Corona has us all looking unkempt and crazy. At the beginning of my quarantine, I was in the house looking like James Brown’s mugshot and yet the unscheduled Facetimes and unsolicited "Houseparties" wouldn’t stop. My house was amazingly clean and all my little touches of luxury were really paying off. I’m talking about luxury that is tangible and casual; things that add a nice touch but aren’t pretentious. With everything so up in the air, you want luxury and selfcare but I'm sure we are all trying to spend reasonably as well ... unless that stimulus check hit and you have money to blow. Anyway, this article is dedicated to all my boughie/boughie-adjacent girls who want to stay bad on a budget.




Get a bidet attachment

Everyone in my life thought I was extra when I bought a Hello Tushy bidet attachment but now that we can’t find toilet paper my investment is really paying off. Not only is the bidet attachment a green option, it is easy to install and adds an element of casual luxury to your bathroom. You can also find options on Amazon with more diverse pricing.



Elevate your shower experience

I’ve said this 1,000 times in the past month… putting eucalyptus and candles in my shower makes me feel wealthy AF - bring the spa to your house sis. I order bouquets from Eucalyptus Farms every month. They are only $12, delivered straight to your house, and keep their scent for months! I have mine in two vases but if you don’t have space for that, you can hang eucalyptus behind your shower head to fill your shower with a light aromatic fragrance. If you want to take your boughie up from Regine to Hillary Banks, you can also try a shower mist from European Spa Source. I found these in the shower at a spa and won’t live without them again. Finally, if you’re ready to be promoted to full on Whitley Gilbert, try these shower heads from VitaClean that filter your shower water AND infuse it with essential oils to give you softer skin. It also helps that they come in cute colors and modern prints.




Start your indoor garden

Being trapped in the house can also make the air feel a little stale. Make sure you open your windows once a week. Now is also the perfect time to get your plant mom on. In addition to huge bouquets of eucalyptus, I added a succulent and a Boston fern to my bathroom. I bought an English ivy for my nephew’s bedroom. The air smells cleaner, more crisp. Plus a glamorous planter and an over-sized plant like a majesty palm or bird of paradise makes any room feel more refined.





Perfect your skincare routine

I had a lil chat with my dermatologist and she told me I should be washing, toning, then moisturizing twice daily. She also said exfoliating and masking weekly would be a great help. Even though chemical peels are off the table during the Rona, you can still maintain that melanin. Rodan + Fields created so many options to enhance your skincare routine. I alternate between the Reverse Radiance & Unblemish Clarifying masks. I’m also a huge fan of the Microderm Abrasion Paste for weekly exfoliation and the pore cleansing tool literally sucks dirt out of my pores and makes them visibly smaller. I have oily/combo skin depending on the weather but for ladies with dry skin, you may try the Active Hydration Serum which stood out at the Best in Black Beauty awards.




Step it up on the lounge wear

Are you still wearing raggedy ass t-shirts and cheer shorts every day during quarantine? Stop it right now! When I transitioned to working from home full time last year, I “invested” in a disgusting amount of Savage x Fenty (support Black business) … I stand behind my decision though. The bodysuits, two piece sets, and robes make me feel completely comfortable and glamorous at the same dam time. There is nothing like a little satin or a flowing robe situation to remind you that you are fine AF. For affordable options, ASOS and my lil hood store, Shein, get it right. Let's all aim to keep up with our Hot Girl Coach, Meg who is still a 10 during quarantine.




Skip the paper towels for hand drying

The hand washing has been excessive lately so using up all the paper towels is not only horrible for the environment, but it’s costly and they are ugly to have in your bathroom. Get a marble tray and roll up a few reusable clothes on it. You can usually find these in packs of 6 for less than $5 at Target; choose white if you want to keep up the spa theme.


Bottled water is ghetto now

Put your Perrier in a wine glass with some cucumber, lime, and mint Sis. I like the Perrier slim cans but La Croix is a more affordable option that’s just as good. If sparkling water isn’t your thing, instead of drowning in a mountain of half full plastic bottles, consider a water filter with an infuser built in. You can drop lemon or berries in there for lightly flavored water. If you can get your hands on a gallon-sized one, challenge yourself to finish it by the end of the day so we can age like Auntie Angela Bassett.





