Friday, March 30, 2018

Reclaimed Readables

It's Friday, yall!

Let's wrap up another week with Readables featuring the businesswoman helping women of color live their best lives through affirmation, athleisure pants you can wear to work, the perfect fashion staples for those upcoming April showers, 23 piece capsule work wardrobe, why is fashion STILL appropriating Indigenous culture, and how where you grew up affects your style.

HelloGiggles: The business owner helping women of color live their best lives through affirmation
Well+Good: Athleisure pants you can wear to work
Fashionista: Stylish raincoats and boots
WhoWhatWear: 23 piece capsule work wardrobe, how where you grew up affects your style, and why is fashion STILL appropriating Indigenous culture

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Reclaimed Readables


Happy happy Thursday loves!

Today's Readables feature millennials spend this amount on rent before the age of 30, how to cope when debt damages your mental health, what to do if your partner is terrible with money, and how to know the difference between good vs bad debt.

HelloGiggles: Millennials spend this amount on rent before the age of 30
The Cut: How to cope when debt damages your mental health
Relevant Mag: What to do if your partner is terrible with money
Apartment Therapy: The best things you can do to pay off debt
My Domaine: Good debt vs. Bad debt

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

20 Quotes to End Women's History Month

And Smile Studio
Women's History Month is almost over. So how do we finish such a powerful month? The same way we started it; with words from women we love, revere, and respect.

Here are 20 powerful quotes from 20 powerful women to empower all of you powerful women (and the men who are connected to us).

Women have to work much harder to make it in this world. It really pisses me off that women don’t get the same opportunities as men do, or money for that matter. Because lets face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define our values and to define what’s sexy and what’s feminine and that’s bullshit. At the end of the day, it’s not about equal rights, it’s about how we think. We have to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. — Beyoncé

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. — Gloria Steinem

Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with. —Michelle Obama

The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me. — Ayn Rand

We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced. — Malala Yousafzai

I’ll be honest with you. I’m a little bit of a loner. It’s been a big part of my maturing process to learn to allow people to support me. I tend to be very self-reliant and private. And I have this history of wanting to work things out on my own and protect people from what’s going on with me. — Kerry Washington

As long as you keep a person down, some part of has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might. — Marian Anderson

Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination. — Mae Jemison

Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is. — Anne Frank

It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends. — J.K. Rowling

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. — Coco Chanel

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. — Rosa Parks

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong. — Ella Fitzgerald

A feminist is a person who believes in the power of women just as much as they believe in the power of anyone else. It’s equality, it’s fairness, and I think it’s a great thing to be a part of. –Zendaya

Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be. — Elizabeth Gilbert

We’re here for a reason. I believe that reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark. –Whoopi Goldberg

I know for sure that what we dwell on is what we become. — Oprah Winfrey

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. — Alice Walker

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. — Maya Angelou

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices, always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Reclaimed Readables, #WomanCrushWednesday

This week's #WomanCrushWednesday Readables feature the muslim Fashion Blogger that neatly gathered bigots, what the Bible really says about women in leadership, 4 Muslim Women on the biggest misconceptions about them, why Times Up needs to remain intersectional, and Beyoncé loves the same store you do.

Refinery29: The muslim Fashion Blogger that neatly gathered bigots, 4 Muslim Women on the biggest misconceptions about them
The Cut: Beyoncé loves the same store you do
BuzzFeed: Why Times Up needs to remain intersectional
Relevant Mag: What the Bible really says about women in leadership

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Spring Floral Print ( $50 and Under)

Perfect for Spring!

Spring Floral Print

Reclaimed Readables #TuesdayShoesDay

Happy #TuesdayShoesDay! This week's Readables feature 20 pairs of cool sneakers under $100, Spring shoes that will get lots of compliments, 20 stylish flats that are perfect for work, 20 of the most comfortable sandals out now, and 7 of the freshest Spring shoe trends.

20 pairs of cool sneakers under $100
Spring shoes that will get lots of compliments
20 stylish flats that are perfect for work
20 of the most comfortable sandals out now
7 of the freshest Spring shoe trends

Monday, March 26, 2018

Meditation 101 for Believers


What do we typically think of when we think of meditation? Gongs and candle lit caverns? An open airy yoga space? Chanting appropriated words from an unfamiliar spiritual practice? 

