My No Spend Week

Blog, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Happy 2020!

Quick recap on the MIA status of yours truly…

I’d been saving and looking for a home and… I found one! I’m hoping I can get more into a groove and reintroduce you guys to the me I am becoming so if you’re still subscribed… thanks 🙏🏽 and I plan to have some good, more consistent content for you guys now that I’m more settled.

So where was I? Yep! Okay… new home, new responsibilities… intro to me introducing a “No Spend Week” into the mix of my life. I heard as a new home owner, in order to make sure you don’t go in the hole and curve your spending to prepare for the spending that is home ownership; you should have a week were you don’t spend. Now let’s be clear on what that looks like. I’m not spending on the following:

  1. Non grocery foods ie eating out/ snacks/ beverages
  2. Clothes & shoes
  3. Make-up
  4. Amazon. Periodt.
  5. Apps & in app purchases
  6. Entertainment

It was ROUGH. Let me start by saying I failed the first day lol. I bought a bag of chips. 🙄. But after that it was smooth (lies it was hard work) sailing. Oh, did I mention that you can’t overcompensate spend prior to or after that week?

No spend weeks also means there is some degree of preparation. So to the people who do this and this is their norm… I applaud you. To those of us who have let “convenience” rule our pockets… there is help for us!

Where my money at?!

So off rip I know most of my money goes to outside food. Here is a non prep day for me usually.

Coffee – $2.00

Breakfast (milk & cereal single serve) – $3.00

Lunch cafeteria – $8.00

Midday snack – $3.00

Dinner (fast food) – $9.00

That’s $25.00 a day give or take and that’s just food.

And I don’t even want to consider the caloric intake but I’ll say this. I’ve gained 20lbs and I can see why now.

I go out at least once a week. Not happy hour but probably worse because my “go out” is usually to a fabric store or skating or some activity that triggers the need to go eat afterwards.

Not to mention my online shopping to “reward” myself for not going out. Listen amazon prime paired with Pinterest on a quiet Friday night is the devil.

The real silent killer is in app purchases… fingerprint purchases. 👀 This one week… I spent FORTY DOLLARS on the Covet app. Needless to say I let that app breathe for like two weeks after that.

But… it adds up. And quickly. Now the no spend week isn’t punishment but it should bring some fiscal / health / mental balance to your approach on adulting.

Prepare ye!!!

So like I said you ABSOLUTELY have to prep for a no spend week if you want your life to mirror your spend weeks.

Food:

I get up earlier in order to make my coffee and breakfast (NO OVERNIGHT OATS)

I definitely had to make sure my grocery shopping was done before I started this week because if you’re anything like me lack of food can lead to over spending.

A LITTLE variety is the spice of life… I went between cereal (frosted mini wheats) and smoothies for breakfast. I realized my taste gets bored when I know that I don’t have options. And I’ll tantrum starve myself which will lead to… spending to eat. So I switch it up. I DO buy Healthy Choice frozen dinners to break up left over lunches and curve fast food nights.

The biggest thing I learned was that it’s possible to NOT be wasteful. And you SHOULD eat everything in your fridge not save it for a just in case because that’s how food gets spoiled.

Kale was a LARGE part of my week / in smoothies… sautéed for dinner…

Take Aways

A no spend week with proper planning can work and save you money and help you adjust your spending habit better than a cold turkey approach. Case and point, when my no spend week ended I went with my homegirl to McDonald’s for breakfast because she was braiding my hair. When we were done it was evening and she was like “do you wanna get Philly cheesesteaks?” (We had been talking about them) I ended up declining because I realized I’d already spent $7 on food AND I still had food in the house. Small changes!

  • Plan – start by writing out what you tend to do on a daily basis
  • Be consistent – don’t use the no spend week as a week to let go of like… coffee. Creating immediate lack can set you up to fail so rather account for the things you normally do and consider no spend alternatives
  • Be present – don’t hoard shop anything. If you don’t cook a new meal every night. This isn’t the time to try it.
  • Avoid – avoid emails and cut off instant alerts that tell you about sales. Mute them if you can. I missed a few and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. It did. So avoid Fomo by ignoring the sales alerts altogether.
  • Communicate – let your peeps know this is a no spend week. They can keep you accountable AND they won’t pressure you to hang out and spend… some of the great friends may even postpone a festivity until your no spend week is over. That OR cover you!

This honestly was a success and anyone who is interested in saving or prepping for aggressive saving, I would encourage them to try this first.

Spend wisely!

