For Swooners Only x Indication Summer Playlist


“I am lost at best and looking for experience in which I might never come back from.”-ERB


My good friend of Indication and show buddy Ilana and I have teamed up yet again this year to bring you a compilation of summer-worthy tracks that’ll have you swooning.

Perfect for road trips, coastal drives and the typical MTA rush hour, vol. II incorporates a bit of the “old” and the new, featuring classics like Hall & Oates to new gems like Hoops. Being on opposite sides of the U.S., our collaborative process included texts back and forth, adding our own new faves and tried and true tracks separately, only to discover that we’ve been more in sync than ever.

Love & Light, Baby!

So, without further ado, please enjoy this summer’s soundtrack:

venus and sundresses

Jesus Christ, where do I even begin? I’ve been busy coming into my own, making space and  setting boundaries. I want share some wisdom my dear friend has been nailing into my skull this past month, “Women hold so much power, more than they want to accept or realize.” A few weekends ago my rose colored idealism mirrored one of my greatest insecurities. I responded with my typical behavior which is to internalize like something is wrong with me. I finally had that “ah ha” moment I’ve been searching for only to realize other people’s disappointing behavior is not a reflection me. If you find yourself internalizing others emotions/pain/insecurities know there emotions do not define you. This huge red flag was also confirmation that I am pretty intuitive. All I am willing to say right now is trust your gut. I came out the other end and I can sincerely believe + say there is nothing  wrong with me! I’m rad! With that being said, I booked an impromptu flight back home to soak in the sun rays and brew on some insights. More good things to come, but for now enjoy a playlist inspired by Pacific Coast Highway, Topanga Canyon and the love we deserve.

 By the way, I am on the right path. Happy Spring Equinox! 


My Body/ My Choice

my body my choice.jpg

Trying to understand Reproductive Rights is actually fairly simple: reproductive rights are a human basic right. However, some do not really take the time to understand why reproductive rights are important. Personally, I hypothesize sometimes we allow accepting certain misconceptions as a valid form of truth stemming from: mass media, organized religion, or word of mouth by someone we look up to in high regard. It’s okay, we all do this. However, when it comes to my lady parts, my identity as a woman, the future of unplanned and planned children rest assured I will utilize Critical Race Feminism and analyze the intersection of reproductive rights in the United States. With all that is going on with the presidential election, the recent policy in Ohio that will ban abortions after 20 weeks, and the future of women’s issues compels me to bring attention to others who may not be as familiar with Reproductive Rights.

Haven’t you heard,  “My body is a temple”,”My body, my choice!”, “Women’s rights are human’s rights?” and your allies promoting “Her body, her choice!” “Reproductive rights are human rights!” You may have heard conservatives coin these individuals “cry babies”, but these are members of our community reminding society of potential ramifications that can potentially occur after January 21st 2017.

But first thing first, here is my monthly playlist which highlights female fronted artist who have made an impact to women’s identity and encourage me to speak my mind and live my life authentically. Enjoy!

The blog post will highlight Twelve Keys to Reproductive Rights, an explanation of our right to receive health and reproductive services. In addition, I will shed light on how reproductive rights differs for women of color in the United States, and how those who hold political power can prevent us from achieving the right to health and reproductive services. Lastly, a helpful food for thought on how social workers, medical professionals, activist can make a difference in upholding and advocate for health and reproductive services.

fistTwelve Keys to Reproductive Rights

  1. The Right to Life
  2. The Right to Liberty and Security of Person
  3. The Right to Health, including Sexual and Reductive Health
  4. The Right to Decide the Number and Spacing of Children
  5. The Right to Consent to Marriage and to Equality in Marriage
  6. The Right to Privacy
  7. The Right to Equality and Non-Discrimination
  8. The Right to be Free from Practices that Harm Women and Girls
  9. The Right to Not be Subjected to Torture or Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  10. The Right to be Free from Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
  11. The Right to Access Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and Family Planning Information.
  12. The Right to Enjoy Scientific Progress.

Right to Health and Reproductive Health Services

Understanding the right to health and reproductive services is important as it highlights our basic human right to receive health services, more specifically, sexual and reproductive services. Reproductive services can be designed, administered and accessed from either a demographic and biomedical paradigm or from a reproductive health paradigm (Alzate, 2009). A paradigm is a model that is consistently used throughout our society, so think public/ private hospitals, planned parenthood, non-profit organizations, etc. Although demographic and biomedical approaches focus on achieving a programmatic goals it is still ineffective and surface level with countless racial and social class discrepancies (Alzate, 2009). On the contrary, a reproductive health paradigm allows the client to feel empowered to make informed choices from social, economic, psychological and biological context that are safe and healthful reproduction decisions (Freeman, 1999 as cited Alzate, 2009).

