February 2022 and the 28 Days Of Black Hair Challenge

This past February month, in honor of Black History Month 2022, visual artist Vashti Harrison initiated a Black Hairstyle Illustration Challenge on Instagram #28DaysOfBlackHair – to celebrate Black Hair’s beauty and versatility. I decided to participate (although haven’t completed all entries)

The Idea: Black Girl Illustration

Initially, I created this girl character for a children’s book I would like to develop. I came across the online challenge and thought this would be a great incentive for me to be consistent in my process and a way to come up with different ideas.

In the Black community, hair has always been a way of expressing oneself. In the past years, the natural hair movement has reached mainstream media and more people have become more familiar with it and aware of some of the challenges we have been facing in terms of fascination and discrimination

I believe that representation matters and because of my personal history, I have always enjoyed and felt compelled to work on art that showcases Black hair.

The Process of Creating the Character

I worked in both Procreate and Illustrator. Because I had already created a multitude of facial expressions for this character, I would focus on the hair, poses, and outfits on the day to day basis.

Once I was done researching and drawing in Procreate, I would export the black and white outline as a PNG in order to digitize it as a “Black and White Logo” vector in Illustrator. Once this was completed, it would be time to “assemble” the hair of the day with the body/outfit, make some adjustments (resize, redraw some things), then expand its appearance and add colors and patterns for a final look.

Finally, I would add the hairstyle using the same font each day (Epicursive Script) and export it to post it on Instagram. 

I was also able to repurpose some of my previous work for this project. For instance, I used  my Afropop patterns on some of the outfits (I used them on the cover of the notebooks I created for Amazon as well as my interior design collection from my website)

Last Words on 28 days Challenge

This was a fun project, and I plan on completing all the remaining entries at some point as it will not only give me a lot of practice but also a multitude of character poses to choose from!

Stay tuned for upcoming projects!

New This Month: February 2022

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Here are this month’s highlights. Feel free to reach out should you have any questions!

Click on pic to be redirected to item online boutique

1. Stationery

In French, épuré(e) could translate as “Sleek and stylish”. This is exactly what this line of notebooks stands for. Clean and minimalist, the 7×10 notebooks are perfect to track your life’s progress, practice, and help you live a healthier lifestyle.

2. Coloring Book and Children Composition Notebook

Here’s my first “Coloring Book for Grown-Ups“. I also updated the cover of my Afro Fairies Primary Composition Notebook!

3. Online Boutique

Noting new this month, but it is worth checking out my sweaters!

See you next month!

Sleek & Stylish: Introducing the Épurée Stationery Collection, by Daphné Essiet

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2 minutes read.

I don’t know what came first: my love for writing or my excitement with paper goods: all I know is that the possibility of pouring my soul on paper is something that fills me with joy. I love to travel and each time I have the opportunity to find cute notebooks or other goodies, I spend away all my pocket money!

Making my own notebooks was something I wanted to do since I started my artistic journey and as soon as I found out how to, I decided to go for it. I have created many covers inspired by my African and Afropean roots, such as Afro-Pop Collection with original “Nü African Patterns”, or Afro Fairies Collection (click here to view)

and I thought that I could also create something more minimalist in themes and color.

The Meaning

In French, épuré(e) could translate as “Sleek and stylish”. This is exactly what this line of notebooks stands for. Clean and minimalist, the 7×10 notebooks are perfect to track your life’s progress, practice, and help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Here’s a list of the available journal in this collection so far:

They are available for purchase on Amazon

Here are some previews:

What kind of logs/journals are you interested in? Let me know in the comment section and stay tuned for more!


Happy Valentine’s Day! Free Download 🤍

It’s Valentine’s Day and I am here for it!

I haven’t always celebrated Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day but as I become wiser in experiences, I feel like any opportunity is worth celebrating.

This year, I wanted to gift you something unique so here’s an exclusive illustration you can download, print and color for your friends!

If you decide to share the final coloring on Instagram, please remember to tag me @daphneessiet

You DO NOT have my permission to resell, modify, distribute or share the uncolored product with anyone in any form.

Please download the pdf or jpg.

