Friday, 29 May 2015

My American Adventure: Being Independent

My first morning in New York and I was up at 4  o'clock in the morning. My body and mind was clearly still in UK mode. I kept myself busy by reading, doing some work and watching Law and Order:SUV (my favourite show) before nodding back to sleep 6 hours later lol.
I didn't plan anything for the day as my main focus was to rest.

I had a nice stroll around the neighbourhood in the afternoon. At the end of the street there are a variety of cafes, restaurants amd bakeries. 10 minutes by foot and I was at the local shopping area that has department stores, more restaurants and shops. Everything is so close.

I loved how people who were sat in their gardens or leaving their houses, waved at me to say hello. It really is a friendly and diverse neighbourhood.

I was thinking about my personal journey leading up to my trip here and how I kept my plans secret until nearer the time. Even then, only my parents and siblings, people at work who needed to know and a few friends were aware that I'd be coming here for the summer.

Not many people knew until I posted it on my social networking sites yesterday. And with some things, it has to be that way. Staying focus on the goal and not boasting about it.

I have learned from experience that there are moments in life when we have to keep things to ourselves and not speak much about it.

When we talk too much we don't get a lot done. Not everyone will be rooting for us or believe in what we are doing. However, when you know what you want and you have the faith to conquer it, nothing and no one can stop you.

My American Adventure: Intro

Hello everyone!

I am writing this from the other side of the Atlantic. Yesterday, I started my American adventure here in New York.

I'll be here during the summer and I've decided to post my experiences, a few times a week on this blog.

I am looking forward to the experiences that are yet to come.

I've only been here for one day but I already love it. The people that I have met so far have been so friendly. The weather is nice at the moment and the shops are so cool.

New York is very diverse in culture and I love that.

Something that has stood out for me so far is the opportunities people are taking advantage of to better their situation and develop personally. I met a young lady who is also from England when we were leaving the airport and she is here for 5 months to work. She managed to get a job in a hotel and they are paying for her accommodation and food! Cool right?

All the people I have met and talked to so far are bi-lingual and speak at least 3 languages, fluently. Such skills make you employable, a real asset where you work and creates doors of opportunities.

I am learning Spanish at the moment so I can interact more with people. I will be in contact with a lot of Hispanics when I start the legal community work in New York City so it's good to learn. Even though I will have an interpreter, I want to communicate directly with people when necessary.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Throwback Thursday

Thursdays are the days we throw back old pictures and videos on our social networking sites! I love going down memory lane and remembering fun times with friends and family, special occasions, TV shows and songs I used to love as a child and teenager!

Today, as I was getting ready for work, I starting thinking about my childhood and the TV shows I used to watch before I left the house to go to school and the shows I used to watch after school and in the evenings.

If you’re a 90’s chic like me, you’ll remember some these programmes below. Oh how I loved them and wished they still made shows as funny and suitable for all the family, as these!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Why I love the modern day dolls.

When I saw this photo I remembered my love for dolls as a child and the different collection we had in our house. Every year in my city we have a family fun fair called Goose Fair and each year, my mum would buy a new porcelain doll. I remember one year seeing a black doll for the first time and getting all excited when my mum brought one home for us, to add to our collection. 

I grew up in a predominately white causation neighbourhood. There were only 3 black families in the area and in my school there were only a handful of black kids. My sister and I were the only black Africans, while the rest were of West Indian / Caribbean descent. I faced a lot of racism, received snide comments and felt left out. I had no identity at all and I remember how ashamed I used to feel about being Black African because it didn’t seem as cool as being from the Caribbean. There wasn’t anything around us, outside our house, to promote our culture, help us be proud of where we came from and feel part of society.

I remember when I used to play with my dolls, I would put a pillow case or t-shirt over my head and move my head side to side, wishing that I had nice long hair like my dolls. I wanted to have fair light skin and look pretty like my dolls. I remember one day being a shamed to go to school with my natural hair when my grandma cut it. I used to hate having my natural hair out and my mum putting pig tails or those four parted twists in my hair. I wanted to wear curly extensions all the time because they were long and moved like my dolls’ hair.

It was a very painful experience, that took years to heal from, and it was only when I went to university when I started to embrace my ethnicity, my roots and feel part of society.

Times have changed and I am happy to see black dolls, Indian dolls, South East Asian dolls - dolls of different races, looks, with added features such as afro curly hair, wearing, glasses, dressing in traditional clothing and to show the realistic image of our multicultural society.

