So I’ve been organizing my apartment to make it more livable, more comfortable, prettier and more organized. Which means spending money. I got this bookcase from Amazon ( here’s my list of items like bookshelves, trunks and tubs) which costs $34 and put my books and sewing machine and some tubs for inventory. I got two so that I could make a bedroom wall and separate the living room into a space with its own special integrity. I got this floral fabric cube from target and I use it for pajamas, sleep socks and sleep bras (I need them). It’s next to the linens chest I got from Home Depot during lockdown, which I put together on my own and need to stain soon.
the bookshelf wall from behind
Now, instead of a big open space, the bedroom is its own environment. It has really changed my mood when I wake up because now, one one side I have the plants in the window, and if I torn around I see books, my sewing machine, my camera and more plants. Once the wall is painted it’s going to be a red jewel box with my photography on the walls. Basically the room I’ve wanted my whole adult life.
The main area where I process and store my clothes and my online shop inventory has been updated with an over the door valet that holds items that need to be researched, photographed and measured. There two big tubs are holding processed items, the two little ottomans have upcycled and summer items (they went back to the living room). It’s better than it was. And now I’m not scared of that corner.
This was how it started off. I was embarrassed because I just kept dumping things in the corner as I bought more inventory and all the boxes accumulated over six months of ordering stuff online. It seemed overwhelming but then one day I just started breaking down boxes. It took ten minutes, so I felt really silly because I had procrastinated over nothing. I have a closet full of boxes and packing materials and the rest I got rid of. I still have stuff in the living room to change but I wanted to post about my progress.
Doing this energized this area. I feel a lot better and it’s easier to get things done. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, break your task into little, achievable goals. Every time you tick a goal off your list, you will feel motivated to tackle another one. You might still procrastinate, but the little tasks add up and make your life better.
So obviously I’m not back at work. But then again, maybe you’re not either. I had some unemployment weeks left from last year that kick in with the CARES Act, and I qualify for the stimulus so it’s not perfect, but I have some cash coming in for awhile. I’m a little scared about what’s next since I’m a visual merchandiser and shopping irl might not be a thing for awhile. I’m trying not to freak out about the fact that I laboriously worked my ass off to move up to something better only to watch that shut down because a virus started in a place I never even heard of. Within a few short months, life turned upside down and inside out and I have to wear a bandanna on my face to stay safe if I go outside.
But America has been through things like this, like the flu epidemic of 1918, or that time polio tore through the population in 1916. This is the first time I had to live through something like this. At the moment the stores still have food, but you have to stand outside while they make sure that people can shop without being crowded. It felt weird, because we have so much freedom to run around, but… I have a lot of stuff that I’ve had no time to think about. Can’t say I’m too busy now, right?
When I moved into my apartment five years ago, I spread my stuff around and that was it. I found some random stuff and that was me decorating. So now that I have time, I’m realizing that I haven’t really been living here. I’ve been storing my stuff and my body here while hunting high and low for a life. I wanted to put my bedding and probably pajamas in their own space, and I saw this unfinished trunk on home depot, $173 and it just symbolized adulthood and good decisions. I’m not just putting stuff any old where, I am intentionally purchasing a piece of furniture to make my home a better place to be.
Regardless of what’s going on, it’s Spring and I wanted to update my comforter options (I got a great one years ago courtesy of Southern Tides) and get something pretty. I went through the Bed, Bath and Beyond clearance section and found this 9 piece set (including coordinating sheets) for $39.99. I also made tshirt design using my own photos thanks to a video that was floating around on twitter. You can use saran wrap, parchment paper a printed photo or drawing and a regular iron to make a custom piece. Click here to see the google page with different diy videos. I love how this turned out. I love collaging, so I’m definitely going to circle back around to this idea soon.
