Why I stopped Being a Minimalist

A follower messaged to ask if I was still a minimalist. I became a minimalist over eight years ago. I mean I’ve never really been one of excessiveness but I truly understood what I was doing by consciously choosing to have less of material things. It happened shortly after the loss of our daughter Hilary and I was in a very dark place. I had excessive thoughts, feelings, emotions, anger, resentments and all the negative feelings you can think of. Taking antidepressants because the doctor thought you had post natal depression that resulted from the loss of a baby was not enough. I went for therapy and it was still not enough.

I discovered that everything I was feeling was as a result of feelings I had brought with me before getting pregnant. I needed to let go of those feelings so I can deal with the current feeling and learn to live with my grief. I let go of toxic relations, I didn’t owe anyone anything. I didn’t expect anything from anyone. I only bought what I needed and maybe what I wanted in order to feel better. Before this, I would work and work and I never took any vacation, never traveled to somewhere new or interesting. I started my business as an entrepreneur when I was in my second year of Uni. Always hustling and never taking a break. No wonder I was stressed and depressed.

After having that euphoria moment, I decided this life was very precious yet very irrelevant. One minute we are here and the next, we are gone. I was pregnant one minute, seeing, feeling and hearing the baby kicking, saw she was a girl with very lovely dark long hair. The next minute she was gone. Saying ‘gone too soon’ was an understatement. No I was going to let go of irrelevant things and begin to do things that really mattered. As I was googling that kind of lifestyle, I stumbled across the word ‘minimalist’. I thought well, I am a minimalist already. My first car was a third hand daihatsu charade even when at the time I was working full-time and could afford a newer car. I was always careful and wise with my money.

Minimalism is not so much as living quite literary with less things, its more of a mindset. A mindset to live consciously. There is a lady I met once who has five black Gucci bags. Same design, same colour and same everything. Two I can understand. there are times you have to buy the exact same jeans twice because you love it so much and concerned that there is a possibility you couldn’t find it again should one wear off. Not five of them, especially not a timeless pieces like a Gucci bag. But I don’t judge. Everyone to their own. People should be allowed to do what makes them happy. But in a true minimalist fashion, we will not see the need to buy more than one or two at most.

When I became a minimalist, I was not into social media. I was just doing my own thing in a little suburb in Essex. Then I joined social media and at first was so excited to share and connect with similar minded people. That became my down fall. I love social media, you see. Yes you must have attained some level of emotional and psychological maturity to look past all the BS and falseness but it’s actually a nice place. It has really helped me cope with things when I didn’t know where to turn to. I’ve met several people who went through or are going through what I’ve been through ( without necessarily putting it up in their bio that they have lost a child or that they have one medical condition or something) I have met people who make me laugh so much I forget I’m actually suppose to be crying. I have had many inspirations on how to dress up a wall, like seriously, that is a big deal. you don’t just hang a photo on a wall. I could write a 2500 words on how to dress up a wall.

The thing with social media is that just as its full of good things, there are also not so good things in it. Its full of good people and not so good people. When I started my public online minimalist journey I never knew there was a code. You have to wear only two colours, three the most. Blacks, whites and grey. I mean I love those colours and if you follow me you would know those are mostly my colours, however, I also love bright colours. I love all the colours of the rainbows. I understand some colours are more visually relaxing than other but you don’t get crucified for posting other colours.

Then it was portraid like minimalist were living a boring lives. Showing just photos of sleeping on their white beds wearing a black or grey nightie, or standing against a white wall wearing a white t-shirt or drinking coffee from a white mug while sitting on a white bed or sitting on a white sofa reading a book with white cover. I mean I love and do all these things and I understand the need for continuity of themes but come on, that’s not real life. Do you not go out? Do you not take your children out? Are your young kids minimalist too? Do they not have their own voice or choices? I love dressing my kids in white or light colours but some days my daughter wants to wear her pink dress and metallic shinning blue shoes. she looks so cute I can’t help but take a photo, now should I not post that photo in my perfect white, black and grey theme wall? Would I be breaking the minimalist code?

Then there was the attack from un-understanding families and friends who think you turned minimalist because you are broke. I mean by all means make charitable donations to my bank accounts, I won’t stop you but don’t come give me several of your run down clothes when I’m still trying to get ride of all the excess I have.

