Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Sneaky Way I Manage/Grow My Social Media Audiences

It's no lie that I love social media.

I have accounts on Facebook ( for my for real life friends and family), Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest as well as a few other accounts on lesser known platforms. I love the ability to connect, to share content, and share it in a fun way quickly.

But I can admit that managing these accounts can be tedious. Growing a quality community of followers takes time and effort. You have to think of your why? Why do you want these people taking time out of their busy days to listen to you, read your stuff, like or share your posts? After all, I always say that there is no point in having followers if you aren't willing to take them anywhere.

While growing a following does take time, especially when you enjoy as many platforms as I do, there are wonderful apps that can help you do it without driving yourself crazy. Enter CrowdFire, my little secret/not so secret method to sharing great content across my socials.

CrowdFire works by taking all of your socials and interests and combining them to streamline content you want to share. So I head to CrowdFire, plug in all of my accounts and passwords as well as my own blog's info. Next, I let CrowdFire know my interests. Then, CrowdFire finds things I am interested information me to share across my platforms. I schedule to posts I want for the platforms I want and I move on with life. In most cases, CrowdFire does the posting for me. (Instagram is still iffy about 3rd party posting, but what CrowdFire does is it alerts me when the ideal time to post on Instagram arrives and I head to Instagram and post myself.) I schedule links to my blog posts, the latest in fashion and beauty tips, and anything else that interests me.

Not only that, but the content you share on CrowdFire can be shared with other CrowdFire creatives. I have had my own work shared by other users and have grown the following on a few of my platforms by using it.

Super easy and literally saves me the hassle of formatting each post for each platform. I sit for maybe 10 minutes, schedule it al out, and move along with my day. It's a done deal. So head to CrowdFire and get signed up. Even if you don't manage as many platforms as a social media crazed person like me, who couldn't use something that streamlines your socials?

Have you tried CrowdFire? What do you think? Drop a comment below!

Reclaimed Readables #WomenCrushWednesday

This week's #WomanCrushWednesday features Eva Chen drops the gems on growing your Instagram following, one woman on finding Black Female friendship, 19 beautiful natural hair moments from Fashion Month February, the other Black Superhero currently making history, this Vogue cover celebrates Black and Brown beauty, and why one Black Woman refuses to continue to prove her womanhood.

WhoWhatWear: Eva Chen drops the gems on growing your Instagram following
Hello Giggles: One woman on finding Black Female friendship
Fashionista: 19 beautiful natural hair moments from Fashion Month February
Coveteur: The other Black Superhero currently making history
Refinery29: This Vogue cover celebrates Black and Brown beauty
BuzzFeed: Why one Black Woman refuses to continue to prove her womanhood

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Reclaimed Readables #TuesdayShoesDay

This week's #TuesdayShoesDay features the coolest velvet pumps for Spring, the black ankle boots you will want to wear on repeat, the shoe of the season you can cop at Gap, the shoe style you can wear everyday, over 20 comfortable mules for women with wide feet, and 9 slippers you can get away with wearing to work.

Coolest velvet pumps for Spring
9 slippers you can get away with wearing to work
The black ankle boots you will want to wear on repeat
The must own shoe for Spring is under $80
Over 20 comfortable mules for women with wide feet
The shoe style you can wear everyday

Monday, February 26, 2018

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a nasty little bug that buries itself into he hearts of those who it infects, making them unable to internalize their own achievements and making them feel like a fraud.

I should know. It's been a reality of mine for too long. I would be sitting in fashion shows and events, getting interviews, and the like, and still feel like I was just lying to everyone around me, and lying to myself.

This year, I resolved to free myself from imposter's syndrome by  directly challenging it when it arose.

It didn't take long.

This past Saturday, I posted the following:
"Hi. My name is Whitney. I have been writing professionally and blogging for almost 5 years.

I wrote a short love story in high school that got me a full ride to University.

I have had work published and I am currently working on a few projects...

and I still suffer with imposter syndrome.

I don’t feel like I belong sometimes. I don’t feel like I fit in. I don’t always feel as glamorous as people think the blogging life is.

But I have to remind myself that on the days that I feel like an imposter, that I work hard. I learn all that I can. I hone my crafts and I listen to constructive criticism.

My life isn’t all pretty pictures, somethings are downright mundane. But I don’t think you follow me because of perfect staging, perfect selfies, perfect poses, perfection in general. I think you are here because you want to connect, you crave authenticity, you want to laugh and you want to think and you see opportunities for all of that in me.

Thanks for following me. Hopefully, you continue to enjoy this journey."

Following that post, my comments were flooded, not only with encouragement, but also confessions that others were dealing with this little bug as well. That gave me courage, not only to face the imposter's syndrome all the more but to share how I will be overcoming it with you.

Here are 4 ways to challenge imposter's syndrome once it arises:

Remember you're not the only one who feels like this.
Imposter syndrome is very popular. You might be surprised to know that Maya Angelou, Sonia Sotomayor, and many other well known people have experienced times of feeling like an imposter in their own crafts. In fact, it is reported that 70% of people will experience imposter syndrome in their lives.

