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?

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

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?

How To Show Up For New York Fashion Week

Fashion season is about to be lit! With all of us biting at the bit to get out of our homes and on holiday, we’ll be watching the fashion world for the next new thing to jump off the runway and straight into our holiday suitcases.

I know what you’re thinking, did I watch the latest broadcast from our very own poor excuse for a prime minister? The one who effed up by not listening to any of the early lockdown advice and landed us up shit creek without a paddle? Well yes, I listened to him attempt to make us lose all hope in a summer back on the beaches, enjoying a swim with our loved ones. As I listened, I thought, and this may be very selfish of me, I’m a Barbadian national, so I’m going home!

With that said, how are we going to see all the latest on the runway for Fall? Don’t panic E! has you covered. There will be live broadcasts of all the wonderful new trends beginning on Valentines day, so if you’re stuck for a date, it’s ok I’ll be virtually sat next to you taking front row to watch Jason Wu’s collection at 10pm UK time.

How I’m Showing up fir NY Fashion Week

Being that February is also Black History Month in the US, they will have special offerings during the month to showcase the black fashion icons who have been trailblazers and changemakers in the fashion industry. I, for one, am looking forward to finding out all the inside secrets of what goes into styling Beyoncé, being that I consider my alter ego a bit of a Sasha Fierce.

Alter Ego

So here’s to a month filled with a dollop of love, a sprinkling of fashion and a whole lot of fierce.

Almost

I almost didn’t write this post today,  stuffing my face with Christmas food, I was so carried away with writing poetry and the children’s story I’ve been working on, that my weekly post was temporarily forgotten.

I didn’t really shop the sales this year and have no intention of doing so unless a lottery win comes my way, which is near impossible as I’ve opted to stop playing, at least until I’ve met my savings goals.  It’s scary to think that I have to force myself not to shop, that indicates a bit of an issue.  I’m not quiet ready to admit to a full on addiction but we’ll see how the rest of the year goes.

The temptation from Instagram almost had me pressing uninstall on the app and hiding under my covers in a cold sweat.  My only saving grace was the M&S vouchers my pupils had given me.  A new pair of school shoes and a couple of good bras later and my gift was well and truly spent and my spending craving partially satisfied.

How was Christmas for you?

I did my annual thing of dressing up for my living room. I’m pretty sure the dog appreciated my efforts, the approving wag of her tail was all the confirmation needed, though when I phoned my mother to say Merry Christmas, she thought I’d just gotten out of bed and told me I could have at least put on a Christmas day face so we can’t win them all.

Throw it Back

I’ve been a good girl and against all my travel loving instincts I’ve done as told and stayed put in the UK all through the pandemic. I’m not asking for a pat on the back, I’ve given myself one already. It’s very easy sometimes to ignore all the rules and do what what I feel like doing. I’m one of these people who think yolo and just do it, but being that the elderly were being disproportionately affected, alongside the black and ethnic minority population, I thought it best to stay put and make sure I didn’t contribute to killing off some of the most vulnerable in our society.

Thankfully, I did get a little reprieve when we were able to travel within the UK and took myself off on a jolly jaunt to the picturesque county of Dorset. Staying in an Air BnB gave me the freedom to come and go as I pleased and walk around as I felt like.

Dress Boohoo

Of course when I got there, I had to make known I wasn’t a local by strutting around the countryside in heels and a short dress and taking a million and one photos doing just that (first world priorities and all). So this post includes a little recap of the best bits, just for you 😉

Dress Boohoo

Boss Moves

You lucky lot are so spoilt, 3 blog posts on launch day. Thought I’d go right on in there and be the cherry to top off your working week, cliché I know. I blame the children I teach, it’s them that come up with these quirky sayings and don’t I just love them for it.

Anyway, back to business. Whilst some folk were out there complaining about having to stay in for a few days (or a few months who’s counting?) I was securing the bag and tucking a promotion in my back pocket. That’s not to say I don’t empathise, it’s hard out there and not enough is being done to support those who are in the lowest earning brackets, I know what it’s like, I’ve been there. So hell yes when I take a step up, I’m going to have a little moment of bragging. I’m proud of me.

To go with my new job role, I felt it important to step into it with the right shoes and no that’s not a metaphor, I’ve literally brought a few pairs of new shoes and up-levelled my workwear. Which was really just a case of wearing my going out clothes to work, as much like the rest of the nation, I have nowhere else to go.

Dress Boohoo Boots Ego

My primary love language is words of affirmation and my work colleagues have been filling my bucket with complements over my outfit choices this academic year so why not come on here and share a couple of them with you guys, I’ve gone for monochrome looks as they seem to be my go to.

Go on, fill my bucket. You know you want to 😉

Exchanged the socks for tights when I wore it to school. Dress from boohoo