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Feathers and Flowers

{Photo Credit: RSee Photography}

Happy Valentines Day friends! For those who have no interest in celebrating…
Happy Hump Day! In either category, enjoy all the chocolate you can today (and tomorrow) guilt free.

Valentines Day has always been one of my favorites. The romantic implication is nice but I think the crafter in me just gets giddy seeing all the red and pink hearts everywhere. Corny, I know, but who can blame a girl for being artsy? 🤷🏽‍♀️🎨

As much as I enjoy the festiveness of VDay, one thing I try to avoid is being a walking billboard on 2/14. I typically always plan to wear at least 1 red piece on Valentines. Though I think there’s fun in mixing it up a bit. Something that gives off the romantic vibe of the holiday while showing a bit of originality.

Cue in the flowers and feathers. I love this kimono blazer because it executes just the look I described above. It’s fun enough to wear for the office sweet treat exchange yet nice enough to wear for a VDay or Galentines date.

What are some of your favorite Valentines Day looks friends? Are you team red and pink or do you prefer to mix up the color scheme a bit? Let me know!

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Disclaimer: The blazer pictured was purchased from H&M prior to the sweatshirt controversy. Likewise, the photo was taken before the incident. I’m taking a “break” from H&M at the moment because I have mixed feelings about the situation. I haven’t purchased anything new but do plan to keep the clothes I previously purchased with my hard earned 9-5 dollars. I respect readers opinions and feelings. That includes those who have absolutely no interest in ever shopping there again. For that reason I will be sure to link alternative options in this and future posts.
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Outfit Details: Blazer (^) (alternative 1- Zara) (alternative 2- Zara); Pants (NY&Co); Heels (Zara); Necklace (similar); Bag (Harrods)

Myanmar: Love Ultra Series Part II- “Boys From Myanmar”

{Photo credit: @nonstopjames (IG)}

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:18‬ ‭NIV

We sat under a well-shaded tree on a dusty bench. On many occasions the kids would use their little bare palms as brooms to dust off the surface we’d sit on together. This was their display of hospitality. Though I didn’t mind a little dust and dirt. I would have happily sat on that dusty bench because I felt loved, covered and protected.

Perhaps it was the wooden sign with beige letters that read “Victory Is Of The Lord”. Or it could have been the little giddy bodies that were lounging on each side of me. They squirmed around yet remained close as they embraced a motherly, even sisterly, type of love. My heart was radiating with joy like a candle that burns for hours on end. But my joy had friendly competition with the giggles I heard in that moment.

She stood in front of me as she clasped her hands over her mouth and glowed in laughter. Her birth age was 15 but in this moment she was giddier than the 7 year olds nestled under my arms.

“You boyfriend?”, she said as she placed one hand on my shoulder and used the other hand to point at a familiar man.

He had just finished passing a message along to me. In true teenage fashion, she saw this as an opportunity. Something like in high school when a boy would pass and voice a shy hello only to leave your friends in a match making frenzy before he could make it down the tiled hallway. I was back in high school right under that tree.

“No, he’s not my boyfriend”, I said as I giggled at her amusement.

At this point she was bent over in laughter, holding her stomach covered by a floral dress in one hand and placing the other hand back on my shoulder. She was determined.

“Noooooo, you boyfriend” she declared as she looked me straight in the eyes with a wide grin and gave me a motherly now tell me the truth type of look.

“No” I said as I smiled and chucked. I’m not sure if I laughed because she was so adamant about the romantic pairing in her head or because her laughter was infectious and I was catching the bug.

“You marry?” she responded.

“No” I replied as I was still chuckling. I was so amused that even in a foreign land, girl talk still translates the same. I decided that two could play this game. Not in a vengeful way but as if we were two friends catching up. In America we probably would have been chatting over fruit-topped waffles and perfectly scrambled eggs at brunch. But in Myanmar we were 2 girlfriends chatting under a tree on a sand filled playground watching a game of volleyball just a few feet away.

I chuckled about what I would say next.

“Your boyfriend? Him?” I said as I pointed to a teammate. Many of the older girls swooned over the guys on our team. Much like girls in America, they were developing crushes on older, more mature men. They were intrigued. My friend’s reply struck a cord.

