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. 

Blazers, Boss Moves & Kicking Imposter Syndrome to the Curb

May was a fast, exciting and grueling month for me.  I celebrated a big win I new was coming and it felt really good to look up at my vision board and cross off the biggest goal five months into the years (more on that in a future blog/IG post). I got sick for two weeks during May and really learned what happens to my body when I try to power through work at the expense of my health: two fevers and burnout. So I decided to listen to my body and be kind to it by taking multiple days off from work during May and June, got back to writing in my journal, reflected on my growth and spent some quality time with God praying very intentional prayers for this interesting and exciting season of my life.

With so many good things happening to me, imposter syndrome and anxiety crept up on me as it often does when things are going well and bring about unknowns. So this is a reminder I wrote myself this weekend:

As you walk through this week, remember that good things are coming your way and you are deserving of them all. Don't let imposter syndrome talk you out of the goodness and glory you have earned. Fear is no match for your blessings.

I also wrote down this message/reminder last week: 

You will never need to sacrifice your boundaries, faith or mental health to achieve success.

Recently someone had the audacity to ask me to ponder if I could stay trie to my faith and respect my boundaries while maintaining a certain level of success or working towards greater achievements. I was able to smile at that person and confidently tell them that my boundaries are firm and require respect because I know that the success that I have experienced throughout my life is because I made a decision a long time ago not to sacrifice y boundaries or faith to flourish in this life.

Remember that success has no ceiling when you're living in your purpose and honoring God.

So that's the message for this week. I hope you are encouraged to walk confidently and live your best life.

Blazer- Farmrio | Jeans-Old Navy | Shoes-Katy Perry Collection

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! 

Snow Day Slay & How to Navigate a Storm


Coat-Zara | Jeans-Uniqlo (sold out) similar here | Ankle Boots- Nine West | Sunglasses- MVMT

When you find yourself in a storm you have two options: wait for it to pass or work your way through it. I'm a work your way through it girl! With all my 27 years of life experience on this earth I can say with certainty that storms are inevitable. You can prepare for them when they're forecasted and you know the end date (like with the snow we've been experiencing in the tri-state area on and off for the past week and a half). However, I've realized that most storms in life come with little to no warning. If you know the signs of an oncoming storm, you can brace yourself and strategize a way to get through it. 

So what do you do when you're in the midst of a storm with no end in sight? Well I take a few approaches:

  • Strategize and seek counsel: I know I'm not the only one going through the hard things I'm experiencing at times so when I find it difficult to cope I pray, seek the wisdom and knowledge of those who have successfully made it out of the storm I'm in, and make an action plan. One thing I have learned in my career in operations is that you will either fail without a plan or you'll win but won't understand how it happened which means you likely won't be able to replicate that win again. Unless you learn to review that win with good guidance, wisdom and study it of course. 
  • Savor the calm moments: last week Monday I had to drive home from work in the early hours of a blizzard. For starters my car was skidding which really had me driving on faith in God to get me home. Then my car got stuck on a back road and I felt frustrated until a good samaritan saw me struggling to move my car and pushed it out of the snowy rut it was in so I could drive again (God is always looking out for us). When I finally made it onto the highway I felt peace, the snow was still falling but the highway was much cleaner than the back roads I was on and I felt safe. The highway was well salted so I wasn't worried about obstructions popping up.
  • Do the things that bring you joy: Just because life is challenging you at the moment doesn't mean you can't lean into things that bring you joy. I have several sources of joy and two things that always brought me joy are wearing cute outfits and having them captured because I love creating content! When I saw these sunglasses from MVMT, I knew I wanted to wear it with a look that incorporated black and white, hence my black coat and white boots. Sunglasses are an easy way to elevate an outfit and instantly look cool! If you're interested in these or other cute pair of quality sunglasses, use my discount code THEYSAYASH for 15% off any item from MVMT.