Second Time Around – The Little Dress that Could

Blog, Creatives Create, Style & Fashion, What I Sewed

So let me start off by saying I’m OBSESSED with Cynthia Rowley. I do NOT have CR money but her simplistic cuts, luxurious fabrics, her keen sense of when to puff or ruff(le)… my eye is always drawn to her looks. It’s something about the way she makes bolds look like neutrals and everyday wear. I’m sold. But like i said, she is COMPLETELY out of my price range. When i saw this dress i was sick!

It’s sooooooo cute and quirky. But irl I knew I’d need it a bit longer cuz… booty; so then it became me on a hunt for a similar pattern. Simplicity pattern S8909 came through like a trooper.

Y’all… dress A is practically the Cynthia Rowley dress sans the ruffled hem. AND ITS RAGLAN SLEEVE AND I LOVE A RAGLAN SLEEVE. So in my mind I was like BET! So I had some “tester” fabric in my stash I was willing to make this dress with.

😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐

So…

A few things…

    Prints are tricky. In theory they work on paper and swatch and coquis but irl WHOLE OTHER BEAST
    I’m not a huge pastel girl so this was overwhelming
    Construction was simple enough
    If you’re focused; this dress can be completed and finished in 5 hours

And then this happened. Sizing for your shape is real and this is why pattern grading is clutch. The first run this was all bulk and the hem was entirely too long. This was the antithesis of a vibe and extremely discouraging BUT you gotta learn from your mistakes and often try again. So that’s what I did.

  • I shortened the hem AND bottom ruffle.
  • I went for a more easy bold pattern and made sure it was something I’d be more inclined to wear.
  • Created darts in the back for a more complimenting silhouette

This was it! the second try was a hit.

Though different; you can definitely see the influence and I love that!

What are your thoughts? Would you sew 🧵 this? Would you use a bold pattern or keep it simple?

I hope you enjoyed! Happy sewing!!!

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Community is EVERYTHING!

Reppin Sets

Lifestyle, Style & Fashion

I LOVE sets. Luuuuuuuhdem. They are easy wears they extend your closet. Who doesn’t love a matching set? It’s bare minimum 3 outfits in 2 pieces.

Then add neoprene into the mix and we fancy fancy!

So this set was a super quick sew that I made for resurrection Sunday and to this day, have worn the top again.

This was my first delve into neoprene fabric. When I tell you gorgeous… GORGEOUS! It was a mixture between this brushed faux suede and metallic that PHOTOGRAPHS beautifully

Let’s note a few things about this fabric

  • I got it at Joann’s Fabric it was 27.99 a yard with 40% + addtl 20% off coupon
    I bought 4.5 yards so technically not on sale fabric alone is over $100 😱
    I didn’t use it all “whew”
    This neoprene is two way stretch so you have to mind that when cutting out your fabric
    Neoprene is HOT AS HELL. So there’s that!

This whole thing was a simple sew (1 day) . A tube pencil skirt with pleated peplum and I hand drafted the sweatshirt top from a top I own – inspo blog on that in the next two weeks- and I LOVE IT.

If you aren’t into print; a simple color(s)will work with this also.

I actually plan on making more of these and will have pricing for sets available soon. I will say this style is flattering on most bodies because it really helped create a little shape where I lack. I’m not curvy (hourglass)but a pencil skirt and peplum bottom create a curve illusion.

Also sweatshirt tops are forgiving to the tummy so eat and be cute still!

I’d also like to note that I didn’t have to edit these pictures to bring out the detail of the fabric. That’s just really how crispy and beautiful this fabric is.

Its Me Made May!

Get into it!!!

Inverted Pleats & Rosemary’s Baby

Blog, Style & Fashion

I remember the day I made this.  It was the top of summer, the first summer in my new place – I remember because I still had premium cable – and Rosemary’s baby was on HBO.  Rosemary’s Baby ya’ll.  The top of summer in the middle of the day; a whole cult horror classic.  I had just swiffered my floor and though it was a nice day; I decided to work on my math (pattern making)

My mission? Pleats. Inverted pleats. Daunting little suckers because fabric and fullness are real.  Silky fabric required a LOT of pins.

It took 2.25 yards and 3 days to finish it.  it was a chocolate work of art.  But I was reluctant to wear it  a lot because oil transfer and oil is my choice moisturizer.

But silky satin skirts circa the 90’s are making a comeback (slip skirts… video coming) and pleats never left so I pulled this out for this nice breezy May day!

Things to note:

  • though the skirt looks slinky, pleats use a lot of fabric so this on a windy day is full out Marilyn Monroe vibes heavvyyy.
  • The wider the waistband the more cinched the waist looks.  If you are like me and don’t have hips, the pleating placement and wide waistband give the illusion of fuller hips.

  • If you drop food or are oily use light / print / or dark silky fabrics.  I feel like it’s a matter of time with me & chocolate wonder (its not her name but…)but this skirt is definitely spring vibes.

