Sunday, December 8, 2013

California Cold

Those who know me, know that I can't stand weather below 70! Lol.. Cold weather makes me sleepy..and well, COLD lol. And who likes being cold? So today, I had to dig out my California "winter coat" and get some warm scarves ready for the week! I had to rock the long coat, scarf, and tights to keep it classy and stay warm at church today!
Coat: Local boutique
Black peplum dress: Primark (England)
Scarf: Charlotte Russe
Purse: Flea market in Paris, France

PS. Cold I'm California means highs of 55 my "winter coat". We don't do low temperatures out here! Ahah


Friday, November 1, 2013

Hello, NOvember :)

"Say 'No' to the things holding you back." [curlBOX] 

I love the start of new months! (too excited? For me, new months are the start of new beginnings, and a new chance to evaluate the things going on in my life. (and most importantly, by this time of the season, I've fully embraced the cold weather, and colorful leaves!). After spending the past few months considering my talents and trying to gain a clearer understanding of my goals and dreams, I had to really think about what was holding me back from chasing my dreams and reaching my goals in the first place.
As a 20something-year-old recent college graduate, I've come to discover that I spend the better part of my day catching up with old friends...on social media that is. It has become so easy for me to compare myself with the next 20something-year-old or recent graduate instead of focusing on my own goals. When I see that Susie has succeeded at this, or Mike has failed at that, I became so consumed by the 'what ifs' and the "buts" that I single-handedly created my own obstacles.
If you tend to find yourself sidetracked from your goals, it's important to take a step back, figure out the things that are holding you back, and say "no" to them.

  1. Social Networks: FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, (my blog..tehe), are all great platforms that we use to stay connected, stay informed, and stay trendy. But overuse of these networks can also serve as huge distractions. If you are constantly scrolling through your timeline and updating your status, it might be time to find another way to connect with friends and let people know how you're doing. I had to be a little proactive and set up coffee dates with old friends, and get out there to network and attend events.Comparing your life to the seemingly glamorous lifestyles of old friends, roommates or colleagues might cause you to lose sight of your own goals.
  2. Lack of a Support System: take a look at the friends you keep-- if they are not supporting you with prayers, advise, or motivation, it might be time to re-evaluate these friendships. One of the keys to success is surrounding yourself with people who not only have drive and ambition, but also inspire and encourage others to be dreamers and doers.
  3. False Beliefs: "It's too late", "I can't do it", or "I don't know how." These beliefs can easily cause you to give up on everything you've been striving for. It's easy to let these ideas sneak up on us and distract us. I've found myself believing that "it's too late" to do some of the things I've planned. But let's be real, I'm only in my 20s! That brings me back to number 2-- the importance of meaningful relationships; people who will encourage and inspire you to be great and not allow those beliefs into your head. But most importantly, good self confidence will combat these lies just as quickly.
  4. Lost in a Daze: I've been lost on this road a few times...focusing so intently on the future that your dreams remain just that--dreams. They never turn into goals, and you never wake up to begin chasing them. Don't get lost here. Once you have a goal create structure for yourself to make sure you reach it. Create a timeline or a daily schedule that will help you work towards your goal and get you out of this Daze and into action.
  5. [Stuck in] Transition: We all go through these awkward transitional phases. As a recent college graduate or a 20something-year-old, we might find ourselves between jobs, living as a nomad, or financially unstable trying to save money for our next big step. This is okay. Great, in fact! This shows that you're making progress and taking steps to reach your goal. The tricky think about this is that it can definitely become a distraction if you're not careful. Make sure you don't get comfortable or "used to" this transition, forgetting all about your goals. 
In saying "no" to the things that hold you back, you are creating structure in your lifestyle and doing things daily that will help you acheive your goals. So happy NOvember! Embrace this new month and remember, just say 'no!" :)

Pictured: these photos were taken last fall in Ireland. Laurel, Estrella and I are at Coole Park, a natural reserve in Galway, Ireland. (Reference: "The Wild  Swans at Coole" -W.B. Yeats).

PS: I love Novermber because it gives me a reason to try new recipes in preparation for Thanksgiving. Here are some links to some yummy treats. Happy eating!
Pumpkin Cheesecake


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"It Usually Doesn't Rain in Southern Californiaaa" -- Werking in the Rain

If you're anything like me, you probably do not like cold & rainy days... If you're not, you most likely embrace the rain, get out there and shine. 