For more coloring, please check out my Coloring Book for Grown-Ups – Original Zendoodles by Daphné Essiet available on Amazon.com (free shipping with Prime)

Your New Favorite Coloring Book for Adult

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Scientists, along with artists (who are scientists too – iMO) have demonstrated that people have a universal aesthetic inclination for symmetry and patterns.

From Conceptualizing a Coloring Book to Creating a Tool For Better Mental Health!

When I started my artistic practice back in 2018, symmetrical designs were one of the first type of drawing I experimented with, and honed my illustrator skills by creating my Chromatic Ecstasy collection:

Friends suggested that these designs would be perfect for coloring books. I thought it was a great idea, but I never got to put it together… I did some research and found out that coloring was a great way to relax and instantly break free from the stresses of everyday life! This was definitely something I wanted to get into. Of course, it does not replace seeing a professional therapist, but this is a fun tool to help people better their mental health by alleviating some of the temporary daily challenges, not unlike my gratitude journals!

Putting in the Work to Create Beautiful Symmetrical Illustrations

Since I only had a limited amount of illustrations, I had to work hard and spent this past month creating the additional “zen doodles” to be featured in this coloring book: in total, this book contains 50 original drawings I created on Procreate and then digitized in illustrator!

After all this hard work, I had to create the cover and create the inside of the notebook. It was a lot of work, but I have to say, it was worth it. I am super excited and proud to introduce you to my first “Coloring Book for Grown-Ups“. Here’s the cover below!

Perfect gift for experienced colorists/colorers looking for a little challenge!

some samples:

A little Timelapse of my work

Click here to purchase

Stay tuned for more by subscribing to my newsletter: I am already working on the second volume.

New This Month: January 2022

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Here are this month’s highlights. Feel free to reach out should you have any questions!


Log Books

Stay Organized With This Ultimate Automotive Maintenance Record Book!

Car Maintenance Logbook to help you to keep track of all essential repairs and maintenance tasks. It is the perfect size for your glove compartment, and its flashy color cover will help you locate it in seconds!

Grateful kids are happier!

Practicing gratitude increases happiness, improves self-esteem, and lowers levels of stress—this is a perfect journal for little humans to experience the power of gratitude. Each page gives the children to write and draw their thanks on a daily basis, as they develop a healthy habit in their lives.

Kanji Practice Notebook

This is a 8.5in. by 11 in. 100 pages Kanji Softcover Practice Notebook

This elegant traditional notebook-style notepad contains 100 pages of kanji paper, also known as Genkouyoushi paper.

Each large square holds one character and each square is divided into four quadrants to guide the correct positioning of the elements of each character.

Online Boutique

Blankets in Love is Love Collection: Do you feel that your home is missing an eye-catching, yet practical design element? Solve this problem with a soft silk touch throw blanket that’s ideal for lounging on the couch during chilly evenings!

See you next month!

Galentine’s Day: on Friendship and Sisterhood

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Every single year, a few weeks after Christmas – millions of people religiously celebrate the highly anticipated and anxiety-inducing (for some) commercial holiday Valentine’s Day, when all extravagances are permitted (if not encouraged), grossing an average of 20 billion dollars annually out of your pockets (statista.com)

For the past decade, a new trend has been raging: on February 13th – one day shy of Valentine’s Day – thousands of women have been celebrating Galentine’s Day, the holiday dedicated to L.O.V.E.S like no other in many women’s life: friendship and sisterhood.

Where Does the Term Galentines come from?

The term “Galentine” was made popular by the comedic sitcom Parks and Recreation where Leslie Knope, one of the main protagonists, organizes a Dance to celebrate the women in her life. After the episode aired, back in February 2010, the term started to gain in popularity and started a life of its own becoming the phenomenon it is today.

Why Celebrate Galentines?

I usually try to celebrate and cheer up the women in my life as much as I can, yet feel for those who do not, it can become the opportunity to start something new. Society still tends to overlook our contribution as friends and sisters – and a gentle reminder of our importance is always welcomed.

How to Celebrate Galentines?

So many ways to do so! It does not have to break the bank and depending on your Galentine’s “Love Language” it can range from a handcrafted postcard to a phone call to remind them how much you appreciate and love them. , or a little gift to a coffee/lunch date!

