TheJournalist25 Book Club

As I think about my life and how much my perspective has changed over the years I can attribute a large portion of it to my love for reading. Since my senior year of college I’ve been keeping my head in books more than ever- mostly non-fiction. I find myself always recommending books that have helped me on my path of self discovery and self love. Here is a list of the top five books I’ve read that helped me take steps to being happy no matter the circumstance. I have read all of these books in the last year.

The Mastery of Love- Don Miguel Ruiz

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The first time I read this book was the summer of 2011 after seeing A Belle in Brooklyn author, Demetria Lucas, mention it on social media. It sounded interesting so I researched it then found a copy at my local library. It was absolutely mind blowing for me with every chapter I read.

When most people think of the word love its associated with being in a romantic relationship. The Mastery of Love’s basic principle is that you’re either operating out of love or fear. After finishing it I looked at the way others treated me in a completely different way and many different aspects of love in my life. Many people rave about Ruiz’s other book The Four Agreements, but this had a much bigger impact on me. I’ve read it a few times now and I always learn something new each time. I suggest you buy this book instead of borrowing it from the library.

Every Day A Friday- Joel Osteen

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I’ve always been a fan of Joel Osteen and his style of teaching. This book was an unexpected Christmas gift last year. I didn’t start reading it until January 16, 2013 while on the plane to New York City with nowhere to sleep and just enough money to buy a metrocard ride or food. I decided to read it on the plane between praying to God for a miracle because I didn’t know what was going to happen once I landed.

It was just what I needed to keep my mind in a positive place with its simple and practical theories along with bible scriptures and affirmations. This book was very helpful during my first month in the big apple because of my circumstances I had to stay positive. This book helped me realize just how easy it is to be happy which led to my curiosity of controlling my thoughts better.

Power Thoughts- Joyce Myers

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Throughout my life I have always been a thinker and analyzer. I will think about things over and over and over again like many people do. I stumbled across this book on the shelf in the library one day during a time in my life when I realized I needed to have better control over my thoughts. After reading Osteen’s book this was perfect to reinforce and take me to the next level of personal growth. Meyers incorporates scripture from the bible, examples about herself and others to get her point across. I enjoyed the basic concepts of each chapter which makes it easy for anyone to understand and apply (if you want to).

Being able to now shape and control my thoughts has led me to another level in creating happiness in my life because I realized its a choice and thought. This book reiterated that concept at a critical time in my life.

The Game of Life and How To Play It- Florence Scovel Shinn

game of life

I heard about this book many times but it never registered to me until this past year. Initially I couldn’t read the book so I found free audio of it on youtube and would listen to it over and over and over again for months until I finally broke down and bought the book. I’ve read the book several times on the train and at home since purchasing it.

It teaches you about multiple universal laws like The Law of Attraction and many others. Its simple but very powerful. You can read the entire book in a couple of hours and its cheap to purchase. This is my go to book, its always on deck. It does include references to The Bible and Jesus, but for non-Christians don’t let that deter you from reading it. This book also include multiple affirmations that you can say and use.

The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho

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Reading non-fiction books for me gets tiring because I have such a big imagination, but I’m so darn picky when it comes to fiction books. This book was perfect, it included traveling around the world which I love and elements of a self-help book but in story form. Coelho is known for being a brilliant author and this quick read packs a punch full of perspective. I don’t want to ruin the story for you so I’ll just say it brings you full circle about life and your journey, especially as you get closer your destination. I really loved this book and couldn’t put it down.

Bonus Book
Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang- Chelsea Handler

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Chelsea Handler is a comedian and this book is hilarious. You may laugh through the entire book, but her story is really awesome because she basically used universal laws that are in the other five book above to be this awesome rich woman that does what she loves without even knowing it. Along with seeing how her life has unfolded over the years into what it is today you get to laugh at it and the crazy things she’s done in the past. I’ve read damn near all her books, but this one is the best indicator of who she is from a child to an adult.

