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.

beauty, beauty products, Fashion, makeup, skin care, skincare, summer beauty

The Box(es)

Recently I decided (again, because I’m always doing this) to try (again) to take my appearance more seriously. Again. I just want to look better, less tired, more attractive. Left to my own devices I’d do nothing, but that’s just laziness. I could do better. Sometimes I don’t want to do anything because I just feel ugly and I don’t want to be seen as trying to compete with better looking people. Because the only thing worse than being seen as ugly is being seen as an ugly person who thinks they’re cute. Which is kind of twisted. 1) looks are subjective, so even if you don’t look like a model someone somewhere prob thinks you’re adorable and 2) how sad that if someone wants to build themselves up, other people will seek to deny them that happiness out of small-mindedness.

A whole issue/dilemma/situation.

box of peace

So I started with skincare. No one can fault or bully you for wanting cleaner skin. I got this box of Peter Thomas Roth Made To Mask Kit ($58) at Sephora. I’ve been using sheet masks and had just run out and couldn’t decide on what to get. I saw this, snatched it and ran for the register. I love how this box runs the gamut from light Cucumber Gel Mask to hardcore Purifying Black Mask with Irish moor mud. Long baths deserve the 24K Good Mask, and I’m crazy about putting on the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask for exfoliating before jumping in the shower. Def worth every penny.


I I started feeling pretty good after using the masks for about a month, so it was time lay in a skin routine. I follow Herbivore Botanicals on instagram and one night I saw an ad for the Jewel Box ($58) and I was all in. You get their Prism exfoliating glow serum, Bakuchiol serum for lines and wrinkles, and three of their skin oils (Phoenix, Emerald and Lapis). These are incredible products and I love them. The Prism and Bakuchiol serums have a luxurious texture that doesn’t feel greasy or slimy. The oils absorb into the skin quickly leaving skin deliciously soft. I’ve been using it for about a week and it’s made me feel beautiful. My skin looks cleaner and is moisturized without generating excess oil.

I admit to keeping it in the box so that it’s a whole am/pm ritual using the products.






beauty, beauty products, Fashion, lifestyle, soap

The Soapbox

I made these!

I’ve been procrastinating about making soap for weeks now. Tbh, I didn’t want to go in my pocket for supplies while there was a stimulus check on the table. I got mine two weeks ago and ordered more melt and pour soap blocks, liquid color pants and a loaf mold. A loaf mold lets you make ten two inch bars of soap in one go. A loaf mold lets you be creative and make prettier soap. A loaf mold sets you free.


I forgot to take a full photo of the mold, but it’s a silicone rectangle that fits in a wooden box, which holds the sides nice and firm. I decided to remake a Lemon Lavender Sea Salt bar recipe that I developed, but adding lavender colored shea butter soap accents. The first time I made individual bars and it smelled great and was moisturizing, but it didn’t have that artisan soap look. Last night I chopped up the unsold bars, added more lavender buds and rose petals and layered it with colored soap like a layer cake.

I cannot tell you how soothing and satisfying the whole process was. I used to strive towards these massive experiences and now, mixing and coloring soap, I am so happy. It’s such a logical craft. No wasted efforts or movements, no stress, and you get soap at the end.

Fucking perfect.

beauty, lifestyle, makeup

The Actress

My headshot

So, I signed with Central Casting awhile back and I finally got a gig this week! But I can’t talk about it. Well, I can’t give details. I’ll just say that it was pretty much what I thought. Surreal. And long.

In real life

Back in real life it was all about jumping over dirty snowbanks to get on the bus and running from Brooklyn to Manhattan for work. The WiFi went out for about an hour and I lost my mind. I haven’t worked on my business because I’ve been working at my job. I had about three fights regarding my personal boundaries because people just try to use me for their own ends then talk down to me. My feeling is, make up your fucking mind; either I’m inferior and useless or you’re going to respect my contributions and treat me accordingly. It’s tiring. Someone told me I wasn’t qualified for something and I was like…. but I already got hired for that.