Gift Ideas to Celebrate Galentines (From my Stores, hihi)

If you plan on spending some money, maybe that book they were talking about the other day, or a box of candy/chocolate is always a great idea. Here are gift ideas directly from my Society6 page:

Heart Notebooks on Amazon Prime

Gratitude Journals on Amazon Prime


Regardless of what you decide to get your Galentine, I am sure your gals will appreciate it!

Celebrating Love? Valentine’s Day is in Less than a Month!

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I wrote an entire section of a poetry book about it… Regardless of where you are from physically or socially, it is one of the topics most talked-about in the world.

I often think about it, especially romantic love. There seem to be many viewpoints and I am always open to hearing what others think about it, even if I have ideas of my own…

Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I thought I’d share with you a short essay I wrote back in 2015 (found in that same poetry book) where I attempt – in my limited human experience – to understand what it could mean to me.

#OnLoveAndLustAndEverythingInBetween (part3)

In logic and probability theory, two propositions (or events) are mutually exclusive or disjoint if they cannot both be true (occur). Shall we treat Lust and Love as two distinct functions evolving in two separate systems? How do both those states relate to Happiness? It sounds concurrently simple and complicated, hence the trickiness. In a nutshell, there is the Lust and there is the Love… and for the majority of my adult life, I somehow misconceived their respective meanings as well as mishandled their applications.

As these two ever-overlapping “concepts” wildly encompass a range of compelling feelings, and because they (may) relate and (may) interact with one another so closely, it would be difficult for me to comprehend them fully, or even partially – for that matter; however, I feel that today, I took one step away from my initial cluelessness. It seems as if Lust and Love feed into each others’ narrative. It seems as if they share a common purpose.

Lust is straightforward, Lust is simple, and there is basically little that can be done about it: Lust assesses how chemically compatible we are to someone, and how healthy would an eventual offspring be. Plain and simple and pragmatic. *Lust* solely relies on efficiency.

Love is intricate, Love is sophisticated, and may or may not stem from Lust, but regardless of where it originates, is built from the ground up. Love is potent, and there is basically little that can be done about it: Love allows discrepancies to be efficiently taken care of – in case something goes down – aka imbalanced chemical compatibility. Love relies on the problem-solving skills our elaborated brain cultivated, a defense mechanism we developed over time, for survival. Lust and Love appear to be chemically induced for our species’ lastingness. They started mutually exclusive, and merged, inclusively, “byproducing” happiness. 

So what if everything we have been lead to believe all along was flawed? What if happiness, as a purpose, was an illusion we created to rationalize our urges when in fact this is nothing but a bundle of chemical reactions. Not to say that a delusional state does not perfectly fit my inner desires, as this so-called state is “inherent” to my human condition, and hence there is basically little that can be done about it.

Today, this right here makes total sense to me and ergo allows my soul to be soothed, and my heart to cope with whatever concerns is clouding my deepest thoughts. For what it’s worth, in a (my) perfect world, I will from now on use my brain to ponder if the situation is conducive to what matters most; I will, for now on, use that intellect so to estimate how a context can generate its highest yield of Long Term Happiness – for the latter turns out to be a convolution integrating a customizable blend of #OnLoveAndLustAndEverythingInBetween.

What are Your Thoughts on Romantic Love?

Anything you’d like to share on Love or lust? Go in the comments and tell us about it!

Shameless Advertising of my Products!

Notebooks are always good ideas, especially when they are as cute as those. Maybe as a gift to yourself, a good friend, your Valentine or Galentine? I got one for everyone! check them out below!

A Though: Is There Room to Celebrate Those Who Hurt Us, and Where Should We Start?

Just the other day I had a conversation with someone who was wondering how we could celebrate a man’s accomplishments’ when we knew he was a sexist, misogynist, and even beat his wife/girlfriend. I think that is a valid question. I sensed pain and frustration in that person’s voice. In this case, I believe it came from the fact women’s voices are being silenced, their experiences minimized, abuse normalized, and how we have been historically gaslighted – combined with the lack of accountability and denial from those who perpetrated the harm.

