Get Uncomfortable Part 2

Saying No

Sister Sister! How are you doing?

Welcome to SAYING NO, which is part of the Get Uncomfortable series. The purpose of the series is to become comfortable being uncomfortable and truly learn how to show up for YOUrself!

I just have to reshare this because it is soooo good and the truth.

No is healthy!

No is important!

No needs no explanation!

NO is a complete sentence!

Periodt, Pooh (I know you rolled your head when you read that. I sure did)!

Now, saying no is not always easy. It is something you have to do it over and over until it becomes second nature. I can and will say no and sometimes I feel guilty or like I should have explained myself. NAAAAH! That is unnecessary. “No” is good enough.

When is the last time you’ve told someone, “NO?”


Get Uncomfortable Part 1

Boundaries Plaza

Sister, welcome to Boundaries Plaza! How are yoooou? It has been a long time coming. Writing this post has been difficult and so real. Real because my boundaries have been tested these last week fews… Anywho!

Let’s get into this! Boundaries Plaza is part of the Get Uncomfortable series. The purpose of this series is to become comfortable being uncomfortable and truly learn how to show up for YOUrself!

Growing up, we are groomed to be a certain way. Almost all children are taught to be nice. As a child, if someone hurts your feelings you may have been told, so and so did not mean that. In this situation or others, you may have heard “perspective is everything.” There is truth to that AND all of the above words of encouragement can also teach you to ignore your feelings and boundaries.

And still you must set and enforce your boundaries! Below are a few steps to help you do so:

  • You may feel guilty or anxiety for establishing your boundaries and expecting individuals to respect them. Still speak truth to them. The goal is to ensure you always feel safe and if you don’t, you must remove yourself for that situation. We are not staying anywhere we are not celebrating! PEEEERIOD!
  • What is it that you need in order to feel safe, heard, and free? This is why we set boundaries. Your boundaries may change depending on the relationship and the person you are interacting with.
  • Boundaries can be physical, emotional, sexual, based on values, and whatever else.
  • When speaking to them, you may want to use I statements. You are more likely to be heard and the person listening is less likely to be defensive. This is dependent on your goal. I go back and forth about I states. Check out this teeny tiny paragraph about the power of I statements.
  • When discussing your feelings/boundaries keep it brief. Check this post out for more information. Again, it is teeny tiny. People do not have the capacity to hear much. IJS! And the goal is to be heard so share three points or less regarding your feelings and needs.
  • THEIR REACTION IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS OR RESPONSIBILITY! Do not own it! Let them sit with their feelings. Say your peace and move on!

Have you had any experiences with setting and enforcing your boundaries? If so, how was your experience? Do you have anything to add to the list?



“Good Trouble”

Monday Vibes

Day By Day,
What You Choose,
What You Think,
And What You Do
Is Who You Become!

~ Heraclitus

This quote is the truth! We are what we do! What are you doing? How are your doings improving your life?

Also, it is Monday, which is my favorite second day of the week! What a great day to accomplish your goals and #ArrestTheCopsWhoKilledBreonnaTaylor: Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove. I still cannot believe we have not received justice for Breonna Taylor… So much to say and unsure how to really articulate my thoughts.

In the words of Rep. John Lewis (RIP), “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

Good Trouble All 2020!


Take Me Back

To Concerts!!!

Yesssssss, Janny! Come through, Honey! Stuntin like my mama!

Do you remember that time when we could attend concerts? I miss those days. I also wonder if we will ever be cramped into a venue again?! What do you think?

This is from last year at Lizzo’s concert. I’ve been to every concert she’s had in Portland, except for one. She’s that GOOOOD!!! I think it is cool that my mother introduced me to her. Mom is so young and with it!

I really wanted to wear this dress. It was too many sizes too big. And I still rocked it. #OneHotMama

HAHA! Clearly, I was feeling this entire look. I am mean looooook aaaaaat me! I just noticed my fitness watch. Anytime I am stuntin like my mama, she would say, “take that watch off (with so much sass). It is ruining the outfit.”

“Mooooom, I need to get my steps.” My steps are IMPORTANT!

I looooove (pause) looooove going to concerts! I am a dancing and singing machine! Almost to the point of losing my voice and barely able to walk out of the venue. I go haaaaard! My favorite concerts thus far are One Direction (I used to looooooooove them), Sam Smith (still my hubs in my mind. He is not thinking about me though. That’s okay that’s okay), Beyonce, Lizzo and SZA. All great performers.

Oh my! Take a loooooong pause!