The right to reproductive health services and ability to make decisions about one’s body is a condition for equality between men, women and transfolks. Access to adequate reproductive health services is one of the means by which women can empower themselves to decide whether to bear children or not, and if so, how many and when (Cabal et al., 2001 as cited in Alzeate, 2009).

Right to Health and Reproductive Health Services for Women of Color
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) estimates approximately 250 million women throughout the globe continue to face inadequate access to reproductive health care (Wright, Bird and Frost, 2015). As a result, this prevents women from fully exercising their control over their body and advocate for their desired choice (NASW, 2014).

In the United Stated, reproductive health for women of color is worse than white women. Women of color have higher maternal mortality, sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies (Northup, 2007 as cited in Alzate, 2009). Some may argue, “well they must have deserved it somehow.” News Flash: THAT’S IGNORNAT! Women of color are often marginalized, undereducated, have limited resources and are more likely in poverty than white women. Also, cultural values, hello? The Virgin Mary is gonna be pissed as fuck!  Reproductive Rights activists’ state this is a component of the for-profit nature of the U.S. health care system and as a result restricts marginalized folks such as poor people and minority groups to access equitable health care.


Roe Vs. Wade

January 22, 1973 U.S. Supreme Court recognized the constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions- including the right to choose to have an abortion without interference from politicians. However, at the end of 2016 we are currently seeing if Roe Vs. Wade will actually remain respectfully in tact.  Some may think feel that abortions are risky, yet do you know that having an abortion is one of the safest medical procedures and the probability of dying is significantly lowhyde-amendementer than: texting while driving, dying in a work-related accident, being hit my lighting, having a colonoscopy! Just a friendly reminder abortions have a 99% safety record nor does it
mean you are a baby killer. Women have abortions for various reasons and it is not our place to judge their life. Lastly, Medicaid does not cover abortions and Planned Parenthood do not receive federal funding for abortions through our tax dollars. So please, please, please cut the crap and support access to Planned Parenthood.

Prevention towards Reproductive Health

Reproductive health is threatened by several factors:

  • Laws that prohibit or restrict certain reproductive health services (i.e.: emergency contraception, abortion)
  • Insuftrumpficient public investing in health care
  • Inadequate health insure coverage (i.e.: exclusion of contraceptive methods and treatment of HIV/ AIDS)
  • Adolescents’ parental authorization requirements (i.e: release forms for sexual education)
  • Husbands’ authorization requirements
  • Lack of services to unmarried women
  • Myths and misinformation that penalize women (i.e.: punishment of pregnant substance uses)
  • Lack of enabling conditions, such as freedom (legal or socially sanctioned) to make choices, sufficient money to afford services, transportation to access services, and the availability and adequacy of services where populations in need reside to exercise this right.

Social Workers/ Activists/ Health Care Professionals/ YOU!

Social workers, activists and health care professions can enforce, promote, and advocate for reproductive rights through utilizing a reproductive health framework through the principles of challenging discrimination and unjust social polices and practices and of solidarity work.

Social Work Code of Ethics endorses and highlights the necessity of self-determination as a core professional value, especially in all healthcare decisions. Social workers understand women, men, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans folks have the natural right to make decisions regarding sexual activity and reproduction. Social workers understand and advocate for the right to receive competent and safe reproductive and sexual healthcare services free from government, institutional, professional, familial or other inter-personal coercion.


*** For references, please click the hyperlinks. Academic links are listed below***

Alzate, M. M. (2009). The Role of Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Social Work Practice. Affilia: Journal Of Women & Social Work24(2), 108-119.

Wright, R. w., Bird, M., & Frost, C. J. (2015). Reproductive Health in the United States: A    Review of the Recent Social Work Literature. Social Work60(4), 295-304.

xo! thank you v. much




Rebel Rouser


“Remember it all, every insult, every tear. Tattoo it on the inside of your mind. In life, knowledge of poisons is essential. I’ve told you, nobody becomes an artist unless they have to.”- Janet Fitch. 

With all that is going on, I didn’t think I would have the time to gather my feelings this month. I have felt every range of emotion and finally told myself that it’s time to get authentic. I knew mid-month  I needed to get rid of the vices, anger and resentment that are no longer serving me. Happiness is the sweetest revenge they say. Aside from the ramifications of the elections,  the adjustment into grad school has been a challenge in keeping myself centered. I’ve been lacking in my spiritual practice and I knew my spiritual practice has been an imperative tool to my personal growth prior to grad school. Thankfully with the support system I have I’m currently in a 40 day Sadhana. I’m allowing myself to feel it all for the next chapter I will be embarking in 2017. Personally, I feel if we are capable right now this is the time to tune out and tune inward. There is so much insight and inspiration within ourselves, we just got silence the noise and find our source of inspiration. Something is brewing, mark my word.

