About Me

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Hello there, thanks for visiting my blog. So, a bit about me; I'm Natalie and I am a Christian, committed to living by God's Word each and every day. I am a proud mother to three beautiful children and creator of The Accidental Mogul - a blog designed to channel my ambitious juices and unleash the writer within! This blog is a reflection of me, so it contains a little bit of everything. I’ll be documenting my walk with my saviour Jesus Christ, as well as my natural hair journey, I'll be writing thought provoking posts, product reviews, hosting giveaway's and of course offering up a generous dollop of everyday mummy musings. I like to hear uplifting and motivational stories, so I’ll be interviewing inspirational people when I can to encourage and inspire others. Sharing experiences is what makes life beautiful, so let's share.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

30 things about me - (part one)

Image from allfacebook.com
I'm reaching a bit of a plateau in my blogging journey. It's still very early days, but I wonder if it will transition into everything I want it to be.

In my search for inspiration I've come across a number of blogs where writers share 30 random things about themselves. I thought I'd join in and see what I could come up with. It's helped me to remember things I thought I'd long forgotten. A very cathartic process I must say. Here we go:

1. Believer and lover of God.

2. My children give my life purpose and meaning. They are my life.

3. Mummy, daughter, sister and wife to be.

4. A year into my natural hair journey and not turning back (no more chemical straightening for me).

5. I love to sleep but don't get much these days.

6. Walking along beautiful sandy beaches is where I have some of my happiest moments.

7. I met my husband to be in subway (yep the sandwich shop)nearly 7 years ago in March.

8. Have one surviving grandparent who I cherish very much.

9. I loved to ice skate as a child. Now I am rubbish.

10. I have two sisters and a brother we bicker but love eachother lots.

Watch out for parts two and three...

What things could you tell me about you?

Monday, 30 January 2012

The importance of being mum

This post is dedicated to CLIC Sargent the children's cancer charity in honour of their yummy mummy week. Click on the link above to learn more about this fantastic charity and support the cause.

Last weekend, for the first time in the four years I have been a mum, I was away from all three of my children for more than one night.

Now I thought I'd be glad for the peace and quiet, glad for being able to think straight, glad that I wouldn't have to referee arguments, glad that I didn't have to think of mealtimes, dirty nappies and requests for bottoms to be wiped, glad that I wouldn't have to deal with crying, whining and endless disciplining. But the truth is, that although I was glad for the first hour or so, after that my heart ached for my children. I felt completely lost.

It's crazy being a mum. There are times when you will be literally pulling your hair out, pleading with God for the strength and patience to keep calm and get through the day. Praying for Him to give you guidance when you're desperately trying to get out of the door with the baby screaming and the toddlers not listening.

But this is what motherhood is all about. It's chaotic, frustrating, annoying and scary. Yet in the same breath it is satisfying, rewarding, exciting, awe-inspiring, amazing, miraculous. I look at my children and can't believe they came from me and my better half. They are beautiful, intelligent, cheeky and funny, they make my heart swell with an abundance of love, joy and pride. There are times when I am fretful, worrying about their future, what if anything happens to them, or their dad or me, but those moments are short lived.

We must embrace each day and live life to the fullest. My children have taught me this and they have ultimately given me my purpose in life. Deep down that is always why I wanted to have children, to give my life meaning and direction. I am here raising a next generation to contribute to this world long after I am gone. How much more meaningful can you get?

Everyday they teach me something more about myself. Most of the time I wince at the revelations, but being a parent is no easy task. Being able to work on your faults and become a better person, is the fantastic by-product of being a mother and although it's not always a walk in the park, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Pity Party

Image from omtimes.com
I wrote this excerpt in my diary a few days ago, it's funny how your mood can change so much from day to day. I was having a particularly hard time when I wrote this by the looks of it;

"Today I feel like crying. I'm juggling so many balls right now, one is sure to get dropped and smash into tiny little stressed out pieces. Nothing is ever easy or straightforward. Too much to do, too little time and not enough help. Think I'll throw myself a 'pity party' that should cheer me up?"
What has made you feel sorry for yourself lately?