Then your religions brothers and sisters think it’s a taboo. After all our God is a God of plenty. He has streets made out of gold. He is a rich God and we should not use our mouth to confess negative things like “less”. Ok I get you and I don’t like making religion and racial argument because people hardly open their minds to the possibility of a different thought process regarding those issues. They want to believe what they want to believe and I don’t like wasting time explain that sometimes things aren’t just black and white (no minimalist pun intended).

That attitude of not wanting to keep explaining myself and remembering why I came into this journey in the first place, which was to let go of any baggage weighing me down, including not being free to express myself because I don’t want to break a code, made me come to the conclusion that maybe this minimalist thing or at least the one on social medias is not my thing.

I want to go back to the way I was living my couscous life, not buying excessively or taking on too many projects or making too many friends that I don’t have time to call or text or message. Not having too much of things that I don’t need, want, or thing that don’t make me happy or inspire me and my family. So in my own little world I am still a minimalist at heart, I loves colours, I love to go outdoors just as much as I love indoors. I am just not your typical minimalist. And there are lots of people like me that I admire on social media. They have white sofas and sit on it drinking coffee from their white mugs but also go on holidays wearing pink one piece suits.

So, I am sorry I may not be minimalist enough to those followers who wonders if I’m still a minimalist, but I love and live my life as it best for me and my family. One that several years down, when I look at old photos, I will be glad that I lived and experienced things I may not be able to do any more.

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Pregnancy Announcement

So I’m pregnant! What?! How?! When?! In as much as im not going to draw you a vivid picture of the how, I will like to say that we are both surprised and happy at the same time about having baby number three. I am thirteen weeks gone and have had my first midwife booking in appointment and my first scan.

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We wanted to have all our children close in age, after all I had given up my job to care for the kids until they started school. We planned to do it all at once and then start pursuing careers. By now you would think I should be used to the fact that nothing goes as planned, at least for me. After our last child was born, we could not get pregnant as quickly as it has been with the other two.

Perhaps it was all bad timing, perhaps having a spouse working away all the time and the other family challenges we were facing at the time was contributing to it. Or maybe I’m just too stressed – motherhood is not easy. Whatever it was, I didn’t mind much. we had two healthy, fun, loving and nice kids already. I was grateful for this, what more can a woman ask for? You have a girl, you have a boy, we must be very selfish. 

I maybe selfish but it was for a good reason. I was brought up as an only child ( I don’t trust my father didn’t sow his seeds somewhere else but I grew up as my mothers only child), I had lots of uncles, aunts,cousins that I’m close with and blessed with very good friends. It was not the same thing as having your own biological sibling. I would never have had an only child if it were in my powers, so we gave our daughter a sibling.

Being an expatriate turned immigrant in the UK, it can get pretty lonely. I have my mother and grandmother, several aunties and uncles, cousins and friends but finding childcare for the kids was always a challenge. They are all working and living their lives. I had to do it alone and do things all by myself most of the time. I wasn’t a super mom, I didn’t ask to be. Iactually  love chilling out doing nothing – who wouldn’t, but when you have no choice than to be strong, being strong for my family became my only option. I always thought if I had a sister, the situation might have been different. I decided having just one sibling wasn’t enough anymore. 

What happens when one decides to go and live in another country? Daniel is always saying he wants to go and live in Lithuania ( I have no idea where he gets that idea from) and if that happens they would be alone – again. So we needed one more child, at least. For now. 

I love joking with my husband that I would love to have seven children. One for each day of the week. Imagine Christmas time, weddings, birthdays or when we get old and living in a nursing home, we would always have one child coming to visit everyday. We’d never be bored, I love bingo and all but what else is there to do at that age if not spending time with your family and making them feel bad for putting you there. Of course I’m joking but its something to think about – or not considering the financial implications of having seven children.

Did we plan for this pregnancy? Yes, we’ve waited for four years. Did we expect it right at this moment? No! It’s a lovely, much wanted and needed surprise miracle baby and I can feel the baby being loved more than anything already.

10 Things to See and Do In Brighton.

Brighton is a seaside resort in England and its beach is amongst one of the 10 Best Beaches near London . Just under 2 hours train from London. There is a sense of cosmopolitan atmosphere, enchanting and exciting restaurants, shops and accommodations. Everything in walking distance. Spending a day in Brighton and going back to London the same can be achieved. But if you want to make it a little getaway there are several choices of accommodation to choose from.

