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Tyshia Ingram

Life

What Really Happens When You Do it Afraid

Do it Afraid

When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. ~ Audre Lorde

Last year I took on one of the biggest, scariest, projects of my freelance career so far. From first contact to completion, I was over here on this MacBook shook okay. Now, I know my fear was irrational at the end of the day, but that didn’t make me feel any less scared. That was over a year ago, and since then I’ve taken on new and challenging things, but nothing quite as scary as that. Interestingly enough though, I find myself in that familiar space once again. Where I’m being challenged to do something that is completely out of my comfort zone and yes, scary. To give myself a pep talk I thought back onto this project and reflected on how I overcame my fear. To remind myself–and you–what happens when you do it afraid.

You don’t stop being afraid, you push through.

There is nothing wrong with being scared. I think sometimes we’re so quick to slap a negative connotation to fear and dismiss it. It’s okay to be nervous. It’s just not okay to let that fear or nervousness control you. You can push through even with the fear. That’s essential to know. That fear doesn’t stop you from being able to do something unless you let it.

You acknowledge the “imposter” but you know the real

For this particular instance and many other instances, my fear was rooted in feeling like I wasn’t good enough or doubting myself. Like who I am to do this? Especially with the fact that I created this career for myself, literally, there was no straight path. I’m calling myself something because that’s what I do but somewhere I was seeking that validation. Imposter syndrome is real. But, you gotta let that go. If you were asked, hired, contacted, sought out, approved to do something, it’s because you can. You’ve shown that much or else you would have gotten the polite “No thank you, I’m fine.” You’ll probably always feel like an imposter. I feel like an imposter adult and I’ve technically been doing this thing for 12 years and I’m responsible for three humans so I mean…if that doesn’t tell you something than I don’t know what does!

Get real with the worst case scenario

“But did you die?” Hangover voice. I know it sounds crazy but during the course of this project, when I felt like I literally wasn’t going to make it I looked at the worse case scenario. I’d submit my work and they wouldn’t like it. That was it. There was nothing after that. Sometimes you just have to look your fear straight in the eye, and when you do you realize, it isn’t even that scary after all.

You rest on the knowledge that YOU HAVE THE TOOLS.

If there is one thing that I’ve come to realize as a freelance creative it’s that, my creativity truly is limitless. If something is brought to me, if I envision something, if I think of something, I have the tools to make it happen. And so do you. Rest on that truth when you’re feeling afraid. Rest on the knowledge you are absolutely capable of handling this thing.

Use your power and do it afraid. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



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Life

Newsletters I’m Loving Right Now

Newsletters
Can I tell y’all how excited I am to have finally launched my newsletter?! I’ve only been blogging here since 2013 rolling eye emoji. But, better late than never they say. To be honest, what held me back for so long was making sure that I was offering something that was valuable to people. Even after multiple unsubscribe binge sessions, I still find some of my inboxes overflowing with meaningless newsletters full of noise, and sales, and updates, and anything but something I’m interested in reading. I didn’t want to be that, I didn’t want to add to the noise, so for a really long time, I just politely opted out of the whole newsletter thing. But, its always been at the back of my mind. And with a combination of paying attention to newsletters that I enjoy, reflecting on what it is I can actually offer in a newsletter, and a divinely timed client project, I’ve been able to discover my sweet spot.

This isn’t a plug–or maybe it is–to get you to sign up to my newsletter (even though it’s pretty lit). But, I actually wanted to share a few newsletters that I’m absolutely loving and maybe you will too. Because y’all know by now how I feel about sharing dope things I come across ;). I’m also just riding high off good newsletter vibes so why not?

JOIN THE NEWSLETTER

If You Like Curated Lists // The Ann Friedman Weekly – I think I signed up to this one after listening to an episode of Morra Aarons-Mele’s podcast. Sidebar: She’s awesome and I’ve been a fan of her work for women in the digital space for years. Anyway, if you’re like me and are simply obsessed with all forms of media, stories, what’s going on with the world, other people, and all of the good stuff the internet provides, you’ll like this. Ann Friedman‘s newsletter has a space for links she’s read, things she endorsed, things her readers endorse, a classifieds section, and what’s happening IRL. There’s even a secret space that paid subscribers have access to, which, if we’re talking about business, is pretty brilliant.