The last day with makeup

I had a day where I played with all my makeup and then ended up throwing most of it out. My skin is fine, I don’t need to do anything to it. My eyelashes are perfect, I don’t need extra ones. Plus, I messed with mascara and lashes kept dropping out, so to avoid bald eyes I’m leaving mascara behind. I kept lipgloss, eyeshadow and eyeliner, and a waxy pencil to keep my brows neat. I’m more interested in my hair and skin, anyway. I’m choosing my battle and makeup is not on my radar anymore.

That’s it. I set a schedule for Saturday blogging, but at the moment I don’t have a clear agenda. Doing interviews is too time consuming, I don’t feel like selling anything, I’m not doing brand work (except for my Amazon influencer page) and I’m not interested in talking about my job. I’m just posting to fulfill my personal schedule until I figure out what direction I’m going in.

beauty, entrepeneur, entrepeneurship, Fashion, manicure, nail polish, nails, pedicure, recycled fashion

The Pedicure

I haven’t gotten a pedicure in a minute, and that minute includes pre-COVID. In my usual procrastinating manner, I kept promising myself spa days and then not quite getting around to it. Just shortchanging myself by not keeping my own promises. Tragic. But it’s a new year and I decided that I need to make my feet a priority, not just out of vanity, but because when you take care of your feet they take care of you. But it was super important that I go to the right place. So of course I used instagram to find the perfect pedicure. Of course.

Images from Nail Diva BK

Remember when I blogged about Fro.ology and GoldenBrownSkin? Well, I was on the lookout for manicurist of the same caliber: brilliant, talented and black. I want to feel that same level of comfort that other people get to feel when they get services from people that share their racial and cultural background. I want to feel welcome and at peace with where I am. And I still want a perfect pedi and great service. I’ve been following Shaneeka for awhile and when I finally got it together to make a appointment, I was gratified to find myself using a streamlined online process that had me booked in minutes.

I have big feet that I have to remind myself to sand down, so I won’t be making any foot fetish cash, but I do believe that a good pedicure makes you feel better about life. It’s like lingerie. Polished toes and smooth soles make me feel like I’m in control of my life. I got super excited about getting Shaneeka’s Charcoal Pedicure ($40) and I was not disappointed. There was soaking, a delicious scrub, the mask and a massage. I had asked for a paraffin treatment as well, since I got addicted to them at bliss, but I actually didn’t need it. And she was super chill, down to earth and professional. I usually don’t talk during services, but I felt like I was hanging out with a friend instead of someone who’s just grabbing my money.

Here’s the finished pedicure, after being sprayed with oil, wrapped in plastic plus my socks and rainboots. Perfect condition when I got home. 10/10 recommend Nail Diva BK if you’re in Brooklyn. We started on time, and she was done within the time frame quoted. She does all of the little things that I’ve gotten used to from going to upscale places like Nail Bar in Chicago and Bliss in New York, and she was nice enough to use the polish that I made. I love dark colors for toes and since I started making polish during quarantine, I’m now in love with the idea of only wearing my own. Win/win. I can’t wait to show my boat feet off this summer!

bath, beauty, beauty products, diy, entrepeneur, entrepeneurship, skincare, summer beauty

The Soap Bubble

I made soap!

As shelter in place mostly ended and I looked at a future of reduced work and spotty assignments (this week I sold masks and no contact keys and for the last few weeks it was packing up merchandise to return to a fashion vendor), I have to look at my side hustle and think of how to extend my brand. I have a list of things that I’ll be doing, but today we’re going to talk about soap. I like soap, I use soap quite often and spend a lot of time looking for soap to buy. So making soap was a no brained option…then I realized that I can’t just randomly make it, I need to practice and plan out an actual collection that makes sense.

