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Monday, March 16, 2020

3 Things To Do NOW to get your LIFE Together during this Coronavirus DownTime

The FIT:
T-Shirt: Boo-Hoo; Pants: H&M; Coat: Thrifted; Boots: Boo-Hoo (old)

This morning its business as usual for me. I’ve worked from home for years now, my office is typically the Client site and thankfully my business trip at the end of the month is postponed. I understand the uncertainty and anxiety many have today that don’t have that luxury; I’m praying for you all. I do believe the recent changes and bills passed by the gov’t will help but in the meantime here are 3 things you can do today to help you build a better tomorrow. Plant the seed NOW, harvest the crop later loves. 

1️⃣ Start thinking of ideas for multiple streams of income. That blog or YouTube channel you been thinking about starting. DO IT. That drop shipping business you thought sounded good. START IT NOW! It doesn’t have to be perfect, just START. Are you good with your hands and can make stuff or a beast with graphic design? Start an Etsy shop.....sooooo many ways to make money in the world today, your job doesn’t have to be your sole source of income. 

2️⃣ Do you have a budget? I don’t care if you are broke as hell! If you have money coming in somehow (I.e Unemployment, minimum wage, food stamps or welfare, disability, social security etc) YOU NEED A BUDGET! You NEED to be telling your money where to go, every single dollar should have a job. This is not hard people. I know for a fact in the black community this stuff isn’t really taught from a young age. We have to go through life and learn the hard lessons before we truly learn about this stuff. Let me just say, I have learned the lesson so listen to me when I tell you to START A BUDGET NOW. Do it based on your last paycheck, even if your paychecks are currently on hold. Start with a savings, even if it’s 10 dollars a check, save something! Do you know how handy an emergency fund is right now when you can go buy essentials during this time without thinking twice? It’s priceless. No full set of acrylics or new pair of shoes compares to the peace of mind you feel being able to take care of yourself and your family during an emergency. START HERE. I follow the Dave Ramsey plan and I highly recommend it. I have made 6 figures for the last several years of my life and last year I JUST started to take my budget serious. I was out here living my best life and blowing money FAST with nothing to show for it so I’m NOT JUDGING YOU. Just start now, trust me. 

3️⃣ Do a Life Audit. Listen, you are about to have a LOT of time on your hands. Now is the time to sit down and think about what you REALLY want in life. Start being proactive instead of reactive to life. Who do you spend the majority of your time with outside of your spouse and kids i.e. your friends? The saying is true, show me who your friends are and I’ll show you your future. Surround yourself with positive goal orientated people that are driven and motivate you. (THIS INCLUDES FAMILY!) Now is the perfect time to check your circle and reassess. Establish new connections or mend broken ones. Now is the time people are slowing down and will be more responsive than ever I’m sure. 

That's all for now dolls. I promise I'm not trying to be preachy or a Debbie downer. But as much as I would love to come on here and talk about a product you don't NEED right now I just can't. I feel there is more valuable information I can be sharing with you during these uncertain times. Don't get me wrong I WILL still be sharing the products I love, new clothing I purchased and fun things I'm trying at home while on lockdown so stay tuned for that to come. 

If you found this post helpful or think someone you know needs to hear these tips, PLEASE SHARE!

Be Safe, Be Kind and Be Blessed dolls

XOXO,
Naja
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Monday, March 2, 2020

February Intentional Buy Month Recap: How did it go?


Hello Dolls,

I can't believe it's March already, where oh where did February go? It went by too fast if you ask me. It's honestly all a blur. January was my NO BUY month and February was so hard NOT to buy ALL. THE. THINGS! I started this Intentional Buy challenge as a way to stay discipline and focused on building my BEST wardrobe yet. No more of the days of spending mindlessly on fast fashion I know will tire of in a season. My goal is to build a wardrobe that is timeless, classic and built for any occasion.

So how did I do the first month abiding by these rules I set for myself. Not too bad if I say so myself. Here are my thoughts.

Did I stick to the budget? 
Good question for sure and the answer is surprising even to me. Yes, I am very proud to say I did stick to the budget. I actually spent $497 to be exact, go me! I had all of January to decide what I was going to buy come February 1st. I had my shopping cart ready to go come February 1st. I had my budget spent by the 3rd ya'll! LOL, I clearly wasn't playin.


What did I buy?
So I have a haul video coming soon but in short I bought some key pieces I felt my wardrobe was missing and those pieces appropriate for the season. This is where the difficult part come in. What to get now and what to get later? What was a priority for the upcoming season and what could wait? I will do a separate post on how to compile your Intentional Buy wardrobe later but based on a few things I determined the following was a priority.