This is the last week I’m shopping like this. I tried to keep myself to the bare necessities, but I kept thinking of stuff I needed. Like drawer liner sheets from the Laundress, $17.99. Apparently I was up late and ordered stuff from the Container Store, then forgot that I ordered the stuff until I got the shipping notice. Now I have to wait until all of the laundry is clean so that I can plan out the drawers under my bed. A whole project. I got gold paint from Culture Hustle, &11.99, and more fabric squares from Fat Quarter. I got paint brushes when I was grocery shopping at Dollar Tree, the varnish is for my new trunk, and this was the tiny trunk that I got from Bed, Bath and Beyond but it was too small. I gotta stop shopping.
Once I get my apartment organized, then I can settle into being creative again. It’s been a looooong time. For the three years or so I’ve just been coming home and going to bed. No dreams when I sleep and I felt dead. Over the course of the last few weeks, I can feel my blood flowing again.
I will admit to some anxiety, especially because of my job situation. I saw an ad for Ruby’s Happy Farm on Fashion Bomb Daily‘s instagram page and decided to invest in some top quality cbd. These pre-rolls are from hemp plants and have barely any thc. You can get a bundle of five for $10, and they ship fairly quickly and they are legal. I feel calmer, but not paranoid or super hungry. Just calmer and able to focus on the moment, get tasks done and stay out of the fridge. Like vitamins but you smoke them.
So that’s what’s going on in my little quarantine corner. How are you coping? Are you taking care of yourself and eating sensibly? Don’t feel bad if you’re scared or angry, that makes sense. Most people don’t have corona virus. People who are out of work did nothing wrong. It’s a freak thing and we just have to deal with it. Try to make the best out of the time you have to work on stuff that you like doing.
Let’s just try to stay strong and show appreciation for those that have to work as medical staff, grocery store cashiers and security guards. Donate if you can, or make some masks if you have a sewing machine. Whatever you need to do to not feel helpless. And if you want to do nothing, do that until you can deal with everything.
As a lifelong introvert, I’m no stranger to staying in while the sun is shining and everyone else is off having fun. Ever since I was a kid, staying in was my favorite option. I was the weirdo that had to be forced outside and had no one to play with when I got there. I read book after book, fought with my brothers and thought up crazy ideas for what I would be when I grew up. None of which involved being (self) quarantined because of a global pandemic. This current time period is straight from a scifi movie.
I’ve only been in here for 8 days, so far. On April 1st I find out if anything is happening with my job, so for all intents and purposes I have nowhere to be until April 2nd. So what am I up to? Am I stir crazy? Lonely? Panting to leave? No! I’m busy. Busy af. Here’s why:
Just before I went in for the long haul, I had a long talk with my Mommy. We haven’t spoken in a few years because I remembered some things and I felt justified in withholding love and attention from her. I’m an adult and she can’t make me do anything. Enter coronavirus and I realized that whatever happened, happened. That’s all. It was just stuff that happened a long time ago and I have to let that go. The first thing I did as I was prepping for quarantine was run up and down Utica Avenue putting a box of wigs, haircare products and a big African gown for Easter. That’s how I love people, I shop for them.
This stuff is for her next box, an early Mother’s Day present. Kmart on 34th Street was closing and I started slowly looking through the place, extracting style gold for my Mommy. I didn’t get shoes, because I was trying to do a surprise and my brothers didn’t text me back when I asked for the shoe size. I figured two full outfits, plus a nice housecoat (the blue and green folded item), and I got her a long slip because her generation wore them. Florals are cheery and colorful, so I know she’ll smile when she wears these tops. The bottoms are stretchy, for her comfort. Plus a book of bible verses, because she not only believes in God, but she prays for me. I figure this will help her pick topics to focus on.
I ran all over the place looking for someone to love me, and all I needed to do was love my mom and let her love me back. It’s so peaceful.