I bought a variety of molds (amazon) and started experimenting. One idea was using a mold that looked like a faceted jewels, but when it hardened it didn’t look as cool as I’d hoped it would. It kind of reminded me of an eraser. The problem was that while I had driven myself crazy melting, mixing and pouring, I had failed to realize that swirling and color gradations are mostly done in loaf molds, so the effects wouldn’t be noticeable until you cut them. So the big purple lump actually had some fun things going on, just not on the outside. The next step was cutting up the lump (photo 2) and then I just reheated it and swirled it with a pink soap that I made for the occasion. This time, the effects are more noticeable.

I swirled for a good two hours. Starting with the purple and pink, moving to gold, peacock blue and white. This put me in a state of meditative joy that I haven’t achieved since art school. I love making soap. There’s the potential for artistic expression, the fun of experimenting and mixing colors, and the achieved goal of creating something useful. Soap is always useful. I don’t have an in-depth story about making soap, though. I just think people should reward themselves and one great thing to splurge on is some pretty, skin moisturizing soap.

Since I started creating my soap works, I’ve been dropping samples in when people make purchases from my online shops. I’m also going to start selling half bar samples since they are starting to pile up. I got the cutest little pillow boxes that the samples fit into perfectly. So I’m kind of excited about that. I’ll be selling samples on aliwazas, etsy, poshmark and depop, and there will be a buy button on the bottom of this page. Looking forward to spending the rest of the summer experimenting and creating a cohesive line of just plain pretty soaps.

Until next time,

Faith/SEBMARKETBK

Handmade soap samples

Unique half bars of handmade soap. Various colors. May be a mix of honey, goat’s milk, glycerine and olive oil soaps and will be colored with micas. Can be used for bath or hand soap. Ingredients: Coconut oil, palm oil, safflower oil, glycerine (of vegetable origin), purified water, sodium hydroxide (saponification agent), sorbitolpropylene glycol(made from vegetable glycerine)sorbitol O’Leary (emulsifier), oat protein (conditioner). White soaps contain titanium dioxide. Varieties of soap used: Clear, olive oil, honey, white, oatmeal, goat’s milk, shea butter *Price includes postage, within the US only.

$5.00

american made, beauty, beauty products, black fashion designer, Fashion, fashion designer, influencer, makeup, recycled fashion, summer beauty, upcycled, woman boss

The Beauty Boss

I was thinking about what to blog about this week as I was scrubbing up in the shower and then I realized that I wanted to write about some of the black owned brands that I’ve been buying from. As a former beauty and fashion influencer, I now hate everything. Partly because I was just used as a lure for big businesses that find it cheaper to throw a party and give away merchandise that they can write off and still profit. Partly because after testing so many products that were not meant for my skin or hair I realized that I was a pure idiot to keep promoting a system that doesn’t really see me as valuable. So, now I try to buy from small, independent and Black companies. If I’m going to influence people, then I want to influence them to help build new companies and business moguls.

I came across Goldenbrownskin LLC after they posted on Fashion Bomb Daily’s instagram page. I started with the Rose lip gloss ($4) and ended up going back for the Coconut and Rose brown sugar scrub ($27.95) that looks super expensive and pretty in the bathtub edge. My items were created, packaged and shipped quickly, and the owner was really nice about answering messages and whatnot. You really feel that there’s a human being behind the screen making beauty magic for you.

8 custom tubes of lipgloss, with custom labels from Goldenbrownskin LLC

One night I was looking for something to buy and I noticed that they were offering Wholesale lipgloss. You get 40 to 100 tubes custom made for you. I chose five flavors and GBS worked with me to create the colors that I wanted. They basically went flavor by flavor with me specifying my color choices and then sending me photos of the progress. I sell them and give away tubes with items that I sell in my online shops and people adore them.

Of course I had to be nosy. I love finding out about people’s processes and ideas. So here, in her own words, is Goldenbrownskin LLC:

SEB Market BK: What made you start a business for yourself? 

Goldenbrownskin LLC: I started a business for myself because I noticed I work better alone. I’ve always been a leader, a creative & I enjoy helping others. 

