Sunday, 27 August 2017

WHEN THE LOVE IS REAL...

To the tweeters, instagrammers and anyone else who often share their tales of not feeling loved, of being let down by so-called loved ones and who struggle with love in general, please know that love starts at home; with you. The goal should be to fall in-love with all that you are instead of the need for any sort of validation through someone else's love for you. A lesson I have not always found easy to apply.

You are so much worthier than you realise. Worthy of being appreciated, valued, respected, wanted, needed, desired and loved however, first and foremost, you've got to work towards feeling that way about yourself!

Love really is for everyone because, it can be found anywhere and has so many levels. From the feelings shared between friends, to family, colleagues, or your partner, love is there for the taking and should be celebrated as often as possible, but, the celebration starts with you. Do you truly love yourself? How do you demonstrate that? Think about it.

Rarely do I share such candyfloss on this blog, but, my aunt and uncle held a very stylish and enjoyable party for their 20th wedding anniversary and it reminded me just how important it is that we love ourselves before we go looking for others to love us! Everybody was on top form. We laughed, ate great food, danced, hugged, had good conversations and a lot of love was felt. It was one of those family parties when you're reintroduced to cousin's, auntie's and other relatives that you've (sadly) not seen in the longest time and somehow it's as if you all saw one another the previous week. There was a lot of love in the house!

I love myself - a statement I once never thought I'd be able to say out loud. I love who I was because, she is the reason I love everything about (the better) me today. I have a lot of self respect; I value myself and have no problem ensuring my happiness is at the top of my list every day. If we are not right with ourselves, how can we possibly be right for anyone else? I am so proud of all that I have overcome and achieved, I'm grateful for my life; I appreciate all that I have and I love the way I am always so full of gratitude. I'm not perfect (show me someone who is) however, I am a good woman with a kind, nurturing, loving heart for which I thank God. The Lord has been forever good. I didn't recognise this in my youth. 
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I serve my heart before I seek to serve another and that's what I believe self love and being loved is all about.

You are loved. Whether you believe that or not, you are, it's a fact! Somebody somewhere loves you so, so much and they wish words never failed them so that they could express the depth of their love for you. If you've not yet reached the stage where you are completely in-love with who you are, which will enable you to see the true, unconditional love others have for you, you've just got to somehow keep it in your mind! You. Are. Loved.

When the love is real there will be no questions asked. Each of your senses will feel it!

Thanks for reading.
PREVIOUS POST - Being A Black Woman

Sunday, 20 August 2017

BEING A BLACK WOMAN

If easily offended, or the type who thinks you know everything, or you believe all black people experience life in the very same way, you should log off from this post right now! This is not the place for arrogance, or ignorance, real talk... Although, if you're 'awake', as the saying goes, you'll fully get this!

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
Growing up in London was cool for what it was (we were free spirited, our front doors remained open as we played outside, there were no police on the street and we rarely saw people littering and spitting in public) during the 80's and 90's but, I say that having grown up in the East End. I've no experience of what it may have been like to grow up anywhere else.

I was 'introduced' to racism at a very young age. The mini play area behind where I lived (during the mid 80's in Canning Town) was the spot! Most of the children in the area would bring their bikes, 2-wheel roller skates, barbie dolls, Polly Pocket toys and we would generally have a lot of fun until our parents called us in for dinner. One day whilst playing with a pair of white non identical twin sisters, the eldest of the pair asked me if my skin is "black because of the sun" and if I would look like her "when the sun goes away". I remember a physical feeling that didn't feel nice and looking back, I recognise that what she said made me feel uncomfortable and really sad. "No, I'm just brown", I said. We were about 6, or 7 years of age. I rarely went to the playground after that, opting instead to play on the balcony of my then home. I never told anyone, not sure why. This is actually the first time I've shared this...

IGNORANT YOUTH
You see, the thing with children of the 80's (in the area where I grew up) is that we were innocent. Perhaps too innocent. Nothing was easily accessible, crime wasn't close to home (or if it was we never knew about it). We played with the neighbours' children inside their home with our parents thinking nothing of it, school was formal and teachers used books and the chalk board to educate us. We sat together with our families during mealtimes, we were occupied with arts and crafts and encouraged to read for the purpose of knowledge as well as fun. So, it's possible that very innocence is what drove the elder twin to share her curiosity with me about something she saw that was different to herself, which she had yet to learn about; a case of innocent ignorance?

NO LIMITS
Today? There is so much information that is readily available and within reach for anyone, anywhere, at any time to access and divulge! Sometimes, that can be a great thing. Other times, not so much.