Let me know what you think about these books and feel free to suggest  other books to read in the comment section.

-TheJournalist25 xoxo

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Year 27 Has Begun

It’s safe to say that I am really like foreal foreal *swallows huge gulp* 27 years old now. Its been a week and everything is settling as I inch closer to dare I say it… 30.

Indeed, I’m totally blessed to be alive, healthy, and happy right now in my life. I took some huge baby steps during year 26, boy was it a world wind. I could write a book on the past year of my life alone, and you probably still wouldn’t believe half the stuff in it. I can’t even believe I made it through, but God is good!

Now, I’m feeling clearer about my goals, and truly ready to turn my dreams into reality. Its time to kick life into high gear now that I’m in a really good place in my life emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. My perspective on life now is simple: I Choose To Be Happy! Yep, that’s it!

I have a lot of goals to achieve this upcoming year, and the most important one to me is to put my passport to use. I’ve had it for over a year, and I’m itching like a crackhead to use it. Traveling the world has been a vision of mine since childhood. I haven’t always seen myself as a wife or a mother or even a writer, but I’ve always seen myself as a jetsetter. I understood at a very young age there is a huge world out there beyond what I see in my everyday activities. My curiosity is beyond ready to touch, feel, taste, and see it all.

I’m too adventurous for one country. I believe that traveling the world will allow me to discover more than that particular place, but a deeper part of myself.

I’m not sure how long I’ve known that my heart was in New York, but when I got here, even with all the things I’ve gone through, I have never in my life been happier, and at peace. I instantly felt reunited with my heart as if it was waiting for me to get here the entire time. A new electricity flows through my body now. I can’t help but just take a breath at any point in my day and smile because I’m here.

I’m pretty sure the same thing will happen when I begin to trot around the world this year. I’m not completely sure how it will happen, but mark my words I WILL BE MAKING MULTIPLE TRIPS TO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD THIS YEAR! I’m claiming it!

Along with getting a few stamps in my passport I truly want to achieve a higher level of success for myself, not in a flashy ‘I’m a baller’ kind of way, but by just being a woman of action, and getting out of my own way. Taking the woman that I already am, and expanding into another realm that allows me to reach more people. I’m feeling a little shy about my ambitious goals to take over the world with you right now so I’m just going to digress here. I hope that you will continue to send more positive energy my way during this new year for me.

Thanks for reading.
-TheJournalist25 xoxo

HowMyBootyEndUpInTheAir?!: Let It Go!!

There’s nothing worse than encountering a “nice guy” that’s really an asshole.

I would like to dub assholes in disguise of a nice guy as “The Derwin Davis Syndrome” because he was the epitome of this type of guy on The Game. Trying to please Janay and Melanie just so he wouldn’t look like the bad guy, all the while he was being the bad guy, and an asshole. The concept popped in my mind when the show returned to BET, but I never got around to flushing out my thoughts about “nice guys” until now.

Don’t get me wrong  some men are genuinely nice guys, and then there are the perpetrators. These guys are dangerous because they have a high level of bitchassness and a very low-level of thug. You get where I’m going with this ladies?!

If you’re a smart, but adventurous and kind-hearted woman like me then you’ve dated, and even been wifed up by, a few thugs back in the day. You were young, it was fun, and life was forgiving if you didn’t have a baby or catch an incurable sexually transmitted disease.

These bad boys put you through a few things even though they truly didn’t deserve you from the gate (consider your community service completed). You grow up a bit, attend college, and run into a few nice guys. After all the past guys put you through the nice guy is refreshing. Then you realize the “nice guy” isn’t so nice after all. Even though his game seemed weak compared to the thug you realize that it’s actually air tight.

They play up their nice guy charm, and that they’re a “rarity” for us women, especially after watching CNN, and reading The New York Times which perpetuates this lie to them and us.

