Pastures anew

Good afternoon to you my warmer temperatures lovers,

First off, where have the last few months gone? Even though we have been in a near enough year long lockdown in the UK, the months have just flown by. I hope that you and your families are all safe and well wherever in the world you may be.

A lot has changed for me personally in the last few months. I am proud to say I am now a home owner (eek whoever would have of thought it) so it has been a whirlwind so far of renovations, paint getting into places that it shouldn’t and also some time to just enjoy being still and quiet in the garden.

Have any of you found during the pandemic you really struggled with feeling cooped up and not being able to be outside? We spent the whole of winter in a rented house without a garden and I can safely say now I cannot get enough of having a patch of turf to call my own!

I hope that in your own countries restrictions are also starting lift slightly? I cannot tell you how happy I was yesterday to be able to go and have my nails done. It isn’t even just the fact they look nice, it’s just so amazing to feel pampered and relaxed for that hour. I am not a huge make up person (mainly because I do not even know where to start with all of the blushers and eyeshadows) but I do like to have my eyebrows shaped and my hands and toes to be manicured. What is your pamper treat of choice?

I know for a lot of men at the moment the one thing they cannot wait to have is a haircut. There is only so much slicking back or wearing a cap a man can do, am I right? I have giggled so much seeing all the memes of home hair cuts going completely wrong. I am sure we all have thought I can use a pair of scissors how hard can it be, much to our dismay when it goes catastrophically wrong 😊

Have any of you managed to go out for a meal or for a drink in a pub beer garden yet also? I have managed to book a Sunday dinner this weekend in a pub garden and on the reservation it said to bring warm clothing as heaters are limited! I think we will be happy to go out in a beanie hat and scarf, as long as we can have food that we haven’t had to cook ourselves at the moment. Haha.

Whatever it is that you are most looking forward to about life getting back to some sense of normality, still remember to stay safe, look after each other and most importantly dress to impress at every occasion from now onwards.

No more jogging bottoms and messy buns – woohoo!

Until next time, take care

Keya x

5 things to help you stay positive during Lockdown 2.0

Good day to you my lockdown warriors,

As is much of the world right now, the UK is in our second lockdown of the year. When I saw the news of this announcement from our prime minister, I like many people felt a familiar sense of doom and found myself saying “oh no, not again!” This negative outlook did not last long however as I decided in that moment that I am going to do this lock down differently. Hopefully with these top 5 tips, it may help you see the light at the end of the tunnel also. This months post is all things POSITIVE 😊

1) Be at one with nature.

During the first few months of this year, we actually moved home from the bustling hub of London to the rural countryside of the Dales. I have always been a outdoorsy person, preferring long walks or bike rides in the forest to busy, loud bars at the weekend and I literally feel in my element having so much green space on my doorstep. Even if you live in a busy city, really try to make the concerted effort to take an hour at lunch to go for a walk in a local park or if you are fortunate to have a back garden, go out and tend to your veggie patch or walk a friends dog around the block. I cannot stress enough how being in the fresh air does absolute wonders for your well-being.

2) Make an effort with your appearance.

If like me, your working from home attire has been comfy loungewear and a messy up do for the last six months, you will be amazed at how much better you will feel blow drying your hair or putting on a little mascara. I make a concerted effort on the weekend to put on a nice outfit or make myself feel good by having a pamper session at home because self love is incredibly important, even more so in these difficult times.

3) Stay in contact with your family and friends

Just because we are unable to see our loved ones at the moment, still let them know they are in your thoughts by having a once a week video call or just sending each other silly memes throughout the day. Many people are alone at the moment and even though they have family members close by, it can still be incredibly lonely so sometimes just a 5 minute catch up can really make someone’s day. Anyway, who doesn’t love a good belly laugh when they can!

4) Take regular breaks from your home office.

I am incredibly fortunate at the moment to be able to do my day job from home 100% of the time which I am more than grateful for. One thing that I’ve really noticed though is are you also getting so many more emails and teams calls now? Can you relate?

I went through a bit of a hard time about 6 months into lockdown where I felt like I didn’t have much of a work/ life balance because even though we are at home it can be easy to forget that we still need to take a lunch break or to make a cup of tea. Things which are usually part of your working day can sometimes take the back seat which is why it’s imperative to still get up from your desk at least once every hour to stretch your legs or have a glass of water. It is not sustainable to be “on” all the time, be kind to yourself!

5) Time to look within

Although 2020 has not panned out the way many of us would have ever imagined so far this year, one of the real positives I have found during this time is we have never had more of an opportunity to be at home with our families more than now. Usually we are caught up in the daily rat race of commuting to work, perhaps school runs or extra curricular activities or taking part in sports or working out in the gym, when that has been taken away though, what are we left with? Ourselves and a whole lot of reflection time. Are you using this time wisely if you are being honest with yourself? Are you unhappy in your current role or career path? Unhappy with your level of health or fitness? Or perhaps just stuck in a rut? I can tell you for me personally, I have really struggled to write this blog during this time because it can feel inauthentic to be talking about fashion, lifestyle or holiday destinations when there is so much devastation worldwide right now. But I have come to realise upon reflection that I feel creatively at ease as soon as pen hits the paper every time I sit down to write an entry. THIS is my happy place. Have you found yours?

