Tuesday, August 21, 2018

5 Black Jewelry Designers

Hello, Gorgeous Ones! If you didn't know, I love jewelry! So much so, I've started ShopGLM.com, my online jewelry boutique. I've even designed my first piece, which I've featured below!


The excitement of dabbling in jewelry design made me think of some wonderful women who have been inspiring me for years in the craft. So here are my favorite, Top 5 Black Jewelry Designers.

1. Arimas Jewelry - I LOVE gold so her pieces really speak to me. They have inspirational messages engraved in them and they pay homage to our Black Culture. Her pieces have such an understated boldness that is perfect for everyday wear. She is based in Philly and I've even met her twice out & about. She was so kind both times. I can't wait to get some of her pieces.


2. Rashida Gurl - Gurl, her pieces give my whimsy side LIFE, okay?! Every piece is handpainted, unique, and makes a bold statement. Her jewelry is not for the one who says, "I don't know where I'm going to wear this piece." Her jewelry is for the "I love it so much I can rock it every day" bold and beautiful types.


3. Sheryl Jones Jewelry - Her luxury pieces are AMAZING. She has had some of your favorite celebrities dripping in diamonds on the red carpet. My future husband (who hasn't yet realized who I am) must get my wedding ring from Sheryl Jones.


4. The Tiny Tassel - I don't think there is a girl who doesn't like tassels. But imagine someone making an entire line of tasseled jewelry. Yep, The Tiny Tassel did just that. I love her work because it is so fitting for any SOUTHERN BELLE who loves cute, pretty, and girly things. I have to get to her store in Charleston, SC and I have to get my hands on a stack of tassel bracelets.


5. Traci Lynn Jewelry - This lady is a boss and has inspired Shop GLM's DREAMER Program. She has a wide range of jewelry for every type of woman. One thing I can say about all of Traci Lynn Jewelry: GLAM! Make sure you contact your local Traci Lynn Jewelry Consultant to get some glam in your life.


Alright, my loves! Stay fly, dripped, dipped, and adorned in your greatest accessory: LOVE. SMOOCHES XOXO

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This post is brought to you by ShopGLM.com, dreamy, lux jewelry for the Pretty x Inspiring. SHOP TODAY!

African American buying power is at $1.1 trillion, yet only 2 cents of every dollar an African American spends comes back to the Black community. Once I learned this, I started Trill2Sense as a way for me to keep track of all the Black-Owned businesses I wanted to support.

You can find more Trill2Sense posts HERE.

Be sure to follow @Trill2Sense on Instagram.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Viva Nicki

Holas, Chicas! I've decided to incorporate BOTDs (Beat of the day) where I just feature my makeup looks. I will still do some OOTDs. Wig season is approaching! You will be seeing some WOTDs, too.

This look was inspired by the 90s and female MCs. I immediately went for Nicki Minaj's first collaboration with MAC, Viva Glam Nicki, so that my lips could set the stage. More on how I achieved this look below:


Jewelry
KO Bamboo Earrings - ShopGLM.com
Protect Ya Necklace - ShopGLM.com
3 Stacks Boi Bangles - ShopGLM.com
H.E.R. Ring - ShopGLM.com

Face
Primer -Accidentally skipped it... never do that.
Eyeshadow, Blush, Contour - Almar Sales Co., Palettes from Five Below (I am a makeup novice on a budget; So yes, the inexpensive stuff is good for now)
Lips - MAC, shade Viva Glam Nicki
Lip Liner - Wet n' Wild ColorIcon Kohl Liner so faded that I can't read the shade. It's a dark, pinkish mauve
Lashes - Covergirl Queen Collection False Lash Drama, shade Very Black
Foundation - Covergirl Queen Collection Natural Hue Liquid Makeup, shade Q710 Classic Bronze
Powder - Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder Oil-Free, shade 05 Stay Spice (D)
Highlighter - Bellapierre Shimmer Powder, shade SP031 Diverse
Brow - NYC Kohl Brow/Eyeliner Pencil, 925 Sable
Concealer - E.L.F., shade Light
Setting Spray - I ain't prime, so I ain't set.
If the look is cute and you rocking with it, let me know in the comments below. SMOOCHES XOXO

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

It's Complicated

Hello, Beautifuls! Last year, I wrote an ebook entitled Building My Village. My book simplifies the process of building one's network of relationships, especially if you are an introvert. In the excerpt below, I discuss the differences between healthy & uncomplicated relationships and unhealthy & complicated ones.

