Sunday, 21 May 2017

KEEP THE JOB, GET THE CAREER!

It can be quite difficult to pursue your purpose; the career you want so badly, whilst having to ensure you secure a regular job to keep your head above water. There can be the world of stumbling blocks in the shape of drama with so-called friends, the breakdown of personal relationships, or conflict with colleagues that leads to you being unemployed. Again! All of these things can bring you down. However, I wholeheartedly believe that (near enough) everything comes down to how you choose to see it and not necessarily what it 'appears' to be. If you're someone for whom the struggle is currently way too real, I hope you find these tips encouraging...

Understand who you are and why
What / who excites you, inspires and motivates you? Why those things, or person / people specifically? 

What are you most passionate about? 
This is likely to be connected to your purpose, or it is your purpose and you've yet to realise.

Get to know the way your mind works and how it responds to your heart
If you're easily distracted, or made to feel upset and are forever torn between your thoughts and feelings, thus preventing you from living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, it might be a good idea to see your GP (real talk) to discuss why and how you can prevent that from happening. You need your mind to be clear, able to think logically / rationally and you also need to be able to control your feelings. I know, easier said.... Definitely possible though.

Know where you stand with yourself
Being comfortable in your skin is key, literally. If you care what others think you need to know why and you then need to work on getting rid of those 'reasons'! You need to have a word with yourself and get it together!!
Look in the mirror and have a word with yourself!
See yourself as someone worthy of respect and one who is valuable
Intuitive and instinctive people will pick up on a lack of self appreciation fast and, while perhaps not deliberately, those who can see that you do not like / love yourself, are likely to treat you that way.

Have a plan and marry them to your goals
If in 6 months time you want to have cleared a debt, so you can then begin putting money towards your dream, yet you've taken no time to formulate a plan of action you'll remain exactly where you are!

Create as many CV's as are applicable to your different skill sets and career goals
It's great if you've worked as a Secretary, Builder, Fitness Instructor and have also volunteered as a production assistant because, you aspire to be a Production Manager. However, if applying for an administrative role, your CV should only include your admin work history and the relevant / supporting skills and achievements. It's the same for your personal statement!

Apply for (temporary / short term) jobs you have some sort of interest in 
It will be incredibly unfair to the prospective employers and also a great disservice to yourself if you send applications for everything you know you're capable of doing, while knowing that you've no real interest in over half of them. Have a strategy (and don't be put off if you have low funds. Some resources are free), be realistic, keep your real career aim at the front of your mind and remain honest with yourself about what you want from the temporary job (s) and why. 
FREE Metro newspaper - not the best but, you do occassionally find some gems!
Always be prepared!
Thorough preparation for an interview is a must. You need to work - lengthy gaps on your CV doesn't look good, you've bills to pay, maybe debts to clear and, most importantly, you're in pursuit of a career that requires you to be in a good place financially before you can even begin to get started with the official chase. However, you must also be prepared for any sudden career related opportunities that pop up - you don't want to miss them but, you want to also keep your paid job. What will you do if the most amazing career related opportunity crops up and clashes with a day you're at work? You've got to know what you'd do in this situation well in advance.

Keep it real
Let the prospective employers know (at the interview stage) that, whilst you're passionate about the role you're being interviewed for, long term, you see yourself with a career in your chosen field and intend to pursue non conflicting opportunities outside of the job. This will be fair and better for you in the long run rather than pretending you have no other interests, goals or passions.

Balance is essential
Establish a routine for yourself so that you can fit everything in giving priority to that which is a necessity. You will need to make a realistic and achievable list, perhaps change the time you wake up each morning and rearrange other commitments.

Trust those who stick by you
Self belief is crucial if you're going to stand any chance of being able to successfully hold down a job while also chasing your dreams, but, you've got to have a huge amount of belief (and trust) in your nearest and dearest, that they will support you any way they can. If you don't have anyone (which I hope is not the case), pray. If you don't believe in God, step out of your comfort zone at least once a week to go and meet new people at events, or places relating to your career goal, with whom you can (potentially) create trustworthy friendships.
Abi Lawal, Duval Akonor, Caroline Odogwu
No shortcuts
Do things properly, always. Cutting corners may get you to your destination sooner, however, amongst many other things, you might find yourself without the knowledge, education and capabilities needed to sustain your achievement (s) long term. Be patient. Where you want to be begins with knowing where you ought to be right now! Check-in with your instincts...