“Nooo” she said as she giggled and tried to catch a breath in between. One hand covered her mouth and the other shook side to side as she held it down by her hip. “No. Me…” she declared as she pointed at herself with beaming confidence. “Only boys from Myanmar”.

I smiled because as simple as having a girl chat may have been, she was sharing her heart with me- a woman from a foreign land that she just met days prior. Sitting right there on the brown wooden bench I paused to reflect on what she just said. It intrigued me that even in a different culture, preferences exist. In that moment I realized just how universal the idea of having a “type” really is. What she asked next focused the lens of perspective directly on me.

“What boys you like? American?” she asked as a question yet the confidence in her voice confirmed that she already knew the answer.

“Yes, me…American boys” I said as I placed my hand over my chest.

I could have went into a deeper explanation about how my preference is even more narrow than her assumption. But that would have been a longer chat (and maybe even history lesson) for another day.

She continued to giggle and amuse herself in the aftermath of our revelations. I kept smiling to let her know that I valued our girl time. Yet my mind was opened a bit wider as a result of our conversation. It was like an oyster shell being pried open to discover the pearl that was inside all along. The pearl just needed to be shined and repurposed into a great piece of art once it’s potential was uncovered.

The Lord spoke to me through our girl chat. How often do we limit what can be done due to our preferences and the things that we are accustomed to? Our conversation was specific to romantic relationships and there is definitely application to the idea of limiting love to a “type”. Though the conversation spoke volumes beyond just that area.

How often do we limit our dreams, careers, families and so much more as a result of clinging to what we see as our norm? Or even more so, what is within our comfort zone?

I believe it’s okay for my friend, myself and others to have preferences because they make us who we are. However, we have to be open to what God has in store for us. How he wants us to grow in wisdom and knowledge so that our eyes can be opened to great experiences beyond our preferences.

Reflecting back on that experience sitting under that tree on the playground, I realize that conversation was not by chance. God used a teenage girl from Myanmar and an African American woman from the United States to bond while seeing their worlds from different lenses than normal. Perhaps this was the beginning of us both shifting our preferences to make room for the things God has purposed beyond our comfort zones.

Myanmar Love Ultra Series: Part I- “You’ve Been Chosen”

“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We drove down the same street for miles. I had no idea how much longer it would be. It really didn’t matter because my mind was racing. I needed all the time I could get to be alone with my thoughts. People spoke and I responded. Though I still felt as if I were sitting in the mini van alone, staring out the window and wondering what meetingthe kids for the first time would be like.

The van started to slow down and stop in the middle of the road. We were making a left into a narrow road. Looking back it was similar, yet not identical, to the small country road I used to travel down when I’d visit my late great grandmother’s house in rural Texas. There was one way in and one way out but at the end of the road was home. That feeling was coming back to me even though I’d never been to this place before.

As we made the left turn there were children walking into the community where the road led. They were coming from school in their white collared tops and green longis. At first they staggered one by one then in small groups. The further we traveled in, the more exaggerated the waves got from the kids – they realized who was in the van. Some old friends and some new. It didn’t matter to them. We were family. The family they had been praying for one by one.

We continued to travel down the road as the kids waved, jumped and even called out names of familiar faces on the van. The van made a right. Then a sharp left which led into a gate. Straight ahead there were children lined up. My heart dropped to my ankles, then shot up to my throat, back down to my knees, then punched through my chest. It was here. The moment I’d heard being described for months. A meeting that would be a highlight in not just that moment but my entire life. You know, like a yellow highlighter when the fresh bright yellow ink first hits the page. That bright.

I was sitting toward the back of the van when the door swung open. The hands of children started grabbing my teammates in the front. The wait was over and they were ready.

By the time I got to the front, there were no little hands grabbing for me. There were still children in sight, but no rush to get me out of the van. I took a step off the van and wondered how I would play it off if I wasn’t chosen. Would I walk over to the swing set and sit alone? Should I follow another teammate and join their “group”? All of these thoughts rushed through my head before I could even plant both feet on the ground. I stepped completely down, still no grabbing hands.

