhere: at home, in the workplace, in clubs and organizations, and even when we’re just out and about. From our hairstyle of choice, to our selection of clothes, down to the God-given quality of our skin, we’re constantly under a magnifying glass by people we don’t even know.

We’re judged on how we talk, how we walk, our demeanor, our orientation, the length of our hair, the tone of our skin, the fullness of our lips, the bone in our hips, and even the ridges in our teeth.

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Because of these close examinations, it’s no wonder we take special care to make sure our hair is neat and tidy, our clothes match and have decent quality, and that we speak with articulation, but at some point we have to realize that enough is enough. Our life is our own and no one should be able to dictate how we should be our own person. From social media to that nosy co-worker to that hating  “friend”there’s always someone trying to dim our light, trying to downplay our highs and broadcast our lows. A promotion, big purchase, new car, closing on a house, acceptance letter, even a new hair color…those people will come around trying to tell you what you “shoulda, coulda, woulda” did and why you made the wrong choice and that they probably could’ve done it too. For some reason people will try to find a way to rain on your parade but it’s you, yourself, and I marching through this thing called life.

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This past Sunday’s church service delivered a great message- “Don’t allow others to trick you out of your blessings”. In short, if you like something, if you want something, if you have your heart set on something and you’re in route to get it…don’t allow someone to talk you out of it. Many will try to tell you what they would do if they were you but the simple, yet humorous fact is… they’re not you.

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If you want to rock a blue afro then shave it off the next week, do it. Do it because that’s what you want to do. WorldStarHipHop, TheShadeRoom, BallerAlert, MediaTakeOut, Tumblr, and many more have been the home for “embarrassing” memes of people getting called out. Whether it was a video that went viral for an obese woman wearing too small clothing, a man receiving a lace front, or someone inside of McDonalds cursing the cashier…sure it’s funny but why do we care? What does it matter that a man wants to feel confident and extend his locks. Who are we to judge a woman who may not be able to purchase a new wardrobe. It may be funny to watch and listen to but, who knows if the man had to really find the money to buy a meal and why shouldn’t he deserve to have it prepared in the way he desired. This viewpoint may be playing the devils advocate, but moral of the story, we’re all living our own life the way we know how, who knows what the other deals with on a daily basis while we pass such harsh judgement.

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If you’ve heard the catchy YouTube hit “She Ratchet”… then you’d recognize the meme included above, and for others…this just may be your mantra…constantly judging people while you’re not such hot stuff yourself. By all means if you want to come outside wearing red weave, green nails, and yellow teeth…go ahead; theoretically speaking (haha!) On the other hand why do we act and live life through others eyes. We might not buy a shirt that we like because someone we know has it or we might not go to the party on Saturday because the outfit we want to wear isn’t “good enough”. If we made decisions based on others opinions throughout life, we’d never find happiness. So many people have harshly judged men in the African American community for pressing or perming their hair. Sure, for some it may seem odd for a man to adjust his natural hair as it’s more accustomed to by women but, if a man chooses to jazz himself up, who is he hurting?

It all starts as fun and games-the teasing and poking fun at the “odd” ones, but what about those that feel conscious about some decisions for fear of what society may say. To some extent we’ve all done it. That second guessing yourself when it comes to a second helping of food, the decision to make a new purchase, or even to wear a bikini.

Who cares about him, her, he she, them, they…

do YOU!

“They don’t want us to eat…”

“They don’t want us to live…”

“They don’t want us to succeed…”

“They don’t want us to win! So, We’re going to win more!”

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The keys to vacation

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya… Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama… Key Largo, Montego baby why don’t we go, Jamaica…

“Oooh the places you’ll go” …or at least dream of, but why does it have to be just a thought? Sadly, many people have never left their hometown or even state to travel due to monetary reasons, busy schedules, or simply just unaware of their options. When we think of vacation, we tend to think of a meteor hitting our bank accounts, but “vacaying” doesn’t have to be expensive at all! Sure we all want the luxurious Rolls Royce rental, the Ritz Carlton stay, the Nobu food…but let’s be realistic.