Yes, it's a lot and can be stressful at times, but, I think it's better to walk down the road filled with challenges and major learning curves than to walk down easy street. Stick with the challenges because, once over the hurdles, the rewards are likely to be long lasting. YOU GOT THIS! Stay focused and don't watch the moves that anyone else is making! God bless x

Thank you for reading. 
PREVIOUS POST: Black Women's Hair 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

BLACK WOMEN'S HAIR

Let me start by reminding you that I write from personal experience so, please make sure you take that with you before you take anything else.

You're either here because you're in need of inspiration and ideas, or you just want to know what others are doing with theirs and how, or you are not a black woman but, you're curious about our hair, the various types and why we're so anti having our hair touched by random hands!!

I talked about my teen hair journey (sort of) in a previous post here but, with some encouragement from @remifications, in this entry I'll share with you the products and methods I use to look after my hair in its current form and I'll also speak on the reality of managing (my) 'black' hair. 

In my mid twenties, I decided to stop trying every recommended product and the many suggested ways to 'look after' my hair. I tested (on strands at the back of my head) a few researched products (ingredients, compatibility, benefits) and stuck with whatever had me see positive results. Since then the relationship between the fro and I is good and *that's the real 'secret' to having a nice head of hair that is of decent quality. We still have a way to go, but, as of 2015, we're on the right path and I'm seeing results (albeit super slow). I went from having a pixie cut (due to how damaged my hair was) to a mini Sideshow Bob afro!
Sideshow Charley at home
I prefer wearing braids though! Simply for the fact that they're a lot easier to look after and I can just get up and go. We each treat our braids differently (hair extensions plaited into our natural hair). For me, it works to apply a teeny bit of pure coconut oil to my roots as and when I feel my head is dry, to massage olive oil into my scalp, then have a steam (weekly) and to spray the hair every other day. I use both of the oils to treat my natural hair too. I usually keep my braids in for about 3 - 4 months and am likely to have washed it (with Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula conditioning shampoo) no more than 4 times during this period. I also allow my natural hair to breathe for up to 2 weeks (as well as moisturising my hair, I will also plait and wrap my hair when out and about) before I braid again.

NB: My natural hair is super fine (hence minimal product use and kids range) and so, to wash it daily, or weekly and to add heavy creams and the alike regularly would drown my head piece causing the hair to break (which I've had enough of over the years). For me, health is the focus not the length. 
My actual hair products
In my younger years and throughout my twenties, I realised that I was spending a lot more time and money on my hair than my non black (female) friends and all of the experimenting, treatments, magazines and hair shows attended saw me damage my (natural) hair quite badly which is why I had to cut it (not trim, CUT) really short more than once! However, that struggle was nothing in comparison to having my (black) hair be misunderstood by those outside of my race and also ill judged (back when I cared what others thought of my hair) by my fellow black women and black men! 
Pixie Charley
The desire to touch my hair, be that in its natural form, or braids, I find weird and to reach out and do so without my permission is RUDE!! Black women's hair can be very sensitive, like a person's skin can be. The wrong hand might cause increased dryness, lead to breakage, or weakness. NO JOKE!!!! Even if that were not the case, we're all well within our rights to not allow some random individual (other women, mostly) to touch our hair 'out of curiosity'. Nobody has ever seen me try to touch a woman's overly made up face just to see if my finger will sink into her cheek past the layers of slap she's wearing! Choopse!

A black woman's hair is her identity not a statement, or a flag to be flown for all other black women, nor is it to be worn, or styled the way any other individual, regardless of their race, believes it should be so as to have the black woman 'fit into' someones ideal. Once upon a time, black women were encouraged to adopt a more european look, hence the use of relaxers (chemicals used to straighten a black woman's natural hair) and now there's a not so subtle pressure for us to 'return to our roots' from all types of people, for whatever reasons...
The length I wore my braids 2014 - 2015
The choices you make about your hair, my fellow black women, is entirely yours to make and (to a degree) depends on your lifestyle because, the management of our hair, as you know, is no quick step!! It's time consuming, takes a lot of planning, prep, strict routines (to see real benefits), money and the world of patience (especially if you wear your hair in its natural form). So, while all of the related / relevant YouTube videos, Instagram pages, Facebook groups and Twitter accounts are 'showing' you 'How To Do This', when, why and telling you what the so-called results would be, know that your goal must be realistic, affordable and the success you'll see (if any) will be a reflection of your lifestyle not just (if at all) the tutorials you follow. No 2 heads of hair are the same, there is no one size fits all.
2017
2017
*I believe less is more and if you commit to a routine, that will be super effective.


