New Month, New Wins and Why We all Deserve Nice Things


Hello! I hope everyone is doing well. It's a new month so I figured that it's only right that we kick it off with a new blog post. I had no intention of pausing from blogging during the month of April, but life happens. April was such a full month for me that needed more of my attention. In full transparency, it was one of the most exhausting months of my career this year but it was also an incredible fruitful month. 

Celebrating wins: Some of my highlights during the month of April were receiving the best annual review and compensation increase I have ever received in my nearly 6 year career, being chosen to go on a business trip that turned out to be everything my soul needed, getting my hair straightened for the first time in years, purchasing a luxury bag I've had my eyes on for months, and most importantly celebrating 3 years of marriage with my husband because life is nothing without relationships!

Reflections/ Lessons from April:
  • Seasons of fruitfulness are always preceded by seasons of rain: I've been working hard throughout my entire career, but working nights (which I have been doing since August) is a new level of hard that took a toll on my body. Working nights also came with longer hours which honestly made me feel burnt out sometimes. So being recognized for my excellence and hard work in the form of a positive annual review and pay raise was deeply satisfying because it took a lot of sacrifice, grit, and determination to get to the place I'm in today. So if you feel like you have been putting in work towards whatever goal you have and you're not seeing results, trust and believe that your time is coming and it will be glorious!
  • Celebrate every win: It's easy to be so focused on achieving big goals that we forget to pause and enjoy the milestones along the way. While I'm still working towards and waiting on my next promotion, I can still celebrate every win along the way like my review, raise, being acknowledged for my leadership by my peers, superiors, etc. I even celebrate being able to get 8 hours of sleep on my days off and 7 hours of sleep on a work day because the little things make such a huge difference in our well-being.
  • You deserve nice things:  I often tell my husband and friends that I'm going to buy a luxury bag when I get promoted to reward myself. However, I've started to realize that we don't need to wait for a special occasion to treat ourselves. I had my eye on the Coach Pillow Tabby 26 as soon as it came on the scene but told myself I should not be spending $500 on a bag when I have rent, daycare and personal savings goals to think about. The truth is that housing expenses, childcare costs and my savings goals are not going away anytime soon and I can afford to splurge $500 on a bag because I work hard and I deserve it. When I asked my husband if I should buy the bag he said: "You work hard for your money, you literally sacrifice sleep to earn your money so you might as well enjoy it". Now, I didn't need my husband's permission to buy the bag but just knowing he supported my purchase made it easier for me to treat myself. So treat yourself every once in a while or whenever you feel like it and have the means to do so!

Blazer-Asos | Pants-Asos | Suit Crop top (worn under blazer)- Asos



How to Style the Kai Collective Gaia Top

If you don't know about Kai Collective, allow me to introduce you. It's a black woman owned brand founded by OG fashion blogger, Fisayo Longe. Her brand includes pieces for every time of women from those who like to be sexy and show some skin to those who prefer more modest silhouettes. I'm wearing the Gaia top and what I love about it the most is the blend of colors. I feel like this top can be worn all year round because it's light enough for warmer temperatures and can be layered when it's cold. This top is my favorite high neck top ever and I love it so much that I dedicated a whole iG reel and pinterest video to it. So here are 2 ways to style it:

Top-Kai Collective | Pants-Asos | Shoes-Nine West

Wrapped up in Confidence and Pretty Patels


It may technically still be winter but spring is definitely near! One of my favorite color pallets to wear during the spring are pastels. Since it's still cold outside, I decided to incorporate spring pastels into my winter wear with this Asos knit dress and old Banana Republic Coat. Something about color seems to always brighten the mood and bring joy so I'm embracing it more and more as spring nears.  

Dress-Asos | Coat-Old, similar here | Boots- Nine West also available here

Weekly motivational message: As you walk through this week, remember to wrap yourself in confidence and self love knowing that you are equipped to handle everything that comes your way. 

I got some exciting news last week that I was not expecting. It turned out to be the answer to prayers I've been praying for years. To be honest, I felt excited and somewhat nervous after receiving the news because as the saying goes, "to whom much is given, much is required" and I've learned in my career that consistent excellence and good work is often rewarded with more challenging work. My new assignment is my biggest challenge yet and it's a huge undertaking. So I'm hyping myself up to have a great week and talking back to every nervous and anxious feeling that tries to creep up on me. Remember, you were created to shine through this season, even when you encounter challenging experiences. We were created to prosper!


Color Block Style: Red Slip Dress and Pink Blazer


Blazer-Asos (sold out), similar here and here | Dress-Target x Cushie Collaboration (sold out at Target) but found it on poshmark, also love this red dress | Shoes-Katy Perry Collection (Old)


I didn't realize how much I enjoyed the pink and red color combination until I put together this look a few weeks ago for Valentine's day style inspiration. We technically still have a few weeks left of winter, but the weather is finally warming up a little bit to the 40 degree range in New Jersey which has me so ready for spring and more colorful style. I tend to gravitate more towards neutrals in the winter but warmer spring weather makes me want to wear more color so you can definitely expect to see more colorful looks. This dress can be worn beautiful by itself or layered with a blazer or other pieces like I opted for. If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw a few different ways this dress can be worn.  