I looked up, prepared to quickly devise a plan B. But before I could do so I was met by a pair of bright little eyes and a small hand. She reached her hand to meet mine. And though we spoke two different languages there was a universal communication that spoke of friendship.

The experience reminded me of my relationship with God. There are times when I think He’s forgotten about my situation but then a reminder comes and I hear him speak “I haven’t forgotten about you my child”.

He sent a 7 year old to remind me of this lesson right there on a concrete path facing an open playground with a church in the background that read “Disciple” at the peak. I was His disciple being sent on a mission – far from home, out of my comfort zone and in a situation out of my control. Yet he was guiding me each step of the way. Just like the little hand that met mine and guided me to the playground. No words, no description of where we were going. Just trust from the follower and the love of an all knowing leader.

Hoop Dreams & High Heels

{Photo credit: RSEE Photography}

The purpose of this blog is to inspire and empower people to see their full potential and live their best life. I specifically target working professionals because I spent years feeling uninspired and stuck. Due to a mindset shift and God inspired creative spark, I’m in a different space. A space that allows me to reach out my hand and pull up those that are mentally where I once was.

I enjoy inspiring people in various ways through this blog. Fashion has become one of my favorite forms. I don’t consider myself to be the most fashionable woman alive nor am I a ticket holder to the hottest fashion shows. Heck, the closest I’ve come to fashion week is sitting in the chair at the beauty shop and reading InStyle magazine.

Nonetheless, I enjoy being creative with my clothes and being presentable in a way that helps me feel my best. And to be able to share that with others can be fun. I especially like to show how this can be done in the office. Though every now and then I like to throw in a little street wear. Think Casual Friday or Weekend Warrior.

For this look, I wanted to go for a casual look that mixes boyish comfort with a feminine vibe. So hello hoodie & heels!

I think this dress is perfect for the season. Red is right on cue with February. The hoodie allows for relaxation from having to dress up for the holiday season but still look presentable enough to rep the new year in style. Whether you’re catching up with friends after the holidays or watching the Super Bowl with the crew, you’re ready. Shout out to Beyoncé and the Ivy Park team for creating stylish looks that you can take beyond the gym!

Outfit details: Dress (Ivy Park); Tights (Target); Rings (Various- old); Boots (Zara)

Pursuing Your Passion Project While Working Full Time

{Photo credit: RSEE Photography}

Please allow me to start off by saying that it’s taken me months to write this post. “Why” you ask? Well because working full time can be enough on its own. Tack on something additional…even something you enjoy…and it can have you signed up for one full schedule.

I’m a firm believer in helping others so that they don’t have to go through the journey alone. So I put together 10 tips to help those who are also trying to juggle a full time job with their passion project or business on the side.

Let’s get right into it…

1) Give yourself grace
Its easy to get down on yourself for not accomplishing goals and tasks toward your passion. There are times when you may be able to get things done in “beast mode”. On the flip side, there will be days when you just simply can’t. Know that it’s okay. I think it’s safe to assume that full time work is demanding for the vast majority of people. You can only do so much and pushing beyond your limit isn’t always a good thing.

2) Don’t give up
I remember a period of time when I was unemployed. To this day I still think of it as “funemployed” because I really enjoyed that season of life. Yes I faced the obvious stresses that come with unemployment but there was a sense of freedom that fueled my drive and kept me going. I was able to freely work on my blog and other creative ventures with as much time as I wanted.

One day I was sharing this with someone and told her that while I was enjoying that period time, I was also fearful about losing my freedom once I returned to work. I didn’t want my blog to vanish due to getting back to the 9-5 grind. I’ll never forget her reply: “Yes, you just might stop blogging but it will be a pause, not an ending. You’ll get right back to it when you can.”

Turns out that’s just what happened. I went back to work and was able to keep blogging consistently for awhile. Then I went from temporary to permanent employment so as I transitioned, so did my workload. I became so tired trying to transition back into work and learning a new role that blogging took a backseat.

I became discouraged but I didn’t give up. Eventually I found my rhythm again and got back on track.