What has been /is your experience with your own hair?

Thank you for reading
PREVIOUS POST: The Social Media Diet

Sunday, 7 May 2017

THE SOCIAL MEDIA DIET

Do you remember the first online profile you created on a 'social networking' site? Had you done any research prior to signing up? Probably not, there wasn't really a need back in the day. For me it was Hi-5 (remember that platform?) and all I knew was that it was the 'place' to be and (at the time) it was a lot of fun! It was an occasional online jolly that always remained exciting because, there were no mobile phone apps which gave you quick access 24/7 so, you had to wait until you got home, or could visit the local library to check what was new!

Today, 'social' media platforms are more 'business' than it is anything else. A constant stream of marketing, promotions, ad's, sponsored posts, selling, campaigning, strategic political 'mentions', bandwagon noise and competition. It's all a bit #awkward nowadays...
My Twitter time line
Social media is all about micro 'influencers' versus macro 'influencers', literally! You cannot escape it and would be immediately forgiven (by me anyway) for jumping on the conveyor belt yourself. 

Facebook is full of commercial pop up's, Twitter is a promotional waterfall against the backdrop of the odd 'hype', or angst, Instagram is all #ad, or 'come to this', 'buy this', 'join this', or 'watch me do this' and the rest I won't even bother to comment on because, they're pretty much the same. When did this happen and why? 
My Facebook time line
I miss the days when everything had its own, unique spot - adverts were on the television and in publications, or on billboards and the alike, private conversations happened over the phone and in person, events were about entertainment, social media was a place to 'meet' and 'connect' with the type of individuals whom you'd not likely cross paths with in real life.

It's difficult living in this day and age, it really is. I struggle with it sometimes. I cannot get my head around the way everything has evolved and the direction it all seems to be going. We've become so dependent upon online 'engagement' and information, even though we know a lot of what is being shared is untrue, which can have such a devastating impact on our relationships. Stress (for some) is missing the latest trending on Twitter, not being one of the first to check yet another ('new' make-up) tutorial on YouTube, losing 'friends' on Facebook, deciding what pictures to take for Instagram and when to upload them... Is this life now? What on earth is going on? Seriously?
It's so extreme that, sometimes, when we do interact off line, most people are so caught up with their electronic devices, or with trying to 'capture the moments' to later share online, that our social interactions can actually suffer. I can't deal and I feel no way to share that with you. I think the development of technology is fab and I really like what it has enabled us to do especially the positive educational and business opportunities. I'm just not about the negative aspects of it which you probably agree with. I think we're far too addicted to 'cyber lives' and the virtual world. It isn't healthy!

When was the last time you went old school and left your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, iPad and the rest, at home for the day? Could you even do that without being forced to? Or, how about making sure you silence your phone and leave it in your bag, or pocket whenever you socialise? Do you ever go on a tech detox?

#BringBacktheOldSchool

Thank you for reading. 
PREVIOUS POST: DEAR FIRST TIME BLOGGER

Sunday, 30 April 2017

DEAR FIRST TIME BLOGGER..

When I started my blog in 2010 I didn't know anybody who could advise me on the most suitable platform, the best way to launch, or 'drive' my posts, so, I had to learn on my own - I've made more than a ton of mistakes but, many valuable lessons later I'm now running a Top Rated blog! With that in mind, I'd like to share with you the following tips:

TIP 1
I've found that a lot of photo bloggers seem to use Tumblr [officially launched in 2007] while Wordpress [released in 2003] has better features for support including help with audience growth/engagement. Blogger [created in 1999, which is what I use] is uncomplicated and very easy to use. Grab a cuppa and prepare to spend a substantial amount of time having a look around before you make a firm choice about which one to use. NB: The difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
Essential tools, LOL!
TIP 2
Not all free blogging platforms allow creative freedom so, before you sign up, navigate your way around the site to find out just how much control it will give you over the design of your blog etc.