Mapiful: The Perfect Just Because or Valentine's Day Gift

Let me preface this by saying that my husband and I usually don't buy each other gifts for special occasions. When we first starting dating 6 years ago we decided that we never wanted to use a holiday as a reason to gift each other something special, so we randomly give each other gifts just because. For example, my husband got tired of me borrowing his air pods last week so he decided to gift me my own pair haha. Around the holidays my husband mentioned missing home. He's originally from Tobago and has always wanted our family to visit for Christmas. Due to covid and work schedules, visiting the Island was not possible last year. So when Mapiful reached out to gift me with a custom print, I thought this would be the perfect time to give him a piece of his native home right in our apartment. So we went on the Mapiful website and designed a Trinidad & Tobago map just for him! He insisted on it being red, white and black because those are the country's national colors. With Valentine's day approaching in a few weeks I thought a Mapiful print would make a perfect gift for your special someone!

Boho Chic: Fringe Sweater & Yellow Faux Leather

Style: One of my favorite things to wear in the winter is a chinky knit sweater! I love this sweater from Lovestitch because it's warm, stylish and unique. The tassels pretty much made me get it and the neutral hues make it contrast well with bright colors like this yellow skirt I got from Zara a few years ago. I can also see this sweater going great with with denim or black faux leather pants for alternate looks. How would you style it?

Food for thought: Don't let a cloudy day dim your light. As you can see, I shot this outfit on a cloudy day and clearly it sparked a message. As you walk through this week remember that you can't always control your environment, but you can control how you respond to it. No day is perfect but your attitude can make a rough day better and a good day great. So be the light your environment is lacking and have a blessed week!

All You Have Is All You Need + Styling A Striped Sweater

I heard some say that "all you have is all you need" and that really resonated with me. How many times have we told ourselves that we are not equipped to to do one thing or another because we lack the resources. The truth is that if what you want to do is in alignment with your purpose, you already have what you need to start or continue. It's natural to want more. I want more money so I can buy a house, go on multiple vacations a year, buy more things I don't need and the list goes on. I want more time so I can put more energy into content creation, spend more time with my family, spend more time with my friends in person than on the phone...you get the point. 
Sweater-Asos (old) | Jeans-Old Navy | Ankle Boots- Target (old)
Truth is, maybe I don't need more, I just need to be a better steward of what I already have in this season. If I save more aggressively I can buy a house sooner and go on more than one or two vacations a year. That means I have to stop spending $50 here and $100 there on things I don't really need each month because those dollars add up. There are 24 hours in a day and that's never going to change, so I have to set more boundaries for myself to manage my time better. That could mean batch creating content on the weekend, respecting my screen time boundaries so I can spend more time investing into me than endlessly scrolling. Now, I started doing these things already and I'm already seeing the difference in my life. Lately my prayers have been less of Lord give me more and Lord help me to be a better steward of all that you have given me and He's shown me that all I have is all I need. If this blog post blessed you, share it with someone. Let's uplift each other!

Hello 2021! New Year, New Goals?

Happy new year and hello 2021! One thing last year taught us is to prepare for surprises and be ready for blessings at all times. I quietly jotted down a list of goals/prayer request to God for this year on January first, but I still plan on writing down more along with some action plans. The truth is I feel like I need a few uninterrupted hours to sit in silence, think and write and I have been too tired to wake up a few hours before my son to do that yet. However, I hope to make that happen this week. So if you have yet to write down all your goals for this year, make a vision board or perform whatever new year ritual helps you set your intentions for the year, you're not alone. I've also come to realize that we don't need to set all our goals for the year in January. You can make a decision to accomplish new goals as they come to you. If last year was tough on you and your only goal for this year is to survive and be better than you were yesterday, last week or last year, that is okay too. Don't necessary pressure on yourself and preserve your mental health at all costs.

Many of the goals I wrote down on Friday are a continuation of goals I achieved last year and intend to keep building on. For example one of my goals last year was to collaborate with brands I love and I was able to do that by the grace of God! This year, I plan on continuing with brands that resonate with my style and that I think you, my audience will enjoy. This sweater I'm wearing is from collaboration with Lovestitch. I was drawn to this sweater because of the colors and the fact that I can style it multiple ways. I opted to pair it with denim but think it would also look great with corduroys. I was also really impressed with the quality and warmth of this sweater and can tell that it will last for years to come.

Sweater- Lovestitch | Jeans- H&M | Shoes- Vionic