I attended the SZA concert and barely knew who she was. I had two girlfriends who were fans and invited our girl group. I said yes because I was down for a good time. When I brought my ticket – many months before the concert, I did not know one song. A couple of a days before the concert (ohhhh Janine), I started listening to her music. I knew enough to dance and sing a lyric here and there. She has a beautiful voice, spirt, and showed up unapologetically SZA. I was impressive by her vulnerability!

Let’s talk about how I missed my fave’s concert… THEEEE JOAN ARMATRADING! She announced her last US tour in 2015 and I could not go.

However, I think Joan Armatrading would have been on my favorite concert list. I won tickets to her concert and had to give them away. My Peace Corps assignment started the day or two before. Major tears! Thankfully, I can watch her videos and still listen to her music. She is great.

Who is your favorite performer? Who do you wish you could see in concert?

Let’s Dance this week! Times are hard and music/dancing are good for the soul!



Keep It Zen!

Hello hello!

While drinking my coffee, I selected the peace cup. I am currently feeling stressed. This week is midterms and the thought of it is doing a number on me. Normally, I am not too stressed about this type of thing. However, I am recovering from a traumatic brain injury. In November of last year, I was rear ended and experienced a concussion. Sooo, my brain isn’t as with it.

This cup is a reminder to take deep breaths, relax my shoulders, and remain peaceful. All I can do is my best. Honey, I have to say that again, all I can do is my best!

ALL YOU CAN DO IS YOUR BEST! We spend too many moments stressed about things that are out of our control.

How are you showing up for yourself? How is peace being displayed in your life?

Peace out!


Get Uncomfortable!!!

For That Glow Up!

Hey Sis! Welcome! I am so excited for the Get Uncomfortable series. This is going to be a goodie! So grab your pen and paper!

The Get Uncomfortable series will give you tools to level up, discover new things about yourself, and encourage you to remain true to you!

In this series, we will discuss:

Our uncomfortableness brings some of the best rewards! You got this, Sis!
  • Boundaries: Let’s talk about the importance of setting, speaking to, and enforcing our boundaries.
  • Saying no: No is healthy! No is important! No needs no explanation! NO is a complete sentence! Period, Poo (I know you rolled your head when you read that. I sure did)!
  • Trying New Things: This allows you to expand your horizons, grow, and discover new passions. I will never forget the time I traveled to Atlanta alone to attend Myleik’s live podcast show. I was stretched in all areas of my life, a little concerned, and overall, I had a phenomenal time!
  • Dating yourself: Have a picnic alone. Get clear on who you are, what you enjoy, and your dislikes.
  • Taking up space: As women we shrink entirely too often. It is time for us to not only show up, but to take up all the space we need.
  • Goodbyes: Some people, things, thoughts, and beliefs need to exit stage left. It is time for some new hellos.

The goal of the series is to become comfortable being uncomfortable. No one grows in their comfort zone. Growth takes being uncomfortable – sitting with, growing from, and bossing up from it.

See you on Boundaries Plaza.




Ya’ll, 2020 is not cancelled. Do you hear me?

Let me take off my sunnies cause ya’ll do not understand me. 2020 is NOT cancelled!

– Goals can still be accomplished!
– Money can be saved (depending on your finances)
– New skills can be learned
– A healthy lifestyle is calling your name (8+ hours of sleep a night, cook some homemade meals, exercise, and/or give your soul what it needs to unapologetically thrive)
– That new business/project is tired of being stuck in your head and wants to flourish aka launch it. Good enough is perfect for right now! Also, learn as you go!

Whatever you want to do, DO IT! Do not let fear or this pandemic stop you for living your best 2020!

I know I’m not. I mean clearly… This blog was started and Janny Panny’s Pantry launched two ish months ago.

I also believe I will:

  • Land a job that is life giving.
  • Celebrate my Dirty Flirty 30s. Hopefully, in a different country. I am thrilled to turn 30. It seems so grown, sexy, and meaningful. I don’t know where we will be in November with this pandemic, but please know that I will celebrate ME.
  • Grow and trust God more.
  • No matter what, I will flourish this year! You too, right?

I am glad you said, “yes!” Tell me how are you going to flourish this year?



Let’s Check In

Covid -19; How Are You Coping?

Covid-19 is a rollercoaster of emotions! Some days, I am living my best life and other days, I am soaking in MY realness of online classes (UGH! Not my fave whatsoever), unemployment and wondering when I will get a job, healing from a car accident (do not get me started) and wishing I could dance, hang out, and travel. And the realness of the world is doing a number on me!

Sister, do not get me wrong, I AM BLESSED! I have what I need. Living with family, entertaining Dais (my sweet baby doggy), the opportunity to get a second Master’s degree, learning my way around the kitchen, spending more time with God, and the list of blessings could go on and one. I have to remain in the now/this goodness and work on activities that are in my control. I cannot worry about tomorrow because I do not know what that will bring!

