A Li’l Update ft Boqueria

Listen, the fact I’m spending lots of money on this blog domain and can’t even be consistent… Sis. I keep saying I will try, but whew is the depressive state real. And right as I thought I was getting my life together, BOOM, the Rona hits and derails my plans. Like truly. Messing up job integration, extremely ill, bedridden for days, and just all the weight gain…

ok so when I uploaded this, I remembered why I like to take horizontal pics so excuse the squareish crop pls & thnx — also we like the rounded? yeah? myb?

At least my skin is clear, right? And not even really. But I am trying a new skincare routine to get rid of the inflammation coloring from ingrown hairs. Hey, I’ll keep y’all updated about that!

All that is playing through my head is “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by My Chemical Romance, and that should really sum up how I’ve been these past couple of weeks.

I’ve also changed gears from health law to environmental law (oh! Did I tell y’all that I AM A FULLY LICENSED ATTORNEY IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND?!).

face courtesy of mom and forcing me to go to the ceremony lol

Wish me luck. The goal is to get into corporate social responsibility and environmental health equity. Now what does that all mean? Essentially, climate change is a public health crisis and the faster we get people and corporations to understand that a declining environment will lead to more health issues, especially in black and brown, low-income communities, the faster we can try to remedy the situation before it gets too bad.

Now, that also requires corporations caring for said population, and that really might be the challenge :))))).

teaser for the next paragraph but also relevant bc I used this cute lil jaunt as my work profile pic bc radiant smiles and, like, well i look cute

So how have I been spending my free time? A whole lot of DIY, cooking, sleeping, working, eating, and did I mention sleeping? Recently I’ve been reminiscing about a fun adventure I had with the one and only Bryanna Goode, the magic behind a lot of my recent photos. The way I miss adventuring… Lots of good memories, but I’ve been thinking about Boqueria (remember when I went in NY? No? That’s why I hyperlinked it for you! And here it is again!) a lot, mainly because what I wouldn’t give for a bottomless brunch in a chic setting right now. Full disclosure, DC locations > NY.

look at bryanna hard at work :)))

I thought about going back into video editing, but it really was not for me. I enjoyed capturing the footage, did not really enjoy mashing it all up together. So, if you’re reading this and you enjoy making videos, please let me know. I will appreciate you more than I already do.

And another thing I miss? The post-brunch adventures.

Surprisingly, I’m fine staying home, probably because I live with my family. But I hate not having the option to go out and adventure. What I would give to travel safely right now and eat my way through the tropics, lounge on a beach with crystal clear waters, but also drunk shopping, navigating through the metros of DC, and saying “yes” to every adventure that comes my way.

this lowkey looked a lil cuter before i cropped it into a rectangle

But, all I have for now are the memories and these yummy pics of me doing yummy things, so let’s all just close our eyes and take a second to imagine what life was like before this. Ready? Go!

Yeah, what a time. Let’s see… The food was good. I obviously went back and I want to go again! Unfortunately I took these pics in October, so my memory of the food isn’t perfect. Shout out to mega delayed posts, huh. What I do remember: the chicken tenders were delicious because they were coated in crumbled chips, but I did cut my mouth on them. The fresh toast was yummy but I enjoyed the apples more because I’m a sucker for cinnamon backed apples. The lil pineapples were GREAT, I had like 10, a lil smokey and a lil sweet. Steak and eggs were great, except I am very very weird about egg yolk, and I didn’t care for these because they were a littleeee too runny, but I ordered steak on the side just to eat more. The Bloody Mary shots were good too. They were more shot than cocktails and the spiced salt rim really sealed the deal. Take back too many and you’ll be wobbling your way down DuPont. 10/10 would go again, so hit me up if you wanna go.

Anyways. Let’s see what else I’ve been up to…

My friends and I all created a playlist of 25 songs we love so much, we wish we produced them. You can check out mine right here. I am no DJ, but I think I make pretty good playlists. Want a fun challenge? Make your own and send me the link so I can share!

And oh, look, another picture of me. Sometimes candids really DO turn out well. This was still part of the Boqueria brunch adventure, so no judging me on the same exact outfit, thank you very much. The only thing worse than an outfit repeater is an outfit rememberer! [Insert Lizzie McGuire gif here]. Duh.

And as much as this natural hair was cute as SHIT!!! I miss stunting in a wig. And makeup. I did my eyebrows the other day? And I forgot how to do them?? But then when I did perfect it??? It looked so foreign???? On my face????? 

tbh surprised makeup still looking good at like 1am after drinking #champ also shoutout to dupont krispy kreme bc #lifesaver


not a wig but i do miss the high pony bc yes.

I can’t even recognize myself in makeup anymore?

hey siri, set a reminder to take pics vertically and horizontally

Honestly, I don’t even recognize myself, period! In all fairness, the picture was when I was extremely done up for a formal event, but I just wanted to be dramatic…

My plans for after this end? There’s so much I want to do! I cannot wait to leave, head to a MedSpa and get a Fraxel facial because—I deserve, and my face deserves even more. That’s it. And a new hairstyle. Either wig or silk press. I recently cut all my nails off because I’ve been doing them myself, but it’s been such a hassle. I bought a new manicure set anyways, so I will be entertaining the hassle once more. I bought a poly gel kit, so wish me luck.

And speaking of hassles… Men. Listen, it’s quarantine, sir. Leave me alone. It’s a pandemic! If I’m getting sick and infecting others, it’s because I’m hanging with my friends, not because I’m meeting new guys and fooling around with guys from the past. Yikes.