Meditation is one of those practices that is experiencing a boom in popularity, but many of us have a lot of questions before diving pinhead first (pun intended). Most of us were raised believing that meditation is something only eastern religions practiced. 

But that is not true at all, nor is meditation something to be apprehensive about. 

Today, we are skimming the surface of meditation for people of the Christian faith and why it is more vital than ever to still your mind and focus your thoughts.

So let's start with the basics:

What is meditation?
Meditation is defined as in contemplation or reflection, to focus one's thoughts, to reflect on or ponder over. Meditation is a mental discipline where you must get beyond reflective, "thinking" into a deep mental place of relaxation and awareness, turning attention to a single point of reference, being God.
What is the difference between current trendy meditation practices and Christian mediation practice?

Meditation in both eastern practices and in Christianity share the similarity in that both are discipline practices that require a stilling of self and a mental retreat deep within oneself. However, this is where  the similarities between eastern meditation and Christian meditation end.

Richard Foster in his book Celebration of Discipline tells us "the goal of eastern meditation is “to empty the mind,” to literally think upon nothing, while a Christian seeks to fill his or her mind with God. Meditation puts us in a position to view our lives from a new perspective and to encounter God in meaningful ways."

With Christian meditation, the goal is not to empty yourself, but to instead fill yourself with more of God. It is an opportunity to worship God with our minds, an opportunity to focus on the word of God in a reflective and pensive way to thinking of His goodness and faithfulness, His justice and mercy. 
Christian meditation is a chance for quiet contemplative time with God.

What is the difference between prayer and meditation?

We have this super spooky view of prayer, but really all prayer is is a conversation with God. It is an opportunity to speak to and hear back from Him.

Prayer and meditation work together. During prayer, you are having a dialogue with God. Following prayer, you should take the time to meditate on what God has said in response to you.

Meditation is cerebral. Meditation is thoughtful. We are familiar with the phrase "When I think of the goodness of Jesus and all that He has done for me, my soul cries Hallelujah." But the key word in that phrase is think. This thinking, or meditation, upon how Jesus is good, in  has led to the soul's response in rejoicing. But if there was no thought, would there even be a rejoicing? 

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the kind of worship and love God wants is thoughtful, has been meditated upon, and is not simply an emotional or physical response. God wants us to grasp onto the deeper "whys" for our praise, our worship, our living, and we can best accomplish that through meditation.

What do Christians even meditate upon?
There are so many things we can meditate upon. Scripture is a great place to start. Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage? Open it up. Read it to yourself and then read it aloud. Listen to yourself speak the words. Then reflect upon what you have heard. 

What about a favorite worship song? If you have a favorite christian song or hymn, you can have it playing while you think about the lyrics. Or find the lyrics and read them to yourself, listening to your own voice and thinking about what these words mean.

Why do we even need to take the time to meditate?
The point of meditation is to fill yourself with God as to experience Him in a newer, or different way cerebrally. Maybe you find yourself in need of an answer, or your need a mental reset, or perhaps you feel a longing to go deeper in your own faith practice. Mediation is the answer to all of those.

When thinking of meditation as a Christian practice, we can go to one of the most authoritative voices on the faith, Paul, whose letters and life shine through in the New Testament. Here is what Paul has to say about meditation:

Philippians 4:8-9 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
Meditation can happen anywhere and for any amount of time. If all you can manage is a brief quiet few moments in your car, then that is great. If you can manage an hour while going on a run or walk outside, that is great. Whatever you can do that works for you is awesome.

It feels weird at first, pushing out all of the thoughts in your mind. BUT DO NOT QUIT! It is worth it to get to that quiet place where you can really hear God. Stick with it, even if its only 5 minutes the first time. Keep trying. Ask God to help you. It is well worth it.

Scriptures to meditate upon:
-Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

-Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

-Psalm 4:4 Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.

-Psalm 16:8 I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

-Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

-Psalm 77:12 I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds.

