Self, Solo, Strength

I’m Soiree, not sorry                Celebrating, unapologetically

Self, Solo, Strength

Self-care is being selfless. You really can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first. This is an especially true concept for mothers. As a mom, your instinct is to put your children first before your own needs. While I agree wholeheartedly with this philosophy, everyone,in general, and ESPECIALLY mothers, need to prioritize their self-care as often as they change their underwears (yes, even changing your gitch is self-care).

This past week has been extremely difficult, particularly with the roller coaster of emotions. And it became very apparent that self-care for myself, was critical to fulfilling my other life roles (mother, wife, daughter, health care professional, etc).

So this week I spent a lot of solo time, which was exactly what I needed.

MARKET CRAFT SHOPPING

I went to a large market craft sale, thirdnbird, to be exact, which is fuel for my soul. The energy was amazing, and I got to go at my own pace. Plus, I fed my paper and jewelry addiction, and I bought local artwork & geometric accessories. If you know me, craft shopping is just the best !!!

SOLO COFFEE DATE

It was a brief stop, but nonetheless, a best stop at a trendy coffee shop, Thom Bargen. If you know me well, you would also know I am obsessed with coffee. And I just love sitting in cafes. I can do that for endless hours. I had the best seat in the house, as I watched traffic go down the busy downtown street. And while it was only a brief 20 minutes, it was the most relaxing thing for my mind to wander aimlessly and imagine made up stories of passer-byers (imagining where they were off to, what they were chatting about, etc). I used to do that as a kid all the time. I left feeling recharged,  not only because of the caffeine, but also because I sat in stillness after a chaotic few hours of market shopping.

PAINT NIGHT 

Such therapy. That’s my painting in the featured image for today’s post. It was my first time. And while the painting is far from perfect, this painting is forever staying with me.  It has sentimental value given the timing it was done. It happened earlier this Tuesday when all I wanted to do was stay in my PJs and spend another day watching my PVR shows, and commiserate in my misery. But I mustered all my strength to attend the session I signed up for. In retrospect, it was the best thing I could do for my soul at that moment. Engaging in therapeutic activity has such a powerful impact, especially when for me, creativity is such a passionate outlet for me. That sunset, I take it, is symbolic for beautiful endings, which I needed to remind myself, of how my grandmother led a beautiful life and that her time on earth ended so peacefully. It’s amazing how the world works to emphasize powerful messages, at least I believe this wholeheartedly.

WRITING

This is day 5 of this #Soireeprojectgrowth and what this is doing for me is building consistency. And strength, personal & internal strength. And it’s also emphasizing some daily activities I wanna integrate in my daily habits. So far, so good. Can’t wait for my weekly review to see where I’m at.

Thanks for joining me in my journey thus far.

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Closure

I’m Soiree, not sorry             Celebrating unapologetically 

Closure

Goodbyes. They say “it’s not goodbye, but more like see you later”. I think it’s a phrase that was made up to make situations more digestible. And maybe that’s what certain life situations call for.

Death. Funerals. What a long emotional week.  Burials, I think, are a marking of the initial stages of closure. It’s kind of like in sewing, when you tie knots in the end of the stitching to make sure the item doesn’t unravel. It’s to keep the piece as a ‘whole’ and make it complete. At least for me, today marked the closure of my grandmother’s life on earth. I know technically, she passed away last week, but for me, the burial/ funeral marks the official closure or celebration of her earthling life.

Closure. Sense of one chapter ending. So important. If I didn’t have closure, I would only imagine this grief would continue to linger, Not to say that I will no longer grieve, but I think it makes moving forward easier.

Just like in a storybook,  each ending chapter leads into the unfolding of the next chapter, which contributes to the overall story.  And I think, just because one chapter ends, doesn’t mean you can’t go back to reflecting on the chapter. After all, the rest of the story would not be in existence without the prior chapters, right?

And I have to admit, the saying ‘it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later’ does soften the blow of closures. And perhaps we all need those catch phrases to make life a bit more bearable in bite size pieces. Cuz death is a b.itch.

