A Year of Loving Myself + How I Got a Pampas Grass Christmas Tree!

Today, as we move towards a new year, I am a changed person… and I bet you are too.

We all know the backdrop of 2020: 

COVID-19, The *ahem* 45th President of the United States, a racial uprising in America. My personal backdrop included the loss of my beloved Aunt Furaha, tearing my lateral meniscus and going into an emergency knee surgery and theCURVYcon going on hiatus due to the global pandemic. All of these things affected me very deeply, but I’ll save those stories for another day. 

I learn from listening to the people around me. I implement what resonates with me to see if it works, if it does I learn– if it doesn’t I learn.

You live you learn. You love you learn. You cry you learn. You lose you learn. You bleed you learn. You scream you learn. – Alanis Morrisette

 

A year of loving myself, 2020, let’s begin:

I Celebrate, Always

I’m noticing that when I find reasons to celebrate, God gives me more reasons to celebrate.

I live in New York City, my family is thousands of miles away in California.

This is my first solo Christmas in New York, but I’m not alone. My family’s love runs deep and it’s with me always. My intention for my first solo Christmas is to celebrate the love that I have in my life right now.

For those who love with heart and soul, there is no such thing as separation. – Rumi

 

When I had my first big heartbreak years ago, I remember feeling so embarrassed!

I felt like it was my fault that I was single. I thought that if I had been better, sweeter, nicer, prettier, skinner he would have loved me enough not to let me go. I was so hard on myself. Each time I had to tell a friend that I no longer had a boyfriend, it felt like announcing that I had failed at something. Until one Sunday, when I quietly confessed “I broke up with my boyfriend” to a girl named Meredith at my church in Harlem.

“Congratulations!” she said. Her perspective was like a breath of fresh air! The idea of celebrating a breakup was brand new and I liked it.

I still cried for weeks, but I liked it.

I’ve had my share of breakups since then and I’ve found a way to have a celebration every time (even when it hurt). Sometimes my break up celebration is as simple as creating a flower arrangement for myself. Sometimes it’s as lavish as a vacation Remember my Cuba trip? That was a breakup celebration *blush*

Learning how to celebrate through challenging times may have started with breakups, but it’s a practice that is very valuable in times like these. I could create a solo Christmas celebration, because I find ways to celebrate all areas of my life.

Here’s how I’m celebrating my first solo Christmas:

First, I found an antique black nativity set. It’s just like the one my Mom has back home! I remember being a little girl shopping with my Mother when she came across a black nativity set. She was so happy and that made me feel happy. In the past, I may have waited to inherit her exact set for sentimental reasons. But finding a set of my own is way more fun. It makes me feel like I’m following in my Mother’s footsteps and forging my own path at the same time. I like that balance.

Second, I am making a mini batch of my Grandmother’s warm Christmas Brew. Why a “mini-batch”? Well, my Grandmother had TEN children + her and my Grandfather, that’s a family of 12! As I start to make her recipes I’m noticing that the serving sizes are HUGE! I’m a family of one right now, so I don’t even own pots big enough for the amount of brew she made. This year I finally figured out the small batch recipe that tastes the same. I’m sipping it now as I write to you and each sip taste just like Christmas morning. (do you want the recipe? Keep reading!)

Thirdly, I’ve been dreaming up a floral Christmas tree concept for two years now. Last year, my floral tree was cute, but… it wasn’t the tree I imagined in my head. I haven’t been taking flower arranging classes very long, so I quickly realized that the floral tree I was imagining in my head would require an expert. I mentioned to my friend Jim that I was having a hard time finding a NYC floral designer who would help me.

He reached out to his team at 1800flowers, they liked my floral Christmas tree idea and before I new it, the 1800flowers design team was in my apartment executing my vision for a pampas grass Christmas tree with dried flowers.

God is so good!

My Pampas Grass Christmas Tree with Dried Florals

For me, this tree is a celebration of my life as it is and celebration of what’s to come.

My tree is made with:

Sage – to lift my mood and banish negativity

Nigella – for harmony and Love

Pampas Grass – for resilience and creativity

Eucalyptus – for healing, strength, protection and abundance

Limonium – for Success and Beauty

Ruscus – for Thoughtfulness and Humility

Grevillea – for true love, calmness and faith

 

 

Okay, now back into a Year of Loving myself.

I Journal Each Morning

As I continue to create the life that I want, I am learning that the biggest luxury ever… is time. When I was a barista and struggling actress, I was constantly running after myself while trying to follow my dreams and pay my rent here in New York. I was BROKE and I didn’t have any luxuries, especially time. I only had time for making frappuccinos, acting/singing and boys… oops, I mean, sleep! (y’all know my Mom reads this).

Anyway, by the grace of God I live a different life now.

I honor God’s blessings by being intentional with my time. I wake up around 5am each morning to write in my journal.

But I been talkin’ to God for so long That if you look at my life I guess he’s talkin’ back – Kanye West

 

 That’s how I feel about my journaling practice. I am certain that my life is a reflection of all of the early morning hours that I spend with God, my journal and a cup of coffee. I journal for confidence, wellness and love.

Starting in March, I will be teaching my personal style of journaling to a select group of women inside The Curvy Girls Guide. Our focus for 2021 will be dating.