Please. Pls. 

But all in all, life has been ~good.~ I even did some passion twists. They did not last long. But I tried.

i’d like to personally thank celena for letting me have/borrow/whatever her sweatshirt

No complaints really. I’m alive, and there really was a time where I thought I wouldn’t make it because I was THAT sick. I’m gainfully employed, and was worried because last to hire, first to fire. Luckily, the company I’m working for has gotten busiER during this time. Yay, work?

Started working out again to try to get a little bit of definition, but the way my sickness ruined my lungs… Trained 2 years to get to this level of fitness (not super fit lol but I can run, read jog, a couple miles without dying) just for it to be ruined from being sick for 4 months, lol. BUT! I’m determined to get back to where I was before 2020 ends :). We got this, right? Please, wish me luck.

So as per usual, I won’t make promises about this blog. But I hope I find the time and enegy to update you more. Thank you so much for checking in on me. Y’all are the reason I want to write these posts.

Until next time!

P.S. I like these updates, so maybe I’ll focus less on food and travel (funny, I know, because would need to focus on those things to begin with) and incorporate more about general life, because you’re here to get “elod” of my life, right?

P.P.S. You get brownie points for laughing at my pun. They’re worth nothing, yet.

A Session with @Goode_Visions

I’m not going to lie, when I first received Bryanna’s message, I was part excited and part nervous. Part of me was thinking, “Wow this is definitely how people get trafficked or tricked into nude posing,” because we all know that one person who accepted a photographer’s invite and then his/her nudes end up online (or we’ve all watched and read Young Adult novels where it happened).

But the more optimistic part of me was thinking, “Wow, has my content really reached out to people? This will be great!” So I stalked her Instagram and I was in love with her portrait shots. I’ve seen so many black and brown people photographed by “photographers” where the edits come out looking ashy and dull. Of course, there’s a time and place where that’s the aesthetic, but it should never be at the expense of the model or his/her skin tone. We’ve all seen those “photographers” throw a filter on the picture, add some blue shadows, lower the saturation, and claim that this is the best edit of the picture. While this might work for some skin/under tones, it does not work with all. Meanwhile, the model looks washed out, sickly, and it’s just not the most flattering.

Bryanna was able to capture these portraits and really make the models come to life. Each of her pictures had different edits, based on the model, and that is the craft of a photographer. Check out a still of her IG:

But what do I know? I just blog and take pics on my iPhone with help of natural lighting. I brighten up my pics, sometimes turn saturation up, and call it a day.

Back to the point… because this girl sent me a DM and because I’m a sucker for an adventure, I said yes. We chatted a bit to get to know each other and figure out our schedules before we exchanged numbers to set up a date.

Not going to lie, when the date came around, I sat around my house, and prayed that she would reschedule. I even did the thing that I do, “Hey! Are you still up for later?” Not sure why I do it, nobody ever cancels. After a brief pep talk and a much needed full skincare routine, I finally started getting ready. The whole drive there, I was pumping myself up. Honestly, I was chuckling a little because I have no idea how to pose. At all. You might scroll through my ‘Gram and think otherwise, but scroll through my Photos and ask any of my friends… I cannot pose. I honestly felt so sorry for Bryanna, thinking, “Wow, she’s really going to look at me sideways when I just serve her my face and nothing else.”

it was a cute serve

So, we’re finally in Baltimore, and we finally meet up. We meet in Fells Point, by the water. I used to live in Fells for 3-4 months of my life (let’s not necessarily relive those months). I even texted my old roommate that I was literally outside of our apartment.

I meet her at Pitango, a cute little bakery and my favorite spot to get a Matcha Latte.

I took my mother once so we can soak up the water front views while sipping our lattes. We took some photos there before we both looked at each other, “So now what?” We had planned on going to Rawlings because it’s a garden (hence my choice in outfit, shirt courtesy of my amazing and generous little sister), but we found out that it closed at 4pm. We met up at 5pm. HAHA. The math did not add up. We got our little cardio in by walking around Fells, allowing Bryanna to use her good(e) vision (haha, see what I did there?) to pick out some places to snap some pics.

I really was worried about my posing (or lack thereof). I explained to her my, er, inexperience and she did not laugh at me. Not that I was expecting her to laugh at me, but I was expecting some sort of internalized eye roll. None of that. No judgments. Just all laughs and smiles. She was giving me pointers on how to sit, how to position to head, how to position my feet and my body. I felt like a toddler with two left feet trying to position myself. While these photos may not look like much posing, it beats the slumped shoulders and bad body angles I’m used to. Seriously, scroll through my photos, for every 14375 photos, there is one good one. With Bryanna, she snapped a couple and boom, magic. But hey, this is all about growth! So next session, I’m coming with better poses.

My sole contribution was suggesting going to Bond Street because it was a bit more “modern” than the rest of historic Fells.

After about an hour, we wrapped things up and went our separate ways, where I then met up with two friends at Chilango’s, a new tequila bar that opened up across my old apartment. I swear… if I had still lived in Baltimore, that would have been MY SPOT!!! But this post is about my time with @goode_visions, so check back later for a brief post on Chilango’s.

It was a quick turnaround time from shoot to receiving the pictures (shot on Friday, received on Monday). I had checked them out while vacationing in Jamaica, and I couldn’t stop gushing about them. They were way too adorable. I’m glad I got to share them with you! I hope you check her out :).

Until next time!