Knowing that so many people struggle against imposter syndrome is an instant comfort. But it's also distressing that we live in a society where so many people walk around feeling like frauds. We must remember that we are all unique individuals and we all bring something different to each and any position we occupy.

Remember you aren't perfect, and aren't supposed to be.
One symptom of imposter's syndrome is perfectionism. And when we mess up (because we are humans) we are suddenly thrown into either a spiral of overworking to prove that we deserve to be in the position we are in or fall into a spiral of depression and self undermining.

Neither of these are healthy. Overworking just to prove you belong will eventually fail you. And undermining yourself breads insecurity that will spinout not all areas of life if unchecked and is unhealthy for your mental wellbeing.

Embrace the fact that you are not perfect. Aim for your best, not for perfection, and at the end of the day, you will find yourself proud of what you've done and what you've accomplished.

Remember real life isn't a social media feed.
Social media will make you think that you are the only one with struggles. Most people only share their most Pinterest perfect or Instagram worthy moments on like, and a few scrolls might have you feeling like you're the anomaly.

But remember this: not everyone is who they post to be! People aim to post pretty feeds, which is fine, but a lot of what you are seeing is smoke and mirrors, good lighting, staging, and the like. Don't compare your authentic, imperfect, but beautiful life to a pristine social page. 

Remember what you accomplished.
One of the major things those with imposter's syndrome suffer is the inability to recount their own achievements. We have instant amnesia about what we have learned, overcome, achieved that qualifies us to be in the positions we are in.

Forcing yourself to remember all that you have done and won is like adding instant steel to your spine. You become encouraged by your own story, by what God has brought you through, what you have endured, and the fruits of that, and you remember that, if anyone deserves to be where you are, it is you.

Do you battle imposter's syndrome? Let's talk! How are you coping with imposter's syndrome? How are you overcoming imposter's syndrome? Drop a comment below!

Reclaimed Readables #MindfulMonday

Happy Monday loves!

This week's #MindfulMonday features how to make your own rose water, how to stop negative self talk, easy DIY detox baths with everyday household goods, 19 healthy dinners under $10, and 8 natural ways to toughen up your immune system.

21Ninety: Make your own rose water
Style Girlfriend: Stopping negative self talk
Coveteur: Simple DIY detox baths
BuzzFeed: 19 healthy dinners under $10
Career Girl Daily: 8 natural ways to toughen up your immune system

Friday, February 23, 2018

Maybe it is time for Black Men to Believe Black Women

Last week, I shared a post about what happened to me while waiting for a bus in Center City Philadelphia. I have had some time to process all of the emotions this moment conjured up.

My circle of Facebook acquaintances really rallied behind me. I felt love and support, particularly from the men who avidly said that what happened to me was unacceptable, and for that I am grateful.

Here is the original post from Facebook:

However, a dear childhood friend shared my Facebook post (without disclosing my identity), as a warning to other women. The responses were very different. I thought about just taking direct quotes from the comments on the post, but I am a believer in receipts, and so here are the screenshots.

At this point, I had to step in and say something:

The conversation continued until the guy who continued to debate me made some ridiculous statement in which I pulled the Viola Davis purse grab and exited the conversation.


First and foremost, I never equated what I went through as a sexual assault. I clearly know and understand the difference between someone grabbing by hand and someone groping me. Quality reading of my original post would show the only thing sexual about the encounter were the crass comments following it. So it was foolish and quite ignorant of the facts stated for the guys to joke around with #MeToo and my situation.

Reading is fundamental.

Next, I am infuriated at the responses of these guys: first discounting the experience, then saying it was satire, then belittling me for even sharing the experience, and then accusing me of wanting to do harm to "the brothers" for daring to speak out against their actions. Normalizing it doesn't make it normal. Belittling it doesn't make it a joke. Debating it doesn't make it ok.

Read a little deeper into the conversation and you will easily see that these men were more concerned about protecting men who overstep their boundaries rather than protecting the women who are victims of it.

And that is utter bullshit.

Assault is assault. No man is entitled to touch a woman, period. Definitely not with some oil or solution or anything that she could have been allergic to or could have done her harm. Trying to piece and parse what assault is when the definition about is very clear, just so I can protect males who will likely try this crap again is not whats going to happen.

11th Principle
The thing that enrages me about the situation is that this is the same rhetoric that informs rape culture.  Here is a diagram of what Rape Culture really entails.

There is an entitlement where men, unfortunately in my experience mostly Black Men, feel entitled to say whatever and do whatever they choose.

I have had my arm gripped up in a party because some guy wanted to talk to me. Daily, I deal with creeps who say wild crap from cars and on the street and even when I was nannying children, just because they think they can. I have been followed for blocks. And I have dealt with it since I was 10. YEARS. OLD.

Enough is enough. Brothas in particular, so many of us Black Women are tired of your bullshit. And we aren't going to protect you or stay silent anymore. Get right and do right or it won't be alright.


Reclaimed Readables

Happy Friday loves!

Today's Readables feature why Black History Month is a lifestyle, beauty brands that actually do get women of color, 5 women on why they stopped "taming" their hair, 21 modern poems perfect for Black History Month, and Black Panther is a love letter to natural hair.