Well it takes a little extra for me to do all that (lol). Today was the first real day of Autumn out here in SoCal (Pomona area). The leaves are all tan, the sky was dim, and rain poured down from the sky. If I was going to get up, get out, and go today, I needed a little brightness in my life! 
On days like these, I like adding a little color to my wardrobe...add your favorite Fall accessory, and BAM! --you're ready to shine, despite the cold.. Lol

Here, I'm wearing a Michael Jackson inspired crew neck sweater, black shorts with nylon leggings (kept me slightly warm), Steve Madden booties, my lovely quilted purse that I brought back from England, and my favorite flower-print umbrella (also from England). 

How do you werk on rainy days, so you can work?


Monday, October 7, 2013

Classe Chic

For the last few months (since April....) I've been going through fashion phases... 
1. Mint
2. Black & white patterns
This outfit showcases the two phases perfectly lol. 

I had a chance to be bold last weekend at the annual Ankara Festival, Los Angeles. Since it was a fashion show, I felt a little daring and allowed myself to step out of my comfort zone. I showed a little more skin than I normally would (lol) and wore a below the knee-length skirt (midi pencil skirt). 
I pulled my hair into an updo, and kept it simple with minimal jewelry. 


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Goal Digging Tools

One of the most important things I've learned as a post-graduate on the hunt after big dreams is that you can't stop there. Dreaming, that is. It's so important to dig deep until you've uncovered every bit and piece of your goals.

Over the last few months I've been engaging myself in tedious activities as a way of discovering what I want to do, and what it will take to get there. Last week I attended a networking event hosted by Aldo! It was great meeting other career minded, young men and women. I especially loved meeting people who were interested in fashion and public relations! (Something I've been working towards...stay tuned!)

Goal Digging Tools:

1. Conversation: I love to talk. This might be one of the most important tools I've been utilizing. Since I've officially relocated back to the Los Angeles area I've spent my time setting up meetings with various career professionals and graduate students from lawyers, psychologists, to MBA, and MD candidates. 

After googling various firms, and offices, I was lucky enough to set up appointments to meet with these professionals in person. I came prepared and ready with a notepad and pre-planned questions to ask them. These questions ranged from "Why did you choose this profession?" , "what did you study in college" , "what do you do on a daily basis?" to "Do you like your job?"

2. Networking: You might not know exactly how to dig for your goal or where to get started. Networking is an important tool in building your image. Events and social gatherings can be essential in allowing people to get to know you. Stay connected with the people you meet by exchanging business cards, email addresses, or blog sites ;) Who knows- you might run into someone who needs your services or someone who is doing exactly what you're interested in!

3. Persistence and tenacity: These are my favorite goal digging tools. The only person that can keep you truly motivated is you. No matter how long it may take, it's so important to remember the end goal. When it comes to meeting and talking with professionals, tenacity is key; make sure to follow up with people you meet. Learning about your business, career goal, or graduate research will definitely get difficult, but remain persistent because simply dreaming will get you nowhere. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Modest in Mint

I love mint! I definitely went through a phase this summer where I bought mint everything! This Sunday's best features my fave summer mint blouse :)

Blouse: Inspire (Santa Barbara boutique)
Skirt: h&m
Shoes: Inspire
Vintage Clutch: Santa Barbara consignment shop



Sunday, September 8, 2013

Thrifty Finds!: Summer Stylin'

Thrift shops and swap meets: the 2 places where you'll find cute, vintage items for next to nothing. I had to model my finds before the end of summer!

Here's color blocking done in a slightly different way: the white dress with black "tribal" patterns are matched with mint colored nails, sapphire pumps, and a deep purple clutch. 

Tribal print dress: Swap meet, bargained to $0.25
Via Spiga sapphire pumps: Thrift store $4.60
Purple quilted clutch: Flea Market in Cambridge, England, bargained to £11
Gold triangle earrings: Swap meet, $0.50

Obviously, I loved all the pictures from the photoshoot... You know how I do ;)


Friday, September 6, 2013

"I thought I would be rich instantaneously after I crossed the stage"-Leah Smith

After "shopping" one day, my friend Leah and I joked around...laughing at ourselves because certain things were not within our price range of $Free.00. In all these years we never expected to be broke after college. Looking back, we had more freedom to spend money during our time living in the dorms than we do now! Leah and I lamented, wondering why we did not become rich right after graduation. But the reality is, we are just two of many 20something-year-olds pursing success and fortune.

