Balance is not just walking in stilettos.

Good morning to you my joyful jugglers of life,

I am sure if you are anything like me, from a young age it was drummed into you in magazines or on the television that you can be a woman who has it all – a high flying career, a beautiful family, a successful social life and for there to even be time to fit in an exercise class or two for good measure; I grew up wanting to be that kind of woman. For this months post however, I wanted to talk about Balance.

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(All pictures courtesy of Google images)

As a woman of 32, I currently have a career that I receive a huge sense of satisfaction from although I feel is still in its earliest throes of progression. I have a wonderful handful of true girl friends who I have grown up and evolved with. The main difference now being our wild nights together consist of sharing a bottle of wine whilst putting the world to rights over a nice meal instead of coming home at 5am in last nights party frock. I have an amazing family who support me through the best, the worst and every other period in-between who mean the world to me. And last but certainly not least, I have a partner in my life who supports me in every challenge I face, who is my rock and makes me laugh and feel loved in a way that I did not even know was possible until now. And to top it off, after receiving my Spinning Instructor certification back in 2016, I also ensure I get some exercise classes thrown in each week too with me on the microphone 🙂

With all the positive elements of my life though, I too fall into the trap of not knowing how to juggle all of these things successfully at times. Are you nodding your head whilst reading this – its OK if you are! haha.

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I often wonder to myself if one day we are unable to keep all of these proverbial balls in the air and one drops, what will actually HAPPEN? If we realize that we accidentally double booked a dinner date with a friend on the same day we already said we would go to visit your partners family – will we lose that friendship or cause an argument? The answer is usually no, but why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to appear to the outside world we have it all in order? And in all honesty if that was the outcome which came from those situations, the next question you would need to ask yourself is are you surrounding yourself with the right kind of people who deserve your love and time? Now that is a hard question to ask yourself believe me but sometimes the answer is so enlightening and empowering 🙂

Another trait of women statistically is we usually would not put ourselves forward for a new role at work unless we felt 100 percent certain we could carry out all of the tasks required whereas men tend to be more confident that they can learn the required responsibilities once already employed in the job. Why do we sometimes doubt our capabilities when we know that we are just as right for that role as our male counterpart? It all comes down to having self Confidence and Esteem. I have learnt only in the last few years that I AM good enough and even know you may not have the necessary experience in a particular industry, it will translate to another in many circumstances. Finding those commonalities will mean the sky really is the limit for you.

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I will wholeheartedly raise my hands and say that I am a perfectionist in all areas of my life and I genuinely feel like super woman when I have managed to do a days work, taught an energetic spin class, cooked a healthy dinner, put a load of washing on and still managed to enjoy a relaxing glass of wine with my loved one before bedtime – but realistically not every day is like that. Some days, my only achievement is moving from my bed to the sofa and back again but with each passing year I have learnt that doing nothing is OK too.

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Which brings me perfectly to the very subject of this post – Balance. Life will always inevitably get stressful, activity filled and chaotic which will only increase when children are thrown into the mix but as my wise parents often remind me Rome wasn’t built in a day and if you cant get all your washing done today – we have another 60 years hopefully of doing it so it really does not matter. Or if you realize with a heavy heart you haven’t seen your best friends for a month, just pick up the phone and give them a call – sometimes just hearing your voice and letting them know you are thinking about them is enough until you next can see each other for a catch up.

Life can be tough enough at times, so why add that additional pressure on yourself to try to do everything all of the time – kick back, relax and go for that impromptu dinner date or picnic in the park. The routine can wait until tomorrow 🙂

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Until next time, take care

Keya x

 

Happy holidays

Good day to you my vacation loving vixens,

Apologies for the delay in getting this months blog post written. As I’m sure a lot of you also are in the midst of, I have just got back from taking an extremely needed break away to Spain. What with my full time job, teaching my spinning classes, spending time with my loved ones and investing my time in writing my blog you can imagine how I jumped at the chance to get away with one of my girlfriends to Europe this month.

(Image courtesy of google images)

The combination of sun, sea, sangria and snoozing on the beach was amazing beyond belief and I have come back home feeling relaxed, recharged and ready to face the second half of 2018.