SEB Market BK: What inspired your Upcycled designs? Did you go to fashion school? 

Goldenbrownskin LLC: I have a lot of old clothes & I don’t like being around crowds of people so I normally just rework the items I have. I love to see ideas come to life. I’ve never been to any fashion school, I just watch a lot of YouTube, lol.

SEB Market BK: Your lipgloss is amazing! How did you get into creating your collection and what got you into selling wholesale? 

Goldenbrownskin LLC: Thank you so much! I started making lip gloss because I wanted to experiment with a variety of products, that women would shop for all the time. I enjoy doing wholesale more than making individual lipgloss because I like helping others start their own business.

SEB Market BK: You’re taking orders for custom t-shirts now. Are you going to be designing a collection exclusively for Goldenbrownskin? 

Goldenbrownskin LLC: I have started taking t-shirt orders, but I am still practicing. I’m not sure if that’s something I’d get into, I really enjoy making custom tees for other people. But of course a branded t-shirt with “Goldenbrownskin” has to happen! 

SEB Market BK: Tell me about your latest product, Dragon Butter. It looks like the secret to perfect summer skin! 

Goldenbrownskin LLC: Yes, so my body butters are my new favorites. Everything is natural & homemade. My fav body butter is the dragon butter, I love the strawberry scent. The body butters a natural raw African Shea butter. The Shea butter is great in healing and evening out your skin tone. Works great for individuals with any skin disorders via eczema, psoriasis, rashes etc 

SEB Market BK: You’ve been really outspoken about the protests. How has the current climate affected you and what are you doing to make a difference?

Goldenbrownskin LLC: I haven’t personally been too affected by what’s been going on. I have a blended family so it’s a hard subject to speak on, but I have been donating 30% of each order to fund the BLM movement. It’s a very sad situation, something I truly don’t understand.

So, basically a savvy business owner with empathy, kindness, and social conscience as part of her business plan. In other words, a Queen building an empire of love. Yes, I do see what just wrote. I said what I said. Click to check out Goldenbrownskin, and follow her awesome instagram, too.

Until next time,

Faith/SEBMarketBK

bath, beauty, beauty products, diy, summer beauty

The Bath Bomb Project

I mentioned in last week’s post that I had decided to make bath bombs and since I had so much fun doing it, I decided to make a whole post about the experience. Since quarantine started I’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of time on instagram, which is how I found out about Organically Bath Beauty. They’re a Black owned beauty brand that sells a whole kit with everything you need, including a reusable tin mold.

this is the Bath Bomb Kit combined with the Refill Kit

They have already pre-measured the dry ingredients like baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salts, etc. They include the mica for coloring your bathbombs, fragrance, emollient and dried rose petals lavender and mint to beautify your project. Organically Bath Beauty does video classes, so you can learn on your own time. And since you get so much in the kit, you can experiment with different molds to see what you like.

This is how easy the process is. Measure out your draw ingredients (I used a cup, and a teaspoon of the mica). Then add your oils, fragrance and dried herbs or flowers. Mix them together with your hands. Just get in there and give it all a good smush. Add tiny amounts of water to make the mix stick together. Once you it starts clumping together then you can pack the mold. I used the spherical mold that came with the kit, as well as some plastic mocha trays, and then I went crazy and used a plastic soap dish. The soap dish wasn’t the best idea, because it crumbled, but I can rewet the ingredients and try again.

Aren’t they gorgeous? I had so much fun making these, but the best was tossing them in the tub and watching them fizz, knowing that I had made this for myself. I tried the orange creAme, lavender and eucalyptus kits. And it’s definitely ignited a fever to make more bath bombs! Do yourself a favor and head over to Organically Bath Beauty and cop a kit for yourself. They’re $25 and refills are $20.

