bike riding, biking, Travel

The Bike Ride

A thrilling bike tour with Fat Tire tours in Paris

I’m kind of shocked at how much I stuffed into a four day visit. But when you only have a few days, it makes sense to stuff them full of activities and adventures. Its also about staying up late on the internet, stewing over only having a few days and looking for things to do. I didn’t want to fly all that way just to sit in a hotel room alone. Friday afternoon I went to the Louvre , Saturday morning I went to Porte de Montreuil, and Saturday evening I went on a four hour bike tour in the streets of Paris with Fat Tire Tours.

I don’t have a helmet cam, and I’m too anxious of a rider to film on the bike, but trust me… it was incredible. I would not have covered so much ground just walking, and taking the metro is just burrowing through tunnels. Biking on my own was not going to happen, either. The bike tour was a genius idea.

One little travel tidbit? Google works everywhere. If it weren’t for google maps I would have been SOL finding places. So one ongoing adventure was just following google directions all over Paris. Finding the Rue Edgar Faure successfully, was literally the hardest part of taking this tour. Once there we got outfitted with vests, helmets and big, muscular bike. After a quick instruction, we lined up and headed out after our (AMERICAN!) tour guide into the warm Parisian sunset.

But, for real, it was actually sunset.

We rode through traffic and through crowds, along the streets and along the banks of the Seine. We stopped along the way to learn about French architecture, culture and history. Then we stopped for ice cream.

We stopped at the oldest ice cream maker in Paris, Berthillon, for a quick round of cones while listening to a piano player as the sun left streaks of light across the sky. I had roasted pineapple with basil and it was heaven. Then the lights that city is famous for started coming on.


We were supposed to end the night with a boat cruise but that got canceled and we ended up drinking wine in front of the Eiffel Tower, which was better. I bought a mess of keychains and a lightup tower toy to take home. As if it couldn’t get any better, the whole tower sparkled like champagne for about five minutes. All this magic cost me $55.


Fashion, recycled fashion, shopping, Travel, vintage

Le Marché aux Puces

The Porte de Montreuil flea market in Paris

So, if you don’t know this, I have a reselling side hustle and I’m always looking for new ways to get inventory. I wanted to go to Paris, which is known for croissants, the Eiffel Tower (which they didn’t even want and Eiffel had to pay for it himself), and flea markets. The first time I visited, I dragged my ex-husband to the Port de Vanves open air market, happily haggling over a silver piggy bank. This time around, after doing some research, I decided on the lesser known Porte de Montreuil marche aux puces.

I’m gonna be honest, I was lost for about 45 minutes trying to find this place. First mistake was getting off at the wrong station. There are two Montreuil stops and I had forgotten to screen shot the metró directions before leaving the hotel (no free wifi in the subway there). After realizing that I should have trusted my instinct to get out at PORTE DE MONTREUIL, the literal name of the market. Then I managed to walk in every direction but the right one. Why? Just wild. If you go, just walk towards the highway when you leave the station. Towards the big glass buildings.

I took euros with me, but some vendors will take cards. It’s just all manner of stuff in there. I was laser focused on vintage and clothing, but there was so much more! I could have happily stayed in there browsing and shopping.

porte de montreuil thrifting

I ended up tagging out after about 20 minutes. I filled my bag, even after rolling everything to make as much room as possible it was still full. I left with some good vintage, a raincoat that I’m keeping, and a still fat wad of euros.

I photographed every piece as soon as I got back to the hotel.

Wrong station, great photo. This is not the flea market station. Just trying to save you time.

Next time? The story of a bike ride through Paris.

adventures, architecture, art, museums, Travel

The Louvre

the actual Louvre, in real life

OK, we’re back in Paris. My first stop, after dropping my stuff off at the hotel, was the Louvre Museum. I’ve wanted to go there for years, and a museum seemed like the perfect place to start my vacation. Not too stressful, lots of art, maybe a little meal. Nothing too crazy. Meanwhile the place is 8 miles long, I had no map and I was late to pick up my audioguide. They were nice and gave me one anyway? But for the life of me I could not figure it out. So I just walked around, headphones around my neck, completely lost. I don’t think was the only one, a lot of people were wandering around with the headphones off.

