Our Moment to Shine: Women are Winning!

Last week Issa Rae said "it's a me season" and I felt that in my spirit, not just for me but women in general. Women are having a special moment right now and I love to see it! I see so many of us living out our dreams, walking in answered prayers, stepping out on faith, thinking bigger, investing in ourselves, letting go of relationships that don't uplift us, and helping each other flourish. 

I personally know several women who are literally living dreams they've been working towards for years this year. I have friends who have left toxic work environments this year and re-claimed their peace while starting their own businesses. I see women expanding their families and living out their motherhood goals. I see women God honoring the desires of the hearts of women and those women are flourishing!

If there is something you want to do, I dare you to write it down and speak it into existence. Imagine yourself living out your wild ideas. You know what's one of my "wild ideas"? Leadership development, specifically developing young leaders and women of color. I always tell my husband how I want to do more in the area of leadership development in the future because it's truly a passion of mine. Well, today I had the opportunity to speak to one of my directors at work and he asked me what I'm excited about. Something in my spirit told me to tell me to share that passion with him and he not only supported my ideas, he also gave me the green light to build upon my wild idea. I say all this to say speak your vision, write it down, you never know who is rooting for you and willing to help you until you speak life into it.

If you see another woman winning, hype her up! If you see a woman struggling, help her out! We are our sister's keeper. Let's pour into one another. 

If this post resonated with you, please share with a woman who needs some encouragement or a woman who inspires you!

Stying Straight Leg Jeans + Slowing Down

One of my favorite fall trends that is part of permanently part of my style staples is straight-leg jeans. At this stage in my life, I'm just not into skin-tight jeans (unless I need to tuck them into boots) and I find high-waisted straight-leg jeans to be extremely flattering and comfortable. I found this pair at H&M in September and they fit perfectly! I love that they are slightly distressed without too many rips and they are affordable at less than $40. The quality is also great and these jeans have some weight to them. I jazzed these jeans up with my favorite Kai Collective Gaia top.

Now let's talk about slowing down. Last week Sunday I woke up with a headache, backache, and no voice. It took two days for my voice to completely return to normal and it hit me, I was burnt out! Now, this burn out didn't happen overnight, it was a gradual thing. Between waking up early for work every day, mom life, wife life, our family social life on the weekends, and working on my content when I can my body was just plain old tired. I'm one of those people that sometimes feel like if I'm not doing a lot then I must not be doing enough. Well I'm here to tell you that is a harmful narrative to have about yourself. My body got sick because it was begging me to slow down and rest and I ignored it. So my body took control and slowed down which left me no choice but to slow down. 

Before facing this particular case of burnout I used to only get burnt out when I found myself in a struggle season and felt extra pressure to go go go. However, I realized that my body can be burnt out when things are going well. I was burnt out trying to keep up with all the good things in my life while unnecessarily adding more to my plate when I needed to be prioritizing rest. I'm in a season where I'm living in my answered prayers and feeling like I need to constantly be working towards the next best thing. Well one thing my good friend always tells me is that "you don't have to strive". You don't have to strive for blessings, God is already going to give them to you. You don't have to constantly be in go mode because rest is essential to your well-being and opportunities will find you even in moments of stillness. Trust that what is for you will not pass you by and it is okay to slow down.

As you walk through this week remember that there is no reward for overworking yourself. If you don't slow down your body might break down and slow you down. Sometimes the most productive thing for you to do when you know you've been going hard on yourself is to rest and rejuvenate. 

Shop my look here:

Slow Down St. John: Pacing Ourselves + Resting in Luxury Swimwear

As you walk through this week remember that it's okay to slow down. Life is not a race or a competition. While Spending last week in St. Thomas and St. John I noticed a lot of people there who are originally from the states or spent years living in the states and chose to make the islands their permanent home. When I asked some of these people what made them choose to live in St. Thomas, they all mentioned the slower pace of life was the key factor in their decision. They felt happier because they weren't rushing or living in a society that prides itself on grinding your way to death. They all had this calm and joyous energy that radiated through them based on the intangible elements of their lives. 

