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ASK ME ANYTHING: THE RANDOM ONES

Dear reader,

Have you missed me? I certainly have missed being here. While I am struggling to be consistent with this blog, which I truly love but can’t seem to commit to, I am grateful to be alive and still paying taxes despite still not being rich. But I, like Romain Virgo, am rich in love and health. I am not sure why – or how – I know that song because I am not a big fan of the reggae music genre. Do not let the long locs fool you; I am more partial to sad, lovelorn, and alternately angry and lustful RnB music, and would be happy to share a delectable selection of songs for any of those moods should you wish to listen to such.

During my time away from this blog dear reader, I have spent my time working (a lot!); watching TV (I really liked Bridgerton season 2, can you tell?), reading, trying and failing to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep (I sleep in batches of three hours on a good night); and trying and – again – failing to be consistent with my workouts and improving my nutrition. What I have been consistent with however is the prayer that my Lord will be a calorie burner. Every day, I pray that He will move the mountains of unnecessary fat that have accumulated in my body over the years. That He will increase the speed of my metabolism so that I may eat to my fill from the banquet He has prepared before me while the metabolism burns those calories like the fires of hell I was taught about at the Christian camps I was sent to as a teenager. I know He can do it for me – I just need us to agree on some kind of deadline.

But in all seriousness dear reader, I have missed this platform. So here I am trying to get back to it with this month’s edition of Ask Me Anything. Let’s get into it!

  • How can I understand my décor style?

Consume a lot of home styling content and consistently window shop to see what you gravitate towards.

I remember years ago watching this show called Dress My Nest, where the host would go to people’s homes and get inspiration for home makeovers from their favourite items. I liked that he worked with anything his clients liked: a dress, a pair of shoes, earrings, a favourite colour or family heirloom, a childhood toy – literally anything. He’d take a few items and build on them to create beautiful spaces, and I learned a lot from that.

Now, I turn to YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest for inspo. I love that the internet uses your search history to recommend content, so search home décor a few times and things will just start popping up for you!

  • What’s your favourite home fragrance/scent?

I’m currently obsessed with lavender so that’s what I’m going for. The essential oil from Afroma Beehive is a favourite so I’m always burning that in my diffuser.

For candles, I’m loving Jo Malone’s Wood Sage & Sea Salt candle and would love to splurge on another now that mine is done. I also enjoy DW Naturals’ Vanilla + Sugarcane and locally, The Hills Collection Sea Salt Caramel. If you’re a fan of woody scents and Bath & Bodyworks collab with White Barn, then you might also enjoy the Mahogany Teakwood option, which I like.

  • What home décor accounts do you follow for inspo?

There are so many, but top of my list are: Studio McGee, Leclair Décor, Architectural Digest, Stoffer Home and Making Highview Home.

  • What pieces should you buy when you move into your first space?

The best bed, mattress, couch, coffee table, TV stand/console and carpet you can afford at that time – without falling into a silly debt trap. You can slowly build from there.

  • Any tips you can share about decorating a small living space?

Buy the right-sized furniture for your space. Avoid filling it with tiny pieces because it’s small, since you’ll only make it cluttered and seem even smaller. That goes for carpets too. Try incorporate pieces that can be used for multiple purposes – such as a nested coffee table that can double up as stools, or bench that can work as a coffee table.

Don’t be afraid of going darker if that’s what you’re into. Dark walls used creatively can make your space seem a little bigger. Be clever with your lighting. Use a combination of overhead, wall and floor lighting depending on what kind of light you like in your space. Clear acrylic or glass furniture is also great for creating the illusion of space.

  • Do you have any career journey hacks you can share?

I don’t believe there’s anything such as a career journey hack. A hack is a shortcut – there are no shortcuts to having a fulfilling and successful career. Put in the work. Understand your organisation and how to work with the people in it. Don’t be afraid to demand your worth. Use your voice, but know when to shut up and listen. Have the confidence of a privileged white man, but with the understanding that you don’t have to be a d*ck to prosper at work. Follow your gut. Draw clear boundaries. Remember that adulting sometimes requires us to suck it up and do jobs we don’t necessarily enjoy so that we can afford the things we enjoy – and need (like food, clothes, not being homeless).  

  • How can I turn my passion into a full career?

Start. Research. Learn from others in the same field. Start.

  • If you could share any tips about investment, what would they be?

To be honest, I’m still navigating this, doing my research and trying to figure out what’s best for me because I feel like I’m late to the game (I was busy eating my small monies).

However, the biggest lessons I’ve learned are: do your research and start with what you have. Don’t wait to make the big money or to have a huge lump sum, just start where you are, even if it’s with 500sh or 1,000sh a month. Oh, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is (hi quail farmers, multi-level marketers and bitcoin baddies!).

  • On relationships, what should you know before moving in with your partner?

That you never really know your person until you live together. Being under the same roof will both shock and amaze you, and I’ve learned that no matter how much you love each other, sometimes you’ll just want your own space and will find yourself sitting in the car or locking yourself in the bathroom so you can get some alone time.

  •  What would you say about your motherhood experience?

Hands down the most selfless thing I’ve ever done. I love my child to death, but I do not have the capacity to give this much of myself to another little human. Children will cost you money, time, energy, sleep, several dress sizes and the firmness you once had in your boobs. But their little hugs and kisses and watching them grow is quite precious.