Coveteur: Why Black History Month is a lifestyle
Girlboss: Beauty brands that actually do get women of color
Man Repeller: 5 women on why they stopped "taming" their hair
My Domaine: 21 modern poems perfect for Black History Month
Hello Giggles: Black Panther is a love letter to natural hair

Thursday, February 22, 2018

It's time to stop co-opting Black Culture

We have talked about appropriation here probably ad nauseam. And trust me, it makes me nauseous by the sheer overwhelming amount popular culture literally steals from Black Culture..

For one, the example of these two magazines.
One is the digital cover of Nylon Magazine, a magazine that talks music, beauty, and other elements of popular culture.

The other is the cover of Crwn Magazine, a quarterly magazine that discusses Black culture, beauty, living, and, of course, hair.

The similarities are close. Uncomfortably  In fact, if the titles were missing, you might think this was the same magazine in different months.

The difference is this has been Crwn's aesthetic from the jump whereas Nylon, of which I had been an avid reader in the past and fell in love with for its DIY, cool, hip, and even grungy covers and articles, this is definitely a new look.

I call theft. As did Crwn Mag.

The Crwn Team immediately responded to the similarities, appropriately called out the glaring similarities. In their recent blog on the matter, they say:
"No, this is about the sneaky, insidious little ways that mainstream media consistently takes shortcuts to capture the dollars and influence of the incredibly powerful Black consumer...while paying us the least. It’s about appropriation masked as representation. It’s about the brand of “empowerment” that allows people to march with us in the streets and get all revolutionary one day (but only when it’s not that heavy police brutality stuff), and deny us access and resources and fair compensation the very next."

The co-opting of Blackness culture and movements isn’t new. But stealing a whole aesthetic, wow, that’s a bold move, Nylon. *Throws old copies straight into the trash.* The nerve to take an entire look and feel of a completely different magazine to attempt to look “down”, and on Black History Month, of all months.

A vital question needs to be asked; if Nylon was so down with Black History and Black People, why is this the first time we are seeing it? CRWN asked this as well:
But my question is this: where were Nylon’s Black History Month covers the last 18 years when they were still a print magazine? February 2017’s (print) issue was covered by Lena Dunham. February 2016: Michelle Phan. February 2015: Anna Kendrick. 2014: Vanessa Hudgens... Is it a coincidence that they chose to “celebrate five amazing [Black] models killing the game” during the first February after discontinuing their print offering? Or is this an attempt to grab a piece of the Black Girl Magic for the low? ”

As Drake prophetically uttered: “I got fake people showing fake love to me. Straight up to my face...”

But Crwn is not the first and unfortunately won't be the last to experience this covert culture theft and appropriation. It may seem small, in light of more prominent culture culturing. But I say we must call out each and every offense. If they are going to steal, we are going to let the world know about it. We need to, we must.

This happens too often to creative Black people who create something, whether it is a new word (shout out to the young Black girl who created the phrase “on fleek” that white mainstream was quick to steal but slow to acknowledge at all) to ancient hairstyle (Fulani braids, Kim, not Bo Derek braids), to trying to make the Dashiki the “next kaftan” (here’s looking at you Elle Canada) to now straight jacking a whole aesthetic from a hair magazine. What about that Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner heavily hinting at a Black Lives Matter March and police standoff? What about when the same family dared to create shirts with their faces even near Tupac and Biggie? What about Marc Jacobs literally appropriating almost every damn season at NYFW? Loose Afros and ‘mini buns’ and Rachel Dolezal’s whole damn existence?

And that is only a few in the past 3 or 4 year’s.

To think of the hundreds of ways known (and the thousands of ways unknown) that popular culture jacks elements of Black Culture just to seem “cool” and thus bastardizes it, removes it from its birthplace and devoids it of all of its meaning until it is nothing but another trend, another hairstyle, another bit of slang.

In the words of M’baku on Black Panther, “We will not have it.” Because it is officially dragging season. And we of this generation are a lot more vocal (and have a whole lot less f*cks to give) and we will let the people know of the culture culturing and sheer lack of creativity for the co-opting of our curated colored cool in a heartbeat, flip our beads and drink our tea in the process.

This is certainly not a threat, it’s a fact. If you don’t want to be dragged, you need y’all to better.

Reclaimed Readables

Greetings and salutations loves!

Today's Readables feature the 8 top brands on resell sites, talk the spend gap vs the pay gap, why you ought to save for your wedding now, the amount of money that supposedly equates to happiness, and cheap thrills that make your home only look expensive.

My Domaine: The 8 top brands on resale sites, cheap thrills that make your home only look expensive
Career Girl Daily: Is the spend gap worse than the pay gap?
Hello Giggles: The average couple spent *THIS* much on their wedding
Well +Good: The amount of money that supposedly equates to happiness

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What the Women of Black Panther can teach us about Equality, Womanhood, and How Women Add to Society

WARNING: This post may be full of spoilers. You have been informed!

At this point, I have seen Black Panther twice, and it's only just past opening weekend. I am still unpacking so much of this film. It's so full of beauty and strength and compelling messages and stands as a powerful example of the power why Black People tell need to tell Black stories.