20s are a process, not a surprise party. You don't just walk into the door & all of a sudden your calling jumps out from behind the couch

I was not a teenager who believed that my calling would suddenly jump out from behind the couch and present itself to me. I was the teenager who thought I already knew what that calling was. As early as age 10, whenever people asked me what I wanted to do, or what I wanted to be, I would give them a straightforward answer: Doctorate in Psychology and family therapy. 

Believe it or not, that answer has drastically changed within the past few months. As I begin to discover my true talents and strengths, I stray away from my career goal and blindly aim at something else entirely. My graduate school research has ventured off into as many things as business school, law school, public policy, social welfare and finally Industrial and Organizational psychology. 

After getting rejected from my safety graduate school I began to think that maybe this wasnot God's plan for me after all. All this to say that sometimes the reality is, failure and trials come before great success. 

In all of this I find myself trying harder to maintain strong faith and believe that God will do just what he said He will do. My God is not a god of confusion, lies or errors. My God is the god of wisdom and prosperity. 

I believe strongly that this is only a season not meant to last for long. I know that God will make clear whatever path He will lead me on. 

So, to my fellow 20somethings/recent grads:
1. You're not alone!
2. Success doesn't come immediately after you walk across the stage
3. Keep persisting! Although you might fail until you find your niche, success readily awaits you. 
3. Persevere-- because you have "what it takes."

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ibim Couture: Sunday's Best-- keep it simple!

Peplum is best for highlighting your figures (especially those that seem nonexistent!) For today's church outfit, I accentuated my black peplum dress with gold spiral earrings and a gold necklace! Can't go wrong with black...even in the summer! Simple and classy!


Friday, July 26, 2013

I'm Not Perfect, but I Know God is Making My Life a Testimony for His Glory

My journey to "adulthood" has brought me to some paths where I often need a firm reminder of where I am headed and where I came from. My messy past causes me to cringe and question my confidence, but my trust in God allows me to be lifted and stand unashamed.

In October, I had the privilege of travelling to Ireland and spend time there worshiping with and learning from Benedictine monks. Brother Thierry, a French monk, explained that he and his brothers read the same bible scripture about 4 times a day and heard the same message during the course of the day. He said they did this so that they were reminded of the significance of what they were taught. Like children, we often need to be reminded of something more than once in order to remember it!

The thing I like about God (one of the MANY) is that He is kind and loving enough to remind us of our mistakes and sins and allows us the opportunity to repent. I've often found that in my stubbornness, God does not mind taking time to teach me lessons a few times until I have learned them.

Just recently, I began studying the book of Proverbs again as I needed reminders of how to obtain wisdom, knowledge and understanding through Him. Reading these chapters day by day is a constant reminder of this strong and eloquent virtue, described as a "she." I contemplate this virtue and often wonder if my life imitates these characteristics described. Are my ways "of pleasantness" and my "paths peace"? (Prov. 3:17).

It's easy to forgo these characteristics and act in any manner especially when you are tempted and distracted by things that are not of God. These verses remind me daily of the person I aspire to be. Christ.

In Ireland, Brother Thierry talked about one of their main visions as Benedictine monks. Being Christ to others. We are Christ in our actions, in our words, and through our love. By being pleasant and peaceful unto others, we are not only allowing Wisdom to cloth us, we are allowing God's light to shine.

In college, I remember being so closed to new ideas and restricting myself from stepping outside of my comfort zone. Because of this, I depended on worldly ideals to bring me comfort and became closed minded to the comfort I knew existed in God and through His word. Now, because I have these daily reminders in scripture, I am excited to see how God will use my life as a testimony. I am excited to see how He will turn it around and open doors. Mostly, day by day, I am excited to be Christ for others; showing pleasantness, walking peace and maintaining wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

All Black Everything

Dark colors can be just as fun as bright and shiny ones during the summer. & with a maxi skirt, and blue suede pumps, any style can be fun!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ibim Couture: Day and Night & Casual Days

Dressing for the occasion: UCSB African Culture Show

Since my closet wasn't fully stocked with a supply of fashionable Ankara dresses (as my mother's closet is) I had to search for something in mine that would still reflect a "tribal" or African feel. Here's what I came up with:
Head piece: Kente clothe tied into a turban.
Top: Black and white leopard print cropped corset. (Charlotte Russe, $5)
Outerwear: Royal blue blazer (Ross, $10)
Skirt: Black pleated mini skirt
Shoes: "Nude" pumps

Tip: If your adding outerwear to your attire, make sure it looks fabulous both ways! This daytime and nighttime outfit was perfect for this event that started at 4 in the afternoon, and ended at midnight. 