So as you walk through this week remember to pace yourself and enjoy things that nourish your soul.

If you could spend one week doing anything anywhere in the world and money was no issue, what would you do? Let me know in the comments section.

When I saw this swimsuit earlier in the year, I wanted it but wasn't sure if I needed to spend so much money on it. Well as the months went by and summer came, I decided that I deserved it. Also, the quality of this bikini is incredible. I also have a one-piece Andrea Iyama swimsuit from a few years ago and I have to say the quality is impeccable! I have no doubt this bikini will last me for years to come because it is so well made. It also comes in other colors but this orange spoke to me and I fell in love with it.

Shop the Look:

Life Lessons Birthday Reflection + Blue Dress

Happy new week! I celebrated my 28th birthday on Friday August 20, 2021, and my entire birthday weekend was amazing! On Friday, my parents came over my apartment and we enjoyed some of our favorite Indian takeout food with red velvet cupcakes for dessert. Just being with my family and enjoying so much good food warmed my heart. On Saturday my husband took me and 3 of my closest and oldest friends (whom I consider sisters) to dinner at Suede restaurant in Brooklyn and we had an amazing time! Like we stayed out late as if I didn't have to be up for work at 5:15am on Sunday morning and even got soaked running from the restaurant to the car at the end of the night lol. I can honestly say this was the best birthday I've had yet and I have God and my loved ones to that for that.

God has blessed me abundantly over the past year and I'm so grateful for this life I get to live every day as well as the abundance of love, support and joy in my life. Every day is not smooth and I face my fair share of challenges, but even on my hardest days, I am filled with gratitude when I remember that my whole life is an answered prayer. Like I really prayed, worked hard, sweat, cried, and sacrificed for the life I have now with the level of peace and wisdom I have now.

Dress- Rumours | Shoes-Steve Madden

I have by no means "arrived" because everyone has room to grow and there are always new levels to experience, but I learned some life lessons and had some epiphanies over the past year I'd love to share with you. So here are some life lessons:

1. Celebrate every win no matter how big or small.

2. Write down your goals. Every single big goal I achieved this year started as a prayer and then I wrote it down in my journal, on my vision board, or in the notes app on my iPhone.

3. The most important validation comes from God. You are not always going to get a "good job", "thank you" or even basic acknowledgment for doing something good or great and that is okay as long as God is pleased with you and your work.

4. You will inspire people who never give you credit or express gratitude for your influence. 

Even when I don't publish a blog post, I make it a point to share food for thought on Instagram because my first goal as an influencer is to inspire people. Two weeks ago someone plagiarized a piece of my writing and it really upset me and hurt my feelings. I pour my heart out into my messages and sometimes it takes me a while to think about what I want to say and all my longer thought-provoking captions are always inspired by personal experience and are messages for the both of us. So when this person stole my words I had to remind myself that my mission is to inspire and clearly the person was so inspired that she stole my words without giving me credit lol.

5. Give and accept grace freely. There will be many times when we are in need of grace from others and ourselves and many opportunities will arise to show someone grace. Be kind to yourself and others in those moments.

6. Say yes to opportunities and experiences that have the potential to bring growth and rewards. I said yes to working the night shift for the foreseeable future in July 2020. Working nights was not conducive to my sleep schedule or family time on the nights I had work, but I did it for a year, got a promotion, and now I work daytime hours!

7.  Creating boundaries for how you spend your time and checking your capacity before you make plans to do something is a game-changer. We live in a world where the constant grind to get up and go after things is glorified, but it's also grueling so pace yourself because if you keep going without adequate rest breaks you are bound to burn out.