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The good life

Image from citywatching.com
I'm in a reflective mood, and despite the chaotic day, life is good and I am truly blessed. Here are my 10 reasons why;

Seeing my children so happy and healthy. Their infectious laughing makes my day.

Looking up on a clear day and seeing the endless blue sky, its limitless expanse  is breathtaking.

Watching the sun set.

Hearing my children's first words and seeing their first steps.

Being able to encourage and inspire my children, my family and others.

Being able to learn something new every day.

Being embraced by the man I love.

Feeling loved.

Giving love.

Having faith in the most high that all things are possible through Him. Amen.

What makes life good for you? Please feel free to share. I'd love to hear from you. x

Friday, 20 January 2012

I don't 'heart' housework

Touché - Image from pulpshop.co.uk
I'm in the midst of a massive decluttering exercise and let me tell you it is painful. Very, very, extremely painful. We have sooo much stuff. I can't bear it. I don't even know where to start. I'm in a spin, but this absolutely HAS to be done.

I think I'll start with the children's clothes, shoes and toys. That should be a quick win. Everything they have outgrown will be sent to our local church and charities. Then I'll sort through my stuff and the better half's.

Then there is the paperwork. Please don't get me started on dreaded paperwork. I've accumulated so may bills, bank statements and boring papery toot over the months, it's built up like a dusty mountain in the corner of my bedroom or been shoved in a drawer somewhere. Every time I have a clear out I vow to get more organised, shred my documents every three months and file everything away neatly. Of course this never happens, shredding is way too boring and I've got three kids to tend to, never mind the daily grind of housework.

Why is it that housework is never ending? Just when you think you're on top of it - the laundry is done, carpet hoovered, dishwasher loaded, floors mopped, work surfaces gleaming and every toy in its rightful place. Poof! - everything is in chaos again.

Keeping up with housework is an unachievable and depressing task. Time to maybe employ a cleaner.

But I'd probably spend so much time making the house presentable for them to come and clean, they'd really be no point.

Oh life.....

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Be encouraged

Image from rawfoodnation.org
Sometimes you just need a bit of a pick me up and this is one of those moments. I was scouring online and came across this great quote, so I had to share;

"One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own".
John O'Donohue

Go out and encourage someone you know, it could make all the difference.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Two teeth

I'm loving this wooden heart teether.
Image from thehipstermom.com 
My little boy finally has two little bits of white teeth poking through his gums. I can't believe it.

Despite being the mother of not one, not two, but three children, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly time flies.

Each one of my children seems to have passed the 'baby, baby' stage in the blink of an eye. I know they are still very young (four, two and a half and seven months) and we have plenty more years of child rearing ahead of us, but sometimes I want time to slow down, it feels like everything is happening way too quickly.Yes, day to day can be a struggle sometimes, but in the grand scheme of things these moments feel far too short.

My son has started crawling too. He drags himself across the floor kamikaze style. Little knees working, bottom in the air. He is so cute.

My middle daughter has already grasped the concept of boredom at the ripe old age of two and a half.... and my eldest daughter starts school this year.

We have certainly got our hands full for now, but soon they will be completely independent of us, and will no longer need our numerous cuddles and kisses throughout each day. Time NEVER stays still.

Time to deliver some more cuddles and kisses I think....

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

They sleep, we grind

Image from last.fm
I joined twitter at 1am this morning. Please look me up and follow @TheAccidentalMo.

Social media is such a funny thing. A few years ago I didn't want anything to do with it. I'm quite a private person, so the likes of facebook and twitter made my blood turn cold. Now with the creation of this blog, which I am growing to love very much (so much so I'm up until ridiculous o'clock most nights, thinking, writing and Internet surfing), I am seeing another side to the world of social media.

I am relishing the way it brings people from across the globe into one space. In the six weeks I have been blogging I have met some amazing and inspirational people. People who are living the kind of lives I could only dream of and yet we communicate and become acquaintances, sometimes even friends. Where else could this be possible?

