How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe for Work

THIS POST WAS INSPIRED BY LAURE AND LAURIE, AND ALL INFORMATION CAME FROM THEIR POST HERE. LIKE AN INSENSITIVE IDIOT I DIDN'T CREDIT THEM BEFORE. ONLY THE OPINIONS AND PHOTOS ARE MINE.

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe consists of  some of your favorite pieces and items of clothing that can be mixed and matched and also worn in many several different ways.

As pictured above, you can see how the same pieces of clothing are being used to put several different outfits together. Before I share my experience with building a capsule wardrobe, I want to share the benefits of doing so, so that you really understand the process that goes into this.

Why Build A Capsule Wardrobe

The main reason why this whole idea of building a capsule wardrobe is so appealing is all the benefits that comes with it.

Benefits : 

1.) It saves time.

I don’t know for you, but for me this is gold. I’ll gravitate towards anything that will save me time in the mornings. Not having to stand in front of the closet forever trying to decide what to wear truly is a good feeling. All the stress of getting ready in the morning suddenly goes away when the clothes you need are already there waiting for you.

2.) It saves money.

Having a capsule wardrobe doesn’t only save time but it also saves money. Think about it, the amount of money you would be spending for work clothes significantly decreases because you’re not buying clothes because you think you have nothing to wear.

3.) It declutters.

For example, in this work capsule, I have outfits that will last me up to a few weeks. And these are not new clothes that I went out to buy. I went through my closet and sorted through my clothes and picked out what I thought would be good for work. In the process I also got rid of things I  know I would never wear.

How To Start on Your Capsule Wardrobe

There is no one way to  build a capsule wardrobe. You can make your own rules when it comes to this just like you’d build a regular wardrobe .

But if you have no clue where to start, let me briefly break down the process that went into creating this capsule wardrobe pictured  above.

Capsule Wardrobe.png

Key pieces   – The key pieces in your capsule wardrobe are those pieces that I call the solid pieces. These solid pieces have the ability to  completely change an outfit. This why they’re so important. In this case it would  be the blazer or duster .

Basic Pieces  – Unlike the key pieces, the basic pieces can be used to wear under a blazer or duster. This can be like a simple top.

Extra Pieces  –The extra pieces are the pieces you don’t need but can choose to add just to spike up your outfit. For example, accessories can fall under the category of extras. I  can choose to add a necklace along with my outfit but it’s definitely not a must. Same thing would go for a scarf.

So how did it work out for me????

I HATED IT!!!!!!! OMG, it was one of the worst experiences of my life!!!! Despite all of the benefits to having a capsule wardrobe it just doesn't work for me. So many days my mum would say to me, "You're wearing that AGAIN?" And I would fee bad because I felt trapped and confined to just those choices. Which is why I introduced so many options. Even then, I had to do laundry every week just so these options were available again. With my wider wardrobe, I have enough clothes to last me at least 2 months without washing, which I loooooove.

The next stressful part was having to photograph every single outfit just for this post. It's hard to take photos of your outfits for 20 days in the morning. Some mornings were ideal but most mornings I was in a mad dash to get to work on time and avoid traffic.

I also lost 2 days every week due to dress up days at work. Every Thursday was the seniors t-shirt day and Fridays usually became some fundraising dress up day. So I couldn't photograph those outfits, making this process even longer. I eventually quit after 12 outfits because I just couldn't stand to do this for one more week.

But just because I didn't enjoy it, doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try. Don't let my experience stop you. It's definitely worth a try and it really forces you to get creative with the same pieces. What do you think? Would you ever try a capsule wardrobe? Share your views and advice in the comment section below.

5 Ways To Stop Letting Your Personal Issues Impact Your Work

5 Ways To Stop Letting Your Personal Issues Impact Your Work

The boundaries between our personal lives and professionally lives continue to get blurred – and it’s easier than ever to let one impact that other. Especially since millennials are the “most stressed out generation” according to an American Psychology Association survey. (Hmm, I wonder why.....?) It’s impossible to flip a switch and leave all the personal happenings behind when you step into the office, but it’s essential you try to prevent your personal issues from impacting your work.