3) Inconsistency is okay
I️ think most marketers would say that consistency is key when developing a brand. The reasoning is obvious – the more you put your brand out there, the more people will get to know about your project or business. This is key but to be honest, there will be times when you’re just plain tired. Especially when balancing a full time job with your passion project.

Sometimes inconsistency just has to be okay. Maybe you were able to post on Instagram two times per day a few months back but lately two times per week is all your energy will allow you to do. There is a balance between aiming high and remaining realistic. If this means saving your energy for building your brand behind the scenes then so be it. The phrase “quality over quantity” is most accurate in this point.

4) Restart with what’s easiest to manage
One downside of the point #3 (inconsistency) is that it could throw off your rhythm a bit. Though the sacrifice is worth it if that’s what it takes to produce your highest quality of work. So take on one small project or focus on one key area of a larger task.

It’s common for people (me included) to try to tackle it all, fall short, then get discouraged about it. Gotta love the overachiever mentality. On the flip side, taking the small task approach increases the possibility of not only accomplishing a small task but also creates a confidence that can lead to another small task being completed. Now we’re working toward an attainable goal.

5) Keep a calendar
Maintaining a calendar for your passion project(s) can be a life saver when you work full time! Considering the juggle can feel like 2 jobs in itself, keeping everything organized in one calendar helps.

Specifically, as a blogger or other type of online influencer it can mean organizing posts by date. A broader example would be setting dates for your project goals. Which brings me to my next point…

6) Set goals
Setting goals helps you to see the bigger picture. On those days when your 9-5 has you feeling exhausted it reminds you that you have a bigger purpose beyond what you currently see.

It’s important to note that you should be flexible with your goals. There have been many occasions when I️ set a goal for a certain date and it isn’t accomplished. It tells me one of two things: a) I️ need to break down steps to keep myself more on task, or, b) Perhaps I️ set too lofty of a goal and need to give myself more grace (refer back to tip #1).

Even if you experience set backs or need to make adjustments, it’s important to see your vision written out.

I️ like to refer back to this Bible verse as my motivation when it comes to setting goals for a larger vision…

“The Lord answered me, “Write down what I show you. Write it clearly on a sign so that the message will be easy to read. This message is about a special time in the future. This message is about the end, and it will come true. Just be patient and wait for it. That time will come; it will not be late.”
‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭ERV‬‬

And on that note…

7) Seek inspiration consistently
As a content creator, there are times when I have the best ideas ever! (I know, a bit biased.) Though other times all I can think about is how tired I am from the 9-5 grind, let alone produce blog content. For that reason I make it a point to seek inspiration on a regular basis. That comes in various forms for me: Instagram accounts of other creatives, reading books, listening to podcasts, Googling travel destinations. It’s all relevant for me. Even sources that don’t relate directly to my blog. It’s what motivates me on the inside to share my creative gift on the outside.

Find what, or who, inspires you and use that as your fuel on those days when you feel yourself hitting a wall.

8) Be careful to not compare
Note: It’s fine to seek inspiration (#7) but be cautious that it doesn’t turn into comparison. I believe that’s where many people get it wrong – particularly on social media. You have to know that your gift is unique to you. As for the person you’re following online, they have a unique gift and purpose too. If you spend too much time comparing yourself to their highlights you’ll find yourself being unproductive in your own gift. Same goes for offline comparison.

If you find yourself guilty of this, take a step back. Connect with a source of inspiration that doesn’t involve following someone online or setting your attention on someone else. Think back on the “why” of your passion project and you will be connected back to that gift that is uniquely your own.

9) Have an accountability partner
Who is that one person that pushes you just a bit further than you’re able to push yourself? You know, the one who makes you say: “I need to get this done or ______ is going to ask me about it”.

Now don’t get me wrong, nobody wants to deal with a parental type of accountability in adulthood. Though sometimes you do need that nudge.

I can’t say that I have one particular person who holds me accountable. In my experience it’s been the people who don’t even realize they’re my accountability. The ones who ask “How’s your blog going?” or “I really liked your _____ post”. It provides me motivation to keep going even at the times when my 9-5 has me left feeling pooped.