I have been extremely fortunate enough in my nearly 32 years on this earth to have been on some unforgettable vacations around the world and I have seen some incredible natural wonders along the way. However, one thing I feel I am slowly getting better at but still haven’t mastered is the art of packing – especially lightly. Haha.

I remember when I was in my late teens/ early twenties and we would be escaping for our summer holiday as a family. I used to take a full 14 day’s outfits both for day and evening time and only wear a handful of them especially during the daytime where you mainly live in your bikini and beach towel anyway! Why do we feel we need to pack everything but the kitchen sink as if we cannot possibly buy anything that we may have forgotten at our destination?

Granted it does depend on where you are going and what kind of holiday it is. Obviously you need a different wardrobe style for a 4 day city break than you do for a weeks beach trip but I thought I would highlight my top tips for packing smartly this year.

For daytime I completely encourage that for a weeks holiday you can pack a different bikini or swimsuit for every day if you are lucky enough to have them (I was guilty as charged of this on my recent break.) One little word of advice though – make sure they are a similar size and style (I am partial to a bandeau top) as you really won’t want to look like a patchwork quilt of tan-lines by the end of the holiday 😊

For daytime I am definitely a cut off shorts and vest kind of woman. I usually pack a few pairs of either denim or chino style which can be mix and matched with various tops so it looks like a completely new outfit each day – result!

For those balmy summer nights believe me from experience you will be not be putting on your highest Jimmy Choo shoes each evening (unless you are staying in a exclusive resort destination then lucky you). My go to is definitely a smart pair of tan leather wedges. They literally go with everything, accentuate your tan and also give you that coveted bit of height us average height ladies NEED! Mine are from Guess but the high street also does some awesome styles too – try Zara or New Look to bag your own pair.

(Image courtesy of google images)

Clothes wise what on earth do you wear when the weather is still hotter then bath water and the sun is high in the sky until 9pm? For me, someone who loves the warm weather but feels their body just wants to expel all water as soon as I step off the airplane – then my go to attire is loose fit boho style dresses or fitted A line styles in bright colours or prints.

By keeping your hair and make up natural you can really go to town on your outfits as holiday dress can be so much more fun and eccentric than your everyday style – embrace it! By packing smartly and efficiently, who knows you might even have space in your luggage for a nice memento to remind you of your time away also. Well that is what I am telling myself ahead of my trip to Cyprus in a few weeks anyway ☺️

Until next time, take care

Keya x

Social media – help or hindrance to our own true happiness?

Good evening to you my enthusiastic e-readers,

For this months post, I really wanted to dig deeper into the evolution of social media and to try to fathom if the backlash towards its exaggerated ideal of perfection is warranted.

(All images courtesy of google images)

I myself was rather a late bloomer when it came to signing up to social media. During my early twenties, I was lucky enough to live overseas in Spain for my summer holiday during college and although friends back home were cottoning on, I still was too busy making memories in the real world to think about setting up a page.

It was only after moving back home to my parents after a particularly tough breakup and finding myself with a significantly reduced group of friends that I took the plunge and set up a Facebook account. Within a few weeks, one of my first ever friends from school had reached out to me and we had rekindled an amazing friendship which nearly 22 years later still is stronger than ever. I owe that to Facebook and it’s amazing power of connecting people for sure.

Over the years of working and living in multiple countries which has been an adventure I cherish forever, Facebook and Instagram really has made the world seem so much smaller. Seeing friends celebrating massive achievements like getting married, earning a promotion or having children fills me with so much joy as if it wasn’t for these platforms it would make it so much harder to keep in touch.

But like everything we do, there are of course negative outcomes of living our lives online. If you ask yourself honestly, the last concert or music festival you went to – how many photos, videos, selfies or check in’s did you do? Haha it’s ok I know it’s scary to admit but we ALL are guilty of recording our favourite song in a live show or tagging ourselves with our friends in front of the stage. It’s as if to prove we were really there. I often wonder however, by doing this, are we actually missing the true magic of the experience by watching it through our smartphone screens instead of just using our own eyes?

