Finding Your Niche in Blogging

You know when you read a book and you start questioning yourself, not in a good enlightened way but you begin to doubt yourself.

I was having a crisis this weekend. Two things were bothering me , what am I? Who am I? Am I a fashion blogger, mommy blogger or travel blogger? This books talked about you finding your niche. About finding that One thing you are good at. That you should be known for that one thing.

But the reality is that some of us are not good at being good at one thing and I think that’s ok too. Our strength is doing more than one thing very well. It maybe because they have vast life experience or that they are just genetically made to be good at various things.

Blogging and Instagramming to me is real. This is snippets of MY life, my life has multiple facets to it. I love fashion (simple feminine styles), I love to traveling (including locally) and my kids are my life (obviously). I create content around my life. Some are sponsored content but still my life and some are just us. Places we go, things I’m currently liking and so on.

I love coffee, I love good food, I love good vibes and I love sharing (maybe over sharing sometimes) but who’s complaining. I want to share all that experience with people. I love photography – taking it and sharing my work.

I don’t regret reading the book because you should be able to read something you totally don’t agree with and be ok still.

And oh I forgot, I get bored easily so even If I post only about one thing, I will get bored.

So shout out to those who get bored easily and who are not so easily defined or boxed up into a group, you matter still. Just remember why you do what you do. Maybe your niche is not having a niche, and that is called lifestyle. You are a lifestyle blogger. So don’t worry about not having a niche. Instead focus on being creative, improving your creativity. Up your game.

The other thing that was bothering me was should I take time off. Since we relocated to New York City December last year, and going on to have a baby in February, I have really not taken anytime of. I mean I’m not one that post as often as I would like to but I still manage three Instagram post a week and at least a blog post a month. I don’t want to take long time off because this is my outlet. It’s my thing. I find little pleasure doing it. My auntie once asked me why do I post on Instagram and I told her “because Instagram is cheaper than therapy” (including retail therapy). Being in the creative world is beautiful and I love doing it. I don’t have problem with that part of it. The part I struggle with is the like for like comments for comments and follow for follow games.

I don’t have time for all that kind of games. People like or comment

so you can do the same for them, so in reality they don’t really care about what you are saying (some don’t even bother reading it) they just want to comment in the post so you can do the same. Or scout your followers so they can follow them.

In all honesty, I have recently joined in this game and I don’t like it anymore. It’s ok When I don’t have things to do. It’s a game, it’s fun. But when you have family to take care of and business to run, you don’t want to be doing all that. Communication and making connections is important in the blogging world but it can drain you of your energy to be creative.

On the other hand you don’t want to appear rude or insensitive. I think it’s all about finding the balance.

The few people you have genuinely made friends with are worth playing the game with. No matter how small they are. So if you are loosing your mojo, keep going and again remember why you started.

TLM Guide to Statue of Liberty NYC

Whenever someone says ‘New York City’, first thing that comes to your mind is the Statue of Liberty. This iconic monument is not only popular, it symbolises freedom, hope and a short at the pursuit of happiness. You can see the statue of liberty from different vantage points all over the city but nothing beats taking a boat ride to liberty island to see her. And whats even better is to go on a guided walking tour. Companies like ifonly organises these one of a kind experiences.  Continue reading

Sex After A Baby

Lets talk about sex baby! Sorry I couldn’t resist : ) Okay so my husband who has been working overseas for nearly six months now is coming home soon and while we are all so happy and excited to be having him with us for the next four weeks, I am getting anxious. Anxious about sex after just having a baby.

Before having kids, whenever he was coming back from business trips, I would set the stage. Two things I love in the bedroom, I am a teaser and I love foreplay. I would send him sexy text messages (not nude photos and nothing explicit, I am married to a preacher’s son so I always imagine my father in-law stumbling across those messages) like I said im a big teaser, I tease him, I send messages that he and I only knows what is all about. like coded sexy messages. For example when people say can I connect my dongle (mobile broadband) to your computer or do you have a hot spot I can connect to, over time, we have found these words funny and use them in making dirty jokes. I could text him and say my phone is done can you find my hot spot? lol

Next it is time to set the stage. I had a small chocolate fondue set, I would go and buy some yummy strawberries to deep in the hot chocolate sauce. There was even a time I went to Anne Summers well you know what they sell there so no need to paint a picture! my point is I had time, strength, I had freedom to express my creativity (not just on instagram) and I had just ourselves to factor into my plans.

