I promised las week that this would be about nothing, and here it is…nothing.
This week I had a job at Macy’s Herald Square and I was scared that it would be all ruined and busted up because of looting. It was actually normal inside, down to the snotty security guard who always tries to imply that I’m a criminal (no, he’s not that color, he’s African). I basically had to go in with a team of two and supervise sending a company’s merchandise back because it’s all stuff that was on sale while we were in the house on quarantine. So that’s reality; stores getting ready for all of us to go shopping this summer.
I tried making bath bombs, using a kit that I bought from Organically Bath Beauty. I’ve been thinking about making them for a long time, and this list solved all of my issues by having pre-mixed dry ingredients and a decent sized mold. I also got the refill kit, so I’ve have a lot of material to experiment with.
I sold this jacket. I was really proud of it the day I finally finished it, and I was so sure that it would get snapped right up. I even paid for photos because I wanted to make it as appealing as possible. A year later someone plopped down $225 and it was gone. Amazing, right?
This is a chair. I broke off the leg of this chair in February, I think. For some reason I was convinced that I couldn’t fix this chair. I was using a spray can to prop it up instead of fixing the problem. This week I managed to fall off of the chair four times because the cap on the spray can was not meant to bear the weight of a quarantining woman who knows how to cook. So I finally resolved to fix the chair. It took about 15 minutes.
This chair symbolizes my procrastination issue.
I will do anything but the thing I’m supposed to do. Which is why I went into quarantine with an expiring state ID and an expired passport. I had also put off studying to take the driving test and I had put off bike riding lessons (I’m terrified about riding in the street, I just need lessons for reassurance). I had put off fixing up my apartment, buying a new mattress and calling my mom. It was really sad. It’s a terrible thing to know that a pandemic was the best thing to happen to you. I needed this time to get a life.
I’m still putting off exercise, though. As you can see…
I’m not big on combing my hair anymore, either. I take care of it with Fro.ology products, I twist it and then let it out to be free. It’s summer now. My head gets hot really quick, so wigs are out right now. The world is going to get this 4C perfection.
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.
It has been a wild week, to be sure. I think we all know what I mean. EVERYTHING is different.
And maybe that needed to happen.
So the corona virus has rolled across the world and in addition to the possibility of sickness and death, you have the choice of going broke if things don’t get back to normal. I started a Roth IRA 7 years ago and it’s only in the last few years that I could make regular contributions. I’m watching that progress melt away second by second, which is both frightening and exciting. I never had money to lose before, so I’m kind of winning. I also read a book called Depression Era Economics by Paul Krugman and it’s keeping me calm to know that if you just wait, the market will regenerate itself. If people are selling and selling, someone is sitting around waiting for the prices to drop low enough and then it will be buy, buy, buy.
If things work out ok. Which they will.
Here in New York it’s like this:
Normally, you can’t shoot a train platform without a few people messing up your photo, but not so much now. It is not as much of a problem getting a seat on the train, and nobody pushes right up next to you. Part of that is that people are biking or uber pooling, and the other part is that businesses are slowly shutting down, so there’s not as much reason to go out. I just got told that the rest of my gigs for March are cancelled since department store shopping is considered nonessential. You can get restaurant delivery or shop online, though.
One thing that fell by the wayside was my styling class at Fashion Institute of Technology. I had signed up for a visual merchandising class where I would learn to build sets and style photoshoots (yeah, I was a photographer and did branch out into styling but that was ages ago). I really wanted to brush up my skills, work on updating my portfolio, maybe style on the side, and definitely try to get more visual merchandising jobs. But corona happened.
It threw the school into a tizzy about a month in. My class was very hands on, and all about group projects and suddenly they were like, all classes are online. I thought about it and decided not to continue because worrying about my economic survival is not good for my creative process. Guess what? Can’t get a refund. You either take the online class or die. So the photo above and one lecture just cost me $600.
At least I can write it off on my taxes.
I just got a Target Red Card, so just in time I had a large amount of money for emergency food shopping. I also shopped at Jacks and Dollar Tree. I got yogurt, fresh berries and fruit and as late as Thursday night Target was still stocked up. The Key Food near my place was completely out of toilet paper, but I got a few rolls at Dollar Tree. I usually stock up, because a grownup should know when they’re almost out, but I was down to my last five rolls and I started reading about how people were stockpiling. I also have napkins and paper towels, but still.
