Jesus, I’ma let you finish… but Happy Birthday to Me! 12/15

e728d6a23457fa88d5944adc5baaead7I couldn’t think of a better way to bring in my 29th year of life than with you, here, in my safe place. I’ve pulled out all the theatrics too: my chamomile tea with honey is nearby, I just baked five banana breads from scratch (with assorted walnut, pecan, chocolate & peanut butter chip folds, yum), my apartment is spotless, and I splurged on organic, African black soap for my shower tonight. Stop laughing at me; I’m trying to be deep and introspective. All I’m missing is Sade’s Lover’s Live in the background… wait, I think I have that album… ok, I’m back; and it’s my birthday!!! This year I want nothing more than this moment of clarity.

As you could imagine, having a birthday around Christmas is a lifelong struggle for the obvious reasons. I have decided to skip my grand, annual dinner party and take the stress and anxiety off of myself and my loved ones and just have an easy breezy day. Turn down for what? I look forward to my dramatic hair change, massage, mani & pedi, facial, and dinner-for-two tomorrow. There Jesus, you win! If I would have known I’d feel this light, I would have given back Your season years ago.

One of the great things about being a Christmas baby is I turn a new age with the new year. That makes resolutions a lot more meaningful to me and easier to commit to. My goals for 2016 and my 29th year are as follows…

Be a better sister. I have an amazing bond with my sister Cheyenne (who turned 17 yesterday), but I also have a four-year-old baby sister who I don’t know at all. My mother had Kendall after moving to Florida with Cheyenne, so I’ve only seen Kendall a handful of times. I have to admit that the circumstances surrounding her existence (I’m saving the tea for my memoir) has contributed to my disconnect, but that sweet baby deserves so much more. I’m such a–fill in the blank–for gypping her all this time.

Open Lit. BookBar. If you’ve wondered why I haven’t posted in over 2 months, it’s because I’ve been completely consumed with getting my start-up bookstore/wine bar off the ground. I was making great traction, but right in the middle of a lease negotiation, the property owner decided to lease half (yes, just half!) of my dream location to another business. I’m so disappointed, but I’m taking this opportunity to save more money and get a head start on some operational plans. The positive side of this is that I already worked with my contractor in the first space, so I have learned a lot and decided on layout, fixtures, products, etc. I know exactly what I want and can afford and I’ll just have to tweak it to meet the specifications of a new floor plan. The challenge for my broker is finding something that meets my 2,100+ square foot requirement. Ugh, why is everything so damn small?! Even the first property was two adjacent spaces I was converting into one. My fear is that if I don’t find a space soon, that I’ll be priced out of the Mott Haven neighborhood.  For now, my goal is still an April 2016 opening.


I knew better than to fall in love with the first place after following a few of my bookstore friend’s journeys, but after the odd way it fell into my lap, this ‘sign’ of three books ironically sitting in the window, and weeks of effort, I just knew this was going to be my location; womp womp. Ok, that’s enough sulking…

Lose weight. I know, so cliché. My goal is to lose 15-20 lbs, but I’m not all hell-bent on the numbers; the aim is just to slim down and tone up enough to feel more confident in clothing (and naked, giggitty). I haven’t decided my complete approach yet, but I felt amazing for those three months I went vegetarian last year and I’m considering making that a permanent lifestyle. I dropped 60 pounds (yes, 6-0) before, so I know I got this whatever route(s) I choose.

Channel my personal style. Tomorrow, I’m going through with my big chop and letting go of most of the hair that has partially defined me my whole life. I’m dying it light brown too! I donated most of my clothes this holiday season and I’m going to replace my wardrobe slowly with pieces I love… not like, but love. This one is all about expression.

I am grateful for this list of goals and not the “find a job, thaw out my heart, etc.” I had on my list last year. I will always be a work in progress, but for the first time I feel like my foundation is laid. Despite any roadblocks, it is so gratifying to wake up and know you are living in your purpose. I know that it is my purpose to bring an independent bookstore to the Bronx and inspire and teach other young entrepreneurs. I’ll talk more about my mission soon.

Follow me on Instagram @1st.noelle to see the results of my big chop. Oh and I went to Texas again for Carmelo’s first birthday party, so check out those pics too.

Thanks for reading and I wish all of you a very  Merry Christmas. See you in 2016!

~1st Noëlle




  1. This was the same way that I decided to celebrate my birthday this year and it was everything! Sometimes the perfect way to bring in a new bday is to do it low key and introspectively. Oh and I love your resolutions for the new year!


  2. Nice read, you, young lady have a good head on your shoulders and a very bright future ahead of you.


    Sent from my iPhone



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