Another thing that I definitely am guilty of as I am sure we all do, is I tend to only put up a post when I am doing something fun or interesting – whether it being celebrating a friends birthday, seeing my favourite DJ or going “out out”. Honestly who would want to hear about how I’ve just washed my hair or put on a face mask – we try to show the “perfect” side of our lives in the hope of appearing more popular, fun, sociable or just plain cool. I admit that sometimes when I’m scrolling through Instagram and I see these flawless people with amazing bodies, heaps of friends and jetting off all the time to luxurious destinations I do get a pang of jealousy. I think for me though, I just always think back to the notion of we all are portraying our best selves and we should be supporting not criticising each other in this world – there is enough sadness around us already.

Ultimately for me, I have my real life, my real family and friends who know and love ME for who I am and I also then have my incredible social media network which has opened up my eyes to all of you, my lovely followers and has forged some lasting connections for me because of it. There are pros and cons to everything we do in our lives, whether it be the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the life choices we make but as long as we approach the Internet with the respect and integrity it deserves then carry on connecting people and stay HAPPY!

Until next time,

Take care

Keya x

London in lights

Good morning my bashful Brit’s,

Yes, that time has once again come around for London to showcase its first fashion week of 2018, held in February. I always feel a huge sense of pride that my home city is one of the lucky places on the fashion calendar to hold its own fashion week amongst the greats in Milan, Paris et al. Below I give you some of my favourite looks and the key emerging trends from the S/S shows.

(All images courtesy of google images)

Victoria Beckham

Her collections up to now have always lives up to her namesake in the Spice girls and this show did not disappoint. She paired buttoned up blouses with floaty, pleated skirts and court shoes and super soft knitwear with high waisted trousers in warming maroons and lilacs. I love how VB has found her niche of elegant workwear style which can easily transcend to after work drinks with friends or an impromptu business meeting with an potential new client. There really is no excuse not to feel your best in her designs.

Mulberry

I always think fondly of trips to Selfridges when I was young wandering around the designer bag hall, gently tracing my fingers along the butter soft leathers and classic styling of this infamous accessories design house. Fast forward many moons and I have fallen in love once again with the almost princess like designs seen below in the palest of pinks against the stark contrast of the strapless body peeking out from underneath. In comparison to the matching prints shown later in the show in autumnal hues of browns and burnt oranges – it really was a show which shocked your visionary senses.

Temperley

I have always thought of Temperley as a brand synonymous with the central London elite – people who shop for their scarves and hats in Liberty, chutneys and jams in Fortnum and Masons and their stockings in Wolford – an older demographic than my generation but this years collection has hit the nail on the head. Every look that sashayed down the runway had young, fun and fresh all over it. I particularly loved the simple black roll neck sweaters teamed with the paisley print ankle skimming skirts and also the long sleeve blue panelled dress would not look out of place in my work wardrobe with a pair of buckled ankle boats and my oversized Armani high necked winter coat. Oh so elegant.

House of Holland

I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to secretly hangout at any of the members clubs around our beautiful city in the hopes of somehow becoming friends with Henry Holland. He has just always seemed like such a genuine, down to earth guy and every collection graces my favourite celebrities as soon as it is shown on the runway. This years showcase was no different. There was a play on the trusty football fan or Harry Potter house emblem scarves tied jauntily to one side over polka dot dresses which captured the London way of dressing entirely; oh wait, it’s a little chillier than I expected outside, let me add another layer….it all just worked perfectly and FYI Henry, I still want to grab a drink with you next time you are home! Haha.

Burberry

Oh Burberry, my life long friend. I remember clearly when I was in secondary school and I caught the first glimpse of one of your amazing bags in the shop window of the flagship Bond Street store. It was love at first sight. I even still have my classic camel trench coat which was handed down to me by my mum (who used to wear it when she was my age – it fits me like a glove, what are the odds!)

Although now I am more into the subtler approach to wearing this luxury brand I really loved the almost pyjama style design of the matching suits and visors displayed in this show. Also the tribute to love conquers all with the rainbow pride colours filled me with so much joy. The world is evolving so much, fashion needs to morph with it too I say.

