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.

Monday, 30 December 2013

2014 here we come!

I can not lie. 2013 has been a tough, tough, TOUGH year. But you know what? I'm still here, I'm still standing and I have learnt so much about myself. It's been incredibly painful at times, but it is in this place of complete brokenness, before the Lord that true healing and growth takes place.

I know 2014 is about to blow my socks off. My God is AWESOME like that. I give thanks for everything He has allowed 2013 to teach me and I press forward to an incredible 2014 filled with His redemption, restoration and wholeness. Thank you Jesus!

To all my wonderful readers, I know my blogging has been woefully lacking lately and I'm unsure as to what 2014 will hold with regards to my posts, but please know that I appreciate you sticking with me and I pray you all have a wonderfully blessed New Year! 2014 here we come!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Six!

My little girl was six today!!! Yes. SIX!!

I can not explain where the years have gone, but I know how supremely blessed I am to have her in my life. Such a wonderful big sister, giggly, gorgeous, clever and a joy to behold. Thank you Jesus.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Lexi. Mummy and Daddy love you to infinity and beyond. Xxxxx

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Me plus three.

Right then. It's been long enough. I can't stop blogging because I've hit on hard times, that would be plain silly (although I realise that's precisely what I've been doing....*sigh*).

Well the fact of the matter, is I'm now very much a single Mum. Sometimes the person you thought you knew, you really didn't know at all and you just have to let go in order to experience God's best for your life. It's beyond sad I can tell you and it wasn't what I'd planned for my life, but I must say that since the decision was finalised, I feel like a new person. Obviously I feel a lot of guilt where my children are concerned, especially as I wasn't raised in a single parent family, but even through the brokenness of the situation, God is showing himself to be more present than ever before.

My children and I will be just fine. Staying prayed up, putting all my trust in my God and looking forward to what lies ahead. Everyday is getting easier and I know amazing times are in store....watch this space.

'God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.'
Psalm 46:1

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Origins of the Afro comb exhibition

Welcome.

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the origins of the Afro comb in Cambridge with the lovely Crystal Afro of the United Kinkdom blog and a selection of other fabulous bloggers and vloggers.

It was a fantastic day full of laughs and learning and I discovered so much about the history of African Caribbean hair and heritage. I'd urge anyone who is even vaguely interested to go and check it out. You will not be disappointed, and if there is enough demand the exhibition may well be brought to a London Museum. This of course would be fantastic.

It is so important that African Caribbean history is made readily available in the mainstream. Not only for our generation. But the generations to come. The exhibition is on display at the Fitzwilliam museum Cambridge until 3 November 2013.

Thanks again to Crystal Afro who organised the blogger trip and was an awesome host and guide.
The lovely Natural hair daily ladies.

Under the dryer......Memories.

History.

Laughs aplenty.

Smiiile - the fabulous Akua Wood founder of Sheabutter Cottage.


Stacey aka theNaprika being FIERCE.

The ACE blogger crew.

Afro combs around the world.

Loved the story behind these Afro combs. They were my favourite.
Jamaica's Accompong Maroons.

African Caribbean history is so rich


Gorgeous ladies. Crystal Afro and Elle and Neecie from Natural hair Daily.


It's me in Cambridge.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Baby boy's big chop

My bubba's - so precious.

So whilst Mummy was away on Saturday, Daddy went and big chopped our little man's hair...

We had briefly discussed this a few times, because like his two older sisters; he screams the place down as soon as you put your hand in his hair, it was all different lengths due to him losing a lot of it at the front a year ago due to the reemergence of cradle cap, plus he was often being mistaken for a girl, so I knew it was going to happen soon, especially with the current heat wave, so now was as good a time as any.

I did expect to be there though, so when the pictures got sent to me out of the blue whilst I was at Old Spitalfields Market I didn't know whether to laugh, scream or cry. For a split second I didn't even recognise the little boy with the shorn hair looking back at me. It definitely was a shock.

Daddy did a good job though, because man, Elijah can scream when his hair is getting brushed let alone barbered (don't know if that's a word lol). The shape up is woefully lacking, but when a two year old isn't co-operating this is as good as it going to get.
He's a big boy now!

Mummy's baby is definitely not a baby anymore *sad face*.

Old Spitalfields Market

Ready for business...

On Saturday my online store Naturally Nourishing had a stall at Old Spitalfields Market as part of The African Market, hosted by cultural arts company Open The Gate.