8. Dream big. Remember that promotion I told you about in point number 6? Well in 2016, the younger silly me told my boss at the time I had no aspirations to do the job I have now. The truth was that I was intimidated by the job and didn't think I could actually develop into the person worthy of that job. Well, I grew over the years and realized that I was playing small by thinking so little of myself.  Somewhere between 2018 and 2019 I went through a major mindset shift, grew a lot closer to God, and decided to start prayerfully going after everything He wants for me by walking in my purpose, dreaming big, thinking big, and praying more purposefully and my whole life changed!

I hope this blog post gave you food for thought and resonated with. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

Capacity Planning, Colorful Shorts + Crop Top

When was the last time you checked your capacity? 

If you've ever worked in business operations, the prase capacity planning has probably come up pretty often. In my line of work, capacity comes up all the time. In fact, capacity planning is so crucial to the success of the business that we have multiple meetings dedicated to it each week. Capacity planning basically means that we plan for the work that we want are asked to take on and will work out possible solutions to meet that demand. If we are asked to meet higher demand that we have the capacity to take on based on our available labor hours, then we will have to cap down to our limits.

Capacity planning can also be applied to our everyday lives. Before you put something else on your plate, check your capacity. If you find that you don't have enough time, energy, whatever the resources may be that you need to complete all the things you want to accomplish on a given day or within this week, be real with yourself and set your limits. Personally, capacity planning creates more peace and limits stress and burnout because we set boundaries to not take on more than we can handle. So before you make any more plans for the rest of this week, check your capacity!

Some ways to address capacity in your own life and plan accordingly are:

  • make a list of your needs and wants, then prioritize them
  • set goals with different timelines so you are not putting unrealistic pressure on yourself to accomplish something that may take more time and planning
  • set boundaries for your time
  • say no to things that don't bring you peace 
  • learn to rest often and give yourself grace

Outfit details: Top-Zara | Shorts- Farm Rio | Shoes-Katy Perry Collection

A Promotion Worth Praying for Part 2

The life you are dreaming of and praying for is possible.
The life you want to live is possible.
You are worthy of living the life of your dreams and so much more.
Nothing is impossible with God.

When I wrote about getting promoted a little over a year ago my next promotion was not on my mind. Heck, my next promotion was not on my mind even a few months after getting promoted. I was just grateful to have been promoted and was soaking up the blessings of my season as a newly promoted manager. 

But I'm here to tell you that by the grace of God, one year after I got my first promotion, I've been promoted again!!! So I want to tell you, that after you reap your harvest and enjoy the fruits of your labor, plant again. Even when you've arrived at a destination, there are so many more places to experience. Think of yourself as a tree or flower that keeps on blooming. In the case of my first promotion, I waited, prayed, worked hard, and lamented with God for nearly 5 years. So when I finally got the promotion I decided that was enough for me for a while. But then an opportunity came to launch a new site with my company and I decided to reach for more by letting my direct manager and site leader know that I was interested in taking my skills to new territory in July. The move came with a little more money, a significantly heavier workload, and the opportunity to develop several leaders who were either new to the company, newly promoted or new transfers to our department.

So I decided to give my utmost to my job and my team when my site launched in September 2020. I poured in all my knowledge and significant amounts of time into this job. I never once asked for or demanded a promotion from my superiors. I simply put in the physical, mental and spiritual work because I wanted to do well and I knew promotion was possible even when no one was talking about it. My family supported me 100% which looked like my husband taking on even more responsibility with our son, my mom came over on Sundays to help us around the house and my dear sister-friend and her parents who offered to keep Avery for weekends here and there when she sensed I just needed a break because juggling motherhood and a demanding career is tough and there is no playbook with how to handle it. My prayer warriors never took their minds off me. 

To be honest, when I started working at my new site I wasn't sure how far I wanted to grow in this department, but one thing I was sure about is that my work would speak for itself. Excellence always speaks for itself. So every day I prayed for the Lord's favor to be upon me and every day He gave it to me. I've been praying this prayer since before I got my first promotion and I have never stopped praying it:

        " Dear God, please help me to find favor with my superiors, my peers, my subordinates, my                           support partners, and all whom I need to be successful"

Now, this doesn't mean that every day went according to my will, but according to God's will. The good days were glorious and the days I wished for better were never as bad as they could have been because God was with my team and me. Soon my team became number one in our sub-region at the time and I got selected for several opportunities that could only be described as a reward for excellence. By January 2021 my site leader told me to start withing my promotion document. Fast forward to April 2021, I got THE BEST annual review/compensation review I have ever received in my career. 

