Where is my husband? The Love Story of my Grandparents

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Lashundra Rena Photography

I often wonder why I simply have not found my husband yet or better yet, he has not found me yet. Since, I don’t have a husband, spouse, and kids to love on my own, I often listen to other married couples chatter about life. To get to the point, one weekend in my hometown in Memphis, TN, I had the opportunity to hear the story as to how my grandparents got together.

Oh they so happen to be married for 57 years. What a blessing.

Let’s get to it so I won’t bore you with the introduction. As I accompany my grandma in the kitchen I simply asked as to how my grandma and granddad got together. Like seriously, he hit the jackpot when he married my grandmother. She got teary eyed for a second and then she smiled and began to speak. These are the words she responded to me:

“Well, for starters, your grandad did not talk to me first, your aunt did. He sent her out to get my number for him. I also made it quite clear that I had a boyfriend at the time but it was okay that we talked on the phone. We talked on the phone a lot and I did not know he cared that much about me until one day I got really sick. Your grandad brought over juice and food that I needed to get well. He was an awesome friend. When he got deployed in the Army, we kept in contact through sending letters daily. (My grandad was a mechanic for the Army.) We just talked and became friends and later on we got married and had kids.”

I purposely did not ask for a timeline of events or even ask about where that boyfriend went off to. Well we all know the answer to that, my Grandad swept her off her feet.

Sounds a bit simple right? However, I want to point this out about my grandparents story. They were friends first. They built on their friendship that allowed them to gain each other’s trust and love. They even kept in contact during the hard times (when my grandad got deployed.) They also did not have the technology today where you can block people from your phone or better yet mute messages. They had good ole paper and pencil or sometimes a phone with no caller ID.

For those that do not know me and my family personally, my grandfather was the ultimate gentlemen. He took care of my grandmother. I literally used to hear stories about my grandfather starting the bath water for her every morning so she didn’t have to when she awake. He started her car during the winter time before she headed out to work so her car would not be cold. Oh and they both went to church together every Sunday. I witnessed all of this when I was younger. Every door was opened just for her from my granddad’s hands.

See, how I see love is through the eyes of my grand parents and how God blessed them with that sacrificial love for one another. They loved one another and did things that made each other happy. How simplistic and amazing is that.

So the beginning question as to Where is my husband? He is out there somewhere but however, he will have to live to my grandad’s example. He was a gentleman, a man of God, and a provider to his family.

This was written in loving memory of my Grandfather Denson Taylor,Sr. He recently passed on July 4th, 2018. You will be missed and we are so blessed to enjoyed your company, enlightening sense of humor, presence and wisdom.

Love your one of your granddaughters,

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Jamie Venice 

Writer and Owner Jamie Venice.Com

Interior Stylist/Artist

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The Lazy Eyed Woman & The Story of her Amazing Mother

So, most people notices that my right eye is somewhat droopy. I get messages, mostly from men, “Aye, do you have a lazy eye?!” “Aye, is there a reason why your eye closes like that?!” Believe me, I am no longer offend about comments about my eye and here is why.

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Photography Trey Easter/ Accessories CollectionsbyTDish

Many that know me know that there was bit of complication during my birth. My mom was in the hospital and there was blood in the womb. I was losing oxygen while my mom was trying to carefully bring her baby in this world. When I was taken out due to having to have a C-Section, I came without breathe in my body. My mom is a praying warrior. I am pretty sure she prayed over this moment so she was well prepared for all births of her children. The Lord must of listen to my mom because I started breathing eventually, but however the doctors told my mother I was either going to have brain damage or a lazy eye.

Well, let’s thank God for the minor lazy eye. Let’s thank God that my mother and I made it through this. Hence, the eye. My eye is no lazy just droopy still.

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Photography by Lashunda Simmons

So, everyday I walk and breathe I do not take life for granted. Every day, I work and get a pay check I do not take it for granted.

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My mother doesn’t know this but I have watched her struggle to keep her household together. So there were times just because she consistently prays for me, gave me breathe, did things to keep a house over our heads, and just was the Wonder Woman of a mom, I sacrificed a few things.

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Mom, the reason I told my elementary school violin teacher that I could not be in his class, after he broke the bridge on my violin, I didn’t want you to struggle to fix something so minor. Violin practice could wait.

