My Style, Reflections

Pluses and Minuses Ep. 01


Location: Maputo, Mozambique

The more I blog about personal development, the more I feel the need to share about my life with you guys besides just giving advice. I really didn’t know what I was going to write about today, until I decided it was time to incorporate the  ” +/- ” post concept that I usually read at Victoria Tornegren’s blog. Because there isn’t that much going in with my life, instead of stating several points I will state a few and develop them. So here we go:


Plus: Being unemployed

Yes, I do not have fixed bills at the end of the month, therefore I’m able to categorize unemployment as a plus. I live off my parents – which may sound absurd since I’m 24 but trust me, in the middle class African family context it’s pretty normal. ‘Everybody’ lives off their parents until marriage arrives (partially the reason why we are an impoverished society, if you ask me).

I graduated in a course that I didn’t enjoy at all, so you can imagine how ‘not’ on a rush I am to get into the said industry. However I do pray that I find a job ASAP, because I need an income to invest in my personal projects.

The reason why I am utterly cherishing unemployment is because I love having most of the hours entirely to myself – and who wouldn’t? I have no great responsibilities, therefore my time is completely channeled into brainstorming ideas, making plans, strategies and executing whatever I can. Currently, my biggest drive to productivity is: ”Soon you will get a job and you will never have this amount of free time on a weekday again!”. Time is a much scarcer resource than money, so for now I’ll happily stay in and solely focus on what is really meaningful to me.

Minus: Being constantly broke

Another reason to get a job ASAP. I understand it’s a life many of us recent graduates have to live, but having to constantly ask parents for money just like during the teenage years is depressing, diminishing and annoying. In my home town it’s not as easy to get a part-time job. I wouldn’t mind a waiting job for the time-being, just like I was doing in the UK but…as a graduate I would be taking the spot of someone who didn’t even finish high-school and has children to feed. So unless I figure out a side hustle, I have no income because a part-time job isn’t viable in my situation.

basket bag outfit

summer outfit

Plus: Finding a good photographer

This past Sunday I was able to shoot some pictures for the blog. Nothing makes me happier than having a stock of good quality photos to go along with my content. As you know I’ve recently come back home and I wasn’t very hopeful in finding a photographer whose quality was up to my standard. Well I just did and I’m so relieved about it. This was the first outfit we shot and the whole session was very smooth and effective.

Minus: Lack of aesthetically pleasing locations

Since I came home, I’ve thought of periodically quitting blogging and Instagram simply because as a city, Maputo (my hometown) looks way further from I deem aesthetically pleasing.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful city…but not my kind of beautiful. I’m a creative whose majority of the inspiration comes from architecture and most of the buildings here are just dull. After doing photo sessions around London, which is a playground for bloggers and full of aesthetically pleasing locations, it’s slightly depressing to constantly scout locations and find almost none.  To be in a scenario where the most beautifully painted walls and clean streets belong to private parties that won’t let you take photos in front of their property.

The location of this photos you see here is definitely my favorite here in Maputo so brace yourselves for more pictures shot with this particular staircase on the background. I’m a sucker for European architecture but I also love minimal-looking spaces. I will continue scouting locations that fit my aesthetics – wish me luck.

Let me tell you a secret: I cannot wait to leave my country again and move to a place where the surroundings alone are enough to inspire me. It’s not my fault the government doesn’t care about making the city more beautiful for picky bloggers like me, hahahah.

photoshop collage


Plus: Finding a substitute for oatmeal

I’m so happy that I’ve found and even more nutritious way to replace my boring morning bowl of oatmeal. I’m talking about Banana+Oats pancakes. It’s such a delicious breakfast option and it’s a great switch for me – being unemployed helps because I’m not rushing in the morning lol.

After some research for the simplest recipe, all I do is mix: 2 ripe and smashed bananas, 1 egg white (or the whole egg if you like), 1/2 cup of Almond Milk (or your favorite milk), 1 cup of oats, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 spoon of vanilla essence and voilà. I usually have the pancakes with honey but soon I will invest in some fruity toppings.

Minus: Not having full control of my diet

I tend to eat whatever is cooked because I missed not having to cook for myself – and now I miss cooking for myself hahaha. Oh my God, why is life like this? Why do we always want what we can’t have? Sigh. Once I get a job I will be more in control of what I eat because I’ll be able to buy the right food for me, can’t wait.

summer outfit collagebasket bag outfit


I already cannot wait to write another ”Pluses and Minuses” post – it is so therapeutic, quite cathartic!

If you find yourself not knowing what to post about, give this a shot and don’t forget to let me know because I want to read and know about your business haha.


Let me know your thoughts on the comments below.


Catch me around: Instagram  Youtube



Yara Mel

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  • Reply suresh lukhi

    This post a so wonderful and very useful,
    thank you so much for sharing…

    January 20, 2018 at 11:13 am
  • Reply Layla

    I love this post – life is about balancing the positives and the negatives and I really like the way you’ve written and shared this! 🙂

    You look lovely! 🙂

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend and looking forward to seeing more!!

