Sephora Bought Reds

When it comes to red lipstick, I try my best to get them all. Not all reds are the same and there are some that I’ll steer clear of.

For example, any lipstick with extremely drying formula is a no go for me. The fall/winter weather is harsh on my skin, I don’t need to add to its demise. That’s why I’m careful to wear lipstick that don’t dry my lips out too much.

I don’t discriminate between matte and gloss colour. It all depends on my mood. Some days I wear matte and some days I don’t.

I’m all about quality. The quality of the lipstick will either give me a boost of confidence or make me feel self conscious.

My Toxic Money Relationship

I never thought I had a toxic relationship with money. In fact, I thought I was doing very well with my money. I was paying my bills for the most part. I was working and doing everything I thought I was supposed to be doing. I wasn’t splurging. In fact, I always made an excuse as to why I couldn’t afford some of the things I saw my friends, who were making less money than me, afford. I thought I was living humbly and what a fraud that turned out to be.

When I think of my view of money there’s this acceptable amount that I’ve limited myself to. I’ve come to realize that there are certain childhood truths that I’ve come to believe and have been living off of them. Some of them have been told me and now deeply ingrained into my brain. Others, I’ve just translated into my own personal belief.

Old Truths

Some of these truths I believed and some of them I’m working on are:

  1. I lose more money than I make
  2. I’m not allowed to spend money on myself if there’s a cheaper alternative. Even if I like it.
  3. There’s not enough money for me.
  4. Everyone gets theirs first. I get mine last.
  5. I don’t deserve to live in luxury.

When it comes to money, for some it can be a taboo subject. You can either be great with it and love it or be terrible with it and hate it. Most of that comes from our childhood. As a child, I saw my mother struggle to make ends meet. She had three kids to clothe, feed and provide shelter for as well as for herself. I learned very early on that asking for things wasn’t always going to be met with acceptance. That resulted in me not wanting to ask for anything or feeling guilty for asking for anything. I often felt like a burden for liking things that were deemed expensive. It wasn’t long before I began looking at price tags before presenting a request to my mother. Anything I thought was too expensive, I would immediately put away and say I didn’t like it even though I wanted it for myself.

When did it start?

The foundation of my unhealthy perspective of money carried well over until now. Though I am glad to say that some things have changed. Luxury is no longer something I’m afraid to have for myself. Money doesn’t scare me anymore like it used to. I still get some anxiety when shopping for certain items especially when the price tag is higher than what I deem acceptable. The last time I splurged on myself I couldn’t even finish the purchase myself, I literally sent my husband in to make the purchase for me.

New Truths

I’m unlearning these practices in order to make room for the abundance that I’m believing and claiming for myself. In order to do that I must acknowledge these toxic traits. Once they are acknowledged I must be willing to do the work. Part of that work is to speak differently to myself when it comes to money. In fact, I must create new truths to override the ones that I’ve embedded into my financial genetic code. I have got to do some rewriting. But furthermore, I have to believe what I’m saying and be able to accept these truths for what they are.

For example:

  1. I make money in abundance so much so that my net worth will exceed my expenditures.
  2. A price tag does not determine how much I want or like an item.
  3. There’s ALWAYS enough money for me. ALWAYS!
  4. I am not exempt to receiving when it’s my time.
  5. Luxury is my birthright. I deserve to live in luxury.

Saying these statements out loud is the easy part, believing them is the hard part. I know this will take time but I’m confident that these little steps will allow me to live my life to its fullness. I’ve been working on this for a while and so far I’ve been able to successfully pay a student debt. I’ve still got more to do, but there’s no sense of dread anymore. I’m confident that tomorrow will look better than today.

Not bad for a girl who’s been homeless three times, huh?

Show up And Serve

I woke up this morning and I was absolutely miserable. I mean, literally woke up ready to cry my eyes out. I didn’t get a chance to process my emotions as I was trying to understand how I could wake up from my sleep and still feel like I haven’t slept at all. Those are the worst kinds of sleep. Needless to say I was exhausted physically. As I was contemplating getting out of bed and justifying delaying my morning routine while everyone was still sleeping, I heard my youngest call out to her father. He was just about ready to go to work. Of course, I got up, got her and brought her to my bed. Sometimes, I can get her to lay down with me for a while, while I gather my thoughts together.

