Someone made a really interesting remark to me the other day about the fact that young girls were embarrassed about growing up and becoming women. Well it’s no wonder that this is the case when we make such a massive deal when a woman decides to show any skin whatsoever. We are taught to cover up and to some extent, feel ashamed when we show our bodies. It’s ok for men to walk around shirtless and show their nipples on Instagram, but a female nipple is somehow too sexual to be seen but that’s a topic for another day.
Today I’m choosing to write a quick post about my 100 squats a day in May for Shelter, not only are squats a great way to build your legs, core strength and booty but this May, you can sponsor someone to do 100 a day and raise money for Shelter, even better you can join in yourself and reap the benefits. There are a lot of charities that I choose to support throughout the year but I’ve drawn attention to this one this month because I understand how important it is to have a home, a good home where you feel safe and Shelter fights to make sure people’s rights to a safe home are protected.
I’m two days into the challenge and loving it, my legs are a little on the wobbly side and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to walk around work after day three but it’s all for a good cause! If you have the time and the inclination please pay a visit to my Facebook sponsor page.
It gets lonely over here on the blog sometimes so don’t be afraid to drop a comment and show some love x
I almost gave up on this blog; my tiny part of the webiverse but as the song goes: almost doesn’t count. I started this blog (my first one by the same name) as a creative outlet to describe the ins and outs of life as a single parent family. When I transitioned over here I wanted the blog to be more of me as a woman and less of me as a mother, of course motherhood would always play a feature, it is after all one of my most important jobs but I wanted to tell the more authentic story of a woman, one that loves fashion, holidays, reading, writing, business, fitness, black excellence and a good time.
In recent weeks I’ve been met with some bumps in the road that mean I’ll have to hold back a little and make sure my content matches the image of a modern day educator, which is basically the same image as a Victorian school mistress so from now on what you’ll get is the same spicy me wrapped in clingfilm for self-preservation.
Since the beginning of this year I’ve gotten back into fitness and I’m working really hard to be my optimal weight and strength. I’ve got a good gym routine (3x a week at 5am) and I’m attending kickboxing twice a week. My friend has suggested intermittent fasting as a way to tone up and build muscle so this will be the next phase in my journey, anyone who has done this before feel free to let me know how it worked for you.
Fitness to me has always been about both mental and physical health, I glow best when I’m taking care of both of those therefore finding time to do things I love, with the people I love, has to be at the top of my list of priorities; especially since the last couple of years of madness. This week I’ve done cinema with my boys, VR gaming with my nephew, basketball in the park with my son, dinner and drinks with my work girls and brunch with a friend I’ve not seen in a long time and I’ve still managed to fit some rest in between. In a world where certain environments can have you feeling stifled, you have to know where to find your peace.
I’d never done proper VR until we visited DNA VR in Battersea, it was good fun and absolutely surreal. I had to come out of one game in which we were gliding in the air because it made me feel dizzy, it’s crazy how it tricks your brain into feeling like it’s really experiencing these alternate universes. What I will say is that although the VR experience itself was great, and the staff were helpful and friendly, the venue however is lacking in any type of pazazz. The toilets weren’t working and apart from the signage it was all pretty dull. I’m not likely to go again as I feel like it should be part of a bigger arcade experience where you can carry on and play some other arcade games with the family and make it a proper day out but for a first experience it wasn’t bad at all. With it being in the New Battersea Power Station development, you do have the advantage of being close to Battersea park so all was not lost, we managed to grab a beef hotdog from a nearby food truck and sit in the park for a while and any time spent with family is time well spent.
Working in a school I’ve heard that popular little rhyme more than a few times today and it was a reminder to me that I promised to write something on my blog today, even if I wasn’t feeling like it. Thankfully, despite being awfully tired, I’m not in a terrible mood which means I have just enough joy to muster up a few quick words for your reading pleasure.
I would have liked to come online and tell you that the month of January has brought me nothing but satisfaction and that I am thriving in this new year however, if I were to tell you that, I’d be doing one of the things I despise the most – lying. I have not had the most amazing January but it hasn’t been all bad. I’ve had a lot to be thankful for and I’ve made it a habit to document at least 3 things each day that have made me feel grateful. Sometimes those things were as simple as waking up that morning, yet some days were as elaborate as my daughter being cast in a TV show (cool I know).
I’ve also started kickboxing this month in the absence of my gym membership, which frankly needs to make a return ASAP. I contribute some of my moodiness to lack of exercise, the rest I’ll have to mark down to being my general disposition as not much seems to alter it at the moment. Even the prospect of pandemic measures easing hasn’t done much to put me in a bright and cheerful mood.