If You Like Biz Motivation // The Middle Finger Project – If you like small, daily bits of encouragement for your biz and life via the form of tough love, Ash Ambirge is the girl for you. I love that her emails are short, sweet, and to the point. Sometimes just a few sentences to gather your life real quick. And a small disclaimer, as you can tell by the name, this one is full of snark and grown folks language so if that’s not your thing, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

If You Like Personal Lifestyle // What I’m Feeling Friday by Myleik Teele – Oh you thought I was going to list something inspiring and not include my mentor-in-my-head on the list? And I thought y’all knew me. I’ve been signed up for Myleik’s Friday email since she first launched it. Besides being inspired by her work and hustle, I also follow her IG stories and love her recipes, travels, home decor, and anything she shares. Fangirl much? What I’m Feeling Friday is a more intimate look at the things she’s into and has going on in her life. And as I recently discovered in her last email, it’s a practice in consistency for her as well. I can definitely relate.

If You Like Spirituality & Holistic Wellness // Sacred Secrets Newsletter – For my earth women, moon children, and daughters of the sun you might just love this newsletter that I believe is sent with each New Moon and Full Moon. This one is really meaty and full of information on spiritual topics, healing, astrology, wellness, energy updates and more. I usually have to read it a few times to really soak everything in. But it’s really good, really deep, and one I look forward to. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how to sign up for this one, as I connected with the author on Twitter awhile back but you can check out her Medium and connect with her if you’re interested.

As far as newsletters go, each of these are so different from each other but together, they basically represent me. Writer, lover of media, brown girl boss, and spiritual soul child. Issa me. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



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Motherhood

Considering Homeschool

Considering Homeschool
I’ve been thinking about homeschool since we moved to the city. Coming from a suburban district into a financially strapped urban district has been quite the experience. I have gone through every emotion from anger, to sadness, to frustration, to disgust, to resolve, to determined and back around again. It’s mind blowing and heartbreaking and blood boiling, truly, to see the disparities between the two so up close and personal like this. And it’s super discouraging to not see a light at the end of the tunnel or a way to really set things right. From the moment I had my first encounter with the school district, my mind has wandered into the realms of homeschool.

And let me be clear, it’s not just this particular district that has me rethinking everything I’ve learned about school and education. It’s definitely been a combination of things that have pushed me towards this consideration, our current public school experience being the lightbulb that set off all the other thoughts. Coming here, I was forced to become more active in my kids schooling than ever before. Whereas in our other district, along with working full time, less flexibility, and having a different mindset and outlook on life in general, I took a much more relaxed approach. That not being an option anymore…combined with general life and soul awakenings, I’ve been able to see things through a different lens. And that lens has had me considering homeschool more and more.

What Homeschool Might Look Like for Our Family

One thing that I’ve been really intentional with is, instead of looking at it through a family lens, we focus on each child individually when it comes to the homeschool conversation. Especially with the two older boys solidly in school routines. I’ve been looking to them to see really what their needs are, their preferences, my abilities, and if homeschool would be a good option for them–my feelings on public school aside. I feel like, for our oldest son (N) who’s going into 7th grade, traditional school is best for him right now. For one, we’ve asked him and he heavily prefers traditional school. And two, his personality is such that works best with a lot of structure, routines, and explicit directions. He does really well in traditional school and we worked really hard to get him into a really good one in our city–even if it is 30 minutes away because our local middle school closed. Le sigh…

Our middle son (S) is going into the 3rd grade and I think he would do well with homeschool. For one, he’s told me he wanted to. His personality is super focused on whatever it is he’s feeling at the time and also he’s really good at just doing really good work and getting it done. He’s super independent, has crazy attention to detail, and is very vocal about his needs. He does exceptionally well in traditional school but, I do feel like with homeschool, he could really flourish. The thing is, I’m not even close to prepared to do so, there are many things I need to research to make sure I’m going about it in the right way (state laws and what not) AND I want to make sure I’m actually able to give him the support he needs for homeschool. I’ve decided to take this school year to prepare and educate myself and revisit the discussion in late winter/early spring. I’m heavily involved in his school, current President of the parent organization, and have done a great job supporting and supplementing so far. We’ll continue on that path…for now.

And Jr. Our wildcard. He’s of pre-K age and only attended a few months of a preschool program last year. He wasn’t a fan. He’s almost 5–in October–and is extremely smart. He’s also really creative, free spirited, and isn’t really a structured, routine kind of kid. This is a probably just a result of his life experience so far. At just months old he was traveling the east coast to see Daddy perform, attending hip hop classes by one year old, and performing on stages and in shows by two. He’s been surrounded by the arts and exploration his whole life so the traditional school classroom is sort of a struggle for him. And I don’t want learning to be a struggle. Especially because he’s so bright. Case in point, last year, I tried the traditional sit here for 15 minutes let’s go over these words approach to reading that they teach in you in school. It was a battle every minute. This year, after seeing how much he loved Pokemon cards (shout out to the big bros) and how he’ll carry them around with him wherever he goes, I bought flash cards to go over his sight words. SUCCESS. He’s reading 10 – 15 sight words on his own and we really just started. And yes, he takes them with him and practices wherever he goes. We’ll be doing homeschool pre-K for Jr this year.