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From boutique hotels, self catering accommodation to B&B, there is always a warm welcome for everyone. Brighton Holiday House is a selection of quality self gathering holiday accommodation. Keystay Holiday Let offer you home away from home accommodation at affordable prices.

If you not into self-catering accommodations but hotels are more of your thing, The Old ship Hotel located just a short walking distance from the historic Royal Pavilion will make you feel at home. With a little extra charges you can get a sea view room looking over the glorious Brighton blue sea and pier. Next to The Old ship is Jury’s Inn. It has a swimming pool and close to antique shops, boutiques and several restaurants including Jamie Oliver Italian restaurant. If you are looking for a little bit of American style kind of hotel, the Hotel Seattle will be right up your street. Hotel Una is a classy elegant boutique hotel.The Grand Brighton Hotel is a luxury seafront hotel with an elegant spa, iconic staircase that leads up to a skyline terrace.

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There are several places to wine and dine in Brighton. Where ever you decide to eat, make sure to enjoy a fish and chip by the beach. Other things you could do to have a truly remarkable time include:

  1. Go shopping at the Lanes – shopping at the North Lanes makes shopping in Brighton a unique experience, from vegetarian shoes to vintage clothes, you would find everything you looking for. Take a walk along the West street arcade and be mesmerised by the quirky narrow indoor shopping mall.

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2. Go to the Royal Pavilion – An Indian/Chinese style royal architecture will make you think you have been teleported to some exotic Arab country.

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3. Go to the Pier for an endless fun for the kids and kids at heart. There are several rides, restaurants and you can take a gentle walk along the beach overlooking the beautiful Regency architecture of Brunswick square and Adelaide crescent.

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4. Visit the Sea Life Brighton for a display of exotic aquatic animals like Sharks, Octopus, turtles and many more. This indoor family place is perfect for the British raining summers.

5. Do you need some Zen time? Go canoeing, paddle boarding or kayaking for some one on one time with nature. If its your first time doing water sports, don’t worry, there are packages for beginners and newbies.

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6. Let the kids loose at the Kings Road Playground and Paddling pool. Located west of the west pier (BN1 2LN) this play area allows little ones to play in the pool or climb the exciting castles and toys, then roll around in the sands. It’s free to the public, has a changing facilities and opens 10am – 7pm.

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7. Treat yourself to some ice cream and brownies at Cloud 9, or the traditional Brighton ice-cream at Marroccos or if you are a vegetarian, Boho Gelato has something for every taste buds.

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8. Listen to music at the Bandstand. The grade II listed building is not only for weddings and entertainments, it’s also has iconic architectural and historical importance. You can hear bands playing every summer Sunday afternoon.

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9. Go on the British Airways i360 – we could say go on the big wheel but we have a big wheel in London, The Official London Eye. The BA i360 claimed to be the Worlds tallest moving observation tower.

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10. Have an Afternoon Tea at the Grand Brighton Hotel.

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Whatever you decide to do, make sure to have a lovely time!

A Summer in Brighton Video

Spring Garden Party Outfit 

The sun is out and spring weather is one of the most beautiful weather in London. All the pretty colours come out to play! It’s not too cold or too hot. The flowers make everything look beautiful. Time to have those long overdue out door parties in the garden.

Girl cardigan from Asda George

Cross body bag is a wardrobe essential. They can be worn three ways. As a shoulder bag, clutch and cross body for those active times when you want to go hands-free.

Kids clothes and accessories from H&M


A good party always ends in kisses x

2017 May Day in and around London

Mid last year, we decided to live a more conscious life. Part of it was to explore our surroundings more. It is like going for a weekend break but without the packing and airport security.

Our long weekend adventure started with a road trip to Clacton-on-sea beach. Clacton beach (as it’s commonly known) is a sandy, clean and clear beach with plenty of room for walking. cafes, ice cream bar and a lovely pier plenty of rides. We swam in the cold waters, built sand castles, eat fish and chips from the local shop. If you are staying for more than a day trip, there are several hotels overlooking the sea, lots of different restaurants from Mexico grill to an American dinner with a new Milkshake bar.

There is an amusement park with fun rides for different age groups. Must of rides require tokens and a couple of the ride can be riden with a pound coin.

Few minutes walk is a garden centre with beautiful plants and flowers, golf course and even more stretch of coastline.

Street parking on Sundays are free.