Now, with a newborn baby and two kids who are home on summer holidays, living in an apartment in the city meaning we can’t be “shaking the roofs” with our activities, I can’t help but feel the anxiety. Now these are all physical reasons. Lets talk about the physiological reasons, regardless of how you have had a baby, sometimes it just doesn’t go as smoothly as expected. You end up with severe tears, or a major operation. They both take time to physically heal and psychologically heal. I had one of these not so smooth deliveries and I may be a little physically healed but I still feel phantom pains. or maybe they are real, I don’t know. So psychologically, I’m thinking I’m not quite ready.

I want to go to Victorias secret to buy some sexy lingerie but last time I went shopping for underwear, the store attendance thought I was mistakenly in the wrong section, “our nursing bras are over here madam” she said. I wasn’t sure what was more hurtful, the madam or the fact that I can’t even buy a “normal” undies.

They say you should do it only at nights when the kids are sleeping. That is one of the ways we have done it with the other two. They would sleep through the night. we lived in a house so we could leave them upstairs and come downstairs and well lets say “get jigijigi”. But now, the baby nurses every three hours, including night-time, that’s foreplay out of the window. With the little time you have left, you are going to have to dive in there and get it done with in five minutes. Now as a new mom, that would not work. if there is ever a time you needed teasing and foreplay, is after you just had a baby. All your hormones and emotions are all over the place.

Our body has gone through a lot. Our major organs have been shifted and lifted. Our body doesn’t even belong to us anymore. Our breast that used to be one of our sex organs, now act as a food factory for the little one. He asked me the other day, do you even feel anything there anymore” well the truth is I do, not what he was thinking. I feel the love of a mother nourishing her baby’s body. I don’t feel sexual feelings at the time of nursing. but the way the creator worked it out is that you can feel both at different times, not the same, well at least for me. From the other two babies experience, despite nursing, I still felt sexual. Just don’t suck it because those girls don’t know the difference between a baby and a sex partner. The milk will squirt out like some freak show. That is not very sexy now is it.

Then the exhaustion, I could write a whole book on this point but lets just say as a new mom you are ALWAYS exhausted! Even when I sleep, my dreams are so tiring, everything is tiring. You are just surviving. Making the best of a bad situation and being thankful it’s not worse. “it could be worse” I often tell myself. We have good health, we have life, we have food to eat clothes to wear and roof over our head. What exhaustion? But barely being able to do normal day-to-day function (not counting the pile of clothes that needs folding) I can’t imagine ‘fitting’ sex into it. After my son was born, my husband once said “you just lie there” I’m thinking yeah! Because this is the only time my back has touched the bed in the last 48 hours and my brain can’t switch off from the lengthy to-do list that awaits me when you travel back for business so sorry I’m “just lying there”. Like Rhianna you just want to say “shout up and drive” but then you thinking if I say all these out loud, that could cause fight then you have to have a make-up sex, so to avoid make up sex, you just smile and say “I’m sorry I’m just tired” and hope  he just finishes quickly.

To be honest, not that we don’t have sexual needs after having a baby anymore, it’s just that you now become a good negotiator. You find yourself giving yourself the argument whether its worth it. Sex or sleep. You are so exhausted. Then there is the looking sexy part. I used to love my killer curves, small waist, flat tummy, perky breast, wide hips. He loved looking at me when taking off my clothes and I loved the look in his eyes when he whispers “wow”! Now I have three round packs (of folds) in my tummy, my boobs are engorged with milk and probably pointing south and I’ve added weight. He is a lovely man, he says he loves my new body because it wasn’t my body he was saying “wow” to, it was me. Irene. The person behind the body, it is sweet of him but I don’t feel it. I know it shouldn’t matter I know all the arguments why we should love our “new” bodies and I am pretty confidence person HOWEVER when its time to take off my clothes for sex, those insecurities come rushing in. This is not the woman he used to have sex with I would be thinking, I don’t feel sexy.

Ways forward. I’m ordering some sexy lingeries online since I can’t go to a store and buy one. I’m getting a baby sitter to look after the kids while we go out on a date and tease each other in a pre-foreplay style. Although I’m tempted to have sex in the back of the taxi or in the restaurant bathroom like you see in the movies, because that’s the only privacy we are likely going to get. But the fear of going to prison for indecent exposure in NYC or being banned from coming back to our favourite restaurant supersede five minutes of pleasure. I’m going to do what I CAN, eat a little cleaner because I know that sometimes we are running on caffeine and carbs because it’s all about survival than anything else now. Try to shed a little weight off. But then thinking to myself, well he’s added a little weight himself, I had a baby what’s he’s excuse. We shouldnt absorb the whole burden to look and feel sexy. They need to help more, take the baby away for three hours so you can sleep and rest. If they want to initiat sex, they got to do their part too.