So, “Is there room to celebrate those who hurt us and their contributions to the world?” Well, let me start by saying: this is the world we have been living in y’all. We have been celebrating talented thieves, bright colonialists, eloquent racists, intelligent narcissists, charming psychopaths, charismatic megalomaniacs, and the like for as long as we humans have been roaming them “civilized streets”. We have also been celebrating more righteous individuals, some of whom turned out to have very problematic ways as well. So, where should we start?

The “Hurt Legacies” Conundrum

I hear those afraid of “hurting legacies”. I admit, this can be a dicey topic, especially when systems of oppression in place that already vilify certain populations, could take hold of the process and sensationalize the truth to further already hurtful stereotypes. Think of revered African American leaders or celebrities being slandered for their infidelity, drug abuse, meanness, etc… I can understand how, especially when the person is no longer here with us, this can feel – what’s the word – blasphemous? I think, however, that it is necessary to recalibrate the stories we tell ourselves and the world and set the record straight so we can bring justice and peace to those who have been hurt in the process and still suffer from these consequences. Moreover, we may be attempting to comprehend the whys and hows so we can maybe prevent repeating the same patterns ourselves.

Of course, I believe that these attempts to reestablish the truth and “make it right” (if there is such a thing) should be centered on the healing of the victims, even when sometimes the pain abusers inflicted on them may be insurmountable and the damage irreversible. It is worth a try IMO.

Cosmic Homeostasis

First, we must challenge our own beliefs. I often struggle with how the way I feel conflicts with my thoughts. I constantly have to remind myself that even tho life appears to be unfair – in reality, the Universe always has a way to balance things out: it is science, cosmic homeostasis. Trust: it is easy to mistake celebrity, the abundance of material things, and appearances for happiness, especially when living in scarcity. I do find it hard… I constantly have to remind myself – that what I have been conditioned to believe about happiness in our highly capitalized society is flawed, as it fails to recognize that true happiness and satisfaction come not from money, notoriety, and looks, but from how authentic our relationships with others are.

Consequently, there is no way that those who hurt others by their actions, lie (to themselves and others) about it, and refuse to take responsibility, experience true happiness: it’s science, cosmic homeostasis – and isn’t it what we all strive for?

Is There a Path to Redemption?

I believe that the keys to redemption can be accessible to those courageous enough to take the path toward truth and accountability.

To those who may not feel satisfied with these ideas and instead would prefer seeing people suffering the way they did – I can understand – it is not easy. It may not be enough for those who have greatly still carry the visible and invisible wounds, and I am not here to police how anyone feels: you are entitled to your pain, but you also deserve to be happy.

Perhaps, in time, we will find ways to establish a balance and acknowledge individuals’ contributions – especially as we take a good look at ourselves and dismantle the systems that allowed abusers to normalize the harm.

New This Month of December 2021

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The year is coming to an end, and what a year! I believe that all that time alone away from usual distractions forced my creativity to show up in (un)expected ways. It has been a work in progress and definitely a time to reflect on life and try to find ways to cope with what was, and what could be. Here are December’s goodies, per category.

Perfect Gifts for Writers: Stationery

Etsy: Etsy.com/Shop/daphneessiet (currently closed to the holidays)

Signed Prints of Bodacious Mane, Afro Dancers, and Afro Yogi Collections. Click here to visit the online boutique.

Online Boutique: DaphneEssiet.Shop

Afropop collection

Last Words

Wishing everyone a peaceful and safe new year. See you in 2022!

Artist of the Day: New Article in “Not Real Art” Online Publication

Months ago I applied for a grant through the online magazine NOT REAL ART that “celebrates artists and empowers their work with unique stories, podcasts, grants, experiences, and more.

Although I made it through the elimination stages for a few rounds, I didn’t become one of the recipients this year. Maybe next year I’ll make it to the Artist Grant finals… meanwhile

You can discover through this article a bit more about me! Click here for the full article.

Thank you all for this year’s support, and may you have a peaceful and safe end of the year!

New: Brightly Colored Afro-Pop Design-Inspired Patterns to Warm up Your Winter!

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As we enter the cold months of winter, I thought I would share with you some new designs in form of colorful items right to brighten up your heart as well as your home sweet home!