One of the things that did cheer me up this month though was a meal out with one of my friends and her sister. I discovered many years ago now that quality time is my favoured love language, so going out with people I love, chatting and laughing together definitely helps to fill my love cup.
Speaking of love, it’s the month where countless members of society will spend their hard earned cash on cards, jewellery, chocolates and flowers. Now I can’t tell you that I don’t buy into the consumerism that is Valentine’s Day because if a bouquet of flowers arrived at my door with a singing telegram, I’d be equally as mortified as I would be ecstatic. I’m what many would refer to as a hopeless romantic. I love, love. I’m guilty of creating cheesy cards and buying gifts that at any other time of the year would make me cringe. I once brought an ex a container filled with date night Ideas and encouraged (forced him) to choose 3 of them that he’d like for us to do. The thought of that now makes me sick to the stomach, but that’s what love can do sometimes. That sickly sweet kind of love that clouds your judgement and shows your loved one through rose tinted glasses. I question that kind of love.
Love to me these days is something completely different. It’s working through problems, it’s sharing in pain, it’s making time to understand each other and it’s choosing. Choosing to chose that person over and over again. Love isn’t always fluffy clouds and rainbows, it’s building the ark in preparation for the flood because nothing is ever perfect and if it is in your world, you’ve won the lottery in life and should teach me your magic.
What are you plans for Valentine’s Day this year? Are you a romantic or do you wish people would just shut up about the crazy little thing called love?
My apologies for not having posted sooner to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Unfortunately, my Christmas plans were disrupted by the dreaded Covid which decided to clothe my family in its angry mist and have us laid out like sunseekers on an Egyptian beach (but a lot less happy). I’d like to make it up to you by wishing you the very best for the season and for the new year ahead. Whatever this year may hold in store for you, I pray that it is riddled with laughter, love and a whole lot of living your best life. I for one never miss the opportunity to embrace the feeling of expectation that a new year brings.
I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone, for me however, the whole fact that we are going into another year brings me a sense of excitement. I look back on the year and think about my achievements; some years are more fulfilling than others. I did this year, celebrate my 40th year on Earth, had a promotion and pay rise and (don’t tell anybody) I am working on some moves to increase my streams of income. I don’t go into too much detail with anyone about money moves unless I know they will encourage or support, there are far too many people out there that believe if you’re winning, they can’t and that is such a detrimental mindset for growth of communities.
Another thing that gets me excited about a new year is setting out my vision for the year. I normally create a digital vision board and have it on my phone, I’m not sure if I’ll do that this year but what I have gotten into is creating a bullet journal, thanks to my friend who inspired me when she started hers.
If you’re into TikTok (which I am not) you will probably know a lot more about bullet journaling than me. To my understanding an awesome guy with ADHD had great difficulty organising his life and thoughts and came up with the bullet journal to do just that. For me it’s perfect, it’s a way of organising my life that doesn’t have to have an order to suit straight forward thinking. I always say I am the most organised, disorganised person you will ever meet.
This type of journaling lets me be creative with my methods of organisation so hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up.
Now tell me, are you excited for the new year or are you more than happy to just sleep through the festivities?
What is me-time? I always promise it to myself and sometimes even get out of the house on my own, under the pretence that being by myself is the meaning of me time, whilst in reality I’m either sat completing planning for my day job or running errands related to my side hustle. What I’m here to tell you ladies (and the handful of gents that engage with my content) is that being by yourself does not – in my humble opinion – constitute me-time. In fact, me-time doesn’t even have to be time spent alone. Yes giving yourself time for growth, self-reflection, meditation etc. are important and valid ways to spend your time but are they things you enjoy? For some, myself included, the answer would be yes so they do take up space in my limited free-time however, for me at least, it is time spent doing things I love and sometimes that includes the people I love.
For instance, when was the last time you sat down and played a game with your friends or family? No time restrictions, no rush to get the dinner on or do homework before bed and no nagging feeling that you should be doing something ‘more productive’. Well I can tell you, for me it has been ages. I vaguely remember being very intoxicated playing a random game of ‘Words Against Humanity’ for a friends birthday and do you know what? I was bloody happy.
Another form of me time I enjoy is writing, you would never have guessed that would you? Writing is most definitely one of my favourite things to do, not to document the amount of great reviews we’ve had for burgers in the last week but I love writing when it has anything to do with letting my creativity flow. Writing a blog post, a poem, a short story or simply just mini musings in a note book; of which I have many.