My lovely sister Charlene accompanied me for the day and
I was truly excited about the prospect of selling gorgeous natural goodies there. Spitalfields is such a well known gem of a market and the location is fantastic. It didn't disappoint.

I loved the vibe and the amazing selection of artsy, quirky and eclectic stall holders, not to mention ALL THE FOOD....we ate like queens ALL DAY..(not quite sure that was a good thing lol).
The market was great because not only was I able to connect with and have meaningful conversations with my customer base, but the other stall holders were so lovely and I made some great contacts, who I will most certainly be keeping in touch with. The sense of community after only a few short hours of knowing one another was really special.
Two of our lovely customers. Such stylish sisters.

So will I be doing Spitalfields again? Yes I believe so, business was a little slow, but this was only my first time and the second time the African Market had been there, so it's definitely a case of building a presence and getting established. The African Market will take place at Old Spitalfields on the fourth Saturday of every month, so do come on down. I'm excited about the future, watch this space!!
The African Market at Old Spitalfields -
every fourth Saturday of the month

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

School's out

My youngest daughter at her end of year nursery concert.
She's the little one in the red sun hat.

I can't believe it, my daughters have completed a school year! Praise God! You can read all about their first days here and here.

It is such a cliche but time has truly, TRULY flown. My children are growing so very quickly and in September 2014 (only 12 months you know) my little boy will be starting pre-school *breaks out in cold sweat*. All of these events which seemed to be a lifetime away are coming to pass.....and it's crazy, inevitable obviously but still CRAZY all the same.

I'm looking forward to taking it easy, and not having to worry about early morning starts....my kids for some strange reason struggle to get up, despite going to bed at a decent hour (I know many Mum's would give their right arms for this 'problem' lol). I'm hoping this habit remains in the 6 weeks.

I'm also looking forward to lazy days and weekends at the coast, the beach, park, visits with family and friends, just spending time with my precious bundles and relishing their company. I know it all sounds a bit rose tinted, but I really want to embrace every moment, because once the moment has gone you don't get it back. Plus I only have a few more years of them actually wanting to be with me all of the time, so I'm going to bask in their dependence on me whilst I can.


My girls and my nephew taking a rest at Hainult country park


Little man - not so little anymore...



Lots of family time in store.
Shame little man wouldn't co-operate for this pic - ahh well lol

Thursday, 11 July 2013

School sports day

Bean bag race...

My eldest daughter had her school sports day on Tuesday. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was the little girl going to school and having sports days and school trips. So mind blowing to think this is the first of many school sports days I'll now be attending as a Mum ....

Anyway....nostalgia aside, the weather was glorious and as the event was held at the local park it was the perfect setting for my youngest two children to play with their friends whilst I caught up with the other Mum's. The afternoon was pleasant and full of lighthearted fun as we watched our kids partake in old classics such as the egg and spoon race, sack race and the bean bag on the head race....memories.

At the end of the childrens races, the parents had a chance to compete in an 80m race. First Dad's then Mum's. I didn't really want to race and would have been happy to take a back seat. Alex was doing stretches and psyching himself up as soon as he got a sniff of the fact that the parents would be racing LOL.....He is sooo competitive. Needless to say he won his race with ease. Then came my turn, about 15 mums huddled together at the starting line. I had to run barefoot as I only had my flip flops and they are most DEFINITELY NOT suitable for any type of running, let alone an 80m sprint. Anyway the deputy head started the race with the usual on your marks, get set.....and I was transported back to my school days when I used to run for my school at district level.......as soon as the deputy head boomed GO!! off I darted. Alex said I left everyone way behind, funny thing is, I didn't even feel like I was trying, I guess some traits/abilities never really leave you. LOL.....

Everyone commented on our childrens 'speedy parents', and this morning one of the teachers mentioned she'll be training for next years sports day, as the competition seemed pretty stiff..... You've got to laugh....

Sack race

Little sis clowning around

Daddy is  a true sportsman!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

A lovely afternoon...



I started writing this post on Sunday, with every intention of posting it ON Sunday, but life is hectic, so here it is on Wednesday................enjoy!

Today was one of those lovely kind of days where everything was just, well lovely.

The sun was beaming, the world was bright and shiny and everything was good. Praise God!