- Black Boots
- Gold Bracelet
- Gold Ring
- Cashmere Scarf

What did I WANT TO buy?
High on my list this month was also a black/dark grey wool coat. I have a camel coat in my current wardrobe so I considered the coat not a necessity. My only dilemma at the moment is am I really going to want to buy a dark wool coat in March or will I have my eye on all the Spring things. I have my eye on THIS one from Everlane so we shall see. What I don't want is to find myself next winter having the same, "I need a black coat" conversation with myself.

What have I learned?
I learned that patience and planning is key. Identify the gaps first! Plan out your buys. Know what you need! Also, identify when the sales are and focus on your key pieces ONLY. This is the hard part, sales will make you think you want all the goodies on sale but don't do it doll, stay focused, you got this!

What will I do differently next month?
Next month I want to be a little less structured. I want to buy some more of the moment buys. What do I mean by that after JUST saying that planning is key, lol. I mean I have planned out what I want i.e. a pastel colored suit, however I don't know from where or exactly what color. I want to come across it in the moment and love it. I hope that makes sense. Also, I have a pair of white sneakers on my list but I don't know exactly what style. I just know I want them to be totally white. I will do a bit of research and try on a few to see what looks good on my feet and then buy. February I knew what I wanted and from where. For instance I really wanted to try pieces from Everlane so I bought my key pieces from there. Going forward I will be a little more fluid and less stringent with this.

Anyway dolls that's it for my first Intentional Buy Month Recap. I hope it was helpful and if there is anything else you would like to know please let me know in the comments below!



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Saturday, February 1, 2020

5 Lessons I Learned after NO-BUY January


Finally!! After what felt like 138 days,  January is finally OVER ya'll! Seriously, this month has been ridiculously long. I'm happy to report that my NO Spend is over. I am very happy about that but also thankful for the experience. In hindsight,  it has been a huge blessing and I learned a lot about myself and my spending habits. Here are the top 5 lessons I learned from this NO SPEND month.

1. I have a shopping problem. I knew I kind of had a problem but after this month it is without a doubt that I have a shopping addiction. I found that shopping is my go-to activity for just about everything. I'm bored, cool just go shopping. I'm happy, great let's go shopping! I achieved ANYTHING, oh girl you deserve it, let's go shopping! I also found myself very sad to not receive a package almost daily. Amazon had become a daily dose of happiness. It didn't even matter what was coming, the simple fact that something was on the way for me made me feel amazing. Without that, I found myself feeling slightly sad.

2. I need a hobby. I need activities to keep me busy in times of boredom. Here are some ideas for activities that don't cost money. I did each one of these during this month and found it great alternatives to hitting the mall or browsing some of my favorite online shops


    1. Workout. This can be at a gym or simply taking a walk or popping in a tape at home.
    2. Bible Study. This is one hour a day you can spend fellowshipping and networking with other Christian minded individuals. It feeds your soul which is better than any shopping trip. 
    3. Cooking. Pick an amazing recipe you have never tried before and give it a shot. Cooking can be very therapeutic and rewarding to create something amazing. 
    4. Invest time in to your business. For me this can be through writing and planning. It cost nothing to edit a picture I have taken, or plan out next week's Instagram posts. 
    5. Enjoy the things you already pay money for. i.e Cable/ Netflix etc. 

3. Not Spending money can be very lonely. I mean you end up spending a LOT of time at home. That truly is the best way to not spend money. Stay in the house and for me stay off the computer. If I'm hanging out with friends it seems to always cost me money so unless I got an at home invite of some sort I stayed home. P.S. I got NO invites this month LOL. 

4. Discipline is a muscle that needs to be worked out often. I have created some very bad spending habits throughout the years for sure. I rarely told myself NO. I rarely planned for purchases and if I did it was never for longer than a month or two. I know this has to stop. For one being disciplined about my purchases allows me to think through purchases and be sure it's something I truly want. 

5. I NEED very little. The notion that I NEED something has been my favorite excuse for purchasing an item. When I started this challenge I felt anxiety because I didn't feel I could survive unless I had everything I 'Needed' first. Which is essentially cheating so I didn't do it and quickly realized I didn't 'NEED' much of anything outside of a few household essentials i.e toothpaste/ toilet paper. I also have a LOT of stuff. Stuff I had forgotten about and had tucked away deep in my closet/cabinet/pantry. The amount of duplicates I found in my pantry when I pulled everything out to organize. I had 4 bags of chia seeds an ENTIRE bottle of Olive Oil I had never opened not to mention the amount of almost full hair products I found. Pretty sure I thought I NEEDED all those things when I ran out to the store to waste my money on them. 