Running into the Week Refreshed

Happy new week! I can honestly say that I'm starting this week the most refreshed I've felt in months. Why? Because I made a conscious decision to lean into rest heavily over the past few days and do nothing but engage in activities that I enjoy, nourish my soul and leave me feeling happier than when I started (like cleaning). This looked like spending ample time with my husband and son, creating content because you know how much I enjoy fashion, actually finishing two books I've been reading for months, cleaning up my apartment, cooking, etc. It also helped that I enjoyed 5 days off from work so I was basically on a staycation. So it got me thinking, how can we start every week feeling refreshed even when we can't take off 5 days from work to engage in self-care: 
Coat- Missguided (old), never version here | Sweatsuit- H&M | Sneakers-Nike also available here and here

  • Carve out some dedicated time before your workday begins to be still. I usually do this before going to bed because once I wake up to get ready for work, I'm in go mode. This time can be devoted to meditating, prayer/devotions, journaling, reading or whatever actives create calm in your atmosphere and nourish your soul.
  • Turn off notifications or designate certain times throughout the day when you're not going to check notifications and/or put your phone on silent so you don't get distracted. I find that the more I'm checking notifications or scrolling through social media near bedtime or when I first wake up, the less at peace I feel. 
  • Create boundaries with how you spend your time and honor them. I don't think we need to elaborate on this too much. So all I'm going to say is that wasted or misallocated time can never be recovered. Steward it well.
  • Do not crowd your calendar during your time off with too many social events. Also, we're in a pandemic so if you spend every weekend out and about socializing without a mask, I'm giving you the side eye. On a serious note, we all crave human connection especially now. As fun as it is to hang out, it's easy to feel tired after a day or night out with friends because having fun requires rest afterwards. So I don't pack too much into my days off. If I am spending time with friends during one of my days off one week, I probably won't make any social plans the next week or only group my social plans to one day of my weekend so I have a day dedicated just to rest and another day dedicating to getting things done around my home (yes I almost always have three day weekends because I work full time 4 days a week). 
  • Give yourself grace. It's not the end of the world if you don't accomplish everything on your weekend to-do list because you chose to rest instead. Your body will thank you for not being depleted. 


Time, Style and Taking Care

Living through the pandemic definitely made me evaluate the depth of my relationships, not just with people but with things, institutions and most of all my relationship with time. Before the pandemic, I viewed time as something that would always be on my side when I needed it to. Losing some “normalcy” and dear loved ones last year made me reflect. Before COVID My mindset was: There will always be time to do tomorrow what I neglected to do today, to reach out to folks, to rectify situations, to meet goals, etc.

The reality is that time is one of the most precious resources and how it is spent literally shapes the present and trajectory of our lives and relationships.
As we navigate through a life with limited time my intention is not to put off for tomorrow what I have the capacity to do today. How are you taking care of your time this year? Do you set intentions for how you spend your time?
Top-H&M | Jean-Uniqlo (old) similar here | Boots-Nine West

Like many people, I spend a lot of time at work. For the past few months, I’ve had at least one day in my work week that is extremely challenging physical and mentally. Those type of days leave me feeling tired down to my soul because those are the days I pour out all my energy but don’t always refill my cup. As tough as those days are, I’ve learned to not be defined by them but refined through them. A challenging day does not equate to a bad week. It means I simply have to do a better job of taking care of myself and prioritizing my wellbeing. So I decided to take off work today as self-care day to replenish me. How do you pour into yourself when you feel like you spent all your energy?

Thank you @mvmt for this watch! Use my code THEYSAYASH15 to gift yourself or someone else a special time piece.


Celebrating Black History Month & Family Style

How are we celebrating Black History? By doing the same things we do every month: standing in joy, moving with excellence, taking pride in everything that makes us who we are, being good examples for our son, showing him why representation matters, teaching him about the richness and diversity of black culture, and the list goes on.

Shirts are linked for each person: Ashley-sold out but shop the collection here | Kofi | Avery

As a black mom, it's my joy and duty to instill the love and pride of blackness into my son. I want him to see himself represented not just in our home, but everywhere as he grows up and continues to take space in the world. I want him to know that he is loved and celebrated and that he stands on the shoulders of giants! I want Avery to understand that greatness of the ancestors and the sacrifices they made for us to be in this country. Most of all I want him to know that he is perfectly made because he was created in the image of God!  I could go on and on but I'll keep this short and sweet. 

I was so excited when my husband and I found these shirts from Target's Black Beyond Measure Black history month collection (shoutout to #targetstyle). The fact that Target spotlight's black people and black owned/founded brands is another reason why it's one of my favorite stores. So if you're in the market for apparel celebrating black culture, check out Target or any of your favorite black owned brands!