All roads lead to Rhodes – Autumn breaks in Greece

Fun fact, there is only one main road connecting Rhodes to the village of Lindos and that makes it a pretty easy town to navigate, except of course if you’re anything like me and my travel buddy who forget where we’re staying and end up getting off the bus a 15 minute walk away from our hotel (despite the fact the bus stops directly opposite it). Needless to say we made it back to tell the tale and continued to enjoy the much needed October sunshine.

The infinity pool that sits by the roadside overlooking the beach

October is the end of the tourist season, so if you want to bag yourself a last minute bargain then mid to late October is probably a good time; the old town is still lively and there are still plenty of sea adventures to be had. I can’t comment much on the new town because although we drove past and it looked lively, seeing things we can see at home is never the focus of our holidays, but if you do look for the comfort of the familiar, M&S and McDonald’s are definitely available options there.

On our first full day (we arrived late at night) we took a sun and sea cruise, stopping off at 3 beauty spots for a quick spot of snorkelling, enjoying all inclusive frozen strawberry cocktails for the journey, as well as fruit snacks. I must say, due to our last failed boat trip in Croatia, I was a bit concerned that we might be disappointed again but thankfully this was not the case. The only unfortunate part was that we could not stay out at sea longer. The 6 hour trip with lunch included was not available so our only available option was 3 hours. We made 3 stops on the journey – Traganou Caves, in Afandou Bay; Ladiko Bay; and Anthony Quinn Bay. Our hosts at Rhodes Sea Lines, were full of useful (and sometimes useless) information and humour surrounding the sights and history of these 3 beautiful locations. I can’t say I remember much, the cocktails may be to blame for that, but I do remember that Anthony Quinn Bay is named after the actor who fell in love with it and brought it whilst filming The Guns of Navarone (which neither our host nor anyone on board could honestly say they’ve seen). After his death in 2001 it was handed back to Greece and they kept the name in his memory.

The port where we started our tour, meeting point was the little church at the end

Our first stop was the Traganou Caves. Despite the fact that I can swim, the ocean makes me a little nervous, so I was grateful for the provision of swimming noodles to rest on should we get tired whilst swimming to the caves. I’ve seen a lot of caves in my life so I’m not going to lie to you and say they were spectacular, they were not, but the experience of swimming out to see them was one that I don’t regret and still one that I would recommend. I might be a little bias because as much as the ocean scares me I also love her and spending time in and around her is always a must for me. Just ask the group of 30ish children who had the joy of watching their fully clothed adults swimming in the sea!

I was too busy enjoying the view to actually capture the caves but they were just beneath this cliff face

Next stop was Ladiko Bay where if you swim out far enough, which we did, you can see a 200 meter underwater cliff which is such a beautiful spectacle, beautiful blue open waters that stretch out into the distance, it is definitely a sight worth seeing.

Where the water changes colour in the distance is where the 200m underwater cliff can be found

After that was Anthony Quinn Bay, our final stop. This was the spot where we saw the most fish, I missed the lion fish because I was too cold to get back in the water but I saw enough to be satisfied and by this point I had left the swimming noodle on board and was simply enjoying swimming freely through the calm waters.

In all honesty, for me this trip was about relaxation, so apart from enjoying the old town, the only other excursion we did was to Lindos to see the Acropolis and visit the beautiful sand beach. It was 17 Euros for the coach ride there and back with Tui and 12 Euros to go up to the acropolis. Some people chose to take the donkey taxi’s up but we were happy to stroll through the town on our own two legs. It was a tiring journey but worth it as the view from the top was amazing and there is something to be said about the peace you get being around the remains of ancient buildings and looking down towards the Aegean Sea.

Lindos Acropolis

On the way back down we stopped off for crepes before taking the long walk back down to the beach to relax. It was a shame we didn’t bring our swimming costumes and snorkels as the water looked so inviting and there were plenty of holiday makers enjoying the enticing weather.

If we had done our research before taking this journey we might have booked the Rodos Palace Hotel where we went for our spa treatments. It’s a 5 star hotel with everything you could need under one roof, including an escape room. However we booked this trip very last minute on Tuesday evening and flew out on Monday afternoon staying at the 4 star Belair Beach Hotel which was nice enough but could do with some revamping.