Good night Lola. See you later.

Blasting from the past

 I’m Soiree, not sorry,            Celebrating unapologetically 

Blasting from the past

Memories can pop up with the simple senses: a song, a phrase, a scent, an environment.

One of my prompts in my daily journal is “one memory”.

If it’s one thing this recent family death has emphasized for me, it is to think about all the feel-good childhood and adolescent (& even early adulthood)  memories that make you think about the person who passed away.

In a go-go type of world, it is sooo easy to just live life with each fleeting moment without taking a moment to pause; and think. Intentionally. And my world , right now, is just go go go go go go!!!

So here’s to intentional memory-tripping. Among this chaos that goes on your head during time of grief, there must be time to think about the good memories to keep you going. Imagine a world where you sat and immersed yourself in a ‘feel-good’ moment in your life Oma daily basis? Or imagine wher doing ‘blast from the past’ was just common practice?

I’m curious to see where this daily journey takes me. I have to admit, intentional seeking the of “one memory” is challenging, but I anticipate it gets easier with practice. And I anticipate that the more I think about the past, the more I will  have more gratitude.

Intro to #SoireeProjectGrowth

I’m Soirée, not sorry Celebrating,unapologetically

Intro to #SoireeProjectGrowth

its not about being perfect. It’s not even about knowing it all.  I know this. ” Intellectually”, I do.

But intellectual knowing is different than what actually happens in reality.

I tell myself that it’s all about the journey, not the destination. I have always continually told myself that it’s okay to not have a concrete plan; & that the important thing to do is to get started & things will work themselves out.

Truth is, I procrastinate. I have a ton of beautiful blank journals waiting to be inked. But they remain uninked because I don’t wanna ruin them without having a roadmap or concrete plan of what I plan on using them for. Or more often than not, i can’t decide on a layout of how I am going to decorate them with my washi tape, fancy writing, or cute die outs. Ask a result, the journals lay there, untouched. Waiting for the perfect time.

It’s strange how loss can change your perspective, igniting that sense of urgency to “just do it now”or compile that bucket list. GRIEF. A damn five letter word that can shake you.

So here I am. I’ve always wanted to do a daily blog. But just didn’t know on what.

And now I have a reason.

#Soireeprojectgrowth starts today. It’s been at least 15 years since I’ve had someone super close to me pass away. And I don’t remember loss being this hard. I can’t recall how long ago I felt this awful.

So part of this daily blog is to document my growth project; to take this awful feeling inside my core  (which I assume is related to grief) & mobilize it into something more positive.  Plus this project will get me to do that $hit I’ve put off for too long.

These are the things I’ve always wanted to do daily! But complained there was never enough time or energy. The excuses stop. Today.

I’m notorious for starting one project & letting it fizzle. So maybe if I write it out & plan with intention, it’ll somehow lead to some sort of transformation. Or perhaps lead to some sort of internal shift in my sense of self. Or maybe for once, I’ll finally complete a project in its entirety.

May this be the beginning of a #project365 that is adopted in my daily way of being. Come follow my journey.

Here’s what I’ll journal daily in my personal (physical) journal, the 11 tasks I will strive to complete everyday.

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And each day, I’ll blog about 1 of the above subtopics on this website. Let’s see where I land in 1 week, 1 month, 1 year.

I must remember that it’s all about the process, and that it’s okay to get messy in the mess. And that it’s okay, because I am human after all & that being human is part of this ride. Long or short, brief or excessive, hard & windy, we all have a story to share. Here’s mine.

Here’s to day 1.

Opportunities a #girlboss sees, she shall seize

 

Boss: Know no bounds

(the blog for the aspiring novice entrepreneur boss)

Opportunities a #girlboss sees, she shall seize

I read a quote earlier in the week on the Forbes Instagram. “The opportunity of a lifetime needs to be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity”- Leonard Ravenhill.