The most important thing is to not rush into it. It may sound ironic seeing as we don’t have time but in that four weeks, it’s better to have good quality sex a few times than several forced ones that leave you bruised both physically and emotionally. Stress is the number one killer of moods, avoid stress, no talking about adult stuff like bills or mortgage on a romantic outing. Don’t stress. There will always be dishes to do, floor to clean, laundries to fold. As long as heaven and earth remains, those things will never end. Go out and live your lives especially as he’s only around for a short time before going back. Get a cleaner if necessary. One tip, I use lots of disposable dishes and cups. It is like a party, after eating we throw them away. Cheaper than a cleaner and necessary for our sanity sometimes.

Come out of the bedroom, sex doesn’t have to only happen in the bedroom and on the bed! Shocking right. There is the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom. Switch on your dishwasher or washing machine or anything that makes a familiar noise. Noise the kids are used to hearing and doesn’t wake them up. Play gentle mood music. If you have help, leave the kids with the grandparents and go to a hotel. Nothings beats that! Pretend you don’t know each other and meet up at the hotel bar. I used to love spicing things up by wearing different wigs. Some times you are a hot blond, red-head babe and next you are a sexy dreadlocks, braids chic! Let him dress up too. I find my husband sexy when he wears his suit but without the tie and on jeans. Try different positions. Because you liked and enjoyed a particular position doest mean you would after having a baby.

Personal groom is vital, go for a wax or do it yourself. Have your hair done, your nails done and buy a cute outfit that makes you feel good about yourself. Feel good on the outside and you will feel good on the inside. Sometimes it’s not one thing but the accumulation of several little things that makes us feel good and sexy for when we are ready to get back our groove! ; ) Good luck ladies and remember this period is only temporary. Very soon the kids will not be kids any more and you can have all the sex in the world.

15 Most Instagrammable Cafes in London

1.Peggy Porschen

When talking about beautiful cute places in London first thing that comes to mind of a Londoner is Peggy Porschen. This little dessert cafe located in 116 Ebury St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9QQ, offers tea and Champaign with fancy decorative cakes. Make sure to get a seat outside to really capture the beauty. And go early morning. Weekends are mostly busy so you may want to go in week days or early on Sunday.

2. Sketch, Mayfair – Gallery and The Glade

This sleek and chic restaurant does not only offer beautiful pink afternoon tea, but also lavish French cuisine. And the highlight of it all is not complete without a visit the world famous toilet shaped like an igloo.

On your left is The Glade. A beautiful fairy tail themed

3. Aubaine Inside Selfrides

Hanging Wisteria while dinning? Yes please!

4. Elan Cafe

This cafe have two branches and they are both beautiful

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pretty in pink.

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5. Saint Aymes Chocolate

Floor walls and pink macarons. Try the pink or blue plater

Sit in out outside, you are sure to capture pure beauty.

6. Ivy Chelsea Garden

7. Choppa Club –

If you happen to go in the summer, you will be greeted by beautiful Wisteria Hysteria. And in the winter, their infamous igloos. The view is breath taking especially at night. You can see the iconic Tower Bridge and The Shad while sitting in the comfort of your igloo.

8. Clerkenwell Grind

hanging mirrors, pink velvet sofas and a gigantic neon sign.

9. Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury

10. Sky Garden

11. The Landmark London, Marylebone – Winter Garden

All you can eat breakfast buffet while sitting palm trees

12. Jeans George at The Connaught, Mayfair

Have your drinks or meal on the terrace for that British summer feel.

13. Crystal Moon Lounge at The Corinthia

If for anything else, go and see the gorgeous magnificent crystal chandelier. Although it is a hotel, you can always go for the cake soiree. Sandwiches, assorted cakes and pastries.

In a true English style, enjoy a cup of tea there from their afternoon tea selection, you would love the tea pot tops!

14. Aquavit, St James’s.

With branches in New York, Aquavit London offer stylish dinning in contemporary setting.

15. Searcy’s at the Gherkin, The City

Last but certainly not the least is Searcy’s, located on the 39th floor of the iconic London building, The Gherkin, Searcy’s serves 4 course brunch menu accompanied by Champaign. Enjoy your meal in a sea of fluffy white clouds, it will make you feel on top of the world!