Yes, Black Panther the film was based on the comic series by Marvel. Yes, none of this is reality. Yes, it is all based upon fiction.

But even within the fiction of Black Panther, there are so many truth gems to garner. The film has become so much more than just a cool comic story. From discussing the colonization of Africa and enslavement of the diaspora to discussing the relationship (or lack thereof) between Africans and African Americans, there are so many incredible gems worthy of further examination.

One of the larger themes in Black Panther were the power and equality of women.


This movie is full of girl power. Women made this story so powerful.

Here you have King T'Challa surrounded by a, yes bevy of beautiful, but also powerful, commanding and brilliant women.


There is the Dora Milaje who are the personal guard to the Throne. There is a Female general. There is a powerful and wise queen. There is a carefree and brilliant princess. There is a stunning and brave warrior love interest. There are women fighting alongside there men. Let's just tap about the lead character. Each one was multifaceted, multidimensional, and forces to be reckoned with. There is not one female lead who is a surface, flat character. Four strong Black Women and none adhered to any stereotype typically given to Black Women characters. Each of these leads are interesting enough to have their own films, in my opinion.

There aren't any damsels to be rescued in this story, there are fellow warriors ready to defend what they love. And that is powerful.

But also, interestingly enough, women in the society of Wakanda are seen purely as equals. Typically, in action and superhero films in general, Women are to be rescued, eye goggled, and the like, but, barring a few examples, aren't to be taken too seriously.

But not so in this film. From epic battles to even hinting of past female Black Panthers of Wakanda to the Princess being the technological mind behind much of the nation's advancement, women in Wakanda are allowed, and I dare say expected to know their calling and contribute equally to society just as men are. From Princess Shuri reminding her brother T'Challa that "Just because something works doesn't mean it cannot be improved." as she takes one of his weapons to upgrade it to Nakia telling T'Challa that she cannot remain in the paradise of Wakanda with him when there was a whole world suffering, each woman knew her life call and pursued that unchallenged by the egos of their men, I would say, to the betterment of their society and their country.


Black Panther gives us a glimpse at the strength of a people who choose equality among the sexes, and that paints a very compelling picture of what our own society could be with true equality as well. Black Panther, in many ways, that if we choose each other in order to capture that strength, we really can be stronger together.

Wakanda Forever.


Reclaimed Readables #WomanCrushWednesday

Happy happy Wednesday!

This week's #WomanCrushWednesday features the woman at the front line for Black Women's rights, why Letitia Wright hopes her role in Black Panther will inspire Black Girls to enter STEM, why Black Panther is a place Black Women thrive, Black Harajuku girls, Yara Shahidi's message about Black Girl Magic, and how the Dora Milaje reflect real Black Women, except they are respected.

Man Repeller: Where Black Women thrive
Refinery29: The woman at the front line for Black Women's rights
Tokyo Fashion: Black Harajuku girls
Huff Post: Letitia Wright hopes her role in Black Panther will inspire Black Girls to enter STEM, Yara Shahidi's message about Black Girl Magic, how the Dora Milaje reflect real Black Women, except they are respected

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Reclaimed Readables #TuesdayShoesDay

Happy Tuesday loves!

This week's #TuesdayShoesDay features the $35 shoe that elongates your legs, spring shoes to fall for, the maximalist flat shoe that is tearing up runways this season, 30 shoes that literally go with everything, and what to wear with sock boots.

The $35 shoe that elongates your legs
30 shoes that literally go with everything
Spring shoes to fall for
The maximalist flat shoe that is tearing up runways this season
How to style sock boots

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Reclaimed Heart: Scars

I was journaling a few weeks ago and I was reflecting on how pain makes us stronger and better and, in some cases, more empathetic. Think about it; when someone tells you a story of an injury they sustained, if you have never felt that type of injury, you may feel bad, but you cannot truly relate. Now think about if the person tells you a story of an injury they sustained and you have had that type of injury, you can really empathize.

I was thinking about some of the scars I still have on my body, ones that have yet to fade away. I think of the stories attached to them; the pain suffered, the healing endured, the recovery, and even how we forget all about them.

Scars mark us as survivors. Scars brand us as overcomers. Scars tell stories of the battles we have fought and won and lost. Scars should be celebrated, not just for the injury, but for the powerful outcome of the injury, whether scars of the body or scars of the soul.

It is from that place that I wrote this poem. Enjoy.

Reclaimed Readables #MindfulMonday

Happy Monday beauts and beaus!

This week's #MindfulMonday features mental health maintenance in the age of the internet, a neuroscientist on how to boost happiness, 13 books that will improve all of your relationships, mitigating the pressure to be your ancestors' wildest dreams, 8 natural ways to toughen up your immune system.