  • Tell us about your hair journey?

I’ve had my locs for 10 years (since 2012) and they’re just above my butt now. By the time I decided to Ioc my hair I was really tired of relaxing it and had been braiding it for a couple of months. I couldn’t be bothered with the weaves and wigs (I also couldn’t afford the good quality ones) so this seemed like a reasonable option.

I’ve never regretted it. I love how low maintenance they are. All they need is a wash, treatment and retwist by Zack at Art Zack Salon every three weeks (he’s been doing my hair for at least 9 of the 10 years), and weekly spritzing with water and a light peppermint oil for my scalp. I try not to style my hair because the tight styling tends to thin the hair out with time, which is why it’s almost always in a bun or loose curls.

  • How many tattoos do you have, who did them and what do they mean?

I’ve been tattooed 15 times (14 times by Gathu) but have 13 tattoos. Each one means something to me – even the ones I look at and wish I hadn’t gotten. Like the tramp stamp I got in uni, which was my very first tattoo. It was fashionable then, it’s just dumb now, but we thank God for growth.

I’m not completely opposed to getting more tattoos, but now I’m more into dainty, fine line ones as opposed to my earlier ones. And I remain obsessed with star tattoos, which I have on my shoulder, wrist, inner thigh and foot.

  • How can I learn to romanticize my life?

Not sure what you mean by this question. There’s no such thing as a perfect, easy life, but finding little pockets of joy and peace in my day, my week, my month, fills me with gratitude and helps me love my life (or at least aspects of it) at different stages.

  • Is it possible to indulge in self-care/self-love on a limited budget?

Yes, absolutely! Self-care and self-love don’t require a massive budget. I think it starts with believing that you are worthy of a good life, and treating yourself to what you can afford (financially and time-wise) at each stage. It could be a 30-minute shower on weekends when you usually only have 5 minutes for this on week days; a lie-in on Saturday; some quiet time with a good book and wine or tea; a 100-bob face mask; a mani-pedi each month; burning your favourite candle as you Netflix and chill; buying yourself a bouquet of flowers – or a single rose; going for a walk while listening to good music or a podcast.

Self-care doesn’t mean spending money on yourself. There are so many ways to show yourself love and care without spending a single coin, and I think we should all learn to see self-care that way.

  • How do I start living the luxe life? I want the rich auntie lifestyle, but I don’t know where to start.

I would need to have unlocked that rich auntie lifestyle for me to be able to give you tips on that, ma’am!

I think the mindset is a big part of it though. Never apologize for wanting more, and better, for yourself. We often romanticize struggle and hold it up like a badge of honour, and I just don’t believe there’s any glory in that. Me, I want a life of minimum to no struggle, but I also know that’s nearly impossible because even struggle has levels. I will however choose the path of least struggle where I can, please and thank you.

That said, appreciating the little luxuries you can afford while you work towards the ones you aspire to have – and being secure in who you are while you do that so you don’t feel the need to keep up with or prove a point to anyone – that is luxury to me. It’s the luxury of confidence.

Which is why I’ll buy the cheapest original Aldo bag instead of a knock-off designer handbag for example, because that’s what I can afford. It does not serve me to make people think I’m carrying legit Valentino when I’m not, because guess what: no matter how real it looks, I will always know that bag is Valentino-t.

  • Let’s talk underwear. What are your best buys?

Well, I have a few lacy sets I really like, all of them from My Curves. I also have a couple of bodysuits from them (see here and here) and one from Lady Luck Shapewear that’s really dope too.

Treating myself to nice underwear (and wearing it for myself) is such a treat. It’s one of the ways I romance myself. Highly recommend!

  • How do you take those subtle sexy pics?

Angle, point and shoot baby! Since I don’t show my face in most of my pictures, I like to take my photos from higher up, pointing down. It allows me to accentuate my favourite features – also known as features I am learning to love – while keeping my face out of the shot.

All my photos are taken using an iPhone 12 Pro Max and edited using the vivid warm filter because I like adding warmth to my photos. I also love using portrait mode because I can choose what to focus on and blur the background. And to think I failed photography in university, ha!

Robe: Lady Luck Shapewear
  • Have you ever considered vlogging?

Nope. I don’t have the time or patience for it. And my life is really not as interesting as some of you seem to think it is. I spend 5-6 days a week in the house because I work from home and most of my days look pretty much the same. I don’t attend social events and when hanging out with my friends, I prefer to be in the moment rather than filming everything. But I respect those of you who do all that work – it’s a lot!

That’s it this week! I know I’ve only been blogging about once a month but would love to move to every two weeks then eventually every week. I just need to get better organized and stop overthinking the content I want to share. Bare with me, I’ll get there.

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XO,

Shiro

The Cultured Cow

Comments

  • April 23, 2022
    reply

    Priscilla

    Loved this read so much. Off to my 45min shower and oiling Saturday ritual because …. Love of self.

  • April 23, 2022
    reply

    Phoebe

    This was a good read Shiro. I can relate to alot of things you talked about. Thank you and much love ❤️ .

  • April 23, 2022
    reply

    Joy k.

    Good job Shiro.

  • April 23, 2022
    reply

    Faith

    I love this❤️

  • April 24, 2022
    reply

    Violet

    Loved it!!Great piece

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