I’m using this time while there are still no real restraints or rules, to really figure out homeschool. To find the co-ops in our area. To get familiar with the resources. To see what works and what doesn’t. To research curriculums and all of that good stuff. By next year when we have to fill out the paperwork that either enrolls him or opts them (Jr. and S) out…I’ll be ready. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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Life

What Do You Want to Be Known For?

What Do You Want to Be Known For
Every so often (read as every other day) I have these moments where I wonder what I’m supposed to be doing in life. It’s funny really, when I think about it. The way my mind loves to stay on this existential merry-go-round. Even when I feel like I have a good handle on things for the moment, there’s always another, not to far away that has me questioning everything I know. During a moment like the latter, I happened to listen to a podcast–what else is new–on creative entrepreneurship and life. The hosts proposed that instead of asking yourself what you want to do, ask yourself “What do you want to be known for?”. I liked this question way better because it’s a whole lot easier for me to answer.

I asked my son before, what he wanted to be when he grew up. He told me he wanted to be himself. His answered inspired my own.

I want to be known for me. That’s it. I’m a complex woman with many layers and many titles. I want to be known for embracing all of who I am, boldly and unapologetically.

I don’t fit neatly into any box. I can’t effortlessly sum up what I do or love in a 30 – 60 second elevator pitch. I don’t want to and I’m done with trying. If that means I’ll never make it on to a coveted list or am never recognized for being a pioneer or innovator, that’s more than fine with me. But for the people who do connect with me, the ones whose paths cross mine, the ones who read my words…I hope you see me. Know me for me and all of my many layers, interests, passions and love.

What do you want to be known for?


Each Sunday morning I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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Life

Thoughts On: Minimalism

Minimalism
I’ve been thinking a lot about minimalism lately. It honestly all came about during a ridiculous laundry session where I realized that every, single, person in this house has way too many clothes and simultaneously never has anything to wear. That and the fact that my room, my kids room, my garage, my basement, my office corner, my mind, my everything is just so cluttered and full of meaningless stuff I wanted to scream. And then, I thought about minimalism.

What would it really take to live a minimalistic lifestyle? What does that look like for me and my family? My work? My closet? My life. I feel the need to just clear some space. To have some space to be. To declutter, to gain clarity, to get balance. And I think that this constant overflow of stuff, all day, everywhere isn’t helping get any of those things at all.

Now, I don’t want to be one of those like, extreme minimalists. But I do feel this tug at just getting rid of the extra stuff. So I can make room for the good stuff. The things that make this whole life thing love.


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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Life

Vegan-ish

Vegan-ish

Based off of the number of texts I been receiving and questions about my food choices, it’s safe to say What the Health has a lot of people rethinking their entire food situations. I get it. I had the same kind of epiphany after watching Forks over Knives awhile back. Learning–like really learning–how food affects your body is life changing for sure. But, as far as What the Health…I have mixed feelings. And judging by my social media timelines, I seem to fall somewhere solidly in the middle of people totally here for it and people completely irked by it.

I’m not going to get into the documentary though. This isn’t a review. I’m honestly just here to share my very brief thoughts and experience and thoughts on food and diet.

So here’s the thing, and y’all know by now I don’t do the whole title thing, I’m what my hubs likes to affectionately call, a fake ass vegan. What he means–though I appreciate his knack for cutting through the bullshit and fluff–is I mostly follow a vegetarian diet, I go through vegan seasons, but above all else, I listen to my body.

And that last part is really what I hope people take from the countless documentaries popping up, the vegan food blogs, and all the noise currently floating around about the standard American diet and food choices.

If you’ve read my Choosing Natural post, you know that I decided to focus on plant based eating for health reasons. And based off of how my body has reacted since making that decision, I know that it was best for me. And anytime I get too far off course, my body has no problem reminding me that it does better without meat and dairy.

When it comes to overall health, disease, and the foods we eat, yes, there are major correlations that we should be aware of. But I’m by no means about to sit here and start screaming off stats that sound wildly off base (one egg equivalent to 5 cigarettes? Um…yea no) and promoting fear (of course KFC chicken isn’t good for anyone but organic chicken might be okay for you). Switching to a vegan-ish diet has worked for me and I definitely suggest plant based as much as possible for anyone. And if you ask me about dairy, I’m gonna tell you no, no, no, and nope. But above all else, do your research and listen to your body. Try new things and just eat better overall.


