Staying Sane in Quarantine

2020 – what a year it has been. Everyone thought this was going to be the year for big wins and moves, and let’s stay positive, it could still be when the summer hits but the way this year has kicked off has been a real rocky downhill road.

This is history in the making and something we are all dealing with globally. For once, I think social media has made everyone more anxious than anything else but at the same time is has kept us together and feeling less alone while in isolation.

Most of you are probably indoors now either in lockdown, self isolation or quarantine and I hope you are staying safe. I am quite a sociable person and the gym was my second home so this is quite a lifestyle change for me and I am sure for many of you too. For some, this is just the usual way of life just now being labelled as a quarantine 🙂 Either way, it is hard staying indoors but we need to be responsible and try and slow this spread down, especially amongst the more vulnerable in our society.

Here are a few tips I have been using to try and keep my sanity which I would like to share, any other tips that you have please leave in the comments as we need to come together in these times.

  1. Make a reading list and start to invest time in the books you’ve been telling yourself you want to read or sound interesting but you were also to social to make the time
  2. If you are more on the creative side, why not order a terrarium DIY set to build your own (I have been eyeing up a few on Etsy)
  3. Visit https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/ to start a new craft such as knitting. Or for a fun date/family night in you can make your own candles, paint or clay modelling. All experiential dates but in your home
  4. If the gym was your second home you are probably really homesick like me. I’ve been doing 20minutes of yoga every morning and a home workout by Les Mills. Youtube has a range of yoga videos to do in the morning, a good stretch and core balance exercise will help get your mind and body right. I have also been going out for jogs since the weather has been half decent, just remember to stick to the social distancing guidelines and stay 2 meters away from anyone else. Exercise and movement help mental health especially when you are couped up indoors so even if you weren’t big on fitness before try starting something new or just going for walks.
  5. Have conference calls with your family and friends to keep in touch and have that face time, even if it is virtual. Trust me I have had a few and this makes such a difference! There is also an app called Houseparty which allows you to have a video conference with friends and also play games together in the app simultaneously.
  6. Finally, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I know this is ironic after I have just put a list of activities to do but some of you might be so busy with work still like our critical workers (and you are the true heroes here, I take my hat off to you all and THANK YOU!!) or you aren’t feeling well or have someone to look after. Just look after your wellbeing as much as you can, take the time to heal if you don’t feel well or just be more mindful.

We are all uncertain, confused and upset. Most of us are probably away from our families and not sure when we will next see them but all we can do is our part and unfortunately, for a lot of us that means trying to stay inside and away from human contact as much as possible until we know.

We are all in this together, so reach out to your neighbours or anyone that is more vulnerable or completely on their own. Think about people who can’t go out for a shop and how you could help them, the little actions will make such a difference.

Sending out my love to you all ❤ ❤

Curly Girl Inspo

I have been raving on about my hair, just because I feel like I have finally started to understand it and nail the curly hair look without having to rely on heat and hair straighteners. I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair (still have bad hair days now and again) but I am so much more in love with my natural hair and love seeing girls falling in love with theirs!

I have a new bible, https://curlygirlapproveduk.com/ that I consult before I make a decision on a product, it is surprising how many products on the shelves claim to be “for curly,natural hair” that really aren’t for it!

I am constantly watching hair videos and routines on instagram and youtube but why look for inspiration in strangers when you have people around you. I asked three of my closest friends, who are also on a journey of self hair love and care, to send me three of things they are now doing which have helped them on their very different curly hair journeys.

Andri

I’ve been using the curly girl method for about 3-4 weeks now and have only had a melt down once! Here are 3 things I’m doing right now 

