Lifestyle

Summer Stripes – A Lane Bryant Review

*This is a gifted Dress

Summers in the UK seem to get shorter with each passing year. As a summer baby born in July I crave the warm sunny days where the flowers have bloomed, pub gardens are packed and we can wear those cute summer outfits that are needed during the warmer months. I love it when I can get really cute and girly and I find that summer is the season where I most enjoy doing so. I was recently sent a cute stripy sun dress from Lane Bryant and I was finally able to wear it last weekend. Technically summer starts in June but lately in London the warm days have been few and far between but, when they do finally come they tend to be sweltering hot!

I really love this dress it’s bright, light and extremely comfortable. I really like the length and found that I could easily wear anti-chafe shorts without them being seen if I wanted to. The thick shoulders allow for any style of bra to be worn and I was able to select one that provided me with a lot of comfort and support in the summer heat. I often worry that buttons will gape when it comes to any item of clothing with a front fastening due to the size of my breasts. With this dress I found that I had more than enough boob room with all of the buttons fastened although in these photos I chose to leave a few open at the top for a little cleavage to be shown. The tie detail at the front I found to be a really cute way to accentuate the waist and showcase the shape of the breasts when fastened.

The bright pastel blue of the dress is perfect for this season and the different sized stripes I think is a nice touch and elongates the length of my 5’5 frame. I deiced to pair this one with a pair of brown leather sandals from a previous Lane Bryant collection, my signature hoop earrings and a pair of Isabel Marant Daria Mirrored glasses. I felt a little like a 70s soul diva in this outfit I have to say lol. The temperature in London was about 32 degrees Celsius when I took these pics. Even in such hot sun I was more than comfortable and felt like summer had well and truly arrived!

I love to wear a comfortable heel regardless of the time of year but a cute pair of open toe sandals or wedges really tops off a summer look. I could have gone for a white or blue shoe to compliment the colours in the dress but thought i’d go the other way and work with the sunglasses I was wearing. If there was a bit of a chill in the air then a white cardigan or a denim jacket of some kind would have been a nice addition to this outfit.

I’m really hoping that I have some more sunny days to enjoy in London as I have several summer outfits I plan on wearing! If all else fails I am taking a trip to Vegas next month to celebrate my 30th and I will most definitely be able to sport some of my summer looks in the strong desert sun! I used to dread swealtering hot days as I would want my arms covered due to lack of confidence. Now I could care less about layering up on a hot day and choose comfort before anything else. Having said that comfort doesn’t have to be safe and boring. It can fun, sexy and flattering all at the same time!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and do it with a smile!

Bad Bitch!

Hey guys, as some of you know every now and then I create a post paying homage to my all time favourite musician, Michael Jackson! To me there will never be another artist like him. I honestly can’t ever imagine seeing another musician with his life dedication to the craft, expertise, allure, talent and genius artistry. I enjoy being a Michael fan and do what I can to celebrate him. Every single MJ fan out there is loud and proud in their fan-ship towards Michael and I have to say it’s not always been a fun or easy thing to be a member of the fan community. That being said confidence is definitely something every Michael fan posses as we are used to people seeing us a little bit differently to everyone else. It is because of this that I thought it would be fun to recreate a Dirty Diana style look.  Everyone remembers seeing Lisa Dean’s very shapely legs walking in the shadows during the short film and of course that tight black bodycon dress. Now I may not have a figure like hers but as I love the leather and daring looks from the 80s (and have that alarming confidence most of us MJ fans have) I thought I would switch up the look and wear a strapless black dress, no shapewear (like I said i’m confident and not afraid of my VBL) and of course a pair of MJ style looking heels. Topping off the look with my replica tour jacket from the groundbreaking 1988 Bad World Tour (released for the 25th anniversary of the album). A pair of vintage Ray-Bans from the 80s and I was ready and set to go!

