Back to College: Things I learned the hard way

I am entering my senior year of college and I’ve learned some things about it. Now, my experience is similar and differnet from many of my peers. Do know that everone’s experience is different. What you as an individual find important alters what happens to each person. However, I learned a few things that everyone can take with them.

  1. Procrastination is the number one way to ensure misery
    • My GPA would be significantly higher if I learned in the beginning that procrastination is an odd combination of fear, control and lack of self discipline. Procrastination is a topic that is not addressed in society enough to me. I believe that procrastination is thrown into the same category as obesity, an individual who doesn’t deal with it tends to believe that it’s only a self control problem when it actually has many layers. My form of procrastination was “productive procrastination” I would go to the gym and work out for 2 hours or go to bible study and hang out too late or watch TED talks and learn more. It’s confusing because I would do things that were good for me but I wouldn’t do my work. The problem was my fear; I didn’t want to fail my assignments. So because of my fear I couldn’t control the situation and because I couldn’t control it I lacked the self discipline to do anything.  Get to the root of the problem and attack it. You will thank yourself  later.
  2. $100 dollars is really $10 
    • As a 16 year old, I remember a $100 being a lot and as a 21 year old, it’s still a lot but I want to tell you that $100 dollars can disappear quickly. Be responsible with your income. Make a budget and stay by your budget.
  3. At the end of the day your health is all you have 
    • I missed a few days of class because I got sick and I felt terrible. I was basically bed ridden until my medicine started to work. It made me realize that there are some people who can not accomplish their dreams because they are stuck in a bed wishing that their pain would stop. Your health is almost all you have at the end. Take care of yourself.
  4. Rewriting notes is useless (for me)
    • This was the dumbest trick I have ever heard. I don’t know why it never worked for me. Maybe it’ll work for you. The study advice that I can give you is: pay attention in class, ask questions, go to tutorials, read the text book and review the material with efficiency.
  5. Read your dang textbook!!!
    • As I said before, read the textbook. Your teacher does not have the time to rewrite the textbook into a powerpoint. Sooooooo, just do your part and read the book. Sometimes the topics are really interesting after the first 3 paragraphs.
  6. Don’t let what you weren’t good at in high school determine your college career
    • From elementary school all the way to college I had the same critic “Your writing is good but you need to expand your thoughts.” This statement pissed me off because I answered the questions that the prompts would ask, I would answer them clear and concise, I don’t believe in fluff but sadly we have to adapt to succeed.

College is a really odd experience. So many things happen and life changes a lot. I hope that I helped y’all out. Talk to y’all later.

Good luck

Jazz xoxo

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Sunset Box Braids

I decided to put my hair away for a tiny bit. After I added the orange hair color my hair has been screaming for moisture. My hair does not soak in my leave-in conditioner like it used to, I have to stand under my shower head an extra 3 minuets to get it soaking wet. My hair routine is normally very simple but now I have to do more so my hair doesn’t break off . So as a precaution I decided to put my hair away into this adorable style.

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I put in short box braids. I used about 5 packs of hair ( The $1 hair) I cut each pack of hair in half and created 8 braids from each pack of hair. So over all I had about 40 braids in my head. The style is very light weight compared to other styles that I have done.

I decided to finish the ends of my braids similar to a picture that I saw on Pinterest. I braided my hair as far as I wanted to and then I took a normal black rubber band and tied the ends closed. After that I took a pair of scissors and cut the ends of my hair bluntly. I covered the rubber bands with gold hair jewelry. I loved  how my hair looked, especially the ends. It required a lot less work when compared to dipping hair in hot water. Also, this method is safer as long as scissors are handled correctly.

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The colors I picked were unconventional. I always recommend doing something wild and fun if you can. I didn’t have the style in long because I had other life obligations but I hope one day  I can work for myself so I can revisit this style again. Hair is an amazing object where we can express ourselves and curate an aesthetic that reflects our personalities. And I love when I see people find a look that they find beautiful and confident; it is inspiring and awe worthy. I know I looked up to those as a kid who did whatever they wanted to their hair and I hope I can give inspiration to other kids out there too.