Until next time,

Faith/SEB Market BK

beauty, beauty products, food, haircare, jewelry

The Mail

Going on 30 days of self quarantine and social distancing and the deliveries I get in the mail are a lifeline to a world where a stroll through the aisles of Target or The Container Store was something to take for granted. I know that I could get on the train and go right now, but…why take chances. Right? So for the past four weeks I’ve been shopping to fill in the holes and entertain myself. And support the economy and small business, too.

Here are some of my favorite purchases…

Beauty:

Discovered black woman owned Fro.ology for all of my organic, natural haircare needs. I already have the hair tea, onion and garlic scalp oil and super thick deep conditioner, $10. I’m going to own the whole collection by the time this is over. Saw Goldenbrownskin on instagram and bought their super moisturizing Levres lip gloss in Rose 92 for $6) and then snatched up their Coconut and Rose sugar scrub, $27.95.

I was up late one night and ordered two things: a jar of this delicious smelling coppertone glow body highlighter, $25 from Agrestal Beauty and a wig from Hairbird. The highlighter was exactly what I ordered and the wig… It dosn’t look like what I ordered. I’m not gonna lie, I would not have ordered this style. But it was cheap and I had fun wearing it on my birthday. If you like living dangerously you can try ordering from them.

Herbs and Jewelry:

Staying inside seems ideal at first and then becomes a low key freakout that can blossom into a breakdown if you’re not careful. So herbal teas and cbd can be lifesavers. I ordered four sample packets from August Uncommon, and a raspberry leaf and chasteberry tisane from Herb n Sol that promotes women’s health. I made my second order from Ruby’s Happy Farm for hemp pre-rolls. I’m still stressed, but knowing that I can smoke or sip a hot cup of delicious tea makes me feel like I have control.

I’ve been on a jewelry buying thing since last holiday season (I was working in an upscale museum gift shop) and being in isolation wasn’t slowing me down. This Amour necklace from Metier Essentials, $62, was my birthday present and I loved the minimalist simplicity of the carnelian and clear quartz bracelet from Herb n Sol, $20.

Indulgence:

These delectable chocolate macaroons floated up on my insta tl and I was instantly purchasing. Michelle’s Maccs combines velvety dark,milk or light chocolate with a perfect coconut filling that has a crisp snap and crunch in every bite. You can order individual flavors, or build a cusomized dozen, $28. I devoured the entire dozen within hours, even though I promised myself that I’d try to make them last. The dark chocolate covered salted caramel maccs, $10 for four, are INSANE with red wine. This is the only chocolate snack I crave right now.

It took 20 days, but eventually I gave in to my finer instincts and ordered wine from local liquorteria D.Vino. This is my first box of wine, which I found out actually contains four bottles. I am not sure why I never invested in one of these. The funny thing about this place is that they are very close to a train station and bus stop that I was using to get to and from work. They are across the street from a supermarket and up the block from a McDonald’s (big macs are AMAZING with pinot noir, I swear to you) so every so often I would buy a bottle of wine from them before hopping on the bus home.

I found out about Jeni’s ice cream from a product roundup in Bon Apetit magazine, but it took a quarantine to remind me to try them. It was the middle of the night, I wanted ice cream and their website is a clean, well lit place for treats. You have to buy at least four pints for a delivery, which I thought was going to last for awhile. I gave away one pint, but that was before I tasted anything and I will never do that again.

I just ordered more and it is all for me. I can’t wait to see that big orange box. It’s pricey at $12 a pint, but my sanity and comfort is worth it. The salty caramel will make you cry a little. The brown butter almond brittle is worth doing extra workouts for. If you’re scared to gain weight then just go to the website and look at the pictures.

Hope you’re holding up! What’s getting you through quarantine? Do you have a standing order from a local restaurant or are you hunkered down with a cabinet stuffed with cookies or hot chocolate? Support small and local business! Don’t forget the cardio!

See you next time,

Faith/SEB Market BK

beauty, beauty products, exercise, Fashion, fitness, food, gifts, jewelry, makeup, personal style, self-affirmation, self-care, skin care, skincare, wigs

The Birthday Party

Well…

me and me, memories… I love that little girl so much now! she was so brave. now I’m a hot mess.