I mentioned in a prior blog, I truly love patterns, and lately, I have been really active in creating some awesome ones inspired by African patterns. It took some time and work, but here is a new collection featuring some geometric and Colorful beauties, on a multitude of items that you can now find in my store! Check some of them out below:

1. Afro-Pop Pattern Pillows

A strategically placed accent can bring the whole room to life, and this pillow is just what you need to do that. What’s more, the soft, machine-washable case with the shape-retaining insert is a joy to have long afternoon naps on. Comes in 3 Sizes.

2. Afro-Pop Pattern Tote Bags

A spacious and trendy tote bag to help you carry around everything that matters.

3. Afro-Pop Pattern Computer Sleeves

Protect your laptop in style—get this snug, lightweight laptop sleeve! To prevent any scratch marks, it contains an internal padded zipper and its interior is fully lined with faux fur. What’s more, it’s made from a material that’s resistant to water, oil, and heat, making sure your laptop sleeve looks as sharp as you any day of the week! Comes in 2 sizes

4. The Last Word on Afro-Pop!

Interested? Discover and shop for the collection here and remember to sign up for my newsletter to be the first to find out deals and news! If you prefer notebooks, you can find similarly styled paper goods available on amazon. Some samples are below!

For Fine Art Lovers: the Dotted Circles Colorful Paintings are Back for the Holidays

Are you ready for pure bliss and happiness? If so, marvel at the multitude of colors of this dotted circle.

In her TED Talk “Where Joy Hides and How to Find it”, Ingrid Fetell Lee, aka @aestheticsofjoy on Instagram, eloquently articulated how I feel every time I add a colored dot to the paper. Each layer elevates how Joyful I am and that is primarily how I fought the feeling of isolation during the lockdown and still to this day. Thank you, now it makes sense

The circle represents the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, all cyclic movement, God (‘God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere – Hermes Trismegistus).

Original Dotted Mini Dotted Circle Painting on Saatchi

Acrylic on Paper, 6 W x 6 H x 0.1 Din – One-of-a-kind Artwork:

Holiday Markets in Coral Springs and Key Biscayne, Florida

If you are located in SoFlo, I will be participating in two upcoming Markets! You will be able to discover and purchase my fine art paintings, notebooks, and prints in person.

Event Details

Details: There will be artmaking stations (contemporary wreath making, ornament decorating, gift wrapping + more!), COMPLIMENTARY bites, FIRST ACCESS to sale items by our amazing artists and makers, and FREE giveaways and prizes.

Saturday’s Public Market on December 11 from 10:30 – 2:30pm will include artmaking stations and light bites at an additional cost, on a first-come, first-serve basis.

ALL ticket proceeds go to support Museum programming. Vendors retain 100% of their sales.


Friday, Dec 10 | 5:30 – 8pm
$10 in advance | $15 at door
Saturday, Dec 11 | 10:30am – 2:30pm

Eventbrite link HERE

Organized by the French-American Association of Craft and Trades

Sun, December 12, 2021 – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST

Village Green Park, 450 Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscayne, FL 33149

Eventbrite link HERE

Shopping Spree

Here’s a highlight of what I will bring with me at these events!

AfroPop Notebooks
Signed Prints, also available on Etsy
Framed and Ready to be Displayed Original Mini Dotted Circles

Looking forward to seeing you then!

Holidays’ Edition: Gifts for Your Artsy Friends

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It is an art to make good gifts. You have to not only listen and be really attentive to what people have to say.  To me, it does not have to be expensive (although sometimes it can be): it has to be thoughtful and be about the person you gift it to (not what you think they should get). Every Thursday until the holidays I will be sharing gift ideas for the people you love. Today I will feature gifts for the Artsy People in your life. They either love Art, or they are artists, and oftentimes: they are both! Here are some ideas to consider.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Museum Memberships

Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

Museum membership. Gift someone you love a yearly membership to the local museum! If you are in Big cities large cities such as New York, London, or Paris, you may have to choose between a few, but rest assured, most major cities (and even smaller cities) have beautiful art to see over and over again and new artist to be discovered!