I attended an event in Islington with my sister and it was really enjoyable. Titled 'Calm down it will grow naturally' it was an event aimed at celebrating natural hair. Being a Christian, I loved the fact that the organisers Ranette and Cresha and the event host Annell Smith did not shy away from their faith and they boldly proclaimed their love of God by sharing scriptures and giving a prayer of thanksgiving before we ate.

There were a selection of speakers who shared information on everything from the science of hair courtesy of Michelle Grande from Afrotherapy to a mini demonstration on how to style your own hair from the lovely and super talented natural hair stylist Tieska McDowell; that was A LOT of fun and I've started practicing an inverted French plait from the nape of my neck upwards thanks to her. High five Tieska.

As I've been natural for two and a half years, some of the information I was already quite familiar with. However I loved the intimate setting of the meet; a Greek/Lebanese type restaurant, where we ate and drank whilst listening to the speakers. The lovely Erica, co-founder of Love Harlem spoke about caring for natural hair and gave five alliterative principles. Her product range is gorgeous, and I managed to nab a sample of the Love Harlem Avocado Butter, courtesy of my sister who won a goodie bag and was generous enough to let me have the butter. Thanks sis.

Another speaker was Gillian who talked about her journey to sisterlocs. This was very interesting as I don't know much about locs, but learnt that in order for your locs to be called sisterlocs they must be installed by a qualified sisterloc technician or trainee, who has to be certified by the home office. Think I remembered that correctly. If not please forgive me. All sounded pretty hardcore and serious to me. Also, contrary to popular belief you can return to natural loose hair, if you no longer want your sisterlocs. Gillian knows a few people who have done just that. Only snag is it took THREE AND A HALF MONTHS to take them all out....Wowzers!!!

Last up was Nwadi, who spoke on the politics of natural hair. Really thought provoking and got me thinking about a few things. It was also nice to meet her, as we follow each other on twitter. She is a bubbly, beautiful person.

After the speakers there was an opportunity to network and I made some great connections....AND bought a gorgeous canvas bag courtesy of The River Hut Company. Looking forward to what lies ahead......a great Sunday!


The lovely Tieska demonstrating her awesome talent.

My Love Harlem goodies

Meeee

My River Hut Company canvas bag. I LOVE it.



My beautiful sister with beautiful Gillian who talked about her Sister locs.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Making time

Hello lovely readers, I'm writing this post at four minutes to three in the morning. It seems the dead of night is the only time I get to think straight and get my thoughts down in a coherent manner.

I don't know exactly what it is lately, but my mind feels a bit all over the place, you know, trying to do a million things at once and then feeling like you're not doing any one thing particularly well.

I'm sad that my blogging seems to have slowed down as much as it has. There has been so much going on and I have lots to share with you all, (the picture shows me and my store Naturally Nourishing at the Hilly Fields Fayre last Saturday) but time seems to get the better of me. I need to refocus and get better organised. Or maybe this is just a season I'm passing through, where I need to sit back and take stock of everything that's going on.....

Either way I will not fret or worry The good Lord has it all worked out. He is in control. Hopefully I'll be back on the blogging treadmill very soon too.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The perils of over-moisturising your hair

I never realised my hair could be OVER moisturised...but yes, that's what I've been doing it seems. I'm the kind of girl who doesn't like her hair to feel or look 'dry', so I overcompensate by adding a little too much of everything.

Often we forget that our scalps naturally produce oils to keep our roots healthy, hence why when applying products, a little really does go a long way and we should concentrate on the mid and end section of hair as this has been around the longest and requires the most care.

Recently I was left horrified after I got my scalp analysed by the Curls unleashed team at Curlvolution. They used a probe, similar to one that would be used to check your ears, (if my memory serves me correctly). Once the probe had been safely nested in my hair an image of my scalp popped up on the monitor in front of me. I was astonished to see my scalp gleaming before me looking VERY greasy and oil logged LOL......right around my follicles there were puddles of oil. IT DID NOT look good, and I was quite embarrassed. To be honest the night before I'd probably been super heavy handed, spritzing each section of hair with water before adding hair butter and castor oil then twisting. I loved the twist out the next day, but to be honest it did feel a little bit greasy.

The lady carrying out the analysis said despite the oil slick my scalp looked healthy, and there was no evidence of dead skin. I asked what the negatives were of having an overly oily scalp and she said that when the follicles are pooled with oil as mine were it blocks the area, which in turn does not allow your hair to breath or grow and can cause infections. To counteract we must use clarifying shampoos to thoroughly cleanse and wash the scalp and hair of dirt, grease and impurities, and only apply oils and butters to the ends and mid sections of the hair as these are the oldest and driest points. Our follicles create their own special oils which take care of the root, hence why we do not have to apply products directly to our scalp very often.