So there you have it dolls. My top 5 takeaways from this challenge. In short, am I glad I did it? YES! Am I changed forever? YES!! It felt great to be in control of my money again. That end of the month feeling of 'Where did all my money go?' was not a good one. And worst, it was rarely worth it. I mean I bought crap I didn't give a second thought to and was honestly out of control. I still enjoy spending money but it will be a lot more INTENTIONAL going forward. I plan on being Intentional not only with my wardrobe as laid out in my challenge HERE, but in all purchases I make going forward. So I'm curious to know, would you consider a NO BUY month? If so, what do you think would be your biggest challenge?? Let me know in the comments below. 


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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

How to be Build Your Dream Wardrobe and be Intentional







2020 WILL be the year I curate my dream wardrobe. I have been disappointed in my current wardrobe for some time now. I am the epitome of “I have nothing to wear”! I sit and stare at my closet and find myself totally uninspired. When I’m uninspired by my wardrobe I find myself not wanting to get dressed at all or just wear my default; sweats. I work from home so this is easy to do. I also find myself turning down invites from friends and avoiding social events all together because I don’t have things to wear that I feel comfortable in. To be fair, it’s not all the clothes fault, I am in a weird place with my body and confidence overall at the moment and it affects multiple areas of my life but that’s another post. In addition to working on my health and doing the inner work, the next thing that affects my mood the most is my wardrobe. I think how you present yourself to the world is often a direct reflection of your mood and how you feel about yourself. When I look good I feel good. So this year will be my journey back to looking and feeling good. 

My Goals for this Intentional Buy Year

  1. Make a LIST. Make a list of all the items I NEED and WANT. This list is created after a thorough assessment of my current wardrobe. For instance in the pics above I have pulled out some key pieces in my wardrobe. Many items I have forgotten I had and some new items I picked up during the Christmas sales. I have sooooo many clothes and shoes I don't want and have honestly just forgotten about. Doing a deep declutter and assessment will allow me to see the GAPS and identify what I have and what I need. Building my LIST I will start with the pieces I NEED and move on the the items I WANT. 
  2. Set monthly budget of $500 p/month, initially. (As my income grows and debt lowers I’m willing to revisit this number after 6 months) Setting and sticking to a budget is very important. For one, it will help with planning and keep me disciplined. Having great style does not mean spending a TON of money. You can also spend a ton of money on low quality items. By setting a specific budget my goal is to make it easier for me to be very intentional about how I spend that money instead of spending frivolously. 
  3. Identify Intent: What is my intent of this challenge? Simple. To curate a stylish/seemless/classic/timeless wardrobe that makes me feel confident. I think it comes down to that plain and simple. I want a wardrobe I love and will love year after year with few updates needed season to season. 
  4. Explore/Determine my personal style. This goal is a BIG one for me dolls. If I asked you to describe your personal style into 3 words what would you say? Honestly, I want to know down below in the comments. At one point I feel I had this question nailed but not so much these days. 
  5. Buy only high quality pieces that align with your vision and budget. I have in the past been a quantity over quality buyer. As a professional woman in my 30’s this is no longer ok. I would always rationalize buying 4-5 handbags from Zara (many I never wore) to investing in one quality designer piece that will last me ages. I would ultimately tell me self I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money on a handbag but in reality I DID spend that kind of money…..on bullshyt! I understand the value of cost per wear a lot better and find the pieces I buy on impulse don’t bring me joy past the purchase point. 

So now on to the rules. For me, This is what will make it an intentional buy year because I will be asking myself the following questions: 

  1. Can I wear this piece at least 10 different ways with what’s in my wardrobe NOW?
  2. Does it fit in your clothing allowance budget? $500 p/month
  3. Does this item reflect the woman I strive to be? Does it align with your future goals, desired lifestyle or identified personal style?

THEN Ask Yourself…..

  1. Is this item on “THE LIST”? My 2020 Wardrobe Wishlist is coming soon
  2. Is this a wardrobe staple or replacement of a staple? Wardrobe staples /basics should be purchased first as they build your wardrobe foundation
  3. Is this a trend? Will I be over it next year? Be honest
  4. Can you thrift or buy this item secondhand? Although I haven’t been the biggest fan of thrifting and secondhand items, I do see the extreme value in it and will make a more conscience effort to choose that route. Not only for sustainability reasons but for budgetary reasons as well. 

My purpose of this Intentional Buy year is simple; to wear what I have, invest in what I don’t in order to never have to say, “I have nothing to wear.” As a borderline shopaholic who enjoys buying things just to buy them I do recognize the challenge this will be for me. I am very much a I see it, I want it, I buy it type of shopper. This has not proven to be very smart, sustainable or or worthwhile for me. It’s time to change my spending habits and this is where I begin. So please come along and join me if you like, I need all the support I can get for sure! 



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