-Psalm 104:34 Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the LORD.

-Psalm 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

-Psalm 119:15-16 I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways.

-2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Reclaimed Readables, #MindfulMonday

Happy Monday loves!

This week's #MindfulMonday features crystals for newbies, foods you shouldn't be eating if you have eczema, teaching mindfulness to children, 29 great uses for lemons, 29 easy ways to improve your skin in the long term, and 20 things to make Mondays awesome.

Well+Good: Crystals for newbies, foods you shouldn't be eating if you have eczema
My Domaine: Teaching mindfulness to children, 29 great uses for lemons
BuzzFeed: 29 easy ways to improve your skin in the long term
Apartment Therapy: 20 things to make Mondays awesome

Friday, March 23, 2018

Reclaimed Readables

Let's wrap up the week with Readables featuring the best natural foundations, how to wash textured hair, 26 of the best-selling products at Sephora that stans swear by, 10 foundations that make women of color a priority, and The Glow Maven herself launches a self care beauty line.

Man Repeller: The best natural foundations
Into The Gloss: How to wash textured hair
BuzzFeed: The best-selling products at Sephora that stans swear by
Well+Good: Latham Thomas launches a self care beauty line
The EveryGirl: 10 foundations that make women of color a priority

Thursday, March 22, 2018

4 ways to stay encouraged when you think you don't make enough money

Money is one of those touchy subjects. We are raised by society and groomed by corporate culture to not talk about money, to a fault I believe.

When I launched into entrepreneurship, I was not making the money I dreamed I would be. Quite the contrary. There were days where literally not a cent was coming in. Then a bad deal with an apparel startup screwed me over for at least a month's worth of work (money that I am still trying to recoup. Stay tuned for that post.) Meanwhile I quick scroll through of my social feeds showed me writers and bloggers on yachts, taking shopping trips, and living their best lives.

Needless to say it was a frustrating time.

Let's be honest, blogging itself makes almost no money. Me sitting here and sharing with you throughout the week makes me zero cash. And while it has so greatly impacted my life, connected me with all of you, increased my writing skill, afforded me some other quite lucrative opportunities and affirmed me in so many different ways, this lovely little blog itself makes me no coin.

But, as I said, some pretty awesome doors began to open for me. I started thinking of other ways to capitalize off of my work. I started making some cash off of The Reclaimed Resale. I began creating content became a freelancer for a few different sites. I found other opportunities to scrounge up some cash.

I say all of that to say that we all have been there at one point or another. Here are ways to stay encouraged when you feel that you don't make enough money:

Stop focusing on what you don't have and focus on what you do:
I sometimes can be so hyper focused on the things that I think that I want or am lacking, that I miss out on all of the things that are sitting right in front of me. I needed to change my focus, from lack to provision. A practice that I have adopted is a listing method where I literally stop myself and make myself count my blessings.

Seriously. I think about everything that I actually do have. Everything.

So no, I cannot walk into Hermés yet and buy whatever I want (without going into debt). But I can walk into a grocery store and treat myself to half baked froyo (it's the little things).I have so many beautiful things I have yet to wear this season. I have a full fridge and heat and a safe comfortable place to sleep. I have friends and family and connections. I have so much.

See how fast that list fills up once you start thinking about it? We are often blessed with more that we realize.

Practice gratitude:
It all comes back to the principle of practicing gratitude. You will be amazed at what gratitude eliminates all of the icky feelings we can have surrounding a lack mentality. Remember, nothing is promised to us. We are owed nothing. Everything we receive is a gift. And if everything is a gift, whether its diamonds or a simple dinner, we should be grateful for it.

By practicing gratitude, it removes the illusion of lack and fills our hearts with the joy, skills, and life we do have. We start to see our lives rightly, as lives worth living and celebrating, and being thankful for.

Do what you can, where you are, with what you have:
So, you don't have your dream job, you don't live in the dream house, you cannot take the big trip this year etc. SO WHAT? Remember NOTHING is promised to us. We are entitled to nothing.