They wine and dine you consistently then suddenly everything just slows the fuck down. This is when things get real because when you ask them “what’s the deal?”, if you’re that bold, they have no real explanation except they’re tired or lazy. They don’t even bother to tell you their ass has been busy so that you can give them the benefit of the doubt.

You feel something incredibly shady going on in your gut. Listen to it! Let it go!

Nice assholes are real, but don’t let them, or the thugs, discourage you. The sooner you let go of them the quicker you can meet a man worthwhile. Trust me… Trust Me! All you need to do is let it go. I repeat Let It The Fuck Go! You deserve better; actually you deserve The Best! Keyshia Cole said it plain and simple

If He Aint Gonna Treat You The Way He Should Then Let It Go!

Don’t sleep on Keyshia Cole just because you’re a Beyoncé fan she breaks bread, more so in her earlier albums, but bread is bread regardless.

Back to Beyoncé  (lol) get you a new freakum dress, have a few drinks and a come to Jesus moment with your girls. You’ll be good as new, and ready for the world. You work out, eat healthy, and work hard at being the independent woman you are so why would you let a guy treat you less than you treat yourself?! Lies They Tell! You’ve overcome so much in life already this should be a piece of cake. Join the movement against Fuckboys and Bitchass men, and yes this includes nice assholes.

Feel free to comment and discuss your experience with these types of men in the comment section.

Keep It Cute, Classy, and Quality!
-TheJournalist25 xoxo

I’m In Love With “The Real”

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Recently, I’ve extremely dialed back on my television intake, but in the process I picked up a new show I absolutely love.

On July 15 The Real premiered and when I first heard about this show I was excited because I basically love every person on it in some way or another. Mixed all together their chemistry is great; and their opinions are juicy.

I live for this cultural mix: Tamera Mowry-Housley represents for the black and white women because she’s half-breed and married to a white man. Then you have your chocolate, thick girl (watch out for the big girls) Loni Love, Asian persuasion with a touch of hood chick in her Jeannie Mai, Latina chica and former Cheetah Girl Adreinne Bailon, and hoodrat yet bougie black girl Tamar Braxton. It really doesn’t get any better than this!

Now I will say that Tamar is a bit turnt down from what we see on Braxton Family Values and Tiny Tonight. I’m not sure if baby Logan is the reason for the turn down or the network/show itself, but I still fux with it on the low because she gives me the ghetto lip smack and hair tossing to satisfy my thirst for her. Maybe once they get renewed for an entire season she’ll go back to her complete crunk self. We’ll see… then again this level of crunkness is perfect because she can be too much for some viewers at her normal level.

Jeannie surprised me because I’ve watched her on the Style Network for years and always loved her and her blue black hair, but didn’t have a clue that she could get so ghetto, but at the same time she is the most conservative yet liberal woman with a great sense of humor on the show. Tamera comes in a close second behind her although I wouldn’t recommend you sleep on her because between her white side and black side this girl can get kind of wild.

If you ever need a girlfriend to talk to about your chocha with Adrienne is the one I would run to. She has already shown us how to give it a facial, which I would totally buy in a jar if they sold it. Then told us she pre-washes her panties in the shower before putting them in the dirty laundry claiming it to be a latina thing. I do know this to be true for Hispanic women because I live with Dominicans and I’m always wondering why wet underwear are in the shower. Now I understand why and may join in on the fun. #whoknew

We all know Loni Love as the funny one, but she makes it very clear that she is also the single one out the group (Adreinne isn’t married but apparently got a man). She comes off a little thirsty sometimes even though its suppose to be funny. Overall, she bring plenty of jokes and comes across as the ring leader of the group of women and that single homegirl you always wanna go out for drinks with. I’m so happy for her and I’m sure Chelsea Handler is too!

Everyone is older than 30, except Adreinne, but they all have these amazing perspectives to bring to the table that is young and relatable. Their different opinions always surprises me during the first segment of the show. They definitely keep it real with fun topics I wanna hear discussed. I literally laugh the entire show. I wonder if this is the kind of enjoyment my mom gets watching The View? I just hate that it comes on in the middle of the day which kind of sucks because most people are at work (and soon I will be too).