I strongly suggestion us to focus on activities that are life giving and please stay home/social distance when seeing folks! Also, wear your mask! Yes, it is uncomfortable and hard to breathe out of and it saves lives. So, wear it!

Below is a list of things that are keeping me calm, grateful, and are IN MY CONTROL!

  • Starting the day with prayer, thanksgivings, and/or gospel music. Spotify’s Rhythm & Praise playlist will have you singing and stomping through your house. I am sure my entire family knows this playlist and honey, that is FINE! We could all use a little more Jesus. HA
  • When my body is cooperating, I practice yoga (Yoga with Adriene – she is phenomenal. A fave. The videos are free), walk, and explore nature.
  • Baker Janny in the HOUSE! HAHA! I can bake some delicious bread and cookies. I started a business – Janny Panny’s Pantry. We are working on a website. Currently, taking orders here for Portland people only.undefined
  • Tell me you do not want a loaf? You know your mouth is watery. HA! I enjoy baking. It is relaxing and keeps me in the present moment! If baking isn’t your thang, try cooking. I enjoy SkinnyTaste, their meals are as simple or complex as one needs them to be. Check it out and let me know what fabulousness you’ve created.
  • WRITING! Write your feelings, thoughts, needs, or whatever else comes to mind. I am currently working on a daily devotional called, All in All. It is perfect for our current reality and a great time spent with God, understanding how God is with me each and every step of the way, and everything will be alright!
  • Spending time with loved ones. Sis, schedule that zoom meeting with your friends or family. Every other week, I chat with some of my Spelman (Oh, don’t you wish) Sisters and we are heard, seen, and laughing! Several weeks ago, I hosted a virtual pizza party with my niblings. (Nibling is a gender neutral term for niece and nephew.) It was so much fun and full of nibs’ updates!

Sister, how are you coping? What is working and isn’t working? How can I support you? Seriously, I mean that! We are in this together!



“This Is The Way

Walk In It!” Isaiah 30:21

I am working through the All in All Journal Devotional by Sophie Hudson and IT IS PHENOMENAL! Especially during time times we are living through. There is so much uncertainty and thankfully, God is very certain, aware, and with us! I am thankful we have tools to bring us closer to God.

During Day 10’s writing prompt, Sophie asked us to “write out Isaiah 30:21,” which says, “Whether you turn to the right or left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it!” WOW! This is powerful! Okay, GOD, I hear you!

God is always talking to us, through scripture, the people in our lives, strangers, or while we are walking through nature. God is still speaking! We have to listen and take God’s advice. “Through Christ we CAN do ALL things” Philippians 4:13.

We are living in some uncertain and difficult times and remember God is telling you “this is the way, walk in it.” I am walking towards staying still to hear God, donating and supporting Black businesses/lives, and resting. What are you moving towards?

YOU got this!


Graduation Day!

She master’d that!

Yesterday, I officially received my Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University (PSU). My heart is filled with so much joy. For many reasons and most importantly, I am DONE!

Growing up, I knew I was going to be successful. I never knew how I was going to do that. God really showed up and out!!! *plays Started From the Bottom by Drake.*

Our environments can be detrimental to our futures. I know that firsthand. I grew up in the hoods with addicts, on food stamps, and wearing raggedy clothes. AND look at me now. *plays I Made It by Fantasia* BLESSED! 

YOU can make it with dedication, consistency, and mentors! This degree is for every addict who watched over me. My church Mamas, who showed me how real God was and is. My mentors and teachers, who saw the light in me when I didn’t see it in myself! I was bad as hell and they continued to love me. They knew I would be where I am today. My sister – we saw some wild stuff together and made it out. My mother. The BADDIE of the BADDIES! Thank you for taking me in. The best mom ever. And of course, Daisy (who is pictured on the bottom right). She is proudly cheering her mama on! Honey, thanks for your patience as Mommy got her degree. Soon, I will buy you that house with the big backyard and all of the toys. Had to stop the tears. I’m blessed.

You may be wondering what’s next? My long term career goal is to develop mixed use mixed income housing. Housing for individuals and families who can only afford $100 or less for rent and those who can afford market rate. Housing is a human right! In the meantime, I have decided to return to PSU for my Master’s in Real Estate Development. Yer probably thinking “WHAAAAT?” Me too. I would love to jump into the field and I want to learn more. Plus, Covid-19 is real and many development firms/positions are on standby. Also, I will be finished in a year. So, why not?

Congrats to every graduate. I hope you are proud of yourself. Also, I am very sorry you did not have an in person graduation.

Onward and upward!