But what do you have? Do you have a job (or a bunch of hustles)? Do you have connections? Do you have a closet full of clothes you can possibly sell? Are you good with children or the elderly? Are you good at organizing, or taking pictures, or creating things? What do you have? Think of ways you can leverage what you do have and what you can do to create the extra cash you want. Be creative and use what you have.

Adopt an abundance attitude:
I have talked about this before, but I have adopted a mentality of living with an abundant attitude. My faith teaches me that my heavenly Father first loves me, second knows my needs and wants, third, hears my prayers, and provides for every single one of my needs. If I have been set free by God from the debilitating burden of worry, and all of my needs are being met by Him because He loves me and has given me a great purpose and a great work to do while I breathe, and I continue to trust Him and live in His will, then I know at the end of the day, I can all.

It is in that vein that I operate in abundance.

Have you lived through a tight time financially? What are some of your tips? Drop a comment below!

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Thursday loves!

Today's Readables feature finance memes to make you laugh ( and up your money game), why society believes women are bad with money (even though we aren't), how to actually cultivate a net worth, graduates guide to finances, and one woman who refuses to buy clothes this year and why.

Refinery29: The finance memes to make you laugh ( and up your money game)
My Domaine: How to actually cultivate a net worth
21Ninety: A graduates guide to finances
Apartment Therapy: The one woman who refuses to buy clothes this year and why
Relevant Mag: Why society believes women are bad with money (even though we aren't)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Fighting the Angry Black Women Stereotype makes me angry

This post was inspired by the ladies over at one of my favorite podcasts, Gettin Grown, Jade and Keia (If you aren't listening to this podcast, you are missing out on serious hilarity and truth). This week's episode, the ladies launched their book club with the book "The Sister's are Alright" by Tamara Winfrey Harris.

Can we just talk about the angry Black Woman stereotype for a minute? 

I would never classify myself as an angry but because I am a Black Woman, not because I may be tired, hungry (hanger is real y'all.), or frustrated by person before me or a life event happening to me, should I respond even with a slightly elevated tone, I am playing into the angry black women trope.

For those who are unfamiliar, the Angry Black Woman trope is a stereotype of Black Women suggesting that each and every one of us is sassy, contentions, and always ready for a fight. Obviously, that is not true, but society has so clung to this stereotype, its hard for Black Women to shake.

I asked my FB family what they thought and learned quickly that I wasn't the only person who struggled with this stereotype:




Hearing these responses, while it makes me feel like I am not going crazy, does make me feel really sad.

In fact, there is little research on this stereotype as opposed to the "Mammy" or "Jezebel" stereotypes due to the fact that most researchers deem it to be true. It's socially accepted to just call Black Women angry, sassy, aggressive, and the like. Some even call it passionate, but no matter what you call it, the Angry Black Woman trope only serves one purpose, to disparage Black Women. It places Black Women on the constant defense no matter where she is.

It further more makes us feel that our feelings are invalid; that we cannot show anger or even the slightest bit of agitation or we will just be put in a box and labeled. How is that healthy to an entire gender of a people; that we aren't even permitted to show a hint of what we feel for fear of stereotype?

Black Women are labeled as intimidating, aggressive, contentious, even threatening long before she even opens her mouth at work, in the community, even in media.  A study found that "When the consortium sent out a survey to African-American and white women about the portrayals of black women in the media, 60 percent said that they were “argumentative,”...while 45 percent thought that black women were cast as “corrupt” in the entertainment industry."

Ugh...

This stereotype even affects how African American Women date and marry. Black women may be the only group that look at a man of their same ethnicity and wonder "Does he even date Black Women?" Yet, so many Black males (I struggle to call them men) claim that they don't date Black Women because of our sassy, angry, no nonsense, strong personalities. Never mind that not that Black Women are not a monolith, that, surprise, we all have different personalities, likes, dislikes, and are whole and complete humans and not 2 dimensional caricatures. Apparently our skin color and gender is enough to negate us of companionship (the same way these Black males feel about their skin color and gender being the ammunition for oppression).

The conversation doesn't focus on the real reasons why these males refuse to date Black Women but devolves into a foolhardy analysis of the "deficiencies" of Black Women. As if Black Women are somehow ruined, defective, inadequate for love because of our personalities. As if the only women who are worthy of love from these types of makes are sweet, silent, and docile.

