Father Daughter Trip to Alabama!

About two weeks ago, my boyfriend graduated from AFROTC Field Training, and when I found out that he was going, naturally I wanted to go because I am the best girlfriend in the world, I like to be supportive of what my boyfriend does. After looking at how expensive plane tickets were, I decided I was going to drive 10 hours to Alabama alone. It seemed like a good idea in my head. However, when I proposed the plan to my parents they shot it down like an experienced hunter shooting down a target that had been thrown in the air. My mom suggested that my dad and I drive down together since my dad does like to drive and take road trips. So it was destiny – my father and I would drive the 10 hours to Alabama together! So I drove 6 of the 10 hours of the trip! I am super proud of myself because I have never ever driven over an hour and a half anywhere

Anyways. So on our way to the hotel, we made a pit stop at Hampton University’s sister school – Tuskegee University! It was beautiful! Let me explain – Tuskegee Institute (Now University) was founded by Dr. Booker T. Washington, an illustrious Alum of Hampton Institute (now University). It is a historically Black university! It is the only school in the United States to hold a Nation Historic Site designation. It is ranked number 5, in the 2015 U.S News & Word Report Best HBCUs (right behind Hampton University!). And as if the school was not cool enough – educational wise – this year (2015), their commencement speaker was the beautiful and inspiring PhyIicia Rashad (she played Clair Huxtable on the Cosby Show). I only saw a little bit of the school, but I was surely impressed! It was so clean, and the buildings were modern. I really loved being on campus! Everyone we came in contact with at the University was so nice, and respectful. My favorite part would have to be the statue of Dr. Booker T. Washington. I really loved the statue of Dr. Booker T. Washington lifting the veil of ignorance off of the slave. It was really powerful to me.

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So we went to visit Selma, Alabama. In case you didn’t know the history of this town. Here is a brief history lesson from Black Past.org

 “On February 17, protester Jimmy Lee Jackson was fatally shot by an Alabama state trooper. In response, a protest march from Selma to Montgomery was scheduled for March 7. Six hundred marchers assembled in Selma on Sunday, March 7, and, led by John Lewis and other SNCC and SCLC activists, crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River en route to Montgomery. Just short of the bridge, they found their way blocked by Alabama State troopers and local police who ordered them to turn around. When the protesters refused, the officers shot teargas and waded into the crowd, beating the nonviolent protesters with billy clubs and ultimately hospitalizing over fifty people. “Bloody Sunday” was televised around the world. Martin Luther King called for civil rights supporters to come to Selma for a second march. When members of Congress pressured him to restrain the march until a court could rule on whether the protesters deserved federal protection, King found himself torn between their requests for patience and demands of the movement activists pouring into Selma. King, still conflicted, led the second protest on March 9 but turned it around at the same bridge. King’s actions exacerbated the tension between SCLC and the more militant SNCC, who were pushing for more radical tactics that would move from nonviolent protest to win reforms to active opposition to racist institutions. On March 21, the final successful march began with federal protection, and on August 6, 1965, the federal Voting Rights Act was passed, completing the process that King had hoped for.”

So my father and I first drove over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and it definitely looked run down like it went through so much. I guess it was foreshadowing to all the history and emotions I was about to experience. To stand in the same spot as Martin Luther King, Jr. stood. To come over the bridge and see all those police officers, citizens and dogs, waiting to block (at all costs – meaning killing, beating, attacking) the civil rights leaders, as well as a great number of people from marching to Montgomery. It was really overwhelming to me, just to stand there and bask in that history. It took EVERYTHING in me not to just sit down there and cry. You know you always see pictures and heard about these things happening, but to see it in a movie and then actually be there is very gut wrenching. I don’t think I’m a super sensitive person, but it really gets to me. We also went by, well drove by the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where Dr. King and SNCC held their meetings and a large meeting space for the movement. We had to just roll by because it was raining! But I am super happy I went and experienced being there. If we don’t know where we came from, and what we as a people experienced to get here to this point, we can never really advance, and keep moving forward.

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We also visited The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. Which was beautiful. This church is where Martin Luther King, Jr. preached at for a while. It was really nice, and they hold services in there. It was a great chance to just look history in the face. We also saw an interesting memorial where the Slave Depots where held in Montgomery.

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So the main reason we went was for my boyfriend’s graduation, and it was beautiful! We had the greatest time! The ceremony was really nice – besides all the standing up, seating down, just to stand back up! It was kinda hot, so I felt bad for all the guys and girls that were out in the sun marching around. It was nice that they had the all the guests under a covered area, so we didn’t sweat to death either. I was a little upset that I only got to see my boyfriend for like a few hours, and then he had to go back. I wish we could’ve had the entire day to spend together, instead of just 3-4 hours. Then we couldn’t even take him off base to go to eat somewhere nice, we had to stay on base. I was kinda annoyed, but I am happy I got to see my boo.