After getting lost in the Egyptian section, then finding myself in the basement viewing the medieval stones that are the museum’s foundation, I finally found my way to the painting galleries. The walls are filled with landscapes and religious iconography. There are small canvasses tiled on walls and paintings so large that they fully occupy walls that are longer than my studio apartment. It is an onslaught of artistic endeavor. I tried to find the Mona Lisa, but I got turned around and found a hall of Objets d’Art and from there I somehow found Napoleon Bonaparte’s apartments.

the sumptuously appointed Napoleon appartement

Red velvet and gold everywhere. Crystal chandeliers, and paintings of cherubs on the ceiling. It’s garish and unbelievably tacky, but also sumptuous, luxurious and outlandishly royal. What’s wild is now understanding what was in my mom’s head when she decorated. A lot of people are copying this oplulent style unconsciously. I remember going to the homes of relatives and seeing elements of this and now here it was in front of me. The whole thing made me sad about my lack of pillars and corniches and gilded flourishes. Don’t get me started about the dining room.

I got there at about 4pm and they close at six, so it was a sprint. Next time I’m downloading a map and prepping before I get there, but for a first time I feel good with how much I saw. It definitely lived up to the hype. It was also the first time that I used my Nikon dslr since I bought it two years ago, and I got some lovely images. It was my first time going to the little Maxim’s shop in the lower level and my first cannelle. My first day in Paris and I ended up sitting on a bench with the sun beaming down on me just being grateful for being there.

just hanging out and bathing in the French sunshine

Next week we go to the flea market.

brooklyn, Fashion, popup, recycled fashion, shopping, upcycled, vintage, williamsburg

The Pop up (this Saturday!)

Launch party, too!

Excited!!! Im going to LIVE at the Regeneration pop up next weekend🎉 and they’re having a launch party! (Not just for me, Artists and Fleas is proud to launch their new baby market!). Regular hours are every weekend from 11am to 6pm, at 70 N 7th Street in Williamsburg, but this week? There’s a party from 5pm to 7pm!🎉🤗

Here are the deets:

Shop 20+ vintage, thrift and upcycled fashion sellers at the Regeneration Celebration Saturday, September 25th from 5-7pm. Special guests include @screamie_weemie stick-and-pokes, @toothcharm tooth gems, mochi from @theboiisco, live stream shopping and $20 shopping credit from ShopShops (download the app here and get $20 spending credit to shop the market!), drinks from Recess, custom jewelry from @lesmissnyc, DJ sets from @poptrainrecords and more.

I went by there on Sunday to take a look, and its adorable.

I don’t usually post mid-week, but its Wednesday and I want to make sure I promoted that fact that I, and some curated preloved and vintage fashion, will be at Regeneration (70 N 7th Street in Williamsburg) this Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.

I even made new postcards and a sign:

bags, beauty, Fashion, hair, haircare, handbags, makeup, personal style, shoes, skincare, Travel

The Trip

On the way to Newark airport in a Lyft because the airport shuttle never came.

I started planning my trip back in July. I booked the airline, hotel and tours then went about my business, praying every day that there wouldn’t be another lockdown. Luckily there was just a travel restriction, but I got vaccinated earlier this year and I have consistently tested negative. I was still nervous that the whole thing would fall through. Once it got down to the last 7 days before the trip, I could get excited. I had a whole plan and now it was coming true.

I decided to pack a capsule wardrobe in black, with a white maxidress to go to the country in. I took my new plaid shacket for cold airports and to use as a blanket. My wardrobe consisted of:

  1. Uniqlo tshirt dress, $20, to travel in. Doubled as nightgown.
  2. Laundry by Shelli Segal tshirt minidress with pockets, on sale for $11.
  3. Banana Republic shirtdress with pockets, $55.
  4. Know One Cares white tiered maxidress, $34
  5. Eleven Paris sheer cotton tshirt, fashion internship perk
  6. Primark leggings, $3
  7. Thrifted black footless tights, $1
  8. RFID money belt, $16.95

I ended up adding the 10 euro floral maxidress on the way to the hotel, so I wore the white dress on an evening excursion.


This was how I did luggage. To travel I packed a Rebecca Minkoff tote bag ($40, sample sale) with a folded L.L. Bean camo duffel bag that I got free from another blogger at an event 6 years ago. The tiny wardrobe was packed in a ziplock bag, and I painted a little Street Level handbag (I think it was $20, I got it from C21) to use for my camera and plug adaptors, hand sanitizer, etc. I don’t like having to check anything. I was only staying four days, and I knew I was going to shop so had an empty bag ready.