*****

When adults try to sort out what we know and learned about relationships, we tend to focus on categorizing our relationships based on situational vs. intentional or other similarly ranked categories. We tend to believe intentional relationships outrank situational relationships. Yet, we should really be asking ourselves “are my relationships healthy and uncomplicated?”


Healthy relationships are full, well-meaning, and enjoyable connections that promote good health and are absent from strife. Logically, unhealthy relationships are the opposite of the former. Unhealthy relationships are partial, ill-intentioned, and unbearable connections that promote poor health and are full of strife. The term “healthy” and the description of “promoting good health” aren’t just feel good words. Relationships really do shape our minds and emotion. Our minds and emotions control our bodily functions with the release of happy and stress hormones. Healthy relationships can make you feel better physically and prolong your life. Unhealthy relationships can cause headaches, body pains, and, extreme in cases, disease and death.

Complicated relationships are difficult and confusing connections due to interactions that are conditional. On the other hand, uncomplicated relationships are easy and simple connections due to interactions that are unconditional. We often describe our relationships as “it’s complicated.” Complications aren’t a state of being. Things don’t have to be complicated; complications are choices. If a complicated relationship is based on conditional interactions, that means someone is making choices based on the situation in favor of their emotions at the time. Whomever the complication is coming from, that person is not considering the other. In an uncomplicated relationship, all parties are considerate of the other parties. Interactions remain the same because the interactions aren’t based on how one may feel on that particular day. Unconditionally, the parties of an uncomplicated relationship strive for the connection to remain easy and simple no matter how complex and complicated their own life may be.

Healthy and uncomplicated are those beautiful twins, who are always in sync. Unhealthy and complicated are partners in crime. I have never seen an unhealthy relationship that wasn’t at some point introduced to complications. I can even say that a relationship being unhealthy is a complication in itself. Two people deciding to stay connected though they are emotionally and mentally tearing each other apart is difficult and confusing. If all parties aren’t working diligently to make the relationship healthy, maintaining the connection is especially inconsiderate towards one another. Healthy relationships allow you to live, laugh, and love. Uncomplicated relationships allow you to release worry, doubt, and apprehension toward others. You can love freely when you are not watching your back.

*****

Make sure you watch or listen to this Pretty x Inspiring Session to hear what I have to say about complicated and unhealthy relationships. SMOOCHES XOXO

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Check out my book, Building My Villiage. It's free ;)

Watch this session HERE on YouTube
Listen to this session HERE on SoundCloud

For more Pretty x Inspiring Sessions, CLICK HERE.

Monday, July 30, 2018

6 Black-Owned Banks for My Friends & Family

Hello, Wonderfuls! This is my first official Trill2Sense post! YAY!!! In these posts, I will be featuring lists of my favorite Black-Owned products and businesses.


Before I suggest products and things you should purchase with your hard-earned money, I feel I should first address where we keep our money. Black-Owned Banks are the pillars of Black communities. Yet, there are now less than 30 Black-Owned Banks left in our country. Meanwhile, your favorite "big bank" probably has up to 30 locations in one metropolitan city. While I know celebrities made an initial plea a few years ago, I am pleading with you again. We can’t let our institutions fade away.

Some Black-Owned Banks are doing better than others, expanding, and gaining national recognition. I am so glad to see Black communities and businesses flourish. However, the Black-Owned Bank in your city may be struggling. You may say “Well, I want my money in a bank that’s doing well and not struggling.” My answer: The Black-Owned Bank is struggling because the people it set out to serve won’t bank with them. If your local Black-Owned Bank is struggling but it is still open, confirm that it is FDIC insured and protected, and then go open an account. Make sure you intend to use that account monthly. Start that savings account for that trip you want or all those Black-Owned products you want to buy.