As a singer and songwriter I was always inspired by Michael. He musicianship, creativity, phenomenal stage presence and timeless back catalogue have been a major part of my life. Some of my fondest memories include his music and of course meeting him on November 16th 2006 with one of my best friends Pez. Unfortunately even though I have been a fan of MJ for pretty much my entire life, I was never lucky enough to experience his magic in a live concert. The closest I got was seeing him at the World Music awards when he received the diamond award for selling over 100 million copies of Thriller. I, like every over die hard fan in the stratosphere was working on making up for that when the This Is It residency at the 02 arena was announced. With several dates booked, my fan t-shirts and flags at the ready I was pumped. I then found myself stunned and in a full state of grief when Michael passed away and so, Pez and I took ourselves to the public memorial in Los Angeles.

My friends and I have always been very active within the MJ community, travelling all over the world and throwing a host of events over the years. Fast forward 8 years since Michael’s passing and we are celebrating all things in relation to Michael Jackson live! The world’s greatest entertainer did more than wow millions with his concert tours. Michael Jackson revolutionised what is expected of a live music performer! Breaking through the stage and standing frozen on the spot was genius, exiting a stadium with a jet pack strapped to his back, bringing out a giant full size army tank you name it he did it! This Is It was also set to break new ground with live sequences being combined with incredible visuals, CGI Imagery and of course phenomenal choreography and live vocals… It would have been an amazing experience to finally see the king do what he does best but I am grateful to have many memories both with Michael and around him.

The boys and I have hosted the world’s only Michael Jackson convention “Kingvention” for the past 2 years. Starting with marking the 20th anniversary for the HIStory album, followed by celebrating the 25th anniversary of my ALL TIME favourite album Dangerous. This year we are focusing on all things live, in an event we called ‘Access All Areas’. We continually try to find ways to make our events bigger than the previous ones and this one we have really taken things to another level. The live interviews will feature special guests who have worked closely with Michael in his live tours. We have Dorian Holley, who featured as a backing vocalist on the Bad, Dangerous & History World Tours and returned as the Vocal Director for This Is It. He has also worked with the likes of Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, Usher and Christina Aguilera. Dancer and choreographer Eddie Garcia is also joining us. Eddie was one of the principal dancers on both the Bad and Dangerous tours and featured in the Smooth Criminal and The Way You Make me Feel short films. More uniquely, he helped bring Spike Rabbit to life in Speed Demon by dancing alongside Michael. He will be hosting a special dance masterclass in addition to participating in the main event. Finally and by no means least we have the incredible photographer Steven Paul Whitsitt. Steven has captured Michael during some of his most iconic moments, as one of the photographers on Michael’s official team he captured some iconic stills from the Dangerous Tour & The Superbowl. Steven was also the on-set photographer for the HIStory Teaser, Scream, You Are Not Alone and Childhood. He also captured Michael as Charlie Chaplin for his single ‘Smile’ and shot the You Are Not Alone Single Cover. We will get to hear live talks from each of these amazing men who will share some amazing stories, insights and view points on what it was like working up close and personal with the King Of Pop!

We will also have an incredible photo exhibit, incredible merchandise store, screening, meet and greet and spell binding after party! The big event takes place on September 30th at the Victoria Park Plaza hotel. If you feel like pulling out your old MJ tour t-shirts and would like to hear more about how Michael put together his incredible tours and captivated the world with his amazing live vocals and dance skills come on down to Kingvention. We’d love to see you there! Any music lover would hate to miss out on this one!

Remember whatever you do, feel fabulous in it and do it with a smile!

Spa Sessions And Sensational Spices

Don’t you just love it when you get an email or phone call where you are presented with an amazing opportunity? I was asked recently by The Entertainer if I would like to spend a day with Hanna at a luxurious spa followed by a slap up dinner! Some of you may have seen that I joined their squad a few months ago and; I have since been lucky enough to try out and experience many of the fun attractions, restaurants and amenities they have to offer right here in London.