What are some of your experiences with silky fabrics?  Are you into pleats? Sound off and support your local creative!

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The Jane Re-Worked

Style & Fashion

“Make a t-shirt they say… it’ll be fun they say…”

It was.

This Saturday I had the “pleasure” of this quick sew. The quotes are because I managed to complete this even after two + GRUESOME hours of teaching dance WITH a crazy earache that I found out was a middle ear infection after spending hours at a minute clinic.

Wild. But it goes to show how quick this could be if you’re fully able bodied.

So the deets:

This is the Jane Pattern from Seamwork worked in a large. I could’ve fit a medium I’m sure but I really like loose fitting tees.

I reworked the construction of this after making one per their instructions and feeling highly “meh” about it.

Instead of sewing (I actually used my serger for this project) the sleeve to the bodice in a continuous motion; I opted to attach the sleeves by using the inserting method. It falls better IMO.

Collar / crew neck construction

So I saw the logic in how and why they make their collar look like a long flag that you cut on the fold but I like the “formula” way better because I personally think it lays better. But let’s be honest. If you’re using a serger it’s gonna lay just fine.

This knit fabric was incredibly tricky, I still ended up taking about 6/8 of an inch off of each side. I’m going to take that L and say it was me and not the pattern tho. But even with that trim and the 1/2 inch seam allowance you use with serging it, it’s still quite blousy so there’s that.

Now my bother did say the following “Jaikeyl; don’t go making mad white tees, Hanes already cornered the market” and I DO agree. BUT if you see a cute knit or cotton print that you can’t resist OR you always wished your tee sleeves went to your elbow *cough cough easy pattern hack* this is for sure something to keep in your sewist arsenal.

Happy New Year (This isn’t my House)

Blog

So it’s the New Year!!!! I hate to say “new year, new me” but in this case it’s sooo appropriate. I know I was slow to immobile the last part of the year. But this year I PROMISE more consistency; more transparency; videos; blogs and *gulp* a podcast?!?!

Until then let me wish you all a very Happy New Year 🥳

Prosperity, peace, joy and abundance in this new year and your new endeavors!!

🥰😘

We All Fall For Fall

Blog, Style & Fashion

I want to go on record saying I do not like the fall. I find it odd how people romanticize death. That’s all this season means to me. Death of summer, of warmth, of nature….of green. But people go mad over boots and sweaters and coziness. 🙄. Orange and browns. Meanwhile I’m blue. Because Seasonal Affective Disorder is real and because those are the colors I’m wearing.

My “neutrals” have never been browns or oranges… mainly because of my coloring; so I always tend to lean to cooler colors in the fall and winter rather than warmer colors.

Isn’t it odd people go warm tones in cold months and cool tones in warm months. Eh. Like I literally feel “eh” during this season.

I like to sort of hide but still look crisp because I don’t do well dressing “sloppy”. I look like a disheveled Mokie from Fraggle Rock so to keep my sanity, I keep it sharp(ish).

The top is Zara. They don’t have it anymore but if you’re into zippers this one is comparable.

The jeans are H&M – I looked all over… they are gone bro. But these jeans from F21 come close.

The shoes are Aldo’s

The hat is Forever 21. Though I honestly feel like I lucked up on the f21 find because most of their fedoras give off “cheap”; Urban Outfitters stays killing the game.

I’ve not yet acquiesced to boots or booties (even though my feet were chilly) but the pumps lend a sharpness that booties wouldn’t. Also the cool blue was in line with the color scheme but still accepting of cooler temps. It was a great balance to a dark top and hat.

Also shout out to Zennioptical.com for my frames! I can see and they’re dope!

Fall cometh. And even I can’t escape it so fashionably… I adjust.

Community is everything y’all; let’s build.

Fashion Catfish

Blog, Style & Fashion

So Hi! 👋🏽

Happy extended summer as I don’t fully recognize fall…😒

Here’s my anecdote about how I came to make this super dope jumper:

When I attended FIT, a few of my teachers commented on my ability to see a garment or a picture of a garment and be able to draw a rough pattern by sight. One teacher said “you have a wonderful counterfeiters eye!” Color me offended. And I mean UPSET. It greatly impacted my scrutiny on myself on whether I was “copying” or “creating” when it came to anything. It took me a second to realize that being influenced by what you see doesn’t make you a copier and that everything is a variation on the basic precepts of pattern design.

Fast forward to the here and now and fast fashion has become an opportunity for fashion scamming. With the intro of all of these “online only” fashion boutiques fashion catfishing is ever increasing. What do I mean? You see a picture of a thing and it’s poppin. You shell your cash out wait weeks only to get it and it look like “who did it and ran?”