Richard Quinn

And last but not least I cannot fail to mention our royal highness gracing the front row of the Richard Quinn show. Whilst there to present him with the best newcomer designer of the year award she didn’t disappoint in showcasing her own unique style in a matching twin set in the lightest grey and simple but elegant pearl earrings. She was the perfect backdrop to the beautifully colourful designs gliding along the catwalk in front of her.

What other city in the world, pairs fashion royalty in the likes of luxury brands which have withstood economic recession and the test of decades in the business, the ever present front row maverick Anna Wintour and ACTUAL royalty HRH Queen Elizabeth – London as always we salute you.

Until next time, take care

Keya x

Coming into focus.

Good morning to you my visual media vixens,

For this months blog post, I am ecstatic to have been able to interview my friend Garry McManus, who is an Ibiza based videographer. His talent for capturing those intimate and special moments on a couple’s wedding day is a rare gift, which I am sure you will see from some of the pictures I have included in this post. Without further ado, I introduce to you Garry.

(Images courtesy of Maria Simon photography)

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Hi Garry, thank you for agreeing to this interview. For those of my followers who don’t know you, can you just explain where you live and what you do for a living?

Hi Keya, first of all I´d like to say a big thank you for asking me to feature on your blog.
I live in Ibiza and have been here full-time for the last 4 years since my son Noah was born here on Dec 8th 2013.  I´ve been coming to Ibiza since 2004 and fell in love with the island many years ago. The energy here is like nowhere else in the world and it just feels like home so it just always felt right being here and where I feel like myself more than anywhere else in the world. It´s funny looking back to 2004 as I had never been to Ibiza apart from when I was too young to remember and I just booked a one way ticket thinking I´ll see what happens…
That summer I stayed for 4 months and things worked out so well it was crazy but little did I know that this beautiful island had so much more in store for me. It´s hard to explain but it´s been the making of me in that I have my beautiful son Noah here and the career I dreamt of. I sometimes joke and say I´ll wake up one day back in my old life but for now the dream is real and I keep that in mind everyday to stay focussed.
I have my own business here called Infin8 Images which I started back in 2014 working as a videographer which is my absolute dream. It started as a hobby just back in 2011 when I was travelling through Asia & India and I´m just drawn to it all the time and work from home when I´m not filming so I often find myself at the computer editing. It´s my meditation and I love it so I´m happy to put in the hours. As Steve Jobs once said… The only way to do great work is to love what you do. I´m fortunate that I’ve found that and to do it in a place like Ibiza but the journey to this point was far from easy. You just have to take a leap of faith and give it everything if you really want to do the thing you love.
I actually met you at one of the amazing Swankys events a number of years ago. Do you have fond memories of those years?
Yes we met many years ago during a different stage in my life. I have some great memories from those days and the guy´s from that era of my life are all still my best friends to this day with Parris also living here in Ibiza and the godfather to my son so we´re still close. He´s a DJ so we´re both in the creative industry and now we often have a chess night with a glass of red wine to wind down and chill as we both have hectic work schedules. Swanky´s was really the first of it´s kind with what we did and so many people had a lot of fun so I always look back with fond memories but I´m happy to have moved on to the next chapter in my life now.

3) Do you ever miss the modelling world?

No I don´t miss it at all. I never really enjoyed it to be honest and only really liked doing jobs with the guys so I was happy to leave that all behind. Many of my friends have had great careers in modelling but I feel much more at home behind the camera filming.
What made you get into videography and how did you start out?
I always loved photography but my background is in sport. When I first left school I was a professional footballer doing that for 3 years at Southampton until the age of 19 when I was released and my whole world fell apart as I had no clue what to do from there. I was fortunate enough to get into the modelling and promo world whilst at uni meeting some amazing people along the way all through my 20s doing some really fun jobs so I was having fun working but I always knew that it wasn´t a long-term career path and often thought what my next step would be but never really knew until I had the urge to buy my first DSLR camera back in 2009. I was heading over to New York for a few days and thought it would be cool to get a camera and take some nice pictures. I had a blast and people loved the pictures which gave me the confidence to pursue it. Being around the modelling world at the time helped as I was able to do some test shoots with friends and it kind of picked up from there. I then went travelling through Asia in India over a 2 year period where I really got into it and fell in love with taking pictures. It took me to some incredible places especially through India but I never had it in my mind about being a career as it was so hard to break into the world of photography and make money so I always just thought it would be a hobby. Maybe the best thing I did was starting to film whilst in Cambodia during 2011 and teaching myself how to edit as I went. I´m sure those first videos would make me cringe but it´s a progression and everything has to start somewhere so I have to thank my 2011 for starting as it ultimately created the opportunity to have the life I have now.
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What is your favourite kind of shoot to do?