I am discovering people that truly motivate and inspire me. Today on twitter I came across a tweet from an Erykah Badu follower Toshjo whose tattoo had been inspired by Erykah's tweet's. It beautifully sums up my life at this point in time;

"If you have a twitter and you follow Erykah Badu you’ve probably seen this before. She used to tweet this mantra; “they sleep, we grind”  late, late, late at night.. two, three, four, five in the morning, for the creative minds that stay awake throughout the night grinding, and it always really inspired me.  Some people sacrifice money, time, or even sleep to achieve their goals and live out their dreams and I always saw this as a reminder to myself to keep working hard..  they sleep. we grind."

I love that social media has the power to inspire, encourage and uplift.... I want to be a part of it and do the same. I'm going to keep working hard to achieve my dreams and aspirations.

We only have one shot at this life so we must grab it with both hands and give it all we've got. 

Monday, 16 January 2012

Inspirational Interview - The Singer/Songwriter

Happy Monday everyone! Today I’m very excited to be introducing to you my dear friend EmilyKay. An amazing singer songwriter who is taking her talent to another level and making her dreams happen. Read on to find out what inspires her and drives her ambition to succeed.

Name:  Emily (aka EmilyKay - A singer/songwriter and guitarist) 

Birthplace: I was born in Birmingham, West Midlands

Where do you live now? I now live in London and have lived here for the past 6 years.

Education: Educated to BA Honours Degree level in Business Enterprise.

What was your very first job? My first job (and I'm sure the job most people had) was a paper-round. Although it must have lasted about 2 weeks.. as the bag was too damn heavy to carry!! I then had a few small jobs after that. They ranged from serving burgers at football matches to bar work and silver-service waitressing. Thinking back, they were some fun times..no bills to pay and living under my parents roof! What an easy life.

What is your current job? A senior sales co-ordinator in a media company. Alongside my day job, I am working on establishing myself as an artist by pursuing my music career to become a renowned UK singer/songwriter.

What has been your best job and why? Although I have achieved a lot in my day job, my best job to-date has been pushing my music career. As an independent artist I have been running my own small business of promoting myself. It's strange as I feel I've turned myself into a product 'EmilyKay'. This has entailed working to a huge budget to produce my first EP on iTunes, promoting my music across social networks, researching costs, producing CD’s and business cards etc. And this is still only the beginning of where I want to take my music.

What makes a good job? To me it's whether you have the opportunity to grow and learn in the position you are in. If you are given a lot of responsibility you are able to exercise your best skills. My full-time job has helped me hugely, as I have taken some core business skills from my day-to-day work life and applied them to my music career.

What was your dream job as a child and why? As a child, I wanted to be an actor/performer/singer and then weirdly it switched to wanting to become a teacher. But either way it would involve acting-out my future profession with a make-believe mic in my hand and dolls and teddy bears for the audience lol.

What is your dream job now and why? Travelling the world as a full-time singer and musician and performing as an established UK artist. Music is my passion and my dream, and once you realise you have a skill or a gift in something, I believe that's when you find your God-given purpose in life. That's what makes me happy anyway.
How will you achieve your dream job? Through perseverance. Even now when I'm hit with rejection, negativity or when it doesn't seem as though my dream will come true, I keep going. I think perseverance is the key to success.

What is the best advice you have been given? I've been given so much advice over the years but the best advice for me is to "Enjoy Life."

What is the best advice you’d give? "Maximise the Moment" because you only get one chance to live. Find what makes you happy or find your purpose or your best skill(s) in life and excel. 

Who is your inspiration/role model and why? I was and I am inspired by so many people. I'm also inspired by positive, influential people that I meet on a daily or weekly basis.

Growing up I studied Oprah Winfrey a lot, so she became an inspiration. I was studying for my business degree at the time. Her journey to getting to where she is today has always fascinated me, I am a woman and I am black so I felt that I could be the next Oprah Winfrey!

However, as I went through life's experiences, I began listening to people like Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin. The way those women sang about their life experiences was very passionate and bittersweet, I began to realise that sometimes people can fail you. So ultimately, having a strong belief in God was and is my strength and inspiration.

