The weekly review- week 2

I’m Soiree, not sorry               Celebrating, unapologetically

The weekly review- Week 2

Approximately 14 days in and it’s slowly becoming habit- the daily blogging (or at least knowing what each daily post is going to be about- the literal posts may be delayed by a day or two) and continuing to build my mindfulness skill set.

I had to re-visit what my week 1 review said. Ironically, the two items which I struggled the most with last week were my 2 strengths this week- “physical activity” & “pay it forward”. As it happened, this was unintentional. I did not seek out to improve those 2 deficits this week. But just like magic, coincidentally, these areas were strengthened.

This week, I conquered winter running, a bucket list I’ve been procrastinating for years. And in a couple blog posts this past week, “kindness” & “paying it forward” really resonated.

Without getting in too much detail, this week has been bombarded with not so good news. But, …. what I can say is this….despite being bombarded with unexpected & unpleasant occurrences, finding those moments of kindness  given by others, as well as finding those pockets of moments to give kindness to others, has made life that much more bearable. I was also able to find a new hardcore physical activity (winter running) that allowed me decompress this week with life shenanigans. And maybe life, as my mantra says (celebrating unapologetically) , is about learning to deal with life’s both delightful & unpleasant incidences the best way you know how…and maybe, there really is no right or wrong way to ride out these delightful or unpleasant occurrences.

Here’s to week 3 #Soireeprojectgrowth

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The relay race

 

I’m Soiree, not sorry
Celebrating, unapologetically

The relay race

One of my favourite childhood memories from elementary school is doing relay races. I loved the idea of handing off the baton to your team mate and cheering each other on; or patting each other to tell you you are doing a great job, even when you trip or fall behind the other teams.

Getting through a LOOOONNNGGG race is only possible when you have a team to hand off that baton. You will get tired. You will need a physical and emotional break to re-charge. You will need that water break.

And it’s always good to know who’s great at what & know each other’s strengths are. For example, I love setting the pace, therefore I know I like to go first. And I also know I don’t like being the anchor….( or last one). Sometimes the excruciating pressure to finish well can get to me and cause a few stumbles. And there are people who love being anchor. So guess who gets to be the finisher? Yup, that person who loves doing just that!
Being in a relay race with your team is like family. They are your essentials to get through this thing called life. They will pick up the parts where their strengths are better in certain aspects.They will cheer you on when you are doing great. And they will tell you when you need to pick up the pace when you are falling short of your game. They are the ones who will shed those same sweat and tears during your run. And they are the ones that make the defeats less isolating, the victories that much sweeter, and the the game much more meaningful. And when you are lucky, you will get to run with the same relay race team throughout multiple (victorious an some not-so-victorious) relay races.

Run. Baton. Handoff. Refresh. Repeat.

Sharing the spotlight

I’m Soiree, not sorry             Celebrating, unapologetically

Sharing the spotlight

Tell them they are great. Tell them that you notice the work they do. Tell them that it matters. And most importantly, tell them that you think of them.

Just because you let someone know they are doing great doesn’t mean it’ll get to their head. Just because you compliment someone else on the work that they do, doesn’t mean it takes away from how you, yourself, are also great. Telling someone they are wonderful doesn’t make you a suck up or a goody-two-shoes.

Allowing others to have the spotlight can bring so much joy to someone’s day, especially in the hustle bustle of the type of society we currently live in. A small gesture of giving something to someone because it reminded you of them, can be so empowering for others, and for you.

I often hear that people say that they are not in the business of what they do to be told they are doing great work. But I  am also a believer in that even if being told you are great is not the sole purpose of why you do what you do, it does not mean you still don’t deserve credit where it’s due every now and then.

Imagine if we lived in a world where giving and receiving compliments was commonplace. How much more beautiful the world would be.

I challenge you to allow yourself to hand the spotlight to people in your life every so often. Allowing others to shine makes you a star.

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.

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

 

Relationships 101: People need people

Boss: Know no bounds

Relationships 101: People need people

I love being a sole owner of my own small company. I like to have the final say in what projects I pursue, how I spend my time, and how projects are executed. Don’t get me wrong, I am a team player and I love doing for others; but when all other areas of my life are doing for others and doing with others, a part of me loves that sense of full control over the brand of Soiree Frills Co.

With that being said, I can’t expand a company just on my own. As a small business owner, I am only as successful as I have customers who invest in me & purchase my products and services. (It’s the same concept as celebrities saying to their fans in their awards speech that they are where they are because of the fans they have).

Having relationships with your customers and having a network is one of the key ingredients in marketing who you are as a small business. Word of mouth, social media platforms, attending craft events, and opportunities to engage with other small businesses are just a few key examples of successful marketing strategies.