You may have noticed that I’ve been extremely private about my dating life for some time.⁣ I’m happy to teach you everything I know from ⁣HOW TO DATE WITHIN YOUR STANDARDS ⁣to ⁣WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR SHAPE WEAR WHEN THINGS GET *ahem* STEAMY…⁣ But I need to do it on my terms, in a safe private space. This is why I created The Curvy Girls Guide community.

I think I’ve been waiting for a wedding to give me an excuse to celebrate love. I don’t want to do that anymore, it’s too much pressure. I might get married, I might not. I don’t have perspective on how to get engaged or married, because I haven’t done those things yet. But I do have perspective on what it’s like to celebrate life build self confidence, travel, create a capsule closet, make impact & income, have a cute instagram and date great guys along the way.

That’s what I plan to teach starting in March when The Curvy Girls Guide opens up to a select group of women.

My “Plan A” for my life was to follow my Mother’s path. She went to college and fell in love with a man who still adores her after 40+ years of marriage. My Father proposed to my Mother and she was married by 24. My Mother had three kids by 41, a doctoral degree by 50 and is about to retire into the consulting life of her dreams at the end of the 2020.

When I graduated college without a boyfriend, I knew that my timeline wasn’t going to match up with my Mom’s and it was time for a plan B.

The life you see me living now is my “Plan B”.

If you like the vibes of how I live my life, I’ll be happy to answer questions on how I create a North Star for myself based on what I want. Listen, I love my dollhouse lifestyle but it’s not easy to do this alone. My North Star guides me and helps me make decisions for myself.

If you’ve been making plans for your life based on what everyone else wants for you, I understand. You may feel that you want to try to be a little more focused on yourself. Maybe it’s hard because you see the needs of eveyone around you and you want to help.

I totally get where you’re coming from. You have a big heart, but you’re still suffering. I know how you feel. We will talk about this more when The Curvy Girls Guide starts in March 2021. 

 

 

Are you interested in what it looks like to celebrate wellness, confidence and love? I invite you to join the waiting list for The Curvy Girls Guide. The doors open in March 2021.

Mother Rosa Broadous’ Christmas Brew Recipe | CeCe’s Mini Version

4 Lemons (sliced)
64 ounces tea (lipton type)
64 ounces apple juice
64 ounces cranapple juice
1 46 oz can pineapple juice
6 cinnamon sticks
12 cloves
Sugar to taste

Combine all ingredients. Bring contents to a boil. Cook on medium heat for 45 minutes or more. Serve hot.

As kids, we also liked it served cold. Store any remaining in the refrigerator and reheat.

 

I Stop Working & Start Creating

I support myself doing work that I enjoy.

I’m not embarrassed to say that when I’m not working, I spend my time doing the things I really LOVE, like journaling, singing, learning floral design and soaking in hot bubble baths sprinkled with my own custom mix of flower petals.

I am happy to spend hours painting my nails different shades of red until I find the perfect crimson for my complexion. My working hours are important, that’s how I support myself, but once I’ve made my money for the day, I stop working and I start creating.

That’s how I came up with the concept of my pampas and dried floral Christmas tree, I make time for creativity and my imagination. It’s fun!

You may find that when you spend more time at home, it’s challenging to find the space where your work life ends and your personal life begins. I understand how easy it can be for ambitious women to blur those boundaries, especially if you don’t have a husband or children. If you feel like you’re always working– chances are, it’s true!

If you don’t want to work 24/7, but you don’t want to spend your extra time swiping on dating apps, then you may benefit from some of the things we will discuss when The Curvy Girls Guide begins in March.

As I hit publish on this post, my prayer for you is that your year ahead is full of love, success and joy.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Love,

CeCe

p.s. thank you 1800flowers for EVERYTHING!!!

9 thoughts on “A Year of Loving Myself + How I Got a Pampas Grass Christmas Tree!”

  1. Merry Christmas Cece, as always you look fantastic, I love your tree very creative, I will be making some of your grandmothers brew and spiking mine with some rum, I wish you the best of everything so let’s look forward to a covid- 19 free New Year.

  2. CeCe you are an inspiration! I adore your stories, sense or humor and of course fashion! Your pampas Christmas tree is beyond beautiful!

  3. Kathie Reid-Bevington

    So calming and inspirational to read this – thank you for sharing! And that Christmas tree! GORGEOUS!!! Merry Christmas to YOU!!!

  4. Oh it’s been a crazy 2020 for me too CeCe. I’m sorry for the loss of your Aunt Furaha. I too lost a family member this year AND like you have been recovering from a stubborn knee injury. I never would have thought of a floral tree….1-800 flowers did a great job. It’s unique, different and beautiful all in one. Thanks for sharing that special brew recipe. I’ll have to give that a try next year. This year I’m trying spiked Jamaican Sorrel for Christmas. Yumm. Continue to shine your light CeCe. Love always finds you when you aren’t necesarily looking and just living your best life. I think your Plan B is pretty awesome!! Love the new look of the site too! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  5. What a wonderful post. I love how you devoted 2020 to yourself. I have really seen a new confidence in your stories and your posts. You are going to encourage a lot of incredible women in their quest for love.❤️ Merry Christmas 🎄 and God’s abundant blessings upon your 2021.

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