Whew chile - whose Cousin is Rona?! Come get her. As we all try to navigate the uncertain territory presented by a world-wide pandemic, many of you are working from home for an extended period for the first time. I've worked from home full time for almost a year now and I love it because of the freedom over my schedule it provides, and my productivity is exponentially higher on both the work and personal fronts. Prior to this job, my commute was 1.5 - 2 hours each way so the extra 3-4 hours a day is great. I can get up early and knock out what I have to do while my mind is still sharp.

I have to acknowledge, though, that the transition was difficult. I lacked discipline when I first started and found myself working late into the night to make deadlines which in turn threw my sleep cycle off. Then I started working earlier but wasn't capitalizing on the extra hours I gained since ditching the commute… I would look up and be 4 hours into a binge watch like “what had happened?!” All of that to say, I can imagine that those of you forced to work from home to comply with guidance around the Corona virus (aka the Rona or COVID-19) are going a little stir crazy. Here are my recommendations to be productive and stay sane.


Set up a designated workspace

Girl ... don’t set yourself up for failure working from the bed or your sofa. If you don’t have an office, set up everything you need in one place and work in the same spot every day. Keep your workstation stocked with snacks, water, wine… maybe a candle or reed diffuser. Creating a pleasant, well equipped environment will be much more conducive to getting work done.



Get your routine together & set daily goals

Creating a routine and staying disciplined is the key to all of this. Create new habits. Make sure to include making your bed, opening your curtains, and getting dressed every morning. Sit down every night and write out your goals or milestones for the next day and time box everything you need to get done including the personal stuff you need to get done like chores or working out. Don't stay in bed all day or I'm coming to your house like Annalise Keating's momma.



Keep your house clean

So listen … a messy house hits different when you have to sit in the mess all dam day. No one can focus in clutter. Make it a point to wake up to a clean house every morning. When you’re home all day, the jacket you put on to run outside, the empty water bottle, and dirty plate stack up QUICK. At a minimum run the dish washer, straighten up, sweep, and wipe down your counters every night. If you have kids, have them help you straighten up as part of the bedtime routine. My nephew is responsible for picking up the dog toys he launched all over my house during the day, putting his toys away, and helping me load the dishwasher every night (he’s 2). Do not debate me on this! I promise you will wake up ready to work knowing there are no chores to do. There is no way around this - you got to clean everyday Sis.


Submerge yourself in affordable luxury

Put nice touches around the house to keep your spirits and senses lifted. I’ve never felt wealthier than when I put eucalyptus and candles around my shower last week. You can find some specific recommendations on how to do that here!



Don’t forget to move & get fresh air

It’s easy to get caught up in your work, look up, and realize you haven’t even moved in four hours. Get up and move every couple of hours even if only to move laundry to the dryer. Take a break and actually cook something cute for lunch. Work by an open window, eat lunch on your balcony, or take a walk to get fresh air and keep your mind sharp.



Pick a big project to fill your free time with

I hate feeling like all I have to do to wind down is veg out watching Tiger King. That’s fine too but you can hit a wall, look up and realize you’ve watched all 7, hour long episodes in a single sitting … whoops! Be cognizant. So - since I can’t hit happy hour and be ghetto with my homegirls, I’ve taken the opportunity to rearrange my room, organize my pantry, open up my living room, hang up all my art, and buy three new plant babies. But now that things are really locking down until June for us in the DC area, I’m so glad I also ordered everything I need to redesign my bathroom as well.



Call & FaceTime your family or friends during breaks to stay connected and sane. If being in quarantine will yield anything positive, it's being able to spend more time connecting with loved ones. Staying social will help fill the void left by social distancing.



Let me know what y’all are doing to keep it together and get sh*t done while the world stops.

  • I'm Just Eden

Mexico.