Not so much a party as a solitary day doing nothing but caring for myself. On my birthday. With no outside demands to be met or people to bother me. This should be a regular occurrence in my life, but in reality I sporadically remember that I have to do a mask or something, when I should be scheduling this time as a permanent standing appointment in self care. I’d be a better person if I did.

Woke up swaddled in the silky sheets that I bought from Bed, Bath and Beyond (clearance), had a shot of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice flavored with ginger and honey, then went out to do my 5 laps. I got to wear my new mask from Lee Rickie, $15. I saw these on Fashion Bomb Daily maybe two weeks ago? Had to wait for them to make more and then it came the day before my birthday. I’m guessing that masks are going to be pretty common after this quarantine, might as well get a designer one and help a small business stay afloat.

As soon as I got back from my 1 mile run (baby steps…I hate jogging), I ran a bath and started my day of beautaaaayyyy. I love sheet masks and beauty treatments in pouches. You can snatch them up in handfuls and open one up any time you need a little pampering. The theme for today was Holler and Glow, one of the reasons I miss browsing the aisles at Target. I can’t say enough about these incredibly softening purrrfect hand (and foot) masks, $3.99.

I didn’t have anywhere to be and the water was nice and hot, so I just hung out reading a huge book about Cecil Beaton and doing nothing. The Zoya nail polish in Edyta, $10, was a blogger perk. I just love this color against my skin. And I finally got my cuticles under control, which is a massive improvement.

So once I got out of the tub, I messed with all the makeup that I’ve had sitting in the bathroom since I went on multiple Sephora binges last summer. From foundation to false eyelashes, with a hit of grey contact lenses. I actually used up all my lipsticks and have been wearing lip balm lately, so I had to improvise a lip color. I used a Sephora lip pencil, $6, added a layer of Levres rose petal lip gloss from Goldenbrownskin, $5 or 2 for $6, and then finished with a light sweep of Pat McGrath LUST gloss in Bronze Temptation, $28. Topped the whole thing off with a new curly afro wig and tiara.

After all that I was too exhausted to try and dress up. Stuck with my comfy sundress and a comfy hooded Cyrus sweater that I bought at Nordstrom this winter. That sweater cost me like $50 and I’ve worn it a thousand times since I got it in December. Fashion math, it’s basically free.

the birthday dinner

Now that I was all made up, it was time for the big birthday meal, all found in the freezer. I had a frozen mushroom and asparagus risotto kit, seasoned tilapia filet, and fresh spinach that I froze a few weeks ago. I broiled the tilapia with butter on low until it was cooked through and crispy, then squeezed a lemon wedge over it. Ate it with a big glass of lemon water . Once I had eaten the last bit it was time for my present.

Yes. I waited until after dinner. It was the big excitement of the day so I wanted to savor it.

I’m just starting to rebuild my thing with my family, and I don’t have close friends or a boyfriend, so I wasn’t expecting any presents from anyone. I bought myself something pretty, wrapped it with homemade wrapping paper and ribbon and let it sit for a week until the amazing day finally arrived. I had seen ads for Metier Essentials on Instagram, and the Amour necklace, $62, really spoke to me.

I used to be very talkative and fun, but now I’m guarded and I really don’t express much emotion. I guess I’m trying to remind myself to be a little softer and more open. If you’re wondering about the wrapping, it’s just brown paper and I stamped it all over with a rubber heart stamp then put a few glitter heart stickers on it.

Even though I gave it to myself, love is love. I don’t have a clue what the future holds or if I’ll even have a life that’s loud with friendships and family. But I have a heart now. So there’s hope.

Did you celebrate a birthday this week? How did it feel? Were you sad or just happy to be alive and have a place to stay quarantined? Were you scared to try and imagine the future?

Until next time,

Faith/SEBMarketBK