So beautiful, & so true. Have you ever hummed & hawed on a proposition that was asked of you? That hesitation, perhaps, was some reservation you had about whether or not you would be able to manage a new project. Or perhaps it was the paralyzing fear that tends to come in tandem with new territory. I have been here many times before, only to learn that by the time I was ready say yes & take on the new challenge (which could vary from a few hours, days, or weeks), those opportunities & moments had already gone me by.

Just like milk or bread, opportunities have an expiration date, or shall I say, a shelf life. Given my experience, both as an aspiring girlboss & in my personal life, I’ve learnt that when something good comes your way, you jump on board…and figure out the details later on.

True story: I have one day off from the work week from my main gig. Reality is…that one ‘day off’ really has not been spent as a day off. I am constantly ‘hustling’ on my day off, whether it is taking a course/ attending a class, responding to emails, finalizing craft orders. I feel like I am busier than ever compared to when I was a full-timer at my main gig. One thing that has become truly apparent in the entrepreneurial business, is that each minute counts & that time needs to be maximized. Having your small business requires more time & energy than a traditional ‘nine to fiver’. If you want something, take it like you own it. Once it’s yours, you will have the time to figure out the details later on I can ascertain some of my successes to the fact that I am often the first one to say yes to project proposals without necessarily always having a concrete plan in place  at that given moment. With that being said, a lot of work must be put in after you have seized that opportunity.

So back to my original message, “opportunities that a #girlboss sees, she shall seize”, it’s really about grabbing the bull by the horns & owning it when it crosses your path, because it won’t always be there. All it takes is a few moments before someone else snags something that could’ve been yours….& wouldn’t that suck! Here are some tips that have aided me when I’ve seized the opportunities & needed to figure out ‘now how the heck do I execute what I’ve committed to?”

Expectations: Set specific expectations with the other party (if applicable) & confirm details on the product they are expecting from you. In my line of work, I do custom work, therefore rarely is there any duplication of items. I spend a lot of time confirming & re-confirming orders.

Time frames– deadlines, delivery pick ups, dates of parties, all dates to be specifically set up. A big part of this is also allocating an appropriate timeframe for you to execute your project & ensure there is ample time for it all to materialize.

Progress pics & update reports- I love sending progress photos to clients. I find it helps build rapport with customers; & gets them really excited. Heck, it gets me excited too! As we know, excitement builds momentum.

Consistency- Having a consistent time work schedule of when tasks will be executed & completed helps with the momentum of a project. Consistency also allow you to ensure you get the work done. Trust me, you will encounter issues & unexpected pitfalls.  Consistency & persistence becomes even more essential when these curve balls come your way.

DO NOT underestimate your own amazing-ness This is a biggie. In times of uncertainty & when pursuing some thing new, it is all too easy to get caught up in self-doubt. When that tiny voice of uncertainty begins to chime in, tell that voice it is unwelcome….& continue on with your day. Just remember, you are amazing….and others know it too!! That is exactly why you were chosen amongst the rest at what you do.

The last point is the most pertinent of all. You are amazing! & you deserve all the great opportunities that come your way. They don’t call you (girlboss) boss for nothing.

Yours truly,

SoireeFrillsCo.

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Boss-in-training: No-no bounds

(The blog for my growing girls, who I strive to raise strong fierce ladies & soon-to-be bosses. The ‘don’ts’, followed by the ‘dos’).

Embrace the fear

Dear Elle & Enne,

Never let fear or uncertainty stop you from doing something great.

Earlier last week was a pretty big milestone for you Elle. You started kindergarten, your start of an embarkment of a new adventure in the education system. That first day, you wanted me to stay the whole day (I’m sure, in part, because I made it to be such a big deal) & squeezed my hand a little bit harder when it was time for me to let go.

I told you that today was going to be a great day, and that you needed to find that “great” thing without mommy there. That day, I was so thankful you didn’t cry (because honestly, I think the insides of my heart was doing a mini cry because I was unexpectedly struggling with this transition). Kudos to you Elle.

And for you Enne, this was a transition for you. Since you saw your sister wearing her ‘big girl kindergarten’ outfit, you also insisted wearing a backpack too. And you also insisted on having your photo taken as well.