Therefore, I’m not listing the top Black-Owned Banks. I am listing the Black-Owned Banks that are near my family and friends. I am starting at home and urging my loved ones in Philadelphia, DC, The Gulf Coast, and North Carolina to BANK BLACK.

1. United Bank of Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA


2. The Harbor Bank Baltimore, Maryland


3. City National Bank – Newark, New Jersey


4. Commonwealth National Bank – Mobile, Alabama


5. Industrial Bank – Washington D.C. (P.S. Marketing on AMAZING! Now I want an account!!)


6. M & F Bank – Durham, North Carolina


Once you open up your account at your local Black-Owned Bank, come back, comment below, and tell me all about it! I love us for real LOL… SMOOCHES XOXO
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This post is brought to you by ShopGLM.com, dreamy, lux jewelry for the Pretty x Inspiring. SHOP TODAY!

African American buying power is at $1.1 trillion, yet only 2 cents of every dollar an African American spends comes back to the Black community. Once I learned this, I started Trill2Sense as a way for me to keep track of all the Black-Owned businesses I wanted to support.

You can find more Trill2Sense posts HERE.

Be sure to follow @Trill2Sense on Instagram.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

This is an Alaïa!

Hello, Beautiful People! Yes, the title of this post is a Clueless reference. I have a very good reason for dwelling in nostalgia. The dress I'm wearing below reminds me so much of the dress that made Cher rethink a bullet. While my dress is not an Alaïa, it is very cute and it gives me 90s Beverly Hills Vibes. So check out how I styled my little red dress below:


Outfit
Little Red Dress - Hampton Nites, Thrifted
Distressed Jean Jacket - Lee Jeans, Thrifted
Fiery Fringe Earrings - ShopGLM.com
Midnight Marble Bracelet - ShopGLM.com
Silver & Gold Cobblestone Ring - ShopGLM.com
Stained Glass Bar Necklace - ShopGLM.com
Blue Suede Shoes - Potion-131 from Qupid



Face
Face Prep and Products by Jane Iredale (Thanks, Influenster!):
PurePressed® Base Mineral Foundation
BeautyPrep™ Face Cleanser
BeautyPrep™ Face Toner (THE BOMB)
BeautyPrep Face Moisturizer (The BOMB Again)
Pommist Hydration Spray (Setting Spray; The BOMBEST)

Lips - Attitude from Nude Matte Lipstick pack from Five Below
Eyeshadow - L.A. Colors 6 Color Metallic Eyeshadow BEP415 Eye Candy & E.L.F. Single Eyeshadow in Purple Passion

Any products you think I missed are probably listed HERE.


Alright, leave some product suggestions below. Did you love this look? SMOOCHES XOXO

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Dating 101

Writing about dating and actually dating (from what I can remember) strangely gives me the same feelings: excited, scared, anxious, jittery, nervous, curious, and insane for having so many conflicting emotions. Dating is a tricky subject for me because I haven't been on a real one since before 2011. When I say a "real one," I mean an outing to a public place where both parties have acknowledged a mutual interest in one another and they both agree that this is, in fact, a date. You can read through those lines as much or as little as you want. Thanks to an article I just read on xoNecole.com, I've realized that I am not alone.

Prior to now, I haven't ever felt completely ready to date, even if I had a desire to date. I have truly been working on myself since December 2011. Looking back at how much I've grown, how much I accomplished, and how busy I've been, there's no wonder why I wasn't attracting anything of substance. And per the usual, the guys I liked never liked me back. I just don't think my availability was visible to the right men. Plus, I wasn't exactly focused on being available.

With my 28th birthday approaching, I truly feel ready to date and I am open to the possibility of a relationship. But there is one major dilemma: HOW DO I DATE IN 2018?