Love Jazz xoxo

OOTD 6/25/18

I have finally conquered a fear: being in front of a camera with intention. Now I’m not one to do things willy-nilly, I practiced the night before. I stood in front of my bedroom mirror for about two hours moving my face and body side to side trying to see what worked and what didn’tfullsizeoutput_5bc

I do want to say that modeling is a ton of work. Holding your body in place and twisting and turning it is honestly painful. I googled all night about how to look pleasant in photos and how to take selfies. The videos helped, and I learned a lot. I figured out my left side is my favorite side of my face.

It was frightening to stare at myself for that extended period trying not to judge myself and be purely objective. I had to think, “Why am I self-conscious when I’m doing something I love?” Blogging is a new found hobby that I lovefullsizeoutput_576

Sooooo this outfit comprises of two items that I thrifted from my local thrift stores. I think this look is fantastic. I got my jean shorts about 2 years ago from my local Goodwill and I bought the top recently at a Value Village last month. I purchased the bralette from a T.J. Maxx. It was so worth it. I wear it with everything. Its comfortable, and the material is excellent.

This is one of my top favorite looks. I’ll probably wear to class once the semester starts because it’s so comfortable. It’s practical for everything casual especially for the hot weather in Atlanta. It’s an everyday look that is simple and relaxed, which is the aesthetic  that I strive for.

Tell me what you do on your days off?

Grace and Peace
Jazz xoxo

Photo credit: instagram @sirjohneli

Slow Fashion: The Breakdown

Slow fashion is a concept that isn’t abstract however when put into practical sense; people tend to become confused, so I want to break it down again. Slow fashion is shopping with less vigor and speed; to curate a closet with deliberate thought and gradual progression or to purchase clothing that requires more time to be created. Before the 1990s the fashion industry only had 2-4 fashion seasons. Every 4 to 6 months fashion companies would produce new items for consumers to buy. Now in the 21st century, we have 52 fashion seasons. Fashion companies now are able to provide more and new fashion every week.

It sounds incredible. However, we have to deal with the consequences of our decision for mass production. The results are stereotypical hippie-dippy stuff like it hurts the environment and people are working in sweatshops. Slow fashion is one of the many responses developed over time to help address the issues.

Now I have written a post earlier where I give ideas on how to start slow fashion, I honestly believe that they are great tips yet I have been thinking about them a lot. And I realized that I haven’t stressed a significant concept of slow fashion enough. Also, I combined other sustainable fashion definitions together which could or already have confused my readers.

Slow fashion is slowing the speed of one’s consumption of fashion significantly. That’s it! Yet this is where it begins to become complicated. Slow fashion is an action that can be adapted to many subcultures, like minimalism, sustainable fashion, the zero waste community, labor rights communities and more. Theses communities end up making many terms like slow fashion synonymous with their missions. And it is hard not accidentally to be forced into a box. So as a blogger who writes about slow fashion I feel responsible for writing about the aspects that slow fashion contributes towards.

Slow fashion makes people more intentional in their purchases. I now can decide if I want to invest in my closet or use the resources I have to fulfill other aspects of my life. And that’s what I want to tell my readers. If you are interested in concepts of sustainability, environmentalism, social justice, mental health, self-care and many other ideas; slow fashion can help in all of those areas unintentionally. Honestly, I believe slow fashion is one of the easiest of all the social changes that exist. I’m not asking for people to stop buying what they love, I’m asking for people to buy less often. And consequently when an individual purchases items less often they tend to purchase items that are better quality or something they are willing to take care of.

I’m going to use my fiancé as an example. His name is Johnathan, and he’s a cutie pie. John doesn’t really buy clothes he’ll run his clothes into the ground before he purchases anything to replace them. But John really enjoys technology, and because he doesn’t spend his money on cheap clothes all of the time about every 4-6 months he’ll purchase a pretty decent quality tech item and the joy he experiences is displayed all over his face. Because John is a man who would instead buy new equipment than clothing, he tends to be extremely specific when it comes to the items of clothing that he wants. Something really has to strike his fancy or hold a profound significance for him to want to buy it without regret. Johnathan unintentionally participates in slow fashion. He only purchases clothes about once or twice a year in bulk or he’ll pick up a new tee shirt once every blue moon.

I also know many of my close friends love shopping and they experience that same joy that John does when he buys new tech so who am I to take away their happiness from happening every week? I know that many would never change their habits and many of the individuals that I talk to think what I find important is just a useless cause or a bit extreme. It might be in some regard, but this is the little that I can do to help those who are affected negatively by the fashion industry, contribute less damage to the earth, save some money, create a closet that I love and give myself the peace of mind that I crave. I hope some individuals would see that shopping slower is not a significant thing to do and that it’s honestly a mindless activity once the mindset sinks in.