TIP 3
There are an absurd amount of 'blogging community' pages across all social media platforms and some of them have the most insane 'sign up' rules such as, NO SHARING OF YOUR BLOG POST LINKS. Yep, ridiculous!! What's the point of joining if you cannot do the obvious and most necessary thing to have your work be seen/read? Again, ensure you are fully aware of the requirements of these so-called 'communities' before you decide to register, join etc.
Research and planning
TIP 4
You've got to develop a super thick skin and be very bold when it comes to promoting your posts! Share on every applicable platform on which you have a profile/account but, try to do so in a way that's interesting, to the point, friendly and without any pressure. Yes, you want people to "check out" your work, however, you want them to feel that they have a choice because, well, they do! Research your target audience and plan your marketing strategies.

TIP 5
It's a saturated industry and, to some degree, has become very dog-eat-dog! Some [again, some] bloggers will never support you, they will never help you, they will never give you/your blog a shout out and they will never even 'notice' you unless you are considered successful as deemed by one of the most 'influential'/'elite' bloggers who usually receive their titles from the equally regarded platforms who dish out the awards for 'best bloggers'.
Wearing: 'Charley Jai' hoodie by Nothing Clothing Company
TIP 6
You may struggle if you do not cover Photography, Beauty, Hair, Fashion, Make-Up, Food, or Travel! For whatever reason, the majority of the world cannot get enough of bloggers and vloggers whose content falls into those categories despite just how many websites and YouTube channels now share guides, tutorials, new releases, hauls and more within these fields. I mean, really? Is there not more to life? 

TIP 7
Although they may also offer no support, share your work with family and friends. Ask them to also forward your posts on to their contacts! 
Photo taken by Abi Lawal, capture by Tyrone Hylton [great friends]
TIP 8
Do not start a blog if you have already begun second guessing whether it's something you "actually want to do", or not. Chances are, it's not something you will commit to long term. In the same tone, starting a blog to make money is also a silly thing to do. Most bloggers will tell you that it can take a good 3-4 years of having to establish yourself and your blog long before you're given any sort of recognition that may potentially lead to monetary opportunities. That said, I do not believe in being money driven. The drive should be your passion, interests and hobbies etc.


I couldn't possibly cover everything, this entry would be far too long however, 
I hope this is helpful to you. If you have any questions just ask!

Thank you for reading
PREVIOUS POST: MAYBE I SHOULD QUIT 

Scroll to the end of this page for the link to my radio show 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

MAYBE I SHOULD QUIT....

The title of this post could be one that's been on your mind recently and while I'm likely to understand why, I'm no quitter and I don't want you to be.

I've always enjoyed writing. It was poetry as a child, the odd newspaper article as a teen, blogging and publications as an adult. The passion is still there but, as the years have rolled by the engagement has become practically zilch.

The most fun aspect of blogging, for me, is actually the most challenging - deciding what to write about, writing it down, then ensuring it makes sense, spending time on any relevant research, taking/sourcing images and editing them where necessary, placing the content onto the blog and reviewing the article many times, as well as using online assistance to check the grammar/spelling and then, of course, sharing each post across my social media platforms so it reaches you!
Although readership is still amazing (7k per month on average), I'm not entirely sure if you're with me in the way you once were because, although I know you enjoy my blog and find the content useful (you wouldn't return otherwise, nor invest in the products I mention/review), there continues to be a lack of communication and interaction - so, what should I do? Stop blogging and start vlogging? Erm, the struggle would be so beyond real for someone like me who, despite being able to talk to anyone for any length of time, is not one for talking to a camera outside of presenting plus, would people actually be more inclined to interact via video? I'm super passionate about writing and that drives me so, I'm defo going to continue blogging! It's all too easy to feel discouraged, unsupported, let down, put off by closed doors and quit, but, there will always be those who do take the time to encourage, support, uplift and welcome me into open doors which also motivates me. I'm incredibly grateful for such people!! That said, first and foremost, my enthusiasm for blogging is what has me going almost 8 years strong 😊

I refuse to give up and I hope the 4 tips below will inspire you to do the same and fuel your commitment to pursue your dreams and achieve your goals, with or without the level of backing you'd like.

LEARN AND STRIVE SIMULTANEOUSLY
Expand your knowledge through research and development opportunities and start building new connections by upping your social activities. Attend events that are out of your comfort zone and will have you socialising with people you'd never usually meet!

