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It’s A New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


It seems like only yesterday that we were telling one another Happy New Year and setting our goals for 2016. Yet, we’ve already reached the halfway mark for January, and February is merely 8 days away! I cannot believe how quickly the time is passing and how much has already happened. I turned 25! (dear Lort, lol); I made the very grown up decision to leave a job that I was unhappy with and got two amazing job offers–I only applied at these two places; and then made the even more adult-like decision to take the job that would offer more experience, flexibility and bank –almost double what I was making before!

As all of these wonderful things come into fruition, I know that there will only be more to come, and God is simply preparing me for the type of year and life he has planned for me. I’m ready for my hobby to become my career; I’m ready to be in the healthiest, most fit shape of my life; & mama ain’t no beggar, but I’m definitely down for a male companion/boyfriend/hubby/all of the above! Haha! But seriously, guys??

But in preparation for all new things, the old habits have to go and changes must be implemented. Change isn’t change until you change. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. You know that, I know that, but it none of it matters if we don’t act upon it.

Philippians 4: 6&7 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Let your heart and mind be guarded. Put your trust in God and allow him to guide your footsteps. Every day, the intent must be there:

Work Harder

Grow Stronger

Eat Better

Pray Longer

Live YOUR life to the best of YOUR ability and do everything with and in love!

I hope you guys are enjoying the new year and making every effort to make every day the best day of your life. Be sure to stay in touch this year and we’ll keep each other motivated and encouraged on this journey!

In other news, I celebrated my 25th in Atlanta! If you wanna see what we got up to, be sure to watch the video below and subscribe to my YouTube channel for future vids 🙂

 Lynella!

sibling tag, sister tag, youtube, videos, family, about me

The Sibling Tag!

Hola beautiful people! How’s it going?

Do you guys remember that lovely little lady I introduced you to months ago? My smaller, cuter, more genius mini-me–don’t tell her I said that, lol! Jokes. But yes, some of you may have guessed correctly; I am referring to my little sister, Sharani! If you need to refresh your memory, check out this post.

To close out our summer–really, her summer–she joined me in my new video The Sibling Tag . Now to be fair, we do have an older sister and I will be doing a video with her, but she doesn’t live with us and wasn’t around at the time. I was sure to give her a cameo, though 😀

Anyway, if you’d like to see my personality up close and hear some accent slippage, check out the video below! If you like it, be sure to give the video a thumbs up and share it! & if you’re feeling really fancy, subscribe!

 

beauty, natural hair, forever 21, ootd, fashion, photography

Forever 21, Outfit Of The Day.

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ootd, forever 21, natural hair, beauty, fashion, confidence, weight,

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ootd, forever 21, natural hair, beauty, fashion, confidence, weight,
ootd, forever 21, natural hair, beauty, fashion, confidence, weight,

natural hair, forever 21, beauty, self love

ootd, forever 21, natural hair, beauty, fashion, confidence, weight,

ootd, forever 21, natural hair, beauty, fashion, confidence, weight,
Yesterday, I was feeling fancy. & if you follow me on snapchat you would’ve seen my shameless self promotion and me jamming to Beyonce’s “Feeling Myself” lol– my username is callynnlynell, btw! You guys know that since I’ve gained weight, I don’t really view myself the way I used to. At times I don’t always see the beauty, even though I know it’s there, and when I look at pics it’s almost depressing to see how big I allowed myself to get. But no worries, I’m not depressed and I’m working on it! It is nice, though, to have days like this–where I feel fancy. Sure, I see the roundness in my cheeks and my boobs look like implants, lol, but I still look hot–I don’t care what anyone says! Some days, you just have to brush it off and tell yourself that you look amazing, no matter what! There’s no reason to beat yourself up; just use what you see now as motivation to change & become what you want to be in the future. I may not be forever 21, but I am forever beautiful.

Dress: Forever 21

Shoes: Steve Madden

Bracelet: Banana Republic Factory Store

Necklace: Banana Republic Factory Store

The ring and smaller bracelet are from my mother and are quite old, so I don’t have links for those! Also, the Banana Republic Factory Store site has a very limited selection & their jewelry isn’t on there at all, so I linked to something I would’ve worn from the retail store.

 

 

religion, global, intermarriage

Would You Date Outside Your Religion?

