(photography by @keishakfrancis) Since the age of 4, travelling abroad during my summer holidays was something I had become accustomed to. Up until recently, the only way I knew how to enjoy my summer holidays was by taking the ‘holidays’ aspect literally and flying to the hottest location possible (I’m talking Jamaica in the middle of July type hot). If you’re like me and love to travel, the prospect of staying in the city all summer can seem quite daunting, but it shouldn’t be. Although there’s definitely nothing quite like a beach holiday in the June-Aug period, I do think us Londoners sometimes take living in the city for granted- so this year I’m making it my mission to make the most of what the city has to offer and encourage you lovely people to do the same.
I’m a huge fan of the outdoorsy settings, chill, slightly hidden activities, landmarks and restaurants dotted around the city as I love the feeling of discovery and finding somewhere special to make memories, however, for those who like a bit more excitement there are a range of daytime and evening activities that can keep you occupied. A great website to check out for activities is virginexperiencedays but in general, there are tons of tourist attractions, galleries, museums, & summer festivals on this summer, most of which have free admission (google search in your spare time).
In the spirit of appreciating what is around you/exploring hidden gems, I took to Instagram this week to find out if there were any small UK brands, businesses or bloggers that needed some extra exposure so that I could share them on my blog this week as a gesture of good will. Thank you to all who got in contact, see below for the for those who fitted most with the themes I discuss on my blog:
Mulla Cakes (Instagram @mullacakes)
A.R.Hair (Instagram @ar.hair.x), Kaina Hair (Instagram @_kainahair)
Les Trois Femmes (Instagram: @les.troisfemmes), Luxuriance moments (Instagram @luxuriancemoments)
Enjoy your city!
One thing I can vouch for, is that in this life, there’s no time to sit and wonder about what should have, would have or could have been.
There’s a simple but powerful motto I live by which is “You can. You Will.” If I want to do well at something, have an idea or want to learn a new skill, I first tell myself I can (and remind myself of the reasons WHY I can) then I tell myself I will (and write a plan breaking down HOW I will). So many of us look back at opportunities we perhaps didn’t take full advantage and completely regret it… The most frustrating thing is, there was probably no real reason to pass it up!
If you’ve never had the “it’s time to get serious with myself” talk, then now is a great time to really ask yourself if you’re helping or hindering your own growth. Sometimes we unintentionally ignore great opportunities, waste resources or are afraid of criticism so much so that it stunts our development. What we must realise, is that in order to become the very best, and achieve the very best, we have to be proactive in the decision-making department of life. This means leaving comfort zones, making executive decisions and taking complete responsibility for the life choices we do, or do not decide to make. In the age we live in, there is more power in our hands (than we sometimes realise) to create opportunities that could potentially propel us closer to success.
So, I wanted to give you all a little mid-year motivation to take that leap into new ventures, whatever they may be, and push yourselves towards greatness. Make it a new habit to answer a doubtful “why?” with an undeterred “why not?” and keep it moving!
Channel your inner chef with this mouthwatering prawn and seasoned rice recipe, perfect for lunch, dinner or a barbecue with friends. The prawns are inspired by a combination of Indian and Spanish cuisine: ‘prawn puri’ and ‘Gambas al Ajillo’ (Garlic Shrimp). The flavours in this dish are a perfect blend of sweet and savoury so even the biggest meat lovers will be satisfied! Here’s how:
1 cup basmati rice, 200g raw ‘easy peel’ Belizean prawns, 1 whole chopped onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 chopped ginger, 1/2 lemon, 1 tbsp chilli flakes, 1 tbsp garlic pepper, 1tbsp paprika, 1tbsp salt, 1 tbsp ground coriander, olive oil for frying and 1 tbsp butter for rice (optional)
Rinse and season the prawns with 1/2 of each seasoning and place to one side.
On a medium heat, fry together onions, garlic, ginger until clear adding the rest of the seasoning.
Next add the raw prawns and fry until their colour changes from blue to pink, while squeezing lemon juice into the pan. After cooking, ensure the prawns are piping hot.
For the rice, follow the cooking instructions listed on the packet and add 1 tsp garlic pepper, 1tsp salt and 1 tbsp butter (optional) for complimentary flavour.
Serve the rice and any garnish on a plate, and place the prawns in a small bowl (their skins will need to be removed while eating- this can be a messy process!)
Travelling abroad can do wonders for your skin, especially if you’re heading to a beach destination, but the change of atmosphere on and off the plane, early flights and change in diet can sometimes irritate your skin’s natural balance. Here’s a few tips on how to revive your holiday skin so you can stay glowing.
Deep cleanse: Giving your skin a deep cleanse generally helps to remove impurities, but it is especially important during and after travelling abroad to get your skin back on track. Including a deep cleansing face mask as part of your post-holiday routine will give you added glow and help to thoroughly remove impurities.
Exfoliate: Gently exfoliating your face and body after travelling (or a trip to the beach) helps to remove dead/peeling skin and reveal the more vibrant, healthy skin underneath. Using a facial/body exfoliating brush with either homemade or store-bought exfoliants gives your skin that extra boost. – If you’re on a beach holiday and want extra amazing results, take the opportunity to exfoliate your feet in the sand and rinse off in the sea!
Moisturise: Replenishing your skin’s moisture is important for its overall health and quality (especially after flying). Naturally nourish, condition and smooth your skin by hydrating it with regular water intake and mist sprays, in addition to using natural oils and butters (like shea butter and olive oil) help to seal in moisture after cleansing.
Following my perfect shade of nude lacquers for chocolate skin, I wanted to also share a few great nude lip colours for chocolatey skin (for the same reasons). I’m someone who for the past 3 years has worn the same nude lip because 1. it was perfect for me, and 2. because I have major trust issues about how nude lip colours are advertised (in terms of accommodating darker skin tones). I know you’re probably thinking “you could have swatched colours in store” but I find that makeup stores have lighting that makes colours look slightly different to how they do in natural light. But nevertheless, I took a chance and bought a few that I can’t wait to share with you all.
The trick to bringing out the best in these nude colours is to use a warm brown/dark brown lip liner before you apply the colour. My favourite lip liner is Mac’s Chestnut liner but I sometimes use Rimmel’s black/brown eyebrow pencil to give my lips some extra depth (so I don’t get that ice ring donut lip look). *Disclaimer* it is not imperative to only use Mac lip products, I personally find this brand gives my lips the best amount of pigment to compliment the tones in my skin. Other brands work well for other areas and functions. These nude lip colours all bring out and compliment the warm undertones in chocolate skin when worn with a good liner:
(Available at Mac Cosmetics) Lust Lipglass, Boy bait cremesheen glass, Stone Matte lipstick, Cherish Satin lipstick, Taupe Matte Lipstick