    Layla xx

    January 14, 2018 at 2:28 pm
  • Reply Taylor

    Such a great post, thanks for sharing!
    Love this look!

    January 5, 2018 at 2:06 am
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Thanks Taylor 🙂

      January 5, 2018 at 3:13 pm
  • Reply Aika

    Indeed time is scarcier than money. Great Post Yara

    January 3, 2018 at 8:47 am
    • Reply Yara Mel

      It is! Thanks Aika 🙂

      January 3, 2018 at 8:16 pm
  • Reply The Gluten Free Guide to Everything

    Great post! Love your outfit and I understand your struggles. One thing I’m sure about is that your photos look great regardless of the look of your hometown (which I actually like).

    Marije |

    December 23, 2017 at 8:02 pm
  • Reply Kuks

    I also have a hard time finding a good photographer and nice places to shoot photos for my blog. These photos came out great, you look amazing.

    December 20, 2017 at 2:58 pm
  • Reply Tina

    Such great photos – you look amazing babe!!! ♥♥


    December 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Thanks Tina 🙂

      December 20, 2017 at 7:23 pm
  • Reply Margot

    Interesting post !
    I love your outfit so much with theses light colors.

    December 20, 2017 at 12:34 pm
  • Reply Rach

    I love that you shared the plus and minuses. In my opinion, I think all your pluses trump the minus.

    December 20, 2017 at 1:07 am
  • Reply Alessa

    I love your photoshoot you look amazing!
    Please visit my Blog!

    Alessa Bernal

    December 19, 2017 at 7:02 pm
  • Reply Gabrielle

    This was such an interesting post to read through – great ‘plus and minus’ concept! I’m happy to hear you’ve found a good photographer in your area that you’re pleased with; these photos are brilliant (definitely don’t mind seeing the staircase again by the way haha, it’s spectacular!).

    December 19, 2017 at 6:21 pm
  • Reply toyas tales

    This was an interesting post and I like the +\- concept. It shows a balanced approach to life. You look lovely in neutrals too!

    December 19, 2017 at 1:42 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      That’s the idea 🙂 Thanks Toyas!

      December 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm
  • Reply Carla

    Yara Baby Girl! 24… stop stressing… there is absolutely nothing wrong with still being dependent on your parents. Make the most of it and really think about the next step, don’t seek a job, seek something you can be passionate about. As you’ve rightfully pointed out, time is scarcer source than money, so don’t go filling it up with something you won’t be happy with. The money will come.

    You look gorgeous in this pics, love the OOTD, most especially the sandals and bag (love local). I totally feel you on the lack of aesthetically pleasing locations. My advice on that, make the most of the rustic and I think you accomplished that in this post.

    All my love.

    December 19, 2017 at 11:54 am
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Aww thanks Carla. I’m alright with it for the time being hey 🙂 and yes, I will definitely go rustic for my future locations! excited 😀

      December 19, 2017 at 1:11 pm
  • Reply Steal4Style

    Thank you for your honesty in this post. It was great to read it. And you look amazing!!

    December 19, 2017 at 8:33 am
  • Reply lesley kim

    you look amazing! plus, it doesnt hurt to live with your parents until you can take care of yourself =)

    December 19, 2017 at 12:05 am
  • Reply Itzel Najar

    your skin looks so flawless!!!

    December 18, 2017 at 9:28 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Thanks dear!

      December 18, 2017 at 11:45 pm
  • Reply Irina

    Great outfit! I love your skirt so much:)

    December 18, 2017 at 8:24 pm
  • Reply Comfy Cozy Up

    Interesting post! It took me a few months to get a job in my field after I graduated, so it will happen. I’m glad you want to work on your personal project because there are that of people who are unhappy working in the field they went to school for. You will be okay, just don’t let it stress you out….try (believe me I know it’s hard.)

    December 18, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    So pretty, love your style so much!

    December 18, 2017 at 1:28 pm
  • Reply Olga

    I love how you point both positive and negatives of each situation! Makes me think that everything has two sides and that nothing is purely good or bad! You are also very pretty and your photos are very beautiful!

    Olga from Myme

    December 18, 2017 at 11:28 am
    • Reply Yara Mel

      That’s exactly what I wanted to portray 🙂 aww thanks a lot!

      December 18, 2017 at 1:49 pm
  • Reply Shannon

    First of all, love your outfit! It’s so pretty & looks stunning on you.
    Secondly, I love the way you laid out this post with the pluses and minuses. I am kind of in the same boat as you. Not much older but still (kinda) living with my parents haha Which is also pretty normal for asian cultures too. On the plus, I’m saving money I guess haha
    Good luck with finding a job. Hopefully you can find one you really like! Happy holidays x


    December 18, 2017 at 7:24 am
  • Reply Christine Kong

    I love hearing about your pluses and minuses as they help me learn more about you. I lived with my parents until I got married so totally understand where you’re coming from. While you’re unemployed I think having this side blogging is a good creative outlet for you and may also create opportunities for employment too! Xoxo, Christine