What is the one thing you would change about yourself or the world? Right now I'm happy with me. I've learnt to love being in my own skin first, so that instantly takes away the need for someone else to accept and love you. If I could change one thing in the world, I would want there to be no injustice or hatred.

What is the key to a successful life/career? I believe the key to a successful life/career is to persevere to a positive change. Not to allow anyone or anything to steer you off a positive path to what makes you happy and successful.

Recommend someone you know to take this interview: My friend Tolu.

Please check out EmilyKay’s  music on iTunes and also Amazon MP3 
download under the name 'EmilyKay' or her EP is entitled 'Love Came Knocking'.
Please also
see her links below:

Sunday, 15 January 2012

So thankful

Image from seo.com
So to update - it was carbon monoxide. It was coming from the fireplace in the lounge.We are so thankful because things could have been much, much worse.

The fireplace has been condemned and we went to Accident and Emergency to check that the carbon monoxide levels in our blood were safe and normal. Thankfully we are all fine.

So often I have heard  terrible incidents where young children and whole families have died from this silent killer. It could so easily have been us. I absolutely dread to think.

I don't want to scare anyone out there but here are the six main symptoms to look out for if you are worried about carbon monoxide poisoning. After all it's best to be safe.
  1. headaches
  2. dizziness 
  3. nausea 
  4. breathlessness 
  5. collapse 
  6. loss of consciousness
Please click here for more information.

Stay safe.

Natalie x

Pizza for brunch in bed

Image from vouchermum.com
We have no hot water, heating or means of cooking. There is  thick frost on the ground and all five of us are huddled in our bedroom with only a fan heater for warmth.

It all started yesterday when the better half complained of a headache. I though it might be his lack of fluid intake. Especially since he'd played football the evening before without drinking enough water - something he does a lot.

Anyway I had a lot of plans for Saturday, but that all went out of the window because he felt so ill. At first I thought it might be a dose of typical 'man sickness', but even after two paracetamol (he hates taking medication, so it had to be bad) and all day in bed without any interruption from me or the kids, he still wasn't himself.

I carried on with the day keeping the children entertained, baking cakes, drawing, making dinner, watching TV. It was very pleasant.

Then at about 7pm, as baby was falling asleep in my arms I started to feel strange. I got up to put baby in his cot and the room started spinning. I brushed it off to maybe getting up too quickly, but even after putting baby down the room continued to spin, so much so I thought I would throw up and faint.

What was going on?

Then I had a thought. We have been experiencing issues with the boiler the whole time we've been living in this house. This is despite it being a new build. Gas leaks, water leaks, numerous replacements of parts on and on...

I started to panic. What if it was carbon monoxide poisoning. I opened the windows and looked up the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning online, and the results seemed to confirm my fears, so not wanting to take any risks with something so serious, I called the gas emergency hotline and an engineer came out. He said because of our symptoms (thankfully the children seemed OK) he would have to cut off the gas at the mains.

The better half and I woke up this morning and we both feel a million times better, I'm not sure if it is because the gas was cut off or simply because we got some sleep. I don't think my mind will allow me to think the worst.

All I know is that currently the whole house is freezing except for our bedroom. But it is better to be freezing and alive than the alternative.

And anyway an engineer is on the way, and despite it being Sunday and roast dinner day, we are embracing our situation and ordering pizza for brunch in bed. The children are super excited. Needs must...............

Friday, 13 January 2012

Lucky 13

Image from Baltimore-Club.com
So it's Friday 13. Unlucky for some, but not me.

I was born on the 13th and I love the number. Come to think of it I love the number three too. I have a real thing about it.

Whenever I buy things, say loose lemons, I'll get three. Tinned tomatoes? I'll pick up three cans.

I'm not quite sure why this is, it's just something I do without even thinking. Maybe it's a subconscious form of OCD??

To round things off I now have three beautiful 
children. How very, very, very perfect.

Embracing where you're at

Image from mysearchadvisor.com
I've been thinking, how can I learn to cope with this never ending lack of sleep I am experiencing?