Be Inspired by the Greats: Artist Books

There are hundreds of amazing artist books. I will share some that have caught my eye and interest lately:

Add to their Collection: Art Piece

Investing in an art piece can be intimidating: however, it does not have to be. Nowadays it is easier than ever to find beautiful art online. Platforms such as Saatchi or Etsy have made this process smooth and effortless. Of course, you could purchase originals, but also consider original and signed copies. Some artists I like

Last Words for your Artsy Friends

It is an art to make good gifts, no doubt, all we have to do is to listen carefully and act accordingly.

You can find my original art for sale here

Pondering on “The Power of Writing it Down”

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Last week I posted about great gifts you could get to book lovers, and today I thought I would talk about one of the latest books I have read: The Power of Writing it Down: A Simple Habit to Unlock Your Brain and Reimagine Your Life by Allison Fallon. It is an easy and quick read that encompasses lots of truths and pulls from many pieces of research and book I was familiar with., clearly and succinctly packaged. Reading this book has given me clarity on the benefit of such practice and why it feels so good to do “write it down”. I have had an interesting relationship with writing. I have never consistently kept diaries and instead wrote notes on various notebooks. I have to admit that since I applied myself to writing a journal more regularly I feel better.

the power of writing it down by allisonn fallon
Book on Amazon

Things to Remember about Writing Things Down

For the first time ever, I used a reading journal, and thought I would share some of the quotes I connected with personally and wrote down:

Our brain has been designed with survival in mind. They have mastered the skills of automating behavior to make it as easy as possible” page 7

This is not to say that writing is a cure-all or that we should all ditch our pharmaceutical drugs in favor of regular writing practice. It is to see that writing – if we are open to it – can have a measurable impact on every area of our lives including our mental and emotional health. Words are that powerful.” page 19

There’s something about capitalizing on charged emotion that makes the writing seem easier.” page 111

Your buried thoughts and beliefs are driving your behavior.” page 139

Writing is not a golden ticket or a magic pill. But facing a blank page, exactly because it is difficult is a tool proven by science to bring us back into alignment with ourselves.” page 162

Lying and keeping secrets has a long term impact on our physical, emotional and mental health … several studies I read presented evidence that secrets take a physical work and make us tired” page 164

Finally, I will share Fallon’s exhaustive list of “What Writing Can Help Us Do”:

  1. Name our experience so we can more fully understand it
  2. Give language to the future we want to create so it stops feeling vague and begins to seem achievable
  3. Build a bridge (neural pathways) between the now we’re experiencing and the future we’d like to create
  4. Heal and engineer our own resilience from past experience
  5. Find perspective for life’s challenges, large and small
  6. Invent brand new solutions for old age problems
  7. Build our confidence
  8. Increase our working memory and overall cognitive power
  9. Cultivate more gratitude and contentment
  10. Provide clarity for our decisions
  11. Increase satisfaction in our romantic partnership
  12. Level up our immune system, helps us sleep better
  13. Combat and curb anxiety, stress and depression
  14. Tune out the well meaning and critical voices around us so we can finally understand what we think”

and I Wrote: Using my New Knowledge

I wrote this list down on a board and displayed it at my even at the last event. Many people liked and inquired about it (you’re welcome Allison – and also thanks for putting it down). This book definitely encouraged me to be even more assiduous in my daily gratitude and writing practice, and maybe if you are like me, it will too!

Last Words about Writing Things…

Isn’t it amazing how such a simple task like writing can totally change your life? I don’t think enough people consider the benefit of writing things down. Looking back, I realize how it has been central to my betterment: in Highschool then later in college, I used it as a tool to study, in my poetry and my songwriting an attempt to express myself on topics that were close to my heart. Reading about the science behind it gives me an even stronger purpose to keep at it and makes me want to write even more and spread the word. This may as well be one of the most efficient tools to change the world as we currently see it, and I truly hope that I can be an advocate for that.

Here are some of my current gratitude notebooks. For more notebooks, please click here.

Holidays’ Editon: Gifts for Book Lovers

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Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev on Pexels.com

.Every Thursday until the holidays I will be sharing gift ideas for the people you love. Today I will feature gifts for book lovers. I love to read and one of my favorite things to receive are books! This is where I find a lot of my inspiration as well as wisdom. You can check a list of my favorite books here. Now, let us start with gift ideas for book lovers.

1. The Obvious

Gift Books! You can either support an independent bookstore near you or give a gift card to be used at a local bookstore!