Needless to say I have heeded this advice and I have been careful to only apply product to the end and mid section of my hair and I must say I am thoroughly pleased with the results. My hair has felt and looked a lot better since.....

Still loving my easy, breezy Mum bun - Lol. Learning to keep
my ends and mid sections nourished.


HAIR CRUSH!! - This is my goal.

Don't forget to visit my online store www.NaturallyNourishing.co.uk to get your hands on gorgeous natural, hair, skin and body products that my family, friends and I have grown to personally know and LOVE. I'm so excited to announce they'll be new lines added soon so watch this space. You can also keep up to date by following on Twitter, Instagram (@NaturallyNou) and Facebook.


Monday, 27 May 2013

Curlvolution 2013 baby!

Well where do I begin? Curlvolution happened on Saturday and let me tell you it was a blast!!

Last year I was an attendee in the audience, this year I exhibited as a vendor...my, my, my God is so INCREDIBLY good!! From the venue, to the location, to the content of the show, to the mix of people....Curlvolution has it going on and then some. It's unlike any event of its kind in my humble opinion. The vibe is one of inspiration, encouragement and love. Seriously, to see black women and men come together as one and celebrate who we are, what we are doing and what we are about to do is awe inspiring and I thank God that the black community is coming together in such a positive and progressive way.

As I was a vendor with my store NaturallyNourishing.co.uk this year I didn't get the opportunity to watch the show in its entirety, like I did last year, but I could hear a lot of what was going down. Action Jackson was again hosting with his unique mix of straight talking motivation, encouragement and laugh a minute jokes. The man is truly one of a kind and he does a great job at hosting the event and getting everyone fired up.

There was an interview with the actor Jimmy Akingbola aka Dr Antoine Malick from Holby City and American blogger Afrobella, for more details about the show you'll have to pop over to other blogs because I'm sure to miss out the juicy bits. It was so good to catch up with all the fabulous bloggers out there; the gorgeous Nicola of BelleNoirBride and her beautiful bump, Leilu from online hair and beauty product store and blog Afro Deity, Michelle from Cherished Crowns blog, Neffy Fro Fro aka Laila-Jean of Fusion of Cultures vlog, Crystal Afro aka United Kinkdom blog, Stacey of The Naprika vlog, Ketishia from Sugar Kinesis, and Elle and Neecie from the mighty Natural Hair Daily, every single one of them completely gorgeous and lovely (I'm quite clearly in gush mode, but it's all truth).

A special shout out goes to Curlvolution extraordinaire Bukky and her husband Tola...you guys tore it up!!! Thanks too to my little sis Charlie B who swopped her days so she could get time off of work to help me out, thanks sis and thank God for little sisters, without whom I'd be totally and utterly lost.

As a vendor the experience was equally as inspiring as it was when I was an attendee last year. All the other vendors were absolutely lovely too; superfunkyme selling customised jewellery, my girls Mane Diva's with their own line of hair products, as well as weaves and tropic isle lines, lovely Imanmade and her wonderful homemade skin sensitive body butters, root2tip and iloveafro with their amazing natural hair product ranges, Sheabutter Cottage, Beunique Hair Care, Ayamour, it was so great to see so many budding and established black businesses pulling together and supporting one another through networking, planned future collaborations, awesome conversations, so inspiring. I was there selling the products I love by Anita Grant and Fountain oils, they were so well received and I did really well. I also got an opportunity to get up and speak and plug my new venture; www.NaturallyNourishing.co.uk I can't quite believe that the seed that was sewn a few years ago is finally coming to fruition. In a few short weeks things have just come together so smoothly and my table looked so professional I felt shocked and proud that the good Lord has enabled little old me to step out and do what for many years I couldn't see how I would be able to do. I'm telling you guys, through Jesus Christ anything is possible. Praise be to God and God willing Curlvolution 2014 here we come !!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

My birthday


My birthday meal was SENSATIONAL. I want to eat it again.


It was my birthday yesterday and I had the BEST time. Despite some issues I am going through, the good Lord blessed me with a birthday I will remember for quite a long time, it was FABULOUS.

It started off with lovely cards from my mum and nephew which brought tears to my eyes, then both my little sisters had the day off, so they came over with lunch and flowers - I felt so pampered.

