Sunday, 29 January 2017

BEAUTY SECRETS

“Your skin is so nice, Charley! What is your secret?” I rarely wear any makeup, when I do it is very minimal and to remove it I use the most basic yet effective product! Here’s a brief summary of what ‘potions’ I use on my scalp/hair, my face, hands and body.

SCALP/HAIR
Once a week I massage into my scalp a tiny bit of the Blue Magic coconut oil hair conditioner, or the Blue Magic Organics super sure gro. Twice a week I spray my scalp with a homemade conditioner [olive oil, shea butter and jojoba]. These treatments keep my scalp and hair hydrated, prevent itching, promote growth, health and smell fab so, although I wear braids [the best protective style, for me personally], my hair always looks and feels healthy!

FACE
DAILY: See the Love Your Face post for my cleansing regime.

MAKEUP: Occasionally I paint my face [depending on the agenda for the day] using a few basic products [as I am never going for an OTT look] and have listed *below the products I use. To remove the makeup, I use fragrance free baby wipes [Johnson’s, or Huggies because, they’re not at all harsh against my skin] and once removed, I then apply the cucumber moisturising cream which I then wash off with luke warm water after which I then use a tiny bit of aqueous cream [E45] on my face.
*
Sleek foundation
Sleek concealer
NYX mascara
Mac lipstick

HANDS 
I use another homemade remedy [a mix of high street purchases] for my hands as they can be quite dry! Lavender, shea butter, baby oil, aqueous cream, snow fairy body conditioner and olive oil are mixed into a pleasantly fragranced [and crusty hands friendly] potion that brings the most amount of joy to my hands! 

BODY 
When at home, as in, unless I stay at someone’s house, or I am abroad, I literally moisturise my body just after I step out of the shower as I have found that to be best [for me]. During the winter I use a mix of aqueous cream and baby oil combined into one pot. During the summer, I use aqueous and cocoa butter, again mixed together. 

There you have it – basic methods to look after my skin that work a treat and have done for years. I have never felt the need to spend hundreds on so-called ‘fix it’ products to retain a healthy body etc! More time, the ingredients in such items are likely to be the reason our skin isn’t looking so well. Sometimes, less really is more!! 

Thanks for reading, genuinely hope this has been helpful.

You're more than welcome to leave a comment, question, or share your own beauty secrets below. Please subscribe and share. It's always good to connect x 

PREVIOUS POST: FIBROID TUMORS: UPDATE

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

Sunday, 22 January 2017

FIBROID TUMORS: 2017 Update

In November 2015 I talked about being diagnosed with fibroids and I explained what they are in my Body Issue post. Thought I'd give you an update as to how I'm getting on in the hope that I can further help anyone else dealing with these tummy monsters and / or inform those who've yet to learn about them.

Personally, it has helped significantly to persevere with my improved lifestyle [following extensive research] and I think it’s super important for me to share what I have learned and changed, or implemented plus the results I have seen, with you all.

REMOVED FROM MY DIET [a select few]:
Dairy
Pasta
Fizzy drinks
Juice [except for watered down orange juice now and then]

INCLUDED IN MY DIET [a select few]:
Kale
Spinach
Almond nuts
Herbal teas [mostly peppermint and green tea]


You may notice that my tummy is flatter and more toned in the 2015 photo and that is because, dealing with fibroids is like being in your monthly cycle [ladies] permanently without the actual flow [if you get me]. Fibroids grow when they want and the battle with watching what I eat and maintaining daily exercise to help reduce the growth of my fibroids [I have more than 1] so that I do not look pregnant is too damn real!

THE CAUSE: Further research last year taught me that high estrogen levels are the problem and certain foods are the culprits! It is that damn simple yet the doctors, consultants and nurses with whom I had too many appointments [here in the UK] chose not to give me this information and I can only conclude that this is because, it doesn’t pay to cure sick people…

Last year I also began looking into alternative products [non environmental estrogento use for cleaning my home and those I may use on a day to day basis [such as plastic] which is incredibly difficult!

MY EXERCISE ROUTINE: Check out my Body Issue post to find out which exercises I follow every morning. The mornings are better for me but, you can, of course, exercise anytime that suits you. I like to attend classes at Pure Gym as well whenever I can. 

Male, or female and irrespective of your age etc, if you experience any type of unfamiliar pain in your stomach [or anywhere in your body for that matter] make every effort to note down exactly what the pain feels like and any associated symptoms then ask google, real talk, to help give you an idea of what you might be dealing with before you visit your GP. You can then take your findings with you to your doctor and insist that the necessary tests are carried out to determine the cause of the problem. I waited years for a diagnosis only to then be offered a high risk, invasive surgical option yet there are far less invasive treatments that, if given early, can have a huge positive effect. It isn't about any type of surgery, or pills for me. Once upon a time humans lived without any dependency on chemicals to 'cure' themselves. Why is this now a thing of the past?



