17 July 2020

Loving Myself

Loving ourselves (and no I'm not talking masturbation...lol) should come as naturally to us, as breathing. But the truth is, for some.....it simply doesn't. 

Photo by Susan Kirsch on Unsplash

For some, it takes putting in work to realise, that the person you should love first, is the one looking back at you in the mirror. For some of us, believing in ourselves takes a dedicated effort. Now that be could down to a number of things. One of the reasons could be, never being taught how much you're actually worth. Another could be, constantly being told that your were nothing or would never amount to anything. If like me, you had someone in your life who, even though they loved you and had your back, still took any opportunity they could, to remind you that you were nothing (especially compared to others) and wouldn't end up being anything good, you that hearing that on a regular basis, can mess with your self-worth and slowly become your new belief system. The crazy thing is, because this person was such a great part of my life and looked after me, I didn't understand the negative impact this behaviour had on my self-esteem, which is probably why it took me so long to see the long term effects.  Now don't get it twisted, I'm not blaming her, to be honest I think she was just old school and didn't know any better. No matter what happened in the past, the best thing you can do for yourself, is to acknowledge what happened (maybe let that person know the impact they had on you if possible) but then you need to channel your inner Elsa and "Let it Go" so that you can move on to save yourself, because in the end, that’s the most important part. Making yourself whole again.

In our younger years, we have no idea what our older years will look like. But in our older years, we have the luxury of not only seeing how, experiences have impacted us (positively or negatively) we can also look back at our own behaviours. I’m not perfect - I've stopped trying to be. I've stopped trying to get hold of something that is so unobtainable. Instead, I'm trying to be a better me, because that's where my happiness lies. I'm still making mistakes (sometimes the same ones 🙈) but I'm making the effort to take lessons from them. The fact that I'm more focused on healing from the  negative behaviour, rather than blaming it on others, is proof that my journey is working.....slowly yes, but working!

This is my first post in a few months, because like loads of you,I've been experiencing, the uncertainty of the whole COVID-19 madness and its left me in a bit of  chaotic state, which has kinda flushed my motivation to write down the toilet. The good days, the bad days, the cooking up a storm days, the spending a months rent on take away's and amazon, the not knowing if I'll lose my job or if we'll have a second wave. All I can say is thank goodness for my Calm -Meditation app, coz when things get really out of hand in my head, eventually I always revert back to it for peace.

As we are now seeing the easing of  lockdown and the number of people dying decreasing, we're getting a better picture of the new normal. Masks being worn everywhere (which I totally understand, my lipstick however does not). Social distancing in public - well.....unless your in the pub, beach or protesting. More places are starting to re-open, which means more people are not only getting there livelihoods back but people are getting other people back. We are no longer as constricted in regards to being able to be around our loved ones and that's probably the best part of coming out of the other side of this. Having a better appreciation of being able to see people, something that we've probably all taken for granted in the past.

Now,  I'd love to be able to report that during lockdown, I built an empire and turned into a bikni model whilst getting a degree in astro physics. Alas, this is not the case. True to form, I started beating myself up over it, until I realised that was not a fight I was going to win. Yes, I wish I'd done more that could be considered productive with the time, but I didn't. What I did do, was spend more time with people (my neighbours) than I would ever have been able to. Building on existing relationships taking them from living next door and sharing the occasional drink to gaining a bigger family  that cooked for each other, ate and laughed together, shared sunbathing tips and yes of course drank together. I've been able to read more and take some to simply chillax. I even helped my dad re-vamp our garden - including adding mini gates on both sides, so we nor our neighbours have to drunk climb over the fence. I'm grateful for the comfort of my home and my expanded support system and I'm counting that as an achievement of lockdown. My next achievement, is to find a job as unfortunately I've now been made redundant, which is scary in this current time, but I'm doing my best not to panic, so lets see how that works out.