Slow fashion: shopping with less vigor and speed, to consume less fashion, to purchase items that requires longer time to be produced. This is my attempt to help my environment and community until I can do more. I just hope those of you reading will try to do something in your power to help those around you too, even if it’s as small as recycling a water bottle or as big as starting a non-profit or business.

Jazz xo

A Mindful Walk

I woke up to a *ding* going off next to my ear. I rolled over and noticed a text from my fiancé asking if I wanted to go to Arabia Mountain (a national heritage area on the east side of Atlanta) with him and his friend P.J. I said yes. I rose and grabbed some jeans, a T-shirt, a hat and my hiking boots. I ate a yummy breakfast: cinnamon and nutmeg oatmeal and I slapped sunblock on my face. I was ready to go!

John, P.J. and I pulled up to the park. We got out and started along the trail. The adventure was filled with laughs and croaking frogs. We tried to help nature by picking up trash we saw. We made references that only we would know. We gave each other undivided attention. All in all, it was a relaxing start to relaxing day.

Many people in my life do not have the desire to be outside especially if they live in Georgia (It’s just way too humid, sometimes I feel like I’m breathing water.) However, I want to encourage people to step outside and take a walk or sit in the yard. I’m not a scientist nor a health guru, but I do believe that being outside encourages mindfulness. Personally, when I stepped onto the trail with my friends, I noticed an uplift in my spirit.

 

I am an individual who is sensitive to basically everything. My emotions go wild if I overeat meat during the week. If someone starts to raise their voice (not yelling, just a firm tone) at me out of frustration, you’ll begin to see tears in my eyes. If I forget to study my bible, I’m a little bit more sharp with my words, and I refuse to take criticism well. If I eat a delicious meal I smile wider than the Mississippi River. Silence brings me joy and unnecessary sounds scrape on my nerves. So just imagine what peace I experienced when I stood in the sun for a little bit.

I felt my mood soar. I saw a world that I never get to see usually. I felt small, but I also felt strong. I felt my day slow down and my mind focused on the present. I know most of my life would be considered “fast” I drive fast, I talk fast, I eat fast. For many things, I am not mindful. It is a sad downfall to many who are trying to pursue their dreams. But walking around outside with my friends and enjoying the 2-mile walk allowed me to pay attention to the little things. I took my time to look at all of the nuances that surrounded me. I connected with my life. I saw the beauty and the destruction that surrounded me. I wasn’t caught up in all of the emotions that bring havoc to my thoughts. I was able to see and be with those that really matter to me.

A ton of my peers now asks me why I started a blog on slow fashion. To some, I answer: I want to help those who are affected by the negative side of fast fashion. To others I say: I think it’ll help my community. But my favorite response is, I want others to experience the joy of loving their closet with what they have. Also, to use what they would of spent on poor quality (ethically, financially, or emotionally; whichever is more prevalent) to fund their dreams. Some may agree or disagree but God introduced me to slow fashion to give me more access to a mindful lifestyle, so I can have more experiences like hiking Arabia Mountain with my friends. A few years ago I would have spent my money, my emotions and my time without intention instead of doing something I actually loved.

Let me know if slow fashion altered parts of your life in the comments. Talk to Y’all soon

Jazz ❤

My Summer Booklist

I’m embracing my last summer break before I enter the workforce with a pretty awesome book list. Before my Spring 2018 semester ended I asked my teachers for some of their favorite books and recommendations. Also, I had a few books on my list for a while, and I decided this will be the best chance that I would get to read them all.

I have an Amazon Kindle ( Model: D00901) It’s one of the very first Kindles. I can not read in the dark with it, and it still has a keyboard. I love it, and I had it for years. I do not plan on purchasing a new one until this one dies completely. I enjoy buying my books on my kindle because I prefer to have a more minimalist lifestyle when it comes to my items. Also, I tend to enjoy reading on a screen. I get a weird feeling of frustration when I read for an extended period, and then I see how much more of the book I have left. I know it’s a weird complex but reading physical books overwhelm me sometimes. However, I have a few books that I already have a hard copy of so I will not be re-purchasing the same books, so I’ll be getting over my tiny epidemic.