Mexico?


Mexico?! 


Like damn girl, I’ve already been to Mexico! She had already been to Mexico. The last place I wanted to be was with a bunch of tourists and college students on a trip that was supposed to be about me. And then, she changed my whole attitude. No Cancun. No Playa del Carmen. No Cabo San Lucas. 


“How about Acapulco?” she asked me. 


Acapulco? To be honest, I forgot that place even existed. So it was a perfect destination for me. Seriously, when was the last time you heard someone say they were going to Mexico, you asked them their whereabouts, and they told you “Acapulco?”

 

Don’t worry, I’ll wait. 


So we bought the flights immediately, business class of course because everyone needs that one bougie friend to push you into splurging on yourself every now and then, and waited for our Mexican adventure. And upon waiting, we discovered a week before the trip that the U.S. State Department put Mexico on a “Code Orange” travel advisory warning. For those who don’t know, there are 4 different travel advisory levels for traveling abroad:


1 (Blue) - Exercise normal precautions

2 (Yellow) - Exercise increased caution

3 (Orange) - Reconsider travel

4 (Red) - TF are you doing? Do not go past stop.


So what’s a girl to do? I had already rearranged my plans before but the State Department was telling me, “Eden… you in danger girl.”





Should I stay so my friend and I remain safe and secure at home? Or should I risk it for a biscuit? 


Flashforward to me inside Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, with biscuit in hand, waiting for my flight to Acapulco with a layover in Mexico City. Travel advisory what? That wasn’t going to stop my birthday shenanigans. We opted to thoroughly do some research, find a hotel that was close to the airport with all the amenities so we wouldn’t have to go far, and not do a lot of exploration in each crevice of the city like I would normally do in any other city. I was reminded, this was a trip to RELAX. Something I rarely do when I travel, so it was much needed. 


So how was it you asked?










Acapulco was amazing and I’d recommend it to ANYONE who just wants to get away, and not be bothered. We stayed at the Encanto (which was also rented out by J.Lo at one point) and the customer service was immaculate. Trust me, you haven’t lived until you really abused the privilege of room service. As far as venturing out into other parts of the city, we only did that twice in the 5 days we were there. Once, to visit their beach club and actually lay by the water. The other was in the evening to see what was going down on their club/bar strip. No ubers there so we had to take a taxi. The man who was called to pick us up from the hotel ended up giving us his personal number so we could call him whenever and not be ripped off by other drivers. That ended up saving us a lot of money but I also realized not everyone is so lucky. You have your push peddlers always trying to sell you junk but that’s to be expected at any country you visit. The only thing that throws you off if you’re not used to it, are the semi-automatic weapons the police walk around with throughout the city. It did make me a little uneasy because I’m an avid watcher of all things Narcos and you know, El Chapo and his peoples, but no one bothered my friend and I. As long as you’re not walking around in a “Make America Great Again” cap, you’re good.


Honestly, I felt fine during my stay in Mexico. Especially in Acapulco. I really chalk it up to people (the pigment-impaired) being fearful of brown countries that they may have pissed off. BUT I'm also very attentive and alert when it comes to being a woman traveling abroad. Put it this way when it comes to visiting other countries here's SOME tricks I've done to stay safe:


- Make sure you have copies of your I.D. and passport on phone or keep an extra copy printed.

- TAKE CASH with you when you leave. Of course have your travel credit card for the unknown, but a dollar make ya holla boo.

- Give at least two people ALL of your itinerary so they can get ahold of you.

- Research where your consulate (American, British, etc.) is JUST IN CASE some sh*t happens.


It was truly the first time I’d ever been somewhere where I just let the chips fall and enjoyed another year circling around the sun. I do recommend using the travel advisory as a guide to help you decide, but if you’re ‘bout it ‘bout it like myself, just go. The greatest takeaway from Acapulco was the reminder to appreciate the traveling and just breathe. Not every destination has to be crammed so you can be on to the next. It’s good to be present and appreciative. Acapulco is a go. 


© 2018 - The Femtourage