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Tuesday Ten: 10 Summer-Ready Outfits for Work

Tuesday Ten: 10 Summer-Ready Outfits for Work

Summer is coming and with it a whole new set of office-appropriate-attire rules to follow. Make the most of every single day—and balmy night—this summer with any one of these gorgeous inspirational looks that will help you seamlessly transition between the boardroom and after-hours cocktails. And with my added tips, you'll be sure to rock this summer in style (without getting fired)!

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Tuesday Ten: 10 Outfits That Are Safe for Work, But Not Boring

Tuesday Ten: 10 Outfits That Are Safe for Work, But Not Boring

You can stop wondering what to wear to work to look as stylish as you do outside the office. I've found ten work outfits that are far more chic than suits for women. Find your perfect mix of office-appropriate dresses, shoes, skirts, bags and sweaters. Whether your job is ultra-corporate or incredibly creative, here are ten outfit inspirations that make dressing for the office a simple job—and might help you land the corner office you deserve.

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Spring Into Action: How to Ask For What You Want

When I got my first real job out of college, I was an Administrative Assistant in a financial company with only 5 staff members. I knew nothing about finances, but having worked there a previous summer, it didn’t take me too long to catch on. In my interview, my soon to be boss told me that I would be making $1000 per month. Now we all know that is not a lot of money. Especially for a person with a lot of hobbies like myself. Made worse, I planned on enrolling in an online university to pursue my Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy and knew that would not be enough. But I didn’t want to get greedy. After all, I only had a Bachelor’s degree and no work experience. So I looked him in the eye and said, “Could I be paid $50 more?” It was so simple but that little question I asked made all the difference. The fact that I even dared to ask for more money made my boss respect me so much more. Ever since then, I’ve had a way of asking for things that almost guaranteed approval.

Whether it’s a raise, a boost in responsibilities, or even just a little time off, asking for what you want in the workplace can be one of the most difficult tasks on your to-do list. Now, I’m no Martha Stewart, but I have picked up a few tips and tricks that I can share with you today to help you go for it—and ask for what you want. After all, asking the tough questions, standing up for yourself, and being your own advocate is crucial for long-term success, happiness, and overall satisfaction at work. And, there’s no one in this world who knows what you want (and sometimes need) better than you do.  Now, let’s get into it…

Remember Your Value. If you don’t truly believe that you deserve that big promotion, no one else will. Remind yourself of all of your accomplishments, and run through a list of all of your positive assets. A little confidence boost can change the tone of any workplace conversation, and will allow you to voice your request in an assertive and poised manner. Think about what you’re asking for, and go over all of the reasons why you deserve it. Just like in my job interview, I was able to ask for more money because I knew I deserved it. When my boss could see that I was genuine and not backing down, he thought nothing of it to grant my request.

Body Language. Did you know that altering your body language even the tiniest bit can make you feel more powerful, confident and optimistic? Not only does your body language affect how others perceive you, but it can actually change the way that you think and feel about yourself. Be cautious of how you carry yourself. You want to be assertive but not so assertive that you put off the person you’re speaking to. So look your boss straight in the eye, sit a little taller, and use your body language to your advantage.

Be Gracious. This one is super important. Being gracious and asking for what you want in a calm, confident, and POSITIVE tone can make or break it. Most of the time, it’s not necessarily what you say, but how you say it. When asking for that well-deserved raise, make sure to acknowledge how grateful you are for the job you have, the opportunities it has provided you and the experience that you have gained. Even if my boss did not grant my request for a bigger salary, I would have been gracious and accepted the job any way.

Don’t Let a ‘No’ Bring You Down. This might be the most important piece of advice that I have to give you. Don’t let a ‘no’ determine your value, or veer you off your desired path. Every single one of us will hear the word ‘no’ more than once in our lifetime. It doesn’t mean that you should give up, or that you don’t deserve what you asked for. We need to think of as ‘no’ as incentive to keep up the hard work and continue to challenge yourself. You’ll get there eventually. Also, I’ve found that the most personal and professional growth has come from situations where I don’t get what I want, and I have to figure out creative ways to make things work.

Now, most of these tips and tricks not only apply to asking for what you want in the workplace, but also in your personal life. I’ve found that the most meaningful lessons that I’ve learned at work also translate to my everyday life.