Racism has become a regular thing; a casual event. I've now experienced it countless times (both privately and publicly) and those within earshot haven't batted an eyelid (due to fear, maybe, or perhaps blatant ignorance). However, the absolute worst is when it comes directly from those who are supposedly 'my own'...
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BLACK ON BLACK
I'm done with pretending racism on the whole doesn't exist on the scale that it does and that it doesn't happen within same race groups. The amount of times a black man has referenced my "light skin" as being "not really black", or "not black enough". Usually born from having their advances rejected, (SOME) black men would ask if I'm "too busy ******* a white man to notice" them; am I "a honky lover"? I, mean, really? What flipping century are we living in? Why do these things still happen? Why?!?

(SOME) black women can be equally horrendous with their same race racism too. "She thinks she's too nice because, she's light skinned". "Your eyes are too light. You ain't no black girl". "Listen to the way she speaks, though. She ain't really black. Don't know what she is" - those are a few of the more tame comments I can share. 

"I DON'T WANT TO BE BLACK ANYMORE"
I did not want to be black; a black female, black anything. I didn't (and don't) want to feel pressure from 'my people' to conform to a label they themselves didn't seem to understand nor be committed to. I don't want to 'get behind' anything based on the colour of my skin if it actually goes against my morals and beliefs. I refuse to get involved with something that doesn't feel entirely legit simply because, you and I share the same skin tone!

Black History Month is a brilliant example of how disillusioned (SOME) black people are. Yes, let's all elevate one another by selling to each other at the highest possible prices (then shade, side eye, or talk bad about anyone who doesn't buy anything) instead of just coming together for a hearty celebration of the achievements of black people from centuries ago until this very day. Choopse! No other race has made me feel embarrassed to walk in the colour of my skin, or inadequate; unqualified for 'the role' as though I have no right to be what I identify as based on a combination of both my heritage and upbringing. None as much as my fellow blacks - men and women!!

DEFEND and PROTECT
Authenticity, positivity, hope and prayer. Real talk! Rather than stoop to the level of an individual who has no idea why they have taken the position 'against you' that they have, I choose to accept whatever their views and opinions may be for exactly what they - a reflection of all that is wrong with them and everything that is right with me.

Now, as a grown, super independent, courageous, good, kind, loving woman, I couldn't love my complexion any more! I, mean, what's not to love about being tanned all year round? LOL!!!! That said, before my skin colour, I am a woman and before being female, I am a human-being. I just happen to be brown skinned and the colour of my skin tells you nothing about the person I am. My shade is simply an identifier. It doesn't have any labels attached.

We're all broken, damaged, searching, needing, struggling, wanting, striving, hurting and then some. We each remain students of life as we know it and the best way, I think, to get the most out of the free education that life offers us is to remove the blinkers and walk with both an open mind and an open heart. Free yourself from the chains of ignorance. Life is way too short to walk around blind if you have the ability to see. Do not take your sight for granted. 

I do, honestly, wish, we could / would all get along. The world would be such an awesome place to live and life itself would be golden which is what we all want. Isn't it?

God bless.
Thanks for reading.
PREVIOUS POST - 28 Things You Don't Know About Me

Sunday, 13 August 2017

28 THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME!

So, here I am casually sharing this (somewhat explicit) list of information about yours truly... Feel free to roll your eyes, laugh, tut and even question some of what you're about to learn...

My ideal place to live is the countryside (I'll probably become obsessed with flowers and plants, I think, which I'm not currently a fan of).

Identical twins can bring on a migraine, or have me feel dizzy.

I'd rather do a sporting activity than go shopping.

I prefer dudes over chicks (in every sense).



My eyes are often complimented by strangers.

My belief in God is what keeps me (relatively) sane.

My relationship with God is the reason I am here, literally...
I never refer to my flat as "home".

Love a man in a suit (preferably not black, or navy).

Love a woman who is pro support of other women.

Love food! (My fave is dim sum).

Love music but, my actual industry knowledge is poor :(

Being around anything, or anyone smelly makes me feel nauseous.

Being a black woman is not something I've always been comfortable with.

Being open about anxiety for the first time on my blog made me anxious, go figure...

Being in the presence of rude, obnoxious, disrespectful, ignorant people brings out the ghetto in me (we all have those moments, now and then - don't front like you don't!)
Happy with how much I have in my 2017 Gratitude Jar ;)

Happy if others are happy (for the right reasons)

Happy every time I have a massage, especially a deep tissue massage.