It wasn’t long before my husband came into the room and needed me to take care of something that needed my immediate attention. This is not the way I wanted to begin my morning. I just needed a moment to gather my thoughts. It was being taken from me, moment by moment. Piece by piece. With my head on my pillow, I placed my arm over my eyes, avoiding the emotional flood that was about to hit me. I knew it was coming. All the alarm bells were going off and I couldn’t evacuate.

Is there anything I could have done?

As I laid there, all I did was try to find the missing link. I needed to find the culprit. I knew it was me. I knew that I was stressed about things I couldn’t control. But, there’s this innate desire in me to fix all that is broken. My online presence was suffering and all I could do was see my shortcomings. Could I have done anything differently? I wasn’t making any money. All these prospects were drying up. I was becoming as irrelevant as I had believed myself to be. Maybe I had been over confident, I overshot my shot. I should have just done what always works, that is being afraid and running away.

Truth is, I don’t want to go back to the way things were. There’s nothing wrong with being working a 9-5 but it’s not for me. I can’t do it. I can’t work for someone else making enough money to pay half of bills. I can’t go back to spending my energy being someone other than me for majority of the time. I am not that person. I don’t want to be successfully broke. I don’t want to update my resume in hopes that some government worker is going to take pity on the fact that I’m a minority who is also bilingual. Mind you that hasn’t worked either.

What to do?

Someone commented on a post I made and what they said resonated with me.

“We don’t give up. We keep showing up and eventually things will get better.”

You know what? She’s right. I don’t know what will happen in a month or two. All I have is the last four months to go on. I know something’s got to change and it will. I know it won’t happen overnight and I still have a lot of learning. There are still some major life transitioning phases that I will have to navigate. I can only my best with what I have. My only hope is that it’s enough.

We need to be inspired effectually and effectively. You and I both know that this world is far from perfect. For years, we’ve been told what is and is not acceptable by people who have the funds to sell their message. We’ve bought their message and believe their story to only find out that it was a lie all along. This is not the kind of message I want my daughters to believe.

I started this to prove to myself that I have what it takes to be the woman that my children can be proud to call their mother. But most importantly, I need to prove to myself that I am not wasted potential. I am not just an influencer or that girl who used to be smart. I am not just a housewife that is dependent on her husband for a paycheck. I am not a poser on the ‘gram trying to get like and comments. I am more than that.

I am a living and breathing testimony that anything can happen if you’re willing to have faith and put in the work. I have seen domestic abuse first hand. I know what it’s like to be homeless. I know what it’s like to be an undocumented immigrant. I know what it’s like to feel rejected, to be told that your feelings are invalid. I know to be knocked off a pedestal that was build for you by those who “believed” in you just to be knocked down and have your head hit the ground. The reason is I keep coming back is because I have a job to do.

I have to serve my community, near and far. I may not be remembered for my work but as long as my words inspire you to get up and keep fighting for your destiny then I have done my job. If you are able to relate to this and still choose to get up and keep going then I’m doing my job.

You are living breathing miracle. You have survived all the trauma and criticism you’ve faced. Your energy transcends your presence and continuously affect those you have encountered. Your smile is infectious and cause others to feel at peace. That is a blessing. Better yet, you are a blessing. You may not realize it but your time is coming. Whatever happens, show up and serve.

As A Mother…

In light of recent events, I’ve decided to not post my original blog and write this one instead. This may come off as a rant or maybe it will sound too naive but I feel the need to get this off of my chest. I hope this resonates with you and if it does, please comment below.

Here in Canada, it seems like we have it together. You won’t see much in the news regarding racism. In fact, if anything the racist stuff usually comes from the United States. Often, by the time we see it there is this underlying understanding that no matter how bad racism is here it’s not as bad as it is in the USA. Unfortunately, this false narrative has allowed for many ethnic groups to be denied the ability to speak on issues that not only affect our livelihood but our lives.

