Welcome to the world of Jackie Unfiltered. I hope you enjoy this looking glass ? into my crazy, wonderful and evolving world. To help you navigate this “blog-azine” (blog + magazine), I organize the content into the following categories:
- Open Letter
Lifestyle is everything that makes me…well me. It’s the window to my “style.” From interiors and entertaining, to fashion and beauty, it’s a chance to share the jewels that make life sparkle.
Fitness highlights an integral part of my life, movement. (My girls call me “fitness barbie.”) I try to do something active on a daily basis. Medical studies show that regular exercise is one of the most important healthy habits. It decreases stress and increases happiness. Addressing the statistic that 1/3 of children in the United States are overweight or obese, First Lady Michelle Obama said “our children’s health isn’t a joke. Kids being diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure at young ages is just not a laughing matter.” Families, communities, school and people just like you and I influence kids’ diet and exercise. Kids need to see us grown-ups getting off the sofa, putting down our phones and tablets and regularly moving our bodies. Over the years, I have learned to forget skinny as it relates to fitness. Fit means feeling strong, healthy and creating a relationship between mind and body. Here, I hope we encourage each other to get moving as I share the exercises and habits I use to stay fit and healthy.
Food equals ❤️ and life in my house. As Beyoncé says, “My momma Louisiana,” meaning seafood gumbo, crawfish etoufee and Tony Cacheros were staples in her kitchen. “My daddy Chicago” meaning rib joints, good liquor and parties happen…often. And to add a new one, “My husband Memphis,” meaning deep south traditions of buttery biscuits, coleslaw, baked beans and smoked beef. What we know now is that if we regularly eat like most of us did growing up, we put ourselves at risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and a host of other preventable diseases. I strive to recreate the flavors and emotions derived from home-cooking with less fat, less salt and more fruits, vegetables, lean protein and fiber. Don’t let the curly tresses or abdominals fool you, those closest to me will vouch that I throw down in the kitchen. Dare you not to lick your fingers at least once!
Philanthropy means so much more than galas, lunches and raising money. Philanthropy is really about joining together with like-minded people and gifting your individual talent and energy to an organization providing essential work in your community. I highlight various organizations addressing specific needs to demonstrate the myriad of ways you can get involved. Whether you can donate the time, the money or both, you will create a deeper connection with people through the collective act of giving.
Jacqslist is my public chance to shine a spotlight on the heroes and she-roes in my life. For years, friends regularly call and strangers ask on the street: “Who does your hair?” “Where do you shop?” “Best flowers?” “Party Planners?” “I need a make-up artist fast, who?” “Oooh, that bracelet…where?” The list goes on and on! I have shared these tidbits for years with my closet girlfriends, their husbands and boyfriends looking for awesome gifts and any stranger who happens to ask me in the street, airport, workout class, wherever. Here, I officially open the book to my “not so secret” secrets.
Open Letter is a deeply personal category exploring the lessons learned as result of the sudden and tragic death of my mother. This single event impacted both my coming of age story and every facet of my adult life. Experiencing such profound grief at a young age forced me to unconsciously create coping skills that guided me in my 20s through Spelman College, Georgetown Law School and New York City. And now guides me in my 30s through marriage, finding passion and nurturing my most authentic voice. I scratch old wounds and open my soul hoping that we all learn the biggest lesson, “It is not where you start or even where you finish my friend, but about the journey in between where you keep pressing forward every single day.” In Open Letter, I write to my mother, that 20 year old girl who was full of life and deserves so much understanding and love and the woman I am proud to be today. Through these letters, I explore my 5 guiding life principles My hope is that by authentically baring my soul, we will cry together, learn together and ultimately, heal together.
Finally, why a “blog-azine” and why now? Turn back the clock to August 1995, in a very hot and humid Sisters’ Chapel, during one of our first convocations at Spelman College, Dr. Johnetta Betch Cole, then President of the College, told my bright-eyed and “very green” freshman class “To whom much is given, much is required.” I have indeed been given much: education, love, friendship and joy to name a few. My hope is that Jackie Unfiltered continues my re-payment plan. ??