I made this coat in January I think but I just never blogged it. As you can tell by the drippy nature of this, I clearly wronged you by not sharing sooner, but I am… More
So this phrase has been on my mind for a few weeks now. Joy comes. I really wanted to include a DIY with this post but honestly between a flu and extra long hours at work I didn’t want to add the pressure of rustling something together. Anyhow, joy comes!
2018 has been a big year of growth for me which sounds really great but in reality there have been a lot of growing pains. Coming to terms with things that I need to change about myself and areas that I need to improve. I can’t really say I am where I need to be but I’m definitely starting to gain some perspective.
I have learned that not addressing past hurt doesn’t make it go away
At some point I decided that steeping in my hurt feelings was a pointless activity and I really just needed to skip ahead to the part where I don’t feel hurt anymore. This could be with situations involving other people or ways that I have hurt myself. This year I have definitely learned that just because I didn’t address my feelings doesn’t mean that those feelings just disappeared. The root cause of whatever that hurt was lingers and slowly creeps back in when you least expect it. While I still don’t think it’s productive to wallow in disappointment, it isn’t healthy to ignore your feelings. I have had to allow myself to not be okay, to work through why I am not okay and I’m hoping I come out on the other side stronger and more capable.
I have learned to forgive myself
Contrary to what you might think, I’m actually not perfect…shocking I know. Surprised me too! Not being perfect means that sometimes I do things that either hurt others or hurt me. I get lazy, I get broody, I can be impetuous and irrational. In all of this, I learned and frankly am still learning to forgive myself when I get things wrong. You can only love others as much as you love you, so if I don’t forgive myself, it would be that much harder to forgive and give grace to other people. This also ties back to my first point about allowing myself acknowledge my feelings because if I’m honest, sometimes I feel guilty about being sad about things for too long. Reading that back, I feel a little silly but it’s true. I have had to learn to “forgive my feelings” for lack of a better way to frame that. I wouldn’t always feel how I want to but it’s okay and I mean truly okay.
I have learned that an important part of being happy is choosing to be happy.
Now while I may not always feel the way I want to, I can always choose happy. Choosing happy for me means surrounding myself with positive words and people. Doing nice things for myself like my nails or my hair. Saying good things about myself to myself. Acknowledging what I am grateful for and letting myself dream about the future. Choosing happy isn’t easy but it’s definitely worth it.
In all of this again I say, joy comes. Someone told me that joy and happiness are not the same thing. Happiness is reactive while joy is proactive. Joy is an overarching state of being that washes over everything in its path. I honestly don’t know why that phrase has been on my mind lately but I really believe it. Joy comes.
It’s the first day of November and we really don’t have much time left in 2018 but I hope joy comes for you real soon 🙂
Let me know in the comments any positive mantras that keep you going
Trying new things
This isn’t a fashion post but I still wanted to blog anyway. As you may or may not have noticed I don’t sew everyday so if you assumed that I fill my other days with eating cakes and crumpets well you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. I like good food and I cannot lie. It could be anything from a Kit Kat bar to Epkang Nkukwo but your girl doesn’t mind snacking on a thing or two at any given point. My mum and sister are both food bloggers so even more opportunities to support the snackery.
This weekend, I took my mum to a vegan restaurant. Yes, my Nigerian mother agreed to vegan food. With MINIMAL persuasion!!!! Let’s just sit on that for a quick second. I’m still wondering what the catch was. She only mentioned meat once during the entire dinner and I feel we truly judged the food on it’s merit.
I was really inspired by my mum’s willingness to try something that frankly was not in her comfort zone in anyway. How often do we just play it safe, carry on with business as usual and never try to do something really new? It doesn’t always have to be a big thing like moving to another country or dying your hair spirogyra green. It could be the little things; like walking when you would have taken the bus or talking to people when you would otherwise have scrolled through Instagram for the 15th time in a 20 minute time-frame.