Rodos Palace Hotel
Beach across from our hotel

Overall as a relaxing getaway I give Rhodes a 4/5 but if you’re looking for a little more adventure, this might not be the town for you.

This is not a sponsored post and all photos and opinions are my own.

Beauty Beneath the Rubble – Things to do (or not) in Croatia

Croatia.

By most standards Croatia would be largely described as a beautiful country. It is located on the northwestern part of the Balkan Peninsula and bordered by the Adriatic Sea. As a typical millennial, I scoured the internet looking at pictures of the most gorgeous places in Croatia, and did my usual is… safe for black people – yes that’s a thing you have to think about when travelling as a black person. I didn’t look into it’s history, or dare to believe it was anything but what those glossy images portrayed on my 14 inch screen and for the most part; I wasn’t disappointed.

Split Promenade in the early hours of the morning

On the drive to our apartment (Apartment Klara which was lovely but smelt of damp) in the city centre of Split, my view of the outside world was a mishmash of lush mountainous skyscapes and graffiti covered tower blocks (1996 the year the national football team qualified for the Euros was a date I saw almost everywhere, it also happened to be the year after its newfound independent status). What I was to learn on this trip was that when it comes to world history, I know very little if anything about the world outside of the miniscule amount of history I was taught in primary school – mostly focused around the kings and queens of England, with a little bit of Greek and Egyptian history thrown in for good measure. We took a couple of tours with Gray Line and our tour guide, whose name fails me right now, was amazing. His knowledge of Croatian history, world languages and sport was by far the most impressive I’ve seen in a long time and the fact that he made an effort to get to know everyone on each tour was what made him extra special.

Our Guide speaking to us about the church which stood strong through earth quakes

I learnt about Croatia’s long fought battle for independence having been passed through the hands of royalty many times be that Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Hungarians and Yugoslavians to name a few, either for financial gain or through wars. I learnt about the 1667 earthquakes that destroyed Dubrovnik leaving just the church standing and the whole city having to be rebuilt. I learnt about the orphanage in which the male orphans became sailors and the females nuns and I learnt about a monk who was apparently found in bed with 2 nuns now that’s the ultimate threesome if ever there was one.

Apart from naughty monks and a city in rubble what else did I do in Croatia? I lived 5 days of a dreamy lifestyle, hiking, snorkelling, kayaking and cliff jumping as well as indulging in fresh seafood and a host of delicious ice-creams.

Photo credit: Kirsty Rice aka my travel buddy

Our first trip was to Plitvice Lakes with Gray Line. It was a journey that took about 2 1/2 hours from Split by coach and was well worth the wait. Our tour guide was the absolute fountain of knowledge I spoke of earlier and made the trip a genuine experience. When we arrived, there was a short bus carriage journey to one of the 2 hiking routes (we were on the easiest route to suit the amount of time we had and the varying abilities of the group) we then made our way around the park stopping to take pictures at the many view points of the stunning turquoise lakes or the pretty little butterflies, even the pathways were a thing of beauty. We took a boat ride across one of the lakes and finished off our walk at a pretty impressive waterfall.

View of the lakes from the boat
One of the many pathways

Our second trip was supposed to be to The Blue Caves, unfortunately for us 200 meters into our journey across the sea our outing was cut short when our boat malfunctioned and was declared unfit for purpose. It was disappointing but I’d rather we went back to the safety of land than to go out to sea on a speedboat that may well have ended up underneath the water. To make up for what we considered a tragedy, we bought ourselves funnel cake ice-creams and sat by the waterside whilst organising a trip for the next morning to The Blue Lagoon. We finished our evening with a cocktail at the Olive Tree which is one of Splits many bars, we mainly went there because I wanted a photo of the body vase they had on the tables. The cocktail was lush, but at 98kn I expected it to be and the service was so poor that we probably could have walked away without paying as we were left for about an hour in the almost empty restaurant without anyone asking us if our drinks were ok or seeing if we’d like to order anything else.