In May, my manager called a meeting with a few other co-workers to publicly announce that I was promoted. After we finished celebrating for a few minutes, two black women separately pulled me to the side to congratulate and thanked me for showing them that anything was possible. Now that was an answered prayer for me because something I have prayed for years is for God to allow me to be a positive example to other people at work and to help me to make space for more women and leaders of color. Another amazing thing that I want to tell you is that I was able to help three amazing leaders get promoted since joining my team in September 2020 as well which is also an answered prayer because one of my missions and prayers in life is for God to allow me to lift others up as He elevates me.

Top-Asos | Jeans- H&M | Shoes- Nine West | Bag-Coach | Full outfit links and similar items are available here

I know this was a very long testimony and there are so many details that I haven't even written down because it would take so long (maybe I should do a video), but I promised God that long before He promoted me, I would honor Him by sharing my story. When God does something great for you, you owe it to Him and the people around you to share your story. I don't know who needs this testimony, but I want you to know a few things God has taught me through my career:

  • The days ahead of you are greater than your past 
  • God can transform your financial situation in a few months, a year, or a few years. God increased my salary in less than a year and nearly doubled my starting from 6 years ago this year. I don't tell you this to brag but to let you know that if God can do it for me, He can do it for you too.
  • There is no substitute for hard work.
  • Your success will require you to sacrifice. I spent more hours away from my son and husband at work over the past year than ever before. I've barely seen my friends. 
  • Be consistently excellent
  • Create boundaries with your time, respect them, and require other people to respect them as well.
  • Do not hoard your knowledge. A good and wise manager always shares their knowledge with others who are willing to listen, learn and apply it because you're only as strong as the people on your team, and some work is too great to accomplish alone.
  • Don't wait for a special occasion to treat yourself. Big wins are always preceded by several small wins so celebrate the small wins. The coach bag I'm holding in these pictures was a gift to myself in April. Prior to getting the bag I often told myself that I'll treat myself to something nice when I get promoted, but I decided that I deserved that bag in April because I had been working hard for a long time and decided to gift myself.

Family Funday + Fashion at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Happy new week! My family and I had the most beautiful day in Brooklyn this past Friday. Both my husband and I happened to off from work so we decided to turn it into a family fun day! Going to Brooklyn in the summer is a must for us. We have plenty of family here and some of our favorite spots are in Brooklyn like the Botanic Gardens. So we decided to start our day with a visit to my sister in-law and her family where we had an amazing lunch (she's an amazing cook and I need some lessons from her), then we spent a few hours in the garden. After gallivanting through the garden for several hours, we winded down our day at my brother-in-law's house where Avery and I fell asleep on the couch while my husband and his brother caught up. 
Seeing Avery run around so joyful and carefree made my heart smile. I hope he always basks in that joy as he continues to grow and discover more of the world.
This was our first time in Brooklyn this year and it felt wonderful to be among family and the beauty of nature. Kofi and I have been to the gardens a few times before we became a family of three, but this was our first time bringing Avery. It was so fun to watch Avery run around the garden exploring and enjoying the beauty and freedom of nature.

My high-low babydoll dress is from the Christopher John Rogers x Target Collection and I think it was the perfect dress for the garden. My husband, who does not give me fashion advice often, suggested I wear the dress with sneakers and I'm glad I took his advice because I think it made the look even more fun. The dress is sold out on Target's website but you can find it in several places on ebay and poshmark

As you walk through this week, I hope you stay close to places and people that bring you joy from the inside out! I hope you're able to find peace and beauty in the most simple moments and savor your experiences.