I guess all I’m saying is that you have to be willing to do the unexpected every now and again. Maybe it would work, maybe it won’t but it will be fun to try 🙂
Restaurant – Hello 123
DIY Infinity dress
It’s been a couple of weeks but I’m back with the finale on this infinity dress. I finally had the fitting I spoke to you about and it went reasonably well. Pinch in the waistband, shorten the hemline and lengthen the tails to wrap around more and we were golden! Infinity dresses can be tricky with figuring out the best way to wrap them so you’re completely covered and supported. My client decided to supplement her infinity dress with a bandeau in the same color as the lining to give herself a little more flexibility.
This got me thinking, how do you respond when presented with a potentially challenging situation? As in the case of this dress, the alternative was the possibility of unplanned side boobage so she got creative and engineered herself a solution. While challenging situations don’t always present themselves as wardrobe malfunctions, the same theory applies; seize the opportunity to re-engineer the circumstance in your favour.
So seeing as I am yet to steer you wrong, here are my top three tips on re-engineering every situation to maximize your benefits. (Disclaimer: I have no way to prove that this is fool-proof. Apply at your own discretion. If symptoms persist after 3 days consult your doctor??)
- Assess the situation: You can’t fix a problem that you aren’t aware of . Take the time to suss out everything about the situation and pin point your pain points.
- Visualize your intended outcome: Now that you know exactly what you want to fix, simply imagine your life with it fixed! Silly as it may sound, visualizing outcomes helps you gain perspective and a clear picture of what completion or success means to you in any situation.
- Make it happen girl!: You are very capable of pulling together the resources required to problem solve and remedy challenging situations. Even if you don’t have these resources within your reach, you likely know someone with the skill-set to support you.
The point of all this is that you should not accept the bare minimum or a less than ideal circumstance simply because that’s what was handed to you to start with. You can and you absolutely should negotiate circumstances to align with your preferred experience.
You can start that business even though you have very little money, you can get that degree even though you’re new to the field, you can earn 6 figures even though you’re 25, frankly, your options are limitless! There would be several people who won’t believe in you, just don’t be one of them.
She can and she definitely will.
ps. My birthday was this week 🙂 well probably last week when I publish this. I’ve been taking the time to reflect on the past year and pray for the year ahead. Let me know in the comments any attitudes or goals you would like to carry forward
DIY Infinity dress
It might be Tuesday but I have not forgotten you. I’m just staying busy and trying to be as productive as possible. Can you believe it’s almost the end of August?! Where did summer go? Technically it’s still summer till I have to break out the cozy sweaters but all these Back to School ads are giving me anxiety even though I’m not going to school this September. In a few short weeks I’ll be 24 which also has me breaking out in stress sweat. I’ll have to unpack that later.
Today, we are here with an update on the infinity dress and – (drumroll please) – we are pretty close to done this week! I have added the lining to the skirt portion and attached this to the top. All that’s left at this point is adding in the zipper, hemming the lining and finishing any raw edges on the inside and of course, a fitting!
I’m not going to lie, I’m slightly nervous about the fitting. I am very actively trying to banish all self doubt and just be confident that I did this right. It’s like those cooking shows where you’re not allowed to taste as you go. When I sew for myself, I try things on constantly, tweak and adjust as I go. By the time the outfit is complete, I have tried it on at least 4-7 times to make sure everything fits like it should. I’ve mounted this outfit on my mannequin which is set to my client’s measurements but nothing’s quite like trying out the outfit to see how you feel in it you know?
Now this leads me to wonder, is there a time for us to go on faith not feeling? (ooo you better preach gurl!) But seriously, knowing how you feel is very reassuring but what about just trusting that the outcome will be good even if you don’t know how you feel? OR trusting that the outcome will be good even if you feel otherwise? In today’s world we are definitely very heavily directed by how we feel. Everything is a vibe, a gut instinct or in Nina Simone’s words; “Just a feeling”. While I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, it’s certainly easier than making decisions purely based on faith in an outcome.
