B*tch You Don’t Love Yourself! 5 Signs You Are Not Being Kind To Yourself

Self-love and self-care are terms that are thrown around a lot these days. They’re more than taking a bubble bath when you’re feeling stressed, or listening to your favorite song.   These are processes that one should regularly engage in – making conscious efforts to be present and kind to the self. Personally, I know I could do a lot better with practicing self-love and self-care, as I am not nice to myself in the slightest (so I’ve been told).

Are you being unkind to yourself? Read 5 signs below, or watch the video above to find out!

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Influenster #GlowVoxBox Unboxing|Court Ess

Hey there everyone! Long time no post 🙂 I know it’s been a while, but I am finally back with some new content. I apologize as always for not posting for such a long time, it’s just that senior year was really (understandably) hectic. Now that I’ve graduated college though, I should have bit more time on my hands since I’m in job search mode to devote to the blog/YouTube. With that in mind, I’m just going to get right into this VoxBox unboxing.  If you do not care to read the post, you can watch the video linked above!

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A Quick Trip To Rhinebeck, NY

This is just a quick post/photo journal highlighting my trip on Saturday March, 25. 

My school offered a trip to Rhinebeck, NY, which is about a 30 minute ride from our campus. We only had to spend $5, and it included transportation, an opportunity to go on a small “hike.”

The weather was pretty crappy in all honesty, so we didn’t get to go on the hike as planned. We were told to just walk around and do as we pleased. With this in mind, this was how the afternoon was spent: 

Pictured below are my housemate, Jamila, and my friend Kaliyah. They were hungrier than I was (since I had breakfast prior to leaving for the trip). We decided to eat at Aroi Thai. It had a really cozy atmosphere, and it looked like a house! Well, it didn’t look like a house, it was a house. 

As I said above, I wasn’t very hungry, so I just got some spring rolls and coconut ice cream with roasted coconut flakes (which was vegan). The spring rolls were really filling, and the sweet chili sauce was great. These ones were filled with rice noodles I believe, as opposed to just vegetables. 

The coconut ice cream was amazing. As I said above, it was vegan (which I appreciated, as I am not consuming dairy). The consistency was really creamy, which I haven’t had from coconut milk based ice creams. Usually the consistency comes off as grainy, but this was nice. It wasn’t as creamy as “normal” ice cream, but it was great. It makes me wonder if they used coconut cream as the base, rather than coconut milk? 

Anyway, the toasted coconut was a great addition, and it added some great texture to the eating experience.

After eating, we walked around some and ended up in this chocolate shop, Krause’s. The stores are based in Saugurties, NY, and there is one other location in New Paltz, NY and this one in Rhinebeck which is about 3 years old. 

I’m not much of a chocolate person, so I didn’t get anything. Kaliyah and Jamila had a great time though 😂 I don’t like chocolate, but everything looked delicious (and smelled great too). It’s all handmade too (in Saugurties).

The last noteworthy thing we did was go to This bookstore. Unfortunately, I do not remember the name, and I’m too lazy to get my receipt for books. 

I thought is was so nice that when you first walked in, right by the cashier, there was a section of books by black authors 🤙🏾 Adjacent to that was another table with feminist books, but I didn’t take a picture of that.

More in the back, but still SUPER VISIBLE was this table with books relating to resisting. I thought that was cool. 

We walked around some and went to some smaller shops and boutiques, but they were really overpriced. This is probably because the items are not massed produced or what may have you, but nah. 

All in all, it’s a cute place to kill a bit of time, but not for a full out, day long excursion. It’s a place where now that I’ve gone once, I wouldn’t go back to just browse…only with the explicit intent to do something or go somewhere specific. 

What in this would you like to do? And where are some places you enjoy going for day trips?

Keep up with me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM! Also drop your links below so I can check them out 😊

-Court

Thoughts| Ethical Living – NOPE

Ethical Living| Not

I wrote this post about me wanting to be a more conscious consumer a couple weeks ago (which you can read here). I recognized certain obstacles to this, and aspects that didn’t account for nuances such as:

  • Privilege
  • Living and breathing capitalism & consumption
  • And social norms (which I didn’t really consider)

The universe is constantly teaching me, and  giving me insight as to how I can open my mind and build every day. This time, assistance arrived in the form of THIS article titled, “Conscious consumerism is a lie. Here’s a better way to help save the world” by Alden Wicker. The article makes points that argue how “Making series of small, ethical purchasing decisions while ignoring the structural incentives for companies’ unsustainable business models won’t change the world as quickly as we want. It just makes us feel better about ourselves.” Now, this was kind of what I started to get at in my post, as this hope was brought about after considering the sociological imagination. I fell into the trap though of not addressing the structural factors, and defaulting to individualistic “solutions.”