Career Girl Daily: 8 natural ways to toughen up your immune system
Hello Giggle: Mental health maintenance in the age of the internet, mitigating the pressure to be your ancestors' wildest dreams
My Domaine: A neuroscientist on how to boost happiness, 13 books that will improve every relationship

Friday, February 16, 2018

Black Panther Outfits

This is it! Black Panther, the film the culture and the diaspora has been waiting on is being released THIS WEEKEND. Everybody and the mama done bought tickets and this weekend, henceforth known as Wakanda Weekend, is about to be so lit. And if you haven't yet made plans to go see this movie, you need to get your whole life before Monday (because we all know us Brown folk cannot withhold spoilers, sorry not sorry.)

So, what are we wearing? Of course, leave it to the fashion girl to ask the question most of us would be asking an hour before going to the theatre. But this is a momentous occasion. A bomb movie based on an incredible kingly Marvel character with an amazing cast is being released on our holy month, you better be showing up in the building with a look to make you and the ancestors proud!

Here are a few tips to help you craft your perfect look for Black Panther.

Garb It Up
This is the time to break out the seasonally appropriate garb you have. Make Wakanda and the diaspora proud in your  prints and patterns.
Give traditional prints a 2018 makeover with modern elements or contemporary pieces.
Wrap It Up
Head wraps are definitely welcome and encouraged. For a bolder statement, chose a wrap with an African inspired print. 
It's The Little Things
African influences, no matter how small, will definitely wake up any look.
Do You Boo-Boo
Or just come as you are. It is a movie after all and you are here to enjoy it.
So what are we wearing, Reclaimed Baes? Share share share! I want to see the details. Tag me (@TheReclaimed every-daggone-where) so I can share the best lewks!

Happy Wakanda Weekend.

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Friday beauts and beaus! Today's Readables feature 29 of the best places to find inexpensive coats, 13 affordable finds fashion people love, 17 Amazon purchases that could change your lives, and 18 online vintage clothing stores.

BuzzFeed: 29 of the best places to find inexpensive coats
WhoWhatWear: 13 affordable finds fashion people love, 17 Amazon purchases that could change your lives
Huff Post: 18 online vintage clothing stores

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Revisiting "Thoughts and Prayers": A Christian's Perspective on Officials responsibility to Gun Reform

Huffington Post
This post was originally published on November 6th, 2017. 

And it upsets me that it is still relevant and still valid especially given the unnecessary violence that happened yesterday. On Valentine's Day, 2018, a teenage former student walks into his old high school, pulls the fire alarm, and proceeds to murder, at this time, 17 people in a town proclaimed as Florida's safest town. 

To me, this is a blatant act of terrorism, but because the boy is white, it will be deemed as a mental health issue (which, indeed it could be but terrorism is also a mental health issue) and a bevy of elected officials will share their thoughts and prayers to the families of the lost while lining their pockets with funds from the Gun Lobby.

This must stop. At this point, the US has experienced 18 school shootings, and it is only February. 

Here is my perspective as a Christian and a Citizen on Thoughts and Prayers and why these both must lead to tangible action. It breaks my heart that this mess is still relevant.

Thanks for reading. 

Another heartbreaking mass shooting, another blanket outpouring from government officials of "thoughts and prayers."

Let me just say that I am not attacking the phrase. Thoughts and prayers should be offered. Thinking of someone who is going through something painful is a good starting place.

Prayers are powerful. I have watched my own life be transformed through the power of prayer. I have watched God answer my own prayers daily. James 1:5 ESV says "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."As people of faith, we should be so engrossed in prayer, that our daily lives and actions are melded and molded and shaped by God.

So, no, I am not targeting the saying.

What I am targeting are those who toss this saying around weakly following tragic events as if it is an answer when it has become more like a bandaid on a bullet wound.

It has become lazy, callous, and ineffective reaction.

When a pastor watches as his own church is assaulted by some man unload clip after clip into the bodies of people who just came to worship, including the pastor's own 14 year old daughter in the 307th mass murder of 2017, hearing from my elected officials about their "thoughts and prayers" with NO action in remedying the situation is beyond infuriating.

Or as this Twitter user says, pretty hollow:
Or worse:

The majority of these gun owners, the NRA, and the political officials who defend them often claim to be Christian. (The irony is these same people who defend their rights to own weapons that would only ever be appropriate for some battlefield are the same people who weaponize women's choices under the banner of pro-life, but that is another issue for another post.)

So, since these groups keep sending out their thoughts and prayers, hiding behind Christian rhetoric, here's what our faith actually professes:

1 John 3:18 ESV says "...let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." Meaning, you cannot just say something, but you must meet your words with some sort of action. James 1:22 ESV takes it further, saying "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." because James 4:17 ESV says "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." Meaning we as believers should not fool ourselves thinking only our words are good enough. We know the right thing to do, not just the right thing to say. And by ignoring the right thing to do, for what ever reason, THAT is sin.

Jesus himself says in Matthew 7:20 ESV "Thus you will recognize them by their fruits." Meaning that Christians will be recognized by what they produce. Saying you are a Christian and doing nothing to back it up is like saying you are car and siting in a garage.

What these officials who stand by as hundreds of people are slaughtered annually when they have the power, influence, platform and duty to do something, Paul has harsher words for in his letter to Titus 1:16 ESV saying "They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work."

Christianity is a faith of action. Jesus says in Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." We are to be peace makers, not peace keepers. We are to into places where there is no peace and create peace there, not maintain the status quo for the sake of a party or lobby.