Photo credit: Kirsty Rice
Photo Credit Kirsty Rice

Unfortunately, The Blue Lagoon happens to be my least favourite trip of the entire holiday, what we booked was called The Blue Lagoon and Trogir Tour, it cost about £60 and there was nothing that could be described as a tour about it. The boat ride to Trogir was nice, they played some tunes which kept us entertained and on arrival spent approximately 5 minutes telling us about Trogir – that was the entire tour. We were left there for an hour or 2 with nothing to do as the town was all restaurants and shops with a castle (which is not actually a castle – entrance fee 30kn) a few museums, which also cost money and very little else. We hadn’t planned to spend additional money that day so walked around a bit then sat under a tree waiting for the boat to pick us up again.

After the boat picked us up we were filled with anticipation at reaching the much talked about Blue Lagoon. We were promised snorkelling equipment on this trip and got nothing but a snorkel mask – that was disappointment number 1. There was nothing extraordinarily ‘blue’ about the lagoon – disappointment number number 2 and disappointment number 3 – there were sea urchins galore which resulted in me having about 6 spines in each foot which sunk progressively deeper over the remainder of our holiday (thankfully they’re out now a foot soak in vinegar solution seemed to do the trick). Perhaps I’ve been spoilt by the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean but I would recommend Brighton Beach on a hot day over a trip to The Blue Lagoon so make of that what you will.

Trogir a beautiful city for quiet roaming
The Blue Lagoon

That same evening we had the opportunity to make up for what can only be described as a ‘meh’ morning. We were off for a sunset Kayak. We had a 10 minute walk to get to our meeting point from the hotel which took us through some interesting back roads that were thankfully well populated. The guides for this trip were very good, they took us through the safety and rowing instructions then we set off into the sea with our life jackets on in our little red Kayaks. Our first stop was a spot in the ocean for a quick dip. It was awesome just to jump in and float in the sea, it’s such a strange but wonderful experience and if you’ve never done it I totally recommend it at least once in your life. After the quick stop we were back in the boats and rowing until we reached the beach, a few of the stronger rowers (which amazingly included us) were offered the opportunity to row further on and do a cliff jump and me being me I had to go and did not regret it. We also got some time to snorkel, this time with full snorkel equipment – thank the gods these guides had no excuses about how the old Covid-19 rules hadn’t been changed to stop us having a snorkel. We then rowed back to try and catch the sunset which unfortunately was blocked out by the smoke from a large fire but it was beautiful all the same and the guide gave us glasses of wine to complete what was a fantastic evening. I do recommend you bring your own waterproof camera, although the guides took pictures on their go pro they were not very good images so we didn’t get any of us out at sea.

Photo credit Kirsty Rice
Now imagine this without the smoke from the fire

Next was Dubrovnik, again this tour was with Gray Line and was brilliant, from the historical ramblings on the bus journey itself (a 4 hour journey which you need your passport for as you cross into Bosnia and Herzegovina ) to the information on the walking tour about life inside the walls and the history of the walls, castles and surrounding city. I learnt little bits of information about the life of Croatian people; for example about 90% of the population have their own homes or plots of land passed down from their parents; I learnt about the different methods of fishing and water that was good for lobsters or muscles; I learnt about the equal sizes of the roads inside the walls and the reasons all homes had display windows; I saw the famous stairs where Cersei’s walk of shame took place; and stood at the spot where young men used to hang around to meet young girls carrying water. There was so much more interesting information shared before being given hours of free time to choose what to do from the myriad of recommendations given to us by the guide. Despite the busy streets and overpriced shops, this city is definitely a must.

photo credit Kirsty Rice

Our final day was documented as an 8-10 hour day trip, which luckily for us was closer to the 8 hour mark, as had it really taken 10 hours we would have missed our flight – note to self, read the trip itinerary thoroughly especially when booking trips for the day you’re supposed to leave the country. This was Krka National Park. We did the tour minus the wine tasting which was perfect for us as we got to swim in Skradin instead. We didn’t actually have a tour guide around the park, they basically picked us up then made us walk to a different spot to meet the coach then once in the park we were told how to get around the park then left to our own devices and added to a WhatsApp group for assistance if we needed it. The group also had the boat timetable to get us to Skradin and pin locations of all the important meeting points which was very helpful.