2020 has been a year like no other. It started with the best of intentions and plans laid out and we've all been completely blind sided by it. But with all of madness and sadness of 2020, we are starting to see the light at the end of it. We have learnt and and survived a lot in the first half of this year. Lets hope we do better with the second half. So for all of you out there still feeling like you are in the thick of your uncertainty, hold on. It won't always be easy and things could get a little rougher, but remember "It might be stormy now, but it can't rain forever" Keep fighting to find your fight. Lets all continue to stand together - as we have seen some amazing acts of this over the last few months, because quite frankly, if this pandemic has taught us anything, its that we have no fucking idea whats coming next. Seriously, if the whole cast of monsters inc take over NATO in January, I'm not even gonna bat an eye. So here's to hoping things get better and that the new way to withdraw money from the bank is not by following the plot of Netflix's Money Heist.

Before I sign off (to go and top up one of the things I have been consistent with over the lockdown period....my tan) I'd like to highlight a couple of things.....

#Blacklivesmatter - A movement on par with being as big a controversy as COVID-19. There’s going to be so many opinions on this and everyone is entitled to theirs, whether I agree with it or not. So here’s mine. From what I've been hearing George Floyd did some shit that I definitely do not agree with (pistol whipping a pregnant woman) and no matter of skin colour, anyone that does that I don't care about what happens to you or how you die. Period. However, I support the BLM movement for the Trayvon Martins, Ahmaud Arberrys and Breonna Taylor’s of the world. That shit was fucked up and needs to stop. Killing someone for the colour of their skin is WRONG!!....end of. I stand with anyone trying to make the world understand, how disgusting racism is. Made worse by the fact that no one has been held accountable for these deaths. I stand by the protesters, shedding light on the awful things going on in life that has become so ordinary. But all of you rioters and looters can fuck right off!! You're  selfish and drawing attention away from a cause that we need more attention on. Your are not helping us, your are hurting us. I've seen a lot of opinions over the current race situation of recent, some from people I thought were friends showing their true colours and some from people I never knew how much they had black peoples backs. Divide and conquer is a thing and their are certain people promoting and thriving from this. Do Not Forget That!!!  But please be clear, as a black woman, I know, not all white people are racist and I’m never going to back that statement. Just like not all black people, have all black peoples best interests at heart. I have seen peoples opinions and comments on social media and will judge for myself who will remain apart of my circle going forward. We may not agree on everything, but if you think racism  in any shape or form is okay, we’re done. To those that understand how disgusting it is, I'll see you in the pub soon.

Pork Belly & Cassava
T-Bone Steak with Pepper
Friendship & Food - For any of you that have seen my social media, you will see that thanks to my amazing neighbours I have been spoilt rotten when it comes to food and drink. For those of you that may have missed it.....a little snap shot of it 😝

Chicken & Salmon Dinner 
Gin & Cloudy Lemon

Prawn Red Thai Curry

Add caption
Jelly Shots 

Pina Coloda & Margherita 

Rosemary Lamb w/Roasted Veg

Pork Ribs 

Seafood Platter 
Chocolate Brownies & Cream 

Whole Roasted Snapper 

Mexican Street Food 

Rum Balls 

Sunday Roast 
Nutella & Strawberry Puff Pa

Rump Steak

Blue Lagoon 
Strawberry Daiquiri 


Mango Margherita 

Mini Picanha
More T-bone

Mixed Desserts 
T-bones on the BBQ

I'm looking forward to getting back to writing. Writing this post has reminded me why I love it. So watch this space, although it may just be about what time I woke up that day....lol

Have a great day, remember you are a unicorn and don't let anybody shit on your rainbow 💗

16 April 2020

Together Even When We're Apart

Yes, I know...... I've skipped a beat on getting a post out in sometime now. However, being that time is literally something I have an abundance of, there's no time like the present.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

At the start of the 2020, I thought the most historical event we would live through, would be Brexit. Turns out 7.8 billion of us were wrong.