Apparently, once I turn 40 my estrogen levels will decrease and with it the tumors will supposedly shrink. God willing, this will definitely happen [if not before] and I can live fibroid free. In the meantime, having seen such amazing results and feeling the best I have felt in years [since being diagnosed], I will be sticking with my new lifestyle and will continue to improve however I can. Only 4 years to go! Bring it on!!

Thanks for reading, genuinely hope this has been helpful and insightful to you.

You're more than welcome to leave a comment, question, or share your own stories below. 
Please subscribe and share. Let's raise awareness and help one another x 

PREVIOUS POST: NEW BLOGGER ON THE BLOCK!

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

Sunday, 15 January 2017

NEW BLOGGER ON THE BLOCK!

This post is dedicated to a lovely friend of mine who decided to join the blogging world. Based on the fact that you enjoy my content, I feel for sure that you will appreciate his posts too.

Sam Simon is a Creative Artist and MUA. I met him many years ago and he has actually done my make-up before [for a TV project] and he is just one of the most genuine and kind men I’ve ever met in my life. He is a deserving talent and one who is super skilled within his field and his *blog is a yummy blend of his expertise and personality. You will especially like his blog published via Tumblr if you’re into make-up, beauty and fashion!!

When I first met Sam it was his warmth, smile and friendly approach that I found most appealing. I soon came to learn of his awesome skills as a make-up artist and stylist. Sam has such a good eye for what will work against skin tones and wardrobe, as well as lighting and a set [stage, or TV], real talk! He is so damn awesome at what he does and one of the best things about the way Sam works is his ability to have clients feel comfortable and relaxed throughout. 

Sam is incredibly professional with a consistent and thorough work ethic. He is honest, passionate, driven, forever developing and is always keen to push the creative boundaries and I would, of course, definitely recommend him for your artistic photo shoot, fashion show, TV/Theatre project and the rest! ;) 

Sam at work - Warwickshire College
You can find out more about Sam via his recently launched *blog and connect with him via twitter. He also shares lovely pictures on instagram.





Thanks for reading.
PREVIOUS POST: The Truth [a personal article about mental health]

Sunday, 8 January 2017

THE TRUTH

From a young age I have lived with a particular health issue and didn’t realise, nor did I understand it until I reached my adulthood. Suddenly the things I had accepted about myself and the situations I’d find myself in, despite knowing they were not necessarily my truth, began to make sense. 


This is definitely the most challenging post I have ever written/shared. Now is the time though; I need to be honest about this problem because, I now get it, am able to work with it [to some degree] and it's possible that there are many others who live with the condition with no idea how to manage it. God willing this post can help those without it to understand how it manifests itself and to be patient with those who have it, while also offering suggestions of how to cope for anyone who finds it difficult to live with.

For years now I have battled anxiety.

I can be anywhere, at any time, and like the flick of a switch I start to feel incredibly anxious. My chest tightens, my mouth becomes very dry, I struggle to breathe, my head spins, my body might even ache in places and just like that I’m having extreme anxiety and it can become a full on panic attack. Writing this particular post had me very anxious and I almost didn’t share it…

I’ve no idea what first caused me to have anxiety. I have never known however, it can affect my entire life in ways I have never before spoken about mostly because, I didn’t know what was wrong [with me]. Although I know it’s lying to me, anxiety will have me believe/feel in a split second that everything I know to be safe and okay for me to do, or be around, is no longer the case. Sometimes it stops me from leaving my home, it prevents me from being around family, or friends, it can get in the way of me going on a date I’d already agreed to, or getting on a bus, or train, travelling somewhere abroad, or even turning on the television. Anxiety will randomly make the decision to cripple my mind and hold my body ransom to those ill thoughts without my permission and without any warning. The difficulty is not being able to make it stop [straight away]. 

It doesn’t help that I also live with OCD [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder] and claustrophobia [again, both since I was quite young]. I am constantly having to tell myself to focus on aspects of my life that are positive, calming and happy which is a task that can quickly exhaust my mind and body. Hence why my weekly home spa experience is so damn necessary and important, as is meditation, exercise, music and being around folks with good energy. Wanting to overcome, or conquer these conditions, is the reason why I push myself far beyond my comfort zone.