Last but not least, reading on a beach combines another two of my most loved avenues of me-time – travel and books. What better thing is there to do than be engrossed in the escapades of someone else whilst being on your own?
Forget everything I said about being flirty and fabulous, the forties so far has given me athletes foot, a urine infection and eczema on my hands so between frequent toilet visits and itchy palms (not the money kind) I’m also banned from playing footsie. There go my plans for Saturday night. Not only does my physical health seem to be on a downward spiral but my panic attacks are on the rise, it’s like my brain has gone from 0 to 100 with thoughts of my ultimate demise. Sorry to be so morbid but I do like to be honest with my readers and that right there is my truth. When it comes to my health my brain seems to zoom straight past the, “Oh dear, you need to rest stage.” to the “Oh my God, you’re not waking up when you go to sleep tonight.” Thankfully, I’m not always like that, in fact most of the time I’m optimism and light so I won’t drag you into a pity party instead I’ll share with you my recent staycation which in all honesty, is one of the only reasons I managed not to fall completely to pieces these last couple of months.
It’s not often that I get to run away from the busyness of London these days, due to the fact that covid rules have restricted our movements, especially as I’m super paranoid about the vaccine, so Devon was definitely the welcome break that I needed.
Dog and boy in tow we hit the motor way, our friends following behind in their own car. We would have travelled together had it not been for the fact that we both have tiny cars and had to pack to not only accommodate ourselves but also our dogs. Packing for a dog is nearly as difficult as packing for a new born and I was sure something would be left behind. Really, it was the boy I should have been worried about, everything I handed him to put in his suitcase went onto his bed which meant he near enough travelled with two and a half outfits for a five day trip.
We ended our journey at the cutest little cabin hidden in the countryside with nothing but horses, pheasants and the occasional rabbit in sight.
As places I’ve visited in the UK go, Devon is definitely one suitable for the outdoorsy type. This was my second trip there, my first having been for a wedding and I think I only partially qualify as that type. I love the outdoors, long walks by the beach and picturesque tea houses where they serve fresh cream tea with a smile and a treat for your doggy friend but I’m a city girl by heart. I need to be near enough to shopping centres, theatres and bars; not that I spend much time in those places; I just need to know that should I wish to, they are right on my doorstep.
As well as that, it’s definitely not the place for rainy day fun. We struggled to find things to do in the rain but as the skies cleared we found ourselves back in the outdoors taking in the sights from the Devonshire Moors. That trip started off well, we love a bit of hiking and exploring but unfortunately for us and probably due to my crazy dog trying to chase all the sheep, we ended up way off track, truly lost and wading through mud, rivers and high grass lands. My boots were definitely not made for that which certainly didn’t do anything to help the athletes foot issue!
I probably could of done with a good pair of hunter’s to keep my feet dry and as I’m slightly in love with Minnie and Mickey (Mouse of course) their new capsule collection Hunter x Disney, would be right up my street. If anyone fancies treating me before my next adventure, they go on sale on November 15th and I’m a size 4.
Needless to say after the adventure (or trauma, whichever you prefer to call it) of our journey through the Moors, a log fire, hot chocolate and s’mores were definitely on the cards for us. What I will say is this, the company that you chose for a trip like this is so important. We went with one of my best friends, who is not only as spontaneous as I am but just like me, she believes a cuddle and a hot chocolate at the end of a stressful event fixes everything.
The best bit about Devon for me was definitely the beaches. If I ever decide to trade in London life, it will be for beach walks and an ocean view preferably in a place where sunshine is the norm. I don’t know what it is about the sound of the waves but I feel my most calmest when I’m by the sea, It’s as though the waves have the power to carry away all negativity and the shore has just enough depth to help me feel grounded.
If you could move anywhere tomorrow, where would you go and why?
There are conflicting views as to what happens when one turns 40 as though entering your 40s has some magical secret that you only become aware of as the clock strikes midnight. I’ve heard it said that this is when life begins, that this is the time that you really come into yourself, all your life’s experiences so far have been preparing you for this moment when you are the best version of yourself; the most free; most passionate; most fulfilled that you will ever be. On the opposite side of the spectrum I’ve also heard whispers of everything going downhill from here on out. You get more chin hairs, your fat gathers at your waist without your permission and if you’re not married yet be prepared to sit on the subs bench until some poor widower comes along and takes you in to ease his broken heart. Of course neither of these perspectives is accurate. I mean yes, your hormones are changing so you might find a hair or two and if you’re not an active member of the gym beware but these years are neither chalked out to be the best nor the worst of your life. They are merely just more years where the pen is placed in your hand and you need to choose your journey.