When I finally got to settle in and self quarantine, I roasted some pork belly chunks (super cheap) and had them with rice (put the rest in the fridge for another meal) and a spoonful of black beans from the massive can I bought. I live alone, so my food will last for awhile, but I’m already telling myself not to get crazy and overeat. The first uncertain days had me binge eating, but now, since I don’t know how long this will last, I’m sticking to four meals and rationed healthy snacking. I found some empty plastic bottles that I’d been saving for no reason, so I filled those with water and they’re in the freezer.
I had a gig at Home Depot merchandising for Carhartt, and I bought myself a money plant and a new succulent baby. It’s wild, but I’ve been collecting crystals and buying candles and oils and sage, and setting intentions for the last few months so now my apartment is a nicer place to be. I have a salt lamp going and stocked upon the little bulbs that make it glow. I got the cutest little clock. It’s been months since I could just sit in here and relax, and now I have things in here that are conducive to relaxation. I can see that progress that I’ve made and it’s calming me down. I feel really grateful that I have a place to live at a time like this.
I’m also going to have time to thoroughly clean this place and really get into the feng shui method that I started with and then ran out of energy to complete. I got Feng Shui for Dummies to start with, and now I can look at creating a floor plan and budget for remedies.
And I’ve been talking to my family. I started a group chat with my brothers. We don’t talk all day, but having this conversation on my phone to look at and engage with is amazing after years of estrangement. Talking to my mom is really precious now. All it took was the threat of human extinction to make me see that.
Last but not least, the pins I designed came in and I’m a little excited! Things got backed up because of the virus, so I don’t have them listed anywhere yet and I need to stay in the house so I can’t really be worried about selling them. BUT! It’s exciting to have made something from scratch like this. I really love this image, though. I think I want to make more things out of it, including tshirts. My online stores are closed right now while I figure out what I want to do, but this image will be a big thing in the coming months.
How are you holding up? Are you remembering to wash your hands and not touch your face? Are you making sure to stay in contact with people? Have you made plans for the what ifs of the situation? Did you get some toilet paper?
Last January I went on a ski trip to Vermont. I’ve never been skiing in my life. I really just wanted to know once and for all what people do in these lodges. What even is skiing? Is it fun and can I actually do it? This was the first time in years that I had a clump of disposable income, so I signed up for a group trip, bought goggles, snow pants and gloves, and took off for a powdery weekend.
We left the snow free streets of Manhattan and rolled into -35 degree weather and snowdrifts as high as your hips. It was colder than Chicago, where I remember slowly becoming acclimated to freezing cold weather over the course of the 8 years that I spent there. This was a whole new ballgame. I became very grateful for the big gloves that I bought online from Dick’s Sporting Goods.
I have never seen so much snow in my life.
I spent the weekend realizing that I don’t like skiing. I took a lesson, and there was a point where it was starting to click. I managed to ski down a hill with my classmates and even executed what felt like a graceful turn around a corner. But the experience was nerve wracking for me. I went on a ski lift for the first and last time, hating the fact that I was on a little seat dangling in the breeze with nothing holding me in. Then you have to steel your nerves when you jump off at the end.
A guy in my group tried to help me, but tbh, I really just wanted to stop before I broke something. The final straw was getting a good speed going then panicking because kids were skiing in front of me, falling down, but landing in such a way that my feet remained clipped to my skis as I slid down a mountain on my back getting snow up my nose.
The next day I went souvenir shopping.I was not about to risk dying just because sliding down a hill in an inner tube sounds fun. And I wasn’t going snowshoeing, either. The whole adventure was kind of fizzling out simply because I realized pretty quickly that this type of thing is better if you’ve been raised doing it, so that you feel excited about hitting the slopes rather than annoyed and frightened.
The takeaway is that I went somewhere new and tried something that I had no familiarity with. I finally learned how it feels to ski, and now I know that those ski boots make you feel like a transformer. I know what it feels like to take the Moover by myself into town because I was the only black woman in the group and I didn’t really click with the other women. I know what it’s like to possibly be the only black woman on a bigass hill surrounded by mostly white people zipping around with sticks on their feet. A different person might have thrown themselves in and made friends, but then this would be a post about the friends I met while skiing.
Was it horrible? No! I definitely got my money’s worth. Tons of snow, I went through the whole ski boot fitting and ski renting procedure, and now my jacket has a crumpled ski lift ticket dangling from it. I tromped around in the freezing cold and didn’t die. And I have officially been to Vermont.