(Image courtesy of Google images)

Until next time?

Take care

Keya x

Lockdown reflection

Good day to you my lockdown lovelies,

Firstly, I sincerely apologise for my lack of posts in the last six months, I know – can you believe it’s been six months already – we are already into Autumn of 2020.

I just felt what with all of the devastation the pandemic has caused (and still causing sadly), it was insensitive to be writing about Fashion or lifestyle when let’s face it, if you are like me you’ve lived in shorts, t shirts and a messy bun whilst working from home all summer anyway.

But, I can assure you I have not forgotten about my lovely readers and I have genuinely missed bringing you all thought provoking content each month. I sincerely hope you and your families are keeping safe and well in these troubling times.

For this months post though I wanted to open up the floor to you. What has been the biggest challenges for you during these last few months? Has it been not being able to visit elderly grandparents or relatives, parents or siblings? Has it been getting all the way to the supermarket, only to realise you left your face covering at home? Overuse of hand sanitiser or face coverings leaving your faces and hands bruised and chapped? Has it been the daily pandemic update on the news causing you worry or stress? Or was it, trying to think of creative ways to entertain your children whilst we were all forced to stay at home? Perhaps it was all of the above?

I can completely understand why there has been a huge spike in individuals suffering with their mental health or feeling worried about how to keep their loved ones safe? But in all of this, one really positive side I have seen is how some of the best side of humanity has also been shown. The sheer scale of people donating home made face shields, the amount of money raised by everyday people in support and the clap for the NHS on a Thursday evening was an incredible, albeit small part of the display.

Have you thought about what little things you can do to make yourself feel good in these times though? We have recently moved into a new home in the rural countryside and for me, my simple pleasures have been going for a jog around the country lanes or at the weekend putting on a little mascara or a pair of jeans just to make it feel a little different from every other day!

Your health inside and out depends on these daily little acts of kindness to YOU! Giving yourself that pamper night – painting your nails or relaxing in a hot, Himalayan salt bath, calling your best friend to have a catch up about normal things or even having a great, big belly laugh at a silly movie curled up under a blanket with some popcorn. Try it, you will be amazed at how you feel 😊

Until next time, keep well and stay healthy.

Keya x

New Year, not new YOU.

Firstly welcome to 2019 and I hope you all had an amazing festive break with your loved ones. I hope you are all feeling rested, revived and ready to tackle the New Year ahead.

I have been procrastinating for days now about writing this post because the subject matter genuinely scares the life out of me, but alas if we cannot reveal our own flaws as human beings how can we be compassionate of others?

(All images courtesy of google images)

As those close to me would know, I have spent the last six months in talking therapy for a cleanliness OCD and also to deal with internal battles from bullying and an eating disorder when I was a teenager at school. In all honesty 2018 was the toughest year I have ever faced and although there were many high moments (the most prominent being when I met the love of my life) the lows were crippling, not just for me but my support network also.

I had been the way I was for so long, that I just thought it was part of my personality -just ME. Sometimes however, it takes a defining moment or catalyst to finally say those magic words – I need help and that happened for me in the early part of last year. Once I had taken that first step however, being assigned a therapist was a lot less painstaking then I imagined, and as soon as I met mine for the first time the floodgates opened and it felt amazing to finally talk to an impartial person about my childhood and how it shaped me into the person I had become.

I know this post is not in my usual style of writing if you have been a subscriber since the beginning, but in reality, life is not all sunshine and rainbows. I also cannot sing the praises enough of the Waltham Forest Talking therapies group through the NHS as they ultimately have changed my life forever.

Approaching the end of 2018, equipped with new lessons, tools and a belief in myself for the first time made seeing in the New Year with my amazing partners family in Sunderland even more poignant for me. This was the first year in as long as I can remember, it felt right to not set a New Years resolution. I knew that I wanted to go into 2019 using my new techniques and assertiveness skills to know that I AM good enough, I have a voice and being open and honest is ALWAYS the best policy.

This has been my own personal journey but the message I would like to leave with you all is that it is OK to ask for help, it’s OK to be open about working on your own mental health, it’s OK to not have your shit together, and finally it’s OK to be selfish and say to your loved ones I need time for ME.

Whatever challenges or hardships you have faced in 2018, I wish that 2019 is a year of growth, lessons learnt put into practise, transparency with those who you love most and ultimately just living the best version of you, you can be.

I cannot wait for all of the new content, research and most of all providing thought provoking posts for you regularly this year.

Until next time, don’t worry be happy 😊

Take care

Keya x

Friend or foe?

Good afternoon to you my loyal lovelies,

Since transitioning into my 30’s, along with seeing changes in my physical appearance, energy levels and career development – one other area I have really noticed a shift in is my friendship circle. For this months post, I really wanted to delve into the complicated world of maintaining those special relationships in the modern world.