I  encourage everyone to DVR it.. or BET to show it late night like Wendy Williams.

Speaking of Wendy, I love her, but her show has gotten a little too middle-aged white woman for me. I lost my desire to watch the show (I do wanna go to a live taping one of these days) because she comes off like the 40 something year old aunt who use to be fun but has since met Jesus, got married, had kids, and moved to the suburbs.  Now being turnt up for her is sipping tea and gossiping about other moms in the neighborhood and celebrity news she found in the tabloids. In the age of entertainment blogs nobody cares about what is in US Weekly and other tabloids, except old people out of touch.

She gets some tea, but from B list and below stars. She throws shade at a few people, but has backed down from those who have thrown full-blown flames at her (coughs Lil Kim). I love her though and so does her demographic. I on the other hand fuck with auntie Wendy that did that phone interview with Whitney Houston back in the day! #bow

Back to The Real… the show is really cute and I love watching it Monday through Friday (when I get a chance). I’m sure you will too! Check it out and et me know what you think.

-TheJournalist25

HowMyBootyEndUpInTheAir?: IV Play

Many people don’t know that I’m a huge fan of The Dream on the low. Recently, his latest album, IV Play, was released. It’s cute but not his best body of work. That’s besides the point. Although the single, IV Play, isn’t a huge hit or anything like that (thank gawd) I feel like I need to address the statement he is trying to make in this song because it sounds really cute to the naked ear, but you can’t put too much past me lyrically.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while then you know I’m all about the prerequisite which is a part of foreplay. If not, you can read about it here.

The Dream aka Terius Nash is trying to be cute in the way he sings about cutting out foreplay with his woman, but nigga you are not slick!!! For those who aren’t sure what foreplay is its all the things that come before actually having sexual intercourse ranging from caressing, kissing, nibbling, sucking, licking, and of course the prerequisite. Dictionary.com defines foreplay as sexual stimulation of one’s partner, usually as a prelude to sexual intercourse.

The key word in that definition is stimulation. If we’re skipping foreplay how am I suppose to be stimulated and ready to give you the good good?! Is the mere sight of you suppose to make me wet?! Well, okay… never mind that last statement, but you get what I’m trying to say. I would like a little more incentive to stay nice and wet; it makes the moments of pleasure that much more explosive.

I know every time you’re about to have sex there isn’t going to be foreplay involved,  but The Dream’s justification for skipping foreplay is ridiculous.

I can give a fuck about the foreplay, I want it now, I’m talkin’ straight sex, stop fuckin’ around

Impatience on your part is not reason enough to just skip foreplay! Then at the end of the song he’s talking about going all night.

Tell me you gon’ set it off all night

Sir, you want me to sex you all night with no foreplay?! It’s not impossible, but it comes off a little selfish. Straight sex is like for a quickie not tryna pull an all nighter or a ’round for ’round session. Granted foreplay-esq moves can be incorporated during actual intercourse which saves this song from being a complete blunder. You tried it, Terius!

Adding insult to injury he also says:

Early morning, I’m so horny,, I just had it, still I want it, ride up on it whenever you come around

Don’t get me wrong I got that snapback and all but can I get a break?! Can that break be foreplay, please? Wanting stunts and shows:

Now work that shit, do that shit, make a nigga crazy

Which isn’t necessarily a problem because I want to give my best efforts at all times, but if were gonna skip foreplay and keep stunts and shows then I’m definitely gonna need a “throw it in the bag” excursion to make up for it. I’m gonna need to my trips to Monaco and all that shit. After all that work I’ve earned it to the second root! (Yeah, I’m good at algebra too lol)

I already let The Dream slide about sweating out my hair then he comes up with this shit?! Tried It!!

The fact that he really tries to make the song sound somewhat romantic has me giving him the ultimate side eye.