Do you have any tried and true tips on how to ask for what you want in the workplace? Share them in the comments!

XoX,

Motivational Mondays: How to Create a Work-Life Balance

Yesterday on Facebook, my profile asked me to write an introduction about myself. I had no idea what to write. It’s weird how difficult it is to describe yourself, especially when you’re trying to sell yourself. And you know what I wrote on? I wrote about my career(s). I talked about being a therapist and blogger. It’s interesting that I chose my career(s) as the defining feature of who I am, and what makes me, me. But a lot of us do this! We often get so consumed with our careers and it’s not hard to do. We spend half of our week at work, and if you’ve got kids, or if you’re in school and working full time like me, it can be hard to find time for yourself. Finding a work-personal life balance isn’t easy, and often takes tough decision making, but it is possible. So today I’m going to tell you how I’ve learned to achieve this balance through my own experiences.

As a therapist, I can’t bring my client’s problems home with me. This is made easier by confidentiality issues so I can’t even talk about any of it with anyone. Knowing that I ethically cannot take their issues home with me makes it much easier to leave everything at the door. It prevents burnout and I never feel overloaded. At work, I have learned the power of not responding at all. Sometimes a co-worker will intentionally do or say something to you to antagonise you or get you into trouble, but getting riled up pushing back could actually make the situation worse, especially if you’re not good at compartmentalising your emotions. Then there are times when I have to say no, even if it comes off as mean and insensitive. It’s not easy, but if you have the kind of co-workers or boss that understands, if you can just take the time to explain your needs, it should be easier. For me, I ask that no one even speak to me if I’m eating, because of my health-related issues and I don’t attend extra-curricular events that infringe on my personal time away from work. It’s all about creating boundaries and making it known.

This is why the key to creating a healthy work-life balance is living intentionally. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of work, home, sleep, repeat. Living robotically will never bring you happiness; and waiting around for happiness to find you isn’t the best game plan either. You must intentionally seek your own happiness, through an activity you really enjoy. The best activities are the ones that get you out of the house, excite you and teach you something new. Attending church regularly has really helped me to wind down and prepare my head for a new week in the office. The praise and worship, teachings and enlightening conversations with my friends all help to keep me feeling positive and refreshed. I have even declared a Sabbath so that I have one, do-nothing day per week. Maybe there’s something you need to cut-out, or something positive you need to add. When you know what your life is supposed to look like, it’s easy to decide what doesn’t belong.

A simple practice of intentionality: before you do the next action online or at work, pause a moment, close your eyes and mentally say your intention. Why are you doing this? Is it out of compassion for others, or yourself? Is it to make someone happier? To improve the world? Out of gratitude for the work and kindness of others?

And then as you do the action, be mindful of your intention. This is a small step, but in those few moments you will be living an intentional life.

Ephesians 5:15 NIV “Be very careful, then how you live – not as unwise but wise, making the most of every opportunity…”

How do you achieve the right work-life balance for you?

Everyone is different, so you all might have some different tips than the ones I just shared. Leave yours in the comments below—I’d love to read them.

XOX,

 

5 Ways to Be Healthy at Work

I’m a working girl. (No, not that kind of working girl). I work in an office…with women…in a school….an all age school…so I’m sure you can understand my days of coming home and channelling my inner Olivia Pope with a glass of wine in the dark and something totally unhealthy for “dinner”. To enact my revenge, I keep a jar with an endless supply of candy on my desk and often tempt the some of the teachers and my other co-worker who’s really into coffee like me into having what my nutritionist likes to call, a “coffee milkshake”. In fact, my stress levels got so high, and my eating habits got so bad, that two years ago, I was carted off my job to the hospital with severe abdominal pains. From then on I swore to take better care of myself on the job, and I’ve been doing pretty well at that. And given that this is a new year, let’s not sink into old habits simply because you’re at work! Here are a few tried and true ways to maintain that healthy new regime that you have all planned out to avoid killing your co-worker – I mean, stay healthy!

1. Always Eat Breakfast

Oats, eggs, bran, seeds, yogurt… Whatever it is you are planning, make sure you eat before work, as it will keep your energy level up. Staying energetic will encourage your determination. This is key to maintaining your new healthful lifestyle when things get stressful at work.

