adventures, Fashion, lifestyle

The WiFi Adventure

Had a crappy day so my blog post is late. 10 o’clock last night my WiFi disappeared. Luckily I have books and I had some relaxing music downloaded and I was sleepy. But at 5 am I was up and the WiFi was still out. I tromped to the subway to use the free WiFi and signed up for WiFi on my phone, which I’ve been putting off. Then I wasted all morning calling the company I get WiFi from and going to a brick and mortar store where I wasted an hour waiting only to be told that they had no compatible hotspots.

And then I spent another hour wrangling a hotspot out of these people, who should have offered to replace the one I had in the first place. Then I found out that I’ve been overpaying for years and have a mass of money on my account so I don’t have to pay the bill for awhile. Just a wild ride, and every twist pointed out how little I’ve paid attention since setting up the account. Hopefully I’ve got it all squared away so that I can have another five years of taking my wifi for granted.

The last horror was finally getting into a state of peace, partially achieved by lighting a citrus scented candle. As I passed the windowsill where the candle was, I noticed a mass of ants crawling which then had to be dispatched. Right now I’m eating pancakes, watching Upstairs, Downstairs on my phone and feeling itchy.

Perfect ending.

exercise, Fashion, health, lifestyle

The Health Plan

I was having a hard time with my weight loss plan so I had to start walking with ankle weights four mornings a week. There’s a running track near my building so I can walk over, do a few laps and climb the stairs of the bleachers. I have a quick toning set that I do just to work my muscles but I wasn’t doing any cardio. I have my riding lessons for balance and posture. I’m consciously rewarding good behavior with fresh fruit and home cooking. My big health plan is working towards being out of the house and interacting with life instead of being fearfully holed up inside.

I tried to get back to riding my bike, but I only went once, I pretended it’s because the bike is too heavy, but it’s because I have to keep stopping to catch my breath and I’m embarrassed. When I got the bike last summer, I thought this was going to get me out of the house and make me more active. I love riding, especially in the mornings when streets are mostly empty. But instead of getting better, I got lazier. My rides got shorter instead of longer, and it felt like my legs were made of lead. Then I just stopped and didn’t ride anymore. It was depressing. But life is still going on and being overweight and inactive in the summer feels like too much of a cross to bear.

I also had to look at my hard cider and wine intake. Apparently I love to drink. I can drink Bloody Marys all day and feel nothing now. I love hard cider and can kill a six pack in a few hours. My grandfather died of alcohol poisoning, a fact that never had any relation to my drinking habits, but I never really had the time, energy or money to drink as much as I’ve been doing. So while I’m not afraid of being an alcoholic, I know that it would be easy for me to become one and mess up my life. So I have to up my water intake, and I bribe myself with sparkling water and probiotic carbonated beverages. The crisply popping bubbles remind me of hard cider and McDonald’s sodas.

Not trying to be a supermodel or ig model, I just want to be happy to wake up everyday.

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.

art, lifestyle

The Daytrip

Day trippers in front of a MarkRothko paining at MoMA

I almost forgot to blog today! Which is sad because I have a nice little post to share. I went to the Museum of Modern Art here in New York for a vacation day. I haven’t gone anywhere for pleasure in a full year. I go to work, the grocery store and then home. Every so often I vary it up, but it’s a slight variation, like getting off the train to shop at CB2 one day… but then I got right back on the train, so it wasn’t really anything. Just a blip.

Balloon installation at MoMA

I woke upon Wednesday morning and as I was getting ready for work I decided to go to MoMA. I just felt like it. I bought a $25 ticket online and that was it. I went off to a victorious workday where I got everything I wanted and got everything done and then I hustled to the museum. In addition to being the first outside plan that I’ve executed, it’s also the first time in a few years that I’ve desperately wanted to see some art. Especially art that wasn’t on a screen being shared for likes with comments under it.

Mecca for modern art

I spent three hours working my way through galleries full of the self expression of world changing artists and thought about how precious it is to just walk around freely. There were other people, properly masked and there was social distancing and it was extraordinary. It wasn’t a trip to Florida to twerk in the street, but it was something.

lifestyle

The Problem

Celebrating the end of the first quarter of 2021

This is the best month I’ve had in a year. It was almost pre-COVID stellar. I got a lot of freelance merchandising work, I got a background acting gig, my business was featured three times on different sites, I joined clubhouse, I tested negative for COVID-19 twice. I found a new dentist and a new doctor that take my insurance. I’m ending the first quarter of the year with savings, and my side hustle performed admirably with very little effort from me. My evil ass family is thriving, and I’m happy about it. I am adulting the hell out of 2021. But let me complain about the one thing that’s holding me back; my procrastination problem.

I procrastinate so much that it scares me a little. I don’t even make excuses, I just don’t do things in a timely fashion. I’m always late for work because I don’t want to get out of bed and when I do I dawdle over things like which socks to wear. They are just socks. I don’t finish things because I have no sense of urgency. I still haven’t finished the painting job I started in the living room and bathroom. I clean up, but then leave a pile of papers on the table… even though the filing cabinet is right next to the table. I have items that need to be listed and they are piled on my mini backdrop with the light set up and they have been there all month.