Life has a way of knocking the wind out of your sails, putting you under stress and pressure. Sometimes things can get a little on top of you and you just need some rest and relaxation. I recently have been under a lot of stress in my working life and I tend to carry it all in my back and shoulders. You can only imagine my excitement when I was invited to visit the amazing Spa Verta, located in Battersea right by the river Thames. I cannot tell you this could not have come at a better time for me! The mere thought of getting a quiet relaxing day with one of my best friends wasn’t something I could pass up…

Hanna and I were made to feel like VIPs on arrival, we were given some lovely robes and slippers to change into and, a lovely selection of teas and coffees to enjoy. Within about 20 minutes we were taken into a beautifully decorated, dimly lit, aromatic, relaxation room with soft loungers while we waited for our individual massage therapists to come and collect us for our treatments. I walked in full of tension in my back and knots in my shoulders. The minute I laid down on the massage table I could have fallen asleep, the music was really comforting and relaxing, so much so that I want to try and get a copy of it on my next visit. A series of oils from Espa were used during the treatment and I have to say my skin was left feeling baby soft and smelling like heaven, again more products I want to get hold of during my next visit lol. In a short space of time I was left feeling totally relaxed and tension free.

*Photos Courtesy Of Spa Verta

Our treatments were followed by some time spent in the incredible hydro pool. I could have stayed in that water for hours! With a choice of 3 different saunas we were able to really work on any additional tension that we may have had. First we spent some time in the UV sauna, followed by the steam room and then the traditional sauna. You cannot imagine how amazing my hair felt after all that steam! We both had the most amazing time and will be sure to book another session in there soon.

Following on from a peaceful day we headed over to The Red Fort and Zeena bar in Soho, a sexy, swanky spot where many celebrities frequent. I will say I love Indian food and have been a little cocky in my time about what’s available. As a vegetarian I have always loved this cuisine but the food was served in a very decorative fashion and was surprisingly light in flavour. I started with the Hara Kebab, a gorgeous spinach and fenugreek patties lightly filled with cheddar and onion. I then had some saffron and cumin rice with some sauteed spinach, chilli, garlic and onion for my mains and finished off the meal with some gorgeous home made ice cream. Of course Hanna and I enjoyed some South African white wine with dinner! I have to say we had a really lovely time here.

I would highly recommend these places for a nice day out with your significant other, a fun day with friends or a nice treat for your mum. If you’re ever in the big city of London you definitely will want to check out the The Entertainer for the current deals and offerings for a fun day or night out!

Remember whatever you do, feel fabulous in it and do it with a smile!

The Sunny Side Of Blue

*The Jacket And Top Are Gifted Items

Finally spring is here! For the past few months we have been treated to and endless stream of cold days, muddy puddles and the general dregs of winter. I am definitely a summer baby in every sense of the word but, I really enjoy the spring time. It’s nice to witness the flowers blooming, bright and pretty colours flooding the streets and the general happy buzz that comes with the season. I love the fashions of the spring as there is always such a vast mix of styles between the transitions of winter into spring and of course, spring into summer. London has been through some weird times of late but it has been such a blessing to get some sunshine at last!

I was recently sent the most amazing jacket from In The Style Curve. The Tay blush waterfall drape tie waist jacket is a really soft jacket made in a stretchy material that works as a light cover-up for the season. The sleeves can be shortened with the button tie detail attached at the arms. This one works both open as a duster or closed for a different effect. I love the colour and I thought that even though the sun is shinning here in London there is a still a little bit of a chill in the air so this was a great addition to my outfit. The brand have a really fun and edgy collection this season so be sure to check it out!

Spring always gives us pastels and soft tones. I don’t own many pastels to be honest with you but I do have a fair amount of blues in my closet! I was recently sent the most gorgeous sleeves top from Navabi. The cotton Peplum top from the Manon Baptiste collection, a really light and comfortable item to wear that is bursting with style. The material is really breathable and soft to the touch and compliments stone wash and acid wash denim really well. Their current collection is full of fun and sweet items for the season so be sure to check it out. I thought i’d wear this top with a pair of light jeggings from a previous Simply Be collection. I pulled out my blue cork wedges put on my favourite pair of Ray-Ban aviators and I was ready and set to go!