I don’t want to waste your time

Sorry to say it but without the prerequisite being taken care of you’re wasting my time. Or maybe I’ve been spoiled in the past? #shrugs

Overall, The Dream is sending the wrong message to inexperienced young men out there. It’s bad enough these rappers are just talking about fucking bitches, and now he’s tryna cut out foreplay. Whoa, whoa, whoa someone has to call these men out before they run amuck.  The only way this song is okay is if he’s talking about messing with a hoe which in that case I have no jurisdiction on the terms and conditions of their sexual encounter because I’ve never been about that life (honestly).

I’m talking a lot of shit on this post, but when things are still new between your new man (in my case) or new boo (in your case) you just gotta have it all. the. damn. time. anyway you can, and I get it! The adrenaline, emotions, thoughts, hormones are racing and you just want that person on a platter, but that doesn’t give The Dream the right to make an entire song about skipping foreplay. Get your life! Keep that shit to yourself. I want it all!

Points to take away from all of this is:
– Men, at least fulfill the prerequisite (and do it well).
– If you’re a regular dude you don’t get to skip foreplay unless that’s your main bish and y’all been at it for a minute.
– If you can afford to splurge on your woman feel free to skip foreplay in exchange for shopping sprees, trips, and access to your credit cards.
– Real men always make sure their woman’s needs are taken care of first!
– Neither party in the sexual experience should be lazy.

Feel free to leave your commentary below.
*Turns on some R. Kelly* tootles luvies
-TheJournalist25 xoxo

The Depressing Life Of Mary Jane

Last night, we finally got to see what the fuss was all about with Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union. I’ll admit overall it was a good show and the look was the best quality I’ve ever seen on BET, but it was depressing to say the least. Didn’t you think so?!

I couldn’t help but think “this is really some poor black woman’s life,” and cringe. Television is supposed to be an exaggeration of life not an exact depiction. It’s suppose to still give you something to believe in and a reason to root for the main character. There was no real light at the end of the tunnel for her. I just felt bad for her all around. She’s single, sleeping with a married man, secretly jealous of her niece because she has children, and she basted sperm from a condom for God’s sake. Oh and baking cake at 2 in the morning, did any one else find that alarming? Please tell me that isn’t depressing to watch as a black woman.

If that was my life being mimicked I wouldn’t be able to watch it. There’s just no way because it would hit too close to home. The only fabulous thing about Mary Jane are her tangible items- clothes, weave, house, and car. Other than that she isn’t happy in any shape or form. She’s back pedaling to men from her past and crying on the shoulder of a gay man who has a partner. Can her gay friend being single too at least? lol Where are her girlfriends at with the wine and shit talking to cheer her up?

I just didn’t realize being a black successful woman was this complex. I pray I never have to find out first hand either. At the end of the show I’m still confused on the point of it. Granted I will continue to watch it, but I need Single Ladies back on ASAP. I need to see women with more glamour, power, and seem to at least have fun and an active dating life. I’m not about Mary Jane’s life at all. I see where there could be strength in watching her, but she’s nothing little girls should seemingly look up to.

At least Olivia Pope is running DC, has power, and a team that will do anything for her. Keisha and Raquel are dating men left and right while attending grand events with the elite of ATL. Mary Jane just goes to work fighting to get to nightly news, enables her family, and has sex with men that makes her feel empty after. DEPRESSION ALERT!

For the record, that was very dumb of her to stand him up at the diner (or wherever the hell they were meeting) with that dumb ass speech only to let him come in her house with tortilla chips and salsa then sex her. That was backwards as hell! He could’ve brought her a real meal like Chick Fil A or Waffle House or Chipotle. Don’t you think?!

Well, if this show does anything for the single black woman I hope that it motivates us to take a good look in the mirror whether to prevent or cure our lives of unhappiness. I’m certainly NOT about Mary Jane’s life and you can quote me on that in the future. Although, I would love to have her house.