I have reached the conclusion I have to just embrace it, and the more I think about it the more it makes sense. If we surrender ourselves to our situation, no matter how dire, we will always make it out to the other side. Eveything in this life is temporary, so we must learn to take the rough with the smooth and ride out the storms.

So this morning, armed with my newfound resolve I decided to push through my extreme fatigue, (compounded by yet another night of very poor quality sleep), and attempt to get things done.

After waking up and making breakfast for the children, I went into machine mode and blitzed the house from top to bottom, hoovering, dusting, laundry, dish washing, you name it, I did it. And, may I add, this was all achieved before 12pm. Very impressive for me, especially since baby was crying his head off the whole time. I had to keep stopping to try and calm him down, only for him to flip out as soon as I left his side. He is definitely at the separation anxiety stage that babies go through. Oh joy.

I am finding that if I get up and 'do', rather than sit down and 'don't', I feel a lot better.  Despite the awful sense of weariness, if I accomplish something that I can see, like a clean house, I feel better for it and strangely energized.

Before my blitz I scoured the Internet looking for tips on how to survive on little sleep and came across these golden nuggets of information on ehow.com.

Maybe you or someone you know is experiencing lack of sleep. These tips, although seemingly obvious, could provide some much needed comfort. They have for me.

How to survive on little sleep

During the day
  1. Snack on protein, such as tuna fish, to give you an energy boost.
  2. Exercise. It may be the last thing you feel like doing, but taking a brisk walk around the block may help you if you're feeling sluggish.
  3. Catch a catnap during the day, but no longer than 10 to 15 minutes. Any longer than that and you'll feel worse off, and you may have trouble falling asleep at bedtime.
  4. "Nap when your baby naps" only if you are getting up every few hours for feedings. Once the child is sleeping through the night, you should too.
At Night
  1. Give yourself time to wind down in the evening. The temptation is to use those evening hours to do everything you couldn't get done during the day, which revs you up again.
  2. Drink a little chamomile tea and honey, which are natural sedatives, and eat a small snack of low-fat carbs, such as toast with jelly, before you go to bed.
  3. Sleep the same amount every night, even if it's only six hours. Regular sleeping habits are just as important as the length of time that we sleep.
  4. Keep your room cool and dark so that you can fall asleep quickly.
  5. Sleep in an hour later on the weekends if you're able, but no longer than that or it will really mess with your internal clock.
  6. Try for a half-hour to fall asleep. If you haven't fallen asleep by then, get out of bed and do something else. When you feel drowsy, try to sleep again.

Tips & warnings
  1. Avoid nicotine and caffeine
  2. Avoid exercising too close to bedtime. You should try to exercise during the day (morning is best) and no later than three hours before you go to bed.
  3. Avoid pharmaceutical sleeping aids, which can turn into a bigger problem for you.
  4. Avoid big meals before bedtime, which may actually wake you up.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

40 winks

I am about to lose my mind.

My son is teething and he is NOT sleeping....AT ALL. 

At first he was and now he isn't, and if baby is not sleeping then NEITHER AM I.... I feel like I'm not getting enough help because the 'better half' is NOT PLAYING FAIR... again.

In a repeat of the days when baby was newborn and super colicky, lazy pants has gone back to sleeping in the spare room to avoid the crying, which I think is taking the biscuit. WHAT ABOUT ME??? I don't remember making this child on my own!

I'm a walking, good for nothing zombie. I keep snapping at the girls for every little thing. Like most children they have to be told a million times to do something before it gets done and as a result I'm shouting quite a lot (can you tell ??).

They have started calling me naughty mummy. This can't be good.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Everything happens for a reason

Image from Hubpages.com
Today has been a strange day.

There are a number of  things happening in my world at the moment, some of them quite life changing.

There are times when you will be waiting, hoping and praying for something to happen to change the situation that you are in. For quite a few months I have been feeling in limbo, frustrated with my static position.

When you least expect it someone or something throws a curve ball, sometimes not even one ball but several!

Sorry about the cryptic post. All will soon be revealed........