I got got one time but I was a lucky one. I got my money back; however more and more people aren’t getting their money back and it is a helpless feeling.

Now, I’d seen a jumper online that I absolutely LOVED. But it was from a Chinese manufacturer that had TERRIBLE reviews

Like HOW CUTE IS THIS?!?!

Its all comfy and chill…

And I KNOW I could freak it in the fall but the company oshoplive.com has some heinous reviews and I don’t have $40 to waste plus the designer in me was like “Jai… look at the construction; this is a simple sew…” it felt like a Biggie lyric “took home ready to die, listened, studied it!” These are extra long gathered baggy pants with suspenders…

And here is where inspiration vs. copying steps in…

I’m not here for buttons and I truly wanted a simple sew so I made it a onesie rather than a button up. I had some GREAT Indian Batik fabric from JoAnn’s

Cotton & crisp. And two types of blue… what’s not to love?

I actually made it longer than the original I saw (the shoes I’m wearing – ASOS – are 6 inch platforms) because I wanted a maxi dress meets pants feel.

The “suspenders” are snap buttons because I said what I said… I wanted a quick sew.

I trimmed the top with ribbon that I’d had for almost 20 years!!! (That’s another story but I could SMELL MJ Trimmings on it when I ironed it ♥️)

This outfit gave me ethereal meets functional meets funky meets black girl magic! And this is no shot to the one I saw but side by side I’d pick my inspired version any day. And MAKING something leaves little room for you to be disappointed because you have the ability to keep going until you love it.

So all in all this is the story of how fashion catfishing inspired me to make this super dope jumper. I will be making a limited amount to be sold at the end of the month! Elastic top instead of ribbon to give a better one size feel. How would you make this fellow freestyle seamstresses?!?!

Community is Everything! Let’s build!

It’s a no for me Dog – Amazon Prime Day falls short

Blog, Techie

“🎶Oh the underwhelming, it just ended, day of amazon prime!🎶”

*This is an opinion piece*

Adult – non children – Christmas Day that comes in the form of Amazon Prime Day, felt like the Christmas when you realized Santa wasn’t real and your parent started buying gifts accordingly. Sure you got stuff, but the feeling was underwhelming. That was Amazon Prime day(s) for me.

Let me start off by saying I REALLY loved the marketing they did this year so that it didn’t just sneak up on you. I started seeing commercials two pay periods before it all went down. In my mind I’m like “oh this finna be flames🔥because they out here prepping you to save your coins!!!” And save my coins I did because I’m saving for a house so I gave my sister my credit card 💳 to hold so I’m not reckless.

The first day there were hecka glitches so there was that. I could see things but layout was triddash. When I was finally able to devote time to my search; I was like 😒 “what is happening”? Loved the category break down and the “search Prime Day” options but the choices were not great. Who has $500 to drop on Jibo?!

I literally said out loud to myself: “what in the excess cash is this?!” Rafts… large item purchases. 30% off makeup 😒 I felt like my Ulta coupons did me more justice. And it wasn’t just me. I talked to a few friends who were looking forward to Prime Day and their response was similar. We all just seemed to do the obligatory prime member purchase. That speaks volumes to me about how we have been conditioned to be consumers even if we don’t really want anything. It’s the retail version of:

Them: “you hungry”

Us: “eh… I could eat..”

That being said I did get a WiFi extender (further proof of why i don’t believe in space travel. You can talk to someone in outer space but my WiFi can’t make it to my bedroom?! – that’s a rabbit hole for another day)

The current price is $26.05 and I got it for $19.99

And a facial steamer

I got it for $15. That’s a steal. That’s going to be clutch this winter with dry heat and winter allergies.

But I got gadgets last year… And the best make up deal was wunderbrow for $11.

It was a dry adult summer Christmas. Maybe next year when I’m a home owner the stuff I saw will make more sense or… it’ll just be stuff. Either way. See you next year!

Pearls for the Girls

Blog, Style & Fashion

I was never into pearls. Even as an adult they still seemed too “mature” for me. But pearl studded jeans are where it’s at.

Not as strong as rhinestone studded jeans; but a few steps above embroidered jeans.

They’re definitely “ladylike” statement jeans. Wore them to brunch and felt like Carrie Bradshaw.

The top was ASOS; but I got it at a discount store (DfWH). But here are a few choice ASOS options here and here.

The pants are from H&M but they don’t carry them anymore but here’s an affordable option here.

The shoes are from justfab.com the Marlo Bootie (shootie) they’re sold out but I’d get on the wait list for these if I were you. They are worth it. They remind me of Barbie shoes.

This was a perfect “Hello spring! Hello brunch season!” (In my best Whitley Gilbert impersonation) outfit.