BE FEARLESS AND SHAMELESS
You have nothing to lose and potentially so much to gain. You will always be responsible for yourself, so grab hold of that responsibility and run with it! Your only fear should be that of not achieving which should automatically motivate you. Give the pursuit of your goals all you've got with whatever you have - be proud of and inspired by that! #YouGotThis 😉

TALK TO PEOPLE ANYWHERE, ANYTIME (with caution)
Online, in person, via email, on the phone, by post! Start by introducing yourself, then say a little about what you do and why you've chosen to reach out to them in particular. Keep the message short, authentic and light (sometimes coming across too keen, or too intense can backfire so, just relax and enjoy communicating with someone new).

PRACTISE DAILY GRATITUDE
Somebody somewhere would probably trade places with you in less than a heartbeat. You need to pay attention to your blessings, you need to see how much you actually have, you need to understand just how fab your life really is because, guess what? You and I both know it could be a lot worse. It can only get better and you know this!! 

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
Thank you for reading. 
Whatever your circumstances might be, I pray this blog post will motivate you to go out into the world and make your mark!

PREVIOUS POST: FREELANCER TIPS

Scroll to the end of this page for the link to my radio show 

Sunday, 16 April 2017

FREELANCER TIPS

The bottom line is, you need the most amount of willpower, to be super resilient, immensely dedicated, ridiculously consistent, insanely patient and you must be hugely passionate about what you're doing. 

There are those who assume that blogging [for example] is easy, lots of fun, glamorous and "not a 'real' job". In reality, it's flipping hard [loads of planning, research, preparation, drafts, edits, photography and the rest], it can be incredibly frustrating [mostly the lack of support], there's very little to no glam however, it is definitely something many have made a fab career of.
Based entirely on my own experiences [blogging, teaching, radio, events planning], these are the ingredients I believe will / can make for an awesome freelance career [albeit, one size does not fit all]:
  • Identify what fuels your passion - what do you want to give, or share / gain and why?
  • Understand exactly what it will take to commit - not just time, personal sacrifices too!
  • Assess your skills and capabilities - do you need to study, learn the trade?
  • Ensure you are aware of and have the resources you need - from Internet access to funds - you've got to be willing and able to invest in yourself for what might be a really long time!!
  • Be realistic about what is required versus what you can actually do - e.g. monthly blogging is pointless, real talk!
  • Make sure you have a strong enough database - no contacts, no audience
  • Start with what you have and, if currently working, stay in your job! - you'll need the money and your colleagues may potentially be your market / buyers / clients etc.
  • Prepare for and accept that you will have to prove yourself - unpaid work for the experience, building your database and references is once again the way to go
  • Clean up your online presence - you want to be taken seriously and have your services hired
  • WORK on your brand - you, your products, your services, your website / Facebook page / Instagram etc.
  • Have a plan of action - what, when, how and why are you going to do whatever it is you are wanting to do? How much will you charge, how will you secure clients and maintain the relationships thereafter?
  • Where possible, attend relevant talks, seminars, or workshops about going freelance and also anything beneficial relating to your chosen field. [Beware those who may try to sell you follow-up 'courses' - do not allow yourself to be pressured into buying anything. Do your research first!].
  • Pay attention to others in your field - what are they doing and how? Where are they finding their clients, what events are they attending, who are they reaching out to?
  • Look for a mentor - could prove to be a big plus and you'll also have an immediate support system
The struggle can be so disgustingly real at times and you may want to quit before you've officially started, or soon after you go freelance so, always draw strength and inspiration from your passion, remember why you made the decision to go freelance and make sure you regularly weigh up the pro's and con's. You don't want to walk away from what you love so easily! Be patient.
FYI: I don't believe it's possible to freelance and have a full-time job long term - I mean, headache and stress much...? - However, it's defo possible to do so alongside a part-time contract. That said, be mindful of the fact that it isn't easy and freelancing is not likely to be lucrative for a while. Also, you'll want to create a positive, encouraging working environment for yourself and a strict schedule!

Visit Eventbrite [UK / USA etc.] and book anything that you believe will be valuable and is cost effective. Also search Google for more tips and additional freelancer support. 

The world of happiness comes from being able to successfully do your own thing and earn from it too but, it can be so dread at times! Isn't something to step into on a whim, that's for sure!!

Thank you for reading. 
I hope this post was helpful in some way. 