We are coming to the end of the UK's 4th week in lock-down. An inevitable result of the Pandemic known as COVID-19 that has brought the entire world to its knees. We're truly living through  unprecedented times. If you, had asked me this time last year (or in fact any point of my life)  if I thought I’d be confined to my house, only able to leave for food for over a month so far in a bid to combat the spread of a virus, I would have concluded that I was about to hear the plot to Shaun of the Dead 2.
I mean yes, we all wanted 2020 to be a big year, but come on bad universe, you're taking the piss a bit here.

Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash

This disease has changed life as we know it. The daily deaths toll, is dominating the news. People are spending more time with those they live with, but are separated from those they don't. We're solely reliant on technology to communicate with others. People are helping strangers more than I can ever remember them ever doing so. But the most important change, is that the value of the NHS and front line workers in the UK and across the world, is not only been seen, it's at the highest it’s ever been. These selfless people are risking theirs and their families lives, day in, day out to ensure that the human race does not become extinct. So I would like to say - AS EVERYONE SHOULD BE                                    “A Massive Thank You”
to all of those, doing everything they can to ensure the rest of us survive. I am truly grateful for your contribution. To all governments,  I’d like to take this time to remind you of the noble and self-sacrificing work being done by all of these individuals around the globe and implore you to give them the recognition they deserve now and in the future.

Now it would appear, as I’ve gotten into the habit of posting moreso about my shenanigans, therefore coming a little unstuck in the current state of social distancing. However, a friend of mine (thank you Moni 😊) reminded me that my blog is not just about what new restaurant I’ve been to (although I'm pretty sure I'm going out for dinner every night for the first week once this is over) it’s about my journey, and a big part of that is how I’m feeling. So here goes......

I’m currently, on the slightly better end of feeling like I’m experiencing a clusterfuck of emotions.

Worry - The uncertainty about when this virus madness will be over. What life will be like after? Will I still have a job? Will everyone I love still be alive? We have no real answers to these questions. So, I get that this is a waiting game, but it’s difficult to stop my thoughts turning my mind into washing machine cycle.

Overwhelmed - I should be doing all of the things I never have time for? Which task do I start with? Should I be doing a bit of all of them everyday? I must stay productive all of the time or else I’m just wasting this time? Yes, asking yourself that many questions before 9am can put un-calm spin on the rest of your day (sometimes even with meditation) And then there's the over checking of social media

Anxious - When I’m not productive (or feel I haven't been productive enough) I feel shit about it. Knowing I should have days to just chill, like I would in normal life....but feeling guilt about it. Feeling like time is ticking by, but I can't do anything because we are at a stand still.

Lonely - This is a weird one, as I’ve been speaking to people more than I normally would. I've been chilling with the neighbours (separately, in our own gardens) and I live with my dad, but being that I would usually be out of the house at least 5 days a weeks and come into contact with a variety of other people, I guess the balance is a little offset. A lot of people will be going through this, and although that doesn't make it better,  knowing I’m not alone is a comfort.

Over the last year, I’ve spent a lot of time and written quite a few posts about navigating through the above and I can assure you it takes time. I’d made peace with that it not happening overnight......okay kind of, I’m still boarding the patience plane. But now it would seem that #baduniverse has thrown a completely unreasonable spanner in the works, emphasizing the above, which like it or not has created another obstacle to tackle 🙄 or, has it created another opportunity for growth? I'm willing to bet its the 2nd one, but is feels annoyingly like the 1st.

Sooooooo.......I'd like to take this opportunity to say,......FUCK YOU CORONAVIRUS!!!
You’re a baggy vagina’d, fuck nugget who’s over stayed there welcome and needs vacate the planet ASAP Rocky.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Secondly, I'd like to re-iterate that although it may not seem like it right now, We Will Get Through This.