2. My laundry:
I had laundry piled up before quarantine happened, but things have entered a critical area. No undies and no inclination to wash them myself. Also some thrifted items that I was supposed to send out so that I could post them. And my favorite socks were dirty. And my workout clothes need cleaning. And I want to have all of my sheets available. LUCKILY the laundry service is considered essential (think hospitals and nursing homes, not just for people too lazy to use the laundromat in the building like me) but now they’re only picking up at night. I got half the laundry out, with the next load ready for next week.
So now I can clean the bathroom and decide if I’m finally going to finish that storage table I made and then left unfinished.
I decided to branch out and try a new natural haircare provider and I found Fro.ology on Etsy. She had all the products I had grown to love, with improvements. I got the Hair Tea Rinse, $12, which has lavender, peppermint, and chamomile to soothe and nurture the scalp and encourage growth. The Onion and Garlic Hair Oil, $10, is an anti-microbial (kills the fungus that causes danduff) with vitamin c, infused with hibiscus, rosemary and lavender. I used this as soon as I got it because my scalp was so dry and it works wonders. I also ordered the Super Thick Deep Conditioner, $10, which contains aloe vera, rose water and rice protein. It is indeed thick, and super moisturizing. I used it this afternoon and after leaving it on for an hour (I got busy and forgot about it) I rinsed with cold water as directed, patted dry and had the curl definition promised.
And did I mention that Gianni, the business owner, included a full shower cap and tea infuser? I really appreciated that touch. The products are great, the shipping is fairly quick (about 5 days as she makes the products to order), and I’m definitely sticking with this brand for the long haul. Make sure you check out Fro.ology on instagram, too.
The night before I had to come in the house I raided Target’s beauty aisles and ordering products online because boredom is real. I have also been lagging behind on my total body selfcare. I have been running and running for 3 years, swinging from job to job before finally ending up where I wanted to be as a Visual Merchandiser. I’m getting better at merchandising, and getting bigger assignments. But I was tired from all the crappy jobs that made me feel like a cog in the wheel. I figured this quarantine isn’t just about the corona virus, it’s about me.
I barely ever have time to do my nails. I bought a tube of depilatory and it’s still sitting in the bathroom. I NEED to take care of myself to feel good about me. After 8 days, I am starting to shed the stressful, pinched feeling that I’ve been carrying and starting to forgive myself for mistakes and starting to feel good about whatever future is going to be there for me. This is the first time in three years that I can stay home and not be afraid of losing my job or not being able to pay rent. I know it was caused by something bad, I do feel for the people that are sick and dying. But it also reminds me to LIVE.
Last but not least, I’m going to the post office on April 1st, and I’d love to be able to mail out some new, used , vintage or upcycled items for you guys to flex in. I’m having a yellow tag sale on selected items and bundles. Go to http://www.depop.com/sebmarket and get 25% off on yellow tag items, and if you do a bundle of 3 or more items, you get 25% off as well as free shipping. If you’re on the app, I’m @sebmarket.
How are you dealing with self-quarantine? Are you even in the house? If not, please remember masks, hand sanitizer, handwashing and staying 6 feet away from others to help flatten the curve. I know it all seems scary, but you can only control yourself. Do the right thing, and try to help others if you can
I live in Brooklyn, and while I love my apartment, there is one thing that makes me a little less satisfied with it: I can’t have pets. When I signed the lease they told me that if I bring in anything with legs there will be consequences. Most of the time I don’t care, but the other day I found out that someone’s got a dog on the 5th floor and it’s gotten me very upset. So I spent some time doting on my plantpets, see above.
I bought these in teeny tiny pots at home depot last year, and I recently re-potted them because I live in an apartment with no pets. Funny thing, those teeny pots were holding them back. They’ve plumped out and each grew at least an inch the first week in larger surroundings. Like they were just waiting to bust out and unfurl.
On the one hand, boring post right? But on the other hand, think about what’s confining you and keeping you from being amazing. Can you change it? Do you want to? Maybe you need a caring gardener to lift you out of your tight spot.
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).