To be continued.. enjoy the playlist! 

**  What is sadhana? It’s a committed prayer. It is something which you want to do, have to do, and which is being done by you. … Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

Hunter’s Moon


“When a woman is attempting to avoid the facts of her own devastations, her night dreams are likely to shout warnings to her, warnings and exhortations to wake up! or get help! or flee! or go for the kill!” -Women Who Run with the Wolves. 

7 ways to Manifest with the Full Moon in Aries

I feel like growth is this feeling of familiarity and unpredictability. It is honestly up to you to choose how to respond to growth. Lately I took notice how growth requires me to dig deep and be an active participant sustaining these changes. I like getting deep, so understanding the depths of my soul is my golden ticket to get what I am after.  I  also learned the only way I can understand growth is to be myself, unapologetically.

go for the kill and enjoy this enigmatic feeling for a bit.

happy halloween!

Patience, Honey



It’s true, the heart wants what the heart wants.  My wildest dreams came into fruition but now the magic is learning how to navigate what unfolded in front of me. “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way” they say. I’m relearning how to be patient and allow my groove to unfold naturally. Thankfully, I know without a doubt the support I need is here and alive. The reminders from my friends near and far to keep going are sincere (i love you, thank you!). I know I can handle it even if it feels uncomfortable at times. Patience has taught me to take a step back and observe everything outwardly, but more important, inwardly. How is this affecting me?  What do I feel when I’m in this position? and then reminding myself I’m totally worthy of this experience. I know there are some perceptions I still need to get over, but that will take some self-trust and gentle time. Universe, Thank you for showing me what needs to be addressed in order to maintain my groove and direction towards the light. I know I’m on the right track. Patience.

No Expectations


 It’s interesting that I expect myself to know what I will be writing about by the beginning of month. I try so hard to stay in the flow and gather what needs to be acknowledge, but then gnarly curve balls come out of nowhere mid-month. To be honest, a few gnarly curve balls shouted out some emotional housekeeping reminders before my stay in Los Angeles came to a close. I’m cool with it, but I also wonder if this is Mercury in Retrograde? Aside from the  introspection, I am definitely feeling something else too. I do know I am happy in New York. I am in awe with the life I created out here. I am awe with the people out here. I am awe with life. This fall, I came to conclusion I will be focusing on being a bit more present, appreciative and leaving the past where it’s meant to be to allow what is yet to come.

Here’s what I learned in the big apple so far:

Make the small moments big and the big moments small. 

French men think I am sympathetic. 

No expectations.

Be free, be open, have confidence.

Curb your ego says The Bushwick Collective. 


Cheers to No Expectations!


I also want to share how thankful I am for each of my friends who have supported me throughout this transition to New York. We’ll laugh about the good ol’ days sooner than you think. I love you!!! See you soonish. 


Heart Opener

derek wood 1.png

Is it just me or is opening up your heart to possibilities one of the most scary and liberating actions of self-love to do? One thing to remember: let go of control and let your heart guide you. Whatever it is, just let your heart guide you. We have one life to live, so why should I play small when my heart wants it all? My heart guided me to New York and I now know the reason why. I was surprised by an overwhelming response of support and camaraderie for my transition into the city. The amount of people I connected and reconnected with was a space stemming from an open heart. This is something that is still new to me… it’s a very humbling and grateful experience to feel in my bones that I am walking into a new chapter. Most of my life, I have been battling between anxiety/control and wishing I could wholeheartedly allow the universe to unfold and present opportunities naturally. I caved in and I allowed my personal agenda to go out the window. Once I let go and sincerely made an effort to have an open heart everything began to weave into place. I can say for certain, the energy you put out into the world is a fundamental cornerstone as you pursue life with an open heart.  It’s not an easy road for most and I am very honest about that. We tend to side with disbelief rather than belief. Maybe there is some part of ourselves thinking we are unworthy? I know, I have dealt with this most of my life. News Flash: we are inherently worthy. It took me awhile to get here and I am grateful at the progress and slip-ups I have made to get to this point. It takes a lot of self-forgiveness, a lot of self-trust and whole lot of faith to lead your life with an open heart.  Here I am fully supported following my heart and saying YES to New York, Saying YES to Brooklyn and Saying YES to NYU Silver School of Social Work. See you next month.