Now for me, I can’t do this. I’ve got my body on an eating schedule to eat every 3 hours. I have to be to work for 8 am, which means my first meal would be around 6 am, which means I would be hungry again by 9 am, which is when I normally eat my first meal of the day anyway. I’m lucky to have the kind of job (where I can argue for this logic) that allows me to eat my breakfast when I get to work, since I don’t actually stop working to eat. I just try to stay in one place long enough to finish eating. I found that eating later keeps me feeling full longer. And for days when this logic doesn’t work…

2. Bring Healthy Snacks

All those ideas you have for healthy food that you probably found on Pinterest? Don’t just bring them for lunch; pack some up in a separate lunch box for snacking on. If you keep your blood sugar up throughout the day, you will not only curb cravings and stop reaching for those forbidden items, but you will also heighten your metabolism!

If you want to go the nuts and carrots route, go right ahead. Yesterday I brought peanut butter for a snack and that went a long way! Sometimes I’ll bring tuna salad and crackers; I even brought a grilled cheese sandwich and oatmeal once. Pick what works for you and your appetite but try to stay in the healthy range. Over 300 calories is officially a meal!

 

3. Take a Walk

This is by far the easiest for me to accomplish. Working in a school, I’m often walking up and down delivering messages and various packages. Or I’m back and forth between my desk and the copier. Get outside if you can. This will re-inspire your workday, rinse out excess stress hormones, and provide you with some much-needed movement.

If you’re not as fortunate as me to have so many excuses to get up, don’t let that hinder you. If it is hard for you to leave the building, walk around the office! Say “hi” to some people, or run a note to someone in person rather than emailing it to them. The change of scenery and calories burned while walking should really help to improve your productivity and mood.

4. Do Yoga or Any Kind of Exercise

So you’ve got one of those jobs that pins you down to your desk from the minute you walk in the door. When you can’t leave your desk, try looking up a few “Chair yoga” moves, like Cow Face, or Eagle Arms. Or while standing at the copy machine, do a few leg extensions or squats. Stretching will replenish the blood flow to your limbs and open your upper body after hunching over your keyboard, paperwork, or phone.

5. Spend Your Energy Wisely

Remember when I said I work with all women? Well that can get pretty stressful, because someone is always misinterpreting what someone said or did, or their motive behind something as simple as taking a lunch break (I’m really not kidding about that last one). Every time someone or something stresses you out at work, spend a few moments separating from it before you respond.

Stress hormones are what cause the most damage in our bodies, emotionally and physically. They can curb metabolism, and push an adrenaline spike causing you to have a massive energy drop sooner then you want it. So spend a moment letting the tension from that item drip out of your body, and respond from a place of less adrenaline. You can do this by taking a walk to physically separate yourself from the stressor, put on your favourite song or call or text that best friend that always cheers you up.

Save your energy for healthier activities like the gym or that run you have planned after work!

 

Now you’re all set to take that fired up new attitude and apply it the New Year by invoking a new you that is easy to maintain from your desk. How do you stay healthy at work? Share with us below!

XoX,


6 Bahamian Co-workers You Never Want to Work with and How to Deal with Them

I have worked in an office for the past three years, and many days I've wondered why I thought this was the loftier of my choices. It's hard to imagine there being problems when you're cushioned by blasting AC and swivel arm chairs that go up and down, but trust me, it's rough. And unfortunately, it's not always the customers/clients who are giving me a hard time. When you work in an office, you'll have to work with all types of people and not all of them have the same goal in mind as you. Some have unrealistic expectations of climbing a non-existent corporate ladder, and your young and fresh presence is only going to get in the way of that dream. Somehow these people still have a job even though your employer swears up and down that they're making budget cuts. So how do you cope young Bahamian who just entered the real world? Or maybe you've been doing this for years and still can't make sense of the unnecessary drama that saturates a Bahamian office. So whether you find yourself working with a Trump or Kim Kardashian, here are 6 Bahamian stereotypical employees you never want to work with and how to deal with them.

