Contact, hi

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Ahhh, the holiday season… Time for connecting or reconnecting with friends and loved ones. Picking up where you left off, reminiscing on old memories, and creating new ones, -if only I could find their phone numbers…
Ok, I’ll admit it. When it comes to keeping in touch with people, I’m not that great. It’s not that I don’t want to stay in touch, I do, honestly. It’s just that somehow, I just lose touch. I’m a texter, I love texting and social media. To me, it’s one of the greatest things to ever happen to the phone. I rarely ever actually talk to anybody on the phone. Maybe it’s my introverted personality, but being on the phone any longer than five minutes with someone is absolute torture. And it’s always been that way. I’ve watched my mom hold telephone conversations for over an hour in pure amazement. I don’t know how she does it. If I’m not shooting you a text within 5 seconds of receiving your phone number or vice versa, chances are that I’ll lose it. On the other hand, if I do have your number or social media handle, you can expect messages on birthdays and all of the holidays! I’ve also got a thing for greeting cards. I absolutely love shopping for the perfect card. So I guess I’m not at a complete loss when it comes to keeping in touch, but there’s definitely room for improvement, and I’m up for the challenge.

-Until next time, xoxo

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E.L.F. on the shelf

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E.L.F. lip exfoliator

Now that the winter months are here, I’ve noticed that my skin’s a little dryer, especially my lips. Switching to a thicker lotion or body cream is an easy fix for the skin on my body. If only everything were that simple…

I’ve tried a few different lip balms in my quest to keep my lips moisturized, but eventually, they go back to feeling dry and cracked. And of course, licking them only makes it worse.

Alas, there is a solution. One eventful day, while strolling the aisles of Target, I came across this brown sugar lip exfoliator by e.l.f. I threw it in the cart because, hey, why not? Anyway, I tried it as soon as I got home, and it was like heaven. It worked so well! It’s abrasive enough to scrub the dead skin away, but it’s also soothing. I can pair this with any of my favorite lip balms and I have soft, moist lips all day long. What I really love, is the packaging. It’s made like a lip stick, so I don’t have to worry about sticking my fingers into a container, then rubbing it on my lips. It’s also super inexpensive (best $3 I’ve ever spent). Now, I can fully enjoy sweater weather without dry lips. Because there’s so many other things I’d rather do… Like sip cocoa and sing carols lol.

Until next time…xoxo

Giving Tuesday

If you’re like me, than gift giving time makes you a bit anxious. I mean there’s secret Santa parties, white elephant parties, and gift exchange office parties. Finding a gift that’s within the agreed upon budget, that’s thoughtful, but not too personal can be tough. And of course nobody wants to go up to their recipient and say, “Hey, I pulled your name. What do you want?” (trust me. I’ve been on the receiving end of that conversation. Super awks.)

So I checked the mail the other day and pulled out a Z Gallerie catalog. I began flipping through it and came across the “gifts” section. Z Gallerie has tons of gifts for both him and her. Starting at just 9.99, I’m sure anyone can find the perfect gift.

If you’re more crafty, there’s tons of gift ideas on Pinterest. You could make customized gifts for everyone on your list.

Last but definitely not least, if you’re feeling charitable, there’s plenty of causes to donate to on GoFundMe.com

Hopefully, these ideas made your gift giving season a little less stressful. Happy giving!

Cyntoia Brown

“… When I would do good, evil is present with me.” -Romans 7:21 kjv

I first became aware of Cyntoia Brown’s story a few years ago, while watching a series of documentaries on YouTube. I was shocked by the entire story. I was mostly shocked at the sentence that she received.
Cyntoia Brown was a sixteen year old girl who’d experienced a life full of hardship since conception. She was born to a teenaged mother who drank during her pregnancy, and used drugs after her birth. Cyntoia’s birth mother also suffered from mental illness, which had been genetically passed down for at least three generations. At eight months old, Cyntoia’s mother gave her up for adoption. Cyntoia lived with relatives and family friends for the first three years of her life; even being kidnapped at one time by relative. Needless to say, Cyntoia developed some abandonment issues as well as trust issues. Cyntoia was raised by Ellenette Brown, a family friend. And while things seemed picture-perfect on the outside, that was not the case. Cyntoia claimed that she was being physically abused by her adoptive father.
At the age of sixteen, Cyntoia ran away from home. She was exploited and trafficked for sex by a pimp named “Kut throat” for three weeks, before he told her that she needed to go make some money. Cyntoia went to a part of the city, known for prostitution, where she met a forty-three year old man. This man offered her (a girl- twenty-seven years younger than him) $150 dollars for sex. Cyntoia, young, desperate, and afraid agreed. She got in his car and went to his house. He told her about all of the guns he owned, and how well of a shooter he was. As Cyntoia recalls, the man became aggressive during the transaction. When he reached over to grab something, Cyntoia, feared for safety and grabbed a near-by gun and shot and killed the man. Afraid to go back to Kut throat empty-handed she stole, the man’s wallet.
These are the events that led to a sixteen year old girl being tried as an adult and convicted of 1st degree premeditated murder, felony murder, and aggravated robbery.
My heart completely broke while watching this documentary. Imagine my shock while scrolling through my Instagram feed the other day, I noticed Rihanna sharing a post about Cyntoia. I’m so happy that once again, someone is giving a voice to Cyntoia. She didn’t let a failed system take away her life, though it took away her freedom. She studied and received her degree while in prison. She is still fighting for her freedom and now few celebs have joined her. It is my hope that Cyntoia will be freed from prison, not at age 69, but in the near future. It is also my hope that the justice system in America will never again criminalize a victim. It is absolutely incredible to me how many times the system failed this girl: at birth, throughout her childhood, then in her adolescence.

To learn more about Cyntoia Brown’s story go here.

Escapism

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You took my heart captive

And demanded a ransom

And I’ve been paying the price

Year after year

I’ve been praying to Christ

Hoping that He hears

I’m just saying my life

Is nothing but these tears

Bottled up inside

Toast to me

Cheers

And they’re spilling now

Drowning everything

But there’s a way out

Promise everything

Is ok now

©Jocsalyn Janay 2017

Chrysalis

Sigh of relief

mixed with a little bit of

sadness

Take a good girl

And try to turn her

into a savage

I know what I want

And I know that I

Could never have it

Heart’s still racing

Pounding by the second

And time’s a wasting

Been here all my life

And I’m tired of waiting

For the prefect guy

To come and save me

I’m drowning in this tide

©Jocsalyn Janay, 2017