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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Life

Currently…

Currently

Hey friends. It’s been a little bit. Last time I checked in, I was writing from the other side of 30. There were plans for a birthday post but, I think I got out everything I needed to in She. So here I am, 30 and a week, feeling pretty much the same but, I guess that’s how birthdays go. As per usual when I’m out of the loop, a Currently // Life Lately post is right on time. Just a few odds and ends of my life, currently.

What I’m Reading

I just picked up Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes again after hearing Lauren Ash of BGIO talk about it on a recent podcast. I’ve had this book forever it seems. At least a year. And for some reason, I’ve just never been able to work my way through it. I’ve started it more times than I can count and usually for me, that means I’m not into it. Lauren had me rethinking my life though so I tried to dig in, once more, this time just picking up where I left off. So, much, goodness. There’s a post coming soon on a chapter that touched me to my core.

What I’m Listening To

I recently discovered this amazingly talented, young singer from Philly named Masie Blu. I was listening to a playlist on Soundcloud when her song Sankofa came on and grabbed all of my attention. I was immediately in love with the soulful, futuristic, jazz vibes of the song and the message was so divinely timed, it blew my mind. Seriously. I spent the next few hours listening to her music and she’s dope. For real. Some of my favorites are Sankofa (obviously), Antelopes and Starseeds, and Nia.

What I’m Watching

Not What the Health, which everyone and their mama has been texting and messaging me about. I keep trying to tell people I’m not real life vegan but I guess my Instagram stories is saying otherwise. What I am obsessed with though is Queen Sugar. The way that show is able to portray the intimate and intricate dynamic of the black family is genius. I wish I was like a pop culture blogger because I surely would be writing somebody’s recap every Wednesday night. It’s really that good.

What I’m Eating

I’m learning that the key to making good vegan meal is the spices. I mean, aside from like simple veggies, salads, smoothies, and rice bowls, to make a good soulful vegan meal, it comes down to the spices. Can I tell y’all how I’ve been searching high and low for smoked paprika? It’s sold out everywhere around here, and I live in a pretty diverse neighborhood with very diverse grocery stores. I guess everyone has been down except for me. I’m experimenting with more recipes because I’m getting kind of bored. By no means, do I feel like switching back to a meat based/dairy diet but I am lowkey a foodie at heart and I want to bring back some of that in my plant based journey. I’m ordering my first vegan cookbook, Afro-Vegan, so hopefully that’ll be a good start.

Other Things I’m Loving

A random trip to CVS in the middle of night I discovered the Magnolia Journal by Chip & Joanna Gaines. Fellow Fixer Upper fans, why didn’t I know about this? I am so inspired by Joanna’s hustle. She has her hand in so many pots it’s like a dream for a person like me who has a gold notebook full of ideas and projects I want to launch. But a quarterly journal? Full of things she loves, things that inspire her, stories from other entrepreneurs and women, recipes, home decor inspo that is spot on, all in an editorial print magazine?! I live.

Hope your summer has been treating you well. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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Life

She

She

It all stems from her desire for acceptance.
Because she’s never been good at expressing what’s inside, outside. And so, she felt perpetually misunderstood.
And to be honest, what she saw in her heart didn’t look like anything around her.
Being of little strength, she turned away from it.
She transformed into something more palatable and easily digestible.
And for a moment in time it worked.
Until she lost herself in the person she was pretending to be.

She was so used to pretending.
She couldn’t tell if her dreams were her own. And that became the nightmare.
Too much make believe and not enough living.
Her prayers for clarity grew into prayers for discernment.
She’s lived lifetimes hiding in the pretenders shadow.

Her eyes are open but she’s blind to the truth.
Her mind is weak, feeble, and easily swayed from lack of foundation.
She’s discovered her third eye but hasn’t learned to see through it, distrusting her own thoughts.
Surrounded by darkness she follows the stars. Mini constellations as roadmaps. Guiding her back to herself.

For so long she’s been scared to share her truth…
When she has, the silence has reinforced her beliefs.
In turn, she silenced her voice.
And learned a lesson.
That the only thing worse than nobody understanding her…
is not understanding herself.

So she searches for her truth.
Ready to stand by its reveal.
Afraid but determined. Unashamed and unapologetic.
Anxious of how she may be received but willing to trade the worlds cold reaction for her spirit’s warm embrace.

It all comes down to love.
Acceptance.
And protection for her SELF.
Because she’s learned it’s a dangerous space to be when she simply doesn’t know how to be.
Me.