10) Recharge when all else fails
Now there are going to be times when you’re plain exhausted. As passionate as you are about your side business or creative venture there will be days when your brain (and even body) just can’t. And that’s okay.

Sometimes you need to recharge. Just let your hair down, plop down on the couch and do absolutely nothing. Or for some it may be a more productive recharge like taking a nice hike. Do what suits you and don’t feel guilty about taking the time to regain your energy.

Taking time to recharge may be the difference of a quality product at your best versus something half baked when you’re in need of rest.
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I hope you’ve found these tips to be helpful. Know that I don’t have it all figured out and have to revisit these steps myself. Working and pursuing a passion project can have its ups and downs but it’s the desire to pursue my purpose that keeps me going. Everything else in the middle is just re-fueling me as I journey to the top!

Keep plugging along friends! Remember to give yourself grace but keep going!

Grey Bae

{Photo credit: RSee Photography}

Happy 2018 friends! It feels so good to say that. There’s nothing like a new year and a fresh start! Do you ever notice how cheery people are at the beginning of the year? Every conversation either begins or ends with a resounding “HAP-py NEW Year!”. Instant recharge.

When it comes to clothes, I’ve been finding myself attracted to flashy pieces. Not in a designer sense but in a sparkly and girlie type of way. It’s almost as if fashion is screaming new year wishes as well. What can you say? It’s in the air, right?!

Well that’s just how I felt when I strolled into Banana Republic and found this skirt. It has a celebratory pop without being over the top. (#rhymes) This skirt is perfect for the office because it can be dressed in a professional way without looking like you just missed the NYE festivities.

I paired a basic grey sweater for the look to tone it down a bit. You know, nice enough to wear to the 10am meeting but cool enough to stand around the water cooler right after. I spiced it up a bit with the necklace because while it has a little bit of bling, the base is neutral which brings it down a bit.

And the white boots…well…why not?! They make me feel like a rebel because they totally defy the “don’t wear white after Labor Day” rule. Feels great to bend the rules a bit. (In this case at least.) Cheers to the new year friends!

Can’t wait to show you more office looks that will take you from 9 to fly in 2018!

Outfit details: Sweater (DKNY- vintage); Skirt (Banana Republic); Necklace (New York & Company- old); Boots (INC)

The Patterned Blazer: From Thanksgiving Day to Casual Friday

{Photo credit: RSEE Photography}

So I blinked my eyes and somehow found myself right in the middle of Thanksgiving week. How did that happen? I’m convinced that the holidays pop up sooner and sooner each year. I find myself asking the following questions every year: a) “what am I going to cook?” and b) “what am I going to wear?”. I know…total first world problems. Though the thoughts always seem to pop up like clockwork the week of turkey day.

The most ideal move would be to find something in my closet, right? Perhaps. And there are years when I’m able to pull that off. Though other years, let’s just say my will power isn’t that strong. I would advise that you stay stronger than me but if you must buy, purchase practical pieces that you can pair throughout your wardrobe.

In the look pictured I took items I already owned and added a fun blazer. That’s right, the blazer was my only purchase! The remaining items were already in the Tiffany & Co. (a.k.a. me) closet! 🙂

I love the fall colors in this blazer paired with just the right brights to make it pop. Though what I love most is that I can take it from a streetwear look (or holiday in this case) this week to casual Friday next week. I give this blazer an A for versatility.

I hope this look inspires you to create a fun (and affordable) look for the holiday tomorrow. And even if you end up in sweats, know that you can still have an amazing, food-filled holiday with those you love.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. I pray that you have a joyous day no matter how you style it! 🙂

Outfit Details: Blazer (New York & Company); White Tee (Target); Jeans (Old Navy); Purse (Forever 21); Boots (Aldo); Necklace (Vintage)

“Sisterhood In The Workplace”

(Image from http://pixabay.com)

I’ve been wanting to write on this topic for awhile but have struggled with the concept. What exactly does sisterhood in the workplace look like? Is it a standing Friday lunch appointment? Or is it more like having each other’s backs when you just need a listening ear to vent to? I believe it can be these things and more. Honestly, it may look different for various groups of women. Though the common thread should lead to things that are positive and advance women professionally.
Originally I was planning to do more of a commentary on the topic. I ended up outlining 6 tips instead to encourage women to make their own meaning of sisterhood in the workplace something positive and meaningful.

