ASK ME ANYTHING + WE UPDATED OUR LIVING ROOM (AND I CAN’T GET OVER IT)!
Heya! How’re you guys doing? Me? Adulting is really showing me dust. The past few weeks have been difficult. I’m oscillating between total confusion and startling clarity. My sleep schedule is messed up. The other day I started crying at the gym. I knew I wasn’t feeling 100 per cent when I went there, but I didn’t expect that. I honestly wasn’t even sure whether it was the PMS, my problems or the workout, but it took everything not to start bawling in front of everyone. I somehow managed to finish the workout though – and that was pretty much my biggest achievement that day.
I would not recommend adulting if it were a service. I’d give it one star and a scathing review after the treatment it’s been giving me lately. But still, in the midst of it all, I find myself embracing peace, joy and beauty in little moments. Those little moments are what I’m clinging to right now – and a little wine.
Anyway, here goes this month’s edition of Ask Me Anything!
- How are you such a cultured lady?
I am not. I’ve just managed to make you believe that I am. But I am a decent person.
- How is your sex life now that you’re getting fitter?
Well this was unexpected! Let’s just say that there are certain things I can do now that would previously have tired me out real quick, haha!
- Where do you get your pyjamas and lounge wear?
Noni’s Drawers. They have the most comfortable, easy to wear pieces.
- Who inspires your grown up sexy (wardrobe) style?
My commitment to comfort. I’m honestly a bit of a lazy dresser so I tend to stick to a few styles that I know work for me. I’ve been working from home since April 2020 so I live in simple plain tees (black or white) worn with leggings, ripped jeans or shorts, shirt dresses, and these Siri Studio pleated palazzo pants.
- You were giving out your shoes. What happened?
I gave them out already, and sold what I could
- What shows are you currently watching?
Just finished Lupin on Netflix. My guilty pleasure is Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA), which I started watching backwards – from latest to oldest. It’s teaching me a lot about exactly the kind of woman I would like not to be as I grow older). Waiting for the new seasons of Selling Sunset and Insecure.
- What music are you listening to?
Still stuck on my old school RnB and a few newer voices in the RnB space. Currently loving Yo Trane (he has those hands I like, yum), Giveon, Lucky Daye, H.E.R., DVSN, Jazmine Sullivan, Mahalia and Vedo. Lots of “bad manners and heartbreak” music basically. Tank’s Facetime has been playing in my head on repeat the last few days.
- Reviews of the Nivea product you were advertising? Did it work for you? Are you still using it?
I was using the Nivea Luminous W630 anti-dark mark serum and day cream. They worked really well for me (see my testimonial here and here) and complimented the regimen I had been put on by a dermatologist. I was using the product alongside a retinoid (Adapalene gel) and Aldactone to manage my hormonal breakouts. I’m still using the products as part of my routine, which I’ve switched up a little.
- Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you didn’t take the path you’re on right now?
Sometimes I do, but I don’t dwell on it too much. Career-wise, I’m glad I studied communication because storytelling is a passion of mine and I’m happy I get to do it every day. Relationship-wise, I did some dumb shit, but it all led to this so I’m good, and I’m extremely grateful.
- How did you begin to create yourself as a brand?
I can’t say I was very intentional about growing into a brand, but sticking to what I knew and loved, which is telling stories about myself, about people and about brands, and remaining honest with myself, helped get me here. Shiro is not the brand: my content is the brand.
- How did you manoeuvre through your 20’s to get to where you are right now?
I went with the flow. Once I got over my quarter life crisis (this happened between the ages of 23-25) and stopped comparing my journey with everyone else’s, I just ran with it, adapting as things changed. I didn’t have a plan (still don’t): I stayed committed to chasing happiness, whose meaning has evolved over time, and I’m still doing it.
- What’s your aspiration and inspiration?
Aspiration: to be the best version of me that I can be every day. Sometimes my best is summoning the strength to get out of bed; other times I’ll be in the gym, then doing the wife and mom stuff, then kicking ass at work, all in a single day.
Inspiration: I’m inspired by the capacity of human beings to create whatever we want: art, technology, solutions to problems, problems where there we none. It’s amazing.
- What has been your most important/revolutionary idea?
I have a problem with the word “revolutionary” because everything can be revolutionary these days thanks to marketing machines – even soap.
Anyway, I’d say my most important idea, or revelation really, has been realising that just like your spouse cannot fulfil your every need, neither can your job. I know a lot of people hate what they do because they don’t feel fulfilled at work (I’ve been there). I’ve learned that sometimes you have look at your job as the thing that allows you to take care of your bills and maybe pay for some luxuries – the things you like, and that you can seek the fulfilment you crave elsewhere in your free time if leaving your job is not an option. That has been a gamechanger for me.
