blogging, education, lifestyle, self-care

The Code

I’m taking a pre-bootcamp JavaScript bootcamp class and it is HARD. I am scared to go to the gym or even leave the house before class because I need to spend every minute breaking this code down so that I can learn it. I realized with my last post that I can’t do both right this second, so I’m putting this here to remind me that I have to do my homework, do my research and generally surrender every waking moment to getting through the next week.

I’ve never been so happy.

See you soon!

Faith/SEB Market BK

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black women, blogging, body image, brooklyn, color, cooking, decorating, exercise, fitness, food, health, home, home decor, home furnishings, influencer, interior decorating, lifestyle, nutrition, personal style, Photography, self-care

The Salad Bowl

So yesterday I went to Soho because there was a sale I wanted to check out, and I ended up at Crate & Barrel. I just meant to browse or maybe get a planter for my homegrown lemon tree, but instead I got this stuff ($15 total, because I am cheap). And out of all of these things, the most important is the salad bowl.

See, I’m on a diet- or rather I’m going back on a diet, or really I’m doing everything I can to guide myself towards better food choices. I went to Dean & Deluca, which I always do when I’m in that neighborhood, and instead of coffee and pastry I did an iced chai with a banana. I am super proud because D&D makes fire baked goods and I did not waver. Which brings us to salads:

I love salad and while salad tastes good in anything, most of the time I’m eating one out of a plastic takeout bowl (recycling!) with a plastic fork (I re-use those, too). This salad was delicious, full of fresh greens, crispy carrots and cucumbers, perfectly boiled eggs and premium Tonnino’s tuna. It tasted amazing, too. But I know how I am and I need to stunt a little so when I saw the bowl, I knew that it was a match made in salad instagramming heaven.

This salad is just a pile of random stuff in a bowl- but look at the bowl! How can you not want to nom everything in it? And it was $2.57! Lightweight but sturdy melamine and looking like an egg yolk pouring out of blindingly white shell. It is pure salad motivation. Btw, this was actually tasty. Chopped salad greens, avocado slices, roasted sweet plantain, ground peanuts roasted with bbq sauce, and slivers of white onion. Topped with cheddar cheese, for color as well as taste. I think I enjoyed it more because it was nestled in bowl perfection.

I just blogged about my bowl to show off, and to show that no matter how you get there, eating good food makes you feel like your best self. Feel free to tell me about what motivates you to eat properly! (Or not, it’s all good).

See ya next time!

Faith/SEB Market BK

beauty, beauty products, blogging, cooking, diet, dieting, diy, Fashion, fashion photo, food, hair, hair products, hair removal, haircare, health, lifestyle, personal style, photo, photo industry, photo shoot, Photography, shopping, skin care, skincare, Style

in which we take stock of where we are and look forward to 2017 #bye2016

I am not one of those people that likes to party on NYE. I think the last time I went out was 12/31/2009, and luckily it turned out to be a party run by a high school friend. What are the odds? So tonight, like most years, I’ll be chilling at home thinking about everything I accomplished and thinking about all the stuff I want to do in the coming year. No resolutions this year, since I noticed that I forget them as soon as I make them and really, who cares? Life takes so many twists and turns that resolutions made in December look really silly come March or April. I’m just going to chip away at things that keep me from being, doing or going towards where I want to be.

I’m really proud to report that much progress has been made in 2016:

Work:

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I made progress as a blogging freelancer by working for Energems, HSI Professional, and Private Rx. In fact, I’ve been writing blog posts for the Private Rx blog for the last 6 months. I’m really proud of that. I got a Fashion Week job that ended up generating cash for me from September to November and it inspired me to update my Behance photography portfolio and start uploading stock images again. I also made money from my Society 6 store! And from depop and other online selling platforms. Not monumental groundbreaking sums, but enough to feel confident and competent.

Diet and health:

This year I started messing with a waist trainer, but it wasn’t until November that I made the necessary changes in my diet to lose weight and keep it off. My friend is big into the paleo thing, and while I was never a calorie counter and have willfully embraced carbs all my life, I thought it might be worth it to give up pasta and bread and start paying attention to my diet.