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Overall, I had a great time in Alabama, and I am super glad my father and I decided to road trip down there. I am also ecstatic to have my boyfriend back from training. 🙂

Keep It Classy,

T.Renae

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“What has been your biggest love lesson you’ve learned in your life?” – As Told From Men

So I asked several young and old men, what they believed to be their biggest love lesson. Here are the results. They are rather interesting!

“Don’t get attached, too quickly. But don’t be scared to love.” – Preston, 15

“My biggest love lesson is keep chasing. The same chase that I had in the early stages is necessary for survival in the relationship. Complacency is the death of relationships so I have to keep trying and keep showing that I love the person I’m with and I still want them therefore I gotta keep chasing. Showing them the same amount of affection from day 1 to now. Without it everything kinda falls apart slowly.” – Chrispus, 21

“The biggest lesson I have learned, is that there is a difference between love and lust. When I was younger, I believed that the emotion I felt was love. Really I just luster after my partner. I wasn’t trying to spend time, or actually be involved with the other person. I was just trying to sleep with them. I feel bad for doing that. I should have tried to establish a mental and emotional relationship instead of just a physical one.” – Rainy, 24

“I learned that relationships are tools to learn about yourself and to learn about the world we live in. The end game isn’t always about having someone forever. It’s about understanding who we are in relation to everybody else.“ – David, 20

“I’ve seen many situations and been with many women with boyfriends and girlfriends so I’d have to say the lesson I’ve learned is…..don’t trust these….women that’ll fuck anything with two legs Haha” – Wilfred, 19

“Don’t let love distract you from your friends and family. At the end of the day, those people will be there for you if that relationship doesn’t work out.” -Devin, 23

“The biggest love lesson I have learn is patience. To be able to truly love someone you have to have patience. Patience in your partner changing into who you wish for them to be and patience for them when you change into who they wanna be. Then patience for love patience for what happens in your life’s together. Patience for when they are busy and you are not and really wish to talk to them. Patience is the key to a healthy and strong relationship.” -Charles, 21

“There has only been one time in my life where I have truly been in love. I never knew what it was like to be in love. I have learned what it means to love someone and loving them so much that you would do anything for them. I realized that the one love lesson that I have learned in my life is that there is a huge difference between loving someone and being in IN LOVE with someone. I have experienced it once but it didn’t last because of the situation we were in but I know I still love her. Maybe in the future we may cross paths again but I learned that in order to truly love someone you have to make sacrifices for that person and maybe sometimes go to the ends of the earth for them. For me, I am still learning to do that and I hope that through my lessons and my experiences I will be able to give just as much love to my significant other as I have gotten in the past.” – David, 22

“I feel that you should stay true to yourself. The right people will stick around, and the ones you would never expect ” Chad, 21

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned would have to be to not let my past relationships affect my level of trust for my current relationship .” – Justin, 21

“The biggest love lesson I have learned in my life would probably have to be that Love will always be a two way street. If both partners aren’t open and willing to love then it will never work out. In addition to that, even if both partners are on the same page outside influences can be the death of a relationship.” – Chris, 23

“My biggest love lesson I’ve learned for my age is that you can’t put your significant other on a pedestal. Not saying its a bad thing to think highly of your significant other and hold them at a higher standard, but we are all human. Everyone makes mistakes whether its as small as forgetting the toilet seat down or something bigger than that. If you put your significant other on a pedestal you’re setting yourself up for constant disappointment because you believe they can make no mistakes or do no wrong. And you don’t want to taint that perfect image you have of your significant other. Once you understand that no one is perfect, your relationship will go a lot smoother in my opinion. Just have to work with your significant other in order to grow into a stronger couple because you don’t want small things ruining a good relationship. ” -Philip, 20

“‘Embrace the unknown’ I realized that everything in my love life that did not go as I planned always worked out for the greater good. I have to continue to follow God purpose for my love life rather than my flesh. ” -Bryant, 21

“The biggest lesson about love that I learned is that no matter how prepared you are/think you are for the complications that come along with being in love you still will be pushed to your limits.” – Cordell, 28

“The biggest lesson I learned was to trust me heart and have faith. There’s someone out there for everyone and you’ll find that person when you lease expect it. Love yourself first before you love someone else because it’s not fair to them. Learn to be alone because once you know how to make yourself happy you won’t depend on someone else to do it for you.” -Kam, 27

I know I can definitely use some of these lessons in my own life.

What have been some of your biggest love lessons in life? Share in the comments below!