Authentic thoughts and sincere prayers, while they are a great start and are kind, thoughtful, and yes, very powerful, are only a starting place. Every time someone offers "thoughts and prayers" as a blanket response to the terrors faced by survivors of these horrifying, terroristic events without some intention to back thoughts and prayers with some type of action, it is a completely empty reaction devoid of any real human heart. It has become equivalent to not responding at all.

It is time those thoughts and prayers actually led us to some action.

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Thursday my dears!

Today's Readables feature 5 small ways to improve your finances today, the state of credit debt, when to make your side hustle your full time gig, 6 amazing jobs you've probably never considered, and what the modern family finances look like.

The EveryGirl: 5 small ways to improve your finances today
Relevant Mag: The state of credit debt
Well+Good: When to make your side hustle your full time gig
Career Girl Daily: 6 amazing jobs you've probably never considered
Refinery29: What the modern family finances look like

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

33 Reasons Why ( A Birthday Truth Bomb)

Today is my Birthday!

I am officially 33 year’s old and it has been an awesome day. Here are 33 life lessons that have literally blessed me and I hope they bless you.

What God orders, He will pay for.
Authenticity is always in style.
Kindness is free, sprinkle that stuff on everything.
Be unapologetic about who you are.
You cannot outsource the responsibility of loving yourself.
Drink your water. Drink your water. Drink your water.
Jesus is real.
Everything you have ever wanted is outside of your comfort zone.
Read your Bible.
Prayer does indeed change things.
Quality over quantity, every time.
God is faithful.
Every day is a new chance to start over.
Baby wipes are the best makeup removers.
No serum, mask, lotion, or makeup can ever replace the incredible rest of a goodnight's sleep.
Being polite is less of a reflection on the person who receives it and more of a reflection upon the person being it.
Just do the right thing.
Don't fake it until you make it. Real it until you realize it.
You are literally one decision away from a completely different life.
Journaling is 100% better than spewing on social.
Be unapologetic about what you believe.
Your vibe attracts your tribe.
Be proud of your culture.
Reading is therapy.
Arrogance buries others while confidence carries others.
God is good.
Dress for the body you have.
More does not always mean better.
A good bath, a good laugh, a good nap and a good hug are therapy.
Hands that are open to give are open to receive.
A deal is not a deal if you don’t need the thing.
A dream with a plan is a goal.
Gratitude is always stylish.

Reclaimed Readables #WomanCrushWednesday

Happy Wednesday and Happy Valentines and Galentines to all of you!

This week's #WomanCrushWednesday Readables feature the amazing women of Black History, 24 gifts Black Panther fans will love, the Black owned beauty brand you can now buy at Target, how Ava DuVernay is trying to solve Hollywood's diversity issue and why Black Panther is the ultimate Black Beauty love letter.

Refinery29: How Black Panther is the ultimate Black Beauty love letter
Hello Giggles: The amazing women of Black History
The Cut: How Ava DuVernay is trying to solve Hollywood's diversity issue
Huff Post: 24 gifts Black Panther fans will love
BuzzFeed: The Black owned beauty brand you can now buy at Target

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

I think I was assaulted today...

I know today is Tuesday Shoes Day. I wanted to talk about shoes today, but this happened to me today and I can't really can't think about shoes right now.

I don't understand how men feel so entitled to invade a woman's space, whether with their words or to smear this crap on me. I'm angry, I feel gross, I'm pissed.

It is not okay.

Reclaimed Readables #TuesdayShoesDay

Happy Tuesday loves!

This week's #TuesdayShoesDay features 8 pairs of just really cool shoes, snake skin boots are going to be everywhere in a few weeks, how to wear the dad sneaker trend (even when you don't like dad sneakers), and why now is the best time to sell your sneakers online.

8 pairs of just cool shoes
Snake skin boots are going to be everywhere in a few weeks
How to wear the dad sneaker trend (even when you don't like dad sneakers)
Why now is the best time to sell your sneakers online

Monday, February 12, 2018

Reclaimed Readables, #MindfulMonday

Happy Monday loves!

This week's MindfulMonday features meditation practice with The Glow Maven5 ways to make friends as a grown up, do's and don'ts of using Tea Tree Oil, what is Hygge and 10 ways to Hygge your home, 4 things this Neuroscientist thinks you should do everyday to benefit your brain, and the foods battle greasy, dry, or acne-prone skin.

21Ninety: Meditation practice with The Glow Maven
Hello Giggles: 5 ways to make friends as a grown up, foods battle greasy, dry, or acne-prone skin
Well+Good: Do's and don'ts of using Tea Tree Oil
The EveryGirl: What is Hygge and 10 ways to Hygge your home
Byrdie: 4 things this Neuroscientist thinks you should do everyday

Friday, February 9, 2018

Acts of Self Care

"You need to take better care of yourself." my younger sister chided me as she sat across from me, hands resting on the baby bump that will soon give way to my newest niece. "You don't drink any water, you don't get enough sleep, you don't eat enough, and you're always running around. You need to stick around, Whit."