I am a mother to two girls and am currently pregnant with another. Pregnancy is not a joke. What’s worse is being dismissed by health care professionals when you bring up a symptoms or concerns. I don’t have all the answers so when I put my trust in the hands of the labour and delivery team, I expect them to followed through with professionalism and due diligence. I don’t expect to be gaslit, dismissed or forgotten. Having a child should be a joyous occasion not a reason for fear.

It’s bad enough that as a Black woman there’s always this thought in the back of my head that all it takes is for my family to be at the wrong place at the wrong for my world to fall apart. My husband goes to work each day and I know that God forbid, he meets someone who’s having “a bad day” not only could his life be endanger but more than likely, as Black people we may never see justice prevail.

It’s hard to be hopeful in a world where injustice seems to be the outcome in every situation where white supremacy has a chance to rule. Lady justice is supposed to be unbiased and colourblind in a world where all men are created equal. Yet, nothing has changed to restore faith in those we’ve elected as officials to render true and effective justice. Something as simple as holding murderers accountable once proven guilty is as laughable as a comedic skit. It’s gut wrenching watching another murdered Black man calling his mother just so she could hear his final breath.

How do I explain to my children that we are living in a world that will never see them as equals no matter how nice, how tough, how qualified, how assertive, how feminine or gracious they are? How do I tell them that this is what we as their parents settled for on their behalf? How do I tell my children that the melanin in their skin is a perpetual target on their backs? How do I tell my daughters that they will be sexualized and demonized because they are Black women? That they must maintain their “niceness” and “kindness” when the micro agressions come if they want to keep their jobs? If I give birth to a son, what then? The fact that he’s Black automatically makes him looks like any other “alleged suspect” if law say so.

Yet, through my faith I have learned to be hopeful when it’s darkest. I won’t lie it sure feels dark. We’re in the middle of pandemic. Ontario is in the midst of its third lockdown. I don’t know what my delivery plan will look like when I give birth. I’m afraid. I’m afraid for my kids and my unborn child. I know that my kids will be safe but I won’t be with them. This will be the first time since I’ve had them that they won’t be with either my husband and myself, and I’m scared.

These are the moments that nobody warned me about. Nobody told me how scary motherhood could be. Nobody told me how terrifying being a Black mother could be. I’m afraid for their present and their future. I know how the system works and that’s why I get up every day and work my butt off.

I want them to know the privilege of living. I want to know that they are safe. I want them to believe that they can be anything they want to be. There’s no limit, no matter how hard the media tries to sell this fear, they need to know that it’s not true.

I don’t do it for myself. I do it for them.

Spring Clean Your Circle

Hi there. Thank you so much for checking out my blog. Today, I will be doing things a little differently.

I believe that part of living my life has always included my faith in God. As a Christian woman who grew up in a Christian home, I have always been told to forgive and forget. I saw many loved ones get hurt over and over again following this advice. Some of them have been abused and traumatized and had it not been for the grace of God, I believe that I would be continuing the cycle of abuse. I am not a professional and I do believe in therapy. I believe that there are some things that prayer alone can’t fix. Especially when dealing when traumas that continuously interfere with your ability to enjoy YOUR life. I capitalized your because sometimes it’s easy for us to become so influenced by other people’s counsel (even though they mean well) that we lose our identity in other people’s validation. I urge you to seek professional counselling if you’re ready to change but find yourself unable to.

The other day, I was sitting in the living room by myself, (time alone is a gift from God, Himself!) watching the Baby-Sitters’ Club television series on Netflix. I used to read the books as a child and so watching this show brought back all the nostalgic feelings of my childhood. As I watching, I noticed that one of the characters, Kristy, was so annoying. When I was younger, I felt connected to her the most. We were exactly alike with similar familial circumstances. I could relate to her. But looking at her now, as an adult I realized something. She wasn’t assertive, she was mean. She needed to be in control all the time, regardless of who she hurt. She meant well, but her desire to control everything just left a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn’t until her character started freaking out about her absentee father that all the pieces fell together.

I was Kristy. I wasn’t a nice person and had a desire to control everything so I could control the outcome. That way I could avoid being hurt. I carried that way of living well into my adult years. I had developed a coping mechanism to avoid being hurt over and over again.