What always lies at the root of this is not a conversation of the strong willed Black Woman but rather a few Black male individuals who have a preferences for women of other ethnicities, but instead of owning up to those preferences, these males are so insecure in their choices, they find the need to  validate and vindicate themselves (why, I couldn't tell you) by demeaning the very women who they came from, the ones they grew up with, and the ones that are the ones in the fight to preserve their lives.

It's one thing to have the world think a thing about you. It is an entirely different thing when your own people think it as well. It's enough to make you actually mad.

All of this will not negate the fact that, from time to time, Black Women will get angry. Being a Black Woman in a nation that historically (and even still in some areas) takes advantage of my people and my gender, as Solange says "I got a lot to be mad about."

Maybe, instead of being fearful of the Black Woman's anger, relegating her to a cartoon character of sassy speech and neck rolls, maybe we should listen to her, see why she's angry. Maybe she's incensed about the injustices of the world. Maybe she is annoyed about traffic. Maybe she's strongly disagrees with the current political administration. Maybe she's having a bad day.

Whatever the case may be, Black Women, spoiler alert, are human beings too. And being human, we have every right to feel what we feel, same as any other person, without it reducing us to anything other than that.
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Reclaimed Readables #WomenCrushWednesday


Happy Wednesday beauts and beaus!

This week's #WomanCrushWednesday features Cardi B sheds light on one group not included in #MeToo, Ava Duvernay on following your dreams, women of color are secretly taking over sci-fi (and why it matters)17 movies every woman should see, and Insecure's Natasha Rothwell on finding her own voice.

Refinery29: 17 movies every woman should see, Ava Duvernay on following your dreams, women of color are secretly taking over sci-fi (and why it matters)
Hello Giggles: Cardi B sheds light on one group not included in #MeToo
My Domaine: Natasha Rothwell on finding her own voice

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

but why the ugly sneakers though?


I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but there has a been a rash of ugly sneakers hitting runways, show rooms and stores, and thusly, are on the feet of fast grabbing fashionistas ready to pounce on the latest and supposedly greatest.

I can't. It doesn't honor my coins nor the time in which I have spent to earn said coins. But, equally as important, these ugly sneakers definitely do not honor my personal style aesthetic.

I know, I know, you're going to jump down my throat "But Whitney, you LIVE in athleisure. Sneakers have become you're thing. How could you NOT at least see the appeal in these pairs?" Yes, I do love athleisure (shout out to Lululemon for the few indestructible pairs of pants I purchased many years ago that still embrace all my curves. I live in them!) But that doesn't mean every pair that pops up in my social feed will become the next greatest pair I fall for.

Case and point:

Balenciaga Speed Runner
The nightmarish Balenciaga Speed Runner High sneakers; these sneakers look like a sock attached to a sneaker sole. No thanks.
Balenciaga Triple S
The Balenciaga Triple S look more like orthopedic shoes I would get for my grandmother.

Nike Air Max '97
These Nike Air Max probably should have stayed in 97. They remind me of 7th grade and light up Sketchers and church youth group. Needless to say, I don't want to wear these as a whole grown adult.

Fila Disruptor II

These Fila Disruptors... Now, let me say that I am so HERE for the resurgence of Fila and its latest collab with Fendi. I love the 90's revival. But these sneakers that look like a roller skate minus the wheels, you can miss me with.

What sneakers are you side eyeing? I want to hear from you! Drop a comment below.
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Reclaimed Readables #TuesdayShoesDay

Happy happy Tuesday!

This week's #TuesdayShoesDay features 15 shoes to love if you love Chucks, 8 great shoe sprays, literally 1 million people bought these comfy sneakers, a look inside of the Nike archives, 15 sneakers on Amazon that are super stylish, mules that are the perfect medium, and over 30 pairs of cute sandals.