Casual Mondays: Denim with a twist
I think denim looks great on everyone! On this cool summer afternoon, I chose to spice up my denim tee with cream colored wedges, and black turban, and gold triangle earrings. Add red lipstick for a pop of color!


Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Transition: Abraham's Struggle's Are Mine

4 years ago, if you asked me where I would be today, I never would have guessed that I would be here: indefinite plans for tomorrow and no guess for the day after that. 

In the past, when I ran into college seniors who said that they didn't know what they were doing after college, I was shocked and thought of them as “ill-prepared."
I ALWAYS thought that I would jump right into graduate school and begin a PhD program straight away. Boy, was I wrong!
Here I am working at the school that I almost despised. Living in an environment that I don’t enjoy. And finally realizing that I may have just been experiencing signs of depression these past 4 years here.
I always hear the praise song “Abraham’s Blessings are Mine." No one ever sings or proclaims about the struggles that Abraham experienced before his blessing. At this time, I definitely feel as though I am experiencing “the struggle." I've been praying for a huge breakthrough, and patiently awaiting and answer or miracle.

I’m beginning to wonder if it is my own foolishness that has caused me to remain in this physical space for so long. Upon being rejected from 2 graduate schools, not getting an interview at some of the places I applied, I wound up back in the space I started, and disliked so much. I NEVER thought that I would be working at this school.
The transition from college into the "real world" has been a rough and trying experience so far (granted  only 2 months have passed). It's not necessarily that I am comparing myself to my peers, but I am comparing my present situation to goals I set for myself in the past. And that can be self-depleting in itself.
Let me pause and say that I am grateful for the job I have! It’s teaching me various skills that I can translate into any workplace. In all of this, I am becoming more and more dependent on God and leaning on Him for his GRACE and MERCY! I am praying that God lights the path of which I should walk, and directs me toward my goals and aspirations. Whether this blessing comes from a new, full time job that I can use my major with, or admission to a graduate school, I am open-minded!

I just pray that I can soon sing out, 
“Abraham’s blessings are mine! I am blessed in the morning, afternoon and evening, Abraham's blessings are mine!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ibim Couture (Fashion Faves)

Personal Fashion Faves!

My Graduation Party: #OOTD June 9, 2013
I designed this outfit myself and it was sewn by a local Nigerian seamstress.
The top is a white lace, sleeveless with a deep v-cut back. The high waist pencil skirt is traditional fabric from Uganda, sewn with a knee length side split.
I accessorized the outfit with coral African beads, a blue Charles Jourdin, Paris shoulder bag, carried as a clutch (consignment store, $12)  and royal sapphire suede Via Spiga pointed toe pumps (thrift store, $4.60).


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Measuring" Up in the Workplace: Defying the 'Size-ist'

Tiny. Small. Skinny. Short. Fun-size. Petite. And my all time favorite, “cute.”
The last one is usually used to describe a puppy, kitten, or a small child. Not a grown woman with a Bachelor’s degree.
Those terms have conditioned me to be in a perpetual state of ‘small-ness’ or immaturity (in the eyes of those who reference me like so). 
Let me explain the self-fulfilling prophecy: essentially, a prediction about someone (in this case) that will indirectly or directly become true because of the prophecy itself. This prophecy can evoke certain behaviors and demeanor that will in turn pose as true. 
Lately, I've been feeling as though not everyone takes me seriously in the work place—that I am not allotted the same amount of respect that my colleagues are given. By regarding me as “cute” and “fun-size” you are clearly not regarding me as capable to take on the same responsibilities as someone who may be taller, fatter, and bigger than me. 
So for all of my ladies out there who are small in stature but mighty in thoughts and ambition: do not be discouraged when you walk into an interview and the receptionist looks at you as if you’re lost. Do not pay mind when people question your authority in the work place. But, keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t let people down play your degree and qualifications because of your size. Trust me, one of the easiest ways to allow yourself to fail is by thinking you can’t do something because you “look young.”
Use your youthfulness to your advantage! Surprise your employers— let them be in awe of you! Let them be encouraged by you and let them come to YOU for advise in the work place. 
Avoid letting people address you in ways that will perpetuate a label that diminishes your quality.
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