I love that when the seasons change you can make some fun outfits with old items in your closet and some new ones. I can’t wait to have more sunny days as I have some other outfits in mind that I haven’t been able to wear as the weather hasn’t allowed for it just yet. Denim is the fabric of the season so there will no doubt be some fun and fresh items out there in the stores. I have seen some amazing previews of some embroidered items and fun accessories. I definitely hope to get more light shades of denim so that I can play around with some more summery styles.

Have fun with the change in the season. I always see this is a great time to express myself visually whether that be by having nice flowers in the house, creating fun and colourful meals or dressing in some fun and bright items. I can’t wait to get out my fun summer dresses but I will most definitely make the most of the denim that’s everywhere. We all have it in our wardrobes and we all enjoy wearing it so why not switch things up and take your look to the next level?

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Loving The Skin You’re In

Photography By Studio 52

It’s funny how some people think that they know all that there is to know about a person just from meeting them once or from the persona they portray. I often have people writing to me or telling me in person how confident I seem and they ask me what things they can do to let their guard down and just feel comfortable in their skin. To be totally honest with you I don’t think there is a magic formula or series of steps one can take to achieve a feeling of confidence. I always refer to my own confidence as a journey, I have my good and my bad days just like everyone else but in my case I think a combination of different things has all contributed to my being the way that I am.

My family is massive! I have tons of family members on both sides and a bunch of people who may not carry the same blood line as me but they are very much a part of the bunch also. Being around so many people who have large bold personalities can make it a challenge for some to find their own way and stand out in a positive light. Many of my friends have come from situations where they found it hard to find their voice in a sense. In my case my childhood was filled with my family, friends and of course many tumultuous times. As many of my readers know I was severely bullied in school from the age of 4-18 and always struggled with fitting in and being comfortable. My weight has always been with me despite countless diets, exercise regimes and emotional headaches. I always had a constant war going on in my head because I had the confidence of a raging bull when it came to taking the stage and entertaining people whether that be singing my heart out, acting, public speaking or otherwise. The thing is, knowing that your talent shines bright is one thing but it can easily be diminished when you’re not comfortable in your own skin…

For me I had to go through many situations and experiences with people all over to realise that I get my confidence from truly knowing who I am, what I stand for and having the courage to stand by whatever it is that I believe in. I have never been the quiet silent type unable to express myself and I know already that I’m not the sort of woman who will ever become a shrinking violet. I stand high on my morals, my faith and my relationships with the people who matter most to me in my life. All of these things have allowed me to feel confident. I guess it’s that fight of flight sort of thing; you can make a decision to panic which more often than not does nothing and can exacerbate a situation or you can stop, pull yourself together and do the best you can in a situation. I tend to be someone who takes the latter option and with this my self confidence when it comes to my self image has started to get the message.

When I was 25 years old I came to the realisation that I love who I am as a person and a woman. I figured although I had a lot to learn and a lot of growing up to do I couldn’t continue to spend another day hating the way that I looked. I had pretty much spent a quarter of a century beating myself up for not looking like other women and I eventually realised that I’m not meant to be like anyone else. I need to be the best Mayah that I can possibly be and that instead of looking at my glass as half empty I needed to look at it as half full, focus on all the things I love about myself and build on those; eventually overshadowing the doubts I had in my own mind.

Confidence isn’t something that I feel you can buy through any sort of beauty product or clothing item. These are things that can help enhance what may already be hiding beneath the surface. I think the key is learning to love parts of yourself that you previously may have hated. Take my hair for example, I have always had a constant war with my hair and when I finally realised that it is the way it is, I learned to find things about it that I enjoy and I build on those. I think the same can be said in other aspects of who you are. If you love to be creative then surround yourself around creative people who will uplift and inspire you to do the same for yourself. If you want to be more introspective then find ways to channel that energy in a positive light and the rest will follow. The old saying can also be true “fake it until you make it” it worked for me on many occasions. I think basically it’s a trial and error sort of thing and is a process that takes time. I have those days when I look in the mirror and think ewww I look hideous but I try and just take it for what it is, a bad day and I keep pushing on. What I’m saying is that when you’re having a down day try and focus on the aspects that you love about yourself and don’t feed into that negative energy. Eventually the paradigm of your thoughts will change.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