  1. Experimenting. I’m more of a wavy curly girl than a ringlet or coily curly girl so a lot of what I have been reading on line I have had to take with a pinch of salt. And I’m not only experimenting with different types of products but different styling methods, different drying methods, different combing methods, different sleeping methods – the lot of it. When I’m air-drying from washed it works for me to style my hair with my head upright (usually tilted to one side whilst I apply product and scrunch), otherwise when I flip my hair it creates tangles and knots and I lose my clumps which is really annoying and doesn’t give me a good result. 
  2. Praying. Not just praying for my hair to go right but using the praying method for applying products before scrunching is a god send and is only something I’ve discovered on the curly girl journey. It helps you to ensure that you’re applying product to the whole of your hair rather than just the roots. If you put product in your hand and scrunch you’re only going to get the ends.
  3. Scrunch the crunch with argan/jojoba oil on your hands. This step is SO important, especially for a wavy who can’t really use the curl creams / milks. When I started this journey a few weeks ago I already knew that gel and mousse made my hair go super crunchy and I really wanted to avoid that so started using curl defining creams / milks for ADDED MOISTURE and I’m yet to find something that actually sits well on my hair without making it look like I’ve bathed in coconut oil. One day I read about scrunching out the crunch and it has changed my life! Once the product (gel/mousse in my case) dries and creates a crunchy ‘cast’ over your hair apply a couple of drops of natural oil such as argan or jojoba, turn your head upside down and scrunch your curls (shake your roots if you want to add volume). This gets rid of that crunchy look and feel and leaves you with beautiful, bouncy, well defined curls, as you can see from my ‘after’ photos. Being a wavy, it’s too heavy on my hair to add a curling milk in before my gel / mousse so I skip that part and have been getting some amazing results.

Shanice

So lets get straight into it, 3 things I do better…

1 – No shampoo! Co-washes only (wash with a conditioner which is cgm approved) and use hair masks regularly.

2. Realising less is more! I’m still on my journey to find my perfect combination of hair products but I restrict myself to using 2 at the same time (making sure they’re cgm approved) I used to use 3 or sometimes even 4 to style my hair and it would just weigh down my hair and make it look limp and lifeless.

3 – Scrunch out the crunch! curly hair deserves dedicated time too! I used to think that curly hair should be easy and you could whack in some hair products and your good to go. Maybe for other types of curly hair this is true but for me my hair turns out best when I take the time the scrunch my curls after applying my products, usually until I get hand/arm ache! and if I’m feeling extra dedicated I’ll add some twists in to help form the curls

Melissa

So I went on a full mission with my hairdresser to grow healthy curls after all the damage I caused it. Probably starting in 2016. Three main things I did to get healthy hair back:

1. Regular cuts & treatments. I used to go for cuts and treatments every 6 weeks to get my colour and healthiness back. Then I slowly started to space my appointments out more and more but began doing weekly treatments at home as well for the time in between using my hood. That all helped the condition of my hair and stopped it breaking.

2.Stopped dying and wearing extensions. Wearing my extensions used to break my hair too because I was wearing clip ins every single day.

3. Used less heat on my hair (in the form of drying and straightening).

Now there are quite a few patterns I pulled out from the above comments, that also ring true to me and are probably the best starting points on your curly hair journey. Reducing the heat damage on your hair, experimenting on products (everyone has different things that work for them and I don’t think any of us have found THE perfect combo) and scrunching that crunch to activate those curls!

Now to end off, here are my picture updates (thank you ladies for sharing your pictures, I know that its hard to look at your before pictures when the hair was not glowing as it is today)

Happy Monday!

The 5 Stages of Growth

Not that I have had anyone hounding me for posts, but it has been a while and the truth is, I have been busy growing. Work has been busy, there have been personal strains and my focus was on everything and nothing.

I listened to a podcast, “On Purpose” by Jay Shetty today and it talked about growth. He mentioned these five stages and it stopped me right in my tracks.

We all always want to be winning, but you cannot win without going through the struggle. There is no one moment that suddenly makes you win, growing and getting closer to your goal is through micro-moments. No matter where you are right now, you are in one of the five stages of growing and its up to you to recognise this stage and embrace it

1.Learn 2.Experiment 3.Perform 4.Struggle 5.Thrive

Without learning and experimenting how do you know if something is for you. The famous saying by Edison “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Some people are so impatient that they would rather skip the first two stages and go straight into it (eg. starting up a business you know nothing about) in hope that they will thrive, but then fail without stopping to learn.