    December 18, 2017 at 12:39 am
  • Reply ellie

    i love the photography! i totally understand being totally broke, but i’ve just gotten a new job so that’s about to change haha 😀 a great job is waiting for you, it’ll come to you at the right time!

    ellie |

    December 17, 2017 at 11:32 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      So happy for you Ellie! Yes, I’m hopeful on that one 🙂

      December 18, 2017 at 1:50 pm
  • Reply Mary

    This is so thoughtfully written and you seem like a very strong person! Keep up the good work! These photos are lovely and so is your blog 🙂

    December 17, 2017 at 9:25 pm
  • Reply Sonia Aicha

    I really like your post, very personal and inspiring. Keep up with the great spirit,
    ps: Stylish look yet simple, very feminine 🙂

    December 17, 2017 at 8:46 pm
  • Reply Olivia Poncelet

    Oh wow I love this look, especially your bag !
    Nice pics too!
    Have a good evening! 🙂
    Olivia Poncelet <3

    December 17, 2017 at 5:38 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Thanks my sweetie! 🙂

      December 17, 2017 at 6:24 pm
  • Reply Ashley

    Oh babe!! I can totally relate babe! I hope you find an amazing job soon!! It’s all part of the journey!! You look gorgeous and i love the back drop! Girl you make it look good!!



    December 17, 2017 at 4:18 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Thanks Ashley! I appreciate it 😀

      December 17, 2017 at 6:25 pm
  • Reply Andrea

    Such an amazing look!! And I struggle also with finding cute locations to shoot where I live… last year I studied close to London, plus I spend the whole year traveling, so I always had cool photos to publish. This year is more difficult, but as a creative mind, don´t worry, Im sure you will find small corners that you will make work for your pics!!

    December 17, 2017 at 9:55 am
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Definitely. Creativity will open my eyes and I’m excited 🙂

      December 17, 2017 at 6:26 pm
  • Reply Laura Mitbrodt

    you look so pretty, love that skirt

    December 17, 2017 at 3:09 am
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Thanks Laura! 🙂

      December 17, 2017 at 6:27 pm
  • Reply Alessa

    lovely outfit you look amazing!
    Please visit my Blog!

    Alessa Bernal

    December 16, 2017 at 6:16 am
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Thank you! I will 🙂

      December 16, 2017 at 8:41 am
  • Reply keri

    Love the style of these photos and the outfit 🙂 Don’t worry it’s so hard finding a job after graduation. Just keep looking! Something will come up soon 🙂

    Enclothed Cognition

    December 16, 2017 at 3:24 am
    • Reply Yara Mel

      I will. Thanks Keri 🙂

      December 17, 2017 at 6:27 pm
  • Reply Radi

    I can totally relate with a lot of the things you’re saying. I also still live with my parents (it’s super normal in my country, like you said until marriage arrives).
    You look so beautiful!

    December 16, 2017 at 12:36 am
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Awww nice to know that! 😀 Thanks dear

      December 17, 2017 at 6:28 pm
  • Reply Abigail

    My home town isnt very aesthetically pleasing either, but we have to make the most of what we have and go for it!

    Abigail Alice x

    December 15, 2017 at 9:11 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      That’s what I’m gonna do, it’s an exciting challenge 😀

      December 16, 2017 at 8:41 am
  • Reply Kay

    This is a very interesting idea for a post, hun! I love the idea of oat pancakes, must try that sometime xoxo


    December 15, 2017 at 8:20 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Yes Kay, thanks 🙂

      December 16, 2017 at 8:41 am
  • Reply Shivangi

    Loved reading the post and getting to know you better! It’s pretty normal to stay with parents in India too! 😛
    Love your look!! That is a really beautiful skirt!

    December 15, 2017 at 12:46 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      I know it is hun 😀 Thanks dear!

      December 17, 2017 at 6:28 pm
  • Reply Jessi Malay

    Loving this idea babe! You’re doing wonderful!!

    XO, Jessi

    December 14, 2017 at 9:46 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Thanks a lot Jessi! xx

      December 17, 2017 at 6:28 pm
  • Reply Demilade

    I love your sense of humour Yara! This post was a great idea and I enjoyed reading it.I’m currently on a gap year and I say the same thing you say when I’m trying to be productive haha. Love the pictures, you look so beautiful. xx
    Coco Bella Blog

    December 14, 2017 at 3:18 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Glad you could relate dear! Enjoy the gap year, productivity is a must then 😀

      December 17, 2017 at 6:29 pm
  • Reply Maray

    Beautiful look, kisses!

    December 14, 2017 at 1:17 pm
    • Reply Yara Mel

      Thank you Marai!

      December 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm
  • Reply Andrea

    This is a really interesting post idea! I’m also unemployed at the moment and I’m 29 haha but I was working full time during the last 7 years so I really enjoy all the time I have right now to invest on my projects but not being able to generate another good source of income yet really sucks! haha

    Hope you are having a great week!


    Seize your Style

    December 14, 2017 at 1:52 am
    • Reply Yara Mel

      I feel you Andrea! We’ll be fine soon 😀

      December 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm

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