Don’t let scary changes stop you. Embrace all things that can be fearful, for it is in fear do we experience growth. Opportunities tend to be looming in places where people are brave enough to explore. Someone once told me to be the ‘trailblazer’ in initiating a trend (fine! This is literally in instances pertaining starting a food fine). Elle & Enne, my wish for you is to be that trailblazer. Zoom, off you go.

Love,

Mom

Own it, Unapologetically

Boss: Know no bounds

(The blog for the aspiring novice entrepreneur boss)

Own it, Unapologetically

After a lengthy hiatus from the blogosphere, I feel rejuvenated & ready to tackle what may come. I did tons of reflection over these past few months. That period of time was much needed. As they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder. And when you’ve been away for some time, you really get to find out who you are, who you wanna be, & how badly you want something. I also believe that intermittent periods of soul searching is cleansing for your inner self. And this time away has re-enforced that I want to continue to pursue this side hustle passion of mine.   With that being said, one thing that was truly emphasized these past months is that to be your own boss, sometimes that means standing your ground & owning up to what exactly it is that makes you ….YOU.

This means owning up to your likes, your dislikes, what grinds your gears, what enlightens you, how you do things, & how you like things done. In the last 3 decades of my life, life experience has taught me this: many peeps love giving unsolicited advice. People will tell you (deliberately I may add) how things SHOULD be done, how things SHOULD operate, what isn’t good, and & how things SHOULDN’T be. It has taken me almost more than 30 years to be able to internalize my thoughts of “Just eat it” to outwardly saying something more respectable such as “that’s not how I see it” to get my point across.

In celebration of being your own boss, some pointers of “owning it” is recognizing your quirks, eccentricities, & preferences. In a nutshell, everything about you is what makes up your brand in your small business, & that is important to recognize.

Here are some things that make me, ME; & what makes up SoireeFrillsCo. , the small business that it is today. (The following content frankly reminds me of a high school yearbook entry,…but I loooove high school yearbooks). On a side note, you may find the following content annoying; which in that case, you can choose to discontinue reading (just saying).

Believer in:  Unicorn & rainbows, coffee- then life

Lover of: cheesy musicals, burgers with goat cheese, breakfast all day, coffee, cheesy puns

Reality morning ritual: running late, coffee deprived, music blaring in the car

GOALS morning ritual: coffee & podcasts, with a side of crafting & mindfulness

FAVE colour schematics for both fashion & décor: Colourful, bright, mismatched, geometric, oversized

FAVE fashion items: Denim, jackets, fashion (fake) glasses, patches, oversized accessories

What grinds my gears: People who don’t follow through; weak coffee, pessimism

Things that motivate me: Other #girlbosses, my kids, criticism

Why I craft: my therapy, it fuels me, I love being part of people’s celebrations through my creations

I own way too many: journals/ planners, (sun)glasses, & stamps

Girl jammers: Taylor Swift, Gwen Stafani, Beyonce, Katy Perry

Boy jammers: The Chainsmokers, Maroon Five, Daryl Ong, Pharrell Williams

Guilty pleasure: I love watching Asian TV drama series (And yes, I do talk & scream at the TV; and ask way too many questions- according to my hubby)

5 Personal attributes:

i) I am a night owl; & love my ‘me-time’ to craft & conjure up new ideas when the rest of my world is sleeping

ii) I love vintage; which is why I love garage sales & thrifting

iii) I am not afraid to do things alone; & quite frankly, I prefer to do most things solo

iv) I see myself as a free spirited bird

v) I am messy, but I can find anything in my mess. And don’t you dare touch my piles!

Boom. I said it. I own it. & I’m not apologizing for any of the above.

The bottom line, my friends, is that the more you are comfortable with who you are, the more you will be able to stand your ground, especially in moments when others will question you/ challenge you/ disagree with you/ or will frankly just tell you that you just don’t cut it. You define you; & your business.