I made banana walnut bread a week before I decided, so now I have backslide slices ready in the freezer. Unfortunately the last time I ate one my whole metabolism seemed to slow to a crawl and it took a week of saying no to carbs to feel good again. I guess I’ll eat a slice for my birthday or something. I’m still a butter and bacon type of girl, as evidenced by my artichokes with lemon butter plate, and below that I was making German potato soup (it was so good), but I am starting to ease up and just use a dab of olive oil for sauteing and a dribble sesame oil for flavor.  I’m leaning on steaming veggies so that they retain more of their nutritional value as well. Not sure I’ll ever be a raw food person, I love hot soup way too much.

Beauty:

The paleo thing is on track with my other big life changing project: making my own beauty products. It’s been fun getting free samples and testing them out. I love having so much knowledge abut what’s good for my skin and hair. But at the end of the day, I’m not spending thousands of dollars on products. I can’t and won’t afford it. However, I still need lotion, and my skin needs exfoliating so I’ll just make everything at home. I’ve been reading up on different recipes, how herbs work, and aromatherapy and trying different things.

For the last two months I’ve been using my salt and coffee skin scrubs, whipping up body butter and slathering avocado on my hair. I use a green tea and yogurt mask that helps deflate the bags under my eyes, and I wax with a homemade sugar concoction. Today I made a hair pomade out of wax and oils. I have soooo many ideas for 2017! I’ll prob be making a business out of it as well, since baking cookies and stuff proved a little too fattening (I might try again with low carb treats, though).  I’ve already turned my baking cupboard into the beauty pantry.

Style and fashion:

I have made a slow return to shopping. After three years of getting free clothes, shoes, underwear, jewelry, perfume, hair and skincare, light bulbs, bedding, towels, and even toothpaste and flossing picks, I decided it’s time to start living life like a normal person. I’m still cheap, though- don’t get it twisted. And since I already have stuff that I like from brands like LL Bean, Desigual, and Cat Footwear, I’m really just re-calibrating my style and moving back towards things that I like because I like them, not because people are giving away free stuff. I am really into Century 21, especially since there’s a store in Downtown Brooklyn if I want to return or exchange anything. I got this coat and knee high Steve Madden boots, a fab Calvin Klein cocktail dress for work, and this awesome patchwork totebag (I snagged it on final sale at $20, and it’s reversible and comes with a little zippered pouch! Free is cool and I’m grateful for all the stuff I got (not as much as some, but more than enough), but there is nothing like catching a good old fashioned bargain.

Self:

After all is said and done, the best thing that I can do is to keep being myself. I can’t worry about what people think or want too much. It’s funny how, when I started blogging I looked like a little girl and now I’m fairly grown up. I’ve changed a lot,mostly for the better, but I’m aware that I’m kind of an asshole. I’ll never be a nice person, and I’m good with that. It’s just how it is. I don’t live in a nice world, so it wasn’t really something that I could afford to aspire to be. I have learned to live in the right now of things and right now I’m a woman that wants to be rich and self-sufficient. I’m a woman who wants to be presentable and comfortably dressed. I’m a woman who likes pretty things, but won’t go crazy chasing them. I’m a woman, plain and simple.

That should be good enough for people, and too bad if it isn’t.

Happy New Year!

xoxo, Faith/SEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

blog, blogger, bloggers, blogging, Fashion, NY Fashion Blogger Project

A Blog Grows in Brooklyn (written for iblog mag) #blogging

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So out of the blue I got an email from someone at iblog magazine asking for a post about writing blog reviews for them. I wrote it, in my own words, basically talking about my experience over the course of my time as a blogger. They didn’t like the piece, but I hate to waste blog posts, so I’m just going to publish it here.

A Blog Grows In Brooklyn by Faith Bowman

When I started blogging in 2012, I wasn’t thinking about product reviews or getting paid for anything. I am going to cheerfully admit that the only thing that I concretely knew about blogging was that people stood around posing like fashion models and talked about their clothing as if the fate of millions depended on it. I was luckier than most in that I was a photographer and writer already, and I had experience in fashion journalism. I had already started and closed my own online magazine, and worked for print and online mags both in New York and Chicago. I started blogging as Sassy Ethnic Bohemian with an eye towards being humorous and taking the starch out of the proceedings, but because I was writing  for a huge website and had a profile on Lucky Community I had more traction than someone starting from scratch with nothing. It was extremely good luck and timing in addition to having fun content.