Once I got married to my husband and had my daughter, something clicked. Call it an epiphany, call it a revelation but something happened. I needed to change because I was not the same girl anymore. I didn’t want to be the same girl anymore. I was a mother who had to teach my daughter how to live a beautiful and fruitful life. But how do I that? I didn’t want her being like me. I wanted to be assertive, decisive and kind so she could take over the world without being selfish or mean. That’s when I had a conversation with myself, which is quite easy to do when you don’t have many friends to begin with. This mostly took place in the spring. That’s when I began spring cleaning my circle.

I started by loving me. I began to identify all the ways that I could love myself and affirm who I was as a human being. It’s important for my children to be loved by a parent who is full of love. I don’t need the validation of others to be amazing at being me. I need my daughters to feel the same way. I’m not perfect but I love myself the way I am.

Then I started showing up as the woman that I wanted my daughters to look up to. Like I said, I know I’m not perfect but that doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of improvement. Accidents happen and that’s ok.

I would say the key to my revolutionary spring cleaning was learning to set boundaries. There are comments that I hear from loved ones that I just let slide because, in all honesty, I don’t feel like censoring the elderly all the time. However, there are comments that I will censor. I will not tolerate comments that disrespect me or my family. I have the right to refuse and to remove negative and toxic speech from being spoken in my presence and the presence of my children. Words are very powerful and have a way to carry over well after the moment has passed. For years, I carried words spoken to me in my heart. These words were hurtful and manifested themselves into my life in a negative way. I will not be the access for this kind of behaviour for my girls. My hope is that they are led by example and they too, will set boundaries and develop a strong voice to advocate for themselves when I can’t.

Another part to setting boundaries, for me, was cutting off toxic family members. Some family members just happen to drift off and lose contact and that happens. Life happens and we all have our own families to care for. However, those that have continuously caused hurt to me personally without a change in behaviour, I no longer entertain. It is important to me that I stay healed. Forgiveness is hard enough the first time, but after a while it becomes debilitatingly oppressive. After living like that for years, I believe that the next course of action is to be free and to stay free. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s really hard. A lot of people don’t understand why I have chosen to go this route. But for the first time in my life, I’m advocating for myself. My voice is being heard. I don’t have to resort to controlling everything and, honestly, it feels good.

Whoever you are, if you find yourself just stuck and constantly feeling hurt, believe me it will get better. You have a voice and it matters. Speak up and get help. You may find yourself alone but it’s better to be alone and free.

Continue reading

HI My Name is Sandy

Hi there! Happy New Year! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

Lately, there’s been a few faces coming to my blog and I am so happy you are here. It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance. Whether you’re here for my life hacks, my skin care, hair care and/or thoughts on life I’m grateful that you’ve made the decision to keep visiting my blog.

A bit about me…

My name is Sandy Esprit. I am a stay at home mom and full time social media content creator. I have mothered two girls and am married. I love what I do and am very grateful that I get to live this life. Of course I’m giving you the short form version of my life because well I always wanted to hide my past. However I want my life to inspire others and that can’t happen unless I open up that Pandora’s Box.

Into My Past We Go…

I grew up in a single parent home, where my mother was the sole bread winner. I understood the value of hard work and the value of a dollar. Growing up we didn’t have a lot growing up, but we always had food to eat and a roof over our head. It wasn’t always easy. In fact, my mother worked hard every day but at times it seemed like that hard meant nothing.

We never stayed in one place too long. I went through 13 different schools because we kept moving so much. I don’t have any childhood friends other than my little sister. Honestly, she’s my best friend by default. We were each other’s rock. I feared relationships growing up. I didn’t trust people. It was hard to open up and when I did I overshared.

I’ve been homeless at least three times. I’ve lived in a country illegally for a few years. I know what it’s like to suffer in silence. I had my first panic attack at the age of 13 and had to navigate it alone. There were times when I felt like I was put in situations where I was used as a means to bridge familial disputes. As a child, that’s not a situation that made me feel loved or appreciated.

But we got through it by God’s grace.

Here we are…

Eventually, my life levelled out. I went to school and graduated. I attended the University of Ottawa where I majored in Biochemistry and took a minor in music. I wanted to study music but I wasn’t allowed so I went with my second love, science. It took me six years but I did it.