- Which woman would you wish to have as a mentor?
I honestly cannot think of any. I know people talk about the importance of having a mentor and how far it can get you and what not, but I’ve never had one and have never felt the need to look for one. Instead, I open myself up to learning what I can from everyone and everything around me. I’m the type of person who will listen to a philosopher then turn my attention to a porn star – I believe they could both teach me something.
- What do you believe is your purpose?
To enjoy this life and make a difference where I can.
- How old were you when you made your first million, and what did you get yourself?
I don’t remember how old I was when I first had a million bob in my account, but I remember being super excited. It was a big deal – I didn’t even want to buy myself anything because I didn’t want the million to go away! I have a much healthier relationship with money now: it’s a means to an end, not everything.
- Your take on ambition versus greed?
I think it’s important to be ambitious, to be driven, to want better for yourself and those around you. It’s also just as important to know when to say stop; I’ve had enough, I’m satisfied and don’t need more. We need to learn how to be content again.
- How do you choose your paid partnerships?
I ask myself a few simple questions: do I like the brand and what they stand for? Would I use it or at the very least recommend it? Is the engagement worth my time? That determines whether I work with a brand.
- Which interior décor blogs, YouTube channels and Instagram accounts inspire you?
I follow a lot of interior design and styling accounts on Instagram – have a look at who I’m following to see. Top of mind are Studio McGee, Three Birds Renovations, Kelly Wearstler, Architectural Digest and At Home With Savvy,
- Do you feel the pressure to keep your house sparkling clean daily?
Having it any other way would be the cause of pressure. I really like clean, tidy spaces and I’m constantly tidying up. It helps keep me sane. We live in a really dusty neighbourhood now so I’ve accepted that not all surfaces will be sparkly and clean every single day, but we do our best. The dust doesn’t usually show in pictures but it’s there!
- White walls or creamy yellow?
White. Nobody deserves creamy yellow walls.
- What’s your take on having a mirror facing the bed?
I love a good mirror and I think having one in that position would serve many, many purposes. Do it!
- Are you still panicking about green seats?
I’ve recovered. I love them now!
- Do your green chairs remind you of Safaricom?
They most certainly do not! We thank Jesus.
- What made you change up your living room furniture?
Our old furniture wasn’t working for the new space so it had to go. It was too bulky and looked dated. Plus I was craving a style update and wanted to try something a little different.
- Bold enough to do a mural to match your seats?
Bold enough to do a mural that’s minimalist but makes a statement. See what we’ve done below!
- House tour maybe?
No thank you. One must learn to be content with the little snippets I share, which already show so much.
Speaking of which, I updated our living room after months of planning and saving and doubting myself. I’ve been obsessing over this for about six months now so finally making it happen is a dream. Here’s what it looked like just before we moved in.
A few weeks after settling in…
And this is what it looks like now.
This wall…we need to talk about this wall. So I’d been looking up wallpaper and mural options because I wanted to create a feature wall. I’d narrowed it down to a few options and had started saving up to buy the wallpaper, then one day I received an email from Jennifer at Photowall Sweden asking if I’d be interested in collaborating with them. I honestly thought I was being scammed (I get a lot of dodgy emails) so I was a bit hesitant even as we started talking. I only started believing it was real when they dispatched the package, and up until the day we opened it a small part of me was like “don’t get too excited, manage your expectations just in case things go left.”
Things went very right, as you can see. I selected this mural, She’s Beautiful II, because I wanted something in black and white, in a modern design that would speak to the minimalist in me, but that would still make a statement. She really is beautiful, and she blows my mind every day! I had my package shipped to the UK then to Nairobi through MK Horizon, who are great if you have sensitive packages.
I feel like I managed to create a bunch of favourite moments around that wall, and the guys at Photowall Sweden would love for you to be able to do the same. Between now and 22 December 2021 you can get 25% off wallpaper, prints and posters if you use my discount code theculturedcow25 (case sensitive). You have to try it – highly recommend!
Wall paint / Jotun Paints, in Jazz White 7236
Mural / Photowall Sweden, She’s Beautiful II
Mural installation / House of Royalty 254
Curtains / fabric, Tile & Carpet, stitching and installation, Maina +254 721 281575
Sidewinder faux leather accent chair / Ashley Furniture
Handwoven rug, custom / Marathon Weavers – Miriam +254 720 380165
Custom console, wire basket end table / Santana Africa
Lighting / Meydan Lightings
Champagne bucket styled as planter / Odds & Ends
Faux fiddle leaf fig / Home Décor 254
Ficus tree (real, barely surviving) and planter / Dashing Spaces
Custom floor mirror / Daniel, Rosawood
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The Cultured Cow