The secret in this line of business of being your own boss is this: the more real & honest you are, especially with yourself, the simpler & more enjoyable life can be, no apologies necessary. OWN IT! As Flo Rida says, “Welcome to my house”.

Yours truly,

SoireeFrillsCo.

Boss-in-training: No-no bounds

(The blog for my growing girls, who I strive to raise strong fierce ladies & soon-to-be-bosses. The ‘don’ts, followed by the ‘do’s’).

 Soiree Not Sorry

Never apologize for wanting to celebrate. Everyday successes are meant to be acknowledged & celebrated. Don’t let other’s pessimism minimize the importance of the joy each day can bring. A few months ago, I heard a few adults complaining about how we now live in a culture that goes over the top for birthdays.  & then they continued to jibber jabber about how “back in the day, all I had was a birthday cake & candle; & that’s all I needed to make me happy….not this orchestra of balloons & backdrops…YADDA YADDA….” & this conversation went on for the next 10 minutes (which by the way, is 10 minutes of  narrow-minded negativity I will never get back). While I understand that today’s culture presents a different type of pressure for this younger generation of parents , newlyweds, & celebrants of all sorts, there is no need to be harsh about other’s people’s choices & lifestyle preferences. But that latter thought got me thinking (no need to be harsh about other’s people’s choices & lifestyle preferences) Who am I to judge if other people are going to be judgy?? Heck, even I can be judgmental… & as this blog post indicates, we all have ideations & opinions; & we can’t help it if they may be vastly different than the person sitting next to you. Maybe the point of it all is that people will have varying perspectives, but that doesn’t mean you have to change anything about how you feel. This is where this blog post topic resonated: SOIREE, NOT SORRY.

Celebrate big. Celebrate small. Celebrate in any way your inner self desires. Celebrate those main holidays & your birthdays; but also celebrate the days in between. Holidays & birthdays are so far in between that if you waited around for just those celebrations, you would be spending more days in a robotic state of fashion.

Elle & Enne, you know those occasional mornings we sleep in, watch music videos, & dance like maniacs in the living room in our PJs? You should be able to do that, even when it isn’t your birthday. You want to have a Trolls themed birthday party with lots of sprinkles on your birthday cake? Done. You want to go to the zoo & have a picnic at the playground just because it’s finally sunny? Okay, let’s do it! You wanna wear glow in the gear before bedtime just because? Right on. Never let anyone tell you that those are ridiculus ideas.

Don’t let others make you feel inferior to wanting to celebrate. Live, love, & laugh. Soiree it up (which by the way, doesn’t necessarily needing a hefty wallet). Everyone wants happiness; and that my girls is my wish for you;…to live large & be happy, frills & all, without having to apologize to  pursue what makes your heart happy. I will 100% always be there to celebrate in any way you like. Lucky for you, I love making party décor & all that frilly stuff.

Love,

Mom

 

Celebrate each moment like it’s yo’ birthday

Boss: Know no bounds

(The blog for the aspiring novice entrepreneur boss)

Celebrate each moment like it’s yo birthday

The whole focal point of my small business is celebrating those special moments, both big and small. I am a big advocate for celebrations of all sorts of achievements & milestones.

For me, it goes hand in hand with the notion of being in the present moment, the here and now.

In this day and age, there is a day celebrating each type of imaginable event, food item, or activity that you can think of. Just the other week, it was National Unicorn Day (which by the way, I am slightly obsessed with unicorns); & I cannot wait till National Coffee Day, Running Day, or Burger Day.

Are celebrations cliché? Maybe. But what I love about celebrations is that it allows one to reflect on the accomplishments of that particular celebration. And course, gives a platform and reason say ‘cheers’ & ‘hip hip hooray’.

As I digress from the real topic at hand, my small business started out as a hobby to celebrate my kids’ birthday parties. It was during that first year of maternity leave I really felt I was in my “home zone” when I was creating all the party décor and embracing all those frilly details I had never really paid attention to before. I had always known that I was a creature of creativity, but I didn’t know how passionate I was about the arts & crafts until about 5 years ago.