I have been learning and experimenting so much when it comes to understanding my health and body. I learnt the power of my gut and how the foods I eat are causing me more headache than worth the taste for a few minutes. And since I took my intolerance test at the beginning of this year I have been experimenting, what can I eat, what does my body tell me. I am still struggling to fully give up certain things that are harming my body (eg. Bread, rice). I have cut it down but not completely out but I have been learning through the process of elimination the kinds of food that make me bloat, make me have flakey skin or scalp or even give me bad skin in general. The truth is, some learning and experimenting phases last a few years and you learn, experiment, perform and sometimes learn again.

My hair is another growth journey. When I was younger, I HATED my curls and frizz ( living in a humid climate did not help). I relaxed my hair constantly straightened it. It was only when I was around 18 that I decided to grow out the relaxer and let my natural hair grow but I still never got to grips with my curly hair. From products to styling. It has only been recently that I have taken the time to learn about my curls, the curly girl method and understand what products are good and bad for my hair. Watching videos to the point that my whole instagram feed is now invaded by curls.

With that, I am also in the experimenting and performing stage (separate post to follow)

What about your career? Do you sometimes feel that you aren’t performing or thriving? Well guess what – it wouldn’t be normal for you to work and THRIVE! When I first started my career in SEO I was right at the bottom, doing analyst work. Now 6 years later, I am managing my own team in house and two agencies and I have expanded into SEO and PPC as two integrated marketing channels (Google Search). Not only did I have to learn something new, I threw myself outside of my comfort zone and told myself I should try it and then decide it if was for me – now I am performing and doing well!

But the truth is, the stages of growth are a cycle of growth because you never stop growing. At a point in life you could be thriving at something but then you decide you want to try something new, swim in new waters.

So the next time you are hard on yourself, or before you tell yourself you aren’t good enough – stop and think about which stage of growth you are in, in whatever aspect in life. And remember, everyone is at the stage at some point and you need to be in it, in order to grow.

Body Confidence – The Good & Bad Days

Here is a matter that I hold close to my heart. Sometimes taking the time out to sit here and write makes me feel so much better because I try and break things down in my head and type it on the keypad. I am a very happy, drama free and positive person in general, but some days I can wake up and feel so shit.

Am I the only one?

I have realised in the past two years how much food really impacts more than just my physical well-being but my mental perception. Many of us are body-conscious and no thanks to the society we live in and the media portrayal of perfection, it is so easy to feel like you are not good enough. Sometimes I find myself two hours deep of scrolling through “insta-models” pages comparing myself to them and isolating all my physical imperfections. But then I have to remind myself that it isn’t real life! I would say that I am confident in myself and love everything that I am but when I have days of eating bad food, especially anything that makes me bloat, it has a direct correlation with my “feeling shit days”.

With my intolerance test showing that I was intolerant to many things I love, I was determined to cut these out of my diet but it gets hard when you’ve grown up on rice and bread (being Asian and German).  Soya, wheat, yeast and dairy are my main triggers. I’ve realised that cutting these out also reduce any bloated feeling or tummy pains. Then I noticed, that eating these actually have so much more of an impact on my body than I thought.

When I have yeast or dairy, I get discharge and bad skin – all of these contributing to a lower self esteem on those days.

On the other hand, when I cut everything out and stick to my workout routines, I feel energetic, toned and fresh.

The fact of the matter is, not every day will be great and we all have bad days, what helps me is having an early night that night and starting the next day with a good sweat and healthy breakfast – that will always kick start your good vibes. Take a look at how your diet affects your feelings and self-esteem and make a conscious habit to remember – you’re body is a temple and what you feed it can either nourish or poison. You do not have to be a carb-free vegan, but everything in moderation and understanding your body is the key.

Perfect summer date spots in London

6 months left until we are in 2020, can you believe the madness? We are in the midst of Summer, and I hope everyone is enjoying this indecisive weather. Whether you are just dating or in a relationship, there is no better time to enjoy the outdoors in the capital.

bars in hackney

I am a fan of daytime drinks as everyone knows ( and here are some of my favourite boozy brunch spots around the city) and the alfred le roy is a perfect spot by the canals in hackney wick. The boat is sometimes stationary or you can take a ride with it. The sun, views and chilled vibes makes it a perfect date spot.

 bottomless brunch london

On the topic of day time drinking, a bottomless brunch is always a good date idea. Big easy in Canary wharf is a great choice with a live band, lively cocktail bar and meaty food with bubbles for a more party date than something romantic.

date ideas

Moving away from the alcohol and food, spend some time with mother nature. Taking walks and having picnics in the park are such underrated activities, you get to spend one on one time with your date and talk about anything your heart desires while breathing in the fresh air, you might have to leave central London for this. Richmond to see the deer is the perfect escape from the hustle.