2020 is coming in a few hours, and I’m mostly satisfied with how the year went, even though it took a sudden hard turn in the middle. I am not living the same life that I was when I went on this trip. I think I had some growth and got some clarity, but I still have a list of things that I want to learn and do. Right now I’m chilling at home with some candles,thinking about my goals and intentions for the year and being grateful that everything ended up ok.
Here’s to a happy and healthy new year to anyone reading this.Take good care of yourself and do everything you can to make good decisions in the coming months. Make realistic resolutions, and be flexible about them.
I have not had one minute to spare the last few weeks. It’s super easy to get jobs in New York right now, and I managed to go from my fashion internship, to a temporary summer job to a regular (part-time) job and a freelance job doing visual merchandising and events. So for the first time in my adult life, I have two jobs.
I’m still shocked.
Over the course of the last month I got to use what I learned from umpteen retail jobs, visual merchandising class and my brief showroom experience to merchandise and dress mannequins. The best part is that I have already made back the money that I spent on the class.The worst part is knowing that I could have been doing this all along, if I hadn’t been so obsessed with making it as a photographer. I feel like I wasted a lot of time and caused myself a lot of suffering and unhappiness when I could have been working, building up my savings, gaining experience and making friends. And then I could still have branched out into styling and then photography.
Hindsight is a bitch.
The funny thing is that when I first set out to go to college, I did want to do visual merchandising and this or that happened and I got sidetracked and then jumped into photography. Had I known how sexist and racist that industry was, I would have saved my efforts and put them into something that would have benefited me a lot more. My life would have been completely different. I bet my student loans would be paid off, too.
I’m not going to say how, but I managed to get into the sold-out Friends NYC Pop-up and it’s pretty much everything you’d expect. Check it out. Could it BE anymore perfect?
Way back in the day, before we all just inhaled shows like air and had to watch commercials, there was this weekly sitcom(situation comedy, fyi) called FRIENDS. It was about some people who were friends. The show became a global phenomenon, with the six stars becoming the white hot focus of all the attention that we now lavish on instagram models. They were the Insecure of the 90s/00s.
If you ever thought about how cool it would be cavort on a couch in front of a fountain, the time has come. Awesome replica of the California set created to replicate a New York area that doesn’t exist.
Character memorabilia is everywhere…of course, right? Including surprises like Rachel’s wigs. This pinstraight, highlighted and blonded bob wig is life. I want one. I’m also in LOVE with this outfit. No one cuts skirts this way anymore. I also feel like shortsleeved turtlenecks are a forgotten treasure.
I don’t want to give away every little thing, but i loved the way this experience brings the show into three dimensional life all around you. Part of the reason that the show was so popular is that people can easily imagine themselves as part of Central Perk gang. Eminently relatable, even at it’s most chaotic and silly moments, the show has become an ever present background noise that’s both comforting and endlessly amusing.
The show is sold out and I got to see it through sheer universal accident? But if you’re in NYC you can try their standby line at 76 Mercer. There’s also a retail shop at 503 Broadway with a timed ticket and standby line. Check them out here for more info.
BTW, since because this blog is about me, here’s an ootd. It was a cool rainy evening and the first time that I had to layer up. I handpainted the back of this Forever 21 camo shirtjacket (which I bought on depop from yakiecast), and wore it over a thrifted Gap pinstriped button down and Hanes v-neck tshirt.
The soft, premium denim skinnies are Buffalo David Britton and found at Century 21. . Old Navy was selling umbrellas 2 for $10 and I got this sweet animal print one. I kind of liked this outfit, even though I had a time putting all my stuff in a purse the size of an eyeglass case (Erin Dana prince minaudiere, $180 for regular people, given away for free at my (former) fashion job). The whole outfir reminded me of the time Joey put on all of Chandler’s stuff.
Are you a Friends fan? Who’s your favorite character? What is your stance on camo for fall? Are tiny purses really ‘it’? Discuss.
I didn’t manage to make it anywhere near a beach this summer because I made six or seven different plans for myself and none of them included relaxing. One of my plans was getting into background acting but I’ve been too busy for auditions. I signed up with Central Casting and haven’t had time to go back with my wigs and glasses to update my look. And every time they text me about a job I either don’t get picked or I’m working that day.
But the universe loves me, so I usually get what I want. Not as much as I think I want, but just enough to let me know I’m on the right track. Like back in the crazy days of blogging when random emails sent me running out the door to fashion shows and product launches, I got a random email looking for paid audience members. Kinda like background acting, and it was an adventure.