15 shoes to love if you love Chucks
A look inside of the Nike archives
8 great shoe sprays
Literally 1 million people bought these comfy sneakers
15 sneakers on Amazon that are super stylish
Mules that are the perfect medium
Over 30 pairs of cute sandals

Monday, March 19, 2018

6 Ways to Self Care right now when you work so damn hard

Y'all entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Real talk, it's hard out here. Particularly if you are choosing a space that seems over-saturated. To stand out, you have to produce more, or better, or constantly, and that is really no way to live.

But even if you aren't an entrepreneur, I am sure you have felt this way too. There are going to be those days where you have worked your fingers to the bone and your mind into mush. Its on those days you feel like you have fallen into a slump and need to claw your way out.

It get's like that for all of us.

Our society and upbringing oftentimes geared us to a life of working hard for wealth at the expense of our health and then paying for our health using what we have earned from our wealth. But this year, I have decided to make some major (and not so major) changes to bless my

Here are some of the ways I stay sane while working for myself.

Journaling, Journaling, Journaling
One of the elements of self care that I have committed to is journaling at least once a week. I know, I know, that means time away from your business or hustle. But, when you consider that this is time that will be well invested in your own mental stability by the cathartic process of writing down whatever you are feeling or thinking or praying for, then you will see it as time well worth the investment. Take the time. Make the time. Even if it's only for 3 minutes, make the time to write.

Take a damn break already
Last week, we talked about the difference between hustling and alignment and how essential both are to success. Hustling alone will only wear you out. Remember, you are a human being, not a human doing. There are times when you absolutely need a break. Take the time to take a break.

Make sure you move your body
I move my body everyday. No, I'm not spending hours in the gym. I go for walks a lot. Something about being outside and moving and feeling my joints and bones and muscles move around is liberating, especially if I am in a slump. If you have been sitting in front of a laptop or computer or at a desk all day, it is essential to get up and move. Commit to moving your body every day, even if you can only walk around the block or jog up a few flights of stairs. Do it. You will feel better.

Look at what you have accomplished so far
Remember when your mom or dad used to hang up your work on the refrigerator or put your trophies or medals on a shelf for everyone to see? Remember how that made you feel? How empowered and proud and energizing it was to see the tangible realization of your hard work displayed? Now put that into play as an adult. I keep a folder on my laptop of the different achievements I have made. I also keep a running list of the brand partnerships that I have been blessed with. On rough days, I open those things up, just to remind myself of how far I have come. It really puts things into perspective.

Stop comparing
This one is me all the way. We can be so hyper-focused at what other people are doing that we miss all the great things happening around us. Stop scrolling, close the social feeds, and stop looking around. Instead, take a deep breath and look within. Look at your life through the lens of gratitude. Realize that you have been given every single thing you need to enjoy your own beautiful life. Feel empowered that if there is an element you want to change and are able to change, that you, indeed, can change it. If there is an area of your life that, right now, you are unable to change or change as quickly as you would like, don't obsess over not having control. Let go. Realize that there is a reason why this thing remains out of your control and focus on the things you can do.

Remind yourself why you started
Remind yourself why you chose to do what you are doing. Whether it is entrepreneurship or a certain career path, remind yourself why you are here. Remember that excitement you first had once you launched out into these waters. Remember your big dreams and big goals. Let that excitement waft over you again and get back in the ring.

Hope these help you as much as they are helping me.

Do you have a self care tip? Drop it in the comment box below! Looking forward to hearing from you!

Reclaimed Readables #MindfulMonday

Happy Monday loves!

This week's #MindfulMonday features bad bedtime sleep habits, 6 supplements you should be taking every day, 15 beauty products that work while you sleep, what happened when one woman tried an extreme decluttering technique on her home, the difference between a tough time and actual trauma, and 7 things happy people do differently.

Apartment Therapy: Bad bedtime sleep habits
Well+Good: 6 supplements you should be taking every day, the difference between a tough time and actual trauma
Career Girl Daily: 15 beauty products that work while you sleep, 7 things happy people do differently
The EveryGirl: What happened when one woman tried to "Marie Kondo" her home

Friday, March 16, 2018

How to purge your beauty basket, even if you're a product junkie

Hi, my name is Whitney Alese, and I am a product junkie.