My main line of work is filming weddings. It´s been an incredible journey from 2014 to now which I sometimes look at and say how did this happen, it´s crazy but I appreciate every minute of it. The thought of filming weddings back in the early days around 2012-2013 when I was still living in the UK didn´t interest me and I thought I´d never do it but as soon as I did my first wedding here in Ibiza I was hooked. It´s a whole different ball game and the weddings here are amazing. That´s not to say the weddings in England aren´t good but I just feel like I´m in a bubble here and everything reflects that. I will often have client meetings sat around swimming pools with Noah playing in the pool splashing us which wouldn´t happen in the UK and that makes it feel extra special having him involved on some level.

It´s a very personal experience filming a wedding so I like to meet the couple before the big day and really get to know them so we´re more like friends and they feel comfortable with me having the camera on them. During the day I try to be in the background as much as possible but during the getting ready shots i´m often in hotel rooms with a lot of people so they have to feel at ease with me being there so I get the natural shots.

Also, knowing that they´ll have the film in the family for the rest of there lives and beyond makes it a very special experience and creates a really nice connection between myself and the couple. The feedback over the years has been incredible which I don´t get from shooting anything else like fashion as an example which makes it all worthwhile and makes me want to create something special for every couple.

Couple´s often have film screening parties at home and send me little video clips of everyone watching which makes it feel very real and that´s when I feel the pressure as up until then i´m on my own making the edit so seeing people watch it and their reaction makes me see and feel the importance of doing a great job by giving the couple a film there proud to share.

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Besides work, what hobbies do you have or what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Well I have to be honest that over the last 2 years it´s been non stop work as things have really taken off now so I´ve neglected my hobbies for the time being but when I had the time and when I go back to them my hobbies include… Kite surfing, Bike rides, gym and i´ll be doing a yearly snowboarding holiday with Noah. For me, kite surfing is the one which I learnt 2 years ago and plan to do some amazing adventures around the world kite surfing in all the best places with Noah making a movie of our life together as we go. I´ve been filming him since he was born with this in mind so now that he´s getting a little older we can start doing some adventure sports and make things a lot more interesting. It´s going to be amazing, I can´t wait to share those experiences with him seeing his face.
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Have you mastered the work/ life balance?Definitely not! I´m a workaholic but if I´m honest I was always drawn to taking pictures, filming and editing when I wasn´t working back before this was my career so now I just get to do what I enjoy the most and can make a nice life from so I never feel like I´m working. I do have to get the balance back in my life more than I have now but starting a business from scratch doing something I haven´t made money from previously in another country isn´t easy but I´m happy that it´s paid off so I´m happy to work as much as I need to make things the best they can be.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Right now I call these the building years… It´s like playing chess. I have my goals and surround myself everyday with my vision board which is now a whole wall full of things I want to attract into my life but it´s not about the material possessions it´s about the freedom and the choice to do what I want whenever I want with the people I love. I want to create a life full of adventure that I can share with my family and friends and film the moments along the way so we never forget. I didn´t have much growing up but I owe my determination to that upbringing and wouldn´t change it for the world but I want my mum to have a nice life so I have that in mind. I´d love to be the best wedding videographer in the world so right now my focus with work is on that and then I´d like to branch out into other areas of filming but I also love boats and plan to buy a boat so I can go between filming and being out on the boat fusing the 2 together as I´d be filming people have fun on the boat so for sure in 10 years that´s the life I imagine living here in Ibiza. And then travelling with my family having adventures and seeing the world together during the winter months.
Thank you so much for your time Garry. For those of my readers who are looking for a Videographer, what is the best way to get in touch with you?
If you´d like to see any of my films you can view them via my Vimeo site – https://vimeo.com/user7009494
My website www.infin8images.com is currently being updated with lots of great new content at the moment. If you´d like to contact me for any work related inquiries you can email me at infin8images2016@gmail.com.