A Different Kind Of Vintage – A Dolly And Dotty Review

I love getting a pretty new dress. There’s just something about a cute dress that can make you feel girly and beautiful; I always find myself thinking of exactly where I might want to wear it and how I would style my look. I tend to gravitate towards vintage dresses that have a deep cleavage and a wide circle skirt but, when vintage inspired company Dolly And Dotty contacted me recently to see if I would like to try out one of their styles I was really excited. I love vintage clothing and I find that more often than not most vintage style brands on the market don’t cater to my dress size or proportions. I’m always on the hunt for vintage brands which include plus sizes and it’s often difficult finding that perfect little dress with something a bit different. Things have most definitely improved in that area and most of my readers would have seen some of my favourite looks that I like to wear. Give me a swing dress and a petticoat and I know exactly how I’ll wear it!

I wanted to try something a little different this time and so I selected the Anna dress to try out, a special little number that reminds me of something that the legendary actress Audrey Hepburn may have worn. I love the navy and white mix with block colour bodice and horizontal striped skirt, for me this gave a slightly new twist on a sailor dress. The weather in London has been pretty dire the past few months and so I didn’t want to wait until the summer time to try out this gorgeous dress. I decided to bring it along as one of my looks during my recent shoot with Studio 52. In most cases I would wear this dress with a white jacket, white heels or trainers, blue bandana and hair my hair in a series of twisted curls. This time I’m wearing the dress without a petticoat and no other accessories.

Looking back on these photos and seeing myself in a vintage dress sporting a full afro got me thinking. I wonder how times were for women who look like me back in the 40s and 50s? A lot has happened over the past few decades and a lot of things we begin to talk about today with regards to politics leans towards more of a negative feeling about where we are as people. As a woman of colour though I am aware of the changes that have happened throughout history and I am happy to say that for the most part we have all come along way with how we look to other people and how we treat them. I know that very few women who look like me would have been able to wear a beautiful dress, in a beautiful setting with a gorgeous velvet chaise lounge, feeling glamorous having lovely photos taken of them… I’m pleased that times have and do change and i’m happy that this is an experience to which myself and others like me can thoroughly enjoy.

I look forward to wearing this dress in the warmer seasons of the year and having fun playing around with different accessories and vintage style items. I do love that even though this is a vintage inspired item that it can easily be worn with some more modern items with a little creativity and flare.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Embracing My Blackness

*Photography By Studio52 Clothing From Evans Clothing, Live Unlimited And Hotter Shoes

It seems that the entire planet is talking about America at the moment. They have just elected the new president, enjoyed the Superbowl Halftime show and black history month is in full swing. I’ve been watching a lot of American TV shows and news postings lately and even though the celebration of black history month doesn’t come to the UK until October, it got me thinking about the icons who have inspired me, important people in my family and of course my own blackness…

I come from a multi racial family as many of my readers know. My mother is half Irish and Trinidadian and my father is Jamaican. In both sides of my family the Caribbean influences have hints of Indian and Chinese. Having said all of that people are often interested to know where my family are from and having been exposed to all sides of my culture I have always identified as a mixed race person. I personally find that embracing a part of myself doesn’t have to mean ignoring the other and I try to merge the different areas of my background into the various areas as life such as my diet, the music I create and listen to and of course when it comes to my looks to name a few.

For the past few months I have been wearing my hair natural and it has been an interesting journey. I had no idea how much work and upkeep is required in taking care of my hair or how I would be perceived with the different styles I might wear. I’m still trying to get used to it to be honest with you and at times I find myself frustrated. I am finding that the most supportive people around me on my hair journey actually happen to be my white friends. I had expected in all truth that I would be bombarded with people asking questions about my hair and wanting to touch it out of a somewhat negative interest but, I was pleasantly surprised in that area and was received with positivity and enthusiasm. My friends seem to really love the “REAL” part of me and think that I should take my look to the next level with more experimental hair styles. In contrast to this I have found that some of my own family members have had some minor issues with my hair and how I have chosen to style it on occasion. I have been teased quite a lot recently and given the nickname Harriet Tubman. What’s awkward for me is that this has been given to me in a negative sense. I guess wearing my twists with scarfs or bandanas reminds some people of the kind of images we see from times past or what we see from documents surrounding slavery or something. In truth I am slightly saddened by this for several reasons. For one thing I have a lot to learn when it comes to taking care of my 4c hair but I find that using a woman like Ms Tubman as an insult is insane! For one thing she was a humanitarian, abolitionist, american spy and armed scout during the civil war, what an incredible women with an amazing legacy.