Its funny when I tell people that because I am such a plain Jane, lip gloss and eye brow gel, type girl. In actuality, I love to play in products that often leave my face courtesy of a makeup remover before I ever leave the house (judge your mom!).

While I like make up, my real love is skin care. Tell me something plump, firms, brightens, or comes in a mask and I'm snagging it. But all of this snagging has gobbled up serious space in my bathroom.

It doesn't help my product love that companies frequently send me free full size products to try ( you won't hear me complain about that either!)

In this season of budding minimalism, its time to minimize my beauty basket (cabinet, curio, its literally everywhere yall!)

Here is how I am culling my beauty products:

Tossing out mostly used and expired products:
I am the type of person who holds on to products until they are completely used up. And that creates a lot of clutter for me. A lot of this clutter could be products that are already past their expiration date or are mostly used. A simple combing through of your products could be the answer to ridding yourself of the excess.

Selling products:
Nothing worse than buying a product only to find out that you are no longer feeling it or the brand. What if you could get cash for your products? Glambot lets you sell your products as long as your products follow a list of requirements. Might as well get your coins back for things you don't want.

Donating unopened products:
Why not put those products to use and help someone else in the process? Plenty of charities will take your goodies off your hands to help others in need.

Not buying another product and actually using the stuff!:
This is what I really need to do. Sephora be damned! Most of the time, I simply forget that I have something, that is until I try to cull the beauty mess and rediscover it. By actually using the products I have, I don't waste money or the product and I have the chance to tell you babes if its actually worth purchasing or not.

Those are my short and sweet tips for decluttering your beauty products. Anyone else have a beauty collection that is busting out of the seams? Drop a comment below!

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Friday beautifuls!

Today's Readables feature spring nail trends, the best new beauty product launches in March, how ROSEN's founder created the line in college, 14 Sephora shopping secrets skincare lovers should know, 27 amazing hair products that really work, and 29 ways to improve your skin long term.

The Cut: Spring nail trends
The EveryGirl: How ROSEN's founder created the line in college
Coveteur: The best new beauty product launches in March
BuzzFeed: 27 amazing hair products that really work, 29 ways to improve your skin long term
Apartment Therapy: 14 Sephora shopping secrets skincare lovers should know

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Thursday loves!

Today's Readables feature how one woman deals with being married to a trust fund kid, the #1 money mistake you're making and how to fix it, why all debt isn't that bad, 5 small ways to improve your finances today, and the best grants for starting a small business.

Refinery29: How one woman deals with being married to a trust fund kid
The EveryGirl: The #1 money mistake you're making and how to fix it, 5 small ways to improve your finances today
Relevant Mag: Why all debt isn't that bad
My Domaine: The best grants for starting a small business

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

March's Reads: Black Girl Rage and Black Girl Magic

I've been a book nerd since I first learned to read at the tender age of 4. (In fact, that is how I learned I wanted to be a writer, by reading and reading and digesting all that I could. To this day, there isn't a day that goes by that my avid appetite for the written word isn't devouring anything from an antiquated book to a contemporary blog post.) 

This month as Women's History Month, I am particularly so inspired by women writers, particularly those of Color. There is a difference in the discussion for those of us who occupy both feminine and Black intersections. Black Women have been in the forefront of some of the nations most progressive movements, and yet are often relegated to the back of the bus as far as recognition. Ida B. Wells was just as much of a feminist and suffragette as Susan B. Anthony (and Ida wasn't a known racist) but is less spoken of. And women literally spearheaded civil rights, but it's usually the men, Martin, Malcolm, and the like.

And yet, Black Women continue to lead, to be the canary in the coal mine for our nation, and speak, not our truths, but THE truth ad speak it to power, especially in the genre of literature.

Each of these women here who has been brave enough to lift a pen and tell her story whether through the pain of the past, persecution in the present, possessing herself, or pressing into her passions, is worthy of hearing.

Here are the books I'm devouring for the rest of this month. 

The Sister's Are Alright by Tamara Winfrey Harris

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Beyond Respectability by Brittney C. Cooper

Own Your Glow by Latham Thomas

Heart Talk by Cleo Wade

Eloquent Rage by Brittany C. Cooper