Friday, November 16, 2018

Packing for New York

I'm off to New York next week (!!!!) and I'm psyching myself up for the trip by packing everything I own to wear within four days! I was initially going to bring a small carry on suitcase as my sole carry on, but then I realized there's no way in hell I could fit all of my clothes inside, so I'll take my large luggage instead. New York saw heavy snow yesterday and while the forecast doesn't show the same weather while I'll be there, it will still be extremely cold (just like Waco's crazy ass freezing temperatures! Like damn, get yourself together so I don't have to dress for both 70 and 30 degrees in one day!), so heavy coats and denim are essential. I am a partial fashion blogger obviously, so I'm taking four of my favorite jackets (for blog posts and Instagram...I know I hate me too), four pairs of jeans/one pair of black pants, five sweaters, two scarves, four shoes, gloves, a beret, and one dress for going out of course. I can't wait for icy temperatures, Christmas shopping, ice skating at Bryant Park, and eating at every restaurant on our (our being me, Brandon, and Parker) to-do lists. Three more days and I'm back in the city where I belong!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Working on My Fitness

I'm clearly not Fergie (RIP emotionally after that national anthem debacle), but I have been spending more time in the gym lately as I set a weight loss goal I must meet before graduation. I truly despise gym settings because, even though they're not, I always feel like people are judging or staring at me while I struggle through my lack of fitness. However, I decided to push through the awkward and buy a Planet Fitness membership with my friend Rachel. The best part of joining a gym with a friend is keeping each other accountable to meet up and actually work out. When I would rather sleep all day (and believe me, I have!!) or eat my way through another season of Insecure, I spend an hour lifting weights and doing cardio with Rachel. Okay, so some days we do miss our workouts due to insane loads of homework or pure exhaustion, but we've been going around three times per week together and it's been a lot of fun! Aka we hate every part until we're finished. While my goal is ultimately to lose some of the weight I gained from too much chick-fil-a, not enough sleep, and bouts of anxiety and depression (but no excuses here), I want to build muscle and get rid of as much flabby bits as possible. I would rather not accidentally take flight every time I wave at someone or feel the cookie pouch that used to be my waist flop over my jeans. I'm sure you all appreciate those images. I mainly just want to feel better about myself before I become a full ass adult. Rachel and I have been completing a few simple weight routines every week, but I'm looking for more suggestions of how we can mix up our work outs and not plateau. If anyone has any tips for weight training and how to avoid weird men trying to "fix" our techniques, please let me know!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A DIY Pedicure

I had to step away from the nail salon for a while after I decided that spending money on professional nails was too expensive. I love the process of soaking, shaping, and painting my fingers and toes, so I recently bought a few products to have a mini experience at home! I didn't paint my fingernail because I'm still letting them breathe and grow out from the last dip session I had, so I opted instead for a DIY pedicure. I soaked my feet in the bathtub for around five minutes before I buffed the dry skin areas with the Flowery Crystal Foot File, which features one coarse side for intense removal and a fine grain for smoothing. The file is incredibly affordable at only $6 and gets the job done easily without irritating my feet! I applied a layer of the Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat before going in with two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Mauve It- a peachy pink shade that matches every piece in my closet. After coating the color with Double Duty, I added a thick layer of moisturizer and put socks on to keep my soles and toes soft and smooth! Who needs a $30 pedicure now?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

For Jemel Roberson

There have been 307 mass shootings over the past 311 days in America. In those cases, 328 people died and 1,251 were injured. The past three weeks saw two mass shootings, one race-based random killing, and a series of pipe bombs mailed to prominent Democratic leaders. On Sunday, 26-year-old Jemel Roberson, a security guard at a bar in Chicago, heroically stopped a group of drunken men from murdering even more people following the attack in Thousand Oaks. When the men opened fire on the people in the bar, Jemel, using the gun he was licensed to carry, returned fire and apprehended one of the shooters. Jemel had his leg in the man's back when the Midlothian police arrived and immediately shot him. At the time, Jemel was wearing his security uniform on which the title was emblazoned. Multiple bar patrons saw the cops approaching and they repeatedly screamed "Security!" announcing Jemel's position as the savior, not the suspect. It didn't matter though, as the cops only saw a Black man with a gun and instantly fired bullets into his body. The bar shooter lived.

Jemel was a musician who loved playing keyboard at the churches in his community area. He played basketball at Lane Tech College Prep High School from which he graduated in 2010. He recently became a father to a 9-month-old baby boy whom he loved. Rev. Marvin Hunter, great-uncle of Laquan McDonald, who was also fatally shot by CPD in 2014 (blog post written here), said Jemel was "an upstanding young man," who was working to "get enough money together for a deposit on a new apartment." Jemel's son's mother Avontea Boose said that he dreamed of becoming a police officer one day.

Jemel will never become a police officer. He'll never watch his baby grow up or play the keyboard or participate in any church activities. The Midlothian police officer took his future away from him. Police officers have killed 852 people in 2018. In 2017, they killed 1,147 people, 25% of whom were Black despite only making up 13% of the population. No matter who they are, what they're doing or where they are, Black people are consistently at an astronomical risk of being murdered by police. Jemel Roberson was a hero who risked his own life to save other people from being shot. He should have been praised for his quick action and selflessness but instead, he was killed for the color of his skin. I'm tired of writing these posts about innocent Black people being murdered by police. I'm tired of seeing a new hashtag or report of a nonthreatening or unarmed person of color who was killed by the people who are supposed to protect us all. Jemel's life mattered. I just thought you all should know.
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