** HAPPY EASTER **


Scroll to the end of this page to listen to my radio show.... 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

THE BEST WAY TO REMOVE YOUR MAKEUP

'Minimal' is my favourite word. I rarely wear anything beyond cream and lip balm on my face and when I do apply anything, it is so basic; so little that it's more of a tint than it is a full on face paint! However, I've learned that [for me personally] the best way to remove it all is by following these quick easy steps which leave your skin feeling incredibly soft, fresh, alive [you know what I mean], able to breathe and extremely clean!

Step 1
I use the Boots Cucumber cleansing wipes to take off the make-up

Step 2
I then use a Johnson's baby wipe to restore moisture
Step 3
I then apply a very generous amount of the Boots Essentials Moisturising cream, which I mentioned in a previous post

Step 4
I leave the moisturising cream on [which has been massaged into/around my entire face] for about 2 - 4 minutes and then rinse off using warm water.

Step 5
I then give my face a quick rinse in cold water
Step 6
I reapply a small amount of the moisturising cream and ensure I work it into my face the same way I would with my lotion

Step 7
I then steam my face for 10 to 20 minutes - - - -
Boil the kettle, allow it to stand for 2 minutes, then pour the water into a suitable bowl [only halfway]. Place the bowl onto a hard surface [on a table at which you can sit comfortably works a treat] and then hang your head over the bowl ensuring you do not sink your face into the boiled water, of course and cover your head with a light weight towel. Once finished, I wrap the towel around my face and sit until it has almost cooled down

Step 8
I do another quick rinse with cold water, pat my face with a towel [do not dry completely] and then apply a small amount of my lotion/cream [I use Aqueous, or Germolene. Yes, the antiseptic cream!] and some lip balm
maybelline baby lips dr rescue too cool
TIP: If you wear make-up every day and feel this entire routine is a bit much to carry out before bed each night, do so on a Sunday but, apply a face mask beforehand! Primark have a great range [from just 80p at the time this article was published] for those on a budget!!

If you see improved results with this regime, 
do please share with others. Sharing is caring!! 😉

PREVIOUS POST: NUMBER ONE LIFE TIP! 

Scroll to the end of this page for the link to my radio show.... 

Sunday, 2 April 2017

NUMBER ONE LIFE TIP!

Do you know that "YOU ARE ENOUGH"? I hope you answer, "yes, I do" because, you are and, while it would be super lovely, you don't need for anyone to say it for you to know and believe it which is exactly what I Am Adored represents!

Founded by award-winning social entrepreneur and Marketing Executive Caroline Odogwu, this stand out collection of jewellery is a nod to female empowerment and aims to remind women everywhere that they are each uniquely made and adored. This, in fact, is true of everyone.

Prior to my interview with Caroline for Real Talk with Charley Jai on Shoreditch Radio [Wednesday 5th April 2017], I did a photoshoot wearing some of the gorgeous pieces from I Am Adored around London's trendy Notting Hill. For the official images please keep an eye on / visit the I Am Adored instagram account and website. 

Photography: Caroline Odogwu
Make-up [foundation only]: Sam Simon
Assistant: Brooke Berbaum [Intern for I Am Adored, January - April 2017]

Thanks for reading. 
Always remember that you truly are amazing and are more than enough, god bless x


Scroll to the end of this page for the link to my radio show.... 

Monday, 27 March 2017

4 OF MY BIGGEST MISTAKES!!

Relaxing My Hair
Relaxed hair, I should've cared! [Age 17 - 29]
I was 17, too quick to make decisions and STUPID!! A very good friend of my mother's who is a qualified and highly recommended hairdresser and stylist relaxed my hair and chopped it into a bob and I loved it! The quality of my natural hair is pretty decent and the length is too. It's just really fine.... Having had my hair treated professionally for a year, I was lazy one weekend and instead of going to the hairdresser, I decided to purchase a kit and relax my own hair. FLIPPING IMBECILE!!!! Left the mixture in for too long, the top of my head began to burn and I was left with 2 bald patches which have never fully recovered. Although I [even more stupidly] continued to have my hair relaxed on and off for some years after that traumatic incident, I've no intention of doing so again! Not only due to that experience but, the chemicals are likely to have a negative impact later on in life as I've learned through the stories of older women. Braiding using hair extensions is also a strain on natural hair and so, I'm now at the stage where I think, like most black women, I might return to the old school and will never be lazy with it!