Now for a bit of fun, here is my infamous quick-fire round. Just answer with the first one which comes into your head. 

Sea or snow?Sea

Book or podcast?Book

Formal wear or casual? Casual but I do love a good suit.

Couture or street style?Street style

Beach or pool side?Hmmm… Beach

Clubbing or bar hopping?Bar hopping but prefer a good restaurant with nice food and a glass of red wine.

Photographs or videos?Videos

until next time, take care

Keya

Forza Italia

Good day to you my stylish superstars,

This past week we saw Milan Mens Fashion Week and it did not disappoint. For this instalment, I have picked out the key looks which certainly piqued my interest for the start of 2018.

(All images courtesy of google images)

1) Colour

Whether it was suits in bold primary colours or just a hint in a tie or sock, this year was all about colour. Continuing with the theme of trouser legs tapering in tight at the ankle and paired with a box fresh pair of trainers, this look was everywhere last week. If you are a little uncomfortable with going with head to toe colour, ease into it with one standout piece (it could even be a colourful pocket-chief to begin with) then as your confidence improves, up the standout ante.

2) Head and Eyewear combos.

From earlier posts, you would know I LOVE sunglasses. In my opinion, there is nothing that brings an outfit together like a perfectly coordinated pair of eyewear. This season though, when these eye wonders were paired with a fedora or trilby, it amped up the style to an 11. Even in the harshest of European winters, there is no excuse to not keep your head warm while still looking chic. There are so many varieties of hats on the market also, there is certainly one to match every occasion.

3) Tailoring.

I am such a huge fan of tailoring in my own wardrobe. The impact a perfectly fitting suit jacket worn over an a-line dress is dramatic at best, so you can imagine my delight when I saw how tailoring featured heavily in the catwalk shows in Milan. From three piece double breasted with accompanying pocket watches to the classic staple of a city work suit, I love the clean lines and simplicity of this trend. I am sure it is one to continue for many years to come.

4) Mellow yellow.

I am a huge SUMMER lover, especially in London so anything that reminds me of this season during the cold winter months is alright with me. The cat walks were awash with every shade of yellow and it just instantly puts a smile on my face. You can honestly go as bright as you dare and there really are no rules when it comes to this hue. Either pastel, canary or mustard – go with whichever shade works with your skin tone to incorporate this colour into your winter wardrobe.

5) The younger generation stealing the show.

We all know that fashion is evolving but style is everlasting. I still can recall, having Doc Marten boots in every colour to match whatever outfit I was wearing for the day when I was a child and I definitely think my love of Fashion was ingrained in me from birth. The younger generation were definitely stealing the show this year also, from two tone trench coats to father/ son matching aplenty but one thing I know for sure, these stylish young gentleman are surely going to be on our fashion radars for many decades to come.

These are just a few highlights from the awe inspiring Uomo Pitti 2018 but if there are any trends here that you just love, then my advice is to GO FOR IT. The world really is your oyster when it comes to personal style. Although we all have fashion fails at times, surely it’s more fun to have given it a try than to always play it safe.

Until next time,

Take care Keya x

Happy new year to all of YOU.

To my devoted, festive season followers,

After a whirlwind year filled with living overseas, unbelievable holidays, nights out and some absolutely epic memories made, we say goodbye to 2017 and welcome in the New Year.

I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to each and everyone of you for continuing on this journey with me, reading each post and giving me your amazing feedback. Writing is in my veins and it really is my passion, so the fact you even take the time to click on my blog fills my heart with pride and love.

My pledge to you is to continue bringing well researched, thought provoking content from both the Fashion and lifestyle areas – hopefully inciting a fresh sense of excitement every time you see a new post published.

For now though, wherever you maybe in the world, I wish you a huge Happy New Year with an abundance of good fortune for you and your families for 2018.

Until next time, take care

Keya x

(Image courtesy of google images)