I launched my online store www.NaturallyNourishing.co.uk on my birthday too, which felt like such an achievement, plus I  made my first 'official' sale; granted it was to my sister, but hey, a sale is a sale right?

In the evening we had dinner at the fabulous 'Burger or Lobster' in Soho. My sister did all the organising as she had been there previously with work friends and oh my it was bliss. My cousin and one of my good friends were also in attendance which was a wonderful surprise, the day just seemed to keep on giving, I was in my element. So back to the food and the menu was really simple, yet so astonishingly delicious. There were three options; burger, chips and salad or lobster, chips and salad or lobster roll, chips and salad. Super simple.

After dinner we pootled onto Haagen daz for more delicious treats and laughs aplenty - Such an extraordinary day.

Gulp...


On a separate note I'll be attending this years Curlvolution 'Curlfriend's day out' event. It takes place on Saturday 25 May at the Crowne Plaza Docklands and it is certain to be awesome. Last years event was a blast, so I'm expecting bigger and better this year and if the line up is anything to go by, I know there will be no disappointments. It's hard to believe that last year I went as an attendee and this year I'll be there as a vendor. I'm telling you God is so good, and SO ABLE!!!



If you haven't already got your tickets then what are you waiting for? This is an event not to be missed. They'll be giveaways aplenty. Plus the lovely AfroDeity are providing some excellent Castor oil and Pimento oil samples courtesy of Fountain oils, so I'll have some goodie bags and giveaways up my sleeve.

See you there.


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Four!

This cheeky little girl is four today. Oh my how the years have flown. She was the biggest of my three precious children and she made me work for her arrival into the world.

I am so blessed to have my precious little Amber. Such a loving, tender and kind child with a healthy dose of cheeky defiance for good measure.

I thank God for her life and pray that she will always be as happy, healthy and carefree as she is now.

Happy Birthday gorgeous girl. Mummy and Daddy love you to infinity and beyond xxxx

Friday, 19 April 2013

Stepping out in faith....

Thank you to the wonderful  Amy at Dotty pink Designs
for designing my fabulous logo.


So for a while I've been contemplating whether I could actually do what I'm about to do.....we can spend so much time pondering and analysing whether we are capable enough, whether we have enough of this, or too little of that. Well ENOUGH. The good Lord has provided us with everything we need and with Him in control, I've decided to step out and take the plunge....

www.NaturallyNourishing.co.uk
Twitter: @NaturallyNou

I'll be exhibiting at The Nubian Spring Event on Saturday 27th April in Hackney, East London, selling gorgeous Anita Grant goodies. Come and say 'Hi'. Details are here.

See you in 8 days!


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Beautiful Bournemouth

We ventured down to the South Coast last Tuesday. For ages Alex had spoken about wanting to take the kids to Peppa Pig world and since he had a few days off of work we seized the opportunity.

We reached Hampshire about 3.30pm ish, too late to make the most of the theme park, so the Mr made the fantastic decision to pop down to Bournemouth. I was not convinced at first, it's been cold and dreary, so why go to the seaside? Well I was left eating my words.

Tuesday was an exceptionally sunny day and the 30 minute drive from our hotel in Hampshire to Bournemouth passed quickly. When we got there to my surprise it wasn't ridiculously cold, but sunny and bright. The sound of the sea, coupled with the beautiful sandy beach and clear blue skies completed lifted my spirits, it took me completely by surprise and was so unexpected. I don't think I realised how much the insanely cold, dank weather had been affecting me.

So we meandered along the seafront, the girls went on a trampoline which they loved whilst I helped the little man walk along a wall. Then we had a Harry Ramsden fish and chip supper on the beach whilst the kids dipped their toes in the icy water and played in the cold sand. They had a complete blast.

After, we walked along the beautiful Bournemouth pier and took in the breathtaking views of the horizon. My phone battery died some moments prior so I was unable to capture the moment, but it will forever stay in my heart.

Our impromptu trip to Bournemouth made me realise exactly how tough the past few months have been. Just being able to enjoy the simply beauty of nature and bask in God's creation blessed me in abundance. The Lord always shows me His unending love, grace and mercy when I need it most. Thank you Father.

On a separate note the weather went Baltic the next day, so Peppa Pig world, although excellent was freezing. We will most certainly go again in the summer (watch out for the post), where hopefully we will be able to experience it's fun fabulousness in the warmth and brightness of the summer sun.

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