A 'Beneficial' Friend 
Completely different from a one night stand, FWB [Friends With Benefits] enter into a non committed intimate sharing, for want of a better way of putting it, that is to be on a strictly casusal basis... The mistake I made was allowing this to happen with one of my closest and dearest male friends many, many years ago. It lasted so damn long [at least 2 years, I think] that it felt very much like an actual relationship which neither of us wanted at the time and it all got a little bit messy. Although we are no longer in contact, we're always civil if we see one another which is actually super rare. Getting involved intimately completely destroyed what had been such an amazingly beautiful friendship because, we didn't ever openly communicate to each other how the situation was making us feel! Suffice to say, I no longer have a problem speaking my mind!!

Taking A Job I Didn't Really Want 
As you may know, I frikkin LOVE to keep myself busy especially creatively and this once led me to pursue a role I knew I wasn't particularly keen on at a company I'd heard such bad things about. I sent in my application, was interviewed, offered the job and from day one was treated so badly [as were many before me]!! Little did I know this particular chapter in my life was to turn my resilience up a gear, reignite my passion for radio and have me discover hidden skills and qualities which have since helped massively with my creative endeavors. Everything really does happen for a reason.

Going Backwards
Leaving déja vu fm the first time was something I was so, so upset about as it was due to
At déja with former resident host Linda E
and current member Colin
poor health. Returning sometime later was incredibly frustrating because, I felt stuck. I just didn't feel as though I was growing, or developing and genuinely had no idea what to do, when and how. However, going back enabled me to see clearly my strengths as a presenter, the areas in which I needed to improve, what I didn't want for my show and for myself as a professional and the platform I would need to pursue next so as to progress in the way I had been craving! 
Sometimes what you consider to be your worst mistakes might just turn out to be your best lessons, or the most needed push in what is to be a much better direction! Life, ehy?

What about you? Can you relate? What mistakes have you made that later turned out to be a blessing?


Feel free to share this post and comment below :)

PREVIOUS POST: Mother's Day Gift Ideas

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

MOTHER'S DAY GIFT IDEAS!!

In the UK, Mothering Sunday falls on the 26th of March 2017. If you're celebrating [be that with your mother, or in her memory] these suggestions might be right for the occasion, specially written for those with a limited budget!

TREATS

FOOD 
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Her favourtie restaurant - private area, special surprise cake etc
  • Bake and Dance - cake making to the backdrop of your mum's fave music!
  • Picnic - indoors if the weather isn't great - blanket on the floor of the largest room, nature CD in the background, pack of cards and a few other games etc

ACTIVITIES
  • Road trip
  • Create a picture album of your best times together 
  • Memory lane - visit the place, or places where you grew up 
  • Film a 'Mothers Day Q&A' video where you answer questions about each other, or a 'How Well Do You Really Know Your Daughter' tag [visual keepsake] 

CHEAP & CHEERFUL
  • Movies and Games [anytime of the day]
  • Indoor sports at your local leisure centre, or gym etc
  • Cook a fancy [ish] meal for your mother and her partner, or to enjoy with her closest friend / friends
  • Take a stroll around your local area / town / neighbourhood with a homemade coffee / tea / hot chocolate [obviously in a flask!]

It really doesn't matter what you choose to do, or how much money you actually spend. The most important thing is the giving of your time and to ensure it's quality!

Thanks for reading. Do let me know if you take any of these suggestions on board and how it goes!  
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!! x

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PREVIOUS POSTLESSONS LEARNED!

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Sunday, 12 March 2017

LESSONS LEARNED!

Not too long ago I felt as though I was a boxer taking on heavyweights without a coach to train and prepare me for the fights that were to leave me battered and bruised, albeit better for having stepped into the ring!

Last month I faced a few battles with someone I had become super fond of and therefore chose [wholeheartedly] to invest my time, expertise, trust and loyalty. The fallout with them [owing to, I believe, their pride and ego] led to a tizz with another individual [who had been a friend for more than 8 years] with whom I'd never even had a disagreement before!! In short, my investments, favours and support were taken for granted and standing up for myself was met with a huge amount of disrespect and shady antics. I then had quite a battle with myself because, I'm smart enough and real enough to check my part in every situation before I look at others. You know, I'm not perfect [go figure]... I have flaws, faults and negative characteristics just like everyone else in this imperfect world. However, I can admit that and then deal accordingly!! I'm honest about both my light and shade. I'm not a pretender; you'll always know where you stand with me!