We’re young, we’re free, we’ve got a decent job, and we have nothing but time…what better to do than to travel and see the world? Whether it’s a girl’s trip to Miami, guys being guys in Vegas, or even a baecation to Jamaica… thanks to technology you can predict the costs, book, and plan your trip through a few apps.

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Hopper is a flight prediction app. This app allows users to insert their travel to and from destinations as well as the desired dates and it instantly pops up with a list of flights, beginning with the cheapest. It even shows a color-coded calendar showing when and just how expensive trips will be throughout the months. I recently found a flight for 4 days for just $82…ROUND TRIP. My friends have also been utilizing the app to its full advantage. One of my friends has gone on a trip each weekend last month thanks to hopper. From D.C. to Houston, to New York the flights have been afforded by just a couple weeks of saving.

Flipkey and Airbnb are just a couple of the most popular service apps out there right now. People rent out their homes, condos, apartments, beach houses, lofts…you name it, all for affordable prices. Of course with many other factors involved like your taste, city and area, and amenities prices fluctuate. We all want to be comfortable, especially when onvacation, but who needs a plush boudoir with champagne waiting in the den, when you’re supposed to be out on the town sightseeing and living it up? These apps allow people from all walks of life no matter their circumstance to travel and experience new things. Whether it be for an entire week’s stay or a place to crash for the night until you reach the next city, it’s a great, affordable innovation.

Uber everywhere. Skrr skrr! …and Lyft
You most likely won’t need to rent a car wherever you do vacation to. Sure it’s luxurious, convenient, and something you may be used to, but there are often overnight parking fees, tolls, possibilities of incidents occurring, additional charges from the rental company, gas… by the time you rack up the total, it may have very well surpassed that of the Ubers or Lyfts you could’ve gotten. The Uber and Lyft services also allow you to split the fare with friends while also offering discounts and promotions to users.

These are just a few of my travel faves that can save everyone time and money…

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#MajorKey to Relationships

In the hype of the new Dj Khaled album #MajorKey, and this random #NationalGirlfriendday holiday. I figured I share a few major keys to help in a relationship. 

First, let me say, I applaud love, especially black love. It’s so beautiful to see, two people love a person so much that flaws are forgiven and the beauty of ones soul is seen and accepted. At least that’s what I think love is like. 

But about those major keys. I’ve noticed being in a relationship requires patience. You have to be patient with one another for the fact that you both are constantly learning each other and growing together. I’ve learned that relationships are difficult when you aren’t patient with each other. You have to consider how they think before you assume anything. With being patient, you have to communicate. 

Oh I’m sure these sound like a no brainer, but people aren’t really implementing them in their relationships. Some people are really half doing their relationships. 

Communicating is THE major key. You want to communicate to understand not to just respond. This is why small argument boil over into fights over petty topics. If you aren’t having a good day, let it be know verbally. No one should have to distinctly read your body language, to see that it’s something wrong. 

The next key is empowering one another. Supporting “bae” is the best thing you can do for each other. Being each others biggest fan, showing love through the good and bad times. It’s guaranteed to strengthen your relationship. So ladies, if he wants to be a rapper, support him–listen to his mixtapes. Your opinion is the one he’ll consider. If his friends say he need a little work, he might think they hating. But hearing it from you, can only be truth. Fellas, if this is you I’m describing, listen to your girl don’t let your ego be the reason you don’t make it. 


So we have three keys so far. Being patient, communicating to understand, empowering each other and lastly, but most importantly–set time for each other. Pick a day during the week for about 5 hours and enjoy each other’s company. Don’t go to the movies are out to eat. Going to Applebee’s is not it, go for a walk, to the beach. Have a picnic or just say in. During this time talk to each other, catch up. Life keep us busy, if you have somebody don’t just spend your time with each other at night, when it’s time to sleep. Meet up for lunch in the park and TALK. 

Everyone is lucky to have some to cuddle with at night. Don’t take who you have forgranted. 

That’s #MajorKey

by: Jillynn Reese