I’ve recently been fighting with the stresses of life, so much so that I’ve developed eczema on my hands and feet, trying to decide what the next best step is. If I decide to leave the area, am I running away from my problems or am I seeking to find the life I desire? I’m currently the epitome of what it means to work yourself silly. I’m often working in one or the other of my roles from 6am until 1am the earliest which means sleep evades me. I’m tired, grouchy and feel highly undervalued. The thing is though, even with this list of cons I often find that the pros outweigh the feelings of negativity. In my day job for example, I love being with my ‘school babies’ as I lovingly refer to them and I get a great sense of pride and accomplishment when they manage to learn something new or feel good about themselves because of something I’ve said or done. I really don’t know if I could find another career that would match that feeling and being practical, match my pay scale. The other job on the other hand is more a labour of love. I saw the perfect image on the internet which depicts exactly how that makes me feel at times.
I happen to think that love is not something you only come by once in a lifetime. What I honestly believe is that love is something you have to choose and you have to work on, it’s not a one way road but more a merging of two roads, separate journeys combining to become one. It’s not only romantic love that I see this way, even loving your children is a journey, when they are born they physically separate from you and you begin to learn each other. You choose to get up out of bed at their first whimper or wait until they are in full fledged tears. As they get older you learn to work through their tantrums as they grin and bare your rule over them, until one day, you’ve learnt to value each other so much that you do what it takes to see them smile. I totally get why the brain functions differently when love is involved, it’s difficult to see anything better than love behind the door of decision because the truth is you will never see it until you choose to open the door.
When I blog, I usually just have a sentence or a simple thought in my head and I just start writing, this post should have been about what a fantastic birthday I had so I’m reverting back to course. With all that was trying to bring me down, on my birthday weekend my daughter brought me right back up. I told her that if she keeps spoiling me like this I might hold off on getting a significant other and just let her spoil me for the foreseeable future.
This is the year where I can chose to be flirty and fabulous. 40 is just another number, another year to tick off the calendar of life and if you want to mark it as a milestone, choose to make it the year you want it to be; set your goals in motion; find opportunities to laugh and dance and continue to send out positive vibrations – the universe is listening.
I’m always reflecting; be that on world events, personal circumstances or our general existence my mind is always a whirl with thoughts. This week I came across a picture on social media that made me think about how some of us are so compelled to share absolutely everything, the good, the bad and the devastatingly awful.
When Crissy Teigen chose to share the pain filled photo of her grief so many questions ran through my mind. I’ve been in a similar position to Crissy before, I understand that in sharing we can find the strength to move forward, to cope, to heal but at the same time we are putting ourselves in such a place of vulnerability in a world that can be a cruel place. However, in saying that, sharing every minute detail of our lives has become the norm. It’s as though the social media powers have brainwashed us into thinking that it is perfectly normal to announce that you had toast and a coffee for breakfast with a side serving of chemo pills. We consume other people’s lives day in day out to the point we don’t even know what is real anymore.
We question our choices; we can’t wear an outfit unless it’s been on Debbie Le, can’t make a financial decision without consulting The Break but at the same time want to live it up like we’re on Beyoncé’s budget. Our houses aren’t clean unless we’ve used Mrs Hinch’s methods and clothes can’t be put in a bag without thanking them for their service. We are plagued by the losses of our favourite celebs and humoured by the misfortunes of others. We rally around making sure that our favourite Instagram couple are still on track but our best friend’s relationship could be in tatters and we only bother to check in if her WhatsApp status is concerning. We spend so much time smiling down at our phones that we pay little attention to what is going on around us and we forget special occasions unless Facebook sends us a reminder.
Of course we aren’t all living in a social media bubble some of us are pretty good at switching off and paying attention to what is going on in front of us but I have personally lost count of the amount of times I’ve had someone ask me to repeat something because they were too busy watching the latest TikTok dance to hear what I’d said.