We went out to the studio, got breakfast and then worked hard to be good, responsive audience members. I have never clapped so much in my life. We worked through two tapings (with a break for a catered lunch) and then they dropped us back in the city. Not a bad adventure.
The show stars Kimberley Locke, a singer -songwriter who happened to come in third on American Idol in 2003. She’s paired with co-host Dr.Steve Salvatore and together they lead the audience through topical questions, heart wrenching true stories and health, food and beauty segments. The show debuts September 9th on these channels.
I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 12 thanks to reading under the covers when I was supposed to be sleeping. My mom has 20/20 vision. Unfairness! Anyway, I’ve never had more than one pair of glasses until recently. I thought it was time to start a glasses wardrobe, like a real grownup. It seems like the adult thing to do, instead of having to freak out if I can’t find my glasses or worrying that I might break them and be blind.
I saw an ad for these on some website and found out that you can get crazy, badass fashion glass for the price of a good meal or two bottles of decent pinot. Not only that, they allow you to upload your prescription quickly and easily. AND my glasses were ready almost instantaneously. Amazing. And they shipped immediately. And they showed up on my doorstep a week later. The easy, get it instantly 2019 life is working for me. And having these cute eyeglass cases, and a teeny two headed screwdriver. For $80!
I suck at taking selfies these days but I had to see how I looked immediately. After applying some eyeshadow (because glasses magnify your eyes) and lipstick, and of course earrings… I was going to do outfits, too, but I was too excited. The huge Alberta frames are super dramatic in black with tortoiseshell at the bottom. The oversized brow means that I won’t have to paint mine in, so instant win. I love them. They’re so Oprah!
I chose the Brayden frames because I’ve always been fascinated by cateye frames, but I always get rectangular or square. Instead of rhinestones, these have punk rock conical studs. I was intimidated by the size at first, but the frames are so lightweight I didn’t want to take them off. Both offer me crystal clear, perfect, sharp vision and the larger size gives me more range of vision, I think. I’m definite;y looking at sunglasses. I have never in my life had prescription sunglasses. The luxury!
Check out the affordable frames and sunglasses at www.zeelol.com. Buy a new outfit with the money you save.
I have been working on these shorts for a year.Technically. I got these jeans free from L.L. Bean (blogger perk) and one day decided to make cutoffs from them. Then I thought I would rehab the cutoffs, so I put them on my crafts trolley. Then I forgot about them, because I was working and somehow there was never any time or inspiration to finish my pile of design projects. It was sad. I wanted to do my thing, but coming home after work, I usually would just huddle in bed, watch netflix and try to go to sleep so I could go to work again. Working on my projects seemed to hard.
Lately I’ve been super inspired (might be because of exercising and better diet, I’m not so depressed), so I’ve been going through my project pile and finally finishing some things, like these cutoffs. I was on instagram and saw an ad for temporary tattoos, and I thought…’YES’!!!
It started with some dipdye bleaching until I had a variety of blues playing across the cotton fabric. Then I started applying the temporary tattoo, which was a few days of my life. First transferring the tattoo to the cloth, then treating it to make sure that the tattoo didn’t just peel off. Waiting for things to dry is sheer torture. But I love the way it looks! I put a few clear, acrylic jewels on the petals like water drops.
Studded, but in a sweet, feminine, Gucci kind of way.
This awesome carp tattoo looks amazing on the back pockets, across from the gold lame lined distressed pocket. All you need to look summer blessed is a vintage t-shirt and some glitter slides. These shorts are hand painted, distressed and embellished. They’re badass in the most effortless way.
And they only took a year to make.
See you next time!
Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian
Shop this post:
Handpainted,upcycled denim shorts with tattoos, size 6
Re-worked, upcycled SEB Market BK handpainted tattoo cutoffs have been bleached and temporary tattoos applied on the left front and left back pocket. Sequins, acrylic jewels, stars, studs and mini-pearls have been applied.
Right side front and back pocket are slashed. Left back pocket is lined with gold lamé. Made of cotton, polyester and elastane. Rise is 10.25 inches. Waist is about 29. Jorts are 12 inches from waistband to hem. *Price includes shipping and handling. **United States customers only, no international shipping.
Glitter shower shoes, size 7
Gold glitter double strap slides. Buckles are operational. Contoured soles for comfort, glitter for style. Brand new and never worn.
10 inches from the big toe to the heel. 3 1/2 across the widest part of the foot. *Price includes shipping and handling. **United States customers only, no international shipping.