Sunday, 30 August 2015

My first week back at work.

Last week was my first week back at work after 3 months away! It felt strange being back in the building, especially because the reception part has been completely renovated.

 Being away from work for 3 months was a risk I took because I was told that there was no guarantee that there would be a job for me when I returned. However, I am not afraid to take risks and I believe in a God who will provide all my needs so I wasn't worried. In fact, two weeks before my return to the UK, I received an email informing me that there was a position available in another department. I was offered the role and it's a higher grade than my previous role and is a step up from what I had been doing for the past 18 months with the company.

Throughout my placement in New York, I had purposed inside me that there was no way I was going back to England  to the same routine, same working pattern and standard of living. I really had a work life balance that I had not really experienced before and loved having weekends off to chill, do fun things and not be running errands, catching up with the housework and laundry! Nah ah!

I decided that I was no longer going to work 6 days a week as I had been used to for nearly 2 years; working full time  Monday to Friday with my employer and spending Saturdays and sometimes Sundays, doing freelance work. I spoke to my new manager and asked if I could work 4 days a week and have Friday's off. They had no problems with this and said yes. I've also changed my working pattern, starting at 8.20am and finishing at 4.50pm.

It's only been a week but I really am happy I made this decision. It will not cause a detriment to my financial life but on the contrary allows me to develop the freelance work I do and I can dedicate Fridays to doing work for my clients and growing my business more as well as doing extra work in the evenings during the week. I can also make proper time to do the house work, so when it comes to the weekend, I can be more involved with the activities going on in my church, spend more time with family, visit friends and chill, really enjoying the weekend.

Last Friday I spent the morning doing housework and laundry  and in the afternoon I did a bit of studying and doing things related to my freelance work. It was good because at the weekend I didn't have to do any housework or laundry because it had all been done.

I am not all about living a life just to work, pay bills and die! I am going places, have goals I want to achieve and working towards having financial independence and a work life balance, but for that I have to make time for my project and it meant having to change my working pattern and reduce the hours I worked which in the future I will reap the benefits of.

Sunday Style

Today I wore this lovely dress that my aunt gave me as a gift when I went to visit her in Texas last month.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Sunday Style

Yesterday I wore this dress that my auntie gave me as a gift when I went to visit her in Dallas, Texas, earlier this month.

It has an African print style to it and i love how it fits me nicely.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Friday's Casual Look

Hi everyone, it's Friday! Woohoo!

I will be dedicating Friday's to different casual looks because I finally get to wear casual wear on Fridays and not work outfits!

Today I didn't even plan on wearing what I wore. I had to change the black trousers I was wearing as I had been doing a bit of cleaning in them and simply put on this skirt as it was one of the first things I saw and thought hey, let's make it work because I was short on time.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Saturday, 8 August 2015

My American Adventure: Visiting Texas, Pt 3

We went to Dallas and I was shown the spot where former president John F. Kennedy was fatally shot.

We also went right to the top of the Reunion Tower where you can see the whole of Dallas. It was so beautiful and I was in awe of how big the city is. I could see the lakes, prison, corporate buildings, hotels, high ways and bridges. Dallas is a big city with a lot going on. While you're at the top, the building rotates  round so you see the whole city without having to move. I thought that was pretty cool.

Afterwards we went around for a while then went to get something to eat. We were driving around for almost 2 hours because of traffic. It's very busy and after a certain time, you can find yourself stuck in traffic for a long time due to congestion.

We ate at Red Lobster. I've seen the restaurant  in New York and Maryland but never went. I thought it was a restaurant that served fish dishes only but they have meat dishes such as steak too.

The prices are decent and you definitely get your moneys worth. I couldn't even finish the appetizers in time for the main course. I had lobster pizza, cheese biscuit and salad for starters. For my main course, I had steak and shrimp with mash potato and fries. It was gorgeous. I absolutely loved it.

You're fed well here in Texas but you have to be careful. If you're not very active and if you don't have a gym membership or have exercise equipment in your house and fail to use it regularly, you'll be in trouble with the scales lol.

I couldn't even squeeze the desert in so took it home but didn't eat it until the next day because I still had the chocolate cake to eat from my first night in Texas, which took my 3 days to eat due to always being full when it came to desert time lol.

When we arrived home in the evening, we were visited by Tony and Sheila, friends of my aunt and uncle. Tony was also one of my dad's best friend's during their teenage years. They're so lovely and lived in Bristol, in the UK before moving to the States 8 years ago.

I've met quite a lot of people who used to live in the UK but moved to the US when they were presented with better opportunities. They are all doing so well and have achieved a lot in a short space of time.

 A place doesn't necessarily bring the success, you can achieve it anywhere you decide to sow you're seed and watering it by willing to work hard until you reap the fruits. I do agree that certain countries provide better opportunities for development depending on the area you want to establish a career in and for these people, US had these opportunities that the UK at the time didn't have for them.

My American Adventure: Visitng Texas, Pt 2

It was extremely hot. Where we were was 39 degrees Celsius (106f). There were hardly any people around and my aunty explained that when it's very hot, most people stay in doors.

As we were driving towards downtown Fort Worth, I noticed that there were no pavements, just wide roads and high ways. It's very difficult to walk around the suburbs and to the city due to limited side walks and local shops being quite far. Public transport is scarce, so many people have to drive. If you do not drive, you will struggle to get around. The bus that goes to the airport takes 2-3 hours, but it only takes 30 minutes in the car! That's because it goes all around before it gets to its destination. Buses are not frequent.