So, this is something I’d written a couple of years ago and I’m bringing it back to life. I haven’t actively dated in quite some time, but this question never evades me. While watching Grey’s Anatomy, fictional, I know, the relationship between Dr. Jackson Avery and Dr. April Kepner got me thinking again–how do people interfaith marriages work? She is very firm in her Christian faith, and Jackson doesn’t believe in God at all. In the beginning, their marriage was tested because not only did he call her faith silly and God fictional, they disagreed on how they would raise the kids, etc. So, I’m wondering what you guys think? Read what I had to say below.

religion, global, intermarriage

Religion, it’s so dividing. To say that most of them believe in some form of the same thing, they sure do know how to ostracize one another. Christians hating Christians, Jews shunning Jews, Muslims disowning Muslims. It’s shameful to see because religion should bring unity.

But I shall not expand on such things. What I’ve been thinking about is intermarriage, specifically in reference to religion. I’ve seen and heard of people marrying others outside of their religion, but it usually doesn’t last. Or when it does, I often wonder how. It seems that one would have to be slightly less committed to their religion to conjoin with that of another, especially those that are so contrasting.

shwetha and jeff, wedding, interracial, intermarriage, religion, hindu, jewish shwetha and jeff, wedding, interracial, intermarriage, religion, hindu, jewish

For example, a Baptist and Methodist marrying is not nearly as extreme as a Christian and Buddhist joining in matrimony. Even Christians and Muslims believe in the same God, with there being some differences between the two. But how can one who believes in, say, Jesus build a family with one who worships several gods?

I am not saying in any way that these groups cannot coexist with one another–I have friends across all the spectrums: religion, race, sexuality, age. But when you marry a person, you build your family’s foundation on shared values, correct? If a Christian believes that Jesus is the way and the Savior, how do they cope with the fact that, according to their beliefs, their Buddhist partner is going to hell? I don’t understand.

I only ask because I, myself, am a Christian and I love God with all of my heart. But I am also accepting of all people–obviously bigotry is not tolerated, but that’s not based on social attributes, but rather poor and ignorant attitudes. I love all people, as I believe Christ would have and does. Sure, I may not agree with everything that someone does or believes, but at the end of the day I do not think more highly of myself than I ought to and I judge not others.

Here is a South Indian & Jewish wedding. They had two ceremonies and both are beautiful; they look wonderful together!

Shwetha+Jeff Trailer from Simply Cinematic on Vimeo.

I am attracted to all races and ethnicities, all of them. *But at times, different racial backgrounds are accompanied with different religions. For example, I’ve noticed that several of the actors I find amazingly beautiful are Jewish, haha, e.g. Joseph Gordon Levitt, Jesse Eisenberg, the Savage brothers, Shia freakin’ LaBeaouf! Granted, they may not all practice Judaism–some may just be ethnically Jewish–but I’m trying to make a point.

*note* I know that people of the same race are not all members of the same religion. But let’s not pretend, for example, that it’s not more common for an Indian to be Hindu. I was just using this as an example.

joseph gordon levitt, intermarriage, jewish actors, religion kunal nayar, race, intermarriage, marriage, religion shia labeouf, intermarriage, religion, jewish

Kunal Nayyar and Utkarsh Ambudkar are heavenly, and though extremely presumptuous of me (I’m sorry) I could say that even of they don’t practice Hinduism, maybe their families do? Those are not traditions easily broken.

And the list goes on, so on and so forth. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus… they’re all beautiful. But they all believe differently.

Do you convert? Blend? Become tolerant? I’m just curious as to what others may think.

I’d date someone of another religion. Would it last, I don’t know. Obviously, I’d figure that out before marriage, which many fail to do. But I’m with Jesus always and forever. No one and nothing can change that 🙂

What do you think??

jackson avery and april kepner, intermarriage

mother's day, gif, tumblr, moms

Happy Mother's Day!

Hey there lovely people!

I just wanted to give a quick shoutout to all of the mothers out there, and particularly the ones in my life! No matter what your situation may be, if you are providing for and contributing to your family in the best way that you know how, I salute you. Everyone’s situation won’t look the same and that’s okay. But you know when you’re a mother & I’ve heard that there is no other feeling out there that could compete. So on this day, and every other day that we humans exist on this planet, I say THANK YOU! We would all, quite literally, not exist without you.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOMS!