Monday, 9 January 2012

Inspirational Interview - The Future Coffee Shop Owner

Stephanie is giving the first Inspirational Interview of 2012. Yay Stephanie!!

She is good friends with my sister Charlene Be who has also contributed to the interview slot along with their mutual friend Cristina P.

Read on as Stephanie shares with us her dream job, poignant pieces of advice and more.

Name: Stephanie L-C
Age: 31
Birthplace: London
Where do you live now? Brighton

Education: BA in Textile design.

What was your very first job? A Weekend girl at Mango.

What is your current job? I'm a Customer Care Administrator.

What has been your best job? My best job was at Mango because there were no responsibilities and it was only one day a week.

What was your dream job as a child? Fashion Designer.

What is your dream job now? I would like to run a little Coffee shop/Art gallery by the sea.

How will you achieve your dream job? Lots of research and determination.

What is the best advice you have been given? As long as you have your health you are the richest person in the world.

What is the best advice you’d give? To focus on the things you have achieved in life rather than dwell on things you have not.

Who is your inspiration/role model? My Mum.

What is the one thing you would change about yourself or the world? I wish that people were more accepting of eachother.

What is the key to a successful life/career? For me it is to get the right balance between the two.

Recommend someone you know to take this interview: My friend Krishna Khetia

Words of wisdom

Image from Buzzle.com
The Accidental Mogul is about sharing the journey to greatness.

By interviewing inspirational everyday people I want to demonstrate that we all have goals, dreams and aspirations.

Some of us have been super committed, focused and lucky, and are already out there doing what we love AND getting paid for it. 

Some of us are still only discovering what really makes us tick.

Wherever you are in your personal journey,
I hope that by sharing our experiences we can all move one step closer to realising our full potential.

Here are some inspirational words of wisdom and encouragement from some of the most successful and inspirational people of our time. These quotes have certainly motivated me and provided food for thought. I hope they do the same for you.

'Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.'
Henry David Thoreau

'All powers are within you, you can do anything and everything.'
Swami Vivekananda

'Your thoughts build your life.'

'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.'
Mark Twain

'A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.'
Larry Bird

Saturday, 7 January 2012

My journey to natural hair

Image from MadameNoir.com
My last relaxer was on Saturday 22 January 2011. I didn't know it then but that was the beginning of my journey back to natural hair.

I got my first relaxer when I was 14. My younger sister and I had pestered our mother for what seemed like a lifetime. We were fed up of our frizzy, fluffy hair that didn't move and wouldn't sit down the way we wanted it to. Growing up in a predominantly white area there were no other young black girls we could relate to and it was the mid nineties when the likes of AAliyah (God rest her soul), with her gorgeous, side swept, long hair was the image ideal. Well she was mine. 

After my first relaxer I was amazed at how silky and long my hair was. I was a bit disappointed at how limp it looked, and the burns on my scalp but that was OK, I could deal with that. I had no more fuzz.

17 years of relaxers every six  to 12 weeks ensued,along with the no scratching the night before, the inevitable scratching because the relaxer was due and the subsequent burns and scabs as a result. When I look back I'm extremely sad that I put my scalp through so much trauma time and time again. I wasted so many hours, days and weeks, sitting in hairdressing salons wasting my whole Saturday, wasting my money on sub-standard services. Every time I went to a different salon they would have something completely different to tell me about my hair and what products to use; not too much oil because your hair is fine, no products with water, because it will dry your hair out, no this, no that and blah, blah, blah..

All of this information felt so invaluable at the time, but the day after a re-touch, my hair would be wrecked if I didn't wrap it properly or tie it up at night and despite all the recommended products I brought, my scalp would still flake like crazy, my ends would turn an awful, over processed shade of brown, and don't even get me started on the recommendations to dye my hair jet black to hide the off brown tinge. My scalp would be stained midnight blue for weeks. Not a good look. It was frustrating and annoying. How could you spend so much for the outcome to be so mediocre? It seemed the more I got my hair done, the worst it would be.