 Young girls have this opportunity to learn that you can wear glasses and still be beautiful. You can have big afro curly hair and be beautiful. You can have fair skin or dark skin and still be beautiful. No matter what you look like or where you come from, you are beautiful and you don’t need to wish to be something else because in simple things, like a doll that reflects their own image – they see how they look and where they come from as beautiful.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Tea, i love it!

I love a cuppa! Those who know me, know how much I love tea. Growing up, I used to love drinking tea with biscuits. Even in my adult years, I am a self confessed biscuit dunker and love dunking my biscuits – especially chocolate digestives, into my tea lol!

I work in an office at least 7.5 hours a day and for such a long time, I went through at least 5 cups of tea at work, everyday. This did not include the one I would have in the morning before I left the house and the other 2 cups of tea I had in the evening, when I arrived home and before I went to bed. In total I would drink at least 8 cups of tea everyday!

Tea doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee but it still does contain a considerable amount. I noticed just how much tea I drank when I went a few days without drinking it and suffered with really bad headaches and felt agitated. Now imagine how someone who drinks a lot of coffee would feel?

Anyway, as I have become more health conscious, I realised I needed to cut down on the amount of black tea I drink and started to drink only 2 cups a day. It was very hard in the beginning but now I am used to it. I drink more fruit and herbal teas as they don’t contain as much caffeine as black tea. In total I rink about 4 cups a day, sometimes only 2 – which is a big change for me.

I also drink more water and hardly drink soft and fizzy drinks.

I’ve learned that we don’t need to cut off our favourite beverages completely, just drink them moderately and have a healthy balanced diet.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Being creative with my scarf

I have a nice collection of scarves that keeps growing but I tend to wear them the same way, mostly around my neck.

 I always like to find ways to be creative when it comes to style, so this week I decided to wear one of my favourite scarves in 3 different ways - 1) around me neck, 2) as a top and 3) on my head.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Exercise and me!

I was a sporty child growing up and took part in athletic activities. I loved running and I was also part of the netball team at school, playing Goal Defense from age 10 to 16.

When I left school I signed up to the gym and went 4 times a week. I was very fit and healthy and when I started university, I joined the netball team and did street dance once a week. Half way through my first year at university I stopped all of it and over years frequently visited the gym when I felt like it.

 It took a trip to the doctors last year to prompt me to get back into taking care of my body properly and exercising regularly. Since then I have been cautious with what I eat, prepare healthier meals and exercise. I started to go to the gym again, weekly zumba classes and joined the running club at work!

My life is very busy at the moment and now  I find it difficult  to go to the the gym or exercise classes. I  haven't given up on exercising but instead i exercise from home more. I spilt my daily exercise regime into two; 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening, everyday.

I have a rowing machine at home so in the morning I spend 20 minutes on that followed by 10 minutes of abdomen exercises. Then in the evening I either go back on the rowing machine or I jog in my area for 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of abdomen exercises. It's not strenuous or hard but it's a realistic regime that works well for me and keeps me fit and healthy.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Life as a singleton

I’m single and I’m loving it! Yes that’s right – I love it! Contrary to what many people think, being single is not a curse! It’s not a shameful thing or something to feel sorry about! For me being single is a time of self discovery. It’s a period in my life where I can invest solely in myself and in my personal goals. I get to know myself, what I want in life (and what I don’t want) and do me really!

There was a time when I used to feel the pressure of having to be in a relationship, settling down with someone and starting a family. A lot people would ask why I wasn’t married yet; why hadn’t  I settled down with anyone and they’ll tell me to be mindful that the biological clock is ticking (even though I’m still in my 20’s)!

Many people end up frustrated and bitter because they give into the pressures of being single and jump into a relationship with anyone who gives them attention. They end up losing themselves into something that is not good for them just so they don’t have to be alone!

When you know and believe in your value and your worth, you don’t settle for this! In fact you don’t settle – you only go for the best because you know you deserve the best! You enjoy being a singleton not because you can date as many people as you want  but because you get to invest more in yourself . You become independent, build up your confidence, have personal achievements and experience life in a way, that when you do find your other half, you will have so much to give to the relationship. You won’t be needy, highly dependant on the other person or always hiding under their wing – but you will add to their life!

Berry smoothie bowl!

I love my berry smoothies and yesterday I decided to do something different and have it in a bowl, with oats and different kinds of nuts and dried fruit. It felt like I was having a proper breakfast lol and it was quite filling! I didn’t crave for food until lunchtime!

Ingredients: Smoothie – Frozen strawberries, blackcurrants and raspberries; ¼ melon, 1 banana and a few spoons full of natural yoghurt.