As part of my business venture, I love being a small contribution to people’s happy celebratory moments. There isn’t anything more gratifying when the love you put into your work is also appreciated & loved by others. That is my biggest reason for pursuing this craft business.

As I age, & as I have witnessed some shifts in societal & cultural norms, it certainly gives me a greater appreciation of the importance of celebrating where we are today.

Ironically, it happens to be my birth month, more specifically, my birthday week. Or perhaps it is the other way, where I’ve become reflective on the topic because it is another birthday milestone for me. Either way, the month of April has really got me thinking about celebrations.

So in celebration of the general topic of celebrations, here are my top 10 reasons why celebrating is a must:

1. No one else is you; Only you is you. That in itself, is amazing. Afterall, there are billions of people on this earth; yet, no one else can replicate you.

2. You are here. Boom. Enough said.

3. Today is the present; and the present, as the word denotes, is a gift. Celebrate that gift.

4. If it’s a good day, take it. There is just too much negativity in this world that having a good day is a celebration in itself.

5. There is no such thing ‘waiting for the perfect time’. People wait for the perfect moment; or when things are better; or when a specific time comes (ie. Waiting till the 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th birthday). If we embrace the notion that there is no such thing as the perfect timing, perhaps we will all then be keen to make those celebrations happen.

6. Who wouldn’t want a celebration feast, snack, get together, or reason for a siesta? I don’t know about you but I find every reason to go for a specialty coffee or foodie outing.

7. Party decorations & party favours. My favourite reason of all. It is a great excuse to beautify a special space or event.

8. Pictures. I love pictures. Pictures are concrete proof of your existence through history. And people are more likely to take pictures during celebrations. And pictures make me happy, as do the rest of the world. Isn’t that why selfies and groupfies have become all the rage?

9. Parties are a great reason to dress up. Such a great excuse to dig up those outfits you have been dying to wear but didn’t necessarily have a function to wear it. Now is that time.

10. “Just because”. You don’t need a reason to celebrate. You can celebrate each moment like it’s your birthday party if you wanted to (hence, my letter board signage I posted on this blog post). The world is your oyster, and you can choose to celebrate each & every moment.

11. The extra reason. When celebrations are given a ‘date’ or anniversary’ in a calendar, people are more apt to celebrating that event. Write it down. And make it happy.

Motivation of the week: It’s my birthday week this week. And you can count on the stars that I am going to enjoy every bit of it & soak in all the glory for what it’s worth.

Always me,

SoireeFrillsCo.

Boss-in-training: No-no bounds

 (The blog for my growing girls, who I strive to raise strong fierce ladies & soon-to-be bosses- The ‘don’ts’, followed by the ‘do’s’)

Celebrating those milestones

Dear Elle & Enne,

I love celebrating every milestone ever achieved by you. Your first laugh, smile, coo, & word. I took photos of those moments when you had your first bite of cereal, when you first went swimming, or the first time you rode on an airplane. I have taken photos of you for almost each firsts in the first few years of life; as if an attempt to etch those moments in my brain forever.

Each of those moments are precious and worth celebrating. I love being your mom because you have given me my biggest reasons to celebrate in life.

Thank you for coming into my life. And for giving me yet another reason to celebrate in life. As long as I’m your mom, I will have plenty to celebrate.

Don’t ever think any achievement is too small to celebrate. Don’t let anyone tell you that something isn’t a big deal….because I will always tell you, IT IS A BIG DEAL.  Embrace life & life’s celebratory milestones; for that is what makes life worthwhile. (P.S. Yes, I am that mom who loves to ask on a daily basis what their favourite part of the day was, because there is always at least one thing to be grateful for each & every day). One day, when you become your own bosses (who am I kidding, these two kiddos already know whose boss, and it sure ain’t me most days, lol), you will learn that part of doing what you want & love means enjoying the journey along the way. When you celebrate your achievements & life’s happy moments, you will learn the value of what you bring to the table. & you my girls,  have so much to bring to that table.

Love, Mom.