About a month or so ago, I started to think about my journey to 30. And not surface level things–trust me, I’ve thought enough about that–but internal, soul things. I would jot down whatever came to my mind from time to time. The result was this. I didn’t actually realize I started it, but I knew it was finished. Less than a week before my birthday. God moving in my life as usual. I’m thankful. ~xoxo

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Life

The Dream Work

The Dream Work

I’ve always wanted my writing to help, inspire, empower, or uplift my people. Especially black women. From my creative endeavors–like this blog–to my freelance work, to volunteering in my community, it’s why the majority of my clients are black women entrepreneurs. This was intentional for me from the moment I started to build my career (and blog) and although it’s been a slow and steady grind, it has been worth every moment.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve partnered with a black owned marketing agency, interviewed a black woman entrepreneur that I admire, and joined a team of black women as a wellness writer for a beauty brand. Not to mention my ongoing work as a content strategist and manager for two really dope black woman centered platforms.

I’m literally doing the dream work.

Also, in the past couple weeks, I learned that talking more about how I got here, can help people who are working to do the same. As much as I am about celebrating all victories, I am notorious for downplaying my own when I think about the world of creative people doing so many dope things. It feels like mine are too small to share, so most times I don’t. But, after helping someone discover their path by simply explaining what I’ve learned and what I did, I understand that sharing is really a way to continue that dream work on another layer.

I wish I could tell you some deep, detailed plan to do the work you dream of doing but, that’s not a formula I’ve mastered. Here’s what I do know though:

Think about what it is that you really want to do. I think one of the biggest obstacles to living the lives that we want is that many times, people don’t actually know. I know I didn’t for a long time. And I have moments where I still don’t. There are a lot of reasons for this. Social media being a big one. Too often we associate what “our faves” are doing to what we want to do. Like, if you see that one person drinking mimosas and traveling every weekend for conferences and now you want to as well. Except you don’t even like mimosas or traveling without your family…that’s a disconnect. It’s tough to fight through the noise and work on being still but, it’s essential.

Concentrate on doing more of what you love and less of the rest. I am a mother and I have bills. Not all of my work is sunshine and unicorns, but the majority of it is stuff I truly enjoy. And I’m constantly working on getting as close to “all” as I can. I make a conscious effort to work with companies and businesses in my freelance work that align with my values. And all of my creative endeavors come from a place deep in my heart. Sometimes this comes with a bit of a sacrifice. That dream client might not exactly pay what you’d like but that’s where being really clear on what it is that you want comes into play. You’ll know your boundaries. And also, doing more of what you love attracts more of what you love.

Understand there’s no right way or one way to do things. This is a biggie. For me personally, I’m in an industry where there are a million and one “gurus” and “coaches” that want to tell you that things are this way and this way only and this is how you do it. Except no. That’s not true. If I believed that for even a minute, I’d be still working my job in corporate America right now instead of writing this while my son is running around waiting for us to go outside. You have a unique vision for your life so your path will be unique. Take what you need from people giving advice–even me, shit especially me because I’m still figuring it out–and keep it moving.

Write the vision and keep writing it. Over and over. Allow it to change and grow. Document what you’ve accomplished. Reflect back on what it took to get there. There’s so much to be said about this. I’ve been journaling consistently–leaving that open to interpretation–since 2015 and when I look back at the goals I wrote down then, the things I was learning, the work I was putting it…it’s kind of wild. There are things that are happening now that are exactly what I wrote, two years ago. Not only is writing a spiritual practice (see Habbakuk 2:2) but it’s also an accountability practice. I’m all over the place, all the time, and referencing my writing is centering. It gets me back on track and my head back in the game. Every time.

Practice gratitude daily. Hourly. All day. You are here, you are taking steps, you are breathing, you are living. You are earning, you are learning, you are setting examples. You are loving, you are growing, you are shining. You are blessed, you are loved. That’s the dream life, that’s the dream work. You have got to practice gratitude for all that you have. Major key.

Go forth and do your dream work love. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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Life Motherhood

Carefree Summer ’17

Carefree Summer

The summer solstice is upon us, summer break has arrived for my boys, and I have absolutely nothing planned for this entire summer. I’m affectionately dubbing this #ourcarefreesummer and will be documenting the whole adventure, and some days the lack thereof.

I don’t know whether it’s just exhaustion from the constant planning, my annual reflective state multiplied by a million with my 3oth birthday on the horizon, or simply the fact that this summer snuck up on me and ya girl was not ready, like at all. But, I just wasn’t here for the super structured, activity overload, insanely organized summer. No thank you, y’all can have it.

I planned nothing, I have no idea how the days will go. All I got, is that we’ll take it day by day. Go where sun takes us. Play where the breeze feels nice. I’ll let them explore and I’ll take lots of naps. We’ll do random things and hopefully experience an epic adventure or two. Carefree summer ’17. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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Style

On My Radar: Wardrobe Essentials

Wardrobe EssentialsEvery season I start to feel that familiar pull that makes me think about downsizing my closet. I’ve thought about building a capsule more times than I can count but I’ve never actually gotten around to creating one. The last time I attempted, I think my idea of how my capsule would look was super dreamy, but it wasn’t really practical for my life. Truth is, I’m a busy working mama who works from home 95% of the time and is chasing boys around for pretty much the same ratio in my off hours. I had these ideas of these super cute capsules but…I’d start building them only to realize they weren’t the right fit and I’d abandon them. But that’s not the only reason things weren’t working out.