(All images courtesy of google images)

At school I wasn’t one of the “popular”, the musical or the high tech computer sets of friends but I had a core group of around eight girls and we did everything together. I still think fondly back to the first time we got into a night club (we were so excited and felt so grown up) and also heading into London in style in our own limousine after prom night. Back then you felt as if you would be friends forever although when we all started going off to different colleges or getting work placements, the group whittled down to barely a handful by the time university or full time employment came around. I am lucky enough to still have one of my very oldest friends in my life from the first week of secondary school, it’s been 21 years and she is like a sister to me still.

I am so grateful that in my 20s I was able to travel to some amazing places around the world – real bucket list destinations like Bali, the Amalfi Coast and Brazil. Also working in Africa, Houston and Norway on secondment which was incredible for life experience (and passport stamps) but not so great for maintaining those important friendships in your life.

Don’t get me wrong, with the introduction of social media and technology like Skype and WhatsApp calls it does make the world seem a little smaller when you get that all important beep on your phone from your best friends, but as I have said before on earlier posts, sometimes social media can be as much a hindrance as a help. I still find it so strange how a quick text or comment on Instagram has replaced spending hours chatting in each other’s bedrooms, or how catching up over a glass of wine can be few and far between as life just passes by so quickly.

It’s amazing how you continually meet people as an adult also who just instantly feel as though they have been there forever – forging new friendships which mesh seamlessly with the old, reminiscent of the edges of a well worn patchwork quilt. Whether that be in the work place, doing one of your favourite hobbies or at a party through a mutual friend, I really feel as women we have an invisible bond which should be uplifting not belittling each other.

It’s universally ok and an unwritten rule too whether you have children or not, that because our lives are so full and busy – we cannot possibly expect to get a response to our message or voice mail immediately like we did when our phones were constantly glued to our hands as teenagers (quite frankly a few hours to respond is commendable, but a few days more likely)

In summary I guess I am trying to say that like any relationship, friendships also take work and effort. I put my hands up completely and admit that I tend to retreat into myself when I’m sad or hurting but if you are going through a particularly tough or difficult time and you lose friends because of it, then in my view they were not very good ones to begin with. Sometimes even when we feel as though we have 10 plates spinning in the air simultaneously, a simple voice note to your best friend is enough to let them know you are thinking of them and you are there to be a supportive hand when they are ready to open up.

What with all the controversy, wars, famine, poverty and huge social issues like the sheer number of people suffering with depression, mental health issues or loneliness – even if you have one special person in your life who you know you can always turn to for advice – CHERISH them as to me, having people around you who genuinely love and respect you is worth more than any materialistic item in the world.

Until next time, take care

Keya x

The green eyed monster

Happy Friday to my wonderful followers, 

I realise I am breaking the norm with a second post this week but I feel like the topic that has been playing on my mind over the last few days is an important one. 

I am so torn about my feelings towards social media and technology. On the one hand, I think it’s an ingenious way of keeping in touch with friends and family around the world and also I wouldn’t be able to bring my blog to you every week if it wasn’t for the Internet, but on the other it can be so alienating. Aimlessly flicking through Facebook or Instagram in a spare 5 minutes during the day can make you feel not thin, successful or fashionable enough – as though other people’s lives seem so much more interesting than your own. It can make you seem so small and insignificant against our peers, as though our handful of “real” friends can not compare to those with a million followers online. 

  
The thing is with social media, it really is the best version of people’s lives you are seeing on your newsfeed – we aren’t interested in pictures of us sans makeup in a onesie doing the school run or the daily commute to your 9-5, we only post pictures of that marathon we completed, that amazing restaurant we visited or those new Louboutins we just had to buy which are what bring in the followers or likes. It is like a virtual form of acceptance when you see someone’s nice comment or smiley face emoticon flash up on your smart phone. 

We all are guilty of posting beautiful pictures of wish you were here holiday locations or that new must have Chanel bag we secretly saved for a year to buy because that is what is deemed cool by our tech savvy generation. 

  
I think for me, I just had a realisation today whilst talking to one of my closest friends that it is so easy to feel a sense of jealousy or resentment towards what we are subjected to online. I know now though that although I may not have super model long legs or own the most expensive collection of Birkin bags, I AM successful in my own right and I feel so lucky to have the most amazing support network of family and friends around me which truly is priceless.
Let me ask you this – when was the last time you asked your partner, best friend or colleague what they think is your best quality? We feel that we are defined but what we look like, the car we drive or if we are a home or business owner but I can guarantee their answer will be your radiant smile, your compassion towards others who are less fortunate, your business ethics or your ability to give the best hugs that they will treasure having you in their lives for.

As a working nearly 30 year old woman, I really feel like the world is my oyster. Like all of us, I feel insecure sometimes or as though I can’t do things but you just have to close your eyes and tell yourself you CAN – you will never regret trying and not succeeding, instead of not trying at all. 
Be the best version of YOU 😀

  Until next week, take care
Keya X