1) Co-workers first, friends second.

Women shouldn’t make their goal to be “friends” in the workplace. Keep it professional and if a friendship happens, let it be organic. I believe this is one of the key reasons for fall out and jealousy amongst women in the workplace. Things get too personal and the competition gets high. You’re in the workplace to do a job. Anything that gets too far away from that can get distracting and take you away from your purpose in that setting.

So allow the path to friendship take its natural course, don’t feel forced to do so just because you share the same workspace.

2) Know that there’s room for everyone to succeed.

Women young and old seem to express this desire to compete. Tell me if you’ve ever experienced the following scenarios or have heard of them happening to someone you know. Co-workers on the same level would rather battle it out instead of working together to create a cohesive team that everyone can benefit from. Women in leadership positions don’t want to help women in entry to mid-level positions because they’re afraid their job will be taken.

Well newsflash…there’s a seat at the table for all of us! The sooner women realize this, the better we can all become as we work to achieve our goals.

3) Keep your personal life at home.

Some women may disagree with me on this as they’d label it as being anti-social or isolated. Realize I say this from experience. I have personally experienced the downfalls of not practicing this tip as well as seen it cause issues for others. It’s similar to the point I made in tip #1. The more personal work relationships become, the more messy things get and performance is impacted. Just keep it simple and be an employee, not someone in need of personal advice or sharing. Save those items for your close friends, mom, sister, prayer partner…a trusted confidant. Not your co-workers. Again, if a genuine friendship develops, then great! Otherwise, remaining professional in your relationships can be a sure way to avoid the office drama.

Keep your personal life private until you build a mutual rapport that you can trust. Otherwise it can lead to comparison, gossip and jealousy (amongst other negative things) which never has good results.

4) Compliment other women.

Have you ever been complimented by another woman in the workplace? It feels good right? Not in a validation type of way but in a sisterhood, solidarity type of bonding experience. Going to work isn’t always the easiest thing to get up and do every morning but when another woman compliments you it can make you feel like “yes, I’m here and I can do this!”. So if it’s a nice feeling for you, imagine how it will feel for another woman to receive a compliment from you.

Maybe she has on a cute outfit. Or she did a great job on the department presentation. Never pass up an opportunity to compliment another woman. I think this is something I should practice more of myself. I often compliment other women on their outfits because it’s the first thing I see. Let’s say it’s easy for a cute dress to catch my sleepy work eyes in the morning. 😊 But I need to practice complimenting others women for their work as well. It’s so easy to forget in between multiple emails and meetings but not at all impossible.

5) Seek to both gain and be a mentor.

Mentorship is an awesome thing. We all learn so much in our careers and even our lifetime on a much broader scale. So why not share that information? If I know a younger woman can benefit from a lesson that took me awhile to learn then I’m not going to sit back and watch her learn the hard way. Don’t get me wrong, there are people who just don’t want to hear what you have to say so sometimes it’s easier to just sit back until you’re asked for your feedback. Though often times, especially in a work setting, women are looking for wisdom from a trusted, mature source. Mentorship says “you don’t have to do this alone”. And I think we all can value a little guidance through the hurdles that come with career and life.

6) Just say no to gossip.

Oh gossip. The thing that keeps people most interested yet the very thing that divides. I get it, work is not always exciting. People long for something interesting and new to keep them going through the day. Though I don’t think gossip is the way to go. Think of the last time gossip ever led to something good. Either it ends up hurting the person being gossiped about or it causes messy relationships between those spreading the gossip when they begin making each other the topic of discussion. That’s when it all gets real. A little too real. Avoid gossip as it only breeds a negative environment, especially amongst women.

If you’re in the company of gossip you’re probably not in circles of productive, forward thinking. So seek out the circle that is. Also, be mindful of who is watching you. What if your boss is more aware of your gossiping ways than you think? It could make the difference between promotion and remaining stagnant. Job advancement aside, you just don’t want that to be a reflection on the type of person you are. So just say no to gossip all together.