Over the years, I’ve found living a healthier lifestyle has really helped with these conditions especially my anxiety. Panic attacks are less frequent and I’m able to do regular things more often without becoming anxious each time such as dining out with family, or friends, using public transport, being in [semi] crowded places, staying in the company of new people and hosting my own radio show. That said, the struggle is too real every single time! I rarely speak openly about anything that I struggle with because, I just don't like to feel as though I am a burden, or that nobody will be interested enough to care let alone [try to] help! However, I’ve realised that some people do give a lolly and do very much want to support me however they can and so, I felt that the time is right to share my truth; my reality. I'm also hoping the sharing of my story will be of some comfort and support to others who also have these conditions, or similar.

Anxiety [and the rest] is horrid! The worst part is not knowing why it chose me, when it will decide to pounce and why it won’t leave. While nobody should have to, it is possible to live a fairly ‘normal’ life with anxiety if you are being supported and are actively doing positively uplifting things on a daily basis. I’m so damn grateful to my mother who is the person I call straight away when I start to feel anxious – she is able to calm me down by talking me through breathing exercises and having me realign my focus to see that everything is okay. It’s really hard for me [it gets better not necessarily easier] and it must also be difficult for my loved ones. I’d not wish it on anyone!!

Next time someone around you appears to [suddenly] push you away, or it seems they do not want to meet up anymore, or they won’t answer your calls, return your messages, or they’re really quiet, or look to be agitated, or just cannot be still for too long etc, consider the possibility that they may be dealing with anxiety, or another condition they’re unable to control. Perhaps they realise, maybe they don’t but, you’ll be a massive help to them by doing your research to better understand the [sometimes] brutal beast that is anxiety.

Check out ANXIETY UK and MIND for more information on anxiety and panic attacks. 


You're more than welcome to leave a comment, or question below. 
Please subscribe and share. Let's raise awareness and show support x

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Monday, 2 January 2017

SAYING "HELLO" TO 2017

I woke up this morning happy, excited and grateful, feeling so damn blessed, energised and ready for all that awaits me this year. Can you believe it is 2017? I flipping can't! How did we get here so fast? Seriously!? It feels like yesterday was 1997 and now today it's the year two thousand and seventeen and, trust me, there's definitely no time to be wasted! I want to take the opportunity to share the following....

THANK YOU
To each person who has stood by me, supported, guided, educated, comforted, prayed for, challenged and loved me, you have it here in writing that I wholeheartedly adore you and am beyond thankful for all that you have done and continue to do for me. No deed, no action, no words of encouragement have ever been considered too small because, there is no such thing. I appreciate any of your valued time that you take to ensure I know you care about me and likewise, [I hope you know] the feeling is mutual!

DEDICATED MENTIONS
Caroline Odogwu – my closest female friend, spiritual sister and spa buddy. Thank for your understanding, your acceptance, your awareness, the sharing of your energy, your kindness, your radiant smile and your support.

Abi Lawal and Duval Akonor – your efforts to support my work are massively appreciated and respected. I’m very grateful to you both for believing in me.

Tyrone Hylton – my best friend, brother and advisor since 1997! Dude, how have you survived this long? LOL! You get me and always have. You’ve stood by me and have been a ray of sunshine waiting for me at some of the darkest tunnels I’ve had to walk through. I cannot thank you enough for being the amazing man that you are.

Sam Simon – No matter how long we go without speaking, or seeing one another, you always remember me and look out for my work and ventures. You’ve had my back since way back when and I am super thankful for that.

Sophie Millington – Soph, our 2 years feels like 20, ha! Now that I know you, I would never want to be without you. You understand me [probably because, we think alike] and you’re not one to sugar coat anything. You keep it 100 and that’s so important to me.

Isaak Badru – Bet you didn’t expect this, LOL! You have been in my life for a minute, or 2 now and I consider you a very good friend. Your wisdom, patience, care and support are everything. Thank you.

Trevor Blackman - Just to be in your presence, soaking up your positive energy, knowledge and creative flair is a joy let alone those one to one conversations where you give me no choice but to ‘go there’. You are such a blessing. Thank you for your support and belief in me.

My immediate family members - the ones who sometimes cause me to have the worse type of migraines but, they are always readily available when I need them. I ought to be more thankful for each of you especially because, to have you play an active role in my life is the most precious and wonderful gift. 

To all who read this post: enjoy the year ahead. Keep smiling, stay focused and always remain hopeful. You got this and God has got you whether you believe in him or not!

GOING FORWARD 
Embrace the days ahead fully. Let go of anything from yesterday that will not serve you well today because, the future cannot welcome you whilst you're still gravitating towards the past. You really do have the ability, skills and confidence to achieve anything you want to, fact. It's all about mind over matter; so you tell yourself, so it shall be. If something scares you while at the same time it appeals to you and you struggle to decide whether it is to be pursued or not, PRAY on it! I know you may not believe in God but, I do and I also believe in you so, try. Send your concerns in prayer, believe, take action and then soak up the blessed results.

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CHRISTMAS 2016!