When it comes to being more intentional in my life, it makes sense to include things down to the smallest detail like, my wardrobe. When I would start to think about building these capsules, I would find myself drifting towards the same old stores I’ve always shopped, which didn’t feel real intentional at all. I’ve always wanted to support indie brands, companies owned by black women, and other consciousness businesses and for some reason, I’ve never tied that desire to something so simple and tangible like my wardrobe.

I want to say that, I’m going to build a capsule wardrobe for summer but the reality is, I probably won’t get all the way through it. Coins, bills, and other things. But, I would like to start thinking about making more intentional purchases towards my wardrobe. And phasing things out slowly as I go. Sharing a few things that have caught my interest that I’m hoping to add soon.

LUNYA SLEEPWEAR

Let me be the first to say that dropping coins like this on things you wear to bed sounds insane but, I’m actually here for it. For one, I love the vision of the founder as a founder myself, I can’t help but appreciate a good story. And then, the reality and functionality of these pieces make so much sense for my life. Truth moment: there are some days between writing deadlines, elementary school drop offs, home chores, and chasing a four year old that what I roll out of bed in–typically a basketball shirt and leggings–is what I spend my day in. And there really is something to be said about looking good and feeling good. This sleep dress has my name all over it along with these pants for when the weather cools down.

SOUK BOHEMIAN

You know those Instagram accounts that just speak to your life? The Bazaar Bohemian is one of those. I’m obsessed with the visuals, the earthy colors, the abundance of green plants, and the overflow of melanin. When I learned that she had launched a shop, Souk Bohemian, I knew that I would love it just the same. I’ll always love a good graphic tee or sweatshirt when it’s cold and the Boh Collection has exactly what I’m looking for. And even though, we’re talking about wardrobe essentials, their travel bags are definitely swoon worthy.

BROTHER VERSAILLES

Remember earlier when I was talking about functionality and practical items? Even though at first glance this brand would seem to be the exact opposite of that, it’s not. I’ve followed Aurora on Instagram since forever but it was only recently when I saw she took a trip to Haiti that I got more interested in her brand and the products. I love, no seriously, truly love the mission behind her company, the workers she helps employ around the world, and the stories behind Brother Versailles shoes and bags. In particular, I’ve got my eye on these sandals.

What do you think about capsules? Into them or nah? Or are you on board with me, just making more intentional purchases and getting rid of the things that are just taking up space? ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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Life

Perspective

Perspective

The only difference between a flower and a weed is a judgement. ~ Wayne Dyer

As much as I am a coffee girl at heart, there’s something about those teacup messages, or as I like to affectionately call them, messages from the universe, that provide just what I need to read at exactly the moment I need to read it.

Today’s teacup/universe message was no different. It was a familiar and confirming one, as I’d had the same sentiment months before.

Being a mama of boys is so special. Endless flowers delivered to me on a daily basis from their outdoor jaunts. I always make a big deal of it too because 1. What mama doesn’t like gifts from her babies and 2. It teaches them that giving flowers to the woman you love is always, always, a good idea. You’re welcome future daughter in laws ;).

Needless to say, by technical arbitrary definition, these flowers my boys so loving adorn my locs, lap and hands with…can be called weeds…depending on your perspective. But weeds to who? Not to them who see vibrant life peeking up from the dirt and green earth. To them all that matters is the newness, the freshness, our lawns lovely decorations.

They gather them up by the handfuls these flowers. They solidify their value and their place as earths’ adornments. And they pass these most gracious of gifts onto me. Who am I to tell them any different?

Perspective (n) a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

I’ve long been a believer that perspective changes your life. It goes far deeper than the cliche half empty half full reference. It can literally be infused into every area of your life. Whether that’s how you view obstacles/opportunities, trials/testimonies, work/freedom or flowers/weeds.

Change your perspective, change your life. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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Beauty

A Hair Journey

Hair…is an interesting thing. For so many years, I feel like my hair was just…a thing in the background. You know, like, aside from maintaining it, I never put too much thought into it. It just…was. Like many black women, I grew up with hot combs and a Just for Me perm by the time I was out of elementary school. The type of “hair maintenance” that I was taught, was to get my kinks as straight and slick as possible. The hotter the flat iron, the stronger the relaxer, the better. And through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, I never even questioned this.