She's right. The life of a solopreneur (a solo entrepreneur) trying to write, blog, freelance, maintain social media, and run The Reclaimed Resale, not to mention my commitments to family and church, I work, a lot. It has yet to take a toll on me but my sister is right, I need to do more to care for me.

The term "self care" has become very popular recently. But I feel like bubble baths and tea and anything else we attach the label of self care to should be actually anchored in some form of care for self.

Sometimes, self care is going to bed an hour earlier. Sometimes, it’s Prayer. Sometimes it’s going for a run. But it should be anchored deep in a love and sustainance of self.

Here are the acts I am committing to this year:

Drinking warm water with lemon every morning:
There are so many benefits to drinking warm lemon water, it is astounding that more people aren't doing this.
-Boosts your immune system,
- balances pH, 
- helps with weight loss, 
- aids digestion, 
- clears skin, 
- removes toxins, 
- freshens breath, 
- relieves respiratory problems, 
- might help you kick your coffee habit,
- and seriously zens you out
So, long story short, I need to do this.

Or just drinking more water throughout the day:
As mentioned before, I don't drink enough water. It's a good day when I drink more than two glasses. I have no aversion to water, but Just never remember to drink any. So, I am taking my sister's advice and setting reminders on my phone to remind me to drink water. Yes, it's that serious.

Remembering to take my vitamins:
I honestly just forget, so, setting a reminder to do this too.

Writing at least once everyday for myself:
I know, you see me writing for this blog as well as other publications and you may be a bit confused by this one. But, as much as much as I have the opportunity to create content for so may others, I don't ever have the chance to take time for myself and journal or write my poetry that I love. So, instead of playing on my phone, I am making time to journal every evening before bed. It's been working great so far.

Working on spending more time with God:
I used to have a scheduled devotion time, where it was nothing but me, my Bible, and God. Now a days, I am lucky if I get more than a morning scripture and prayer in. This is something that I MUST take time for. My devotional time used to be so full of insight, peace and joy. I can just be completely transparent and silent and receive what God is trying to saying. And I miss that. So I am making the time to have devotion. Because I need it.

Here's how I will be self caring this year. What are you doing? Drop me a comment below!

Reclaimed Readables

It's Friday yall!! What a week, what a week!

Let's close out this week with Readables featuring Black french girls beauty favorites, cool uses for old candle containers, 32 things that make an outfit pop, how to organize your home in 5 simple steps, and the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation.

Apartment Therapy: Cool uses for old candle containers
Refinery29: Black French girls beauty favorites
BuzzFeed: 32 things that make an outfit pop
Career Girl: How to organize your home in 5 simple steps
Huff Post: The difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Thursday beautiful humans.

Today in the Reclaimed Readables: the new rules for saving money, 12 savvy ways to save money while grocery shopping, how Issa Rae says to negotiate salary, 3 easy ways to help grow your money, and how to decorate your home without any money.

Relevant Mag: The new rules for saving money
Apartment Therapy: 12 savvy ways to save money while grocery shopping
Well+Good: How Issa Rae says to negotiate salary, 3 easy ways to help grow your money, how to decorate your home without any money

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

My Interview with the Black Minimalists

When I wrote my 21Ninety piece on Black Women Minimalists I currently follow, I thought I was just sharing some awesome women who I was inspired by on this minimalism journey.

I had no idea I was going to be embraced with open arms into such a vibrant and happy community.

This week, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by one of the groups I shared, Black Minimalists. To be honest, I was shocked that I was even offered the opportunity, y'all. Here I am, just enamored by this community and sharing how they have blessed and educated me, and Im offered a spot.

Cue the happy twerk.

There were some pretty raw parts of the interview, particularly around my start in simplistic living. I have shared my journey here through separation, divorce, miscarriage and my thrift shopping hobby; and how all of those elements led to my desire to declutter both my space and my emotions.

For those who are still wondering why we even need a Black Minimalist site or community, I challenge you to both look at the minimalism landscape in general and see if you see many people of color. I would also challenge you to read some of the stories of these minimalists and compare them with the typical stories from the general minimalist community, and I guarantee that you will notice more depth, more connectedness, more passion, and more reasons why people should be minimalist in the Black Minimalism community than the usual aesthetics reasons you find in the community as a whole.

I personally love the connectedness of being both Black and Minimalist. As I say in the interview, "Being a Black Minimalist means tapping back to what our ancestors taught us. We are descendants of people who came from a continent of abundance. And when you live in abundance, there was no need for greed or selfishness.

Generations later, so many of us are rejecting the notion of “the American Dream” being the big house, 4 cars, lots of stuff and extravagance. More of us are finding the extravagance of a debt free life, or financial responsibility, of inner peace and family. And its a beautiful thing."

Check out my full interview as well as helpful and insightful articles from other minimalists of color here.

Reclaimed Readables, #WomanCrushWednesday

Happy Wednesday loves!

This #WomanCrushWednesday features just so we are clear, these are Fulani braids, the new book that highlights Black Style, why you need Letitia Wright on your radar, why you need to see "The New Yorker's" mascot as a black woman, Black Panther is a black hair expo, and why Black Panther proves its time for an all ladies Marvel movie.