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My grandmother & I at my college graduation!

Happy Mother’s Day to Grams aka Momo. You’ve mothered us all; you took them in when they needed it, when they didn’t deserve it and all because you love us all. More importantly, you gave me my mother and for that, I thank you.

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Sis sent us a selfie 😉
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My sister Sherri & her family. -Now she has another kiddo on the way, yayy for Tee Nell!

Happy Mother’s Day to my oldest sister & one of my BESTEST friends! You are an example of the woman, mother and wife that I’d like to be. You gave me the cutest, most adorable, most intelligent nieces and nephews in the world, and you have a rocking’ hubby. I mean, how am I supposed to compete with that? Lol, jk. I appreciate you more than you know.

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Me & Mom!
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Mom & I having lunch at La Madeline’s
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Mom posing on a Sunday.

As J.Cole so nicely put it in the end credits of his new album: MYYY MAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! My heart, my love, my rock, my reason to keep going. This woman, Jesus! Not only did she give me life, but she gave me everything else in it. I love you, I need you, I thank you! Happy Mother’s Day Mommy!!! <3

christmas pic, family, mother's day, together
My family on Christmas day. From left to right: Sharani (little sis), Me, Mom, Moriah (oldest niece in front of my mom), Dad, Sherri (oldest sis), Malachi (the baby being held–he was newly 1 here ppl), Matthew (bro-in-law), Makayla (niece standing at the very far right).

These are the people who keep me together. These are the people who I love. & those women are the glue that holds us all together–they keep us functioning. Love you Shay & Mom! Happy Mother’s Day babes!

Lynella!

family, rachel, photography

Family, Gotta Love 'Em: Rachel & Photographs.

family, rachel, photography

I looked up the definition of family and this is what dictionary.com gave me:any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins. For some people, their family dynamics consist of just that and nothing more. They speak to one another due to obligation; they tolerate each other because “blood is thicker than water” –whatever that’s actually supposed to mean. If you ask me, having a great & reliable family is a wonderful thing. And even when you have someone who’s not the best at their role, but they’re putting forth the effort, that’s fine–I would take the attempt over the lack thereof. 

family, rachel, photography

Fortunately, I was blessed with an amazing family. My parents are more wonderful than you could imagine, my sisters are my best friends, my brother-in-law is basically the brother that I never had, and my nieces and nephew are God’s most beautiful blessings–come on, you’ve seen them! My extended family, on the other hand, is a bit of a mix. Some of them are cool, some…not so much. But, it’s okay because I don’t depend on them and they’re doing enough for me. To those that do and offer more, thank you!

family, rachel, photography, black and white  family, rachel, photography, sepia  family, rachel, photography

Rachel is one of those people. She’s my first cousin and one of my mom’s many nieces. She and I weren’t very close when we were younger. In fact, I didn’t like her very much because she would always call my little sister stupid–not sure why, as she’s quite smart–and behaved quite cruel towards us . But in retrospect, the kid was dealing with a lot. Thankfully, we’re closer now. She practically lives at my house on the weekends and sometimes during the week–which is funny because we’re all 20 and over now. She’ll be invited to all of our family functions, even when some other family members aren’t, and she’s sure to be a bridesmaid in my wedding.

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I’ve watch her grow over the years, and I love her dearly. I respect the passion she has for her craft and how she attempts to make everyone love music and the clarinet just as much as she does–I could never! But I listen to her because I know that not everyone will, and she definitely deserves it. I think it’s funny when people deem others as weird or strange because they’re interested in things that aren’t mainstream. Whatever, dude! Love what you love, and be who you are. Beethoven was probably pretty strange back in his day, but when people heard his music they could do nothing but pay attention.

You never know when you’re encountering a Beethoven, people, so be sure to pay attention.

Love you, Rae!

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A big thanks to Rachel for letting me photograph her! Be sure to follow her on Instagram @rae_harvey!

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The New Year: Blogging and Life Goals.

Hi guys! First and foremost, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I pray that you and your families began the year 2015 beautifully and are continuing on a path of joy and happiness as the days progress. I thought I’d give you guys an update on myself, my life goals and the blog’s projection for this year. But first, here’s a few snapshots of how I spent the last couple of months of 2014!