Mind you, I don't believe I've ever dated successfully or long enough to have old strategies to pull from and fine tune. I don't have any clue what to do. What do I say? Where do we go? What do I wear? And clearly, what is an acceptable age range I'm comfortable with? Because while I would love to get to know someone my age, it feels like I am only approached by men significantly younger or older than me. I am too old to be with someone still in college and I am too young for someone who has a child 5 years my junior. And don't forget the psychos, creeps, stalkers, weirdos, sex-obsessed, don't know how to keep their hands to themselves fools. Like, is dating even safe?

As the questions flow in, I begin to wonder if I even really want to date. These aren't easy questions to answer and my concerns are valid. Yet the more I think about dating and the risks I am willing to take to experience the love I'm seeing all up and down my timeline, I realize that once again hope is outweighing fear.

I'm so hopeful about dating in 2018 that my mind and heart are open. I know I will date available, non-creepy, normal, yet amazing men my age who verbalize an interest that is mutual and use the word "date" :) But I want to do this right and I need your help.

Remember Pretty x Inspiring is a conversation. I will give my tips and insight to your feedback in the upcoming video. In the meantime, I want to hear from you! In the comments below, tell me about your dating experiences. Give me your tips and strategies. Let me know what red flags I should look for. Let me know what I shouldn't and should do. Girls and Guys are welcome to chime in. This is Dating 101 and I am your attentive student. Hopefully, this conversation can not only help me but help other people who are trying to re-enter the dating scene.

I respect opinions but be respectful in your delivery in the comments section. SMOOCHES XOXO

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Watch this session HERE on YouTube
Listen to this session HERE on SoundCloud

For more Pretty x Inspiring Sessions, CLICK HERE.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Sexy Sexy

Hello, Lovelies! This OOTD was quite simple. I just wanted something sexy but minimal. Let me give you the run down as quickly as I can:


Outfit
Black Sheer Top - Thrifted from my Granny's closet
Black Corset-ish Full Body Shaper - Maidenform
Black & White Floral Print Pants - Mossimo for Target (I got these pants in high school over 10 years ago)
Silver Shoes - Bennie-01 from Charlotte Russe
Earrings, Ring, Necklace & Bracelet - The Havana Collection at ShopGLM.com



Face
Primer -L'Oreal ParisMagic Perfecting Base (THE BEST DRUGSTORE PRIMER FOR ME)
Eyeshadow, Blush, Contour - Almar Sales Co., Palettes from Five Below (I am a makeup novice on a budget; So yes, the inexpensive stuff is good for now)
Lips - Covergirl Queen Collection Stay Luscious, shade Q740 Monarch
Lip Liner - Wet n' Wild ColorIcon Kohl Eyeliner, shade 603A Simma Brown Now
Lashes - Covergirl Queen Collection False Lash Drama, shade Very Black
Foundation - Covergirl Queen Collection Natural Hue Liquid Makeup, shade Q710 Classic Bronze
Powder - Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder Oil-Free, shade 05 Stay Spice (D)
Highlighter - Milani Eyeshadow, shade #11 Beach Sand
Brow - NYC Kohl Brow/Eyeliner Pencil, 925 Sable
Concealer - E.L.F., shade Light
Setting Spray - E.L.F., Matte Magic Mist & Set



Alright, let me know what you think in the comments below. What should I wear next?! SMOOCHES XOXO

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Crippling Fear of Entrepreneurship

After years of trying to manage my passions and dreams as hobbies or my "side hustles," I've finally made the leap to being self-employed. While I've tried in the past and contemplated the option many times over, fear would always swell up in my chest. What if I fail? What would I do for money? What will people think of me? What would my hardworking family members think of my decision? My doubt in myself, the minimal manifestation of my dreams thus far, and the lack of know-how always kept me in a cycle of doing things that would keep me bound and keep me from pursuing my dreams with my whole heart.


My mother was an entrepreneur. She was a master hairstylist with skill oozing out of her fingers, through the scissors, and into the perfect haircut. However, my mother struggled as a self-employed entrepreneur. I know encountering failure over and over again damaged her spirits and made her doubt herself and her ability. My mom would take breaks from hairstyling to work jobs. While she would work hard and even like her jobs at times, she was often unhappy. In between every job, and sometimes even during a tenure, she would always find her way back to hair. Her face would just light up when she had a willing client. She was her happiest when styling hair. However, she just couldn't make the business side work for her. She would say she needed help. She would say she needed more money. She would say she needed more information or to be more knowledgeable about technology. She would say she doesn't really understand how the industry had changed. While my mom would tell me every reason why it just wouldn't work, I knew the real and underlying reason was fear.