Walking through little Venice near Paddington is a guaranteed romantic stroll paired with a stop at one of the many cafe’s by the canal.

Finally, the outdoor top golf spots around London and Essex are ideal for an outdoor activity with some competitiveness while you can still cute. Now go forth and enjoy your weekend!

Why I Love Being In My Late 20s

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! I love birthdays because you just get so much love from old friends, new friends, strangers and everyone you love. It is that one day in the year you really get to appreciate yourself and celebrate being you and everyone knows I love to celebrate me all February. I was getting ill on the weekend so I did not have as much of a party but I shall make up for that this in the next few days 😊

Turning 28 hasn’t hit me as hard as when I turned 27 last year. I know age is nothing but a number, but 27 is a really shit number because it just feels like a late 20’s vibe. 28 however is still my late 20s and I am use to that now and to be honest, I had such a great year last year I cannot wait to see what this year has to bring!

aquarius season

I wrote this post on what I wish I knew in my early 20s when I turned 25. I love reading my old posts as it shows my personal growth (hopefully) and change in perspective. It also makes me realise that I made such a big deal about entering my late 20s and the horror when actually life has been so uphill since my 25th Birthday.


Continue reading “Why I Love Being In My Late 20s”

Signs That He Is An Undercover Wasteman/Player

It is my last week of being 27, oh my god I am 2 years away from 30 AHH.

In both of my girl WhatsApp group chats, I am the oldest or 2nd oldest, and with that comes a lot of responsibility as well as an extra year of experience and wisdom..

Like probably most girls my age, I have seen it all – the nice guys who are just too full on, the friend zoned guys, the not too bad but didn’t wow me guys, and the scums that walk this planet.

Meeting the different existing breeds of men made me learn that the way I treat someone also depends on how I feel about them. Continue reading “Signs That He Is An Undercover Wasteman/Player”

5 Signs To Know He’s The One

I’m back again with Love Talks With Mel(this might become a regular thing), I have been getting so much feedback that you guys like the lifestyle/relationship posts that you can relate to, so here is a topic that comes up in my group chats all the time.  It is crazy how each of us are so individual yet we have so many parallels in our lives that coincide. I live for discussions with my girlfriends because we all have different approaches and rationals when it comes to the dating sphere yet there are somethings we just all agree on too.

I was dating for almost two years before I met my “the one” so this post is solely based on my experience of the frogs I crossed to get to Prince charming. Disclaimer: I am not a dating expert, do not blame me if you meet the wrong one but saw all the right signs… 🙂

  1.  There Are No Games 

Continue reading “5 Signs To Know He’s The One”

Do I Have Daddy Issues?

Millenial’s ( born between early 1980s and mid 1990s) are said to have the closer relationships with their parents than other groups. Information is shared, we are more open about relationships and challenges. Perhaps true but I am sure not everyone would agree. That being said, I am constantly looking at women who have a perplexed relationship with their fathers. Nowadays, to hear that someone’s parents are still together in a healthy, loving and committed relationship is rare. I think I know 4 people, in fact it is more normal to have separated or divorced parents in this day and age. And in most instances, the children then live with the mum and that is where my story begins. Continue reading “Do I Have Daddy Issues?”

Is Living with Good Friends Really A Good Idea?

Living in London is an experience, it is an amazing and vibrant city but making sure you are in the best living situation can be tricky. We all know that unless you live in a small box-sized apartment, live with your partner or are a millionaire, you are likely going to be sharing your house with others. I have had my fair share of drama in the past and there was a point where I was actually upset about living in London.

It just goes to show how important a comfortable home is and that is not just determined about how big your room is, what TV you have or what duvet keeps you warm at night (although I must say I am living my best life with my new feather duvet)! The people you live with make such a difference. Continue reading “Is Living with Good Friends Really A Good Idea?”