BuzzFeed: Just so we are clear, these are Fulani braids
The Cut: The new book that highlights Black Style, Black Panther is a black hair expo
Hello Giggles: Letitia Wright (breakout star of Black Mirror and Black Panther) needs to be on your radar, you need to see "The New Yorker's" mascot as a black woman, why Black Panther proves its time for an all ladies Marvel movie

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Shoe Fast: Sneakers

Remember how last week when I said I had a lot of shoes.

I wasn't joking. I literally have a lot of footwear in my house. At one point, it spilled out holders, piled in corners, and littered my floors.

In my defense, a lot of these were gifts (shout outs to the sponsors) or great thrift finds. But that doesn't mean that I have to keep them all. A good deal is not a good deal if you're never going to use them.

That was when I had a full come to Jesus moment and rid myself of dozens of pairs of worn boots, smelly sneakers, and heels too high my clumsy self never mastered them.

The next few weeks, I will be attempting to rid myself of most of the remaining shoes I have left.

Today: let's talk sneakers today.

I love sneakers, but I have not always. I was never an athlete and, up until a few years ago, had not owned any proper workout clothes. Sneakers just reminded me of the self torture I had experienced as "fitness" (Note: I have since discovered workouts and activity I enjoy. I need to discover what works for me.) Sure, I could rock some Chucks or Vans but I wasn't into athletic shoes like Nike or Adidas until a few years back.

Then, I fell in love with sneakers. I could run from my apartment to work to the coffee shop to the church while remaining super comfy and super cool looking. But I got a lot of those shoes in a short period of time, most of which I am proud to say have left my collection.

So here is the current collection. These are the pairs I have left...

Down to 12 pairs of sneakers.

Here is where my inner minimalist and my inner fashion girl argue. The fashion girl in me feels like that is a great place to stop decluttering. Yet my minimalist urges me to get rid of more. The fashion girl in me acknowledges that I have only worn each only a few times. Yet my minimalist urges me to get rid of more. The fashion girl in me thinks that some of these are too classic to let go of. Yet my minimalist urges me to get rid of more.

 It’s in these times that I have to ask the deeper questions; “ what is my real need here?”, “do I really need more shoes or am I worried that I will not have the ones I need for the time that I need?” Here is where the faith part of minimalism comes into play, because I have to believe that I will have everything I need in the time that I need it and that having more doesn’t necessarily fulfill my needs. Whether I am completely decluttering my home, or just getting rid of some ratty old sneakers, I have to remind myself that all of my needs will be met.

After asking myself each of these and really sitting down looking at my collection, there are many pairs that I had decided are no longer serving me, or too tight, or are worn out and are now just taking up space. It’s now now much easier to minimize the collection.

So far, I’m down to 9 pairs left. Wish me luck.

Reclaimed Readables #TuesdayShoesDay

Happy Tuesday beauts and beaus!

This week's #TuesdayShoesDay features chill sneakers perfect for the chill bride, 23 pairs of boots for every outfit, Nike's Jordans for women in the most amazing colors, the perfect shoe that has 1400 people long wait list, and the $6 change will instantly make sneakers cooler.

The chill sneakers collab perfect for the chill bride
23 pairs of boots for every outfit
Nike's Jordans for women in the most amazing colors
The perfect shoe has 1400 people long wait list
The $6 change will instantly make sneakers cooler

Monday, February 5, 2018

Reclaimed Readables #MindfulMonday

Happy happy Monday loves!

This week's #MindfulMonday Readables features the scientific way digital detoxes make you happier, how to be happier with yourself right now,  4 self-care apps for busy women, 12 digital detox destinations perfect for an epic unplug, the best free and cheap fitness apps, and 3 new wellness trends to beat the winter blues.

The EveryGirl: Great free and cheap fitness apps
21Ninety: 3 new wellness trends to beat the winter blues
Well+Good: Why digital detoxes make you happier, 4 self-care apps, 12 digital detox destinations
My Domaine: How to be happier with yourself right now

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Reclaimed Heart: Self Care

With everything being called "self care", the actual point of caring for oneself is being lost in the muddy waters of self indulgence. We chalk up anything that we want to pamper ourselves with; bath bombs, wine, even concerts and luxury purses; to self care.

But this indulgence misses the point in caring for yourself. Sure, sometimes, self care is a nice bath. But sometimes, self care is making a healthy meal, journaling after an event, or siting in silence because you want quiet.

The best care that I ever gave myself was affirmation of myself.

This time in the Reclaimed Heart: Self Care.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Friday loves!

Today's Readables feature 28 outfits to copy and paste this month, one woman interviews 13 Black Women to find the meaning of joy, how these moms are teaching their children about Black History, one woman talks why Black History is indeed American History, and Michelle Obama gives America the pep talk it really needs right now.

My Domaine: Michelle Obama gives America the pep talk it really needs right now, how these moms are teaching their children about Black History
Refinery29: 28 outfits to copy and paste this month
Man Repeller: 1 Woman interviews 13 Black Women to find the meaning of joy
Relevant Mag: Why Black History is American History