Fear is crippling. Once fear has power, it encompasses your whole life and seeps into every area. Fear will make you question things you know you know to be true. Fear will stop you from even trying. Fear is more than a state of being. Fear is a force that takes up space in your life and makes room for itself as you feed it your doubts and insecurities. Why do we get so comfortable with fear's presence in our lives that we let it stop us from pursuing the unknown, which could actually be better?

What I loved most about my mother as an entrepreneur is that she never gave up, she had identified her passion (often the hardest and longest part of the journey), and she honed her craft. I am glad I learned that from her. But now, as an entrepreneur myself, I've realized I can not inherit her fear.

I have been racking my brain on ways in which I can honor my mother's legacy. I've finally decided that if nothing else, I will not give fear a place in my life and I will succeed as an entrepreneur. No matter how long it takes. No matter how many times I have to try. I will not let my failures hinder me. Those experiences will be the fuel for my growth. I will learn what I need to learn. I will do what I need to do. I will get up early. I will stay up late. I will make myself uncomfortable. I won't worry about people's opinions about my life and decisions. I will pour all of the good ideas I have for everyone else into my own business. I will make my mom proud of herself for raising a driven, fearless, entrepreneurial woman.

This post isn't to encourage you to go quit your job so you can go live your dreams. It has taken me over five years to even get up the nerve to consider the option of self-employment. I now know that all of my work experience leading up to this moment has adequately prepared me for success. While some days I wish I could trade that time because it often felt wasted, it all will work out for the good of my businesses in the long run. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with working for someone else. If you are respected, treated fairly, compensated appropriately, and HAPPY, don't let this wave of "travel & work abroad" hype make you feel like you should want more than to be a valued employee. If you do desire to be an entrepreneur, pray and search your spirit and soul. You have to come to peace with all the good and all the bad that comes with being self-employed (which I will discuss in future BrandBuilder posts).

So, whether you want to be a self-employed entrepreneur, you want to go to another country, you want to move, or you want to shave all of your hair off, think about the pros and cons of your decisions all you want for as long as you need to. But don't let fear be the determining factor that stops you from pursuing your heart's desires. SMOOCHES XOXO

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Watch this session HERE on YouTube
Listen to this session HERE on SoundCloud

For more Pretty x Inspiring Sessions, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Skip A Day


Skip A Day
 a poem by Elisa Wiah

Hop over a second,
Leap over minute,
Run through an hour,
Skip a day.
A week of laughs
And months of joy
Make a year of what bliss is.
A decade of hugs
Leads to a century of kisses.

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Share, Comment, Like, & Follow. I will be releasing a poem everyday in April 2018 for National Poetry Month.

To read other original poems, CLICK HERE.

Support Elisa so she can write more. Every contribution helps! goo.gl/N5c95f

Friday, April 6, 2018

Melanin


Melanin a poem by Elisa Wiah

Brown Bodies
Mangled & Tangled
In a web of systematic defeat
Melanin only protects you from the sun
But not my son,
Or brother,
Or love
The terror caused by
The post traumatic depression
Of an event that has yet to occur
To you
But is consistently
the narrative of those
Of whom I share the same
Hue
This Brown Girl
Needs Answers
I need hope
In order to thrive
In a system designed
To orchestrate my struggle
The Only Reprieve
Is to Receive
The Awakening
Yes, we are woke
With dreams and drive
With love and real lives
We were never bound to systematic defeat
We come together
We mourn together
We struggle together
No matter your displacement in the diaspora
We are linked forever
Your melanin may not protect
But it guides and perfects
It shines and reflects
Moisturize generously
Don't Neglect

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Share, Comment, Like, & Follow. I will be releasing a poem everyday in April 2018 for National Poetry Month.