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What are your thoughts on sisterhood in the workplace? Do you have any tips you think could help women build better professional relationships?

“I’m Focused Man!”: Remaining Focused In a World Full of Distractions

{Photo credit: RSEE photo}

For those who may not be aware, the “I’m focused man” reference is from an old Mya song featuring Jay-Z. He declares this phrase during the intro of the song. My guess is that it was one of those in studio moments where he and whomever he was talking to, be it the producer or other, were having a conversation before recording.

If this was the case, someone or a group of someone’s (Mr. Carter included), probably thought it would be cool to include it in the recording. Well I’m glad they did. It’s a simple line that speaks volumes to the listening audience…if they’re ready to hear it that is.

Today’s world is filled with so many distractions. Social media has intensified that by about a million. It’s so easy for people to drift off into a world other than their own and scroll for hours. Only to look up and realize they have the same check list with nothing crossed off and the same life issues they’re still avoiding.

Keeping up with who is dating who or every minute detail of Tamar Braxton and Vince Herbert’s recent divorce news won’t pay your bills at the end of the day. And know that it won’t bring peace to the situation you were trying to escape by scrolling in the first place. In fact, you’re more likely to feel more emotional disruption.

Maybe it’s personal life that has you distracted at work. This is common and we’ve all been there. Understandably so. However it’s a good idea to recognize the distraction and regroup so that you can focus on tasks at hand before it impacts your performance and takes a downward spiral. None of us want that.

Find what keeps you focused and centered. For me it can be as simple as turning on a relaxing Pandora station. Some other examples are sitting myself down in a quiet place to read my Bible for wisdom or escaping my thoughts with a good, empowering book. Honestly, there are even times when I come home after a long day and lie in bed doing nothing so that I can regroup.

When I’m focused, my creativity blossoms and I’m able to recharge. As a result I can handle things from a more positive place.

Perhaps you’ve been more focused on Facebook posts than your own dreams and goals. Or you find yourself at work doing more stressing about problems than getting things done. Note, I’m referring to distractions that aren’t seriously  life altering. There are some issues that may require time off or professional help. I’m not talking about those. Just the everyday stressors that we look back and say “why did I let that get to me so much?!”.

If this speaks to you, I’d encourage you to take a moment out and write down 5 ways you can get focused and back on your grind.

My hope and prayer is that you see a spike in your own productivity and motivation while knocking stress clear out of your view!

“They Call Me Mellow Yellow”


{Photo credit: RSEE Photography}

Some may say that Californians don’t know what “Fall” is. Especially in Southern California. Well I beg to differ. We rock our knee high boots and (thin) peacoats just like everyone else! Even if that means breaking out these pieces when it’s only 65 degrees. Call us spoiled if you will, but stylish- I’ll take that “s” word!!

As I’m typing this the weather is still in the 80s despite the calendar telling me it’s October. But honestly, I have felt a little chill start to come in the air. Particularly in the morning when I’m shuffling in the car to get to work and on weekend evenings when my jean jacket is a life saver!

Thanks to this newly acquired chill, I’ve decided it’s time to break out my fall attire. Even if I can’t comfortably wear those pieces for a few more weeks. For some reason I just love seeing clothes for the next season right before it’s time to start breaking them back in. Especially for fall!

One struggle I always experience when it’s time to transition into fall clothes is that it’s too hot to completely pack away summer fits but not yet cool enough to start rocking those long sleeves. That’s where layering comes in.

In this outfit I paired an extended short sleeved blouse with pants and a jacket. This way if it’s cold when I leave the house and suddenly the temperature wants to heat up, I can lose the jacket and still be comfortable.

The coat pictured is lightweight but still heavy enough to keep one warm. Gotta thank Zara for versatility! And the color screams fall even if it is still Indian summer here in Cali.
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Do you also take advantage of layering as the seasons change? If so, what are some ways that you transition your work wardrobe in the meantime?

Outfit details: Coat (Zara); Blouse (H&M); Pants (New York & Company); Necklace (Forever 21- similar); Pumps (Cathy Jean- similar)