After each of my pregnancies my hair would shed like mad and I would be left with two bald patches on each side of my hair line. The only thing I could do was to cut it all off and start again, rocking a cute Halle Berry signature crop. This would be great, until the style started to grow out and I would have to relax more often due to rapid growth when it was short. As a result my hair would revert back to the over processed mess it once was. It was a vicious circle.

Now I am deep into my transition to natural hair and it began for a number of reasons.
As well as the points mentioned,  I simply became disillusioned with relaxed hair. I was fed up of spending the money, I had a third child on the way and I couldn’t justify the expense any longer. My hair was unhealthy and never looked or felt great. Plus my sister had begun transitioning six months prior and I was surprised at how kinky and curly and pretty her natural hair was. I had relaxed my hair for so longer I forgot what natural hair was like and that was despite having two daughters with afro hair. It was a joke. I had been blinkered for far too long.

So that was it. My mind was made up. At that point I hadn't put chemicals in my hair for 4 months anyway and my roots were manageable so I just continued to grow out the relaxer and it has been easier than I thought. I was so worried that I would have to deal with a matted, dry, frizz ball. (There have been times when it has looked like an afro, fuzz ball but I'm learning how to moisturise and detangle). How would I manage my natural hair in the work place? Would it be time consuming to style? Would it  look professional? Would I have the patience? I needn't have worried, everything has gone better than expected. There is still a lot to learn and improve upon, but I love my natural hair and its waves and kinks, it's so versatile I love it. Yes that's right I love it.

I feel free and empowered and unique.

At my work Christmas party I was even complimented for my cute little pin-rolled updo, something I would never have imagined. I wish I had embarked on the natural hair journey sooner, but now I'm here there is no way I'll ever turn back. 

(Unfortunately I don't have any good pictures of my natural hair at the moment. A new baby and no decent camera has been some of the reason. Now I have a lovely iPhone that will all change, so look out for pics of me rocking my natural hair in all its glory in future posts).

Friday, 6 January 2012

Otherwise engaged

I love these rings, especially the fingerprints
on the inside. I know what we'll be getting.
The better half and I have been engaged for four years. Come to think of it, it's four years to the day today. O.M.Goodness!

I really thought we would be married by now, I definitely did not think we would have THREE children and not be married.

The better half proposed in glorious style a few weeks after our eldest daughter was born and  I vowed there would be no more children until we had made our union official. What is that saying about best laid plans?

Just before I found out I was pregnant with our third child I had it planned (hypothetically) that we would go to Barbados and have a simple wedding in paradise. How amazing would that have been? An amazing holiday with the girls and a wedding all wrapped into one.

Now we are in a situation where all of our money goes on the children and providing the best life possible for them. There is absolutely no money in the pot for a wedding.

Many have suggested to do something small, get family to make and bring food. The thing is we both come from very big families and I don't see how either of these suggestions could work. Admittedly I was never one of those girls who dreamt of the fairy tale wedding to her prince charming. I never had visions of the dress and the cake from the age of seven, so I'm not precious and I don't have high expectations but I would like the experience to be romantic and memorable for all the right reasons. 

Now my new target is for us to be married by 2013 the absolute latest. I'm getting concerned that the longer we leave it, the more we'll feel like just not bothering. I sense that the better half has lost complete interest in the idea, it's never a topic of conversation, it just exists silently until our daughter sees a bridal magazine or hears the mention of a wedding and asks when mummy and daddy will be getting married.

The honest answer is I don't know, our lives are so crammed with other stuff that we'll just carry on as things are. That is until 2013.......

Only the lonely

Image from myLot.com
'It's not good to be lonely' My four year old daughter told me yesterday.
'Who said that?' I ask.
'I just know.' She replied.

Kids.They are always a million times more intelligent than you think.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Family, foibles & fun times

Image by =_RoBeR_= Flickr
I'm the eldest in a family of four. Growing up in a reasonably big family used to feel like a massive inconvenience. There was always some kind of argument going on. Someone was always getting blamed for what someone else did. There was never enough room, way too much sharing and food portions were always miserably small. Well I suppose I'm exaggerating, but in my memory being the eldest of four children felt at best slightly annoying and at worst completely and utterly suffocating.