The Krka waterfalls were by far the most breath-taking I have ever seen and the trip to the little beach was so much fun, we even got to dance in the rain.

Photo Credit (with a little coaching) Kirsty Rice

As holiday destinations go I give Croatia 7/10, I might go back one day and try out the night life and a few more destinations to see if it can grow to a solid 9.

Is Croatia on your list? Maybe it wasn’t before but it is now? Share your thoughts and experiences, I’d love to hear them.

All photos (unless stated in the caption) and opinions are my own, this is not a sponsored or gifted post and I have not been paid to share this post or tag anyone.

100 Squats a Day in May

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.

post squat gym selfie

It gets lonely over here on the blog sometimes so don’t be afraid to drop a comment and show some love x

Topping up on Good Vibez

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.

5am gym session

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.

Gifted experience

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.

I must be the only person who wears a dress to play basketball

I. Love. Love

Pinch, Punch, first of the month and no returns!

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).

Tianna Haffenden – Actor and daughter of Mumma G 😉

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?

New Year Pending…

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.

January Spread – bullet planner

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?

So here we go!

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.

PR gifted games I’m looking forward to playing

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?

I feel a journey brewing…

40, Flirty, Fabulous… or not?

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.

P.S. I don’t have favourites!

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.

Dress? House of CB

Is it ok to be Vulnerable?

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.

What’s next for you?

Let’s save the planet

After a very serious topic last week I thought today I’d go for something a bit more light-hearted.  The simple topic of saving our planet sprang to mind.  We are absolutely terrible at protecting our worlds resources.  We chop down the trees, pollute the oceans and send toxic fumes into the atmosphere on a daily basis yet we sit in our coffee shops with a latte and some avocado on toast claiming that we’re interested in building futures for our children.

I got a major case of the guilts this week when I read that it takes 10,000 litres of water to grow the cotton needed for my favourite pair of jeans, yet there are still hundreds of millions of people who don’t have access to clean drinking water.  My little monthly donation to Water Aid is like putting a pacifier in front of a 3 week old baby and expecting them to get it themselves.  I’m not saying don’t donate of course, the more of us that do that, the better but perhaps what I am saying is, maybe don’t buy that 6th pair of jeans that look like the other 5 in your closet, except for the ribbed detailing over the left pocket.  There is nothing wrong with re-purposing an old pair or going to vintage or charity shops for a second hand bargain.

Jeans all have holes in them nowadays anyway

Water is just one thing, the amount of plastic waste we produce is beyond ridiculous and where is it all going?  The answer may seem simple, it’s goes to landfil, our oceans, our parks all over our environment.  It’s so widely spread it’s even in our food and our excrement.  It’s definitely a worrying trend and not something that we can just wait for the plastic industry to respond to.  Yes they do react when there is government direction to do so but we all know that when consumers speak with their money, companies listen.

I was lucky enough to receive a gift from one such company who wants to ensure our children are not met with toxic play toys. For me that’s definitely one way to make a change.

This gorgeous set is made from bio plastic, is toxin free and as environmentally friendly as a new toy can get.

I haven’t got babies anymore, what else can we do? This is a good question and one that I’m still trying to answer. So perhaps whilst we’re still looking for solutions, let’s start by walking more, jumping on our bikes or, in my case, our roller skates and taking on some of this traffic pollution. I have to admit that I’m rubbish at swapping my car for my legs because I hate the cold but we are still a little way off affordable electric vehicles so I will have to make more of an effort and get peddling.

Another thing I really want to do is pick up some of the trash in my local park. I literally saw a bird trying to eat the ring from a plastic bottle that had been chucked in the bushes. F.Y.I litter bugs, parks have bins and if you can’t seem to find one there’s nothing wrong with shoving it in your pocket until you get home. If anyone fancies a day out litter picking with me please let me know and we’ll make an event of it, if we don’t start trying to save our plant, who else will?