I keep making promises to myself that I’ll fix it, I make lists to fix it, I yell at myself to fix it and then I lie down on the bed and don’t fix it. I tried to exercise every week? The mat is out, the exercise clothes are on the mat and I have very delicately stepped over them for weeks. I sweep the floor and sweep right around the mat like I’m scared to move it. Wtf? It’s not right. I’m putting it on my blog hoping that the magic blogger fairy will see it and sprinkle some magic through the internet to solve my problem. I’m still chugging along, still functioning, but it’s like a cog has slipped somewhere and I don’t work as quickly or efficiently as I used to.

I read that fear of failure can cause procrastination and that sounds about right.


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.

lifestyle, new york, weather

The Feels

It snowed in Brooklyn

It snowed mightily and stopped absolutely nothing here. After a night of listening to snow plows and the supers of my building scraping snow from the sidewalk, I woke up to more snow drifting from the sky and massive piles of snow to trudge through on the way to work. I had hoped that work would get canceled, even though I’m not rich and I wasn’t desperately looking for time to do other things. I just didn’t want to have leave my nice little hides hole of an apartment to go wade through snow.

I’ma not crazy about snow. I’m just not into it. Remember that time I went skiing and slid down a mountain on my back? It’s on this blog somewhere, you can go read it and come back. If the world ends in a blizzard, I’ll just die.

im feeling stressed because everything in my work and career path is just… making me tired. I’m tired of being overlooked and I want more. More money, better work assignments, more meaning, more praise. MORE. I’m tired of one step forward and two steps back. I’m not getting fired, apparently I’m ‘good at my job’ but I’m also not moving forward to anything. Yes, pandemic and I’m in a retail field and am lucky to live in a city where people shop to feel like they’re worth something, so luxury stores are still open. But that doesn’t change how I feel.

I want MORE. I just deserve it.

lifestyle, self confidence

The Money

I mean, it’s money from my piggy bank.

It’s the last day of the first month of 2021 and I’ve got my mind on my money (….). I didn’t make resolutions, but I did add up all the money that came in, how much of that money is still with me and how I used the money that’s gone. I finally put that box of receipts in order and filed them. I finally put tabs on the folders, a task I managed to put off for months.

Money I found in the street… yes, I pick up pennies

After an exhausting two days I figured out where the money resides and it’s not at my house. I spent money on bills (WiFi, utilities, phone, rent), kept up credit card payments ( but have only recently started paying accounts down to zero), and bought supplies for paper and soap making. I bought a sewing machine. I bought paint and cleaning supplies. I bought a mattress and furniture. I bought a teapot. I bought a clock. I bought two towels that cost more than all my other towels put together.

I bought a bike. I bought a jump rope and ankle weights. I bought clothes. I bought sneakers and a pair of calf high boots. I bought a puffer jacket. I bought gloves. I went to sample sales. I bought clearance items on line. I bought a new iPhone (SE) and an iPad. I bought an iPad cover and a matching stylus. I bought a new stamp pad, and printer ink and paper. I bought containers for things. I bought sheets and pillowcases.

I bought nail polish base, little funnels and scoops and mixing beads and bottles. I bought a nail polish shaker. I bought tissue paper and custom poly mailers and ribbon and holiday themed treat bags. I bought a stepstool. I bought a shit ton of food. Lobster, crab legs, wine, takeout from pizza to tapas to New Orleans haute cuisine (so good). I bought stocks, which hopefully won’t flatline now that the stock market is under attack.

And now it’s the last day of the first month of the new year. I’m not broke, but I’m not as together as I’d like. I’m not making any resolutions, I’m just focusing my energy on the ebb and flow of the money. Keeping my eye on the money. I saved. Not a ton, but I paid $2200 for a root canal and there’s money and credit left. I paid off three little cards and in the next week I’ll knock down two more so I can concentrate on the big cards. I am not debt free but I can be if I work towards that goal.

I am conscious of my money. I take care of my money. I am the conservator and steward of my money. I have love and respect for my money.

And that’s on…. Mary and her woolly pet.

Fashion, food, lifestyle

The Budget

New York is slowly opening up and I’ve been working kind of regularly for the past month. Not full time hours, far from that, but keeping my toe in the water while I try and build up my online businesses. Sales picked up while people were locked in the house with an extra $600 a week from unemployment (I mean, who wasn’t shopping?) but that extra benefit is gone and we’re all back on a budget again. Possibly with nicer clothing and a red wine habit to kick, but back on a budget So let’s talk about that right now.