When you go through the list, you’ll probably realize that there are a few themes: non-fiction, sociology, public policy, African-American history, natural history and slow fashion. The reason why I decided to focus on these themes was that I have a want to help my community. I want to help those who don’t know me and those I come into contact every day.

So, here we go…

 Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew DesmondImage result for evicted poverty                          I was recommended this book by my Human Geography teacher. He gave us the option to watch a video by the author Matthew Desmond. I absolutely recommend watching it. It is a synopsis of his book Evicted. This book received the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in General Non-Fiction and many other awards. This book follows a few families and individuals through their struggle in living in the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee. In summary, the author puts that eviction used to be extremely rare in American cities, but now it is prevalent especially for single mothers.
I have begun reading the book, and I’m currently in chapter 7. This book has captured my attention, and I’m learning so much from the families experience. It is heartbreaking but an intriguing story. Desmond, the author, wrote this book like a narrative rather than a regurgitation of statistics and numbers. This makes me feel comfortable to recommend it to my family and friends who are not interested in the same topics that I am.

 How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood by Peter MoskowitImage result for How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood by Peter Moskowitz

This is another book I was recommended to by my human geography teacher. I mentioned that I was interested in learning more about the topic of affordable housing to him, so he told me about this book that his book club is reading. I was automatically intrigued. The neighborhood in Atlanta that I live in has been seeing a resurgence of areas that were dead a few years ago. However, a lot of the areas were populated by people of color, and I have been seeing a shift in demographics that is a little bit concerning.

The author takes a reader through the destructive housing policies that uncover the massive, systemic forces behind gentrification in New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco, and New York. And how the simple question of who can and cannot afford to pay rent goes to the history of America’s race and inequality problem.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex HaleyImage result for malcolm x autobiographyMy mother talked about this book. She said it was an absolute page turner and she is amazed by the dedication and self-discipline of Malcolm X. This book I already had for a long time in my library. My Aunt bought me a copy years ago however I never took the time to read it. I’m interested in the story because usually I only hear extensively about Martin Luther King Jr. especially since I am from Atlanta, Georgia (MLK’s hometown). But, I wanted to learn about another aspect of the America civil rights movement.

White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism by Kevin M. KruseImage result for White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism by Kevin M. Kruse
White Flight was brought to my attention through my job. I work at an art museum, and we had an exhibition where an artist explored color theory and the history of Atlanta’s value of human life through public spaces. The artist used this book as research to help her create pieces. I was really intrigued by the idea, and I wanted to know more about the history of my city.
The author, Kevin M. Kruse, explains the causes and consequences of “white flight” in Atlanta and elsewhere. The author argues that “white flight” was more than white people moving and that it transformed the political ideology of those involved and created modern conservatism.

The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us by Diane AckermanImage result for The humAN age

I found this book by accident and the title intrigued me. In my opinion, hasn’t it always been “the human age?” Humans have been altering the world to suit our fancy for centuries, so what did this author had to say?
Diane Ackerman’s book won the 2015 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature. The book takes a reader through her unique insight of nature and humans’ place in it. Also throughout the book, she introduces the reader to individuals who are impacting the earth positively.

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline Image result for Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline

This book came up as a recommendation on my Amazon account because ya know, once you google something once it hunts you in the advertisements for weeks. As a promoter for slow fashion, I decided to give this book a chance especially since the reviews seem okay. I don’t have high expectations for this book because I’m sure it’ll be a repeat of information that I already know however the only information I am curious to understand another’s point of view

Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America by Lerone Bennett, Jr.

Image result for Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America by Lerone Bennett, Jr.This book was recommended to me by American government teacher. Honestly, I’m excited to read this fantastic book on black American history. I think this book is going be so good that I’m just going to have the book explain its summary. My teacher hyped up Mr. Bennett, and I have high expectations.
“In this completely revised edition of his superb history of black America, Lerone Bennett, Jr., brings his stirring narrative of the black experience up to date. Incorporating the insights of recent scholarship, Mr. Bennett traces black history from its origins in the great empires of western Africa, the transatlantic journey to slavery through Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, and the civil-rights upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s. Interspersed throughout the book are portraits of seminal figures in the struggles for freedom, and a completely updated section highlights black pioneers and their accomplishments” – Back cover of the book

These books are what I plan to accomplish this semester before I go back to school for the fall semester. I’m excited to learn more about topics that I’m actually interested in. If you guys have any recommendations, let me know in the comments! I’m always open to learn and hear others point of views.