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BLOGGING GOALS:

I have had this blog for about 2 years now, but I’ve only recently began to put efforts into making it function full-time–with some slacking during the last couple of months. I love writing and having the ability to share my ideas and stories with you guys; and although this isn’t my full-time job, or even profitable at this point, I do plan to put more energy into creating great content.

Blogging Goal #1

 I have set a goal to gain at least 1000 subscribers this year!  So yay for what’s to come!

Blogging Goal #2

In addition to the things that I already talk about, this site will begin to include posts about health, food, beauty, fashion, and a bit (more) of pop culture. If you’re unfamiliar with my previous content, I usually write about life events,  personal affairs/interactions and musical favorites–with some inspirational quotes and personal photography mixed in.

Blogging Goal #3

In my efforts of creating more content, I vow to post at least two times a week. Obviously, I intend to do more, but I will not let a week go by without posting at least twice. I will also be amping up my contributions to Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Bloglovin, Facebook, and possibly Youtube–big maybe there. So, be sure that you’re following me on all of the listed social media sites by clicking on the links above or the icons located on my site’s main page.

Blogging Goal #4

This doesn’t have much to do with you guys, but I will be attempting to learn more about SEO, optimization, content creation, social media marketing, and other boring stuff that you all probably don’t care about! In addition to that, I have hopes of improving my writing. I’ll show those graduate programs that I didn’t need them to succeed! –You guys have no idea how many times I have reconsidered going back to school, yet again, simply due to the fact that society makes it seem nearly impossible to survive without an advanced degree! But I CAN DO IT!

LIFE GOALS: 

As I have mentioned before, I have been quite unhappy with the way my life was going. I am dissatisfied with my physical appearance, my emotional state and my relationship with God. One of my main goals this year is to focus on not just my weight but my overall health–I am extremely overweight. Should I tell you guys how much? Sure, why not, this is a safe space– I am roughly 220 lbs. 5’5, 23, no kids, but 220 pounds. Not cool, man. As a step in the right direction I got a gym membership. To date, I’ve been quite often, but I’ve used my busy schedule as an excuse this week. Must get back to it!

Life Goal # 1

Read my bible and pray every day. Although I should be doing this already, I don’t; and it’s quite ridiculous on my end. Sure, I may say a quick prayer every morning and sometimes in the afternoon, but I don’t spend enough time with God. So, I will be certain strengthen my walk with God.

Life Goal #2

Hit the gym at least 3x a week. I will be pushing for 5, but three is a must! I’m going to up my cardio so that I can lost fat before gaining muscle. I also have to do more research about working out, healthy eating, and weight training.

Life Goal #3

Drink more water!! I’ve purchased 32 oz. mason jars and hopefully this will help me keep up with my daily intake.

Life Goal #4

Eliminate all fast food! Now don’t get me wrong, this won’t be easy because grabbing something on the go is much easier and more convenient than dining in or preparing food beforehand, but it must be done. This will not only help with my attempts to eat healthier and portion control, but it’ll also boost my savings 😉

Life Goal #5

Pay off my credit cards!! Simple as that, really.

Life Goal #6

Leave Banana Republic, unfortunately, and establish myself within a career. Although retail can be entertaining on most days, and I enjoy the people I work with–for the most part– it is time for me to go! Remember that misery I said would creep up? She’s making her way towards me and I must avoid her at all costs.

Life Goal #7

BE HAPPY! Whether that be within myself or with others, happiness should run through me at all times!

And I’m sure there are a few more things that I’m missing or haven’t quite thought of, but that’s the gist of it. Obviously I will be keeping you guys up to date with how things are going for me, and I will be sure to write a post recapping everything at the end of the year. To some people it may not seem like a lot, and to others it may be too much. But, I think that I can and will achieve everything that I have set for myself in this coming year. I wish you all the best in your endeavors and be sure to keep me up to date with what you guys have going on as well!

Love ya,

Lynella!

life goals, new year, blogging
Happy New Year!!

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions and life goals? Leave your comments and feedback below!

Why’d You Cut Your Natural Hair?!

 Brace yourself kids, ish is about to get real!

natural hair, afro, dyed hair, photography

As I’m sure most of you have noticed, I chopped off all of my natural hair. Any other time, this wouldn’t be a big deal, as I’m always cutting my hair after I get bored with it, but this was a bit different. After cutting it, I got the usual remarks:

“Omg, why’d you cut all of your hair off?”

or

“Omg I can’t believe you cut it! Whyyy? I loved your hair.”

or my favorite,

“But it was so pretty and so long!”