The area reminds me of the countryside in England. I noticed that part of the grass was green and the other part light brown. There hasn't been any rain for two months so it's very dry at the moment. Grass in the gardens are green because people water them during the night and in the day.

Our first stop when we arrived in downtown Fort Worth was the Water Gardens. My aunt used to hang out there with my uncle and my dad when they were university students in the 80s. It was pretty cool. Afterwards, we went to old Fort Worth that still has the old cobbles and cowboy feeling to the area. I was surrounded by deep southern accents and people dressed country style haha.

Because it was so hot, we didn't stay outside for too long and went to visit family friends and I met my lovely cousin in law for the first time. They live in a beautiful and quiet neighbourhood. We stayed for quite a few hours and was treated to taco salad and corn bread, which was AMAZING. I loved it and will definitely be making that when I go back home.

I had great conversations with them and learned so much. I love how friendly people are and how at home they make you feel. It was like I had known them for a long time.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

My American Adventure: Visiting Texas Pt 1

I woke up at 6 o clock this morning. Very early considering that I didn't go to sleep until nearly 1am. When I sleep somewhere new, I always wake up early.
I had a nice breakfast, cheese omelette filled with meat (sausage and bacon) and mushrooms. I also had fruit salad, bread and tea! I spoke a lot with my aunt and uncle as this was this first time that I had been with them for a long time.
It was nice catching up with them. We Skyped some of my cousins and my other aunt and uncle who live in South Africa. 

I learned how my aunt and uncle as well as my dad, left Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) and how they came to live in the US and UK. They were very young (in their late teens) and during that time was apartheid. It was very difficult for young black people to get into university so the only way was to leave the country and seek higher education opportunities abroad.

They had to smuggle out of Rhodesia and escape to Botswana. My dad was actually taken to join the guerilla war by the whites who were fighting against the blacks. Before he actually joined them he managed to run away. My grandfather who worked on the trains, managed to get my dad to Botswana. He worked for a while and came across an organization that was sponsoring young people from Rhodesia to study in the UK. He was accepted on the program and travelled to the UK and did a one year diploma course. While he was there, my aunt helped him apply for  university in the States because she had managed get on to a program there, along with my uncle. He studied and worked in the US for about 6 years before going back to the UK to settle.

My aunt and uncle remained in Texas and in total, have lived here for 30 years .
It was really interesting to hear them share their stories. I learned a lot, especially about perseverance and not being afraid to take risks in order to succeed.
They took me to places where they used to hang out with my dad when they were students and showed me around downtown Fortworth.

Before I left the house I decided I wasn't going to check my messages, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp or email address during the day. I took advantage of this to be focused on my family and what was going on around me. I went the whole day, from 9am until 10pm, without using the internet on my phone. They are moments when we have to take time out from social media and interactive more with people around you.

To be continued.....

This week's scarf look

I didn't bother making a fuss styling my hair really nice yesterday because I was spending most of it travelling to visit family in Texas.

I decided to wear one of my favorite scarves. It's good if you want have a protective hairstyle to protect your hair from the wind or rain. In New York it was hot but when I arrived in Nashville to transfer to Dallas, it was raining so I am glad I chose this look.

My American Adventure: Trip down south.

Yesterday I travelled to Texas to visit my aunt and uncle for a few days. They have lived here for 30 years and my dad used to stay with them when he was attending school over here.

This is my first time visiting Texas. I've heard a lot about the state but I will see for myself what Dallas is all about.

The first surprise I got when I arrived here was to learn just how hot it is right now. It's currently 39 degrees Celsius (106F), which is VERY hot. I was just getting used to 32-33 degrees consistently in New York lol.

When I arrived we went to a Mexican restaurant called Rosas Cafe. It was pretty inside and outside the place and food was very nice. I enjoyed it.

I'll be sharing more of my experiences in Texas, stay tuned 😊

Monday, 3 August 2015

Monday's look

My American Adventure: Work life balance

I had a really nice relaxing weekend. After a busy week of working and finalising certain things as my adventure slowly comes to an end sooner, I was in need of a quieter and relaxing weekend to unwind and recharge my batteries for Monday morning, back in the office.

My work life balance has upgraded since being in New York. Back in England I generally work 6 days a week because I work full time Monday to Friday and on Saturdays I do freelance work for private clients. Sunday is the only official day I have off, but sometimes I work in the afternoon after church if I have deadlines or extra work, which is usually once or twice a month. Evenings are the time I can unwind and rest, after the housework and cooking. But life isn't just about work work work and I refuse to be a slave to it. Yes, I need to work and make money to live comfortably but we are not born to merely work, pay bills and die. There is more to life than this.

 I love not having to work weekends here and even having a day off in the week too because I have been able to rest, take care of household chores on my rest day so my weekend is free to go sightseeing relax at the beach, spend time with friends and Skype friends and family. I haven't been agitated or rushing around trying to cram everything in like I would back home. I am currently reviewing my routine back home and seeing where I can make adjustments so I can have a proper work life balance and make more time for the things that truly matter without causing a detriment to my work life and finances.

Saturday I went on the ferry with my friend Divya to view the Statue of Liberty.

Sunday I played volleyball with local youth in the neighbourhood after church and then went to the beach to chill out.