Oh the joys of a new season! It’s the time that the emails start flying for roundups, personal style posts, photoshoots… It’s the time when I spend all day in the window looking out for UPS and Fedex. It’s spring!!! Let’s look at what the delivery man dropped off!
I recently received an InstaWave curling iron- which I’ll be using for an upcoming Spring Style photoshoot (shhh! top secret!). It helps you create those long, beachy waves without fuss and stress. I love love love soap, so a shipment of Yardley Artisan Soap (in oat milk & honey and lavender & rosemary scents) was a welcome addition to the bath beauty drawer. Coincidentally, the soap came with the Instrumental Beauty Home Spa Treatment System, which we’ve already reviewed (thumbs up!).
I went to the Completey Bare Market around Valentine’s Day and got curious about home hair removal. there’s a product review coming up but I can tell you now: start saving your money and wax at home. It’s not that hard.
More makeup that I could ever use? Not so much! Spring and Summer demand new looks and I was lucky enough to hook up with Makeup Forever to update my makeup bag. And believe me, we’ll be talking about EVERYTHING over the next two seasons.
and recently Anna Camp went to the MTV Awards with a bold eye look created by Melanie Inglessis with Makeup Forever products. her inspiration? “I wanted to create a makeup look that would match Anna’s vibrant and fun dress, while giving a nod to the 60s with a modern twist.”
You also went to get in on the Kat von D perfect matte lipstick, Underage Red, ironically priced at $21(it’s legal!). Just saying it adds a little frisson of controversy to the day!
When you wish for fragrance and it comes dancing to the door… I’m working on a spring fragrance roundup and managed to have these sent over: fiori and bella from Vince Camuto, Poppy Wildflower from Coach and Be Delicious from DKNY. Mmmm, can you smell your fragrance future?
I won’t even open these Clean Perfume products in Warm Cotton (reed diffuser, room spray, and candle) until my home decorating project is done. But I HAVE opened the perfume rollerball, and it’s lovely. It smells clean, fresh, and sort of comforting.
When I met Southern Tide president Allen Stephenson at a press preview last month, I thought it he was just selling clothes. Then? I found out that old boy was selling EVERYTHING. Southern Tide is a lifestyle brand, the best one that you may not have heard of. Everything that they sent was made right here in the US- shopped from Greenville, SC.
I admit to getting out of hand- but a woman with a home decorating project has to be ruthless. I just opened the Performance Towel set for my bathroom springcleaning refresh- and out came soft terrycloth towels- and handtowels and washcloths. Behold the Towel Tower!
Don’t worry- we’ll be talking about the clothes pretty soon. In fact? You can see how the women’s Summer Cardigan works with animal print in this Lucky Shops Community post. So cute.
Loved when this mint green infinity scarf showed up as my Lucky magazine subscription gift. Look how it matches this Tommy Bahama beach towel? Sigh… The beach is in my future, y’all!
I have told you and told you about the Ume Drive bracelets from the time that I met CEO Clem Harrigan at a fashion event. They were sweet enough to send over two more- and I have to be honest: I was going to do a giveaway, but I would rather keep them Go to www.umedrive.com and get your own. And get a lot, because you’ll be color coding your data to which USB bracelet you’re wearing that day.
My birthday came and so did these most awesome prezzies. This sweet, delicate zodiac sign necklace is from one of my faves, Shop Jacqueline Rose (a fellow Aries) and it is my new everyday necklace. After sending me Christmas stockings and Hot Mess skincare products, Traci Claussen of REpurposing NOLA hauled off and MADE me a bag. Yep- just for me. I LOVE her.
Cat Footwear came through ON my birthday with these hot hot Squander boots, and they instantly became my new combat boot. I’ll be running these all spring and summer.
Ok- we’re all caught up – at least on deliveries. I have felt so guilty about not posting about these!!! There are lots of fun posts in the works, so you will be seeing and learning more about this stuff, so stay tuned.