When all of this started back in late February/early March, I was on a diet. I had actually lost six pounds by the time quarantine and social distancing started for real. I wasn’t eating as much and always had somewhere to be or some errand to run, and sitting down to meals wasn’t a priority.
Now all I do is sit down to meals.
I’m not even going to lie and say I just eat healthy or that dieting is still going on. I try to be mindful, but some days I break down and order a burger. Last week I couldn’t take any more and ordered a pizza. I also went to McDonald’s after a post office run. I order ice cream online… a habit that could get very expensive if I don’t watch it. Today I went to the store with a grocery list, exceeded my budget, then came home and ordered snacks from Target.
It’s… I can’t even condemn myself. I am in the house on my own, my freelance jobs have been scrubbed for April and May and while I try to stay positive I have moments where eating something just makes me feel better. Even though my new nickname for myself is Fatniss Everdeen. How can I complain about getting fat when people are dropping dead outside.
Literally outside, though. I live around the corner from a hospital. I don’t even walk past it, I go in a whole other direction just in case.
I was going to do a cooking thing, like a recipe with steps and stuff, but… I’m pretty sure you guys know you’re food situation better than I do and there are cooking tutorials all over the internet. I’m just gonna leave these food pics and if they inspire you to do something, that’s cool.
I hope things are going well for you and that you’re taking care of yourself. I hope you’re having some good moments and making the best out of this whole thing. I don’t know you, but I’m rooting for you.
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.
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?
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
So since I can’t deal with skiing, I had to find another outlet. Apparently the yoni (or vagina as most of us call it) has become a hot area so I thought that might be a thing. Having spent most of my life in a sort of utilitarian mode regarding that area, it came as a shock to find that it had been rebranded and now I have to buy special products for it and possibly steam it. Who knew that a washcloth and soap had been replaced by bowls of boiling water infused with herbs that you squat over, risking life, limb and scalded yoni.
So now I’ve put myself out there and I have this one lonely yoni product and I’m thinking ‘she deserves more’. I’ve just started selling my upcycled designs on Aliwazas (a platform that supports black female + femme businesses because we don’t always get seen or recognized on other crowded sites) and I decided to buy something so that I could see what the purchasing experience was. I saw an instagram post about Honey Milk and liked their backstory, so I dropped by their shop .
So now I’mpaying all this attention to my yoni and she’s like ‘more’. So I gave her this:
My first vibrator ever. At this point of dealing with my yoni, I came to understand that she’s sick of the nonsense that I’ve been putting her through by dating people who don’t care about her. This is real. It’s not like words came out of my vagina or anything, I just started understanding that I’ve been wasting my natural resource and not honoring the fact that understanding how to pleasure myself sets me free of romantic delusion and unrealistic expectations. I just never thought of dedicating time and effort into figuring out what me and my yoni needed to be happy and successful.
Lifechanging. My attitude towards myself is totally different.
So now we’re here:
Valentine’s Day came and instead of feeling sorry for myself or desperate, I felt lucky. Lucky to be alive and well and falling in love with myself. Tapping into the whys and wherefores of this person. I was at Bloomingdale’s and this guy was selling this most delicious smelling fragrance and I thought ‘she deserves it’. So now we wear Tiffany & love eau de parfume, $105 because it’s who we are. Yesterday I spent all day choosing the perfect bouquet because… just because. When I opened my eyes this morning they were there, and when I drew up the shade they were illuminated by the morning light and the pleasure of this is so intense it’s beyond words. And I deserve this beauty and the pleasure that comes from witnessing it.
When it was just my vagina, I didn’t think it was special because and I didn’t think that I was special. But now that I have a yoni to care for and honor, I’m a new person. I’m a better, wiser, happier, more productive and less inhibited person looking to grow and manifest blessings for myself and others. Still petty, still irascible and sometimes downright annoying, but better.
How have you honored your divine self lately?What have you done to remind yourself that life is beautiful? Are you living your best self love journey right now?
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).