I always wanted to help people and make them feel valued, like they could do anything. I hated that feeling of insecurity and instability. That became even more prevalent when I was pregnant with my first born. I loathed it and wanted to protect my daughter from ever feeling this way, which is why I started blogging.

I didn’t see anyone who looked like me articulating my likes just as much as my insecurities. Everyone looked so put together and well curated. Meanwhile I was hot mess. So, I became vulnerable and posted about my fears. It wasn’t always well received but I felt better owning my story.

People were relating to me. I was inspiring people get through their day-to-day and I wanted my daughter to see me as a woman instead of just mommy. Because one day they’ll be my age and they may face the same struggles I face today as a woman. They need to know that they’re not alone. Most importantly, they’ll be ok.

Post Holiday Struggle

Hi there! Happy New Year! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. After completing the #nablopomo challenge I tried to enter the #vlogmas challenge over on my youtube channel and I was completely burnt out. Turns out it’s easier for me to blog then it is for me to vlog. Or maybe I just wasn’t prepared. I knew however that I wanted to jump on here and get back to some sense of normalcy in my safe space. But it hasn’t been easy.

In fact, this holiday was just really tiring for me. There was so much I was trying to accomplish by the end of the year all the while still wanting to be present. At one point I just had to shut everything down. I knew the end result would be catastrophic. Now I’m just struggling to get into the momentum of work, despite being in yet another lockdown. It can be really frustrating trying to salvation a bit of excitement for the upcoming year when all I see isn’t too uplifting. I figured now would be the best time to start implementing the lessons I’ve learned in 2020.

  1. Never stop investing in yourself; Honestly the best money spent has been on myself and I’m not talking about splurging on the latest trending items, I mean really making an investment in yourself. There’s something about putting your faith (or money) on your dreams and your passions. You almost never lose out on that investment. There’s always a reward in the end.
  2. Kindness is KING! Being kind is free and really easy to put into practice. It doesn’t mean that you let people walk all over you it just means that you are intentionally and proactively seeking to change the world positively. Your presence is influential in the way this society will end up for our future. Let’s do our part and be kind. Also kindness will get you into places that talent and work ethic never could.
  3. Boundaries are meant to be enforced- This year really taught me to enforce boundaries with people. Growing up I was often placed in a position where I was easily overlooked, gaslit and ignored. As a mother, to two young girls you better believe that this is not something I intend to pass on to my girls. Not everyone I know is meant to travel with me. Not everyone I have met is going to be helpful on my journey, and if they cause me more harm than good, then it’s time for us part ways. It doesn’t need to be hostile but it does need to be enforced
  4. I don’t know everything- I’m no expert. No matter how big I get I will always need to learn something new. Every step I take will require me to level up in my learning. One of the best apps I have been leaning on is Clubhouse to just learn.
  5. Be Yourself- This is cliche but it needs to be said. Your greatest superpower is the ability to be YOU. Not one person can do what you do and tell your story the way you do. Use that to your advantage.

I really hope this year brings you everything you desire. I think this year will be the reset that we need this year!

What have you learned in 2020 that you will be implementing this year?

Enjoy The Process: Process is Practice for Destiny

Chapter 1: Process is Practice for Destiny

Process. I googled the word “Process” and the definition that came up is “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end”. Everyone of us is involved in a process of some sort. We all have an end that we have envisioned for ourselves. We have grown up with dreams, fueled by passions and now that we are older, we’ve been given the opportunity to go after them. Our lives can be boiled down to just one word, process. 

From the moment we are conceived there is a process of growth that we are subject to. By the time we’ve reached the age of 5 we start going to school and that will last up until we graduate at the age of 17 or 18, for most of us. Then we undergo a different process. All these pathways ultimately are meant to give us a successful end. That end is our destiny. 

What is process?

Process is practice for our destiny. Most often when we are going through the process it comes with unfairness, hardship, separation (not isolation), transition and growth.  These are just tools used by God to teach us something or to guide and/or influence us into creating the right life habits. 