1.      The "I'll be right back" co-worker

This co-worker is always trying to get out of work. They always have somewhere to be (that usually isn't work-related) and take forever to come back (if they ever do) yet somehow they still have a job. There's only one hour for lunch yet somehow they magically get away with taking two hours and never have a real excuse for why it took so long. This co-worker typically leaves their desk without saying anything to anyone.

How to Deal: Beware, you may be held accountable for this person's whereabouts. Kindly remind them that it is not your job to keep track of grown adults. As long as you know where you are, and your work gets done, their physical location is none of your concern.

2. The "I'm too busy" co-worker

This co-worker is always busy (but never really says with what). They're easy to spot because they’re too busy tuning everyone and everything out for their loud and long personal phone calls or unnecessarily loud music. Therefore they can't help to answer the phones, they can't get up to let anyone in, and they're probably asking other people to get their things off of the copier for them. Yet if you were to glance at their computer screen, they're probably so busy scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest that they almost actually look like they're doing work.

How to Deal: Don't be fooled by this co-worker. Press on them when you need something done. And when something doesn’t get done, just let a superior know that this co-worker was informed that work needed to be done. Officially not your problem anymore!

3. The "I've given my whole life to this company and for what" AKA The Drama Queen

If you have ever walked into any government office, you have seen this worker. This co-worker is easy to spot. They move slowly, don’t even bother to look for them on payday, and after all of the years of service they have given [insert random name of company here] you would think they would be treated better by now. They have stood on their soapboxes on countless occasions to protest and complain about how work takes up so much of their time, leaving them with no time for themselves. Nothing is ever good enough for this person.

How to Deal: These drama queens draw energy from the drama they create because it makes them the centre of attention (attention they never get). Unfortunately, giving them attention only increases their appetite, so your best bet is to ignore the histrionics until they run out of steam.

4. The "Why are you here" co-worker

We probably shouldn't call any of God’s creatures useless, but sometimes you find yourself staring at a co-worker and wanting so badly to ask them, “Why are you here?” This is the co-worker that just isn't good for anything. Every time you ask them for something they don’t know about it, don’t know how to do it, or just plain don’t want to do it. They make you wonder why you ever bothered going to college if you knew that your future employer would have such low standards. And yet, you probably find yourself calling this person boss, manager or supervisor.

How to Deal: These people need to look good regardless. If they’re constantly pestering you to show them how to do something, you have two options. Either you can play just as dumb as them, and pass the buck onto someone else, or just stand up for yourself. Put your foot down. Tell them to take a class. Tell them to take a hike. Tell them to take a bath with a toaster. No scratch that. Bad idea. Either way, this is the worst of them all. The person tends to outlast many co-workers in a Bahamian office.

5. The "Genius" co-worker

This is the Donald Trump of the workplace: Speaks really loudly about how smart they are and how they're going to have to do everything by themselves but have no real plan of action on how to get anything done, flip flops on issues that matter and produce little to nothing. But everything was ALWAYS their idea and would never have happened without their hard efforts. The “genius” co-worker is basically a parasite co-worker, who jumps in front to receive the accolades.

How to DealDon't you just hate the co-worker who is always trying to take the credit? It doesn't matter if you or the team came up with a great idea. To thwart them, always keep an “audit trail” of your contributions to a project in the form of regular status reports.

6. The "Frenemy" co-worker

The frenemy is much worse than simply being annoying -- they can hurt your career. This type of co-worker pretends to be your biggest cheerleader but subtly sabotages everything you do. They’re the ones toting gossip about everyone else in the office to you, just to see what you will say about that person and then tote it to that person, more than likely twisting your words. They’re the Kermit the Frog of the office: Creates drama, then sits back to watch and sips tea nonchalantly. You can’t rely on having this person in your corner when shit is going down. They’re only there for the story, they never pick sides. And it’s all part of their plan. In order for them to win, someone has to lose. If you have one in your midst, good luck.

How to Deal: Befriend the frenemy. That’s right. Smile with them, stay in their good graces. Even though you know they could turn on you in an instant, having other people see that you have been nothing but nice to this person will likely discredit any rumour they try to spread about you. And when they bring gossip to you, just nod or shrug, with a barely audible grunt from time-to-time that indicates you’re participating in the conversation when really you’re not. You don’t have an opinion on anything or anyone that happens around that office. Let them tote that!