The article proposes that we shouldn’t stop making small, green decisions, but we also need to direct those efforts (and dollars) to lobbying, volunteering, and supporting on-ground organizations that combat issues of sustainability. I don’t want to do much summarizing, as I do not want to misconstrue the message. I highly recommend reading though.

What do you think? What are some things you do to become an ethical/conscious consumer?

Keep up with me on TWITTER & INSTAGRAM!

-Court

 

 

Not Just Sex Project

NOT JUST SEX PROJECT 2

Hey there everyone, this is a bit different from my usual posts, but this is very important to me, so I would appreciate if you read and participated! I, along with five other fellows from across the country, have been working really hard on projects that challenge norms that can lead to gender based violence on our individual college campuses. You can read about us HERE, and see some projects that have launched already by fellow Cash HERE & fellow Molly HERE

Not Just Sex

Hey there!

My name is Courtenay Spalding, and I am a senior at Marist College. Since September, I have been working with Breakthrough U.S. (click to read more about them), an organization dedicated to ending gender based violence, particularly in college life.

Here’s What My Project Is:

I am interested in challenging the expectations and liberations around hookup culture & well being through storytelling, social media, and art. College, and my experience with hooking up has revealed a lot about my sexuality, my understanding of my identity, and how that has played into my mental health.

I want to hear stories of who’s participating in it, the rules, and the outcomes, but also who’s not participating, not participating in hooking up, and more of the nuances involved (how this plays out for different sexual identities and racial minorities, how social capital impacts interaction with hooking up, etc).

Basically, I want to talk to you about the norms surrounding hooking up, and how they may (or may not) affect you!

Here’s How You Can Get Involved:

  • You can submit your stories via Google Form (please click link) along with a photograph or illustration you feel best represents your truth. I want to keep the power in your hands, so if you do not want your story associated with a photograph of you that’s okay.
  • Spread the word! Tell your friends about this (you can forward this message) and have them submit their stories. The more the better!

  • Follow Not Just Sex Project on Facebook and Instagram (linked off)

  • Keep me in check: As I stated above, I don’t want to erase anyone’s narratives, so if there are ways I can improve this, let me know!

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Keep up with the project on FB and IG @NotJustSexProject!

Thoughts| “The Churched Black Feminist” by Jamie D Crumley

I was on Instagram and ended up reading this post called “The Churched Black Feminist” written by Jamie D. Crumley over at http://www.iamfreeagent.com. To sum up the main idea of the post, the author is basically proposing the question of whether religion and feminism are antithetical to one another (author thinks no), and if one can consider themselves a faithful Christian and a feminist (author thinks yes).

I wasn’t able to state my opinion very eloquenty, but Instagram user superniggafeminist was able to capture my thoughts, and then some in her response:

I too have found myself identifying more as spiritual, rather than religious as my body of knowledge increases, and I attempt to learn more about other groups of people. In my opinion, I think that there are too many politics attached to religion (as @superniggafeminist states, and Jamie explains as well). There are also too many contradictory messages for me. I admit, there is ignorance on my end, but I do not see how one can exercise compassion and love for another, regardless of lifestyle (whether that encompass homosexuality, premarital sex, sexual liberation, etc) but still believe them to be damned. These words may not accurately capture the full scope of what I mean, but yeah.

Also, as pointed out above, there are too many other messages in the Bible and other religious text that negate the argument being made in this post. The few examples given do not encompass the nuances feminist thought and values support.

You can view the post here to read the author’s points, and further develop your thoughts. You can also view the Instagram post here which contains the commentary I mentioned above.

What are your thoughts?

Keep up with me on TWITTER & INSTAGRAM!

-Court

Original post: https://www.iamfreeagent.com/blog/2017/3/18/the-churched-black-feminist

The Belko Experiment Thoughts + Psychology Experiments

Belko Experiment Thoughts

**Contains spoilers. Continue at your own discretion**

So I saw The Belko Experiment over the weekend, and was I impressed? No. Was I disappointed? No. The plot is one we’ve seen before (a la Battle Royale, The Circle, Lord of the Flies, etc), so I wasn’t expecting to walk into this movie blown away by some novel and innovative plot. It was interesting to see how no matter the circumstance, the same end always prevails with this genre of film.