This week has been a difficult one for me, which in hindsight I should have known, pushing those feelings away and not dealing would come back to bite me in the ass (yes, I'm still learning this lesson). But the fact that 4 days ago, I didn’t even want to lift my head off of the pillow and now I’m writing this post, is proof of the ability to get back up after falling down. We’re all gonna come up against many different struggles, for unpredictable amounts of time, but it won’t last forever. Try to be productive and get what you can done, but accept and don’t judge yourself harshly when you can’t. We’re living through something, a lot of us have never experienced and hopefully never will experience again in our lifetime. Allow yourself the patience to learn how to deal with it. Protect your physical & mental health. They are equally both important 💕

Photo by Daniel Lincoln on Unsplash
Continue to clap for the NHS - They deserve our gratitude. Continue to video call loved ones - We need to see each other’s faces as much as we can right now. Continue to Stay Home - we need to do everything we can to speed up getting rid of this disease. Continue to wash your hands - because it took a pandemic to realise not enough people were doing this. Continue to tell people you love them - tomorrow is promised to no one. Continue to make plans - holidays, new hobbies, restaurants, make lists of things you want to do when this is over, we all need something to look forward too. Continue to understand bats are not meant to go in soups - Yes, Wuhan Clan, that ones for you. Continue to remember above all else.......

We’ve got this

Have a great day, remember you are a unicorn and don't let anybody shit on your rainbow 💝

23 February 2020

Appreciate The Time

Are we seriously already 2 months into 2020? 

Is it, that time really just flies, or is it that we're simply not making the most of the minutes as they pass by?

If you're like me, most of January was spent with red sharpie crosses on the calendar, counting down to the 31st. That holy grail of days, where not only do you get paid, even though its still technically January - drinking can now commence. February feels like its gone by faster, than wile e coyote chasing the road runner. It was literally Valentines Day last week - which even though I've spent the last 1 or 2..lol single, I was more upset, that I missed out on all of the dine in for 2 options supermarkets were offering this year, than I was about not having a boyfriend. Within a couple of REM's we'll be into the last week of this month stocking up on Nutella for Pancake Day and then its  "baby bye, bye, bye" to February. 

I've recently been thinking about, how much of my time I've wished away over my life span. Get me to the weekend. Get me to payday. Get me to summer. Get me to Christmas. Its absurd how much of my life has been wasted, wishing time away. Especially as there are people who would give anything for more time. People who have been delivered the heartbreaking news, that they only have limited time left, before time runs out. Or people that are living in such a dark place, that they're counting down the seconds, until they stop time forever.

One thing that is for certain, is that that we never get time back. Therefore just like everything else in life we have to balance  how we use it. It's to have lazy days, doing nothing but watching films and eating snacks (one of my favourite pass times) Just like its also okay to strap on a parachute and jump out of a plane. It's okay to spend your time however you choose, just don't spend it wishing it away. We never know when that last grain of sand it going to drop through the hour glass.

So, as 2020 has taken a sprint off of the starting blocks and has already got me typing out my Easter egg request email to my dad, I've been reflecting over the last 50+ days. My plans haven't turned out exactly the way I'd liked - which, who am I kidding, the universe loves fucking with my schedule. Things are not as solidly in place as I'd have liked them to be....but they're also not as bad as they could be. January saw me 75% on track, in doing the things I'd set out to do. Then along came a blip in the form of my last Grandparent dying. Now before you start writing up your sympathy cards, her death has not affected me. I've not shed one tear in mourning of her passing. We weren't close, hadn't spoken in years and quite frankly I didn't really like her. However, I've been upset for my mum and  worried about her ability to deal with the loss. The excessive worrying has made me feel intensely anxious, which led to an un-calm, emotional few weeks. As a result I've been eating whatever comforts me, not working out and basically doing the opposite of all of the good things I'd started at the beginning of the year. Nevertheless, this week I've managed to pick myself up and am getting back on track. Rather than feeling like I let myself down by falling off the wagon, therefore trying to pile on everything at once to make up for the lost time, I've been adding little habits back into my day. We will always fall. It's a part of being human. They say its the getting back up that counts. 'It doesn't matter how many times you fall, as long as you get back up' which is true. I always feel prouder of myself once, I've found my strength, fight or positive energy to dust myself off and start again. But what if you cant......