It might be an age thing, I turn 40 in a couple of days, but I’ve become really conscious of not wanting to be so engaged with phones and consoles that I miss life. I’ve also come to the realisation that some things just need to be kept to myself. Sometimes you offer up too much of yourself and then everyone thinks they have a right to an opinion. I’m tired of hearing unsolicited opinions, they have a tendency to make me question my own mind and in all honesty, I question it enough as it is! That’s not to say I’ve magically turned into a “private person”, I write a blog for goodness sake! I am however a grumpy middle aged woman who doesn’t want to share my relationship status nor my lack of bedroom activity with anyone that isn’t on my phone’s favourites list!
It’s been a while, I’ve been busy making work and life balance exactly how I want it too and so far there is some success. I’m enjoying my role in school. I’m spending time with my family and friends and I’ve even done a cheeky bit of shopping. The only thing not currently happening for me is travel; I’m itching to jump on a plane again.
I’ve tried to write a couple of times but each time what I want to say either doesn’t quite come out or has made me feel overly exposed. Funny that, I write this blog with the aim of being 100% authentically me but when things get too personal I pull back and give 0%. If I was like that in my every day life I’d never get anywhere. So this post is just a catch up to say hello and perhaps make myself a little vulnerable in the process.
During the height of the pandemic, when gatherings were locked down, restaurants weren’t available and church was an online only event, I spent a lot of time doing not much at all except work, in some ways this was a good thing, it gave me time to do things around the house and make some financial investments however it also left me secluded, I forgot how much fun it was to go out with friends and family and instead got very comfortable with being in my home. As things have gradually started to normalise my feelings about getting out and about haven’t. I’ve converted to forcing myself to attend social events because I know once I’m there I’ll have an amazing time. I’ve even told my friends and family that with my 40th birthday coming up, barring catching a flight, there is nothing I would rather do than stay at home and cuddle up with a hot drink and a book. This of course has been met with hard resistance and family telling me I have no choice but to celebrate with them. In my heart of hearts I know I’d probably regret it if I didn’t celebrate but currently my mind is screaming a big fat NO.
I’ve joked at the presence of a mid life crisis but in reality I’m probably just about to step into the best days of my life. Yes, I’m still single and longing for my Boaz to take me out of the barley fields but I’m also glad I didn’t choose to settle out of desperation. It’s easy to look back and think perhaps I missed out on the person that was for me because I wanted the complete package, even though I wasn’t the complete package but in reality they were never for me because I wasn’t ready.
Now I’m ready.
I have an adult daughter and a son who is in his last year of primary school. I have a good job and a decent side hustle. I have investments and savings for the first time in my life and a handful of solid friends who I wouldn’t change for the world. That’s not to say I don’t miss some of the friends that drifted. I’m a very sentimental person and there are people who for whatever reason left my life that I am not afraid to admit I miss. I’ve always said that love is something you can’t just erase, once someone had my love, they will always have it, perhaps not in the same way but love doesn’t just vanish.
So what’s next? God knows. I have plans and dreams to accomplish so I’m going to stay focused and continue to work towards the life I desire.
Is it ok to be vulnerable? Yes!! We have all been there and in those moments you have the opportunity to grow the most.
I often take a little time out from blogging and social media to have some element of rest. As much as I love writing I find that sometimes sharing my thoughts can be a bit too much, especially when there are things in my life that I’m struggling to deal with.
Recently, it’s been tough, I’ve had appointment after appointment to try and get through a health issue that we just can’t seem to put a finger on and I’ve been avoiding Instagram because it’s full of pictures that show people living the dream and at present I’m scraping at dream life from a distance with a dinner fork when really what I need is a flight and a forklift. You know that feeling when you’re so close you can smell it but far enough away that your fingertips just about scrape the surface? It’s that. But the kind of person I am means that I’ll just shuffle the deck and hand out the cards again until I’m winning.
I know that people mainly use social media to show their highlight reels and I’ve heard a million times that we shouldn’t compare our everyday to someone’s highlight reel but when it’s in your face constantly even the strongest of people can’t help but make comparisons. I know of one girl who chose her car because a girl who she thought was after her man had an older version of the same one, it’s sad really but is what has become the norm for so many.
This is why I’m trying to be different. Yes I will probably still post my highlights, I mean who really wants to post pictures of them at their unhappiest? What I will do though is avoid digesting anything that makes me feel like giving up and I’ll avoid posting things that make it seem like I have it more together than I really do.
I’m human like the rest of you, I cry tears, I worry about finances and health and I battle with my emotions. I also have 2 amazing children that keep me going, a job that I enjoy and a handful of people who make my heart smile. There are twists and turns on our journey and in reality we are all heading in the same direction so each and every one of us should enjoy to the fullest and let our worries, worry about themselves.