Here are some books that just came out and which in my opinion will be amazing gifts for the holidays:

A kindle: although I am a big fan of physical books, a kindle become super handy when traveling. Instead of a bulky hardcover book (or if you are like me, a bunch of them), book lovers will be able to carry around as many as they want. Definitely, a beautiful gift to consider!

2. Reading Accessories

I have to say, these ones are game-changers for me:

The booklight: If you are anything like me and like to read in your bed at night, sometimes the local luminosity is not up to par. No problems: this light is awesome for that: it has 3 warm color intensities so it does not hurt your eyes. Honestly, one of the best purchases I made this year.

The Book Log: I used to highlight and write book quotes in my notebook. Not anymore: now I can just write them neatly in my reading notebook, so I can easily refer to them at a later date if I wish to.

The Bed Rest Pillow: give whoever invented this a prize! This is so comfortable and useful. I have found mine at Target, but I have been seeing similar ones at other department stores.

Bed Rest Pillow 

3. Cute Read-Related Wearable

Reading Girl Unisex Sweatshirt

4. Final Words you Can Read (Pun Intended)

Again: Mix and Match! A gift does not have to break the bank (IMO) it just has to be thoughtful.

Take care and Happy Holiday Shopping!!!

Week 1: Gift Ideas for Yogis

Week 2: Gift Ideas for Dancers

What I Have Learned About Anxiety and How I Learn to Deal with It

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Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com


I am a long-time sufferer of anxiety.

A few years ago, I was house/cat sitting at my friends’ house and while browsing their bookshelves, I found a short self-help book on anxiety that was pretty insightful,  which prompted me to look into it more and maybe I could find ways to “cope” with it.

What’s Happening When you are Anxious?

It’s complicated…

In my case, anxiety has increasingly been affecting my daily life for years in little yet significant ways. For instance, I would have plans to go out, and after getting ready – cancel at the last minute. It came to a point I just stayed home a lot when I should be enjoying the beautiful weather outside. Interestingly enough, I know that once I was somewhere, I am very open and chatty end up having an amazing time. That is probably why I felt very at ease during the lockdown and this past year… I had an “excuse.”

Apparently, for some (at least I believe it is for me) root of anxiety lies in “flight or fight response” although it does not cause any real life-threatening danger, the brain conceptualizes events as such and literally freezes me (everyone is different). 

Personal Ways to Cope with Anxiety

Once I was able to logically understand that anxiety was the result of chemistry + psychology, it gave me the leverage to be more proactive. Once you talk about it, you realize you are not the only one! It is possible to excel even with such a debilitating condition.

It pushed me to introspect and assess the personal reasons why I had to go through it – and still do. I personally started seeing it like an overprotective loved one attempting to prevent me from the possible rejection or embarrassment associated with letting myself become vulnerable in front of strangers.

Here are a few of my coping mechanisms:

Question it:

1. Am I Really in Danger? (for real for real??)

2. Be Prepared: regardless of how much I learn about it, anxiety is by nature unpredictable; therefore, I make sure to diligently practice to be able to go into “autopilot mode” whenever it literally takes over me.

3. Keep a Gratitude Journal: every day, I write down the things that I am grateful for in my Gratitude Journal. This allows me to stay positive even when things do not seem to be going the way I want. 

Denkyem 52 Weeks Gratitude Journal

Final Thoughts on Anxiety

One thing for sure is that these past few years have been game-changing and brought a lot to the table. I have grown a lot and kept merging into the woman I’m meant to be – and I learn a lot about myself and others daily: I keep reading, listening to podcasts, reading blogs and publications (check my favorites here) and self-assess/improve on a daily basis, and try to share what I am going through to inspire people out there.

Thank you for reading!

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Holidays’ Edition: Gift Ideas for Dancers

Since last week, and every Thursday until the holidays I will be sharing gift ideas for the people you love. Today I will feature the Afro Dancers Collection! Frankly, I have always loved dancing, but have been shy about it. As a kid, I did not experience much representation and although I tried dance class once, I never went back. I talk about it in the post. The Afro Dancers Collection portrays beautiful dancers wearing large afro celebrating Black hair in its entire glory. It is meant to normalize black hairstyles in all its form in honor of the CROWN Act. Please click on the link below to be redirected to the page!