I will always enjoy a variety of different hair styles, wigs, natural and styles in between. One thing that is apparent though is that a black or brown woman wearing her hair natural to some people looks like a rebellious action or a political statement. I never would have thought that sporting the very hair that grows from my scalp would be viewed in such a way. The thing is, I will continue to use these situations as a talking point to raise awareness to things. Many of my friends and even some family members had no idea how time consuming, expensive and difficult wearing natural hair could be until they were witness to what I go through. Washing your hair can take between 3-5 hours sometimes, luckily stylists advise that women with hair like mine only wash their hair every 1-2 weeks!

I am enjoying embracing myself and learning more about influential and special people who play a huge role in black history. As a Londoner I can honestly say that what is taught in schools about black history is so minimal and it’s a shame because there are so many amazing things that can be shared. I don’t think of myself as a particularly political person but I do have a big opinion and the readiness to share it if asked or if the moment requires it.

*Photography By Studio52 Clothing From Evans Clothing And Live Unlimited

I simply think that with what’s going on in America at the moment and to a degree here in the UK; that it’s important for everyone in the world regardless of their ethnicity or their experience to speak out and share their stories. I really believe that the only way barriers are broken down, people come together and change is a possibility is through talking and sharing. People don’t understand or they can be fearful or what’s new or different and I find that even something as simple as one’s hair can be an interesting place to start and get the dialogue going. These are the things that brought for the civil rights movement, feminist movement and spawned the welcoming change to the LGBTQ community all of the world. We all have rights, we all want acceptance and love and I just think that people really need to listen to that old saying our parents told all of us “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. The thing is we have become able to experience different genres of music, various styles of cuisine and even adopt customs from our brothers and sisters. I really think a lot has been achieved but  we need to take the time to look at the topic of skin colour and the areas around it, otherwise we stand still or even worse move backwards in our way of thinking.

I may see myself as a woman of mixed race but I have always embraced areas of my blackness and I’m proud that I can do more of this through something as small as wearing my hair the way God intended for me to have it!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

My Finnish Winter

I love getting to know new people and see new places. I have always been intrigued by what makes someone who they are and, I have found that learning a bit of someone’s history is a great way to connect. When I met Hanna a few years ago I had actually been following her blog for quite some time! If you know Hanna’s style you’ll easily see why she continues to inspire many women like myself. Like many girls in the bloggersphere our initial connection was about fashion and lots of it. Our bond was strengthened by many things including our love of boy bands and music. Hanna and I have been through a fair bit together these past few years laughing and crying together at times. I’m lucky enough to say that she is by far one of my best friends and I would have been lost if she hadn’t been there for me to rant with on occasion!

I have been hearing many stories and tales about Finland since meeting Hanna and have since made some connections and new friendships of my own with other Finns. I had wanted to visit for a while now and so when Hanna and I were invited to Mimmi’s wedding party (you can see some of the photos on my Instagram) we made plans for my first visit! I was really looking forward to seeing friends, catching up with Hanna’s family and seeing the very country I had heard so much about!

Hanna was seriously worried that I might dislike Finland because of how freezing it can get over there! Everyone knows my distaste of winter and the cold so she made sure I knew that almost all of the homes out there are kitted out with saunas and that we’d not only get some time to relax but be more than warm! When she said it was cold she was not joking! The minute I stepped off the plane I felt a cold wind that made my teeth feel like shattering glass! The temperature was at times below 20 degrees Celsius! Having said all of that it’s absolutely gorgeous out there! The snow is a fluffy like powder and the bright sunshine makes it sparkle. Trees and wide spans of forest can be seen for miles and overall the countryside is a really tranquil and calm place to be.