I got introduced to my first real weave in college (can we not talk about the infamous fake ponytail? Thanks). You mean, I could braid up these naps and wear this {insert euro-ethnic hair type} that was straighter and sleeker than I could ever make my own? Yes, please! I spent my early 20’s full of sew-in’s and thousands of dollars spent on covering my own hair…so that I could rock this other hair that didn’t belong to me. And I mean that, now, in the deepest sense you can take it sis.

But back then, I didn’t think any of it. It just…was.

I wonder though, what would I have thought, if I had the mindset then, that I have now. Would I have been super woke? Would I have been the sister with the bullhorn at the very beginnings of the natural hair movement talking about self hate and eurocentric beauty standards? Or would I have had the same lax, but solid, opinion that I have now? Would I have cared? Would I have had the confidence to change? Would I have even wanted to?

I can’t pinpoint when things changed. I can tell you though, that it was no dramatic moment where I discovered I had this deep rooted self hatred thing going on. I assure you, it was wayyy less woke than that. It had more to do with the fact that I was losing my hair due to postpartum hair loss and I was ready and willing to try anything to get my edges back. That search for “anything” led to me to the natural hair community. This was around the time where it was really starting to get popping and the 3c curly girls were all over youtube. I figured, why not? And so, my transition to natural hair began.

FOUR YEARS NATURAL

A Hair Journey

I spent the next four years desperately twisting my hair into submission (see photo above). The first three, I dove deep into the natural hair community. I began blogging about it, contributing to magazines about it (which I still do), I even spoke on a panel about it in 2015. I appreciate that time I had to learn more about my hair, how to take care of it, and slowly started to reflect back on the years of relaxing, straightening, and spending the equivalent of car notes on weaves.

After the novelty wore off and the realization that my hair would never look like {insert popular 3c youtuber}, I began to feel indifferent about it. The next year or so was interesting. I wasn’t taking care of my hair, rarely wore it out, and had begun to protective style constantly…not out of a need for protection but out of disdain for not knowing how to get my natural hair to look how I wanted without spending a million and one hours I didn’t have. I was in a cycle that was familiar; attempting to suppress my hair and hiding it whenever I could. But, unlike those earlier years…I had thoughts about this. It wasn’t…just hair anymore to me.

MY LOCS

A Hair Journey

I just finished washing and deep conditioning my hair. My energy was gone as I had given pretty much all I had to chasing children, tackling laundry, and cooking for my family–who eats more like a small sports team to be honest. Nothing in me felt like detangling, moisturizing, oiling and retwisting my hair just to be irritated that my fro didn’t come out the way I’d hoped or had shrunken from resting on my shoulders to barely grazing my ear lobes. I was exhausted, tired, frustrated…I was over it.

What was this all even for?

I don’t even want to think about the time I spent on my hair in the four years that I was a loose natural. It’s scary. Wash day was a legit day long experience for me. And maintaining some semblance of a curl pattern meant I was taking hours each week to retwist, untwist, pick and repeat. At this point, I had decided, maybe it really was just hair and if so? Taking all this time out my life to make it look, once again, like something that didn’t belong to me? Pointless. I was done.

I twisted my hair and decided, that was that. I’d let it do it’s own thing.

Five months in and I finally feel like, I’m truly embracing my natural hair. And let me real, it’s a struggle every day. My hair is my alter ego. She’s wild, I’m chill. She’s bold, I’m laid back. I’m quiet observing the scene and she is the scene. She’s grows up and out making herself known. She’s not afraid to be her. And as locs, no matter how I’ve tried to tame her in my moments of exasperation, she’s absolutely determined to be free. She’s helping me to understand and peel back the layers of myself. And doing that, is always tough work.

I have come to learn that…yea, maybe it is just hair. But, I can’t deny that my hair journey has paralleled my life journey so very perfectly. So…I guess I’ll let you be the judge. Just hair or nah?


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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Life

Am Writing

Wandering or Lost

Not all who wander are lost. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

No matter how hard I try, I’m just not good at wandering. I wish I was though because I’m almost certain that being good at wandering would help with me always feeling so…lost. 

I have a notebook in my Evernote app simply called Am Writing. It’s where I store all my thoughts and ideas. The ones that come to me while I’m standing in line at Target or in the middle of an elementary school drop off. Am Writing is full of thoughts. Some complete, many not, but all full of depth. Lessons learned and those soon to be discovered. Answers to questions I haven’t had yet. Memories and details. Rants and unfinished sentences. That’s what Am Writing is…that’s who I am when I am writing.

It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with this gift of mine. I’ve blogged about it before. I’ve ignored it. I’ve hated it. I’ve been confused by it and empowered by it. Many times at the same damn time. It is my soul’s greatest mystery. How curious to be so completely unsure of how to handle something that you know is meant for you.