Love Jazz ❤

Shopaholic? Here are some slow fashion tips.

I stood staring at my closet thinking “I have nothing to wear” I’ve been through this scenario more than I’ve been comfortable with. I have always wondered, what was it that made me feel like my closet was incomplete? Was it the fact that I never bought what I actually really wanted because of the price? Was it over my lack of style identity, I was never one to fit into a specific “style.” Or, do I legitimately lack items? Or am I not appreciating the items I have?

There are too many questions I could come up with, and I’m pretty sure that y’all would agree with me. I have been struggling when I look in my closet because I’m unhappy with it, however; I’m a massive proponent of slow fashion. I do not want to give my money to stores that do not reflect what I believe in nor do I want to fall into the trap of consumerism.

So, after some research on the inter-web and listening to my teacher this semester, I found some pretty great ideas that are possible for everyone who wants to add items into their closet and still participate in slow fashion.

  1. Stop shopping and use what’s in your closet Stop!! Breath and take a second to go through your closet and declutter and organize. See what’s hidden. If you didn’t know I’m a college student with limited money, I do not have the freedom to spend excess money unnecessarily. When I decluttered, I realized that I did have a consistent theme/aesthetic and I found clothing that I haven’t seen in months. So my closet was at a better start than I thought. However, I realized that I was lacking items in my closet and that I can address the lack of clothes with other means of slow fashion.

  2. Swap Clothing/Take advantage of opportunities Hit up your friends and family. Ask if they are willing to trade clothes or give clothes to you. I personally have items that used to belong to my mother and father that are really dope. Also, hit up your local senior citizen. I met a colleague, and they told me at their church there was an older couple that was giving away items from their home. They were able to get a beautiful pair of pearl earrings, and a cute vintage purse that was made with real leather and all it needed was a little polish.

  3. Thrift Don’t say ew or yuck. The good Lord allowed the human race to create a washing machine. Thrifting is a great way to purchase clothing. You can find unique items and sometimes better quality items. It helps fulfill the “Hunt” craving I get when I want to go shopping, and the feeling of success is 10 times better when I find what I was looking for. Also, thrifting gets your crafty juices flowing.


  4. Up-Cycle The most refreshing aspect of slow fashion to me is the importance of creativity. My favorite activity as a teenager was going to a thrift store and find an item that was shaped horribly, but with a little snip here and there it can become the cutest item ever. Sometimes adding your own little touches like tie-dying a white dress you found or picking up embroidery to add a unique element can change an article of clothing immensely. Later in my life, I got to a point where my parents saw that I really enjoyed upcycling and they bought me a sewing machine.


  5. Make your own clothes I didn’t know in the past, but we can purchase sustainable textiles. It’ll take a little hunt if you want local material or if you live in an area that lacks stores but materials can be purchased online. Also, making clothes are great for unique body shapes. My struggle has always been that stores tend to think all women are shaped like boxes for some reason and when I buy jeans they end up with that weird waist gap that I’m pretty sure many of you can identify with, but I shall digress.


  6. Repair I want to recommend for all to help stimulate our local economies by using our local seamstress and cobbler (shoe repair). I found a few items in my closet that I can ensure more life if I repair them.


  7. Only shop with brands that you agree with I hear many of my friends say they are not creative so I want to recommend shopping with ethical, fair trade and/or sustainable clothing brands. It’ll require a bit of research, but it’ll be worth it. It will cost more than our local Forever 21 however, instead of shopping every week and spending $20 for 4 items we can save our money and shop once a month or less and purchase 1 or 2 high-quality items that we love because we took the time to look for their integrity.


  8. Just take care of what you can afford I know many cannot afford sustainable fashion (Do you think sustainable fashion is only for the privileged? Tell me your opinion in the comments)I recommend taking care of what you can. If all you can afford is a t-shirt from Wal-Mart or H&M, take care of it like it is the most beautiful silk in the world. Prolong its longevity, if you see a hole sew it up if the color is fading re-dye it. Do your best and be a good steward of what you have.

At the end of the day slow fashion is about being responsible and using our money with integrity. Keep trying. We are doing this together and it is going to be a process. We got this.

Love Jazz ❤