These days I couldn't feel more thankful for having the three siblings that I do. All three are very different, but all three know who I am inside and out and I know them the same way. With siblings there is such a profound sense of commonality. Shared history, shared ways of thinking, shared parents, shared lives - it's great.

The banter between us always has me in hysterics. At Christmas we sat around and reminisced about our childhood, and the time we were caught running the streets in the school holidays when we should have been inside. We all scrambled for dear life trying to out run our Dad's car, praying he didn't see us (obviously he did), petrified of the punishment that lay in store. Or the time when my brother bit through his bottom lip after the armchair he was balanced on the back of toppled backwards and he went flying. I spent the whole evening trying to hide him from my Mum and when she finally caught up with us he had to be taken to hospital to get 6 stitches..... Or the time I jumped over the garden fence into our elderly next door neighbour's garden to retrieve a wayward ball. Only for the neighbour to catch me red handed and threaten to tell Dad that I had been trespassing. I was so scared of the repercussions. Looking back it all seems so trivial, at the time it felt like a life or death situation. The stories are endless and I love it. Memories are truly priceless.

I remember growing up my parents always used to tell us; 'These days are the best days of your life'. I always wondered what the heck they were talking about. I couldn't wait to be an adult, independent and living by my own rules. Now I understand that adulthood brings with it a whole new set of rules. How is it parents (mine in particular) ALWAYS know best?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Hair drama

Anyone who knows me, or who has been following my posts will know that I have two daughters a four year old and a two and a half year old. Now with girls comes hair and with hair comes drama. Well that is certainly the case for us in our household.

My eldest daughter has thick hair with very tight kinks that tangle at every opportunity. My younger daughter also has thick hair, but the kinks are much looser, more like curls and although it does get tangled it's easier for me to manage. This used to concern me, because I did not want my eldest to think she has difficult hair, which of course she doesn't.

Luckily I am currently on my own journey towards natural hair, and it is only now, at 32 years of age that I am learning how to properly manage and care for natural afro hair. I'm still a long way off,  but I am so glad I have reached this realisation now and will be suitably equipped to care for my daughters hair and instil the beauty of afro hair onto all three of my children.

In the meantime, as I learn which products and procedures are best for softening, moisturising and most importantly detangling, I have to endure the chaos that is hair washing and plaiting. It starts as soon as I announce the day before, that tomorrow is hair wash day. All manner of objections ensue, but as a mother of daughters it is straight up embarrassing to have to walk around in public, with their hair looking, tired, unkempt and fuzzy. They look neglected and in my book that will just not do.

My eldest daughter. Fuzzy, fuzzy, fuzzy hair. Cute as pie though.

So it's hair wash day and inside I'm dreading the next 3 hours because I know what is coming. Since my eldest was nine months old she would flinch and carry on if I so much as put my hands in her hair. Now it's a million times worse. Washing her hair these days has improved, plaiting has not. As soon as I lift the wide tooth comb, she is screaming at me to put it down. I try the tangle teezer. For what it's worth I think it makes detangling easier, she doesn't and continues to squirm and wriggle as if she's possessed.  I ease her towards me, asking her to 'bend her head' and 'keep still' whilst I try to part her hair ready for plaiting. 'No mummy, it hurts mummy, get off mummy' I haven't even begun the first plait yet and she has a thick, full, head of hair. This is soul destroying.

After an hour of heavy duty screaming and crying from her, patient coaxing and reasoning, then shouting and threats from me, I'm done. I'm sure the neighbours must think she is being tortured. It's a complete nightmare.

Got to use the shampoo shield. I got this from boots.

Lovely thick hair.

As soon as I have finished, the crying stops as if by magic. She is smiling and showing off her pretty hair. The better half is lifting her up, so she can see her beautiful face and perfect hair in the mirror. Is this the same girl?

It's all worth it in the end.

I look on with pride, I got through it. Then remember there's another head to tend to.........

Such a cute, cheeky girl. Fuzzy head number two lol.

Shampoo shield - aka life saver.

Not happy - she knows what's coming.

Work it girl.
Products I used.
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