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My Life

Life Hack

Money Matters

I often have friends, even colleagues, watching my pockets with comments such as “You must spend a fortune on clothes”, or my personal favorite, “Seriously though, how much do you spend on clothes? I never see you wearing the same thing twice”!

I used to have a lot of clothes, not because of senseless spending, but as a result of careful planning and execution. In this blog post I am going to share my guiding principles:

Set Aside A Seasonal Wardrobe Budget:
Hard to believe, I know, but I am not made of money nor do I have a million dollar budget. I have a realistic amount that I set aside for me to spend each month, really breaking it down to make sure that every cent is accounted for. The truth is, sometimes I forgo an expensive outing for that special dress. Compromise, compromise, compromise!

Focus On Your Work Wardrobe:
Let me tell you this – I did not obtain a university degree and postgraduate studies just for the fun of it! I am serious about my career, so my clothes need to reflect that. Remember – your clothes speak before you do. For this reason, the clothes I purchase or invest in have to be an 85% fit for my professional life and stunt double in my social life.

Invest In Key Pieces:
When I first started earning my own cash, I used to just buy on-trend items, you know, disposable fashion. These days, I make a conscious decision to invest in key pieces. Think quality, not quantity. I have been building a collection of key pieces which include leather jackets, suits, designer bags, belts and shoes – you know, the main attractions! They may cost a little more now, but they will have longevity in my wardrobe. Family heirlooms.

Avoid Paying Full Price
I rarely buy things at full price – my African heritage will not allow me to. I tend to stalk items obsessively, waiting for the price to be just right. Say it with me – SALE PRICE! If you get impatient and the sale is nowhere in sight, nothing stops you from asking for a discount at the counter. No shame in my shopping game. From my own personal experience, nine times out of ten they will offer a small percentage discount. You just have to speak up. Besides, what is the worst that could happen? They just stay no and you move on.

Style, Style and Restyle:
This the fun and challenging part of having style. Your style is not what you wear, it is how you wear it. So look for different ways to wear the same thing. You don’t always have to buy something new, you can accept the creative challenge and create something new with what you already have in your wardrobe. I guarantee you will surprise yourself.

*Mic Drop*

IamTinashe

Career

Hit Reset And Restart

I have been working in Human Resources since my very early twenties, and in that time I have met some inspirational, intelligent, humorous and downright strange individuals.

Interestingly even to this day, when I meet some people and I say I work in Human Resources, there are normally two reactions – “oh here comes the fun police” or better yet, “do you just organise morning teas and celebrations whilst the rest of the team works?”.

I can appreciate that they may just be jokes (not sensitive in the slightest), but it’s clear people wonder what HR people actually do.

Having worked in the profession for fifteen years, I guess now is a good a time as any to give you an overview,  As an HR professional I am responsible for:


Being a strategic partner to the business: contributing to the development and accomplishment of organisation-wide business plans and objectives by providing talent.

An employee advocate: A responsibility to know the team – need and wants, delivering on talent management initiatives whilst creating a work environment where people choose to contribute, to be motivated, and to be happy.

Change champion: Constantly evaluating the effectiveness of the organisation’s results and seeing how we can utilise our talent to do things bigger and better.

This is an overview, to learn more head to my LinkedIn in profile here.

Why am I writing all this? Well, I have recently had a HR graduate come under my wing and once again things have come full circle for me. I have reflected on what I do, how I do it and why I do HR as I impart knowledge. The whole experience has taken me back to my graduate experience and how I want to make it even better for someone who enters the workforce for the first time.



In my opinion, it has always been clear to me that someone can have all the smarts in the world but to work effectively in today’s business environment it takes zero talent to do the following:

be on time: know the importance of being on time, as well as completing projects and tasks on schedule. If they’re going to be late or miss a deadline, then they communicate with those who need to know, and a new deadline or meeting time can be established.

Honesty:  You can have all the talent in the world, but without integrity and authenticity, nothing great will be accomplished.

Take Notes: as brilliant as you think you are – take notes, otherwise you will forget things.

Work Hard: nothing great is accomplished easily. Be willing to put in the hours and be willing to learn new things and incorporate different ways of thinking.

Ask Questions: there is no such thing as asking a stupid question. Better to ask the question than spend hours trying to fix something that could have been avoided.

Your Attitude Matters: Come into work fresh and energetic and you will outproduce workers who think negatively and easily burn-out when they encounter defeat.