Now lets take this one level deeper, do you have faith even in the absence of your expected end? To lay that out in practical terms, let’s imagine I’m waiting on the streetcar on a rainy day. First of all, my feeling would be to stay in my house, under my covers, away from all of damp civilization. My next feeling would be to Uber because the streetcar on a rainy day is particularly putrid. Nonetheless I have faith that the streetcar will come and be my cost effective solution to getting to work (my expected end). However, what if the streetcar never comes. It’s come on other days at other times so I know it exists. I’ve seen other streetcars pass by picking up passengers on the other side of the street so I know the process still works like I expect it to. However, what if my streetcar never comes? Do I still have enough faith to walk out the next morning with the expectation that it will?
I don’t necessarily have the answers to any of these questions; this is just where my mind wandered to today. Wish me luck on the dress fitting! Hopefully she loves it.
Let me know in the comments what’s on your mind today.
Celebrating in the hallway
My apologies for the missed post last week but I’m back again! Just a quick update, I have finally booked my road test (ahhhh!) I am taking some more driving classes to prepare for the test. Hopefully all goes well and I am certified to drive in about 6 weeks. My first driving lesson didn’t go horribly but it certainly wasn’t great so I have some ways to go.
Learning to drive has definitely been an ordeal for me. I’m still not sure how people get completely comfortable with it. Speaking of things outside my comfort zone, I am also making a dress for someone other than myself once again!! You might remember the first time I blogged about making a wedding dress, now I’m making a dress for a wedding guest. It’s all come full circle I suppose.
I’ll be making an infinity dress which means she’ll have a few different options on how to wear this dress. The dress is not complete however I wanted to take you all along on the journey with me. I typically post finished products and hardly ever show the process to completion. So far I have made the top portion of the dress which would be the “Infinity” portion. This consists of two strips, 10 inches wide and about 60 inches long. In this case, she wanted to play up the scalloped edges on the beaded lace fabric so I decided to tie it on my mannequin in a way that would showcase this detail. I will keep you updated as I build out the rest of this dress.
Sometimes it feels like, sharing your process is only okay when you know how the story ends. There is vulnerability in sharing the process when you don’t know if everything will be okay. On the one hand things could go flawlessly and you make very few mistakes but on the other hand, things may not work out how you want them to. Then what do you do? I believe you can still celebrate the process even when it doesn’t work out how you want. This falls neatly in line with my theme for this year which has been about living in the moment. Living in the moment means taking each step in the process like it’s the only one, reveling in the progression if you will.
Celebrating the finished product is great but it often misses much of the drama and emotion that got you there. Perhaps this is why I find occasions like graduations a little underwhelming. You are supposed to celebrate however many years of an education by walking across the stage and smiling. What if smiling doesn’t encapsulate all of the emotion that went into your degree? How do you fit in the smiles, tears, hugs, good grades, bad grades, relationships, breakups, weight gain, successes and failures in a 2 minute walk across the stage? However, if you take the time to appreciate each step and experience in your journey; good or bad, its certainly a more holistic way to celebrate
All of this being said, I will keep you updated when I make the skirt portion of this outfit and any future milestones towards completion.
Let me know in the comments what step in your journey you are celebrating today ❤
Financial education or the lack thereof
How are you all doing? Week off to a good start? If yes, wiggle your shoulders; if no, celebrate the people who are having a good start, your better days are ahead. Lately I’ve been watching a few channels of people who are getting out of debt and I find it so inspiring. While I’m not in debt (Thank God), I feel so much joy watching other people get financial freedom. However the one common thread I have noticed is that people don’t always get into debt cause they were “irresponsible with their money” contrary to what I believed. I have found that it often starts with an inevitable expense such as school, a medical bill or a lifestyle that you could once afford but no longer can; that snowballs with interest into an intimidating number that gives you anxiety.
I am always concerned about the stunning lack of financial education that I have received. I feel like I’m always a foul step away from doing lasting damage to my finances! It’s such a frustrating feeling because it seems like everything is mapped out till graduation but somebody forgot to mention the financial implications of that process or the life you will be embarking on. Yes you are earning a decent salary and that’s dandy but what next? Also don’t get me started on how taboo it is to talk about! You can’t ask someone in your field openly about how much they earn. We would rather go to Glassdoor -which is a great resource- to get the very same answer. We don’t speak openly about how people got into debt or even just the fact that you may be broke even though you’re working at a “really great job”. We live on credit so we can have a credit score and then proceed to die a slow death on credit because collections calls you religiously every week demanding a price much larger than what you actually spent.