The world lost a lady last week. A lady I didn't know personally, I only knew of her because she was in the public eye. A lady,  I don't remember seeing an Image of, where she wasn't smiling or looking happy. A lady that even though so many people are describing her as 'An Angel' 'A Beautiful Person' and 'A Diamond' decided she wanted her life to end. She was in so much pain that she couldn't see another option. She was hurting so badly that she couldn't find the fight in her to keep going. Publicly, I didn't know she was in such a bad place until last week. We didn't see her going through a long journey of depression over the years leading up to this tragic end -Which FYI should be a reminder, that mental health isn't an illness that comes with symptoms you can necessarily see. Because someone constantly shows you their smile and happy face, doesn't mean they're not falling apart on the inside. What we did see, was that a few months ago, everything seemed okay, and then (as we're told by the media she made a mistake - to which we still don't know the full extent of, but if she did do what they are implying she did, yes she was wrong and should be held accountable, but the the criticism, bullying and judgement she received was simply appalling) 90 days later this bright light had been dimmed. She made a statement on social media once that read "If you can be anything in this world, be kind" a statement that has resonated with so many.

Of course in life people will upset you and cause you to react in ways that could be
hurtful. But being kind is about more than that. Its about not making people feel shit about themselves. Its about being there for others, even if you don't understand what they're going through. But ultimately its about not weighing people down with criticism and judgement.

So RIP Caroline Flack 💔 All of the tributes flooding in for you, show how much you were loved. I'm sorry the world was so cruel that it took away your fight. 

I'd like to take this opportunity say to anyone struggling or feeling like they're in a bad place, as difficult as it may seem to do so (trust me, I know) please reach out. Please do not suffer in silence. 

I'd also like to take this opportunity to say to anyone who is trolling, bullying or abusing others.....how would you feel if this was happening to someone you cared about?  Just kidding......I'd actually say you're a cunt faced ass hat who deserves to have meat cleavers thrown at your head.

Looking forward as we head into march, which will hopefully bring less stormy weather. Straightening my hair only to have it blown to shit as soon as I open your front door, is long. February's weather has been so mad, its had planes landing like the pilots were drunk. Despite this, I've still had some highlights.

7 Days of Sweat - This week I made the decision to try the Joe Wickes - 7 days of sweat workout. I am proud, that not only did I make the commitment that I wanted to do 7 days of HIIT workouts, I completed 7 days of HIIT workouts. I'm knackered as I writing this post. But feel great for it. So that's a gold star for me ⭐

Buddha Bowl - I Created my first Buddha bowl this week. Another step in my eating less meat life. My buddha bowl consisted of Rocket, Cucumber, Red Cabbage, Carrot, Sweet Potato, Coriander, Falafel and houmous. Lesson learned.... Coriander is a great addition to a salad.

The Stranger - The newest edition to Netflix. British shows are not normally my go to. There have some exceptions over the years like Dr Foster and Marcella, that have had me hooked. With only 8 episodes (that I watched all in one day) The Stranger has filled the first spot in my top 10 shows of 2020. I'm not going to mention anything about what happens, so as not to give anything away and ruin it, but I highly recommend checking this show out. The story line is on point and the intertwining side stories will keep you glued to the screen. 

Solo Holiday - I have started looking at dates and destinations for my first solo travelling experience. I'm not going to say when and where just yet, In case I chicken out...lol but all being well this will be ticked off of my bucket list this year.

Deep Fried Trio of Cheeses

Family Dinner -  I made sure to take some time out to do something fun. 

Homemade Fish Kofte 
M & L Mixed Grill 

This came in the form of dinner with my daddy and his Mrs at Mem and Laz Brasserie.

Pornstar Martini 

A dainty (or so you think - the size of the building is deceiving from the outside) Mediterranean restaurant in the heart of Islington. Lush cocktails, friendly staff, a diverse menu and contrasting decor.

Anywho, I hope you've all have a had a great weekend and have an even better week and don't forget #bekind 😘

Have a great day, remember you are a unicorn and don't let anybody shit on your rainbow 💖