Choosing to walk away is quite easy for me [not in a horrid way - I just refuse to stay anywhere that doesn't feel right]. However, I do tend to stay much longer than I know I should due to my instinctive desire to actually make things work and to also give a second, third and fourth chance [which I know I shouldn't do]. The fact is, sometimes our circumstances are not meant to improve in the way we believe they should, or would like. Their purpose is to teach us a lesson, or two and once learned we are to leave. The End.

The lessons learned / timely reminders:
1. I have never wanted to be a director
2. I have never wanted to be a scriptwriter
3. 'Friends' who get away with going behind your back once will defo do so again!!
4. NEVER invest too much too soon in anyone, or anything! 
5. Reflection is great, prayer is even better!
6. When things go wrong and you're looking for answers, start with you
7. Always be proud of yourself for being willing to try
8. Never wear more than 2 hats per project
9. Some people are really good at hiding their truth
10. A LOT OF PEOPLE PRESENT A FALSE 'IMAGE' ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!!!

At the time of publishing this post, it was confirmed that the short film Man I Use To Be will not be produced as it "doesn't meet the aim" of the co-owner whom the story is about; with it being decided that it was not worth trying to salvage :( Huge thanks to all who were in full support of this project. It's possible the co-owner will remain in contact with the cast and create something fresh at a later date. 

This is the original trailer:


Thank you for reading. I sincerely hope you understand this post and find it helpful in some way. There will never be a time in your life that you cannot learn from so, remain open to seeing who you truly are as a person and as a professional, a friend, partner, parent etc. Be brutally honest with yourself and don't hold on so tight to pride and ego that you fail to change and adapt where and when it is necessary so that you can become the best you could possibly be. Also, a grudge will always be a silly thing to carry around with you, the same goes for regret! The best thing you can ever do for yourself is: know your worth and refuse to settle for being treated in any way that puts a dent in your value. 


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PREVIOUS POST: EXCITING NEWS!!

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Sunday, 5 March 2017

EXCITING NEWS!!

I'm extremely proud to have partnered with some wonderful, innovative brands whom I'll be showcasing via my platforms. The aim is to help raise the profiles of emerging talents through radio interviews, blog features and the alike. Why? Well, because, I can and it’s what [I believe] we should all be doing if we have the means. I didn't want to collaborate with a view to earning. This is simply about supporting those who are positively driven; who are making a significant difference to the lives of others. 

NOTHING CLOTHING COMPANY
I absolutely adore what this business represents. Founded in 2014 by a man with an empowering story, Nothing Clothing Company is focused on "coming together to change lives" and they do this by working with those who are like-minded to raise awareness of amazing charities and causes in line with their own ethos, as well as individuals such as myself with a platform that has a similar aim.

Marketed as a 'premier good-cause fashion company', their generous donations to those in need make them a stand out brand in an industry driven by financial gain as opposed to the desire to give. With a simple but unique logo that everyone from your grandparents to mainstream personalities around the world are wearing, or want to wear, this truly is a remarkable brand that makes everyone feel amazing! It's an absolute joy to be part of what is such a brilliant, worthwhile, authentic and giving company. 

My line will be a casual range, very me, consisting of the sample hoodie pictured, jogging bottoms, t-shirts and vests. I'm too frikkin' excited!! Oh. My. Life!! God is so, so great!

Gary Scales, the director, was a guest on my radio show [Wednesday 1st March 2017]. Have a listen to his interview for more information about how the company was founded and is funded etc by clicking the logo!



Connect with NOTHING CLOTHING COMPANY on twitter and instagram and if you would like to collaborate with me in some way, perhaps to host your event, or join forces on promoting a fabulous brand / cause etc, please email: realtalkuk_creative@outlook.com 

In other equally EXCITING news:
I've been nominated for a Divas of Colour award 2017 in the presenter category! [Don't watch the incorrect spelling of my surname in that screen shot image of the email I received, ha-ha]. I mean, WOW!!!! This is SUPER fab because, this nomination in itself is a win! It's all about the recognition!! I wholeheartedly appreciate my skills, work ethic and achievements etc being recognised and appreciated! Click on the email to see my nominee photo!! :D

Thanks for reading and for your support. 

PREVIOUS POST: NOT IN MY CLOSET!

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