Building business partnerships on a larger scale is one of my 2017 goals. This seems like a daunting task at hand, especially when business building is new territory for me. But if I keep the basic foundation skills of building relationships in mind, then those basic skills will carry me through the journey of enhancing business partnerships.

Strategies to build & strengthen relationships:

Listen. Listen to what the person wants. You, as a small business, obviously offers something that they want; they are coming to you for a reason. People want to be heard, especially when they are given an opportunity to plan an event, have a say in the decision-making process, & have a voice. Listen, as it provides an opportunity for them to be centre stage during their main act. Most people love it when full attention is theirs, especially when the celebration is all about them.

Remember the small details. Listening and hearing is one step; but remembering the content of that information is the other half of that same coin. As a small craft business, knowing the customer’s personality style is essential.Knowing the type of celebration party they are hosting is also an important detail.  Is it a big fancy, milestone gala in a big reception hall?Or is it a more intimate gathering with close friends in a favourite restaurant? Perhaps they are looking for a personalized & unique gift for a loved one. Is it for a special occasion or achievement? Is the gift a symbol of their love?

Yes, these details matter. Tailoring party décor & individual gifts based on the customers’ personality, party theme, & colour motifs are what makes any celebration special.

Capitalize on future opportunities with that same customer and their network. When you make people feel special, they are more likely to come back to you for future events. People will have other birthday parties/ celebration parties, so capitalize on future opportunities. Do your best with every event & transaction you engage in. Beautiful work never goes unnoticed; and it is amazing what people remember. Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing strategies & referrals from friends & families are a simple way of expanding your customer base.

Go above & beyond the initial request. People appreciate it when they get something ‘extra’ on top of what they were looking for. For example, I love it when I get freebies with an order. I also love it when I get personalized cards with an order. Therefore, I follow suit as a small business owner. When you go above and beyond (obviously within realistic parameters as a small business), customers will remember that about you. That is what will set you apart from the rest.

Execute & deliver. Talk the talk; but also walk the walk. Say what you do; and do what you say. This will add to your credibility, reliability, & trustworthiness of your small business.

Invite yourself to networking events. Don’t always wait for an invitation. Mingle with like-minded people and businesses. Informal chats are the best way to build relationships. Seek out these opportunities independently. And if you ever feel awkward about just showing up to an event on your own (especially if you are the sole owner of your own small business), pretend and believe you belong there. Afterall, you are boss; and bosses get to do what they want when they want how they want.

Always me, SoireeFrillsCo.

Motivation of the week: Coffee. And more coffee. Particularly on those nights when I am working on my craft projects…Plus I’ve had some really great conversations this week over coffee. Hence, the coffee picture above.

Boss-in-training: No-no bounds

Tribe vibes

Having relationships is important. Relationships ( whether with family members, peers you go to school with or work with) build the foundation of your support network. Having a tribe you can vibe with  makes life healthier, and funner. And we all need a lot of healthy and fun in our life. Sharing experiences and our successes throughout the lifespan is what makes life memorable.

Don’t get caught up with the wrong crowd. Don’t hang out with people that plant doubt in your hearts,  tear your dreams down, or make you do things that you do not want to do. People that do these things are toxic; and there is no room for toxic in leading a healthy life.

Surround yourself with people that make you feel good; make friends with people who have similar aspirations and interests as you. Find your tribe that makes you laugh & smile.

Cultivate the relationships that are healthy for you, for they are the ones that feed positivity into your soul. Be kind to others, and remember that relationships need nourishing to maintain its livelihood.  Receive, but also give back. Be heard, but also listen.  Take action, but also be present. True friends will be there in good times & in bad times; and so must you be there too.

Dear Elle & Enne,

I love watching you both play with your friends on the playground from a distance. I know I see you everyday but when I catch you in those moments when you do not know I am there, I see you both in a different light. I love how you both have made friends. And I love hearing your daily stories about what you did with your friends. You are both learning so much from the peers you see everyday. This playground is your first glimpse into the playground of life.

I want you to make life-long friends with people that make you laugh silly; kind of like how you are when I am secretly watching you on the playground at school. Your friends are an extension of you and they will play a vital role in life. You will soon learn one day that not everyone is kind all of the time. The world can be unfair & cruel. But happiness can be found amidst the harsh reality that life throws us. It’s the people we share moments with that make life beautiful.  I wish to see you cultivate healthy relationships with people that support you, be kind to you, & want to hang out with you because they like you for you. Friends are the people that make you want  to be a better person; they are  your cheerleading squad. I have been lucky enough to be friends with many of the same peeps for over 10- 20 years  who have stood by my side through many life milestones. I wish that you are as lucky to find friends that become family; just as I have been fortunate in friendships.

Love, Mom