Ladies and Company 

Words [of] Encouragement Wednesday: 6/3

“Success tastes sweeter when you’ve earned it.” –@TheWorkHer 

The more you work for something, the better you will feel about it. My parents always say that the more you work for something the more you appreciate it, the same goes for success. The harder you work for your goals, and missions in life, the better it will feel once you accomplish them. Don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t come in the time you believe it should, or if you experience a set back! Just keep going, and working hard. Stay Encouraged.

– Ladies and Company


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How to start working out (and stick with it)!

Decide you are going to change your lifestyle. Literally this is one of the hardest part of starting to work out. Make the decision to start working out. Start next week, or today, or tomorrow. If you pick a day in the future. STICK TO IT! Do not keep pushing it back. This is basically a date with yourself, why reschedule? Just start!

Pick somewhere you are comfortable with working out at. Maybe it’s the free gym on campus, in your dorm room, at home, Planet fitness, One Life or wherever! Just find somewhere were you feel good about going to work out! (Me personally, I love going to Planet Fitness. I don’t feel judged, or like I have anything to prove to anyone but myself. ) You could even start with doing a challenge like the one below.
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Get a workout partner. A workout partner isn’t just someone to work out with, it’s someone to hold you accountable to keep you on the right path! They can also motivate you to keep pushing yourself further.
Eat healthier. I’m not saying, Cut out all the junk food in your life cold turkey, unless you’re really about that life (I am not). I’m saying make healthier food choices, really control your portions, drink a lot more water, get healthier snacks.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you miss a day, or eat something super fatty, it’s OK! Just be sure to get back on track, and do not waver on you path. In my opinion I would worry less about the number on the scale, but more about how you look (before and after pictures!!) and how you feel.  And don’t compare your workout journey to anyone else’s. Your body is as unique as your fingerprints, so how your body changes and the rate at which it changes will be different from anyone else’s.
Overall, just start somewhere and keep going!
How I got started working out: I really started by doing the mini 30 day challenges, and then eventually upgraded to doing like 4 at a time, and then really upgrading to going to the gym. So right now I go to the gym, do a challenge or two, and starting Monday (May 4th) drinking a gallon of water a day (I will do a before and after review in 4-5 weeks)!
Slow and steady wins the race and good luck with your healthier lifestyle transition.
Keep it Classy,
– T.Renae

Fresh Start Friday: Experience Life

In my humble opinion, One of the greatest things in life to do is experiencing new things. I’m normally really apprehensive about trying new things but once I do finally go out and actually do it I love it! I especially love the rush of trying something new, like flying across the country to California for the first time, alone, last summer was so exhilarating. Life truly exists outside of your comfort zone and it’s a hard lesson to learn, however once you learn it and you keep stepping out of that comfort zone you’ll enjoy it trust me. You never know what types of things you really do like it and that you really don’t like, unless you try them for the first time! My mom always says “Old ways won’t open new doors.” Growing up I always remember her telling me things and go out and explore the world. She always encouraged my brother and I to find what’s out there because she said old ways won’t open new doors. So sometimes it’s good to just go cleanse your mind of everything that you thought was out there, and go out and seek opportunities and experience. Go for a run down the trail you’ve never been down before, or try some tasty new foods. You can even apply this to “experience life” mantra, to things that are not necessarily an expereince, but like a skill. If you’re very math and science type of person maybe go out and take an art class or even try your hand at photography. Life is so full of things we don’t know,  and it’s up to us to go out and find those things that we don’t know exist or that we don’t know we enjoy. We have to go experience them for ourselves. Go to also go experience things for yourself because somebody telling you how beautiful the sunrise looks is completely different than when you actually go and experience the beauty of sunrise yourself.  So this weekend I encourage you to try something go out and experience life at its fullest, in its rawest form. Take some leaps of faith this weekend and go experience life! 

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Keep it Classy,

T.Renae

My Top 10 Things To Do on a Snow Day

My school rarely ever gives us snow days, even if the weather is scary and dangerous! But on the rare occasion that they do, like today I always to to take FULL ADVANTAGE of the “mini break.” So here are some of my top ways to spend a snow day!