Happiest just after stepping out of the shower - there's nothing like feeling fresh! (Also, not sure why, but, I sometimes get the giggles when I'm bathing. LOL!!)

If I were rich, I'd probably have every gadget you can think of!!

If someone does a fart it makes me laugh and I'm talking full on tears streaming down my face laughing! (Until I catch a whiff of the stench of course)

If I could go back in time I'd go back to the year 1984 (age 4)

If I were in power education fees would be scrapped permanently, housing costs would be brought down to a fixed rate (based on conditions of the property and other such factors), smoking would be banned in all public places (the choice to pollute your own lungs should be done inside your own home), police would be fitted with devices (implants) to record their every word and action whilst on duty, there would be no more annoying YouTube 'commercial breaks', Friday's would be a half (working) day and selfie's would only be allowed on Saturday's! (The list is endless, ha-ha) 
Age 21 I felt that I was done with life...

Age 23 is when I first experienced the feeling of loving someone wholeheartedly. 

Age 30, life changing experiences forced me to confront issue's I didn't even realise I had.

Age 34 is when I finally (for real) stopped giving a lolly what everyone else is doing and became focused on and committed to my own moves!

Thanks for reading (if you actually got this far, ha-ha).
PREVIOUS POST: JULY FAVOURITES!!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

JULY FAVOURITES!!

Hey folks! So, I've not done a post like this before and I blooming well should have because, as you know, I love me a bargain (or 10, lol) and I also really like to let you guys know where you can get some of the best products around for decent prices. Here are some of my recent faves. Enjoy!!

Oversized yellow knitted jumper, size M (Amazon)

Oversized pink knitted jumper, size M (Amazon)

Oversized apple green knitted jumper, size M (Amazon)
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I took a standard photo which hasn't been 'spruced up' so, you can see each item in their true form. They are super comfy, casual but, believe it or not, can look very smart and the colours are (pastel) rich! I'm likely to live in them because, they feel SO good on my skin and are way TOO comfortable!!

Copper pot faux plant (Primark)
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I'm not into plants and flowers at all but, I do like how (some) plants look in the home and so, this little fake gem is a lovely, stylish addition to my place, especially as it looks so real. The best thing about it is that there's no need for any maintenance, except the odd dusting (ha-ha) which means it will last forever, real talk! 

Peg photo frame (Poundland)
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This is too cute, I just love it! An incredibly cheap buy which you can feel when you hold it, but, it actually looks more pricey than its £1 tag - a fab, cool way to display some of your most precious memories. 

Hairbust vitamins for hair growth (Amazon)
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BUY THESE ASAP if your hair is thin, or fine, if you are experiencing balding, or tired looking hair because, these have literally changed the life of my hair and might just do the same for yours, no joke! I mentioned them in my Instagram stories (I showed a brilliant before and after) which some of you responded to and, while I cannot (yet) compare them to Sugarbear Hair, I can honestly state that, Hairburst have definitely made a visible difference to my natural hair, plus they taste real good! 

Patterned cushions - styles / stock may vary (Primark)
Gorgeous styles, too comfy and the best size! I've added them to my bed (you may have already seen them if you follow me on Instagram) however, you can obviously use them as you like.... Sofa, garden chairs, conservatory etc. They're such a great feature.

Pretty Smooth gel eye patches (B&M Stores)
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Oh. My. Life! I am SO surprised by how good the patches are because, they cost just £1!! The price had me reluctant to try them, however, I'm glad that I did. They have a cooling effect, no odour, are almost weightless, there's no tingling sensation and they're comfortable to wear. I feel and notice a difference every time, which, again, I have shared via Instagram stories. I've actually stocked up! This is a fairly new product so, at the time of publishing this post, it remains unlisted on the B&M Stores website :(

Bath bombs (Wilkinson)
The blueberry & grape + the lime & ginger are my faves! Nowhere near as good as Lush (if you've read my Affordable Home Spa Experience post, you might already know about my Lush obsession) but, the Wilkinson (Fruits) range is really good!! They smell great and give the bath a milky feel which is very relaxing! 
view / purchase ;)

Personalised cotton make up bag (Amazon)
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This was a birthday gift for a friend (named Rebecca) and, I must say, it was very well received! Lol!! It's simple, neat, individual (owing to it being personalised) and is easy to clean (washing machine). It's also spacious and, as it's cotton, sits comfortably in any bag. Fab little purchase! So much so that I ordered one for myself too!!

Really hope you found something in this post that you like and will treat yourself too. After all, you're worth it! ;) 

Thanks for reading.
PREVIOUS POST: How To Succeed