Thanks guys. I’m sure it’s so short and so ugly now–appreciate all of your love and support.

In most instances, I don’t care what people think about me or my hair because frankly, it’s nobody else’s business. If I wanted to go bald it shouldn’t mean a dang thing to anybody else or their mama! But this time, the haircut meant something. It was difficult for me to cut it because I knew that if I did, when I did, I would have to make it worth while. If not, what would have been the point? Here’s what I sent to my mom and sisters in a group text, you know, just to avoid any unwanted commentary whilst already in a vulnerable state:

“…I’m on a journey and I had to do something for myself. Over the past 5 years I’ve gained 70lbs. I fluctuate between 214 and 220 right now. I didn’t feel pretty anymore. My face is round, I know. I don’t need any reminders. I was eating out way to much, spending tons of money and shopping unnecessarily. I’ve been being lazy and not going after my dreams. So I cut my hair. I cut my hair because it’s a part of my journey to change. Mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically…So, not that it matters or I owe anybody an explanation, but there ya go.”

In late October of 2014, I began my journey–one that required I start anew. These past couple of years have been interesting for me. I gained tons of weight, dropped out of graduate school twice, voluntarily moved back in with my parents and am currently using my hard-earned degree to simply work in retail–something had to change. Don’t get me wrong, retail is cool, but that is not what I had planned for my life; and although I get a kick out of it most days, it will soon grow into a place of misery. I went from living life in NYC, to settling back down in rural, South Louisiana. As I’m sure you can imagine, internally I was losing my shxt! So, I made a decision: I am going to do what I love to do and not settle for anything less than that! I am not only going to learn to love myself for who and what I am, but grow into an even better version of that and continue to love her just as much! & as my hair grows back and changes over the years, I intend to grow and change with it.

So, to any and everyone who asked or was wondering, that’s why I cut my hair–not that it’s any of your concern, my dear.

Remember, grow to love and appreciate yourself because “you see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” -Mother Teresa

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Are any of you going through a transitional phase in your lives? Have any of you struggled with or been successful in weight loss? If so, please feel free to comment below and share your stories, tips and words of encouragement!

Love ya!

Lynella

Please Don’t Hate Me.

mefaces
Like my hair? It’s two-strand-twisted & the headband is an old belt that I borrowed from my sister to create a temporary Bohemian-ish look. Makeup is super plain jane 😉

Hello there beautiful people! 😀

I know, I know, I haven’t written a solid post in weeks, and the daily quotes have also been MIA. I sincerely apologize, but please don’t hate me. I’m back now and I’m returning in full force! I have tons of new ideas for the site–which I will blog about in a separate post–and I am debating the move to wordpress.org for flexibility of design and potential ad revenue. If any of you have any advice, feel free to leave it below!

Anyway, this was just meant to serve as a quick hello and a major apology. I will be posting a daily quote shortly and a full post will go up in the afternoon. Other than that, I hope you guys are doing well! 🙂

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @callynnlynell and Instagram @callynnw, and like my Facebook page, Lynella!, to keep in touch! Also, I may start to make some videos to pair with certain posts, but I’m not sure– too introverted for that, lol. But feel free to find me on Youtube as well. Have an awesome day!

Loving you long time,

Lynella!

Little Sisters. Photography & J Crew.

Big Sisters. Middle Sisters. Little Sisters.

There is nothing like being a big sister. I’m the middle child, so I was fortunate enough to take on both roles, little and big. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for this kid. Literally. If I don’t go to bat for anyone else, I’d do it for her. One day she came home from work in her new J.Crew work attire, and she looked SO pretty! I was like, “omg, why are you so pretty?” Her outfit was so cute and her transitional style (feel free to ask tutorial questions!) was adorbs; the shoes are Anya Suede Ballet flats–the turquoise shoes are no longer available–and the sweater is the Factory Clare cardigan. I begged her to let me take some photos in our back yard. I’d like to think they came out alright; so, I thought I’d share them, and her, with you. I’m kind of sad that the summer is ending and she has to return to school, but I couldn’t be more proud to say that my sister is a “Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech & A Helluva Engineer!” Glad to call her one of my best friends. Love you Dai!

xoxo, Lynn!

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