I won’t go into too many specifics, simply because we know how these types of movies play out. The only thing lost by me providing a synopsis is the guessing game of who dies, when, and how. I do want to share a few thoughts that came up during the movie between my boyfriend and I though:

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Facts About Me| Courtenay’s Beauty Box

In the spirit of shaking things up a bit, here are 5 facts about me!

5 Facts About Me

I’m an INFJ

INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately, deeply woven, quilt-like, mysterious, highly complex, and often puzzling, even to themselves. They have an orderly view toward the world but are internally arranged in a complex way that only they can understand. Abstract in communicating, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. With a natural affinity for art, INFJs tend to be creative and easily inspired, yet they may also do well in the sciences, aided by their intuition.

NFJs are believed to adapt easily in social situations due to their complex understanding of an individual’s motivations; however, they are true introverts. INFJs are private individuals who prefer to exercise their influence behind the scenes. Though they are very independent, INFJs are intensely interested in the well-being of others. INFJs prefer one-on-one relationships to large groups. Sensitive and complex, they are adept at understanding complicated issues and driven to resolve differences in a cooperative and creative manner. – source

I love the colour blue (even though everything on this site is green)

It is often associated with depth and stability.

Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness.

Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness.
Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness. – source

Favourite animal is an elephant 

The strength of the elephant is tremendous. No other animal on land can match the elephant. It knows its own strength, and confidently strides across the plains aware of its power. It also uses wisdom, and is very intelligent, and thinks things through to all of its conclusions. – source

Tea > coffee

Tea People: When people ask you what you’re planning on doing with your life, you generally curl up into a small ball à la Roly Poly and cry softly to yourself. You have way too many books you plan on reading — and Tumblr posts you plan on reblogging — to consider things in terms of “career.” You are not really upwardly mobile, professionally speaking, but that’s okay. You’re just figuring things out. You’ll get to it. It will be fine. – source (I thought this was so fitting for this semester haha)

 

I am a Scorpio through & through 

I just want to preface anything I put below by saying I don’t take these things to heart. I do think that the things they write about Scorpio’s are funny at times though. But, anyway…

Personality

Beneath a controlled, cool exterior beats the heart of the deeply intense Scorpio. Passionate, penetrating, and determined, this sign will probe until they reach the truth. The Scorpio may not speak volumes or show emotions readily, yet rest assured there’s an enormous amount of activity happening beneath the surface. Excellent leaders, Scorpions are always aware. When it comes to resourcefulness, this sign comes out ahead. – source

Do any of these things ring true for you? Tell me a bit about yourselves! Let me know on social media 🙂

Keep up with me on TWITTER & INSTAGRAM!

-Court

I’m Bald

I chopped off all of my hair. All of it. Why you may ask? I’m not sure. I said I wanted something different, I said I wanted a release, I said I was tired of having to “deal” with my hair. Each one of these may be true, and none of them might. I might be going through something, but whatever. It’s gone, I’m bald.

Wanna see the new cut? Click “read more.”

 

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Ethical Living| Think With Me

Want to try to live more ethically, or at least be more intentional about the things I do in my every day life. I’ve been slowly trying to do this, but as I begin this transition out of college and into “the real world,” I want to practice holding myself more accountable for my decisions.

In a piece we were assigned for my sociology course titled, “The Forest, the Trees, and the One Thing.” In it, there is much discussion about systems and parts, and how people participate in systems without being parts of them. Part of this piece also touches on how we can kind of dictate how we participate in a system while it’s acting upon us, even if we can’t necessarily separate ourselves from it. 

It is with this in mind that I want to embark on this task. Not from a self-righteous standpoint or anything, just simply because I know I am part of a network of people, and if we collectively acted in ways that took others into account, the world could be a better place.

Two places I want to start with this are: clothing and food. I briefly mentioned how I am trying to minimize my wardrobe (and have been for some time), but I want to extend that to getting my clothes from places that treat their workers well, and that use materials that aren’t harmful or processes that are sustainable. The same goes for my food. Part of these thoughts stem from reading “Where Am I Wearing?” back in high school (I was gifted this book by my AP Human Geography teacher – she was so nice), and I was also given “Where Am I Eating?” by the same author at the conclusion of the year. 

Do you all know of any grocery stores or places that sell food that is ethically sources? Both from animals and the workers? I tried looking this up but only found articles and lists that takes about the food itself…nothing about the people that harvest or raise it.

Well, these are just some thoughts. I’m always caught in this bind though because cost factors into things for me personally (broke + in college + limited transportation etc), but I do want to try to exercise good karma including the things I place in and on my body.

Enough rambling though!

-Court

Keep up with me on TWITTER & INSTAGRAM!