In the short time that I have worked with our graduate, she has demonstrated the above and then some.

In reading this post, I hope you have come to understand what your HR department does wherever you work and that you have found some tips to become the successful employee you have always wanted to be.

Blouse – M.N.G | Jeans – Topshop | Heels – The Iconic

My Life

The Sky Is The Limit

It’s the first day of 2018 and all I want to do is just lounge around and drink lots and lots of water.

You see, last night hubby and I went out to a party together for the first time since having our baby girl – it’s been over 2 years! My mother was kind enough to baby-sit on the biggest night of the year and we really enjoyed ourselves! My feet are throbbing from dancing like a prisoner who has been granted bail for one night only.

Now, I am not one to set New Years resolutions – I think it’s all a load of bull. So the key words I am muttering to myself this year are, “Keep Going!”

Keep giving love and showing love to those that celebrate your success and are there with you in the trenches.

Keep saving – with money in the bank, the future possibilities will be endless!

Keep working harder – you will continue to shine and add in value, be it professionally or socially.

Keep drinking your water – your skin and body will thank you.

Keep sleeping 7-8 hours a day – you will be a more efficient than ever!

Keep reading – as your dad told you a long long time ago, “knowledge is power”

Keep your active lifestyle going – there will be pain, sweat and tears but it’ll all worth it when you slip into those tight jeans with ease.

Keep going to church – we were created to glorify God.

Keep smiling – there is not need to treat things so seriously, take it one day at a time and your goals will be reached.

Keep dedicating time to yourself – there’s no guilt or shame in doing absolutely nothing.  It’s good for your mind, body and soul.

The Practical

This is a list of the day-to-day things that I want to really incorporate into my life:

Pack my lunch four out of five work days.

Commit to blogging at least three times a week.

Negotiate with my workplace so that I can work from home one day a week – reduce daycare costs.

Consolidate all my superannuation into one account and keep track of it.

A Real Challenge

Now this is something that is going to get me out of my comfort zone:

I am challenging myself to not buy any new clothes or accessories in 2018. As part of this challenge I have to use what I have now for all occasions and events that will pop up. This is effective right now. 

When I told my husband and mother about this challenge they just about cried with laughter. Just for that I am going to go even harder to prove my point. 

I will be keeping a weekly journal to keep me accountable and keep you updated!

Happy New Year!

IamTinashe

In My Humble Opinion

If You Are Comfortable Then It’s Not Fashion

The title of the blog post is a result of observing women in see through leggings, ill fitting short shorts or oversized dresses that are unflattering to the female form – comfortable for them but not necessarily for our eyes.

As I people watch it dawned on me that women dress for three different types of audiences: for themselves, their girlfriends, and for their significant other.

When you are dressing for yourself, you wear what you feel comfortable in or whatever shows off what you consider to be your best asset i.e cleavage, legs, shoulders etc.

When you dress for your girlfriends, it can sometimes be ‘men repelling’. For some weird reason the Olsen twins come to mind – I mean I like the way they dress, but would I dress like them? Not necessarily.  Men repelling fashion is on trend, but your average mere male just can’t understand i.e. statement earrings that weigh about the same weight as a new born baby or our beloved shapeless maxi dresses.

When you dress for your significant other….well *raises one eye brow*, I don’t think I have to go into too much detail there, you should know what your partner likes to see you in. If you don’t – you are doing it wrong. Yeah, I said it.

I see each day as an opportunity for me to wear all my beloved clothes.

 

It excites me that I get to style my clothes my way and present my unapologetic version of myself, yes even in the workplace.

What I can say is I dress how I feel, even If sometimes I look back at the photos and cringe.

At the time when I put the outfit on I glanced in the mirror and it just felt right.

T-Shirt – Gucci | Skirt – Custom Made | Shoes  – Nordstrom

IamTinashe

My Life

Sleep. Rest. It’s Essential

One of the things that I never really valued was sleep. I used to say, “I will sleep when I am dead”. I was notorious for surviving on 5-6 hours a day – all because I felt I had so much to do and so little time. Sleeping, to me, was just a waste of time, and I am sure a lot of you share the same sentiments.

Ironically, I married a Sleep Scientist who often commented on my lack of sleep i.e. it’s harder to lose weight without sleep, or, my least favourite: people who don’t sleep age quicker. I usually just ignored him – haters are going to hate, right?