1. Drink Hot Chocolate! Someone in your dorm is bound to have some mix. Just pop it in the microwave and make it work. I personally don’t care for hot chocolate, but I love some ice cold water! I usually sit it by a window to be cold when I wake up!
2. Read a good book. I love snuggling in some warm cozy clothes like sweatpants and a huge sweater and reading a book! If you don’t have access to a book, you may want to check if your local Library uses OverDrive. It’s like an E-book library, that uses your library card number to check out books! I absolutely love it!
3. Sleep in! Who doesn’t love sleeping in? I love the amount of extra sleep I get! Sometimes I even get a nap in!
4. Be productive! I am not always most productive when I literally have nothing to do! I always try get extra homework done, and work ahead on assignments. I try, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
5. Have a movie day/ catch up on all your shows. I love binge watching things on Netflix! It is like my guilty pleasure. It’s even more fun to invite some friends over, and watch movies and shows together! I suggest everyone watch The Walking Dead on Netflix… It’s AMAZING!
6. Mediation! I love mediating. It always has been such a stress and anxiety reliever for me. I always put on a zen music station on pandora, and just relax.
7. Sit and do nothing. Sometimes all we need in life is a lazy day. What better day to do it, than on a snow day.
8. Do some early “spring cleaning!” You can clean out your closet and get together clothes to donate to goodwill or the Salvation Army.
9. Take snow picture! Even if you just go outside for thirty minutes to get your pictures it’s always worth it! Or the alternative have an indoor selfie party in your room! Below are some of my snow selfies 🙂

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10. Read stuff on Ladies and Company! This maybe a shameless plug, however you could always check out our posts on here! There are nearly 200 blog posts on here, I’m sure you won’t get through them all. You know you want to! 🙂

All in all, snow days are meant for relaxation and fun! Stay Warm!

Keep It Classy

-T. Renae

Motivational Monday: Productivity

Hey Ladies, last week I had the BUSIEST week of my entire life. By time the weekend rolled around, I was sooooo drained. Normally the weekends are my most productive times, because I have hardly anything to do, or have any commitments. However that was not the case. So in an effort to motivate you, as well as myself for a very productive week (because we have things to do and accomplish this week!).

  1. My first piece of advice is to make a TO DO List. I know this sounds childish and minimal and whatever. BUT when I feel extremely overwhelmed with work, I always make a list. Now the downfall of this is, you may find that you have more work than you initially anticipated, however sometimes you have less work (I live for those days). So, I always attempt to make my list due date based. So the things that are immediately due go first, and then next week, and so on and so forth. I also sometimes have to have multifaceted list, for example if I have a project to do, and it requires a lot of little pieces, I will list those things under the initial task (see picture at the bottom for an example from last semester). It may seem OCD, but would you rather forget to do something, or a project? Exactly, no one wants to forget anything. The greatest feeling in the world is marking off something you have done or a task you have completed! You can mark it with a sharpie or highlighter, or check the box anything.
  2. An alternative to TO DO lists, would be to purchase a planner (my planner picture is at the bottom as well), which essentially you would put your TO DO List within. So you could follow the same tips. Only thing is remember to actually look at your planner. Don’t just write something down in it, and then never look at it again. I often have that problem with my planner, thats why I use both a planner as well as lists. As my best friend once said, “there is no way you can be organized and successful without one [a planner].” I personally use an Erin Condren Life Planner, and I ABSOLUTELY love it! There are tons of ways to personalize it, and use it in different manners. This planner is great for anyone!
  3. Work in a productive space. Beds are not productive spaces for me, so I know never ever try to get work done there. But for you, it maybe where you work the best! My ideal productive space is working at a desk in the library, or my desk, or in my department’s office (as long as its clean with minimal distractions), with my homework playlist bumping in some headphones, with water and my TO DO list, at any time of the day after 10:30am basically. Your productive space may be in the middle of the night, in your bed, in complete silence. Everyone’s productive space is different. Some people can work in clutter, while others absolutely cannot. It takes time, but you should be able to learn where YOUR productive space is, through trial and error.
  4. Next thing I would suggest is to work on the hardest thing first (if you don’t work by due dates, or you have multiple projects and assignments due on the same day). I know this seems backwards, but doing the biggest and hardest assignments first, make every other assignment seem super easy. You will be breezing through all your other assignments. Trust me!
  5. Give yourself breaks. You cannot work for 6 hours straight without any breaks. So for every 2 hours I work consistently, I will give myself a break. Maybe a break for a snack, stretch, walk arounds, social media, or anything thats a reward. Our brains need time for our neurons (the cells that make up the brain) to make connects with other neurons, and also if you reward yourself with something (whatever makes you happy) the brain is more apt to remember it. Some brains function better on a reward based system most of the time, however everyone’s brain is as unique as they are.
  6. Don’t give up. Being productive takes time and practice. It’s just like a muscle in your body, you have to use it and push it to its breaking point to get stronger, the same goes for productivity. You have to work extra hard, even when you don’t want to, to make your productivity muscle stronger.

I hope this helps you get on the right path of productivity! Feel free to leave your productivity tips in the comments as well!

Keep it classy, 

– T.Renae

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