Mom, the reason I was no longer interested in cheerleading was because I knew you struggled to give me those expensive ASS (excuse my language lol) cheerleading gear. Cheerleading/Dance could wait.

Mom, the reason why I stretched my 20 dollars for lunch for two weeks is because sometimes I knew that’s all you had. I could do without a cookie with my lunch in school. And plus you make the best cookies so eh! I didn’t need them.

Mom, you are the reason I breathe. I did not want you to struggle for me. I want you to know that I appreciate everything you have done and  every struggle you had to go through for little ole me/us. You got me out that womb. You prayed for me. You provided for me. You put food in my belly.  You pushed me to dream. You put your life before mine. You pushed me to be myself even though I was very nonchalant about any and everything. I know it was hard to deal with my stubborn, free spirited, and curious self.

The reason I have very STRONG faith in God is because of my mother. The reason I work hard for my dreams is because my mom pushes me to do so. The reason I do not take much disrespect from anyone is because I am pretty much like my mother lol! The reason I have confidence in myself is because my mom is sassy, honey! The reason I do not settle for mediocre love from any man is because my mom has never settled. The reason I try my hardest to keep everyone together is because my mom does whatever she needs to do to keep our family together. ( You didn’t  know I paid that much attention to you did ya?!)

I could go on and on but you get the point.

So this blog is dedicated to your efforts and how amazing you are.  I have been watching over you and learning from you since birth. You did everything and more than I could imagine as a mother. I love the heck out of you and I do not say it enough. And if you did notice, You did a GREAT job raising us. You are an amazing mother.

Fellow readers, Appreciate your mothers. Honor your parents. Be there for your family. Hug them tight! Love them with all of your heart. God Bless you all. Thanks for taking a moment into my life.

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Content Writer/Owner Jamie Venice

Memphian Living in Nashville: My first Art Crawl Experience

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I have now been a resident of the 615 for close to two years now and haven’t gotten out. I have been sitting on my butt until my good friend Miranda pretty much forced me to get the feel of Nashville. I appreciate her for getting me out. I do not know the hotspots yet. Still learning how to navigate this overwhelmingly crowded city.

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Like seriously, Downtown Nashville is always crowded. ALWAYS crowded. Me being the introverted person I am, too many people equals too much for me.

Art By Herb Williams. Media: Crayons Instagram: @herbwilliamsart

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So the art crawl is basically like a bar hop for Art Galleries. You start at the Arcade and work your way to the Art Galleries on the strip. Never experienced anything like this before. I was super excited to see the local art and talk with some of the local artists. Oh you also get free cocktails! Free Drinks and Free Art, you can not go wrong here.

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Art at the Gallery. Artist: Unknown

 I enjoyed my first art crawl experience. I will definitely go again! If you are in the Nashville area they have this event first Saturday of month.

 

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Jamie Venice Rodgers

Content Writer of Jamie Venice.com

Instagram: @Jamievenice

Twitter: @jamievenice

Facebook: Jamie V Rodgers/ Jamie Venice

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Things I am learning in my 20’s: Life is not how you planned it.

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Photography by LaShunda Simmons

I can not believe I am turning 29. Whew! One more year before the big 30. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t start a blog this way.

Sounds kind of sad as if I am old.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY DANG ON SELF! Okay, thats better. Anyways, back to it.

As my 20’s come to a close, I would like to share a few things I have learned along the way.

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Photography by LaShunda Simmons

  1. Life will not go as you planned. I just might have planned the age I wanted to get married, have kids and a solid career path. Life did not quite happen that way but that’s OKAY. Your 20’s is your learning decade. Spend your 20’s learning and understanding who you are and what you want.
  2. Spending a lot of time with yourself is mandatory. Self LOVE is one thing I have practiced consistently throughout my 20’s. The more I spent time to take care of myself is where I learned the most about myself. You know the motto, “Love yourself first and then you can learn to love others.” The truest statement known to man. Love you. Learn you. Be you.
  3. Your circle of friends will more than likely turn into a dot. You remember those few friends you had in middle school, high school, or maybe even college? Well only a few will make the cut. You will out grow people. You also might feel a little lonely knowing that you have fewer friends. However, those few friends will be all you need. They know you and will keep your best interest at heart.
  4. It is okay to not know what you want to do. Do not stress out when you are not sure about every aspect of your life. Where you want to live? What job/career you want to pursue? Who you want to spend the rest of your life with? Do not sweat or get stuck where you are uncertain. Everyone has a moment in their life when they become uncertain. Just write down what you want and figure what would be best suitable for you.
  5. Doing and being around things that make you happy will become more routine.You will start the know the importance of doing what you love more. The world can sometimes be an hindrance to your overall mood and well being so you will notice that doing what you love is high priority. Block all the negativity out of your life. That includes people and family members that bring you nothing but pain in your life. Good vibes only. Find your happiness.