Wrong.

Each night, before I went to bed, I would suffer from anxiety – I would go to bed at 1am and freak out that I had only six hours until I had to wake up. And each morning in the shower I would promise myself that I would sleep earlier that night – but it would never happen. It was a vicious cycle.

It was hard to really see the need for change because I was thriving on the limited sleep I was having. On paper, in every aspect of my life, I was handling my responsibilities.

If I am honest though, this lack of sleep came at a price – at least once a month I would just crack it, fatigue would hit me hard and over a weekend I would decide I didn’t want to be bothered by anyone and just sleep. I would sleep for hours and hours, repaying the accumulated sleep debt.

In my heart of hearts I knew something had to change, but my stubbornness clung on to the “who needs sleep” mantra.

It wasn’t on purpose, but the change started when we were overseas on holiday. Instead of going to bed around 1am in the morning like I used to I slowly started rolling my bed time back. Bed time became 11:30pm then 11pm and now it’s 10pm. I also imposed two rules:

1. I must sleep for 7 hours at a minimum, 8 hours would mean I’m on target, anything more was bonus round!
2. This is the big one – I no longer use an alarm to wake up.

The time away allowed me to practice my sleep habits without any harsh consequences, i.e. missing a work meeting because I slept in.

I have now mastered a personal sleep and wake up cycle. A person like me, who mostly hates rules, jealously guards my sleep time now.

I honestly can’t believe it took me thirty plus years to value my sleep – life is easier now because I have great sleeping habits. Each day I wake up feeling well rested, refreshed and ready to start the day.

As women we carry a lot of pressures, be it at home or at work, but sleep is a gift that we can give to ourselves in order to be what we need to be to others.

A rested mind and body will always make better decisions than the unrested.

I guess hubby was right – don’t tell him though. Xo

IamTinashe

In My Humble Opinion

Body Goals – What Does That Even Mean?

The picture you see above is of me before I had our beautiful girl. Although if I am honest, in my head I swear I was closer to Naomi Campbell or Beyonce – I guess we all remember things differently. That’s why its important to take pictures, these images keep us all honest. 

How many times have you heard a now heavy set woman say, “Before I had Timmy and Jessie I was a size six, wafer thin“. You try to believe her but you can’t help but give her the side eye, like really?

Body Goals.  

What made it okay for those words to be married?

It is so misleading, adding to women’s already heavy mental load. Just one more thing to tack on to the unrealistic expectations of being a modern superwoman in 2017.

I have watched on as friends, family, and celebrities (are they even human?) have their babies and looked to immediately shed the weight and return to their “prebaby weight”. 

Not me.

I guess everyone is different, I told myself. Easy enough to say, but harder to swallow when that desired outfit doesn’t sit right in the change room or worse still in your own wardrobe – leaving you on the verge of tears.

When I look in the mirror I can see that the weight is shifting – but at a glacial pace. Yes, I am working out (two to three times a week) and mostly eating right but the changes were not as dramatic as my unrealistic mind would have liked.

After months of looking at the same number on the scale, I was just about ready to put my money where my mouth is and enlist the help of a personal trainer. I seriously considered it – but being the Scrooge McDuck that I am – I was still hesitant.

I had made some inquiries with some local personal trainers and was discussing this process with one of my friends. One friend simply asked me – why don’t you get a Fit Bit

To be honest, I had never entertained the idea of getting a Fit Bit – I always thought that I would stay true to my Apple affiliation and purchase an Apple Watch instead. As I did more research it was clear to me that for now, I needed a Fit Bit. The price also kept my pockets lined and that makes me smile.

This is not a paid endorsement but I can tell you that it has been one of the best fitness decisions that I have ever made in my life. 

Owning a fit bit has allowed me to join a real community. There is a group of us who compete in weekly and weekend challenges. Week in week out we compete to be number one. This is just what my competitive soul needed to get me moving and get me out of my mental “I am not losing weight fast enough” slump – each day I am moving more, keeping track of my sleep, what I eat, what I drink etc. 

I am happier and embracing myself. 

All of me.

Turns out it was never about the weight loss – it was more about being active and changing my mental state. Truly accepting that my body had changed. I had a baby. My body created a whole new human that I brought into this world. Things will never go back to the way they once were and I am okay with that especially when I look at my little one. My heart sings.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Your motherhood journey is unique. Embrace it and own it.

IamTinashe