Unfortunately the Minkoff bag gave up on the way to the hotel. The strap couldn’t handle the pressure. I swapped it out for a cheap tan faux leather bag that I bought in the metro with the dress. Tbh, I bought five dresses and this bag for 50 euro!

I will admit to a lot of toiletries, though. But I have a two Le Sac pouches from a blogger event at Caravan Style Studio ages ago. I took Herbivore Botanicals bakuchiol and Phoenix face oil. I bought Mario Badescu skincare and deodorant from Nordstrom Rack (I love NR), two amazing Bastide fragrances, and the new MAC items from my makeover. I got all the way there and realized that I’d forgotten toothbrush and toothpaste, do I got this awesome Botot brand at a Parisian pharmacy. I also got some Weleda body wash, which was confiscated on the way home.

I was reckless for buying it, and I only got to use it twice🤷🏿‍♀️

The finishing touch was getting faux locs. I love my hair, but I wanted a completely new, no stress, look. I bought a bonnet to protect them at night, and I admit to using Mario Badescu rosewater facial spray and a few drops of face oil to moisturize my scalp. I got new black and gold framed glasses from Zeelol, with fun costume jewelry from my favorite place (Nordstrom Rack), plus my fave Timex watch.

Oh, and these sweet Converse CX low tops, $70, with clear rubber toe detail and orange rubber soles. It turns out that Converse all stars are pretty popular in Paris. I saw so many different iterations! And they were comfortable for all the stair climbing and walking that I did for my whole trip. I didn’t stop moving from the moment I left my apartment in New York. It was a whole marathon.

Next time, we’ll take a trip to the Louvres.

art, Fashion, Travel

La Vacance (part 2)

I let somebody take my photo at Giverny and it could have been better. Like let me put my bag down and get my angles! But whatever.

Three days back and still a mess. I am still not properly unpacked, my bed is half made. I didn’t get it together to make a proper dinner until yesterday, and now I will be eating jollof inspired saucy rice with chicken deep into next year because guess who used three cups of rice for no reason?

Me. I made a massive pot of rice.

Anyway, I didn’t want to leave my blog empty until next Saturday, so here are some photos from my day tour to Giverny to see the home and gardens of Claude Monet.

But first, this is the first floral dress that I’ve ever liked enough to wear. Long dresses are commonplace on the stylish streets of Paris, and the floral was to honor the theme of this viator booked tour of the countryside. I loved wearing this dress. It felt very fresh and feminine.


I’m going to work on an outline for next week’s post and actually post it on Saturday. I learned a lot, every day was a revelation.

A tout a l’heure!

Fashion

La Vacance (part 1)

The gorgeous Eiffel Tower

I’m in Paris right now. Paris, France. I waited through quarantine when others were jumping on planes. I went back to work and slowly became too busy to travel. I worked on improving my side hustle and had no time to plan a vacation. I denied myself until it started feeling crazy. So I booked a four day Paris vacay through Priceline (air & hotel on my Priceline Visa card), then I booked some tours through Viator (Louvres, bike tour, Versailles package) and found the Porte de Montreuil vintage market. I am having the time of my life.

Be back next week with links, tips, and info. But for now, here’s some photos of Paris being Paris.

Accessories, achievements, american made, american retail, black fashion designer, clothes, clothing, coats, E commerce, ecofashion, ecommerce, entrepeneur, Fashion, fashion designer, fashion photo, footwear, lifestyle, recycled fashion, upcycled, vintage

The Business

SEBMARKETBK on Shopify

Working on my Shopify store and trying to gain perspective on my side hustle business. Constantly thinking of how to push it into sustainable success. Doing a lot of running around, researching, taking classes and looking at long term strategies. Plotting shopping trips and new marketing strategies.


Going through my inventory, looking for ways to style my items, and just taking time to be still and look at everything and find the significance and meaning in every piece.

Also, since I lost a little weight, I’m trying things on and looking at how pieces will work on real people, how things go together, etc. I’ve been selling since 2015 and have worked pretty much nonstop since quarantine trying to build a brand, trying to find an audience, trying to sell, trying and trying to stay on top of things and stay sane.
I can see the finish line, but I still have to figure out how to get there.

Fashion

The Thrill

So the reason I didn’t post last week because I was actually out in the world doing a thing. I signed up to do my first vintage pop up here in Brooklyn and between prepping, packing, transporting, selling, packing again and getting it all back upstairs that I didn’t get a chance to blog. I meant to do it on Sunday, but I was in pain. I found out the hard way that selling vintage is a real workout.