  1. Buy staples and stock up for winter: I’m sure you have toilet paper, but now that people have relaxed a bit, stock up on flour, yeast, dried or canned milk, beans, dried salted fish (it can be delicious), canned goods (I love canned potatoes) dried fruit, etc. If you know how and have room , make some preserves and pickles, and cook ahead and freeze it. You may not need it… but then again, you just might.
  2. Save: hopefully you put away some money ever week while it was pouring in. I get that you may have kids and bills, but a piece should have been put away every week. If you didn’t save then, well try to scrape your pennies together now because winter is coming and all your grasshopper friends will have is an empty fridge and a lot of liquor bottles to share (if they even have a place to stay anymore).
  3. Cook at home: you’re not rich anymore and there are too many cooking websites for you to keep pretending that you’re too good to even try to learn how to feed yourself. There are even meal kits (but really, you should just make a list of foods you like and then google recipes on how to prepare them).
  4. Wear the clothes you have: yesterday I was out in Manhattan for work and suddenly realized how nice everyone looked. Months of online shopping got people looking right for the summer. If you don’t have a ton of money coming in then you need to stop shopping. Cut it out. Learn to sew up holes (sashiko mending looks cool and makes garments last longer), turn stuff inside out or upside down. Go thrifting, a lot of places are open and practically giving their inventory away.
  5. Double up: if you and your friends are realizing that you can’t keep paying individual rents and mortgages then pick a place and move in together. Create a food budget and chore schedule, decide on which bills to split. Go home to your parents and help out. Don’t be ashamed, just get on with it.
  6. Start a business: tbh, you should have been started a side hustle but if you just hung out and ate lobster (I did, too, so no judgement and I also developed a crab leg addiction to kick) then try to make something out of the discarded shells. Maybe you can recycle the wine and liquor bottles you have around the house. Sell some of the clothes you can’t fit anymore. Give lessons! I paid $150 for some guy to come help me learn to ride a bike and I’m waiting for swimming classes to open up. I took a zoom dance class (never again, I felt like she was looking around my apartment and it freaked me out). If you have knowledge, charge other people to learn it from you. I invested money in crafting supplies and spend hours making soap, paper and cement soap dishes. This is in addition to selling new, used, vintage and upcycled items on various retail platforms. Make a list of things that you think you’d be happy doing, google about how to do those things and then do them. Try. Then try again. Then try some more.

It’s been a crazy year, and since we’re about to have another election, the crazy is only going to get ratcheted up (at least on twitter where it’s a trash fire free for all) just remember that no matter who wins you still have bills to pay, kids to raise, food to forage for. Regardless of what your political preference (I am and have always been a republican) you are going to be on the hook for credit card debt and utilitities no matter how much you protested and marched and instagrammed for justice. Wake up right now. Winter is coming and you need to get it together. Stop bullshitting yourself.

Until next time,

Faith/SEBMARKETBK

adventures, exercise, exercise gear, exploring, lifestyle

The Bike

When quarantine hit in March, I had to recognize that everything that I was procrastinating about was related to transportation. I had put off renewing my passport, learning to swim, learning to drive and buying a bike. The cold reality of my situation as that I could not outrun a zombie with my little fat self and I had no wheels to ride on and if someone said swim to the vaccine I was gonna be assed out.

That’s some harsh shit to realize.

I sent off a passport application (finally) but the DMV is closed so I can’t get the permit to drive yet. The place where I want to take swimming lessons is closed until September. So… I bought a bike. It took two months to arrive, but I bought a bike.

I got ripped off on the first bike I chose, then I found this beauty. The Adventurer 6 speed folding bike, $169.99 on the Camping World website. I thought that a folding bike would be better for someone living in a studio apartment, but I found out that that bike was heavy for me to carry folded, so it’s been set up like this since I got it. I did some group bike lessons with Bike New York, but I didn’t take the street riding class because the lady who ran it was nasty. Yes, I will avoid using a free service if I’m treated badly. Surprise. So technically I could ride, but I was very nervous about going out in the street on my own. It took some googling but I finally found someone who would trade money for bike riding lessons.

They call him… Professor Pedals.

I stalked their website until they finally posted lessons were available and I pounced. By the power of my enhanced unemployment check I paid $150 to have another human being coach me on how to ride in the street. One misty early summer morning I met my teacher in Prospect Park and for an hour and a half I got tutored on how to feel like I wasn’t going to die the minute I wheeled my bike into the street. I’m not being sarcastic or dramatic. This was the only thing keeping me from riding the bike I had sitting in my apartment, and it was worth every penny to have someone professional to ride with that first time.

I don’t ride every day (yet), but I can go riding with confidence now. My arms are starting to relax and when I go I stay out longer. I went from doing one loop around my block to turning up and down unfamiliar territory, albeit within six blocks of my building. I fell down one morning and got back on the bike. I have to stop and rest because this quarantine weight is kicking my ass. But I love the joy of coasting down the road on two wheels, with the breeze on my face. I love having the choice of walking or riding. It’s a process, but I have wheels and I can finally be out there using them.

PS, don’t forget to wear you’re helmet. This is the free one that I got at a street fair from the D.O.T. a few years ago. If you need a helmet look here.

Hope you guys are getting through quarantine, phased openings and re-lockdowns ok. It’s a wild situation, so do your best.

Until next time,

Faith/SEBMarketBK