To read other original poems, CLICK HERE.

Support Elisa so she can write more. Every contribution helps! goo.gl/N5c95f

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Second


Second a poem by Elisa Wiah

Second best
Second thought
Second test
Second wrought
Second time
Second waste
Second mine
Second chase
Second guess
Second chance
Second bless
Second dance
Another second without you
Is time I can't do

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Share, Comment, Like, & Follow. I will be releasing a poem everyday in April 2018 for National Poetry Month.

To read other original poems, CLICK HERE.

Support Elisa so she can write more. Every contribution helps! goo.gl/N5c95f

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Finding Joy


Finding Joy  a poem by Elisa Wiah

Joy?!
Joy, For real.
Stop playing!
Where are you?!
I've been looking for you all day.
Well really, all year.
When I get tired of trying to find you,
I just chill with Melancholy.
She's alright, but she ain't nothing like you.
Melancholy, her friendship drains you.
But when you're not there, she just gets me the most.
Happy pops in and out at the right times.
She reminds me of you, but she ain't consistent.
Happy is a kinda-friend to everybody, every now and then.
But kinda-you is better than no you.

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Share, Comment, Like, & Follow. I will be releasing a poem everyday in April 2018 for National Poetry Month.

To read other original poems, CLICK HERE.

Support Elisa so she can write more. Every contribution helps! goo.gl/N5c95f

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Better


Better a poem by Elisa Wiah

How can I love you
when I just learned to love myself
If I can see all of my flaws
I know that you see them too
But you accept them all
In your eyes, my weaknesses turn to strengths
You like it, you love it
But I still want to be better for you
You deserve your match
A girl who can go toe to toe
With whom you see eye to eye
If your weaknesses get the best of you
She can carry the load
And strengthen you at the same time
Not just eye candy or your trophy
And not merely your muse
I want to make a sweet life with you
I want to win with you
Let's paint our masterpiece together
But first, I have to be better for you

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Share, Comment, Like, & Follow. I will be releasing a poem everyday in April 2018 for National Poetry Month.

To read other original poems, CLICK HERE.

Support Elisa so she can write more. Every contribution helps! goo.gl/N5c95f

Monday, April 2, 2018

No Hope


No Hope a poem by Elisa Wiah

I can't compete with my past
And from whom I've grown.
I can only try to change my now
And come into my new own.
I want to make it work;
I had so much hope to give.
But your hope in me had dissipated.
Our stifled dreams could not live.
I'm sad but I'm tired of not being enough.
I'm tired of being rejected,
Tired of having to apologize,
Tired of not being protected.
So maybe it had to end this way
And maybe I'll be forever alone.
But I'd rather know for sure
Than to keep on holding on.

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Share, Comment, Like, & Follow. I will be releasing a poem everyday in April 2018 for National Poetry Month.

To read other original poems, CLICK HERE.

Support Elisa so she can write more. Every contribution helps! goo.gl/N5c95f

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Mommy


Mommy a poem by Elisa Wiah

I miss you.
I wish you
Didn't leave so abruptly.
Kimberly,
The most beautiful girl
In the world
To me.
Mostly,
Because I will forever have your face.
Grace
And Mercy
Will forever follow you.
Thank you for your faith
And teaching me how to pray.
Some things I got from you
Were just innate.
I've learned more in your going
Than I did in your coming.
I was too much like you
And the conflict and struggle
To understand the oneness we held
Will forever leave me breathless.
I wish I would have understood you
While you were here.
Ease your fears,
Make the heartache
And pain
Fade.
Do you see me now?
If so, how?
Whenever you're looking,
I want to make sure I smile.
So you can see yourself
Happy
Thriving
Living
Giving
You made three things
Perfectly well.
In your chest, I pray
Pride still swells.
I won't ever stop
Protecting you.
I heard everything
You said.
I'll do everything
I said.

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Share, Comment, Like, & Follow. I will be releasing a poem everyday in April 2018 for National Poetry Month.

To read other original poems, CLICK HERE.

Support Elisa so she can write more. Every contribution helps! goo.gl/N5c95f