Continue to live your life to the fullest. You only have one life to live why not make it count. I personally have learned so much by living and listening to others. I am still learning and I thank God for yet another year of life. Also remember, do what is best for your life and not other’s. People will try to tell you what is best for you. You know what is best for you. You know what you want and need. Do not allow people to dictate that. Now go be great! God Bless.

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Photography by LaShunda Simmons

Love you guys,

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Jamie Venice Owner/Writer of Veni Decor

Instagram: Venidecor

Twitter: Venidecor

Facebook: Jamie V Rodgers/ Veni Decor

What I’m focusing on in 2018. Love, Growth, & Prosperity

 

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Photography by Jarvis Hughes

 

It is getting closer to that time of the year where we decide to be reflective of our lives. We  start to look back at our New Year’s Resolutions, Vision Boards, and To Do lists to measure our progress of the year. However, I would like to challenge everyone to ask yourself where did you become better.

 

What did you accomplish and focus on that. Become celebratory of the hurdles you’ve jumped.

What did you begin and plan to finish? Make goals to accomplish those this coming up year.

What relationships stayed and which ones disappear? Pay attention to those and nurture them.

We often focus on what we did not do instead of what we have done. Even if it is not much of an accomplishment, you made a step forward.

 

This year, for me, was a year of learning myself. What I can tolerate. What I can no longer tolerate. What makes me happy. What makes me unhappy. When should I speak? When should I not speak? What makes me who I am as a person.

So, with that being said, I have decided to focus on what made me happy this year and continue do more of that. these are a few things I am focusing on coming into the new year.

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Photography by Jarvis Hughes

 

 

Loving more. What I mean by loving more, has zero to do with my love life. Loving everyone that I come encounter with. Just geunienly giving love back to the world. The way this world is headed we all need a little love, right?

 

Living in the moment. Living more in the moment, instead of documenting my every move on social media has helped me this year. I enjoy moments with others and keep those moments close to my heart.

Stopping the over-thinking. I am the queen of over thinking. Even when stuff goes right, I overthink. What if this doesn’t go how I picture it? What if I am being completely used by this man, just for his own personal gain? See how this gets you completely no where? The more you over think, the more you stop moving. I vow to myself to stop the over thinking.

Travel more/Experience More People. I spent way too much time in TN this year. I need to get out a little bit. I will make myself travel more and see the world. I honestly believe, I am not meeting more great people because I have not experienced the world enough.

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Continue getting closer to God. The bible saved me this year. If it truly wasn’t for God, I could not get through this year. With God, I am loved and comforted. The closer I am to him, the more I understand my true self.

Doing what I love more. Not just career wise, but also in a general sense. I have always had the love to help others. It makes me happy really. Nothing brings me more joy than to do something that makes my heart happy.I need to do more of that for sure.

Eliminate Distractions. Social Media, I swear you have been the death of me. I am so distracted by other people’s lives that I found myself comparing my moves with theirs. However, this coming year, there will be none of that stuff. Social Media, you will not win this battle.

Stop making excuses and just do. I make a lot of excuses as to why I do not do something. there is always an excuse. I can not do “this” because of “that”. Well, no more excuses. This road to happiness requires no excuses.

Letting the old things go while replacing them with better things.  I have decided to let things go that do not make me happy or add to my growth completely. You can not have any growth if you are still living in old soil. So for now on, old hurt and mistakes will not define me and my decisions in life. They are hindering me more than anything.

 

What are your goals for 2018? What have you accomplished this year? Share in the comments .Even if you believe you have not accomplished a thing. Be Great

 

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Jamie Venice

Owner/Interior Stylist/Blogger of VeniDecor.com

Instagram: @jamievenice

Twitter: @jamievenice

Facebook: Jamie Venice

Not-so-Traditional Christmas

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I am not completely against the traditional red and green Christmas decorations but it’s just not my style.