HowMyBootyEndUpInTheAir?!: Body Party

I’m always thinking about what I’m gonna write about next for this site. Maybe even overthinking it (there goes that over-analyzing Virgo trait), but thus why its been taking a while for new post. I’m trying not to bore you with only talk about New York so I figured I better get this one out before the passion goes away. A few people have been asking me for a new #howmybootyendupintheair? and this is the closest thing they’re gonna get for now… but you never know what the future has in store.

BODY-PARTY

Where do I start? You know when you hear or see something that just makes you feel like you can be your best possible self, if not better? That’s exactly how I felt when I saw Ciara’s “Body Party” video. I know you probably weren’t expecting that from me, but hey I am Miss HowMyBootyEndUpInTheAir?!!

This experience (the video and song) has brought so many emotions out of me in those 4:52. I for one just can’t stop rockin’ my hips, slow winding, and looking back at it while this song plays.

First, it took me all the way back to my party days in college. In my heyday I’ve been to some pretty incredible parties, some of which I was the life of. Although, I mostly went to the club, house parties were always the best (except when they got shut down early). Life was like a movie; liquor was flowing, slow songs were mixed in with the dance tracks, and life had no worries. Nonetheless, a good party night always meant my girls and I were lined up on the wall dancing with some guys which is dully noted in this video.

Then, after reminiscing I began to think “Man, this summer is gonna be epic!” Its my first summer in New York, talk about endless possibilities! Everyone seems to be awaiting summer 2013 thanks to such a brutally cold winter. Speaking of the summer Ciara definitely showed us how to get a boo and keep one for the summer not only with her dancing, but with that sexy lingerie piece she wore too. If you haven’t already I need you to cop a couple of pieces (or at least have some panties and bras that match real talk).

I loved her bun in the video! I love buns period honey (my hair is actually in a messy bun as I type), plus they’re the best when going to a party to prevent sweating your hair into an afro (or is that just me?). I loved the blonde, short, tousled curly hair too because a girl needs some hair to throw back and forth when seducing her man.

The dancing was awesome in this video, but don’t fret ladies they’re still basic moves you grew up doing with just a little remix and twist to it. You always need to remix your classic moves anyway to keep things fresh. She definitely remixed a couple moves from the “Promise” video in that silhouette scene. Cici you are NOT slick, but I’ll let you slide because at least you tried to remix it unlike Beyoncé who is still doing all her original dances from 2003 – 2011. I will admit that my alter ego, Brooke, might have to come out for me to pull some of them off, but I miss her anyway so let the good times roll. Don’t get it twisted I still got it though! Hey, hey, hey daddy! lol Don’t get me started, please!

There are a few little details in this video that I love. Anyone who knows me knows I’m all about the details. Ecstatic to see Jazzy Pha in the video!  The dialogue was a nice bonus “They don’t call me the future for no reason” and “He reads.”

There were a lot of little 90s tributes as well. I feel like Ciara channeled her inner Janet Jackson’s Janet in this video with the style, look, and feel, merged with hip hop. Did they low key do the butterfly/tootsie roll?! I’m pretty sure they did. Let me not forget the song samples a 90s summer favorite Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo”.

Lastly, the last song I fell in love with like this was Beyoncé’s “Dance For You,” and although it is Bey season her dance moves are still nowhere close to a Ciara dip and wind. Unfortunately for Ciara she’s not Beyoncé and like I mentioned before its Bey season so I’m pretty sure this song’s livelihood is gonna be cut very short, even though technically Beyoncé hasn’t put out a new single yet. I will keep this song on rotation, but like so many other Beyoncé victims no one else on a public platform (i.e. radio, social media, and iTunes) will, but she can count on BET’s 106 and Park to maybe hold her down. #Justalittleshade

Well, that’s pretty much it. I’m going to go twerk to this song in the mirror. (Bitch, don’t act like you don’t do it too!) Enjoy the video below:

-TheJournalist25 xoxo