Now when you’re heading to a winter wedding on a freezing cold day what does one wear?! I thought my Collectif Claudette dress would be the perfect dress. It is rather glam but I felt that the emerald green colour would be perfect for the season. The velvet provided some much needed warmth and comfort. As this is a very booby sleeveless dress I borrowed a green turtleneck from Hanna and went with a layered up look. My Georgette heels from Hotter and a silver clutch and I was set! I was so excited to get to the wedding that Hanna and I started taking pictures before I applied my lipstick lol.

I’d like to thank Hanna’s lovely family for having me at their home. They made me feel so loved and welcome and like a member of the family. I look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

A Luscious Christmas

The holiday season is here and with that comes many things! Family and friends are gathering everywhere for those much needed winter catch ups and celebrations. The streets are filled with pretty lights and the stores have an abundance of things for us to buy. I’m not a huge fan of the winter, everyone who knows me knows that i’m a summer baby in every sense! I will say this though, I enjoy watching great movies this team of year, partaking in fun events and parties and of course pampering myself! Some like to snuggle up on the sofa in a new pair of PJs, others enjoy a glass of mulled wine or a hot chocolate. Now don’t get me wrong I enjoy these things as much as the next girl but for me, there’s no better feeling than a piping hot bubble bath with luscious essential oils and pretty colours.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine introduced me to the incredible brand Lush! I absolutely see why they named the company this because their products are just to die for! All of their products are vegetarian and handmade each with it’s own significant features, benefits and amazing scent. Lush are an Eco friendly, animal loving, fun and fresh company and; I have become what one could an addict! Their bath bombs are my favourite thing to buy as they make the bath time experience so much more enjoyable. Forget your typical bubble bath, Lush bath bombs are a small package of essential oils, beautiful colours and even glitter at times! I find that your skin is left feeling baby soft, beautifully fragrant, vibrant and revitalised. I even know of some parents using these as a way of getting the kids into the tub! They even have a play-dough style product called Fun which is perfect for the kids to enjoy during bath time and, this can be used as a shampoo or creamy bubble bar.

During the winter season Lush have a selection of seasonal specific items which are sold between October and December and unfortunately for me, my favourite scents come in this collection so I have to stock up! Snow Fairy is the most incredible candy floss scented shower gel that comes in unicorn pink, with a little glitter that produces the most silky soft lather. I have been buying this gel every Christmas since I have become a Lush customer, I simply can’t get enough of it lol! I recently bought a bottle of this with the Father Christmas bath bomb. This one carries the face of Santa that bursts in a snowy white foam with Christmas red explosion, eventually turning into an emerald green lap of luxurious water. Using these 2 items together is something I highly recommend!

During my most recent trip to the Oxford Street branch I stocked up on a few bottles of Snow Fairy, picked up a collection of amazing bath bombs and some much needed moisturisers. This time of year Lush have an incredible selection of Christmas gift sets, great items for both the hair and body and in some of their locations an incredible spa! Gentleman your women will love you that little bit more if they are treated to a really luscious way to have a home spa session! It’s worth checking out the range as you may even find something you like too!

A Classic favourite of mine, The Comforter Bubble Bar and  The Comforter Shower Cream

The team over at Lush are super friendly and fun people and they make shopping there such a great experience! I have to take my hat off to Lush for finding and employing so many amazing people! I will also say, there have been many times I have wanted something specific for a target area of the body such as the perfect cream for softening the feet. I was given the most amazing product to sample, Pink Peppermint Foot Lotion and I have to say I was amazed at the results, and of course the amazing minty fragrance. The team are incredible at recommending products and you get to try them in the store before you buy!

If you’re looking for something amazing this Christmas for yourself or as a gift do try out their range! You won’t be disappointed!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

 

Another Part Of Me

A lot has been happening recently. I’ve been on a train that just doesn’t seem to want to stop with loads of things happening with the blog, a busy work schedule and making an effort to pack in more time with family friends. Whilst things have been hectic and a lot has been shifting and changing; I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and evaluate on some things, of course the first thing that needed some personal attention…me.