Nevertheless, this year I have been running towards darker tones and hues. Green is still present, however, in the greenery/garland only. Christmas décor is no longer boring, now, you will see more of a mixture of matte black and geometric shapes. I guess you say it’s “minimalistic-modern”.

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Sapphire & Gold

 

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Geometric Shapes,Blues, Gold, ,Matte Black, and a hint of gold. I am seeing more and more of sapphire blue ornaments on Christmas trees. I am also loving that most of the ornaments are in a matte finish. Less sparkly and more matte! You will also see geometric shaped gold ornaments in the mix to give a hint of modern.

 

Green & Neutrals with candles as accents for dining. Greenery is wrapped around candles with little to no additional accent color. If there is an accent, it will be neutral, silver, or gold.  It gives it a moody/modern look to your dining setting. Bringing more mood/ambiance to the dining area. The overall focal point here, is the greenery.

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Geometric & Asymmetrical Wreaths. A different alternative to your typical green or burlap wreath, go geometric and add any greenery as you like. You will probably see a geometric metal wreath on my door step. Asymmetrical Wreaths are also in. Pick your favorite floral, add little green leaves, and have at it.

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How are you dressing up your rooms for the holidays? What colors and such spark your interest this year?

 

Be Bold, Be Blessed. Be Safe.

 

Enjoy the Holidays with your loved ones.

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of these images.

Jamie Venice

Creator/Blogger/Interior Stylist of JamieVenice.com

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Should Home Decor Retailers be allowed to sale cotton stems as Fall home decorations?

OH wait a cotton pickin’ minute, have you lost your cotton pickin’ mind?! You are trying to take cotton stems from us?!

I know, I know. Another black girl talking about something else that offends her in America. However, you are more than welcome to scroll off of this post because this just might hurt your feelings.

Or keep reading if you want to be more informed!

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While I working for a home decor retailer after college, I did not enjoy bringing out the cotton stems every fall. It made me feel somewhat weird and powerless. because I knew the history behind cotton in the fall. I had no clue, however, why I continued to work for this company knowing that every year, they sold cotton stems faithfully. Oh. let’s not forget! They also sold cotton wreaths to match! How cute.

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I guess, at first, I was not aware of the issue that other’s had about it. My college friend Jasmine Hockett-Sweets, better known as Jasmine Sweets, put on snapchat while walking into a home decor retailer saying, “When did this become a trend?!” I nearly giggled to myself because I knew of this trend but never thought twice about how someone else felt about it. (Guess, my crazy butt was brainwashed in the retail life. I was used to seeing this crap every year.) You would think the south would know better. How naïve of me to think so. However, Jasmine was not the only person not here for the cotton stems. While scrolling through facebook, I discovered a article about a woman being angry about seeing cotton stems in hobby lobby. Her response was “this is reminiscent of slavery and those who were focused to pick cotton.” (Daniell Rider, you now my idol, girl. Thanks for speaking up). Ms. or Mrs. Rider, you are correct!

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Now for those who do not know much about slavery and cotton fields I am here to inform you that a retailer that sales cotton stems especially in the fall needs to do their research. Cotton fields were at their busiest in the fall due to the abundance of cotton produced. The end of August approaching fall was considered cotton picking season. So, was does this mean? Since cotton was growing in rapid rates and as high as five to seven feet high slaves had to work longer nights and quicker. The slower they worked, the more they got whipped.  The longer the work day, the less they got to sleep for the next day. Also, let’s keep in mind slaves weren’t done with their day after picking cotton. They had other chores, cutting wood, feeding the mules, you know, stuff of that nature. They also feared of oversleeping and  the consequences that came with tomorrow.

In other words, there were people that were picking cotton for you that were mistreated in the process. They were treated like machines and animals. They were treated like a product. So for those that are desensitized of the issue, you just might want to figure out and research more to understand the struggle of many just to make clothes and other products accessible to you.

So my reasoning for writing this is to spark awareness in a sense. Should retailers be allowed to sale cotton stems? Should they be taken off of shelves because of the offensive message it gives off to consumers? My answer is yes! I also believe Native American attire should be taken out of halloween/costume stores, but that’s a story for a different day. How do you feel about cotton being sold annually during the fall season? Tell me your thoughts. I just think we should stop throwing cotton on things and calling it rustic/ farmhouse.

Sincerely,

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Jamie Venice