It was wild to have so many obstacles suddenly pop up, but I managed to get there and it was a good time. After all that time in lockdown, then going back to a job where I barely see other people, I was so excited to get to the pop up, and for about half an hour I thought it wouldn’t happen. And when I got there and didn’t have a rack, I was in shock that I had forgotten something so integral to selling. I was lucky enough that I put a card in my phone pocket so that I could order racks to be delivered, but my booth looked like a hot pile of garbage. My tablecloth didn’t cover my tubs and bags, I had to hang my stuff from the tent ceiling (ghetto), and I just felt like I was making the worst impression.

But I sold.

I sold a puffer jacket that I’ve had listed for three years, I sold a pretty sundress that I’ve had for about two years. I sold an awesome blazer that I got a few months ago. I sold a 70s patchwork skirt, I sold a 90s jacket. I sold two vintage tiebleached t-shirts almost instantly, which was gratifying since I couldn’t move them online. I sold a James Beard cookbook, which I could not move on eBay. The algorithm couldn’t keep people from finding the items that were meant for them. And I could watch people try things on, and see the items come alive and that was glorious. I’ve been investing in inventory for months and it was great to see some of my hunches payoff.

I’m probably doing another pop up soon, but until then here’s a taste of The Thrill. If you want to check out the vintage and high end items I have online, visit me on ShopThrilling/SEBMarketBK.

beauty products, brow maintenance, eyes, false eyelashes, Fashion, makeup

The MACover

MACbeauty

I got my skincare routine down and I was feeling good about myself, so I decided to buy a new matte red lipstick as I was passing the MAC store in Times Square. I got the lipstick and made an appointment for an eyelash lesson, and that turned into a bit of an investment. But… I mean… ok, I did not need any of this, but I bought it anyway.

I don’t look like Beyoncé or Naomi Campbell, or an ig model, so instead of hating myself over it, I picked a feature to love and I have a passionate adoration for the curve of my eyelids. Which is lucky because we’re back wearing masks in New York and eyes are all I have. It took a lot of products, plus concentration and precision. It was kind of zen. I started realizing how comforting it must be to paint on a mask to deal with a stressful world. Staring into your own eyes and assessing your own possibilities, then becoming the self you saw in your head. Powerful.

This is how it looked when I got home. I liked the fact that I could still see myself but my good qualities were amplified. I loved how definite my brows were. I figured that I could easily replicate the look and decided to wear makeup every day during the following week.

Let’s see how that went.

Day one, I did a whole face using tinted moisturizer and concealer from Fenty, all of the eye stuff except lashes with lipgloss over pencil.

Day 2 I was running late but did the eye thing with a Sephora lip stain over pencil.

Day 3 I just couldn’t. I didn’t even shower that day, and I had to wear a hat.

Day four I came back a little and did my eyes but that was the day that masks got mandated again, so I just did plain lip balm. Depressing.

Day five was the same.

It wasn’t that I didn’t care or didn’t want to, but mornings are hard. Getting up, exercising and getting a bike ride in, showering, getting dressed, eating breakfast or plotting where to pick it up on the way, finding my shoes and trying not to forget my keys takes up all of my time and energy. I’m going to have to get up earlier to fit makeup into this chaos. I’m going to try actually getting up when the alarm rings next week.

Here’s a list of the items I’ve been using:

Face:

Makeup Forever shine control Step 1 primer, $17

Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop blurring skin tint in 23, $29.50

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r instant retouch concealer, $26

MAC Studio Fix powder plus in NW48, $35

Fenty Beauty Killawatt highlighter in Hu$tla Baby, $36

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out cream blush in Summertime Wine, $20

Sephora Beauty Amplifier setting spray, $16

Eyes:

MAC eyebrow styler crayon in Stud, $20

MAC Studio Fix 24hr smooth wear concealer, $24

Natasha Denona mini Star 5 shadow palette, $25

MAC Dazzleshadow liquid in Love Yourself, $23

MAC Pigment in Rose, $12

MAC eyeshadow in Carbon, $19

NYX Epic Ink liner in Black, $9

MAC Magic Extension 5mm fiber mascara in Extensive Black, $25

Kiss USA strip lash couture adhesive, $6

MAC Lash in Dreamgirl, $18

Lips:

Sephora lip liner to go in Deep Brown, $6

Sephora cream lip stain in 26, $15

MAC Lipglass in Oh Baby, $18

MAC Retro Matte liquid lipcolor, $22