Lately, I’ve felt compelled to write like never before. And for once, quite terrifyingly actually, the words have escaped me. Well, more like they have hidden from me. They have been inside me as I can feel them. Yes, physically feel them. Like an invisible object, pressing against an imaginary bottom of my throat. It’s been real, as I struggle with this very physical reaction to an obstacle that exists only in my mind. To get out the words, stirring below the surface, causing all types of mayhem and drama as they struggle to break free. And me, feeling so helpless as I try physical methods to release them from their prisons. I do such meaningless things like clearing my throat in hopes they can come to the surface or taking a nap anxiously anticipating their release as I rest. And for days–which is a lifetime when writing is what you do for survival–I’ve been feeling like I’m silently yelling into a black hole.

I’ve have started to understand that I’m meant to write. And that reality scares me because, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that self knowledge. I’m meant to write what? Share what? Release what? Do you know how insane it feels to know you’re supposed to do something but you don’t know exactly what that is or how to go about it? It’s a feeling that I’ve never known before and it’s enough to have the words to explain hide themselves from you.

But, the words came to me today. And I immediately set them free. To explain why I’m feeling the way I do. To ensure that it’s all part of the process. To remind that these experiences are preparing me for the work I am called to do. To affirm that I’m on time, even though I feel far behind. I set the words free and I feel good about letting them go. Now, I have the space to explore, once again, my soul’s greatest mystery. One step closer to understanding…


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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Life

Well Spent

 A weekly reflection + a few links for you. 

Another week in the books. I can’t believe we’re already approaching halfway through May. And only two months away from my 30th birthday. Insert wide eye emoji. My last year in my twenties was supposed to be the year of the glow up and I guess, in a sense it has been. Just not in the way that I expected. Life is funny like that and if there’s anything that I’ve learned in this last year it’s to embrace all the parts. The ebbs, the flows, and all the pieces in the middle.

Highlight from this week: Night Market. For sure. I broke my “not quite” vegan diet–keeping it real–for a jerk chicken cheesesteak and I’m not sorry. My body wasn’t pleased though and by Saturday I was sipping on Ginger tea and trying to figure out my life. Still not sorry. Best part though was watching my kids perform. When Dad’s a professional hip hop dancer that got his start dancing in the street, when there’s a festival, you dance! Really blessed to give my children a chance to see another way of living. Another way of life.

I thought about including a struggle or lesson or something of the sort here but it’s really just much of the same. The creative balance, not having enough time, and trying to find ways to do more of what I love and less of the rest. Same old, same old. Hopefully I’ll have something deeper next week? Yea? I feel like I share my lessons in my regular blog posts though so…maybe not. We’ll see.

Anyways, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas. A bit of unsolicited advice: Live your best life today and don’t do the things you think you “should”. Do you mama. It’s your day. Enjoy.

Things You Should Read/Listen to This Sunday

  • Shout out to Melissa at #blkcreatives for including me on this list of moms that are balancing motherhood with the business of creativity. As a working mother chasing a dream and building a business, I never quite feel like I’m getting it right, but then moments like these happen. Completely unexpected but I’m thankful. And do y’all see the company I’m in? I feel like I made it.

  • I think this just might be my favorite MyTaughtYou podcast episode, ever. Tia Williams’ transparency was everything I needed and more. It was like she knew my life. All of it. From her profession in the beauty space, to the feelings of never being good enough, to the daily pain she goes through, to her epic quote “I did what I always did and wrote my way out…” it was like I was listening to parts of my own story. There’s something so wild about that. Tell your stories. People need to hear them. And make sure you go listen to this one.

  • Speaking of Myleik, she shared two NY Times articles that said . One was about Facebook and the other Instagram. Spoiler alert, they’re basically think pieces about the type of behavior that Bow Wow (along with countless others) perform. I have been so over social media lately which is a really weird space to be when you’re a blogger/content creator/editor. I’m tired of seeing the facade. Why is everyone so obsessed with making things look different than what they are? It’s too much. I find myself thinking more and more about opting out of all it. Don’t worry, I can’t and I’m not.

  • Even in the midst of my current disdain for social media, I have to mention Everyday Eyecandy’s Instagram Storytellers series. Her account, along with the people she features are such a breath of fresh air. The photos and the stories within them are the part of social media I love most. I’m obsessed. Not to mention, I’ve been really digging photography/visual storytelling lately. Yup, just add another creative venture to my list. Eyeroll emoji. But honestly, as the world gets noisier and more crowded, there’s something magical in the stillness of photos. I’m only an iphone photography…for now…but this series is love and is full of inspiring people.

That’s all I got. Happy Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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