There is good news. The good news is that it’s temporary. None of this is permanent. It may take a long time, depending on how quickly we learn and/or the size of our destiny. However, rest assured you will not die in the process if you keep going through it. Here’s an example. 

In the Bible, one of my favourite person is King David. I love his boldness, his swagger, his love for God and just how real he is. This man was a man with great power, he wasn’t perfect, but he loved God and submitted to God. But despite his many successes, there were many times he had to go through the process. It wasn’t always pretty and I’m sure he didn’t enjoy it, but the end result was always worth it. He was always without a doubt better than the way he started. 

Unfairness, hardship, separation, transition and growth = fun?!

You’re probably wondering, how am I supposed to go through unfairness, hardship, separation, transition and growth and enjoy it? Transition and growth would make sense to me, personally but the first three, I don’t know. It took me over 10 years to break out of that mindset. I couldn’t enjoy the challenge of going through my experiences because I was looking at it all wrong. 

I wanted everything to be simple and easy. I wanted the answers to every question on the test without learning to use the tools I was given to work out the answers to every question on the test. There is no app to answer every inquiry in the world. Google can’t help me figure out why my father chose not to pursue a relationship with me, nor could it help me figure out why I couldn’t just forgive my father for not being in my life. This was an experience I had to go through. 

I was so busy being angry, I couldn’t see the lesson that God was teaching me. He was putting me in a position where I could forgive those who hurt me and love them despite their offense towards me. He taught me to take the power of my emotions out of my father’s hands and place them in His hands. He taught me to love despite the hurt I suffered and ultimately become sensitive and empathetic to the needs of those who may have felt rejected and alone, including my father. 

It was a dark process, and I don’t wish it on anyone but I’m sure glad I went through it. 

Biblical Example:

King David had his fair share of unfairness. I mean as a boy he’s a shepherd. He takes care of sheep and during this time he is faced with a lion and a bear. Alone! I don’t know about you, but these sheep would’ve been food for the lion and the bear if I was their shepherdess. However, David realizes that the sheep are counting on him for their survival, so he rescues them. Alone. At the time David, couldn’t have known that this would’ve been the practice he needed to defeat Goliath, and yet it was. The defeat of Goliath catapulted his fame throughout the land and gave Israel a much-needed victory. 

One would think that would’ve been the moment he’d step into his destiny and experience success. I mean everyone knew who he was by now. He even had his own song. Samuel had already anointed him, so it should’ve been easy sailing from that point on, right? That’s what I would’ve expected, in fact that’s what I always expect. But not really, it just led him into another process. 

Now he’s got to deal with a hater, the current king of Israel, King Saul. This guy takes David in, gives him his daughter has his wife, and then turns around and tries to kill him. David literally had to run for his life. He was forced to be separated from his home and his comfort. He is doing everything right and now he’s on the run?! The answer is yes. During this time, David sharpened his relationship with God writing some of the most beautiful psalms that we are still reciting today. 

Separation allows us to dig deep and let God lead us where he wants us to. David wasn’t just a warrior. During that period of his life, he no longer was a shepherd boy, but he became a worshipper. He became the man that could lead an entire nation back to the altar of God and change the spiritual trajectory of a nation. 

Then there’s the slip up. He finally becomes king and he manages to mess it all up. He and Bathsheba (a married woman, at that!) end up having a one-night stand. She gets pregnant. He creates a situation to have her husband killed and then marries the girl in hopes that it all goes away. Unfortunately for him, it doesn’t. He humbles himself, repents and out of him comes Solomon, the future king of Israel. The one who builds the temple of God in Israel. 

The Point:

Process isn’t fun, in fact to even say that you’ll enjoy the process is an oxymoron. It’s not meant to be enjoyable. The beauty in going through the process is that at the end of it you will look back and realize that you were simply practicing for a destiny that is bigger than yourself. There’s so much about you that you don’t know, in fact there is a version of yourself that you haven’t even met. That person is kind, thoughtful, wise and full of life lessons. Fortunately, only those who are willing to go through will meet that version of themselves. 

So, go through the process and practice. Practice makes perfect. When perfection meets intention then lives are changed, not just yours but the world changes. Be perfect for your destiny.