I think talking about money is the next coming of age talk that everyone needs to have. We rightfully made such a big fuss about having the sex talk with pre-teens and adolescents so that they make informed decisions about their bodies and are aware of the changes ahead of them. We really need another “talk” for young adults. We need to demystify finances and speak more openly about our relationship with money and our mistakes. The system is certainly not built to support open communication on financial management but if we all share our lessons then maybe fewer people will feel so alone with the consequences of their financial decisions.
So here are some of my financial questions and if you have answers I’d love to hear them
- Why do we file taxes and why do we get money back when we do?
- Where can I check my credit score?
- Does checking your credit score really hurt your credit score? (This seems counter intuitive but I’ve heard it)
- When should you start investing?
- Who should you talk to about investing?
- What can you invest in?
- Has anyone tried WealthSimple? Is it really intuitive? Is it truly “simple” to understand?
- What’s the best kind of credit card?
- What interest rate is reasonable for a savings account?
- How much do you need to save to own a home?
- Can you buy a home without a mortgage? If no, what’s the best kind of mortgage? [Best for me in this case would be defined as something that I’m not stuck paying for the rest of my life.]
- How do other people manage a budget? I’ve tried Excel but it just felt like a lot of work to maintain.
- When/how do you start saving for retirement?
- Do I need to set up a pension account?
- How do I separate what I’m saving for? Once my emergency fund is set up, what next?
Some helpful resources I’ve found online are
- The financial diet: They share helpful tips on managing money and are a great launching pad to start having some slightly more informed discussions on money
- Aja Dang: She is working to pay off her debt right now and is sharing her journey in detail. She also has a budget template available
- Levo League: This is more career related than directly financial however there are some interesting articles that could help bridge the gap.
I’d love to hear for you. What money questions do you have? Also, if you have answers to anything I asked above please help your girl out 🙂
First of all I want to say I’m incredibly proud of myself for delivering a post every week for the last 4 weeks!! It’s the little milestones that keep you going you know. Without getting too long winded with this but it’s incredibly helpful for your psyche to celebrate yourself. It helps keep you going! So now to my other goals that I have shared with you over the last two weeks let’s see how I’ve done shall we?
- Wake up at 7am: I did relatively well on this in the first week. I woke up at 7am everyday but 1 in the first week I made this goal. This habit gave me a more relaxed start to my day and I was a lot less anxious in general. I felt more productive and happier having successfully woken up when I planned to. In the second week I relapsed into my regular sleeping habits for a little while because old habits really do die hard. I noticed though that my body would stir at 7am and I was making a choice to sleep past it. I’m back on the 7am kick and while it’s not incredibly pleasant rolling out of bed, I’m always happier for it.
- Sign up for driving lessons: I didn’t quite follow through with this goal but I made some moves in this direction. I contacted my driving instructor to confirm the process of re-enrolling for driving classes and as I type I have the G2 site open to book my road test. I don’t know why I’m so nervous about booking this because the worst possible thing that could happen is that I fail the test and honestly I wouldn’t be the first or last so I really should just bite the bullet and do it. I’ll keep you posted on this one when I finally work the nerve to book it
- Take my braids down: I did this!! Let my curly curls down. I mean I’m thinking of my next protective style but the braids came out anyway.
- Take a few minutes at the end of everyday to document moments that I’m thankful for: I really didn’t do this a whole lot unfortunately. I would like to carry this forward because I think its really important to be mindful of the good things that happen in your life
- Downsize my closet: I offloaded some items from my closet but I’m sure I could lighten up a little more. I will keep taking the opportunity to refine and pick out things from my wardrobe
- Do some career research: I am yet to dive deep into this but I have my to-do list prepared to tackle this goal
So in a nut shell I made progress on a good chunk of my goals but there’s room to do more :). Let me know in the comments any goals you’d like to work on this month.