On Monday we went to the Natural history museum to explore the dinosaurs. The museum which is 5mins walk from South Kensignton Station, it is a free entry museum (but donations accepted and we recomend it). With plenty of things to see and do at the museum, there can never be a boring moment. You can easily lose yourself here, plenty of knowledge, fun facts about animals, human body, interactive gadgets, gigantic dinausurs models, amazing architecture, lovely location – there are more things to see and do around the Natural History Museum. if you are visiting London, this museum is definitely a must. It’s charming and has lots of characters

You can spend the whole day at the museum or spend some time there and move on to explore other nearby London attractions such as Hyde Park or the museum of science which is just 10 mins walk.


It was time to go.


We had a 6:30 dinner reservations at Sketch London. Sketch is a French restaurant located on Conduit street, just off Regent street.  It is a quirky chic French restaurant with a unique experience. well presented food, wonderful service from polite staffs who were ready to take our orders and were making jokes with the kids. they asked if anyone had any food allergy (first time we had been asked by any restaurant. This was important to us because our daughter has a white fish Allergy). The pink lush décor, funny crazy drawings on the walls is grand and opulent. It is an expensive place but affordable and you need to book ahead of time.

The food was delicious – told the chef how I like my steak medium to well done and it came out really nice. Service charge is already included in the bill.

The street names on the dining plates was a really lovely touch.


Friendly staffs making jokes with the kids.

Small coffee Bar Design


Living in London can be exciting and fun. The down side is that we often don’t have a lot of spaces. Except if you are very rich and can afford to live in bigger homes. But if like us you have a small kitchen, but still want to enjoy the little pleasures of life all you need is a little creativity and determination can help you get your dream coffee bar. 

As a mom of two active kids and a husband who spend all day working, coffee is one of our essentials. A little luxury we tends to embark on before tackling the day ahead of us. So it was a necessity for us to have a coffee bar. Then there was the tiny issue of space.  What we did was to choose where we wanted it to be. 

Location is important in designing your coffee bar because it’s not just a place to make the coffee, but also a place to enjoy it coffee. A happy place. Your coffee bar could be one of the first places you go to when you wake up. For the above design, it was the small counter corner close to the kitchen window. We love the view there as it over looks the garden. Garden where squirrels come to play just as the dawn is breaking. 

We got a clear glass shelf from ikea and screwed it above the tiles. That would hold the coffee and creamer jars. Then we got a same size silver rack bar with hooks on it from amazon. This will hold the coffee mugs. And we chose small coffee mugs. White. 

Choosing your coffee machine is entirely up to you. Your budget, space and style. For us, we wanted a small practical machine that will do the job. Nothing fancy. It holds up to 4 cups of coffee, which is perfect for two grown ups and whenever we have guests. 

Lastly was the decor, this is also about personal choice. Some people love letters, pictures or quotes. Your quote can be funny, relaxing or inspirational. Because we move home quite a lot, we love quotes that reminds us that “home is where the heart is” not brick and mortar. We also find plants to be quite relaxing, so we put a small pot of plant next to the window frame. The idea is to bring in the zen feeling from the garden outside into the kitchen. 

You don’t need a lot of space to have a coffee bar. So if you have been thinking of having one but worried about no space, now you can. You can have one almost anywhere in your home or office, kitchen or dining area. You could even have one on a small table and put it in the lounge or bedroom. 

Keeping Your Family Safe This Winter

 

winter is here already, even though we are still officially in Autumn. The days are getting shorter, darker and grayer. And when you add a mixture of fog to that, visibility becomes difficult to pedestrians, bikers and motorist.

We have put together a few tips to keep you and your family safe this winter.

  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing.
  • Wear bright coloured coat/jacket/vest or even back pack. This is especially important for kids. Due to their heights and body frame, motorist may find it more difficult to see them.
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  • layer up. wear light, warm layers of clothes to keep extra warm. For younger children and babies, be mindful not to over heat them.
  • Walk and drive slowly. Grounds are often very slippery. To avoid getting to your destination late, leave the home 15 mins early.
  • Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in the car. The kit (which could be an unused suitcase) could include food (non-perishable energy bars and snacks), water, flashlight with extra batteries, First Aid kit (this should always be in the car or a small one in your hand bag), plastic bag for sanitation, power bank to charge your mobile phones and few toys, magazines and books to keep the children engaged.
  • Finally and most importantly, please don’t text while walking or text and call while driving. you need to be aware of your surroundings. Be alert. No distractions.

keep warm, keep safe and enjoy the beautiful weather!