1. The Wearable

Short-Sleeve Unisex T-Shirt
Dance is Better When You Dance Unisex Sweatshirt 

2. Accessories

Afro Dancer Yin and Yang Enamel Mug

4. Final Words for this Week

Mix and Match! Get Yourself of someone you care about a bunch of notebooks or a T-shirt with a matching notebook and a cup etc… Please find all the Afro Yogi Goodies on my website (Gift Cards Available – just NOT for the notebooks) – and the notebooks on my Amazon Page.Let me know if I can help.

Take care and Happy Holiday Shopping!!!

Check last week: Gift Ideas for Yogi

Giving Thanks: Why Being Grateful is Necessary All Year Long, Not Only on Thanksgiving!

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I was first introduced to Thanksgiving on a “Little House in the Prairie” episode: “what an interesting concept I thought to myself” – then went on about my day. Over the years, the prevalence of American shows on French television helped me conceptualize to a certain extent the “history” of this American Holiday. Until recently, I knew the holiday was important. Still, despite being acquainted with the codes and cues surrounding the festivities, I never fully understood its true significance and implications (even after moving to New York, being invited to a few “parties” and organizing my own “Friendsgiving”). For me, it came down to hanging with family and people you like, and of course: food. Let’s see how I went from knowing something, to actually understanding it.

The Awareness: How Language Shapes the Way We See the World

If you are bilingual or polyglot, you may have noticed that there are words or expressions you cannot translate – at least verbatim – from one language to another: there are no words, and even explaining can be tricky. What I did not realize until I watched Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky TED Talk is How Language Shapes the Way We Think – Mia Nacamulli explains further how bilingualism shapes our physical brain and how depending on the age we learn the language may affect our emotional bias when we speak it. 

Lost and Found… in Translation

In English, the words gratitude, grateful and ungrateful all have the same etymological root.” from Latin gratus “thankful, pleasing, goodwill” (etymology.com)

In French, the word for gratitude is “reconnaissance,” being grateful is “être reconnaissant(e),” and its antonym “ingrat” (ungrateful). Why does it matter? Although I knew the definition of these words in French, it never occurred to me they were indeed related, a bit the way birds are related to dinosaurs, you know? Plus, the word “ingrat” in my experience was solely used in one way: as a tool of manipulation to do things that were required to do (clean up my room or do chores). Additionally, it seems as if the word has a spiritual connotation (at least to me) and was in recent years of positive psychology that has been highly popularized. You can see it written everywhere: t-shirts, mugs, notebooks – in the meantime, (in a culture that prides itself for its secularism) nobody is walking around in the streets of Paris (or elsewhere in France for that matter) with a “Reconnaissante” t-shirt! *Bonus point: Grateful in English does sound way smoother when spoken out loud… 

Getting There

On December 12th, 2012 (12/12/12 <<< does this mean anything?) I watched Shawn Anchor’s Ted Talk The Happy Secret to Better Work. The same day, I ordered his book The Happiness Advantage: It blew my mind! One of the studies he shared showed that writing down 3 things we were grateful for during a period of 21 days had the power to rewire your brain for optimism and success. Since then, it has been a habit that I incorporated into my routine, something I try to do every day (I do skip some days, but try not to) – and I have to say: I always feel more positive and at peace when I journal and write down the things I am grateful for. One of my great pleasures is to go over my old notes and see how I either manifested something or was on the path of great outcomes.

Giving Thanks Everyday with Notebooks

2 in 1: The 3 Months Gratitude Journal

Gives room for daily gratitude practice+ and has an entire page for daily journaling. The cover features illustrations from the “Shine Bright Collection” and at the back inspirational poems so you too could remind yourself what is at stake. Comes in different covers!

The 52 weeks Gratitude Journals

6x9in (compact) – one-year journal – to succinctly write memorable moments and win of the day:

Square (8.5×8.5in) journals – one-year journal – with a little bit more space write your win of the day:

New Perspectives on Gratitude

This year for Thanksgiving, I find myself really excited and ready to embrace the significance of the holiday. Of course, I will look forward to good food but to honor it, I decided to challenge myself to start writing it down systematically.