The first product I was asked to review came as a surprise. I was asked to try a skincare oil and the company was offering a free full sized sample. I was sort of confused, because I didn’t know that that was part of the deal. I learned, through networking with other New York bloggers that companies routinely held events where they gave you products, and that there were blogger ‘lounges’ where you could get free stuff.  I was floored. I began working with beauty brands and clothing companies and while I wasn’t making money, I wasn’t really losing anything either. I started interviewing bloggers in order to learn more about the business and used that information to build up my social media presence and that led to getting more stuff. I didn’t actually start getting money for my work until 2015, when a brand that I had casually promoted asked me to set up an online project for them. So now it was free stuff and money.  Success!

This year I was offered money to review a box of products and also made a deal with a feminine care company to write about the products that they had given me to review on a regular basis. I recently wrote blog posts for a haircare company, talking about their products and styling tools. I still work with products to review and write about products in exchange for samples, but more opportunities are on the horizon. My rate of pay has varied per client, but overall I’m happy with the progress that I’ve made, so money is secondary. I’m building up writing credits and gaining experience and insight, too. Not to mention getting to try tons of beauty products. Getting paid, for me, was a validation of my writing skill and relatability and that’s pretty much what I was after. It was also proof that numbers aren’t everything.

In the last few years, the emphasis went from unique content to how many UMV’s. People started asking more about my clicks and I started realizing that I was working hard to create resonant content and be informative, but a lot of brands were more interested in ‘It Girls’ and the stakes were changing. Bloggers were doing deals with major fashion and beauty brands and being called influencers, and I was never going to be that type of person. The blogging industry, if it can be called that, has taken ordinary women and turned them into actual brand spokeswomen. Hair ads featured bloggers, and companies are signing big money deals with them for consulting on products as well as advertising them. It’s empowering and inspiring, but it also begs the question as to how someone who doesn’t want that kind of fame can achieve any measure of success. It’s a bit like losing out twice, since blogging is open to amateurs but then you can only get rewarded if you’re pretty. I did not sign on for this.

Over the course of this year, as I got paying work I also reworked my blog so that it was less kooky, creative professional and more a vehicle for Polyvore generated styling posts (I can access more items and be stylistically daring without actually spending money or having to go to a pr person or brand) and my original content focuses more on product posts. I decided to focus more on beauty, and especially skincare, because clean clear skin is just as important as what shoe you’re wearing. I also use instagram as a sort of backup blog, where I can post images of products to an audience that probably doesn’t follow my blog and who is also looking up images that feature products or brands that they like already. I use twitter, a facebook page and tumblr, but I think instagram has the most impact because people consume visually.

My main goal, in addition to getting more blogging clients, is to create a sustainable business model with the blog as an umbrella to other endeavors like listing my photos with a stock agency, and designing tshirts. Blogging and doing product reviews is awesome, but I also want to make sure that I have a balanced, fulfilling, sustainable business as well.

blog, blogger, bloggers, blogging, Fashion, NYFW

Friday, and we’re on Links a la Mode! #NYFWjob

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Links à la Mode, September 22nd

Payton Grantham

Sure, New York Fashion Week may have ended a week ago, but that doesn’t mean bloggers are ready to stop talking about it. This week, we’ve got runway recaps, street style do’s, and advice from a fashion week intern for the ultimate inside scoop of what it’s like to work NYFW!

According to this week’s lineup, bold prints are a must this season and florals aren’t exclusively a Spring/Summer print. Who knew? Our daring bloggers are extending this trend an extra season and we can’t say we’re mad about it! The chunky heeled sandal is also a winner this week. While sandals are typically reserved for the Summer months, an earthy color or velvety fabric can transform this shoe into one just right for stepping into Fall. Sandals aren’t the only undying trend; off-the-shoulder tops and dresses seem to be here to stay as well.