I’ve experienced a year that has been full of drama and so I had to take some time to take care of a few personal health issues. With all the time I’ve had to address with regards to my body I have also been looking at how I think about myself and, how I treat myself. I’ve come to realise that being in my twenties has been a really awkward period. Of course you hear people speak about how much they loved this time in their life and how they wish they could re-live it all. In my case i’m really looking forward to getting into my thirties. I have heard many women say that this is the decade when you really start to embrace yourself, find your feet and really take life by the reigns. I’m in the final year of my twenties and with that I have lost some very special people in my life, made some incredible friends, seen some amazing countries and ended some personal and professional relationships. The one thing I have spent a lot of time on the past few years is building my self confidence.

I spent many years working as a professional singer and musician alongside doing boring and mundane day jobs. Music is and will always be my biggest passion and I will always spend my days and nights with something amazing playing along and surely enough, becoming the soundtrack to some of my memories. I miss the stage, I do. It’s not something I’ve hidden but the truth is, in time I came to realise that the music industry is full of many corrupt people and circumstances and I never wanted anything to dull my love of the craft or the art form. With this and my increasing age I decided to keep music as a huge love and passion that I will always create and perform but without putting so much pressure on myself.

Confidence is something that for me comes with experience. People who have known me forever will say that I have an abundant amount of it but in truth that would only be in some areas of my life. I can take a stage and sing at full force in front of as many as fifteen thousand people and do it with conviction and confidence. Why is this? Music is what I do and it’s one of the things I know how to do best and something I have always excelled in. Having said all of that everyone knows that a huge part of a good performance is the look of the performer, whether that be in their clothing, make up or body type. The music industry is one that appreciates and puts a strong emphasis on image, beauty and sex appeal. Many years ago talent was at the forefront but as we came into this new century in some parts of the world this took a back seat to image.

I was always aware of my weight and my dress size and until I reached 25 years old, this affected every area of my day to day life especially my life on stage. I have always loved fashion and it wasn’t until I started to really see myself as a beautiful, sexy woman that I embraced fashion for myself and didn’t just appreciate it on others. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone and into new circumstances is how I build my confidence. I started with bright and bold colours, edgy and fresh clothing options and wearing clothes that previously I would have been to scared to even try on! I felt empowered, liberated and fun and, with this my blog was born 3 years ago. I try to get women to see what they can do with their look despite whatever demons they may have to face from their past or present life using myself as an example.

A few months ago I was challenged once again when financial circumstances and the voices of many friends encouraged me to wear my hair natural. I spoke about his in detail in my ‘Back To My Roots‘ post. Being of mixed race I have always made the joke that my hair is the blackest part of me lol. My hair totally natural, right out of the shower without blow dryers, wide tooth combs and various products shrinks down into a tight Jackson 5 style afro! I have what’s described as 4C hair; meaning that I have an undefined curl type and my hair is extremely tight, coarse and can be rather dry. I decided to do a photoshoot to mark the final year of my twenties and so, I returned to the studio that shot me on my milestone 21st year; Studio 52. In many ways I feel I have come full circle and have learned to really love every part of myself including my insane fro and, even though I will always enjoy wearing a good wig or weave, I wanted to shoot myself without any barriers and so I donned a full afro!

A couple of shots from my shoot marking my 21st year with Studio 52

For clothing I decided to wear some hot an sexy items from one of my favourite brands Lane Bryant. Wearing their Lightweight Strapless Bra with detachable straps (the first ever strapless bra I have found with perfect fit and support). With this I pulled on their Point D’Espirit Tie-Neck Top. I don’t wear this one as well as Ashley Graham but I still had to have it myself lol. I thought a pair of wet look leggings that I’ve had for ages would go great for the look I was after. Finishing off with these amazing Over The Knee Faux Suede Boots, some large gold hoops and I was set. I wanted to bring out the R&B diva in me, only this time with a new swag and new found confidence.

By and large i’m still the same woman i’ve always been, only a little older and now with a new perspective of life, myself and others. You know what I always say…

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!