Links à la Mode, September 22nd

SPONSOR: Amazon’s ShopbopHerve LegerSee by Chloe BagsVince BootiesEve DenimAnne VestLeo Studio DesignRuffle BlousesCollar NecklacesBlock Heel ShoesMen’s Kappa

art, blog, blogger, bloggers, blogging, designer, Fashion, lingerie, networking, relationships

in which we update dating status, get an nyfw job & hit links a la mode for the 21st time

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The last month has been excruciating. The guy I met in May had some family problems and I didn’t get to see him for ages. We kept in touch, but the longer we were separated the longer I had to think about my life, what I want, where I’m going and what I need to do to put in the last lap of effort to live like a grownup. We met upaid went out in August and it was horrible. A. because I didn’t really want to date, I just wanted him to come around sometimes and hang out. B. because I hate going anywhere on the weekends, especially in the afternoon. C. I didn’t like him anymore and now he was inconveniencing me and I wasn’t going to get the one thing I was hanging out with him for. I feel like a horrible person, but I don’t want to get mixed up with anyone else’s problems, wait anymore, or try anymore. So we broke up ( or at least agreed that we’re not going to undate each other anymore).

The reason to consciously uncouple was that I need to work more and make more money, take care of some old debts, create more business projects to work on, etc. I just need to focus on work and networking and money. Not t have a baby, or try to get married, but so that I can buy some property on which to live and work. Some place where I can spread out and thrive and create and be myself. I love my apartment, but at some point I want to have the kind of life where I support and sustain myself only with my creative work, and help employ and educate others while I do that. Even if I kept hanging out with him, he wasn’t the type to help.  Things just got exponentially better because I finally landed a fashion insider job, and I’m working NYFW right now and it’s the gateway to my prosperity cycle.

Sometimes? For some people, love isn’t enough.

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My latest tshirt design, Basic Boss (hoodie $48)

The good thing is that he triggered my creative and organizational feelings and recharged me and I have been getting stuff done. One thing was coming up with this design, which is up on Society6. The Basic Boss collection is tshirts, hoodies, carryall pouches and laptop sleeves. Check it out.

AND SEB is on Links a la Mode September 8th!!!

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Links à la Mode, September 8th

IFB bloggers showed a mishmash of Summer and Fall trends this go round. Looking forward to shoulder sweeping earrings, the color burgundy… and scrunchies? Enjoying the memories of distressed jeans, short overalls and rompers, bold prints, and devising ways of blending them into your Fall wardrobe. A brief history on stockings, and other underpinnings, bring up another upcoming trend–tights! And women’s jumpsuits and rompers have received quite a bit of attention this Summer, but what about for men?

Dive in to this week’s Links à la Mode for details that also go beyond trends and on to travel, music, beauty, and the upside of owning your look and “angles.”

Links à la Mode, September 8th

SPONSOR: Amazon’s Shopbop Calvin Klein UnderwearRebecca Minkoff BagsR13 JeansDear FrancesOADFashion FormsStatement EarringsBomber JacketsLoafersMen’s Lemaire

blog, blogger, bloggers, blogging, Fashion, personal style, Style, styling, styling tools, stylist

in which we appear on Links a la Mode for the 18th time!

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Links à la Mode, August 18th

 

My daughter attends a school with a uniform dress policy. After the first day, she kept happily telling me, “but it doesn’t feel like a uniform.” I honestly don’t know what she was expecting. As a {her} mom, I’m just happy to not debate wardrobe preferences with a five year old on the daily–to belt or not to belt, skinny or boyfriend jeans, dress up or dress down a jumpsuit, or florals versus Autumn colors. As a fashion follower and someone who used to work in apparel manufacturing, I look for ways to give her a positive uniform experience.

Uniforms really have made a turn around from years past–better fabric, better cuts, and more colors to choose from. It got me thinking, we can all have a uniform–usually made up of our favorite seasonal pieces. Call it a fashion rut, call it a capsule wardrobe, call it a smart wardrobe, but what it comes down to is this–quality pieces that we feel both comfort and style, and is appropriate to our surroundings that can be worn over and over again.

Singapore recently celebrated their National Day, and some beautiful ladies showed off their true colors in uniform fashion. There is also a wonderful sentiment behind the celebration’s logo this year–check it out! IFB bloggers were offering lots of helpful advice again this week with posts on taking your look from work to drinks, making petite legs look longer, how to not buy maternity, and building a perfect wardrobe. Helpful tips specific to the business of blogging regarding Polyvore, the perfect hour for photography, how to bring intimacy to your blog with social media, and making link up connections.

Now, what is inspiring you for your Fall wardrobe {uniform}?

Links à la Mode, August 18th

SPONSOR: Shopbop ZAC Zac PosenCommando LingerieStuart Weitzman BootsNo.6GUMBag StudioFloral DressesWide Leg PantsLow Heel BootiesMen’s Club Monaco